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‘RHOBH’s Crystal Kung Minkoff Explains the ’14 Friends’ Drama, Reflects on Sharing Struggles on TV (Exclusive)

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There’s an unwritten — but widely known — rule in the world of The Real Housewives: the second season is always the hardest for new cast members, and Crystal Kung Minkoff is experiencing that firsthand on season 12 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

“Yeah, I did [feel that],” Crystal confesses to ET, speaking at a viewing party for RHOBH thrown by her pal/co-star, Kathy Hilton, and Menolabs at Kathy’s home on Wednesday night. “And it’s so funny because, it actually looks harder, too! I didn’t know at the time, really– I mean, I felt it, but I was like, ‘Oh, this is just part of [the process]…’ and then when you’re watch, you’re like, ugh.”

Basically, by watching back the first half of the season (so far), Crystal’s feelings from filming have been validated. The women seemed to gang up on her a few times in the first 11 episodes, arguing with the mom of two over word choice and gossiping about how she somehow lost “14 friends” because of her controlling and manipulative behavior. Crystal says the 14 friends story has been twisted and blown out of proportion, revealing she’s actually the person who told her co-stars about that drama in the first place.

“I’m the one that told the story to them!” she exclaims, confirming some fan speculation that the falling out with that group was about Crystal joining Housewives. 

“It was actually about the show,” she shares. “That’s why it doesn’t go on [air], because it’s breaking fourth wall, but I was like, ‘You guys! You guys told me this would have happened when you guys would have got the show…'”

The group of 14, which Crystal says is really more like three, apparently had some jealously over the fact that Crystal landed a spot on Housewives; it’s unclear if those women were also in the running to snag diamonds.

“People… sometimes people don’t want you to sort of walk out of the bubble they’re used to, and that started with starting my coconut water company and then getting into Costco, and each interaction I experience this,” Crystal muses, “and so when this was happening with the show, I shared this with a couple girls, and they were like, ‘Oh, blah, blah, blah…’ and that’s not fair. It is what it is, and that’s fine and you know, it’s a part of the show.”

“When I saw it, my friends were like, ‘I can’t believe you told them!'” she admits. “I’m just, like, an open book. I can’t spend my life worrying if someone’s going to say something, because it’s the truth and I’m just going to say it.”

So far, it seems the audience is still enjoying seeing Crystal speak her truth. The same can’t necessarily be said for season 12 newbie Diana Jenkins, who’s proved to be a controversial addition to the cast as she feuds with fan-favorite Sutton Stracke.

“Here’s the thing with Diana: it’s because the people that I talk to in real life, like my friends, love her on the show. The audience online seems to not like her,” Crystal reflects. “I think she’s just a black-and-white person and she’s just less forgiving, you know? Where I wear my heart on my shoulder, on like my sleeve. I think once she feels sort of wronged, it’s hard for her to see otherwise, and everyone has different personalities, and the audience doesn’t like that.”

“I get why people are hard on her, but that’s just who she is,” she continues, “and I appreciate that she won’t adjust. Like, that I think people don’t appreciate in her. Whereas other people move their personalities around to fit, she won’t and like, what else do you want? Do you want real, or do you want someone that’s gonna [be fake], right?”

Crystal says she “impressed” by how Diana’s handled the online criticism, because it hasn’t seemed to faze her in the least. “She doesn’t adjust, and I think that that’s what people ask for and so it’s like, take it or leave it,” she says. “But that’s her.”

Viewers saw a more sensitive side to Diana on Wednesday’s episode, as she comforted Crystal when she broke down in tears while discussing her eating disorder struggles. Kyle Richards brought up the topic, prodding Crystal a bit on the subject after Crystal made an Instagram post about her relationship with food.

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A post shared by Crystal Kung Minkoff 孔令华 (@crystalkungminkoff)

“I was a little surprised,” Crystal admits of the conversation, getting teary-eyed even talking about it. “I’m the one that posted about how I was feeling– I guess I always think the show is the show and outside of the show is my life, like, ‘Oh they brought it up again…'”

Crystal spoke with ET just after the episode finished airing on the east coast. She says her DMs were flooded with responses from viewers about the emotional conversation.

