‘Tiger King’ star Erik Cowie cause, manner of death revealed

Fox News Flash top entertainment headlines for October 18 Erik Cowie’s cause and manner of death have been revealed.

The zookeeper, who was famous for appearing in " Tiger King ," died at the age of 53 in September.

The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed to Fox News on Monday that Cowie’s manner of death was natural and that the cause was "acute and chronic alcohol use."

Cowie entered the public sphere in 2020 with the release of Netflix ‘s "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness," a docuseries that followed Cowie’s boss, Joseph Maldonado-Passage , and his zoo full of exotic animals. The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed to Fox News that Erik Cowie’s manner of death was natural and that the cause was ‘acute and chronic alcohol use.’ (Netflix ) In the series, Cowie said he found the job on Craiglist and was desperate for work.

According to TMZ, Cowie died on Sept. 3. He was found dead in New York City.


At the time, cops confirmed to Fox News that they responded to an emergency call of "an unconscious male inside of 21 East 55 Street in the confines of the 67 Pct." Joe ‘Exotic’ Maldonado-Passage was Cowie’s employer at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Okla. He is currently serving 22 years in prison after being convicted for his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot. The man was in the bedroom of the location. "EMS was on scene and pronounced the male deceased. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death," the authorities said.

There were no drugs reportedly found at the scene.


Cowie was one of the animal caretakers at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park and testified against Maldonado-Passage – better known as Joe Exotic – who is currently serving 22 years in a Texas prison after being found guilty of hiring two hitmen in a failed murder-for-hire against his big cat zoo rival, Carole Baskin. Cowie also said in court he witnessed Exotic’s alleged mistreatment of the animals and confirmed Exotic killed some of the older big cats to make room for new ones. ‘Tiger King’ star Jeff Lowe, left, previously said he’s hoping to hold a memorial for Erik Cowie. (Netflix) Per TMZ, Cowie was arrested for DUI after a car accident in Oklahoma in May. He pleaded guilty and was supposed to show up in court for sentencing but never did.

After "Tiger King" went viral, Cowie also got a new set of teeth.


Fox News’ Jessica Napoli contributed to this report


Paulina Porizkova poses nude in bedsheet for return to Instagram after hiatus: ‘I’m back’

Fox News Flash top entertainment headlines for October 18 Paulina Porizoka has returned.

The 56-year-old model recently took a brief hiatus from Instagram when she jetted off on a "top secret" adventure, but returned to the photo-sharing app on Monday with a steamy picture of herself in bed.

In the pic, Porizkova appears to be nude while under the covers, flashing her legs for her followers while wearing a smile.

She then gushed over her cozy bed in the caption. Paulina Porizkova shared a photo of herself wearing nothing but a bedsheet for her return to Instagram. "Mankind’s greatest invention. It’s not fire, it’s not the wheel, it’s not pre-sliced bread…" she wrote . "It’s Incontestably, incontrovertibly, irrefutably – A MATTRESS."

She added that she’s "convinced" that a good mattress is why humans live longer "these days." The 56-year-old model gushed over her mattress in the caption of her post. "The beauty and wit of middle age is quickly lost if deprived of a comfortable spot to rest ones bones," the model said. "Here’s to the padding which supports us while we slumber- hay or straw, down or feathers, coils or foam- whatever it is- as long as it is there! #sleep #mattress #goodtobeback #stayinginbed."


The star went on to address her recent absence from the social media platform.

"YES, I’m back and NO, I cannot even whisper of my travails," she teased. "All shall be revealed next spring." Porizkova recently took a break from Instagram while on a ‘top secret’ adventure. On Sept. 30, the star shared a photo of herself sitting on a dark-colored Vespa with her blonde hair flowing over her shoulders and revealed that she’d be taking a break from the app.

"Aaand, I’m off! Hello all my lovely IG friends, supporters, peeps and even you little trolls," she began in the caption. "I’m off on a grand adventure. Top secret of course, as those things tend to be when done for viewing at a later date. I will miss you all for the next three weeks. I’m excited, terrified, anxious and filled with gratitude for this opportunity."


