Celebrity gossip and sightings in and around Connecticut, August 2022

August's celebrity highlights include the "Jersey Shore" crew rolling into Connecticut for filming and several big-name musicians performing in front of hungry fans during the Hey Stamford! Food Festival.

Here are some of the Hollywood sightings and murmurings that happened in and around Connecticut in August:

 

Guy Fieri's new show features CT musician in house band
Ridgefield

Sophistafunk will serve as the house band on Guy Fieri's new show, “Guy’s Ultimate Game Night."

Sophistafunk will serve as the house band on Guy Fieri's new show, “Guy’s Ultimate Game Night."

Contributed Photo/Sean Rosenthal

Connecticut’s Tommy Weeks and his band, Sophistafunk, will be the house band on Guy Fieri's new show, “Guy’s Ultimate Game Night."

Guy’s Ultimate Game Night” is a late night-style show that will see celebrities compete in food-related challenges and party games in order to win money for their charity. The first season, which will begin airing its first of 10 episodes on Aug. 31 at 9 p.m. EST, with celebrities like Cheech Marin, Kevin Smith, Bret Michaels and Alyssa Milano joining in on the fun. 

- Andrew DaRosa

Actor Justin Long hosts ‘Back to the Future’ screening in CT
Fairfield

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 23: Justin Long visits the #IMDboat At San Diego Comic-Con 2022: Day Three on The IMDb Yacht on July 23, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for IMDb)

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 23: Justin Long visits the #IMDboat At San Diego Comic-Con 2022: Day Three on The IMDb Yacht on July 23, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for IMDb)

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for IMDb

Actor, comedian and Fairfield native Justin Long returned to his hometown in early August to host a screening of the 1985 classic, "Back to the Future." 

Long is a multi award-winning actor with work that spans a number of genres including horror, comedy, drama and science fiction. Some of Long's most notable films include "DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story," "Live Free or Die Hard," "Tusk" and the "Alvin and the Chipmunks" series.

- Andrew DaRosa

'Jersey Shore' stars spotted filming in CT
Stamford

‘Jersey Shore’ stars Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino, Vinny Guadagnino, and Paul ‘DJ Pauly D’ DelVecchio are spotted shooting a scene last weekend at The Wheel restaurant at The Village in Stamford.

‘Jersey Shore’ stars Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino, Vinny Guadagnino, and Paul ‘DJ Pauly D’ DelVecchio are spotted shooting a scene last weekend at The Wheel restaurant at The Village in Stamford.

Contributed photo / The Village

"Jersey Shore” stars Vinny Guadagnino, Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino were spotted shooting a scene in August at The Wheel restaurant at The Village in Stamford.

Susie Costaregni

 

Musicians and celebrity chefs headline Hey Stamford! Food Festival
Stamford

Musicians like Flo Rida, Vanilla Ice, DJ Pauly D, Rob Base and All For One had concerts at the Hey Stamford! Food Festival in August

Celebrity Chefs Todd English and Aaron May also hosted cooking demonstrations during the event.

- Brianna Gurciullo, Christian Abraham

TikTok star Charli D’Amelio to join ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ TMZ reports

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Marc D'Amelio, Heidi D'Amelio, Charli D'Amelio, and Dixie D'Amelio attend the 10th Annual LACMA ART+FILM GALA honoring Amy Sherald, Kehinde Wiley, and Steven Spielberg presented by Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for LACMA)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Marc D'Amelio, Heidi D'Amelio, Charli D'Amelio, and Dixie D'Amelio attend the 10th Annual LACMA ART+FILM GALA honoring Amy Sherald, Kehinde Wiley, and Steven Spielberg presented by Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for LACMA)

Rich Fury/Getty Images for LACMA

While the cast of the television dance competition’s 31st season hasn’t been confirmed yet, TMZ reports that Charli and Heidi D’Amelio will be competing on the upcoming season. The mother and daughter will reportedly be competing against one another and against the other celebrities rumored to be part of the lineup, which include Robert Irwin — son of late zookeeper Steve Irwin — and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” socialite Sutton Stracke, according to Parade Magazine

- Nicole Funaro

Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez visits Camp Simmons
Greenwich

Laurie Hernandez performs her floor routine during Day 2 of 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials for Women's Gymnastics at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, July 10, 2016.

Laurie Hernandez performs her floor routine during Day 2 of 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials for Women's Gymnastics at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, July 10, 2016.

Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle

Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez, a former member of Team USA Gymnastics, visited Camp Simmons in Greenwich in early August as part of KPMG’s Community Impact Day and Family For Literacy program.

The program’s learning and literacy ambassador, Hernandez, read her children’s book, “She’s Got This,” to the campers. The book chronicles the story of Zoe, a little girl who wants to follow in the footsteps of a gymnast she saw on TV.

- Susie Costaregni

ESPN sports anchor Hannah Storm shops in CT
Greenwich

Hannah Storm on the red carpet before the start of the Houston Sports Awards, held at the Wortham Theater Center Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022 in Houston, TX.

Hannah Storm on the red carpet before the start of the Houston Sports Awards, held at the Wortham Theater Center Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2022 in Houston, TX.

Michael Wyke / Contributor

Greenwich resident and ESPN sports anchor Hannah Storm was seen shopping at the Fjord Fish Market in Cos Cob in early August.

- Susie Costaregni

Owner of Forever Sweet Bakery meets up with former NFL running back

From left, Norwalk bakery owner Sky Mercede Sr., left, meets up with former NFL running back Brian Mitchell, along with Sky Mercede II, Paul DelGreco, Tate DelGreco and Lilly DelGreco, in Palm Coast, Fla.

From left, Norwalk bakery owner Sky Mercede Sr., left, meets up with former NFL running back Brian Mitchell, along with Sky Mercede II, Paul DelGreco, Tate DelGreco and Lilly DelGreco, in Palm Coast, Fla.

Contributed photo by Kristen Mercede DelGreco

Sky Mercede, owner of Forever Sweet Bakery in Norwalk, met up with former NFL running back Brian Mitchell while on vacation with his family in Palm Coast, Fla.

- Susie Costaregni

Philadelphia Flyers right-winger shops at Hermès
Greenwich

NFL Philadelphia Flyer Cam Atkinson, a Greenwich native, with his mom, Ellen Atkinson, and brother, Brett Atkinson, after shopping at Hermès on Greenwich Avenue last week.

NFL Philadelphia Flyer Cam Atkinson, a Greenwich native, with his mom, Ellen Atkinson, and brother, Brett Atkinson, after shopping at Hermès on Greenwich Avenue last week.

Contributed photo by Brett Atkinson

Cam Atkinson, a right-winger for the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL, was seen shopping at Hermès on Greenwich Avenue in his hometown in August. Atkinson shopped with his mom, Ellen Atkinson (who is the owner of Consigned Designs on Mason Street in Greenwich) and his brother, Brett Atkinson, owner of Atko Bros. Landscaping.

- Susie Costaregni

Richard Gere reportedly purchases CT estate of Paul Simon and Edie Brickell
New Canaan

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 9: Richard Gere attends IFC Films With The Cinema Society And Monkey 47 Host A Special Screening Of "Three Christs" at Regal Essex Crossing on January 9, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 9: Richard Gere attends IFC Films With The Cinema Society And Monkey 47 Host A Special Screening Of "Three Christs" at Regal Essex Crossing on January 9, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

Actor Richard Gere was reported to have purchased the 32-acre New Canaan estate of singer/songwriters Paul Simon and Edie Brickell. The Georgian mansion at 82 Brookwood Lane sold for $10.8 million on July 1.

Previously, the “Pretty Woman” actor and owner of the Bedford Post Inn in Bedford, sold his 50-acre compound on Old Stone Hill Road in Pound Ridge, N.Y., where he had lived with ex-wife Carey Lowell, for $24 million and purchased a brick mansion with his wife, Alejandra Silva, in North Salem, N.Y., in January 2021.

- Andrew DaRosa and Nicole Funaro

CT native featured on Lifetime dating show
New Haven

New Haven native Rebecca Seidemann appears on Lifetime's TV series, "5 Men a Week." 

New Haven native Rebecca Seidemann appears on Lifetime's TV series, "5 Men a Week." 

Lifetime / Contributed Photo

Scrolling on TikTok led a New Haven native to try to find “the one” on Lifetime’s new social experiment show, “5 Guys a Week."

Rebecca Seidemann was scrolling through TikTok after having a stressful day when she came across an ad saying, “If you are from the Northeast and single, submit an application for this show.” At first, she was not interested, but she did leave a comment that led to her applying.

“The comment said, ‘The tension between me doing this,’ and they replied with ’Just do it,’” she said. “I ended up submitting a two-minute video for the application and they reached out to me the next day.”

- Jailene Cuevas

Donald Trump’s former CT property hits the market again
Greenwich

The entrance area of the home that was once owned by Donald Trump at 21 Vista Drive, Greenwich, as it appeared in 2015 when it was on the market with an asking price of $54 million.

