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Dodger Stadium to host wedding for team VP Erik Braverman & his fiancé

Braverman is marrying software engineer and photographer Jonathan Cottrell Friday in “one of the most iconic venues in all of sports”

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Photo courtesy of Erik Braverman and Jonathan Cottrell

UPDATED: See video below from KTLA 5 News

LOS ANGELES – The biggest homestand of his life awaits Los Angeles Dodgers’ senior vice president for marketing, communications & broadcasting, Erik Braverman. On Friday, he will marry his fiancé, Jonathan Cottrell, where he works: Dodger Stadium. 

“I am grateful to the Dodgers for allowing this to happen,” Braverman, 51, told the Los Angeles Blade.

Of course, the Dodgers organization has built a reputation as host of the most well-attended Pride events in all of professional sports for several years. The team hosted the first “Gay Night” in pro sports back in 2000 and continue to celebrate its LGBTQ fans year after year. 

As L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke first reported, Braverman will enter the baseball diamond from the home dugout on Friday and Cottrell will walk the aisle from the visitors’ dugout. They will meet and exchange vows on the pitcher’s mound.  

It’s a dream come true for the baseball executive, but it wasn’t always so. Four years ago, Braverman told the Blade: “My dream wedding would be something small surrounded by a few friends and family… in Hawaii or somewhere tropical.” 

Somewhere tropical is ultimately, after all, where Braverman found the love of his life, three years ago. 

“We met in a swimming pool in Mexico, both visiting Puerto Vallarta at the same time,” Cottrell told the Blade. “We happened to head to the same beach club and struck up a conversation while sipping on pina coladas. The chemistry was almost instant.”

So, what changed from 2019 (besides COVID-19 and the pandemic, of course)? 

“At the time of the interview, the idea of being married at one of the most iconic venues in all of sports didn’t even cross my mind,” Braverman told the Blade. “After Jonathan accepted my proposal and Dodger Stadium became a possibility as a venue, the idea seemed perfect to both of us for so many reasons.”

As the Blade reported last August, Braverman popped the question on one knee at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant. Not in Paris, but in Las Vegas. 

Jonathan Cottrell and Erik Braverman  (Photo via Erik Braverman Facebook)

“I thought it was the right time to pop the question,” said Braverman. “And given that Jonathan is from France, I thought it would be a cute and romantic idea that I thought I could pull off despite the pandemic. We are planning a honeymoon in Tahiti as soon as that becomes a possibility.”

Not much is known about Cottrell, other than he’s 31, works as a WeHo software engineer, and is also a photographer and model. So, the Blade asked him to tell us a little about himself. 

“My father is from New York and my mother is French,” Cottrell said. “My first language is French, though I did eventually grow up bilingual. My parents were missionaries and humanitarians, (and grandparents as well before them!). I spent most of my childhood in Cambodia, but lived all over the world: Haiti, Thailand, Laos, Uganda. I studied at McGill University in Montreal, earning my degree in Physics and Computer Science, number one in my class. I worked as a Software Engineer for Google for many years before diving into the tech startup world. I’ve explored photography and modeling in my spare time. I may be an engineer by training, but I’m an artist at heart.”

But is he a fan of the Dodgers?  

“I am absolutely a Dodgers fan, but to be candid, when I met Erik and he told me he worked for the Dodgers, my response was ‘That’s baseball, right?’ Being from France, I’ve had very little exposure to baseball. But my knowledge and appreciation grows every season! And I was lucky enough to be there in person when we won the World Series in 2020!”

Baseball is most definitely the theme of their wedding: Invitations sent to about 80 relatives and friends resemble a ticket stub. No doubt, there will be happy tears on Friday, despite that line from “A League of Their Own” about there being “no crying in baseball.” And the wedding ceremony will end with the sounds of the Dodgers’ unofficial anthem, Randy Newman’s classic “I Love L.A.”