She continued : "AND I NEVER RIDE MY VESPA WITHOUT A HELMET. This was just for the shot by my friend @jillgreenberg, who is a frequent backseat passenger and can testify to helmet use."

In Monday’s post, Porizkova also responded to a commenter who suggested she show "less skin."

"You’ve got brains and wit and a dazzling smile," the social media user wrote in part, to which Porizkova replied: "I’m not old. I’m happily middle aged. And showing the skin of a middle aged woman is exactly my point. Because that is what we don’t see enough of. Being my age doesn’t mean I should only get to spout cheery wisdom."I appreciate your compliment very much, but I will show lots more skin. It [sic] it offends you, you may […]


Ant Anstead Shares a Kiss with Renee Zellweger While Visiting Her in New Orleans: ‘Magical’

Ant Anstead, renee zellweger Ant Anstead/Instagram

Ant Anstead and Renée Zellweger are head over heels in New Orleans!

The Celebrity IOU: Joyride host, 42, and the two-time Oscar winner, 52, have been spending time together in the southern city, where Zellweger is currently filming an upcoming project, The Thing About Pam . They’ve also been showing some sweet PDA, with Anstead posting a photo of the two sharing a nighttime kiss to his Instagram feed.

"WOW there is something very special about New Orleans!" the British-born automotive expert and TV personality captioned his photo of the pair, in which Zellweger is wearing a navy blue ball cap, and both are sporting black jackets.

"The late night wandering, the mind blowing history this nerd loves, the architecture, the blend of cultures, the food, the people, the smells and noises!" he wrote of his feelings for the Southern city.

He concluded the post: "All made made better by magical company to share it with…. [heart emoji]"

This isn’t the first time Anstead has visited his new flame in the Big Easy.

Last week, he told Entertainment Tonight , "I went out there a couple weeks ago to spend some time with her and am heading back out there this weekend."

He added that the actress is a "good traveler and she’s been to that city before, so it’s nice. Looking forward to getting back."

Anstead met Zellweger on the set of his Discovery+ show in early June. The pair began dating shortly thereafter, making their first public appearance as a couple in August and going Instagram official with their relationship a month later. Ant Anstead and Renee Zellweger Ant Anstead/Instagram Ant Anstead and Renee Zellweger

"I mean, there’s no hiding it ," he told host Jeremy Parsons on a recent episode of PEOPLE (the TV show!) . "Everyone knows that Renée and I are dating."


Kim Kardashian Buys L.A. Home from Kanye West for $23 Million amid Divorce

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West attend Sean Combs 50th Birthday Bash presented by Ciroc Vodka on December 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Mazur/Getty Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West

Kim Kardashian West is keeping her home in Hidden Hills, California, amid her divorce with estranged husband Kanye West .

According to legal documents filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court on Oct. 12 and obtained by PEOPLE on Monday, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians alum, 40, has acquired the former couple’s house — and "all finishings, furniture, fixtures, appliances’ collectibles, silver and art currently located in said Residence" — for $23 million as part of their ongoing divorce proceedings.

The filing states that $20 million of the agreed-upon price is allocated for the the property itself, while $3 million is going towards its contents.

The residence was appraised by an independent appraiser in June 2020, according to the documents. Inside Kim and Kanye’s Home Kim Kardashian/Instagram

RELATED GALLERY: Inside Kardashian-West HQ: All the Photos Kim and Kanye Have Shared of Their $60 Million Mansion

Kardashian West and West, 44, purchased the house for a reported $20 million in 2014 and worked with Belgian architect Axel Vervoordt to create a unique all-white interior for the space.

The pair — who share four children, North , 8, Saint , 5½, Chicago , 3½, and Psalm , 2 — stayed with Kardashian’s mom, Kris Jenner , during renovations and moved into the residence in December 2017.

Jenner tweeted in April 2018 that the house had reached a worth of $60 million.

