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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

Did you know ... Michael Phelps got a $1,000,000 bonus check for racking up 8 gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing??? Neither did we ... but it's true -- and what's even cooler is the way Phelps spent the money. "10 years ago after winning 8 golds in Beijing I received a million-dollar bonus," Phelps said on Instagram. "There was one thing and one thing only that I wanted to do with that bonus. I started the [Michael Phelps Foundation]." Phelps says the foundation was initially created to teach the importance of water safety and how to live healthy and active lifestyles. But since then, Phelps has dealt with substance abuse and mental health issues -- and says he's drawing from his own experience to help others. "Since becoming aware of the importance of my own mental health we have worked hard to add a mental health awareness component. I'm incredibly proud of how far my foundation has come, but there's still more work to be done!!!" Salute. (TMZ)

One Republic has made one enormous gesture. The band donated $100k to help cover medical costs for the victim of a shooting ... TMZ has learned. The woman -- who has not been identified -- was shot in Nashville, TN last week and is in critical condition. She's the wife of a team member of One Republic. One Republic is leading the charge in raising funds for her medical costs. The band is asking people to donate to a GoFundMe ... roughly $170k has been raised in just 5 days. Dierks Bentley also chipped in $2,000. The victim has undergone multiple surgeries and lost her spleen ... but her condition is not life-threatening. The suspects remain at large. Nashville police tells TMZ there's been a rash of shootings in the city and cops are investigating to see if they are connected. (TMZ)

Former Miss America Winners Call for Gretchen Carlson's Resignation as She Denies Bullying Cara Mund. Gretchen Carlson is hitting back at allegations against her -- as former Miss America winners call for her to step down. Last week, current Miss America Cara Mund alleged in a letter penned to former winners that the current chairwoman and CEO Regina Hopper "systematically silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on a daily basis." Mund further claimed that she had been disrespected, belittled and excluded to the point where it had taken a "serious toll." The 24-year-old said she had been left out of interviews and meetings and called the wrong name. In an interview with The Press of Atlantic City, she told the interviewer she didn't want to answer a question in fear she would be "punished." In the letter, she noted alleged "talking points" she was given, two of the three about Carlson, for whom she further claimed all of the major press was reserved. "Right away, the new leadership delivered an important message: There will be only one Miss America at a time, and she isn't me," Mund wrote, according to the Associated Press (via CNBC). Carlson defended herself against Mund's claims in her own letter published to Twitter, writing that she was "surprised" and "saddened" by Mund's statement. "I so wished Cara had picked up the phone and discussed her concerns with me directly, before going to the media with allegations of bullying. Since her letter was posted, I have reached out to Cara via phone, text and email to try to speak, as I have always felt this is the best way to air grievances and find resolution. Unfortunately, Cara's response has been that she only wants to communicate via email, but I remain hopeful we can speak on the phone or in person soon," Carlson elaborated. The chairwoman clarified that the organization is proud of her and denied Mund's allegations. "I also want to be clear that I have never bullied or silenced you. I fact, I have acknowledged to you and your parents many times that the organization understands the frustrations of serving during such a change-filled and stressful year," Carlson continued. "It surely was not what you had expected. We've acknowledged your grievances and taken many steps to try to make your experience a good one." Before the letter's conclusion, Carlson pointed out that the organization had lost out on $75,000 worth of scholarships because of Mund's letter. "Actions have consequences. Friday, as an organization, we learned that $75,000 in scholarships which would have been the first scholarship increase in years, is no longer on the table as a direct result of the explosive allegations in your letter," Carlson said. "The impact won't stop there -- we are already seeing a negative ripple effect across the entire organization, and I am so concerned that it will dilute the experience for the next woman selected to wear the crown." "How can you be a chairman of an organization and blame your employees for discrepancies in a business arrangement?" former Miss America 1984 Suzette Charles told NBC's Megyn Kelly on Monday, firing back at Carlson's mention of the scholarship loss. "She's the chairman and there's a CEO. They're required as businesspeople to raise money for the organization for the scholarship to have money to run the program and she's now putting that responsibility on our current Miss America?" "For Cara Mund to write a five-page letter explaining through her year how she's been treated is appalling," Charles told Kelly in Mund's defense. Charles, former Miss America 1995 Heather Whitestone McCallum and 11 other former Miss America winners have called for Carlson, Hopper and the current Board of Trustees to resign in a petition thus far signed by more than 18,000 people. "It's all about [Carlson]," McCallum claimed to Kelly. "She wants to be the face of the Miss America organization." (Eonline)

