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Bridget Jones actress says she lost job after refusing to ‘screen test in a bikini’ for Harvey Weinstein

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 5:27 PM
Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 4:23 PM

On Friday, British actress Jessica Hynes came forward with her own account about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged inappropriate behavior.

“I was offered a film role at 19,” she wrote on Twitter. “Harvey Weinstein came on board and wanted me to screen-test in a bikini. I refused & lost the job.”

“Holy st,” replied British writer Jack Howard, “I knew the story but didn’t know who it was about.”

RELATED: The Latest: Harvey Weinstein calls Times report 'reckless'

“I’m sure there are many more…” Hynes replied.

Hynes, now 44, is best known for starring in the two “Bridget Jones” sequels as Bridget’s friend Magda, and the cult horror comedy “Shaun of the Dead.”

The actress has since deleted the tweets.

On Thursday, in an article in The New York Times, eight women, including actress Ashley Judd, spoke out against Weinstein. The NYT also reported that Weinstein reached at least eight settlements with women after claims alleged Weinstein behaved inappropriately during work meetings.

Following the allegations, the movie mogul announced plans to take a “leave of absence” in a statement he wrote to the NYT.

“I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go,” he said, adding that he was working with therapists and planned to take time off to “deal with this issue head-on.”

Weinstein’s attorney, Lisa Bloom, said in a statement that “he denies many of the accusations as patently false.” Another attorney for Weinstein, Charles Harder, said the mogul is preparing a lawsuit against the NYT for “false and defamatory” statements.

According to the NYT, Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women, including actress Rose McGowan. In their claims, they allege that Weinstein behaved inappropriately during work meetings.

Weinstein told the New York Post that his wife, Marchesa fashion designer Georgina Chapman, “stands 100 percent behind me.”

“Georgina and I have talked about this at length,” he added. “We went out with Lisa Bloom last night when we know the article was coming out. Georgia will be with Lisa and others kicking my ass to be a better human being and to apologize to people for my bad behavior, to say I’m sorry and to absolutely mean it.”

He also told the Post he was suing the NYT because of their “inability to be honest with me, and their reckless reporting. They told me lies. They made assumptions.”

Your guide to building a fabulous gingerbread house

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:03 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:03 AM

When an architect, a pastry chef and a kid decide to build a gingerbread house, who knows what will happen?

If you're like me, this time of year brings the yearning for upholding or creating family traditions such as building a holiday gingerbread house, but the reality is that there's only so much time in a day.

RELATED: 6 things you may not know about Christmas

Most of us were already burning our candles from both ends before they turned red and started smelling of spice and apples. Now we're just burned out.

 

Take a breath. You’ve got options. My family has been making a gingerbread house for the holidays since I was the age of my 11-year-old (trust me, it's been a while). And we've managed to not only stay sane, but continue speaking to each other.

 

How?

We cheat. We use a kit to build out houses. Kits comes in lots of shapes and sizes, from beginner to advanced, and can be bought even on the most meager of budgets. If you can Google, you can find a kit (but we’ve done some of that legwork for you, with a list of kits; see the list on this page).

 

Kits basically offer the pieces to your house already baked — all you have to do is the fun part: make some icing and start decorating and making memories. 

RELATED: Debate settled: This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree

WHERE TO FIND KITS

 

Wilton, Orbit, Gingerhaus and Create-a-treat kits and related accessories also are available from Amazon.com.

 

——————————

 

Royal Icing

 

Makes about 3 cups

 

Hands on: 2 minutes

 

Total time: 7 minutes

 

Use this icing "glue" to put together a gingerbread house, or to pipe decorative designs on cakes and cookies. You can also use the recipe in the booklet inside the Wilton Meringue Powder canister.

 

4 cups confectioners' sugar

 

3 tablespoons meringue powder

 

6 to 7 tablespoons warm water

 

With an electric mixer using a whip attachment, whip confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and water in a bowl until incorporated, Continue beating on medium speed for 7 minutes. Keep the icing covered with a moist paper towel when not using.

 
Per tablespoon: 25 calories (no calories from fat), trace protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, no fat, no cholesterol, 2 milligrams sodium.

Kwanzaa: 7 things to know

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 4:10 PM

Understanding Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a relatively modern holiday that began just over 50 years ago. Since then, Kwanzaa has grown in popularity and has been commemorated with postage stamp designs and mentioned by several presidents as part of their holiday greetings.
 
