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Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @ 4:58 PM
NEW YORK — Actor and former NFL player Terry Crews sat down for an interview to detail an alleged sexual assault by Hollywood talent agent Adam Venit, and use the platform to say why he waited nearly two years to come forward.
According to Crews's allegation, which was made publicly in a Twitter on Oct. 10, Venit groped him when Crews extended his hand for a handshake while at at an event with his wife, Rebecca King-Crews, in February 2016.
He declined to name the agent at the time, but during a Nov. 15 interview, he detailed the incident.
Venit, the head of the motion picture department of William Morris Endeavor, was only known to Crews as the representative for Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy and Sylvester Stalone.
While at the event, Crews said Venit made a suggestive gesture with his tongue before groping him.
“I stick my hand out and he literally takes his hand and puts it, squeezes my genitals. And I jump back like, ‘Hey, hey!’ … I go, ‘Dude, what are you doing? And then he comes back again and he just won’t stop. And then I really got forceful, pushed him back, he bumps into all the other party-goers and he starts giggling and laughing.
“I have never felt more emasculated, more objectified. I was horrified.”
Crews credited his wife for calming him down and giving him perspective.
As for why he waited so long before speaking out, Crews said he was worried no one would believe him. It took women coming forward with allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein for him to feel empowered to say something.
“He looked at me at the end, you know, as if (to say), ‘Who’s going to believe you?’” Crews said of Venit.
“When a person of power breaks that boundary and violates that boundary, you’re a prisoner of war,” Crews said. “Immediately, you’re in a camp because you’re trying to figure out when is the right time to come out? When the guard turns their head? When they leave a door open? You’re digging tunnels with spoons and you’re trying to find a way out, and you get out and then you finally find freedom and somebody says, ‘Well, it must not be that bad. You should’ve came out sooner.’
“A lot of people just don’t understand and they end up blaming the victim,” Crews continued. “And I have totally said I will not be shamed. I will not be shamed. I did nothing wrong. Nothing.”
Crews also took those who blame victims to task for questioning those who have been sexually harassed or assaulted.
“Why isn’t Adam Venit sitting here right now explaining his side?” Crews asked.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 12:20 PM
LOS ANGELES — Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West are parents of three. The TV personality and rapper welcomed a baby girl Monday via surrogate. The couple, married in 2014, are already parents to daughter North, 4, and son Saint, 2.
Kardashian West confirmed the news on her official website.
“Kanye and I are happy to announce the arrival of our healthy, beautiful baby girl. 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.”
The baby was born Jan. 15 at 12:47 a.m. PT and weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces, Kardashian West said.
Reports emerged in July that the celebrity pair hired a surrogate to carry their third child. By September, Kardashian West confirmed the news and later revealed to Ellen DeGeneres that they were having a baby girl.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:41 AM
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Edwin Hawkins, the gospel singer best-known for the song “Oh Happy Day,” has died at age 74.
The New York Times reported that Hawkins’ publicist, Bill Carpenter, said the musician died of pancreatic cancer in Pleasanton, California.
Hawkins brought gospel music to the mainstream when “Oh Happy Day” reached No. 4 on the Billboard pop chart and No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1969.
The 18th-century hymn was given an infectious new arrangement and released on “Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord,” an album by Northern California State Youth Choir, a group put together by Hawkins and friend Betty Watson, to raise money to travel to Southern California for a gospel competition.
The Modesto Bee reported in a 2008 profile of Hawkins that the song took a life of its own when an underground radio DJ in San Francisco played it.
“It was recorded on a friend’s little two-track machine,” Hawkins told The Modesto Bee. “It was never intended for commercial purposes at all.”
The song earned the youth choir -- renamed the Edwin Hawkins Singers -- their first Grammy. It got the award for Best Soul Gospel Performance in 1970.
“Oh Happy Day” went on to be recorded by artists across multiple genres, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Mathis and Glen Campbell, The Associated Press reported.
The song saw a resurgence decades later when used in the 1993 Whoopi Goldberg comedy “Sister Act 2.”
Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 2:06 PM
LONDON — Fast Eddie Clarke, a former member of the British rock band Motorhead, has died at age 67.
The New York Times reported that the death of the guitarist in the best-known lineup of the band was confirmed by manager Todd Singerman.
Clarke was being treated for pneumonia in a London hospital Wednesday when he died.
“We are devastated to pass on the news we only just heard ourselves earlier tonight...Edward Allan Clarke - or as we all know and love him Fast Eddie Clarke - passed away peacefully yesterday,” a post on the Motorhead Facebook page said. “Ted Carroll (who formed Chiswick Records) made the sad announcement via his FB page, having heard from Doug Smith that Fast Eddie passed peacefully in hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.”
