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Kelly Clarkson says she was unhappy when she was ‘really skinny’

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images/Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson says she was unhappy when she was ‘really skinny’

Despite nearly incessant reports about her figure, Kelly Clarkson is just fine with her curves.

In a revealing interview with Attitude magazine, the singer and mother of two revealed that soon after her career reached new heights after the release of her sophomore album, she faced increased pressure from executives to be thin.

>> Read more trending news

“When I was really skinny, I wanted to kill myself,” Clarkson told the magazine. “I was miserable, liked inside and out, for four years of my life. But no one cared, because aesthetically you make sense.”

“It was a very dark time for me,” she said. “I thought the only way out was quitting. I, like, wrecked my knees and my feet because all I would do is put in headphones and run. I was at the gym all the time.”

A few years after “Breakaway,” Clarkson released “My December” in 2007. She fought with her label for creative control to be able to make the album she wanted. 

“I was around some really negative people, and I got out of it because I had a lot of great people there too. It was a case of turning around, facing them and walking toward the light.

“There’s a song on ‘My December’ called ‘Sober.’ There’s this line ‘Picked the weeds but kept the flowers,’ and I just live my life by that because you are who you surround yourself with.”


            New York real estate developer buys Trump drawing at auction

Julien’s Auctions via AP

New York real estate developer buys Trump drawing at auction

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York real estate developer and former business partner of President Donald Trump has bought a sketch of the Empire State Building drawn by Trump for $16,000 at an auction.

Elie Hirschfeld, president of Hirschfeld Properties, purchased the 12-by-9-inch black marker depiction of the iconic New York City skyscraper at an auction in California and online last week. It was created by Trump for a charity auction in Florida during the time he opened his Mar-a-Lago estate as a private club in 1995.

Julien's Auctions says the piece signed by Trump went for less than $100 the first time it was sold.

In a statement Monday, Hirschfeld says he plans to hang it in his offices a couple of blocks from Trump Tower.


            'Tyler Perry's Boo 2' scares away competition at box office

Chip Bergman/Lionsgate Entertainment via AP

'Tyler Perry's Boo 2' scares away competition at box office

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween" opened in first place this weekend with $21.2 million from North American theaters, beating out spectacle and star-driven newcomers like "Geostorm," ''Only the Brave" and "The Snowman."

The disaster epic "Geostorm" flopped with $13.7 million against a reported $120 million production budget in its first weekend in theaters. The long-delayed pic starring Gerard Butler did not connect with critics or audiences.

The horror pic "Happy Death Day" took third place with $9.4 million in its second weekend in theaters, while "Blade Runner 2049" fell to No. 4 in its third week with $7.4 million.

The fact-based firefighter drama "Only the Brave" rounded out the top five with $6 million out of the gates, while the crime thriller adaptation "The Snowman" launched in eighth place with only $3.4 million.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:

1. "Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween," Lionsgate, $21,226,953, 2,388 locations, $8,889 average, $21,226,953, 1 week.

2. "Geostorm," Warner Bros., $13,707,376, 3,246 locations, $4,223 average, $13,707,376, 1 week.

3. "Happy Death Day," Universal, $9,363,415, 3,298 locations, $2,839 average, $40,672,780, 2 weeks.

4. "Blade Runner 2049," Warner Bros., $7,353,151, 3,203 locations, $2,296 average, $74,203,354, 3 weeks.

5. "Only The Brave," Sony, $6,002,665, 2,577 locations, $2,329 average, $6,002,665, 1 week.

6. "The Foreigner," STX Entertainment, $5,787,447, 2,515 locations, $2,301 average, $23,181,700, 2 weeks.

7. "It," Warner Bros., $3,451,663, 2,560 locations, $1,348 average, $320,186,279, 7 weeks.

8. "The Snowman," Universal, $3,372,565, 1,812 locations, $1,861 average, $3,372,565, 1 week.

9. "American Made," Universal, $3,131,650, 2,559 locations, $1,224 average, $45,473,385, 4 weeks.

10. "Kingsman: The Golden Circle," 20th Century Fox, $3,011,307, 2,318 locations, $1,299 average, $94,580,239, 5 weeks.

11. "The Mountain Between Us," 20th Century Fox, $2,773,757, 3,151 locations, $880 average, $25,552,642, 3 weeks.

12. "Same Kind of Different as Me," Pure Flix, $2,591,985, 1,362 locations, $1,903 average, $2,591,985, 1 week.

13. "The Lego Ninjago Movie," Warner Bros., $2,226,261, 2,102 locations, $1,059 average, $54,709,763, 5 weeks.

14. "Victoria and Abdul," Focus Features, $2,126,115, 1,060 locations, $2,006 average, $14,836,649, 5 weeks.

15. "My Little Pony: The Movie," Lionsgate, $2,027,064, 2,301 locations, $881 average, $18,556,663, 3 weeks.

16. "Marshall," Open Road, $1,482,383, 821 locations, $1,806 average, $5,434,374, 2 weeks.

17. "Golmaal Again," Reliance Big Entertainment PVT. Ltd., $1,013,893, 267 locations, $3,797 average, $1,013,893, 1 week.

18. "Secret Superstar," Zee Studios International, $764,152, 211 locations, $3,622 average, $764,152, 1 week.

19. "Mersal," AIM Distribution, $696,410, 143 locations, $4,870 average, $696,410, 1 week.

20. "The Florida Project," A24, $602,171, 112 locations, $5,377 average, $1,340,794, 3 weeks.

___

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

What Hollywood’s men are saying about Harvey Weinstein amid sexual harassment allegations

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images/Getty Images

What Hollywood’s men are saying about Harvey Weinstein amid sexual harassment allegations

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is accused of multiple sexual assaults and harassment incidents dating back to the 1980s, according to groundbreaking investigations from the New York Timesthe New Yorker and other outlets.

Related: Timeline of Weinstein allegations dating back decades

Actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angelina Jolie, Lena Headey, Lisa Rose and Kate Beckinsale are among the many women who have come forward with allegations against Weinstein.

There are more than 50 accusations against the producer so far.

>> Read more trending news

Weinstein’s spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said last week, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein.”

Here’s a running list of some of Hollywood’s biggest male stars and media moguls on Harvey Weinstein:

Janet Jackson fans not happy about Justin Timberlake Super Bowl Halftime show

KMazur/WireImage/WireImage

Janet Jackson fans not happy about Justin Timberlake Super Bowl Halftime show

When Justin Timberlake announced Sunday he would be performing at the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show, the first thought for many was: Will Janet Jackson join Timberlake during the performance?

Before the NFL or Timberlake could respond, livid fans took to social media to dispute the league’s decision to give the singer with a halftime spot and not Jackson.

>> Read more trending news

In 2004, the duo performed during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime, but as the two ended Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body,” a wardrobe malfunction revealed Jackson’s nipple for less than a second, spawning what now is referred to as the “Nipplegate” scandal.

The FCC nightmare led to the now-standard video delay during live events. Many argue Timberlake was not negatively affected by the scandal like Jackson was. Rolling Stone reported that the incident at the show, which was produced by MTV, led to a blacklisting of the artist by Viacom, MTV’s parent company, and CBS, the network the halftime show aired on. The blacklisting reportedly led to dismal record sales for Jackson’s “Damita Jo” LP and a dark cloud over the performance until this day.

Related: Justin Timberlake will headline Super Bowl LII halftime show

In light of the impactof the controversial moment, some fans found issue with the NFL inviting one-half of the duo back for a second shot at a drama-free performance. Such concerns were expressed on Twitter.

Some even sensed a racial undertone to the missing invitation for a Janet Jackson performance.

NFL officials cleared up the rumors Monday afternoon that Jackson is banned from performing. 

Related: Justin Timberlake will headline Super Bowl LII halftime show

“No ban, no,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told CNN. He declined comment on “any speculation regarding potential guests,” and he said there may be no guests. McCarthy went on to describer Timberlake as the “ultimate global superstar.”

Timberlake has not yet announced whether he plans to invite Jackson as a special guest. Jackson is currently traveling across the U.S. for her State of the World North American Tour.


            Pharmacists cited for trying to see Prince's medical records

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

Pharmacists cited for trying to see Prince's medical records

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Three Indiana pharmacists have been reprimanded by state regulators for trying to access Prince's medical records within days of the music superstar's death last year.

The Indiana Board of Pharmacy issued letters of reprimand in the last three months and imposed penalties on the three after investigators with the state attorney general's office found they had tried separately to access Prince's medical records in April 2016 through a state database.

Prince died April 21, 2016, of an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl.

All three pharmacists were found to have misused Indiana's online INSPECT database that pharmacists and physicians use to check controlled-substance prescription histories of patients.

Officials found that the pharmacists entered Prince's legal name and date of birth into the database within nine days of his death to try to access his confidential records, even though they had not previously treated the musician who was from Minneapolis and lived in a suburb of that city.

The board issued a final order on Oct. 12 for Indianapolis pharmacist Katrina A. Kalb for attempting to access Prince's medical records one day after his death. The panel did not fine her, but ordered her to complete 12 hours each of ethics education and community service.

On Sept. 15, the board fined Selma, Indiana, pharmacist Kimberly M. Henson $1,000 and ordered her to complete 12 hours of ethics education. The board found that Henson had tried twice to access the musician's medical records.

The board gave Crown Point pharmacist Michael Eltzroth the same punishment and fine as Henson on Aug. 8 for a single attempt to access Prince's records.

Attorneys for Kalb and Henson did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment Monday. A recording at a phone number listed for Eltzroth said the mailbox was not in service.

The attorney general's office filed administrative complaints against the three in June and July, and the pharmacy board held its hearings after that.

Attorney general's office spokesman Bill McCleery said complaints against medical professionals typically take the office between six and 12 months to investigate.


            Star chef Besh steps down amid sexual harassment allegations

Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File

Star chef Besh steps down amid sexual harassment allegations

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans celebrity chef John Besh stepped down from management of the restaurant group that bears his name after a newspaper reported that 25 women who are current or former employees of the business said they were victims of sexual harassment by male co-workers and bosses.

New Orleans media outlets said Besh's departure from the business he co-owns was announced to employees Monday. "John has decided to step down from all aspects of operations and to provide his full focus on his family," Shannon White, the woman who is stepping in as CEO, said in an email to staff.

The allegations were published Saturday by NOLA.comThe Times Picayune after an eight-month investigation. Women interviewed said male bosses in the Besh Restaurant Group touched or verbally harassed them and, in a few cases, tried to leverage positions of authority for sex.

Besh acknowledged a sexual relationship with an employee, saying in a written statement to NOLA.comThe Times-Picayune that it was consensual, despite the woman's assertions in a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that she felt pressured.

The allegations came to light in a time when sexual harassment allegations have been made against other famous men, including Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, the late Fox News executive Roger Ailes and comedian Bill Cosby.

Repercussions from the Besh story were being felt even before the allegations were published. Last month, Alon Shaya, a star chef who rose up through the Besh Group ranks, was dismissed as executive chef at Domenica, Pizza Domenica and his critically acclaimed namesake restaurant, Shaya.

Shaya had contacted NOLA.com in August regarding his concerns on how sexual harassment allegations were handled. "I do feel like I was fired for talking ... and for standing up," Shaya said in a follow-up interview Oct. 17. Current and former staff, meanwhile, said in the article and in social media that Shaya did not do enough to stop sexual harassment at the restaurants he ran.

On Sunday, Harrah's New Orleans Casino said it was severing ties with Besh and would rename its Besh Steak restaurant in the casino.

Nine women interviewed for the NOLA.com story agreed to the use of their names, including Madie Robison.

"After being immersed in the culture of the company, I realize my morals and values do not align with the daily practices," Robison wrote in a resignation email, sent to Besh, his business partner Octavio Mantilla and others.

