Bigger Paydays, Famous Friends and a Little Heartbreak: All the Ways Life Has Changed for Queer Eye’s Fab Five in Only a Year

Queer Eye Season 3All things just keep getting better.
At least, that’s been the case for Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness–aka your new Fab Five–ever since…

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Report: Jussie Smollett Staged Attack After Racist Letter Didn’t Get ‘Bigger Reaction’

Richard Shotwell/AP

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett reportedly staged an attack against himself in late January after a “racist” letter sent to the TV show’s studio, which contained a white powder, did not get a “bigger reaction,” according to a local Chicago news station.

A source told CBS Chicago the actor allegedly “concocted” the “staged” Jan. 29 attack and paid his “acquaintances”—brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo—over $ 3,000 to carry it out.

Smollett reportedly opened the letter on Jan. 22 at Chicago’s Cinespace Studios, and the white powder prompted a HAZMAT team to respond. Chicago Police Department told the news station that the substance turned out to be asprin. Cinespace Studios would not comment to The Daily Beast about the incident. Fox, “Empire’s” network, also declined to provide comment or confirmation.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘It’s Bigger Than My Team Lost.’ New Orleans Saints Fan on Why He’s Using Billboards to Call Out Referees

Thousands of Saints fans left the Superdome feeling utterly devastated following New Orleans’ overtime loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Sunday’s NFC Championship game — a sentiment that almost any diehard sports fan can relate to.

But when local car dealership owner Matt Bowers woke up the next morning no less distraught about the game’s outcome, he decided to find an outlet for his emotions. Bowers, like many of his fellow Saints fans, felt that the team had been robbed of a trip to the 2019 Super Bowl by a controversial pass interference no-call late in the fourth quarter.

“I walked out [of the stadium] with 75,000 people and regardless of your background or your age, you could look a person in the eye from across the room and you knew exactly how they felt in that moment. Because I felt the same. I think the overwhelming feeling was powerless. Everybody had just seen what happened and what it meant to our city and our team and there was just nothing that you could do about it,” he told TIME. “So I said what can I do? How can I let somebody know how I feel?”

So while some Saints fans were filing lawsuits or starting Change.org petitions, Bowers chose to rent out a number of billboards in the area surrounding Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium to voice his displeasure. By broadcasting messages like “Saints Got Robbed” and “NFL Bleaux It” in the city where the Super Bowl will take place on Feb. 3, Bowers says that he is calling out the league for what he saw as a blatant officiating error.

“It’s bigger than my team lost. I think 55 million people from around the world, in real time, witnessed what happened. They threw their own flag — from the sofa, from the bar, from Kansas City, wherever they were,” he explained. “And I think you’re never going to convince me that the paid professionals sent by the NFL to do that game somehow didn’t see what was plain and obvious to 55 million people. So it’s my opinion that the situation in that game, which would’ve ended the game, influenced the call. I think people deserve to know the truth and I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that….I’m saying what I think millions and millions of people support and believe. It just happened to be the Saints. It could’ve been any team.”

The Rams will play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3.

Sports – TIME

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Why Sunday’s AFC Championship Game Is a Bigger Deal for Patrick Mahomes Than Tom Brady

It’s been a bounce-back season for the NFL. Scoring is up, with the four most offensively potent teams in the league — the Kansas City Chiefs, the Los Angeles Rams, the New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots — reaching the conference championship round. Pro football feels fun again. Defense wins championships? Bollocks. After a down year in 2017, TV ratings have risen.

So it’s only fitting that in a bullish year for football, fans are treated with one particularly dreamy matchup on conference championship Sunday, Jan. 20. That’ll be when the Kansas City Chiefs, led by their stunningly talented second-year quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, host the House of Brady, the New England Patriots, in the AFC title game. (The New Orleans Saints play the Los Angeles Rams in the Big Easy in Sunday’s other matchup.)

The Mahomes-Brady duel counts as nothing less than an intergenerational battle for the heart and soul of the NFL. Hyperbole? Maybe. It’s just sports, though, so let’s run with it.

