The Canadian Press –
Apr 11, 2019 / 3:05 pm | Story:
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Fans wait in line to attend public memorial at Staples Center on Thursday.
Nipsey Hussle’s legacy as a community activist, uniter, a doting father and a loving son were underscored at his public memorial service on Thursday, with deeply personal testimonies from those closest to the rapper, including his mother, who said she was at peace with the death of her son, whom she hailed as a “superhero.”
“He had such beautiful energy,” said Angelique Smith, dressed in all white, remembering her 33-year-old son, whose given name was Ermias Asghedom. Standing on stage with Hussle’s father, Dawit Asghedom, in front of a capacity crowd of 21,000 at the Staples Center, Smith declared: “Ermias was a legacy.”
Hussle’s children and fiance, actress Lauren London, also appeared onstage to pay tribute to Hussle. London was with another woman and Kross, her 2-year-old son with Hussle; Hussle’s daughter Emani Asghedom; another child and London’s son with rapper Lil Wayne, Cameron Carter.
Cameron said days after Hussle died, he had a dream he saw the rapper.
“I realized Ermias told me what heaven was like. He told me it was paradise,” Cameron said.
Cameron then told the audience that Hussle would look at him through the window at times and say “respect.” Cameron then asked the crowd to say “respect” in unison, and they complied.
At the memorial, Father Thomas Uwal read a scripture in Tigrinya — the native language in Eritrea, the African country where Hussle’s father was from. He also spoke in English, saying: “Ermias was full of hope. Ermias full of life. Ermias was full of dreams.”
Father Uwal spoke of Hussle being a “proud to be an Eritrean-American,” later saying to the late rapper’s family: “On behalf of all Eritreans … we say our condolences to you.”
The public memorial service kicked off by paying respect to Hussle the rapper, as songs from his latest Grammy-nominated album, “Victory Lap,” filled the arena.
“Everybody put your hands in the air,” the DJ said as one of Hussle’s songs played. “It’s a celebration.”
Indeed, his mother, dressed in all white, danced in the aisle as R&B singer Marsha Ambrosius sang the Mariah Carey song “Fly Like a Bird” while fighting back tears. “This is for Nipsey, y’all” Ambrosius said before she started as she tried to gain her composure, sighing heavily.
But soon the focus was squarely on the person behind the persona. A montage of photos featuring the rapper from infancy, childhood and adulthood, with fellow rappers, his family and London, were shown to the crowd, set to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
Hussle was slain last month in front of a store that he tried to use to empower his South Central neighbourhood. Most who filed in for the public memorial at arena Thursday were young adults, but ages ranged from small children to the elderly.
Books with an image of Hussle on the cover were handed out to service attendees. The book of nearly 100 pages contained numerous photos of Hussle with London, his children, and friends like Russell Westbrook and Snoop Dogg. It also had heartfelt messages from Rick Ross, The Game and LeBron James.
“I’ve never cried myself to sleep over any public figure before, but Nipsey’s presence meant so much for our community,” actress Issa Rae said in her message inside the book.
The memorial was being livestreamed on BET and BET News’ Facebook page, among other outlets.
The hearse carrying Hussle’s coffin was scheduled to after the funeral to go on a 25-mile lap through the city, including past the property where Hussle had planned to turn an aging strip mall into new businesses and affordable homes. Finally, it will arrive at a funeral home in the city’s hard-scrabble Crenshaw district, where the rapper was born on Aug. 15, 1985.
Hussle was shot to death March 31 while standing outside The Marathon, his South Los Angeles clothing store, not far from where the rapper grew up. The store will be one of the places where Hussle’s casket passes during the procession through South Los Angeles.
Eric R. Holder Jr., who has been charged with killing Hussle, has pleaded not guilty. Police have said Holder and Hussle had several interactions the day of the shooting and have described it as being the result of a personal dispute.
Apr 11, 2019 / 6:40 am | Story:
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Mel B has reportedly settled her defamation case with former nanny Lorraine Gilles out of court for $2.3 million after a bitter legal battle.
During her messy divorce battle with husband Stephen Belafonte, the Spice Girls singer claimed he impregnated Gilles, who she called a “prostitute” and urged her to get an abortion after Mel refused to let her and her child live with them.
