The Academy expelled Harvey Weinstein after allegations against him went public; however, Brett Ratner, Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski remain members.
Bill Cosby enlists Tom Mesereau as part of his new legal team in upcoming sexual assault retrial.
According to The Daily Mail, sources said the 50-year-old R&B artist has enlisted the help of Monique Pressley, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer who represented Bill Cosby in his sexual assault case before stepping down. Pressley was known as one of Cosby’s most outspoken supporters, appeared on major news networks to dismiss the mounting rape accusations against her client.
“Allegations from decades ago, allegations from women who never bothered to go in and make a complaint to police and in most instances, claim that they didn't tell another living soul,” Pressley said on CBS This Morning in late 2015. “So if a judge chooses to consider from a prosecutor such testimony, then we will deal with that at that time.”
Pressley has not commented on her decision to resign from Cosby’s case.
According to The Daily Mail, the attorney specializes in civil litigation, crisis management, and communications. She has also been an ordained evangelical minister for the last decade.
Last week, Kelly came under fire after Buzzfeed published a story that accused him of leading an “abusive cult” in which he manipulated and controlled the lives of young women. Kelly has since denied these allegations:
“Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed by the recent revelations attributed to him,” his lawyer, Linda Mensch wrote in a statement. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”
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Following recent reports that R. Kelly is holding multiple women in an “abusive cult,” a petition has surfaced online calling on Kelly's label Sony to drop the R&B artist. At the time this post was published, the petition already had more than 15,000 supporters and was just short of its goal of getting 16,000 signatures.
This latest accusation against Kelly is just one more in a long line of similar accusations. The Care2 petition recognizes this and calls on Sony to drop Kelly “for habitually preying on teenage girls for the past 25 years.” The petition specifically mentions R. Kelly’s illegal marriage to a then-15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994 as well as his 2002 indictment “on 14 counts of child pornography.” The petition also points to other “serial sexual predators” such as Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, and Dr. Luke and urges supporters to consider why society gives these men “a pass” and continues to allow them to “float above justice simply because they are rich and famous.”
As BuzzFeed News originally reported on Monday, R. Kelly is allegedly holding women hostage in a “cult” in his homes in Chicago and Atlanta. The women’s parents claimed their daughters have been “brainwashed.” Three former members of the artist’s entourage confirmed the accusations by providing similar stories.
Two parents, identified only as “J” and Tim, claim their then-19-year-old daughter was invited backstage at a 2015 R. Kelly show, where the artist promised to help her with her music career. Since then, her parents have not seen her and have only heard from her through sporadic text messages. J and Tim’s daughter is allegedly one of many women involved in the alleged “cult.”
Additionally, former members of R. Kelly’s “inner circle” claim that the artist “controls every aspect” of these women’s lives, including what they eat and “how they engage in sexual encounters.” Should they break any of his strict rules, they are allegedly reprimanded “both physically and verbally.”
The woman was not identified in the BuzzFeed report, but after the report started reverberating around the internet, she spoke to TMZ to give her side of the story. 21-year-old Jocelyn Savage denied she is being held against her will and said she is “in a happy place with my life.” She added that she is not “brainwashed or anything like that.” She also asked her dad to stop embarrassing her and their family, claiming what he is doing is “a complete disaster.”
“I just want everybody to know, my parents and everybody in the world, that I am totally fine,” she said.
For his part, Kelly has denied the claims made against him. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such accusations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name,” Linda Mensch, Kelly's lawyer, said in a statement on Monday.
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Bill Cosby will never be able to escape his sexual assault allegations.
You know the routine: Jay Z releases a 10-track opus called 4:44 and music lovers are scrambling to get their opinions out there. The problem is, this happens at midnight, during the summer, so people are more than likely already drunk or are getting there, and are unable to pick up the subtleties of a record this lyrically dense. Sure, we know when everyone from Eric Benét to Kanye are being dissed, or how the title track is a response to Lemonade, and even the samples that were used throughout the No I.D.-produced album. There's a lot to dissect, and one can't be tasked with picking up the leftovers, right?
Well, this one was. It's partly my own fault; I've had the album on repeat since it dropped, and being armed with knowledge of Jay's history, from actual stabbings to legendary friendships, there are some moments on 4:44 that might be getting overlooked. Or, at the very least, haven't been highlighted by many as of yet. In an effort to make those who might not have ran this one back a number of times, here's a look at some things you might have missed on your first listen through Jay Z's 4:44.
Jay recalling the stabbing of Lance “Un” Rivera
On the opening track, “Kill Jay Z,” Jay touched on his issues with Kanye West and also brought up the time he stabbed Lance “Un” Rivera at the Kit Kat Klub in New York City in December of 1999 over allegations that Rivera had been bootlegging Vol. 3.
