Celebrity News for August 18, 2016

Ellen DeGeneres accused of racism over Usain Bolt tweet

Ellen DeGeneres says she’s not racist after receiving backlash on social media for posting an edited photo of herself riding on the back of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. The talk show host said Tuesday on Twitter that she’s “highly aware of the racism that exists in our country” but that’s “the furthest thing from who I am.”

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Blake Shelton apologizes for racist tweets

Blake Shelton is blaming his racist-tweet scandal on his terrible taste in humor. “Everyone knows comedy has been a major part of my career and it’s always been out there for anyone to see,” the “Voice” coach wrote in a Twitter statement on Wednesday. “That said anyone that knows me also knows I have no tolerance for hate of any kind of form.”

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The writer Thomas Gibson kicked on the set of “Criminal Minds” had his own issues with violence on the set of “ER” — and Gibson might use it to fight back against his firing … TMZ has learned. Virgil Williams wrote for “ER” back in 2006 and was also a player/manager for the show’s softball team. Our sources say Virgil went ballistic when he got wind a female production assistant was going to take his spot on the team.

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Shemar Moore says ‘karma’ rant wasn’t about Thomas Gibson

Shemar Moore is adopting a diplomatic stance after a cryptic video he made about karma went viral. When a paparazzo asked if the clip was about his former “Criminal Minds” co-star Thomas Gibson, who was fired last week after an on-set fight with show writer Virgil Williams, Moore was quick to answer “no.” “No, they spun that all wrong. It was mostly about life,” Moore told Splash News (via TMZ).

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Bill Cosby Loses Another Lawyer As Monique Pressley Leaves Team

Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt confirmed today that the Washington D.C.-based attorney no longer is part of the legal team for the much-accused Cosby Showcreator’. The shakeup in the actor’s defense now sees Angela Agrusa, head of litigation at LA and New York firm Liner LLP, and Pennsylvania-based Brian McMonagle fronting Cosby’s efforts to avoid a potential decade behind bars on three felony charges of second-degree aggravated indecent assault. Dropped on Cosby late last year, those charges are in addition to several civil cases nationwide that the actor is fighting.

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Kim and Kanye trying to score free $30M apartment

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are trying to land a free $30 million apartment in Manhattan through Airbnb. After Kardashian kin Kylie and Kendall Jenner recently got a gratis villa rental in Turks and Caicos, and posed for endless bikini shots to maximize the publicity for the incredible Caribbean crib, the short-term rental giant is now trying to negotiate a luxury penthouse for Kimye in NYC for a few months this fall.

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Beyonce isn’t even living life on the edge anymore … she’s going right over it! We got these shots of Bey and Jay Z balling out off the coast of Sardinia on their favorite rented super yacht, the Galactica Star. But instead of sunbathing or sipping bubbly … Beyonce decided to go all daredevil and dive off the top deck.

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Stars drop and give 22 for the 22 Pushup Challenge

Stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Chris Pratt showed their support for troops with their brute strength: A number of Hollywood hunks have taken on the 22 Pushup Challenge. The challenge was devised by 22 Kill, an organization dedicated to preventing veterans’ suicide.

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J.K. Rowling to publish series of short e-books about Hogwarts

J.K. Rowling has so much more to say about Hogwarts. The “Harry Potter” author has completed a series of short digital works, Pottermore Presents, centered on the school where Potter and friends honed their magic. Three collections will be released Sept. 6 through Rowling’s Pottermore web site,, which announced the books Wednesday.

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Amy Schumer slams her writer over rape comments

Amy Schumer publicly rebuked one of her TV show’s writers, Kurt Metzger, for calling women “hens” and an “unthinking herd of mewling progressive cattle” on his Facebook page. Schumer tweeted on Wednesday: “I am so saddened and disappointed in Kurt Metzger. He is my friend and a great writer, and I couldn’t be more against his recent actions.”

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Artist divorces amid Ashley Olsen dating buzz

Artist George Condo and his wife, Anna, settled their divorce on Wednesday. The couple separated in 2013, and Anna filed papers in 2014. But Condo, 58 — who was commissioned by Kanye West to create artwork for the 2010 album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” — has recently been seen around town with Ashley Olsen, 30,including “holding hands and snuggling” Sunday at Balthazar, and looking “romantic” at the Mercer Hotel in June.

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Kevin Smith defends teen daughter from Instagram hate

Director Kevin Smith is taking on an online troll who called his daughter “ugly” and “talentless” and wished her dead on Instagram. Smith posted on Facebook the comment he says his 17-year-old daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, received after posting a picture of herself on Instagram. Smith writes that his daughter took the comment in stride and was “bemused by the bitterness.”

‘Friends’ made David Schwimmer hide from the world

David Schwimmer has revealed his starring role in “Friends” left him a recluse and struggling to cope with fame. The sitcom actor, 49, who has since reinvented himself as a director and TV star, opened up about the detrimental effects the iconic show had on his life.

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