One Direction star Liam Payne has shot down rumours suggesting he has been caught on camera in a gay tryst, insisting the photos which have surfaced online are fake. Fans were sent into a spin this weekend (20-21Sep14) when a second wave of nude celebrity pictures were leaked on the Internet, featuring explicit snaps of newlyweds Kim Kardashian and Gabrielle Union and pregnant actress Hayden Panettiere, among others.
One series of shots depict a man, purported to be Payne, wearing a black cap, receiving oral sex from another naked male on a bed, but the British singer has moved swiftly to shoot down the speculation.
Taking to his Twitter.com blog on Sunday (21Sep14), he writes, "Wow as if people think that weird photo going around is actually me lol (laugh out loud) think id (sic) rather tweet a full frontal than have people look at that."
Payne goes on to insist he has nothing against gays, adding, "I'm 100 (per cent) not homophobic. But I'm also 100 (per cent) not gay so when somebody says I am I'm gunna (sic) say I'm not which does not make me a homophobe".
Lady Gaga insisted on pressing ahead with her planned show in Tel Aviv, Israel earlier this month (Sep14) after receiving assurances about her safety from top political aides in the White House. A slew of artists, including Neil Young, the Backstreet Boys and Paul Anka, backed out of shows in Israel over the summer (14) due to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, but Gaga decided not to let fans in the country down and agreed to honour her commitment to play the 13 September (14) gig.
The Bad Romance hitmaker has now revealed any concerns she may have had about visiting the troubled region were put at ease after seeking advice from U.S. government representatives, and she is encouraging other musicians not to shy away from the Middle East either.
She tells the Associated Press: "I was very confident (about the trip) based on my relationships with lots of internal, political people. We're very lucky to have great relationships with the White House. They let us know it would be very safe while we were there, and I hope to share that with the world so that they know it is safe to be in Tel Aviv right now...
"I felt a beautiful energy when I was there."
British singer Paloma Faith has scored her first number one single in the U.K. with her Sigma collaboration Changing. The drum and bass duo's track with Faith leaps up 114 places to claim the top spot, making Sigma the first act of 2014 to land two consecutive U.K. chart-toppers with over 100,000 copies sold in its first week of release.
The feat topples Calvin Harris and John Newman's Blame, which slips to number two, while Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Remix) by Lilly Wood & Robin Schulz falls to three.
Professor Green is new at four with Lullaby and Taylor Swift rounds out the new top five with Shake It Off.
Meanwhile, on the U.K. album chart, Irish rockers The Script earn their third number one with No Sound Without Silence.
Barbra Streisand enters the countdown at two with her duets album Partners and Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour drops to three.
Sharon Stone has come under fire from Italian director Pupi Avati and his producer brother Antonio for reportedly making "absurd" demands on the set of their new movie The Golden Boy. The Avatis were stunned when the Hollywood beauty agreed to star as a sexy actress-turned-publisher in the new, low-budget drama, but their excitement quickly turned to concern about some of the comments and requests that were made in a series of exchanges between their representatives.
Speaking at a press conference for the film in Rome, Italy, Avati explained, "My brother asked me if I was crazy (to cast Stone)...
"Then a correspondence started, enough to write a book, between her agents and our lawyers. It was a negotiation that bordered on ridiculousness, concerning embarrassing details, as if Italy was a third world country."
Antonio Avati went on to recall how Stone lapped up the paparazzi attention paid to her as she arrived in Rome for the shoot, where more than 200 snappers had gathered, noting, "There her ego definitely inflated. It is the classic pattern with these American actresses who are slightly declining (in fame)."
Pupi claims Stone's diva-like behaviour only worsened as the media attention increased and he was forced to halt the shoot one day after his leading lady disappeared before a kissing scene.
He said, "It was the last scene in the day and we had to do the last shot where Sharon kisses (onscreen love interest Riccardo) Scamarcio. Suddenly, she realised that together with all the photographers, there was also a TV cameraman who was filming.
"She immediately disappeared. We looked for her everywhere, but nothing! Then my brother received a phone call from Los Angeles from her manager: she wouldn't come back on the set until the photographers and especially that damned TV cameraman had gone away.
"Obviously we did so and she, like nothing happened, shot the scene. The thing that I found most absurd is that she had to call to the States and to close herself in a car (to hide), instead of coming to ask us directly."
Despite the alleged difficulties onset, Pupi claims he wouldn't rule out working with Stone again - although the actress is unlikely to take the Avatis' comments lightly.
Responding to the remarks, Stone's representative, Cindi Berger, tells The Hollywood Reporter, "None of this is true. Ms. Stone is the consummate professional."
Filmmaker Roberto Orci has dropped out as executive producer of the forthcoming Power Rangers movie due to his directing commitments on the third installment of the Star Trek franchise reboot. J.J. Abrams has handed over the reins of the sci-fi series to the Mexican screenwriter and producer, who will make his directorial debut with the follow up to 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness.
