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February 19, 2019

JUSSIE SMOLLETT - NEW TIP

CHICAGO (AP) — Police in Chicago are reporting they have received a new tip in the Jussie Smollett case. And like other recent developments in the case, it helps fuel growing speculation that the beating the “Empire” actor reported last month — was a hoax. Police say they are looking into a tip that on the night Smollett claimed he was beaten, someone in his apartment building saw the actor and two men in an elevator. The men were the same two men police later identified as “persons of interest” after being spotted on surveillance video. The two were arrested and released after being cleared of wrongdoing. Smollett has claimed two masked men beat him, hurling racist and anti-gay slurs at him as they did. Over the weekend police have said the investigation has “shifted” away from pursuing that claim.

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053309-v-331:44-(Margie Szaroleta (zar-oh-LEH’-tah), AP entertainment correspondent)-“Margie Szaroleta, Chicago”-Police: Tip that Smollett, 2 brothers together in elevator (19 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053309 (02/19/19)££ 331:44 “Margie Szaroleta, Chicago”

JUSSIE SMOLLETT - POLICE REQUEST FOLLOW-UP CHAT

CHICAGO (AP) — Jussie Smollett’s legal reps are suggesting the “Empire” actor will not agree to a request by police in Chicago for a follow-up interview. A statement from his attorneys says that they will interact with police on Smollett’s behalf — rather than have him submit to another interview. Police say their focus of the investigation into the beating Smollett reported has “shifted” after speaking with the two men spotted in surveillance video in the area Smollett says he was attacked. Those men are described as acquaintances of Smollett who were picked up, questioned and cleared after spending two days in custody.

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053262-v-320:16-(Matt Small, AP correspondent)-“I’m Matt Small”-No plan for Smollett to do follow-up police interview Monday (19 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053262 (02/19/19)££ 320:16 “I’m Matt Small”

053261-c-228:96-(Matt Small, AP correspondent)-“and racial slurs”-No plan for Smollett to do follow-up police interview Monday (19 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053261 (02/19/19)££ 228:96 “and racial slurs”

“EMPIRE” - SUPREME COURT

WASHINGTON (AP) — There is another legal drama surrounding the Fox TV series “Empire.” But this one is being handled not by police in Chicago, but at the U.S. Supreme Court. The nation’s highest court says it won’t be taking on a case involving the show — which follows a black family involved in the record industry. An actor had sued the co-creators of Empire, claiming he had pitched an idea similar to the Empire story-line at a competition in 2008. The suit claimed one of the co-creators, Lee Daniels, was a judge at the competition — and expressed an interest in the idea. A trial court had dismissed the suit, ruling that the shows weren’t substantially similar, an appeals court agreed — and the high court’s refusal means those lower rulings will stand.

SUPREME COURT - BILL COSBY

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ruled it will not revive a defamation lawsuit filed against imprisoned comedian Bill Cosby. The suit was filed by Katharine McKee, who claims Cosby raped her in 1974 — and later spread lies about her when she came forward. She sued for damaging her reputation after a lawyer allegedly leaked a letter attacking her. Two lower courts ruled against her — and dismissed her case.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN - TRIAL DELAYED

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial will has been postponed for about a month. The court system has confirmed that the case has been pushed back from May 6 to June 3. The original date was set before Weinstein took on a new legal team — and those lawyers have a trial that will conflict with that date. The 66-year-old producer is charged with raping an unidentified acquaintance in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006. Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

TRUMP CONFIDANT ROGER STONE ORDERED TO COURT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Trump loyalist Roger Stone has acknowledged his post about the federal judge handling his case was “improper.” And in two days, he will find out if the post will also cost him his freedom. The judge has ordered Stone to appear in court on Thursday. One of her options would be to revoke Stone’s bail. Stone posted a photo on Instagram of the judge with what appeared to be the crosshairs of a gun. Stone claims the photo was “misinterpreted” — and denies he was trying to sentence the judge, though the comments that were part of the post said negative things about her.

OSCAR PRESENTERS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael B. Jordan, Brian Tyree Henry and Elsie Fisher may have missed out on Oscar nominations this year. But they will still get time in the spotlight during Sunday’s ceremony. The actors have signed on to be presenters on the broadcast. Others who had already been confirmed as presenters include Michael Keaton, Helen Mirren and Tyler Perry.

IMAGINE DRAGONS TO PERFORM AT PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Imagine Dragons are taking a step up in the football world. The performed last month at the BCS national title game. And now they have been signed on to perform at the Pro Football Hall of Fame to help kick off the NFL’s 100th season. That performance is set for Aug. 4. Other acts already signed on for the gig include Aerosmith, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith and Maroon 5, the band that performed at the Super Bowl halftime show.

DIDDY - MADAME TUSSAUDS

NEW YORK (AP) — Diddy has lost his head. In this case, it’s the wax one that had been attached to his statue at Madame Tussauds in New York. Police say someone attacked the rap icon’s statue over the weekend, shoving it so hard that it lost its head. Investigators are looking for a suspect in the case. Madame Tussauds says its crew will fix the damage as quickly as possible.

FASHION DESIGNER KARL LAGERFELD DIES

PARIS (AP) — One of the world’s most famous fashion designers has died. Karl Lagerfeld died today in Paris — and word of his passing has prompted an outpouring of love and admiration for a man whose career as a tastemaker spanned six decades. Though he spent much of his career at luxury labels that catered to the wealthy, Lagerfeld’s designs quickly trickled down to low-end retailers, increasing his global influence. It’s unclear how old he was.

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

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