Virginia Johnson, sex researcher, dies


In an era when even talking about sex was virtually taboo, Virginia Johnson had a way of putting research subjects at ease, persuading them to participate in groundbreaking investigations that changed the way human sexuality was perceived.

Johnson, half of the renowned Masters and Johnson team, was remembered Thursday as one of the key figures in the sexual revolution. Johnson, whose legal name was Virginia Masters, died Wednesday of complications from several illnesses at an assisted-living center in St. Louis. She was 88.

“She has one of the most extraordinary lives of any American woman in the 20th century,” said Thomas Maier, author of the 2009 book “Masters of Sex, the Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love.”

Furniture company sticking with Deen


The North Carolina-based home-furnishings company that markets Paula Deen’s furniture line is sticking with the embattled celebrity chef.

The High Point Enterprise reports that Universal Furniture International will continue to market the Paula Deen Home Collection.

Deen has been under fire since the revelation earlier this year of a legal deposition in which Deen admitted under oath having used the N-word.

Jason Sudeikis ends his stint on ‘SNL’


It’s official: “Saturday Night Live” will return in the fall without Jason Sudeikis.

The sketch-comedy pro confirmed on Wednesday’s “The Late Show With David Letterman” that he’s left the NBC late-night staple after 10 years. Along the way, he’s goofed on such characters as Billy Ray Cyrus and “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks.

“I’m definitely done,” Sudeikis, currently starring in the feature “We’re the Millers” and engaged to former “The O.C.” co-star Olivia Wilde, told Letterman. “I’m not coming back next fall.”

Fred Armisen and Bill Hader already have announced their departures. Seth Meyers, the host of the “Weekend Update” segment and a longtime writer, is leaving to host NBC’s “Late Night.”

Lady Gaga to perform at MTV video awards


Lady Gaga will perform at the MTV Video Music Awards next month. It will be one of her first appearances since having hip surgery in February.

The 27-year-old pop star will perform her new single at the Aug. 25 awards show, which will air live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., MTV announced Thursday.

She’ll release a new album, “ARTPOP,” on Nov. 11.

Vindicator wire services

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