Antoine Ashley, known as Sahara Davenport from his appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race,passed away yesterday at the age of 27. There’s no information yet on the cause of death, but it has been confirmed by several sources close to the show. “It’s true and I have no words,” Drag Race judge Michelle Visageposted to twitter. “Have to sign off for now kids, can’t handle this. XOXO.” Host RuPaul also offered his sympathies. “Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport,” he tweeted earlier this morning. “Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal.”
A Dallas native, Antoine was trained as a dancer at the Southern Methodist University. He moved to New York after graduating, and began performing drag shows in various bars around the city under his Sahara Davenport alter-ego. He also did turns on the soap opera One Life To Live, Judge Karen, and music videos for David Guetta. After gaining fame on the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2010, he turned his attention to his own music. He released the EP Pump With Me, and the single “Go Off” went to Number 35 on the Billboard Dance charts earlier this year.
He leaves behind boyfriend Karl Westerberg, who also appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race under the name Manila Luzon. “I love him so much,”he tweeted today. Logo, the network that airs the television show, issued a statement today. “Logo is profoundly saddened by the passing of Antoine Ashley who fans around the world knew and loved as Sahara Davenport. He was an amazing artist and entertainer who’ll be deeply missed by his Logo family. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, especially his boyfriend Karl, in their time of need.” We’ll give you an update as more information is released.
The horrifying news about how Sylvester Stallone‘s son, Sage Stallone, 36, was found dead in his apartment on Friday, broke the hearts of family, friends and fans all over the world. His surprising death lead to a lot of heartbreaking allegations that we couldn’t even stand to watch roll in.
Sage was an actor, director and screenwriter. Remember Rocky Balboa’s son in Stallone’s 1990 film, Rocky V? That adorable dark-haired kid was Sage Stallone. Cue tears.
Sylvester told TMZ that he is completely devastated by the death of his son and how badly he wants “the speculation and questionable reporting” to stop. We couldn’t agree more. Stallone went on to say “when a parent loses a child there is no greater pain.” Sly is begging the public to show compassion and respect for Sage’s “loving mother Sasha.”
When speaking about how this would affect his family, Sylvester said “this agonizing loss will be felt for the rest of our lives,” adding, “Sage was our first child and the center of our universe, and I am humbly begging for all to have my son’s memory and soul left in peace.”
We here at VH1 send our thoughts and good wishes out to the Sly, Sasha, and the entire family during this incredibly difficult time.
Author and screenwriter Ray Bradbury passed away last night at the age of 91, and he’ll be missed for a whole lot more than just those books on your high school reading list. Today, as you head into the theaters to see The Hunger Games and Prometheus, stroll down you bookstore aisle to pick up the latest hot dystopian YA novel, or flip on your ginormous flat-screen TV, you owe something to Bradbury. As much as we refer to George Orwell’s Big Brother of 1984, rail against the dangers of Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World and conjure up nightmares of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, those book-burning “firefighters” of Fahrenheit 451 strikes fear into the hearts of many a reader and writer. His sci-fi writing (in short stories, The Ray Bradbury Theater TV show, and elsewhere), has also inspired many too follow in his imaginative footsteps. Granted we haven’t read his books since high school, so here, based largely on educated guesses and wild speculation, are 5 pop-culture things we owe the guy:
1. The Hunger Games:Fahrenheit 451 starkly contrasts the sterile, overstimulated emptiness of the dystopian city with the romanticized beauty of the country. Sound familiar? Read more…
If this story’s true, then Amy Winehouse‘s untimely death has taken on another very unexpected, sad twist. The Mirror reports that Amy had plans to adopt a little girl from St Lucia and that the process was already underway. 10 year old Dannika Augustine apparently, was well on the road to becoming Amy’s daughter. The details that have been released are quite heartbreaking, with Amy supposedly already having hired lawyers for the adoption. Dannika’s grandmother, Marjorie Lambert, who was responsible for the pair meeting, also says that Winehouse was planning to visit her soon-to-be daughter next week.
Dannika has also spoken out saying, “Amy was already my mother. I would call her mum and she would call me her daughter. She took care of me and we had fun together. I loved her and she loved me. She was the most amazing person and I was looking forward to living with her here or in London. I cannot believe she is gone. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.” Amy spent a fair amount in St Lucia over the years considering it her getaway. The photograph above shows the two of them happily strolling on the beach together and we don’t know about you but, this just got a lot more tragic for us.
Almost as sad as Ryan Dunn’s death is seeing an incredibly distraught Bam Margera talk about his friend in the press. Even sadder is that is the fact that Dunn’s car accident wasn’t his first. In fact, he had a tendency toward reckless driving. “He flipped me in a car eight times at the same exact spot in 1996,” a visibly upset Margera said in an interview with E!. “Thank God I had my seat belt on, because Chris Raab put one on me, but my brother didn’t have one on. He flew 40 feet. Thank God he’s alive. But like, Dunn was always a maniac at driving.”
Despite being hurt by Roger Ebert’s tweets calling out Dunn for his drunk driving, Margera says he feels consoled by everyone who has reached out to him, including acquaintance Brad Pitt. “He has a goddamn Porche, and he drives fast.” Margera says of his late pal, before explaining,”He was my best f–king friend in the world. It’s been five days now and I can’t stop crying man. I just don’t think it should’ve been him.”
