Rihanna appears via CGI statue at the 2022 Met Gala, plus more news

The real Rihanna skipped Met Gala, but she was there in spirit

Now in her third trimester of pregnancy, Rihanna skipped the 2022 Met Gala on Monday, May 2, but she was still there in spirit, thanks to Vogue and the Met Costume Institute. Late Monday night after the “Gilded Glamor and White Tie”-themed fashion bash, Vogue shared a video tribute to Rih in which a CGI marble statue of the Fenty mogul had been erected in the Met’s gallery alongside other historic works of art. “The statue of ‘Eirene (The Personification of Peace)’ is usually the highest-profile marble goddess @themetmuseum Greco-Roman galleries. But now we’ve got @badgalriri, straight off this month’s Vogue cover,” the magazine captioned a video of the statue. The piece riffs on Rihanna’s recent Vogue cover, which shows her in a stunning Alaia bodysuit, baring her belly in profile. “Shut down the met in marble! what’s more gilded than that? Lol!” Rihanna wrote alongside the video on her own Instagram page. “Thank you @metmuseum and @voguemagazine for this historic tribute! y’all bad for this one!” Rihanna’s been making waves with her daring and creative maternity style ever since she and partner A$AP Rocky announced they were expecting earlier this year (via photos of Rih decked out in Chanel showing off her belly, of course). “When I found out I was pregnant, I thought to myself, ‘There’s no way I’m going to go shopping in no maternity aisle,'” she told Vogue in her new cover story. “My body is doing incredible things right now, and I’m not going to be ashamed of that. This time should feel celebratory. Because why should you be hiding your pregnancy?” Rih added, “I’m hoping that we were able to redefine what’s considered ‘decent’ for pregnant women.”

RELATED: See the best and worst fashion from the 2022 Met Gala

Kim Kardashian was reportedly denied Marilyn Monroe dress loan before she lost 16 pounds to fit in it for the Met Gala

The internet’s favorite celeb power couple Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson made their second red carpet appearance as a couple at the Met Gala on Monday, although Kim’s iconic fashion choice for the evening arguably stole the spotlight. Kim, 41, arrived in the dress Marilyn Monroe wore six decades ago to sing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in New York City. According to the New York Post, Kim is now the only person who’s ever worn the skintight piece, which is bedazzled with more 6,000 hand-sewn crystals. Speaking to La La Anthony for Vogue on the red carpet, Kim said she was inspired to go with a Marilyn theme after the 2021 Met Gala. Hoping to try it on, she said she reached out to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum in Florida, which bought the slinky number in 2016 $4.8 million. “They came with armed guards and gloves. I tried it on and it didn’t fit me,” Kim recalled. She couldn’t alter it so she said she had to lose 16 pounds” by embarking on extreme diet, skipping all carbs and sugar for three weeks. Kim also went platinum blonde for the night, a la Marilyn. “It was like preparing for a role,” Kim told Vogue. After her red carpet stroll, the SKIMS creator reportedly changed into a replica for the party, since the dress is now valued at around $10 million.

RELATED: See all the couples that attended the 2022 Met Gala

Don Lemon accuser drops sexual assault case, will pay CNN star $77k in sanctions

Dustin Hice, the man who accused Don Lemon of sexually assaulting him in a bar in 2018, has dropped his lawsuit against the CNN anchor. When Dustin filed the lawsuit nearly three years ago, Don denied the allegations with support from the network, which released a statement saying Dustin had “displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts” and tried to shake Don down for “an exorbitant amount of money,” according to Deadline. This week, Dustin said (via his attorney): “After a lot of inner reflection and a deep dive into my memory, I have come to realize that my recollection of the events that occurred on the night in question when I first met CNN anchor Don Lemon were not what I thought they were when I filed this lawsuit. As a result, I am dropping the case.” Deadline also notes a federal judge determined in March that Dustin “tampered with evidence and tried to bribe witnesses” in the case. The judge then hit Dustin with $77,000 in sanctions, payable to the CNN anchor. Don, meanwhile, remained silent on the update, though his lawyer put out a statement on his behalf in which she called the case “a crass money grab.” She also said that because Don is “a gay Black man in the media, he has had to deal with these sorts of attacks for quite some time,” and urged news outlets to be more careful with the kind of “misreporting” that’s been published regarding this case. The suit will no longer go to trial, but Dustin remains on the hook for the $77,000 sanctions payment, according to Deadline.