The love Braverman and Cottrell have received since announcing their engagement has been overwhelming, they told the Blade: “The outpouring of support has been phenomenal,” they said in an email. “One thing we did not anticipate was how many people who are in situations where they can’t be their authentic selves are feeling encouraged and inspired by our story. We are both active on social media and welcome anyone who would like to reach out.” They asked us to share their handles on Instagram with readers: @erik_braverman and @modelcottrell”

What’s next for the happy couple after getting hitched and, eventually, a honeymoon? Do they see themselves raising pitchers and catchers of their own, perhaps? 

“Yes, starting a family is certainly in the cards,” Cottrell said. “In fact, I suspect that will be happening sooner rather than later.”

********************

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David Archuleta tells Jennifer Hudson his experience of coming out

Archuleta opens up to his fellow “American Idol” alum about his experience growing up in the Mormon religious faith & his journey

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Screenshot/YouTube The Jennifer Hudson Show

BURBANK, Ca. – In a recent episode of the Jennifer Hudson show, David Archuleta opens up to his fellow “American Idol” alum about his experience growing up in the Mormon religious faith and his journey to coming out.

The 31-year-old-old singer tells JHud how he almost got married several times to different females and shares how he’s learning to love himself.

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“I just want the applause of my children saying I’m a good Dad…”

Sir Elton John, gearing up for his final show in the United States at Dodger Stadium, speaks with GMA anchor Robin Roberts

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Sir Elton John holds up a family photograph during an interview with GMA's Robin Roberts (Screenshot/YouTube GMA)

LOS ANGELES – This Sunday after his first memorable concert stage appearance in a sequin LA Dodger’s uniform-costume, Sir Elton John returns to end the North American leg of his global farewell tour at Dodger Stadium coming full circle fifty years later.

The 75-year-old entertainer in a recent interview with ABC News Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts says that after five decades on the stage, he’s looking forward to spending more time with family.

The dichotomy of Roberts, the first woman of color and first openly LGBTQ woman to anchor a prestigious television network morning show and the singer-musician, who is openly gay and married with two sons against that time period five decades ago in both of their lives and the society then versus now is stark.

Johns’ last concert at Dodger Stadium, which will also be live streamed on Disney+, marks a new beginning he tells Roberts. His focus now is on his sons Zachary, 11, and Elijah, nine, along with his husband David Furnish.

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Out voice actor Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman has died

Conroy was able to use his theater background to manifest one of the most memorable voices in cartoon history

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Screenshot/YouTube

NEW YORK – Kevin Conroy had been the voice of (animated) Batman for nearly three decades, voicing almost every iteration of Batman in cartoons, animated movies or video games. In recent years he was a fan favorite on the Con circuit.

Conroy died Thursday after a short battle with cancer, his representative confirmed. He was 66.

Learning of his passage, actor Mark Hamill, known as the voice of the Joker appearing oft times opposite Conroy, released a statement saying:

“Kevin was perfection. He was one of my favorite people on the planet, and I loved him like a brother. He truly cared for the people around him – his decency shone through everything he did. Every time I saw him or spoke with him, my spirits were elevated.”

Conroy began his career as a theater actor, attending Julliard, a prestigious acting school in New York City. He studied alongside heavyweights Robin Williams, Kelsey Grammer and more.

Conroy would go on to perform on Broadway and off-Broadway when his agent called him about auditioning for the role of Batman in a new animated show. During the audition he was able to use his theater background to manifest one of the most memorable voices in cartoon history.

Conroy is survived by his husband Vaughn C. Williams, his sister Trisha Conroy, and his brother Tom Conroy.

Memorial services are pending.

In August of 2020, ‘Great Big Story’ on its YouTube channel profiled Conroy titled: Meet the Voice of Batman.

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Singer-Rapper Aaron Carter found dead at home Saturday morning

Representatives for Carter’s family confirmed the singer’s death but did not provide any immediate further comment

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Aaron Carter/Twitter

LANCASTER, Ca. – Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide investigators are continuing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of singer-rapper Aaron Carter, 34, who was found unresponsive in his home.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and EMS from L.A. County Fire Department’s Fire station 129, responded to the Carter residence at 42502 Valley Vista Drive Saturday morning at approximately 11:00 a.m.

