Friday October 20, 2017

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A sports reporter is being accused of chauvinism — and just being plain old rude — after writing an entire 350 word article in which he complained about Rihanna getting 'fat'.

Chris 'Spags' Spagnuolo, a writer at Barstool Sports, published the critical piece yesterday, and it quickly earned widespread attention across the internet.

But nearly everyone who has taken to Twitter to react to the piece is monumentally unimpressed, calling out the New York-based writer for fat-shaming and being a 'sad excuse for a man'.

The piece was based on pictures of Rihanna in New York City from this past Saturday, in which the 29-year-old singer was seen wearing distressed jeans, an oversized blue button-down, and white boots.

Due likely to the baggy fit of her clothes and unflattering photo angles, one coul argue that the superstar looked a bit heavier than usual. A few days later, she was spotted out in NYC again looking slim.

The Barstool Sports writer, however, appeared to take personal offense at her supposed weight gain — and wrote an entire piece both making fun of her for it and worrying that Rihanna getting 'fat' would influence her fans to follow suit.

'Is Rihanna Going To Make Being Fat The Hot New Trend?' the piece was called.

'Spags' acknowledged bad angles may be to blame, but also considered that RiRi has been 'enjoying that good room service a bit too long'. He even wondered if she was 'going for Ashley Graham's spot on the plus-sized hierarchy' with a tone that implied he thinks that's a bad thing.

Deciding that she has, in fact, gained weight, he went on, 'that means it's time to worry if you're not a guy who fancies himself a chubby chaser'.

Noting that Rihanna is a big influencer, he wrote that he is worried other young women will be influenced to gain weight to look like her.

'So you see her pushing 180 and it's a tough world to stomach,' he wrote, making a dubious estimation of her current weight.

He worried that 'the hottest girls' will soon 'look like the humans in Wall-E', writing: 'A world of ladies shaped like the Hindenburg loaded into one-piece bathing suits may be on the horizon now that Rihanna is traipsing around out there looking like she's in a sumo suit.'

'It's a dangerous precedent,' he added, hyperbolically describing the future as 'dystopian'.

After the piece went up, both Spags and Barstool Sports tweeted links — immediately opening the floodgates to criticism. called it a 'garbage sports site', while Allure magazine tweeted: 'Using misogyny & body-shaming women as a way to earn Twitter engagement is a pretty pathetic path to success. Just FYI.'

The Twitterverse, too, chimed in, calling both the writer and the site out for the nasty piece. 

Barstool Sports soon deleted its tweet, though it is still up proudly on Spags' personal account — where the writer continues to defend it, despite widespread criticism.

'You're way out of line,' wrote one Twitter user, while hundreds left gifs of disbelief and disgust.

He has been called 'tasteless', a 'd***head', and 'dumb' by both men and women, with many calling for him to delete the post. 

Meanwhile, Barstool Sports editor Dave Portnoy issued a statement on the matter, which falls far short of an actual apology. 

'To be honest I don't think the blog was as bad as many are making it out to be, but I'll tell you this. It wasn't that funny either and I could have told you with absolute certainty that feminists would hate it and use it as an example of "there goes Barstool being Barstool again,"' the statement read. 

'There are just certain topics that you better nail if you're gonna write about them because you know they are hot button issues for us,' he went on, framing the problem as being not that the piece was rude or nasty, but that it wasn't funny enough.

'So if you're gonna blog about Rihanna gaining weight you better be funny as fuck and you better make it bullet proof,' he said.

Spags, meanwhile, is still not backing down against his critics — though he is crying 'cyberbullying'.

'Rihanna fans did not like my blog calling her fat and now I'm being cyberbullied,' he whined.

Quite a few people responded to this tweet, too, pointing out that he is conflating being held accountable with cyberbullying.

'U called women fat & you're crying bully? You don't have ownership over a woman's body & your opinion is shame-based. Get a brain,' wrote one.

