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Sen. Dianne Feinstein talks about proposed her bill to renew the federal Assault Weapons Ban

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Celeb Tweets: Newtown, Conecticut Edition

Don Lemon Don Lemon ‏@DonLemonCNN I know it’s my job but I hope it’s ok to say I’m dreading this drive from hotel to Newtown to anchor on #CNN. Overwhelming sadness.
Don Lemon Don Lemon ‏@DonLemonCNN Thanks for tweets & prayers, but it’s my job. So don’t pray for me, pray for the families who r truly suffering. #SchoolShooting
Harvey Fierstein Harvey Fierstein ‏@HarveyFierstein 311 million Americans. 300 million registered guns in American homes. How do you like those odds for a happy ending?
Ross Mathews Ross Mathews ‏@helloross All 31 pro-gun senators refused to go on Meet The Press to defend their views. A welcome sign of logic prevailing.
Nia Vardalos Nia Vardalos ‏@NiaVardalos Media: stop printing his name, don’t show his face. #NewtownCT
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The names of the children and adults murdered at Sandy Brook Elementary School – God bless them

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Holiday Tune: “Saturday Night Live” opens with tribute to victims in Newtown, Connecticut

It’s hard to think of anything else today as we watch the coverage of the unspeakable tragedy in Connecticut and learn more about the victims and hear from their families.

Saturday Night Live opened with this beautiful number last night.

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My column remembering Walter Lee Carpenter III

Encore presentation of a column originally published on Dec. 15, 2009 and updated with photos

Last summer, I shared with you the devastating loss of one of the closest friends I’ll ever have: Walter Lee Carpenter III.

Today would have been Walt’s 43rd birthday and I wanted to write a little bit about him – I wanted there to be something on the Web about this special person who left us far too soon.

Walt was the youngest of four brothers and grew up in Alaska. He got straight A’s his first two years in college and was a soccer player for most of his life. He was Mr. February in the 1987 Men of San Diego calendar and did both print and runway modeling while in college.

He went on Wheel of Fortune in 1996 and was the week’s grand prize winner (wearing my old sports coat in his second appearance). Walt loved heavy metal music, loved movies and his favorite television shows and he was a major football fan – especially of the San Diego Chargers. Walt was at his absolute happiest when he was snowboarding even though he suffered a very serious head injury a decade ago that affected him in ways no one will fully understand.

Walt and I met the day we moved into Olmeca Hall at San Diego State University in August 1984. I was trying, in vain, to open the door to my room (I’d been given the wrong keys it turned out) and Walt laughed at me after he walked by a second time to see me still struggling with the lock.

We started talking and he told me he was from Alaska and when I asked him how he got to San Diego, he said sarcastically: “I swam.”

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. God we had fun. Fortified with beer, we knocked on every single door in our dorm (three floors) that first night and introduced ourselves as the “welcoming committee.” Before long, we had a sizable posse of friends.

There were all the college things we shared like all-night study session interrupted by constant games of ping pong which turned out to be something we played each other in for years. More than a decade after college, whenever we’d spend a weekend together, we would seek out the nearest ping pong table to engage in one of our epic battles.

I was not out in college. In fact, I was very in. But once I started to come out to my friends in 1990, Walt was the very first person I told. It was such a relief and as the years went by, he grew so comfortable with it that we would go to the boardwalk in Mission Beach – when he was single and lived in San Diego – and he’d pick out potential guys for me and I’d pick out potential girls for him. These afternoons were some of the most fun we ever had.

He really showed his compassion and understanding on New Year’s Eve 1994 which we spent together in Newport Beach. I was absolutely heartbroken over a guy – one of those real epic heartbreaks – but tried to put up an upbeat front at this party we were at. But once we got back to where I was housesitting, we started talking about “the guy” and I started to ball my eyes out. For about two hours at least.

Walt stayed up with me, handing me tissues, and mostly listening. It was one of the many, many times over the years that he showed me such love and loyalty.

