(TMZ) — Billie Jean King says Maria Sharapova ‘s tennis legacy isn’t going to be harmed one iota by her doping scandal — and it’s all because of one simple thing she did … tell the truth.
We got the tennis legend Saturday in NYC and asked for her thoughts on Maria announcing last week that she was stepping away from the sport, which she dominated for several years. According to BJK, MS is going down as an all-time great … despite the ding for doping.
Check it out … Billie says the fact Maria came out right away and addressed the situation head on back in 2016 took a lot of guts, and it’s clear she owned up to it sincerely.
You’ll recall … Maria tested positive in 2016 for meldonium, which had very recently been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned substance list. She said she’d been taking it for years due to a medical condition, and didn’t know it’d been deemed a doping agent.
After being suspended from playing for at least a year, she returned to tennis in the following years and found varying degrees of success before hanging it up. Her streak prior to that, however, is what Billie Jean seems certain Maria will forever be remembered for.
She also talks about what may lie ahead for Maria post-tennis, and wishes her all the best.
It’s interesting … Maria has already appeared on ‘Shark Tank’ as a guest panelist, and she did pretty well in that capacity. Something tells us she’ll be just fine going forward.
Joe Exotic Prison Has 2nd Highest ‘Rona Rate
FORT WORTH (TMZ) — The prison Joe Exotic is currently being held at is the second leading hotbed for coronavirus in the entire federal prison system — but not to worry … Uncle Sam’s got a plan.
The ‘Tiger King’ star has been locked up at FMC Forth Worth in Texas, and as of Tuesday … there was a total of 298 confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates, making it number 2 behind a federal CA facility at 570 inmate cases.
If that sounds troubling, it should … we’ve seen jails and prisons across the U.S. getting besieged with the virus — and some of the inmates are suffering. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has assured us they’re going above and beyond for their prisoners, staff and visitors alike at Joe’s facility to keep them safe and healthy.
As for Joe … his people have repeatedly told us … he’s virus-free.
The agency tells TMZ there’s a comprehensive action plan in place at all of their institutions — which includes reducing inmate transfers, increasing screening and testing, minimizing unnecessary movement on the inside and temporarily canceling social and legal visits, not to mention training for BOP employees. They will also do regular temperature checks.
The trick is … as little congregating as possible. BOP says it’s trying to keep guards at one post for as long as possible to avoid unnecessary interaction.
BOP also tells us they’ve made sure everyone — prisoners and staffers — have received surgical masks. BOP says it has things under control — so far fewer than 5 deaths at the Fort Worth facility … but with nearly 300 cases, it’s gotta be viewed as a full-fledged outbreak.
So … guess that means Joe’s in good hands??? Here’s hoping so.
Anderson Cooper Reveals He’s a Dad, Welcomes New Baby Boy
NEW YORK CITY (TMZ) — Anderson Cooper is the proud new father of a baby boy … revealing Wyatt Morgan Cooper to the world.
The CNN anchor took to Instagram Thursday night to reveal earlier this week Wyatt was born via surrogate. Cooper said, “As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son’s birth.”
As for Wyatt’s name, 52-year-old says it’s in honor of his dad, who passed away when he was just 10, saying, “I hope I can be as good a dad as he was.”
Anderson also shared a sweet message about his surrogate, saying, “Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him. It is an extraordinary blessing – what she, and all surrogates give to families who cant have children.”
Finally, Anderson says, “I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe they can see him. I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues.” His mother, Gloria Vanderbilt died last year.
Wyatt is Anderson’s first child … Congrats!!
Madonna: I Have Antibodies … Gonna Breathe in COVID-19 Air
Madonna has revealed — via her “Quarantine Diary” — that she’s tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, and already has a bizarre plan for using them.
The Material Girl’s known for posting some eccentric material on her Instagram, but she’s kicked things up a notch during lockdown … the latest being heading outside to “breathe in the COVID-19 air.”
Yep, Madge says now that she knows she has the antibodies, she’s going out for a drive and rolling down the windows. She included the hashtags #staysafe #staysane with her video post.
It’s unclear exactly what M hopes to accomplish by sucking in virus air on her drive, but if she truly has antibodies it means she likely already had the coronavirus. Most scientists agree she should have some COVID-19 immunity, but it’s unclear for how long.
Madonna’s been doing her part in coronavirus relief efforts — both by donating a million dollars and joining the REFORM Alliance in sending 100,000 surgical masks to jails and prisons.
She’s throwing caution to the wind, though, with her own health.
Hey, she’s got a pocket full o’ antibodies and she’s gonna spend ’em!!!
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This Just In…
- Petition Circulating to Ask Judge to Keep Ed Buck in Jail
- RAGE is Latest Venue to Fall Victim to the Pandemic
- Koretz Won’t Back ‘Uplift Melrose’ Plan
- Man Sentenced for Hit-and-Run Death of Pedestrian on Sunset
- Beverly Grove Man Charged for COVID Relief Loan Fraud
- County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
- Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day