News Round-Up: February 10, 2021

Funnyman Michael Henry is down because he doesn't have a boo for Valentine's Day
Funnyman Michael Henry is down because he doesn't have a boo for Valentine's Day
Michael Henry is down about Valentine’s Day (screen capture)

Some news items you might have missed:

Yahoo News: Ryan Williams, 24, was beaten until he lost consciousness by Brandon Forrester, 19, in 2019. Forrester pleaded guilty to causing bodily harm and was sentenced to a nine-month term. But due to the COVID pandemic and “previous good character,” his sentence was suspended and was allowed to walk free. “After court he started laughing at my mum’s face, he showed no remorse,” said Williams.

Instinct Magazine: The U.K. has experienced a record number of HIV tests recently and many attribute the increase to the popular new AIDS-era drama, It’s A Sin. HIV advocacy group Terrence Higgins Trust says there has been a “four-fold increase” on HIV Testing Week stats compared to earlier years.

YouTube: Funnyman Michael Henry (top image) throws a wrench into plans to shoot a ‘quarantine cruising’ clip with his buddy ‘Terry’ because he’s down about not having a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day.

Boy Culture: Matt Rettenmund remembers Larry Flynt, the controversial publisher of Hustler Magazine who championed free speech (smutty or not). Flynt died today due to heart failure at the age of 78.

The Daily Beast: During an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Wednesday Twitter’s CFO Ned Segal told viewers that Donald Trump will never be allowed on the social media platform.

The Atlantic: Soon after the November election, a business colleague of Donald Trump’s close ally Corey Lewandowski offered a whistleblower and convicted ex-banker an expensive deal: In exchange for a $300,000 fee up front—plus another $1 million if successful—the two men would push the then-president for a pardon.

HBO Max: Check out the trailer for the new HBO documentary There Is No ‘I’ In Threesome premiering on February 11. Ollie Lucks is the director of the new doc film that explores his bisexual, polyamorous identity alongside his girlfriend Zoe. Hoping to expand their sexual horizons, the couple decided to open up their relationship before getting hitched.

Out Olympian Adam Rippon Is Engaged!

Olympic bronze medalist Adam Rippon has announced he and his longtime boyfriend have become engaged
Adam Rippon (right) and Jussi-Pekka Kajaala are engaged (image via Instagram/Adam Rippon)

Out Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon has announced the happy news that he and his longtime boo Jussi-Pekka ‘JP’ Kajaala are now engaged.

“JP and I didn’t get to see each other for almost all of 2020 because of the pandemic,” said in a post on Instagram. “When there was finally a chance for me to go and see him in Finland, I jumped at it. I was there for a little over two months.”

Amid sharing jokes, shoveling snow, binge-watching The Crown, and even booting up for a little skating, “We bought ourselves some rings and said that magic word.. ‘duh!’ We got engaged.”

“I’m excited to marry JP because he’s just the best,” Rippon tells PEOPLE in an statement. “He’s kind, he’s funny, and he’s just as beautiful on the inside as he is on the out (which is a lot). He’s my cheerleader and I’m his. I just love him a lot.”

Leading up to the big moment, Rippon says the couple “did everything together.” They bought the rings together, picked them up together, and even simultaneously dropped down to a knee and popped the question in unison so they could both “be the one who proposed.”

“We went to a nice dinner and we did it at the same time,” the 31-year-old athlete told Good Morning America. “We did three, two, one, and we put the rings on.”

Rippon became a household name during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he scored a bronze medal as part of Team USA. As a result, he became the first openly gay U.S. athlete to medal at the Olympics – and playfully declared himself ‘America’s sweetheart.’

It was while competing abroad that Rippon met his future fiancé on Tinder.

Since that time, the couple has been out and proud about their relationship.  Kajaala has appeared with Rippon on red carpets at events and shared moments on each others Instagram accounts.

Rippon, a longtime LGBTQ activist, says the exposure was done with a purpose.

“I think that representation and seeing people in different circumstances can help inspire,” he told GMA. “I think growing up, I never really saw myself getting married because I didn’t see how it would happen.”

“It was with JP, the first time I thought, ‘Oh yeah, I know the feeling I can marry somebody,’” he added.

The couple hasn’t picked a date yet, but Rippon says he’d be happy with a small, non-Olympic sized ceremony.

“I think what we are just going to do is wear some cool clothes, go to the courthouse, get married, come home and maybe go to Houston Steakhouse after and that will be that.”

Congratulations to the happy couple!

CNN’s Don Lemon Announces Engagement

CNN Tonight anchor Don Lemon announced he is engaged to boyfriend Tim Malone after the real estate agent popped the question while celebrating his birthday.
CNN host Don Lemon with fiancé Tim Malone

CNN Tonight anchor Don Lemon announced he is engaged to boyfriend Tim Malone after the real estate agent popped the question while celebrating his birthday.

The 53-year-old anchor shared the news on his social media with a photo of their two dogs’ collars asking “Daddy Will You Marry Papa?” Lemon added the caption, “He gave me a present on his birthday. How could I say no?”

The couple have been dating since 2016.

A post shared by Don Lemon (@donlemoncnn) on Apr 6, 2019 at 12:26pm PDT

It’s A “Good Romance” – Lady Gaga Engaged!

Lady Gaga (image via Instagram)

Not only does Lady Gaga have a big, hit movie with A Star Is Born as well as a newly-christened #1 album with the film’s soundtrack, she’s also shared the news that she’s engaged!

