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March 15, 2019

R. KELLY - JUDGE ALLOWS COURTROOM CAMERAS

CHICAGO (AP) — It’s an ironic twist to a case that’s likely to center on video evidence. A judge says cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during R. Kelly’s sexual abuse trial and pretrial hearings. Cook County Associate Judge Lawrence Flood said during a brief hearing that cameras will be allowed going forward, but that courtroom photos and video of accusers won’t be allowed without their consent. The Grammy-winning R&B singer was represented at the hearing by his lawyer and did not personally attend the hearing. Kelly is charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. The investigation into the R&B star gained momentum after a documentary featured detailed allegations against Kelly. And at least two attorneys say they’ve come across tapes purportedly showing the singer having sex with women who appear to be underage.

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056968-v-373:20-(Oscar Wells Gabriel, AP entertainment editor)-“I’m Oscar Wells Gabriel”-A request by media organizations to have cameras allowed in the courtroom for R&B star R. Kelly’s case is about to come before a judge (15 Mar 2019)

<<CUT *056968 (03/15/19)££ 373:20 “I’m Oscar Wells Gabriel”

056969-c-206:16-(Oscar Wells Gabriel, AP entertainment editor)-“goes to trial”-A request by media organizations to have cameras allowed in the courtroom for R&B star R. Kelly’s case is about to come before a judge (15 Mar 2019)

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CHICAGO AND COURTROOM CAMERAS

CHICAGO (AP) — Like many jurisdictions, Chicago is set up to have cameras in court. But it’s usually up to the judge, prosecutors and the defense to determine whether they are used. The cameras were on during the trial of Jason Van Dyke, a white former Chicago police officer who was convicted in the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald. And yesterday, a judge had the cameras on for another high-profile case in Chicago involving a celebrity. That was a hearing in the case in which “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is charged with faking his own hate crime. A judge has yet to decide whether the cameras will be on the rest of the case. A lawyer for Smollett has said she and her client would welcome them.

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056969-c-206:16-(Oscar Wells Gabriel, AP entertainment editor)-“goes to trial”-A request by media organizations to have cameras allowed in the courtroom for R&B star R. Kelly’s case is about to come before a judge (15 Mar 2019)

<<CUT *056969 (03/15/19)££ 206:16 “goes to trial”

JUSSIE SMOLLETT - NEXT HEARING

CHICAGO (AP) — If you’re following the case of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, you should mark April 17 on your calendar. That’s the date for the next hearing in the matter. In a hearing yesterday, Smollett pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of lying about being the victim of a hate-fueled beat-down in downtown Chicago in January. The hearing also saw a judge assigned to the case. Cook County Circuit Court judge Steven Watkins has been named to shepherd the proceedings.

LORI LOUGHLIN CUT BY HALLMARK

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Hallmark Channel has sent the equivalent of a break-up card to one of its favorite actresses. It has severed ties with Lori Loughlin (LAWK’-lin). The move comes a day after her arrest in a college admissions scam. A statement from Hallmark’s parent company says it will stop development of all productions with her. Hallmark took a wait-and-see approach after word of the scandal broke Tuesday. Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying bribes to get their daughters into USC. Loughlin has been a fixture on Hallmark. She’s known as one of the network’s “Christmas queens,” logging lots of airtime in several holiday-themed movies. She was also in the “Garage Sale Mysteries” movies and the series “When Calls the Heart.”

HALLMARK’S DECISION TO CUT LORI LOUGHLIN

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some people think scandal is good — but not a company dedicated to squeaky-clean entertainment. And because of that, media experts aren’t surprised that Hallmark fired Lori Loughlin after she was busted in a college admissions scandal. Market strategist Laura Ries says Hallmark sees itself as a “feel-good, family values-type channel” — and scandal doesn’t fit that image. There are also practical concerns. One of Loughlin’s shows — “When Calls the Heart” — tapes in Canada. The judge handling her case ordered the actress to surrender her passport in December, meaning she can’t work outside the country after that.

