Lochte’s darkest moment
Ryan Lochte should have been riding high after the Rio Games, said Josh Peter in USA Today. The Olympic swimmer had just bagged his 12th medal, making him the second-most decorated male swimmer of all time. Instead, he returned to the U.S. under a cloud of scandal—after admitting he had seriously “over-exaggerated” his dramatic account of being robbed at gunpoint while on a night out in Rio with three teammates. Within days of his return, Lochte, 32, was suspended from competitive swimming for 10 months and dumped by all four of his corporate sponsors. He didn’t leave his house in Charlotte, N.C., for six straight days. “Not even to get mail,” he says. “I’ve never seen so many TV station vans parked right outside my front lawn. Like, it was insane. In my eyes, I was the most hated person ever. I thought about just hiding for, like, a year straight. I was that low.” Ultimately he made a very different decision, signing up for Dancing With the Stars in a bid to rehabilitate his reputation. But some damage from the Rio scandal may be permanent. These days, his teammates “don’t reach out as much.” And when Lochte asked Michael Phelps for support, the swimming legend wasn’t interested. “I was like, ‘Hey, can you please call me? Let me know, I need help.’ That never really happened.”
A very public suicide
Greg Chubbuck still can’t fathom what his sister was thinking the day she took her own life on live television, said Grant Rollings in The Sun (U.K.). In July 1974, broadcaster Christine Chubbuck was hosting her morning talk show, Suncoast Digest, in Florida, when she suddenly pulled out a revolver from beneath her desk and shot herself in the head. “Public suicide is another level beyond suicide,” says Greg of his sister’s decision to pull the trigger in front of thousands of viewers. “It’s an anger and rage that I can’t understand, and I’ve thought about it every day for 42 years.” There were many factors behind Chubbuck’s suicide, including her frustration that she remained a virgin at age 29. She had suffered from depression since she was 10, says Greg, and their parents had spent “a fortune” on psychiatric treatment. Since her death, Greg has been in a battle to keep footage of that fateful morning away from prying eyes—especially from voyeuristic suicide websites, where it’s considered the “holy grail” of videos. On the day of her suicide, Greg took out an injunction preventing the channel from repeating the footage and had the only copy of the video locked up. “The reason it will never ever be watched,” he says, “is because of me.”
Dakota’s Southern values
Dakota Fanning has been acting since she was just 6 years old, said Mickey Rapkin in Town & Country. Yet unlike many former child stars, the 22-year-old has never experienced the emotional damage that often comes from growing up in the spotlight. She has never been caught drinking underage or doing drugs, never been arrested, and never gone to rehab. It’s all because of her reserved Southern upbringing, says Fanning, who along with her sister, Elle—another actress—was raised in Georgia and brought up as a Southern Baptist by her mother and father. “[They were] very traditional Southern parents with Southern manners,” says Fanning. “You don’t air your dirty laundry to people who aren’t your family or your friends. Why would I ever want to portray myself as anything other than together?” These days, Fanning is in her senior year at New York University. She likes the anonymity of the city, even if it has a rougher edge than the South. “Everyone in New York is very self-involved. Like, walking down the street, people are just in their own zone.” But there are times she reaches the breaking point, she admits. “Someone bumps into you one too many times, and you’re just like....”
▪Leonardo DiCaprio is being pressured to give up his role as a United Nations Messenger of Peace on climate change because of his connection to a multibillion-dollar Malaysian corruption scandal. The actor’s environmental foundation allegedly received millions of dollars in stolen and laundered money from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund and Malaysian businessman Jho Low, both now under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Bruno Manser Funds, a Swiss-based rain forest charity, also alleges that stolen Malaysian funds were used to finance The Wolf of Wall Street and to pay DiCaprio $25 million for his work as star and producer of the 2013 film. The Swiss charity demanded that he return all the money and renounce his connection to 1MDB, which has allegedly supported deforestation in Malaysia. DiCaprio said he was cooperating with the investigation and would return any stolen donations to his foundation.
▪A dinner party in Russell Crowe’s Beverly Hills hotel room degenerated into a brawl last week, and the actor called hotel security to have rapper Azealia Banks physically removed. The soiree turned ugly, TMZ.com reports, after Banks, 25, mocked Crowe’s musical taste and referred to him and other guests as “boring white men.” When a woman came to Crowe’s defense, Banks allegedly shouted, “You would love it if I broke my glass, stabbed you guys in the throat, and blood would squirt everywhere like some real Tarantino s---.” Eyewitnesses say she drew back her glass—prompting Crowe, 52, to grab her in a bear hug and ask security to eject her. Banks accused Crowe of assaulting her, and claimed Crowe “called mean-----.’’
▪A security guard last week shot and critically wounded a man who scaled the fence at model Miranda Kerr’s Malibu, Calif., home and stabbed the guard in the eye. After the guard confronted the intruder, police say, the man allegedly slashed him, and the guard “fired three or four rounds, hitting the suspect in the face and upper torso.” The alleged assailant, who was apparently homeless, was airlifted to a hospital. Kerr was not home at the time of the late-morning incident.