ADELE’S boyfriend Rich Paul has suffered the secret heartbreak of losing his best childhood friend in a shooting.
The sports mega-agent, who was first linked to the singer in the summer, admits he has fought his way “from the ’hood to Hollywood’’ but still reflects on the death of his closest neighbourhood friend in 2001.
Superstar Adele’s boyfriend Rich Paul has revealed the secret heartache he has gone through after losing his childhood friendCredit: Instagram
The sports mega-agent, first linked to the singer in the summer, says he has fought his way ‘from the ’hood to Hollywood’’ as the loss still haunts himCredit: Instagram
The trauma of losing pal Kenneth Johnson, nicknamed Squirrel, in a senseless killing in his native Cleveland, Ohio, has driven Rich’s career for 20 years.
Basketball superstar and client Lebron James believes that Rich’s challenging start to life has been a big factor in him becoming an innovative millionaire mogul in the sports world. Paul’s loss of Squirrel, aged just 21, still haunts him and he describes him as “an unbelievable kid, killed for no reason”.
Squirrel’s girlfriend Starr Hudson was also murdered, shot at point-blank range when she tried to cover his body as the gunman fired the fatal shots.
Recalling the incident, in the tough Cleveland neighborhood of Glenville, where the pair grew up, Rich said: “His girlfriend loved him so much, you know what she did?
“When the guy was standing over him, shooting him like this, she got on top of him. Guy killed them both. They buried them together. That’s the type of s*** I’ve been through.”
Court records detail that Hudson and Johnson sustained two fatal gun wounds each as they parked at a convenience-store car park in July 2001.
Unstable Maurice Freeman was found guilty of two counts of murder.
The judge veered away from handing Freeman a death sentence by lethal injection. Freeman is currently imprisoned at Ohio’s North Central Correctional Institution, where he is serving a life sentence lasting a minimum of 50 years.
‘No way out’
At the 2002 verdict announcement, Johnson’s mother Deborah said Freeman did irreparable damage to her family and deprived her grandchildren, aged two and three, of their father.
She said. “He destroyed our whole world. That was my baby. And he was a father. His children say, ‘Grandma, my daddy is still sleeping in the ground’.”
For self-made Rich, that kind of violence was par for the course in Glenville, which was an area fraught with violent crime and homicide. He insists the upbringing in that crime-ridden part of Cleveland was brutal and his ascent from an impoverished childhood to one of US basketball’s biggest agents is an inspiring rags-to-riches story.
Rich says he does not forget how hard life was in his youth, which drives him to “fight for A-list clients like LeBron James, securing multimillion-dollar deals”.
He said: “I come from a place where there was no way out. How do you get out of there? How do you go from the ’hood to Hollywood? You don’t, right? So the discredit, the disrespect, is the one thing I’m not going to tolerate.”
Adele — whose new album 30 is released on November 19 — opened up about her relationship with Rich for the first time in her recent Vogue magazine interview, saying: “We’re together. We’re very happy.”
Adele and Rich are kindred spirits. They come from humble beginnings and are self-made. They’re a match made in heaven.
The singer, worth an estimated £140million, herself had a modest upbringing in Tottenham, North London, which is a far cry from the gated Beverly Hills community where she now lives.
A source said: “Adele and Rich are kindred spirits. They come from humble beginnings and are self-made. They’re a match made in heaven.”
His career of 20 years has been driven by the tragic shooting of pal Kenneth Johnson in his native ClevelandCredit: Getty
ADELE is in talks to launch her latest album with an “intimate” one-off show in Las Vegas.
The pop superstar has told pals that when she takes to the stage for the first time to perform 30, she would like a smaller audience.
Adele is in talks to launch her latest album with an ‘intimate’ one-off show in Las Vegas as she feels ‘much more comfortable in smaller venues’Credit: PA
She is said to be considering The Encore Theatre at Wynn, which was built in honour of legendary US crooner Frank Sinatra and has a capacity of just under 1,500 – compared to the 20,000 audience housed by London’s O2 Arena.
It has hosted four residencies by Robbie Williams, whose wife Ayda Field has become close pals with Adele since her LA move. And it is understood the couple have encouraged her to use the theatre for her show.
