DISNEY CANCELS RED CARPET PREMIERE IN WAKE OF ACTOR’S DEATH
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Disney Channel has decided to cancel the red carpet premiere of its movie “Descendants 3” after the death of one of its stars, 20-year-old star Cameron Boyce. The network says instead of holding the July 22 event, it will dedicate a telecast to the memory of Boyce, who died last week. The company will also make a donation to the Thirst Project, one of the young actor’s favorite charities. Boyce’s family said he died nearly a week ago of a seizure triggered by an ongoing medical condition. An autopsy was performed. But the coroner says more tests will be conducted before an official cause can be determined and announced.
JEFFREY EPSTEIN PLEA DEAL PROBE CONTINUES
NEW YORK (AP) – Members of Congress are the latest to be asking why financier Jeffrey Epstein managed to get such a sweet deal from a prosecutor in South Florida after pleading guilty to sexual misconduct with a minor. Members of a House Judiciary subcommittee have sent a letter to the Justice Department, asking to be briefed on the deal struck between Epstein’s attorneys and Alex Acosta, who now serves as Labor Secretary. The letter from the lawmakers says members of the House panel have “serious misgivings” about how Acosta handled the case. The Florida angle has been back in the news now that Epstein has been arrested and charged in New York with felonies that accuse him of sex trafficking of minors. Under the 2008 non-prosecution deal, Epstein dodged a possible life sentence. Instead he did 13 months in a work-release program.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN – DEFENSE TEAM
NEW YORK (AP) – Among the new members of Harvey Weinstein’s legal team is a woman who has criticized the (hash)MeToo movement – and is a specialist in defending men accused of sexual misconduct. Donna Rotunno has signed on to Weinstein’s team, one of two lawyers added to the disgraced movie producer’s legal roster yesterday. The other attorney is Demon Cheronis. One of the two lawyers who have bolted from the case engaged in some back-and-forth with Weinstein yesterday. Jose Baez complained he and Weinstein weren’t seeing eye-to-eye on legal matters. And he jokingly said once he was released from the case that he felt he had “won the lottery.” That didn’t sit well with Weinstein, who said through a rep that by adding Rotunno to his legal team – he’s the one who won the lottery.
VIOLA DAVIS SERIES TO END WITH SIXTH SEASON
LOS ANGELES (AP) – “How to Get Away With Murder” – is about to go away. ABC says the series starring Viola Davis will wrap up production after its upcoming sixth season. In a statement, the network praised series star Viola Davis for her work in portraying Annalise Keating, an attorney and professor at a Philadelphia law school who gets her students involved in her cases. The series made history in 2015 when Davis became the first African American to win an Emmy for best lead actress in a drama series. Meanwhile producers warn fans to “buckle up” for the final twists of the show when it returns in the fall.
CHRISSY TEIGEN AMONG CELEBRITIES MISSING TWITTER
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Imagine being a celebrity with something to say – but having nowhere to say it. That was the mini-nightmare Chrissy Teigen (TY’-gin) and others lived in real life when their online pipeline to their followers went down. For more than an hour, Twitter was dark due to a technical glitch. And Teigen was one of the celebs whose frustration spilled over to another online portal. Instagram. She posted, “TWITTER IS DOWN I DON’T KNOW WHERE ELSE TO SAY THIS AHHHHHH.” Twitter users got their platform back once the site fixed what it called an “internal configuration change.”
TRUMP – BIG TECH
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says some of the people who try to rally support for him online go too far. But he also says their efforts are “genius.” Trump made the comments yesterday at a White House conference on social media. Before and during the session, he denounced what he called liberal attempts to silence his most ardent supporters under the guise of eliminating hate speech from online forums like Twitter. At the same time, Trump acknowledged that some of those backers “are out there” and “bad.” Though Trump has made extensive use of Twitter to get his views and policies directly to the public and the media, he didn’t invite officials from the site to yesterday’s event aimed at venting over Big Tech.
ALL-STAR GAME RATINGS
NEW YORK (AP) – Baseball’s All-Star Game is often called the “midsummer classic.” But in terms of TV ratings, viewers are treating it like a classic – by ignoring it for more modern fare. Tuesday night’s game had a record low audience. Nielsen reports it was seen by 8.14 million viewers. The previous low was last year’s All-Star Game, which drew 8.69 million viewers. Meanwhile, Monday’s Home Run Derby drew a combined audience of 6.2 million on ESPN and its sister network, ESPN2.
FORMER NFL COACH DIES
NEW YORK (AP) – Walt Michaels, the former New York Jets coach who retired following the 1982 season after leading the team to the AFC title game, has died. He was 89. The team says Michaels died Wednesday – but didn’t say where or why. However, The New York Times reports Michaels died at a nursing home in Plains, Pennsylvania. Michaels was the defensive coordinator of the Jets team that won the Super Bowl in January, 1969.
FORMER SUPER BOWL MVP ACKNOWLEDGES HITTING WIFE
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – We’re learning more about the incident in which former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien (RIP’-pen) was arrested last month. A report from police in Spokane, Washington says Rypien acknowledged he struck his wife during a domestic dispute. But he says it was in self-defense. The former Washington Redskins quarterback has pleaded not guilty to a charge of domestic violence – and has been released from custody without bail.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2