‘Notebook’ Costume Designer ‘Bawled’ After Hearing Kobe Bryant Got Allie’s Dress For Vanessa

The costume designer for “The Notebook” has spoken out in response to Vanessa Bryant’s emotional eulogy for her late husband, Kobe Bryant, revealing that the NBA legend had to have been very “determined” in order to gift his wife items from the film’s set.

Earlier this week, Vanessa spoke during a special memorial ceremony hosted by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. She honored Kobe and her daughter, Gianna, who both died last month in a tragic helicopter crash, with a heartfelt speech describing the pair’s legacies.

In one anecdote Vanessa shared about Kobe, she said that he gifted her the blue dress Rachel McAdams’ character, Allie Hamilton, wears in the 2004 film, as well as the prop notebook. (Vanessa shared images of the dress in an Instagram post from 2013.)

Kobe apparently told her that he gifted her the dress because McAdams’ character wore the dress in a scene when she came back to her love, Noah.

“We had hoped to grow old together like the movie. We really had an amazing love story,” said Vanessa in her speech.

In response to the speech, costume designer Karyn Wagner told The Hollywood Reporter this week that she had “zero idea” where the dress ended up and that she was “bawling” when she heard what Vanessa said.

“I’m still drying the tears off my face. What a beautiful eulogy. I’m so honored that I was able to contribute in some small way to the history of this amazing man,” said Wagner. 

Also this week, Wagner revealed to Access Hollywood that she didn’t “know how Kobe even tracked this dress down.”

“He has to have spent a lot of time and a lot of effort. He was that good and he was that determined to show his wife how much he loved her,” she told the publication. 

‘Best Day Of His Life:’ Bullying Victim Quaden Bayles Leads Out All-Star Rugby Team

Quaden Bayles went from having the “worst day of his life to the best day of his life” when he led an Australian national All-Star rugby league team onto the field on Saturday, his mom said.

The 9-year-old boy garnered worldwide attention last week when his mom Yarraka Bayles, an advocate for Indigenous issues and disability awareness, posted a video on social media of her son breaking down over taunts he received at school. Quaden, who lives with a common form of dwarfism called achondroplasia, expressed multiple times an urge to take his own life in the video.

Bayles said she wanted to show the severe impacts of bullying and hoped that by sharing the video, something would change.

In the days after the video was posted, it went viral and many celebrities, including Australian actor Hugh Jackman, sent Quaden messages of support. The Australian Indigenous All-Stars team also invited him to join them in their game against the Maori All-Stars in Queensland.

On Saturday, Quaden donned a set of noise-canceling headphones, held captain Joel Thompson’s hand and led the Aussie team from the locker rooms out onto the field:

“We could never have dreamt in our wildest dreams that it would’ve gone worldwide and created such a media frenzy,” Bayles said, per Reuters. “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare losing their babies and for me that’s my reality every day.”

“There are way too many people suffering in silence and my heart goes out to those families that have already lost their children to bullying,” she added.

Quaden Bayles leads the Indigenous All Stars on to the field with captain Joel Thompson prior to the NRL Indigenous All-Stars



ASSOCIATED PRESS

Quaden Bayles leads the Indigenous All Stars on to the field with captain Joel Thompson prior to the NRL Indigenous All-Stars vs. Maori Kiwis match at CBus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.

Comedian Brad Williams, who was also born with achondroplasia, launched a GoFundMe Page to raise money for Quaden and his mom to visit Disneyland in Los Angeles. The page quickly surpassed its $10,000 goal and as of Sunday, has raised more than $460,000. Williams said all additional money raised would go towards anti-bullying charities.

After being targeted by trolls over the weekend, Bayles removed the original Facebook video and privatized her and Quaden’s Instagram profiles.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

Millie Bobby Brown: The ‘Sexualization’ And ‘Insults’ Hurled At Me Are Painful

Millie Bobby Brown is celebrating her Sweet 16 by getting real about the public scurrility she receives.

The “Stranger Things” star turned 16 on Wednesday and marked the occasion by sharing a video on Instagram that features several harsh (and slightly ridiculous) headlines about her as Justin Bieber‘s “Changes” plays in the background. These headlines are soon followed by red carpet and behind-the-scenes footage of Brown in which she’s often shown laughing and smiling.

