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February 22, 2019

R. KELLY CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ABUSE

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago judge has authorized a no-bail arrest warrant for R. Kelly, after the R&B singer was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. The charges filed Friday list four victims, including at least three between the ages of 13 and 17. The victims are listed only by initials in the document. They date back to at least 1998.

The 52-year-old Grammy winner was charged a week after attorney Michael Avenatti said he recently gave Chicago prosecutors new video evidence of the singer having sex with an underage girl. It was not immediately clear if the charges were connected to that video.

There have been years of allegations directed at Kelly, accusing him sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls. Through his lawyers, he has consistently denied them. In 2008, a jury acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges over a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13.

R. KELLY HAS MORE ACCUSERS

NEW YORK (AP) — Two more women have come forward with accusations that R. Kelly of having sex with them while they were underage. The women, Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington, appeared before reporters in New York at a news conference Thursday with their attorney, Gloria Allred. The women say the R&B star plucked them from a crowd at an after-party in Baltimore in the mid-1990s. They say they were invited to the singer’s hotel suite where they were given pot and booze — and afterward Kelly came in and said he wanted to have a threesome with them. One girl bolted; the other had sex with the singer. An attorney for R. Kelly says his client has never knowingly had sex with an underage woman.

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053665-w-333:60-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent, with Latresa (lah-TREES’) Scaff, R Kelly accuser)-“Warren Levinson, New York”-2 women accuse R Kelly of sexual misconduct in 1990s (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053665 (02/21/19)££ 333:60 “Warren Levinson, New York”

053666-a-140:40-(Latresa (lah-TREES’) Scaff, R Kelly accuser, at news conference)-“capacity to consent”-2 women accuse R Kelly of sexual misconduct in 1990s (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053666 (02/21/19)££ 140:40 “capacity to consent”

053667-a-147:36-(Latresa (lah-TREES’) Scaff, R Kelly accuser, at news conference)-“sixteen years old”-2 women accuse R Kelly of sexual misconduct in 1990s (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053667 (02/21/19)££ 147:36 “sixteen years old”

053668-a-119:76-(Attorney Gloria Allred, at news conference)-“far too long”-2 women accuse R Kelly of sexual misconduct in 1990s (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053668 (02/21/19)££ 119:76 “far too long”

JUSSIE SMOLLETT CUT FROM 2 EMPIRE EPISODES

CHICAGO (AP) — The producers of the TV show “Empire” say Jussie Smollett’s character will be removed from the final two episodes of this season. Today’s announcement comes after Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. Police say he faked a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted to promote his career. “Empire” executive producers Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer released a statement saying Smollett’s character, Jamal, was being removed from the final two episodes of the season “to avoid further disruption on set.”

JUSSIE SMOLLETT - “RAISE”-ING THE STAKES

CHICAGO (AP) — Police in Chicago say Jussie Smollett faked being the victim of a hate crime to get a pay raise on his TV show “Empire.” But will that scandal end up costing him his job? Only time will tell. Entertainment industry insiders tend to think the scandal will damage Smollett’s career — if not kill it. Even in an industry in which erratic behavior is tolerated by those on hit shows, insiders are stunned by an alleged plot that was brazen, both in the way it was planned — and in how it played off racial, political and social emotions. Garth Ancier is a co-founder of the Fox network. He says he sees no way Smollett can stay on “Empire.” He says the hoax was “beyond the pale.” As for the claim that Smollett staged the beating to land a raise, Ancier notes, “that’s what agents and negotiations are for.”

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053750-v-300:96-(Oscar Wells Gabriel, AP entertainment editor)-“I’m Oscar Wells Gabriel”-Jussie Smollett’s career in doubt in wake of felony hoax charge (22 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053750 (02/22/19)££ 300:96 “I’m Oscar Wells Gabriel”

053751-v-284:64-(Oscar Wells Gabriel, AP entertainment editor)-“I’m Oscar Wells Gabriel”-Jussie Smollett’s career in doubt in wake of felony hoax charge (22 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053751 (02/22/19)££ 284:64 “I’m Oscar Wells Gabriel”

JUSSIE SMOLLETT CASE RESOLVED BY HIGH-TECH

CHICAGO (AP) — It was one of the big questions early in the investigation into the Jussie Smollett case: why didn’t the surveillance cameras in the area capture the attack? Police in Chicago feel they’ve figured that out, now that they’ve charged the “Empire” actor with faking a hate crime. They say the camera where the assault took place was pointed away from the street — instead of at it. Chicago’s police superintendent says Smollett planned the “attack” to be within sight of the camera, hoping it would be caught on tape. As it turned out, police did use surveillance video to place two brothers of Nigerian descent in the area at the time of the attack — and further tracking enabled police to identify them. They have since told police Smollett paid them to stage the attack to try to secure a raise on “Empire.”

