A newly renovated 48,000 square foot six-tennis court indoor arena is headed to Washington, DC's Ward 8 thanks in part to tennis pros Venus and Serena Williams. Find out about their contribution inside...
Earlier today, reps from the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (SETLC) revealed that they've completed an $18 Million renovation of their 48,000 square foot six-tennis court indoor arena, in Washington, DC's Ward 8, thanks in part to donations and support from Venus and Serena Williams.
Their press release proudly announced that the Venus and Serena Williams Tennis Arena will be officially unveiled on Friday, November 7 at the SETLC's Tennis Shoes, Ties & After Five Gala hosted by the Recreation Wish List Committee (RWLC).
The two tennis legends will be in attendance for the entire evening of fun, fundraising and renovation celebration, which will be emceed by CBS News and Sports broadcaster James "JB" Brown. Cora Masters Barry, president and founder of the RWLC said,
"The support of Venus and Serena is something that has been a driving force behind the success of the Center from day one. We are privileged to be able to honor them with the naming of the new tennis arena and thrilled that they will be in attendance on November 7 for the unveiling and entire gala. The facility is going to be gorgeous, but it is just a building if we don't do something great inside of it," continued Barry. "I can't wait to see kids of all ages pick up rackets and play on these new courts. That will be worth every brick and every penny."
The SETLC is the first facility of it's kind in the nation and has become a model for other cities. The center and others inspired by it will be integral in the development of U.S. tennis.
"This is truly going to be one of the premier tennis facilities on the East Coast, if not a model for the entire country,"added Damiisa Robinson, Director of Tennis at the SETLC. "With this newly renovated center, we will be opening up our customer scope. We will have the greatest quality of services as our competition in the Mid-Atlantic region with lower cost for lessons and programs we will never turn away a Ward 8 student, that's why this center was built and we will stay true that mission."
In other sports news, Serena is in Singapore for the WTA Finals where she won her first match, beating Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-4 in Monday's tournament opener. Congrats Serena!
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Last night was ladies night in Atlanta. Monyetta Shaw and Tahiry were tapped to host at Gold Room and the ladies turned up with friends Toya Wright, Keshia Knight Puliam, Malaysia Pargo and more. Peep their party pics inside…
“Atlanta Exes” star Monyetta Shaw and “Love & Hip Hop: NY” star Tahiry Jose called up their gal pals to come party with them at Gold Room in Atlanta last night. And it was a night full of weavalicious dollace goodness.
Joining the reality stars were friends Toya Wright, "BBW LA" star Malaysia Pargo, Keshia Knight Pulliam, "La La Full Court Life" star Dice along with her girlfriend and more.
The party girls sat pretty on a plush pink couch while sipping on some bubbly.
Fashion designer Michael Costello has issued a statement regarding the controversy following an Instagram post. He allegedly called a commenter the N-word and the screenshot has been making its rounds. Now, he claims someone simply has it out for him.
Also, get the deets on Meagan Good and Chad Coleman joining "Law & Order: SVU" for a new episode on domestic violence. More inside…
“Project Runway” designer Michael Costello (who has created designs for celebs such as Beyonce, Ashanti and Tamar Braxton to name a few) is responding to racial slur allegations allegedly made by the designer responding to a commenter on Instagram.
A little backstory…. Budding designer Maxine James (creating looks for her Ellaé Lisqué line) took to Instagram recently to air out her frustrations upon learning Michael Costello allegedly stole her design. Apparently, Michael purchased a dress she designed and posted a picture of it on his IG without crediting her, passing it off as his own design.
In an IG post Maxine wrote (and deleted):
“When I received pymt from @mtcostello @michaelcostello a week ago I was lost for words… excited but a TAD confused … I called wubs like ‘wow my favorite designer just purchased a dress from me wow he wants a dress from little ol me?!’ Like this man makes dresses for freakin BEYONCE and he just bought a dress from me!” a week later This happens he literally bought my EXACT dress … Put it on HIS model took pictures in HIS showroom as if he designed this piece his self.
It’s so disheartening I couldn’t help but shed a tear… Him as a designer should know first hand how heart breaking it is for ppl to take something you worked so hard on …..It’s like why? Who does that? I mean we ALL get inspired from some where but it is completely unfair to take someone’s EXACT design and EXACT dress at that and claim it as your own…. @michaelcostello You are already a well-known designer you design dresses for TOP celebrities… Why would you do something so low?