In her caption, Brown expressed a desire for a cultural shift toward positivity.

“I feel like change needs to happen for not only this generation but the next,” she wrote. “Our world needs kindness and support in order for us children to grow and succeed.”

She then emphasized how difficult it is to grow up in the spotlight when negativity is constantly directed at you.

“The last few years haven’t been easy, I’ll admit that,” she wrote. “There are moments i get frustrated from the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization, and unnecessary insults that ultimately have resulted in pain and insecurity for me.”

But just like in her video, the post pivoted to a message of hope while laughing in the face of adversity.

“But not ever will i be defeated,” the actor wrote. “I’ll continue doing what i love and spreading the message [of kindess] in order to make change.”

This isn’t the first time Brown has been outspoken about the impact unsolicited wrath can have on a child.

In January, Brown gave a speech at the United Nations about being bullied at school and, more recently, online.

“Bullying and online threats are never harmless,” Brown said. “Never just words. It puts children’s mental health at risk. It causes stress, and in the most extreme cases … it can lead to self-harm, sickness and even suicide.”

Meghan Markle And Prince Harry’s Royal Duties To End March 31

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal duties are officially coming to a close.

A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed that the couple’s royal duties will end on March 31, according to multiple outlets. BBC reported that the royal family will reexamine the arrangement in a year’s time.

“In addition to continuing to work closely with their existing patronages as they build a plan for engagements in the U.K. and the Commonwealth throughout the year, The Duke and Duchess have also been undertaking meetings as part of their ongoing work to establish a new non-profit organization,” the statement on behalf of the couple said, according to People. “The details of this new organization will be shared later in the year.”

The announcement said that “the themes of their cause related work will remain unchanged, which includes the Commonwealth, community, youth empowerment and mental health, collectively.” 

As previously expected, the couple will return back to the U.K. for Commonwealth Day celebrations on March 9 alongside the rest of the royal family at Westminster Abbey. The spokesperson added that the Sussexes “will be in the United Kingdom regularly.” 

Meghan and Harry announced that they were stepping back from royal duties on Jan. 9. In their surprise announcement, the couple said that they wanted to become financially independent and split their time between the U.K. and North America.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, depart Canada House on Jan. 7, 2020 in London.



Chris Jackson via Getty Images

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, depart Canada House on Jan. 7, 2020 in London.

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the royals said on their Sussex Royal Instagram account at the time.

After discussions at Sandringham Estate with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William and Harry, an arrangement for the couple was finalized.

It granted the couple financial independence, the ability for the couple to maintain their private patronages and associations and settle down across the pond. But because of their step back, the Sussexes will no longer be allowed to use their “royal highness” titles.

The couple has since settled in Vancouver Island and stayed busy in their new role. Harry and Meghan attended a JPMorgan summit in early February, where Harry spoke about losing his mother, Princess Diana, and the importance of therapy.

Shortly afterward, CNBC reported that the duke was in talks with Goldman Sachs for an appearance on its online interview series, “Talks at GS.” A source confirmed to HuffPost that the appearance would be unpaid.

The Sussexes also recently stopped by Stanford University to discuss their new charity foundation. According to People, the royal family is still discussing whether Harry and Meghan can use the word “royal” for their new initiative.

Subscribe to HuffPost’s Watching the Royals newsletter for all things Windsor (and beyond). 

Ja’net DuBois, Star Of ‘Good Times,’ Dead At 74

Ja’net DuBois, a singer and actor who starred in the 1970s sitcom “Good Times,” was found dead in her home in Glendale, California. She was 74.

DuBois was best known for her role as Willona Woods in CBS’ “Good Times,” but she also composed and sang “Movin’ On Up,” the iconic theme song for another popular sitcom of the time, “The Jeffersons.”

The "Good Times" cast, shown in 1977, included, in front, John Amos, left, and Jimmie Walker, and in the back row from left,



CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

The “Good Times” cast, shown in 1977, included, in front, John Amos, left, and Jimmie Walker, and in the back row from left, Ralph Carter, Bern Nadette Stanis, Ja’net DuBois and Esther Rolle.

A spokesperson for the Glendale Police Department confirmed to HuffPost that officers had found a woman named Ja’net DuBois deceased in a Glendale home but would not comment on further details.

