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{blackbabes} Naomi Campbell celebrates birthday with ‘low-key’ yacht party

 

Naomi Campbell celebrated her 47th birthday aboard a 282-foot yacht, Chakra, in Cannes on Monday.

But unlike in years past, it was a smaller, more low-key affair.

The supermodel was in town to host her Fashion for Relief fund-raising show, which took place on Sunday.

Naomi's birthday bashes have been known as over-the-top fêtes during the film festival — last year's lavish celebration was at a chateau.

This time, we're told Naomi arrived late, and headed to a private room, which was sealed off by security.

Billionaire Paul Allen also toned down his annual yacht party on the same night, bringing out his "small" boat, the 303-foot Tatoosh, rather than his usual 414-foot monster, Octopus.

Unlike past parties, there was no theme, but starry guests included Salma Hayek, Pamela Anderson and Lindsay Lohan, and Allen did, per tradition, provide the entertainment by playing guitar with a band.

Perhaps still confused from her Oscars flub, Faye Dunaway snapped at one guest who asked why she was in Cannes: "To learn about movies."

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{blackbabes} Venus could rise again in Paris, says Shriver

 

(Reuters) - Veteran Venus Williams could blast through the huge holes in the women's draw and win her first French Open at the age of 36 next month, according to former world number three Pam Shriver.

With Williams' pregnant sister and three times French champion Serena absent, Russia's twice winner Maria Sharapova failing to gain a wildcard after returning from a doping ban and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka still not back after becoming a mother, the biggest names in the women's game are missing.

Add in the poor form of German world number one Angelique Kerber and Spain's defending champion Garbine Muguruza and an ankle injury for new title favorite Simona Halep of Romania and the often unpredictable claycourt slam looks wide open.

Shriver feels Venus could be the one to take advantage despite only having two quarter-final runs in Paris since losing to Serena in her only French Open final in 2002.

"I think there are so many possibilities in the works," Shriver told a conference call hosted by broadcaster ESPN, who she will be working for during the Roland Garros fortnight.

"I've seen some draws that are wide open on the women's side but I've never seen a situation like this.

"Venus coming off what she did at the Australian Open getting to her first grand slam final since she knew she had the auto-immune syndrome (Sjogren's Syndrome) and now knowing that her sister is not in the draw. Can she win it? Why not?

"She is a more capable claycourt player than most people think and when you consider the big hitters that have won in the women's game, Sharapova twice in the last few years and Muguruza last year, Venus is definitely one of the possibilities."

Seven-times French Open champion Chris Evert agreed that Venus, who has won seven grand slam titles but none for nearly a decade, stands out as a player who has been there and done it in a field low on proven quality.

"Venus is a very capable claycourt player, she's won grand slams before and the mental part of the game is going to be very important this year," Evert said.

With 23-times grand slam champion Serena vowing to return next year following her pregnancy, there is a window for a new face to establish a grip on the women's game.

But Shriver says few candidates spring to mind.

"Right now, honestly there is no heir apparent, a teenager who seems to have it all," she said. "I don't think we are going to have a dominant player after Serena goes."

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{blackbabes} Serena Williams accepts a new challenge in Silicon Valley

 

SAN FRANCISCO — Tennis star Serena Williams has 39 Grand Slam titles, four Olympic medals, major endorsement deals and her own line of clothing and accessories. Now she is embarking on a new mission: She says she wants to help tech companies diversify their workforces and solve one of the industry's most vexing problems.

Williams, 35, will get her chance as she joins a Silicon Valley boardroom. Online survey service SurveyMonkey announced Williams' appointment to its board on Wednesday, along with Intuit CEO Brad Smith.

"I feel like diversity is something I speak to," Williams said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Change is always happening; change is always building. What is important to me is to be at the forefront of the change and to make it easier for the next person that comes behind me."

Williams didn't offer specifics about her goals as a corporate director. She implied that her very presence can help push the company — and, by extension, the industry as a whole — in a more diverse direction.

Individual board members don't usually exert great influence over the companies they oversee, although they are often compensated handsomely in cash and stock for their part-time work. SurveyMonkey, a private company, didn't say how much Williams will be compensated.

VALLEY DIVERSITY

Silicon Valley's lack of diversity has become a recurring source of embarrassment in a region that has long sought to position itself as an egalitarian place that doesn't favour one gender, ethnicity or race over another. Yet that philosophy hasn't been reflected in high-tech workforces , despite the efforts of companies such as Google, Apple and Facebook to fix the problem.

