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February 21, 2019

JUSSIE SMOLLETT SURRENDERS ON CHARGES OF FILING FALSE POLICE REPORT

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police say “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett staged a racist, anti-gay attack on himself because he was unhappy about his salary and wanted to promote his career. Smollett turned himself in early today to face a charge of making a false police report when he said he was attacked in downtown Chicago by two men who hurled racist and anti-gay slurs and looped a rope around his neck. The charge could bring up to three years in prison. It could also force the actor, who’s black and gay, to pay for the cost of the investigation into his report of a Jan. 29 beating.

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053642-w-336:24-(Margie Szaroleta (zar-oh-LEH’-tah), AP entertainment correspondent, with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson)-“Margie Szaroleta, Chicago”-The Latest: Trump calls on ‘Empire’ actor to apologize (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053642 (02/21/19)££ 336:24 “Margie Szaroleta, Chicago”

053632-v-324:72-(Margie Szaroleta (zar-oh-LEH’-tah), with Eddie Johnson, Chicago Police Superintendent)-“Margie Szaroleta, Chicago”-The Latest: Police head: Smollett owes Chicago an apology (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053632 (02/21/19)££ 324:72 “Margie Szaroleta, Chicago”

053639-a-147:84-(Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, at news conference)-“in this city (second reference)”-The Latest: Police head: Smollett owes Chicago an apology (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053639 (02/21/19)££ 147:84 “in this city (second reference)”

053640-a-46:32-(Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, at news conference)-“it went smoothly”-The Latest: Police head: Smollett owes Chicago an apology (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053640 (02/21/19)££ 46:32 “it went smoothly”

053624-a-84:24-(Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, at news conference)-“about being attacked”-The Latest: Police: Smollett sent racist letter to himself (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053624 (02/21/19)££ 84:24 “about being attacked”

053620-a-114:00-(Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, at news conference)-“and asking why?”-The Latest: Police: Smollett sent racist letter to himself (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053620 (02/21/19)££ 114:00 “and asking why?”

JUSSIE SMOLLETT APPEARS IN COURT, BOND SET AT $100,000

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge has set a $100,000 bond for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who is accused of staging an attack against himself in downtown Chicago last month. The 36-year-old actor said little other than giving his name at the beginning of Thursday’s hearing. Smollett’s attorney asked Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. to release Smollett on his own recognizance. However, the judge said that would be inappropriate.

POLICE SAY SMOLLETT COMMUNICATED WITH TWO BROTHERS

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s police superintendent, Eddie Johnson, says investigators have phone records that show there were extensive communications between Jussie Smollett and two brothers before and after he says they helped the actor stage an attack against himself last month. Johnson said at a news conference Thursday that the records show calls even while the brothers were in Nigeria after the staged attack early on Jan. 29. Police say the brothers left on a trip to Nigeria right after the reported attack and were detained at the airport upon their return to Chicago on Feb. 13. Johnson says the phone records “clearly indicate” that Smollett and the brothers talked to each other before and after the incident, including while the two were abroad. He also says that among the evidence investigators have is a $3,500 check Smollett allegedly paid the two brothers to help him.

053638-a-90:72-(Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, at news conference)-“500 upon return”-The Latest: Police head: Smollett owes Chicago an apology (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053638 (02/21/19)££ 90:72 “500 upon return”

STUDIO ‘EVALUATING’ SITUATION WITH SMOLLETT

CHICAGO (AP) — The studio behind the hit television show “Empire” says it is “evaluating the situation” regarding the charges against actor Jussie Smollett and is “considering our options.” 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment issued a statement Thursday saying, “We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”

TRUMP SAYS JUSSIE SMOLLETT INSULTED MILLIONS

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett insulted millions with his “racist and dangerous comments.” Chicago police said Thursday that Smollett staged a racist and homophobic attack against him last month because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. Smollett, who is black and gay, plays a gay character on the hit Fox television show. He reported Jan. 29 that he was attacked while walking home from a sandwich shop. Smollett claimed masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled “This is MAGA country” - an apparent reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan. Trump tweeted Thursday to Smollett: “What about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA.”

053643-c-198:24-(Sagar Meghani (SAH’-gur meh-GAH’-nee), AP Washington correspondent)-“with hashtag MAGA”-Trump wants ‘Empire’ actor to apologize (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053643 (02/21/19)££ 198:24 “with hashtag MAGA”

JUSSIE SMOLLETT - ATTORNEY SAYS CLIENTS “MANNED UP” FOR CHICAGO POLICE

CHICAGO (AP) — The attorney representing the two brothers embroiled in the Jussie Smollett scandal says she is happy her clients have come clean. Gloria Schmidt says the two brothers of Nigerian descent “manned up” by providing information that showed Smollett’s story about being beaten wasn’t panning out. The two were the “persons of interest” who showed up on surveillance video taken the night Smollett says he was beaten in Chicago. The men say Smollett paid them to stage the attack.

