NASCAR driver Jason Leffler died Wednesday night after his car crashed into a wall during a dirt-car race in southern New Jersey. Per Reuters, the crash happened during a heat race at the Bridgeport Speedway in Logan township, and the 37-year-old was pronounced dead shortly after 9 p.m. after being rushed to Crozier Hospital in Chester, Penn., which is just across the Delaware River from the race track. NEWS: Indian police arrest boyfriend in Bollywood actress' suicide Leffler, who famously emblazoned the nickname "LefTurn" on the window of his race cars, had twice won the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and he spent the later part of his 10-year racing career participating in dirt-car races In a statement posted on Twitter, NASCAR expressed its sorrow over the tragic death of the racing pro, who is survived by a 5-year-old son, Charlie Dean. "NASCAR extends its thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the family of Jason Leffler who passed away earlier this evening," the organization said. "For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed." Doug Stokes said in a statement for Irwindale Speedway: "A good friend of the track, and a great driver, Jason Leffler, passed away from injuries sustained in a racing accident in Bridgeport, New Jersey earlier this evening. Jason was one of very best, always ready to race, always ready to make friends. He made a lot of them in his short time among us...Our most sincere condolences to his…... [read more]
Danica Patrick's marriage has reached the finish line. The famous female NASCAR driver and Go Daddy! commercial star announced today that she and husband of seven years, Paul Hospenthal, have decided to file for divorce. "I am sad to inform my fans that after 7 years, Paul and I have decided to amicably end our marriage," she wrote on her Facebook page. Are Kris and Bruce Jenner really getting a divorce?! "This isn't easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this. He has been an important person and friend in my life and that's how we will remain moving forward." Hospenthal, a physical therapist who is 17 years older than the 30-year-old driver, met Patrick while treating her for a non-racing injury. The news comes right after Patrick won the Nationwide Series' most popular driver award last night. "Omg! Thank u fans for voting me most popular driver for the 2012 @nascar_nns series! Y'all are the best! U heard me. Y'all," she tweeted. Danica Patrick reportedly filed for divorce on Jan. 3, 2013, in the Superior Court of Arizona, citing an "irretrievably broken" marriage with her husband. Another big celebrity split to add to the list... [read more]
HOLDING HER TONGUE: Martha Stewart will not be taking the stand to defend herself in her stock fraud trial, her lawyer said. Stewart's defense team is expected to start and end its case Wednesday, and closing arguments could begin as soon as Thursday. IS IT A GOOD THING? A federal judge on Monday postponing her decision to drop the charges against Martha Stewart and her former stockbroker. COSBY SHOW: Bill Cosby making an appearance at Martha Stewart's stock fraud trial Monday in a show of support for his friend. CONFLICTED: Justin Timberlake backing out of cohosting ABC's Motown 45 special because of a scheduling conflict with the filming of his first movie, Edison. NOT PLAYING: Martin Lawrence sued for more than $25,000 by a woman he allegedly struck in the jaw while attending a party at the Playboy Mansion on Jan. 18. A hearing in the case has been set for June 7. BAD PENNY: Christian rock band Sixpence None the Richer revealing their decision to break up in the pages of CCM magazine. HUSTLER: Baseball great and gambler Pete Rose will be the subject of the ESPN movie Hustle, set to begin production this spring. CLASSIC ACT: Mary Tyler Moore, Andy Griffith, Marlo Thomas and Danny Devito set to appear at the second annual TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic Television. Brad Garrett will host the two-hour special, which will air March 17. GET LOST: Eminem's music publisher is suing Apple Computer Inc. for using his song "Lose…... [read more]
ANALYSIS/OPINION: When you look at a photo of the great 1976 United States Olympic boxing team — the greatest this country has ever produced, this year being the 40th anniversary of that squad — you see, of course, Sugar Ray Leonard and the start of a legendary Hall of Fame career. You see the Spinks brothers, Michael and Leon, both of whom would go on to become heavyweight champions — Michael moving up after dominating the light heavyweight division to upset Larry Holmes for the championship, and Leon shocking the world by taking the title away from Muhammad Ali after just seven professional fights. You see two other gold medal winners — Howard Davis and Leo Randolph, plus a silver medalist, local boxing coach Charles Mooney, and a bronze winner, future heavyweight champion John Tate. Mixed in with those medal winners and African-American boxers was one little-known white kid from Mesa, Arizona — Chuck Walker, the tap-dancing fighter who may have fallen victim to the Cold War in his bid to join his teammates on the medal stand when he lost a disputed 3-2 decision in the second round to eventual gold medal winner Jerry Rybicki from Poland. “I said it then, and I’ll say it now and won’t back down a bit — there is no question I won the fight,” Walker, 59, said. “Everyone knew I won it. That fight wasn’t shown on television because it was such a robbery. Howard Cosell thought I won the fight. The…... [read more]