Williams has been hanging around Silicon Valley more frequently now that she is engaged to high-tech entrepreneur, Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of the online forum Reddit. Like many other African-Americans, she says she's disappointed that the vast majority of high-paying technology jobs are filled by white and Asian men.

At SurveyMonkey, which employs about 650 workers, only 27 per cent of technology jobs are filled by women. Just 14 per cent of its total payroll consists of African-Americans, Latinos or people identifying themselves with at least two races, according to numbers the company provided to the AP.

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WHAT SHE CAN DO

Williams' appointment is part of the solution, according to SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie. "My focus is to bring in change agents around the table who can open our eyes," he said.

Diversity advocates say women and minorities add value to corporate boards -- as well as companies' executive ranks -- by offering new perspectives and advocating for a broader range of a company's stakeholders, whether that's customers, shareholders or employees.

In a report on France's quota requirements for corporate boards, the business research group Conference Board found that the real value of adding women came from the fact that they were more likely to be outsiders. They were more likely to be foreigners, have expertise in more diverse business issues than men and more likely to have risen through the ranks outside traditional networks, such as elite universities. This, in itself, can "substantively" improve the collective decision-making of a board, according to the report.

Williams' celebrity may help draw attention to the lack of diversity on corporate boards themselves, said Brande Stellings, vice-president of corporate board services for Catalyst, a group focused on fighting for women's rights at work. For instance, African-American women occupy only 122 of the more than 5,000 board seats among Fortune 500 companies, based on Catalyst's analysis.

"This is an opportunity to show you don't want a board full of people with the same backgrounds and experiences as everyone else," Stellings said. "(Williams) can bring a fresh perspective and a different voice that could be helpful for disrupting the 'group think' that's typical in many boardrooms."

STEPPING STONE

Racism is something Williams confronted and overcame at an early age when she began playing a predominantly white sport. She grew up to become the top-ranked female tennis player in the world.

Diversifying Silicon Valley isn't the only item on Williams' agenda. Like a lot of rich athletes, she is interested in becoming more involved in the business opportunities amid the high-tech boom in Silicon Valley. She says she is already exploring other opportunities in the area, but isn't ready to provide details yet.

Her connection to SurveyMonkey came through her friendship with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer and another member of SurveyMonkey's board. Sandberg's husband, Dave Goldberg, was SurveyMonkey's CEO before he died in 2015 while the couple was vacationing in Mexico.

"I have been really interested in getting involved in Silicon Valley for years, so I have been kind of in the wading waters," Williams said. "Now, I am jumping into the deep end of the pool. When I do something, I go all out."

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{blackbabes} ‘Queen Sugar’: Sharon Lawrence, Alimi Ballard, Margot Bingham Set To Recur In Season 2

 

Emmy nominee Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue, Grey's Anatomy, Shameless), Alimi Ballard (The Catch, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) and Margot Bingham (Boardwalk Empire) are set for recurring roles on the second season of OWN's praised drama series Queen Sugar. In addition, Julie Dash joins Season 2 as part of an all-female directorial team handpicked by creator/executive producer Ava DuVernay.

In Season 2, Bordelon siblings Nova (Rutina Wesley), Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) and Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) struggle to move forward with their lives as they strive to honor the legacy of their father following his unexpected passing. Together, they must learn to rely on one another as they navigate their tenuous bonds as family. Cast also includes Nicholas L. Ashe (Micah), Omar J. Dorsey (Hollywood), Dondré T. Whitfield (Remy), Timon Kyle Durrett (Davis), Bianca Lawson (Darla), Ethan Hutchison (Blue), and Tina Lifford (Aunt Violet). Additionally, guest star Henry G. Sanders recurs as Prosper Denton.

Lawrence will play Lorna, the mother of Charley Bordelon. Sophisticated, charismatic, and complicated, Lorna is a successful, self-motivated businesswoman who raised her daughter to never settle for second best. Ballard will portray Dr. Robert Dubois, an epidemiologist who works at The Center for American Progress. Sincere, charming and intellectual, Dr. Dubois makes a lasting impression on Nova. Bingham is Tamar Judith, a cool and confident pop singer who crosses paths with Davis.

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Dash broke through racial and gender boundaries 26 years ago with her Sundance award-winning film Daughters of the Dust, and she became the first African-American woman to have a wide theatrical release of her feature film. Most recently, Dash is the recipient of the New York Film Critics Special Award; the 2017 Robert Smalls Merit and Achievement Award; and the Visionary Award from Women in Film, Washington DC. She is also currently in production on a feature-length documentary about Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor, a world-renowned author, performer and chef from rural South Carolina who has led a remarkably unique and complex life. The film is based upon Grosvenor's bestselling work, Vibration Cooking: or, the Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl.

