THE OTHER STUFF . . .
Serena Williams was weeping from the sidelines after having to back out of a big match Sunday -- but her opponent proved to a good sport ... and her biggest fan. The tennis icon was facing 19-year-old Canadian phenom Bianca Andreescu in Toronto for the 2019 Rogers Cup Final -- and after playing four rounds ... Serena was forced to pull the plug and remove herself from contention due to back spasms she was experiencing. According to reports, she had started to feel the spasms as late as Saturday night during her semifinal victory over Marie Bouzkova. Looks like it all came to a head Sunday, because Serena became incredibly emotional as she took a seat near the side netting and made her decision to withdraw final. Pretty amazingly, Bianca ran over to console her ... and shared some pretty inspiring words too. Andreescu and Serena were both mic'd up, and you can hear the former ask if Serena was okay as she embraced her in a hug. After Serena breaks the news to her -- that she was pulling out -- Bianca lets her know there's no shame in her game ... 'cause she's the best. She says, "I've watched you your whole career, you're a f***ing beast with injuries," adding that she's been through several herself, and knows a bad break when she sees one. Serena also makes mention of a tattoo she has, and Bianca quickly points out where it is ... saying, "I know everything about you." The two then hugged again on camera. Serena later explained to the Rogers Cup crowd that she simply couldn't tough it out that day, noting that she had tried. She ended on an optimistic tone, saying that despite it being a rough year professionally, she was going to keep going and competing. The bummer ending comes almost a year after her controversial U.S. Open finals match with Naomi Osaka, who won amid a sea of boos after Serena's outburst, and eventual loss. She faced Naomi again on Friday and beat her ... but health was her Achilles heal this time. As for how Bianca handled this though, sportsmanship doesn't get much better than that. (TMZ)
Faye Dunaway was an absolute disaster onstage before getting canned from a play producers hoped to take to Broadway -- and now we know why she won't be part of the production, "Tea at Five," if it gets there. TMZ has obtained show reports from "Tea at Five" and they spell out exactly how the Oscar-winning actress bombed in her starring role. Let's just say the opening performances in Boston -- gotta work your way up to Broadway -- went about as bad as possible. According to the reports, Faye brazenly asked for lines in front of a live audience, stopped the show to complain about lighting, and railed on backstage staff from the moment she walked into the theater. It's pretty incredible ... the show reports say Faye used an ear piece to get lines fed to her, but still managed to screw 'em up! And, get this ... the reports also say Faye exclaimed, "Where am I? Line?" As for why she was flubbing so badly -- she asked someone sitting in the front row to take a hat off their knee because it was distracting her. Stupid hat! Faye was ultimately canned from the production, which is no longer Broadway-bound. Not yet. Instead, it's going to London's West End next year. No word on Faye's replacement. To be fair, she actually got a favorable review from one Boston publication. Officially, the Hollywood legend was fired for allegedly slapping crew members and throwing objects at them -- NOT for forgetting her lines. We reached out to Faye's team for comment ... so far, radio silence. (TMZ)
Brody Jenner appears to have some thoughts about his recent ex locking lips with a newly single Miley Cyrus -- his message is simple ... new day, new page and lots o' laughs. The 'Hills' star posted a photo Sunday that seemed to be in direct response to photos published by TMZ, showing Kaitlynn Carter, his estranged "wife"/fiancee/girlfriend -- whatever the hell she is to him -- smooching with Miley on the shores of Lake Como. In the photo, Brody's standing near the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean and staring back at the camera from afar. He captioned the pic, "Don't let yesterday take up too much of today." Vague enough to be about anything, right? Well, his costar, Brandon Lee, got explicit. Brandon commented underneath, writing ... "Let's round this scandal out and post a pic of us making out," adding a kissing emoji for good measure. Brody then responded to that, saying ... "watch out! Pics of Liam and I holding hands on the beach coming soon." Miley chimed in on the exchange, and shut it down ... writing, "@brodyjenner go take a nap in your truck and cool off #HotGirlSummer." Doesn't look like Brody carried on from there. As you know ... Brody and Kaitlynn broke up about a week and change ago, because we're told he didn't wanna give her two things ... a baby and a legal marriage. About a year ago, they had everyone believe they'd tied the knot in Indonesia, but it wasn't legit. Fast forward to Saturday, when Miley announced she and her husband, Liam Hemsworth, were separating ... less than a year into their marriage. Turns out, she and Kaitlynn had been getting cuddly the day before while vacationing in Italy ... locking lips, no less. Sounds as if Brody's trying to make light of the situation (in a somewhat cringey way). No word yet from Liam ... it's his brother Chris' birthday Sunday, he might be lying low down under. (TMZ)
