The real reason these stars left Disney behind



Demi Lovato has been open about her struggles with mental illness and addiction, but she hasn’t always approached her difficulties with such transparency. During her Camp Rock days, the Disney starlet was hiding her drug usage from the adults in her life. In her documentary Simply Complicated (via Refinery29), the “Sober” singer revealed that things finally boiled over when she punched her background dancer on the Camp Rock 2. Her family and management staged an intervention, and the singer reportedly checked into rehab following a two-month, cocaine-fueled bender. 

In an interview with ABC News, the star also revealed that she’d been struggling with self-harm and bulimia, which she developed as a child after being bullied about her weight. “I was performing concerts on an empty stomach,” she told ABC News. “I was losing my voice from purging. I was self-medicating. I was not taking medication for depression, and I literally was so emotionally whacked out that I took it out on someone that meant a lot to me.” 

In April 2011, the starlet confirmed to People that she’d be leaving her Disney series Sonny with a Chance and focusing on music. “I don’t think going back to Sonny would be healthy for my recovery,” she said.



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The untold truth of Jordyn Woods



If you take a peek at Jordyn Woods’ Instagram account, it’s chock full of glamorous outfits and nights out on the town. Given the California native’s enviable social presence, it’s fair to assume her piggy bank is full, but before you jump to any conclusions, it’s important to point out that Woods’ family had to set up a GoFundMe page after her father’s death to help pay for his medical bills. Pretty relatable, right? This is a common struggle for many Americans. 

“As we begin to plan for John’s services, we are still saddled with a portion of his medical expenses,” Jordyn’s mom, Elizabeth Woods, penned in the fundraiser’s description. “We are grateful for all of the family and friends who came to the hospital, called, text and showed their love and support. He and I both were truly touched by all of you. His primary concern always was making sure that everyone else was OK … Thank you for your contribution of any size — the money raised will go towards the costs and expenses of the memorial services and resolving the balances of John’s medical bills.”

As of Feb. 20, 2019, the fundraiser had raised $18,254 of its $50,000 goal. Kylie Jenner donated $10,000 to the cause, according to Us Weekly. 



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Here’s why Khloe Kardashian dumped Tristan Thompson



In April 2018 — mere days before Khloé Kardashian gave birth — footage emerged of Tristan Thompson with other girls.

On April 10, 2018, TMZ released surveillance footage from a Washington, D.C. hookah lounge, reportedly filmed in October 2017 — when Kardashian was three months pregnant. In the footage, Thompson is flanked by three women, two of whom were seen kissing and touching him. The same day that footage was released, TMZ also published a separate video of Thompson entering a New York City hotel with a mystery brunette just two days earlier on April 8, 2018, outside of the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City, where the Cleveland Cavaliers were staying at the time. The Daily Mail published video of Thompson kissing a curvy brunette at a nightclub reportedly earlier that day; it’s suspected that Blair is the woman in the Daily Mail video. According to Page Six, the woman at both the Four Seasons and the nightclub was Instagram model Lani Blair, although she’s never directly confirmed or denied any hook-ups with Thompson. 

A spy who reportedly filmed the video told the Daily Mail of Thompson’s busy evening, “He was on the table right next to us with a group of friends and some girl who he was obviously making out with all night … Everybody knew who he was. We talked about it and everybody watched them make out several times.”



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The untold truth of Sea of Thieves



Sea of Thieves started out a little scant. Just about anyone who played the game will admit as much, and Rare might, as well. It launched as so many games-as-services do: with the promise that it would be a living, breathing product that improved over time, adding new ways to play and new content to explore.

And to Sea of Thieves‘ credit, it delivered as much, and perhaps did more than other games typically do. In 2018 alone, the game added four expansions. And they were all free.

Things kicked off in the summer of 2018 with The Hungering Deep, which wasn’t all that substantial in the grand scheme. It introduced a small campaign, some new cosmetics, and added a large new creature to the game’s dangerous waters. But it didn’t stop there. Cursed Sails came a short time later, and added a new threat in AI-controlled skeleton ships and whole bunch of new world activities and rewards. Forsaken Shores arrived in September 2018 to offer the largest expansion to date, with another story campaign, a whole new map area to visit, cargo runs (a new type of mission), and another ship for sailing the seas. And finally, Shrouded Spoils came later in the fall with more ways for players to customize their ships, more end-game content, and more loot.