Another commenter even unearthed an old tweet that is even more damning for Spags, also talking about Rihanna.

'Jeez allegedly Rihanna's "I got beat up" photo cost TMZ $65k,' he wrote in February 2009, referring to leaked police evidence after Rihanna was struck by Chris Brown.

'I would punch Rihanna and take a Polaroid for half that,' he added, making light of domestic abuse.

Despite widespread criticism that his piece was both rude and sexist, Spags appears unwilling to admit wrongdoing. 

Interestingly, in 2014 he wrote a piece for BroBible in which he advocated for the very thing he now refuses to do.

'Take ownership on everything you do. Good things, flaws, whatever. Owning your mistakes as much as you own your achievements is what makes you a guy people can count on,' he wrote at the time.


The 'Physical' hitmaker is forced to postpone her June tour dates in North America to undergo treatment for breast cancer.

Olivia Newton-John has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The "Grease" star, 68, announces her cancer diagnosis on Facebook. She lets fans know that she postpones her June U.S. and Canadian concert tour dates to get treatment. 

"The back pain that initially caused her to postpone the first half of her concert tour, has turned out to be breast cancer that has metastasized to the sacrum," her rep said. "In addition to natural wellness therapies, Olivia will complete a short course of photon radiation therapy and is confident she will be back later in the year, better than ever, to celebrate her shows." 

The Grammy winner added, "I decided on my direction of therapies after consultation with my doctors and natural therapists and the medical team at my Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia."


An 'obsessed' fan of Rihanna has reportedly been released from custody after being arrested outside the star's New York apartment building last week.

TMZ report that Salmir Feratovic is back on the streets after pleading guilty to criminal trespass after his Tuesday morning arrest. 

Feratovic was pictured in handcuffs near Rihanna's luxury apartment building, after previously being stopped outside the address twice last year.

TMZ report that prosecutors wanted Feratovic to be locked up for five days after his most recent arrest, a request to which the judge agreed.

But Feratovic was released on Wednesday afternoon due to time already served. 

An NYPD spokesperson confirmed to E! News that the 33-year-old was booked for criminal trespassing. The spokesperson said he had visited the residence before and was told then he was not allowed to return.

Feratovic has reportedly told TMZ that his arrest will 'not deter him from his relentless pursuit' of Rihanna.

He was seen outside the same apartment building on two occasions in 2016, where he was stopped by the doorman.

The second incident saw the police called with reports at the time alleging he had a knife on him.  

A representative for Rihanna has been contacted for comment.

Rihanna has been spending time at her New York home over the past week, where she's been working on new music in the studio.

She was also honoured for her contribution to fashion at the Parsons School of Design on Monday. 


Last month it was announced that Drake will host and produce the first-ever NBA Awards, which will take place at Basketball City in New York on June 26 and be broadcast on TNT (9 p.m. ET).

And it turns out that Drizzy will have familiar star-studded company for the inaugural affair. That's because fellow Young Money label mate Nicki Minaj has been confirmed to perform at the event. Now, the only person they'll need to complete a possible "No Frauds" performance is Lil Wayne.

The league's coveted MVP award will be decided at the NBA Awards, with Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard being named finalists. The NBA Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Basketball Executive of the Year and the Sixth Man Award will be some of the other awards announced at the inaugural event. For a full list of the awards and nominees, click here.

Who's taking home the MVP?

America’s Got Talent has also got some big trouble on its hands ahead of its May 30 season premiere: An auditioning act is suing the show’s production company after claiming that new host Tyra Banks traumatized her child.

According to an 18-page suit obtained by Deadline, the plaintiff and her husband performed a song written in honor of their young daughter as part of a March 19 audition. The judges hammered the singing duo and sent them away, but the real trouble didn’t come until later, when reports that Banks had harassed the young girl came to light.

The plaintiff alleges Banks “physically manipulated and verbally abused Mary [the girl]. Banks shook Mary’s shoulder, pulled Mary’s hair back and physically manipulated Mary. … Mary did not stop Banks’ conduct because Mary was fearful. Banks also insinuated that Mary was accidentally conceived, made fun of the performance and ridiculed [the song] in front of Mary, all in front of active cameras that were filming Mary. After the performance, Banks asked Mary to describe, in front of active and filming cameras, her opinion about Jane [Mary’s mother] and her husband after they were publicly ridiculed by AGT…As a result of her negative experience from AGT and Defendants’ abusive treatment, Mary was traumatized and became deeply depressed.”

The suit officially claims “intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress along with civil battery and civil assault.”

Banks was first announced as the new AGT host in March after previous host Nick Cannon quit abruptly. Cannon had claimed NBC was on a mission to silence him.

“Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with grandiose acts and performers who make the seemingly impossible possible,” Banks said in March after her new position was announced. “I love how AGT brings that feeling into everyone’s home, capturing the best of people who come out and give it their all to make those big, fierce and outrageous dreams come true.


Tom Cruise has confirmed that the Top Gun sequel is "definitely happening".

The actor was asked by Australian morning TV show sunrise if there was any truth to the rumours about a sequel to the 1986 military action film.

"It's true, it's true," he replied. "I'm going to start filming it probably in the next year. It's happening."

The original film launched Cruise's career and took more than $350m (£270m) globally at the box office.

The actor played the cocky pilot Maverick in the movie, one of the top students at a US training camp for elite military fighter pilots.

The film also starred Val Kilmer, Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, Tom Skerrit and Kelly McGillis.

Last week, Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer tweeted a photo with Cruise, on the 31st anniversary of the opening day of the film.

In January 2016, Bruckheimer tweeted: "Just got back from a weekend in New Orleans to see my old friend @TomCruise and discuss a little Top Gun 2."


Actor Sir Roger Moore, best known for playing James Bond, has died aged 89, his family has announced.

He played the famous spy in seven Bond films including Live and Let Die and the Spy Who Loved Me.

Sir Roger's family confirmed the news on Twitter, saying he had died after "a short but brave battle with cancer".

The statement, from his children, read: "Thank you Pops for being you, and being so very special to so many people."

"With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated," they said in a Twitter post.

Sir Roger, who died in Switzerland, will have a private funeral in Monaco in accordance with his wishes, they added.

"The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone," read the statement from Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian.

"Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina [his wife] at this difficult time."

It added: "We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF which he considered to be his greatest achievement.

Along with his famous Bond role, Moore was also known for 1960s TV series The Persuaders and The Saint.

Sir Roger was also well known for his humanitarian work - he was introduced to Unicef by the late Audrey Hepburn and was appointed as a goodwill ambassador in 1991.


Guests including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have attended the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews.

Miss Middleton, 33, who is the younger sister of the duchess, married 41-year-old Mr Matthews at St Mark's Church in Englefield, Berkshire.

The bride was accompanied by her father, Michael, as they arrived shortly after 11:15 BST for the 45-minute ceremony.

The church is a few miles from the Middleton family home in Bucklebury.

There was strict security in place on the estate, with villagers being asked to carry ID on the day, and asked not to speak to the press.

But the bride received a rousing cheer from around 100 royal fans and residents as she arrived.

Prince Harry, Princess Eugenie, and Roger Federer and his wife Mirka were among the guests at the church.


The heavy downpour that started minutes after the beginning of the service ended a few moments before the church doors opened.

Wedding bells rang out just before 12.30 BST as the new husband and wife walked hand in hand along the church path.

Guests filed out and walked to nearby Englefield House, where it is believed a champagne reception will be held.



A judge ruled Friday that Prince's six siblings are the heirs to his estate, a key step in the more than year-old battle over the pop legend's fortune and vast trove of unreleased songs.Kevin Eide, the judge in Carver County, Minnesota, where Prince died suddenly in April 2016 at his Paisley Park estate, said that the "Purple Rain" star's heirs were his sister Tyka Nelson and five half-siblings.