Police received reports of DuBois’s death late Monday night, The Associated Press reported Tuesday night. Earlier reports, including this one, said that DuBois was found dead on Tuesday.

Police Sgt. Dan Stubbs told AP that she appeared to have died of natural causes.

Ja'net Du Bois attends the Pan African Film & Arts Festival premiere of "Blackbird" on Feb. 16, 2014, in Los Angeles.



Rodrigo Vaz/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Ja’net Du Bois attends the Pan African Film & Arts Festival premiere of “Blackbird” on Feb. 16, 2014, in Los Angeles.

In her most notable role in “Good Times,” DuBois played Woods, the sassy neighbor and close friends of the Evans family, who lived in government housing in Chicago. DuBois, a prolific comedic actress, was a mainstay on the show for all six of its seasons, from 1974 to 1979.

“She used to keep us laughing all the time,” Bern Nadette Stanis, DuBois’s co-star on the show, told AP. “She was very, very talented. If she wasn’t singing … she was creating a character to make us laugh.”

In its last two seasons, DuBois starred alongside then-budding singer Janet Jackson, who played Penny Gordon Woods. DuBois’s Woods adopted Penny after learning that she was being abused by her biological mother.

DuBois appeared in numerous TV shows and films over the course of five decades, according to her credits on IMDb.

She’s starred and made appearances in shows including “The Wayans Bros.,” “Home Improvement,” “The Steve Harvey Show,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.”

She’s also voiced a character in the Nickelodeon series “As Told by Ginger” and starred in Eddie Murphey’s animated series “The PJs” for three seasons.

DuBois’s role in “The PJs” won her two Emmys for outstanding voice-over performance.

Celebrities and influential figures also mourned the actor’s death late Tuesday.

Stanis recalled a fond memory of DuBois writing “Movin’ On Up” for “The Jeffersons” in a filmed statement posted to Instagram.

“Rest in peace, Ja’net Dubois,” she said. “We had so many wonderful memories on ‘Good Times.’”

Comedian Kathy Griffin said DuBois was a “true inspiration to future sidekicks, sassy neighbors, and comedic ESSENTIAL support actors everywhere.” 

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) described the actor as a “trailblazer.”

Taylor Swift’s Dad Fights Off Burglar In Florida Home

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Taylor Swift’s father recently fought a burglar who broke into his $4 million Florida penthouse, a newspaper is reporting.

The Tampa Bay Times said that Scott Swift returned to his home in the Vinoy Place Towers in St. Petersburg on Jan. 17 just moments after 30-year-old Terrence Hoover used an emergency escape stairwell to climb 13 floors to enter it.

The men fought before Hoover ran away, the paper reports, citing police records. Hoover has a lengthy arrest record that includes domestic violence by strangulation, aggravated battery, burglary, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping and false imprisonment, the paper said.

Swift picked Hoover out of a photo lineup and police say Hoover called them to report the altercation. Hoover could not be found, however, until last week, when he was arrested on burglary charges. He was being held Monday on $50,000 bond.

Taylor Swift was not with her father and it is unclear whether the intruder targeted the home. The 30-year-old singer lives elsewhere.

Hoover’s mother told the newspaper that her son got lost while searching for his estranged wife and should only be charged with trespassing.

The penthouse encompasses the entire top floor of one Vinoy tower and includes 5,359 square feet, three bedrooms and three full baths.

Mindy Kaling And B.J. Novak’s Instagram Behavior Is Aggressively Cute

Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak just love to stoke the relationship rumor fire.

Earlier this week, “The Office” co-stars arrived at the 92nd Academy Awards together and had an evening rife with excellent photographs of themselves.  

The pair were seen arm-in-arm on the red carpet and later at the Vanity Fair Oscars party after an outfit change.

B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling arrive for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on Feb. 9, 2020.



VALERIE MACON via Getty Images

B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling arrive for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on Feb. 9, 2020.

B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling attend the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb



David Crotty via Getty Images

B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling attend the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. 

Appearances at the show and subsequent parties aside, the pair’s Instagram activity is what really has people talking.

Post-Oscars, both Kaling and Novak shared images of themselves from the night on their Instagram pages with sweet captions.

