There has been some confusion over the death of Brett Shaad, the West Hollywood man stricken with bacterial meningitis.
It was reported yesterday that he had died but, in fact, at that point he was still alive but brain dead.
Sadly, Brett died this evening.
Brian Shaad, the brother of Brett, issued the following statement regarding the family’s decision to remove Brett from life support tonight.
“Tonight our family made the incredibly difficult decision to remove my brother Brett from life support. He died peacefully surrounded by our family and friends,” said Shaad.
“Brett was an extraordinary person. He was a loving son, brother and grandson, an attorney with a deep passion for social justice, and a dear friend to so many people. We cannot believe that this wonderful person is gone. We love you Brett.”
Brett was being treated at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Beverly Hills, CA. He was removed from life support tonight at 6:24 pm and passed away at 6:42 pm.
A spokesperson for the family, Elizabeth Ashford, issued the following statement: “The Shaad family asks for privacy at this painful time, which has been made more devastating by irresponsible and inaccurate reports on the circumstances of Brett’s death. The family wants, and will pursue, answers for how and why this happened.”
His brother, Brian Shaad, sent this message out earlier today clarifying his status: “Brett remains on life support in the hospital. No conclusions have been drawn regarding when, or how, he may have contracted meningitis. We ask for privacy during this incredibly painful period.”
Brett is a graduate of Boston College and Benjamin N. Cardoza School of Law.
He speaks French and Italian and was working in real estate at KW Commercial as an associate broker.
Friends on his Facebook page earlier this week had been posting hopeful messages of support as he fought for his life in a hospital.
Beginning Friday night, the messages expressed sadness and grief over his reported passing.
Wrote John Lotzer: Brett, you were a great college roommate at Boston College and wonderful friend. I thoroughly enjoyed knowing and learning from you over the past 14 years. Also enjoyed traveling many fun places with you such as: Paris, Chamonix France (skiing), Rome, London, Venice, Naples, Parma, San Francisco, Minnesota, New York, and Key West. I think many of us are losing someone who feels like a member of our family. Words cannot describe today, but I know you’re in a great place now. I have many great memories!
Wrote Tim Brock: In all of the shock and disbelief that we all are having that this random thing could happen to someone that many of us know, I only hope that this beautiful light had a joyful and peaceful transition to the other side and is now released of all these earthly human burdens…smile down Brett!
Wrote Michael Figueiredo: Rest in peace, Brett. I’ve always admired you for living in the now and traveling around the world whenever you could. Your presence always lighted up the room, something I’ll never forget. My condolences go out to your family and close friends.
Wrote Christopher Adam Tobeck: There are no words that can express what so many of us are feeling right now. Just know that we love you and our love goes out to your family. I’m going to miss your devilish smile as we dance the night away or just pass the afternoon bouncing around the beach or down the street. xoxo.
Andy Cohen guested on The Tonight Show Thursday and was mighty embarrassed when host Jay Leno came up from some video from the day before where Andy is seen making it clear he doesn’t find Jay very attractive.
Like a lot of straight guys, Jay might not be interested but he is a bit offended that Andy doesn’t covet him!
Los Angeles County health officials have reported a single case of bacterial meningitis in a man, known to be a gay resident of West Hollywood, who has reportedly died from it today.
In New York City, there is an outbreak of bacterial meningitis among gay men that has resulted in 22 infections and seven deaths since 2010.
It’s not known whether the strain that infected the West Hollywood resident is the same as the New York strain.
“It’s important to note that this is just one case, but the Center has called on the L.A. County Department of Public Health (DPH) to conduct a rapid and thorough investigation,” says Center Director of Medical Services Dr. Bob Bolan, “and we’ve been told they have already begun tracking those who may have been exposed by the person who died today.”
Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial infection disease that causes the brain and spinal cord to become inflamed. As many as 1 in 5 people who develop this meningitis have serious complications, including brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities and death. If caught early, it can be effectively treated with antibiotics.
“Meningococcal meningitis can be prevented by a vaccine that is available at some local pharmacies and clinics. It is covered by some insurance plans or available for purchase at a cost of approximately $125,” said Bolan. “We’ve asked DPH to give supplies of the vaccine to community clinics like the Center’s so we can vaccinate those who want it and who are uninsured and can’t afford it. We want to prevent a public health concern from potentially becoming a public health crisis.”
Meningitis can be spread through close contact with someone who is infected, especially through coughing, sneezing, and intimate contact like kissing.
