JEFFREY EPSTEIN – NEW ACCUSER
NEW YORK (AP) – A new person has come forward with allegations against financier Jeffrey Epstein. The allegation comes from a woman named Jennifer Araoz (uh-ROHS’), who has filed court papers seeking information from Epstein in preparation for a lawsuit against him. She says Epstein raped her in his New York mansion when she was 15. Araoz aired her allegations during an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show. But she says she hasn’t discussed her allegations with authorities. Meanwhile, Epstein is facing federal charges of abusing dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s. He has pleaded not guilty.
LABOR SECRETARY DEFENDS HANDLING OF EPSTEIN CASE
NEW YORK (AP) – The former Palm Beach County state attorney is disputing Labor Secretary Alex Acosta’s account of why he signed off on a secret sex trafficking plea deal involving now-jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein. Acosta insists the deal in which Epstein pleaded guilty to lesser state charges in Florida – was the toughest he could have gotten at the time. And he said prosecutors were working to avoid a more lenient arrangement that would have allowed Epstein to “walk free.” But Barry Krischer, who was in office at the time, says Acosta’s recollection “is completely wrong.” Krischer says a lengthy indictment was prepared but was “abandoned after secret negotiations between Mr. Epstein’s lawyers and Mr. Acosta.”
JADA PINKETT SMITH / WILL SMITH – MEDIA
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith are looking to get a stronger grip on sharing their stories with others. The Hollywood power couple is launching a new media venture, called Westbrook, Inc. It will be a cross-platform holding company set up to, as a statement put it, “execute the Smith family’s global content and commerce business strategy.” The company will feature a studio that will be home to all new TV and movie projects, including some set up as starring vehicles for Will Smith.
U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM – COAST-TO-COAST
LOS ANGELES (AP) – It was a day to remember – for a team that is well-worth remembering. The U.S. women’s national soccer team celebrated its Women’s World Cup victory on both coasts yesterday. It started with a ticker-tape parade through New York City – and ended with a cross-country flight to Los Angeles to collect trophies at the ESPYs. Alex Morgan was named female athlete of the year at the ESPYs. As she received her award, she joked that it was “the second-best trophy” the team won this week. Tracy Morgan hosted the event, held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
ITALIAN ACTRESS VALENTINA CORTESE DIES
ROME (AP) – An Italian-born star who lost to Ingrid Bergman in a best-supporting actress Oscar contest has died. Valentina Cortese was considered a popular muse for leading Italian directors, including Franco Zeffirelli. Cortese earned an Oscar nomination in 1975 for her work in “Day for Night.” Though she lost to Bergman, the winner praised her, saying Cortese had given “the most beautiful performance” in that movie. Bergman then joked, “I’m her rival, and I don’t like it at all.”
TRUMP CANCELS GOLF TOURNEY FEATURING STRIPPERS AS CADDIES
‘MIAMI (AP) – President Donald Trump’s company has canceled a golf tournament with strippers serving as caddies to be held at Trump’s golf resort near Miami. The Washington Post reports the Trump Organization has put out a statement saying the event organized by a Florida strip club will no longer take place. The Trump group says the event was scrubbed because a children’s charity that was to benefit from it pulled out. The head of the group, the Miami All Stars, says he pulled out because he didn’t know a strip club was involved.
JIM BOUTON, FORMER BASEBALL STAR, AUTHOR, DIES
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (AP) – Jim Bouton (BOW’-tun), the former New York Yankees pitcher who shocked and angered the baseball world with the tell-all book “Ball Four,” has died. He was 80. His family says he died yesterday at his home in Massachusetts. He had been fighting a brain disease linked to dementia – and was in hospice. Back in 1970, Bouton published “Ball Four,” which told tales of stars like Mickey Mantle carousing – and the use of stimulants in the major leagues. The book became a best-seller. But because it exposed the baseball world at a time when few people discussed what went on behind the scenes, Bouton was ostracized by his peers. As a pitcher, Bouton’s best year was in 1963, when he won 21 games with the Yankees – and won two games in the World Series the following season.
FORMER NFL PLAYER NEEDS KIDNEY TRANSPLANT
UNDATED (AP) – Former Tennessee Titans All-Pro defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth needs a kidney transplant. Haynesworth, who is 38, posted on Instagram that he has been battling kidney disease for a few years – and that his kidneys failed him on Sunday. Haynesworth played 10 seasons in the NFL, including the first seven with the Titans who drafted him No. 15 overall in 2002. He also played for Washington, New England and Tampa Bay.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2