Adam Schlesinger dead: Fountains of Wayne singer-songwriter dies aged 52 from coronavirus

Adam Shlesinger, one of the founding member of American band Fountains of Wayne has died from coronavirus complications. He was 52.

His lawyer of 25 years Josh Grier, confirmed the tragic news of his passing, saying that Adam died on Wednesday from complications brought on by coronavirus.

He said that his client had previously been reported as “very sick and heavily sedated” on Tuesday morning.

According to the lawyer, Adam had been in an upstate New York hospital for more than a week at that time.

The singer-songwriter is a 10-time Emmy nominee, with five for his hit Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, for which he served as executive music producer.

The others were nods for his contributions to the Tony Awards, Sesame Street and a Stephen Colbert Christmas special.

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Mega-rich take to superyachts to avoid coronavirus

The wealthy are not at sea about how to avoid CV — but they’re often on the sea.

Tommy Hilfiger’s success with men’s shorts bought him the superyacht Flag. It’s parked in Canouan, St. Vincent. Big-time investments got Roman Abramovich the Eclipse, which has five-star isolation in the waters of St Barts. Andrey Guryev — who’s vice prez of Russia’s union of chemists, so he must know something — sails around Antigua in Alfa Nero.

A 302-foot seaworthy craft somewhat smaller than the QE2 is the Tatoosh. Nice little boat. Owned by the Paul Allen estate, its anchored in the Gulf of Mexico. Also there, and not to be ashamed, is Ron Perelman’s football-field-sized C2. Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s little putt-putt Dragon Fly is floating like a butterfly — even if it’s not stinging like a bee — in the Caribbean.

So, guys: Even if you just have some little dinghy, drop it in the water.

Please pay attention

Biden. He now gets kerfuffled about whether he’s in Sioux City or Jersey City. Seems like over the years the Times just got away from him — as has The Post, the News, the Staten Island Advance, the Chicago Tribune, etc. Too bad. He’s a nice man … and a touristic note from Howard Stern, who is doing “apocalypse broadcasts” from his “bunker:” “To walk and bump into nobody, try the cemeteries.”

Hamps heat up

Oceanfront Hamptons home rents yearly off-season for $50,000. Same gent always leaves May 1. The owner said this year he’ll refund half — $25,000 — and wants the house back April 1. Lawyer renter: “The governor said nobody gets evicted for at least 90 days. I’m staying until July.”

It’s getting ugly out there. Hampton Jitneys and buses throwing on the brakes. Now it’s cramped Volvos or SUVs called Private Rides. So, shove that old $49 fare. To visit from here to that area’s closed restaurants or shut shops, the schlep’s now $250.

No action anyhow

Sniffing down on us, Sweden’s saying no curfew, no quarantine, no nothing in their country and everyone/anyone can rush around there at will. Big effing deal. Like civilization’s rushing to downtown Stockholm. Nothing’s in that whole freaking country in the first place. See what? Buy what? Cheese slicers? A wooden knife?

Keep good habits

CV may affect more men than women. Data from a quarter of the world — China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Korea — show smoking, drinking, poorer health and gendered behaviors are factors. Men smoke tobacco and drink alcohol at greater rates than women. China has the world’s largest smoking population. In Italy, 4.5 million women versus 7 million men smoke.

Faith in healing

92nd Street Y’s doing an online Passover Seder April 9. And Monday, it’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan — who’s lately done more TV than Sean Hannity — with Rabbi Peter Rubinstein on the importance of community, even when not together physically. What should religious institutions be doing? How to derive strength in difficult times? The role of faith in adversity?

New Deal redux?

To gin up USA, it’s trillions to stimulate the economy and preserve our industrial complex. In 1929, we had the crash. A depression. Businesses closed. Unemployment mounted. Federal intervention was demanded, but Hoover felt that brought socialism. Opponents said he’s helping industry and banks, not citizens. He insisted voluntary cooperation would save us, and short-term solutions, deficit spending to promote consumer confidence and the economy would destroy us.

Many contend it was the WWII stimulus that saved our economy.

My ex was frank and earnest. In NYC he was Frank, in Chicago Earnest.

Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

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Don Lewis: 5 Things To Know About Carole Baskin’s 2nd Husband Who Disappeared

The mystery around Don Lewis’ disappearance and declared death was a central storyline in the bizarre ‘Tiger King’ documentary. Learn more about Carole Baskin’s husband who vanished.

Don Lewis was just 59 years old at the time of his 1997 disappearance. The mystery shrouding Carole Baskin‘s second husband was a revisited plot throughout Netflix’s wild and wacky Tiger King docuseries, including several theories about what actually happened to him. “The last thing Don ever said to me was that he was leaving ‘early, early, early’ the next morning for Costa Rica,” Carole said in an interview with the Tiger King filmmakers. Just two days after his recorded disappearance, his white 1989 Dodge van was found 40 miles away from the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary at the Pilot Country Airport in Springhill, Florida. Don was eventually declared dead by Carole in 2002. Learn more about the millionaire who is still the subject of an open case.

1. He had a family before Carole. Prior to Carole, Don was married to Gladys Lewis Cross. The couple shared daughters Donna Pettis and Gale Rathbone together, who were also featured in the documentary, in addition to daughter Lynda Sanchez and an adopted son. Don divorced Gladys in 1990 in order to marry Carole. Despite Don and Gladys’ divorce agreement, a legal battle ensued over Don’s money after his disappearance.

2. He was a millionaire. The Dade City, Florida native came from humble roots and desired a different life for himself as he entered adulthood. Don quickly got his feet wet in the business world, amassing his wealth through the used car business and real estate holdings which Carole later helped grow, according to files from the Tampa Bay Times. He was worth a reported $5 million at the time of his 1997 disappearance. In the documentary, Carole alleges that the docuseries “exaggerates” how much Don was actually worth.

3. He met Carole on the side of the road. After a fight with Gladys, Don was driving around when he spotted a young Carole walking. In the documentary, Carole details him pulling up in his vehicle and saying he needed someone to talk to. Then 20-year-old Carole, also married at the time, agreed. The pair began their affair shortly thereafter, and were married for seven years until his disappearance.

4. His appearance remains a mystery. Despite multiple theories mentioned in the documentary, this case remains unsolved. Carole maintains she had no involvement with Don’s disappearance, and has denied what she dubs as “23-year-old lies and innuendos suggesting” that she was “involved in my husband Don’s 1997 disappearance” as per a statement emailed to HollywoodLife via Big Cat Rescue’s public relations representative. Carole has never been convicted of any crime and no arrests have been made to this day. On Tuesday, Mar. 30, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Chad Chronister invited the public to come forward for new leads via a tweet.

5. He co-founded an animal sanctuary. Don was also a passionate wildlife advocate. Along with then-wife Carole, co-founded the Tampa, Florida zoo Wildlife on Easy Street — now Big Cat Rescue sanctuary —  back in 1992. Despite his disappearance over 22 years ago, Carole has remained dedicated to their work of rescuing and caring for exotic cats. Today, the sanctuary remains home to 17 big cats and 34 small cats. “Our smallest enclosure is the size of a small house, about 1200 sq. feet, and our largest is over two acres, all in a natural setting full of foliage,” Carole writes on the website.

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Joe Exotic’s Husband Dillon Passage Reveals If He’s Still In Love With The ‘Tiger King’ & Been Faithful

With husband Joe Exotic now in prison, his partner Dillon Passage is opening up about the current status of their romance — including thoughts on an open relationship!

Despite his 22 year prison sentence for plotting a murder, Joe Exotic‘s husband Dillon Passage, 22, is sticking by his side. “I do love Joe, he’s been there for me through my darkest times,” the Tiger King star spilled to Andy Cohen on Sirius XM’s Radio Andy on Wednesday, April 1. “I’m not just going to dip out and abandon him when he needs me most,” Dillon added. Joe landed in prison after being convicted on two counts of murder for hire pertaining to Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin, in addition to 17 federal charges of animal abuse.

