Judge throws out DJ’s case against Taylor Swift in suit over groping incident

Published: Friday, August 11, 2017 @ 7:50 PM

7 Fun Facts About the Life of Taylor Swift

UPDATE Aug. 11 at 7:38 PM : A judge has thrown out radio DJ David Mueller’s case against Swift, saying he can’t prove the singer got him fired, The Associated Press reported.

Related: Taylor Swift takes witness stand to describe ‘horrifying and shocking’ encounter with radio DJ

ORIGINAL STORY Aug. 7 at 11:44 AM:

A few moments at a backstage photo session four years ago are about to be relived, as jury selection got underway Monday in Denver in a pair of lawsuits brought by pop star Taylor Swift and a former disc jockey she accused of groping her.

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Radio host David Mueller sued the singer-songwriter, contending he was falsely accused and that Swift should have called police instead of his bosses, who fired him soon after the  encounter in June of 2013. He’s seeking up to $3 million in damages.

Swift counter-sued, claiming Mueller sexually assaulted her, setting up the civil trial where she is expected to testify amid tightened courthouse security.

Opening statements are set to begin Tuesday in the case that could last up to two weeks. It is unlikely either side will settle, according to court documents.

Swift is seeking a verdict that awards her $1, while holding Mueller responsible and “serving as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts,” her lawsuit says.

Mueller is also expected to testify, along with Mueller’s former boss and members of Swift’s entourage.

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Mueller, then 51, was a morning host at a country music station when he was assigned to attend Swift’s concert at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Mueller was backstage with his girlfriend when they met with Swift, then 23, in a curtained enclosure. They posed for a photo and left.

Later, Swift’s bodyguard confronted Mueller with the allegation that he had reached under the singer’s dress and grabbed her buttocks.

Mueller denied the allegation and asked that they call the police. He and his girlfriend were escorted out of the arena, and a member of Swift’s team called his boss.

Swift never went to the police. She tried to keep the situation “discreet and quiet and confidential” and was upset by Mueller’s claim that “for some reason she might have some incentive to actually fabricate this story,” her attorney, Douglas Baldridge, has argued in court.

>> Related: Taylor Swift through the years

Mueller’s attorney, Gabriel McFarland, argued that Mueller may have been misidentified after someone else touched Swift.

Swift’s mother and a member of her team are also defendants in Mueller’s lawsuit. 

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Rapper ‘Ralo’ flew drugs across U.S., sold them from apartments he rented, police say

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 11:12 PM

Terrell Davis, known by his stage name “Ralo,” faces a federal charge of possession with intent to distribute for allegedly distibuting marijuana after flying it in from California, according to authorities. Ralo was denied bond on the charges at a court hearing Tuesday.
WSB-TV 
Terrell Davis, known by his stage name “Ralo,” faces a federal charge of possession with intent to distribute for allegedly distibuting marijuana after flying it in from California, according to authorities. Ralo was denied bond on the charges at a court hearing Tuesday.(WSB-TV )

An Atlanta rapper, accused of running a cross-country drug operation, was denied bond Tuesday, according to WSB-TV. 

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Terrell Davis, known by his stage name “Ralo,” faces a federal charge of possession with intent to distribute. Authorities allege Davis sold drugs from several apartment units he rents in Atlanta dubbed “Ralo’s Hood,” WSB reported. Davis and eight of his associates, believed to be part of his purported gang Famerica, are named in an 11-page criminal complaint. 

The complaint states Davis and his acquaintances traveled to California twice to retrieve 964 pounds of marijuana — worth nearly $2 million — with the intention of selling it in Atlanta. Davis was arrested April 15 at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport after he initially refused to leave the aircraft, authorities said. 

>> Related: Feds: Famous rapper Terrell “Ralo” Davis caught flying into Atlanta with nearly $1M worth of pot

Following Davis’ arrest, federal authorities raided three separate locations in southwest Atlanta allegedly connected to the case. 

According to the affidavit, Davis and roughly 10 people boarded a Dec. 18 chartered jet from the Fulton County Airport to Sacramento, Calif. Four days later, the group returned to the Fulton airport, where federal and local surveillance teams saw Davis and the other passengers transfer 37 packages wrapped in white holiday paper from the jet to an Econoline van, which was registered to Davis’ southwest Atlanta address. 

An employee with the charter company offered to help unload, but the passengers declined, the affidavit said. 

Shortly after the van was loaded, the Georgia State Patrol arrested three men wearing “RaloFamgoon” attire inside the vehicle, which was spotted driving in the dark without lights on, according to the complaint. Authorities said they found 520 pounds of marijuana worth $1 million in the van. 

>> Related: Federal raid at Atlanta apartment tied to rapper’s arrest, officials say

A day after those arrests, Davis posted a picture of himself by a swimming pool with the caption: “I’ve lost more than a man have gained in a lifetime ... have you ever lost a million dollars at one time???” A week after the post, authorities said they received a passenger list from the flight and connected Davis to the men

Four months after the shipment, federal officials were notified Davis and eight others traveled to Northern California again. This time they allegedly transported 17 packages containing marijuana weighing 444 pounds back to DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, according to the affidavit. 

The packages, worth $880,000, were loaded onto a Chrysler 300. Not long after the car left the airport, the GSP stopped it and federal authorities took eight people into custody. 

Davis, who remained on the plane, initially refused to comply with authorities’ commands. He later exited the aircraft, which allegedly smelled of marijuana, when police dogs were brought in to assist. 

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One of Davis’ supporters, Kalya Freeman, told WSB that despite the allegations, Davis often gave back to the community: “He’s a good person. He supports what we do. He supports everybody.”

