(Variety) — When was growing up in Italy, her family, the scion of famed oil tycoon J. Paul Getty , owned a home in Orgia, a tiny Tuscan village in the province of Siena.
“At the time there were probably 60 residents, and now it’s down to about 30,” recalls Getty, who, at the age of about 4 or 5, would spend her days marveling at the local village women, “their backs curved” as they carried heavy planks of wood and transported large jugs of drinking water while their husbands were off working at the local quarries.
Getty’s mother, Gail, owned a fashion boutique in Rome, and the production hub for its inventory was located in Orgia. Gail would hire the local women to knit clothes and design patterns for the shop’s winter and summer collections, but often “they would take on extra jobs as well,” says Getty.
“I would always go and help them,” she continues. “One summer they were making Dr. Scholl’s [sandals]. We would have to nail in the part of the sandal where the leather strap hits the front of the foot. And what I realized was that these women didn’t have any help. There wasn’t a place where they could go and say, ‘I can’t make my rent this month, and I’m doing all this heavy labor.’ They just had to keep on taking jobs. They had to take on that responsibility completely by themselves. And I think that’s always stuck with me, that sense of loneliness those women must have felt.”
In later years, Getty, who is being honored as Variety’s 2019 Philanthropist of the Year, would remember those Italian women and their hardscrabble existence, the way they doggedly persevered without complaint. It was, in fact, those women, along with Getty’s two children, Natalia, known as “Nats,” and August, who would come to serve as inspiration for Getty’s myriad charitable endeavors and her impassioned drive to help others.
Getty, who now lives in Los Angeles, considers herself “a lifelong philanthropist,” eschewing any flashy public attention her name might inspire in favor of devotedly giving back to the community. In 2004 she established her eponymous foundation. Since then the Ariadne Getty Foundation, of which she is the president and executive director, has partnered with many organizations, including GLAAD and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, to bring about positive systemic change within the LGBTQ community.
Realizing the extent to which so many at-risk youth and elderly were struggling, compounded by the realization that both August and Nats, artists and fashion designers with their own respective clothing lines, are gay, “really shook [Getty] to the core.”
“Living so close to West Hollywood, it does appear to be a bubble of safety, but in actual fact it’s also a dangerous place,” notes Getty. “I don’t want this to come out in the wrong way, because there is also a safety [net] to living in West Hollywood when you are gay, but when you are young and you are kicked out of your house and you end up living in West Hollywood there is also the presence of a corrupting force. And these people need help.”
To that end, in January 2018 Getty attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where she pledged a gift of $15 million to […]
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!!
Mister Rogers Told Co-Star Don’t Come Out as Gay, and Marry a Woman
(TMZ) — “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was no place for gay people … so says one of the stars.
Francois Clemmons, who played Officer Clemmons from 1968 – 1995, says in his new memoir, Fred Rogers got wind of the fact Clemmons was gay, pulled him aside and said, “Franc, you have talents and gifts that set you apart and above the crowd. Someone has informed us that you were seen at the local gay bar downtown. Now, I want you to know, Franc, that if you’re gay, it doesn’t matter to me at all.”
And, then the other shoe dropped … “Whatever you say and do is fine with me, but if you’re going to be on the show as an important member of the ‘Neighborhood,’ you can’t be out as gay.”
Clemmons told People Rogers told him secrecy was the only way … “You must do this Francois … because it threatens my dream,” adding, “I was destroyed. The man who was killing me had also saved me. He was my executioner and deliverer. But, at the same time, I knew that he would know how to comfort me.”
According to Clemmons, whose memoir is titled, “Officer Clemmons,” Rogers also told him the audience didn’t care who he was sleeping with … “especially if it’s a man.”
And, there’s more … according to Clemmons, Rogers urged him to marry a woman, and he obliged. Clemmons married La-Tanya Mae Sheridan. They divorced in 1974 and later Clemmons came out.
He says he forgives the legendary TV host … “Lord have mercy, yes. I forgive him. More than that, I understand. I relied on the fact that this was his dream. He had worked so hard for it. I knew Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was his whole life.”
Miley Cyrus Says She Left Christian Church Over ‘Anti-LGBTQ’ Beliefs
(Los Angeles Blade) — Miley Cyrus has revealed that she turned away from her Christian church as a teen because of its anti-LGBTQ beliefs.
The 27-year-old singer, who came out as pansexual in 2015, made the disclosure during her new Instagram Live talk show, “Bright Minded,” as part of an interview with model Hailey Beiber, who is the daughter of actor (and conservative Christian activist) Stephen Baldwin and the wife of pop star Justin Beiber.
When the conversation turned to the subject of religion, Beiber told Cyrus she had found her own relationship with God had changed as an adult, becoming a personal one in which she was free to find a spirituality and a church “that worked for me.”
At this point […]
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This Just In…
- County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
- Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day
- WeHo Webinar: Loneliness, Isolation, Depression, and Anxiety During Pandemic
- Texas & California Wet Markets Show Full Extent of Vile Conditions
- White House Gift Shop Selling Coronavirus Commemorative Coins
- Joe Exotic Prison Has 2nd Highest ‘Rona Rate
- Beverly Hills Votes To Resume Plastic Surgery Despite Coronavirus Pandemic