Unless you celebrate Kwanzaa, you may not be aware of the traditions and philosophy that are important to its meaning and celebration.
 
Here are seven things to know about Kwanzaa.

>> Read more trending news
 
Why and when it was created
 
Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a black nationalist who became a college professor. He created the holiday in the aftermath of the Watts riots in Los Angeles as an effort to unite and empower the African-American community, and it was first celebrated that year.
 
The origins of its name
 
Inspired by traditional harvest festivals, Kwanzaa takes its name from a Swahili phrase, “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits.” Over 2,000 languages are spoken in Africa, so Swahili, which is spoken by millions, was chosen since it’s a unifying language. An extra “a” was added to the end of the original word because seven children each wanted to represent a letter at the first Kwanzaa celebration.
 
Who can celebrate Kwanzaa

Because it’s celebrated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, some people assume that Kwanzaa is an alternative to Christmas. It’s a cultural celebration that has a spiritual quality, but the holiday is not a religious one. And although it celebrates African culture, people of any race or ethnic background can participate in the holiday’s events and customs.
 
Why it lasts for seven days

Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to a principle, which gives each day a specific meaning and purpose on which to focus. The seven principles are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
 
The colors of Kwanzaa

The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green, and they’re used to represent unity for people of African descent worldwide. Black represents the people, red for their noble blood that unites them and green for the rich land of Africa.
 
The meaning of the candelabra

A seven-branched candelabra called a kinara is used to help discuss and celebrate the principles, with a new candle being lit each night. One is black, three are red and three are green, and the black candle is placed in the center. The black candle, which represents unity, is lit on the first day of Kwanzaa. Red candles are placed to the left and green to the right and are lit in that order. The order of the candles indicates that the people come first, followed by the struggle and then hope.
 
The importance of food

Food is an important part of many holidays, and Kwanzaa is no exception. Many people celebrate with their favorite African-American dishes – along with traditional African, Caribbean and other appropriate recipes – throughout the week. The holiday culminates with a feast (known as Karamu) on Dec. 31, with dishes meant to symbolize the past as well as the current growth of African culture. 

Related

5 epic New Year's Eve destinations that aren't New York 

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 5:22 PM

Here are 5 interesting facts about this celebratory drink!

The thought has probably crossed your mind: someday I'll spend New Year's Eve at Times Square in New York City.

You'll be part of that massive crowd as the whole country watches and counts down to the moment the crystal ball drops. With your friends or significant other, you'll toast the New Year with champagne and, just maybe, one of those TV cameras will take notice and your faces will flash across screens throughout the country.

RELATED: 5 East Coast ski resorts for the snow novice

It's a lovely dream, but the reality? New Year's Eve in the Big Apple means shelling out big bucks on hotels rooms, which need to be booked well in advance. On top of that, if you want any shot of being close to the center of Times Square when that giant crystal sphere falls, you'll have to stand for hours and hours in the cold ahead of the big moment.

It will certainly be memorable and it's a worthwhile bucket list item. But if you didn't plan ahead, don't feel like making the effort or simply want a less mainstream New Year's Eve experience, there's a lot of other great cities to consider. 

Here are our five suggestions, all of which are sure to help you bring in 2018 with lots of crazy memories:

Chicago, IL(Pixabay/For the AJC)

Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City offers all the excitement and fun you need this New Year's eve. From exciting parties to unique concerts, you'll definitely find something up your alley. For those interested in an epic party, check out the gala at the Congress Plaza Hotel. Canadian electronic duo Adventure Club will also be headlining the Reaction New Year's Eve event at the Aragon Ballroom, for those wanting to party it up at an EDM bash. And if you're looking for the perfect way to mark the start of 2018,  swing by Navy Pier for the spectacular annual fireworks display. 

Austin, TX(Flickr/Trey Perry/For the AJC)

Austin, Texas

Austin is one of those up-and-coming cities that everyone is talking about. So, why not check it out while welcoming 2018. You can bring in the New Year in roaring 20s style at Gatsby House, or party it up at Maggie Mae's Neon Party. For a more family friendly option, check out the city's event at Auditorium Shores. Fireworks go off at 10 p.m., so you can enjoy them with the kids and then go out for a night cap after tucking them in. 