RELATED: Kim Kardashian Has a Manned Security Pod in Her Garage, Plus More Details Inside her $60M Home

In September, PEOPLE obtained legal documents filed by Kardashian West’s neighbor asking a judge to stop the reality star from adding various features to the property , including "underground vault, subterranean parking, an attached subterranean ‘wellness center’ and a detached guardhouse."

The filing — which was made by resident Sarah Key and named the Hidden Hills Community Association, not Kardashian West, as the respondent — requested that the Association end the SKIMS designer’s plans to "flatten two hills" and build upon "two high-pressure gas transmission lines," as she feels that the neighborhood should keep its "natural and rustic county setting" and building upon the gas lines will put "Hidden Hills community members at risk of catastrophic bodily injury and irreparable real personal property damage."


Sean Penn seen without wedding ring one day after wife Leila George files for divorce

Fox News Flash top entertainment headlines for October 18 Sean Penn appears to be flip-flopping when it comes to wearing his wedding ring.

The actor, 61, looked downcast when he was spotted on Saturday at a private home dressed to the nines in a tux sans his wedding band – a stark contrast from a luncheon earlier in the day in which he was seen wearing the band.

Both outings came just one day after his third wife, actress Leila George, 29, filed for divorce from the "Gangster Squad" performer a year after telling him "I do."

In August, Penn, 61, confirmed on " Late Night With Seth Meyers " that the two had a " COVID wedding." Actor Sean Penn is seen for the first time without a wedding ring just one day after his third wife, Australian actress Leila George, filed for divorce from the Oscar winner after a year of marriage. (Coleman-Rayner) At the time, the two-time Oscar-winner explained: "By that, I mean it was a county commissioner on Zoom and we were at the house, my two children and her brother, and we did it that way."

Penn maintained that George was eager to tie the knot – so the now-estranged pair figured why not make it happen.


The "Flag" star shares two children — daughter, Dylan, 30, and son, Hopper, 28 — with his ex-wife Robin Wright , 54, whom he was married to from 1996 to 2010. Actor Sean Penn ios on record saying he and his third wife, Australian actress Leila George, had a ‘COVID wedding’ and married over Zoom. George has filed for divorce from the two-time Oscar winner after just one year of marriage. (Coleman-Rayner) Court documents obtained by Fox News last week indicated George filed for divorce from the actor in Los Angeles, California on Friday.

However, in the wake of the dissolution filing, it was mere hours after that photographers snapped Penn at a lunch outing sporting his wedding band. Sean Penn appears to be flip-flopping when it comes to wearing his wedding ring. (Coleman-Rayner)

Penn had reportedly met with up a pal for a lunch meeting at Ollo restaurant in Malibu. After grabbing a bite, the two congregated outside and chatted each other up while Penn took a smoke break, according to Page Six . Sean Penn is seen without a wedding ring on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 in Los Angeles, California just two days before his third wife would file for divorce. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER

The actor was also married to Madonna from 1985 to 1989. He has also been linked to Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron .

Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.


Eric Stonestreet says it’s ‘ridiculous’ that fans assume he, fiancée have large age gap: ‘She looks fantastic’

Eric Stonestreet is setting the record straight.

The 50-year-old actor caught the attention of his fans when he announced his engagement to his fiancée Lindsay Schweitzer in August. When he shared photos of himself and his beloved, critics took to the comments to make note of their age difference .

However, the two are only about eight years apart, as Schweitzer recently turned 42.

Stonestreet recently spoke to Fox News and addressed the incident.


"Listen, she looks fantastic and I shouldn’t be punished for her being so beautiful and young looking," he quipped. "… Eight years is not that big of a difference. I guess people think I look like a coal miner, like a grizzly bear hunter or something ridiculous, and she looks beautiful." In response to critics at the time, he shared photos of Schweitzer with a filter that made her look much older – with white hair and wrinkles.