Rachel Dolezal Breaks Her Silence in Today Interview After Stepping Down From NAACP, Says "I Identify as Black"
NBC News’ “TODAY”/Anthony Quintano NBC News’ “TODAY”/Anthony Quintano Rachel Dolezal, the former NAACP Spokane chapter president who was accused of lying about her race, told Today's Matt Lauer Tuesday that she identifies as black—something she started doing at age 5. "I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon," she recalled. That said, she added, "It was a little more complex than me identifying as black." Matt noted she has given "mixed signals" about her race, so the journalist asked her point blank if she is an "African American woman." Rachel replied, "I identify as black." Matt showed Rachel a picture taken during her teen years and asked her to define her racial identity at the time. "I would say visually she would be identified as white by people who see her," she said. Matt followed up by asking, "At the time, were you identifying yourself as African American?" Rachel replied, "In that picture, during that time, no." At the beginning of the interview, Matt asked Rachel about the backlash, saying, "Did this come as a surprise to you, or did you always expect that the lid would be blown off your story at some point?" She replied, "The timing of it was a shock. I mean, wow. The timing was completely unexpected. As to the second question, I did feel that at some point I would need to address the complexity of my identity." On Monday afternoon, Rachel resigned from her position as president of…... [read more]
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images; Disney Has Emma Watson' Belle's boorish, brainless and gorgeous suitor Gaston been found? Luke Evans, last seen as Bard the Bowman in the trilogy The Hobbit, is in negotiations to play the part of the part of the handsome villain in Disney's upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast movie. Walt Disney Studios has not commented, but Evans tweeted a link to Variety's report on the casting coup. Watson, 24, revealed in January that she had been cast as heroine Belle, adding, "Time to start some singing lessons." VIDEO: Girl calls out Disney World's Gaston, another owns him in arm-wrestling contest Evans, a 35-year-old Welsh actor, is also known for roles in films such as Robin Hood, The Three Musketeers, Dracula Untold and Fast & Furious, in which he played the villain Owen Shaw. Evans also has musical theater experience—he's starred in London and other U.K. productions of shows such as Miss Saigon, Avenue Q and Rent, in which he played Roger. The Wrap also reported that Eddie Redmayne, 33, who showcased his singing skills in the film Les Misérables and last month won an Oscar for The Theory of Everything, had previously been approached for the role of Gaston but passed. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn's Bill Condon is directing the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie, based on the beloved 1991 animated movie, one of the most popular Disney flicks of all time and winner of Oscars for Best Music, Original Song and Best Music,…... [read more]
From Girls' Night In to Motorcycle Rides, WWE Divas Paige, Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes are The Three Amigas—See the Fun Pics!
People know them as WWE Divas Paige, Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes, but they prefer to call themselves The Three Amigas! Always together on Total Divas, these three ladies love hanging out and spending time together, whether they're out partying or just goofing off backstage at the WWE arena. Each Diva is different in her own way, but they all have one thing in common—they love to have a good time! Not to say that there haven't been a few rough moments in their friendship, like when Rosa put the moves on Paige which led to an awkward situation, but there's nothing these ladies can't get through together and at the end of the day, they're a sexier version of The Three Musketeers. VIDEO: WWE Diva Ariane surprises her suffering father From fun face mask sessions during a girls' night in to wild motorcycle rides, this is one trio that knows how to have fun. Click on the gallery below to see more pics of The Three Amigas in action! Tune-in to a brand new episode of Total Divas this Sunday, March 1 at 9/8c on E! PHOTOS: The Total Divas' Three Amigas... [read more]
