Celebrity Entertaiment

Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute Fired: ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Cast Shocked

If any fans of Vanderpump Rules were surprised to learn Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni had been fired — they aren’t alone. The cast of the Bravo hit was also shocked, multiple sources exclusively tell Us Weekly.

“The rest of the cast is just finding out the news about the firings. They are shocked,” one insider tells Us. “There was still no word to the cast about the plans for starting up filming for next season.”

A second source notes that the rest of the cast, which includes Scheana Shay, Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix, Jax Taylor, Brittany Cartwright, Tom Schwartz, Katie Maloney, Lala Kent, James Kennedy and Dayna Kathan, learned about the season 9 shakeup when Variety broke the news.

Vanderpump Rules Cast Shocked After Stassi Schroeder Kristen Doute Max Boyens Brett Caprioni Firings
Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni. Shutterstock (3); Chris Haston/Bravo

Bravo announced its decision to cut ties with Schroeder, 31, Doute, 37, Boyens, 27, and Caprioni, 31, on Tuesday, June 9, due to their past racially insensitive remarks, which have resurfaced amid the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Bravo and Evolution Media confirmed today that Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni will not be returning to Vanderpump Rules,” the network said in a statement to Us.

Schroeder and Doute, for their part, came under fire earlier this month after former SURver Faith Stowers revealed they falsely accused her of committing a crime in 2018.

“There was this article on Daily Mail where there was an African American lady. It was a weird photo, so she looked very light-skinned and had these different, weird tattoos. They showcased her, and I guess this woman was robbing people. And they called the cops and said it was me,” Stowers recalled via Instagram Live. “It was just funny, because they thought it was me because it was a black woman with a weave. So they just assumed it would be me, and they called the cops on me.”

Both Schroeder and Doute released public apologies to Stowers on Sunday, June 7.

“What I did to Faith was wrong. I apologize and I do not expect forgiveness,” the Next Level Basic author, who also lost several brand deals and was dropped by her PR company, wrote via Instagram. “I am also sorry to anyone else that feels disappointed in me. I am going to continue to look closer at myself and my actions – to take the time to listen, to learn, and to take accountability for my own privilege.”

Doute, meanwhile, wrote that her “actions were not racially driven,” but she “now completely aware of how my privilege blinded me from the reality of law enforcement’s treatment of the black community, and how dangerous my actions could have been to her.”

While Schroeder and Doute were part of Vanderpump Rules since its 2013 premiere, Boyens and Caprioni joined the cast for season 8. Before their January debut, fans discovered both the TomTom general manager and the SUR employee tweeted racial slurs in the past. After they both apologized for the second time at the June 2 reunion, Lisa Vanderpump stood by them.

“If I fired every one of you that have made mistakes, it doesn’t matter to what degree, probably none of you would have a job,” Vanderpump, 59, said during part one of the reunion. “I have never seen any inkling of anything that would make me believe that that’s the beliefs they’re holding now. And if I had, they wouldn’t be working for me.”

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Breaking New

‘Nothing shocked me’: Bernie Sanders reflects on again falling short in his bid for the presidency

Now, as he takes a step back and reflects on his second failed bid for the White House, he remains proud of what he accomplished, but still believes there is a lot more work to do to bring more working class Americans into the political system and implement many of the progressive policy positions he has long advocated for.

“It’s hard,” Sanders said in an interview with CNN. “But we knew what we were doing, and nothing that happened really shocked me.”

“I think what we saw from Nevada on out was a cry the rooftops, from the political establishment, from the media that they wanted anybody but Bernie,” Sanders said. “My God, I don’t know how many articles there were about that. ‘We need anybody but Bernie’ and you know they ended up succeeding. And that’s that.”

He stayed in the race longer in 2016 and will end up earning fewer delegates this year than he did four years ago. But Sanders emerged as a front-runner this cycle, bouncing back after a heart attack in the fall, fundraising more than his rivals and winning over key endorsements from other progressive leaders. When Sanders won the popular vote in three of the first four primary contests, the nomination seemed within his grasp, but his hopes were dashed after Joe Biden’s victory in South Carolina.

Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden for president

The former vice president’s win there streamlined the establishment backlash to Sanders. Other moderate candidates dropped out and rallied around Biden, setting off a sweeping realignment of the contest that ultimately drowned Sanders, whose campaign was not prepared to weather a storm it so confidently predicted. And while Sanders had increased turnout and enjoyed strong support from young voters, their impact was not nearly what he and his campaign predicted.