In multiple interviews, Robison's complaints included persistent, sexualized comments from peers and supervisors. Robison claimed she also endured the uninvited touching of Mantilla for almost the entirety of her two years at the Besh Group.

Mantilla said he doesn't remember touching Robison. "I don't remember touching her at all, not on intention or anything," he said.

A Besh Group spokesman said none of the thousands of current or former employees has ever filed an internal complaint alleging sexual harassment in the company's 12 years of existence. Besh and Mantilla said during an Oct. 16 interview that in the past the company had lacked a human resources department to process such claims. The company has one now - its first ever director of human resources took the job Oct. 11, the spokesman told NOLA.com.

In his separate, written statement to NOLA.com, Besh said he was working to "rebuild my marriage" and publicly apologized to employees "who found my behavior as unacceptable as I do."

"I alone am entirely responsible for my moral failings," he added. "This is not the way the head of a company like ours should have acted, let alone a husband and father."

Raymond Landry, an attorney for the restaurant group, gave the news outlet a written statement as well, not mentioning specific allegations, but saying the company is implementing a better procedure for receiving and dealing with complaints.

"While we've had a complaint procedure in place that complies with all existing laws, we now recognize that, as a practical matter, we needed to do more than what the law requires and we have revamped our training, education and procedures accordingly," Landry's statement said.


            The Latest: Weinstein's former assistant details harassment

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

The Latest: Weinstein's former assistant details harassment

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on sexual harassment in Hollywood (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

A former assistant to Harvey Weinstein is willingly breaking a non-disclosure agreement to speak out about the sexual harassment she says she was subjected to while working for the movie mogul at Miramax Films in the late '90s.

Zelda Perkins tells the Financial Times in an interview published Monday that she experienced regular sexual harassment from Weinstein, including him walking around naked in front of her, during her time as his assistant in London.

Perkins says she left the job after a female colleague who she declines to name claimed she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein in 1998. Lawyers at the time advised taking a settlement of £250,000 to be split between the two women and signing a confidentiality agreement which she was not allowed to keep a copy of.

She says she is speaking out in hopes of shedding light on the agreements that powerful figures use to keep sexual harassment victims quiet.

A message sent to Weinstein's representative, Sallie Hofmeister, was not immediately returned. Hofmeister has repeatedly denied Weinstein had any non-consensual sex.

___

3:25 p.m.

A fired Nickelodeon producer facing allegations of sexual harassment is expressing regret over his behavior.

Chris Savino, creator of the animated series "The Loud House," posted the apology on his Facebook page.

Savino wrote Monday that he's "deeply sorry" and ashamed that his words and actions unintentionally created an uncomfortable environment.

He says he's learned difficult but valuable lessons, adding that he respects the bravery of the women who have spoken out.

Savino has been accused of sexual harassment by up to 12 women, according to the website Cartoon Brew, which reports on animation industry news.

Last week, Nickelodeon said it took allegations of misconduct seriously and that Savino was no longer working with the children's TV channel.

___

1: 40 p.m.

New York state's top prosecutor has launched a civil rights investigation into The Weinstein Co. following sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the probe Monday. His office says it issued a subpoena seeking all company records

The Democratic attorney general says his office wants to know whether any New York employees were subjected to pervasive harassment or discrimination at the company, which has an office in New York.

Weinstein was fired Oct. 8 by the company he co-founded after allegations of sexual assault and harassment spanning decades were exposed by The New York Times and The New Yorker.

More than three dozen women have publicly accused the entertainment mogul of abuse. Weinstein has denied allegations of nonconsensual sex.

___

11 a.m.

ABC News says Ashley Judd will sit down with anchor Diane Sawyer for her first television interview since the actress-activist went public with allegations against movie executive Harvey Weinstein.

The interview will air Thursday on ABC News platforms including "Good Morning America," ''World News Tonight with David Muir" and "Nightline."

Judd, an early accuser of the now-disgraced Weinstein, has described an incident two decades ago in which she said he invited her to his hotel room, greeted her wearing a bathrobe and asked if she would watch him shower.

In recent weeks, dozens of women have accused him of sexual assault and harassment.

Weinstein has also been fired from the production company he founded with his brother.

'Magnum P.I.' reboot in the works: reports

CBS Photo Archive/CBS via Getty Images

'Magnum P.I.' reboot in the works: reports

CBS is working on a reboot of its classic show “Magnum P.I.,” according to reports.

>> Read more trending news

The first eight seasons of the original series aired on CBS in the 1980s. The show starred Tom Selleck.

The series reboot “follows Thomas Magnum (Selleck’s former role), a decorated ex-Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator. With help from fellow vets Theodore ‘TC’ Calvin and Orville ‘Rick’ Wright, as well as that of disavowed former MI:6 agent Juliet Higgins, Magnum takes on the cases no one else will, helping those who have no one else to turn to,” Variety magazine reported.

The reboot has already been given a “pilot-production commitment” from the network, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It’s unclear whether Selleck will return for the reboot, but as he is currently under contract with CBS for the hit show “Blue Bloods,” it’s plausible that he could appear on the new “Magnum P.I.”

The reboot comes after a recent attempt to revive the series flopped.

Last year, ABC attempted to develop a sequel series, titled “Magnum,” which would have followed Magnum’s daughter who returns to Hawaii to take over her father’s P.I. firm. However, the show did not move beyond the development stage.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.


            PEN Center USA to honor Janet Mock next week

Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File

PEN Center USA to honor Janet Mock next week

NEW YORK (AP) — Author and activist Janet Mock is being honored by PEN Center USA, the West Coast branch of the literary and human rights organization.

Mock will receive an Award of Honor next week during the center's 27th annual Literary Awards Festival. The ceremony will be held Oct. 27 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the center told The Associated Press on Monday.

Mock is known for such books as "Redefining Realness" and "Surpassing Certainty," and for her advocacy for LGBTQ rights. The center next week also will honor five New York Times reporters for their breaking news coverage on sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein and Bill O'Reilly.


            Orthodox believers protest movie about Russian czar's affair

AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

Orthodox believers protest movie about Russian czar's affair

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — About 20 Orthodox believers in Russia have sung prayers to protest the release of a movie about the last Russian czar's affair with a ballerina.

They gathered outside the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, where "Matilda" was shown Monday to a selected audience ahead of its release this week.

The film loosely tells the story of Nicholas II's infatuation with ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya.

It has angered hard-line nationalists, and some Orthodox believers see it as blasphemous. The czar is glorified as a saint in the Russian Orthodox Church.

Nicholas and his family were executed by Bolsheviks in 1918.

Police last month detained several activists accused of setting cars on fire outside the office of the attorney for the film's director. Someone also tried to set fire to the director's studio.


            New York attorney general launches probe of Weinstein Co.

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

New York attorney general launches probe of Weinstein Co.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a civil rights investigation on Monday into The Weinstein Co. following sexual harassment and assault allegations against its co-founder, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

As part of the investigation, the prosecutor's office issued a subpoena seeking company records on harassment complaints and legal settlements to determine whether any civil rights and anti-discrimination laws were broken.

"No New Yorker should be forced to walk into a workplace ruled by sexual intimidation, harassment or fear," said Schneiderman, a Democrat. "If sexual harassment or discrimination is pervasive at a company, we want to know."

The New York City-based company fired Weinstein on Oct. 8 after The New York Times and The New Yorker exposed allegations of sexual assault and harassment spanning decades.

More than three dozen women, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have publicly accused the entertainment mogul of abuse. Weinstein has denied allegations of nonconsensual sex.

A woman who answered the phone in The Weinstein Co.'s media relations office said the company had no comment on the subpoena or news of the investigation.

One of Weinstein's former assistants in London, Zelda Perkins, spoke to the Financial Times about what she said was repeated sexual harassment toward her. Weinstein walked around nude in front of her, asked her to be in the room when he bathed and the producer would often try to pull her into bed when she went into his room to wake him up.

She told the paper she split a £250,000 settlement with another woman who she claimed was sexually assaulted by the producer.

Perkins told the paper for a story published Monday that she was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement — a copy of which she was not allowed to keep.

"I want to publicly break my non-disclosure agreement," she said. "Unless somebody does this there won't be a debate about how egregious these agreements are and the amount of duress that victims are put under. My entire world fell in because I thought the law was there to protect those who abided by it."

She sought legal advice after a colleague, who she did not name in the story, told her Weinstein sexually assaulted her at the Venice Film Festival in 1998.

Perkins, who had declined comment to The Associated Press through her current employer, said the settlement agreement called for Weinstein to undergo counseling and called for a harassment reporting procedure to be set up at Weinstein's then-company, Miramax.

Emails seeking comment from the Walt Disney Co., which owns Miramax, and Weinstein's representative Sallie Hofmeister were not immediately returned. Hofmeister has said Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Police in Los Angeles, New York City and London are also investigating Harvey Weinstein over allegations of sex abuse in those cities.

The Oscar winner was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Producers Guild of America has started the process of expelling him.

The allegations have prompted calls in Albany to use the power of the state to crack down on harassment. Democratic Assemblywoman Nily Rozic of Queens proposed legislation that would make designers, photographers, retailers and others liable for harassment experienced by models.

Another lawmaker, Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan, proposed legislation that would make companies ineligible for state tax incentives if they fail to address chronic harassment problems in the workplace.

Also Monday, ABC News said Ashley Judd will talk to anchor Diane Sawyer for Judd's first TV interview since the actress-activist went public with allegations against Weinstein. The interview will air Thursday on ABC News platforms including "Good Morning America" and "Nightline."

Judd has described an incident two decades ago in which she said he invited her to his hotel room, greeted her wearing a bathrobe and asked if she would watch him shower.

"Good Morning America" aired an interview with Matt Damon and George Clooney on Monday where both acknowledged they were aware of allegations Weinstein had slept with actresses, but not that he had assaulted them. Clooney described him in the interview as "a predator."

"I knew he was an (expletive)," Damon said. "He was proud of that. ... I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn't want to be married to the guy, but it's not my business really. But this level of criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on."

In more Weinstein fallout, a fired Nickelodeon producer facing allegations of sexual harassment expressed regret over his behavior. Chris Savino, creator of the animated series "The Loud House," posted the apology Monday on his Facebook page.

"I am deeply sorry and I am ashamed," he wrote. "Although it was never my intention, I now understand that the impact of my actions and communications created an unacceptable environment."

Savino has been accused of sexual harassment by up to 12 women, according to the website Cartoon Brew, which reports on animation industry news.

Last week, Nickelodeon said it took allegations of misconduct seriously and that Savino was no longer working with the children's TV channel.

___

AP Television Writers Frazier Moore in New York and Lynn Elber and Film Writer Lindsey Bahr in Los Angeles contributed to this story.

Waka Flocka Flame will release ‘Flockaveli II’ in 2018

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

Waka Flocka Flame will release ‘Flockaveli II’ in 2018

Waka Flocka Flame is finally ready to release “Flockaveli II.”

>> Read more trending news 

The Atlanta rapper said his first solo album in five years will arrive in early 2018.

“This is the fourth time I’ve made ‘Flockaveli II,’” he said in a statement. “I lost the original version when I lost my hard drives, and then I lost two more after that. With this version of the album, I just did it.”

The singles “Trap My (Expletive) Off,” produced by Louney G, and “Circles,” the EDM-brushed track featuring rapper Derez Deshon, preface the release of the album, Waka’s first since “Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family” in 2012.

The Gucci Mane protégé recorded 42 tracks for the album, but pared it down to 19. Other producers featured include Lex Leuger, Supa Mario and C Notes.

“An album is supposed to be personal. People want to hear me,” Waka said. “There was a whole bunch of frustration and anger making this album, but I want people to know the same as ‘Flockaveli II.’ Better delivery, better flow. This is a Waka Flocka album.”

