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Ironman on teen's side

A North Carolina teenager who lost a leg in a shark attack this month got a personal message Tuesday from the actor who plays "Iron Man" in Marvel's superhero movies.

Robert Downey Jr. uploaded a video addressed to 17-year-old Paige Winter on his Instagram in which he said that hers is "a heroic story of resilience."

The 17-year-old was attacked at North Carolina's Atlantic Beach on June 2 by what was likely a large bull shark. She sustained severe wounds to both her hands and her left leg during the incident.

At a news conference last week, her father had asked Downey to follow the teenager on Instagram and said she was "probably his biggest fan."

Downey said he will follow her on Instagram but also asked Winter to be an ambassador for his Footprint coalition, which aims to use advanced technologies to clean up the environment.

"You're not alone," Downey said in the video. "But not just because of folks who have had similar stuff happen, but also because of your interest in sustainability and preservation of our oceans and marine life."

After the attack, Winter had spoken out in support of ocean and shark conservancy. She has been promoting the hashtag #sharksarestillgoodpeople and released a video in which she said she hopes to use her accident to do something good for the environment.

Winter was surprised with Downey's message during an interview that aired on ABC's "Good Morning America."





Corden show visits Europe

When James Corden takes his "The Late Late Show" to England, he does it up royally.

He's yet to ask Queen Elizabeth to join him, but this week's London-based shows include British and U.S. stars including Tom Hanks and Lily James and a pre-taped segment with former first lady Michelle Obama.

It's the third year that Corden has travelled to his native city for the CBS show, and he refused to let the task of hosting last week's Tony Awards interfere.

"We enjoy jumping headfirst into all of these things, and tired isn't a good enough reason," Corden said Monday, the start of a four-night run of shows from London's historic Central Hall Westminster. He said he counts himself "incredibly lucky" to have such opportunities.

"I don't want to look back and go, 'Ah, I should have made the most of that and I didn't because I was a little bit tired,'" Corden said.

Among the bits: A battle-of-the-sexes dodgeball match in which Obama teams with Melissa McCarthy, Allison Janney, Kate Hudson, Mila Kunis and Lena Waithe against Corden, Benedict Cumberbatch, Harry Styles, John Bradley and "Late Late Show" bandleader Reggie Watts.

One sketch has the host competing with Chris Hemsworth to see who would be the better restaurant employee, while "Dark Phoenix" cast members Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Sophie Turner join Corden for a double-decker bus tour of London.

Late-night show highlights can have a significant online afterlife, and Corden's "Carpool Karaoke" segment with Paul McCartney in his English hometown of Liverpool was a viral sensation last year.

This time around, the host is especially pleased with a new installment of his "Crosswalk: The Musical" fixture, this one featuring songs from "Les Misérables" and taped in Paris with the Arc de Triomphe as a background player.

"The whole idea of it is so silly, so stupid," he said, happily. "However you think the Parisian residents might respond to such a thing is exactly how they did."

Would that be turning up their noses?

"Exactly how you think they did," Corden said. "It was glorious."

This week's guests besides Hanks include Ian McKellen, Gillian Anderson and Millie Bobby Brown, with musical acts Little Mix and Mumford & Sons.

Corden said he goes abroad with "The Late Late Show" to ensure the program is "always on the move, it's always ambitious."

He draws the line, however, at inviting her royal majesty.

"We would never demean her, as such, to ask," he said.



Taylor glad feud is over

Taylor Swift's life became "much lighter" after her Katy Perry feud ended.

The pair fell out when the Roar singer nabbed her pop rival's dancers for a tour, and they bickered in the media and in the lyrics to their songs for several years before Katy urged Taylor to stop fighting with her and become friends.

She sent Taylor an actual olive branch to make it clear she was serious about ending their feud and now she has appeared in the 29-year-old's new You Need to Calm Down video, hugging her new pal.

In addition, Taylor has told the U.K.'s Capital Breakfast radio show that she and Katy have been on "good terms" for some time after meeting at a couple of parties.

"We saw each other at a party and walked up to each other and hugged it out and talked about things," she said. "Then saw each other again and hung out at another party. It was just like something felt so much lighter about my life when things became really good between us."

But Taylor wanted to make sure that she and Katy, 34, were "solid" before announcing their reconciliation to fans.

"She and I have been fine for a while and really on good terms, but we didn't know if we were ever gonna really tell people about it," the singer added. "We wanted to make sure that was solid between us before we ever made the public aware."

Katy joins Ciara, RuPaul, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Laverne Cox, among other stars in the new video, which debuted on Monday.



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Avengers big MTV winner

Avengers: Endgame slayed the competition at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, scoring three top honours, including Best Movie.