LAUGHLIN’S DAUGHTER PENALIZED

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lori Laughlin’s daughter was one of those who benefited from her parents’ shady efforts to get her into USC. And she’s being punished, now that their scam has been found out. Olivia Jade Giannulli is a social media star who hawks health and beauty products on her accounts. No more. She was dropped from ad deals with cosmetics retailer Sephora and hair care company TRESemme (TREH’-suh-may). Prosecutors say Laughlin and her fashion designer hubby paid $500,000 to get their daughters enrolled as crew-team recruits at the University of Southern California. Neither of them is a rower.

LAWSUIT FILED IN COLLEGE BRIBERY SCANDAL

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It isn’t taking long for the line of people suing over the college admissions scam to form. In one of the first lawsuits to come out of the bribery scandal, some students are suing Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and other schools involved in the case. The class-action suits claim applicants were denied a fair shot at getting into those schools — because the upper-crust were paying their kids’ way in on the sly. The suit seeks unspecified damages — and the return of all application fees. Legal experts say it will be tough to hold the schools legally responsible for damages.

DAN REYNOLDS - SQUASHING BEEF

NEW YORK (AP) — Dan Reynolds says he’s said what he had to say — and won’t be saying any more. The Imagine Dragons singer went off on Instagram two weeks ago, calling out other bands for ripping Imagine Dragons. But now that he has clapped back at Slipknot, Foster the People and The 1975, Reynolds says he’s done. He says it’s “counterproductive” to go back and forth with fellow artists. He says they are “incredibly lucky” to be working musicians — and should just leave it at that.

PRESIDENT TRUMP - SUMMER ZERVOS

NEW YORK (AP) — Does a sitting president have to sit for a deposition in a civil case? A state appeals court in New York says he does — and that’s seen as a win for a former contestant on “The Apprentice.” Summer Zervos has sued Donald Trump for defamation because he and his presidential campaign called her a liar for saying he kissed and groped her without permission. The appeals ruling raises the possibility that Trump can be forced to testify under oath while he’s still in office. Lawyers for Trump say the case should wait — and will appeal the ruling.

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056821-v-344:64-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent)-“Warren Levinson, New York”-‘Apprentice’ contestant’s Trump defamation suit can proceed (14 Mar 2019)

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MEEK MILL - PHILADELPHIA

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Meek Mill is known as a rap star. But he’s being honored in his native Philadelphia as a soldier in the fight for reform in the criminal justice system. The city council in Philly has declared this “Meek Mill Weekend.” In January, Mill joined Jay-Z and others to form a coalition that seeks changes to state probation and parole laws. Mill became a symbol for reform when he was sentenced to two-to-four-years in prison for minor violations of his probation in a decade-old gun and drug possession case. He spent months in prison before a court ordered him freed. Now Mill says he’s trying to “give young kids a fair shot in the system.”

“ONE DAY AT A TIME” CANCELED

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The days are numbered for “One Day at a Time.” Netflix is pulling the plug on the sitcom reboot after three seasons. The streaming service says it’s disappointing that the show didn’t draw more viewers. While it was a reboot of the old CBS series starring Valerie Bertinelli and Bonnie Franklin, the new “One Day at a Time” was among the few TV series featuring Latinos as the lead characters — starring Justina Machado and Rita Moreno.

YOUTUBE STAR GETTING NBC LATE-NIGHT SLOT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lilly Singh says being an Indian-Canadian woman with YouTube chops landing her own network late-night show is “a dream come true.” NBC is the network providing that dream, giving Singh the late-night slot being vacated by Carson Daly. “A Little Late With Lilly Singh” will air at 1:35 a.m. starting in September. When the show makes its debut, Singh will become the only woman to host a daily late-night show on a major broadcast network. NBC says Singh’s YouTube channel has more than 14 million subscribers.

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

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