Earlier this year, the MC, legally known as Juaquin James Malphurs,was acquitted of gun charges stemming from a 2014 arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.


            John Stamos gets engaged to girlfriend at Disneyland

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

John Stamos gets engaged to girlfriend at Disneyland

LOS ANGELES (AP) — John Stamos picked "the happiest place on earth" to get engaged over the weekend.

The 54-year-old Stamos announced his engagement to 31-year-old actress Caitlin McHugh on Sunday on social media , writing: "I asked...she said yes! ...And we lived happily ever after." The post included a drawing of the couple standing in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland.

Stamos' publicist says the star proposed after showing McHugh a montage of romantic scenes from Disney films. The couple then had dinner with their families at a restaurant in the theme park.

This would be the second marriage for both. Stamos was married to model and actress Rebecca Romijn from 1998 to 2005.

Stamos stars in Netflix's "Fuller House" and spent part of this year with The Beach Boys as a drummer. McHugh has had guest spots on "The Vampire Diaries" and "NCIS: Los Angeles."


            The Latest: Former Fox anchor grapples with non-disclosure

AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

The Latest: Former Fox anchor grapples with non-disclosure

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on former Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

Former Fox News anchor Juliet Huddy says she grapples with the idea of signing non-disclosure agreements to settle sexual harassment cases.

Huddy did that to settle her own complaints that former Fox anchor Bill O'Reilly made inappropriate advances toward her. That prevented her from discussing that case in detail in an appearance Monday with another fellow Fox anchor, Megyn Kelly, on Kelly's NBC show.

She said she recognized that more women would realize they were not fighting abuse allegations alone if it weren't for the non-disclosure agreements. Kelly, who had made her own harassment allegations against former Fox boss Roger Ailes said she believed that harassment at Fox and other places would end sooner if women knew the extent to which this is going on.

Huddy said the prospect of going up against Fox lawyers and executives with her complaint was daunting.

___

11:45 a.m.

Bill O'Reilly says he's being attacked for political purposes and that it's been a "horror show" for him and his family.

The former Fox News Channel host was interviewed by one-time colleague Glenn Beck on this weekend's story in The New York Times that Fox paid a $32 million settlement to a former legal analyst who had accused O'Reilly of harassment.

On Beck's radio show Monday, O'Reilly said that he could not discuss specifics about former analyst Lis Wiehl's case. He said the Times hates him and is intent upon keeping him out of the marketplace. There was no immediate comment from the newspaper.

O'Reilly also said that it was "incomprehensible" that his former colleague Megyn Kelly would speak out against him, saying that "I helped her dramatically" in her career.

He posted online an undated thank-you note Kelly had written to him for giving a gift at a baby shower.

O'Reilly was fired in April.

___

10:55 a.m.

Former Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly says she complained to her bosses about Bill O'Reilly's behavior after she had accused former Fox chief Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, and that the abuse and shaming of women has to stop.

Kelly, now on NBC, spoke Monday after it was revealed in The New York Times that O'Reilly had reached a $32 million settlement agreement with former Fox analyst Lis Wiehl shortly before O'Reilly's contract was renewed in February. O'Reilly was fired in April.

When Kelly's memoir was released last November, O'Reilly publicly questioned the loyalty of those who criticized Fox.

She said on NBC that "the abuse of women, the shaming of them, the threatening, the retaliation, the silencing of them after the fact — it has to stop."


            Weinstein accuser Ashley Judd to be interviewed by ABC News

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

Weinstein accuser Ashley Judd to be interviewed by ABC News

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC News says Ashley Judd will sit down with anchor Diane Sawyer for her first television interview since the actress-activist went public with allegations against movie executive Harvey Weinstein.

The interview will air Thursday on ABC News platforms including "Good Morning America," ''World News Tonight with David Muir" and "Nightline."

Judd, an early accuser of the now-disgraced Weinstein, has described an incident two decades ago in which she said he invited her to his hotel room, greeted her wearing a bathrobe and asked if she would watch him shower.

In recent weeks, dozens of women have accused him of sexual assault and harassment.

Weinstein has also been fired from the production company he founded with his brother.


            Kelly on O'Reilly: Abuse, shaming of women has to stop

AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

Kelly on O'Reilly: Abuse, shaming of women has to stop

NEW YORK (AP) — Megyn Kelly took on her former Fox News Channel colleague Bill O'Reilly in blunt terms on Monday, revealing she had gone to her bosses to complain about O'Reilly's behavior and saying the size of a newly revealed $32 million settlement of harassment charges made by a Fox analyst was "jaw-dropping."

O'Reilly responded, in part, by posting a copy of a thank you note Kelly had sent to him for a gift given at a baby shower.

The New York Times reported that O'Reilly had agreed to the $32 million deal to set aside allegations that include a nonconsensual sexual relationship with former Fox analyst Lis Wiehl, bringing to six the number of harassment settlements involving him. The deal was reached a month before O'Reilly signed a contract extension and three months before O'Reilly was fired because of publicity about the cases against him. O'Reilly has said he's done nothing wrong.

More than just an embarrassment that Fox had hoped was in its rear-view mirror, the story could have costly consequences. Fox's parent company, 21st Century Fox, is awaiting a decision by British regulators regarding its purchase of the Sky satellite television company, and the issue of Fox News' management is being considered.

Kelly, on her NBC show Monday, refuted O'Reilly's claims that no one had complained about him, saying Fox "was not exactly a friendly environment" for women who had stories to tell about abuse.

She said she went to Fox leaders Bill Shine, who has since resigned, and Jack Abernethy, who is now president of Fox News Network, after her memoir was published last November with her anger about O'Reilly's suggestion that people who complained about their treatment at Fox were disloyal. Kelly had written in her book about alleged harassment by Fox's one-time leader Roger Ailes.

"Perhaps he didn't realize the kind of message his criticism sends to young women across the country about how men continue to view the issue of speaking out about sexual harassment," Kelly said she wrote to her bosses.

O'Reilly's attitude of "shaming women into shutting the hell up about harassment on the grounds that it will disgrace the company" is precisely how Fox got into the mess it was in, she said. Later Monday, she posted a copy of the email she sent to her bosses. "You've got a hell of a guy hosting that 8 p.m. hour," she wrote.

Kelly said she was told O'Reilly would be spoken to and, hours later, he said on the air that people who don't like what is happening in the workplace should leave or go to human resources. She said it's clearly not just Fox that handles the issue of harassment badly.

"This must stop," she said. "The abuse of women, the shaming of them, the threats, the retaliation, the silence of them after the fact — it has to stop."

O'Reilly and Kelly's shows once ran back-to-back on Fox's prime lineup. Now those time slots are filled by Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity. O'Reilly, speaking Monday on the radio program hosted by another ex-Fox colleague, Glenn Beck, said he found Kelly's comment incomprehensible.

"I don't know why Megyn Kelly is doing what she's doing," he said. "I helped her dramatically in her career."

His website posted notes penned to O'Reilly by Kelly in 2009 and 2012. In one, she thanks O'Reilly for publicizing a book written by her husband. In the other, she thanks him for the "darling body suit and snuggly" given at a baby shower. "You've become a dear friend (no matter what you say) and I'm grateful to have you in my life," she wrote in the note.

O'Reilly also posted a note from Gretchen Carlson, whose lawsuit against Ailes led to his downfall. She's been critical of O'Reilly, and of Fox allowing Hannity to bring him back on the air for an interview recently. In the undated note to O'Reilly, she wrote, "thank you for being my friend."

Carlson's response on Twitter to the note: "So what. Still paid $32M."

"If you still want to think I'm a bad guy, go ahead," O'Reilly told Beck. He said the Times' story about the Wiehl case was designed to get keep him out of the marketplace.

"This is an attack on an American citizen, me, for political purposes," he said. "It has done enormous damage to me and my family. It is a horror show and should never happen in this country."

On her show, Kelly said she's still being victimized by Fox. She said Fox's powerful public relations chief Irena Briganti is "known for her vindictiveness" and "to this day, she pushes negative articles on certain Ailes accusers, like the one you are looking at right now."

Briganti was not at work Monday. 21st Century Fox issued a statement saying Briganti was "a valued colleague and she has our full support."

Kelly also interviewed former Fox anchor Juliet Huddy on her show. Huddy, who appeared with her lawyer Doug Wigdor, also settled harassment claims against O'Reilly, and said she wrestled with the idea of signing non-disclosure agreements. The one she signed prevented Huddy from giving any details about her case against O'Reilly. She said she struggled with the concept, knowing that it would help other women who feel abused if they knew there were others out there like them.

Huddy said she still isn't working in the broadcast business after leaving Fox.

John Stamos proposes to Caitlin McHugh

Chris Polk/KCA2017/Getty Images for Nickelodeon

John Stamos proposes to Caitlin McHugh

Actor John Stamos has announced his engagement to Caitlin McHugh after two years of dating.

>> Read more trending news

The “Fuller House” star shared the news with fans on Instagram with a cartoon drawing of himself and McHugh at Disneyland.

“I asked … she said yes! …And we lived happily ever after,” he wrote in the caption.

Stamos, 54, first revealed he was off the market during a 2016 appearance on “The View,” according to PEOPLE magazine.

McHugh, 31, has also been vocal about the love and support she receives from her leading man.

“He’s very encouraging of anything I want to do career-wise,” she told Entertainment Tonight earlier this year. “I really appreciate it a lot. You don’t get that with every guy.”

Stamos and McHugh acted as colleagues this year while completing a film together, “Ingenueish,” which Stamos directed and McHugh starred in. McHugh is also known for roles in “The Vampire Diaries” and “Switched at Birth,” and she made her silver screen debut in Will Smith’s “I Am Legend.”

Stamos was previously married to Rebecca Romijn from 1998 to 2005.

Renee Zellweger to play Judy Garland in new movie

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Renee Zellweger to play Judy Garland in new movie

Actress Renee Zellweger will play the lead role in a movie about the final year of Judy Garland’s life that will begin production in February 2018, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

>> Read more trending news

“Judy” will chronicle the true story of Garland as she arrives in swinging London in 1968 to perform in a series of sellout shows, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It has been nearly 30 years since Garland shot to fame as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” and as she prepares to perform, she battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and fans, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Garland died on June 22, 1969, in London at the age of 47 from an overdose of barbiturates.

Zellweger, who was born two months before Garland’s death, won an Academy Award in 2003 for Best Supporting Actress in the war drama film, “Cold Mountain.”


            Corey Feldman charged with pot possession in Louisiana

Photo by Katy Winn/Invision/AP, File

Corey Feldman charged with pot possession in Louisiana

MANGHAM, La. (AP) — Police in Louisiana say actor and musician Corey Feldman has been charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license after his tour bus was pulled over for speeding over the weekend.

Mangham, Louisiana, police say they pulled over a recreational vehicle driven by Feldman on Saturday and took him to a police station after discovering his license was suspended. Police say an officer at the station smelled marijuana and the drug was found in the RV following a search.

Police say Feldman was released after paying a fine.

Feldman says on Twitter Sunday he had no marijuana on him and faced a charge only because it was his vehicle. He says a member of his crew had medicinal marijuana.

The 46-year-old former child actor now tours with his band, Corey Feldman & The Angels.


            Politics on display as Letterman receives Mark Twain Prize

AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File

Politics on display as Letterman receives Mark Twain Prize

WASHINGTON (AP) — David Letterman was never known as a particularly political comedian, preferring a detached irony-drenched tone that favored the surreal and silly over topical humor. But there was an unmistakable political tint to much of Sunday night's ceremony to present Letterman with the Mark Twain award for American humor.