She also claimed Gilles was her secret lover for many years, and that she was extorting her with sex tape footage of the duo with Belafonte. Mel filed restraining orders against them both to stop them from distributing the tapes, but this order was later dissolved.
Following her divorce, Gilles sued the mother-of-three for defamation, with Mel facing a potential legal bill of $6.5 million if she had lost the case. The singer would also have had to call on her celebrity pals, such as Simon Cowell and Heidi Klum, as witnesses at LA Superior Court if the case had gone to court, with intimate details of her sex life being discussed in the court.
Mel is said to be relieved after settling the case for almost $2.6 million – with the deal also meaning she doesn’t have to face ex Belafonte in court.
“Mel was just happy to clear this mess up once and for all,” a source told the Daily Mirror. “Things were said in court papers in the heat of a divorce, which exploded into this lawsuit. But in recent weeks their frost has thawed, with them even meeting in the same room to work out their differences.”
The source added that the recent headlines about Mel’s sex with bandmate Geri Halliwell had shown her just how much public interest there was in her personal life.
“After the Geri controversy, the last thing she wanted was the rest of the band on the stand being probed all about her sex life,” the insider concluded.
Apr 11, 2019 / 6:38 am | Story:
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Geoffrey Rush has won his defamation case against a newspaper publisher after being accused of inappropriate behaviour towards a co-star.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star took legal action against Nationwide News, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and journalist Jonathon Moran, over two Sydney Daily Telegraph articles based on a complaint from actress Eryn Jean Norvill about his behavior during a 2015 Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear.
Giving evidence during the trial in Sydney earlier this year, Norvill, who was playing Cordelia, the daughter of Rush’s Lear, claimed the Australian actor “deliberately” drew his right hand across part of her right breast while she was playing dead during the play’s final scene.
However, on Thursday, Judge Michael Wigney ruled he was “not satisfied” that the incidents described in Norvill’s testimony had actually taken place, adding that her evidence was “inconsistent” and that she was “prone to exaggeration and embellishment.”
Judge Wigney also reprimanded the newspaper for publishing “recklessly irresponsible pieces of sensationalist journalism of the very worst kind.”
He also ruled that Rush, 67, should receive $608,680 in damages, and would be awarded more compensation at a later date – the amount of which has yet to be decided.
Court papers previously revealed Rush was seeking more than $18 million in damages, with his lawyers claiming that his career had been irreparably damaged by the Daily Telegraph’s allegations and adding the screen star he may never have the “spirit or confidence” to work again.
As he left court after the ruling, Rush brushed off messages of congratulations on the victory from onlookers, and told waiting reporters: “There are no winners in this case… It’s been extremely distressing for everyone involved.”
He added: “I want to thank my wife Jane and our children for their support during this harrowing time.”
Apr 11, 2019 / 6:34 am | Story:
Chris Hemsworth feared his photos from brother Liam’s secret wedding to Miley Cyrus would be leaked online after the snaps were accidentally sent to a stranger.
The Thor star was among the close family and friends who attended the intimate Christmas ceremony at Liam and Miley’s home in Nashville, Tennessee, and took hundreds of shots of the happy couple.
But when he had the snaps developed back home at a store in Australia they were sent to a 21-year-old tourist, named Elvira Nordstrom in error.
She took to Instagram and revealed she had accidentally received Hemsworth’s snaps and he tracked her down.
“I got a phone call with her number and I contacted her,” the movie star said during an appearance on British breakfast show This Morning on Wednesday. “She couldn’t be kinder. They’re safe… It could have gone the other way.”
Chris was relieved because all guests at the wedding had been told not to take photos and keep the nuptials as private as possible by Miley’s sister Brandi – and he was only allowed to snap away because he was using a traditional camera.
Meanwhile, Nordstrom, who recently moved to Australia from Sweden, tells MailOnline she was thrilled to get a call from Chris.
“He was so grateful,” she recalls. “He said several times how grateful he was that I hadn’t posted the pictures on social media or sold them to anyone. It was completely unreal to hear his voice when I picked up, and you could really hear that he meant what he said.”
Apr 11, 2019 / 6:30 am | Story:
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Kim Kardashian’s advocacy work for released criminals has inspired her to pursue a legal career.
