KODAK BLACK – COURT APPEARANCE
MIAMI (AP) -Rapper Kodak Black has pleaded not guilty to federal weapons charges that prevented him from performing last weekend at the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival. A grand jury indictment says Black twice falsely filled out forms to buy weapons at a gun shop in Hialeah (hy-uh-LEE’-uh), Florida. A judge on Wednesday also granted the 21-year-old Black released on $550,000 bond and house arrest, although he faces other criminal cases that could keep him locked up. Black was out on bail awaiting trial in a South Carolina sexual assault case – and that bail is likely to be revoked with these new charges. Black’s lengthy rap sheet also includes a recent arrest in New York on drug and weapons charges. Even as Black deals with this new case against him, authorities have their hands full with other issues related to the weekend festival. There were three shootings – and police are trying to figure out if those incidents are related to the Rolling Loud event.
BILL COSBY JUDGE EXPLAINS HIS RULINGS
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – It’s a decision many feel helped Bill Cosby end up being a convicted felon, serving a 3-to-10-year prison sentence: a judge’s ruling that five other women could testify at his sexual assault trial. Now the judge who made that decision is explaining his decision. Montgomery County Judge Stephen O’Neill’s rationale is laid out in a long opinion filed yesterday. In it he said he let the other women testify because their accounts of being befriended and taken advantage of sexually by Cosby had “chilling similarities” to the claim made by Cosby’s main accuser, Andrea Constand. Cosby’s legal team is expected to appeal the verdict because of that judicial ruling – and other key decisions O’Neill made in the case.
BILL COSBY’S LAWYERS GO OVER JUDGE’S DECISIONS
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Now that Bill Cosby’s lawyers know what the judge in his criminal case was thinking – they can try to convince an appeals court to overturn his sexual assault conviction. Judge Stephen O’Neill has released a lengthy summary on the decision he made in the case. And if an appeals court finds fault with the judge’s reasoning, it could flip the case in Cosby’s favor. The decision on the additional witnesses isn’t the only move Cosby’s lawyers are taking issue with. They also believe he should have taken himself off the case altogether because of alleged bias against the comedian.
MODERN COMEDIANS PRAISE TIM CONWAY
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Conan O’Brien says no one ever made him laugh harder than Tim Conway. The TV host’s tribute is just one of many that have come in since yesterday, when we learned Conway died. Also offering praise for Conway’s body of comedic work: Kathy Griffin. She calls him “a wildly talented” comedian. While many of those of a certain age remember Conway for decades of making people laugh with Carol Burnett and the rest of her comedy team, younger people will remember Conway’s role in a current cultural touchstone. He was the voice of Barnacle Boy on “SpongeBob SquarePants.
Tim Conway was 85 years old.
“STAR WARS” UPDATE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – We know there aren’t – but it sometimes seems there are as many upcoming “Star Wars” projects – as there are stars. Disney is taking the wraps off some of those plans – giving fans of the franchise a chance to start circling dates on their calendars. The studio says there will be a new Star Wars movie due in December, 2022. It will be done by “Game of Thrones” producers David Benioff and D.B. Weill. There’s also a project being ginned up by Rian Johnson, who directed “The Last Jedi.” And there’s yet another, separate, project focused on Luke Skywalker. That is being directed by J.J. Abrams – and is due to be finished in December.
POSSIBLE FLIPPER IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL
BOSTON (AP) – You have to figure it’s a nervous time for actress Lori Loughlin (LAHK’-lin) and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli. They had pleaded not guilty in that nationwide college admissions scandal. But one of the people who dealt with them is now ‘fessing to her role in the case. Laura Janke was an assistant soccer coach at the University of Southern California. At first, she pleaded not guilty – but now she says she did, indeed, create fake profiles for the kids of wealthy parents, including the actress and fashion designer. It’s expected that part of Janke’s plea deal would require her to testify against Laughlin and Giannulli – as well as other parents who deny wrongdoing.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Does “The Big Bang Theory” have one more ratings win up its sleeve? It looks like it will, especially since it won’t have to face direct competition from “Game of Thrones.” Tomorrow’s series finale of the CBS sitcom will likely dominate the ratings battle – just as the show has through much of its 12-year run. Nielsen reports “Big Bang” drew 12.6 million live viewers last week, just a shade better than HBO’s drama, which had 12.5 million.
FALCO, PERRETTE, CHUCK LORRE SITCOM SET FOR NEW CBS SEASON
NEW YORK (AP) – “The Big Bang Theory” finale has yet to air and CBS is already back in business with its creator. The network said Wednesday that its fall lineup will include a new sitcom from Chuck Lorre that stars Billy Gardell, who co-starred in “Mike & Molly.” Other stars joining CBS’ 2019-20 schedule include Edie Falco in the police drama “Tommy,” former “NCIS” star Pauley Perrette in the sitcom “Broke” and Patricia Heaton in the comedy “Carol’s Second Act.” In the Lorre comedy, titled “Bob Hearts Abishola,” Gardell plays a Detroit sock salesman who falls in love with his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant. His co-star is Folake Olowofoyeku (fola-ke-olo-wo-foy-e-ku), a Nigerian-born actress who was in “Transparent.” “The Big Bang Theory” ends Thursday on CBS after 12 seasons.