I put so much into my brand … I eat sleep breath it… I paid for so many mistakes while making this design I went through so much to make it perfect …for it to fit perfectly… patterns..grading …cut… Production …photo shoots ALL OF THAT and you literally take my EXACT DRESS and claim it as your own … I tried to reach out to you and you block me ? Like seriously … It’s extremely disheartening I TRUELY did look up to you as a designer…you were one of my favorites….I hope this lasts you for a life time … because God will never continue to bless someone who does evil malicious things like this…. Period.”
And Michael Costello's sister Stephanie, who is also his creative partner, responded:
“There has been a recent accusation that MT Costello posted a picture on our Instagram account of a dress that was purchased from another designer. The image was later reposted by the same designer and included a caption stating we had bought the dress and were attempting to rebrand it as our own. As the co-designer of MT Costello, I feel it is important to address this matter and provide an explanation to all affected by the issue. I, Stephanie Costello, purchased the garment in question due to the apparent similarities between it and a gown that Michael Costello and I designed that was posted on social media over a year ago.
Regretfully, my emotions became involved when the dress arrived and, driven by frustration, proceeded to photograph the dress on a model in our showroom as a sarcastic and inappropriate attempt to expose the designer’s garment as a forged duplication of our own. I did not, nor ever intended to sell the item as a MT Costello product. As a business we take duplicated work very seriously as it affects our ability to support employees, interns and families. Michael and I work diligently on our gowns adding signature cuts and silhouettes unique to the MT Costello brand.
As designers we grow attached to our creations and I reacted emotionally before considering the effect it would have on the public and the brand. I realize that my attempt to expose the designer and the garment was extremely unprofessional and for that I apologize. I ask for your understanding and forgiveness for my emotionally driven reaction. I have learned a valuable lesson from this experience and fully intend to address similar situations in the future more professionally. Sincerely, Stephanie Costello.”
Fans started to criticize Michael for the alleged theft and that’s when Michael allegedly responded to a commenter, allegedly calling them a “n*gger” while name dropping Beyonce. He allegedly wrote:
“Your Just probably a dumb n*gger defending her. I am royalty bitch! I dressed Beyonce! Who are they gonna believe!”
This definitely didn’t sit well with fans, so they bashed him for his alleged comment AND for stealing the other designer's design. Fans have been protesting on IG for Beyonce to boycott his designs. Even former model/John Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen commented on the shadiness saying:
Now, in an effort to clear his name, the couture designer has released a statement claiming the offensive screenshot of him allegedly using the n-word is fake! He claims it was photoshopped and he has never used racial slurs. He explained:
Recently, a falsified image has circulated depicting Michael Costello using a derogatory racial slur. The image was created using image editing software and in no way depicts the views of Mr. Costello.
“I have never used, and would never use, racial slurs,” Costello expressed. “The hurtful screenshot circulating is fake and does not represent my views on society, nor do I condone the use of such a terrible term. I have worked my whole life to further the cause of equality. Diversity is the very foundation that Michael Costello (the brand) was built upon. I am deeply upset and I am struggling to understand why someone would try to tarnish my reputation by creating a fake screenshot of me using a derogatory term.”
The image of concern was distributed by an Instagram account that has continually harassed and slandered Costello in an attempt to defame his character. His family, brand and employees have all fallen victim to attacks from the account. It is believed that a disgruntled intern, who is no longer employed with the company, created the account. “Fortunately, Instagram has been very cooperative in working with Mr. Costello to delete accounts created by the people who created the false picture and who are attempting to disseminate it,” said Neama Rahmani, Michael Costello’s attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers.
“Mr. Costello and his attorneys will continue working with Instagram and the legal system to bring these cyber bullies to justice.” As our investigation in the matter continues updates with further information will be released. #michaelcostello
Hmm...who do you believe?
In television news...
“Law & Order: SVU” loves depicting real life events in their series. And with all of the recent media attention surrounding professional football players being involved in domestic violence cases, it’s no surprise that they are visiting the topic…again.
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‘Spousal Privilege’ explores the personal and legal complexities of this intractable problem. Will you be watching?