"If I could do it all over again, when that coach came to me and told me, 'You should switch your position to receiver or cornerback,' I would have did it." That's Chris Johnson -- one of the best running backs that's EVER lived -- telling TMZ Sports he's so upset with the way the NFL's treated RBs over the last decade ... he wishes he had never played the position. Of course, today's NFL tailbacks are learning that the hard way ... stars like Le'Veon Bell, Melvin Gordon and Ezekiel Elliott are either having to miss games or threaten to miss games to get a somewhat fair contract. 33-year-old Johnson says that's absolutely ridiculous, telling us, "Running backs and kickers probably get paid close to the same amount of money. Like, how!?" Johnson tells us the pay scale is so jacked up ... he actually wishes he had listened when college coaches came to recruit him in high school to play either receiver or corner. "I really believe in my head, if I played receiver or cornerback, I would still be playing in the league to this day and still making $15, $16 million a year at those positions." In fact, Chris says he believes the NFL is treating its backs so poorly ... he won't even let his twin sons play the position -- saying he'll force them to go to either QB, WR or CB. "I'm going to make sure I keep them away from running back." Johnson played 10 years in the NFL ... and had one of the greatest seasons ever in 2009, rushing for 2,006 yards and catching 503 more. From 2008 to 2017, he reportedly made just over $45 million ... but clearly, he feels if he had played a different position, those checks would still be flowing in -- and with a whole lot more zeroes on them. (TMZ)
This beauty blogger's social media is getting ugly. Olivia Jade Giannulli, 19, on Sunday posted an Instagram photo of herself giving two middle fingers to media outlets amid ongoing coverage of her parents' alleged scheme to bribe her way into the University of Southern California. In the petulant post, the influencer -- who has racked up 1.4 million followers online -- tagged outlets including the Daily Mail and People Magazine with the caption "#close #source #says." The obscene gesture comes after months of reports that Giannulli was holding a grudge against her parents over her lost brand sponsorships in the wake of the nationwide college admissions scandal. "[Olivia] is not talking to her parents right now. [She] feels she is the victim," Weekly. Olivia blames her mom and dad for this scandal and for the downfall of her career." The teen has largely kept mum since her parents -- "Full House" actress Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli -- were accused of forking over $500,000 to a crooked college admissions fixer to help get Olivia Jade and her sister, Isabella Rose, into USC. Olivia Jade went dark on social media when the scandal broke in March -- only to resurface last month to wish Loughlin a happy birthday with a throwback photo of them together. But despite the apparent show of family unity, relationships are still strained in the Giannulli household, according to Entertainment Tonight. "Olivia has forgiven her [mother] but she still carries some resentment because she realizes that this scandal has marked her and will never entirely go away," an insider told the outlet. Loughlin and her husband -- who have pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy -- face up to 40 years behind bars, if convicted. (Page Six)
Lenny Dykstra is fighting Bagel Boss Guy ... yes, the baseball legend inked a deal to box the guy who lost his mind in a NY bagel shop. We broke the story, Bagel Boss Guy -- aka Chris Morgan -- signed a deal to fight in Damon Feldman's Celebrity Boxing promotion ... only question was, who was he gonna fight? Now we know ... 56-year-old 3x-MLB All-Star and World Series champ Lenny Dykstra. We're told Lenny agreed to a deal and signed the contract on Friday (he'll be paid a fixed amount of money for the fight) ... and will begin training immediately for the September 7 bout in Atlantic City, NJ. Sources close to Lenny tell us he ain't worried about the lack of time to prepare ... and is very confident he's gonna beat the hell outta BB Guy. If he does ... it won't be cause Bagel Boss ain't training hard for the scrap. Morgan recently went to one of the best MMA gyms in the country ... and training with UFC superstars Al Iaquinta and Chris Weidman. In fact, Iaquinta told us Morgan possessed some natural ability as a fighter. Dykstra vs. Bagel Boss. Buckle up. (TMZ)