Addressing the audience at Elle’s 25th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration in Los Angeles Monday, the “Poker Face” singer casually dropped the news by thanking “my fiancé Christian” during her speech.

“Christian” would be CAA talent agent Christian Carino, who’s clients include Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Simon Cowell.

InStyle reports that the couple may have been engaged back in the summer of 2017 but had not made the news public.

But back in January of 2017, the couple were seen being affectionate at a Kings of Leon concert, and were also spotted on the field of the Super Bowl that February.

Gaga was previously engaged to actor Taylor Kinney (Chicago Fire) after he popped the question on Valentine’s Day 2015, but the couple went their separate ways by July 2016 after five years together.

She may sing about a “Bad Romance,” but with Carino, Gaga appears to feel pretty safe.

“Christian is a good, grounding force and understands her career,” PEOPLE quotes a source close to the couple. “She’s in a great place now.”

“When I went backstage, Christian was by the stairs making sure I was okay,” Gaga told the New York Post’s Page Six back in September of 2017 after her concert at Citi Field. “The best part about being in love with someone is having them there to catch you if you fall.”

Other than in love, though, Gaga doesn’t appear to be “falling” anywhere.

Referencing the enormous success of A Star is Born at the Elle bash Monday, Gaga told the crowd, “Never within my wildest dreams would I think my life would become what it has.”

Mother Monster has fallen in love and it’s a “good romance!”

Congratulations to the happy couple!

A post shared by @ christiancarino on Jan 28, 2018 at 7:15pm PST

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YATLOMLA post shared by @ christiancarino on Oct 22, 2017 at 8:46pm PDT

Russell Tovey Announces Engagement To Rugby Player Boyfriend

Steve Brockman (L) and Russell Tovey (R)

Handsome Being Human, Looking, and Quantico star Russell Tovey has announced his engagement to his woofy rugby-playing bf, Steve Brockman.

The actor told Digital Spy, “Completely unexpected but very, very happy and looking forward to having a proper party to celebrate when back in London.”

The Sun reports that Tovey is “over the moon” about his upcoming nuptials to Brockman, a rugby player with the Kings Cross Steelers.

Tovey is currently based in London and New York, where Quantico shoots. Brockman, who works in construction, plans on visiting NYC often according to report.

I know Tovey’s excited about calling Brockman “husband,” but I think Brockman is total “daddy” material 🙂

Congrats to the happy couple!

A post shared by Steve Brockman (@steve_the_brockman) on Nov 8, 2017 at 6:46am PST
A post shared by Steve Brockman (@steve_the_brockman) on Dec 9, 2017 at 11:08am PST
A post shared by Steve Brockman (@steve_the_brockman) on Nov 5, 2017 at 11:55am PST
A post shared by Steve Brockman (@steve_the_brockman) on Sep 17, 2017 at 11:47am PDT

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Observe #WorldAIDSDay In First Public Appearance Since Engagement

Prince Harry and new fiance Meghan Markle made their first public appearance today since their engagement was announced by observing World AIDS Day.

Prince Harry has long been involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS just as his mother, Princess Diana, was.

Prince Harry has been to Nottingham many times before and is delighted to be introducing the city to Ms. Markle. pic.twitter.com/wyLn1v0QfQ

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 1, 2017

Out Pro Soccer Player Robbie Rogers Engaged To TV Producer Greg Berlanti

Over the weekend, out pro soccer player Robbie Rogers (currently with the LA Galaxy) announced his engagement to longtime boyfriend Greg Herlanti, writer/producer/director of Dawson’s Creek, Brothers & Sisters, Green Lantern, Everwood, Political Animals, Arrow, The Flash.

Thank you to everyone before us that made this moment possible… I feel extremely lucky and blessed to end 2016 engaged to the love of my life. ❤ Happy New Year!

And Berlanti made his own announcement as well:

2016 was memorable for many reasons, for me it as the year my heart doubled in size. First, when my son Caleb was born. And second, a few days ago, when I got engaged to my soulmate ❤️ though I dreamed of both those things happening, i’m not sure I truly believed they were possible. Thanks to the friends and family who helped me find my way to this moment in my blessed life. a happy and healthy 2017 to all.

The couple has been together since 2013.

Ricky Martin Gets Engaged

The Ellen Show’s audience were the very first to hear the news that Ricky Martin is engaged!

The world-famous singer told Ellen about his new fiancé, artist Jwan Yosef, and how they first met.

“He’s a conceptional artist and I’m a collector so I started looking for art and I saw his art and I went crazy because I really love what he does. Really original,” Martin said. “And then I contacted him.”

He then went on to talk about his two children, Matteo and Valentino, and his newly announced residency at the new Park Theater at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas beginning early next year.

Idina Menzel Drops New Album & Gets Engaged

What an awesome week for Tony Award winner and Frozen star Idina Menzel.

On same day that her new self-titled album, Idina, is released, we get the news that she is now engaged to boyfriend, Aaron Lohr.

Having worked together on the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical RENT, the two began dating after her divorce from husband Taye Diggs in December of 2013.

The two apparently began living together a year ago.

The Tony Award winner is set to star in a 2017 remake of the Bette Midler classic film, Beaches.

I’ve previewed Menzel’s new album a few weeks ago here and here, and you can find it on iTunes here.

I’m a huge fan of Menzel’s talent: vast, visceral and uniquely authentic.

Congrats on a great day, Miss Idina.