New Orleans, LA(WikiMedia/For the AJC)

New Orleans, Louisiana

It may not be Mardi Gras, but New Orleans promises to be lively as ever on New Year's Eve. Not to be outdone by the Big Apple, the city drops a fleur-de-lis at midnight in Jackson Square. Leading up to the big moment, you can enjoy live music and then ring in 2018 with a giant fireworks display. After midnight, swing by the bars of the city's famous French Quarter to welcome the new year with a toast.

Orlando, Florida

Where better to welcome the New Year than at the most magical place on Earth? Disney World's Magic Kingdom will never disappoint and offers fun for the entire family. For those wanting to catch the Disney magic without shelling out big buck for park passes, Downtown Disney offers great views of the castle's fireworks, and you'll only have to pay for parking.

RELATED: Atlanta named one of the best cities in the US to celebrate New Year’s Eve

Atlanta, Georgia

If you can't wander far this holiday, no worries! Atlanta definitely knows how to ring in the New Year. Don't miss the city's iconic midnight Peach Drop. A slew of concerts and other parties will also be happening throughout the city.

Regardless of where you end up this New Year Eve, make sure you're surrounded by people you love. Whether you're in Atlanta, Chicago or the Magic Kingdom, the people you're with will create the most special memories.

5 Hallmark holiday movies that feature a piece of the South

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:46 AM

Hallmark holiday movies that feature a piece of the South

Made for watching by the roaring fire, cocoa in hand, slippers on feet, the delightful, wintry scenes of Hallmark Channel holiday movies are not typically fit for Southern settings. It only makes sense: how are you going to have the Christmas Festival of Ice and similar “Winter Wonderland” themes set in Charlotte, or Atlanta or Rocky Top, Tennessee?

RELATED: A look at Hallmark’s 67-day holiday movie marathon

What's surprising is that there are some wonderful Hallmark holiday movies that were either filmed in Southern locations or set in some of the beautiful places of the South. 

Here are some Hallmark holiday favorites that are set elsewhere but filmed in the South:

"Christmas In Homestead"

The movie takes place in the fictional "Christmas-obsessed town of Homestead, Iowa," but the 2016 romantic comedy was filmed on location in Dahlonega, Georgia. Setting a Christmas movie (about a famous actress who falls in love while shooting a holiday movie in a small town) in Dahlonega wouldn't have been all that far-fetched, either. The town is fairly Christmas-happy itself, hosting a month-long gala each year with an old-fashioned Christmas parade, visits with Santa and a Christmas market on Candy Cane Lane.

Yes, that's Willie Nelson and Harry Connick, Jr. both featured in the 2013 Hallmark classic filmed partly in Austin, "Angels Sing."(Contributed/For the AJC)

"Angels Sing"

In this oldie-but-goodie filmed in Austin and Bastrop, Texas, a mysterious man helps a fellow rediscover joy after a long-ago tragedy. If it doesn't air during the season, catch it on DVD. It features a star-studded cast of music heavyweights, including Harry Connick, Jr. and Willie Nelson.

"Christmas in Conway"

This Hallmark Hall of Fame film doesn't need snow to tug at the heartstrings. Set in Conway, North Carolina, it was filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina and debuted in 2013. The premise: a sweet husband pulls out all the stops to give his ailing wife a ride on a Ferris wheel in their backyard for Christmas.

And two Hallmark holiday movies only set in the South but filmed elsewhere:

"Coming Home for Christmas"

It's common knowledge that so many Hallmark movies are filmed in Canada and British Columbia that perennial co-star Danica McKellar is considered to have honorary citizenship in both places.

This instant Hallmark holiday classic is a prime example. While the fictional Ashford Slate where McKellar's character takes up residence as a nanny and party planner is in Virginia (and certainly portrays the host family's First Family of Virginia/Junior League/debutante attitudes correctly), don't look for any Virginia landmarks on set. "Coming Home for Christmas" was filmed at a multimillion-dollar mansion in Canada.

“The Christmas Cottage”

Still in her 20s, the heroine of The Christmas Cottage has given up on love to concentrate on her interior design career in Raleigh, North Carolina. While most of the romantic action takes place in a family cottage nearby, renowned for its romantic and Christmas magic, the film was made in British Columbia.