Walt married the lovely Kim Rubi in 2002 and their wedding in Sacramento was a great bonding weekend. I hosted a bachelor party at my hotel and we got drunk and silly and had lots of laughs. We also renewed our ping pong rivalry.

Walt had chosen me and his brother Keith as groomsmen and his high school best friend Sean as best man. It was a traditional catholic ceremony and at the reception, Kim surprised Walt by walking into the room holding a microphone and she began to sing a love song to him. He took it in for a few seconds then leaped from his seat and over to her and listened to the rest in front of her on bended knee.

It was Walt’s 40th birthday three years ago that led to the worst falling out we ever had and it was our only post-college fight. While he had flown to LA for my 40th, I was unable to do the same for him. He was hurt and angry and we had a terrible email exchange in which I said some very regrettable things. I stayed angry for some time then did not know how to broach a reconciliation.

Two years passed before I sent an email apologizing. He was glad to hear from me and shared news that he was about to become a father. Then about seven months later, I got a call from our friend Howard who said: “Walt is gone.”

I’m not going to share the circumstances of his death or the deep grief it has caused for so many. But I did want to remind everyone to not let fights with your friends go on – especially if it is a friend who you truly love and who had always wanted the best for you.

It is the biggest regret of my life. I thought we would have time to become close again – I was wrong.

Walt’s wife, Kim, has been a real saving grace in this. She knew what we had meant to each other and she asked me to speak at his services and to be a pallbearer. Then a few weeks after the service, she asked me to be godfather to their beautiful son Tyler Patrick Carpenter.

Baptism day was a bittersweet day because Walt was not there but his mom Phyllis was there and Kim’s large and loving family. I did feel his presence and wore his red tie as we baptized Tyler.

I’m excited to be a part of Tyler’s life and happy to have a continuing friendship with Kim. I’ll see them next month for Tyler’s first birthday.

Walt lives on through his son.

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“The Hobbit” star Ian McKellen tells Anderson Cooper that his career soared after coming out

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Finally a Will and EJ scene on “Days of Our Lives”

Will Horton and EJ DiMera have been in the thick of things on Days of Our Lives lately but not shared any screen time.

That changed Thursday when the former employee and employer and former stepson and stepfather finally ran into each other in Salem Town Square (where else?) and caught up a bit.

There are those of us, of course, who think Will and EJ have more chemistry than Will and Sonny. I just love the way EJ says: “William …”

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Matt Damon says gay rumors about he and Ben Affleck put them in a “weird position” early in their careers

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, two of the biggest stars in the movie business, were the best of friends before  either of them were famous.

They were so close that when they exploded onto the scene with Good Will Hunting (winning the original screenplay Oscar) that the rumors began to surface that they were gay.

Damon discusses those rumors — and then some — in a new interview with Playboy magazine, saying he and Affleck were in “a weird position” with regard to the scrutiny.

“I never denied those rumors because I was offended and didn’t want to offend my friends who were gay — as if being gay were some kind of f**king disease…the whole thing was just gross,” Damon told the magazine. “But look, there have been great signs of progress — the fact that Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres can come out so beautifully and powerfully, and it’s a big f**king deal that it turns out nobody gives a shit. If Liberace were alive today, everybody would love his music and nobody would care what he did in his private life.”

Damon plays Liberace’s young lover Scott Thorson in the upcoming HBO film Behind the Candelabra.


President Barack Obama makes an emotional statement on the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut

As you well know, it’s been such a tragic day. Twenty kids shot dead between the ages of 5 and 10 years old at a Connecticut elementary school. Also six adults killed by a madman. It’s shattering for those of us who are merely watching the news on TV. My heart goes out to the families. God bless them.

Here are President Barack Obama’s remarks. Well said.

