Lady Gaga has some exciting news: She's launching a new nonprofit venture, called the Born This Way Foundation. BTW promises to "promote youth empowerment and equality by encouraging self-confidence and well-being and bringing bullying to an end." A worthy goal indeed. The reigning Queen of Pop is kicking things off on February 29 with an event at Harvard University, and something tells us if Gaga's involved, this isn't going to be another dry charity affair.
Gaga will run the foundation with her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, who had this to say about how BTW came about:
My daughter's foundation was born out of her passion to create a better world where people are kinder and nicer to one another and are accepted for who they are, regardless of how different they may be. She has experienced many of the struggles that our youth encounter today, and identifies with the lasting effects they can have without proper support.
We'll have to wait and see which of her star friend turn out to help her with this new endeavor, but in the meantime, here's a little Gaga tidbit to keep us entertained. Earlier this week, she was spotted in public near a basket of dirty laundry! Her boyfriend Taylor Kinney was carrying the soiled clothes out of his apartment. For some reason, the thought of Lady Gaga's boyfriend washing a meat dress or one of her other flamboyant contraptions is very delightful. [MTV, Just Jared]
Johnny Depp's love life may be in shambles, but at least he has the undying love of the movie-going public to keep his ego afloat. He's been voted America's favorite movie star for the second year in a row, according to a poll done by Harris Interactive. Some of the survey's other results are amusing:
Clint Eastwood was tops in the South; George Clooney was a favorite of grandparents and moderates; and Democrats love Denzel Washington.
Grandmas do love a little bit o' Clooney. Eastwood and Denzel are tied for second place, btw. The list was also open to women stars, but only one lady, Sandra Bullock, made it into the top ten, which seems like a crime, given how many talented actresses there are out there. [Ministry of Gossip]
Jay-Z went out on the town last night, for the first time since Blue Ivy came into the world. Dad-Z showed up at the grand re-opening of his 40/40 Club in Manhattan, and was greeted by a frightening horde of well-wishers. Mommyoncé (I will make these nicknames stick if it kills me!) did not go with him, for obvious reasons, but he was reportedly taking out his phone and showing baby photos to all his famous pals throughout the evening. [HuffPo]
If you cannot wait until Mad Men is back on TV, you can get a temporary Jon Hamm fix by watching the cartoon Martha Speaks. He and his lady, Jennifer Westfeldt, lent their voices to a special episode of the PBS cartoon, which airs February 20. The animated version of Hamm doesn't quite do him justice, but it's probably best that they toned him down for the children. Their dog Cora is also featured in the cartoon. [HuffPo]
If Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck's new baby ends up with one of those crazy celebrity baby names, we won't be able to blame it on them. We will, however, be able to mercilessly ridicule their two daughters, Violet and Seraphina, who are regularly holding baby naming contests for their sibling-to-be. Garner told Jay Leno what some of the possible options are:
Our girls are working on names. At first they were definitely Disney. It was like, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse Affleck. And then they've moved on. Then it was Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Smee.
I don't know, Captain Hook Affleck sounds pretty cool. And there should definitely be more children named Smee. Maybe these girls are onto something. [Us]
- Speaking of pregnant people, it's official: Jessica Simpson is expanding her fashion line to include maternity wear. Let's hope her first collection doesn't include anything reminiscent of this unflattering penis and balls mask she tweeted a photo of yesterday. [ONTD]
- Our Lady of Television, Oprah Winfrey, was traveling in India this week and paid a surprise visit to a town called Vrindavan. While there, Winfrey went into an ashram, and the local journalists wanted to follow her in, but her security guards stopped them. A scuffle ensued, and there was some footage taken of one of her guards shoving a journalist. Supposedly it's all been sorted out now. Phew. International diplomacy crisis = averted. [CNBC]
- Eva Longoria may have already divorced Tony Parker, but now she's really getting rid of him once and for all, by having the tattoo she got in tribute to him removed from the back of her neck. It says "Nine," which is Parkers number on the Spurs. [TMZ]
- Suri Cruise has been voted "Best Dressed Celebrity Child" by a website called My1stYears.com. I'm sure it's the proudest moment of her life so far. [Contact Music]
- Halle Berry can rest a little easier tonight. Her stalker, Richard Franco, has just been sentenced to 386 days in jail. [TMZ]
- Good news for fans of Courtney Love and her amazing closet: she has won a lawsuit against her landlord, who will not be able to evict her from her pad after all. [TMZ]
- While we're on the topic of legal action, it seems to be the week for Hollywood B-listers to file lawsuits against their baby mamas. Brian Austin Green is suing Vanessa Marcil, saying she owes him somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000. And Randy Jackson is suing Alejandra Jackson, who has two kids with him and two kids with his brother Jermaine—wait, why did we not all know that!? He trying to undo a child support judgment against him. [E! Online, TMZ]
- Oooh, Dexter and his sister (actors Michael C. Hall and his ex-wife Jennifer Carpenter, IRL) might be rekindling their romance. They were spotted on what looked like a date at a hotel in Beverly Hills this week. Their divorce was just finalized in December. [Radar]
- Ricki Lake, speaking on The Rosie Show yesterday, said that the emotional stress brought on by her Dancing with the Stars turn is still plaguing her:
The 'Dancing With the Stars' thing, I sort of have post-traumatic stress a little bit from it because I haven't been used to that kind of level of fame. You know, (fans) root for you, and then there are these expectations. You're on the cover of a magazine. You've lost so much weight, and you want to maintain it, but you're not dancing six hours a day anymore. So, it's just… I felt like I wanted to stay home a lot after it was over. We went to Paris for Christmas, and it was nice not to be noticed, to be under the radar.
- Oh, Lord. Stressful? Sure. But sufferers of actual PTSD would probably describe their experiences in somewhat different terms… [MSNBC]
- Tim Tebow was in Vegas yesterday. Obviously, it was all strippers and gambling for the notorious wild man. I kid, I kid. Teebs, along with his brother and a pal, skipped the usual Vegas delights and went to see Cirque de Soleil. Of course they did. [TMZ]
- Celebrity babies: they just keep on comin'! The latest special delivery is from Grey's Anatomy star Sarah Drew. She and her husband Peter Lanfer welcomed their son Micah Emmanuel Lanfer yesterday. [People]
- Cue the sad sax music, Kenny G's wife, Lyndie Benson-Gorelick, has filed for a legal separation from her husband of 20 years. [TMZ]
- And finally, on a somber note, legendary bandleader and radio host Johnny Otis has died at the age of 90. [AP]