Several of the comedians honoring Letterman took shots at President Donald Trump and the general state of the country. More than one comedian quipped that the Kennedy Center's funding was about to be cut off mid-show. Meanwhile, the center announced that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was a Kennedy Center benefactor.

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel jokingly blamed Letterman for helping to bring Trump to power.

"It's like you went out for cigarettes one day and left us in the hands of our abusive, orange stepfather," Kimmel quipped.

He praised Letterman profusely, recalling a monologue he delivered on his show shortly after the 9/11 attack.

"You let us know it was OK to move on and OK to laugh again," Kimmel said. "Dave, you led the way for all of us."

But Kimmel also noted that in that same monologue, Letterman offered glowing praise to then-New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who went on to become a vocal public Trump supporter.

"Well Dave, we all make mistakes sometimes," Kimmel said.

Comedian-turned-Senator Al Franken thanked Letterman for a post-retirement series of videos that he and Letterman recorded together designed to raise awareness on climate change. Comedians Martin Short and Steve Martin, a previous Mark Twain honoree, needled Letterman about his bushy white retirement beard with a line touching on the country's current divisive political atmosphere.

"Dave has always had excellent instincts. What better time than now to choose to look like a Confederate war general," Steve Martin said.

Speakers Sunday night included comedians John Mulaney, Amy Schumer and Jimmie Walker of the 1970s television series "Good Times." Walker gave Letterman one of his first jobs as a joke writer in Hollywood.

Schumer poked fun at Letterman's famed reputation for grumpiness, saying she performed on his show three times.

"By the end of my third appearance, Dave was no longer totally indifferent to me," she said.

Mulaney credited Letterman's appeal with his determination to mine humor from ordinary people, and occasionally their pets.

"The Johnny Carson show said, 'Take a break from your weird life and watch these famous people have fun in show business,'" Mulaney said. "Dave's show said, 'Your weird life is just as funny as show business.'"

The 70-year-old Letterman spent 33 years on late-night TV, hosting long-running shows on NBC and then on CBS. His final broadcast on May 20, 2015, was episode No. 6028 that Letterman hosted. It shattered the record of his mentor, Carson.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama sent in a video tribute and Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder thanked Letterman for being a longtime "friend to music" and performed the song "Keep me in your heart" by the late Warren Zevon, a Letterman favorite.

Letterman's run on NBC in particular was hugely influential, introducing a sardonic, smartly silly comedic style that influenced a generation.

His time slot immediately following Carson's "The Tonight Show" allowed Letterman to draw a huge following of young, largely college-age viewers seeking an alternative to the somewhat staid Carson model.

Letterman introduced the country to fringe musical acts that might never have received an opportunity on "The Tonight Show."

His humor was undeniably intelligent, but also at times surrealistic and goofy. He pioneered segments called Stupid Pet Tricks and Stupid Human Tricks. He tossed watermelons and other objects off a five-story building; at one point, he wore a suit made of Velcro and jumped onto a Velcro-covered wall, sticking in place. He turned bizarre characters like Larry "Bud" Melman and Biff Henderson into cult celebrities.

Letterman started his career as a radio talk show host and TV weatherman in Indiana. In the mid-1970s he moved to Los Angeles, performing stand-up comedy and writing jokes for (at the time more famous) stand-up comic Walker of "Good Times" fame. Eventually he caught the eye of "The Tonight Show" and Carson, performing several times on the show and becoming a regular guest host starting in 1978.

NBC gave Letterman his own show following Carson; "Late Night with David Letterman" debuted on Feb. 1, 1982. Letterman's first guest that night? Bill Murray, the Twain award recipient in 2016.

On Sunday, Murray predictably stole the show with a surreal performance dressed as an Elizabethan monarch.

Murray said the perks of the Twain award elevate you above normal humans.

"You're not exactly a god but you're way up there," he said. "You will be able to walk up to any man or woman on the street, take a lit cigar out of their mouth and finish it. You'll be able to board any riverboat in this country."

Murray then announced he was hungry and had a burger brought to him on stage. He then ordered platters of burgers delivered to Letterman's balcony and cajoled Letterman's son Harry to toss a pickle to the masses below.

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Follow Ashraf Khalil on twitter at www.twitter.com/ashrafkhalil

Easybeats songwriter, AC/DC producer George Young dead at 70

K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns

Easybeats songwriter, AC/DC producer George Young dead at 70

George Young, an Australian songwriter who co-wrote the 1965 hit “Friday on My Mind” for the Easybeats and later was a producer for AC/DC, has died, The Guardian reported. He was 70.

>> Read more trending news

Young’s death was reported on Facebook by the music publishing company Alberts, which has both the Easybeats and AC/DC in its musical catalog.

Young was the brother of AC/DC’s Angus and Malcolm Young. 

With the Easybeats, he and fellow band member Harry Vanda produced songs like “Yesterday’s Hero” and “Love Is in the Air” for John Paul Young and “Evie” for Stevie Wright.

George Young played bass with his younger brothers during the early years of AC/DC, and then produced several of the band’s more successful releases, including “High Voltage,” “T.N.T.,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Let There Be Rock,” and “Powerage,” The Guardian reported.

“Without his help and guidance, there would not have been an AC/DC,” the band wrote on its website. “As a musician, songwriter, producer, adviser and much, much more, you could not ask for a more dedicated and professional man.”

Young was born in Scotland in 1946 and migrated to Australia with his family as a teenager, The Guardian reported. The Easybeats formed after Young met Vanda in Sydney.

The Easybeats broke up in 1969. Young and Vanda were inducted into the inaugural Aria hall of fame in 1988; the Easybeats were inducted in 2005.


            Al Hurricane, 'Godfather of New Mexico music,' dies

Greg Sorber/The Albuquerque Journal via AP

Al Hurricane, 'Godfather of New Mexico music,' dies

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Al Hurricane, known as the "Godfather of New Mexico music" for developing a distinct sound bridging the state's unique Hispanic traditions with country and rock, died Sunday.

His son, Al Hurricane Jr., told The Associated Press that his father died from complications related to a long battle against prostate cancer. Two of his daughters were at his side.

Hurricane Jr. said his father, who was 81, had already said his goodbyes to his friends, fans and children.

"He didn't want people crying when it was his time to go," his son said.

The death of Hurricane Sr. came two years after he went on a farewell tour following an announcement that he had Stage 4 prostate cancer. He kept performing despite receiving chemotherapy.

Born Alberto Nelson Sanchez on July 10, 1936, in the tiny village of Dixon, New Mexico, he was raised for a time in Ojo Sarco before moving to Arizona and later Albuquerque. He learned to play the guitar thanks to his mother and his father, a miner.

Hurricane began his professional music career by singing in Albuquerque Old Town restaurants before releasing his first songs, "Lobo" and "Racer" under the band Al Hurricane & the Night Rockers in 1962.

He released his first album, "Mi Saxophone," in 1967. The album contained his signature song "Sentimiento," a ballad he wrote for his first wife and mother of his four children. Years later, a young Tejano singer named Selena would hear the song and record her own version of it.

In 1969, while on a trip to Colorado, a car carrying Hurricane and five band members skidded on an icy bridge and flipped five times. A piece of glass struck Hurricane, and he lost his right eye. He would wear an eye patch for this rest of his life, and it would become part of his unique look.

Other popular songs he recorded were "South Bend/Burrito" and "Mexican Cat/Pedro's Girlfriend." The songs blended traditional New Mexico corridos, Tejano, rock, folk and country. Often, he sang them in both Spanish and English.

He went on to record more than 30 albums and received a number of awards while traveling internationally.

Following a 1980 prison riot in Santa Fe — one of the most violent in U.S. history — Hurricane released the song "(El Corrido De) La Prison De Santa Fe," a narrative about the conditions that led to the uprising.

He would later say the song did not seek to place blame for the violence but to tell a story of the riot that left 33 dead and 200 hurt.

In his later years, Hurricane would campaign on behalf of former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson and current Gov. Susana Martinez, both Republicans.

Hurricane Jr. says funeral arrangements have not been made.

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Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras

Justin Timberlake will headline Super Bowl LII halftime show

News | WJAX

Justin Timberlake will headline Super Bowl LII halftime show

Singer Justin Timberlake will be returning to the Super Bowl stage for the first time since he was part of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004, the NFL confirmed Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

Timberlake, who will be performing in his third Super Bowl halftime show, will be the featured artist during the intermission of the NFL’s showcase game on Feb. 4, 2018 in Minneapolis. He previously appeared at Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa in 2001, but it was his appearance with Jackson at Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004 that caused controversy.

Related: Justin Timberlake in talks to do 2018 Super Bowl halftime show, report says

An estimated 140 million people were watching the show when at the end, Timberlake popped off part of Jackson’s corset, exposing her breast. The incident, later described as a “wardrobe malfunction,” led to numerous complaints and a large fine by the Federal Communications Commission, The New York Times reported. The fine was eventually vacated by an appeals court, the Times reported. For Jackson, there was more fallout. Rolling Stone reported she was essentially blacklisted, which affected her music career.

During an interview televised during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcast, Mike Tirico asked Timberlake if the NFL had addressed the incident with him.

The singer smiled and said, “That won’t happen again.”

Timberlake, the 10-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, rose to fame with the boy band ’N Sync. He has since had solo hits such as “Sexy Back,” “Cry Me a River” and “Rock Your Body.”

Timberlake also had a hit with “Can’t Stop the Feeling” on the soundtrack for the animated movie, “Trolls.”

While Jackson remains banned from singing at the Super Bowl. Several people on Twitter were angered by the choice of Timberlake. 

“It had better damn well be a 15 minute apology to Janet Jackson for hanging her out to dry in 2004,” one person tweeted. 

Another tweeted that Timberlake was “still ensuring white privilege remains in style in 2017. Meanwhile, Janet Jackson is still left in the cold.”

“ My only request is that you don't perform any of the music inspired by her brother or any Black artist. You love our culture, but disrespect our people.”

  Justin Timberlake in talks to do 2018 Super Bowl halftime show, report says

            Loretta Lynn returns after stroke to honor Alan Jackson

Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean via AP

Loretta Lynn returns after stroke to honor Alan Jackson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country star Alan Jackson, the late guitarist and singer Jerry Reed and songwriter Don Schlitz were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Country icon Loretta Lynn returned to the Hall of Fame for the first time since she suffered a stroke in May to formally induct Jackson. Lynn, who cancelled her tour dates this year to recover, said Jackson was the only person that could make her leave her house.

She recalled meeting Jackson when he was a nervous young artist decades ago and knowing then that he would "be one of the greatest singers in country music."

"He hadn't let me down," said Lynn, who is also a member of the Hall of Fame.

The 59-year-old Jackson is still one of country music's most successful solo artists, having sold nearly 45 million albums in the United States and had 26 singles reach the top of the Billboard country charts.

With his baritone voice and knack for telling stories about small town Southern life, the Newnan, Georgia-born singer was among a wave of neo-traditionalists that broke through in the 1990s.

He joked that when he was signed to Arista Nashville, a label started by Clive Davis, they had no idea how popular he would become.

"I was just a token country singer they signed for that label and bam, I took off," Jackson said.

Many of his hits became instant classics, from the barroom staple "Chattahoochee" to the somber "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" written after the Sept. 11 attacks.

But he's also been characterized as shy and uneasy in the media spotlight.

"I am not really shy, just socially awkward," Jackson said. "I just don't like to talk too much."

Instead, he let his songs speak for him, often writing about his father, his wife and the everyday joys and sorrows of the average man. Other hits include "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," ''A Lot About Livin' (And a Little 'Bout Love)" and "When Somebody Loves You."

George Strait, Alison Krauss and Lee Ann Womack each performed one of Jackson's songs in his honor.

Reed, who died at age 71 in 2008, was first known as an in-demand studio musician with a unique finger picking style on the guitar. He played for and wrote songs for stars like Elvis Presley and Porter Wagoner.