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Celeb Tweets: Connecticut school shooting

Official Wanda Sykes Official Wanda Sykes ‏@iamwandasykes Picking up my kids from school today was deeply emotional. Prayers to the parents and the community of Newton. Man, when will we learn?
Sam Champion Sam Champion ‏@SamChampion This just cant be…killing children. GOD help us #CTShooting
1h John Barrowman News John Barrowman News ‏@Team_Barrowman Bless the innocent children & adults and the families who were victims of that madman today in Connecticut. Wake up America, GUN CONTROL! Jb
Darryl Stephens Darryl Stephens ‏@darrylstephens There are no words for this kind of tragedy. What does one say in the wake of something so senseless and horrible? The sadness overwhelms.
Jason Stuart Jason Stuart ‏@Jason_Stuart I am in my hotel alone watching the terrible news of the shocking shootings in Conn. I have cried several times.
Don Lemon Don Lemon ‏@DonLemonCNN The more I hear about #schoolshooting on #CNN, the more unreal it seems. My heart breaks for the families. Sad day for the world
Robert Gant Robert Gant ‏@RobertJGant Deeply saddened by the very tragic and heart-breaking news from the east coast. Just hearing now. Sending prayers and light to the families.
Harvey Fierstein Harvey Fierstein ‏@HarveyFierstein Criminals, terrorists, or heartbroken – Guns are yours online. Pain, horror, grief and violence for sale. Fill your cart with death.

Carson Kressley Carson Kressley ‏@CarsonKressley Feeling literally sick about the senseless loss of life in connecticut. Can we all please band together to stop it from happening again.
Cheyenne Jackson Cheyenne Jackson ‏@cheyennejackson Been traveling all day and just heard about the shootings. I’m absolutely gutted. What the fuck is going on?
Adam Lambert Adam Lambert ‏@adamlambert Sending energy to the families who are suffering this horrible tragedy…
  • It’s official. Guns laws are more protected than children.

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    Golden Globe nominations: Gays and a Greg fave

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association unveiled the nominations for its Golden Globe Awards on Thursday.

    The Gays: Jim Parsons, the openly gay actor who stars on the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory was nominated for best actor in a comedy or musical television series.

    Parsons won the Globe in 2011 and has also won two Emmys for his portrayal of the straight character of Sheldon Cooper.

    Lesbian actress Sarah Paulson received a Globe nomination in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for her role in the HBO film Game Change.

    Paulson was also nominated for an Emmy for her performance and was a previous nominee for the TV series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

    American playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner received a best screenplay nomination for the film Lincoln which also earned nominations for director Steven Spielberg and stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones.

    Kushner won the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award in 1993 for his play Angels in America and is a previous Globe and Oscar nominee for his screenplay for Munich.

    Two straight performers were nominated for LGBT television roles: Eric Stonestreet in Modern Family and Archie Panjabi in The Good Wife who have both won Emmys for their portrayals.

    Greg Faves: My Meryl nabs yet another Globe nomination – a record 27th! – this time for best actress in a motion picture – musical or comedy. Miss Streep was nominated for her performance in Hope Springs, a modest summer box office hit that also starred Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell. It wasn’t a particularly showy role and I don’t think she’ll win but she already has a record eight Globes at home.

    Here is a LINK to the full list of nominees.

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    See debut episode of new web series “Eastsiders” starring Van Hansis of “As the World Turns” fame

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    Garret Dillahunt on “Any Day Now” co-star Alan Cumming: ‘We seem like a couple’

    Viewers who know Garret Dillahunt is as the often clueless dad – and granddad – of a dysfunctional family on the sitcom Raising Hope will be in for quite a surprise when they see his new film Any Day Now.

    He plays a closeted gay lawyer in the 1970a who becomes romantically involved with a drag queen (played by Alan Cumming) who seeks his help in fighting to gain custody of his drug addict neighbor’s abandoned child who has Down’s Syndrome.

    ‘I just thought it was a challenge,’ the actor tells The Advocate. ‘I like mixing it up as much as I can, and Paul was much different from the previous character I’d played, and I thought it would be fun to tackle. The icing on the cake is that it’s a beautiful story with themes that are, sadly, still resonant today. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?’