The entrance area of the home that was once owned by Donald Trump at 21 Vista Drive, Greenwich, as it appeared in 2015 when it was on the market with an asking price of $54 million.

Bob Luckey / Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

A property once owned by former President Donald Trump hit the market again in August, this time with an all-time-low asking price.

The owners, financier Robert Steinberg and his wife, Suzanne, now want $29.9 million for the 5.8-acre waterfront estate at 21 Vista Drive on a peninsula in Greenwich, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. It was listed for $50 million in 2009, $54 million in 2014 and $32 million most recently, according to the Journal.

- Caroline Tien

CT native Jay Lewis finishes ‘American Ninja Warrior’ finale in second place
Cheshire

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR -- “Semifinals 1” Episode 1406 -- Pictured: Jay Lewis -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR -- “Semifinals 1” Episode 1406 -- Pictured: Jay Lewis -- (Photo by: Elizabeth Morris/NBC)

NBCUniversal / Contributed Photo

Cheshire native Jay Lewis is no stranger to competing on NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior.” Competing on the obstacle course game show since 2018, the 18-year-old made his second finals appearance this month. But after successfully completing three stages of events, Lewis came up short to clinch the Season 14 finale. 

In the Aug. 29 finale episode, Lewis competed against four other challengers in the “Stage 4 Climb,” in which competitors must climb up a 75-foot rope in 30 seconds or less. Before Lewis began his climb for the $1 million prize, commentators notes that he is the “smallest athlete [competing],” but had the “ideal strength-to-weight ratio” to successfully complete the challenge. 

While Lewis finished the challenge in 37.19 seconds, 16-year-old Kaden Lebsack completed it in 36.77 seconds, securing the title of Last Ninja Standing for the second time along with the $100,000. 

- Nicole Funaro

Benny Goodman's former CT home hits the market for around $1.3M
Stamford

The home on 1287 Rock Rimmon Road in Stamford, Conn. was previously owned by the "King of Swing," Benny Goodman. The musician lived on the 1.22-acre property from 1952 until the time of his death in 1986.

The home on 1287 Rock Rimmon Road in Stamford, Conn. was previously owned by the "King of Swing," Benny Goodman. The musician lived on the 1.22-acre property from 1952 until the time of his death in 1986.

Floorplan Online / Contributed Photo

Currently for sale for nearly $1.3 million, a Rock Rimmon Road home was once the estate of musician and “King of Swing,” Benny Goodman, according to the listing.

Born in 1909 in Chicago, the clarinetist played with his first pit band by age 11 and became a member of the American Federation of Musicians by age 14, according to Goodman’s website. By 1934, Goodman led his first band, and a year later, he and his band helped usher in the swing era of music. Goodman was nicknamed the “King of Swing” by Time magazine in 1937, and his self-named band went on to play with musicians from Count Basie’s and Duke Ellington’s bands.

Goodman lived in the Stamford home from 1952 until his death in 1986, according to information provided by William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty.

- Nicole Funaro

New movie ‘Orphan: First Kill’ starring Julia Stiles takes place in CT
Darien

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 01: Julia Stiles visits the SiriusXM Studios on August 01, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 01: Julia Stiles visits the SiriusXM Studios on August 01, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

In "Orphan: First Kill," the childlike villain named Esther returns and unleashes her reign of terror on a wealthy family living in Darien. 

The 2022 psychological horror film, released on Aug. 19, is a prequel to the 2009 film "Orphan," and is now available to watch in theaters and on the streaming platform Paramount+. 

- Abby Weiss

WFSB anchor Nicole Nalepa announces birth of second child

WFSB morning news anchor Nicole Nalepa is used to delivering breaking news on the Eyewitness News This Morning newscast. But in August, the journalist took to social media to share news of a different delivery: the arrival of her second child.

Nalepa tweeted two photos of the latest addition to her family, a daughter named Emeline, with the caption, "Thank you for the caring thoughts & wishes you sent us as we awaited Emmie’s arrival. She is already so loved!" Nalepa already has a 3-year-old son named George, who she noted is "beyond excited" about his new sibling. 

- Nicole Funaro

Video game stars visit RetroWorld Expo
Hartford

Some well-known faces in the video game world held panels and signed autographs during the seventh annual RetroWorld Expo, including Carlos Pesina and Daniel Pesina (from "Mortal Kombat,") Norman Caruso (from "The Gaming Historian" YouTube show,) Jeremy Parish (from the "Retronauts" podcast), Steve Lavigne (from the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,")  Dan Larson (from the YouTube show "Toy Galaxy") and Dan Eardley (from the YouTube show "Pixel Dan").

- Joseph Tucci