R. Kelly's Marriage to Aalyiah to Be Addressed in Federal Trial

The federal racketeering trial of R. Kelly began in a Brooklyn courtroom Wednesday and prosecutors are expected to discuss the singer's marriage to Aaliyah. According to The New York Times, Maria Cruz Melendez, an assistant U.S. attorney, portrayed Kelly's marriage to the singer as a last-ditch effort to avoid criminal prosecution after an associate suspected that Aalyiah was pregnant. "This was, of course, a huge problem for him,” Cruz Melendez said. “If she was pregnant that meant there would be questions: At the very top of that list of questions—who is the father of that baby.”

Ex-Pirates Pitcher Sentenced for Sexual Conduct with Minor

Former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez was sentenced this week after he was convicted on a slew of sexual misconduct charges, including statutory sexual assault, sexual abuse of children, child pornography, corruption of minors, and more in a case involving a 13-year-old girl. According to The Associated Press, Vazquez was sentenced to serve two to four years in prison. He has already been behind bars for nearly two years and will be eligible for his first parole hearing in the coming months.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Tests Positive for COVID

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has tested positive for coronavirus. The Republican governor, who is fully vaccinated, has been a strong opponent of mask mandates in schools and even went as far as issuing an executive order that banned districts from requiring masks.

White House: Taliban Promised Not to Interfere with Civilians Fleeing Afghanistan

Despite emerging reports that Taliban officials have established checkpoints to Hamid Karzai International Airport, from which they are beating, shooting, turning away civilians, White House officials say that the Taliban has promised not to interfere with those who are seeking to flee Afghanistan, CNBC reports. “We are taking that up in a channel with the Taliban to try to resolve those issues," said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in reference to the reports. "And we are concerned about whether that will continue to unfold in the coming days."

Cardi B Defends Lizzo Amidst Fat Shaming

Cardi B jumped to Lizzo's defense Sunday after the singer broke down in tears in response to an onslaught of negative, "fatphobic" comments made about her online. The comments were apparently triggered by the release of Lizzo's latest music video, "Rumors," which features Cardi. "When you stand up for yourself they claim [you’re] problematic & sensitive,” Cardi tweeted. “When you don’t they tear you apart until you crying like this.” The expectant mom went on to reason that regardless of how celebrities look, trolls will find a reason to criticize them. “Whether you skinny, big, plastic, they going to always try to put their insecurities on you. Remember these are nerds looking at the popular table," she wrote.

Phaedra Parks, Eva Marcille to Join 'Housewives' Spinoff

A "Housewives" mash-up series is headed to Peacock and according to Page Six, Phaedra Parks and Eva Marcille are set to join the cast. According to TMZ, the series is set to begin filming in a few weeks. Dorinda Medley, Brandi Glanville, Taylor Armstrong, Jill Zarin, Vicki Gunvalson have also been named in the lineup.