“I am very loyal to Joe. I am loyal to Joe,” Dillon confirmed after Andy asked if he was remaining faithful while Joe is imprisoned. “You’re very LOYAL to Joe…in that phone call in the car, it sounds like you guys were talking about how hard it is to stay loyal, in a way,” Andy’s co-host John Hill then pushed. Dillon once again maintained that his husband is his top priority, adding: “[Joe] doesn’t want me to leave. And I have no intention of leaving. I’ve reassured him of that for the past year and a half.” True love always prevails!

Joe has also expressed concern around Dillon’s lack of companionship since beginning his prison sentence in 2019. “He doesn’t want me to be alone, but he also doesn’t want me to move on, if that makes sense.” While the situation is difficult for both parties, Dillon didn’t decline the possibility of an open relationship! “It’s a complicated situation…let’s move on,” Dillon laughed.

The Austin, Texas native is 57-year-old born Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage’s fourth husband after the late Brian Rhyne, the late Travis Maldonado, and ex John Finlay — who was also featured prominently in the docuseries. “He was just super sweet to me and he just came off as very genuine. A very down to earth guy. And very charismatic,” Dillion recalled after his first in-person meeting with Joe at a karaoke bar. The pair married just two weeks later. “We definitely jumped the gun, but I’m not ashamed of it whatsoever….My mom was shocked at first, ‘he’s as old as me — we’re the same age.’ I was like, ‘yeah, well, it’s just kind of the situation that it is.’ They were cool with it,” the cat lover added.

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TIDAL is Offering Subscriptions For $1 to Make Staying at Home a Little Easier

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As more people begin to “shelter in place” across the country, there’s no better time to settle in with some new tunes, or get reacquainted with your favorite albums. TIDAL is adding a little extra incentive to the mix right now, with a new deal that gets you four months of service for just $4. That’s just a buck a month and works out to 90% off the regular subscription price.

The deal is valid till the end of the month and includes access to TIDAL Premium, or TIDAL HiFi, the platform’s most premium subscription level that lets you activate more than 60 million tracks — many in master-quality, high-fidelity audio. TIDAL HiFi subscribers also get access to stadium-quality Dolby Atmos sound, from Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group artists. The list includes songs from artists like The Weeknd, Meek Mill, Ariana Grande and Blondie, to name a few.

TIDAL is where Jay Electronica premiered his new album last week, and the streaming service offers a ton of other exclusives, from artist live-streams, to concert footage and behind-the-scenes interviews. They also have artist-curated playlists and exclusive albums you can’t find on Apple Music or Spotify.

Music services never really offer discounted pricing, so if you’re looking to give TIDAL a try, this is a deal you’ll want to get in on. Get four months of TIDAL Premium or HiFi for $4. You can cancel anytime after that. Click here to unlock the $1/month deal. Offer ends April 30th.

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K-Pop Star Kim Jaejoong Says He Tested Positive For COVID-19 In TERRIBLE April Fool’s Day Prank!

There’s myriad different ways to raise awareness about the novel coronavirus and we have to say, this one absolutely missed the mark.

K-Pop star Kim Jaejoong is catching heat for a new Instagram post on Wednesday where he told millions of followers he tested positive for COVID-19, only to later admit it was all a total lie! WTF?!

According to the translations provided by news site Soompi, here’s how the JYJ band member initially revealed the diagnosis in his IG post:

“I have been infected with COVID-19. It is a result of my negligence, ignoring the cautionary words shared by the government and those around me. A person’s individual actions can have such a big impact on society as a whole. I am so sorry to those who may have been infected because of me.”

Jaejoong said he wished he’d taken the news about the global health crisis more seriously before getting to this point:

“My foolish judgment to live as though it couldn’t happen to me is why I am like this today. I am currently hospitalized. I am reflecting on my past a lot and feeling both grateful and sorry. There are many things I want to say. There are many people I want to see so much.”

Wow. This would’ve been so incredibly heartfelt if it were actually true. But less than an hour after the message went up, Kim edited the post to clarify he did NOT have the coronavirus and this was all just an April Fool’s prank to bring awareness and hopefully minimize casualties of the contagious disease.


