HARVEY WEINSTEIN - JURY SELECTION
NEW YORK (AP) — The effort continues in New York City to seat a jury to hear the rape trial of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. So far, hundreds of people have started a screening process that began last week — and shows no signs of winding down. Another 110 would-be jurors showed up at a Manhattan courtroom today to be quizzed by the trial judge about whether they could be impartial in one of the biggest trials in the #MeToo movement. Today, more than two dozen prospects told the judge they had already made up their minds about the case. Among those summoned yesterday was supermodel Gigi Hadid. She acknowledged meeting both Weinstein and actress Salma Hayek, a potential witness in the case. But Hadid says she thinks she can “keep an open mind” on the facts.
FRENCH FILMMAKER ARRESTED ON SEX ABUSE ALLEGATIONS
PARIS (AP) — #MoiAussi? (mwa-oh-SEE’?) A French filmmaker remains in custody as authorities in Paris investigate accusations that he sexually abused an actress when she was between 12 and 15 years old. Director Christophe Ruggia was arrested yesterday based on allegations made last year by Adele Haenel. She says Ruggia repeatedly touched her inappropriately during the filming of a movie in the early 2000s. She says she didn’t file a legal complaint because she didn’t trust the French legal system. There have been few #MeToo-style investigations in France against men of power, as there have been in the U.S. and the U.K.
BILLIE EILISH TO DO NEXT “BOND” THEME
NEW YORK (AP) — Count Billie Eilish as a “Bond Girl” — at least when it comes to the music for the iconic movie franchise. She has been tabbed to do the theme song for the upcoming James Bond film, “No Time to Die.” Eilish turned 18 last month — and is the youngest artist to write and record a song for a Bond movie. The new Bond movie hits U.S. theaters in April.
M.I.A. GETS BRITISH HONOR
LONDON (AP) — M.I.A. - MBE? That’s the new title the singer has, now that she has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire. The big-time honor was bestowed on M.I.A. today during a Buckingham Palace ceremony hosted by Prince William, subbing for his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. M.I.A. says the honor is especially meaningful because her mom once worked hand stitching medals that were distributed by the palace.
MEGHAN MARKLE, BRITAIN — AND RACE
LONDON (AP) — When American actress Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in 2018, many hailed it as a breakthrough in race relations in the U.K., much as was so in the U.S. when Barack Obama was elected America’s first black president. Now that Markle and Harry are seeking independence from their royal family duties, the question is being asked: Did racism drive Meghan away? The idea of the U.S. and the U.K. reaching a “post-racial” era is complicated, given the history of race relations. One lawmaker, who like Meghan is biracial, says the royal rift shows Britain still has a problem with racism. Clive Lewis tells Sky News, “after 400 years of racism you can’t just overturn it overnight.”
102935-v-345:36-(Zerya Shakely (ZEHR’-yuh SHAK’-eh-lee), AP correspondent)-“Zerya Shakely, London”-UK leader: Royal rift over Harry-Meghan plans can be settled (14 Jan 2020)
¤¤CUT ´102935 (01/14/20)££ 345:36 “Zerya Shakely, London”
102958-a-122:40-(Tait Cremona, baker from Berkshire, England)-“a good thing”-UK leader: Royal rift over Harry-Meghan plans can be settled (14 Jan 2020)
¤¤CUT ´102958 (01/14/20)££ 122:40 “a good thing”
102957-a-93:84-(Gloria Butler, from Windsor, England)-“answer is why”-UK leader: Royal rift over Harry-Meghan plans can be settled (14 Jan 2020)
¤¤CUT ´102957 (01/14/20)££ 93:84 “answer is why”
102956-a-86:88-(Gloria Butler, from Windsor, England)-“what they do”-UK leader: Royal rift over Harry-Meghan plans can be settled (14 Jan 2020)
¤¤CUT ´102956 (01/14/20)££ 86:88 “what they do”
102955-a-143:76-(Derek Prime, of Windsor, England)-“it doesn’t work”-UK leader: Royal rift over Harry-Meghan plans can be settled (14 Jan 2020)
¤¤CUT ´102955 (01/14/20)££ 143:76 “it doesn’t work”
SPIKE LEE TO HEAD UP CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
PARIS (AP) — Once again, Spike Lee is being a forerunner in race issues, this time on the international stage. The American director will lead the jury of this year’s Cannes Film Festival — becoming the first black person to do that in the event’s 73-year history. Festival organizers hope Lee will “shake things up” among the world’s cinema elite. And anti-racism activists hope his appointment will wake up the French cultural world, which is often accused of discrimination and using damaging racial stereotypes. The Cannes Festival runs from May 12-23.
“JEOPARDY!” APOLOGIZES FOR CLUE
NEW YORK (AP) — Producers of “Jeopardy!” have apologized for a clue that saw the game show wade into political hot water. An episode that aired last Friday asked players to identify the location of famous churches. One clue was, “Built in 300s AD, the Church of the Nativity.” One contestant answered, “What is Palestine?” and was ruled wrong by host Alex Trebek. An opponent replied, “What is Israel?” — and got the $200. The church, located in Bethlehem, is in the West Bank. Some countries recognize that as part of Palestine, while the U.S. and others, don’t. Producers of Jeopardy say they realized the question raised sensitive geopolitical issues — and replaced it with another. However, the show says, the uncorrected version of the show was sent to stations for airing.
GREECE OFFERS TOM HANKS’ FAMILY CITIZENSHIP, TOO
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — It’s a big step up from just asking someone to be your neighbor. Greece’s government is extending its offer of citizenship to Tom Hanks to his wife and their two children. The offer stems from some real-life drama Hanks was involved in. He and his kin helped victims of a deadly wildfire in Athens in 2018. Last month, the president of Greece signed paperwork allowing Hanks to claim Greek citizenship. Now the offer is being extended to his wife and kids. Hanks, who is 63, often summers at a family home on a Greek island.
ACTORS’ DAUGHTER LANDS ROLE IN “THE TWILIGHT ZONE”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The daughter of Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy has landed a role in “The Twilight Zone.” And in this case, at least, there doesn’t appear any strings were pulled for Sophia Macy. The series, directed by Jordan Peele, will air on CBS All Access. Sophia Macy is 19 — and was at the center of her mom’s role in a college admissions scandal. The “Desperate Housewives” star spent two weeks in prison for paying a test proctor to boost Sophia’s SAT scores. She said her daughter was unaware of her efforts — and confronted her afterward asking Huffman, “Why didn’t you believe in me?”
O.J. SIMPSON - LAWSUIT
LAS VEGAS (AP) — O.J. Simpson is again involved in a court case. He has sued a Las Vegas Strip hotel-casino for defamation. The former football star and acquitted double murder defendant claimed the Cosmopolitan defamed him when it banned him from the property in 2017. Some hotel staffers told TMZ Simpson was barred for being drunk, disruptive and unruly. In a new court filing, the hotel denies it had any part in defaming him. The celebrity news site isn’t named as a defendant in the suit.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2