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February 11, 2019

NATIONAL ENQUIRER’S PARENT DENIES EXTORTION, BLACKMAIL IN BEZOS THREAT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The parent company of the National Enquirer says the publication engaged in no extortion or blackmail in the case of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. An attorney for American Media Inc. chief David Pecker says the Enquirer got the explicit pictures of Bezos it threatened to publish from what it calls “a reliable source” well-known to Bezos and his mistress. Bezos says AMI threatened to publish the photos of him unless he stopped investigating how the Enquirer got his private exchanges with former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. Bezos says AMI also demanded that he publicly declare Enquirer’s coverage of him wasn’t politically motivated. Bezos also owns The Washington Post. The Enquirer supports President Donald Trump — who often criticizes the Post’s coverage of the White House.

Meanwhile federal investigators are looking into whether the Enquirer paid hush money to a Playboy model who says she had an extramarital affair with Trump.

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Sound:

051962-a-76:32-(Elkan Abramowitz, attorney for American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker, in interview)-“not politically motivated”-Tabloid CEO’s lawyer says Enquirer didn’t extort Jeff Bezos (10 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *051962 (02/10/19)££ 76:32 “not politically motivated”

051961-a-61:68-(Elkan Abramowitz, attorney for American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker, in interview)-“that they wanted”-Tabloid CEO’s lawyer says Enquirer didn’t extort Jeff Bezos (10 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *051961 (02/10/19)££ 61:68 “that they wanted”

051963-a-170:40-(Elkan Abramowitz, attorney for American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker, in interview)-“and lawyers negotiate”-Tabloid CEO’s lawyer says Enquirer didn’t extort Jeff Bezos (10 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *051963 (02/10/19)££ 170:40 “and lawyers negotiate”

051960-a-148:08-(Elkan Abramowitz, attorney for American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker, in interview)-“not Saudi Arabia”-Tabloid CEO’s lawyer says Enquirer didn’t extort Jeff Bezos (10 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *051960 (02/10/19)££ 148:08 “not Saudi Arabia”

MICHELLE OBAMA MAKES SURPRISE GRAMMY APPEARANCE

LOS ANGELES (AP) —Michelle Obama says music has always helped her tell her story — and has for many others. The former first lady made a surprise appearance at the Grammys last night in Los Angeles, opening the awards show with Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett Smith and host Alicia Keys. All five told how music has shaped their lives. As Obama began speaking, she was drowned out by a loud ovation at the Staples Center, with many in the audience standing. She paused, smiled — and re-started her comments.

TRUMP - GRAMMIES

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Usually award show attendees aren’t fans of President Donald Trump. But at the Grammys last night, two of his musical supporters made themselves known. Joy Villa and Ricky Rebel made fashion and political statements as they walked the red carpet at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Villa wore a white dress with the black outline of bricks and silver barbed wire tufts on her shoulders — while toting a purse bearing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. Rebel wore a red, white and blue jacket and white pants tucked into white boots. The jacket had “Keep America Great” on the front and “Trump” on the back.

LEGO MOVIE SEQUEL DOMINATES BOX OFFICE

NEW YORK (AP) — The sequel to “The Lego Movie” managed to assemble a box office win over the weekend. But it didn’t click as solidly with moviegoers as was hoped. Studio estimates say “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” took in $35 million, well short of its expected total of $50 million. The sequel’s debut earned half the $69 million that the 2014 original did, despite getting good reviews. It’s discouraging news for Hollywood, which hoped the “Lego” sequel would jump-start what’s been a sputtering year at the box office so far. Finishing second was “What Men Want,” followed by “Cold Pursuit,” ″The Upside” and “Glass.”

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Sound:

051999-a-446:88-(Ben Thomas, AP correspondent, with sound from movie trailers)-“I’m Ben Thomas”-‘The Lego Movie 2’ opens No.1 but everything is not awesome (10 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *051999 (02/10/19)££ 446:88 “I’m Ben Thomas”

051996-w-392:88-(Ben Thomas, AP correspondent, with sound from movie trailers)-“I’m Ben Thomas”-‘The Lego Movie 2’ opens No.1 but everything is not awesome (10 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *051996 (02/10/19)££ 392:88 “I’m Ben Thomas”

051966-r-215:04-(Sound of trailer for the movie “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”)-“crashing”-‘The Lego Movie 2’ opens No.1 but everything is not awesome (10 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *051966 (02/10/19)££ 215:04 “crashing”

051965-r-88:80-(Sound of trailer for the movie “What Men Want”)-“hear men’s thoughts”-‘The Lego Movie 2’ opens No.1 but everything is not awesome (10 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *051965 (02/10/19)££ 88:80 “hear men’s thoughts”

051964-r-154:56-(Sound of trailer for the movie “Cold Pursuit”)-“a gangster thing”-‘The Lego Movie 2’ opens No.1 but everything is not awesome (10 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *051964 (02/10/19)££ 154:56 “a gangster thing”

BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS HANDED OUT

LONDON (AP) — Two movies favored to win at the Oscars later this month are among the standouts at the British Academy Film Awards. “The Favourite” and “Roma” each had multiple wins. The Favourite won seven BAFTAs, while Roma won four. Other winners were Rami Malek as best actor for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Mahershala Ali for best supporting actor for “Green Book,” Spike Lee for adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman” — and Bradley Cooper’s “A Star is Born” won for music.

BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS - LIST

LONDON (AP) — Winners of the 2019 British Academy Film Awards, presented yesterday in London:

Film — “Roma”

British Film — “The Favourite”

Director — Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”

Actor — Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Actress — Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”

Supporting Actor — Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”

Supporting Actress — Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Rising Star — Letitia Wright

British Debut — Michael Pearce and Lauren Dark, “Beast”

Original Screenplay — “The Favourite”

Adapted Screenplay — “BlacKkKlansman”

Film Not in the English Language — “Roma”

Music — “A Star is Born”

Cinematography — “Roma”

Editing — “Vice”

Production Design — “The Favourite”

Costume Design — “The Favourite”

Sound — “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Visual Effects — “Black Panther”

Makeup and Hair — “The Favourite”

Animated Film — “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.”

Short Film — “73 Cows”

Short Animation — “Roughhouse”

Documentary — “Free Solo”

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema — Producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley

Academy Fellowship — Thelma Schoonmaker

BRYAN SINGER CONTROVERSY - “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY”

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Are allegations against former “Bohemian Rhapsody” director Bryan Singer killing the movie’s chances to win the Oscar for best picture? No one can be sure, but it seems claims that Singer sexually assaulted minors have cut into the movie’s support. It’s not that simple, though. Singer was fired in mid-production, more than a year ago. On the flip side, he remains director-of-record. Some industry insiders say the Singer scandal cost Bohemian Rhapsody the SAG for best ensemble, an honor that went to “Black Panther.” On the flip side, the flap didn’t stop Rami Malek from winning awards for playing Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury.

A.J. CALLOWAY SUSPENDED FROM “EXTRA” OVER SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — One of the hosts of the syndicated entertainment news show “Extra” is making headlines himself — and not in a good way. A.J. Calloway is under suspension while his bosses at Warner Bros. investigate claims of sexual misconduct. At first, Warner said it looked into allegations against Calloway — and found no evidence of workplace misconduct. Now he’s being shelved as The Hollywood Reporter will have more allegations in an upcoming article. Calloway’s lawyer says her client denies ever assaulting anyone — and looks forward to clearing his name. Calloway has been with “Extra” since 2005.

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

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

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