Hailey Baldwin Calls Justin Bieber Her "Absolute Best Friend" in Sweet Instagram Post. All the feels. Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber are all loved up in a new post on the 21-year-old model's Instagram. In the sweet snap, Baldwin is seated on her 24-year-old fiance's lap while they appear to be out on a boat together. "Absolute best friend," Baldwin captioned the photo, in which she proudly displays her engagement ring. The couple has been on the go for the past couple of days. On Saturday, Bieber and Baldwin were spotted in Stratford, Ontario. Then on Sunday, fans of the couple spotted them out and about in Skaneateles, New York, which could be where the photo of the couple on the boat was taken. It was just over a month ago that Bieber proposed to Baldwin while on vacation in the Bahamas. "The proposal was a very happy moment and Hailey was taken off guard," a source told E! News following the July engagement. "Her face was in shock but you could tell they are both so in love." While another insider added, "Justin is happier than ever and wants to be with Hailey. His family is very supportive and know he has been at his best lately. Everyone is very happy for him." Shortly after news of their engagement broke, the "Baby" singer took to social media to confirm the exciting relationship update. "Was gonna wait a while to say anything but word travels fast, listen plain and simple Hailey I am soooo in love with everything about you! So, committed to spending my life getting to know every single part of you loving you patiently and kindly. I promise to lead our family with honor and integrity letting Jesus through his Holy Spirit guide us in everything we do and every decision we make," he wrote. "My heart is COMPLETELY and FULLY YOURS and I will ALWAYS put you first! You are the love of my life Hailey Baldwin and I wouldn't want to spend it with anybody else." (Eonline)

The former home of Comedy Store founder Mitzi Shore is getting a facelift, courtesy of her son, Pauly Shore. Pauly's remodeling the 3-story home. The stand-up comic now owns the property after Mitzi transferred it to him before she died. The house is located directly behind The Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip. The renovations include vaulted ceilings in the bedrooms and extending the deck. The house needs updating -- both cosmetically and internally, and that's why Pauly's also upgrading the stuff you can't see, like plumbing and wiring. Sources close to Pauly tell TMZ ... he's not sure what he's going to do with the home after the remodel, but it clearly needs a lot of love. The remodel cost is expected to run $75k, but let's face it ... it always costs way more. (TMZ)

Former Miss Americas join protest against organization. Two more Miss America winners are joining current titleholder Cara Mund in her protest against the organization -- and calling for the resignation of its leadership. As the Post reported, Lund penned an open letter last week claiming that she'd been sidelined and demeaned by the controversial new leadership of Miss America, which includes news personality and former winner Gretchen Carlson. Now we're told former Miss Americas Suzette Charles and Heather Whitestone are going on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today" on Monday to back Mund. We're told the pair -- who are among several former title holders to put their name to a petition calling for leadership changes -- will "share behind-the-scenes details of the pageant and why they're pushing for change." (Eonline)

Attorney splashes out $10M for firm's 25th anniversary soiree. Extravagant Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry splashed out $10 million on a lavish bash featuring Maroon 5 and Enrique Iglesias on Saturday night. Henry well-known for spending $6 million on his daughter Maya's quinceanera at which Nick Jonas and Pitbull performed went all out to celebrate his firm's 25th anniversary. He flew in Adam Levine and his band from LA via private jet to surprise all 400 of his employees at the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio while guests were treated to 500 bottles of Champagne, Jell-O shots, cocktails and a raw bar brimming with shrimp, alongside tacos, sliders and dessert stands all amid huge walls of red roses. "Living" Grecian statues were there to greet the more than 1,100 guests, clad in black tie, as they strolled in. San Antonio favorite Austin Mahone performed, followed by mariachi band Mariachi Nuevo Estilo who had appeared on "America's Got Talent" in 2017 and sang their own version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." But it was Iglesias, 43, who got the crowd including Kelly Osbourne, Lance Bass, Kendra Wilkinson, Aussie model Shanina Shaik and singer Imani Scott going with hits including "Bailamos" and "I Like It" joking as he ran around "Am I getting too old for this shit!" And at midnight, Maroon 5 took the stage and performed a string of their greatest hits, with one guest gasping: "I wonder how much this cost." Dad of two Levine, 39, draped himself in two diamond necklaces, a black T-shirt and brown velour sweatpants for the occasion and belted out "This Love," "Sugar," "Moves Like Jagger," his own version of Michael Jackson's "Rock With You," as well as "She Will Be Loved" and "One More Night." Henry told the crowd it was the most he had ever spent on a party but said: "You're all my family." With his stunning wife, Azteca, 40, by his side, he added: "Have fun I'm going to get so drunk I won't remember this tomorrow!" A source said, "Thomas wanted all of his employees to have a taste of the fabulous life that he enjoys." The party featured more than 40,000 roses flown in from six countries, more than 1,000 Phalaenopsis orchids and more than 2,500 candles. There was a 200-pound bluefin tuna carved on-site, a sushi station and a live nitrogen ice cream station. The wealthy personal-injury attorney, of San Antonio, first made headlines for spending millions on his daughter's 15th birthday in 2016. Maya is now 18. The lavish event was held across a 55,000-square-foot space in San Antonio, which was decorated with 30-foot tall cherry trees in full blossom, walls of roses, fountains, a "garden room" and a ballroom with butterflies suspended from the ceiling. And in December 2017, Maya's big brother Thomas Jr. (now 19) marked his 18th birthday with an equally decadent $4 million bash, complete with burlesque dancers and a Ferrari for his present. But Henry had his own fun during his 56th birthday celebration in April a $4.5 million party on Palm Island in Miami Beach, Fla., featuring Cardi B, DJ Khaled and Mahone. His 75 close friends and relatives  including Kim Kardashian's pal Jonathan Cheban and Red Bull athlete Gustavo Yacaman, a Colombian racing driver, got to watch fire dancers and sip Champagne. While Henry  who stars alongside his family in the YouTube reality series "Hangin' with Los Henrys" was presented with a Patek Philippe watch from Azteca. (PageSix)

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