Queen Sugar is produced for OWN by Warner Horizon Scripted Television. The executive producers are Ava DuVernay, Monica Macer and Oprah Winfrey. The series is inspired by the book by Natalie Baszile.

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{blackbabes} Billboard Music Awards 2017 Winners: The Complete List

 

Top Artist: Adele
Beyoncé
Justin Bieber
The Chainsmokers
WINNER: Drake
Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes
Rihanna
Twenty One Pilots
The Weeknd

Top Female Artist

WINNER: Beyoncé
Adele
Ariana Grande
Rihanna
Sia

Top Male Artist

Justin Bieber
WINNER: Drake
Future
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd

Top New Artist:

Alessia Cara
Desiigner
Lil Uzi Vert
Lukas Graham
WINNER: Zayn

Billboard Chart Achievement Award:

Luke Bryan
The Chainsmokers
Nicki Minaj
The Weeknd
WINNER: Twenty One Pilots

Top Duo/Group:

WINNER: The Chainsmokers
Coldplay
Florida Georgia Line
Guns N' Roses
Twenty One Pilots

Top Billboard 200 Artist:

WINNER: Drake
Beyoncé
Prince
Twenty One Pilots
The Weeknd

Top Hot 100 Artist:

WINNER: Drake
The Chainsmokers
Rihanna
Twenty One Pilots
The Weeknd

Top Song Sales Artist:

WINNER: Drake
The Chainsmokers
Prince
Justin Timberlake
Twenty One Pilots

Top Radio Songs Artist:

WINNER: Twenty One Pilots
Justin Bieber
The Chainsmokers
Drake
Rihanna

Top Streaming Songs Artist:

WINNER: Drake
The Chainsmokers
Desiigner
Rihanna
Twenty One Pilots

Top Social Artist:

Justin Bieber
WINNER: BTS
Selena Gomez
Ariana Grande
Shawn Mendes

Top Touring Artist:

WINNER: Beyoncé
Justin Bieber
Coldplay
Guns N' Roses
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Top R&B Artist:

WINNER: Beyoncé
Bruno Mars
Frank Ocean
Rihanna
The Weeknd

Top R&B Tour:

WINNER: Beyoncé
Lionel Richie
Rihanna

Top Rap Artist:

WINNER: Drake
J. Cole
Desiigner
Future
Rae Sremmurd

Top Rap Tour:

WINNER: Drake
Future
Kanye West

Top Country Artist:

Florida Georgia Line
WINNER: Blake Shelton
Keith Urban
Chris Stapleton
Jason Aldean

Top Country Tour:

WINNER: Kenny Chesney
Luke Bryan
Dixie Chicks

Top Rock Artist:

WINNER: Twenty One Pilots
Coldplay
The Lumineers
Metallica
X Ambassadors

Top Rock Tour:

WINNER: Coldplay
Guns N' Roses
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Top Latin Artist:

WINNER: Juan Gabriel
J Balvin
Los Plebes Del Rancho De Ariel Camacho
Maluma
Nicky Jam

Top Dance/Electronic Artist:

WINNER: The Chainsmokers
Calvin Harris
Major Lazer
DJ Snake
Lindsey Stirling

Top Christian Artist:

WINNER: Lauren Daigle
Hillsong Worship
Hillary Scott & The Scott Family
Skillet
Chris Tomlin

Top Gospel Artist:

WINNER: Kirk Franklin
Jekalyn Carr
Travis Greene
Tamela Mann
Hezekiah Walker

Top Billboard 200 Album:

Beyoncé Lemonade
WINNER: Drake
Views
Rihanna
Anti
Twenty One Pilots
Blurryface
The Weeknd Starboy 

Top Soundtrack/Cast Album:

WINNER: Hamilton: An American Musical
Moana
Purple Rain
Suicide Squad: The Album
Trolls 

Top R&B Album:

WINNER: Beyoncé Lemonade
Bruno Mars 24K Magic
Frank Ocean
Blonde
Rihanna
Anti
The Weeknd Starboy 

Top Rap Album:

WINNER: Drake Views
Cole 4
Your Eyez Only
Kevin Gates
Islah
DJ Khaled
Major Key
A Tribe Called Quest We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service 

Top Country Album:

WINNER: Chris Stapleton Traveller
Jason Aldean
They Don't Know
Florida Georgia Line
Dig Your Roots
Blake Shelton
If I'm Honest
Keith Urban Ripcord 

Top Rock Album:

WINNER: Metallica Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
The Lumineers
Cleopatra
Radiohead
A Moon Shaped Pool
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Getaway
Twenty One Pilots Blurryface 

Top Latin Album:

WINNER: Juan Gabriel Los Dúo 2
J Balvin
Energia
CNCO
Primera Cita
Juan Gabriel
Vestido De Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes
Los Plebes del Rancho de Ariel Camacho Recuerden Mi Estilo 

Top Dance/Electronic Album:

The Chainsmokers Bouquet (EP)
The Chainsmokers Collage (EP)
Flume
Skin
Kygo
Cloud Nine
WINNER: Lindsey Stirling Brave Enough

Top Christian Album:

WINNER: Lauren Daigle How Can It Be
Casting Crowns The Very Next Thing
Joey + Rory
Hymns
Hillary Scott & The Scott Family
Love Remains
Skillet Unleashed 

Top Gospel Album:

WINNER: Tamela Mann One Way
Kirk Franklin Losing My Religion
Travis Greene
The Hill
Tasha Cobbs
One Place: Live
Hezekiah Walker Better: Azusa - The Next Generation 2

Top Hot 100 Song:

WINNER: Drake Featuring Wizkid & Kyla "One Dance"
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey "Closer"
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya "Don't Let Me Down"
Justin Timberlake "Can't Stop The Feeling!"
Twenty One Pilots "Heathens"

Top Selling Song:

WINNER: Justin Timberlake "Can't Stop The Feeling!"
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey "Closer"
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya "Don't Let Me Down"
Drake Featuring Wizkid & Kyla "One Dance"
Twenty One Pilots "Heathens"

Top Radio Song:

WINNER: Justin Timberlake "Can't Stop The Feeling!"
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey "Closer"
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya "Don't Let Me Down"
Drake Featuring Wizkid & Kyla "One Dance"
Sia Featuring Sean Paul "Cheap Thrills"

Top Streaming Song (Audio):

The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey "Closer"
WINNER: Drake Featuring Wizkid & Kyla "One Dance"
D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty "Broccoli"
Rihanna "Needed Me"
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk "Starboy"

Top Streaming Song (Video):

WINNER: Desiigner "Panda"
The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey "Closer"
Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall "JuJu On That Beat (TZ Anthem)"
Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane "Black Beatles"
Twenty One Pilots "Heathens"

Top Collaboration:

WINNER: The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey "Closer"
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya "Don't Let Me Down"
Drake Featuring Wizkid & Kyla "One Dance"
Sia Featuring Sean Paul "Cheap Thrills"
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk "Starboy"

Top R&B Song:

WINNER: Drake Featuring Wizkid & Kyla "One Dance"
Bruno Mars "24K Magic"
Rihanna "Needed Me"
Rihanna Featuring Drake "Work"
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk "Starboy"

Top R&B Collaboration:

WINNER: Drake Featuring Wizkid & Kyla "One Dance"
PARTYNEXTDOOR Featuring Drake "Come And See Me"
Rihanna Featuring Drake "Work"
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk "I Feel It Coming"
The Weeknd Featuring Daft Punk "Starboy"

Top Rap Song:

WINNER: Desiigner "Panda"
Drake "Fake Love"
D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty "Broccoli"
Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert "Bad And Boujee"
Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane "Black Beatles"

Top Rap Collaboration:

WINNER: Rae Sremmurd Featuring Gucci Mane "Black Beatles"
D.R.A.M. Featuring Lil Yachty "Broccoli"
Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall "JuJu On That Beat (TZ Anthem)"
Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello "Bad Things"
Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert "Bad and Boujee"

Top Country Song:

WINNER: Kenny Chesney Featuring P!NK "Setting The World On Fire"
Florida Georgia Line "H.O.L.Y."
Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw "May We All"
Little Big Town "Better Man"
Keith Urban "Blue Ain't Your Color"

Top Country Collaboration:

Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King "Different For Girls"
WINNER: Kenny Chesney Featuring P!NK "Setting The World On Fire"
Eric Church Featuring Rhiannon Giddens "Kill A Word"
Florida Georgia Line Featuring Tim McGraw "May We All"
Chris Young Featuring Vince Gill "Sober Saturday Night"

Top Rock Song:

WINNER: Twenty One Pilots "Heathens"
Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons with Logic & Ty Dolla $ign Feat. X Ambassadors "Sucker For Pain"
Twenty One Pilots "Ride"
Twenty One Pilots "Stressed Out"
X Ambassadors "Unsteady"

Top Latin Song:

WINNER: Nicky Jam "Hasta El Amanecer"
Daddy Yankee "Shaky Shaky"
Enrique Iglesias Featuring Wisin "Duele El Corazon"
Shakira Featuring Maluma "Chantaje"
Carlos Vives & Shakira "La Bicicleta"

Top Dance/Electronic Song:

WINNER: The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey "Closer"
The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya "Don't Let Me Down"
Calvin Harris Featuring Rihanna "This Is What You Came For"
Major Lazer Featuring Justin Bieber & MØ "Cold Water"
DJ Snake Featuring Justin Bieber "Let Me Love You"

Top Christian Song:

WINNER: Hillary Scott & The Scott Family "Thy Will"
Lauren Daigle "Trust In You"
Skillet "Feel Invincible"
Ryan Stevenson Featuring GabeReal "Eye Of The Storm"
Zach Williams "Chain Breaker"

Top Gospel Song:

WINNER: Travis Greene "Made A Way"
Jekalyn Carr "You're Bigger"
Tasha Cobbs Featuring Kierra Sheard "Put A Praise On It"
Kirk Franklin "Wanna Be Happy?"
Hezekiah Walker "Better"

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{blackbabes} Aisha Tyler: There are many ‘Kanyes’

 

Aisha Tyler isn't holding back when it comes to Kanye West.

When a fan asked the "Archer" actress about once starring alongside Kanye in a 2004 music video, she responded, "I just want to be very specific, I knew that Kanye. This Kanye and that Kanye, they are two different people. In fact, I think there have been several different Kanyes between."

She went on to explain that Kanye asked her to be in his "Slow Jamz" music video.

"I had a lot of requirements, like I wasn't going to be dropping anything down or backing anything up," she said at New York Magazine's Vulture Festival panel on Saturday.

The video, which also features Jamie Foxx and rapper Twista, takes place at a house party, where Tyler and Kanye are dancing together. Her one line in the song is when she tells Kanye she needs him to "do it faster."

"In a very rare, fleeting moment of self-deprecation, Kanye says, 'I can't do it faster, but I know someone who can' and then we both look into the camera in a brilliant breaking of the fourth wall and it's last time in his life that Kanye's ever been ironic," Tyler told the audience.

One of the other panelists then chimed in, "It was Kanye that invented the fourth wall." Tyler retorted, "He did. That and men wearing skirts, and also self-hate."

This isn't the first time "The Talk" co-host took a dig at the rapper. In 2013, she told Craig Ferguson that he abandoned his talent to become "the straight, black Liberace."

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{blackbabes} Aisha Tyler Ordered to Pay Ex Husband $2 Million in Divorce

 

Aisha Tyler's marriage to Jeff Tietjens is officially over, but she'll still be sending him checks for quite a while.

"The Talk" host and "Archer" actress has been ordered to pay her ex-husband $31,250 per month in spousal support over the next 4 years, plus an additional $500k. Do the math ... that's $2 mil for Jeff.

The 2 will split everything else. Tietjens gets half the money they made from selling their house. He gets the 2012 Lexus and she gets the 2013 Tesla. Aisha also keeps her companies -- BTDO Media and Hot Machine.

We broke the story ... Jeff filed for divorce last year after the couple separated in January 2015. They wed in 1992.

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{blackbabes} Leslie Mann, Janelle Monáe Joining Steve Carell In Robert Zemeckis’ Next Film At Universal Pictures

 

Leslie Mann and Janelle Monáe are set to star opposite Steve Carell in the Untitled Robert Zemeckis Project at Universal Pictures. The project, written by Zemeckis from a screenplay he penned with Caroline Thompson, is about is based on a 2010 documentary called Marwncol. That film follows a man by the name of Mark Hogancamp who is left brain-damaged and broke, finds recovery in a sixth-scale World War II-era town he's built in his backyard. It's really about how artistic imagination can restore the human spirit.  Zemeckis is directing.

Steve Starkey (Forrest Gump, Flight) and Jack Rapke (Cast Away, Flight) of Zemeckis' Universal-based ImageMovers banner are producing with Cherylanne Martin (The Pacific, Flight). Executive producers are Jeff Malmberg (who directed the riveting 2010 documentary) and Jackie Levine.