“Thanks to my friends @markseliger for this beautiful portrait, and @radhikajones for throwing the @vanityfair party where I can see Leo but also eat In-N-Out,” she captioned an image of herself with her arms wrapped around Novak.

Many of the comments to that image read along the lines of, “Can you guys please date?” but the comment that trumps them all is one from Novak himself, which reads: “Best accessory is a beautiful superstar.”

Swoon much?

Not long after Kaling’s post, Novak shared a snapshot of the quirky photobooth moment he shared with his former girlfriend.

“Great party @vanityfair @mindykaling,” wrote Novak in the caption. 

Kaling and Novak met in 2004 on the set of “The Office” and have had an off-and-on relationship for many years since.

In an interview with Vulture in 2012, Kaling said of their early “friendship” together that “we were never really dating, we were never really not dating.” 

“We kind of fell in love through [writing for the show], and then dated on and off for a couple of years, and now we are just, like, best friends,” she’d told the publication at the time. “Like, real best friends. It’s the kind of friendship you have when you are embedded with someone, that you can only get by putting in that insane amount of time with people.”

Since then, they’ve worked on other TV shows (“The Mindy Project”) together and even books, all while often showing up together on red carpets. Perhaps the two are just BFFs, but based on these photos … we can’t help but root for them to be something more.

The Houston Astros’ Terrible Apology Is Straight Out Of ‘The Office’

The Houston Astros apologized Thursday for stealing signs during the 2017 World Seriesbut all it did was remind people of a scene from “The Office.”

Although the purpose of the press conference was supposedly to express regret, many observers noted that no one on the team really seemed that sorry.

At one point, team owner Jim Crane even suggested the cheating didn’t really matter.

“Our opinion is that this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series. And we’ll leave it at that,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

However, he backtracked moments later, saying, “It’s hard to determine how it impacted the game, if it impacted the game.”

ESPN journalist Marly Rivera did pin down Crane with the last question of the press conference by asking him what he was apologizing for if he didn’t think the sign-stealing affected the game.

Crane’s response: “We’re apologizing because we broke the rules.” But he would only admit that sign-stealing “could possibly” have provided an advantage to the team.

As the sports website For The Win noted, many people noticed that the team’s so-called apology seemed like a lot like the terrible one made by “Office” character Dwight Schrute after he started a fire to teach co-workers about safety.

Sorry if you already know this, but a proper apology requires a person to have genuine remorse, say exactly what they are sorry for, and seek ways for improvement.

Nothing said by the Astros reflected any of this. Instead, team members and coaches basically said they planned to move forward.

Also, the Astros incorrectly apologized to fans and not to the other teams that were affected by their actions.

Many sports journalists took the team to task for its lame apologies.

But one person managed to distill the entire press conference into 12 little words.

The Story Behind One Of Harry And Meghan’s Most Viral Videos

If you’ve watched a viral video about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry lately, there’s a very high chance it’s from the Twitter account @ddarveyy.

HuffPost spoke with Michelle, the 20-year-old Australian behind the account who only uses her first name online, about her latest highly successful video, which shows Harry fixing Meghan’s ponytail or smoothing out her hair at various events.

“The most attentive husband,” the tweet text says, alongside a 24-second video that shows the couple in Morocco in February 2019, Nyanga township in Cape Town in 2019, New Zealand in 2018, and Meghan launching her cookbook at the Hubb Community Kitchen in September 2018. 

The video, which has racked up 168,000 retweets and 730,000 likes, has an astounding 28.9 million views. To put that in perspective, only 23.6 million people tuned in to the Oscars on Sunday night. 

The tweet even earned a like from Rihanna ― who has only ever liked 1,022 tweets since she joined Twitter in 2009.

A screenshot showing that Rihanna liked the recent viral video of Harry and Meghan.



Getty Images

A screenshot showing that Rihanna liked the recent viral video of Harry and Meghan.

Michelle told HuffPost that she was a fan of Meghan “long before she met Prince Harry.” The more she learned about the actor, the more she liked her, she said.

“I came to see the genuine and kindhearted person she is. I was specifically impressed with all that she has achieved throughout her life and all the humanitarian work she has dedicated herself [to],” Michelle said via direct message on Feb. 5. “She was (and still is) somebody who really cares about not only the work she completes, but also the people who follow it.”