“Today’s a little emotional, like seeing clips of it,” she says. “[My husband, Rob Minkoff] actually watched it yesterday, it was so cute, and halfway through he came over, walked down the hallway with his arms up and I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ and he’s like, ‘I’m giving you a hug…’ and I’m like, ‘Why?’ and he’s like, ‘I’m in the middle of watching the episode…’ he’s really sweet and he’s like, ‘I’m so sorry.'”

“It’s great for her that she’s able to talk about it, and be open about it, ’cause that actually helps her deal with it,” Rob tells ET, “and I think for me, I don’t think it’s different if someone had a problem with alcohol, and they were in recovery, and they’d say, ‘I’m a recovered…’ or, ‘I’m a recovering alcoholic…’ rather.”

“It’s always with you, you’re always aware of it,” he continues, “you try to keep it in check as much as possible. The good news is, Crystal isn’t always in the middle of that horrible, emotional place. Sometimes it comes up, but she always works to keep it in check.”

“I hope that [my talking about it] sheds light on what people go through,” Crystal says. “Not just eating disorders, but sort of any mental health stuff.”

Rob Minkoff and Crystal Kung Minkoff attend a screening of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills at Kathy Hilton's home

The episode ended on a funky note in regard to Crystal’s eating; as she attempted to open up to Erika Jayne about her complicated feelings toward food, Erika suggested Crystal use laxatives to clear her system, rather than purge. The singer also shooed Crystal away from a plate of chicken tenders, seemingly an ill-themed crack at her disordered eating.

“I do think that people respond to kind of uncomfortable situations differently,” Crystal muses, saying viewers will need to tune in to see how she handles Erika at that party, which continues airing next week.

“Some people are more empathetic, some people are awkward, some people can be judgmental,” she rattles off, “I’ve gotten so many different kinds of responses to my eating disorder that I tend to kinda just walk away from the situation because it’s mine and I can’t let anyone affect that and that’s how I protect myself.”

“You can’t fight someone on it,” she adds. “I mean, you can, I guess. Like, I got a couple of messages like, ‘Why didn’t you scream at Erika with Jax?'”

Crystal’s referencing an awkward moment from a few episodes back, in which a tipsy Erika told castmate Garcelle Beauvais’ teenaged son to “get the f**k out of here” when he approached the table she was seated at to grab some flowers to take home.

“I’m like, he doesn’t need to experience another adult screaming,” Crystal explains. “That’s not what I’m trying to show another child, and so if someone’s feeling– I’m not going to scream at someone doing that to me. Maybe I’ll have a discussion later, but in that moment it’s about protection and self-preservation, for Jax — for him and for me — and I just have to walk away and then I can deal with them later.”

Crystal’s mature approach to engaging has left some viewers wondering if she can “bring it” the way some of her… more vocal co-stars do; those viewers include former Housewife Camille Grammer, who’s labeled Crystal “boring” on Twitter.

“Yawn. … Call me boring, I don’t care,” Crystal casually responds. “There’s people that like to comment about things like this, I don’t know. Like, it’s not my style, I’m a very busy person. So maybe she should get busier. Get a job, I don’t know.”

While she’s likely not to face off with Camille anytime soon, Crystal will have to hash out some issues with Garcelle at the reunion taping later this year. The ladies started off filming season 12 in a good place, went through some ups and downs, ended in a good place… only for things to sort of unravel as the episodes started to air. Garcelle’s accused Crystal of lying, and alleged she attempted to set up Sutton for a dramatic confrontation last year.

“We’re good,” Crystal says of their current friendship status. “She texted me recently — very recently — said some nice things. …  She knows I didn’t [do what she accused me of doing to Sutton]. She knows that.”

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.

 



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Prey Star Responds to Netflix’s Avatar: Last Airbender Casting Reports

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When asked about reports that she’s been cast in Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender as Yue, Prey’s Amber Midthunder gives a careful response.

Prey star Amber Midthunder responds to reports of her being cast in Netflix’s live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Midthunder recently received critical and fan praise for her role as Naru in Prey, playing the unassuming but fierce Comanche warrior as an Indigenous Sioux woman herself. Known for her breakout role in Marvel’s Legion as well as roles in the Roswell, New Mexico series and the 2016 film Hell or High Water, Midthunder has cemented herself as a talented actor, especially with the most recent Prey.