Universal's VP of production Maradith Frenkel and its director of development Chloe Yellin are overseeing the project for the studio.

Mann (How to Be Single, The Pact) is represented by CAA and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman L.L.P. Monáe (Hidden Figures, Moonlight), is represented by WME and Wondaland Management.

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{blackbabes} Shoe company accused of shocking racism against Serena Williams

 

Managers for the luxury shoe company Gianvito Rossi called tennis star Serena Williams "disgusting" and refused to give her the same discounts as white celebrities, a former employee claims in a stunning new racial discrimination lawsuit.

Whitney Wilburn, who is black, says she was recruited to work for Gianvito Rossi in 2015 from "another Madison Avenue fashion house" where she'd been for five years.

But once she was hired to run the Manhattan boutique, her boss, Grace Mazzilli, was immediately "hostile to Wilburn based upon her race and age," the suit alleges.

Wilburn, 46, claims in the Manhattan civil suit that her "experience with Mazzilli left no doubt about Mazzilli's racial animosity toward African Americans."

"For instance, when the world famous athlete Serena Williams, via her staff, asked for a discount on her extensive purchases, Gianvito managers responded with racially disparaging comments about Ms. Williams which made it clear that the company did not want African American women to wear its shoes," the suit says.

The managers "referred to Ms. Williams as 'disgusting' and refused to offer any discount," according to court papers.

"When later pressured to do so by a contact at Vogue magazine, they offered only a fraction of the discount that white celebrities typically receive," the suit says.

Wilburn also says Mazzilli, who is white, also "threw numerous elaborate dinner parties and social events for all boutiques managed by white employees … while never once holding an event for [her] Madison Avenue store."

She was the only black employee in the company for a year-and-a-half, the suit says.

When Mazzilli fired Wilburn "without warning or formal evaluation" in January 2017, she replaced her with a "much younger white manager," the suit says.

An employee at Gianvito Rossi's Manhattan boutique said Mazzilli was unavailable to comment because she's traveling in Italy. Reps for the company did not immediately return a message.

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{blackbabes} Angela Bassett Boards ‘Mission: Impossible 6’

Angela Bassett (Search for Tomorrow / Ryan's Hope) has signed on to Paramount's Mission: Impossible 6 in which she'll play the C.I.A. director. The Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner for What's Love Got to Do With It starts work next week and joins Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirky and Alec Baldwin in the Christopher McQuarrie-directed sequel.

On April 8, McQuarrie announced on social that he lit the fuse, and kicked off production on M:I 6. The movie comes out July 27, 2018.

Following her work on M:I 6, Bassett heads straight to 20th Century Fox's upcoming 911 series in which she stars and serves as executive producer alongside Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. The 13-episode series centers around 911 operators. Bassett recently wrapped work on Disney/Marvel's Black Panther, due out Feb. 18, in which she plays Ramonda, the stepmother of lead protagonist T'Challa. Last season on FX's American Horror Story: Roanoke, Bassett directed the episode "Chapter 6".

Bassett is repped by Gersh, Lighthouse Entertainment and Fox Rothschild.

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{blackbabes} ‘American Woman’ Casts Diandra Lyle; Chelsea Talmadge Joins ‘Halt And Catch Fire’

Diandra Lyle is set for a recurring role opposite Alicia Silverstone on Paramount Network dramedy American Woman. Set amid the sexual revolution and the rise of second-wave feminism, American Woman follows Bonnie (Silverstone), an unconventional mother struggling to raise her two daughters (Makenna James and Lia Ryan McHugh) after leaving her husband. Lyle will play Louise, Bonnie's co-worker at the department store. Although from completely different backgrounds and experiences, the two of them forge an unlikely and sometimes tumultuous relationship. Diandra Lyle's previous TV credits include guest stars on Rosewood, Chicago Justice, Code Black, Shameless, Shooter. She also wrapped starring roles in the features, The Summoning with Paula Jai Parker, The Choir Director with Christian Keyes and CRU with Keith Robinson. Lyle is repped by BRS/GAGE and Impact Artists Group.

Chelsea Talmadge (Stranger Things, Still The King) has booked a recurring role opposite Kerry Bishé on the fourth and final season of AMC's Halt and Catch Fire, which focuses on the dawn of the computer industry in the 1980s in Texas and California. Talmadge will play Vera, an innocent yet effective Cal Tech graduate and systems architect working for Donna (Bishé). Talmadge recurs as Carol in Netflix's hit series Stranger Things and as Mabel on CMT's Still the King. She also recurred as Grace in Season 2 of PBS' Mercy Street. She's repped by Clear Talent Group, Brevard Talent Group and Impact Artists Group.

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{blackbabes} Dominant Williams sees off Konta to reach Rome quarters

 

(Reuters) - Venus Williams powered into the Italian Open quarter-finals on Thursday with a dominant 6-1 3-6 6-1 victory over fifth seed Johanna Konta.

Williams, who had lost her last three encounters with the British number one, showed no signs of nerves as she dictated play from the baseline and broke Konta twice in the first set.

Konta recovered to take the second set and level the match but Williams, who won the Rome title in 1999, came back spectacularly with a decisive double break in the third set.

The American will meet either defending champion Garbine Muguruza or Germany's Julia Georges in the quarter-finals.

Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit, who defeated world number one Angelique Kerber on Wednesday, continued to build momentum with a 6-1 6-1 victory over 16th-seed Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Sixth-seed Simona Halep marched past Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 4-6 6-0 in the other third-round clash. The Romanian will face Kontaveit in the quarter-finals.

Unseeded Daria Gavrilova stunned Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the final eight of the competition with a 2-6 7-5 6-4 victory.

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{blackbabes} Jay Z and Beyoncé worth more than $1B

 

Jay-Z and Beyoncé are officially a $1 billion couple.

Forbes magazine on Wednesday announced its list of richest, self-made women and pegged her personal wealth at $350 million.

In its rankings of top hip-hop acts last week, Forbes estimated Jay-Z's wealth at $810 million — making Mr. and Mrs. Carter worth a combined $1.16 billion.

Beyoncé, 35, makes no apology for her fabulous wealth.

"I'm never satisfied," she told Forbes. "I've never met anyone that works harder than me in the industry."

Beyonce and Jay-Z, 47, have one daughter, 5-year-old Blue Ivy, and are expecting twins shortly.

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{blackbabes} ESPN Nets Serena Williams And Savages Blizzard Of Viewer Stats: Upfronts

 

On Broadway's Minskoff Theatre stage, where The Lion King roars eight times a week, Disney arm ESPN launched its upfront presentation to advertisers with a mix of gallows humor and star power. The presentation began with a New Orleans jazz band tooting the classic dirge, "St. James Infirmary Blues," as dancers spun around in mock mourning, presumably for the crisis in ad sales. Then the skies brightened and the Voice of God assured the assembled buyers that "everything is going to be alright" and ESPN could assure them of  "a space where advertising feels like heaven."

ESPN president and co-chairman of the Disney and ESPN Media Networks John Skipper took aim at the blizzard of stats he said cable competitors use to parse the drop-off in viewership by inflating numbers with +3 and +7 viewers and the like. ESPN, he assured, doesn't "care about every impression on every screen," sticking instead with number of viewers over "24 hours, third-party verified, in one environment." The accompanying graphics –  incomprehensible charts with arrows going every which way projected above him – drove home the point with Mad magazine-style humor.

Several programming announcements followed, along with a few surprise guests. First among them was tennis superstar Serena Williams, fresh off the revelation that the winner of 23 Grand Slam singles tournaments was pregnant when she prevailed at the Australian Open in January. Williams helped promote Mike Greenberg's new upcoming morning show, slated to have its premiere on New Year's Day from Gotham. In a faux-man cave setting with distressed leather couches, Greenberg, aka Greeny, asked Williams about her latest triumph and maternity leave.

"I've been trying to stay calm," she said. "Right now, I'm focused on me and the baby, of course. I just want to come back and compete again," undoubtedly hoping to break Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam trophies. Williams also gave a swell plug to the US Open, calling it "the biggest tournament for me…The crowd is more involved; here in New York, no one's quiet."

Among the other athletes to appear were retired NBA All Star Paul Pierce, and 76ers center Joel Embiid, who told singer Kelly Rowland he hoped she'd introduce him to Rihanna because … well, let him explain: "I mean, look at myself," Embiid, who's recovering from knee surgery, said. "I'm 7-2, I'm good looking. Women usually love my accent because I'm from Cameroon. And I'm pretty intelligent, too."

In an interlude that's become increasingly common at network upfronts, a segment was given over to some sharp self-spoofing, in this case by SportsCenter anchor Kenny Mayne. He was flown down from the flies, wearing angel wings (first joke, referring to his descent: "this is a subtle reference to the power of cable"). Dropping F-bombs like cookie crumbs, Mayne managed to take digs at the advertising environment while simultaneously making it clear they couldn't live without one another.