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Prince’s family sues Illinois hospital, Walgreens in singer’s overdose death

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 7:17 PM

Musician Prince performs on stage at the 36th NAACP Image Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 19, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. Prince was honored with the Vanguard Award. 
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Musician Prince performs on stage at the 36th NAACP Image Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 19, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. Prince was honored with the Vanguard Award. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Members of Prince’s family have filed a lawsuit against an Illinois hospital and the Walgreens pharmacy chain, contending both could have done more to prevent the legendary entertainer’s opioid overdose death in April 2016, according to news reports.

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The suit follows a decision made last week by the Carver County Attorney Mark Metz against filing charges in the superstar singer’s death. Following a two-year investigation, Metz, of Carver County, Minnesota, announced Thursday that “Prince died from taking a counterfeit Vicodin pill that contained fentanyl, a dangerously powerful opioid,” but that investigators could not determine who sold the “Purple Rain” singer the pill. Authorities fined the doctor who prescribed Prince painkillers in a friend’s name.

A week before Prince died, he was treated at Trinity Medical Center in Rock Island, Illinois for an overdose. His plane made an emergency landing in Moline after he had played a show in Atlanta, and he was briefly hospitalized after overdosing on the plane.

>> Related: Music legend Prince dead at 57

The suit by the six heirs to Prince’s fortune accuses the doctor who examined the entertainer of misidentifying the pain pill the singer took before his overdose as a Vicodin, when it was instead a counterfeit laced with fentanyl, the Minneapolis Tribune reported. The suit also accuses the hospital of failing to appropriately identify and treat the overdose.

The probable heirs of Prince's estate are split between two lawyers who competed in court on Thursday to represent their interests in managing his estate. Both men - CNN contributor and onetime White House adviser Van Jones, and a show business attorney already hired as an estate consultant, L. Londell McMillan – bragged about established ties to Prince as they testified in court. Their differing backgrounds and priorities have implications for the control and commercial misuse of musical assets left by Prince when he died.

In addition, the suit names Walgreens because it gave prescriptions meant for Prince to his longtime friend and manager Kirk Johnson. 

“We will have much to say when the time is right,” the attorney who filed the suit on behalf of the family, John Goetz, told the Star Tribune

“We have client interests to protect at the moment, including our theory of the case. What happened to Prince is happening to families across America. Prince’s family wishes, through its investigation, to shed additional light on what happened to Prince,” Goetz said.

>> Related: Prince’s doctor fined for drug violations in singer’s death

Prince was 57 when he died on April 21, 2016, at his Paisley Park home of an accidental overdose, six days after the overdose on the plane. 

 

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’Schoolhouse Rock’ composer, jazz musician Bob Dorough dead at 94

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 5:46 PM

Bob Dorough performing at Joe's Pub at the Public, March 9, 2014. 
Kevin Yatarola/Getty Images
Bob Dorough performing at Joe's Pub at the Public, March 9, 2014. (Kevin Yatarola/Getty Images)

Gen Xers and millennials may not recognize the name, but they’ll certainly recognize the music and lyrics Bob Dorough wrote for “Schoolhouse Rock.”

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Children who grew up in the 1970s and 80s watching Saturday-morning television invariaby saw and can probably recite Dorough’s “Conjunction Junction,” one of the best-known Grammar Rock cartoons, or maybe “Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Abverbs Here.” 

Dorough died Monday from natural causes at his home in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania, according to The Associated Press. He was 94 years old.

Dorough was the artist behind the “Multiplication Rock” math series, creating all the lyrics and music for the series, which was part of ABC’s educational “Schoolhouse Rock” series, according to USA Today

>> Related: Longtime NPR broadcaster Carl Kasell has died from Alzheimer’s disease at 84

He also wrote the song, “Devil May Care,” which jazz legend Miles Davis recorded, according to Dorough’s biography.

Dorough was born in Arkansas and raised in Texas, where he “immediately fell in love with music upon joining the Planview Texas High School Band,” his biography said.

He gained musical experience after serving in the Special Services Army Band Unit from 1943-1945, playing multiple instruments, including the saxophone, clarinet and piano.

>> Related: Actor comedian Harry Anderson of 'Night Court' fame dead at 65

Dorough, a 1949 graduate of the University of North Texas, studied composition and piano and went on to perform in jazz clubs in Los Angeles and Paris, but it was a commission in 1971 to “set the multiplication tables to music” that led to his most well-known gig. Dorough became the musical director for “Schoolhouse Rock,” and entertained and instructed unsuspecting children from 1973 until 1985.

In 1995, Dorough signed on with jazz label Blue Note Records and recorded three albums for the label.

Dorough’s funeral is scheduled for Monday in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania. 

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Macaulay Culkin doesn’t watch ‘Home Alone’ much, won’t make iconic face

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 4:10 PM

Macaulay Culkin Fast Facts

If fans run into Macaulay Culkin and ask the star to make his signature “Home Alone” face, they’re going to be disappointed.

People reported that the actor, 37, who is best known as a child star who played Kevin McCallister in the 1990 holiday comedy says his notoriety makes him keep his head low around Christmas time.

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“I definitely don’t (go out). It’s my season,” Culkin said on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Monday. “It’s Macaulay season. I try to go out less and less around that time of year.”

Culkin said he doesn’t watch the film much at all, and when he does, he’s remembering how it was on set.

“I don’t really watch them all that often. I did, like, a 15-year anniversary DVD commentary and I realize I hadn’t seen it in, like, 15 years. ... It’s kind of background radiation at Christmas time,” he said.

“I can’t watch it the same way other people do.”

When fans ask him to recreate the “Home Alone” movie poster, he says no.

“I’ve already been there and done that,” he said. “I’m 37 now.”

Culkin also discussed his childhood stardom, growing up, his “Bunny Ears” podcast and his break away from the spotlight with DeGeneres.

Watch Culkin’s appearance on “Ellen” in the videos below.

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