"The heirs of the estate are determined to be Omarr Baker, Alfred Jackson, Sharon Nelson, Norrine Nelson, John R Nelson and Tyka Nelson," the order read.


In practical terms, the ruling will not immediately hand over Prince's fortune -- which is estimated to be worth up to $300 million -- to his siblings.


Instead, it starts a one-year process in which people who claim to be related to Prince can still make their appeals, but be definitively excluded if the judge does not accept their case.


"I'm finally my brother's legal sister again," Tyka Nelson, herself a singer but with much less success than Prince, wrote on Facebook. "It's a happy day!"


The ruling comes nine days after a hearing in which the siblings pressed for a resolution, and following months of sometimes colorful claims by people who say they are Prince's descendants.


Among the claims received by the court were one from a woman who said she had a secret wedding to Prince in Las Vegas, and a little-known musician who alleged that Prince agreed on a tour bus to hand him his whole estate.

- New dispute with label -


The judge's ruling could also provide more clarity on control of Prince's storied vault of unreleased songs, with question marks already rising over deals reached since Prince's death.


The judge separately scheduled a hearing for May 31 to hear a proposal to cancel a contract between Prince's estate and Universal, the world's largest music label conglomerate.


Universal in February announced with fanfare that it had secured the rights to Prince's catalog after the mid-1990s, when the artist exited rival label Warner, as well as unspecified recordings from Prince's earlier heyday.


But Comerica Bank and Trust, which has been assigned to handle the estate's interests, conceded that the recordings under Universal's $30 million contract may overlap with Warner's assets.


"Universal has been misled and defrauded in connection with the license agreement and insists upon rescission of the agreement and the return of its money, full stop," a label executive was quoted as saying in a partially redacted filing.


Comerica asked the court to be let out of the contract, saying the estate otherwise faced the likelihood of litigation.


Complicating matters, only three of the heirs have been working with L Londell McMillan, Prince's longtime lawyer who has advised the estate on deals.


Other siblings including Tyka have accused McMillan of mismanaging a tribute concert last year to Prince, charges that the lawyer denies.


Prince was a sworn foe of music industry conventions and in the mid-1990s wrote "slave" on his cheek and changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol after Warner tried to put the brakes on his prodigious output.


Prince reconciled with Warner late in his life and the label will put out a new edition of his iconic 1984 album-soundtrack "Purple Rain," complete with previously unreleased tracks, to mark birthday next month.


The pop legend died from an accidental overdose of powerful painkillers.


The 57-year-old -- outwardly a model of health who did not drink, advocated a vegetarian diet and fired musicians who abused drugs -- left no will and had no living children who were recognised.

Jamaican Reggae artiste Frankie Paul died at the University Hospital of West Indies (UHWI) last night.Paul was born in 1965. He was 52 years old.


According to his sister, Trish Clarke, he died shortly after 10:00 pm. He had been suffering from kidney problems and was on dialysis two days per week.


Friends, including dancehall artiste/producer Wayne Lonesome were assisting him in meeting a huge hospital bill of some $1.5 million when he died. He had been admitted to the hospital since April. Paul, who had moved to the African nation, The Gambia in 1994, was a major dancehall/reggae star of the 1980s and 1190s with hits like "Worries In the Dance", "Pass the Ku Shung Peng", "Tidal Wave", "Cassanova" and "Sarah".


Born in Jamaica in 1965, Paul, whose real name was Paul Blake, was blind from birth and spent his early life at the Salvation Army School for the Blind. While there he met American RnB singer Stevie Wonder, who was in Kingston for a show at the National Stadium in the 1970s. Wonder urged him to become a professional singer. Like Wonder, Paul also played a number of instruments including the keyboard.


"He will be sadly missed by us, his friends, his colleagues in the music business, his faimily and thousands of fans around the world who loved his music," Lonesome told the OBSERVER ONLINE this morning.



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