Having recently opened up about her ex-boyfriend and father of her child in a deeply personal episode of Nightline, it seems that Michelle Williams now regrets giving the interview about Health Ledger.Whenchatting with the Daily Beast, a frustrated Williams explained, “I just had an experience with Nightline that got edited in such a way that seemed as if I did go too far. It was a three-hour interview that was edited in such a way that was devastating to me.” In addition to producers whittling her words down into sound bites, Williams seems to blame herself in part for saying too much in the interview about ex Heath. “I mean, I am still such the-good-girl. I want everybody to like me. I want everybody to be happy. I want to please people. So that desire in the moment overrode that ‘me’ that is on top of myself, that ‘me’ that is on top of a situation,” Michelle said. Well, if her Golden Globe nomination is any indication, liking Michelle Williams isn’t a problem for the general population, regardless of what she reveals about her personal life.
Chopped-up and reassembled as it may be, it sounds like much of the sentiment expressed in the interview remains true. When asked how her feelings about Ledger might more accurately be expressed, Williams muses, “How do I talk about this? I experienced a lot of loss after his death. I lost my city because of all the paparazzi descending upon us. I actually lost my journal during that time, oddly enough. I literally couldn’t hold on to anything. It felt as if things were literally slipping through my fingers. Things were just streaming away from me. I lost my sense of humor. I’m still sort of looking for that.” Hey, give yourself a break Michelle. Until your funny bone resurfaces, we’ll be happy to act as a back-up for you.
Just go open up a brand-new box of Kleenex now. You’re going to need them when you watch a teary-eyed Michelle Williams talk about Heath Ledger’s death. Normally close-lipped about her former fiancee and daughter Matilda’s father, Williams reveals that she’s wistful for the months immediately following Heath’s death in 2007. “In a strange way, I miss that year, because all those possibilities that existed then are gone,” she said. “It didn’t seem unlikely to me that he could walk through a door or could appear behind a bush. It was a year of very magical thinking, and in some ways I’m sad to be moving further and further away from it,” Williams admits. You know that thing, where you’re crying so hard you can’t breathe? That’s what we’re dealing with right now.
As for finding meaning in Ledger’s death, Williams, who’s up for a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Blue Valentine, says she’s still at a loss. “The actual event itself…I can’t find a meaning for it. I can find meanings in things and people and relationships that have sprung up and friendships that have strengthened…but not in why.” Excuse us while we write the rest of our posts from the ladies’ room; we’re going to need a lot more paper products than we expected to handle this weeping.
A neighbor who lives near the apartment Dan was staying in told Radar Online “They (Dan and his friends) had been partying, and we were woken up with the girl screaming. She came running out to the front garden of their apartment and some people went out to help her. The paramedics were called, but he was found dead surrounded by needles and syringes.” E! News is also reporting that the L.A. Coroner’s Office stated that his case “was initially reported to us as a possible overdose.”
The official cause of death won’t be confirmed until toxicology reports are complete.
David Carradine‘s wife has filed a wrongful death suit against the movie producers he was working for when he accidentally died from auto-erotic asphyxiation. According to TMZ, Carradine was promised an assistant to take care of travel and scheduling while working on the film Stretch in Bangkok. The night of his death, Carradine was supposed to have dinner with the film’s director, only to be left behind when he failed to answer a phone call from the lackey. Told he had to “make his own arrangements that evening,” Carradine tied a rope around his neck and genitals and accidentally hung himself. Apparently, Annie feels the studio is to blame for not giving himself the actor something better to do.
We hate to laugh about a tragedy (Carradine was not only a great actor—seen Kill Bill?—he was also an early supporter of Martin Scorsese), but this lawsuit seems totally ridiculous. Unless Carradine was considered a danger to himself and required round-the-clock supervision (which goes well beyond the “industry standards” the studio allegedly failed to live up to), it doesn’t sound like his unfortunate demise was the outcome of their negligence so much as the actor’s lack of good judgment. It’s a good thing she waited a year after his death to file this thing—David’s spirit needed time to get over his initial embarrassment before hearing about this.
Conrad Murray, where are you looking? Toward heaven, to see if Michael Jackson made it? Or to the invisible man floating in space above your head, feeding you information about how best to look crazy during your defense trial? Both are acceptable answers, but for real dude, you’re looking crazier by the minute from the reports we’ve read.
TMZ reported today that the doctor would be arguing that it wasn’t his fault that Jackson OD’d on Propofol, but rather the musician’s doing. In a boldly speculative timeline, Murray’s defense will argue that during the two minutes that Murray left Jackson’s bedside to use the bathroom, they believe Jackson awoke and took it upon himself to inject the fatal dose of the sleep drug, and once Murray returned he attempted to revive the pop star. They will try to convince a jury that ultimately Jackson died by his own hand. That’s fishy defense number one.
The second defense we’re having some trouble with is their claim that Jackson was addicted to Coca-Cola and that the caffeine from the soft drink would cause his sleeplessness, which then cause him to require drugs to help him sleep. The lawyers will claim that Jackson knew this cycle was causing himself harm but demanded his Coke anyway.
So help us, if this “Soda Defense” works, we will no longer have faith in the justice system.