We guess that unspoken rule about not f**king around with this silly holiday during a pandemic should’ve been clarified a bit more for some people…

The outlet also published a translation of Kim’s edited caption where he begged fans to understand where he was coming from. He wrote:

“What if the people we love, someone precious to us, contracted the virus? It’s such a heart-wrenching thing to think about.

Despite this, so many people walk the streets and live their lives without their guards up, ignoring it… and thinking it won’t happen to them, and it makes me so worried that my family and friends might get sick. Believing that we and the people around us will be safe will end up making us and everything around us sick.”

Jaejoong noted how quickly the virus can spread and why it shouldn’t be ignored:

“Currently, a growing number of my acquaintances and industry representatives are being tested positive. It is not something that is far away. When negligence turns a sad premonition into reality, it’s not something that we can simply end by wiping our tears away.”

Then he tried to evoke sympathy for his irresponsible “joke,” writing:

“Staying on alert right now.. That is what I say to myself again and again. Although this did go quite far for April Fool’s Day, so many people worried about me in a short span of time.

Oh… and I don’t think of this as an April Fool’s joke. My family and my friends are getting sick.. and dying.. It’s never!! just someone else’s problem. I wanted to tell you that protecting myself is protecting the precious people around us.”

Jaejoong’s statement concluded with:

“I will accept all punishment I receive from this post. I hope all of you are healthy.”

Punishment is an accurate word choice! Read through what a few angry fans had to say about the harebrained stunt online:

Although, there were a few users who felt differently about the dramatic PSA! Some thought it was brave for the K-pop star to risk being canceled to get an important message across:

Hmm. It still doesn’t sit well with us — but what do U think, Perezcious readers? Was this a meaningful joke or completely insensitive given how many lives have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak?

Weigh in on the conversation in the comments section (below)!

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Sophie Turner’s Quote About Quarantining With Joe Jonas Is The Cutest

If you’re looking for something to brighten up the doom and gloom of the current news cycle, I would highly recommend checking out Sophie Turner’s quote about quarantining with Joe Jonas. "Everything seems to be working out in my favor here because Joe’s a real social butterfly," Turner shared during a March 31 appearance on Conan At Home. "So I struggle to kind of lock him down and have him just spend time with me… It’s like prison for him, but it’s great for me."

Earlier in the interview, Turner explained she’s loving life in quarantine. "I’m an introvert. I’m a homebody. If I could stay at home all day I would, so this is great for me," Turner shared. "I leave the house like once a day anyway to walk my dogs and then that’s it."

In fact, she loves it so much that she’s not sure why other people are having such a hard time with it. "I see how people are finding it difficult. I don’t understand how people are really struggling to practice social distancing," she said with a laugh. "I’m like, all you have to do is stay at home and get drunk at home."

While the getting "drunk" element isn’t necessarily a part of everyone’s quarantine experience, Turner made it clear it’s been a central part of hers with Jonas. But, like, if your husband was loudly DJ-ing ’80s music in the middle of the house you’re currently trapped inside of with him, why not make things a little more fun by celebrating with some tequila shots?

"He’s DJ-ing at home," she told O’Brien when he asked what her husband was doing to pass the time while in quarantine. "Like, yesterday or the day before he did an ’80s set for a good part of two hours… But it’s fun! I pour him his drinks. I pour him his alcohol. I give him tequila shots. He’ll text me and be like, ‘What time is it?’ And then I’ll reply from the kitchen, ‘Shot time,’ and bring him a shot of tequila.”

Oh, and if you, like O’Brien, are wondering what time shot time really is, Turner simply says "there’s no rules in quarantine."

In addition to giving Jonas shots, Turner said she also creates some quarantine fun by dressing him up for whatever theme the DJ set is going to be that day. For ’80s she said she dressed him up in a "very colorful and very ’80s" windbreaker and now her next challenge is finding an outfit for his upcoming reggae-themed set.

Here’s to hoping every couple makes their quarantine as fun as the one going on in the Turner-Jonas household.

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Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin’s Son Moses, 13, Looks So Much Like Dad On Stroll With Mom

Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow looked super comfy and dressed down when she stepped out of isolation to get some fresh air with her adorable son Moses.