You got a knot in your chest, imagine how a knife hurts
You stabbed Un over some records
Your excuse was “He was talkin' too reckless!”
Jay ultimately plead guilty to the assault charges he was facing, and received three years probation, but to hear Cam'ron tell it, the incident wasn't over bootlegging music: it was over Undeas Entertainment's Charlie Baltimore, to whom Jay is said to have had a thing for.
Revealing that his mother is a lesbian
For what appears to be the first time in history, Jay Z rapped about his mother's sexuality on “Smile,” which also features a spoken word outro from his mother, Gloria Carter.
Mama had four kids, but she's a lesbian
Had to pretend so long that she's a thespian
Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate
Society shame and the pain was too much to take
Cried tears of joy when you fell in love
Don't matter to me if it's a him or her
I just wanna see you smile through all the hate
Subtly referencing his past issues with Funkmaster Flex
Also on “Smile” was the following line that could be looked at as a reference to Hot 97's own Funkmaster Flex: “This is Hov, no flex zone, nigga, who lied to you?” While many of us will remember how hard Flex has ridden for Hov over the years, back in 2015 their relationship hit a speed bump when Flex started calling Jay's Life+Times blog “trash.” This was due to Flex's feelings about the Life+Times app, which he says was essentially taken from information he gave to them about the Flex app that apparently ended up in their app.
The radio rant sparked the now-infamous and alleged “This is HOV” text to Flex, which Flex then posted on Instagram.
A post shared by FunkFlex (@funkflex) on Jan 16, 2015 at 7:17pm PST
A month later, Flex said if Jay was past the beef, he would be past the beef, but this is also Jay's first album since Flex went on that rant. Maybe he was just saving up one line until he was good and ready to address it.
Sending shots at Al Sharpton's gym selfies
Most Jay Z theorists assume that he'd been working on what became 4:44 since late 2016, but judging by this pair of lines on “Family Feud,” he must have been working on it down to the wire, as he found a way to include Al Sharpton's viral gym selfies that hit a little over a week ago (week ago).
Al Sharpton in the mirror takin' selfies
How is him or Pill Cosby s'posed to help me?
You read that right; Hov also found a way to throw some shade at Bill Cosby by calling him “Pill,” which is a reference to the sexual assault allegations Cosby's been dealing with.
Sticking up for his friend Prince
On the Frank Ocean-assisted “Caught Their Eyes,” Jay took most of the second verse to speak out against Londell McMillain, the lawyer who was formerly handling Prince's estate.
I sat down with Prince, eye to eye
He told me his wishes before he died
Now, Londell McMillan, he must be color blind
They only see green from them purple eyes
These bars were more than likely a result of the lawsuit that Prince's estate filed against Tidal in November of 2016 over the streaming rights to Prince's music. Jay wasn't done there, though.
This guy had 'Slave' on his face
You think he wanted the masters with his masters?
You greedy bastards sold tickets to walk through his house
I'm surprised you ain't auction off the casket
Hov was not only referring to Prince's historic battle for his masters from Warner Bros. (who released a deluxe edition of Purple Rain with the blessing of Prince's estate just last week) and the actual tours people can buy tickets for through Prince's private estate, Paisley Park.
The-Dream closes out “Marcy Me”
To the tune of Marvin Gaye's “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),” The-Dream closed out “Marcy Me,” which was Hov's “nostalgic walk” through the Marcy projects.
Oh Marcy, Marcy me
Just the way I am always gonna be
I ain't gonna change, no
Marcy, Marcy me, just the way I am
Possibly hinting at the future addition of 4:44 to Apple Music
One of 4:44's standouts is “The Story of O.J.,” which finds Hov questioning the value of a dollar, especially to artists, people of color, and anyone growing up in the hood. Essentially, Hov ties up his role in the music business right now: “I'm tryin' to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99.” Now, sure, a Tidal subscription goes for a cool $9.99, but so does one of Tidal's competitors, Apple Music. Was this Hov slyly informing the world that 4:44 would be hitting non-Tidal services in the future?
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Dave Chappelle also talks Trump, Charlie Murphy, and putting dicks in apple pies.
A mistrial in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case sparked outrage on social media, with Twitter users livid over the jury’s inability to make a decision.
With no verdict after 52 hours of deliberation, the Montgomery County District attorney will immediately retry Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges.
Bill Cosby is about to stand trial for sexual assault, and he’s reportedly afraid to travel because he believes he’ll be poisoned and spied on.