    The film, which opens today, has won many awards on the film festival circuit and garnered strong praise for the chemistry between Dillahunt and Cumming.

    ‘We seem like a couple,’ said Dillahunt who added that the two actors did not have any opportunity to get to know each other prior to the start of filming.

    ‘We didn’t have time for that,’ he said. ‘We met at the wig fitting and got to work. I guess we’re professionals! Sometimes it’s easy, though. Alan is real easy to act with. We share a belief, I think, that if you’re not having fun, why do it? And it is fun, no matter how harrowing the scene, when it works. And with Alan, it works every time.’

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    Anderson Cooper visits “The View” and talks blindless, gayness and grayness – and about those jeans

    CNN anchor Anderson Cooper talked about a lot of topics on The View yesterday including temporarily going blind while on assignment.

    Cooper, who came out publicly as a gay man last summer, also told the ladies says he didn’t do so earlier in his career out of concern for his personal safety.

    ‘I wanted a certain amount of privacy in my public life,’ he said. ‘Also I traveled to a lot of very dangerous areas. I started as a war correspondent traveling by myself and I didn’t want to do anything that would add danger.’

    ‘I traveled a lot of places where they kill gay people and still continue to kill gay people,’ he added, naming Iraq and Afghanistan as two of the places.

    So why did he decide to go public after so many years of remaining mum on the topic?

    ‘I got to a point where I feel, as a public person, there’s a responsibility to send a message that I’m very proud to be gay, I couldn’t be happier being gay and that you can be successful and you can be happy,’ Cooper said. ‘For those of us in public life, I just think it’s important for us to make that statement.’

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    Morning Man Encore: Steve Santagati! posted on Dec. 3, 2009

    When I saw relationship expert Steve Santagati on The Oprah Winfrey Show a few years back, I only had one question: Who is that?

    He is one handsome dude!

    Steve, 45, got his start spending more than a decade as a print model with national ads for the GAP, J-Crew, and Giorgio Armani and appearing on more than 70 commercials for such products as Gillette and Lever 2000.

    But he has shown that he is not only beautiful looking, he is also quite charismatic co-hosting an adventure show for ESPN, a wildlife show for Animal Planet, a reality show for Game Show Network, a weekend anchor/producer on Extra, and giving relationship advice on The Today Show, Dr Phil, Food Network w/ Rachel Ray, Extra, WE, Montel Williams, 20/20 and many other programs.

    According to his website Bad Boys Finish First, Steve Steve is the inspiration behind the movie The Ugly Truth starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler (he plays Steve). He is the author of the popular book The MANual.
    Steve Santagati

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    Snapped! Matt Bomer goes holiday shopping!

    I lived across the street from The Grove for nine years and always enjoyed spotting stars there.

    I remember seeing Lorenzo Lamas there one day and swooning, Owen Wilson checking out magazines at the Barnes & Noble, and Patricia Arquette having a lunch with her then very young daughter at adjacent Farmers Market.

    There were many, many other instances and it was always fun.

    I’m over in Silver Lake now so I wasn’t among those who got to see dreamboat Matt Bomer as he did some holiday shopping yesterday at The Grove.

    To see more of Matt and one of his sons, go to Socialite Life!

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    Matt Damon kisses and straddles Michael Douglas

    Since Matt Damon is a longtime crush of mine and Michael Douglas has been an even longer crush of mine, I love the idea of them playing gay lovers in the upcoming HBO flick Behind the Candelabra about the late Liberace and his younger lover Scott Thorson.

    Damon had played a gay man in the 1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley and pretended to be gay in a memorable 2002 episode of the NBC sitcom Will & Grace.

    But he had never before taken on a gay role that required the love scenes like the ones he shares with Douglas.

    ‘I had to come out of the pool, go over to Michael Douglas, straddle him on a chaise lounge and start kissing him,’ Damon tells Playboy in its January/February issue. ‘It’s not like I kiss him just once. We drew it up like a football plan.’

    He adds: ‘Michael was a wonderful kisser.’