The actor told Fox News that occasionally someone in public will mistakenly assume that he and his fiancée are not a couple, joking that he understood it to be because she’s "beautiful" and he is "this ogre or something like that."

"I think it’s ridiculous," he said with a chuckle.

Meanwhile, Stonestreet said he got a funny response from his " Modern Family " co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson when he shared the altered photos. Ferguson pointed out that the comedy they appeared in together featured a May-December couple between Gloria ( Sofia Vergara ) and Jay Pritchett ( Ed O’Neill ). Eric Stonestreet won two Emmys for his work on ‘Modern Family’ playing Cameron ‘Cam’ Tucker. As for Ferguson and Stonestreet’s relationship these days? The actor said the former co-stars are great.

"He gets to say whatever he wants about me, probably for the next 15 years, for all the crap that I put him through on the show," Stonestreet said of Ferguson. "So he gets to always have retaliation against me and make up for me, giving him trouble, pranking him on the show."

Stonestreet said he was "constantly after" Ferguson while filming "Modern Family," which ran on ABC from 2009-2020 and would prank and scare the actor.


"I would write things with my finger on the back window of his car, like ‘I’m the redheaded guy from ‘Modern Family,’’ ‘I live in a mansion,’" he recalled. "Well, I would write on his car, just different things like that. So then he would drive with this message written in the back of his car. That’s one of the minor things that I would do to him. I tormented him. At some point, it became like, ‘OK, well, he’s not getting me back. This is just bullying. Cut it out.’" The 50-year-old actor caught the attention of his fans when he announced his engagement to his fiancée Lindsay Schweitzer in […]


Netflix Talent to Support Employee Protest of Dave Chappelle

A rally in support of the Netflix trans employee walkout on Oct. 20, dubbed “Stand Up in Solidarity,” will present co-CEO Ted Sarandos with a list of “firm asks” and feature a PSA from stars including Angelica Ross, Jonathan Van Ness, Jameela Jamil , Eureka O’Hara and Colton Haynes.

Organized by activist Ashlee Marie Preston, the in-person rally will take place on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at Netflix’s EPIC building in Hollywood and will feature creators, grassroots organizers and public figures coming together “to underscore the importance of responsible content offerings that prioritize the safety and dignity of all marginalized communities,” according to Preston’s announcement of the event.

More from Variety

Last week, Netflix faced widespread backlash as co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended Dave Chappelle ’s special “The Closer,” which has been come under fire for what critics say contains transphobic and homophobic content. In a memo to staff, Sarandos wrote: “While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.”

Shortly after Sarandos’ memo, three employees were suspended for crashing an executive meeting, including Terra Field, who identifies as trans and queer and had criticized Chappelle’s special on Twitter. According to Netflix, Field was not suspended due to her tweets, but for attending the meeting uninvited. On Oct. 12, it was announced that the employees had been reinstated after the company found that they did not join the meeting with any ill intent. However, on Oct. 15, an unidentified employee was fired for sharing “commercially sensitive information” outside of the company that was included in a Bloomberg report.


‘History of the World Part II’ Variety Series Ordered at Hulu, Mel Brooks to Write and Executive Produce (EXCLUSIVE)

“History of the World, Part I” is finally getting a Part II, with Hulu ordering a variety series followup to the classic Mel Brooks comedy film, Variety has learned exclusively.

“History of the World, Part II” is described as a sequel to the 1981 film. The film was made up of segments set during different periods of world history. Among those was the Stone Age, Ancient Rome, and the French Revolution. Like most of Brooks’ work, it also featured musical numbers, including one about the Spanish Inquisition and, of course, “Jews in Space.”

More from Variety

Brooks is a writer and executive producer on the series along with Nick Kroll , Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen and Kevin Salter. There is no word yet on which world events the series will cover. Hulu has ordered eight episodes of the show. The writers room is beginning in October with production slated to begin in Spring 2022. Searchlight Television and 20th Television will produce.

“I can’t wait to once more tell the real truth about all the phony baloney stories the world has been conned into believing are History!” Brooks said.

Brooks, a comedy legend and EGOT winner, wrote and directed “History of the World, Part I” in addition to appearing onscreen in five different roles. Those included King Louis XVI and his piss boy doppleganger as well as the stand up philosopher Comicus. The film also featured stars like Gregory Hines, Dom De Luise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman, and many more.

Brooks’ comedy films are consistently ranked among the best of all time, such as “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “The Producers,” and “Spaceballs.” He later adapted both “The Producers” and “Young Frankenstein” as critically-acclaimed stage musicals. He has also produced several hit films, most notably David Lynch’s “The Elephant Man.”


‘LA Law’ Sequel Series ABC Pilot Adds Original Series Star Corbin Bernsen

The “LA Law” sequel series pilot at ABC has cast Corbin Bernsen to reprise his role from the original series.

Bernsen joins previously announced returning cast member Blair Underwood. The updated logline for the project describes it as a re-envisioning of the original featuring familiar characters working alongside new ones on the most hot button issues of the day.

More from Variety

Bernsen returns in the role of Arnold Becker. A former lothario, Becker hasn’t changed since the 1980s but the world has. Now in his 60s, he struggles with a rapidly shifting sexual and political landscape.

“I’ve often thought about revisiting ‘ LA Law ’ and Arnie Becker over the years,” Bernsen said. “Now seems the perfect moment in time to explore our fast changing world through Becker’s eyes. Fasten your seatbelts.”

Bernsen appeared in all eight seasons of “LA Law” as well as the reunion film that came out in 2002. He received two Emmy nominations for best actor in a drama series for his work on the show. He is also known for his role in the USA Network comedy series “Psych” and for films like the “Major League” franchise, being one of the only actors to appear in all three films. He will next be seen in the third “Psych” film, “”This Is Gus,” as well as the HBO Watergate scandal drama “The White House Plumbers.”

He is repped by A3 Artists Agency and Randy James Management.

Marc Guggenheim and Ubah Mohamed are writing and executive producing the pilot. Underwood will executive produce in addition to starring. Anthony Hemingway will direct and executive produce the pilot. Dayna Bochco and Jesse Bochco, the wife and son of the late “L.A. Law” co-creator Steven Bochco, will executive produce via Steven Bochco Productions. 20th Television will produce.


David Duchovny Auditioned to Play the Male Leads on Full House : ‘I Was Wrong for Every Single One’

David Duchovny Matthew Eisman/Getty

The cast of Full House could have looked a bit different.

When David Duchovny appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Monday, he opened up about the roles he previously lost out on over the years, including the three male leads on the family-friendly sitcom.

"You tried out for every male character of Full House ," host Ellen DeGeneres said, to which Duchovny, 61, confirmed as being true.

"Yeah, I tried out for Full House , for, I think, all three of them," he said before joking, "and the little girls."

Duchovny revealed the series of auditions had occurred early in his Hollywood experience.

RELATED: Candace Cameron Bure Shares Pics of Night She and Her Full House Costars First Met Her Husband

"It was my first time out in L.A., and they brought me out for different shows," he recalled. "I ended up with the Full House stuff, and they just kept on trying to plug me into different characters. And clearly, I was wrong for every single one."

The parts eventually went to Bob Saget (Danny Tanner), John Stamos (Uncle Jesse) and Dave Coulier (Uncle Joey). But it all worked out for Duchovny in the end as he went on to find major success playing FBI agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files , which premiered in 1993 and ran for 11 seasons. David Duchovny on Ellen Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Duchovny previously opened up about not landing the Full House gig on Jimmy Kimmel Live! , calling it a "great disappointment."

"I was auditioning for every show that would have me. Right before [ The X-Files ], I had great disappointment because I had auditioned for Full House ," he said in 2018. "I had actually auditioned for all three parts. They could not figure out how to use me."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Asked by host Jimmy Kimmel whether he really wanted the opportunity, Duchovny — who was a struggling actor at the time — joked he "wanted to eat."