Reed, originally from Atlanta, became more popular when his songs began charting. His hit song "When You're Hot, You're Hot" earned him a Grammy award.

In later years, he started appearing in TV and movies, most notably playing Burt Reynolds' sidekick in "Smokey and the Bandit." He also sang many of the songs on the soundtrack, including "East Bound and Down."

His daughters, Seidina Hubbard and Lottie Zavala, accepted the honor on his behalf.

Hubbard said one of her fondest memories of growing up was listening "to the beautiful sound of that guitar in the house all the time."

Performing some of his songs were guitarists Tommy Emmanuel, John Knowles and Steve Wariner, while Jamey Johnson performed one of his personal favorites, "East Bound and Down."

Schlitz, 65, from Durham, North Carolina, had his first songwriting hit in 1978 when Kenny Rogers recorded his song, "The Gambler," which became Rogers' signature song throughout his career.

Other songs he helped write include "On the Other Hand" and "Forever and Ever, Amen," both sung by Randy Travis; "When You Say Nothing at All," recorded by both Keith Whitley and Alison Krauss; and "Strong Enough to Bend," by Tanya Tucker.

He was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012 and helped to create the popular songwriters in the round format at Nashville's famed Bluebird Café.

Aloe Blacc and Vince Gill sang a duet version of "The Gambler," while singers Charlie Worsham and Mary Chapin Carpenter also performed his songs in his honor.

Schlitz gave some advice to his grandchildren seated in the audience from what he had learned in his career.

"No one does this alone. In your life, be a part of something bigger than yourself," Schlitz said.

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Online:

http://countrymusichalloffame.org/

__

Follow Kristin M. Hall at www.twitter.com/kmhall


            Justin Timberlake invited back to Super Bowl halftime show

AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File

Justin Timberlake invited back to Super Bowl halftime show

Justin Timberlake has finally been invited back to the Super Bowl halftime show, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy.

The NFL announced Sunday night that Timberlake will headline the Super Bowl halftime show Feb. 4 in Minnesota.

This will be Timberlake's third Super Bowl halftime performance, the most for any entertainer. Timberlake performed at the 2001 Super Bowl with N'Sync, and he sang "Rock Your Body" with Jackson in 2004 in Houston. That performance concluded with Timberlake ripping her costume to reveal her right breast bare except for a nipple shield.

During an interview broadcast at halftime of NBC's "Sunday Night Football," Timberlake laughed off questions about a repeat of the infamous moment, which drew CBS a $550,000 fine from the Federal Communications Commission that was later overturned.

"That won't happen this time," he said.

Timberlake has won 10 Grammys, and the Tennessee native also has won four Emmys. He said the best Super Bowl performances have spoken to the mood of the nation.

"What I really want to do is take the opportunity to put together a performance that feels like it unifies," Timberlake said. "I feel like that would be the ultimate accomplishment, and then the icing on the cake is at some point within that 12 minutes that everybody is shaking their booty."

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More AP NFL: http://pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL


            38 accuse writer/director James Toback of sexual harassment

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

38 accuse writer/director James Toback of sexual harassment

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Writer and director James Toback, who received an Oscar nomination for writing "Bugsy," has been accused of sexual harassment by 38 women in a report published Sunday in The Los Angeles Times.

In the report, many of the women allege that Toback approached them on the streets of New York City and promised stardom. His meetings would often end with sexual questions and Toback masturbating in front of them or simulating sexual intercourse with them, according to the accounts.

The 72-year-old denied the allegations to The Los Angeles Times, saying he never met any of the women, or if he had it "was for five minutes and (I) have no recollection."

Thirty-one of the women spoke on the record including Louise Post, who is a guitarist and vocalist for the band Veruca Salt, and "As the World Turns" actress Terri Conn.

Actress Echo Danon recalled an incident on the set of his film "Black and White" where Toback put his hands on her and said that he would ejaculate if she looked at his eyes and pinched his nipples.

"Everyone wants to work, so they put up with it," Danon told the Times. "That's why I put up with it. Because I was hoping to get another job."

On Sunday afternoon, Times reporter Glenn Whipp said the number of accusers had doubled since the story had published.

Toback hasn't responded to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

The report comes amid the ongoing downfall of producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by over three dozen women. He was fired from the company he co-founded and widely denounced by his Hollywood peers.

"James Toback damn you for stealing, damn you for traumatizing," tweeted Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan on Sunday.

Another Weinstein accuser, actress-director Asia Argento, tweeted, "So proud of my sisters for bringing down yet another pig" in response to the Toback report.

Though less widely known than Weinstein, Toback has had a successful four-decade career in Hollywood and has a devoted following who have praised him for his originality and outsized, deeply flawed characters.

A New York native, Harvard graduate, creative writing professor and compulsive gambler, Toback used his own life as inspiration for his first produced screenplay, "The Gambler," which came out in 1974 and starred James Caan. The film was remade in 2014 with Mark Walhberg and Brie Larson.

He also wrote and directed the Harvey Keitel film "Fingers," the loosely autobiographical "The Pick-up Artist," which starred Robert Downey Jr. and Molly Ringwald, "Two Girls and a Guy," also with Downey Jr. and Heather Graham, "Harvard Man," with Sarah Michelle Gellar, and the Mike Tyson documentary "Tyson."

His one and only Oscar nomination is for writing the Barry Levinson-directed and Warren Beatty-starring "Bugsy."

Toback's upcoming film, "The Private Life of a Modern Woman," stars Sienna Miller and Alec Baldwin and debuted at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year.

Like Weinstein, reports of Toback's alleged behavior toward women have been around for decades. Spy magazine wrote about him in 1989, and the now-defunct website Gawker also published accounts from women in New York who had had run-ins with Toback.

But in the past few weeks, amid the Weinstein scandal and the rise of the #MeToo social media movement, in which women are revealing instances of sexual harassment and assault, more reports have emerged about the conduct of many working in the entertainment industry.

Just days ago, top Amazon Studios executive Roy Price resigned following sexual harassment allegations made by a "Man in the High Castle" producer.

On Sunday, a few in Hollywood began denouncing Toback on social media, including "Bridesmaids" director Paul Feig, who tweeted that Toback "Is a disgrace."

"One of the main jobs of a director is to create a safe environment for the actors," Feig wrote.

"Doctor Strange" director Scott Derrickson added, "If there is a Hell, James Toback will be in it."

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn wrote a lengthy Facebook post Sunday about the allegations, saying that he has personally met at least 15 women who have said they have had these kinds of encounters with Toback, including three women he has dated, two friends and a family member.

"For over twenty years now, I've been bringing up James Toback every chance I could in groups of people," Gunn wrote. "I couldn't stop him, but I could warn people about him."

Fox offers Bill O’Reilly big contract after $32 million settlement, Gretchen Carlson reacts

Fox News offered Bill O’Reilly a $25 million contract even though O’Reilly had agreed to settle a sexual harassment claim for $32 million, according to The New York Times.

>> Read more trending news

The Times reported that O’Reilly settled out of court with former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl just months before he was dismissed from the network.

O’Reilly categorized the Times piece as a “smear article” about him and defended himself on his website.

“In its latest diatribe against Bill O’Reilly, the Times printed leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously designed to embarrass Bill O’Reilly and to keep him from competing in the marketplace,” a statement on O’Reilly’s website said.

“In the more than 20 years Bill O’Reilly worked at Fox News, not one complaint was filed against him with the human resources department or legal department by a coworker, even on the anonymous hotline,” the statement continued. 

The New York Times has copies of two letters written by 21st Century Fox lawyers attesting to that fact.”

>> Related: Recently released details put a new spin on when Bill O’Reilly and Fox News parted ways

After O’Reilly tweeted a link to his post, former “Fox & Friends” host Carlson responded.

“Nobody pays $32 million for false allegations – nobody,” Carlson wrote.

Carlson settled out of court in 2016, after she left Fox News amid her own allegations of sexual harassment against then chiarmen Roger Ailes.


            Palestinian festival drops film over director's Israel trips

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File

Palestinian festival drops film over director's Israel trips

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A Palestinian film festival on Sunday canceled the screening of a movie by a Lebanese-French director following pressure by activists who opposed his previous work in Israel.

"The Insult," the latest movie by director Ziad Doueiri, was set to close the Palestinian Days of Cinema festival on Monday and was competing for the festival's top award.

But after a charged campaign by activists on social media, the city of Ramallah, which was hosting the screening, told the festival to scrap the showing, according to Khulood Badawi, a spokeswoman for the festival, which agreed to the cancellation. It was not clear if the film was still eligible for an award.

Doueiri's previous film, "The Attack," about a Palestinian surgeon living in Tel Aviv who discovers that his wife carried out a deadly suicide attack, was filmed in Israel and featured several Israeli actors. That film was banned in Lebanon and most Arab countries. Last month, Lebanese authorities briefly detained the Paris-based Doueiri because of his visits to Israel.

"The director showed no remorse, and insisted on his stand, and we think screening any of his work at a Palestinian cinema festival would be a big mistake" said Abed Hamayel, an activist who campaigned against the film's screening.

A segment of Palestinians has long called for Arab political, economic and cultural leaders to boycott Israel as a way to prevent normalizing ties with the Jewish state. An international movement of activists also calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against people or companies doing business with Israel.

Doueiri could not be reached for comment, but Kamel Elbasha, a Palestinian actor who stars in the film, criticized the decision.

"Ziad was punished for that movie which was banned in all Arab countries," he said, adding that the activists were "mixing things up, lying and distorting facts," and questioning their motives. Elbasha won the best actor award for his role in the film at the Venice Film Festival in September.

Film Lab Palestine, the group behind the Palestinian festival, noted that "The Insult," was being screened in Lebanon and in other festivals in the Middle East. The film, which focuses on a tense exchange between a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian refugee, explores the fraught place of Palestinians in Lebanese society.

"'The Insult' was selected for this year's edition of the festival since it addresses an important issue for the Palestinian people," said a statement from the group. It also said the film was selected because it stars Elbasha, who hails from east Jerusalem.


            A scary box office weekend for everyone but Tyler Perry

Chip Bergman/Lionsgate Entertainment via AP

A scary box office weekend for everyone but Tyler Perry

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was a spooky weekend at the box office for nearly everyone but Tyler Perry.

Perry's comedy sequel "Boo 2! A Madea Halloween" scared up a healthy $21.7 million in its first weekend in theaters, but the waters were rough for other new openers including the disaster epic "Geostorm," the firefighter drama "Only the Brave" and the crime thriller "The Snowman."

Made for a reported $25 million, Perry's film drew a mostly older and female audience, who gave it an A- CinemaScore. "Boo 2!" did a little less business than the first film, which opened to $28.5 million just last year.

"Given that it's a sequel, its performance is at the higher end of our expectations," said David Spitz, who heads up domestic distribution for Lionsgate.

The studio expects the film to hold well into next weekend due to increased interest because of Halloween, but it will also face some competition with the horror pic "Jigsaw."

But a slight drop for a sequel hardly compares to the catastrophe of "Geostorm," a long-delayed $120 million disaster epic starring Gerard Butler that only managed to open to $13.3 million from North American theaters.

A co-production between Skydance Media and Warner Bros. Pictures, "Geostorm" marks the directorial debut of "Independence Day" producer Dean Devlin. The film was shot back in late 2014 and lousy test screenings resulted in $15 million of reshoots, pushing back the release over a year and a half.

But the reshoots didn't seem to help the final product, which has been widely panned by critics and shunned overall by audiences. Those who did turn out gave it a B- CinemaScore.

Another possibly too-timely film, "Only the Brave," about the Granite Mountain Hotshots who took on the June 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire, also failed to attract sufficient audiences this weekend. The Sony film starring Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Connelly opened in fifth place with $6 million.