Well, it appears Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr's split is very amicable. The newly separated couple reunited and was seen for the first time in public on Saturday, Oct. 26 in New York City with their 2 1/2-year-old son, Flynn. The trio was spotted taking a stroll in Central Park on the nice fall day and were all smiles for their casual outing. Bloom and Kerr even walked arm-in-arm, while the 30-year-old supermodel carried their adorable boy. Before departing for his Romeo and Juliet performance, Bloom gave Flynn and Miranda goodbye kisses. On Friday, Oct. 25, the pair entered the same apartment building, minutes apart. PHOTOS: Miranda Kerr Steps Out in New York Following Separation Announcement, Orlando Bloom Seen Minutes Later Earlier on Friday, TMZ caught up with Bloom and when asked if he and Kerr are still friends, the Three Musketeers star said, "we're family, not friends. We're family." Reps for Bloom and Kerr confirmed exclusively to E! News that they had separated after three years of marriage on Thursday, Oct. 24. "After six years together, they have recently decided to formalize their separation," the British actor's rep told E! News. "Despite this being the end of their marriage, they love, support and respect each other as both parents of their son and as family." PHOTOS: Orlando & Miranda's family album... [read more]
Miranda Kerr Steps Out in New York Following Separation Announcement, Orlando Bloom Seen Minutes Later
Miranda Kerrwas seen for the first time since announcing her split from husband, Orlando Bloom, on Friday, Oct. 25 in New York City. The 30-year-old Australian put on a brave face as she made her way into her New York City apartment, and even managed to give photographers a slight smile. The model looked casual chic, sporting a white T-shirt, a black leather jacket, black leggings and black booties. She finished the look with bright red lipstick and shades, despite it being nighttime. The British actor followed Kerr inside five minutes later, arriving just after his Broadway performance of Romeo and Juliet. PHOTO: Orlando Bloom Steps Out in New York Following Separation Announcement The 36-year-old was wearing a black jacket, jeans, black and orange sneakers and a black baseball cap. Earlier in the day, TMZ caught up with Bloom and when asked if he and Kerr are still friends, the Three Musketeers star said, "we're family, not friends. We're family." Reps for Bloom and Kerr confirmed exclusively to E! News that they had separated after three years of marriage on Thursday, Oct. 24. They had been a couple since 2007 and married in July 2010. They are parents to 2 1/2-year-old son Flynn and, minus an appearance all together on Oct. 7, the pair had been spending a lot of time apart, with Flynn out with only one or the other in most photos. Earlier Thursday, Bloom taped what turned out to be Friday's episode of Live! With Kelly and…... [read more]
Orlando Bloom had to go about his day, one way or another. The British actor was spotted leaving his TriBeCa apartment today, just hours after reps for him and Miranda Kerrconfirmed exclusively to E! News that they had separated after three years of marriage. They had been a couple since 2007. Bloom is currently starring on Broadway opposite Condola Rashad in Romeo and Juliet—and the show was going on as usual tonight at the Richard Rogers Theatre. He and Kerr are parents to 2 1/2-year-old son Flynn and, minus an appearance all together on Oct. 7, he and his model wife had been spending a lot of time apart, with Flynn out with only one or the other in most photos. PHOTOS: Surprising celebrity splits TMZ caught up with Bloom on his way out in NYC and the actor, a script tucked under his arm and a baseball cap tucked over his head, said that "it's all...in the statement, really, it's all there," when asked if there was any particular reason for the split. Also asked if he and Kerr are still friends, the Three Musketeers star said, "We're family, not friends. We're family." As he got into a waiting car, he added what sounded like, "Life's a mystery, things don't always work out the way you want, but it's all good." Bloom and Kerr's reps said in a joint statement last night: "After six years together, they have recently decided to formalize their separation. Despite this being the end…... [read more]
Jimmie Johnson was right. All week he had tried to get under Brad Keselowski’s skin by pointing out all the little things – and some of the big things – that could go wrong to put potholes in the Penske Racing team’s seemingly easy road to the Sprint Cup championship. It didn’t seem to rattle Keselowski, but Johnson persevered. As matters developed, those gremlins indeed showed up during the race. Trouble for Johnson was, they bit his team, not Keselowski’s. And that was the supreme irony of Keselowski’s march into the NASCAR throne room Sunday night. The almost always perfect No. 48 team wilted, and Penske Racing’s steady challengers did not. That was one of the things that stood out in crew chief Paul Wolfe’s head in the hours following the race. “Just to be able to battle the 48 like we did, and we both won races in the Chase, we both had some races where we didn’t run well, but I think when you look at what they’ve been able to accomplish over the last whatever – 10 years, say, they’re definitely the best at this game,” Wolfe said. “I think that even makes it more special for me to know that we went head-to-head with those guys all the way down to the last race.” Wolfe was part of the blaze of firsts that lit up Sunday night. A former Nationwide Series driver, he scored his first championship as a crew chief. It was Keselowski’s first title,…more detail