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Hillary Clinton, Cardi B, others read ‘Fire and Fury’ at 2018 Grammys

Published: Monday, January 29, 2018 @ 12:38 AM

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 15:  Hillary Clinton speaks onstage at LA Promise Fund's
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 15: Hillary Clinton speaks onstage at LA Promise Fund's "Girls Build Leadership Summit" at Los Angeles Convention Center on December 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)(Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

The 60th Grammy Awards got political on more than one occasion Sunday night, and Hillary Clinton’s appearance in a gag that poked fun at President Donald Trump was no exception.

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Cher, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Cardi B and DJ Khaled were among the celebrities to join Grammys host James Corden in auditions to do voice overs for Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

Related: 10 stunning claims about Trump White House from ‘Fire and Fury’

“Trump won’t read anything. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored,” Legend read.

Cher read, “His comb-over: the color was a product called ‘Just for Men.’”

Related: Photos: 2018 Grammy Awards

Trump’s one-time opponent, Clinton, showed up at the end of the video.

“One reason why he liked to eat at McDonalds: Nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely pre-made,” she read.

Corden was most impressed with her performance and assured her that a Grammy was “in the bag” for the part.

Although Trump has yet to respond to the joke, his son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted his thoughts.

Clinton is a Grammy winner herself. She took home the award for best spoken word album in 1997.

Watch the video of the auditions below:

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Spotify removes R. Kelly’s music from playlists under new hateful content policy

Published: Thursday, May 10, 2018 @ 12:05 PM

R. Kelly Fast Facts

On the heels of #MuteRKelly, Spotify will no longer have the R&B singer’s music available in playlists. 

Billboard reported Thursday that Kelly’s music has been removed from the streaming service’s editorial and algorithmic playlists under the terms of a new public hate content and hateful conduct policy put in place. Under the policy, hate content is “content that expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.”

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In a statement to Billboard, Spotify said, “We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly. His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”

Kelly has been accused of sexual violence against underage black women for decades. A Dec. 1994 - Jan. 1995 issue of Vibe Magazine exposed Kelly’s secret marriage of Kelly to the late singer Aaliyah, who was allegedly 15 at the time, when he was 27. The marriage was soon annulled. In 2008, he was acquitted of child pornography charges after a six-year ordeal stemming from a videotape that showed a man who looked like Kelly having sex with an underage girl.

In July 2017, BuzzFeed News published a story that claimed the now 51-year-old was running a sex cult out of his Chicago mansion. Since then, more women have come forward to say they were abused by Kelly. Kelly has routinely denied any allegations of sexual misconduct and violence.

On April 30, Women of Color of Time’s Up, a sub group within the Time’s Up organization that works on issues specifically impacting women and girls of color, posted an open letter calling for investigations into allegations made against Kelly. The letter called on RCA Records, Kelly’s label; Ticketmaster; Spotify; Apple Music and Greensboro Coliseum Complex, where Kelly had a May 11 concert scheduled, to cut ties with the singer.

The Chicago Tribune reported on Thursday that, according to a representative for the Coliseum, the Friday concert is still happening. Ticketmaster still has the event listed on its websiteBillboard reported that RCA Records has not dropped Kelly from its label. An Apple Music representative did not immediately respond when reached by Rolling Stone for comment on the open letter.

In response to the letter, Kelly’s manager issued a statement, saying in part, “R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement. We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals -- and in this case, it is unjust and off-target.”

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R. Kelly sued by Texas woman for sexual battery, false imprisonment, claims he gave her STD

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 12:45 PM

R. Kelly Fast Facts

R&B singer R. Kelly is involved in yet another lawsuit in which he is accused of sexual assault.

The New York Times reported that Faith A. Rodgers, a 20-year-old Texas woman, filed a suit in a New York court. Rodgers said she was 19 when she started a relationship with Kelly.

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NYT reported that, according to the filing, Rodgers said she met Kelly in March 2017 after he performed in San Antonio, Texas. She said she was flown to New York by Kelly after months of phone contact. It was in New York that Rodgers alleges Kelly “initiated unwanted sexual contact” in a hotel room and did not tell Rodgers he was infected with herpes. The suit claims she contracted the disease.

“He turns on all the lights ...And he’s like, ‘Take off your clothes.’ And he says it, you know, with authority in his voice,” Rodgers told CBS News Tuesday. “Not just, you know, he’s demanding me to do this. And I didn’t take off my clothes because why would I? I just wasn’t ready… Sex isn’t something, you know, I’m ready for.”

Rodgers said she ultimately submitted and had sex with Kelly even though she didn’t want to. She claimed Kelly recorded the act on his iPad without her consent.

