Britney's dad agrees to (eventually) step down as conservator, more big celeb news from August 2021

Major conservatorship news

The #FreeBritney movement got some huge and dramatic news in August 2021. On Aug. 12, Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, agreed that he would step down as conservator of her estate — not immediately, but “when the time is right.” In court docs, his lawyer cited public pressure as a reason for his decision, admitting that continuing to be Britney’s conservator wouldn’t be in “her best interests.” Still, Jamie and his team made it clear they believe the public outcry for his removal is “unjustified.” Jamie ended the filing with a self-congratulatory pat on the back, saying Britney was in dire need of help when he took over her life more than 13 years ago. “Not only was she suffering mentally and emotionally, she was also being manipulated by predators and in financial distress. Mr. Spears came to his daughter’s rescue to protect her,” the docs said. Later in the month it was reported that in another court filing, Jamie said people should “praise” him for his role in his daughter’s life and claimed Britney’s “addiction and mental health issues” are far more serious than the public knows.

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Scientology sayonora

So long, Scientology. Laura Prepon made major news this month when she revealed that she’s no longer a part of the controversial religion — in fact, she quietly said goodbye years ago. In a chat with People magazine that hit the internet on Aug. 17, the “Orange Is the New Black” actress said she left Scientology five years ago, shortly before welcoming her first child. “I’m no longer practicing Scientology. I’ve always been very open-minded, even since I was a child,” she said. “I was raised Catholic and Jewish. I’ve prayed in churches, meditated in temples. I’ve studied Chinese meridian theory. I haven’t practiced Scientology in close to five years and it’s no longer part of my life.” Laura now meditates daily with her husband, actor Ben Foster. “I’m really liking it, because it’s something that helps me to hear my own voice and it’s something we can do together,” she said.

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Icon gone

The backbeat of the The Rolling Stones has passed away. Charlie Watts, the band’s beloved drummer, died in London on Aug. 24 at 80, a spokesman said. His health had been in question recently following the early August announcement that he would not be joining the band in North America for its “No Filter” tour, after he underwent an unspecified medical procedure. Following his death, Stones frontman Mick Jagger posted a poignant photo on social media of Charlie smiling while playing the drums, without any commentary. Keith Richards shared an image of a drum kit with a “Closed” sign hung on it. Ronnie Wood posted a photo of himself with Charlie and the message, “I love you my fellow Gemini, I will dearly miss you. You are the best.” Sir Paul McCartney said, “Charlie was a rock, a fantastic dummer, steady as a rock. Love you Charlie, have always loved you, you beautiful man.”

RELATED: ’80s rockers: Where are they now?

Cancer diagnosis

Kathy Griffin has been diagnosed with lung cancer and had half of her left lung removed. The comedian made the reveal on Twitter on Aug. 2, explaining that she’s never smoked. “The doctors are very optimistic as it is stage one and contained to my left lung. Hopefully no chemo or radiation after this and I should have normal function with my breathing. I should be up and running around as usual in a month or less,” Kathy wrote. “Of course I am fully vaccinated for COVID. The consequences for being unvaccinated would have been even more serious. Please stay up to date on your medical check ups. It’ll save your life.” In a separate interview on ABC that aired the same day, the “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” star also spoke candidly about having suicidal thoughts last year and of her previous addiction to opioids. On Aug. 4, Kathy conceded that the surgery was “a little more” than she had anticipated.

Airborne again

Up, up and away! Thirteen years after the plane he was in crashed upon takeoff, Travis Barker is back to flying the friendly skies. On Aug. 14, the blink-182 drummer flew again, jetting off to Los Cabos, Mexico, with girlfriend Kourtney Kardashian. Two days later, he celebrated his return to the air by praising Kourtney, implying that she was the driving force behind his airplane ride. “With you anything is possible,” he captioned an image of himself kissing Kourtney on the tarmac. Travis flew again in late August, traveling to Italy for another vacation with his love. Back in 2008, the private plane carrying Travis and others crashed upon takeoff in South Carolina. His friends Chris Baker and Charles “Che” Still were killed, as were the two pilots. Travis escaped the flame-engulfed plane but was burned on 65% of his body. (Friend and collaborator DJ AM was the only other survivor; he died in 2009 of a drug overdose.) The drummer spent three months in the hospital and underwent 26 surgeries and countless skin grafts. Shortly after, he vowed to never fly again.

Finally married!

No one saw this coming! John Corbett revealed that he and his longtime partner Bo Derek secretly married last year after 20 years together. “Around Christmas time we got married. Bo and I got married,” he said on CBS’s “The Talk” on Aug. 3, noting that it was the first time he’d spoken about it in public. John wore his wedding ring during the chat and said COVID-19 was a reason he and Bo tied the knot, as they wanted to have a positive memory of 2020. “We’re pretty private people,” he said of himself and his wife. “We didn’t make an announcement. All our friends and family knew.”