According to LASD spokesperson Deputy Alejandra Parra, the person making the 911 call, later identified as the house sitter, stated “she found a male unresponsive in the bath tub.” She was advised by the dispatcher to begin cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) prior to the deputies arrival. 

Shortly after the deputies arrived, LACD Fire department EMS personnel arrived and pronounced the male (Carter) deceased at the scene. Representatives for Carter’s family confirmed the singer’s death but did not provide any immediate further comment.

“We are still in the process of accepting this unfortunate reality,” Carter’s fiancé, Melanie Martin said in a statement Saturday afternoon. “Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.”

The singer’s publicist released a statement noting: “The family has been notified and will be flying out to Los Angeles. Aaron worked very hard towards the end of his life in recovery, to be a good father and to make amends with his family.”

The singer-rapper rose to fame as an adolescent star singing and acting. Carter, the younger brother of the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter was an actor in film and television shows like “Lizzie McGuire” and “7th Heaven.”

He opened for the Backstreet Boys on a 1997 tour, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and he did the same for Britney Spears, according to The Associated Press.

Carter is perhaps most well known, however, for his sophomore album “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” which was released in 2000 and has been certified triple platinum, KTLA reported.

It included the title track as its first single, as well as a cover of “I Want Candy” and a basketball-themed song “That’s How I Beat Shaq.” The parody song features an accompanying video with NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal in which the Hall of Famer loses a game of pickup to the scrawny preteen.

The teenage Carter was seen as a heartthrob who had several high-profile romances, including with fellow child stars Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff. In 2019, he publicly came out as bisexual, although he admitted he had only dated women.

Following his initial twitter post Carter appeared on an episode of The Doctors, during which he confirmed he was bisexual, and that he would be open to dating a man if one “comes into my life and sparks an interest.”

He later appeared to have partially walked back his coming Out as bisexual saying his remarks were misconstrued.

In a podcast for Hollywood Life, Carter was asked if he would ever date a man. The 30-year-old singer said no.

“It was more so just a story that happened when I was like 17 with somebody. And I can find men and women attractive, but when it comes down to it, I think it was a little misconstrued,” Carter said. “I see myself being with a woman and having kids. I want to have a family.”

“I keep telling people that. I don’t want it to be misconstrued too much just because I was open about a story,” he added.

He later seemed to reconsider claiming that he was ready to embrace his bisexuality and would be open to dating a man if one caught his interest. He also had plans to include his bisexuality in his upcoming music.

KTLA reported that the singer also had publicly battled addiction for many years, facing legal troubles and entering rehabilitation while continuing with his music career, according to E!.

In September of this year, he entered rehab for the fifth time so he could regain custody of his infant son, Prince, according to the Los Angeles Times.

He also publicly feuded with many, including his brother Nick, whom he accused of trying to put him under a conservatorship.

In 2019, he revealed on “The Doctors” that he was diagnosed with “multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, acute anxiety and manic depression,” according to CNN.

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Star of Netflix’s ‘Heartstopper’ forced to come out as bisexual

“I truly don’t understand how people can watch & then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities based on stereotypes”

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Kit Connor (Nick Nelson) with co-star Joe Locke (Charlie Spring) in See-Saw film's Heartstopper (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

LONDON – The runaway Netflix-See Saw Films series Heartstopper made Kit Connor a star, but the 18-year-old actor is accusing Twitter trolls of making him come out as bisexual before he was ready. 

Connor broke a self-imposed hiatus from Twitter on Monday with a short tweet declaring he’s bi, and pointing a finger at all those who put pressure on him to reveal his orientation; 

“back for a minute. i’m bi. congrats for forcing an 18 year old to out himself. i think some of you missed the point of the show. bye”

Since Monday, Connor’s tweet has been liked more than 980K times, and PinkNewsUK reports there’s been an outpouring of support, starting with the author of the series the Netflix show is based upon. 