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053535-a-173:76-(Gloria Schmidt, attorney for the Osundairo brothers, with reporters)-“my clients directly”-The Latest: Smollett’s lawyers vow ‘aggressive defense’ (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053535 (02/21/19)££ 173:76 “my clients directly”

053538-a-86:16-(Gloria Schmidt, attorney for the Osundairo brothers, with reporters)-“what actually happened”-The Latest: Smollett’s lawyers vow ‘aggressive defense’ (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053538 (02/21/19)££ 86:16 “what actually happened”

053537-a-149:28-(Gloria Schmidt, attorney for the Osundairo brothers, with reporters)-“care about that”-The Latest: Smollett’s lawyers vow ‘aggressive defense’ (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053537 (02/21/19)££ 149:28 “care about that”

053536-a-45:36-(Gloria Schmidt, attorney for the Osundairo brothers, with reporters)-“set him free”-The Latest: Smollett’s lawyers vow ‘aggressive defense’ (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053536 (02/21/19)££ 45:36 “set him free”

TNT WON’T AIR ‘DROP THE MIC’ FEATURING SMOLLETT

UNDATED (AP) — TNT says it isn’t going to air an upcoming episode of “Drop the Mic” featuring “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett “in the interest of not being exploitative of an incredibly sensitive situation.” The cable network issued a statement Thursday saying it is shelving the episode of the battle-rap show that pitted Smollett against “Orange is the New Black” actress Danielle Brooks and “American Idol” star Clay Aiken against “Sharknado” star Ian Ziering. It will instead air an episode that pitted actress Raven Symone against comedian Ron Funches and boy band singers Joey McIntyre and Joey Fatone against one another.

GAY RIGHTS GROUP URGES ACTIVISM, NOT ANGER, OVER SMOLLETT

UNDATED (AP) — An LGBTQ rights group is calling on anyone who feels let down by the allegations against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett to channel their anger and disappointment into productive activism to fight hate crimes. The Human Rights Campaign released a statement Thursday saying that a “rising tide of hate violence has had a devastating impact on Black people, LGBTQ people, religious minorities & those living at the intersections.” The group says stopping such violence will require concrete action by lawmakers.

MONKEE PETER TORK DEAD AT 77

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Peter Tork, who rose to teen-idol fame in 1966 playing the lovably clueless bass guitarist in the made-for-television rock band The Monkees, has died. He was 77. Jane Blumkell of fellow Monkee Micky Dolenz’s production company tells The Associated Press Tork died Thursday morning. The accomplished multi-instrumentalist was performing in Los Angeles clubs when he learned of a casting call for “four insane boys,” who would star in a TV show about a struggling rock band. He, Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith became overnight sensations when the show took off in 1966. He left the group in 1968 amid creative differences but reunited for tours with the others every few years. His last was in 2016. Tork also recorded blues and folk music and made several TV appearances.

053652-a-68:16-(Peter Tork, musician-actor with The Monkees)-“really quite nervous”-Peter Tork was a “real” musician in The Monkees (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053652 (02/21/19)££ 68:16 “really quite nervous”

053651-q-146:88-(Peter Tork, musician-actor with The Monkees)-“gawky and insecure”-Peter Tork was a “real” musician in The Monkees (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053651 (02/21/19)££ 146:88 “gawky and insecure”

053650-r-496:08-(The Monkees, performing “Daydream Believer”)-”(music fades)”-Peter Tork was a “real” musician in The Monkees (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053650 (02/21/19)££ 496:08 ”(music fades)”

053649-r-497:04-(The Monkees, performing ”(Theme From) The Monkees”)-”(music fades)”-Peter Tork was a “real” musician in The Monkees (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053649 (02/21/19)££ 497:04 ”(music fades)”

053648-w-274:08-(Margie Szaroleta (zar-oh-LEH’-tah), AP music correspondent, with Peter Tork, musician-actor with The Monkees)-“I’m Margie Szaroleta”-Peter Tork was a “real” musician in The Monkees (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053648 (02/21/19)££ 274:08 “I’m Margie Szaroleta”

HARVEY WEINSTEIN - LAWSUIT

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein has failed in an effort to shape the direction his sexual assault trial will take. The judge handling the matter has said he’s unwilling to let a key pre-trial ruling go before an appeals court before the case starts. At issue is a ruling that prosecutors can use sex trafficking laws to cover the case. In the case, actress Kadian Noble says Weinstein dangled Hollywood roles before her — even as he tried to seduce her.

DAN AND SHAY GRATEFUL FOR ACM NOMINATIONS

NASHVILLE (AP) — Dan and Shay are the co-leaders when it comes to nominations for the Academy of Country Music Awards. The duo has six nods tying them with Chris Stapleton for the most this year. Other multiple nominees include Kacey Musgraves, who has five. The ACMs are April 7 in Las Vegas.

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053435-w-315:36-(Margie Szaroleta (zar-oh-LEH’-tah), AP music correspondent, with music)-“I’m Margie Szaroleta”-Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay lead ACM nominations (20 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053435 (02/20/19)££ 315:36 “I’m Margie Szaroleta”

053437-r-524:64-(Dan and Shay, performing “Tequila”)-”(music fades)”-Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay lead ACM nominations (20 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053437 (02/20/19)££ 524:64 ”(music fades)”

053436-r-483:12-(Chris Stapleton, performing “Broken Halos”)-”(music fades)”-Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay lead ACM nominations (20 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053436 (02/20/19)££ 483:12 ”(music fades)”

GWYNETH PALTROW - CHALLENGES SKI ACCIDENT CLAIM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The he-said, she-said in this case — has to do with a ski accident. The “she” is Gwyneth Paltrow — and she says she isn’t to blame for a run-in with a fellow skier in Utah. “He” is Terry Sanderson — and he is suing the actress for $3.1 million after claiming she plowed into him from behind on a resort slope, knocking him out old and leaving him with four broken ribs. Paltrow has filed a counterclaim saying it was Sanderson who hit her from behind. She says the suit is an attempt to cash in — literally — on her fame and wealth.

MEGHAN MARKLE - BABY SHOWER

NEW YORK (AP) — For days, the “forecast” for New York City called for showers — and that forecast has proven to be accurate. The “shower” was the one celebrating Meghan Markle’s impending arrival of her first child. Details of the event have been kept hush-hush — but some A-list people were spotted at a swanky hotel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side as the Duchess of Sussex partied with people like Gayle King and Amal Clooney. Markle is due in late April.

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

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