As NFL playoff games go, the stakes are serious. Brady, the only quarterback who owns five Super Bowl trophies, has set new standards for football excellence. His quinoa and avocado ice cream diet, irritating though it may be, is paying off: at 41, he’s playing in a record eighth straight conference championship. On the home side of the ball, Mahomes is football’s version of Stephen Curry. Clips of his “are you friggin’ kidding me” plays — throws with his weak hand, and sidearm, and across his body and without looking and on the run — light up the internet, like Curry’s ridiculous three-pointers. This season Mahomes, 23, became just the second-ever quarterback to throw for at least 5,000 yards and throw at least 50 TD passes in the same season. Only Mahomes, Brady, and Peyton Manning have ever thrown 50 or more TD passes in a single season.

One quarterback has been the face of the game for over a decade. With a win, the other can expedite his quest to succeed him. The NFC championship game, between the Saints and Rams, similarly pits an aging inevitable Hall of Famer against a budding star. New Orleans’ Drew Brees, who just turned 40, is a Super Bowl champion who this season surpassed the elder Manning brother’s all-time record for career passing yards; Brees now has 74,437 compared to Manning’s 71,940. Goff’s a bonafide franchise QB who’s turned in some eye-popping performances, such as his 465 yard, five touchdown game against the Minnesota Vikings on a Thursday night, on three days’ rest, in September. He had a perfect passer rating that night.

Still, Brees-Goff doesn’t carry the same sizzle as Brady-Mahomes. One’s not generally considered the best of all time. The other’s not already setting all-time records.

Brady would seem to be facing more pressure on Sunday. Time’s going to run out on him at some point. This could be his last chance to win a sixth Super Bowl. Mahomes, meanwhile, is just starting out. If he misses this opportunity, he’ll surely get back, right?

Except nothing’s quite that certain, especially in the NFL. This game is more of a must-win for Mahomes. Kansas City finished the regular season with a better record than New England, owns home-field advantage, and boasts superior firepower on its roster. The oddsmakers list KC as the favorites. Brady’s legend is already secure. Mahomes, as good as he is, could catch some bad breaks going forward. Maybe injury. Maybe the team turns over. With its salary cap structure, the NFL’s economic model breeds parity. So maybe another team emerges, aside from the Chiefs, in the ensuring years. Bill Belichick has somehow hacked the NFL, and keeps constructing teams that contend for a championship. Odds are long that Kansas City does the same.

Dan Marino reached the Super Bowl when he was 23; Joe Montana’s San Francisco 49ers crushed his Miami Dolphins, and Marino never made it back. In 2012 Colin Kaepernick, at 25, shook up the NFL and reached a Super Bowl, coming a few yards short of potentially winning. (Ironically, Kaepernick displaced Alex Smith as the starter in San Francisco, as Mahomes did in Kansas City six years later.) Former ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski gushed that Kaepernick “could be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.” But inconsistency, injuries, and controversy derailed Kaepernick. Sure, Mahomes’ 2018 season was statistically far superior to Kaepernick’s initial burst. Mahomes is a better quarterback, and seems unlikely to champion causes that turn ownership against him. But you can’t entirely dismiss Kaeperick as a cautionary tale.

Or look at Russell Wilson. In just his third season, at age 26, he was a Marshawn Lynch one-yard TD run away from joining the pantheon of great quarterbacks to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles (Brady, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw, to name a few). Then Seattle coach Pete Carroll called a pass play. Malcolm Butler picked off Wilson. A potential Seattle dynasty fizzled. Wilson’s far from a lock to return to an NFC championship game, lest a Super Bowl.

Football is fleeting. A Brady-Brees old guy Super Bowl carries sentimental value. But Rams-Chiefs would be utterly delightful, a rematch of one of the best regular season games ever, a wild Monday Night air show that Los Angeles won 54-51. More than any other game this season, that one marked a rejuvenated NFL. The future’s now. Mahomes and Goff just now have to grab it.

No pressure.

Correction, Jan. 18

The original version of this story misstated the conference in which Russel Wilson plays. It is the NFC, not the AFC.

Sports – TIME

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‘This Is Much Bigger Than Basketball.’ NBA’s Enes Kanter Opens Up About Being Wanted by Turkey

New York Knicks center Enes Kanter is the only NBA player who, in the eyes of the government of his home country, is an international fugitive.