And Rare still isn’t done. More is on the way.



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Everything to Do Before Destiny 2’s Season 5 Ends



Destiny 2 had quite the troubled roll-out back in 2017, but last fall’s Forsaken expansion did a lot to fix the game’s many flaws. Now we’re several months past the launch of that campaign, staring down the barrel at the end of Season 5’s content offerings. What do you need to do with Season 6 on the horizon? What loose ends do you need to tie up? Don’t worry — we’ve got some advice for you.

To start, a major change is coming to Destiny 2‘s bounty system. Dating all the way back to the original Destiny, many players have been sitting on uncompleted bounties, hoping to get a jump on leveling up in the game’s next content drop. That all changes with Season 6 of Destiny 2. No longer will you be able to turn in a bunch of completed bounties at the start of a new season and gain a few levels immediately. Instead, the light level cap for bounties will remain tied to the season they came from. So if you turn in a dozen bounties from Season 5, you’ll get gear with a light level cap of 650. This means that everyone will start the grind toward the next end-game activity on equal footing, which will undoubtedly keep players from conquering that activity on day one. And it means you should turn in any bounties you have before the next season starts.

The next thing you should do is play Iron Banner, the game’s limited-time PvP mode. Each season has brought us a new collection of Iron Banner armor pieces to collect, and that was no different in Season 5. Once Season 6 comes along, however, you’ll have to say goodbye to the current Iron Banner gear sets. Bungie will move the Iron Fellowship pieces out of the way in order to make room for new gear to chase, so if you don’t have full Iron Banner sets on your characters yet, time is running out. The good news is, Iron Banner is currently live and will stick around until the weekly reset next Tuesday. You have a little less than a week to secure whatever you haven’t won from Lord Saladin, so you better get to it.

Next up, you might want to take a look at where you’re at with any Crucible-related quests. There are pinnacle weapons attached to both the quickplay and competitive playlists in the Crucible, and various steps within these questlines require you to reach a certain rank. If you’ve already passed these steps, you’re in the clear. If you haven’t, though, the dawn of Season 6 will reset your Crucible rank, setting your progress back. If you don’t want to start all over in your quest for that Luna’s Howl, you might want to ensure you meet that (or any other) quest’s requirements before Season 5 comes to an end.

There are also Triumphs. Destiny 2‘s Forsaken expansion gave players a whole new chase in the form of Triumphs, which ask players to complete certain tasks in order to gain Triumph points and, in some cases, acquire special seals and titles. There are specific Triumphs related to Season 5 of Destiny 2 in many of the game’s various modes, and they’ll only be obtainable as long as Season 5 is active. When the season ends, you’ll have no way to travel back in time and complete these Triumphs. So you’ll want to get these knocked out before next month comes and puts them in the past permanently.

And finally, you’ll want to keep your eye on how you’re doing with the Eververse-specific gear in your collection. You may care about these items or you may not. But a new season almost always means that the Eververse store gets a refresh, and Tess Everis tosses out the old stuff and stocks her shop with new armor pieces, emotes, sparrows, ships, weapon ornaments, armor ornaments, shaders, and Ghost projections. If you’ve had your eye on something in the Eververse, and you have the bright dust available to purchase it, now is the time to do so. In just a few weeks, that item will likely be gone.

Season 6 of Destiny 2 is set to kick off on March 5, which is a short time away. If you have chores that need finishing and items that need acquiring, there’s no better time than the present.



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Things the PS5 needs to avoid



We’ve been banging on about the end of consoles for multiple generations now, but there are a few options to make devices like the PS5 relevant well beyond their first few years on the shelf. One option would be to avoid creating a console that is locked in to its tech specifications.

We’ve seen it work with gaming PCs; people are more willing to shell out a lot of cash on the initial buy because they can then spend smaller amounts on upgrading it as they need to over a series of years. There’s never been that luxury for console gamers. Eventually, they become irrelevant, or a newer version comes out that offers something fans want. It’s a frustrating experience.

