Salma Hayek calls Harvey Weinstein ‘a monster’ in New York Times piece

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 3:27 PM

Who Is Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against film producer Harvey Weinstein.

In a first-person story written for The New York Times, the actress describes Weinstein as “a passionate cinephile, a risk taker, a patron of talent in film, a loving father and a monster.”

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Hayek, who previously said she was bullied by Weinstein in the wake of initial public sexual misconduct and rape allegations against the producer, is sharing details of sexual harassment on the set of the 2002 movie “Frida,” about the life of famed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

Hayek said that she knew little of Weinstein and what she did know was from her relationship with director Robert Rodriguez and his then-wife, producer Elizabeth Avellan.

Related: 3 women accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape, report says

“All I knew of Harvey at the time was that he had a remarkable intellect, he was a loyal friend and a family man,” she wrote.

“Knowing what I know now, I wonder if it wasn’t my friendship with them — and Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney — that saved me from being raped.”

Hayek was initially set to work on the movie about the artist with a different company, but said she fought to get the movie back and work with Weinstein on it.

Harvey Weinstein Accused of Sexual Harassment

Eventually, she said she turned down multiple advances from Weinstein. Hayek said he showed up unexpectedly at numerous locations and different hotels, asked her to take a shower with him, let him watch her shower, give her a massage and get naked with another woman, among other advances.

“And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage,” Hayek said.

“The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, ‘I will kill you, don’t think I can’t,’” Hayek said. 

According to the actress, those refusals led Weinstein to offer the role and the script Hayek worked on for years to someone else.

“At that point, I had to resort to using lawyers, not by pursuing a sexual harassment case, but by claiming “bad faith,” as I had worked so hard on a movie that he was not intending to make or sell back to me,” she said. “I tried to get it out of his company.”

Related: Ashley Judd accuses Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment

Hayek said once she was able to retain involvement in the film, she was told the only way people would be interested in it with her as the star is with an element of sex. 

“The only thing he noticed was that I was not sexy in the movie. He made me doubt if I was any good as an actress, but he never succeeded in making me think that the film was not worth making,” she said.

“He offered me one option to continue. He would let me finish the film if I agreed to do a sex scene with another woman. And he demanded full-frontal nudity.”

USA Today reported that Weinstein responded to Hayek with a statement through his spokeswoman Holly Baird.

“Mr. Weinstein regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress and cast her in several of his movies, among them ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico,’ ‘Dogma,’ and ‘Studio 54.’ He was very proud of her Best Actress Academy Award nomination for ‘Frida’ and continues to support her work.

“While Jennifer Lopez was interested in playing Frida and at the time was a bigger star, Mr. Weinstein overruled other investors to back Salma as the lead. Miramax put up half of the money and all of the P&A; the budget was over 12 million. As in most collaborative projects, there was creative friction on ‘Frida,’ but it served to drive the project to perfection. The movie opened in multiple theaters and was supported by a huge advertising campaign and an enormous Academy Awards budget.

“Mr. Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female costar and he was not there for the filming. However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms. Hayek with Geoffrey Rush. The original uni-brow used was an issue because it diverted attention from the performances. All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.

“Ed Norton, who was Ms. Hayek’s boyfriend at the time, (worked with Mr. Weinstein on the rewrite of the script in Mexico) did a brilliant job of rewriting the script and Mr. Weinstein battled the WGA to get him a credit on the film. His effort was unsuccessful to everyone’s disappointment.

“By Mr. Weinstein’s own admission, his boorish behavior following a screening of ‘Frida’ was prompted by his disappointment in the cut of the movie—and a reason he took a firm hand in the final edit, alongside the very skilled director Julie Taymor.”

Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West’s newborn daughter named Chicago

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 1:45 PM

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Welcome Third Child, ‘Healthy, Beautiful Baby Girl’

She has a name.

Days after announcing the birth of their third child, Kim Kardashian has shared that she and her husband, rapper Kanye West, have named their daughter Chicago West.

On Tuesday, Kardashian West confirmed the Monday birth of Chicago on her official website.

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“Kanye and I are happy to announce the arrival of our healthy, beautiful baby girl,” she said in a statement. “We are incredibly grateful to our surrogate who made our dreams come true with the greatest gift one could give and to our wonderful doctors and nurses for their special care. North and Saint are especially thrilled to welcome their baby sister.”

Chicago West was born Jan. 15 at 12:47 a.m. PT and weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces. She joins big brother Saint West, 2, and big sister North West, 4.

According to a tweet from the new mom of three, Chicago will go by the name Chi, pronounced “Shy,” as in the abbreviated name of the city.

It was confirmed in September that the celebrity couple were expecting a third child via gestational carrier.

People reported that Kardashian West, 37, said her decision to hire a gestational surrogate came after her two high-risk pregnancies.

“I have always been really honest about my struggles with pregnancy,” she said on her website Thursday. “Preeclampsia and placenta accreta are high-risk conditions, so when I wanted to have a third baby, doctors said that it wasn’t safe for my — or the baby’s — health to carry on my own.”

“After exploring many options, Kanye and I decided to use a gestational carrier. Although I have used the term surrogate in the past, a gestational carrier is actually the technical term for a woman who carries a baby that she has no biological relationship to.

