HARVEY WEINSTEIN – COURT HEARING
NEW YORK (AP) – If Harvey Weinstein was in charge of this script, today he’d be looking to do a reverse of the “perp walk” he was led on after his arrest. The Hollywood producer is hoping a judge in New York will agree that all the criminal charges against him should be dropped – and that he can walk out of court a free man. The hearing will see a judge decide whether Weinstein should face charges of raping a woman he knew in a hotel room in March, 2013. The disgraced producer denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex. His lawyers have said shoddy police work and misconduct by prosecutors should force the charges to be dismissed. The judge can agree with the defense, or he could schedule a trial. Another option is that the judge could throw the indictment out – but give prosecutors time to seek a new one.
STEPHEN COLBERT – LES MOONVES
NEW YORK (AP) – Stephen Colbert has an idea about what his bosses at CBS should do with the $120 million severance it refused to pay to ousted CEO Les Moonves: give it to him. Or, at least half of it. Colbert says the other half should go “to Tom Selleck’s mustache.” On his show Tuesday night, Colbert waded in on the Moonves controversy – even though it was Moonves who gave Colbert the late night job he now has. One reason CBS says it denied Moonves’ severance was that he tried to impede the investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him. Colbert jokingly wondered why his ex-boss thought he could get away with it, given that CBS has so many crime-themed shows on the air. Speaking of Moonves, Colbert cracked, “every show he’s greenlit for the last 20 years was about investigations.”
DANAI GURRIA – ZIMBABWE
JOHANNESBURG (AP) – “Black Panther” star Danai Gurira is engaged in a battle to save another fierce animal: the rhinoceros. She has teamed up with the WildAid conservation group for a publicity campaign called “Poaching Steals From Us All.” Gurira, who mostly grew up in Zimbabwe, is in an anti-poaching video that opens with a scene from the Black Panther movie in which her character Okoye steps in front of a charging rhino. The animal stops right in front of her – and licks her cheek. Poachers seek out rhinos because many people think their horns have medicinal powers.
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA – “MARY POPPINS RETURNS”
NEW YORK (AP) – Lin-Manuel Miranda says he had little trouble getting on-board with the idea of doing “Mary Poppins Returns.” That’s because he knew the film’s director, Rob Marshall – and was familiar with the composers. But he says he had trouble getting “in-step” with the movie – because of the choreography. Miranda says he found the dancing “was the most challenging aspect” of the movie, For some that may seem surprising, given the show he created and starred in, “Hamilton,” had lots of dancing. But Miranda notes his character, Alexander Hamilton, “does almost of none” of the dancing. He says most of the time, Hamilton is “standing and he’s got a lot of words to say.” Miranda says he was eventually able to nail down the choreography for Mary Poppins, in part because he had nine weeks to rehearse before the cameras began rolling.
SENTENCING DELAYED IN “CELEBGATE” CASE
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Remember that case in 2014 when hackers got their mitts on nude photos and other private digital stuff from more than 200 people, including celebrities? A sentencing hearing in that case has been out on hold. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports a federal judge has bumped the sentencing date for 31-year-old Christopher Brannan back from Jan. 25 to March 1. The former teacher’s lawyer says the probation office needs more time to interview Brannan for a pre-sentencing report. Brannan has pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and unauthorized access to a protected computer. His plea deal recommends a sentence of under three years. Prosecutors haven’t released the names of those targeted. But actress Jennifer Lawrence acknowledged she was a victim.
EX-FOX NEWS EXEC LAUNCHES WEBSITE
NEW YORK (AP) – Is it possible to bridge the gulf between Fox News and what President Donald Trump calls “fake news?” A former Fox News executive is taking a stab at it. Ken LaCorte is launching a curated news website he says can counter some of the hyper-partisanship he says is common in news today. The new site – LaCortenews.com – will gather articles from a variety of sources – and have some original content. So far, so good. But already LaCorte is drawing fire for hiring two journalists who lost their jobs to scandals. He will work with Mike Oreskes, who left NPR amid accusations of sexual misconduct. Also on the payroll is John Moody, who left Fox after writing a column saying the last U.S. Winter Olympics team was “darker, gayer, different” than in the past.
STERLING BROWN – POLICE OFFICER
MILWAUKEE (AP) – The Milwaukee police officer fired over social media posts that he made mocking the stun-gun arrest of NBA basketball star Sterling Brown has lost an appeal to get his job back. The city’s fire and police commission has upheld the firing of Erik Andrade. The decision yesterday comes after a two-day hearing. Police Chief Alfonso Morales said he fired Andrade because his posts violated the department’s social media policy and compromised the officer’s ability to testify in other cases. Brown, a Milwaukee Bucks guard, sued the police in June, accusing them of using excessive force and targeting him because he’s black. Several officers swarmed him in a Walgreens parking lot on Jan. 26 because he didn’t immediately remove his hands from his pockets while waiting for a parking citation.
MO’NE DAVIS – COLLEGE
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Remember Mo’ne Davis? A lot of the guys she struck out during her Little League World Series career sure do. Davis is now out of high school and will be attending Hampton University in the fall, where she will play softball. Davis will play middle infielder and major in journalism and communications. In 2014, when she was 13, Davis blew 70-mph fastballs past opponents of Philadelphia’s Taney Youth Baseball Association team – and became a national celebrity in the process. She was on the cover of Sports Illustrated and was named AP Female Athlete of the Year.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2