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053754-w-367:92-(Oscar Wells Gabriel, AP entertainment editor, with music)-“I’m Oscar Wells Gabriel”-Police use technology to resolve Smollett claims. (22 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053754 (02/22/19)££ 367:92 “I’m Oscar Wells Gabriel”

053630-a-198:72-(Chicago Police Detective Commander Edward Wodnicki, at news conference)-“of interest went”-The Latest: Police head: Smollett owes Chicago an apology (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053630 (02/21/19)££ 198:72 “of interest went”

CHICAGO POLICE CHIEF DENOUNCES JUSSIE SMOLLETT’S APPARENT HOAX

CHICAGO (AP) — A lot of people ended up being hurt by the apparent hoax Jussie Smollett started. One of those taking it personally is Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. He says he’s offended that Smollett used racial tropes to stage an attack to help get him a raise on his TV show “Empire.” What Johnson says made that so upsetting was that a black man would “use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations.” What irks Johnson almost as much is that Smollett pulled the stunt in Chicago, a city that has embraced the “Empire” cast. Johnson says Smollett used that goodwill to, as he put it, “slap everyone in this city in the face.”

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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”

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”

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)”

053622-a-105:12-(Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, at news conference)-“or anything else”-The Latest: Police: Smollett sent racist letter to himself (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053622 (02/21/19)££ 105:12 “or anthying else”

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?”

053623-a-193:92-(Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, at news conference)-“in the process”-The Latest: Police: Smollett sent racist letter to himself (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053623 (02/21/19)££ 193:92 “in the process”

053621-a-104:64-(Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, at news conference)-“these false claims?”-The Latest: Police: Smollett sent racist letter to himself (21 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053621 (02/21/19)££ 104:64 “these false claims?”

JUSSIE SMOLLETT - PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Jussie Smollett owes him and the tens of millions who voted for him an apology. Trump took to Twitter yesterday to rake Smollett over the virtual coals after police in Chicago arrested him and charged him with falsely reporting being beaten by two masked men he claimed were racist and homophobic Trump supporters. Smollett his “assailants” told him he “was in #MAGA country” as they hit him and uttered racist and anti-gay slurs.

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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”

OSCARS ARE SUNDAY

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The monthlong focus on the Jussie Smollett beating case has stolen at least some of the thunder from the fact that the Oscars will be on Sunday. In a way, that may be a good thing for the motion picture academy — since most of the publicity it has been receiving in the run-up to the awards has been negative. First, there was the Kevin Hart fiasco. The actor was offered the hosting gig — only to have that disintegrate over some of his old tweets and jokes about gays. This year’s ceremony won’t have an official host. Then, the academy had to walk back a decision ban four awards from the telecast, instead doing them during commercial breaks. Now, all awards will be televised live. That almost guarantees this year’s show will blow past the three-hour limit the academy has set for the telecast.

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053747-w-379:92-(Oscar Wells Gabriel, AP entertainment editor with movie trailer audio)-“I’m Oscar Wells Gabriel”-Oscars are Sunday as academy tries to live down gaffes (22 Feb 2019)

<<CUT *053747 (02/22/19)££ 379:92 “I’m Oscar Wells Gabriel”

CELEB-GATE SENTENCE RECOMMENDATION

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Federal prosecutors have recommended a sentence of nearly three years in prison for a former Virginia high school teacher convicted of hacking into private digital accounts of celebrities and others. The man, Christopher Brannan, pleaded guilty last fall to aggravated identity theft and unauthorized access to a protected computer. He’s the fifth person charged in the 2014 “celeb-gate” scandal in which hackers obtained nude photos and other private information from more than 200 people. Actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are among the celebrities who said they were victims.

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

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