While many of Sanders’ supporters were ready to claim the nomination after his victory in Nevada, the senator himself understood the challenges he faced.

In the aftermath of Sanders ending his bid, there has been a rigorous debate about the way the Sanders campaign approached Biden. Some forces in the Sanders world thought he should have been more aggressive in laying out the differences between the two candidates. But Sanders was insistent that any distinctions that were drawn not come at the expense of the personal relationship between the two men, one built while they were colleagues in the Senate. It is a decision Sanders does not regret – and he argues those lodging complaints likely don’t know the whole story.

“I think probably, what you’re going to find for the next five years is half of America was intimately involved in my campaign,” Sanders joked. “Look, there are difference in tactics, but I don’t think it was the tactics ended up helping us lose.”

Since ending his campaign a week ago, Sanders has thrown his support behind Biden and is left to help convince his passionate base of supporters to get behind the former vice president’s challenge to Donald Trump.

“Joe and I have our disagreements for sure. Joe is a decent guy and I think he is more than willing now to sit down, and we’ll listen to those people that supported him in the past, hear what they have to say and tried to address their concerns,” Sanders said.

He recognizes that Biden will have some work to do to win over progressive supporters, but Sanders argues by November, given the choices in front of them, most will come around.

“I think most people will wake up in the morning and say, ‘ OK, what will role will I play now? Is it acceptable for me to sit on my hands and allow the possibilities? Do I allow the more dangerous president in modern American history to get reelected or do I do everything that I can to defeat Trump while at the same time try to move the Biden campaign and his administration into his progressive position as possible?'” Sanders said. “And I think the overwhelming majority of the American people will conclude yes.”

The two sides are in the process of forming six policy task forces that will feature leading experts that supported both candidates. They will release a list of policy proposals that will be a part of the Biden campaign’s pitch to voters.

Sanders said he is prepared to stay engaged. He feels that, in many ways, his progressive coalition has won the argument. Many of the big issues he ran on in 2016, from single-payer health care to free college tuition, enjoy far greater levels of popular support now. He also has won the praise of many mainstream Democrats.

In his endorsement of Biden’s campaign, former President Barack Obama described Sanders as “an American original.” Sanders said the embrace by figures like Obama serves as a recognition of where he believes American politics are headed.

“If he (Obama) were running for president today, he would not be saying what he said in 2008 because the world has significantly changed and political consciousness has changed,” Sanders said. “And any good politician — Obama and Biden they’re both very good politicians — understand that you’ve got to go where the people are.”

What discourages Sanders, though, is that many of the average Americans who would benefit the most from progressive policies like guaranteed health care, a higher minimum wage or free college tuition are still not actively involved in the political process. Sanders believes it is not because they don’t exist, but because they still don’t feel the system works for them.

“We as a nation have the lowest voter turnout of almost any major country on earth. I think it is very difficult to get people to vote when they believe the system is totally rigged against them and that they’re vote does not make a difference. I’ve heard that a million times and that’s tough,” Sanders said. “But that is exactly what has to be done.”

There is one role that, moving forward, he does not expect to play again: candidate for President.

“No one could predict the future, but I think it is fair to say I will not be running for president again,” Sanders said. “I guess.”

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Celebrity Entertaiment

How this ‘Undercover Boss’ shocked his employees when his identity was revealed

When Clean Harbors CEO Alan McKim went on CBS’ “Undercover Boss,” he discovered some of his employees weren’t such big fans.

“One of the drivers was quite verbal about corporate headquarters and the CEO of the company,” says McKim, 64. “[He was] talking about the glass palace, which is corporate, and the CEO, and sort of saying, ‘The CEO doesn’t really care.’ So he was quite surprised to find that [my undercover alter ego] ‘Bill Anderson’ was actually the CEO.”

In Monday’s episode of the Emmy-winning reality series — which follows high-level executives going undercover as entry-level employees in their own companies — McKim exchanges his suit for a hard hat and goes out into the field to mix with his employees.

McKim started Clean Harbors, the largest hazardous waste disposal company in North America, in 1980 with four employees, a number that’s ballooned to over 15,000. The company provides services including waste management, emergency spill response, industrial cleaning, and recycling services.