    Damon, star of such films as The Bourne Identity and two sequels, Good Will Hunting and the upcoming Promised Land, says he gets more naked in this film than he usually does on screen.

    ‘Normally I’d say no to nudity, but I just did a lot of it playing the long-term partner of Liberace,’ he says. ‘I mean, it’s tastefully done. … But this movie’s not going to be for everyone.’

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    ‘Downton Abbey’ star Rob James-Collier talks about kissing men – just for professional purposes of course!

    I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for season three of Downton Abbey to begin airing in the US next month.

    Some of the cast of the show paid a visit to the ladies of ABC’s The View this week and co-host Joy Behar in her typically blunt manner asked actor Rob James-Collier: ‘What’s the difference between kissing a man and kissing a woman.’

    Collier, who plays gay footman Thomas on the series, didn’t get into specifics about the actual act of locking lips with a man but instead shared how the scene impact his home life with the woman in his life.

    ‘I know, for me, if I’m kissing a man I’m not going to get any stick off the missus at home,’ said the actor. ‘If you’re kissing a man, she’s like, ‘Ah, he’s kissing a man, he’s not enjoying that.’ If I’m kissing a woman, she turns to me and says, ‘You never kiss me like that!”

    Actor Hugh Bonneville, who plays Thomas’s boss, the Earl of Grantham, was also on The View and said:’The homosexuality of Thomas is something that I think is very deftly and very interestingly addressed in this show because it was a taboo subject. It was illegal in the 1920s.

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    Days of Our Lives: The plot thickens for Will, Sonny, Gabi, Nick and Chad in the very small town of Salem

    Boy, Salem is such a small town.

    Nick and Gabi go for pre-marriage counseling with Eric, the hot priest who happens to be the uncle of Will, the father of the baby Gabi is carrying that Nick is claiming as his own.

    Will is beginning to have trouble processing it all – especially his uncle being involved and there is a tense confrontation between he and Nick.

    Meanwhile, Chad is paying the price for blabbing to Sonny about Gabi’s involvement in Melanie’s kidnapping and Sonny can’t even stand to be in Gabi’s presence.

    It’s all gotten very juicy.

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    Morning Man Encore: Marco Chiudinelli!

    MarcoChiudinelliAug252.jpg USO09 Aug 25 image clever1980

    Player PhotoOriginally posted on May 27, 2010

    Well, well. I love that I’m still discovering new tennis hunks.

    This beautiful guy’s name is Marco Chiudinelli and he’s the third best player in Switzerland. If I have to tell you who the best player in that country is, you must be hiding under a rock: it’s Roger Federer!

    Turns out Roger and Marco grew up playing together but, obviously, their careers have taken very different paths. While Roger has won 16 grand slam titles and been ranked number one for much of the time since 2004, Marco’s highest rank is 54 and he has just one tournament victory.

    But he’s been having more success lately and has remained in the fight! After entering the 2009 season with a ranking of No. 603, Marco’s expectations of a successful season were put aside for the sheer pleasure of competing again.

    He is a contender again. So much so that his old pal Federer recently presented Marco with the 2009 Comeback Player of the Year Award in Indian Wells.

    “It’s a great honor to get this award voted by my fellow players,” Marco said then. “It was a hard time for me to get back and I’m very proud of having achieved a great comeback, and it feels great that other people recognize that effort.”

    Marco, 28, is currently playing in the French Open where he won his first-round match and as of this writing, was locked in a tight battle in the second round (Will update later).

    I love that Marco has his own website and that I was able to find out all kinds of things like his favorite foods (Sushi, Cordon-Bleu) and music (Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Metallica, Transatlantic, Porcupine Tree, Coldplay) and hobbies (Music, Sport (Soccer, Hockey, Ski), Internet, playing cards (“Jasse”), enjoying the spare time at home, chilling with friends, FC Basel).

    Once Marco is through playing on the tennis tour, I think he should segue right into modeling. This guy is seriously handsome!

    Switzerland's Marco Chiudinelli Celebrates

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