MATT LAUER: Wants $30 Million Payout After Firing
Matt Lauer could walk away from NBC with a $30 million golden parachute.
The Today show co-host, who was fired over sexual harassment allegations, still has a year and a half left on his $20 million-a-year contract, and his lawyers are working on a deal to get the network to cough it up.
A source tells Page Six, “They are currently looking at his contract and determining whether the claims against him, which clearly would affect any moral clause in his contract and his ensuing termination, would cut off his contractual rights to be paid through to the end of his contract.”
But another TV insider said that there's "no way" Matt is getting paid. "There has been an irrevocable breach of Matt’s contract, there is a moral clause that says if he brings the company into disrepute — which he clearly has — NBC can terminate his employment immediately without pay and they do not have to pay out his contract."
MATT LAUER: Ex-Wife Comes to His Defense
Matt Lauer's wife has remained quiet on the sexual harassment claims against her husband, but his ex-wife is 100 percent behind him.
Television producer Nancy Alspaugh, who was married to Lauer for seven years in the '80s, says she was "shocked" to hear of Lauer’s firing, and that she "never saw him as a power monger or somebody who would abuse his position in any way." She tells Entertainment Tonight, "He’s been the best person that’s ever held that job and I couldn’t imagine that anything that he would have done -- that would have been so out of character for him -- that would have caused that reaction."
Alspaugh says she was contacted by a reporter a week before the firing and that she warned Lauer that the allegations were going to come out. She said he denied them and said they were all false.
Chris Pratt Is NOT Creeping Into Female Fans’ DM
A fake Facebook account pretending to be Chris Pratt catfished several of his fans.
Do not respond to DMs from Chris Pratt, no matter how tempting.
He Instagrammed to his 14 million followers last night (quote) “PERVY DUDE ALERT!!! (Not a joke) It’s confirmed: somebody is trying to pretend to be me on Facebook (and maybe other social media platforms) apparently hitting on a lot of different female fans, trying to get their numbers and who knows what else. I’m not joking.”
The creep is possibly a predator. Or attempting to set Chris Pratt for a fall by planting stories of him creeping on girls. In two months’ time, much bigger names have watched their careers implode behind credible accusations of sexual misconduct. (People)
Meghan Markle to Take Defense Training From Military
Special Forces of the British Army will train Meghan Markle in self-defense.
There’s a serious concern she faces a kidnapping or terrorist situation. Meghan needs to learn the proper response to save her life.
Around-the-clock protection can do only so much. The military considers a Princess a “high-valuable target” for hostage-takers and ISIS.
A security expert explained, (quote) “Pretty much every member of the royal family has been through training. They learn how to behave without close protection. How to survive if things go wrong.” (The Independent UK)
Your wait is over: As of midnight, Taylor Swift’s Reputation album is streaming on every service.
Billboard magazine named Selena Gomez “Woman of the Year.” In accepting the award last night, Selena got choked upthanking the donor of her kidney (quote) "To be honest, I think Francia Raisa should be getting this award. She saved my life.” (People)
Kaley Cuoco is engaged once again. Her fiancé, Karl Cook, popped the question then pulled out his phone to catch her reaction. She said YES, but Kaley automatically wins “Ugly Cry of the Year.” She finalized her divorce last year from tennis player Ryan Sweeting.
Scarlett Johansson took her boyfriend on an official date in New York City. She and Colin Jost posed together last night at the American Museum of Natural History Gala. That's significant because Colin would've had to skip out Saturday Night Live rehearsals. This weekend's celebs are host Saoirse [pr: SIR-sha] Ronan and the band U2. (People)
Sports Illustrated magazine added to the NFL anthem controversy by recognizing quarterback Colin Kaepernick as its Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. The late boxing champion had is title stripped in the 60s for refusing to fight in Viet Nam.
The New York Yankees are without a manager and Jennifer Lopez knows exactly who they should hire: her boyfriend, Alex Rodriguez. She tweeted the message, (quote) “It couldn’t be clearer...#ARodforYankeesManager” and tagged @arod @yankees @mlb. (Entertainment Tonight)
Jay-Z basically confessed to The New York Times that he cheated on Beyonce and now feels terribly guilty. He told the paper her Lemonade album was difficult to listen to (quote) "The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone’s face that you caused. Then having to deal with yourself.”
RUSSELL SIMMONS: HBO Cuts Ties With Him, but Keeps All Def Comedy
HBO is continuing with plans to air All Def Comedy while cutting ties with its creator, Russell Simmons.
After new sexual assault allegations against the mogul surfaced on Thursday morning, a network spokesperson announced, "Russell Simmons will not appear in the new series and we will be removing his name from the show moving forward. The series is a platform for promising and upcoming comedians and we do not want to deprive them of an opportunity to showcase their talents to a national audience. We have no other projects with Russell Simmons."
The decision comes hours after Simmons announced plans to step down from his businesses and turn his yogic center into a non-profit. All Def Comedy premieres tomorrow (Friday) on HBO Go and HBO Now platforms. (Billboard)
CHRIS EVANS, JENNY SLATE: Back Together
It's a Christmas miracle! Chris Evans and Jenny Slate are back together, People magazine confirms.
Earlier this week, Jenny was spotted helping the Captain America star find a new apartment in New York City. (He’s starring in a new play, Lobby Hero, on Broadway next year.) A witness tells People they looked happy and “very much back together.”
The couple split in February after dating for a year, but sparked rumors of a reunion after they were seen having dinner in Atlanta a little while back.
DMX: Plea Deal in Tax Evasion Case
DMX's ongoing trials and tribulations continue, with the Yonkers, New York rapper recently agreeing to a plea deal to avoid possible decades behind bars.
Facing a sentence of up to 40 years for 14 counts of tax evasion, he admitted to dodging $1.7 million in federal taxes by hiding his income. Now, X is looking at a max of five years in the slammer.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 29th. (TMZ)