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February 14, 2019

RYAN ADAMS CAUGHT IN #METOO SCANDAL

NEW YORK (AP) — There’s a new #MeToo scandal making headlines — and this time the alleged culprit is a key person in the world of popular music. The New York Times is reporting that seven women have claimed that singer-songwriter Ryan Adams offered to help them with their music careers — but their relationship with them veered toward sexual matters. In a story than ran yesterday, a 20-year-old female musician says Adams, who is 44, had inappropriate conversations with her while she was underage. In one instance, the woman says Adams exposed himself to her during a video call. Adams’ ex-wife is actress and singer Mandy Moore. She tells the Times that Adams was psychologically abusive toward her throughout their marriage. They divorced in 2016.

RYAN ADAMS RESPONDS TO ACCUSATIONS

NEW YORK (AP) — Ryan Adams has come out with a statement that falls somewhere between an acknowledgement of the sexual misconduct allegations against him — and a denial. In a tweet, Adams says he’s “not a perfect man” and has “made many mistakes” for which he apologizes. At the same time, he disputes the image of him in the New York Times, which quotes singers saying he tried to coerce them into sex while promising to help their music careers. Adams says that portrayal is “upsettingly inaccurate” — and that he’d never have inappropriate interactions with someone he thought was underage. However, one of his accusers says Adams once texted her that if people knew him, they’d see him as another R. Kelly, the R&B singer long alleged to have improper dealings with girls and young women. Adams’ accuser says at the time of the text mentioning R. Kelly, she was 16 — and he was 40.

CHICAGO POLICE QUESTION 2 IN SMOLLETT CASE

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police say they’re interviewing two “persons of interest” who surveillance photos show were in the area where “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett says he was attacked last month. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi (goo-lee-EHL’-mee) says the two men aren’t considered suspects but may have been in the area at the time. He told The Associated Press that the two men are the same people shown in surveillance photos released last month by police. Guglielmi says the men were identified through the use of advanced technology, interviews with Smollett and witnesses, and transportation records.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT COMPLAINS ABOUT DOUBTERS

(Stations: Note language in the following)

CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett insists he isn’t crying wolf. The “Empire” actor is chafing at suggestions he isn’t telling the truth about a claim that he was beaten by two masked men in Chicago two weeks ago. Speaking on “Good Morning America,” Smollett says he’s — quoting here — pissed off” — that people are questioning his account. Smollett tells ABC News it’s “ridiculous” to think he’d lie in his explanation for being outside at 2 a.m. in frigid Chicago weather. Smollett — who is black and openly gay — says his assailants used racist and anti-gay slurs as they beat him. He also says they put a rope around his neck and mentioned President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

BILL COSBY CLAIMS HE’S A POLITICAL PRISONER

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Not sorry. A defiant Bill Cosby insists he “will never have remorse” for the sexual encounter that put him in prison. He says what happened between him and accuser Andrea Constand was consensual sex, not molestation, as a jury near Philadelphia concluded last year. In a statement dictated to his wife from prison, Cosby declares he’s a political prisoner, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Cosby says he was convicted only because he was done in by what he calls “a low-life district attorney and a corrupt judge.” None of this is expected to sit well with a parole board, which is expected to seek evidence of remorse before agreeing to shave any time off Cosby’s three-to-10-year prison term.

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DONALD GLOVER/CHILDISH GAMBINO - NAACP IMAGE AWARDS

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — And you thought Donald Glover had a big night at the Grammys? He might need a wheelbarrow to take home all the hardware he’s in line to pick up at the NAACP Image Awards. He and his musical alter-ego Childish Gambino have a shot at five individual awards between them. And his TV show “Atlanta” may score a win, too. Glover is nominated for acting and directing on “Atlanta” while the FX show is up for best comedy series. On the music side of the nominations list, Gambino has a nod for top male performer. Meanwhile, his song “This Is America” is nominated for best video and song. Glover won four Grammys, including record and song of the year, on Sunday night.

NAACP IMAGE AWARDS - “BLACK PANTHER”

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — “Black Panther” is in position to rack up a lot of wins at the NAACP Image Awards. The movie is up for 14 awards, including entertainer of the year for both its director Ryan Coogler and its star Chadwick Boseman. Panther is also up for best motion picture, along with “BlacKkKlansman,” ″Crazy Rich Asians,” ″If Beale Street Could Talk” and “The Hate U Give.” Other nominees for entertainer of the year include Beyoncé, LeBron James and Regina King. The Image Awards are March 30 in Los Angeles.

APOLLO TO BE FEATURED IN DOCUMENTARY AT TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

NEW YORK (AP) — Robert DeNiro says the Apollo Theater is “a symbol of the creative spirit of New York and beyond.” So, it’s only fitting that the Tribeca Film Festival — the event he co-founded — will open with the premiere of a documentary about the famed venue in Harlem. Festival organizers say Roger Ross Williams’ “The Apollo” will kick off this year’s festival on April 24. It will also be screened at the Apollo itself.

“HAMILTON” EXHIBIT IN CHICAGO DELAYED

CHICAGO (AP) — Politics can be a cold, harsh business. But not nearly as cold and harsh as Chicago when it’s in the throes of a serious winter freeze. And in part because of the cold, the world premiere of an exhibit based on the Broadway hit “Hamilton” is now delayed. “Hamilton: The Exhibition” was to open on Northerly Island along Lake Michigan on April 6 — but producers now say it will open April 27. They blame unexpected delays in shipping, customs — and the cold snap that dropped readings to minus 23 degrees. The exhibit focuses on the life and times of Alexander Hamilton — with the musical’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, as the audio guide. It’s to stay in Chicago through Sept. 8 before traveling to other U.S. cities.

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2