DISNEY – HULU
NEW YORK (AP) – Disney has taken another step toward controlling the video streaming market. It has taken full control of Hulu from Comcast, which currently owns a third of the streaming service. Under a deal announced yesterday, the companies agree that Comcast will sell its chunk of Hulu to Disney in 2024. Hulu was one of the first major players in the rise of digital media, streaming TV shows from networks after they finished their runs. Hulu still streams its wares for $6 a month. It also has a newer, cable-like service with live TV channels for $45 a month.
STAN LEE – ELDER ABUSE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A former business manager of Stan Lee has been charged in California with five counts of elder abuse involving the late Marvel Comics mastermind. The felony charges were filed against Keya Morgan this past Friday in Los Angeles. They include theft, embezzlement, forgery or fraud against an elder adult – as well as false imprisonment of an elder adult. A warrant is now out for his arrest. His attorney, however, insists his client is innocent. A request for a restraining order filed last year by Lee’s daughter claimed Morgan was preventing Lee from seeing family and friends – and trying to take control of his money and business. Lee died last November at age 95. He co-created Marvel Comics icons like Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. He was also famous for making cameo appearances in Marvel flicks, as he does in the current smash, “Avengers: Endgame.”
MICK JAGGER HAS HIS MOVES BACK AFTER HEALTH PROBLEMS
NEW YORK (AP) – It’s as if Mick Jagger is saying “Start Me Up.” The 75-year-old rocker tweeted a video Wednesday of him dancing around a studio in front of a mirror weeks after he underwent medical treatment, reportedly for a heart valve issue. The treatment forced the Rolling Stones to postpone its No Filter tour. Jagger was told by doctors in late March he could not go on tour “at this time.” Jagger tweeted he was “devastated” the band couldn’t tour, but said he hoped to be “back on stage as soon I can.” The Stones’ No Filter Tour was expected to start April 20 in Miami.
CBS DEFENDS ITS HANDLING OF CLAIM AGAINST ‘BULL’ DRAMA STAR MICHAEL WEATHERLY
NEW YORK (AP) – CBS is defending its handling of a sexual harassment claim against “Bull” drama series star Michael Weatherly. CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl said Wednesday that Weatherly “owned” his mistake and was apologetic and remorseful. Last year, CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement with actress Eliza Dushku after she alleged on-set sexual comments from Weatherly made her uncomfortable. In renewing Weatherly’s series, CBS considered the totality of the actor’s long tenure at CBS, which included more than a decade on “NCIS,” Kahl said. There were no complaints about Weatherly before or after Dushku’s, he said.
SELENA GOMEZ SAYS SOCIAL MEDIA IS TERRIBLE FOR HER GENERATION
CANNES, France (AP) – Selena Gomez says Instagram is “probably impossible” to make safe for young kids and that social media has been “terrible” for her generation. Gomez made her comments at the Cannes Film Festival while discussing Jim Jarmusch’s zombie movie “The Dead Don’t Die.” She has a supporting role in the film, which opened the French festival on Tuesday night. Gomez said she’s scared by how “exposed” young girls and boys are on social media. The pop star has more than 150 million followers on Instagram. “The Dead Don’t Die” will be released in U.S.
LAMAR ODOM REGRETS CHEATING ON EX-WIFE KHLOE´ KARDASHIAN
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Former NBA star Lamar Odom regrets cheating on Khloe Kardashian and lying to her about his addiction to cocaine during their four-year marriage. The 39-year-old tells People magazine he wishes he “could have been more of a man” and it still bothers him now. In excerpts from Odom’s upcoming book, “Darkness to Light,” Odom said he began having affairs and he wrote he couldn’t handle the “lethal cocktail of the spotlight, addiction, a diminishing career and infidelity.” theaters in June.
LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR NEW ORLEANS RAPPER IN DOUBLE MURDER
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – New Orleans rapper Widner ‘Flow’ Degruy has been sentenced to two life terms without parole for the 2015 Memorial Day slaying of two brothers. The 27-year-old man who had been signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money record label was sentenced Tuesday on convictions of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors said Degruy shot Kendred and Kendrick Bishop, ages 18 and 22, in retaliation for stealing $8,000 and two guns from his girlfriend.
MICHAEL WOLFF’S “SIEGE: TRUMP UNDER FIRE” OUT IN JUNE
NEW YORK (AP) – The author of “Fire and Fury” has more inside stories on the Trump administration.
Michael Wolff’s “Siege: Trump Under Fire” comes out June 4, Henry Holt and Company announced Wednesday. Like the million-selling “Fire and Fury,” which came out last year, “Siege” promises a juicy, behind-the-scenes look at the current White House and a president who is “volatile, erratic, and exposed.” The new book will focus on tensions amid Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged ties between Russian officials and the Trump presidential campaign. According to Holt, Wolff spoke to more than 150 “sources,” although the publisher declined to say whether any are currently in the administration. “Fire and Fury” was among the first books to extensively document the ongoing conflicts in the Trump White House.
CLARKSON TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT INDIANAPOLIS 500
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Kelly Clarkson will sing the national anthem at this year’s Indianapolis 500. It will be the second straight year and the third time the Grammy Award-winning superstar will perform on race day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She also sang the anthem before the 2011 race. The appearance comes just five days after the season finale of NBC show “The Voice,” where Clarkson serves as a coach. NBC will televise the 500 for the first time on May 26.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2