News Column

Summer of

August 10, 2014

Hello, sweet prince, and happy birthday!

Never has so much been made about someone so young and so cute -- at least not since last year. Prince George of Cambridge turned 1 on July 22, which was hailed with almost as much excitement as his birth in 2013. Shortly before the big day, his parents, Prince William and Duchess Kate, announced that they would release official pictures to mark his birthday. Once the photos were out, it set off worldwide cooing about the adorable prince in the denim romper, toddling on his own and sitting in Mum's lap, peering at a butterfly, at the Natural History Museum in London. And Aunt Pippa made some news of her own earlier in the summer, granting the Today show's Matt Lauer a rare interview in which she spoke about her sister, the royal wedding and that dress.

The elevator footage screened round the world

In May, the historically impenetrable Carter household revealed its first crack in the foundation -- and it was a large one. Leaked footage showed Solange attacking Jay Z in an elevator after a Met Gala after-party, with BeyoncÉ standing impassively between them. Theories began swirling: Was Solange defending her sister against Jay Z's alleged infidelity? Was it just a night of partying gone wrong? The trio eventually released a joint statement: "We love each other, and above all, we are family. We've put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same." But the damage was done; Bey and Jay continued to face an onslaught of breakup rumors for the duration of their On the Run summer tour. Queen B's response? A sassy rap about the dust-up in her new Flawless remix. "Of course sometimes (stuff) goes down when it's a billion dollars on an elevator."

The Broadway spaz-out

After Shia LaBeouf made a big to-do about not being "famous anymore" and put himself on display in Los Angeles as a real-life human art project last winter, things had seemingly quieted down on the crazy-news front. And then he made his grand tabloid re-entrance, getting booted from a June showing of Broadway's Cabaret where he was accused of spitting, slapping, smoking and yelling -- all things that are generally frowned upon during theatrical productions. When LaBeouf appeared in court in late July to answer to charges of disorderly conduct, he looked infinitely more put together. He hasn't gone to rehab, but "he is voluntarily receiving treatment for alcohol addiction," his rep, Melissa Kates, told USA TODAY in a statement. "He understands that these recent actions are a symptom of a larger health problem, and he has taken the first of many necessary steps towards recovery."

Orlando Bloom spars with Justin Bieber

By spar, we mean punch. Orlando Bloom took a swing at pop star Justin Bieber in a bar in Ibiza, Spain, according to People and the New York Post. The story goes that Bieber walked by Bloom and muttered something about the actor's ex-wife, model Miranda Kerr. That prompted an in-your-face moment, with Bloom throwing a punch Bieber's way. Neither camp has fessed up to the fight, but Beiber shared an Instagram shot of a sad-looking Bloom, while Bloom was spotted doing what E! Online called a "victory" dance, still hanging out in Ibiza.

A summer of desperation

Consider this: A year ago, Robin Thicke was riding high on his song of summer,Blurred Lines,which held the top spot on Billboard's Hot 100 for 12 consecutive weeks. His album made its debut at No. 1. Critics crowed that he had been overlooked for years. Then he and wife Paula Patton split in February after cheating rumors peaked. So Thicke went after his Helen of Troy this summer aboard a doomed ship called Paula, an album recorded swiftly to Get Her Back, as its lead single was titled. But Paula sold just 25,000 copies in its first week, and she did not come back. "It's been a very humbling year, to say the least," Thicke told CBS News.

The tiresome terror of the red carpet

Brad Pitt -- lovable, good-guy dad Brad Pitt -- was attacked on the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere of fiancÉe Angelina Jolie'sMaleficent in May. The man who was arrested, Vitalii Sediuk, aka the notorious "Ukrainian prankster journalist," vaulted the barrier around the fan area, rushed at Pitt and tried to "bury his face in my crotch," Pitt told People in a statement. And this was only a few weeks after Sediuk darted onto the red carpet at Cannes and dived under America Ferrera's gown. Sediuk lost his TV job, was sentenced to a fine and community service, and then moved to London -- to become a model. Now he's the Brits' problem.

Contributing: Haley Blum, Donna Freydkin, Kelly Lawler, Andrea Mandell,

Ann Oldenburg, Maria Puente and Arienne Thompson

Don't mess with George Clooney

The actor rarely talks about his love life, but he had a lot to say in July when the Daily Mail took aim at his future mother-in-law. The star issued two exclusive statements to USA TODAY to denounce a story that said Baria Alamuddin, mother of his fiancÉe, Amal Alamuddin, was against their upcoming marriage for religious reasons. "Factually, none of the story is true," he wrote, and "to exploit religious differences where none exist is dangerous." The Mail responded by apologizing for the story and removing it online but maintained that it wasn't "fabricated." That didn't sit well with Clooney. He issued a second statement, refusing to accept the apology. So there.

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Source: USA Today

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