Court loss, career repercussions
Johnny Depp lost a libel lawsuit against a U.K. tabloid that once called him a "wife beater." On Nov. 2, the court ruled in favor of The Sun. The summer trial that led to the decision was highly publicized and included testimony from his ex-wife, Amber Heard, who alleged he was abusive and threatened her life on multiple occasions (there were far more salacious allegations too). The judge said in a 129-page statement that the tabloid's claims branding the actor abusive were "substantially true." Johnny maintained that he never abused Amber. "I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely, as well as the overarching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account," the judge said. The ruling was expected to hurt Johnny's reputation and career, and it did… quickly. On Nov. 6, Johnny was asked to leave the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise. He promptly resigned. However, thanks to his pay-or-play contract, he's still entitled to his entire salary despite only doing one day of filming on the third movie. Later in the month, Warner Bros. announced that actor Mads Mikkelsen will replace Johnny as villainous dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the franchise.
Say it ain't so! After nine years together, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde have broken up and called off their engagement. "The split happened at the beginning of the year," a source close to the couple told People magazine on Nov. 13. The couple shares two children, Otis Alexander, 6, and Daisy Josephine, 4. "It's been amicable and they've transitioned into a great co-parenting routine," the source added. "The children are the priority and the heart of the family's relationship." A few days after the report surfaced, the exes were photographed hugging. A source told Us Weekly there's "no drama" between them now, though there were disagreements about where to live (he was partial to New York City, while she preferring Los Angeles). "Bottom line: They had issues and they were never going to get married," Us's source said.
RELATED: Celeb splits of 2020
Beloved "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek passed away on Nov. 8 following a well-documented battle with pancreatic cancer. Alex had recorded several shows in the weeks leading up to his death, and they began airing on Nov. 9. "Jeopardy!" executive producer Mike Richards opened the show by paying tribute to Alex. Then, before the first new episode aired, the stage went dark. "We love him and we miss him already," Mike told CNN and the "Today" show. Many in Hollywood were heartbroken over Alex's death. Ryan Reynolds said, "He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring and of course, Canadian." John Legend added, "I was obsessed with Jeopardy as a nerdy kid growing up in Ohio. I've loved and revered Alex Trebek since I can remember." It's not outlandish to say that Alex was one of the last universally beloved men on earth. Alex's wife, Jean, is keeping his ashes in their home.
RELATED: Celebs we lost in 2020
This month, Lori Loughlin's husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, surrendered to authorities and began his five-month prison sentence for his role in a college admissions scandal. He's accused of bribing a middleman to help get his two daughters into the University of Southern California. Mossimo reported to authorities at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc, Calif., on Nov. 19. Lori began her two-month sentence on Oct. 30. She's expected to be released from prison on Christmas Eve. Mossimo will be released in April 2021.
Money — and hair — matters
George Clooney has confirmed a jaw-dropping story about $14 million and his best friends. In 2017, buddy and Casamigos tequila partner Rande Gerber shared a story about how the actor gave suitcases packed with $1 million to each of his 14 closest pals a few years earlier, but now, in a chat with GQ, George himself has confirmed the wild tale. "I just thought basically if I get hit by a bus, they're all in the will. So why the f*** am I waiting to get hit by a bus?" he said in an interview that came out on Nov. 17. The giveaway happened in 2013. Getting that kind of money in cash was difficult, but he said he eventually went to a place in downtown Los Angeles for it. As if he was in a movie, he drove away with $14 million in a rented beat-up van that said "florist" on the side. The following day, he had his friends over to his house. "I just held up a map and I just pointed to all the places I got to go in the world and all the things I've gotten to see because of them. And I said, 'How do you repay people like that?'" he recalled. "And I said, 'Oh, well: How about a million bucks?'" On Nov. 29, George dropped another bombshell: For the past 25 years, he's been cutting his own hair — with the help of a famous infomercial product, the Flowbee. "My haircuts take literally two minutes," George told "CBS Sunday Morning" while promoting new movie "The Midnight Sky."
Masters (third) degree
The drama surrounding the master recordings of Taylor Swift's first six albums reared its head again after they were sold this month for more than $300 million. Manager and label exec Scooter Braun made the deal with an investment fund, reports revealed on Nov. 16. Last year, Taylor made it clear she was livid after her former record label, Big Machine Label Group, was sold to Scooter's Ithaca Holdings, which she called her "worst case scenario." After news of the current sale broke, Taylor again lashed out. "As you know, for the past year I've been actively trying to regain ownership of my master recordings. With that goal in mind, my team attempted to enter into negotiations with Scooter Braun," she said on social media. "Scooters team wanted me to sign an ironclad NDA stating I would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive, before we could even look at the financial records of BMLG (which is always the first step in a purchase of this nature. I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work." The wording of the NDA, she said, was akin to someone trying to "silence an assault accuser by paying them off." She maintained, "This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge." Taylor wrote a letter to the new owner of her masters, Shamrock Holdings. In that letter, she was upfront about her plans to re-record her masters — something she began to do this month.
On Nov. 30, People magazine reported that "The Big Bang Theory" alum Johnny Galecki and girlfriend Alaina Meyer had split after more than two years as a couple and less than a year after welcoming their son, Avery.
On Nov. 6, beloved "Today" show weatherman, journalist and co-host Al Roker revealed on the NBC morning program that he'd been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Al — who shared his private news so he could help raise awareness of the disease, which affects one in nine men — was scheduled to undergo surgery the following week to have his prostate removed. "It's a good news-bad news kind of thing," he told viewers. "Good news is we caught it early. Not-great news is that it's a little aggressive, so I'm going to be taking some time off to take care of this." He added, "We'll just wait and see, and hopefully in about two weeks I'll be back [on 'Today']." Al returned to the morning show on Nov. 23, saying, "I feel good, I really do."
