Jussie Smollett hoax charge dropped by Chicago prosecutors, prompting mayor’s rebuke

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago prosecutors on Tuesday dropped charges accusing “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett of staging a phony hate crime, a stunning move that drew the fury of the city’s police superintendent and mayor, who called the decision a “whitewash of justice.” Smollett, who is black and gay, told reporters on Tuesday that he had always been truthful when he said two masked men threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs and expressing support for U.S.

Jackson estate says HBO film violates non-disparagement contract

- lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The estate of Michael Jackson filed a lawsuit on Thursday against HBO, saying that its documentary about allegations of child sex abuse by the late singer breached a previous agreement by the cable channel not to disparage him.

Police say actor Smollett staged Chicago attack to advance career

CHICAGO,  (Reuters) – Actor Jussie Smollett paid two brothers thousands of dollars to beat him in a staged racist and homophobic attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the hip-hop TV drama “Empire,” Chicago’s police chief said yesterday.

Topsy-turvy season gives Oscars a best picture cliffhanger

LOS ANGELES,  (Reuters) – Hollywood’s awards season reaches a climax at Sunday’s Oscars with a cliffhanger over the top prize after a topsy-turvy best picture race marked by the fading of early favorites and the tantalizing question of whether Netflix can trump traditional movie studios.

Y&R star Kristoff St. John dies at 52

(NBC News) Kristoff St. John, an Emmy-winning star on the long-running soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless,’ was found dead at his Los Angeles home over the weekend, authorities said today.

History-making Oscar nominations leave top prize up for grabs

LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – Netflix movie “Roma” and British historical romp “The Favourite” from Fox Searchlight led nominations for the Oscars yesterday  in a history-making lineup that left the best picture race wide open.

Geoffrey Rush would ‘look at me and lick his lips’ – actor

SYDNEY,  (Reuters) – Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush touched his co-star on the breast and humiliated her with sexual innuendo during a production of “King Lear”, the co-star told an Australian court on Tuesday, as News Corp defended publishing some details of her claims.

London film fest closes with flash of “Stan & Ollie” comic genius

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Laurel and Hardy, perhaps the greatest comedy double act in cinema history, returned to London on Sunday, twiddling their bowler hats to a delighted West End crowd as they arrived for the world premiere of the biopic “Stan & Ollie”.

Rihanna turns down Super Bowl show, backs Kaepernick

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Pop superstar Rihanna declined an offer to perform at a Super Bowl halftime show because she supported former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his protest against racial injustice, according to media reports.

Rihanna turns down Super Bowl show in support of Kaepernick

LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – Pop superstar Rihanna declined an offer to perform at a Super Bowl halftime show because she supported former National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his protest against racial injustice, according to media reports.

Kaiso veterans unite at Sunshine Awards

(Trinidad Guardian) Vet­er­an T&T ca­lyp­so­ni­ans the Mighty Spar­row (Slinger Fran­cis­co), Chalk­dust (Hol­lis Liv­er­pool) and Crazy (Ed­win Ay­oung) were ho­n­oured at Sun­shine Awards at the Robert Treat Ho­tel in New Jer­sey on Sat­ur­day night.

Kanye gives Ugandan leader sneakers, gets African name

KAMPALA, (Reuters) – Kanye West and Kim Kardashian gave Uganda’s leader a pair of the rapper’s sneakers on Monday and he gave them both “Ugandan” names, at a meeting aimed at promoting tourism in East Africa.

No injunction for Beyoncé over ‘Feyoncé’ knockoffs

-U.S. judge

NEW YORK (Reuters) – One letter can make all the difference. A federal judge rejected Beyoncé’s request for a permanent injunction to stop a Texas company catering to people engaged to be married from selling dozens of shirts, tank tops, hoodies and other items bearing the name “Feyoncé.” The pop superstar complained in a lawsuit brought in April 2016 that Feyonce Inc’s sale of knockoffs infringed her trademark rights and would confuse consumers.

Bill Cosby, in cuffs, imprisoned for up to 10 years for sexual assault

NORRISTOWN, Pa., (Reuters) – Bill Cosby was marched out of court in shackles yesterday after a judge branded him a “predator” and sentenced him to between three and 10 years in prison for sexual assault, capping the downfall of the once-beloved comedian known as “America’s Dad.” Cosby, 81, was found guilty in April of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for the drugging and sexual assault of his one-time friend Andrea Constand, a former Temple University administrator, at his Philadelphia home in 2004.

Versace sale turns up heat on fashion’s independent outliers

PARIS,  (Reuters) – Michael Kors’ swoop on Versace leaves a shrinking universe of fashion brands determined to go it alone and fend off luxury empire builders, raising the pressure on those struggling financially to lift sales or sell out.

Cosby victim asks only for ‘justice’ at sentencing hearing

NORRISTOWN, Pa.,  (Reuters) – The woman whose complaint led to Bill Cosby’s conviction for sexual assault called for justice in brief testimony on the first day of the comedian’s two-day sentencing hearing yesterday, where prosecutors asked for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Hollywood star Burt Reynolds dies at 82

(Reuters) – Burt Reynolds, whose good looks and charm made him one of Hollywood’s most popular actors as he starred in films such as “Deliverance,” “The Longest Yard” and “Smokey and the Bandit” in the 1970s and ’80s, has died at age 82.