“A traditional surrogate donates her egg, is artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm and then carries the baby to term. Since we implanted my fertilized egg in our gestational carrier, our baby is biologically mine and Kanye’s. You can either choose someone that you know or you can go through an agency, like Kanye and I did.

“I’m so grateful for modern technology and that this is even possible,” Kardashian West wrote. “It’s not for everyone, but I absolutely love my gestational carrier and this was the best experience I’ve ever had. Our gestational carrier gave us the greatest gift one could give.”

Video: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin gets upset with Delta agent over missed flight

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:24 PM

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was seen on video getting upset with a Delta Air Lines agent when he missed his flight.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WE
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was seen on video getting upset with a Delta Air Lines agent when he missed his flight.(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WE)

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin got upset with a Delta Air Lines agent after missing a flight at Los Angeles International Airport, according to TMZ video posted Tuesday.

Aldrin was told he wouldn’t be able to get on the flight, which prompted his frustration

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The issue was that it was past the check-in cutoff time at Los Angeles International for the flight, but the agent offered to rebook him on an alternate flight.

“Are you operating an airline here or not?” Aldrin asked on the video. “We’ve been sitting here now 20 minutes waiting for somebody to come and fix a two-minute problem…. This is the most lousy operation I’ve ever seen.” 

At one point, Aldrin stands up out of his wheelchair, frustrated about having to be booked on an alternate flight.

A TMZ cameraman later caught up with Aldrin, who seemed to have cooled off. “Look, my son worked for Delta, I know the people quite well,” Aldrin said.

The astronaut said he’d get a later flight.

Dolly Parton earns two Guinness World Records

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:36 PM

What You Need To Know: Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton has yet another accomplishment to add to her already legendary list: two world records.

Billboard reported the singer and songwriter holds Guinness World Records for the most decades with a Top 20 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, with six decades, and most hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart by a female artist, with 107 hits.

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Parton has Top 20 Billboard hits across six consecutive decades, starting with 1967’s “Something Fishy” and ending with a 2016 version of her 1974 song, “Jolene” with Pentatonix. That same 2016 song set the record for her 107th Hot Country Songs chart entry. Her first was “Dumb Blonde” in 1967.

“To receive these two Guinness World Records is so great,” Parton said in a statement. Joining so many wonderful singers and songwriters who have been honoured this way feels so special to me. You never know when you start out with your work how it’s going to turn out, but to have these two world records makes me feel very humbled and blessed!”

Parton’s six-decade run puts her in the company of George Jones, the only other country artist who spent more than five decades on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Speaking to Guinness World Records about her songwriting process, Parton said it comes from her own experiences.

“I’ve always just written from my heart,” she said. “I try not to dwell on just trying to be commercial and what's a radio hit or whatever. Usually when an idea hits me, it comes from my heart, but I still try to be alert and to be aware and to try to be as up-to-date as I can be, and evidently I’m doing alright after all these decades.”

Ellen Pompeo returning to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ for two more seasons, earning $20 million

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 4:35 PM

What You Need to Know About Ellen Pompeo

Meredith Grey is here to stay at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital — for at least two more seasons.

Deadline reported that the star of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Ellen Pompeo, has signed on to continue her role for another two years. She’ll also be permanently adding the title of “producer” to her credits on the series, while also being bumped to executive producer on the forthcoming firefighter spinoff series.

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In addition to growing her resume, Pompeo stands to rake in $575,000 per episode, which comes to $20 million a year, making her the highest-paid actress on a primetime TV drama. The show already holds the title of ABC’s highest-rated series.

Pompeo’s pay wasn’t a given, however. Like many women, she had to fight to be paid adequately, particularly compared to her male counterparts.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday, the actress said she’s now comfortable asking to be paid what she’s worth.

“I’m 48 now, so I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m OK asking for what I deserve, which is something that comes only with age,” Pompeo said.

“For me, Patrick (Dempsey) leaving the show (in 2015) was a defining moment, deal-wise. They could always use him as leverage against me: ‘We don’t need you; we have Patrick,’ which they did for years. I don’t know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals. There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that. At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and I'm Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn’t I? It’s my show; I’m the No. 1. I’m sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: ‘Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy?’You feel conflicted but then you figure, ‘I’m not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house.’”

Pompeo said that once series creator Shonda Rhimes became more successful and had more control, it brushed off on her and allowed her to have more say in her own career.

“ (Shonda) got to a place where she was so empowered that she was generous with her power. Now, what did that look like? It looked like her letting me be the highest-paid woman on television, letting me be a producer on this show, letting me be a co-executive producer on the spinoff and signing off on the deal that the studio gave me, which is unprecedented.”

While Pompeo is excited to keep the show going, she makes no promises about when it will eventually end.

“I’ve been saying since season one, ‘We have two more years.’ This show, it’s taking on a life of its own, and who knows? We take it season by season,really,” she told Deadline.

Pompeo added, “You never think TV shows are going to go this long. Of course not, never, and especially me, I don’t ever assume things like that. I assume tomorrow everyone’s going to hate us. You got to try. You got to stay humble.”

“I’m extremely proud of the show and everyone that has worked on it in the past, everybody who’s here now,” she said, sharing that she’ll definitely let her children — Stella, 8; Sienna, 3; and Eli, 1, with husband Chris Ivery — watch when they’re old enough.

“It’s the beginning of a movement, and it’s so special to me for so many reasons. So I certainly hope they watch every episode twice,”  Pompeo said.