Gwyneth Paltrow, 47, stepped out of lockdown for a stroll with her son Moses Martin, and the 13-year-old looked exactly like his dad! Coldplay hitmaker Chris Martin‘s mini-me was all smiles as he stepped outside amid the coronavirus outbreak for some fresh air with his mom on March 31. The Goop founder looked comfy and casual in a black tee, navy blue sweatpants with a red stripe down the side, white sneakers, and white sunglasses. The mom-of-two, who also shares a daughter Apple, 15, with her ex Chris, allowed her straight blonde locks to fall effortlessly below her shoulders.

Her son Moses looked equally low-key as he carried a skateboard under his arm and chatted away in a black tee, beige trousers, and white sneakers. It seems the teen is totally cool with being pictured hanging out with his mom, but when it comes to his big sis Apple, it’s a different story. “My daughter finds me mortifying,” Gwyneth told John Legend when he stepped in to host the February 14 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “[My kids] are almost 16 and 14. I don’t how that happened,” she added, mentioning that there’s a point when kids stop thinking their parents are cool and start getting “embarrassed” by them.

“If I do anything in public [that’s] not talking and standing still, she’s like, ‘stop!’” said the Goop founder. “She’s 16 in May. If I dance, she turns red.” From there, the subject of TikTok and Apple’s learner’s permit came up. “She drives us to school now in the morning. It’s crazy. It’s so weird,” she said, before adding “she’s really a good driver. I try to be calm, and the first time, I failed as a mother – because she went through a red light. And, I kinda yelled at her. And then she started crying, and it was just terrible. I felt so bad. So, then, I was ‘okay, I’m going to be chill.’ Now, she’s an amazing driver.”

During the chat, Gwyneth also discussed her notorious candle, the one called “This Smells Like My Vagina.” The candle caused quite a ruckus both for its $75 price tag and for the fact that it’s a candle that Gwyneth thinks that smells like a vagina. “Well, it’s this amazing brand called Heretic, and they make all clean fragrances, so it was really a feminist statement,” she said. “It’s also something Apple could be embarrassed by,” John added, with a laugh.

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Comedian Godfrey on Rapper Fredo Bang’s Colorist Remarks: It’s ‘Self-Hatred’

Godfrey notes that ‘the Eurocentric view of beauty is so engrained in us,’ and that even among the black community they sometimes feel that having dark skin is not a good thing.

AceShowbizFredo Bang‘s recent comments about not finding dark-skinned women attractive during an interview with Vlad TV earned him backlash. Among the critics was comedian Godfrey, who weighed in on the matter in a new interview on the YouTube show.

Fredo sparked controversy when he admitted that he isn’t attracted to anyone other than light-skinned black women. “I’m not really into dark-skinned women,” the rapper said after revealing that he name dropped JT from City Girls in his song only because it rhymed.

“It’s colorism and it’s almost kind of a self-hatred type of thing,” Godfrey said. “Maybe growing up he was made fun of for being dark. I know what that’s like. And the negativity of dark skin has been around for so long, but a lot of people are breaking that, which is great. I think dark-skinned women are finally getting a little bit of shine.”

He also revealed that he was impressed by one of Migos‘ music videos which featured “different complected girls. Light skin, dark skin, it was all kind.” Godfrey added, “Because remember in music videos, it was always light-skinned women. It was always half-mixed girls, light-skinned women. You never see dark-skinned women. There are a lot of super super fine a** dark-skinned women all over the f***ing world.”

Godfrey noted that “the Eurocentric view of beauty is so engrained in us,” adding that even among the black community they sometimes feel that having dark skin is not a good thing. He, however, applauded “fantastic” people in social media who continue to share awareness of being proud to be black and dark-skinned. “It’s starting to see a light, a little bit,” he said, though he admitted that it would be hard.

He also recalled the times when his light-skinned friends told him that they were better-looking than him just because of their skin. “I say, ‘My teeth are straighter than yours, yours are a little f***ed up. … My skin is better than your. And up to this date, they’ve all aged like s**t,” he shared.