Prosecutors from Turkey have sought a warrant for Kanter’s arrest, and are seeking his extradition from the United States. Kanter’s a vocal critic of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan; he supports Fethullah Gulen, the cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania, whom the Turkish government believes was behind an attempted 2016 coup to overthrow Erdogan. Turkey has accused Kanter of being part of terrorist group, and revoked his passport in 2017.

Right before going to his suburban New York apartment to watch his teammates take on the Washington Wizards in London Thursday — Kanter skipped the game, which the Wizards won 101-100, because he feared assassination while overseas— the 26-year-old talked to TIME about fear, death threats, and messages for both his enemies and family back home.

[The conversation has been condensed and slightly edited for clarity]

Do you feel like a fugitive right now?

It’s weird. I put out on Twitter that the only thing I terrorize is the rim. People know me, my teammates know me, everybody knows me. That’s why when the government puts a statement out there and says, ‘Oh, he’s a terrorist,’ my teammates laugh actually. They literally laugh. All my friends were laughing. They’re like ‘What is this? This is ridiculous. If they call you a terrorist, they’re crazy.’

Are you scared?

They put my name on Interpol on the red notice. So if I step outside of America, my life will be in danger. But I feel safe in America.

So you can walk around freely here? You’re not in hiding?

Our team security said, even if you go to a supermarket, have someone with you. So everywhere I go — grocery shopping, practice, go to games, go to plays — I always have someone with me because you never know, a lone wolf, one of the crazy Erdogan supporters will do something. The only place I go alone is the bathroom. Just the bathroom.

If you get extradited, what do you think will happen to you?

Ooof. It will be very ugly, man. I don’t know if they can kill me, because there will be so much pressure on him. But there have been lots of reports out there that they torture people in jails. So they will definitely torture me very, very bad.

What kind of torture would you expect?

Ugh. I have no idea. But I know that after that torture, I will not be able to play basketball again.

What’s your main criticism of Erdogan?

Erdogan is an authoritarian leader who jails journalists and the opposition. He’s an anti-American leader who keeps American citizens as hostages, like Mr. Brunson, the pastor. Erdogan violates human rights. About 17,000 innocent women, and around 700 babies have been kept in jail with no due process. So he uses his power to abuse human rights. If you look at it right now, Turkey is the number one country in the world for putting the most journalists into jail, after the coup attempt. That shows there’s no freedom of speech in Turkey. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country, I love my flag, I love my people. Turkey could be the bridge between modern Islam and the West. But now that all this stuff is happening in Turkey, that’s impossible.

What’s your message to Erdogan?

I would just tell him to stop. Stop abusing innocent people. Stop abusing all journalists. Stop abusing women and babies. He’s killing the county. There is no democracy in the country right now. There is no freedom of speech. I cannot even invite my teammates to Turkey because they’re scared. Turkey was a peaceful county, Turkey was a lovely county. But because of all the things that are happening right now, I mean … look at my family. I cannot even bring my family to America, because they are not letting them leave the country.

Leave the innocent people alone. Not just my family. People know my story because I play in the NBA. There are thousands and thousands of stories out there way worse waiting to be heard. Please, please. Not just me and my family. Leave all the innocent people alone.

Another former NBA player, Hedo Turkoglu, is now a chief adviser to Erdogan. He’s criticized you on Twitter. What’s your message to him?

I called him a lapdog because he has to follow every comment that Erdogan gives him. We were really good friends back in 2011. We played on the same national team. All the stuff that’s going on right now, he cannot really talk freely because of his fear of President Erdogan. He’s losing so many fans, so many friends in America because of what he’s doing.

In an op-ed you wrote for the Washington Post, why did you cite Colin Kaepernick as an inspiration?

He basically sacrificed a lot of things to talk about issues. If you’re an athlete —not just an athlete, actors, singers — you need to talk about these kinds of issues, because you have that big platform. And millions and millions of fans are following you. So what he did was definitely amazing.

What is this costing you?