One source said: “Adele has said that she wants to showcase the album in Vegas with a one-off, very special concert. Ideally, she doesn’t want it to be an arena.
“She is much more comfortable in smaller venues than playing to crowds of tens of thousands. And the smaller Encore is a very strong contender. Its old-school Rat Pack influences make it feel very ‘her’.”
WE love it when celebs share their holiday snaps . . . so big thanks to Beyonce for treating us to a sneak peek of her recent trip to Italy.
Queen Bey and rapper hubby Jay-Z have been enjoying a European getaway after coming over for a pal’s wedding in Venice.
Gorgeous Beyonce showed endless legs in this blue dress as she shared this snapCredit: beyonce/Instagram
The superstar and rapper hubby Jay-Z have been enjoying a trip to ItalyCredit: beyonce/Instagram
The singer showed off this lovely blue-and-white frock in a collection of snaps on Instagram.
Kym’s big day
KYM MARSH married her fiancé Scott Ratcliff yesterday, we can reveal.
The TV star, who announced in June that she was engaged to the Army major after three years together, said her vows at Sandhurst Military Academy in Surrey.
And with hours to go, Kym’s former castmate Antony Cotton, who was master of ceremonies, tweeted his excitement about the big day. Which probably didn’t go down too well, given the lucrative magazine deal the couple had in place to cover the wedding.
LITTLE MIX will announce next month that they are breaking up, we can reveal.
Sources close to Little Mix say they plan to formally announce the group’s split in mid-NovemberCredit: Instagram
And sources close to the group said they plan to formally announce the split in mid-November.
One said: “There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Little Mix but it is now very clear that the end of the road has been reached. A date is set to announce the split. The upcoming tour is going to be a farewell to their fans.”
The revelation comes after a week of mud-slinging for the girls, with Leigh-Anne accusing former bandmate Jesy Nelson of “blackfishing” in leaked messages.
Nicki Minaj – Jesy’s collaborator on her debut solo single Boyz – then waded into the row, branding Leigh-Anne a “jealous clown”. And if things weren’t heated enough, the full lyrics to Little Mix’s diss track Cut You Off were released, in which they sing: “It’ll be so sweet when you crawl back.”
We revealed earlier this month how the track would savage Jesy after her exit. But my sources say Jesy – who is celebrating after Boyz made its debut in the Top Five of the Official Singles Charts – won’t be returning fire with her own lyrics.
One insider insisted: “She wants to focus on her music and not get caught up in feuds with other artists.”
SCARLETT Moffatt is to star in this year’s series of The Pilgrimage, we can reveal.
The BBC show sees a group of celebrities of different faiths come together for a modern-day religious trip in a bid to discover themselves and embrace tolerance.
But our sources say that the main thing the reality star discovered on her spiritual journey is that she really didn’t like Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.
She and the Changing Rooms star are said to have clashed “repeatedly” during filming, which finished last month.
One source said: “Scarlett and Laurence are both strong personalities and they did not see eye to eye, so there were several explosive run-ins.”
The source added: “There was a real personality clash there. Ironically, given The Pilgrimage is all about tolerance, the pair of them at points couldn’t tolerate each other.”
SHE was a cherub-faced finalist in 2012’s Britain’s Got Talent and now Molly Rainford is an intergalactic singer . . . in CBBC show Nova Jones.
The bubbly singer told us: “It’s a dream role for me, as I’d still love to be a pop star. I’ve never given up hope of having a singing career, so this is the ideal show to be on. Singing is still my main passion.”
2012 BGT talent Molly Rainford stars in CBBC show Nova JonesCredit: Photographer
Molly, who got a standing ovation from the judges when she belted out Ave Maria as an 11-year-old, is still recognised for that stunning debut.
She said: “Sometimes people come up to me in the street, as they remember me from BGT.
“Hopefully now people will start to recognise me for my new TV show.”
The stars are the limit, Molly.
This week who we’d…
- SNOG: TYSON FURY for partying after his win with a £13k bottle of bubbly.
- MARRY: MICHELLE KEEGAN for having custard creams for brekkie – a girl after our own hearts.
- AVOID: WAYNE ROONEY for cheating on Coleen. She might have forgiven him, we haven’t.