Names & Faces: Robin Roberts, Britney Spears, Tiki Barber

December 29, 2013

The Reliable Source is on vacation until January 6th. Names & Faces is the column that runs in its place.

Todd Williamson/Invision/AP
Todd Williamson/Invision/AP

TV personality comes out

“Good Morning America” anchorwoman Robin Roberts, 53, posted a Facebook message on Sunday thanking her family, friends and her “long time girlfriend,” Amber Laign, for helping her recover from the bone-marrow transplant she underwent in 2012.The Reuters news agency says that this is the first time Roberts has publicly acknowledged being in a same-sex relationship. ABC News released a statement supporting Roberts’ relationship: “We love Robin and Amber, who we have all known for a long time. We were so touched by Robin’s Facebook message today and so thankful for all the loving support she has in her life.”

No one “Believes” in Bieber

Maybe the real reason Justin Bieber wants to retire is because nobody “Believes” anymore. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the 19-year-old’s documentary “Justin Bieber’s Believe” bombed at the Christmas box office, bringing in $3.1 million in its first three days. It is expected to take in $4.5 million in all, far below the $29.5 million debut made by its predecessor, “Never Say Never.” “Believe” is supposed to be a behind-the-scenes look at the singer’s rise to international fame. Now, it could signal the beginning of the end. Last week, Bieber abruptly stated that he was retiring from the music industry. “My beloved beliebers I’m officially retiring,” the singer tweeted. 2011’s “Never Say Never” grossed $73 million domestically, while “Believe” is on pace to make only $10 million.

Spears does the Strip

Singer Britney Spears’s two-year Las Vegas residency has begun with positive responses. Billboard says the 32-year-old “Perfume” singer debuted “Britney: Piece of Me” to a crowd of 4,500 at the AXIS theater at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. The 90-minute, 24-song concert is the first of 100 that Spears will be performing during her Vegas stint. Spears performed many hit singles from her discography — “Toxic,” “Womanizer,” “3,” “Oops!…I Did It Again,” “Baby” — and received some unexpected help from the audience.Miley Cyrus became a part of the show during an interlude, when Spears’s dancers walked through the audience. The 21-year-old played along, stroking the face of one of the dancers. While performing “I’m a Slave 4 U,” Spears wanted a “hottie” to join her on stage. Who else but television host Mario Lopez got up there, allowing himself to be put in a harness and “spanked” by Spears. Katy Perry, Selena Gomez and Adam Lambert were also in attendance.

Another baby for Barber

Former NFL running back Tiki Barber, 38, and his wife, Traci Lynn Johnson, welcomed a baby girl to their family Friday, US Weekly reports. Brooklyn is the first child for the couple, joining Barber’s four children with ex-wife Ginny Cha. Barber divorced Cha, his wife of 11 years, to marry Johnson in 2012.

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Emily Heil | December 27, 2013