SEARCH FOR ACTRESS NAYA RIVERA DESCRIBED AS RECOVERY EFFORT
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Authorities near Los Angeles are continuing their search for “Glee” star Naya Rivera – but it’s a search to recover her body, rather than to rescue her. Ventura County investigators say they believe the actress is dead of “a tragic accident” in a lake that is part of the Los Padres National Forest. It started as a pleasant mother-son outing on Lake Piru. Rivera rented a boat and she and her 4-year-old son headed out for some fun on the water. At some point, they both went for a swim. The boy says he got out – but his mom didn’t. Eventually boat concession workers noticed the boat was overdue and sent another boat to look for it. When they got to the pontoon, they found the boy, alone and asleep. Rivera’s ID and life vest were found aboard. Authorities say there’s no evidence Rivera made it out of the water, so she’s presumed to have drowned.
NAYA RIVERA – THE LAKE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Naya Rivera was no stranger to the lake that apparently claimed her life. Those familiar with the area say she has been to Lake Piru before – and had taken out boats on the water. Meanwhile the search for her body is expected to be difficult. Authorities say the part of the lake where the boat was found was about 30 feet deep. Officials say the lake’s waters are murky and are heavy with vegetation. That not only makes it hard for divers to see beneath the surface, it can also cause them to become entangled. One official says the vegetation may have caused a problem for Rivera when she was in the water – and that if she became entangled in something under the water, it’s possible her body may never come back up.
NAYA RIVERA’S COLLEAGUES EXPRESS SHOCK, SADNESS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – While the probable death of Naya Rivera is causing sadness among her fans, it’s even more difficult for those who knew her and worked with her. Singer Demi Lovato played a Rivera love interest in a guest stint on “Glee.” She posted on Instagram an image of a candle and the text, “Please pray for (at)nayarivera to be found safe and sound.” Heather Morris called for “all the prayers we can get” for Rivera. And Jackee Harry, who starred in “The Royal Family” with Rivera when the missing actress was a child, told Twitter “I’ve watched her career blossom … Please God, don’t cut this life short.”
JOHNNY DEPP TESTIFIES FOR THIRD STRAIGHT DAY IN LIBEL TRIAL
LONDON (AP) – Johnny Depp says his relationship with Amber Heard was “a crime scene waiting to happen.” But the actor also denies assaulting his ex-wife during a drug-fueled rampage in a rental home in Australia while filming a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. The Hollywood star spent a third straight day on the witness stand as he continues his libel lawsuit in London against The Sun tabloid. Depp is suing the newspaper for calling him a “wife-beater.” And attorneys for the newspaper have been grilling him on 14 allegations by Heard of Depp’s violence between 2013 and 2016 – including the one in Australia. On cross, Depp acknowledged abusing drugs and alcohol – and would sometimes black-out when he overindulged. However, Depp insists even when he was blacked out, he didn’t assault his wife.
NBC COMMITS TO HAVING A WORKFORCE WITH AT LEAST HALF WORKERS ARE MINORITIES
UNDATED (AP) – The newly installed head of NBC News is making quite a splash in one one of his first public acts on the job. Cesar Conde says he is committed to building a workforce at his news outlets where at least half the employees are minorities – and half are women. That will take some work. The staff is currently 27% minority: including 8% each of Black, Latino and Asian workers, though the percentage of women is nearly 50%. Conde set no timetable for achieving his goal. But the effort to do so makes him a leader in the effort to diversify the news business. He says having a more diverse workforce will enable NBC to spot stories that otherwise might be missed.
RHONJ – GUILTY PLEAS
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – The ex-husband of a “Real Housewives of New Jersey” cast member and a reputed mobster have pleaded not guilty to charges that they conspired to assault the woman’s current husband. Authorities say Thomas Manzo and John Perna entered their pleas on Wednesday during an arraignment conducted by teleconference. Federal prosecutors say Manzo hired Perna to commit the attack. In exchange for the beat-down, Perna would get a discount on a lavish wedding reception at a restaurant where Manzo is an owner. Manzo is the ex-husband of Dina Manzo, while prosecutors say Perna is a soldier in the Lucchese crime family.