Serena Williams was knocked out of the first round of the Silicon Valley Classic, San Jose, this month by Johanna Konta in what is being called one of the biggest defeats of her career.
The match was over in 53 minutes, with Johanna emerging victorious in a stunning 6-1 6-0 victory, something Serena has since explained in a recent interview with Time Magazine.
Explaining the heavily-discussed match, Serena opened up about the extenuating circumstances that led to her ‘underperformance’.
The 36-year-old recalled how she found out that her sister’s killer had been released from prison just minutes before the match, reportedly seeing the news on Instagram.
Serena and Venus’ half-sister, Yetunde Price, was shot dead in a 2003 drive-by shooting in Los Angeles by Robert Maxfield, who was sentenced to 15 years in jail.
Minutes before taking to the court, Serena discovered that Maxfield had been released on parole three years early, due to good behaviour’ – something that she admitted distracted her from the match.
‘I couldn’t shake it out of my mind,’ Serena explained in her interview with Time. ‘It was hard because all I think about is her kids – what they meant to me and how much I love them.’
She continued: ‘No matter what, my sister is not coming back for good behaviour. It’s unfair that she’ll never have an opportunity to hug me.’
When asked if she has forgiven her sister’s killer, she replied: ‘I’m not there yet. I would like to practice what I preach, and teach Olympia that as well. I want to forgive. I have to get there. I’ll be there.’
Speaking to Hello! magazine back in 2015, Meghan explained how the watch, which she bought herself, had a special significance:
“I’ve always coveted the Cartier French Tank watch. When I found out Suits had been picked up for our third season—which, at the time, felt like such a milestone—I totally splurged and bought the two-tone version.”
The Duchess also revealed the watch was engraved with a unique message, which reads “To M.M. From M.M.”
“I plan to give it to my daughter one day”, Meghan told the magazine. “That’s what makes pieces special, the connection you have to them”.
It’s worth noting that Princess Diana had her own Cartier Tank watch, which could have inspired Meghan prior to her joining the royal family herself.
Forbes has just released its annual top earning actress list and surprisingly, the number one spot has gone to a star who didn’t even make the top ten last year.
Scarlett Johansson raked in a mind-blowing $40.5 million, largely thanks to her role as Black Widow in the Avengers series. She has quadrupled her 2017 earnings to take the number one position.
Other top earners who made the list include Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis and Gal Gadot. A number of last year’s top ten did not make this year’s, such as Emma Stone (she owed her number one spot last year mainly to her La La Land success), Emma Watson and Amy Adams.
The list takes into account not only the actresses’ movie payouts, but things like endorsement deals which can boost earnings significantly.
Take a look at the 2018 top earning actresses here:
10. Gal Gadot ($10 million)
9. Melissa McCarthy ($12 million)
8. Cate Blanchett ($12.5 million)
7. Julia Roberts ($13 million)
6. Mila Kunis ($16 million)
5. Reese Witherspoon ($16.5 million)
4. Jennifer Lawrence ($18 million)
3. Jennifer Aniston ($19.5 million)
2. Angelina Jolie ($28 million)
1. Scarlett Johansson ($40.5 million)
This week the 72-year-old caused a storm, after he paid a controversial tribute to the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, who it was announced had tragically died this week.
The Respect singer was the embodiment of 60s female empowerment. A mother at 12 and Queen of Soul by the time she was 24, she belted out powerful inspirational lyrics about feminism, while proudly telling it how it is. She was an icon – even going on to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
But when Donald Trump came to make his tribute to the late feminist icon, he seemed to focus on something else, crediting the late Queen of Soul for ‘working for him on numerous occasions’.
Yes, that’s right. Donald Trump thanked the legend that is Aretha Franklin for working for him – and no one’s happy about it.
‘I want to begin today by expressing my condolences to the family of a person I knew well. She worked for me on numerous occasions. She was terrific – Aretha Franklin – on her passing,’ Trump reportedly opened a White House cabinet meeting.
He then continued: ‘She’s brought joy to millions of lives and her extraordinary legacy will thrive and inspire many generations to come. She was given a great gift from God – her voice, and she used it well. People loved Aretha. She was a special woman. So just want to pass on my warmest best wishes and sympathies to her family.’
‘In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart,’ Aretha’s family announced in a statement, released to CNN. ‘We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.’