Slur fallout

Matt Damon found himself in the middle of controversy in August because of a homophobic slur that no one has heard him say (outside of a film — 2003’s “Stuck On You”). In a chat with the U.K.’s Sunday Times, the actor spoke about one of his daughters writing him about the “f-slur” and “how that word is dangerous.” Matt said he then “retired” the slur. The Oscar winner was soon trending on Twitter and cancel culture was trying to do its thing. On Aug. 2, he tried to clean up the mess, explaining that he doesn’t use the word in his “personal life” and does not “use slurs of any kind.” The Times interview, he said, “led many to assume the worst.” In his statement, Matt spoke about the word being used rather casually when he was growing up in Boston, and he applauded “the progress that has been made — though by no means completed.” His daughter was incredulous that the word was ever used so flippantly. “To my admiration and pride, she was extremely articulate about the extent to which that word would have been painful to someone in the LGBTQ+ community regardless of how culturally normalized it was. I not only agreed with her but thrilled at her passion, values and desire for social justice,” he said, adding, “To be as clear as I can be, I stand with the LGBTQ+ community.”

TV exit

The Meghan McCain era is over at “The View.” On Aug. 6, the conservative firebrand — who had announced in July that she would be leaving the show— appeared on her final episode. During her nearly four-year stint on the ABC show, Meghan often clashed with her fellow co-hosts, particularly Joy Behar. Rarely did an episode go by in which they weren’t feuding. On her final show, Meghan was congratulated via video by friends, family and politicians and a highlight reel of her best moments aired. In her final sign off, Meghan said it was an “privilege and honor” to work at “The View.” “This has been a really wild ride the past four years of my life. It’s been, honestly, the best of times in all ways, on and off the show. And it’s been a really incredible, liberating experience and I will always cherish the time I spent with all of you,” she said.

Health reveal

Christina Applegate has multiple sclerosis. The “Married… With Children” and “Dead to Me” star revealed the news on Twitter on Aug. 9. “A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS. It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going,” she wrote. The following day she added, “As one of my friends that has MS said ‘we wake up and take the indicated action.’ And that’s what I do. So now I ask for privacy. As I go through this thing.”

Controversial remarks

The backlash against rapper DaBaby was swift. In the wake of homophobic remarks he made on stage at Rolling Loud Miami, DaBaby was dropped from Lollapalooza, Governors Ball, Day N Vegas, Austin City Limits and several other music festivals. After his initial comments, DaBaby doubled down on his remarks. On Aug. 2, as he was getting dropped from a slew of festival lineups, DaBaby apologized. “I want to apologize to the LGBTQ+ community for the hurtful and triggering comments I made,” the 29-year-old rapper wrote on Instagram. “Again, I apologize for my misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS and I know education on this is important. Love to all. God bless.” In late August, he returned to the stage at Hot97’s Summer Jam 2021 in New Jersey, telling the crowd he “never, ever meant to offend anybody.” DaBaby also joined rapper Kanye West — who also invited rocker Marilyn Manson, who’s been accused of sexual and physical abuse by multiple women, to join him on stage — at the start of Ye’s third “Donda” album livestream event in Chicago on Aug. 26, sparking more controversy.

Quiet divorce

A pawn star has been on the prowl again, but it seems few people actually knew he was a single man. On Aug. 16, TMZ reported that “Pawn Stars” figurehead Rick Harrison quietly divorced wife Deanna Burditt on July 1, 2020. And it seems that the divorce may have been due to political differences. In the filing, according to TMZ, Rick said there was no hope for a reconciliation, as their “tastes, mental dispositions, views, likes and dislikes have become so divergent that they have become incompatible in marriage.” The timing of the divorce is interesting, as the George Floyd protests had just happened, the country was in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 presidential race was in full swing.


Baby time, take two! On Aug. 20, multiple media outlets reported that Kylie Jenner is expecting her second child with on-off boyfriend Travis Scott. The couple are already parents to 3-year-old daughter Stormi. Neither the gender nor the due date of baby is publicly known. Back when the reality TV star and makeup maven was expecting Stormi, she was highly protective of her pregnancy to the point that she never confirmed it. Thus far, she’s operating from the same playbook.

No longer in jeopardy

Mike Richards’ time as a “Jeopardy!” host lasted about as long as the music in Final Jeopardy. Just nine days after he was named the late Alex Trebek’s successor on the quiz show, Mike stepped down from the gig following public pressure — pressure that came after offensive comments from his past resurfaced. “I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role,” he said in an Aug. 20 statement. “However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show.” While Mike won’t be in front of the camera, he’ll will still have a huge presence, as he will remain the executive producer of the show. Mayim Bialik, who’s already set to host “Jeopardy!” primetime specials and spinoffs, will fill in, at least for now, on the syndicated shows too.

Bathing debate

Does anyone else think we’re having to ask too many standard hygiene questions these days? On the heels of several top-line celebrities openly discussing their aversion to regular bathing, many of their Hollywood counterparts weighed in. Dwayne Johnson started trending after he said he showers three times a day! Jason Momoa said did he wasn’t about to start any smelly trends. “I shower, trust me,” he told “Access Hollywood” on Aug. 9. “I’m Aquaman. I’m in the f****** water. Don’t worry about it. I’m Hawaiian. We got saltwater on me. We good.” Cardi B added her two cents on Aug. 10, tweeting, “Wassup with people saying they don’t shower? It’s giving itchy.” Terry Crews said he showers multiple times a day. Did you think we’d be having this debate in this modern day and age?

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