But even with her acting and involvement in many charities, Meghan still found time to interact with fans, helping to spur an online community of supporters that grew stronger as Meghan’s celebrity soared.  

“Back when she had her own personal social media, she would constantly interact with her followers and even had built relationships with a few of them,” Michelle said. 

One of Michelle’s other extremely successful videos is from one from a 2016 AOL Build talk. During the interview, Meghan notices and gives a letter to a fan, Emily, whom she’d built a relationship with on Twitter. (AOL was HuffPost’s parent company at the time). 

“Don’t forget Meghan did this,” Michelle tweeted in January 2020 alongside a clip of the interaction, garnering 9 million views and 443,000 likes. “This is the kind of person she is.” 

Michelle is part of the SussexSquad community, the ever-growing group of online defenders speaking up on behalf of the Sussexes. Meghan especially has been the frequent target of racist coverage and online abuse by the British tabloid press and on Twitter, which is roundly regarded as a hotbed of hate.

Though Meghan couldn’t ― and didn’t ― hit back at trolls or tabloids directly as a working member of the royal family, her SussexSquad supporters gave the duchess a voice and defended her in real time. 

Michelle follows 158 accounts on Twitter, the majority of which prominently support the royal couple. She says her account is a “way for me to connect with other individuals who also share similar interests” and celebrate major Harry and Meghan events ― like the royal wedding and their son Archie’s birth

Michelle told HuffPost that she creates content for her account whenever she gets “a sudden spark of creativity, or notice something from their engagements that is consistent” and wants to share it with people.

“When you follow each of their engagements, it’s not that hard to see the love and positivity they spread which makes coming up with content easy,” she said. “There is a lot of negative and unfair press against them, specifically Meghan, which is a shame and really disappointing.” 

The creator said that she never intends for her work to go viral, but when it does, it’s “very overwhelming.” 

“But I enjoy it because it helps spread the love and word on Harry and Meghan,” she said, adding that the SussexSquad always has a positive reaction to the content and that the “overwhelming majority” of comments she gets are positive.  

When you follow each of their engagements, it’s not that hard to see the love and positivity they spread.
Michelle, video creator and member of SussexSquad

In addition to posting cute moments or interactions between the couple, Michelle also uses her platform to highlight Meghan’s past humanitarian work. 

“I made a thread on Twitter once highlighting Meghan’s pre-royal life achievements and that was a post that did get a lot of love,” Michelle wrote. 

Meghan’s activism got started at a young age ― at only 11, she got Proctor & Gamble to change its sexist advertising through a letter-writing campaign. During her time on “Suits,” she served as the global ambassador for World Vision, where she led clean water, sanitation and gender equality initiatives in Rwanda and India. She also worked as a U.N. Women’s Advocate, volunteered at a Toronto nonprofit for many years to help the homeless and joined a USO tour appearance in 2014.

“I had one person comment on it about how she knew Meghan was politically active and philanthropic but she had no idea it was this prolific,” Michelle said.

But Michelle ― and the rest of the SussexSquad ― have also used their social media accounts to make a tangible impact on the world. Michelle highlighted a few campaigns she’s promoted with fellow accounts that have really taken off. 

“We’ve had a #HappyFathersDayPrinceHarry which raised over $10,000 for two charities supported by Harry, including Scotty’s Little Soldiers and the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust,” Michelle said, adding that the group’s #GlobalSussexBabyShower push after Archie was born in May 2019 raised over $100,000 for various organizations.

Currently, the online community is running the hashtag campaign #SussexGreatForest, which aims to plant 100,000 trees by Archie’s first birthday.

“Harry and Meghan really inspire us to participate and help support good causes and I think that’s really important for people who have such a large platform,” she said. 

Subscribe to HuffPost’s Watching the Royals newsletter for all things Windsor (and beyond).

Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas Are Having A Baby: Reports

The “Game of Thrones” actor and DNCE singer have been an item since 2016, and announced their engagement on Instagram in October 2017. They got married in a small Las Vegas ceremony last year, followed by a more lavish wedding at a French chateau among friends and family.

Rumors that the pair were expecting have been swirling since December, but they’ve only confirmed the news this week. HuffPost has reached out to the couple for more information.

Fans were in a tizzy on Twitter about the news: