Category: Celebrity Gossip

Why Would Somebody Fake a Hate Crime?

We still don’t know exactly what happened in the Jussie Smollett case that has dominated the news cycle for the past week. What we do know is that after the Empire star revealed he was allegedly the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime, conflicting reports started to emerge suggesting that Smollett may have been involved in orchestrating the incident. Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, the two brothers who were originally considered suspects, both knew Smollett in advance of the attack and told Chicago police that they were hired by Smollett. After the Chicago PD announced they were “shifting the trajectory” of their investigation, Smollett said in a statement that he is “angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with” and that anyone claiming he played a role in his own attack “is lying.”

While it’s too soon to render a verdict on what exactly went down, if the case does prove to be a hoax, the ramifications are hard to overstate. As we’ve seen in the extremely rare cases involving false rape allegations, they serve as ammo for people looking to undermine the credibility of genuine victims (like clockwork, Donald Trump Jr. is already tweeting about Smollett’s story, in which his attackers were originally described as two men shouting, “This is MAGA country”). But what would motivate someone to pretend to be the victim of a hate crime? We called up Dr. Marc Feldman, who is not involved in the case but is an expert on factitious disorder and Munchausen syndrome by proxy, to learn more about “factitious victimization” — a disorder that causes people to feign victimhood for psychological reasons — and how it could come into play in the Smollett case.

What did you think when you first heard this case might be a hoax?

Munchausen syndrome refers to the most extreme examples of “factitious disorder,” which is the official psychiatric term for people who feign illness or injury for intangible reasons. Ever since I encountered my first case of a woman who faked cancer for emotional reasons back in 1989, I’ve obviously been more sensitive to that possibility than most people ever would be. I try not to falsely accuse people and that’s why I am approaching this subject with a little timidity. But when it does arise I think it’s important that we identify it and help educate the public about it. READ MORE: https://www.thecut.com/2019/02/why-would-somebody-fake-a-hate-crime.html

HBO Film Revives Lurid Claims, Imperiling Thriving Michael Jackson Estate

Michael Jackson’s damaged reputation began to recover the day he died.

The lurid accusations of child molestation that had dogged him for years fell to the background as fans around the world celebrated the entertainer who had gone from pop prodigy to global superstar over a four-decade career. Flash mobs from Stockholm to the Philippines re-enacted his video scenes, and his music sales again broke chart records.

Now, nearly 10 years after his death, the dark side of Mr. Jackson’s legend has returned through a documentary that rocked the Sundance Film Festival and is being championed by Oprah Winfrey. In addition to delivering a hit to his mended reputation, the film poses a significant risk to the Jackson estate, which has engineered a thriving posthumous career, including a Broadway-bound jukebox musical.

The four-hour documentary, “Leaving Neverland,” to be broadcast on HBO in two parts on Sunday and Monday, focuses on the wrenching testimony of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who say Mr. Jackson abused them for years, starting when they were young boys. While the accusations are not new, their revival in the #MeToo era, with its momentum of accountability for figures like R. Kelly, Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, gives them new meaning.

“There has always been this shadow or cloud about Michael,” said Charles Koppelman, a longtime music executive who once served as a financial adviser to Mr. Jackson. “With this documentary about to be shown to millions and millions of people, and all the notoriety that it’s now getting, I think it will have a detrimental effect to the legacy and the estate.”

The estate has already begun its war on “Leaving Neverland.” It issued a series of fiery statements around the time of the film’s Sundance debut in January and has filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court for arbitration, seeking $100 million in damages from HBO. In making its case, the estate — whose beneficiaries are Mr. Jackson’s mother and three children, as well as children’s charities — portrays Mr. Robson and Mr. Safechuck as “serial perjurers” for whom HBO has become “just another tool in their litigation playbook.”

The debate over the film is likely to be intense in black communities, where figures like Mr. Jackson and Mr. Kelly have their strongest defenders, said Yaba Blay, a professor at North Carolina Central University whose specialty is black racial and cultural identities.

“If you think R. Kelly tore black America apart, this is going to destroy us,” Dr. Blay said.

On Monday night, after the conclusion of “Leaving Neverland,” HBO and the Oprah Winfrey Network plan to broadcast Ms. Winfrey’s interview with Mr. Robson, Mr. Safechuck and the film’s director, Dan Reed.

In “Leaving Neverland,” Mr. Robson, 36, and Mr. Safechuck, 41, tell parallel stories of being drawn into Mr. Jackson’s inner circle as boys. Mr. Robson met Mr. Jackson on tour in Australia at age 5 and moved to the United States two years later to be near his idol. Mr. Safechuck was 8 when he was cast in a Pepsi commercial and met Mr. Jackson.

Both men say Mr. Jackson abused them while charming their families at his 2,600-acre Neverland compound in Los Olivos, Calif. He also warned them to keep their sexual relationship secret, the men say. READ MORE: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/03/business/media/leaving-neverland-michael-jackson-estate.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Farts&action=click&contentCollection=arts&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

NYPD Commander Allegedly Told Officers to Shoot 50 Cent ‘on Sight’ at Sporting Event

An NYPD commander at a Brooklyn precinct is currently being investigated after allegedly telling his group of officers to “shoot” 50 Cent “on sight” at a boxing match in the city last spring. Per People, deputy inspector Emmanuel Gonzalez made the alleged remarks to his staff at a roll call before the NYPD-sanctioned sporting event took place, which he tried to pass off as a joke in the moment. However, the rapper became aware of Gonzalez’s comments on Sunday morning after The New York Daily News broke the story, and is considering legal action against the commander as a result. “Mr. Jackson takes this threat very seriously and is consulting with his legal counsel regarding his options going forward,” his spokesman said in a statement. “He is concerned that he was not previously advised of this threat by the NYPD and even more concerned that Gonzalez continues to carry a badge and a gun.”

“This is how I wake up this morning,” 50 Cent added on Twitter. “This guy Emanuel Gonzales is a dirty cop abusing his power. The sad part is this man still has a badge and a gun. I take this threat very seriously and I’m consulting with my legal counsel regarding my options moving forward.” People notes that the duo previously crossed paths within the law. Gonzalez filed an aggravated harassment complaint against 50 Cent last spring, which stemmed from the rapper reportedly making threats against Gonzalez on social media after the commander shut down a popular Brooklyn strip club.

A decade later, Drake’s ‘So Far Gone’ mixtape hits streaming services

On the heels of his Grammy win for Best Rap Song, Drake revealed on Instagram that his 2009 mixtape So Far Gone is coming to streaming services for the first time. Though it was originally available for free online, this marks the first streaming availability for the 18-track collection that features cameos from Lil Wayne, Santigold, Trey Songz, Bun B and more. The mixtape also includes the single “Say What’s Real,” which was produced by Kanye West.

So Far Gone not only turns 10 on February 13th, but it’s also a body of work that helped put Drake on the map. These early works don’t always make it to your go-to streaming service, especially when it comes to hip hop mixtapes, so it’s always nice when they do. You also won’t have to wait to get re-acquainted as Champagne Papi explained that the mixtape will be available to stream tomorrow, February 14th.

25th Annual SAG Award Nominees

MOTION PICTURE

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

  • “A Star Is Born”
  • “Black Panther”
  • “BlacKkKlansman”
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • “Crazy Rich Asians”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

  • Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns”
  • Glenn Close, “The Wife”
  • Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
  • Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
  • Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
https://www.tntdrama.com/shows/sag-awards/clips/25th-annual-sag-awards-nominations-ceremony

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

  • Christian Bale, “Vice”
  • Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
  • Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
  • John David Washington, “BlacKkKlansman”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams, “Vice”
  • Emily Blunt, “A Quiet Place”
  • Margot Robbie, “Mary Queen of Scots”
  • Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
  • Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
  • Timothee Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy”
  • Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
  • Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
  • Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

TELEVISION

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

  • “The Americans”
  • “Better Call Saul”
  • “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  • “Ozark”
  • “This Is Us”

Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series 

  • “Atlanta”
  • “Barry”
  • “GLOW”
  • “The Kominsky Method”
  • “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series 

  • Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”
  • Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”
  • Patricia Clarkson, “Sharp Objects”
  • Penelope Cruz, “Assassination of Gianni Versace”
  • Emma Stone, “Maniac”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series

  • Antonio Banderas, “Genius: Picasso”
  • Darren Criss, “Assassination of Gianni Versace”
  • Hugh Grant, “A Very English Scandal”
  • Anthony Hopkins, “King Lear”
  • Bill Pullman, “The Sinner” 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

  • Julia Garner, “Ozark”
  • Laura Linney, “Ozark”
  • Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  • Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
  • Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

  • Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
  • Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
  • Joseph Fiennes, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  • John Krasinski, “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”
  • Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
  • Alison Brie, “GLOW”
  • Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
  • Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
  • Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
  • Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
  • Bill Hader, “Barry”
  • Henry Winkler, “Barry”

STUNT

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

  • “Ant-Man and the Wasp”
  • “Avengers: Infinity War”
  • “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
  • “Black Panther”
  • “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama

  • “Glow”
  • “Marvel’s: Daredevil”
  • “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”
  • “The Walking Dead”
  • “Westworld”

Journalist Touré Responds to Allegation of Workplace Sexual Harassment

This week well-known journalist Touré was accused of workplace sexual harassment by a makeup artist, following his contributions to the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly. He has since issued a response to the allegation.

As Essence reports, in a post advertising Touré’s appearance on the Clubhouse With Mouse Jones podcast, a makeup artist named Dani wrote:

“Every Monday I used to work with him on a show in 2017 and he couldn’t stop asking me to do anal, how I looked naked, if I had sex over the weekend, what it would be like to fuck me, what his cum would look like on my face…. I had to have the crew stay in the room [with] me while I got him ready…. And when I left I called HR…. He got fired instantly. He wrote me a huge apology for doing that in my DMs. Still have it. He did a “20/20” shoot in 2018, and I was there, and he walked out. Told the producer that he was “embarrassed [because] he was inappropriate with a staff member.” He really needs to take a seat.”

Dani told Essence Touré’s involvement with the R. Kelly documentary pushed her to speak out publicly. “When I saw him going around as R. Kelly’s docuseries spokesman to different radio stations, the lies had to stop. I’ve worked with Mouse Jones before and wanted him to know the truth,” she said.

Touré interviewed R. Kelly for BET in 2008, and pressed the singer about his relationship with underaged girls. The docuseries producer Dream Hampton has addressed her decision to include him in the project, and the accusation against him. “I didn’t know Toure sexually harassed someone he worked with,” she wrote. “He was included because he did the most famous interview with R. Kelly ever.”

Touré has since responded to the accusation through a statement sent to Essence. Read it below.

“On the show, our team, including myself, engaged in edgy, crass banter, that at the time I did not think was offensive for our tight-knit group. I am sorry for my language and for making her feel uncomfortable in any way. As a lead on the show, I should have refrained from this behavior. I have learned and grown from this experience.”

Touré was scheduled to interview Terry Crews on Thursday (Jan. 10), but the actor canceled his appearance following the report.

How Radio Is Dealing With R. Kelly in 2019

In the aftermath of the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, listeners everywhere are rethinking their relationship with R. Kelly and his music. Music business institutions are also facing pressure to cut ties with the singer as he faces investigation and possible criminal charges for the alleged behavior outlined in the program.

Kelly’s label, RCA Records, still lists him as being on their roster, though they have not sent out a press release about him since October, 2016. The label has faced public pressure for years to drop Kelly—pressure that is only ratcheting up in recent days.

As important as his future with RCA is, equally crucial is the way some people still hear R. Kelly’s music in 2019: on the radio.

The amount of airplay Kelly has received has been in a free fall since Surviving R. Kelly began. According to Billboard, the number of all-format radio impressions of his music dropped nearly 85 percent between the first night the series aired and the Monday following its conclusion.

This is the continuation of a longer trend: his spins fell roughly 40 percent over the course of 2018. But Surviving R. Kelly seems to have given additional momentum to the movement to get him off of radio. Stations across the U.S., from Seattle to Atlanta to Los Angeles to Savannah to Dallas, have removed R. Kelly’s entire catalog from their playlists. And iHeartMedia, which owns over 850 stations, is the subject of a new campaign to remove Kelly’s music from all of them.

The #MuteRKelly movement, unsurprisingly, has heard plenty of similar stories from DJs—both the radio and live performance variety. “#MuteRKelly has received countless emails from DJs around the country who are joining us in boycotting R Kelly’s music,” they say in a statement to Complex. “Many shared their stories of having not played him in years, or arguing with clients about why they wouldn’t play R Kelly despite audience requests.

“What’s more impressive to us, however, are the stories from DJs about playing R Kelly in the club and immediately being booed until they turned it off. The masses are waking up, and it’s in MASS action that we see real and lasting change.”  

READ MORE: https://www.complex.com/music/2019/01/how-radio-is-dealing-with-r-kelly-2019