At $38 million, the production budget was more reasonable than "Geostorm," however.

But despite good reviews, it opened behind two holdovers — the horror pic "Happy Death Day" which landed in third place with $9.4 million and "Blade Runner 2049" which took in $7.2 million in its third weekend in theaters.

Universal and Working Title's "The Snowman," starring Michael Fassbender and based on the Jo Nesbo book, also failed to make a splash. The critically derided pic debuted in eighth place with $3.4 million from 1,812 theaters.

The director, Thomas Alfredson has been widely acknowledging the film's shortcomings and confusing plot in the press, saying that they did not have time to shoot the entire script. Audiences gave it a deathly D CinemaScore.

Things looked a little brighter for the limited releases this weekend. Both playing in four theaters, the Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman film "The Killing of a Sacred Deer," took in $114,585 and "Wonderstruck," starring Julianne Moore," earned $68,762.

"As great as September was, October has been really scary," said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for comScore.

Theatrical exhibitors and studio distribution heads are gathering in Miami Beach, Florida this week for the ShowEast Film Expo to discuss the state of movie going and it couldn't come at a better time, when old truisms about what works and what doesn't work at the box office are being challenged weekly.

Dergarabedian said even releasing a quality film isn't a sure path to success anymore.

"Even well-reviewed movies like 'American Made,' 'Only the Brave' and 'Blade Runner 2049' are having trouble gaining traction," Dergarabedian said.

The industry will be looking to the big event films, like "Thor: Ragnarok," out Nov. 3, "Justice League" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" to get the year back to even.

"Trying to figure out audiences and what they want is the key to the future. Audiences are voting with their presence or absence at the movie theater," Dergarabedian said. "They're staying away now, but that might change in two weeks."

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. "Boo 2! A Madea Halloween," $21.7 million.

2. "Geostorm," $13.3 million ($36.4 million international).

3. "Happy Death Day," $9.4 million ($6.5 million international).

4. "Blade Runner 2049," $7.2 million ($14.3 million international).

5. "Only the Brave," $6 million.

6. "The Foreigner," $5.5 million ($2.7 million international).

7. "It," $3.5 million ($12.8 million international).

8. "The Snowman," $3.4 million ($6.6 million international).

9. "American Made," $3.2 million ($2.7 million international).

10. "Kingsman: The Golden Circle," $3 million ($48.7 million international).

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. "Kingsman: The Golden Circle," $48.7 million.

2. "Geostorm," $36.4 million.

3. "Never Say Die," $15 million.

4. "Blade Runner 2049," $14.3 million.

5. "It," $12.8 million.

6. "Bad Genius," $7.6 million.

7. "The Outlaws," $6.8 million.

8. "The Snowman," $6.6 million.

9. "Happy Death Day," $6.5 million.

10. "The Lego Ninjago Movie," $4.7 million.

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Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ldbahr

___

This story has been corrected to show "Boo 2! A Madea Halloween" was made for a reported $25 million, not $35 million


            Officials: EF1 tornado tore part of Oklahoma casino roof off

Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman via AP

Officials: EF1 tornado tore part of Oklahoma casino roof off

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — An overnight batch of severe storms spawned an EF1 tornado that tore part of a casino roof off in central Oklahoma during a concert and downed power lines and trees throughout the state, emergency managers said Sunday.

The twister touched down in Cleveland County, one of several counties where National Weather Service officials were surveying damage after reports of as many as four tornadoes late Saturday. No injuries were reported.

Part of the Riverwind Casino's roof was ripped off in Norman during a Beach Boys concert Saturday. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who was among those attending the show, told KWTV that there was "this huge flood of rain coming through the roof" and she had to be evacuated from the casino twice.

Casino operators said in a statement Sunday that they had no time to alert guests before the storm hit the property because it happened at the same time that the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the area. The casino has no electricity and parts of the property are closed off while repairs are made, spokeswoman Kym Koch said. Reservations were canceled through at least Tuesday, she said.

"Like all Oklahomans, we know that weather events such as this can hit without warning and unfortunately, that is what happened at Riverwind last night," Koch said.

Meteorologists classify an EF1 tornado as one capable of producing winds up to 110 mph, said Keli Cain, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. She said other businesses, including a hotel, also were damaged along with cars and trucks during the storms.

National Weather Service meteorologist John Pike said officials were surveying Tillman, Comanche, McClain and Seminole counties, where the tornadoes and damage were reported. Forecasters had issued eight tornado warnings as the storms developed Saturday evening ahead of a cold front.

Since most of the storms hit rural or remote areas, widespread damage was minimal, Pike said.

"Anytime we walk away like that, you can say we dodged a bullet," he said.

He said the weather is expected to change again heading into the coming weekend, when the state could see its coldest temperatures yet this year and parts of southwestern and western Oklahoma might possibly get their first freeze.

Mariah Carey’s ex-fiance James Packer calls relationship a ‘mistake’

Photopix/GC Images

Mariah Carey’s ex-fiance James Packer calls relationship a ‘mistake’

A year after calling off their engagement, James Packer is talking about his breakup with Mariah Carey for the first time.

>> Read more trending news

“I was at a low point in my personal life,” Packer said about his time with Carey.

“She was kind, exciting and fun. Mariah is a woman of substance. But, it was a mistake for her and a mistake for me.”

The couple first got together in 2015 and had plans to get married. Nine months after getting engaged, however, they called everything off in October 2016 while they were vacationing in Greece.

Carey, who was reportedly “blindsided” by the breakup, famously went on to burn her wedding gown in her “I Don’t” music video by tossing it into a fire.

>> Related: Mariah Carey is asking for much more than cash in her settlement with ex-fiancé James Packer

Mariah was totally blindsided by James. She read the news in Woman’s Day Australia that said he dumped her,” a source told Us Weekly. “Mariah knew they were having problems, but all relationships have issues — it wasn’t the kind of thing where she thought she’d read in the paper that she got dumped. She was devastated; she was shocked.”

A representative for the singer later confirmed the news in a statement that read, “Mariah and James had a fight in Greece, and have not seen each other since. The fight was not because of any cheating allegations or excessive spending by Mariah. James is one of the most successful businessmen in the world. They are trying to work it out. Right now, they’re not sure if they will stay together.”

>> Related: Mariah Carey slams ex-fiancé James Packer and now there are threats of lawsuits

Jim Carrey accuses dead ex-girlfriend of elaborate extortion scheme 

Bryan Erdy/News | WSOC

Jim Carrey accuses dead ex-girlfriend of elaborate extortion scheme 

As the wrongful death lawsuit against him plows forward at full steam, Jim Carrey is claiming his late ex-girlfriend, Cathriona White, contracted the STDs that made her suicidal before meeting him, not after as her family alleges.

>> Read more trending news

White’s mother and estranged husband contend that White started experiencing suicidal thoughts after the actor gave her Herpes I, Herpes II and gonorrhea. However, documents filed in court by Carrey accuse White of an elaborate plot to extort him for millions “through smears and threats of public degradation via false allegations” and by faking her medical records. White allegedly told Carrey that she would lie and tell people that he gave her the diseases.

“When the threats were met with silence, White asked and obtained a copy of her friend’s Planned Parenthood records,” the motion says. “White’s intent in obtaining these records was clear — she cooked the records, creating forgeries with altered information, phony tests, and fictitious dates. A ruse, needed to support her lie, in July 2013, White and her attorney Marchino used the counterfeit records to extort money from Carrey.”

Carrey’s team points to text messages between White and a friend, which allegedly pertained to the scheme.

“This motion seeks an admission of the truth; namely that White had multiple STDs before meeting Carrey or nonforged copies of December 28, 2011 records of White, records that do not and have never actually existed,” the motion continues. 

>> Related: After months of delays, Jim Carrey finally has to answer questions about his ex’s suicide

“Recognizing that Carrey was conned before, White’s green-card husband, Mark Burton, and her estranged and emotionally abusive mother, Brigid Sweetman, decided to get a second bite at the apple by filing a lawsuit claiming Mr. Carrey caused White’s death, exploiting the judicial system with fraudulent ‘evidence’ in a continued effort to extort Carrey.”

>> Related: Jim Carrey’s ex made serious accusations against him in a note years before her suicide


            No joke: TV host Letterman honored with Mark Twain Prize

AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File

No joke: TV host Letterman honored with Mark Twain Prize

WASHINGTON (AP) — David Letterman was celebrated at the Kennedy Center Sunday night for his record run on late-night TV, innovative comedy routines and for helping the nation start to heal by reassuring that it was OK to laugh again after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Fellow entertainers gathered to honor Letterman where he was receiving the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Among those in attendance were previous Mark Twain recipients Steve Martin and Bill Murray, and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who recalled a monologue Letterman gave on his show shortly after 9/11.

"You let us know it was OK to move on and OK to laugh again," Kimmel said. "Dave, you led the way for all of us."

Kimmel jokingly blamed the election of President Donald Trump on Letterman's retirement in 2015.

"It's like you went out for cigarettes one day and left us in the hands of our abusive, orange stepfather," Kimmel said.

Speakers included comedians John Mulaney, Amy Schumer and Jimmie Walker of the 1970s television series "Good Times." Walker gave Letterman one of his first jobs as a joke writer in Hollywood.

Schumer poked fun at Letterman's famed reputation for grumpiness, saying she performed on his show three times.

"By the end of my third appearance, Dave was no longer totally indifferent to me," she said.

Mulaney credited Letterman's appeal with his determination to mine humor from ordinary people, and occasionally their pets.

"The Johnny Carson show said, 'Take a break from your weird life and watch these famous people have fun in show business,'" Mulaney said. "Dave's show said, 'Your weird life is just as funny as show business.'"

The 70-year-old Letterman spent 33 years on late-night TV, hosting long-running shows on NBC and then on CBS. His final broadcast on May 20, 2015, was episode No. 6028 that Letterman hosted. It shattered the record of his mentor, Carson.

On Sunday, comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short honored him by needling him about his bushy, white beard.

"Dave has always had excellent instincts. What better time that now to choose to look like a Confederate war general," Steve Martin said.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama sent in a video tribute and Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder thanked Letterman for being a longtime "friend to music" and performed the song "Keep me in your heart" by the late Warren Zevon, a Letterman favorite.

Letterman's run on NBC in particular was hugely influential, introducing a sardonic, irony-drenched comedic style that influenced a generation.

His time slot immediately following Carson's "The Tonight Show" allowed Letterman to draw a huge following of young, largely college-age viewers seeking an alternative to the somewhat staid Carson model.

Letterman introduced the country to fringe musical acts that might never have received an opportunity on "The Tonight Show."

His humor was undeniably intelligent, but also at times surrealistic and silly. He pioneered segments called Stupid Pet Tricks and Stupid Human Tricks. He tossed watermelons and other objects off a five-story building; at one point, he wore a suit made of Velcro and jumped onto a Velcro-covered wall, sticking in place. He turned bizarre characters like Larry "Bud" Melman and Biff Henderson into cult celebrities.

Letterman started his career as a radio talk show host and TV weatherman in Indiana. In the mid-1970s he moved to Los Angeles, performing stand-up comedy and writing jokes for (at the time more famous) stand-up comic Walker of "Good Times" fame. Eventually he caught the eye of "The Tonight Show" and Carson, performing several times on the show and becoming a regular guest host starting in 1978.

NBC gave Letterman his own show following Carson; "Late Night with David Letterman" debuted on Feb. 1, 1982. Letterman's first guest that night? Bill Murray, the Twain award recipient in 2016.

On Sunday, Murray stole the show with a surreal performance dressed as an Elizabethan-era monarch.

Murray said the perks of the Twain award elevate you above normal humans.