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The stunning transformation of Maria Sharapova

Some people like Maria Sharapova are just destined to be great athletes — such as basketball legend Michael Jordan, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, and gymnast extraordinaire Simone Biles. Sharapova has had a decades-long career in professional tennis that has minted her as one of the highest-paid athletes in history, according to Fortune. That’s a pretty impressive accomplishment, given all of the competition!

While Sharapova’s decorated career is punctuated by a variety of significant wins, she wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth or her very own tennis court in the backyard — far from it. In fact, to truly understand the depth and breadth of Sharapova’s incredible ascent into the athletic pantheon, you have to cross a literal ocean to see where her story began.

So where was Sharapova born, and where did she grow up? How did she discover that she was a tennis prodigy? And who’s been by her side the entire time, making sure that she claims her rightful place in sports history? Read on to witness the stunning transformation of Maria Sharapova.

Maria Sharapova's mother had an unusual pregnancy

In the remote village of Nyagan, Siberia in the former USSR in 1987, Maria Sharapova made her big debut into the world. But as she tells it, Sharapova and her family weren’t exactly happy in Nyagan due to its lack of amenities. “I was born in an industrial little city that didn’t have much life and was just not a great environment to raise a child in,” she recalled in an interview with DuJour magazine.

The family had relocated there a year prior at the behest of her grandparents, after the devastating nuclear disaster at Chernobyl rocked the world. “My parents were living in Belarus at the time so my mother was very close to all the radiation while being pregnant with me,” she continued. That had to have been terrifying for her parents!

Four years after she was born, Sharapova moved with her parents from Siberia to the coastal city of Sochi, which had a lot more going on than Nyagan. Still, the USSR had just fallen apart at that time, so things weren’t exactly idyllic. 

At age 4, Maria Sharapova started playing tennis

For as difficult as things were growing up in post-USSR Russia, Maria Sharapova did have happy moments in her childhood, especially when it came to tennis. “The first time I remember seeing a tennis court, my father was playing on it,” she penned in an essay for Vanity Fair. At the time, the then-4-year-old was so small in stature that her legs would dangle off of benches, and the racket she used was twice as big as she was.

But her diminutive size didn’t stop the young Sharapova from pursuing tennis seriously, and it became clear quite quickly that she was blessed with extraordinary athletic prowess. “When I first started playing, the girls on the other side of the net were always older, taller, and stronger,” she continued. “But little by little, with every day of practice on the court, this almost mythical world became more and more real.”

Eventually Sharapova realized that she wasn’t so different from the tennis greats she watched on television, and her dreams slowly started coming true.

In 1994, Maria Sharapova moved to the United States

When Maria Sharapova was only 6 years old, she and her father packed up and left Sochi to see if she had what it took to run with the big dogs, leaving her mother behind temporarily. “We came to America with only $700,” she explained to ABC News. “While [my father] was trying to find ways to make money, I was at the big sporting academy in Florida just getting better and improving.” 

Specifically, Sharapova sharpened her skills at the famed Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, where tennis giants like the Williams sisters trained as well. So did another tall, blonde, Russian player: Anna Kournikova, whose hand-me-downs found their way to Sharapova. “I don’t know how but I would end up with a lot of her old clothes,” she revealed to DuJour magazine. “A lot of prints and animal prints and glitter and definitely not things I would’ve chosen to wear when I was 8 or 9 years old, but I didn’t have a choice.”

Maria Sharapova started playing professional tennis at 14

Moving to the United states and sacrificing everything they had for Maria Sharapova’s tennis career may have been difficult for the athlete’s family, but it was evident fairly soon after relocating that it was the right move for them. In fact, Sharapova was so good at the game that she turned pro at the tender age of 14, which is pretty young for any sport!

As coach Nick Bollettieri tells it, Sharapova’s family did everything properly, allowing her to grow and thrive in just the right conditions. “Yuri found the right people who could help his daughter become the best tennis player possible,” he told The Independent (via BBC News). “He has stayed right by her, giving her every support but crucially he let those people (the coaches) get on with their job.”

It was only three years after turning pro that Sharapova would show the world what she truly had inside of her, ensuring that she would never be forgotten for the rest of tennis history.

