R. KELLY – NEW VIDEOTAPE SURFACES
NEW YORK (AP) – Is it possible there’s yet another videotape showing R. Kelly having sex with underage girls? A man who was cleaning out an old videotape collection says he found such a tape in his collection – and has turned it over to authorities. Gloria Allred is the attorney for Gary Dennis, who says he found the tape. And she says it appears to show an incident separate from the 10 accounts of aggravated sexual abuse that Kelly faces in Chicago. Both Dennis and Allred say they can’t be certain the man on the tape is Kelly. An attorney for Kelly says the singer denies he is on any tape with underage girls. Steve Greenberg says word of a new tape shows “it is obviously now just open season on R. Kelly.”
R. KELLY FREED AFTER SOMEONE POSTS BACK-CHILD SUPPORT
CHICAGO (AP) – “I promise you, we’re going to straighten all this stuff out.” That declaration from R. Kelly came as he left a Chicago jail Saturday. The R&B singer was released after someone paid the $161,633 Kelly owes in back child support. Who paid? No one is saying. A rep for the Cook County sheriff’s office says a person who wished to remain anonymous handed over a check to the county clerk for the full amount of Kelly’s back child support. The lines on the bond slip indicating who made the payment were left blank. The release Saturday ends the second of two recent stints in lockup for the singer. He spent the weekend in custody after he was booked on charges of sexual assault late last month. Like this time, the person who paid for his freedom chose to be anonymous.
R. KELLY – ATTORNEY
CHICAGO (AP) – So, what evidence do authorities in Chicago come up with in their case against R. Kelly? The lawyer for the singer suggests you might well know more about the allegations than he does. Steve Greenberg told reporters Saturday that he and R. Kelly’s legal team “haven’t seen one piece of evidence.” He says once they do, they’ll do their best to defend the singer.
JUSSIE SMOLLETT – 16 COUNT INDICTMENT FILED
CHICAGO (AP) – It’s a development in the Jussie Smollett case that has some legal observers scratching their heads – and some just shrugging their shoulders. A grand jury in Chicago has indicted the “Empire” actor on 16 felony counts of lying to authorities about being the victim of a hate crime. When he was arrested last month, Smollett faced a single felony count stemming from his false claim that he was beaten by two white men who uttered racist and anti-gay slurs at him before draping a noose around his neck. Some legal experts say multiple indictments like this aren’t unusual in Chicago. Others suggest the flurry of counts are a sign that Chicago authorities are upset that Smollett embarrassed the city – and filed a count for each statement the actor made that didn’t prove true. Each count is a Class 4 felony, which carries a possible prison sentence of one to three years.
NEW YORK (AP) – Female power has reared up at the box office – in a big way. “Captain Marvel,” the Marvel Studios’ movie featuring Carol Danvers has become one of the biggest blockbusters ever led by a woman. The movie, starring Brie Larson as Danvers, took in $153 million in its first weekend in North American theaters. The total globally is $455 million. And that makes it one of Marvel’s most successful character debuts. Only “The Avengers” movies, “Black Panther,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Iron Man 3” have opened better in the Marvel cinematic universe. Number two at the box office was last week’s leader, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” followed by “A Madea Family Funeral,” “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” and “Alita: Battle Angel.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Showtime has canceled the comedy series “SMILF” – amid a bit of controversy. The streaming network and ABC studios have announced the show is going away – and that a development deal with its creator and star Frankie Shaw is also gone. Neither Showtime nor ABC gave a reason for their decisions. But the dual announcements come after a December story in The Hollywood Reporter that detailed allegations of abusive on-set behavior and violations of industry rules by Shaw. She denies the allegations, saying she worked to create a safe environment for all – and that it pains her to learn that anyone in the cast was uncomfortable on her set.
JENNIFER LOPEZ AND ALEX RODRIGUEZ TO WED
LOS ANGELES (AP) – J-Lo + A-Rod (equals) J-Rod? No matter what combo you come up with, it looks like Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are headed to the altar. The couple posted an Instagram photo of their hands with a huge engagement ring on Lopez’s ring finger. The former New York Yankees shortstop captioned his photo with “she said yes” and a heart emoji. The couple has been dating since 2017. It will be Lopez’s fourth marriage and Rodriguez’s second. Each has two children from previous unions.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
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