Co-director Anthony Russo collected the event's big accolade, and paid tribute to late Marvel icon Stan Lee in his acceptance speech with a little help from Thor star Chris Hemsworth and Iron Man Robert Downey Jr., who sent in video messages for the occasion.

Downey Jr. also snagged Best Hero for his portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame, and co-star Josh Brolin landed Best Villain for his role as Thanos.

Lady Gaga was recognized with the Best Performance in a Movie accolade for A Star Is Born, while her onscreen duet of Oscar-winning song Shallow with Bradley Cooper earned the pair the Best Musical Moment.

In the TV categories, Game of Thrones bowed out as Best Show, and the Golden Popcorn prize for Best Performance in a Show was collected by Elisabeth Moss for The Handmaid's Tale.

Jada Pinkett Smith was honoured with the Trailblazer Award, and Dwayne Johnson took home the Generation Award.

As he picked up the prize for his diverse contributions to film and TV, the former wrestler-turned-movie star, aka The Rock, encouraged fans to embrace their differences, instead of trying to conform.

"When I first got to Hollywood, Hollywood (bosses), they didn't know what the hell to do with me...," the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star recalled. "I was told at that time, 'You gotta be a certain way, you gotta drop some weight, you gotta be somebody different, you gotta stop working out... You gotta stop calling yourself The Rock.' What...?

"For years, I bought into it... and I was miserable doing that, so I made a choice: I wasn't going to conform to Hollywood, Hollywood was gonna conform to me."

Meanwhile, there was also a poignant moment as damning TV series Surviving R. Kelly, which detailed the years of sex assault accusations made against the embattled R&B veteran, was awarded Best Documentary, with a number of alleged victims featured in the series joining producers including Tamra Simmons to accept the prize.

The 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards were hosted by Zachary Levi at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California on Saturday, with the ceremony broadcast on Monday.



Assistant wants estate cash

Penny Marshall's former assistant is seeking more than $8 million from the filmmaker and actress' estate officials after alleging she promised to set him up for life.

Terry Trahan has filed two creditor's claims with estate representatives, explaining he served at the Laverne & Shirley star's beck and call from January, 1994 until her death in December.

In addition to working as her personal assistant, Trahan alleges he was also expected to take on housekeeping and cooking duties, as well as filling in as her home and physical caretaker. He also lived in her guest house, so he could be available to Marshall 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to legal papers obtained by The Blast.

However, Trahan alleges Marshall was a terrible boss, who was "abrasive, caustic, and abusive" towards him and often treated him "in a humiliating fashion in private, and in front of third parties". He also accuses her of banning him from taking "days off, vacation time, or uninterrupted rest or meal breaks."

He once brought up his complaints about his working conditions to the veteran entertainer, but she reportedly demanded he "not ever leave her employ" and threatened retaliation if he ever walked away.

Although he was unhappy with the arrangement, Trahan claims he put up with the job for years because Marshall promised to take care of him financially upon her death, "providing for him in a sum so that he 'would never have to work again,' and that he would also be left 'enough money to purchase a home,'" reads the court papers.

Marshall also vowed to name him a beneficiary for her Director's Guild of America pension/retirement fund, which she did, only for Trahan to discover the collection had been "depleted down to nothing at the time of her death."

That wasn't the only disappointment Trahan discovered following his boss' passing - she had apparently reneged on her vow to offer him other financial compensation, including money to purchase his own home, worth $3.2 million, which she had allegedly picked out with her assistant.

Trahan is now demanding Marshall's estate executors honour her promises and provide him with the money for the house, pay his salary for the next 23 years, amounting to $2.3 million, and also compensate him for all the alleged unpaid overtime and missed breaks, which he believes is worth another $2.6 million.

Marshall's estate officials have yet to respond to the demands.



Casey wants kids to 'earn it'

Casey Affleck is determined his children will "earn" what they have in life.

The 43-year-old actor shares two sons with ex-wife Summer Phoenix - 15-year-old Indiana and 11-year-old Atticus.

And when it comes to raising his boys, Casey wants to ensure they know the value of working hard for the items that they want, as he did when he was growing up.

"My son said he should start thinking about getting a car. I told him to start thinking about getting a job," he told Yahoo! "I'm not the parent that will buy them a car. They will have to earn it like I did. They give me that look like, 'Give us a break!' and I wonder if I am being too hard."

Despite having an Oscar-winning actor as a father, neither Indiana or Atticus are particularly interested in Casey's career. In fact, they aren't too keen on movies as a whole - although Indiana was still on hand to offer his dad some notes on his new movie Light of My Life.

"My oldest son came to a reading of a scene and he gave me two pages of notes," Casey smiled. "They were the best notes that I got from anyone. I'll save them forever. At the end of every movie, I make a T-shirt for everyone on the crew. On the back of the shirt, I put all his notes. Some of it was from his point of view. Some of it was objective stuff about storytelling. There's too many moments where I'm like this or like that. They were sophisticated suggestions."

