BILL COSBY LAWYERS ASK COURT TO VOID CONVICTION, PRISON SENTENCE
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) – Bill Cosby’s lawyers want a court to overturn the actor’s conviction and three- to 10-year sentence in his Pennsylvania sex assault case because of what they call a string of trial errors. The defense motion argues that trial Judge Steven O’Neill erred in declaring Cosby a sexually violent predator who should be imprisoned to protect the community. They called the sentence more punitive than necessary, given the standard two- to three-year guideline range and the fact Cosby is 81 and blind. They also say the trial evidence never proved the encounter took place in 2004, and not 2003, or that Cosby was arrested within the 12-year time limit. Cosby has been in a state prison near Philadelphia since the Sept. 25 sentencing on three felony sex assault counts. Montgomery County prosecutors say they will file a response.
COMEDIAN KATT WILLIAMS JAILED ON ASSAULT CHARGES IN OREGON
SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Comedian Katt Williams has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a hired driver during an argument about taking him and his dog from the Portland, Oregon, airport to a performance in the city. Williams came to Portland to perform in Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” comedy improv show Friday night. The town car driver had swelling and cuts on his face and was treated at a hospital, according to Port of Portland police. The comedian, 47, whose real name is Micah Williams, left in another vehicle and was arrested Saturday. Williams has been charged with assault in the fourth degree, and an arraignment is scheduled for Monday. He also was arrested for an out-of-state warrant from Georgia. A publicist for Williams, whose comedy specials have appeared on HBO and Netflix, didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. A jail official and a spokesman for the district attorney’s office said they didn’t know if the comedian had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
BEN AFFLECK POSTS ABOUT SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ben Affleck says battling addiction is “a lifelong and difficult struggle.” The actor posted on Instagram Thursday that he has completed a 40-day stay at a treatment center for alcohol addiction and remains in outpatient care. The 46-year-old says the support he’s received from family and friends has given him strength to speak about “his illness” with others. He says he is fighting for himself and his family. Affleck says battling addiction is a full-time commitment and “one is never really in or out of treatment.” He had previously sought treatment in 2001 and 2017. Affleck has been separated from actress Jennifer Garner since 2015. They have three children.
ACTOR SCOTT WILSON DIES
NEW YORK (AP) – Scott Wilson, who played the murderer Richard Hickock in 1967’s “In Cold Blood” and was a series regular on “The Walking Dead,” has died. He was 76. AMC, the show’s network, announced Wilson’s death Saturday. The network calls Wilson’s character on “The Walking Dead,” veterinarian Hershel Greene, “the emotional core of the show.” Wilson starred on series from 2011 to 2014. His return for the upcoming season was announced just hours earlier on Saturday. Wilson already filmed his scenes for season nine. In the same year as Wilson’s breakthrough in “In Cold Blood,” he also played murder suspect Harvey Oberst in “In the Heat of the Night.” He appeared in 1974’s “The Great Gatsby” as George Wilson, in “The Right Stuff” as pilot Scott Crossfield and earned a Golden Globe nomination in 1980 for his performance in “The Ninth Configuration,” in which he played a former astronaut.
ANIMATOR WILL VINTON DIES
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Oscar-winning animator who brought the California Raisins to life has died in Oregon. Will Vinton died Thursday at the age of 70 following a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma. The Oregonian reported that Vinton invented Claymation, a style of stop-motion animation. He won an Oscar in 1975 for the short film “Closed Mondays.” He founded Vinton Studios in Portland the next year and won three Emmys there as a producer. Stop-motion is an old-fashioned technique that requires animators to shoot puppets a single frame at a time, adjusting them slightly between frames to simulate movement. Claymation used putty or clay for a textured, somewhat cartoonish feel. Vinton Studios was best known for the 1986 California Raisins campaign featuring Claymation raisins dancing to “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”
SCREENWRITER AUDREY WELLS DIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Audrey Wells, who wrote and directed the 2003 romantic comedy “Under the Tuscan Sun,” has died after a five-year battle with cancer. A representative from United Talent Agency says Wells died Thursday. She was 58. The San Francisco native had early jobs as a disc jockey at a local jazz station and in public radio before making the transition to film. She wrote the screenplays for films like “The Truth About Cats and Dogs” and “Shall We Dance.” Her directorial debut was “Guinevere,” starring Sarah Polley. Wells wrote the screenplay for the critically-acclaimed new film “The Hate U Give,” an adaptation of the young adult novel about a police shooting of a young black man. The film is now playing in limited release before it expands nationwide Oct. 19.
THE SITUATION GETS 8-MONTH SENTENCE IN FEDERAL TAX CASE
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – The Situation has been sentenced to eight months in prison for tax fraud. A federal judge pronounced the sentence Friday for the “Jersey Shore” star, whose real name is Michael Sorrentino, shortly after his brother Marc received a two-year sentence on the same charge. Both brothers pleaded guilty in January. They were charged in 2014 with tax offenses related to nearly $9 million in income. Michael Sorrentino’s attorneys had sought probation, while prosecutors wanted a sentence of 14 months. He appeared on all six seasons of the reality show that ran from 2009 to 2012 and followed the lives of rowdy housemates in the New Jersey town of Seaside Heights. Michael Sorrentino apologized to the court during brief remarks and said he has overcome substance abuse.
“VENOM” LEADS BOX OFFICE
NEW YORK (AP) – The Sony comic-book movie “Venom” has shrugged off bad reviews to shatter the October box-office record with an $80 million debut, while Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” soared to $42.6 million. According to estimates Sunday, the two very different films fueled an unusually robust October weekend at the North American box office. Despite a 32 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the anti-hero “Spider-Man” spinoff “Venom” opened with $205.2 million globally. The previous best October opening was $55.7 million for “Gravity” in 2013. Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” remake, also starring Lady Gaga, has been hailed by critics and pegged as an Oscar front-runner. It drew an audience that was 66 percent female and 68 percent older than 35. AP-WF-10-08-18 0707GMT