Harrowing injury and rescue

Ashley Judd shared more details of her harrowing experience in the Congo rainforest — one that almost resulted in her losing her leg or even losing her life. On Feb. 16, the actress posted several Instagram images that showed her being carried out of the jungle via a hammock and driven out on a scooter. It took her more than two days to get professional medical help. “Without my Congolese brothers and sisters, my internal bleeding would have likely killed me, and I would have lost my leg,” she wrote on social media. “I wake up weeping in gratitude, deeply moved by each person who contributed something life giving and spirit salving during my grueling 55 hour odyssey.” Her leg, she said, broke in four places and had nerve damage after something fell on it. One man, Ashley wrote, “stretched out his leg and put it under my grossly misshapen left leg to try to keep it still. While she bit down on a stick, another man adjusted her broken bones “back into something like a position I could be transported in, while I screamed and writhed.” Six men, she said, carried her in a hammock through the rainforest for three hours. Ashley called the Congolese people who helped her “heroes.”

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Overdose details revealed

Demi Lovato is revealing just how dire things were after her 2018 overdose. In a trailer for her new YouTube Originals four-part documentary series, “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil,” the singer said she suffered three strokes and a heart attack following her OD. “I had crossed a line that I had never crossed before … I snapped,” she said. “My doctors said that I had five to 10 more minutes [to live].” She added, “I had so much to say over the past two years, wanting to set the record straight about what it was that happened. Any time that you suppress a part of yourself, it’s gonna overflow.” During the virtual press tour on Feb. 17, Demi told reporters that she was left with brain damage. “I don’t drive a car because I have blind spots in my vision,” she said. “For a long time, [I] had a really hard time reading. Reading was a big deal when I was able to read out of a book, which was two months later because my vision was so blurry, I dealt with a lot of the repercussions and I think they are kind of still there to remind me of what could happen if I ever get into a dark place again.”

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Engaged!

Paris Hilton is officially a bride-to-be. On Feb. 17 — her 40th birthday — the heiress and DJ announced that she had gotten engaged to beau Carter Reum. “When you find your soulmate, you don’t just know it. You feel it,” she captioned a series of engagement pics taken on a private island. “My love & I have been together since our first date, and for my birthday, he arranged a special trip to tropical paradise. As we walked to dinner along the beach, Carter led us to a cabana adorned with flowers and dropped to one knee. I said yes, yes to forever.” Vogue reported that the venture capitalist popped the question on Feb. 13 with an emerald-cut diamond ring designed by Jean Dousset. “There’s no one I’d rather spend forever with,” Paris said on social media. The couple have been together for about a year.

Fight over the will

As many expected, the fight over late media star Larry King’s estate has started to get ugly. Not long after the talk show legend passed away in January, reports indicated that he had written his estranged wife, Shawn King, out of his will. In a new handwritten will, Larry — who filed for divorce in 2019 — made clear he wanted to leave his estate to his five children, two of whom are now deceased. Shawn’s name was nowhere to be found. However, Shawn claims she and Larry were on the verge of a reconciliation when he died and that the handwritten will is not sufficient to replace his previous will, which he filed in July 2015. That one names her as the executor of his estate. In a court filing, she claimed she was “actively involved” in Larry’s business dealings and has “the most knowledge” of his assets and wishes at the time of his death. Larry’s eldest son, Larry King Jr., has asked to be appointed executor of the estate.

R.I.P., Rush

Rush Limbaugh, arguably the most influential voice in conservative talk radio, passed away on Feb. 17 after a year-long battle with lung cancer. Rush, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump in February 2020, hosted the most listened-to radio show in the United States, according to “The Rush Limbaugh Show” website. Via the airwaves, Rush reached up to 27 million people weekly. Many in the entertainment world reacted to his death including Trump, who called Rush “a legend.” The former POTUS said, “Those people who listen to him every day, it was like a religious experience for a lot of people.” Judge Jeanine Pirro said he was “an icon of conservative thinking and a master of communication.”

Hospitalized

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, was admitted to a London hospital on Feb. 16 after days of feeling unwell. “The Duke is expected to remain in hospital for a few days of observation and rest,” a Buckingham Palace statement read. According to CNN, the 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh’s illness is not COVID-19-related. The prince, who likes to keep a low profile, was reportedly driven by car and walked inside unassisted. His was not considered an “emergency admission.” The queen remained at Windsor Castle about an hour’s drive away while her husband was attended to at the hospital. The duke’s health has been closely observed ever since he stepped back from public life in 2017. 

Paycheck shocker

Drea de Matteo had one of the most integral roles on “The Sopranos,” but her paycheck didn’t always reflect it. On Feb. 17, the actress, who played Adriana La Cerva on the hit HBO show, said she only made $500 an episode during the first season. “I never really made an intense amount of money,” she told Page Six. Her pay did increase in subsequent seasons, but even that was a slow build. “Then I made a couple of thousand and then probably by the end is when I started making series quotes but that money came and went immediately,” she said. “I didn’t spend enough time on the show to really make money.” Further, Drea revealed that the cast doesn’t make residuals from the hugely popular series.

Sad news

The man who allegedly killed Nicki Minaj’s father in a hit-and-run accident late last week turned himself into police on Feb. 17. Authorities said the rapper’s dad, Robert Maraj, was walking in New York on Feb. 12 when he was hit by a car. The driver fled. Robert eventually succumbed to his injuries at a hospital. 

Baby No. 2

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are adding another royal to their brood. On Feb. 14, the pair released a gorgeous black-and-white photo revealing Meghan’s growing baby bump as they announced that they’re expecting their second child together six months after Meghan suffered a miscarriage. The couple are already parents to son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, who will be 2 by the time his sibling is born. A spokesperson for the couple said Harry and Meghan are “overjoyed.” A Buckingham Palace spokesman said Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the royal family are “delighted and wish them well.” Days later on Feb. 19, Buckingham Palace announced that the couple will officially not be returning to their royal roles after exiting the royal family last year — and therefore had to relinquish all of their royal patronages. Harry is also officially losing his honorary military appointments, which will be redistributed “among working members of The Royal Family,” the palace explained. The Sussexes’ office said in a statement that despite the news, the couple “remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role.”

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