The statement continued: ‘We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.’
Our thoughts are with Aretha Franklin’s loved ones.
The now Duchess of Sussex carried scented sweet peas, lily of the valley and jasmine in her bouquet, adding forget-me-nots and white roses in a nod to Princess Diana, and sprigs of myrtle to comply with royal tradition.
But who caught the stunning bouquet? Well, actually no one.
While most weddings involve the famous bouquet toss, determining who is going to be the next to walk down the aisle, royal weddings are a little different, with the bride actually keeping her flowers for a special reason.
Royal brides always leave a bouquet at the grave of an Unknown warrior in London’s Westminster Abbey – a tradition started by the Queen Mother, so even though the royal couple wed in Windsor, Meghan’s bouquet was driven to London where it was laid as a tribute.
It’s important to remember however that royal brides carry two bouquets – just in case one gets lost after personal experience from the Queen – so provided Meghan didn’t lose her original bouquet, she might have kept her spare flowers.
But it is Meghan’s dad that has caused the most drama, with it even reported this week that the royal family is considering an ‘aggressive strategy’ to stop his constant involvement with the press.
There was the ongoing drama of whether he would be walking her down the aisle, his staged photographs for the press, and of course the multiple TV appearances, even talking about Princess Diana in some controversial comments this month, announcing it would be his last ever interview.
Thomas even opened up this week about a heated phone call with Prince Harry, telling The Mail on Sunday how he ended up hanging up on the 33-year-old, telling the couple that they probably wanted him dead.
We all were hoping that someone might have a private word with the 74-year-old, but let’s just say that if they have, it doesn’t seem to have sunk in.
It was reported today in fact that he is launching a clothing line.
Yes, Thomas Markle is launching a menswear clothing line, according to his daughter and Meghan’s half-sister, Samantha Grant.
‘So excited about my father’s new clothing line for men! Will keep you posted,’ Samantha posted to her personal Twitter account, previously announcing that he should ‘start his own line of hoodies for older men’.
The palace has yet to respond to the announcement, but it’s unlikely that the royals will be too pleased.
It’s pretty hard to stop your heart melting a little bit when you see the snap of Princess Charlotte waving or Prince Louis’ first official portrait.
But you might not know that, contrary to royal tradition, Kensington Palace previously revealed that it is often Kate behind the camera.
Yes that’s right, not only did she do the school run the day after giving birth to Prince Louis, she’s also basically a professional photographer.
Kate reportedly has a real love for photography but that’s not the only reason she opts to take the snaps herself instead of hiring a photographer.
Will and Kate have an understanding with the British media that lets them share portraits of these special moments in exchange for general privacy for their children day to day.
‘Nothing is a given, but in terms of managing to keep a good relationship with the British media, it’s in William and Kate’s interest to release photos’, royal commentator Victoria Arbiter told Cosmopolitan.
Meanwhile, we’re just wondering if there’s anything she can’t do.
Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin has sadly passed away today in Detroit at 76 years old. Her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn revealed that after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, Aretha sadly passed away earlier this morning surrounded by family and friends. The singer was said to have been ‘sick for a long time’ and had been under the watch of hospice workers at her home in Detroit.
According to CNN, her family released a statement which read, ‘In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.’
They continued, ‘We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.’
A source told Entertainment Tonight previously that doctors were ‘managing the process’ and continued, ‘She has been having lucid moments and she is at peace with her journey. She is where she is supposed to be, at home and surrounded by only love.’
Franklin, who is renowned for hits like Respect and Think, was widely regarded as the Queen of Soul with an unforgettable voice. A prominent Civil Rights activist and feminist icon, her songs were quickly adopted by movements as anthems of social change and she eventually sang at the funeral of Martin Luther King. Jr. Over the past several decades, her songs have topped chart after chart and last performed at a charity gala in support of the Elton John Aids Foundation. After that, she announced that she would be retiring to spend time with her family.
The singer was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010 and prior to her death, an insider revealed to Entertainment Tonight that she ‘has been sick for a long time but didn’t want to share her pain with the world’. A spokesperson for Franklin also revealed that she prior to her passing, she had been visited by her nephew as well as longtime collaborator and friend Stevie Wonder who she was set to release an album with.
