BRITNEY SPEARS CHOOSES HER OWN LAWYER IN CONSERVATORSHIP
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Britney Spears is allowed to hire her own attorney. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny has approved Spears hiring former federal prosecutor Mathew Rosengart in the conservatorship that has overseen Spears’ personal life and finances since 2008. Spears said by phone in yesterday’s hearing she wants to charge her father, James Spears, with “conservatorship abuse.” She says the conservatorship has denied her things like coffee, a driver’s license and “hair vitamins.” James Spears’ lawyer, Vivian Thoreen, says James has had his daughter’s interests at heart. Thoreen says for two years, James Spears has only overseen his daughter’s finances, not her person.
OLIVIA RODRIGO GOES TO THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON (AP) – Olivia Rodrigo filmed a new video yesterday with some unusual collaborators: President Joe Biden and his medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci (FOW’-chee). Rodrigo visited the White House to help with the campaign to get young people vaccinated against COVID-19. She told reporters in the White House press room, “It’s important to have conversations with friends and family members encouraging all communities to get vaccinated.”
METALLICA WILL CELEBRATE 40 YEARS IN DECEMBER
NEW YORK (AP) – Metallica will throw a 40th birthday party for themselves. The band is planning events for the weekend of Dec. 16 in San Francisco that will include music and comedy events and tastings of their Blackened Whiskey. Metallica also will perform concerts on Dec. 17 and 19 with different setlists, with tickets being available only to members of their Fifth Member fan club. More events will be announced in the coming months.
KORN ASK SUICIDAL TENDENCES BASSIST TO FILL IN FOR FIELDY
UNDATED (AP) – Korn have enlisted Suicidal Tendencies bassist Ra Diaz for their tour while Korn bassist Fieldy is out. The band says on social media that it’s been rehearsing with Diaz “to get ready to bring the heat.” Fieldy said last month he would sit out the tour because he had fallen back on “bad habits” and he needed to deal with personal issues. Korn will play two festivals this weekend, then start their tour Aug. 5 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
RHIANNON GIDDENS GETS PUBLISHING DEAL
NEW YORK (AP) – Rhiannon Giddens has a deal with Candlewick Press to put out four books. The first one is a picture book based on her song “Build a House” and will come out in the fall of 2022. The second also will be a picture book, but details on that and the other books were not given. Giddens also will release a 90-minute audio memoir called “To Balance on Bridges” as an Audible Original. Her latest album, “They’re Calling Me Home,” is out now.
COURT ORDERS SHORTER SENTENCE FOR ‘TIGER KING’ JOE EXOTIC
DENVER (AP) – A federal appeals court is ordering a shorter sentence for “Tiger King” Joe Exotic. Denver’s 10th Circuit appeals court ruled Wednesday that the trial court wrongly calculated the advisory sentencing range for Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage. The zookeeper known for his expletive-laden rants on YouTube was sentenced to 22 years behind bars after being convicted of violating federal wildlife laws and a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his chief rival. He tried to hire two different men to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin. One of his lawyers says he plans to file motions revealing new evidence in the case.
JUSSIE SMOLLETT BACK IN COURT FOR HEARING ABOUT HIS LAWYER
CHICAGO (AP) – Jussie Smollett (smoh-LET’) has returned to court for the first time in a year for a hearing to determine whether one of the actor’s attorneys should be allowed to keep representing him in his case against accusations that he staged a racist and homophobic attack against himself. Wednesday’s hearing had nothing to with the charges against Smollett. He’s accused of lying to police when he reported that two masked men attacked him in downtown Chicago in January 2019. The media and the public were not allowed to attend the hearing, so it’s not clear exactly what was said.
OLD BROADWAY PIZAZZ COLLIDES WITH 2021 IN ‘SCHMIGADOON!’
NEW YORK (AP) – A pair of modern-day hikers step out of the woods and into a town where they are greeted by something strange: Suspiciously friendly residents who burst into a high-kicking, knee-slapping group welcome song. So starts the charming, genre-bending Apple TV+ comedy “Schmigadoon!,” which combines Cecily Strong with Keegan-Michael Key and finds hilarity in the clash between modern sensibilities and classic Broadway musical theater norms. Cinco Paul co-created and co-wrote the series with Ken Daurio. Paul says he adores old musicals but knows that they’re highly problematic in parts. He said he wanted to explore the tension.
VAL KILMER ON A LIFE IN ILLUSION AND THE NEW DOC ‘VAL’
CANNES, France (AP) – Val Kilmer was in movies he wasn’t in. The new documentary “Val,” bursting with footage Kilmer shot himself over his 61 years, includes home videos and backstage glimpses, as you might expect. But the most remarkable thing is seeing Kilmer’s own audition tapes of himself. They capture Kilmer living in parts – including some he never got to play. There’s footage of him as Henry Hill in “Goodfellas.” Hamlet he privately tackled for years. He was so consumed with being in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” that Kilmer had a friend shoot him, in combat gear, trudging through a California swamp. “Val” recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
ALL-STAR TV RATING HITS RECORD LOW, VIEWERS UP SLIGHTLY
NEW YORK (AP) – The television rating for baseball’s All-Star Game sank to a record low but viewers increased by 1%. The American League’s 5-2 win over the National at Denver on Tuesday night got a 4.5 rating and 11 share, and was seen by 8,237,000 viewers ages 2 and up. The previous low rating was 5.0 for the American League’s 4-3 victory at Cleveland two years ago, which had an 11 share and was seen by 8,140,000 viewers. The Home Run Derby drew a combined 7,126,000 on ESPN and ESPN2 on Monday night.
MEGHAN, PRINCE HARRY TO DEVELOP NEW NETFLIX ANIMATED SERIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Meghan and Prince Harry’s second Netflix project will focus on a 12-year-old girl’s adventures in an animated series. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Productions announced Wednesday that the working title “Pearl” will be developed for the streaming service. Meghan created the idea of the family-focused animated series, which was inspired by a variety of women from history. Meghan will serve as an executive producer with filmmaker David Furnish, who worked as a producer on “Rocketman” and “Sherlock Gnomes.”