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Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 3:27 PM
— 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.”
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.
“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.
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.”
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.”
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 1:17 PM
— Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s twins are growing up so fast!
Sharing a video of her kids’ -- whom she affectionately calls her coconuts -- cutest moments throughout the years, Lopez wrote, “It's hard to get my head around the fact that it's been 10 years since these two forces of nature came into my world and changed my life forever... you healed my soul and rejuvenated my existence... you taught me about love and life and myself in a way I never imagined... and I am forever in love with those beautiful faces...”
It's hard to get my head around the fact that it's been 10 years since these two forces of nature came into my world and changed my life forever... you healed my soul and rejuvenated my existence... you taught me about love and life and myself in a way I never imagined... and I am forever in love with those beautiful faces... #wheniseeyourfacetheresnotathingthatiwouldchange #becauseyouramazingjustthewayyouare
The proud mother shared two other tributes to her children in their own posts on Instagram with individual heartfelt messages.
“Max you are my heart, my love and my light,” Lopez wrote to her son. “You brighten up every day for me with your kindness and caring, your love and awareness… your energy is unmatched, your sense of humor makes everyone around you laugh, and I marvel at your depth of understanding of people and the world… my old soul, my beautiful boy, Happy 10th Birthday I know you are getting so big but you will always be my precious coconut.”
Max you are my heart, my love and my light... you brighten up every day for me with your kindness and caring, your love and awareness... your energy is unmatched, your sense of humor makes everyone around you laugh, and I marvel at your depth of understanding of people and the world... my old soul, my beautiful boy, Happy 10th Birthday I know you are getting so big but you will always be my precious coconut 🥥... #wheniseeyourfacetheresnotathingthatiwouldchange #becauseyoureamazingjustthewayyouare
For her daughter, Lopez celebrated Emme’s “independence and strength,” writing, “Emme you are my soul, my inner child personified the most joyful deep and sensitive human being I have ever met…and I adore everything about you…your artistry, your independence, your strength and your sensitive spirit… Happy 10th Birthday my marshmallow princess…I know you’re growing up so much but you will always be my precious coconut.”
Emme you are my soul, my inner child personified the most joyful deep and sensitive human being I have ever met...and I adore everything about you...your artistry, your independence, your strength and your sensitive spirit... Happy 10th Birthday my marshmallow princess...I know you're growing up so much but you will always be my precious coconut🥥#wheniseeyourfacetheresnotathingthatiwouldchange #becauseyoureamazingjustthewayyouare
Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 9:56 AM
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Despite his relationship with Jennifer Lopez, there’s one person who isn’t impressed with Alex Rodriguez — Esther Wojcicki, the mother of his ex-girlfriend, Anne Wojcicki.
“I liked A-Rod, he was a very nice man. He came from a Hispanic family. We liked them, they were very sweet. He seemed to be genuinely in love with Anne. But I right away figured out this was a mismatch. He had no academic background,” Esther Wojcicki told the New York Times in a profile about her daughter. “We couldn’t have an intellectual conversation about anything. His main interest in life was something that none of us had ever focused on, which was baseball.”
Anne Wojcicki is the founder of billion-dollar DNA testing company 23andMe and the ex-wife of Google co-founder, Sergey Brin. “Entertainment Tonight” reported she dated the former Yankee for nearly a year before breaking up in late 2016.
The elder Wojcicki — who is also mother to YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki — was critical of her youngest daughter’s boyfriend. Like any protective mother, she wasn’t a fan of A-Rod’s bad habits. It seems her pet peeve was his over-indulging in sports television.
“His main interest in life was something that none of us had ever focused on, which was baseball,” she said. “He could park himself in front of a TV and watch baseball for 10 hours a day. He wasn’t even sure he wanted to go on the yacht with Anne because the TV might not be working.”
Esther Wojcicki came just shy of calling the baseball player a “dumb jock.”
According to Anne Wojcicki, when they began dating, she barely knew a thing about baseball, and eventually, vastly different lifestyles, Rodriguez’s life in New York and Anne Wojcicki’s life in Silicon Valley, pulled the pair apart.
“Alex is a really sweet guy. He’s a smart guy. He’s a good person. Alex lives in this world of cash-flow businesses, and Silicon Valley lives in this world of the potential of the future. So it was actually kind of a really fun conversation,” Anne Wojcicki said. “Alex was really into car dealerships, and I was like, ‘We’re all about self-driving cars. Nobody’s going to buy a car. You want to buy a car dealership? I’m going to short your car dealership.’”
Anne Wojcicki also said that Rodriguez’s superstardom made day-to-day life a challenge.
“We couldn’t go anywhere with him. If we went to Target to look for clothes for the kids, all of a sudden we’d be looking around and people would be saying, ‘We just want a selfie with A-Rod,’” she said. “He can’t walk across Central Park. He has to take a cab. That will work better with J-Lo because she’s like, ‘Take a picture of me anytime.’”
As far as Mom’s opinion on Jennifer Lopez?
“I wish J-Lo all the luck in the world,” she said.
She’s not looking to step into another high-profile relationship anytime soon, either.
“I’d really love to date someone who’s really simple and not famous. My life is already pretty complicated,” Anne Wojcicki told the Times.
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 11:12 PM
ATLANTA — An Atlanta rapper, accused of running a cross-country drug operation, was denied bond Tuesday, according to WSB-TV.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
The Rapper RALO was busted with approximately 440 pounds of marijuana, which has been valued at over $840,000, while flying privately into Dekalb-Peachtree airport in Atlanta pic.twitter.com/Pq2xfrvUCi— Atlanta (@Atlantafollowme) April 21, 2018
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 7:17 PM
— 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.
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.
Prince's family file wrongful death lawsuit against Illinois hospital and Walgreens https://t.co/WtnX1GiNSt— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) April 24, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.