The singer enjoyed major success in her lifetime and came from a musical family, as her father Clarence Franklin, a Baptist preacher, was a gospel singer and pianist. While she had some early difficulties with her initial record label Columbia, she catapulted to fame in the late 1960s and was even awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005 for ‘capturing the hearts of millions of Americans’. Bush wasn’t the last president that she would impress however, as she would later go onto perform at President Obama’s inauguration and even made him cry during a performance of (You
Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman at the Kennedy Center.
A source told Entertainment Tonight, ‘She’s loved her life and in the last year talked so much about her incredible memories. She has earned the title as the Queen of Soul and that is how she wants to be remembered.’
Aretha was the embodiment of 60s female empowerment. A mother at 12 and Queen of Soul by the time she was 24, she belted out powerful inspirational lyrics about respect, while proudly telling it how it is.
Here are 12 of our favourite Aretha Franklin quotes…
1. ‘Falling out of love is like losing weight. It’s a lot easier putting it on than taking it off.’
2. ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Take care, TCB.’
3. I sing to the realists; people who accept it like it is.’
4. ‘Trying to grow up is hurting, you know you make mistakes. You try to learn from them, and when you don’t, it hurts even more.’
5. ‘Don’t say Aretha is making a comeback, because I’ve never been away!’
6. ‘We say, sisters are doin’ it for themselves. Standin’ on their own two feet and ringin’ on their own bells. We say, sisters are doin’ it for themselves.’
7. ‘I’m a big woman – I need big hair.’
8. ‘Now, occasionally I will still have that quarter pounder because I love fast food, but you have to keep it to a minimum.’
9. ’52 years of recording for other people. I thought at this point, it’s time for you to record for yourself. So that way there wouldn’t be so many spoons in the soup. There would just be one Aretha spoon in the soup.’
10. ‘Who hasn’t had a weight issue? If not the body, certainly the big head!’
11. ‘I’m a red-blooded girl… in love with love.’
12. ‘The man who gets me, is getting one hell of a woman.’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot three months ago, saying their ‘I Dos’ in a star-studded ceremony at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
From Meghan’s iconic Givenchy dress and the (very) eventful after-party to the A-list royal wedding guests and royal wedding photographs, there was plenty to talk about, but it wasn’t any of these that had the world buzzing this week.
Instead, the royal wedding was on everyone’s lips today because of a previously unseen clip of the royal wedding, capturing a sweet moment between sisters-in-law, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton.
Yes, three months after the wedding and we all managed to miss quite possibly the sweetest moment at the ceremony.
After rewatching the BBC footage, eagle-eyed viewers spotted a woman looking suspiciously like Kate handing Meghan her bridal bouquet as she made her grand entrance into St George’s Chapel, and before she walked herself down the aisle.
Yes – obviously the internet went into meltdown, hypothesising that Kate Middleton was a secret maid of honour, tasked with the important duty.
The two women are known to be close, with Kate taking Meghan under her wing – especially amid the Markle family drama – but if this clip is correct, it proves that the Duchess duo were just as tight before the wedding.
It is important to note however that the mysterious bouquet-giver might not be the Duchess, with it being just a theory.
It’s a commonly-known fact that a huge amount of women are actually wearing the wrong sized bra (80%, in fact). But a recent video by Victoria’s Secret revealed even top models can get it wrong when it comes to their sizings.
Victoria’s Secret models Barbara Palvin, Alexina Graham, Josephine Skriver and and Lais Ribeiro all feature in the brand’s latest video that shows them being fitted for new bras. Surprisingly, the expert fitting them reveals they are actually all wearing the wrong sized bras.
Each model tells the camera at the beginning what size they think they are and what they are currently wearing. Alexina says 32B, Josephine 32C and Barbara 32B. Lais admits she is unsure as she’s never had a fitting.
The experts then examine their current bras and take measurements. From underwires incorrectly laying flat under the breasts to cups digging in at the top and ‘spillage’ on the sides, the experts found plenty of issues with the women’s current bras.
The women’s new measurements are revealed at the end of the video, and they have all changed. Alexina went up from a 32B to a 32D, Josephine from a 32C to a 32D, Barbara from a 32B to a 32C, and Lais was advised to wear a 32DD.
Although we’re fully aware this is a promotional video for Victoria’s Secret and their range of underwear, it’s a gentle reminder to get fitted regularly to ensure you’re getting the right daily support.