Past members of the band reacted to the news, as did Metallica co-founder Lars Ulrich and others in the rock music community.
“Just heard the sad news that fast Eddie Clarke has passed away,” Phil Campbell, who was the guitarist in Motorhead from 1984 to 2015, said in a statement. “Such a shock, he will be remembered for his iconic riffs and was a true rock n roller. RIP Eddie.”
“Thank you for the riffs. Thank you for the solos. Thank you for the attitude. Thank you for being in the coolest band,” Ulrich said on Twitter Thursday. “Thank you for inspiring me to go down the same path.”
Thank you for the riffs.— Lars Ulrich (@larsulrich) January 11, 2018
Thank you for the solos.
Thank you for the attitude.
Thank you for being in the coolest band.
Thank you for inspiring me to go down the same path.#rip #fasteddie #motorhead pic.twitter.com/wZGBoqEyXS
Clarke was the last living member of the band’s original lineup, which was pointed out in a statement from Mikkey Dee, who was a drummer for Motorhead from 1992 to 2015 and is currently a drummer for the German rock band Scorpions.
“This is terrible news, the last of the three amigos. I saw Eddie not too long ago and he was in great shape, so this is a complete shock,” Dee said. “Me and Eddie always hit it off great. I was looking forward to seeing him in the U.K. this summer when we come around with the Scorps…now Lem and Philthy can jam with Eddie again, and if you listen carefully I’m sure you’ll hear them, so watch out!!! My thoughts go out to Eddie's family and close ones.”
Clarke, born Edward Allen Clark, joined the first iteration of Motorhead in 1976 with bassist Lemmy, whose real name was Ian Fraser Kilmister, and drummer Phil Taylor. Taylor died in November 2015 at age 61, Kimlister died at age 70 in December 2015.
After leaving Motorhead, he formed the hard rock group Fastway in 1983. The group issued its condolences on Twitter.
“We have lost a legend,” Fastway said in a tweet Thursday. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends. He will be sorely missed.”
All of us at Fastway HQ are absolutely heartbroken to have to post this - we have lost a legend.— Fastway (@FastwayOfficial) January 11, 2018
Our thoughts are with his family and friends. He will be sorely missed.
RIP Fast Eddie pic.twitter.com/d1itpOG0xG
Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 11:19 AM
— Multiple women have come forward to accuse actor James Franco of sexually inappropriate behavior in a new report.
In a Los Angeles Times report published Thursday, five women -- including four former students -- accused Franco of sexual misconduct.
Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel, former students of Franco’s at Playhouse West in North Hollywood, told the L.A. Times that the actor would put female students in uncomfortable situations. The two described a shoot at a strip club in which Franco asked, “So, who wants to take your shirt off?”
The women said Franco stormed off when no one obliged.
Katie Ryan met Franco at Playhouse West and took classes at Studio 4, the film school the actor launched in 2014 that closed last year. Ryan told the L.A. Times, “(Franco) would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts.”
Violet Paley said she met Franco in 2016 and started a relationship with him when he pressured her into having oral sex. Paley, 23, told the publication the two later continued a consensual sexual relationship.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former acting student, said she signed nudity agreements for each film she did with Franco -- a short film called “Hungry Girl,” which shows her topless, and the 2015 feature film “The Long Home.”
Tither-Kaplan said a producer on “The Long Home” asked her to film a bonus scene of an orgy, in which she appeared fully nude with Franco and other women. According to the actress, Franco was supposed to simulate oral sex, but removed the clear plastic guard during each simulation on the actresses.
Paley and Tither-Kaplan spoke out against Franco on Twitter Sunday during the Golden Globes. Franco was wearing a “Times Up” pin at the awards show, which calls attention to gender inequality and sexual harassment across different industries.
Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?— Violet Paley (@VioletPaley) January 8, 2018
Hey James Franco, nice #timesup pin at the #GoldenGlobes , remember a few weeks ago when you told me the full nudity you had me do in two of your movies for $100/day wasn't exploitative because I signed a contract to do it? Times up on that!— Sarah Tither-Kaplan🌈 (@sarahtk) January 8, 2018
Franco denied the allegations while appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Tuesday.
“Look, in my life,I pride myself on taking responsibility for the things I’ve done,” he said. “The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice, because they didn’t have a voice for so long. So, I don’t want to shut them down in any way.”
“If I have done something wrong,” he said, “I will fix it — I have to.”
Franco was also asked about the allegations while appearing on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” Thursday. He echoed his remarks to Colbert.
“There are people that need to be heard,” Franco said on the late-night talk show. “I have my own side of this story, but I believe in these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say, just because I believe in it that much,” he said. “So if I have to take a knock because I’m not going to try and actively refute things, then I will, because I believe in it that much.”
People reported that a person close to the situation says the actor is now laying low.