"You're not exactly a god but you're way up there," he said. "You will be able to walk up to any man or woman on the street, take a lit cigar out of their mouth and finish it. You'll be able to board any riverboat in this country."

Murray then announced he was hungry and had a burger brought to him on stage. He then ordered platters of burgers delivered to Letterman's balcony and cajoled Letterman's son Harry to toss a pickle to the masses below.

Letterman ended the evening with a brief speech and a bit of dark humor, saying, "I kind of wish this award could be presented posthumously."

He thanked the "hundreds and hundreds, perhaps thousands" of people who helped him along the way. He closed with a politically tinged quote from Mark Twain himself on the subject of patriotism: "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and supporting your government when it deserves it."

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Follow Ashraf Khalil on twitter at www.twitter.com/ashrafkhalil


            Letter penned a day before Titanic sank sold at UK auction

dlrs US 166,000

Letter penned a day before Titanic sank sold at UK auction

LONDON (AP) — A letter written by one of the Titanic's passengers a day before the ocean liner sank has sold for 126,000 pounds ($166,000) at an auction in England.

The handwritten note, on embossed Titanic stationery, was penned by first-class passenger Alexander Oskar Holverson on April 13, 1912 — the day before the ship hit an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic, killing more than 1,500 onboard.

Holverson, a salesman, was on the Titanic with his wife, Mary. He had intended to post it to his mother when they arrived in New York.

Auction house Henry Aldridge & Son, which specializes in Titanic memorabilia, said Saturday the letter was "the most important Titanic letter we have ever auctioned" because of its content, historical context and rarity.

In the letter, addressed to "My dear Mother" and stained with saltwater marks, Holverson described the Titanic as "a giant in size and fitted up like a palatial hotel." He added: "The food and drink is excellent."

In a poignant line, he also wrote: "If all goes well we will arrive in New York Wednesday AM."

The letter, one of the last known to have been written on board by the disaster's victims, was found in Holverson's pocket notebook when his body was recovered. It was later sent to his family.

His wife survived the disaster, Aldridge said.

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This version corrects the third paragraph to clarify Holverson was planning to send the letter when he arrived in New York, not that his mother was living in New York.

A-ha's stripped down version of ‘Take On Me’ is hauntingly beautiful

Michael Ochs Archives

A-ha's stripped down version of ‘Take On Me’ is hauntingly beautiful

“Take On Me” by A-ha is one of the 1980s’ most remembered songs, not only for its fast-paced beat but also because of that iconic video, which featured a pencil-sketch animation theme (called rotoscoping) and live action featuring lead singer Morten Harket and his then-girlfriend, actress Bunty Bailey.

>> Read more trending news

It reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts in October 1985 and won six awards at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

But take away the fast tempo and the synthesizers and that catchy riff and what do you get? A stripped-down, acoustic version of the hit that the Norwegian-based group played earlier this month on an “MTV Unplugged” show at Giske Harbour Hall in Norway.

On “MTV Unplugged,” the song is slow and performed in a style vaguely reminiscent of the 1960s rock ’n’ roll band Vanilla Fudge, which took fast-paced songs and sang them at an excruciatingly slow tempo. The Ah-ha acoustic version is less psychedelic and is sung quietly -- almost reverently.

Many purists will prefer the version that bubbled through the radio and television during the 1980s, but the new arrangement is certainly haunting.


            Directors guild files disciplinary charges against Weinstein

Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File

Directors guild files disciplinary charges against Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — The Directors Guild of America announced Saturday it has filed disciplinary charges against disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

The group said it filed the charges on Oct. 13.

Weinstein has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in the weeks since The New York Times and The New Yorker published exposes alleging decades of sexual misconduct by Weinstein.

The Television Academy, which bestows Emmy awards, said a disciplinary hearing set for November could lead to termination of his membership.

More than 40 women have accused the 65-year-old Weinstein of harassment or abuse.

Actresses including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Lupita Nyong'o have accused Weinstein of harassment, while actresses Asia Argento and Rose McGowan said he raped them.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

The directors guild issued a statement condemning sexual harassment in general following a board meeting New York on Saturday.

"There must be no tolerance for such deplorable abuses of power," the statement said. "This isn't about one person. We must recognize sexual harassment is endemic in our society, and painfully, in our industry."

The group added that "every individual has the right to a safe workplace."

An attorney for Weinstein did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


            The Latest: Appeal backed by former presidents raises $31M

AP Photo/LM Otero

The Latest: Appeal backed by former presidents raises $31M

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the hurricane relief concert attended by a five living ex-presidents (all times local):

8:35 p.m.

The five living former presidents have attended a concert to benefit victims of hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Barack Obama, George W. Bush, George H.W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter called on Americans to donate to the appeal that has raised $31 million so far. They avoided politics in their remarks and none of them mentioned President Donald Trump.

President George H.W. Bush did not address the crowd but smiled and waved from the stage. The 93-year-old elder Bush suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease and appeared in a wheelchair at the event.

Grammy award winner Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance at the concert.

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8 p.m.

An appeal to help hurricane victims backed by the five living former presidents has raised $31 million since it began on Sept. 7.

Jim McGrath, spokesman for former president George H.W. Bush, confirmed the figure Saturday. The former presidents all attended a concert in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A&M University as part of the appeal.

They have joined together to raise money after devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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7:05 p.m.

A hurricane relief concert has begun in Texas featuring the five living former U.S. presidents appearing together for the first time since 2013.

Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama were on stage at the start of the concert in College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University, where the elder Bush's presidential library is located.

They are joining together to raise money to help victims of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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6 p.m.

President Donald Trump has recorded a video message for the hurricane relief concert that five former U.S. presidents are attending Saturday night.

Trump says in the video that the American people "came together as one" in the wake of a series of devastating hurricanes that hit Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in recent weeks.

He's also thanking presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — frequent subjects of his wrath— for helping to spearhead the effort, calling them "some of America's finest public servants."

He says: "This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and devotion to one another."

The concert starts at 7 p.m. CDT.

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12:30 p.m.

All five living former U.S. presidents will be attending a concert Saturday night in a Texas college town, raising money for relief efforts from hurricane devastation in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Democrats Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Republicans George H.W. and George W. Bush are putting aside politics for the event. Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, which made landfall after Harvey and Irma had battered Texas and Florida.

Having so much ex-presidential power in one place is unusual. George H.W. Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said all five of Saturday night's attendees haven't been together since the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas in 2013, when Obama was still in office.

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            Fox renewed O'Reilly contract despite knowing of allegations

AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

Fox renewed O'Reilly contract despite knowing of allegations

NEW YORK (AP) — The parent company of the Fox News Channel says it knew a news analyst planned to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly when it renewed the popular personality's contract in February.

The New York Times reported Saturday the company renewed O'Reilly's contract after he reached a $32 million settlement with the analyst, Lis Wiehl.

In a statement, 21st Century Fox defended its decision because it said O'Reilly had settled the matter personally. It also said O'Reilly and Wiehl had agreed the financial terms would be kept confidential.

The company says O'Reilly's new contract had added protections that allowed Fox to dismiss him if other allegations surfaced.

O'Reilly was ousted months later when it was revealed Fox had paid five women a total of $13 million to keep quiet about harassment allegations.

Mark Fabiani, a spokesman for O'Reilly, said in a statement Saturday that after 21st Century Fox fired founding CEO Roger Ailes in 2015 following harassment charges, dozens of women accused scores of male employees at Fox News Channel of harassment. The 77-year-old Ailes died in Palm Beach, Florida, last May.

21st Century Fox paid out close to $100 million dollars to settle all the cases, Fabiani said, adding that in O'Reilly's 20 years working at the channel not one complaint was filed against him by a co-worker, even on an anonymous hotline.

Wiehl's allegations included repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to the woman, according to people briefed on the matter who spoke to The New York Times.

As part of the terms of their agreement, she signed an affidavit, dated Jan. 17 and obtained by the newspaper, stating that the two sides had resolved their dispute and that she had no claims against O'Reilly concerning any of the allegations in the draft complaint. All photos, text messages and other communications between the two would be destroyed, the newspaper reported.

The Associated Press emailed Wiehl on Saturday seeking comment.

The settlement was by far the largest of a half dozen deals made by O'Reilly or the company to settle harassment allegations against the host, according to the newspaper.

It was reached in January. A month later, 21st Century Fox granted O'Reilly a four-year extension on a $25 million-a-year contract. In April, it fired him.

Fabiani said the newspaper's account was false and taken out of context. The New York Times said it stands by its reporting.

"Mr Fabiani addresses everything but what the story actually says. This article, like our previous reporting on the subject, is accurate and deeply reported and we welcome any challenge to the facts," the newspaper said in a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday.

The most-watched figure in cable TV, O'Reilly has called his firing from the Fox News Channel a "political hit job" and that his network's parent company made a business decision to get rid of him. O'Reilly also has said his conscience was clear in how he dealt with women.

The company said it has taken numerous steps to change its workplace environment.

"21st Century Fox has taken concerted action to transform Fox News, including installing new leaders, overhauling management and on-air talent, expanding training, and increasing the channels through which employees can report harassment or discrimination," Fox said in a statement emailed to the AP. "These changes come from the top, with Lachlan and James Murdoch personally leading the effort to promote civility and respect on the job, while maintaining the company's long-held commitment to a diverse, inclusive and creative workplace."

O'Reilly hosts his "No Spin News" podcast on his website, www.billoreilly.com, contributes to Glenn Beck's radio program on TheBlaze and continues to write books in his best-selling series of historical "Killing" books, including his newest release, "Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence."

____

This story has been corrected to say Ailes died in Palm Beach, Florida, not Los Angeles.


            UK paper sorry for airbrushing out Solange Knowles's braids

AP Photo/Francois Mori, File

UK paper sorry for airbrushing out Solange Knowles's braids

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Evening Standard newspaper has apologized to Solange Knowles for digitally altering an image of the singer on the cover of its magazine.

Knowles — who had released a song called "Don't Touch My Hair" — complained on Instagram that an elaborate braided crown on her head had been digitally removed from the cover photo.

The magazine article featured the singer talking about her experiences spending time at her mother's salon as a child. She also discussed braiding's importance to her and praised it as "its own art form."

The magazine said in a statement Saturday that the photo was altered for "layout purposes" but it was sorry for the offense caused. The statement said: "Plainly we made the wrong call and we have offered our unreserved apologies to Solange."

World Series tickets for Dodger Stadium games soar in price

Harry How/Getty Images

World Series tickets for Dodger Stadium games soar in price

Emotions among fans in Southern California were sky-high after the Los Angeles Dodgers nailed down their first World Series berth in 29 years.

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Also rising are the cost of World Series tickets.

According to TicketIQ, a firm that tracks ticket sales and availability, the average asking price for games in Los Angeles are $3,164 per ticket. Only the Chicago Cubs last year, with an average asking price for games at Wrigley Field, had a higher amount, at $3,480, ESPN reported.

StubHub had several large sales for Game 1 of the World Series, which will be played in Los Angeles for the first time since 1988. One fan paid $37,804 (including fees) for a pair of front-row seats behind the Dodgers’ dugout, ESPN reported. Another paid $72,008 (also including fees) for four seats in the second row behind the Dodgers’dugout.

According to reseller Vivid Seats, the cheapest ticket available for Game 1 on Tuesday night is a standing room-only pass for $1,002, before fees. There was only one of those tickets available as of late Saturday morning.

Prices could even jump higher if the New York Yankees defeat the Houston Astros in tonight’s Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. The Dodgers and Yankees have met 11 times in the World Series since the two longtime rivals faced each other for the first time in 1941, when the Dodgers were based in Brooklyn. The Yankees have beaten the Dodgers in eight of those World Series.