Indiana has also helped Casey to build up his social media presence.

"My son told me I had to get a verified Instagram account," he explained. "My heart sank. I need all the help I can get. My son is 15 and knows what it is. At a certain point, you can protect from the world but then you have to move into the world with them. To me, that has meant allowing them to be online with the rest of the world."



Fleetwood Mac reunion off

Mick Fleetwood has given up hope of a reunion with the former members of Fleetwood Mac.

The 71-year-old drummer co-founded the rock band with guitarists Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer, and bassist John McVie in 1967. Since then, the group has been through numerous lineup changes, with a total of 18 members performing as part of the band.

Most recently, singer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham left the band in 2018, and was replaced by Crowded House frontman Neil Finn and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell. Mick, who along with John is the only member of the band to have performed in all incarnations of the group, admitted he can't see any ex-members returning to the fold.

"I don't think there will be a point where the band's former members all end up back in a good place together," the Don't Stop hitmaker told Britain's The Sun newspaper. "If you'd asked me that years ago I would have said so, being the old dreamer that I tend to be.

"I just accept things how they are... and (Fleetwood Mac) should absolutely honour those people in every way, and it does," he continued, adding, "The music comes back to haunt everyone afterwards anyway - and usually that wins out in the end."

The band is renowned for its members' personal relationships - with John's girlfriend, pianist and singer Christine McVie, joining in 1970, and couple Lindsey and singer Stevie Nicks making their debut in 1975. Reflecting on the group's "hard-lived days" during their early years, The Chain hitmaker admitted he's not surprised their history is so fragmented, and regrets "naively" making their private lives public.

"There's no doubt those were hard-lived days," Mick confessed. "For a while within Fleetwood Mac, there were romances and that lifestyle you mention and the other stuff got forgotten - and we really asked for that trouble."



O.J. - I'm not Khloe's dad

O.J. Simpson has set the record straight over "bogus" rumours he is Khloe Kardashian's biological father.

Speculation that the former American football player is the reality star's real dad instead of Robert Kardashian has been swirling for years and, following a National Enquirer report, the Kardashian family denied the claims when Khloe questioned whether or not she was adopted in an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

And after launching his own Twitter account on Saturday in a bid to "challenge the bulls**t", Simpson addressed the rumours and denied ever having a romantic relationship with Khloe's mother Kris Jenner.

"Never - and I want to stress never - in any way shape or form had I ever had any interest in Kris, romantically, sexually, and I never got any indication that she had any interest in me," he said in a video posted on his Twitter page on Sunday. "So all of these stories are just bogus. Bad, you know, tasteless.

"Khloe, like all the (Kardashian) girls, I'm very proud of, just like I know Bob would be if he was here. But the simple facts of the matter is she's not mine."

The sportsman-turned-actor continued to blame Norman Pardo, a man "the media love to say is my manager", for helping to spread the rumours.

"I've always managed my own affairs, and I'd like to think very successfully," he continued. "So, when you see these guys like Norm, and these guys claim that they are my manager, it's just not true. I've may have done a deal here or there with them, but none of these guys were anything remotely like a manager for me."

Simpson's Twitter account has already racked up 601,000 followers within two days of going live. His social media debut comes almost two years after he was released from prison, having served nine years of a 33-year sentence for armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and other charges relating to a 2007 sports memorabilia incident at a Las Vegas hotel.

However, the 71-year-old is most well-known for being sensationally acquitted of the killings of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1995, following what was dubbed The Trial of the Century.



Adele's 'spicy' party

Adele got drunk and partied with the Spice Girls backstage after their final reunion show in London on Saturday.

The self-confessed superfan shared videos and pictures from the gig, revealing her excitement at seeing the girlband onstage once again at Wembley Stadium.

"Oiii last time I saw the Spice Girls at Wembley was 21 years ago! Tonight with my nearest and dearest i cried, laughed, screamed, danced, reminisced and fell back in love with my 10 year old self," Adele wrote on Instagram.

"It's no secret how much I love them, how much they inspired me to run for my life and never look back. I finally got to meet Ginger, I got drunk with the girls and quite frankly I can't believe how far I've come, thank you for the madness I get to live, I couldn't have got here without you 5 BRITISH legends! I love you!" the 31-year-old gushed in the sweet post.

Among the photos the Oscar-winning singer shared was one of her tightly hugging Geri 'Ginger Spice' Horner, and Emma 'Baby Spice' Bunton.

dele also posted a video of her lip-syncing along to the Spice Girls 1997 hit Stop, while in the back of a car on her way to the gig.

Fellow Spice Girls band members Mel 'Scary Spice' Brown and Melanie 'Sport Spice' Chisholm were on hand to celebrate the end of the tour with the Hello hitmaker.

Geri later shared Adele's picture of the two of them posing for a selfie backstage, and wrote, "Finally together," alongside love heart and Union Jack flag emojis.



Priest still rocks hard

The crowd was Hell Bent For Leather as heavy metal icons Judas Priest rocked Kelowna's Prospera Place on Sunday night.

Lead singer Rob Halford proved he's still got the pipes at 67 years of age with his trademark howls, even though he reportedly recently got over a bout of bronchitis.

He and bassist Ian Hill with his signature chugga-chugga rhythms were the only two original members on stage, but didn't let up, with ample support from younger players Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap on guitars, and Scott Travis on drums replicating the classic Priest sound.

Original guitarist Glenn Tipton is still a band member and collaborates on songwriting, but no longer tours due his ongoing battle with Parkinson's disease. Tipton was given a nod with a video montage during the 1976 rocker Victim of Changes, off the Sad Wings of Destiny album.

But, far from a golden oldies show, this tour is in support of Priest's recent new album, Firepower. 

The set list mixed old and new, with the recent material blending in well with classics going back into the band's early days.

The show opened with new track Necromancer, followed by 1980s classic Heading Out to the Highway before morphing through the band's catalogue, all the way back to 1977's Starbreaker, sprinkled with new nuggets including Traitor's Gate and No Surrender.

The mostly full arena roared with approval when the encore began with Halford's classic move of crossing the stage on a Harley-Davison for Hell Bent For Leather, winding up with '80s crowd pleasers Breaking the Law, and Living After Midnight.

The crowd chanted for a second encore, with many waiting for the early '80s anthem You've Got Another Thing Comin' – but the band made their bows and Halford acknowledged the applause as the night was over.

Fellow Brit rockers Uriah Heep opened the show.



Swift denies 'queerbaiting'

Taylor Swift has denied claims she's "queerbaiting" in the video for her new single You Need to Calm Down by including a scene which sees her kissing Katy Perry.

The 29-year-old took to Tumblr on Saturday to reply to one fan's speculation about the rumoured scene between Taylor and her former enemy Katy.

"Hey uhhhh @TaylorSwift not to question you, but you do know there's a leaked concept that you and Katy dress as fries and burgers and kiss," the fan wrote, adding, "This isn't me making jokes or anything. If there is indeed a scene like that, you need to cut it right now before it airs because it's genuinely a really bad idea. Seriously."

Taylor quickly responded: "Guys. That is ABSOLUTELY false. To be an ally is to understand the difference between advocating and baiting. Anyone trying to twist this positivity into something it isn't needs to calm down. It costs zero dollars to not step on our gowns."

Queerbaiting is a marketing technique used to hint at, but not properly depict, a same-sex romance.

Instead, Taylor posted a brief clip on her Twitter page which announced the stars set to cameo in the video - with 18 names quickly flashing up on the screen. Among the famous faces who will appear are Ryan Reynolds, Ciara, Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Porter and Adam Lambert.

Speaking about how he came to be involved in the video, former American Idol star Adam told Australian radio host Smallzy: "It was like a random thing. I just got a note. I ran into Taylor at the Ellen show... She was like, 'Hey, you wanna film a scene with Ellen?' And I said, 'Yeah.' So look out for it - it's me and Ellen."

Asked if he could reveal anything else about his appearance, Adam replied: "That's all I can tell you. I think I've been, like, sworn to secrecy."



Sophie lands Vogue cover

Sophie Turner is feeling "beyond honoured and excited" after landing her first-ever Vogue cover.

The Game of Thrones star graced the cover of Vogue China's July issue, marking the first time she's appeared on the front of the prestigious fashion bible " and prompting some love from husband Joe Jonas.

"I'm on my first Vogue cover and I've never been more honoured," she wrote on Instagram. "I'm beyond honoured and excited."

The 23-year-old beauty shared the magazine's cover, as well as a select few black-and-white shots from inside the magazine.

"SWEET BABY JESUS," her new husband Joe quickly commented, along with a heart eyes emoji.

Sophie married the 29-year-old in a surprise Las Vegas wedding on 1 May, following the Billboard Music Awards.

The couple have always sweetly championed each other in public, with the British actress supporting her husband as he prepared for the release of the Jonas Brothers documentary, Chasing Happiness.

"I'm really excited for him, and it's an exciting time for us both," she said on the Smallzy's Surgery podcast. "Obviously I'm his biggest cheerleader and he is mine, so I think we're both excited for each other's projects more than our own."

The actress and her close friends, including Game of Thrones co-star Maisie Williams, are currently jet-setting across Europe for Sophie's epic bachelorette extravaganza ahead of her second wedding ceremony to Joe.

According to Billboard, the crew has so far stopped in London, Berlin, Prague, and Benidorm, Spain.



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