“Great to meet the strong & brave young women from #PussyRiot, who refuse to let their voices be silenced in #Russia.” – Hillary Clinton’s Tweet after meeting Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina backstage at the Women in the World Summit.
Sometimes when I cover a story, I feel like the child of divorced parents — forced to take a side. This week, a story broke and various news outlets had similar headlines: “Valerie Harper Sued For Not Revealing She Had Cancer To Employer.” “Valerie Harper Sued For Forgetting Lines After Brain Cancer.” What these stories would have you believe is that the beloved “Rhoda” actress was being sued by playwright Matthew Lombardo for dropping out of the tour of his play “Looped” once she found out she had cancer. But, of course, that’s not the full story.
So, what is this suit all about? One of the producers was Tony Cacciotti, Valerie’s husband. According to Lombardo, when Harper dropped out of the tour, so did the couple’s financial backing. Lombardo’s attorney says, “It never would have occurred to Mr. Lombardo to sue Valerie Harper and he did not. He was, at the time, resigned to simply accept his financial losses and to celebrate Ms. Harper’s renewed health along with her many fans. Sadly, a lawsuit was filed against him seeking compensation even through Ms. Harper never actually performed in ‘Looped’ on tour and even though her husband stopped paying all tour-related bills upon which the producers and actors had been relying.” Showbiz. It’s just showbiz.
You never completely escape your past, as Barney Frank recently learned. The former Massachusetts Congressman is the subject of a new documentary called “Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank.” After the premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, Frank and his husband Jim Ready expressed their disappointment that the film included mention of a sex scandal. Back in 1989, Barney hired a male escort to be his live-in driver and houseboy — as one does. What he didn’t know was that the aforementioned hooker was running a prostitution ring while living in Frank’s home (which sounds like it would make a helluva movie). Frank was fully investigated and found innocent of all charges – except of using his influence to fix some parking tickets, and who hasn’t done that? Frank’s hubby said, “I really felt that was irrelevant to put that in there. It’s embarrassing…it’s just kinda rude.” Come on – do you think anyone would do a Clinton documentary without a passing mention of Ms. Lewinsky?
In an interview with “Details”, Matt Bomer revealed that he’s been married since 2011. He and publicist bigwig Simon Hall have been together just over five years and are raising Hall’s three sons (wouldn’t Matt be perfect for a remake of “My Three Sons”?). He also said that he lost 35 pounds to play the final days of his character in “The Normal Heart”. But he’s back in peak form, judging from the photos of the couple in Cabo San Lucas, a trip Bomer arranged to celebrate Hall’s 50th birthday a couple months ago. The happy couple were joined by Ryan Murphy and his hubby David Miller, and Kelly Ripa with Mark Consuelos, which begs the question: do Kelly and Mark ever vacation with straight people? Photos from the trip will turn up on BillyMasters.com.
Our “Ask Billy” question comes from Nigel in London: “I know you love British pop singers. What do you think of Ritchie Neville? When he reunited with his group 5ive, he pinged my gaydar. Any thoughts?”
My gaydar was off the charts! While us Yanks know nothing about 5ive, they were huge in the UK. Last year, the group reunited for “The Big Reunion” on UK TV, and it proved that age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety. What I’m getting at is he looked better than ever and sported a rockin’ bod! We got to see more of that bod since he did a nude photo shoot for “The Gay Times”. So, he’s gay, right? Wrong. “A lot of people did presume I was, men would come on to me all the time. But my mum’s brother was a raving queen who was really flamboyant and funny, so I’ve been used to being around gay people all my life. I was raised with a very liberal attitude and gay has never been a dirty word in our house. But I’ve never been tempted to experiment with my sexuality; I’ve always been quite certain from an early age what I am.” Gay or straight, he’s too damn hot for me not to include him on BillyMasters.com.
Since we’re discussing UK pop stars, I want to quickly weigh in on “Blue” member Lee Ryan. I recently reported that Lee came out as bi during his time on “Celebrity Big Brother” and has had relationships with both men and women (which would explain those penis pics we have on BillyMasters.com). But is that the whole truth? His now-former-model girlfriend Jasmine Waltz took to Twitter and posted this: “The minute I got home to LA, he cheated on me with a man! #admitUgay” She then said, “Wish this was a joke. Living a lie and dragging other pal into your life is selfish and disgusting… #bereal #manup.” Lee’s response to these posts was matter-of-fact: “The claims that I am gay don’t faze me. I don’t care if people think I’m gay. Why would I care? I would be proud. Sexuality doesn’t need to be defended or justified.” They probably should be defended to the person you’re sleeping with.
When a Brit being bi is news, it’s definitely time to end yet another column. Singing, dancing, politics, nudity, bestiality – we had a little bit of everything in this column. And that’s what you’ll find at www.BillyMasters.com – the site that never disappoints. If there’s a topic you want me to tackle, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Sandy Duncan appears in the next tour of “Looped”! So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.