            Former presidents call for unity at hurricane aid concert

AP Photo/LM Otero

Former presidents call for unity at hurricane aid concert

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The five living former presidents put aside politics and appeared together for the first time since 2013 at a concert on Saturday to raise money for victims of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Democrats Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Republicans George H.W. and George W. Bush gathered in College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University, to try to unite the country after the storms.

Texas A&M is home to the presidential library of the elder Bush. At 93, he has a form of Parkinson's disease and appeared in a wheelchair at the event. His wife, Barbara, and George W. Bush's wife, Laura, were in the audience.

Grammy award winner Lady Gaga made a surprise appearance at the concert that also featured country music band Alabama, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer 'Soul Man' Sam Moore, gospel legend Yolanda Adams and Texas musicians Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.

The appeal backed by the ex-presidents has raised $31 million since it began on Sept. 7, said Jim McGrath, spokesman for George H.W. Bush.

President Donald Trump offered a video greeting that avoided his past criticism of the former presidents and called them "some of America's finest public servants."

"This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and devotion to one another," Trump said in the greeting, played during the concert.

Four of the five former presidents — Obama, George W. Bush, Carter and Clinton — made brief remarks that did not mention Trump. The elder Bush did not speak but smiled and waved to the crowd. They appealed for national unity to help those hurt by the hurricanes.

"The heart of America, without regard to race or religion or political party, is greater than our problems," said Clinton.

The last time the five were together was in 2013, when Obama was still in office, at the dedication of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas.

There is precedent for former presidents joining forces for post-disaster fundraising. George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton raised money together after the 2004 South Asia tsunami and Hurricane Katrina the next year. Clinton and George W. Bush combined to seek donations after Haiti's 2011 earthquake.

"It's certainly a triple, if not a home run, every time," said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston. "Presidents have the most powerful and prolific fundraising base of any politician in the world. When they send out a call for help, especially on something that's not political, they can rake in big money."

Amid criticism that his administration was initially slow to aid ravaged Puerto Rico, Trump accused island leaders of "poor leadership," and later tweeted that, "Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes" while saying that Federal Emergency Management Agency, first-responders and military personnel wouldn't be able to stay there forever.

But Rottinghaus said ex-presidents are seen as less polarizing than the current president.

"They can't get away from the politics of the moment," he said of current White House occupants. "Ex-presidents are able to step back and be seen as the nation's grandfather."

Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane on Aug. 25, unleashing historic flooding in Houston and killing more than 80 people. Shortly thereafter, all five ex-presidents appeared in a commercial for a fundraising effort known as "One America Appeal." In it, George W. Bush says, "People are hurting down here." His father, George H.W. Bush, then replies, "We love you, Texas."

Hurricane Irma subsequently hit Florida and Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, while both devastated the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A website accepting donations, OneAmericaAppeal.org, was created with 100 percent of proceeds pledged to hurricane relief.

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‘Game of Thrones’ actor Peter Dinklage, wife Erica Schmidt celebrate birth of 2nd child

Bruce Glikas

‘Game of Thrones’ actor Peter Dinklage, wife Erica Schmidt celebrate birth of 2nd child

“Game of Thrones” actor Peter Dinklage and his wife, Erica Schmidt, welcomed their second child, Us Weekly reported Friday.

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It is the second child for the couple. Their daughter was born in 2011, Us Weekly reported.

The couple did not publicly confirm the second pregnancy, but Us Weekly confirmed they were spotted with their newborn at a concert in September.

Dinkage plays the part of Tyrion Lannister on “Game of Thrones,” which ended its seventh season in August.


            New film claims to have solved Jim Thompson mystery

AP Photo/File

New film claims to have solved Jim Thompson mystery

BANGKOK (AP) — A new documentary is set to stir fresh debate over one of Asia's most enduring mysteries: What happened to Jim Thompson, Thailand's legendary silk king.

The former American intelligence officer turned textile tycoon went for a walk in the Malaysian jungle 50 years ago and never returned. Despite a massive search, no trace of Thompson was ever found. One of the most prominent Westerners in Asia had simply vanished.

Theories abound: He was killed by a tiger; he got lost and perished in deep forest; he disappeared himself as part of a political intrigue. Those behind the documentary say they have new evidence that Thompson was killed.

Their film, "Who Killed Jim Thompson," premiered Oct. 20 at the Eugene International Film Festival in the U.S. state of Oregon.

"There's been all sorts of theories and mostly silly theories, but I'm hoping that this will put some closure to, you know, the whole story," said Barry Broman, the film's producer.

The filmmakers, from Adventure Film Productions, said they got their break out of the blue: An old contact approached them with a tale of a death-bed confession. They eventually found a second source whose information dove-tailed with the first.

Their conclusion: Thompson was slain by rebels from the Communist Party of Malaya who grew suspicious after he arrived in the jungle and began requesting a meeting with the party's secretary-general, at the time Malaysia's most-wanted man. Rather than vacationing, the filmmakers said, Thompson was on what turned out to be a final, fatal mission.

Broman, who has decades of Asia experience as a photographer, U.S. marine and diplomat, said the conclusion is unequivocal: "Jim was never going to be found. He was murdered."

The filmmakers acknowledged the murder theory's not new, but they believe their version is more substantial.

While some of the film's conclusions are plausible based on what is known about Thompson's life, there is nothing definitive given that it relies on second-hand information from relatives of those allegedly involved and leaves many questions unanswered.

During World War II, Thompson was a highly decorated operative with the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA. After the war, he was stationed in Thailand with the OSS and chose to make his home there after turning businessman and founding his silk firm in 1948.

Thompson helped revive the Thai silk industry and his company has since grown into one of Thailand's flag-ship luxury brands. His former Bangkok home, once the site of legendary parties, is now a museum filled with his fabulous collection of Asian art and antiques. Both have become must-see attractions for the millions of tourists who visit Thailand each year.

The company declined to comment on the new claims about the fate of its founder.

Thompson had a $1.5 million a year business by 1967, when the Vietnam War was in full swing with Thailand playing an essential role, hosting bases from which the U.S. Air Force bombed communist-controlled areas of Indochina.

Thompson decamped in March of that year to Malaysia's Cameron Highlands, a hill station dotted with tea plantations that was once popular with British colonists, for some rest and relaxation with Singaporean friends at their Tudor-style Moonlight Cottage vacation home.

On March 26, Easter Sunday, as his hosts were taking a rest, they heard their guest from Bangkok leave the house, presumably to take a stroll in the area's crisp fresh air.

Not a trace of Thompson was found after that. Hundreds of people were involved in the initial sweep to find him: soldiers, police, professional jungle trackers, native tribespeople. When no clues were unearthed, psychics and medicine men joined the fruitless quest.

"I still have questions. I'd like to have a couple of more sources," Broman acknowledged. He hopes bringing the story to the screen may jog some memories, and perhaps someone, somewhere will be struck by a realization along the lines of, "say, didn't Grandpa talk about that?"


            Jason Aldean releases 'I Won't Back Down' for charity

Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File

Jason Aldean releases 'I Won't Back Down' for charity

NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Aldean's moving rendition of "I Won't Back Down" on "Saturday Night Live" will soon be raising money to help victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

The song was made available on Friday on various sites. Aldean's representative says all proceeds will be donated to the Direct Impact Fund dedicated to victims of the tragedy.

Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 2 when a gunman fired on the crowd a hotel room, killing 58 people. Hundreds more were injured.

The country star made his first public performance on "SNL" five days later and sang the Tom Petty song. It was in part a tribute to the late rocker, who died that week, but also a show of resiliency in the face of tragedy.


            Ex-prosecutor to sue Cosby accuser, alleging personal injury

AP Photo/Marc Levy, File

Ex-prosecutor to sue Cosby accuser, alleging personal injury

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former district attorney who declined to press sexual-assault charges against Bill Cosby in 2005 has filed the beginnings of a lawsuit against Cosby's accuser in Philadelphia.

An attorney for Bruce L. Castor says the personal-injury complaint will claim Andrea Constand sued Castor for defamation in 2015 so he would lose the prosecutor's race. The winner, Kevin Steele, had criticized Castor's handling of the Cosby case.

Castor's lawyer James Beasley Jr. tells The Philadelphia Inquirer paperwork filed earlier this month will lead to a lawsuit seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

A lawyer representing Constand's attorneys says the potential lawsuit sounds "legally deficient."

Cosby is charged with knocking out Constand with pills and sexually assaulting her at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. He says the encounter was consensual.


            Norman Rockwell's 3 sons seek to halt sale of his artworks

Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle via AP, File

Norman Rockwell's 3 sons seek to halt sale of his artworks

BOSTON (AP) — Norman Rockwell's three sons were among several people who went to court on Friday seeking to halt a museum's plans to sell 40 works of art, including two by him.

A complaint seeking a temporary restraining order filed in Berkshire Superior Court alleges the board of trustees at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield contracted with Sotheby's for a public auction of the works before it announced its plans publicly, acted in breach of its fiduciary duties and trust and acted without legal authority to sell the art.

The planned sale is against Massachusetts laws establishing the museum, which requires the museum to maintain any gifts it receives "for the people of Berkshire County and the general public," the complaint says.

"Once sold, it is highly unlikely that any of the pieces will remain in Berkshire County or in a public institution where they can be seen and enjoyed," the complaint says.

Besides Thomas, Jarvis and Peter Rockwell, the plaintiffs include two local artists and several members of the museum. They are represented by the Boston law firm Foley Hoag LLP.

The museum has consistently stood by its decision to sell the art.

"We believe we have strong legal grounds for our deaccessioning and we are confident in our new vision plan which will allow this important local museum to continue to contribute to the educational and cultural life of this region for another century," trustees president Elizabeth McGraw said in a statement on Friday.

The museum came under intense national and local criticism after it announced in July that is was auctioning the art.

The American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors said in a joint statement that the sale violated a sacred museum rule that collections are not to be sold to pay bills.

The works for sale include Rockwell's "Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop" and "Shuffleton's Barbershop," both of which the illustrator gave as gifts to the museum when he lived in nearby Stockbridge. Works by Alexander Calder, Albert Bierstadt and George Henry Durrie also are on the auction block.

Museum trustees and officials say the museum is in dire financial straits and may close for good if it doesn't sell the works. They say it is hoped that the sale will raise as much as $60 million, which will be used to boost the endowment by $40 million, with the other $20 million being used to renovate the museum as it changes its mission to focus more on natural history and science.

The complaint says the museum's financial troubles are greatly exaggerated.

Selena to receive Hollywood Walk of Fame Star on Nov. 3

On the heels of a popular Google Doodle this week honoring Selena Quintanilla Pérez, the pop culture icon will now posthumously receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Nov. 3.

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“Before there was JLo, Shakira or Beyoncé, there was a transformative female artist called Selena,” said Otto Padron, president of Meruelo Media and sponsor of the tribute, in a statement. “Selena is one of the most influential music icons of the 20th century. Her music, style and smile are timeless, and now her star will grace (Hollywood, California) forever.”

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce last summer selected to honor Selena in its recording category, along with other performers including John Legend, Clarence Avant, Ice Cube, a posthumous honor for Jerry Goldsmith, Hall & Oates, *NSYNC and New Edition.

On Selena’s Facebook fan page, music lovers expressed a similar sentiment that the honor was long overdue.

“A dream come true,” wrote fan Hadeer Sinawe. “She deserved this even before her death.”

Texas native Eva Longoria will join Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to proclaim Nov. 3 as official “Selena” Day in Los Angeles.

On March 31, 1995, Selena’s former fan club president Yolanda Saldivar fatally shot Selena at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi. But for many fans of the Tejano superstar, who was on the brink of crossing over to the English-language music market, Selena’s legacy lives on.

In honor of her Walk of Fame addition, check out our playlist of Selena songs: