JUDGE SIGNS OFF ON HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S NEW LEGAL TEAM
NEW YORK (AP) — A judge in New York has approved the changes Harvey Weinstein has made to his legal team. The movie officially lets the disgraced former Hollywood mogul swap out Benjamin Brafman for his new lawyers. Both Weinstein and Brafman announced last week they’d “agreed to part ways amicably.” Brafman is a bulldog-style attorney who vigorously tried to get the case kicked out of court. The new attorneys have a lot of in-court clout, which Weinstein will need as he prepares to go to trial. Weinstein is charged with raping a woman in 2013 — and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006. He has, through his legal and personal reps, denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex. The next hearing in the case is set for March 8. Weinstein’s trial is tentatively scheduled for May.
049572-w-347:52-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent, with defense attorney Jose Baez)-“Warren Levinson, New York”-Judge approves changes to Weinstein’s legal team (25 Jan 2019)
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049573-a-72:48-(Defense attorney Jose Baez, speaking with reporters)-“plead not guilty”-Judge approves changes to Weinstein’s legal team (25 Jan 2019)
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049575-a-135:84-(Defense attorney Jose Baez, speaking with reporters)-“on maintaining that”-Judge approves changes to Weinstein’s legal team (25 Jan 2019)
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049574-a-144:24-(Defense attorney Jose Baez, speaking with reporters)-“as everyone else”-Judge approves changes to Weinstein’s legal team (25 Jan 2019)
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WEINSTEIN’S NEW LEGAL TEAM AND ROSE McGOWAN
NEW YORK (AP) — The official appointment of Harvey Weinstein’s new legal team presents an interesting dilemma. Before signing on as Weinstein’s new reps, two of the attorneys — Jose Baez and Ronald Sullivan — represented Rose McGowan in her just-completed drug possession case in Virginia. In her defense, the actress claimed the drugs found in the wallet she left behind on a flight she could have been planted by Weinstein operatives to discredit her claim that Weinstein raped her. McGowan was one of the first to make such claims publicly. And she says having Baez and Sullivan represent Weinstein now — is a “major conflict of interest.”
BRYAN SINGER HOLDS ON TO NEW FILM GIG, DESPITE MOLESTATION ALLEGATIONS
NEW YORK (AP) — In the wake of the #MeToo movement, an allegation — or series of allegations — of sexual misconduct are usually enough to have someone lose their job or pulled from a project. That is not happening to Bryan Singer, the “Bohemian Rhapsody” director accused in a magazine expose of seducing and molesting several underage men. Millennium Films says he’s still onboard to direct a remake of the fantasy adventure “Red Sonja.” The head of the company praises what he calls Singer’s “remarkable vision and acumen” — and suggests the report about him is “agenda-driven fake news.” Avi Lerner, founder of Millennium, says he’s “very comfortable” with the decision to keep Singer. For his part, Singer denies the claims, calling The Atlantic article a “homophobic smear piece.”
GLAAD RESPONDS TO BRYAN SINGER CONTROVERSY
NEW YORK (AP) — You’d figure that, given its subject matter, “Bohemian Rhapsody” would be a strong contender for the GLAAD media awards. But now the gay-rights group has pulled the Freddy Mercury biopic from consideration for the awards. In a statement, GLAAD refers to The Atlantic article that says four men accuse director Bryan Singer of molesting them when they were underage. It says the article “brought to light a reality that cannot be ignored or even tacitly rewarded.” Time’s Up, the group formed by women in the entertainment industry to fight sexual harassment, has also weighed in. It calls the claims against Singer “horrifying” and says they must be taken seriously and investigated.
SUNDANCE AND DIVERSITY
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — A new study provides a mixed bag of news about the Sundance Film Festival and its efforts to diversify. The study released today finds that female filmmakers are submitting to and being accepted into Sundance in significantly greater numbers than a decade ago. But the numbers for women are still below 50 percent. The study was done by the Sundance Institute and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative — and it also examined race and ethnicity. It finds that 24.3 percent of U.S. dramatic features accepted in 2017 and 2018 were by filmmakers of color. Women of color made up a third of that percentage.
VIDEO GAMES - GLAAD
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — GLAAD is honoring video games for the first time ever at its 30th annual media awards. The LGBTQ advocacy group says it added a video game category in part to “leverage the gaming community to grow LGBTQ acceptance.” The nominees are: “Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey,” ″The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset,” ″Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire,” ″Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire,” and “The Sims Mobile.”
The GLAAD awards are March 28 in L.A. and May 4 in New York.
NELLY SEEKS DISMISSAL OF SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE IN ENGLAND
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Nelly wants a U.S. court to dismiss a British woman’s lawsuit that claims he sexually assaulted her after a concert in England. The federal lawsuit was filed in November in St. Louis, the rapper’s hometown. The woman accuses Nelly of assaulting her in December of 2017. The rap star wasn’t criminally charged — and has denied the allegations.
CHRIS BROWN - RAPE COMPLAINT
PARIS (AP) — Even though Chris Brown has been released from police custody after a rape allegation, the investigation into the case continues. An attorney for the woman who filed the complaint against the Grammy-winning singer and two other men says the woman was put under “great psychological pressure” at a luxury hotel where “non-consensual sex” took place in locked rooms. Brown has denied the allegations.
SAINTS FANS CONTINUE TO GRIPE OVER BLOWN CALL AND NFL
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It’s fair to say that many people in New Orleans are still quite salty about the blown call they feel kept their team out of the Super Bowl. Now, a bakery has whipped up a sweet protest. It made thousands of cookies with a picture of a referee with a red circle and slash over it. A locksmith owner has put up posters criticizing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL’). A business owner has churned out T-shirts featuring a referee voodoo doll with pins sticking out of it. Some residents have taken to hanging posters of a referee wearing a blindfold. And other Saints fans promise to boycott the game a week from Sunday.
P.K. SUBBAN TO HOST SHOW AS PART OF NHL ALL-STAR WEEKEND
UNDATED (AP) — Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (SOO’-ban) already has 1.1 million followers on Instagram and almost as many on Instagram. Now, he’s expanding his fan base by hitting national TV. He will host a special tonight on the NBC Sports Network as part of the effort to promote the NHL’s All-Star weekend in San Jose, California. The show will air after tonight’s All-Star Skills competition. Subban says the show gives him a platform to talk about things he cares about. His guests include Jay Leno, comedian and TV host W. Kamau Bell, country singer Lee Brice, IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe, Columbus defenseman Seth Jones and 13-year-old hockey player Ty Cornett.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2