Britney Spears makes new claims about her conservatorship restrictions, plus more news

Britney Spears says conservatorship destroyed her self-confidence, shares new details about her alleged restrictions

After confirming she is, indeed, writing a memoir, Britney Spears made new claims on Instagram this week about how her conservatorship affected her self-confidence and mental health. In a since-deleted post (via Billboard), Britney looked back on the “freedoms” she feels were “taken” from her for 13 years before the conservatorship was terminated in November 2021, and blamed her family keeping the rules in place for so long. “When you finally can drive alone …..and keep going !!!! Thanks to nobody but me for realizing taking all the freedoms that give a woman confidence is not only wrong … it’s immoral !!!!” Britney wrote in the April 7 missive. “My family HAD NO IDEA not allowing me to go to a spa … drive my own car … walk out my front door was wrong … and they definitely had NO idea that it was completely wrong to hold a woman in a chair for like 10 hours a day !!!!” She went on to tell her family she had a “message” for them, which she delivered via emojis showing off a certain, um, “meaningful” finger. “It is EYE OPENING the psychology in still being able to drive alone the past year !!! I don’t feel like an old helpless lady anymore !!! THANK YOU for giving me what I so hardly worked for … a life … freedom … character through confidence !!!” she continued.” Near the end of the caption, the singer, 40, thanked “Jesus” for “allowing me to wake up today and remember my value and worth,” then admitted keeping those things in mind remains in jeopardy “because I was manipulated in believing I wasn’t valued.”

Will Smith barred from the Oscars for 10 years after slap

Will Smith has been banned from attending the Oscars for the next decade after slapping Chris Rock onstage at the 2022 Academy Awards. In a statement published by CNN on April 8 after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’sboard meeting, Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said: “The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.” That means Will won’t be able to follow the Oscars tradition of presenting next year’s Best Actress award, despite his 2022 Best Oscar win for “King Richard.” Will, who has apologized publicly for the slap and resigned from the Academy, responded to the announcement by telling CNN, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.” An unnamed board member told the outlet there was “tons of debate” about how to respond to the slap before a decision was made. Explaining the ban on behalf of the board, the president and CEO said the Oscars “were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit onstage.” The board also apologized for failing to “adequately address the situation in the room” via the telecast. Finally, the letter expressed the board’s “deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances.” Chris has since refused to address the incident. “This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy,” the Academy’s leaders added. “We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.”

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Jennifer Lopez sparks Ben Affleck engagement rumors with huge diamond

A new crop of engagement rumors hit Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck this week after the singer was photographed wearing what appears to be an awfully big, new piece of sparkly bling on her left ring finger. Shot on Monday, April 10, the pics show Jen checking out furniture and home goods with her daughter, Emme, in Los Angeles. She and her on-again beau, Ben, are reportedly in contract on a new, $50 million home in the city’s Bel-Air section, which might explain the shopping trip. But the ring? Jen’s long since finished promoting her wedding-focused rom-com, “Marry Me,” so it’s unlikely the massive diamond is some kind of promo accessory a la the white dresses she favored on red carpets ahead of the film’s release. And since Jen, 52, and Ben, 48, rekindled their romance, they’ve suggested they’re past factors that led them to call off their engagement back in the early 2000s . “It’s beautiful the way it feels very different than it was years ago. … There’s more of an appreciation and a celebration for it, which is nice,” Jen recently told People. “When you find somebody and you really, really love them and you get a second chance at that? That is a really rare, precious, beautiful thing and we don’t take it for granted.” As of April 8, neither star has commented on the engagement buzz — or the ring.

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Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan reportedly looking to rent second home in NYC

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have settled into their family’s new life in Montecito, California, but could soon be spending more time in New York City. According to the Daily Mail, the two are now mulling the idea of renting an apartment in the Big Apple as a “second home.” The outlet claims they’re looking on the east side of Midtown Manhattan, in the hopes of finding something close to the United Nations as they continue their philanthropy work through their Archewell Foundation. Having a place in NYC could also be helpful to the couple in terms of their deal with Spotify, whose U.S. headquarters are located there. The two visited the U.N. in September 2021, meeting with Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and the organization’s U.S. ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, to talk about issues including climate change, vaccine equity, mental health services, racial justice and gender-based economic issues, all of which they touched in during their speech at Global Citizen Live. Per the Mail, Meghan’s first podcast on Spotify has no official release date yet, but is expected to premiere this summer.

Ed Sheeran on why copyright lawsuits are ‘damaging to’ the music industry

Ed Sheeran won the latest copyright infringement suit he faced earlier this week when a judge cleared the singer and his co-writers of claims they lifted the hook from a song called “Oh Why” for Ed’s hit, “Shape of You.” After releasing a video statement on the day of the ruling, April 6, Ed elaborated on his points about the recent proliferation of such lawsuits in an interview with BBC Two’s “Newsnight.” Allegations like those made by “Oh Why” writers Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, Ed told the BBC, have forced him and other artists to rethink their approach to the songwriting process entirely. According to People, Ed now video records his songwriting sessions. “We’ve had claims coming through on the songs and we go, ‘Well here’s the footage and you watch. You’ll see there’s nothing there,'” he said on “Newsnight.” “There’s the George Harrison point where he said he’s scared to touch the piano because he might be touching someone else’s note. There is definitely a feeling of that in the studio.” Ed, 31, also suggested songwriting has been drained of some of the joy it once brought him. “I personally think the best feeling in the world is the euphoria around the first idea of writing a great song,” he said. “That feeling has now turned into ‘Oh wait, let’s stand back for a minute’. You find yourself in the moment, second-guessing yourself.” As the pop star explained in his video statement, the frequency with which copyright suits are filed in music lately is “really damaging to the songwriting industry.” He added, “There’s only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music. Coincidence is bound to happen if 60,000 songs are being released every day on Spotify.”

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