Maria Sharapova defeated Serena Williams for her first Wimbledon win

In 2004, Maria Sharapova got to savor the ultimate bucket list victory: At 17, she took down legend Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final. “It was a shock to me,” Sharapova revealed to The Guardian. “I never thought I was physically and mentally ready to last two weeks and seven matches against all kinds of opponents.” But indeed she was, and she took home the coveted no. 1 prize when all was said and done.

Looking back, Sharapova remembers that stunning victory, acknowledging both how happy and fearless she felt after besting Williams to be crowned the champion. “Sometimes in life you get these little door openings,” she continued, “and I just took it and played some great tennis.” If you haven’t seen the match, check it out, as both competitors showed some serious skill.

Sharapova would go on to face Williams many times on the court after that victory, in what became one of tennis’ most notorious rivalries. 

"Maria Mania" swept the tennis world in the 2000s

After Maria Sharapova’s dramatic victory at Wimbledon in 2004, “Maria Mania” spread throughout the tennis community. Suddenly everyone wanted to know everything about the young star, who seemingly became world-famous overnight. “It was a tremendous victory, but also a very sudden amount of attention and responsibility,” she explained in an interview with Sportsnet. “I was quite young, and there was a very strong drive to push myself even harder.” Given that winning Wimbledon was a major goal for Sharapova, she had to think about what to strive for next in its wake.

While Sharapova enjoyed the attention and affection lavished upon her by the public, she also felt overwhelmed by some of the side effects. “I’m a very private person, and while I’m happy to be included in so many red-carpet moments, I do wish that’s where the paparazzi following would end,” she continued. She added that their constant presence was seriously invasive of not just her own privacy, but the privacy of her family and friends.

Maria Sharapova made her Olympic debut in 2012

After Wimbledon, Maria Sharapova continued to have an incredible career as a professional tennis player. She performed well in all kinds of tournaments, bringing home plenty of trophies and scoring a number of sponsorship deals. But it wasn’t until 2012 that she took the Olympic stage for the first time, playing for Russia. “It’s incredible, not only to be a part of this event and be an Olympian, but to put yourself in with an opportunity to go for gold,” she revealed in an interview with ESPN. “It’s a really nice feeling.”

Once again, Sharapova faced her no. 1 rival in the semi-finals, Serena Williams, after beating Maria Kirilenko. “Obviously it’s tough to play a Russian on the other side of the net, but I’m happy that one of us can go for gold,” she continued.

However, a victory like Wimbledon in 2004 was not in the cards for Sharapova, as Williams defeated her to bring home the gold for herself. But Sharapova walked away with a silver medal, which is still something to be proud of!

In 2016, Maria Sharapova was suspended for doping

In 2016, Maria Sharapova found herself at the center of controversy: It was revealed that she tested positive for meldonium, a forbidden substance — and was banned from playing tennis for two years. “For the first hour, I thought it was a mistake,” she confessed to The Guardian. She wondered, “How did I not know? How did my team not know? How did no one notify me?” Clearly, Sharapova had a lot of questions.

As it turned out, Sharapova wasn’t doping intentionally, as her doctor had prescribed the medication to her years ago. And after she parted ways with him — ironically because she felt he wanted her to take too many drugs — she passed responsibility to her agent, who obviously didn’t stay on top of things.

When the truth became clear, Sharapova’s ban was reduced to 15 months by the courts. “I could have got pissed off with a lot of people, and that would have been fair for me, but it wouldn’t have changed anything,” she continued, adding, “If there’s one person to get pissed at, for sure that would begin with myself.”

Maria Sharapova began to appreciate her fans more after the doping scandal

One silver lining that came out of the doping scandal was that Maria Sharapova gained an entirely new appreciation of her fans. Before the incident, she said she wasn’t exactly thrilled to have people asking her for autographs and selfies. “I didn’t want the responsibility of being a role model,” she explained to The Guardian. “Maybe it was a selfish thing.”

But given how supportive Sharapova’s fans were during her lowest time, it made her truly comprehend that her admirers are living, breathing people who just want to see her thrive in the tennis world. “That’s one of the biggest reasons I’ve been able to come back,” she continued. She noted, “I just found people’s motive for coming up to me was more a message of support, not wanting something from me, which was really heartwarming.”