The PS5 could completely change the game for the console industry by offering an upgradable service. As technology gets better, Sony could offer updates to specific parts of the console, like video cards and RAM in gaming computers. This would also free the PS5 from the life cycles we typically expect from consoles, allowing it to become the first truly multi-generational console ever made.

Even if Sony doesn’t want to go all the way down that particular road, though, it would be nice for the PS5 to avoid having all of its hardware locked in for its entire existence. Even upgrading something like its fan system would be a nice luxury to have, especially given the pedigree of Sony’s cooling systems thus far.



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How the Long Island Medium really makes her money



Ever since Caputo was a little girl, she claims to have been sensing and seeing spirits. It wasn’t until she was in her 20s, however, that she learned to communicate with them. After years of severe anxiety, apparently caused by these spirits and her feelings about them, Caputo’s mother suggested she meet with someone.

According to Caputo’s website, it was a spiritual healer named Pat Longo, who helped her sort out her issues. “After just one session, she told me that I was suppressing Spirit’s energy, which caused a lot of my anxiety, and helped me learn to channel Spirit through my chakras and release it with my words,” she said. “I began to heal and come into my own.”

This meeting with Longo might have also given Caputo the ability and the confidence to start a career as a medium. “When I accepted my gift, I decided to use it to deliver healing messages that would help people learn, grow, and embrace life,” Caputo states on her website. “I’m grateful for an ability that’s brought countless people comfort and joy, helped many believe in an afterlife, led others to trust that their loved ones are safe and at peace, and shown them that those souls are guiding, encouraging, and loving them from the Other Side.”



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Jussie Smollett’s lawyers make ‘Hail Mary’ call


Actor-singer Jussie Smollett‘s legal team just made a major pivot in the ongoing investigation into his alleged hate crime attack.

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, the Empire star’s lawyers allegedly made a “Hail Mary” call to the prosecuting team in an effort to postpone a grand jury testimony in Chicago, Ill., CBS News reports.

According to sources cited by TMZ the following day, prosecutors reportedly agreed to delay the scheduled courthouse proceedings given that Smollett’s “legal team — and possibly Jussie himself — had agreed to talk to police.” As Chicago’s CBS 2 previously revealed, Smollett initially declined the follow-up interview request this week amid reports that he’d orchestrated the incident.

At the time of this writing, this meeting in question has not yet taken place. However, Variety reports that any evidence revealed during the grand jury, in which brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo were meant to testify, may have led to Smollett’s indictment on felony charges of allegedly falsifying a police report.

As Nicki Swift previously reported, Smollett, 36, claimed that he was the victim of a hate crime attack in the Windy City late last month. During the alleged incident, which took place on Jan. 29, 2019, the TV star was reportedly physically assaulted by two men, who poured a chemical believed to be bleach on him before putting a noose around his neck. The attackers in question also reportedly called Smollett racist and homophobic slurs and made a reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

Smollett, who sought medical attention at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, later claimed in a statement to Essence magazine that he’d been “100% factual and consistent” while speaking with the Chicago Police Department, who were treating the incident as a possible hate crime. At the time, he believed that “justice will be served.”

It certainly seemed that way when the Osundairo brothers were taken into police custody as potential suspects last Wednesday, Feb. 13 (via CBS Chicago). However, the investigation shifted focus shortly after the Nigerian brothers, who have professional ties to Smollett (via the Daily Mail), were interrogated. They have since been released without charges, and are currently cooperating with the investigation.

It was first revealed over the weekend that authorities believed Smollett may have paid the brothers off to stage the attack. According to ABC News, the Osundairo brothers have also claimed that Smollett sent a racist, homophobic letter to himself at Cinespace Studios a week before the alleged attack. The letter in question included a drawing of a gun pointed at a stick figure hanging from a tree, a white powdery substance, which turned out to be crushed up aspirin, and letters cut out from a magazine, which read, “You will die black f*g” (via CBS Chicago). Sources cited by the news network recently claimed, “When the letter didn’t get enough attention, he concocted the staged attack.” 