“My disguise was part of a search for a second career — I was Bill Anderson and I was disguised with long hair and a beard and mustache,” says McKim. “It was really quite amazing to go out in the field and participate in some of the cleanup activities and travel with some of the people out there. It was a really rewarding experience.”

It was even rewarding to talk to that driver who had unknowingly bad-mouthed him to his face, he says.

“That was tough to hear. But it really gave me an opportunity to probe a bit more and get his perspective, because we have over 4,000 drivers. And so when you hear something like that, you want to hear more. You want to understand, ‘Does the workforce feel like the CEO doesn’t care?’ ”

Gregg, Field Supervisor and Alan McKim
Gregg, Field Supervisor and Alan McKimMary Kouw/CBS

In the episode, McKim visits four different locations: Boston, Chicago, Texas and New Jersey, working at a refinery that recycles oil, cleanup from a hurricane and chemical distribution. While at the New Jersey branch, he worked on a mock-cleanup of a chemical spill in downtown Manhattan, near One World Trade Center (Eden’s Alley).

In a moving scene, the episode shows McKim talking to an employee who’s at the site for the first time since Sept. 11, 2001 — when the company worked on cleanup at Ground Zero.

“We were very much involved both in the 9/11 incident and the [2001 anthrax attacks] cleanup. That brought back some memories, talking with our employees involved,” McKim says. “The fact that he hadn’t been back to the site was amazing. I didn’t know we’d end up there [filming ‘Undercover Boss’]  so it was very moving to hear his feelings about that. We were [at Ground Zero post-9/11] for a long time. We had about 350 people working there. All the trucks of debris that would leave the site — we’d decontaminate those at different wash stations.”

Even with the hard work and unexpected insults, McKim says his “Undercover Boss” experience was a positive one.

“I felt like I did get some unfiltered feedback,” he says. “I certainly was pleased to see that everywhere I was brought in as a prospective new hire [that] everyone really cared about safety. We try to make safety our number one priority, but with a large workforce sometimes you worry that you don’t get that message down to the workforce.

“I’m more appreciative of just how hard the work is to be working inside a tank or in the field when it’s hot and you need to wear protective clothing,” he says. “What came out of [the experience] is us having more corporate people go out and travel and do ride-alongs with people in the field, and to get more of them in the field to come to corporate and understand the serious business they’re doing.”

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Breaking New

A new theory on what shocked the overnight lending market

The spike in overnight borrowing rates forced the Federal Reserve to come to the rescue, pumping in lots of cash and restarting bond purchases. This eased any panic, and appears to have helped juice the stock market as an unintended side effect.

But a big question has loomed: What caused the shock, unprecedented since the global financial crisis?

In a new report, the Bank for International Settlements points to larger problems at play. This corner of the market relies heavily on the largest four US banks — and those banks have been holding more liquid assets in US Treasuries compared to what they store with the Federal Reserve, BIS notes. This could have contributed to the cash crunch.

Another factor: hedge funds, which have been financing more trades through this part of the market, per BIS.

The debate over what caused the problems in so-called “repo” markets is likely to continue. In the meantime, stocks could keep benefiting from the Fed’s intervention.

Morgan Stanley estimates that global stocks have seen nearly $175 billion in inflows since September, with two-thirds of that heading to the United States. “So long as central banks keep pumping this liquidity in, and trade negotiations don’t break down, we see little reason to think this can’t continue,” the bank’s equity strategists told clients Monday.

A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business’ Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here.

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Breaking New

Brandt Jean: His hug of forgiveness shocked the country. Yet he still won’t watch the video from that moment

People share their own stories of forgiveness. Some ask for pictures and praise him for being brave. He just listens.

With the judge’s permission, Brandt walked across a Dallas courtroom and hugged Guyger tightly for nearly a minute.

Two months after that hug, Brandt has not dwelled on the moment. It was a show of forgiveness in the most public of places, an instance of him being the person he was raised to be.

But he is keenly aware of the impact of his act of forgiveness on the life of others and on his life. The usually quiet 18-year-old — who has chosen not to watch the video of that day in the courtroom because he doesn’t like the sound of his own voice — feels his voice has more power now.

“I just want to lead by example, just be my own person,” Brandt, who lives in St. Lucia, said in an interview with CNN this week.

For him that means “being a positive influence to whoever’s around me,” he said.