Hollywood celebrated the upcoming resident change at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. early in the month. On Nov. 3, millions of Americans watched as the 2020 presidential election results began coming in. Little did we know, everyone would have to wait for a few days. For the majority of election night, both major party candidates remained mum while watching results come in. Eventually, former Vice President Joe Biden urged patience. President Donald Trump, however, declared victory and said he wanted vote counting of legitimately cast ballots to stop. Hollywood (and many in America) were livid with Trump's premature victory claims and his demand to stop counting legal votes. "We have sent troops to other nations to stop dictators from doing what Trump just did. This is NOT how our elections work. We WILL #CountEveryVote," Sophia Bush tweeted. Padma Lakshmi said, "Like everything else he says- it has no value or legal meaning." Then, on Nov. 7, Biden was projected as the winner of election. Many celebrities, including John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, took to the streets to celebrate. Trump, by the way, has said Biden only won because of "voter fraud," but he's put forth no evidence to show such a thing. He has refused to concede.
Justin Bieber's close friend and pastor, Carl Lentz, was fired from his popular Hillsong Church for "moral failures" on Nov. 5. Although Justin and Carl reportedly had a falling out a few years ago, they were once nearly inseparable. "Today Hillsong Church East Coast advised our congregation that we have terminated the employment of Pastor Carl Lentz. This action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl," the church said. "It would not be appropriate for us to go into detail about the events that led to this decision. Our focus at this time is to honor God and pastorally care for our East Coast church community as well as the Lentz family." Carl — who was close with a gaggle of other celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Selena Gomez and others — publicly admitted he cheated on his wife, who also lost her job as a Hillsong pastor amid Carl's scandal.
Teresa Giudice has a new man. In early November, the reality TV star was spotted at a football game with a guy and a photo emerged of his hand on her waist. On Nov. 9, Page Six identified her mystery beau as New Jersey-based businessman Luis "Louie" Ruelas, a 46-year-old single father of two. "The relationship is very new, but both are very happy," a source told Page Six. Louie is the co-founder of Digital Media Solutions, a digital marketing company. This is Teresa's first legitimate relationship since finalizing her divorce from ex Joe Giudice. On the Nov. 22 episode of "Watch What Happens Live," Teresa confirmed the romance. "It's fairly new," she told host Andy Cohen, "so I'm taking things slow and we'll see where it goes from there."
Another "Real Housewives" union bites the dust. After 21 years of marriage, Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi are divorcing. The "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star, 49, and Tom 81, did not have a prenuptial agreement, reports claimed. "After much consideration I have decided to end my marriage to Tom Girardi. This is not a step taken lightly or easily," she said in a statement on Nov. 3. "I have great love and respect for Tom and for our years and the lives we built together. It is my absolute wish to proceed through this process with respect and with the privacy that both Tom and I deserve. I request that others give us that privacy as well." There is speculation that Erika already has a new man.
Jeannie Mai was forced to abruptly quit "Dancing With The Stars" due to a life-threatening issue called epiglottitis. On Nov. 2, Jeannie said she was "heartbroken" over the decision. In a video taken in the hospital, Jeannie told fans, "I found out that I have a throat abscess, where my tonsils and my throat had gotten so infected that it started permeating to the rest of the areas behind my neck and my ears that I had to get emergency surgery, which is why I'm here now." She added that doctors told her, "If you had waited one more day, your throat would have closed up." Jeannie returned to "The Real" in late November and she also appeared on the season finale of "DWTS."
Phil Collins' legal battle with ex-wife Orianne Cevey is getting nastier… and very personal. The former couple has been fighting over his Miami house, which he says she and her new husband have refused to leave. She argues that Phil failed to make good on a promise to give her half of their $40 million home. On Nov. 9, Orianne filed legal docs claiming the Genesis drummer had a serious substance abuse problem. She later got personal and said he was a "hermit" who "stopped showering, brushing his teeth and dressing properly (in fact, he did not shower or brush his teeth from 2019 until August 2020 when he vacated)" their property. She further added that he couldn't perform in the bedroom. Phil's team denied all her claims and said she's simply trying to extort him and besmirch his name. "What does this have to do with the case?" Phil's team wrote in a subsequent court filing. "Is the court going to hear evidence about the parties' sex life or examine Phil Collins' dental records, or get photographs of his wardrobe to decide if he verbally promised [his ex] 50% of his Miami Beach mansion? Of course not."
Cassie Randolph and Colton Underwood are on amicable terms again. On Nov. 3, she dropped the restraining order she had against the former "The Bachelor" star. A police investigation into Colton's behavior was also dropped at Cassie's request. Cassie had previously accused her ex of stalking and harassment. She also claimed he put a tracking device on her car so that he could monitor her whereabouts. "Today Cassie asked the court to dismiss the temporary restraining order against me. The two of us were able to reach a private agreement to address any of Cassie's concerns," Colton said in a statement. "I do not believe Cassie did anything wrong in filing for the restraining orders and also believe she acted in good faith. I appreciate everyone's respect for privacy regarding this matter."
Christina Anstead and Ant Anstead are moving forward to legally end their brief marriage. On Nov. 3, the "Flip or Flop" star filed divorce papers in Orange County, California. The filing wasn't much of a surprise, as the two announced their separation in September, and Ant later implied it was Christina's decision. The couple shares 1-year-old son Hudson London. While this was going on, Ant announced that he was leaving his gig hosting "Wheeler Dealers."