Image by Tara Jacoby, featuring the shade artist at a young age.

Apologies in advance for the overwhelming presence of Donald Trump this week. The orange glow emitting from my computer screen only caught my attention when I was halfway through this week’s docket and the damage as already done. Still, with just 24 days until what has legitimately become national nightmare is hopefully over, let us try to appreciate the stones being thrown at this man while anyone still cares. (I’m operating from a place of extreme optimism because I have nothing else left.)

In this week’s Shade Court, Hillary finishes strong, we’re still talking about pussies and, hey, remember One Direction?

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000193

Images via Getty

The Case: On the Friday before the second to last presidential debate, the Washington Post obtained audio of Donald Trump joking with a soon-to-be unemployed Billy Bush about about sexually assaulting women and how he likes to “Grab them by the pussy.”


On the day of the debate, Melania Trump made her entrance wearing a pink silk Gucci “pussy bow” blouse.  

The Defendant: Refinery29, Hollywood Life

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: One of the limitations on my work here at Shade Court is that most of the time, I don’t know the subjects of my cases personally. This matters because certain background information can be the key to determining whether or not something is shade.


With well-documented drama between people like, say, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez, it’s easier to arrive at certain conclusions about one’s motive or true feelings towards the potential shade recipient.

A situation like the one here with Melania can be much more difficult. At times like these, I have to make certain assumptions. So, let’s just assume that Melania Trump secretly despises her husband which, frankly, isn’t much of a leap. I have to believe that Melania didn’t sign up for this shit. First Lady of the United States? State Dinners? Fact checkers? Nah. Homegirl left the old country with some very specific goals in mind and, to her credit, she met them.

Melania locked down a very wealthy man and thought she was going to chill and anti-age for the rest of her life. She dreamt about going to the Oscars and jetting off to Cannes the next date. She wanted to wear a sexy dresses that show leg and cleavage at the same damn time. Melania didn’t want to be out here picking out blouses and long sleeved dresses and making speeches.

Melania had her one child—a son, so you know Donald was happy—and now she was going to enjoy the live she maneuvered for herself. Instead, she’s out here staring about the back of the rat’s nest on her husband’s head on a platform in Iowa wondering how the fuck all this happened.

All that to say, if we assume Melania hates this entire campaign and knows her husband is a predatory sleazebag toad then, yes, it is very easy to read her pussy bow blouse as shade towards her idiot husband.

The only other possible shade reading is that the pussy bow blouse is directed towards—who? Donald Trump’s pussy-grabbing victims? That’s pretty vile and I’m not sure Melania has it in her.


More than likely, this was a carefully planned troll and to her credit, it worked. But because all we’ve got left in this world is Michelle Obama and a little bit of hope, I’m going to believe that yes, Melania trolled us all, but with a wink and a nod. A wink and a nod.

The Ruling: Shade, hopefully

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000194

Images via Getty and Caruso Affiliated

The Case: Rick Caruso is a successful Los Angeles businessman who, among other ventures, owns The Grove, a wonderful outdoor mall in the Los Angeles. TMZ caught up with Rick and asked his thoughts on Donald Trump and, strangely and less relevantly, Manny Pacquiao. During the conversation, he said he’d be happy to ban Donald Trump from The Grove.

One of the titans of business in L.A. threw shade on his New York counterpart, telling us Donald Trump is an angry man who is not welcome at the West Coast’s premiere shopping mall.

The Defendant: TMZ

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: This is going to sound like hyperbole but I say this with sincerity in my heart: Aside from death, disease, famine or some sort of physical assault, there are very few things I can imagine that would be worse than being banned from The Grove.


Have you ever been to The Grove? The Grove is goddamn delightful. You can get some extra steps in. They have an excellent Zara. Except for that one time when they were filming Dancing with the Stars and I literally could not move and got stuck behind teen Bindi Irwin and her teen boyfriend, I’ve never not had a great experience at The Grove.

So, yeah, fuck you, Donald. But, of course, nothing about this is shade.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000195

Images via Getty.

The Case: As the longest 90 minutes of my life finally came to a close, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were faced with one final question at the most recent presidential debate: They were each asked to compliment each other. In a rare moment of lucidity and non-horrific behavior, Trump praised Clinton for never giving up. Because she’s more than earned it, Hillary went a slightly more petty route and said the following:

Well, I certainly will, because I think that’s a very fair and important question. Look, I respect his children. His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald. I don’t agree with nearly anything else he says or does, but I do respect that. And I think that is something that as a mother and a grandmother is very important to me.

The Defendant: People on the Internet

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I saw someone on Twitter describe Hillary’s compliment as her version of Aretha Franklin’s great gowns, beautiful gowns “compliment” to Taylor Swift and boy is that spot-on.


Praising that man’s children when we know good and goddamn well he had nothing to do with actually raising them was a beautiful, savage move on Hillary’s part. There’s also the fact that three out of five of his kids suck. Barron is but a child who will inevitably be scarred by this entire debacle and it’s not his fault this is the family he winded up with. Tiffany Trump, I think, will eventually get the last laugh and I doubt she truly cares about any of this.

The rest of his children are monsters and Hillary knows it. More importantly, and the jewel that makes this all work, is HILLARY knows we know this as well.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000196

Images via Getty.

The Case: I guess the One Direction guys are doing solo albums now? Niall Horan’s first single failed to hit number one on the UK charts when it was released on September 29th. Relatedly, this single marks his first project under his new record label after leaving boy band aficionado Simon Cowell’s label. Cowell had this to say about the song’s performance:

“He probably would have had a number 1 single if he’d stayed with me,” the X Factor judge bragged. “But you know who does have a number 1 this week? James Arthur. Very pleased he’s back with us with a fantastic record.”

The Defendant: Idolator

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: My god that’s a stupid brag.

I’m tempted to launch into another tirade about the exact parameters of shade, but considering this came from my old enemy Idolator—who should be very familiar with losing in Shade Court by now—I’ll hold back.


I will instead take comfort in the fact that undoubtedly you, my Shade Court loyalists, saw this headline and immediately knew the answer because you have at least a teaspoon of respect for for the sanctity and legacy of shade. Feel good about that.

Also, why would anyone think Simon Cowell would ever be good at throwing shade?

The Ruling: Not shade