HARVEY WEINSTEIN - INSURANCE
NEW YORK (AP) — You’ve probably seen ads for insurance companies boasting about all the strange calamities or “mayhem” they cover for clients. These days Harvey Weinstein is in a battle with the insurance companies that cover him and his company — over sexual misconduct claims. The insurance giant Chubb and other carriers are arguing in court they shouldn’t have to pay claims for defense bills rising from allegations of rape and sexual harassment against the disgraced Hollywood mogul. The policies, the companies claim, have specific clauses that say “blatantly egregious and intentionally harmful acts” aren’t covered. And they say Weinstein should be allowed to pass on the costs to his insurance. For his part, Weinstein’s attorneys say the companies are trying to weasel out their policies.
021662-v-384:72-(Julie Walker, AP correspondent)-“Julie Walker, New York”-Harvey Weinstein’s insurers balk at paying his legal bills (29 Jul 2018)
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NETFLIX - SCANDAL-TAINTED SHOWS
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Usually when TV writers and critics meet with network execs, the talk is about casts, plots and characters. But for Netflix, talk of the upcoming season deals with allegations, claims and ousters. Three of the network’s top shows are caught in the sexual misconduct scandal sweeping Hollywood. And that left exec Cindy Holland to provide updates. She says the final season of “House of Cards” is progressing. The show shifted its focus to the character played by Robin Wright after Kevin Spacey was fired. Some two dozen men accuse him of sexual misconduct or assault.
Also, Holland says there’s been no talk about another season of “Arrested Development.” Its star, Jeffrey Tambor, is accused of sexual misconduct.
And Holland says the network may do a third season of “Master of None.” The series was thrown into turmoil after a woman complained she felt uncomfortable after a sexual encounter with star Aziz Ansari. He denies any wrongdoing.
‘GUARDIANS’ CAST SUPPORTS JAMES GUNN
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and six other main cast members of “Guardians of the Galaxy” have issued an open letter in support of ousted director James Gunn. The Walt Disney Co. fired Gunn from directing the third installment 10 days ago over old tweets where he joked about subjects like rape and pedophilia. Cast members write that they aren’t defending Gunn’s jokes from years ago but wished to speak about his upstanding character on the set of “Guardians” 1 and 2. They say they look forward to working with Gunn in the future. The letter also cautions against weaponizing mob mentality and character assassination. Pratt says in an Instagram post that he would love to see him reinstated as the director of the third film.
“black-ish” CREATOR KENYA BARRIS LEAVING ABC
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kenya Barris hasn’t said where he’s headed, now that he has cut his ties with ABC. But if he ends up with Netflix, don’t be surprised. That’s because all the buzz in Hollywood has him heading there — with a boatload of money coming his way. So far, Barris only confirmed that he’s leaving ABC. Barris created “black-ish,” for ABC — which earned multiple Emmy Awards nods and brought a black family sitcom back to network TV.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some movies start drumming up attention for their debuts a few months before they hit the big screen. But “Mission: Impossible - Fallout,” started getting free publicity almost a year ago after its star, Tom Cruise, broke an ankle during filming in London. The bounce seems to have paid off at the box office. It was the number one movie over the weekend, taking in $61.5 million. Number two is “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” and No. 3 is Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer: 2.”
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BOBBY BROWN - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATEMENTS
ATLANTA (AP) — Bobby Brown is asking who are you going believe: him, or him? Brown denied in an interview last week that he ever hit his late ex-wife Whitney Houston. But that contradicts an interview Brown gave in 2016 in which he said he once hit Whitney. Why is this important now? Brown is looking to build a shelter for domestic violence. It would be named after Bobbi Kristina Brown, the child Brown and Houston had together. She died at age 22 in 2015. Brown and other family members claim she was a victim of domestic abuse.
MADONNA CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY WITH FUNDRAISER FOR ORPHANS
NEW YORK (AP) — Madonna is celebrating her upcoming 60th birthday with a fundraiser for orphans and children in Malawi (mah-LAH’-wee). The singer tells The Associated Press she’s teaming with Facebook for the fundraiser, which runs from Monday through August 31. Fans can donate directly to Madonna’s Facebook page or start their own fundraiser on the social media site to raise money for the singer’s campaign. The proceeds will benefit her Raising Malawi foundation, and global payments company Ripple said it would match all of the donations. Madonna will turn 60 on Aug. 16. The pop icon, who adopted four children from Malawi, founded Raising Malawi in 2006 to address the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi’s orphans and vulnerable children. She launched a children’s wing at a hospital in Malawi last year.
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021807-w-293:76-(Margie Szaroleta (zar-oh-LEH’-tah), AP music correspondent, with music)-“I’m Margie Szaroleta”-Madonna to celebrate 60th birthday with Malawi fundraiser (30 Jul 2018)
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NEIL DIAMOND THANKS FIREFIGHTERS
BASALT, Colo. (AP) — He has stopped touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. But that didn’t stop Neil Diamond from doing an unexpected performance for firefighters battling a blaze near his Colorado home. The 77-year-old singer went on stage Friday to play “Sweet Caroline” for dozens of firefighters at a command post. Video of the event shows Diamond thanking firefighters for their efforts to save the community.
GOOD CHARLOTTE PERFORMS AT BENEFIT CONCERT FOR SLAIN NEWSPAPER STAFFERS
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s name wasn’t mentioned by the executive editor of The Washington Post during a speech Saturday. But it didn’t have to be — because Martin Baron spoke at a benefit for the five Capital Gazette employees shot to death at their newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland last month. Baron said those killed were “friends of the people” — and none deserved “to be seen as an enemy.” Trump has repeatedly denounced the press as an “enemy” of the people. Maryland-bred rock group Good Charlotte headlined the event.
OCTAVIA SPENCER TO PRODUCER TV SERIES ABOUT HAIR CARE QUEEN
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Be-weave it or not, Octavia Spencer is bringing the story of a famous black haircare mogul to TV. Netflix says Spencer will produce and star in a limited series about Madam C.J. Walker. Sarah Breedlove — known professionally as Walker — became one of the nation’s first self-made female millionaires by creating and marketing hair care products for African-Americans. The eight-episode drama is based on a book by A’Lelia Bundles and has basketball star LeBron James attached as a producer. No release date on the series has been set.
NATIONAL COMEDY CENTER TO OPEN THIS WEEK
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Do you get a kick out of comedy? There’s a place for you about to open in New York State. This week will see the opening of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York. The high-tech center will focus on comedy throughout the ages. The center was inspired by Jamestown’s own Lucille Ball. The city is already home to a museum dedicated to her — and to an annual comedy festival. During her life, Ball envisioned a place where comedy would be given its due as an art form. The grand opening week also includes events with Lily Tomlin and original “Saturday Night Live” cast members Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris and Laraine Newman.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2