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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters

This article shared 4338 times since Tue May 21, 2013
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"Who hasn't dated a gay dude? He didn't tell me, but I just sort of figured it out. There were weird things he would say. He once tried on my heels. ... That was a pretty big indication."—Gabourey Sidibe shares her thoughts about Jason Collins' coming out, vis-Ã-vis how his former fiancée might feel.

When I started this column almost two decades ago, there were weeks when you couldn't find enough stories. These days, the column often writes itself. I knew it was going to be a good week when I read the following headline: "Margaret Cho says John Travolta is gay!" Most of my job was already done. Now, to fill in some of the blanks. Cho made some statements during the Melbourne leg of her Australian tour. Apropos of nothing, she talked about working with Travolta on Face/Off when she said, "I'm going to get in trouble, but I'll just tell you. He's not just gay. He doesn't just like men. He is like Oscar Wilde gay. Like Lord Byron gay. That kind of crazy, incredibly flamboyant gay." Although the story was picked up by most outlets, the websites of some major newspapers coincidentally took the story down in a matter of hours. Enough said.

This story made me wonder what is going on with all those lawsuits against Travolta. At last count, there was a hooker, a masseur and a cruise-ship worker. It seems that's only the tip of the iceberg. The website Gawker claims to have unearthed copies of insurance company claims against Travolta's production company from four different parties claiming sexual assault—including a physical therapist, a driver and a stunt double (interestingly enough, the stunt double worked with Travolta on Face/Off—so perhaps Cho knows more than she's telling). Allegedly, those claims show that more than $80K was paid out to two of these individuals. Interesting, n'est ce pas?

Last week, the TV networks announced details of the upcoming season. I'm sad about the cancellations of Smash, Go On, Malibu Country, The New Normal, 1600 Penn and Whitney—although I can't say any of them surprised me. A few shows are returning with some changes. Two and a Half Men will be down a half, as Angus T. Jones will not return—not surprising given his recent religious fervor. The third installment of American Horror Story, subtitled "Coven," has added two of my favorite ladies—Patti LuPone and Angela Bassett. Since they'll star alongside Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Gabourey Sidibe, I suspect that will be Must See TV.

Three of my favorite shows are coming back—one, from the dead. Although Lifetime cancelled Drop Dead Diva a few months ago, the producers initiated some cost-cutting to ensure it would return for a fifth season, which starts June 23. But at least one cast member is MIA. Carter MacIntyre, the most recent guardian angel, has been replaced by Justin Deeley, who was on the newly cancelled reboot of 90210. I must confess I knew nothing about Justin, but was pleased to discover he has an extensive body of work—as an underwear model. The first obvious thing I recognized is his stunning body ... which he, happily, enjoys displaying. But I did learn some things that surprised me. For instance, he enjoys a thong, has a smattering of hair on his ass, and is circumcised. For more in-depth details (such as measurements), you'll have to check out .

The most shocking news of the week was that a portrait of a nude Bea Arthur sold for $1.9 million. Actually, there's several shocking aspects to this story—that Bea Arthur posed for a nude portrait, that someone painted a nude portrait of Bea Arthur, that someone wanted to buy a nude portrait of Bea Arthur. We've discovered that one of those things is not true. As it turns out, Bea Arthur did not pose for the portrait ... I say with a sigh of relief. The artist, John Currin, did this work in 1991 and it was being sold as part of an auction at Christie's, where it was described as "nostalgic and repelling." Isn't that nice? Remind me to post some nudes of myself someday.

Someone who is getting ready to show some skin is Ian Ziering—late of Beverly Hills, 90210 (the original) and Dancing with the Stars. He's accepted an offer to strut his stuff with the Chippendales at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for the month of June. "I am so excited to be a part of this iconic worldwide organization," he said. "It's really a dream come true! I am passionate about health and fitness, so I've kept in shape, and dancing is something I've always enjoyed, so I figured why not?" He follows in the illustrious footsteps of Joey Lawrence and Jake Pavelka, not to mention my beloved Jeff Timmons (who leads the first single from the re-formed "98 Degrees"). Although it was reported that he was out of shape when the offer came in, he's lost 25 pounds and toned up his 49-year-old body considerably in the past two months. He even made sure to have a photographer on hand to document the results ... which are rather impressive, as you'll see on .

When Ian Ziering is newsworthy, it's definitely time to end yet another column. We have one last item that was confirmed as we went to press—after 28 years, Michael Musto has been let go from The Village Voice! With circulation and ad revenues down, the paper has been making cuts left and right. As far as I'm concerned, "The Voice" without Musto is like "The Tonight Show" without Carson—it may continue, but it will never be the same. Like many other writers, I must confess that without Michael Musto there would be no Billy Masters. I'm excited to see what he'll tackle next. Whatever that is, you can be sure I'll cover it on . And if you have a question, drop a note to and I promise to get back to you before I figure out where to hang that painting of Bea! So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.

This article shared 4338 times since Tue May 21, 2013
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