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Casting for Netflix’s highly anticipated Avatar: The Last Airbender series has really kicked off over the past few months, and reports say Midthunder will play the Northern Water Tribe princess Yue. In the original animated series, Yue has a critical role in Avatar Aang’s journey during the Siege of the North and is a brief love interest for the immature but sharp-witted Sokka. While Yue only appears in a handful of episodes in the original Avatar: The Last Airbender, she makes a lasting impact, sacrificing her life to save the Moon Spirit and ultimately help Aang reach his destiny. It remains to be seen if Netflix’s adaptation will alter Yue’s story in any way, but all signs so far point to Midthunder playing the role.


When asked by The New York Times if she can say anything about the live action Avatar: The Last Airbender series, Midthunder seems to know all too well that she shouldn’t say anything. All she can offer is a little chuckle and one sentence. She says:

“Nothing that I can be talking about right now.”

Midthunder’s casting keeps in line with the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender’s dedication to tapping Asian and Indigenous actors to accurately represent the characters. The same age as Aang, 12-year-old Filipino-Canadian actor Gordon Cormier will star as the titular Avatar, alongside Mohawk actress Kiawentiio as Katara and Ian Ousley as Sokka. The new Avatar is expected to follow the same adventures as the original animated series in eight hour-long episodes, although a release date is still unknown. However, Avatar: The Last Airbender is expected to premiere in 2023.


Following the immense praise for her role in Prey, fans are already excited to see more of Midthunder and learn how she’ll bring Yue to life in Avatar: The Last Airbender. As a fierce warrior in Prey, it will be interesting to see Midthunder play a sweet, gentle character, although both Naru and Yue show exceptional courage and dedication. Even if she can’t reveal more yet, the prospect of Midthunder joining Avatar: The Last Airbender in such a pivotal role is a thrilling one, and hopefully more information will emerge soon.

Source: The New York Times

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Watch Armie Hammer’s Alleged Exes Share Graphic Details in First ‘House of Hammer’ Trailer

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Armie Hammer’s alleged exes are speaking out. In a trailer for discovery+’s upcoming three-part docuseries, House of Hammer, women who claim to have dated the disgraced actor are opening up about their alleged relationship with him.

ET has reached out to Hammer’s rep for comment on the docuseries.

Courtney Vucekovich is one of the two women featured, and she claims that “all was perfect” at the start of her alleged romance with the actor, “but then things change” as he “pushes your boundaries a little bit at a time.”

Julia Morrison agrees, as she shares a text she alleges to have received from Hammer that reads, “I have a fantasy about having someone prove their love and devotion and tying them up in a public place at night and making their body free use and seeing if they will f**k strangers for me.”

In an audio message Morrison claims Hammer sent her, the recorded voice says, “My bet was going to involve showing into her place and completely tying you up and incapacitating you and then being able to do whatever I wanted to every single hole in your body until I was done with you.”

Other texts the women claim to have received from Hammer include one that reads, “You are mine! You hear me? I own you now. I’ll own you forever” and another that read, “I decide when you eat, when you sleep. When you f**k.”

Then, another text allegedly from Hammer, appears on screen and reads, “I am 100 percent a cannibal. I want to eat you.”

Vucekovich says that left her “freaking out,” while Morrison claims the topic was all Hammer “wanted to ever talk about.”

It didn’t end there, as Vucekovich claims she got a note from Hammer that said, “I’m going to bite the f**k out of you.” She also allegedly received photos of rope via text.

“The ropes were around your neck, your wrist, your ankles, and you’re completely immobilized,” Vucekovich tearfully claims. “I was closing my eyes until it ended.”

The docuseries doesn’t just focus on the actor, though. Instead, it’ll shine a light on the whole Hammer family with the help of Casey Hammer, the Call Me By Your Name star’s aunt.

“On the outside, we were a perfect family, but magnify Succession a million times and it was my family,” she says, referring to the HBO series about a dysfunctional media tycoon family. “If you believe about making deals with the devil, the Hammers are top of the totem pole. Every generation in my family has been involved in dark misdeeds, and it just gets worse and worse and worse.”