“I truly don’t understand how people can watch Heartstopper and then gleefully spend their time speculating about sexualities and judging based on stereotypes,” Alice Oseman tweeted. “I hope all those people are embarrassed as FUCK. Kit you are amazing.”

A fan responded with a screengrab from Oseman’s comic about coming out, which says: “You don’t have to do anything until you’re ready,” to back her up. “Not sure the trolls can actually be called fans,” said Wispa in their tweet.

Another fan tweeted: “i cannot believe that some of you are so insufferable that you watched a show about positive identity and forced kit connor to go through the exact thing that his character was terrified of.”

Connor announced he was leaving Twitter in September after a video was shared that showed him holding hands with actress Maia Reficco. He had previously refused to accept any label for his sexuality, including with a May 2022 tweet that said people on social media “know my sexuality better than I do.” 

But with accusations of queerbaiting flying about, Connor apparently felt pressured to clear the air. 

Since coming out on Monday, Connor has again gone silent on Twitter, but PinkNewsUK reported some prominent voices have filled the vacuum. 

“No actor should be forced into this position,” tweeted writer Mark Harris. “When it’s done by a fandom that pretends to righteousness about whether someone should be allowed to play a role or talk in certain terms, it is no less toxic.”

SkyNews Journalist David Chipakupaku told PinkNews “this isn’t a cause of celebration, just very sad.” He felt Connor’s coming out was “deeply upsetting” because of the “constant internet speculation and accusations of queerbaiting.” 

“Some of you didn’t take any lessons despite profession a love for this show,” he added.

Nadia Whittome, the youngest member of British parliament who is also queer and a woman of color, also tweeted her support, saying: “Being forced to come out is being outed and it’s disgusting. I’m sorry you’ve been put through that. Sending you so much love and solidarity, Kit.”

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Adidas ends partnership with ‘Ye’ over rapper’s antisemitism

“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments & actions have been unacceptable”

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Kanye West (Screenshot/YouTube NBC News Today)

HERZOGENAURACH, Germany – German sportswear company Adidas announced Tuesday that it has ended its partnership with disgraced rapper Kanye West, now referred to as ‘Ye’ for his recent antisemitic comments.

“After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies,” Adidas said in a statement.

“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”

Problems in the business relationship between the rapper and the sportswear company were already tenuous. Adidas had publicly announced it was evaluating its relationship with West earlier this month after West, in the company of far-right talk show host Candace Owens, were seen wearing T-shirts that read; “White Lives Matter” during a Paris Fashion Week event where he was promoting his Yeezy branded Adidas products.

When the company announced it was reviewing its relationship over that incident the rapper exploded with a profane rant on Insta directed at the company and then he added more fuel to the controversy posting: “EVERYONE KNOWS THAT BLACK LIVES MATTER WAS A SCAM NOW ITS OVER YOU’RE WELCOME.”

Then after his antisemitic comments that prompted the most recent uproar over this past weekend, the rapper was locked out of his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

In West’s recent appearance on the Drink Champs Podcast, he blamed “Jewish Zionists” for the reports that his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her then-boyfriend Pete Davidson had sexual intercourse next to a fireplace, claimed that “Jewish people have owned the black voice,” and described Disney as a Jewish platform.

In the same Drink Champs podcast, which was removed from Youtube, West also claimed that Jewish people “came into money through the lawyers” divorcing Christians because Catholics refused to do so.

Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, released a statement mildly critical of the sportswear giant for not dropping the rapper sooner.

“I would have liked a clear stance earlier from a German company that also was entangled with the Nazi regime,” Schuster said. “Adidas has done a lot to distance itself from its past and, like many sports brands, is one of those companies that conduct big campaigns against antisemitism and racism. That’s why an earlier separation from Kanye West would have been appropriate.”

Yesterday mega-talent agency CAA announced that it had dropped West as a client.

Adidas Cuts Ties With Kanye West Over Antisemitic Remarks:

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