Rodgers said after the incident, Kelly asked how old she was.  

“I told him and he’s like, ‘You know, if you’re really, you know, 16, that you can tell daddy, right?’ And he was like, ‘You know, you just look about 14, 15 or 16,’” she said.

Rodgers said in the suit that she was in a relationship with Kelly for a year, in which he “routinely engaged in intimidation, mental, verbal and sexual abuse, during and after sexual contact.” The suit alleges Kelly’s actions were “designed to humiliate, embarrass, intimate and shame her.”

The suit is seeking unspecified damages, alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease. CBS News reported that Rodgers previously filed a criminal complaint with the Dallas Police Department in April.

In the past, Kelly has routinely denied allegations of sexual abuse. In response to the April criminal complaint, Kelly’s representative said the musician “categorically denies all claims and allegations.”

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R. Kelly loses lawsuit against Georgia venue after attorneys quit

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 3:52 PM

R. Kelly Fast Facts

R. Kelly’s lawsuit against a Georgia venue was thrown out when he failed to appear in court.

In a May 15 filing, U.S. District Judge John Robert Blake dismissed the singer’s case against Macon Coliseum in Macon, Georgia. In the suit, Kelly’s management company, RSK Enterprises, claimed Macon Coliseum-operator Comcast Spectacor did not pay him $100,000 for a show he performed. Kelly asked for that amount plus damages.

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The case was thrown out because Kelly failed to appear in a Chicago court. He also did not appear at hearings on April 3 and May 8 and was warned “that any future failures to appear may subject this case to a dismissal for want of prosecution,” according to court documents.

Furthermore, the two attorneys representing RSK Enterprises, Heather Blaise and Travis Life, stepped down from the case in April.

“As a result of ethical obligations, Ms. Blaise and Mr. Life are no longer able to represent plaintiff,” part of the April 25 motion read, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The dismissal comes after a Texas woman, Faith A. Rodgers, filed a suit in a New York court Monday seeking unspecified damages, alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease. Spotify announced earlier this month that it would no longer promote Kelly’s music by having it in playlists under a new hateful content policy.

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Royal wedding: Who is Meghan Markle?

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 3:57 PM

Getting to Know Meghan Markle

Here are five things to know about the actress, philanthropist, blogger and soon-to-be wife of Prince Harry:

She’s had smaller parts before her role on “Suits”

Markle is best known for her role as Rachel Zane in the USA series “Suits,” but she’s had smaller parts in movies and TV shows like “Horrible Bosses,” “Fringe,” “CSI” and “CSI: Miami.” 

She is a biracial woman

“My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I'm half black and half white,” she wrote in a 2015 essay for Elle. She touched on the subject again in her 2017 profile in Vanity Fair, saying that her appearance led to conflict in seventh grade when she had to check one box for a mandatory census.

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Markle, who has fair skin, loose curls and freckles, was told by a teacher to check the box for Caucasian based on her appearance.

“I didn't tick a box. I left my identity blank – a question mark, an absolute incomplete – much like how I felt,” she wrote.

Her background led to an onslaught of racist comments that were condemned in a statement from boyfriend Prince Harry in November 2016.

She’s a humanitarian

Over the years, the actress has held a number of roles for multiple organizations. She was a mentor to Crystal Valentine, one of the winners of Glamour’s 2016 College Women of the Year. That event recognized students for campus leadership, community involvement scholastic achievement and unique goals. That same year, she became a global ambassador for World Vision Canada, which included traveling to Rwanda for a clean water campaign.

She is also an advocate with United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

She’s a college grad and worked at a U.S. Embassy

A 2003 graduate of Northwestern University, Markle majored in international relations and theater. She was the first in her family to graduate from college. During her senior year, Markle worked at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina.

Before her big acting break, she’s had multiple jobs

Markle reportedly has beautiful handwriting that led to a lucrative freelance career as a calligrapher. In a 2013 interview with Esquire, she said she’s done work for Robin Thicke and Paula Patton’s wedding invite and for Dolce & Gabbana. 

She ran a lifestyle blog

Until April 2017, Markle ran TheTig.com, a lifestyle blog she began in 2014 that focused on food and travel and touched on politics.

“What began as a passion project (my little engine that could) evolved into an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun and frivolity. You've made my days brighter and filled this experience with so much joy,” she said in a message to readers.

She is a divorcee

Markle married producer Trevor Engelson in 2011 in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. They had been dating since 2004 and were engaged in 2010. Us Weekly reported that the couple quietly separated in August 2013. According to The Sun, they divorced later that year, citing “irreconcilable differences.”

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