BILL COSBY SWITCHES UP LEGAL TEAM WITH APPEAL LOOMING
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Bill Cosby is switching up his legal team as he looks to appeal his conviction and three- to 10-year sentence in his Pennsylvania sex assault case. A court filing Friday says the 81-year-old Cosby is replacing the suburban Philadelphia lawyer who handled his sentencing with a pair of criminal defense attorneys. Joseph Green is exiting after about four months on Cosby’s defense team. The new lawyers are Brian Perry and Kristen Weisenberger of Harrisburg. Another lawyer, Peter Goldberger, worked with Green on a motion last week challenging the outcome of the case, a first step toward an appeal. More than a dozen lawyers have come and gone from the case, including Tom Mesereau (MEZ’-er-oh), who once represented Michael Jackson. Another ex-Cosby lawyer is suing over what he says is more than $280,000 in unpaid bills.
QUEEN LATIFAH ‘UNABLE TO ACCEPT’ AWARD FOR PERSONAL REASONS
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Queen Latifah is “unable to accept” an award named for a pioneering opera singer, citing personal reasons. The Marian Anderson Award made the announcement on its website. The organization wasn’t more explicit, and Queen Latifah’s spokeswoman did not immediately return an email Friday. The award is given in Philadelphia to critically acclaimed artists for their humanitarian work. Anderson was the first black singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. Past winners have included Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou and Quincy Jones. Born Dana Owens, Queen Latifah won a Grammy for her 1994 album “Black Reign” and earned an Oscar nomination for her role in 2002’s “Chicago.” The organization says its Nov. 20 awards gala will be rescheduled, and it “hopes to honor Queen Latifah in the future.”
UNION: NYPD DETECTIVE DIDN’T WITHHOLD HARVEY WEINSTEIN INFO
NEW YORK (AP) – A New York City police union is defending a detective accused of coaching a witness in the Harvey Weinstein investigation. Prosecutors dropped part of the criminal case against Weinstein this week, saying the detective failed to tell them a witness had raised doubts about the veracity of one accuser’s sexual assault allegation. Prosecutors say Det. Nicholas DiGaudio also urged the witness not to tell her full story. The Detectives’ Endowment Association said Friday that DiGaudio told prosecutors everything he knew and wasn’t trying to influence the investigation. Weinstein still faces charges of sexually assaulting two other women. He denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex. Weinstein lawyer Ben Brafman says DiGaudio made a “conscious decision” to withhold information. The NYPD is investigating DiGaudio’s conduct. It says he is off the case.
PORTMAN, CLOONEY CALL FOR ACTION AT HOLLYWOOD LUNCHEON
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – Natalie Portman is calling out Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood’s lack of diversity at the Variety Power of Women event Friday in Beverly Hills. The Oscar-winning actress was being recognized for her humanitarian efforts in co-founding Time’s Up, a legal defense fund created to combat and address inequality in the workplace. Time’s Up was founded several months after dozens of women alleged sexual misconduct by Weinstein, a once-powerful movie mogul who has denied any wrongdoing. Friday’s event comes after almost exactly one year since the rise of the (hash)MeToo movement. Portman spoke for 15 minutes and laid out guidelines for creating gender parity in the entertainment industry and beyond. Portman was honored alongside actors and advocates such as Tiffany Haddish, Regina King, Lena Waithe and Emma Gonzalez at the luncheon.
JACKET FROM THE ‘THE WIRE’ SOLD AT AUCTION TO A MCNULTY
BALTIMORE (AP) – A jacket worn by fictional detective Jimmy McNulty in the popular HBO television series “The Wire” has been sold at auction to a real-life McNulty. The Baltimore Sun reports that a blue jacket worn by actor Dominic West was sold for $3,350 Saturday at the Thomas Johnson Elementary Middle School Fall Festival. West starred as detective Jimmy McNulty in the critically acclaimed drama and the jacket features a “J. McNulty” nametag. The buyer, Kevin McNulty, has a son named James McNulty, so the nametag fits perfectly. Series creator David Simon had promoted the auction on his Twitter account. He tweeted that he slipped a bottle of whiskey into one of the pockets and included a signed script in the sale. Proceeds are going to the Baltimore public education system.
“FIRST MAN” TAKES THIRD IN WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Neil Armstrong film “First Man” has landed in third place at the North American box office, behind last weekend’s champs “Venom” and “A Star Is Born.” Studio estimates on Sunday say that the Ryan Gosling-starrer brought in $16.5 million. Directed by Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle, “First Man” cost nearly $60 million to produce. Universal Pictures expects it to have a long box office life. First place again went to “Venom” which added $35.7 million, bringing its domestic total to $142.8 million. Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” fell only 35 percent in weekend two, earning $28 million to take second place. The family friendly “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” opened in fourth place with $16.2 million, while “Bad Times At The El Royale” debuted in seventh place with $7.2 million.
KANYE WEST AND KIM KARDASHIAN WEST VISIT UGANDA
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – Ugandan officials say Kanye West and his wife, the reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, have arrived in Uganda on a private visit. Information Minister Frank Tumwebaze told The Associated Press late Saturday that West’s visit is “an endorsement of our tourism resources.” Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said on Twitter that the American rapper was traveling with his wife. They are reportedly vacationing in a luxury safari lodge with a view of the River Nile in the northern part of the East African nation. Their presence in Uganda is seen as a coup for official tourism promoters, who recently were criticized by the president for allegedly not doing enough to promote Uganda’s natural attractions.