Taylor Swift absolved Kanye West of last year's onstage sin with one somber song, and West, also in song, beat himself up once again over his misbehavior.
The Swift-West drama took center stage at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, with both superstars either addressing or dancing around the incident that won't die.
Both dramatic performances delivered on preshow hype of a Kanye-Taylor sequel and overshadowed the evening's other moments, including Lady Gaga's eight-win sweep. Among her awards was video of the year for Bad Romance.
Gaga accepted her video of the year award with an outfit sure to anger PETA: a dress and chapeau made of what seemed to be cuts of raw beef, including a meat purse. It was one of her three typically outrageous outfits of the evening.
Cher — an over-the-top diva from a different era — gave Gaga her award and noted she had been raising eyebrows while Lady Gaga "was still Baby Gaga."
Gaga was teary-eyed when accepting her trophies, and sang the title of her new album as she accepted the last award: Born This Way.
The stage for the Swift and West songs was set last year, when West interrupted Swift's acceptance speech, saying her trophy should have gone to Beyonce. The incident left Swift with hurt feelings, but West was the one who was seriously damaged, as intense backlash made him Mr. Unpopularity.
While West didn't address the trophy-gate incident directly onstage, he rapped and sang a song that mocked the boorish behavior that has upstaged his music: "I always find something wrong; you've been putting up with my (expletive) for too long," he said, before launching into an unprintable chorus, which included the line: "Let's have a toast to scumbags."
While Swift is known for skewering those who have done her wrong in song, for West, she offered an olive branch with her song Innocent, written earlier this year: "Everyone of us has messed up, too. … I hope you remember today is never too late to be brand new."
Compared to the pathos of Swift and West, there were few other highlights, despite performances from Usher, Eminem (who won best male and hip-hop video) and Rihanna, Justin Bieber (who won best new artist) and Linkin Park, and appearances by Nicki Minaj and the cast of MTV's own Jersey Shore. To round out the video awards not won by Gaga, 30 Seconds to Mars won best rock video for Kings and Queens, and best breakthrough video went to the Black Keys for Tighten Up.
Working girl out of work
One of Tiger Woods' mistresses was fired from her job as a "working girl" at Nevada's most famous brothel, TMZ reports. Devon James lost her position at the Bunny Ranch in Carson City because she opened her mouth about her relationship with the pro golfer, owner Dennis Hoff says. She "broke the code — which is privacy and discretion with all clients," Hoff tells TMZ. "She is a disgusting excuse for a working girl." Wow, that's harsh, particularly coming from someone who owns and operates a brothel, even though they're legal in that part of Nevada. Exactly what she said isn't clear, but that doesn't matter to Hoff, who isn't through bad-mouthing James yet. "Now that she doesn't work here anymore … I wish nothing but the worst for her," he says. Brutal! Still, a spokesperson for James tells TMZ that the "world famous" brothel continues to call her because they want her to work there. Can't we all get along?
Now here's an odd pairing
It seems not everyone is a big fan of Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer who rocketed to fame last year thanks to YouTube and Britain's Got Talent. Count Lou Reed as one who apparently is less than impressed, TMZ says. Boyle was "absolutely devastated" when she learned Reed had denied her permission to perform his song Perfect Day on America's Got Talent, according to SuBo's manager. "None of us can understand the decision given that it's such a beautiful rendition of the song," the unnamed manager said in an e-mail obtained by TMZ (who else?) that was sent to the show's production company. A rep for the former Velvet Underground singer denies that Reed personally rejected the request, but the damage has been done; Boyle has pulled out of her appearance on the show.
Stalker claims to be Leo's wife
A judge in Los Angeles has granted Leonardo DiCaprio a three-year restraining order from a woman who claims to be his wife and says she is carrying his baby. During a brief hearing Friday, Livia Bistriceanu was ordered to stay 100 yards away from the actor. Court filings state that Bistriceanu traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles and acted aggressively when she showed up recently at DiCaprio's home and business offices. Bistriceanu, who has twice been placed on psychiatric hold, was notified of a temporary restraining order but did not appear in court. DiCaprio also did not attend Friday's hearing. The actor stated in court filings that he was frightened of the 41-year-old woman and that she presented a threat to his personal safety.