Symptoms usually develop over seven to ten days and may include fever, severe headaches and a stiff neck as well as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, confusion or decreased level of consciousness.
** People who have a compromised immune system, including those who are HIV-positive, may be at greater risk of infection. Those who experience symptoms and believe they may have been infected should call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately.
The Center asks the community to stay informed and is sharing, via its website (www.lagaycenter.org), a page of “Frequently Asked Questions” about the situation and bacterial meningitis. It will be updated as new information becomes available.
Nick decides it’s time he apologizes to Sonny for calling him a faggot saying it’s ‘a word that I never, ever use and I’m sorry.’
Then he says to Sonny: ‘So, we’re good?’
Sonny replies: ‘Yeah, we’re just dandy.’
Sonny (played by Freddie Smith) has been given more teeth lately and it’s been an appealing change. His loyalty to Will and his determination to be there for his boyfriend has added a nice layer to the character and to the performance.
I love when Will, Sami and EJ are plotting against Nick and EJ says they just have to find some dirt on him that will give Gaby pause.
An incredulous Sonny says: ‘She already knows he went to prison for killing a guy. And she’s fine with that!’
The oh-so lovely Portia de Rossi is on the cover of OUT magazine’s “The Power 50″ issue (although my copy has Ryan Murphy on the cover).
The wife of Ellen DeGeneres and star of such TV shows as Arrested Development, Ally McBeal and Better off Ted talks about her decision not to become a parent.
Says Portia: “There comes some pressure in your mid-30s, and you think, Am I going to have kids so I don’t miss out on something that other people really seem to love? Or is it that I really genuinely want to do this with my whole heart? I didn’t feel that my response was ‘yes’ to the latter. You have to really want to have kids, and neither of us did. So it’s just going to be me and Ellen and no babies — but we’re the best of friends and married life is blissful, it really is. I’ve never been happier than I am right now.”
It is so strange to me that Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show was canceled last fall, just at the beginning of its second season.
Not much of a vote of confidence!
The pity is the show, which changed its name from Anderson to Anderson Live! and added rotating guest co-hosts, is better than ever. Anderson is openly gay this season and that makes him more relaxed, more humorous, more human.
The format has also changed from Oprah-esque to more Live With Kelly and Michael.
Anderson, more in demand than ever, looks at the whole thing positively.
‘It was absolutely worthwhile,’ he tells The Hollywood Reporter. ‘I like learning new things and I like developing new skill sets and I like challenging myself in different ways, and I think the daytime show has done that, you know? I certainly enjoy it. I wish we had the show the first year that we ended up with the second year. It took us awhile to kind of figure out what we wanted to do. I’m very pleased with the show this year and how audiences have responded to it, and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it every day. It’s been kind of a jolt of energy in my day and it’s working in front of an audience and doing a show that has a variety of topics and a variety of serious-to-light stuff.’
Anderson adds: ‘I really wanted a sidekick from the get-go. And I think we really were limited by the room the first year. I mean it was a beautiful room, a beautiful backdrop and stuff, but it wasn’t available to use when we wanted it — because it’s not a television venue, it’s a performance space that does concerts and things. We could only kind of shoot around their schedule and that was really a limiting factor. Every day was sort of Groundhog’s Day, and you couldn’t develop a life within the show. We were shooting shows two or three weeks in advance and it didn’t allow you say on the show, “Wow, did you see what happened yesterday on the show? Well, today we re-contacted that person and this is what happened.” That was something I really regret and we kind of realized early on, but you know, we weren’t able to make the change until the second year.’
I have not been able to sit down and actually watch this episode of In Bed With Joan Rivers which is Joan’s new web series.
But I’m posting this latest episode which features Margaret Cho as her guest.
Joan may be best known these days for Fashion Police and that silly Joan Knows Best reality series with her daughter but she was the first permanent host of The Tonight Show and was always terrific at chatting with the stars.
You know it’s going to be a different kind of interview when, within the first few minutes, Joan asks Margaret if she eats dog.
Also, Margaret talks about her open marriage: “It takes a village.”
We don’t see a whole lot of photos of Cher with her children so these are awfully nice to see.
Cher apparently posted them on her Twitter account some time ago but I did not notice until this week when I was posting PART ONE and PART TWO of my interview with her delightful sister Georgeanne LaPiere.
So here is Cher with son Chaz Bono whose father was Cher’s first husband and longtime professional partner Sonny Bono. Below is Cher with Elijah Blue Allman whose father is Cher’s second husband, singer Greg Allman.