The FBI is currently investigating the letter (via Page Six).

At the time of this writing, the Chicago PD has yet to publicly confirm or deny the ongoing speculation amid its investigation. However, a number of celebs and politicians have taken to social media to comment on the matter over the last few weeks.

It should also be noted that Smollett himself has not publicly responded to these accusations. However, he previously said during last week’s interview with Good Morning America, “At first it was the thing of like, listen, if I tell the truth then that’s it because it’s the truth. Then it became a thing of, like, how can you doubt that? How can you not believe that? It’s the truth.”

Meanwhile, his attorneys have continued to deny the claims on Smollett’s behalf. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack,” his legal team stated in part to CNN on Saturday, Feb. 16. “Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”

While we wait to hear more on Smollett’s case, his standing with FOX appears to be on steadier ground than previously thought. On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the network released a statement in response to a recent TMZ report. The gossip rag previously claimed that Smollett’s role on an upcoming episode of Empire, on which he plays Jamal Lyon, had been cut down significantly due to these rumors. “Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated,” FOX stated to NBC News. “He is not being written out of the show.”



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Microsoft announces more Xbox Game Pass titles for Feb.


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Xbox Game Pass is, for better or worse, following the Napoleon Dynamite path when it comes to its subscription service. Are you going to announce new games at the beginning of the month, Game Pass, or maybe sometime in the middle? “Whatever I feel like I wanna do, gosh!”

Microsoft kicked off February with an Inside Xbox stream, which — along with a bunch of other news — told us that Shadow of The Tomb Raider, season one of The Walking DeadBatman: Return to ArkhamPumped BMX Pro, and de Blob were coming to Xbox Game Pass in February. Add that to the recently released Crackdown 3, and you already have a healthy lineup for the month.

But Xbox Game Pass can’t walk away. Not with so many days left in the month. So now the service is adding Headlander and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two on Feb. 21, as well as season two of The Walking Dead and Alien: Isolation on Feb. 28.

At least two of these games are pretty good.

If you’ve already burned through season one of The Walking Dead, the next logical step for you to take is season two. It’s not quite the emotional rollercoaster that season one was, but it’s a Walking Dead game that primarily focuses on Clementine, unlike all of those other spin-offs. That’s worth the download alone.

And Alien: Isolation will feel like a warm blanket and hot cocoa for anyone who enjoyed being stalked around by Mr. X in the Resident Evil 2 remake. Just replace Mr. X with a giant, but somehow less noisy alien, and prepare yourself for the gruesome scenes in which your body is impaled from behind. We don’t know why you’d be into this sort of thing, but if you like being stalked by a deadly enemy character, and you enjoy running and hiding for hours on end, Alien: Isolation has what you’re looking for.

Headlander and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two arrive tomorrow. And in just one week, you’ll get your scary video game fix with season two of The Walking Dead and Alien: Isolation. We’ll keep you updated should anything else get added to the slate.



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Celebs react to the Jussie Smollett controversy



Director Ava DuVernay is a champion for women and people of color in the white-washed film industry. According to the Los Angeles Times, she became the first woman of color to direct a $100 million live-action film with her radically feminist adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time. The following year, she received an Academy Award nomination for her work on Netflix’s 13th, which sheds lights on America’s prison system and the way in which mass incarceration predominantly affects black men. She’s also one of the few celebs who stood by Jussie Smollett despite the shifting investigation.

“Despite the inconsistencies, I can’t blindly believe Chicago P.D. The department that covered up shooting Laquan McDonald over a dozen times? That operated an off-site torture facility? That one? I’ll wait,” she tweeted. “Whatever the outcome, this won’t stop me from believing others. It can’t.”

According to Deadline, Laquan McDonald was a 17-year-old African American boy who was “fatally shot by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke in 2014.” The officer, who was responding to a report of car break-ins, was “convicted of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery” after shooting McDonald 16 times.

DuVernay, who, as of this writing, is working on the limited Netflix series Central Park Five, admitted in another tweet that while Smollett “might have lied” he also “might not have.” She continued, “I never believe police on general principle just ’cause they say so.”





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