Philanthropist and socialite extraordinaire Jean Shafiroff, wearing an exquisite evening gown by b michael, dazzled on the red carpet at the New York City Ballet Gala Sept. 23 at Lincoln Center. Drawing attention to New York City Ballet’s distinction as the “foremost creative ballet troupe in the world,” this benefit evening included three world premieres alongside Peter Martins’ “Morgan” and Christopher Wheeldon’s “This Bitter Earth.”
L.A. Focus’ First Ladies High Tea, held Saturday, Sept. 13 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, was a tremendous success. More than 1,000 attendees were blessed to witness a dynamic acceptance speech from icon and actress Cicely Tyson after she received the Legacy Award.
This year’s event was co-hosted by the “Ambassador of Gospel,” Dr. Bobby Jones Jr., and Dr. Beverly “Bam” Crawford, pastor of Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church. The event honored women and First Ladies who have served their communities well through their activism and charitable contributions. The First Lady honorees included Myesha Chaney, Antioch Church of Long Beach; Isabelle Drake, Greater Ebeneezer Baptist Church; and Debra Williams, McCoy Memorial Baptist Church. Celebrities who were honored included “Belle” star Gugu Mbatha Raw, Alley Mills, Smokie Norful and Tata Vega.
Sept. 29, Walmart delivered its answer in a New Jersey federal court to “30 Rock” actor Tracy Morgan’s lawsuit arising from a fatal six-car accident this past spring on the New Jersey Turnpike that left the comedian severely injured. Among nine affirmative defenses, Walmart said that the injuries “were caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seatbelt restraint device.” An assessment of damages for Morgan might be the next issue in the case.
Tyler Perry may have spilled the beans on the sex of his unborn baby. During an interview about his new role in “Gone Girl,” Perry said, “This beautiful human being that God has allowed to come into my life for me to get to know, because they come with their own personalities, who they are, to shepherd and usher him.” Perry quickly caught himself and said, “I said him. Oops,” as he continued to smile.
Actress, author, talk show host, activist and philanthropist Holly Robinson Peete celebrated her 50th birthday with her family and a host of celebrity friends at an exclusive party, “Gratefully 50,” Saturday, Sept. 20. The celebration was held at the stunning Malibu oceanfront estate of her longtime friend Kym Gold, co-founder of True Religion Brand Jeans. Robinson Peete’s husband of 20 years, sports broadcaster and former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, surprised her with a video tribute featuring taped birthday well-wishes from friends such as Oprah Winfrey, Samuel L. Jackson and more.
Robinson Peete was serenaded by EnVogue and presented with a birthday cake by Magic Johnson and Marcus Allen. Other celebs who attended included Boris Kodjoe, Jackee Harry, Laila Ali, LisaRaye McCoy, LL Cool J, Regina King and Tracey Edmonds.