Originally posted Oct. 1, 2010 Robbie Arnell is one of the busiest young actors around and certainly seems to be one of the nicest. I was very impressed by how he treated his young fans and he didn’t seem to mind one bit that I did not know who the heck he was.
But plenty of people do from his roles as Jimmy Madigan in the Nickelodeon series True Jackson VP and as Fred Jackson in the new series of Scooby Doo! movies. Fred was the role Freddie Prinze Jr. famously went blond for but Robbie has not followed suit.
“I get a lot of heat for still having brown hair,” he told me when we chatted at a recent event. “It’s unbelievable. Scooby-Doo is 41 years old now and still as big as when they first started it.”
Scooby Doo: The Mystery Begins came out in September 2009 and Scooby Doo: Curse of the Lake Monster comes out Oct. 16. on Cartoon Network then on DVD.
On True Jackson, Robbie plays the boyfriend of the title character and has shot two seasons and a total of 60 episodes of the show. He said he is very grateful for the solid fan support.
“They are the best fans in the world,” he said. “Most of the time they are more shy than they are aggressive except for the rare occasion when they like swarm you.”
He also had a role in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 with Steve Martin and has starred in Picture This opposite Ashley Tisdale and in American Pie Presents: Beta House.
Got an email from cutie pie James Duke Mason a little while ago letting me know that a teaser for the upcoming noir thriller, Disappear Here, is now out.
I’ve watched it and I love it! Cannot wait to see more! He is the star and looks to be a natural.
“We’ll be making major casting announcements soon with the the full feature set to be shot later this year,” Duke says.
The filmmakers have terrific credentials. Director Matthew Mishory made the excellent Joshua Tree1951, A Portrait of James Dean and the producer is Morgan Mason who produced Sex, Lies & Videotape – and happens to be Duke’s father. (His mom is Belinda Carlisle).
He plays a young actor who becomes embroiled in a blackmail conspiracy to derail a senator’s presidential campaign.
There’s a little bit of overlap from Will and Sonny scenes I posted yesterday but most are new.
Kate’s ridiculous effort to get Gabi to sign legal papers blows up in her face as Rafe walks into the middle of the meeting a few minutes after Nick does (Doesn’t anyone ever WORK in Salem? They just walk around town bumping into each other at exactly the right moment – it’s so lazy of the writers!)
Anyway, sexy Rafe is angry at grandma Kate now. Also, Will’s comment that EJ might be up to something already has Sami questioning his motives. Good grief, EJ has shown such understanding to Will and to Sonny and if they have him go in some dastardly direction, it is beyond irritating.
On career highlights: Grammy nomination was pretty fucking amazing and unexpected. And getting to perform with Queen this last year was such an honor and totally surreal. To sing lead for Queen and a whole concert of their music was like “WHAT?”
Career lowlights: There are lots of challenges. It’s not necessarily like a really foolproof formula being a gay mainstream pop singer. As far as mainstream goes, the music industry is a bit more black and white on how they categorize everybody. In many ways I think popular music has become sort of like a high school popularity contest. So it’s not always easy to be different.
There’s a lot of conformity in the pop music world. Figuring out what works and what doesn’t. But at the end of the day people do recognize good music and that’s really exciting. I think the music industry is shifting right now and changing and it feels like its getting more organic again. And getting back to valuing real music and emotional songs. It’s exciting.
Dream duet partners: I could make a list of divas that would be fun to sing with. Everyone from Gaga to Beyonce to Cher to Christina. Any of the singers with big pipes would be really fun to do a duet with.
Misconceptions about him: A lot of people are surprised that I am tall [He’s 6’1”]. Almost half the people I meet go “oh you’re tall.” [laughs] And those same people say “oh and you’re nice.” Why does everybody think I’m short and an asshole. I’m tall and I’m friendly, I promise.
Congratulations to Nate Berkus who asked boyfriend Jeremiah Brent to marry him – and he said ‘yes!’
Well, who could say no to a cutie pie like Nate?
The couple have been together for more than a year. They celebrated atop the famed Machu Picchu in Peru where they are vacationing with friends.
Nice to see that Nate has found a great love again.
He suffered a devastating loss in 2004 when his partner, photographer Fernando Bengoechea, was swept out to sea when the Indian Ocean tsunami hit while they were vacationing at a beach resort in Sri Lanka.