Actress Daniele Watts is refusing to bow to pressure to apologise for accusing California police of racial profiling following a run-in with cops earlier this month (Sep14). The black Django Unchained star and her white boyfriend, celebrity chef Brian James Lucas, were detained by officers on 11 September (14) amid reports suggesting the couple had been spotted engaging in lewd conduct in their parked car in Studio City.
An angry Watts declined to hand over identification during questioning and began to walk away, prompting police to apprehend and handcuff her before taking her back to the scene of the incident.
Both she and Lucas subsequently took to their Facebook.com pages and blasted cops for reportedly targeting them because they are an interracial couple, but the police sergeant at the centre of the case, Jim Parker, has since spoken out, insisting an audio recording of the whole encounter will prove he and his fellow officers were simply investigating calls from concerned passers-by.
The developments in the case prompted a number of local civil rights activists to call on Watts to apologise for blasting the police, but she remains defiant and in a statement released late on Friday (19Sep14), she maintains her innocence, insisting she did nothing wrong.
She simply states: "It is a constitutional right that we do not have to present ID to any member of law enforcement unless we are being charged with a crime."
Authorities have launched an internal investigation in light of Watts' accusations, although the actress' publicist, Bill McCoy, reveals the couple is not planning to take further action after previously threatening to sue.
Actors Seth Rogen and James Franco surprised U.S. TV host Jimmy Fallon as he celebrated his 40th birthday on Friday (19Sep14) by jumping out of a fake giant cake topless. Franco wore a police hat and bow tie and waved a pair of handcuffs. The pair made the unexpected appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to introduce the show's special guest, soul legend Stevie Wonder, who belted out his Happy Birthday hit.
Alicia Keys, Harry Belafonte and actress Tyne Daly were among the celebrities who helped to celebrate the life of late screen icon Ruby Dee at a special memorial service on Saturday (20Sep14). Guests gathered at the Riverside Church in New York to salute the actress and civil rights activist in a three-hour ceremony, which featured performances from jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Peter, Paul and Mary star Peter Yarrow and pregnant Keys, who sang her Superwoman hit for the crowd.
Daly joined fellow actresses, including Phylicia Rashad, Kim Fields, Pauletta Washington, Lynn Whitfield and S. Epatha Merkerson, to read passages of Dee's poetry and prose, while the veteran entertainer's A Raisin in the Sun co-star Glynn Turman paid tribute to Dee, saying, "I feel honoured to have known Ruby Dee, but I feel so very blessed that she knew me."
There was also a message from U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, who praised the Jungle Fever star for her "extraordinary life" and for "throwing open the doors of opportunity", while Belafonte delivered a eulogy on video and Sidney Poitier remembered Dee as "an artist, the likes of which I have never seen" in a letter read out during the service.
Actress Angela Bassett and Broadway star Audra McDonald were notably absent from the previously announced line-up after having to pull out of the ceremony at late notice.
Dee died in June (14) at the age of 91.
Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, Ariana Grande, Coldplay and Iggy Azalea were among the high-profile stars who took to the stage in Las Vegas over the weekend (19-21Sep14) for the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Some of the biggest names in the music industry graced the stage in Sin City for the two-day event, which kicked off on Friday (19Sep14) with acts including Swift, Minaj, Grande and Coldplay.
Coldplay's set was overshadowed by the appearance of actress Jennifer Lawrence at the gig, fuelling rumours she is dating frontman Chris Martin, while other acts included pregnant singer Alicia Keys, who made a surprise turn on stage to perform her new single We Are Here.
Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am also made a surprise appearance onstage with DJ Steve Aoki.
Usher rounded out Friday night by bringing out Chris Brown for a rendition of his single New Flame, and the Yeah! star baffled the crowd by setting his sneakers on fire. The flaming shoes were dealt with by a stagehand who doused them with a fire extinguisher.
Iggy Azalea, 5 Seconds of Summer, Magic!, One Direction, Lorde and Paramore all took to the stage on Saturday (20Sep14) to close the festival. Calvin Harris brought out British pop star John Newman during his Saturday set, while Ed Sheeran performed with rapper Macklemore.
Kim Kardashian and Hayden Panettiere are among the stars who have been targeted in the second wave of the Hollywood hacking scandal. Nude pictures of the reality TV star were leaked online on Saturday (20Sep14), three weeks after cyber criminals stole saucy snaps from cloud storage devices belonging to a host of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst.
Actress Panettiere was also among those targeted in the second big leak, with others reportedly including Vanessa Hudgens, Kate Bosworth, Leelee Sobieski, Lake Bell and soccer star Hope Solo.
Newlywed actress Gabrielle Union also fell victim to the hacker, and has released a statement condemning the leak.
The statement reads, "Our private moments, that were shared and deleted solely between my husband (sports star Dwyane Wade) and myself, have been leaked by some vultures... I can't help but to be reminded that since the dawn of time women and children, specifically women of colour, have been victimised, and the power over their own bodies taken from them. These atrocities against women and children continue worldwide... For anyone out there also being affected by these and other hacking and hate crimes - We send our love, support and prayers. We have done nothing wrong."
Agents of America's Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a probe following the first leak in late August (14).