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Ross Mathews: I Realized I Was Gay with Barbra Streisand & More From Man Up!

Ross Mathews: I Realized I Was Gay with Barbra Streisand & More From Man Up!
Ross Mathews
Mike Coppola/Getty

04/28/2013 AT 12:45 PM EDT

If only every internship ended with a television career.

After starting out as "Ross the Intern" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Ross Mathews went from fan to famous face. Now he's a fixture on Chelsea Handler's Chelsea Lately and on the red carpet as a correspondent for E!.

In his new book Man Up! (available May 7), Mathews shares a number of humorous anecdotes about his life on-and off-camera.

Here are four hilarious revelations from Mathews's new book.



• He was in a prayer circle with Madonna and Britney Spears
While waiting backstage to meet Madonna, Mathews found himself smack dab in the middle of one of the singer's pre-show rituals.

"Everyone knows about Madonna's prayer circle, but hardly anyone's ever been in one," Mathews writes. "I opened my eyes and saw a blonde woman in white walking behind the circle, making her way toward Madonna. ... Madonna showed compassion. She stopped what she was saying, hugged the woman, invited her into the circle and continued, 'Everyone make room for Britney.' "

"Madonna continued: 'As you know, she's had a really hard time of late ... what with the press and the paparazzi and all ... she needs us now.' "

Ross Mathews: I Realized I Was Gay with Barbra Streisand & More From Man Up!| Books, TV News, Barbra Streisand, Britney Spears, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna

Gwyneth Paltrow is his email buddy
After years of being a huge Paltrow fan, Mathews finally met the actress at the Vanity Fair's Oscar party in 2002 and gave her his email address. "The next morning, I was about to head out to the dining hall to drown my sorrows in a breakfast burrito the size of a newborn baby when something told me to check my email one last time," he writes. "And, you guys? OMG, there was one unread email."

He continues: " 'Please God,' I prayed, Let this not be an ad for penis enlargement or spam from a Nigerian prince ... I took a deep breath and clicked on Inbox. There it was – the email ... 'Hello, it's Gwyneth. Very nice to meet you last night. Is this the right address for you? Verify before I continue or say anything too risqué. xoxo, gp.' "

• Barbra Streisand helped him come out
Mathews talks openly about his sexuality and how he came to the conclusion he was gay.

"I realized I was gay in the shower one day with Barbra Streisand. It happened while I was lathering, rinsing, and repeating with Pert Plus," he writes. "As I was belting out the chorus to my favorite song from Funny Girl, " 'Oh my man, I love him so, he'll never know…' it hit me."

• He's come a long way, baby
Mathews knows his tale of going from intern to television personality is unlikely, so much so he calls his it "the most outrageous story involving an intern since Monica Lewinsky."

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