My family. [Eds note: Kanter’s father, mother, and sister remain in Turkey. His father faces criminal charges for connections to an alleged terrorist group]. That’s the most important thing. Because the last time I saw my family was 2015. Sometimes I even forget what they look like, you know? It’s so hard to communicate with them. Because Turkish police raided my house. They took electronics away, computers away. They wanted to see if I’m still in contact with my family or not. Any single text, they will all be in jail.

Does it disappoint you that Erdogan and President Trump seem to have a good relationship?

I don’t really know what’s happening behind the doors to be honest with you. They can tweet or they can say whatever they want, but I don’t really know what’s happening behind the curtains. That’s why I wish I could meet with Trump and talk about all these issues. Talk about all the abuses that Erdogan is doing to human rights.

Have you reached out to Trump?

I want to reach out to him. I don’t know how. If you put this out there, maybe he will read it and we’ll get a meeting with him.

Have you been getting more death threats in recent days?

I used to get death threats at least once or twice a week. Now, because of all this, the last three or four days, I’ve been probably getting hundreds and hundreds a day. I don’t count. Our Knicks security guy told me to take a screenshot of them, send them to us. It got to the point where there were so many of them. I’m like, ‘You know what, I’m not going to even bother doing it.’

Are you numb to them by now, or do they still cause concern?

I’m 6’11, around 245 pounds. But those are death threats man, you have to take them seriously. One of the crazy Erdogan supporters might come and do something and you cannot control it. The government cannot control a lone wolf. It’s scary.

Where are you going to watch the Knicks-Wizards game?

I’m actually going to watch it in my apartment. I’m going to put my jersey on. Because I want to feel like I’m still part of the team. I go there and look at their Instagram stories. I’m still in a group chat. When they say, ‘We’re going to the mall, we’re going to eat, who wants to go to dinner tonight,’ it’s breaking my heart..

What impact is your uncertain basketball status — your playing time is down as the Knicks try to develop younger players — having on all of this?

It is very stressful. Trade rumors, I don’t know whether or not I’m going to go, the team, the minutes, everything. But right now my first job is to take care of this. Because this is much bigger than basketball. Or my future in NBA.

Looking back on how this situation has escalated, would you have done anything differently?

I will just say this: I have a platform and I’m using this platform. And I’m trying to be the voice of all those innocent people who don’t have a voice. So don’t call me crazy. I don’t regret anything. I wish I could have done more.

Any message for your family back in Turkey?

Oh man. If I could say one thing to them, I would tell them, ‘I love you.’ And I would say ‘Mom, I miss your food.’

Sports – TIME

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Why Meghan Markle’s bump appears to be bigger in the evening

Oh…

meghan markle meditation
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

All eyes are currently on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they prepare to welcome their first child together in the Spring.

The couple announced that they are expecting via Kensington Palace’s Twitter account earlier this month, and have since gone on to discuss their happy news – from Meghan’s pregnancy symptoms to the gender that Prince Harry is hoping for.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex touched down in Tonga today as part of their 16-day royal tour, having visited Australia and Fiji over the last couple of weeks.

But during their time in Fiji, many noticed that Meghan’s baby bump suddenly appeared noticeably bigger.

meghan markle

Credit: REX/Shutterstock

At a reception dinner hosted by the President of Fiji, Meghan wore a gorgeous blue Safiyaa Ginkgo cape dress and was photographed cradling her bump.

It left those on Twitter questioning whether the more visible bump was the result of her choice of clothing – but experts have revealed that there is something more to it.

Doula Susannah Birch explained to Trimester Talk that this could be down to tired abdominal muscles.

She said: ‘At night time, your abdominal muscles are tired from holding your bump [and they] loosen as they grow more tired, which allows your bump to sit out further and appear larger.’

meghan markle prince harry

Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

A second expert has also offered their opinion. Obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Joseph Sgroi told Mamamia: ‘A lot of women will say that towards the end of the night they do feel a lot more bloated, and that bloating sensation is a combination of them obviously having eaten over the course of the day.

‘One of the things progesterone does, which is the primary hormone that’s secreted from the placenta, is it actually slows down gut motility, so it slows down the transit time from when you eat something to when it comes out the other end.’

So now you know.

The post Why Meghan Markle’s bump appears to be bigger in the evening appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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