“I know my grandfather had a dark side. I saw my father’s dark side first-hand. And I’ve seen my brother’s dark side, it was like a monster unleashed. Now it’s Armie Hammer,” she adds. “I’ve let the Hammers control me my whole life. It’s time to stop. I refuse to be silenced. My name is Casey Hammer, and I’m about to reveal the dark, twisted secrets of the Hammer family.”

Direct messages allegedly written by the actor first surfaced in January, 2021. In those DMs, he allegedly detailed graphic sexual fantasies, some with references to cannibalism. It has not been confirmed that the messages were authored by Hammer, and he released a statement calling the allegations “bulls**t.”

 The actor was subsequently let go from multiple projects he had in the works at the time.

Two months later, Hammer was accused of rape and battery by a then-24-year-old woman only identified as Effie. Hammer vehemently denied all allegations against him. 

The actor reportedly checked into a facility in May 2021, where he reportedly sought treatment for drug, alcohol, and sex issues. Hammer’s stay at the facility was reportedly paid for by Robert Downey Jr. The actor reportedly checked out of the Florida facility about six months later.

All three parts of House of Hammer will premiere Friday, Sept. 2 on discovery+.

 

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Jennette McCurdy Got ‘Pissed’ at Ariana Grande for Skipping ‘Sam & Cat’ Filming to Be a Pop Star: ‘F— This’

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Jennette McCurdy’s new memoir “I’m Glad My Mom Died” finds the former Nickelodeon star getting brutally honest with her feelings on Ariana Grande, the music icon who briefly starred with McCurdy on the “iCarly” and “Victorious” spinoff series “Sam & Cat.” Grande’s pop star career started taking off during the filming of the show, which only ran for a single season on Nickelodeon.

McCurdy writes that she grew to resent Grande once she “regularly” missed filming “to go sing at award shows, record new songs, and do press for her upcoming album” (via Entertainment Tonight). McCurdy, on the other hand, was left to “angrily hold down the fort.”

“The week where I was told Ariana would not be here at all, and that they would write around her absence this episode by having her character be locked in a box. Are you. Kidding me,” McCurdy writes. “So I have to turn down movies while Ariana’s off whistle-toning at the Billboard Music Awards? Fuck. This.”

According to McCurdy, she “booked two features during ‘iCarly’” that she “had to turn down because the ‘iCarly’ team wouldn’t write [her] out of episodes to go shoot them.” Grande was allowed to skip episodes to work on her music career.

“This is what it is. Ariana misses work in pursuit of her music career while I act with a box,” McCurdy writes. “I’m pissed about it. And I’m pissed at her. Jealous of her.”

McCurdy continues, “Ariana is at the stage in her career where she’s popping up on every 30 Under 30 list that exists. And I’m at the stage in my career where my team is excited that I’m the new face of Rebecca Bonbon, a tween clothing line featuring a cat with her tongue sticking out. Sold exclusively at Walmart. And I frequently make the mistake of comparing my career to Ariana’s. I can’t help it. I’m constantly in the same environment as her, and she doesn’t exactly try to hide her successes.”

What finally tipped McCurdy over into fully disliking Grande is when the latter came to set once day and revealed she had spent “the previous evening playing charades at Tom Hanks’ house.”

“That was the moment I broke,” McCurdy writes. “I couldn’t take it anymore. Music performances and magazine covers… whatever, I’ll get over it. But playing a family game at national treasure, two-time Academy Award–winner and six-time nominee Tom Hanks’s house? I’m done.”

McCurdy adds that from that moment on “I didn’t like her. I couldn’t like her,” adding, “Pop star success I could handle, but hanging out with Sheriff Woody, with Forrest fucking Gump? This has gone too far. So now, every time she misses work, it feels like a personal attack.”

“I’m Glad My Mom Died” is now available for purchase and has already topped the Amazon bestseller list. The memoir includes several shocking revelations from McCurdy’s years working at Nickelodeon, including one claim that the studio offered her $300,000 in hush money to stay quiet on the alleged abuse she dealt with behind the scenes.



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