Showbiz Roundup: Shhh, did you hear?

Cheryl vs Ashley

It took a twitter post from her reps to confirm what we all suspected – Cheryl and Ashley Cole are officially in splitzville. The singer filed for divorce from her straying footballer husband of four years earlier this week, citing “irreconcilable differences”, after separating in February following claims he had cheated on her with a number of women. The announcement came as Chelsea star Ashley headed to Austria to prepare for the World Cup with his England team mates. Rumours continue that Cheryl has plans to move to the US and X Factor boss Simon Cowell is reportedly keen for her take up a judging post on the panel of the American version of the hit show. Meanwhile celebrity PR guru Max Clifford has said she should change her surname back to Tweedy. Speaking on Five News, he said: “If I was advising her, I would say go back to being Cheryl Tweedy because that’s a statement – ‘That part of my life is over, this is who I am, this is my name.’” Cheryl is currently holed up in a Mayfair hotel and reports claim she will leave their £6m nine-bedroom Surrey mansion to Ashley in the divorce settlement.

Lady Gaga’s fight for her life

Attention-grabbing chart-topper Lady Gaga has revealed she is undergoing tests for lupus – the life-threatening disease that killed her aunt. “I’m very connected to my aunt, Joanne, who died of lupus,” she says. “It’s a very personal thing.” The disease affects the immune system and insiders say it explains her series of blackouts on stage during her Monster Ball tour in the past few months. “She undergoing a number of tests, but we don’t know if she’s carrying the disease,” says a source. “We all thought she was pushing herself too far with her exhausting work commitments, but it could be much more serious than that.” Meanwhile, the 24-year-old singer has found herself a new enemy in the form of Paper Planes singer M.I.A, who made no attempt at hiding her dislike of Lady G in a new interview with the New York Times: “I can’t talk about Gaga anymore. All I’ll say is, it’s upsetting when babies say ‘ga-ga’ now. It used to be innocent. Now, they’re calling her name.” No collaborations on the horizon then.

Mariah in the family way?

After her critically acclaimed performance in Precious, you’d think Mariah Carey would be all over a possible move into an acting career. However the 41-year-old singing diva has fuelled reports could be pregnant by pulling out of Tyler Perry’s eagerly awaited new film project, which is due to start shooting next month. The movie – an adaptation of black American feminist Ntozake Shange’s award-winning play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf – boasts an impressive castlist, including Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson and Macy Gray and tells the dramatic stories of 20 individual black women. Mariah’s reps refused to confirm that pregnancy was the cause of her withdrawal, but whispers around Tinseltown suggest she and hubby Nick Cannon, who have just celebrated their second wedding anniversary, have been trying for months.

So Charlize DOES watch her weight!

South African Oscar winner Charlize Theron is considered one of the greatest beauties of our time and the lofty 5ft 10in actress has always put down her perfect physique to a ‘grazing’ style of eating – tucking into smaller meals more often. “I’m careful to eat a healthy balance of foods,” she says, “but I eat six small meals a day. If I fancy a burger, rather than deprive myself I’ll have a quarter of one.” But it would seem the 34-year-old Hancock star has a secret up her sleeve – Lean Body meal replacement shakes. The hi-protein, low-carb drinks are the latest fad in Hollywood and Britney Spears has also reportedly used them as a diet aid. Although it seems impossible that Charlize would need to watch her weight, her cautious approach has paid off – next month she will be presented with the ‘Decade Of Hotness’ award at Spike TV’s Guys Choice.

Xtina too X-rated?

Christina Aguilera’s latest video Not Myself Tonight was universally vilified for its S&M-inspired sauciness – and it would appear the 29-year-old Dirrty songbird’s raunchy X-rated new image has backfired. Not only has the single flopped in the charts, the mum of two-year-old son Max has been forced cancelled her US tour reportedly due to poor sales and record company insiders say she has alienated fans. “That video was just wrong,” said one long-term aficionado of the singer. “She’s a mum now and provocatively gyrating around half naked with a bunch of dancers leaves everyone feeling a bit uncomfortable. It was okay when she was younger, but her fans have all grown up too. She’s got a great voice, she doesn’t need to do the booty-shock thing. It’s sad that talent doesn’t seem to be enough these days.”

[picture credits: Lia Toby/; SpreePix; Dimitrios Kambouris/;; mysunshine; Zibi/WENN]
Justine Harkness

Justine Harkness

Now based in Los Angeles, Justine had worked for publications from Now to Look, OK! to Loaded, in the UK as well as for weekly magazines in Australia. She has written everything from in-depth celebrity interviews to covering every showbiz party, hotspot, the three ‘Fs’ (fads, fashion, fitness), awards ceremonies, travel (to Mustique, no less), you name it, for all the big magazines. A regular showbiz and lifestyle expert commentator for radio and TV, including BBC, Sky and all the terrestrial channels. There’s more, but there always is. She lives in Santa Monica with her ridiculously fluffy kitten Cookie (‘We should have called her Queen Latifah,’ she shrugs), chasing the latest celebrity stories. Justine’s mantra in life is: ‘In vodka we trust.’ She successfully out drinks many, yet is a bit of a hippy at heart. Just don’t ask her about grammar.

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