Those personal encounters gave Sharapova sincere joy, and helped her feel better when she needed it the most.

Maria Sharapova founded her own candy line in 2016

So what did Maria Sharapova do with her time during her 15-month suspension? Rather than dwell on the negative or rest on her laurels, Sharapova instead got to work on her candy company. “I worked on Sugarpova consistently,” she told ABC News. “I was investing in a few different businesses so I had time and then I got to spend the holidays at home which was such a treat for me.” That sounds like a nice break on both counts!

Becoming an entrepreneur was a natural step for Sharapova, who’d been the face of various brands throughout her career; that spurred her to get going on a company of her own. She explained that she wanted to get “more competitive” with her business. She continued, “I want to be the one that’s making more decisions, better decisions that can maybe benefit me in the long run.”

Sharapova also realized that she won’t be playing tennis forever, and she wanted to branch out.

Maria Sharapova is one of the highest-paid female athletes in the world

While Maria Sharapova and her father only had $700 when they came to America in the mid-1990s (via ABC News), that’s definitely not the case any longer. In fact, Sharapova was the highest-paid female athlete in the world for 11 years running, according to Forbes magazine. Much of that was due to her lucrative sponsorship deals, though she’s also won her fair share of prize money as well.

In 2016, Sharapova’s bank account took a hit in the wake of the doping scandal, which resulted in some of her sponsors cutting ties with her. But clearly she was able to make a comeback, as she’s worth a cool $135 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Sharapova knows how to spend money, too, as her well-curated Los Angeles home is a dream come true, according to a profile in Architectural Digest. She also has a home in Sarasota, Fla., as noted by The Wall Street Journal. That’s a long way from Siberia!

Throughout her career, Maria Sharapova struggled with injuries

One thing that Maria Sharapova has had to struggle with over the years are — you guessed it — injuries sustained while on the court. “Shoulder injuries are nothing new for me — over time my tendons have frayed like a string,” she penned in a 2020 essay for Vanity Fair. “I’ve had multiple surgeries — once in 2008; another procedure last year — and spent countless months in physical therapy.”

On one occasion, she even had to have her shoulder numbed just before playing at the U.S. Open in order to help her get through the match. “Just stepping onto the court that day felt like a final victory, when of course it should have been merely the first step toward victory,” she continued. Ouch!

To that end, Sharapova knew she’d come to a crossroads and would need to figure out how to move forward, as her body “had become a distraction.”

In 2020, Maria Sharapova finally retired

In 2020, Maria Sharapova finally made the big decision to retire from playing professional tennis. Naturally it was an emotional choice, one that she didn’t make lightly or without deep reflection. “In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life,” she wrote in a piece for Vanity Fair. “I’ll miss it everyday.” But taking her injuries into consideration in addition to other ambitions, Sharapova knew it was time to step off of the court for good.

Sharapova described her long and celebrated career in tennis as a mountain, in that it’s given her all sorts of memorable perspectives. “My path has been filled with valleys and detours, but the views from its peak were incredible,” she continued. “After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain — to compete on a different type of terrain.”

Sharapova assured fans that she would continue to grow, no matter what her next chapter might be. She also shared her plans to enjoy the small things in life more, such as having weekend getaways and spending time with her family.

Through it all, Maria Sharapova is still a Russian citizen

Although Maria Sharapova has lived all but six years in the United States, she’s said she’ll never give up her Russian citizenship, according to CNBC. And though she couldn’t imagine permanently relocating back in Russia, she’s not 100 percent at home in America, either. “I’ve spent all my life living out of suitcases, and even though I have a home here in Florida and a home in California, I don’t feel this is my place,” she revealed in an interview with The Guardian. “I’m not attached to things.”

That doesn’t mean she doesn’t love the United States, however, because she says she very much does — she just feels attached to both cultures in different ways. “In my home, I feel very much Russian,” she continued. “At home, I speak Russian. But outside of it, I feel very much American.”

Fortunately in retirement, Sharapova will have time to spend in both places.

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