Brandt used that voice when he accepted an ethical courage award from a law enforcement organization this week in Plano, Texas. He attended with some reservation.

His mother, Allison Jean, said Brandt had turned down many invitations because “he felt that what he had done in the courtroom was not for his recognition.”

Before the ceremony, he told CNN: “I really don’t want this to happen again. As much as I want people to be forgiving, I don’t want there to be another brother who has to forgive.”

“My brother was well aware of the danger posed to young black men due to the misconceptions about color that seem particularly pronounced among the law enforcement community,” Brandt said as he accepted the award from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration.

“I want you all to know I am not a threat, that young black males are not inherently dangerous or criminal,” Brandt said.

Brandt Jean accepts an ethical courage award from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration.

‘I pretty much hated her’

Guyger contended the September 2018 shooting was a mistake.

The former officer said she went to the wrong apartment, which she had mistaken for her own, and believed Botham Jean was an intruder. Jean was on the couch in his shorts, watching TV and eating vanilla ice cream, when Guyger entered, according to prosecutors.

Brandt said his brother’s death made him angry. His mother testified in October he had gone from punching walls to not saying much about his feelings.

“I was scared. I didn’t know what he was thinking,” she told CNN this week.

Brandt recalled, “pretty much this entire year, I pretty much … hated her.”

“I used to talk to my friends about wanting to kill her and stuff.” But that all changed when he heard her apologize.

“Going through the trial, I just had to hear it once, and that’s when like my heart kind of opened up,” he said.

After Guyger was sentenced, when he sat on the stand, “I just, you know, let it all out.”

“Gradually, throughout this year, I worked on myself and I understood that this anger shouldn’t be kept inside me,” he told CNN.

His willingness to forgive Guyger will help him apply that spirit of forgiveness to other parts of his life, he said.

“I usually tell myself if I could forgive her then, I could forgive anyone for anything,” he said.

Botham’s death and the trial hasn’t changed him, he said. “It’s just forced me to improve my humility and freed me from anxiety.”

‘I want people to have the heart that God has’

Many said black people have been conditioned by years of trauma to reflexively offer forgiveness, especially when the perpetrator is a white person.

“Why do black folks always have to forgive?” CNN analyst Bakari Sellers tweeted after the hug. “We can have a conversation about black folk and our unconscionable forgiveness in the face of hate and violence. I don’t get it.”

Brandt said he wasn’t surprised by the criticism. He said his feeling was authentic and driven by the principles he was raised by in the Church of Christ.

How Botham Jean's mother is preparing to face the former police officer who killed her son

“I want them to discard this thing from their minds that … certain people are supposed to act a certain way,” he said. “I want people to have the heart that God has. This may have just been about God and what would God want me to do in this situation, without even looking at race.”

S. Lee Merritt, a family attorney, said it “meant something for him to offer forgiveness at that point.”

“Most people don’t reach a point of forgiveness that quickly,” Merritt said in an interview. “And so, I was inspired by him. And I thought everybody would be because we all know that no one suffered more than his family, and probably in his family, no one suffered more than him.”

A new chapter at Harding University

At least twice a month, Brandt visits Botham’s grave in St. Lucia.

He goes alone, sits there in silence and drinks a Gatorade or a bottle of Ting, a grapefruit-flavored soda — two drinks they liked a lot.

Brandt’s conversations with his brother are light talks, filled with updates about LeBron James’ remarkable season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Botham Jean's former workplace is honoring him with a portrait and a room named after him

“It’s literally the only time I kinda talk to him, especially with the way LeBron’s season has started,” he said.

Brandt said he has come to terms with his brother’s death.

“It is sad that he’s not able to be here,” he said. “My mind is set on just moving forward … just trying to be happy,” he said.

In January, he will start his freshman year at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where Botham attended, and major in civil engineering.

Brandt is focused on getting ready for school by practicing good sleeping habits. For now, he’s nervous about not knowing who his roommate will be. Down the road are dreams of getting married and having a big family.

The hug and the act of forgiveness was a “big event that happened in my life,” Brandt said.

“I’m moving forward in different ways,” Brandt said. “Just trying to continue having a normal life … I understand a lot of people say I’m famous. I still feel normal.”

Darran Simon reported and wrote from Atlanta. Ed Lavendera and Ashley Killough reported from Dallas. Eliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report.

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