Driving the point home, the final announcement of the presentation was a promise of greater interactivity with the parent Mouse that will "allow customers to tap into assets across the Walt Disney Company" and provide advertisers with "unique access to valuable Disney data, insights and technology."

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{blackbabes} ABC Competition Boy Band Recruits Rita Ora, Nick Carter and Baby Spice

Boy Band ABC

ABC is looking to shape the future of pop music with a little help from those who came before.

At the network's upfront presentation on Tuesday, it was announced that songstress Rita Ora — fresh off a one-season stint as the host of America's Next Top Model on VH1 — will host Boy Band, a reality singing competition premiering Thursday, June 22 at 8/7c.

Additionally, Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter and Spice Girls' Emma Bunton will join the series as "architects," which are described as "experts who will guide contestants throughout their journey to stardom."

As if all of the above wasn't enough, Carter ended Tuesday's presentation by reuniting with his fellow Backstreet Boys for a performance of — what else? — "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)."

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{blackbabes} Serena Williams, Biles join LA's 2024 Games bid

 

LOS ANGELES, May 12 (Reuters) - Tennis player Serena Williams and gymnast Simone Biles are the latest leading athletes to lend their names to the campaign to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Los Angeles, the city's bid committee said on Friday.

Williams, the women's world number one, and Biles, a four-times Olympic gold medallist, bring to 99 the number of U.S. and international athletes appointed to the LA 2024 Athletes' Advisory Commission.

Among the 44 members added on Friday to the commission, whose aim is to ensure athletes are involved in all aspects of the city's plans and bid for the Games, were Olympic champions Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Ashton Eaton and Nastia Liukin.

Williams, who rose from playing on the cracked, public hard courts of Compton - not far from where the tennis competition will be held in 2024 should LA win the bid - as an African American woman to world number one by the age of 20 in a largely white sport, was eager to join the committee.

"Growing up in Los Angeles taught me that anyone can succeed as long as they have dreams and goals," Williams, a four-times Olympic gold medallist, said in a statement.

"Los Angeles embodies the optimistic spirit that allows kids like me to become athletes and Olympians."

Los Angeles is competing with Paris for the right to stage the 2024 sports extravaganza. The host city will be announced at a vote in Lima, Peru, in September.

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{blackbabes} Venus Williams To Topline Female-Focused Business Series Produced by 3 Ball

 

Venus Williams is teaming with Bar Rescue producer 3 Ball Entertainment on a new unscripted female-focused business series Deals in Heels (working title).

The tennis icon, entrepreneur and Olympic gold medalist will appear in and executive produce the series, alongside 3 Ball executive producers Todd A. Nelson, Ross Weintraub and DJ Nurre.

In each episode, five up-and-coming entrepreneurs "pitch" the panel on their start-up idea. The two women whose businesses show the most promise will be invited up to the "executive suite" for a deeper dive into their companies. If their business plans measure up, the panel will dedicate one month toward mentoring the entrepreneurs on all aspects of their businesses in preparation for critical upcoming sales benchmarks – which could make or break the companies. At the end of the month, the two entrepreneurs return to the executive suite to re-pitch, but after review and negotiations only one startup will receive an investment from the panel.

"As an advocate for gender and pay equality, I'm thrilled to be working with 3 Ball Entertainment on this project that fosters and supports trailblazing women who are actively pursuing their professional aspirations," said Williams.

Also attached to the series as co-executive producers are Staness Jonekos and Deborah Perry Piscone. Jonekos is founder and CEO of Eat Like a Woman by Nessta Life, Inc. providing nutritional solutions for women, as well as a published author, award-winning television producer and director, and women's health advocate. She was one of the original executive producers who launched the television network Oxygen Media, co-founded by Oprah Winfrey, Geraldine Laybourne, Tom Werner, Marcy Carsey and Caryn Mandabach.

Piscone is the CEO and creator of Alley to the Valley, a community of the world's most influential women in venture, entrepreneurship, business, politics and media. She is a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur, national bestselling author and public speaker, as well as a principal of Vorto Consulting, an innovation consultancy firm that focuses on growth.

"From sports and fashion to publishing and social activism, there is not an arena Venus Williams hasn't conquered," said 3 Ball Executive Vice President, Programming and Development, DJ Nurre. "Teaming with the mega-successful Staness Jonekos and Deborah Perry Piscone, we're confident these women can deliver both a powerful perspective and tangible results, helping to empower and inspire a new wave of entrepreneurs."

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