A new biography of Meghan Markle says that Prince Harry’s betrothed is much more calculating than the starry-eyed, soon-to-be princess of the public imagination. In Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, famed royal biographer Andrew Morton depicts the 36-year-old American actress as a relentless social climber, unafraid to discard longtime relationships that were no longer useful in advancing her ambitions. “A networker to her fingertips, she seemed to be recalibrating her life, forging new friendships with those who could develop her career,” writes Morton. When Markle’s acting career began to take off, Morton says, she abruptly dumped her first husband, film producer Trevor Engelson, mailing back her wedding ring. Morton also writes that the young Markle was obsessed with Princess Diana. “She was always fascinated by the royal family,” a childhood friend says in the book. “She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0.”
Ethan Crouch, the infamous “affluenza teen” who killed four people while driving drunk in 2013, has been released from prison after serving just two years. Crouch, now 20, gained worldwide infamy when his legal team argued that the young man’s privileged background gave him “affluenza,” making him incapable of distinguishing right from wrong. Crouch was initially sentenced to rehab and probation for driving a pickup truck into a group of people helping a stranded motorist outside Fort Worth. When video surfaced of him playing beer pong, he fled to Mexico with his mother. U.S. marshals later brought him back to the U.S.
Reviewers are mocking Sean Penn’s debut novel, calling its prose nonsensical, its plot outlandish, and its politics disturbing. Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff is a political satire about a septic worker turned assassin who kills retirees with a mallet to offset their carbon footprint. Referring to a Trump-like fictional president, Penn writes that America is a “nation in need of an assassin” and calls #MeToo a “toddler’s crusade.” Penn should “never quit his day job” writes Mark Athitakis in The Washington Post, while Huffington Post’s Claire Fallon calls the book “a 160-page self-own.” Penn has fired back at critics, saying, “I’m 57, my pool’s heated—you can say anything you like.” ■