Laine Hardy’s’American Idol’ reunion special sparks fan backlash after his spying arrest

Apparently, the show must go on? “American Idol” faced criticism on social media on Monday, May 2, for airing a Laine Hardy reunion special after the Season 17 winner was arrested for allegedly bugging his ex-girlfriend’s dorm room. Laine, 21, was booked and questioned by Louisiana University Police on April 29 after they found probable cause to charge the singer with a felony count of interception and disclosure of wire, electronic or oral communication, Page Six reported last week. A police report from the arrest indicates the woman said she found the recording device under her futon and provided what she said was a screenshot of a Snapchat conversation with Laine from earlier this year in which he admitted he had bugged her room but said he’d discarded the device. On Monday’s show, which was reportedly taped earlier this month, Laine was joined by 2019 finalist Laci Kaye Booth on the special, where they teamed up for a rendition of “Draggin’ My Heart Around,” originally recorded by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty. “Wait, so #AmericanIdol are just going to put Laine Hardy on without even addressing his recent arrest? I’m confused by this. He was arrested, right?” one person tweeted when his “Idol” special aired. Another slammed the choice to include Laine so soon after his arrest as “disrespectful” to his ex. “Shameful, disappointing & triggering to many people,” the Twitter user added. Last week, Laine posted on social media that he is being “fully cooperative” with police. As of Tuesday morning, “American Idol” had not yet responded to Page Six’s request for comment.

Jack Nicholson’s ‘The Shining’ axe sells for $175k

After a recent bidding war between 12 would-be buyers, the axe Jack Nicholson famously wielded in 1980’s “The Shining” has been sold for a whopping $175,000, TMZ reported on Monday, March 3. The piece hit the auction block via GottaHaveRockandRoll auction house, after selling to a previous owner for $61,000. The axe — which is actually lightweight and made of foam and resin — is the one Jack’s character uses to smash through a door while hunting Shelly Duvall before he utters his maniacal “Here’s Johnny!” line. The $175,000 price included a $35,000 buyer’s premium, an additional fee tacked onto the hammer price that’s usually earmarked for administrative and other expenses.

NeNe Leakes claims Bravo ‘blacklisted’ her amid discrimination lawsuit

“Real Housewives of Atlanta” veteran NeNe Leakes told TMZ this week that she believes Bravo execs “blacklisted” her when asked about her recent discrimination lawsuit. NeNe filed suit against the network, its parent company, the show’s production companies and Bravo’s Andy Cohen on April 20 on grounds the show allowed Kim Zolciak-Biermann to make racist comments at and about her for years without consequence. Speaking to TMZ, NeNe said it “felt like it was the right time … a few years ago” to sue, “but I was constantly being retaliated against, being blacklisted, not able to work, being silenced, and so, you know, it was difficult to do.” She added that claims the suit was her way of retaliating for not being offered a “RHOA” spinoff of her own are “ridiculous.” In a statement about the filing, NeNe’s attorney, David deRubertis, previously told Page Six, “From the day the series began filming, NeNe was the target of systemic racism from co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, which was tolerated by Bravo executive producer Andy Cohen and other executives.”

Former ‘Bachelor’ Matt James addresses Rachael Kirkconnell engagement buzz

Despite everything that’s gone down between them, Matt James still sees a future with his on-again girlfriend, Rachael Kirkconnell. “At this point in my life, I wouldn’t be dating someone that I wouldn’t consider marrying,” Matt tells ET. “That’s the end goal and that’s what we’re working towards.” The couple famously appeared on “The Bachelor” in 2021 and got serious before Rachael was hit with multiple allegations of racist online behavior. Rachael apologized and the two split but later rekindled their romance once the cameras had stopped rolling on the season. Matt’s currently promoting his new memoir, “First Impressions,” which details how the two worked out their relationship and agreed to move forward, among other things. “The hardest part was actually going on the show, because I had my doubts if something like that could work,” Matt tells ET. “I’m fortunate that I put those [doubts] aside because I’m in a great relationship now with Rachael… The hardest part for me was being vulnerable up front. When I did that, putting it on paper was easy.”

Meghan McCain visits her dad’s grave with daughter, Liberty

Meghan McCain spent a quiet moment with her 1-year-old daughter, Liberty, at the site of her father, Sen. John McCain’s grave this week, nearly four years after he lost his battle with brain cancer. “Love hard. Grieve hard. Miss you every day,” “The View” alum wrote in a caption alongside photos from the pair’s United States Naval Academy Cemetery visit. During a recent appearance on People’s “Me Becoming Mom” podcast, Meghan, 37, revealed Liberty “does this thing with her hands” that her dad “used to do that all the time.” She said “it’s stuff like that” that reminds her of her parents now that she’s a mom. “… With my dad in particular, he was just so much for so much of my life in so many different ways,” she said at the time, adding that the way she loves Liberty is “just pure.” “She’s just perfection,” Meghan said. Meghan’s father died on Aug. 25, 2018; she and Ben Domenesch welcomed Liberty in the fall of 2020.

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