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star has shocked fans by revealing she is currently enrolled in a four-year apprenticeship with a San Francisco law firm, and is studying for the bar exam, which anyone attempting to practise law must pass, in 2022.
The spark for Kardashian’s career change came as she personally petitioned President Donald Trump for the release of Alice Marie Johnson, a grandmother serving a life sentence for a non-violent drug offence. Kim helped the U.S. leader see sense and he granted Johnson an immediate release.
Following her victory, the FIRST STEP Act, geared towards social justice reform, was passed by Congress and signed by Trump.
“I had to think long and hard about this,” she tells Vogue magazine of her plans to become a lawyer, noting “seeing a really good result” with her efforts to land Johnson a release from prison motivated her.
“I never in a million years thought we would get to the point of getting laws passed,” she says. “That was really a turning point for me.”
Working to get the bill passed proved eye-opening for Kardashian, who saw first hand the impact a team of law professionals can make.
“It’s never one person who gets things done; it’s always a collective of people, and I’ve always known my role, but I just felt like I wanted to be able to fight for people who have paid their dues to society,” she adds. “I just felt like the system could be so different, and I wanted to fight to fix it, and if I knew more, I could do more.”
The mother-of-three was also impacted by the work of her late father, attorney Robert Kardashian, who famously worked on the O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1994, alongside lawyers Johnnie Cochran and Robert Shapiro.
“On the weekends they used our home as an office…,” Kim recalls. “My dad had a library, and when you pushed on this wall there was this whole hidden closet room with all of his O.J. evidence books. On weekends I would always snoop and look through. I was really nosy about the forensics.”
Apr 11, 2019 / 6:28 am | Story:
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Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez
Jennifer Lopez is unfazed by gossip about her new fiance Alex Rodriguez’s infidelity because she knows the truth about their relationship.
The couple’s romance was rocked last month, just a day after J.Lo and her man announced their engagement, when former baseball star Jose Canseco publicly accused Rodriguez of cheating on the singer/actress in a series of explosive tweets.
“Watching World of Dance (Lopez’s talent show) watching J.Lo text Alex Rodriguez little does she know that he is cheating on her with my ex-wife Jessica (sic),” Canseco posted.
“Poor girl, she has no idea who he really is. Alex Rodriguez stop being a piece of s**t stop cheating on Jennifer Lopez.”
Canseco, who divorced Jessica in 1999 after three years of marriage, continued: “I was there a few months back with her (his ex) when he (Rodriguez) called her on her phone.”
Jessica vehemently denied the “false accusations,” and insisted she hadn’t even seen A-Rod, who has been a longtime friend, in at least five years, but Jose didn’t back down, and instead challenged the retired New York Yankees ace to take a lie detector test.
Neither Alex nor Jennifer responded to the allegations at the time, but now the I’m Real hitmaker has addressed the controversy and dismissed Canseco’s claims.
Quizzed about the rumors during a radio interview on New York’s The Breakfast Club show on Wednesday, she shrugged, “It doesn’t matter. I know what the truth is.”
“I know who he is, he knows who I am,” the 49-year-old beauty said. “We’re just happy. We’re not gonna let other people come out and tell us what our relationship is; I know what our relationship is.”
J.Lo and A-Rod began dating in early 2017, and have been inseparable ever since, often documenting their time together on social media.
The marriage will be Jennifer’s fourth, following previous unions to Ojani Noa, Cris Judd, and Marc Anthony – the father of her 11-year-old twins Max and Emme, while Alex will be heading down the aisle for the second time. He used to be married to Cynthia Scurtis, the mother of his daughters Ella and Natasha, from 2002 to 2008.
Apr 11, 2019 / 6:26 am | Story:
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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry is partnering with Oprah Winfrey on a television series tackling the subject of mental health.
The British royal announced on the news on Wednesday via the Instagram account for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. According to the statement, Prince Harry and Winfrey, a guest at his wedding to former actress Meghan Markle, have been working as co-creators and executive producers on the series, which will launch on Apple TV+ in 2020, for several months.
“I truly believe that good mental health – mental fitness – is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self,” he wrote in the statement. “It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times.”
Harry has championed mental health initiatives for several years, including launching his own charity Heads Together, with brother Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in 2016 to help people in the U.K. and Commonwealth to access support.
“Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive – sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better,” he added. “I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Oprah on this vital series.”
Harry has spoken openly about mental health issues in the past, revealing in 2017 that he received counseling following the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
There are reportedly no immediate plans for the Duchess of Sussex to be involved. Meghan, 37, is due to give birth within weeks, following the couple’s move to Frogmore Cottage, their new home on the Windsor estate in England, this month.
Last month, Winfrey announced her partnership with Apple TV+ and said it offered a “unique opportunity” to tackle the “daunting challenges of our time.”
Apr 11, 2019 / 6:25 am | Story:
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Katy Perry has reportedly met with Las Vegas casino bosses to discuss a possible residency.
The American Idol judge, 34, concluded her Witness: The Tour trek last year and only has one festival date in her diary, at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2019 at the end of this month.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Firework hitmaker is planning to fill up her diary by performing in Sin City.
Sources tell the publication she met with officials from Caesars Palace hotel and casino on Friday to discuss a residency deal, and took a tour of the resort’s 4,300 capacity Colosseum venue.
The newspaper’s sources claim she toured the arena for under an hour before entering talks with executives but checked out its dressing rooms, balcony, and lower-level seating.
Caesars Palace bosses have an opening in their schedule, having lost two of their longtime resident stars in recent years. Elton John ended a seven year stint last year, while Celine Dion’s eight year relationship with the venue ends in June. The Colosseum has an opening for new acts after performances by Rod Stewart and U.S. funnyman Jerry Seinfeld in October and November.
If she does agree a residency, Katy will join pop divas including Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, and Mariah Carey, who have all signed up to perform Sin City shows in recent years.
Britney pulled out of her residency new Park MGM resort before it was due to begin in February, however, due to her father’s ill-health. She later checked into a mental health facility to take time out amid her father’s recovery from a life-threatening colon rupture.
Apr 10, 2019 / 7:08 am | Story:
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Scarlett Johansson called for help from the police after she was allegedly chased through Hollywood by paparazzi on Monday.
The actress had just left a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live on Hollywood Boulevard when she was freaked out by the attempts to get a photo of her, and pulled over to visit a police station.
Recalling the scary encounter to USA Today on Tuesday, the Avengers star says, “(There were) five cars full of men with blacked-out windows who were running red lights and putting other drivers and pedestrians at risk so they could follow me to find out where I was staying and subsequently stalk me and my young daughter for the duration of my stay… All of this is perfectly legal.”
The outraged actress adds, “I felt it was my duty as a concerned citizen who was being pursued dangerously and stalked to go to the local precinct and seek guidance there.
“Women across the U.S. are stalked, harassed and frightened and a universal law to address stalking must be at the forefront of law enforcement conversations. Until paparazzi are considered by the law for the criminal stalkers they are, it’s just a waiting game before another person gets seriously injured or killed, like Princess Diana.”
Scarlett, who did not file a police report, recently took on another women’s rights issue, as she urged women, who find themselves victims of fake porn, to take action.
“The Internet is just another place where sex sells and vulnerable people are preyed upon,” she told The Washington Post. “And any low level hacker can steal a password and steal an identity. It’s just a matter of time before any one person is targeted.
“I think it’s up to an individual to fight for their own right to the their image, claim damages, etc” It’s a fruitless pursuit for me but a different situation than someone who loses a job over their image being used like that.”
Apr 10, 2019 / 7:06 am | Story:
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Nipsey Hussle’s parents have broken their silence after their rapper son was gunned down and killed in Los Angeles last month.
Nipsey’s mother Angelique Smith and father Dawit Asghedom were joined by the rapper’s girlfriend Lauren London, the mother of his two-year-old son Kross, at the star’s grandmother’s home in Los Angeles as they remembered their boy in a chat with the Los Angeles Times.
Speaking about his son, born Ermias Asghedom, Dawit said he’s proud of the powerful messages put across by the musician’s tunes.
“It was like he was sent by God to give some love to bring us together because that’s what his lyrics were saying, always,” he explained. “He’s not shy to tell the truth even though it might not look good. He wasn’t scared of anything. (God) sent him to send a message.”
And in the wake of Nipsey’s murder, Dawit is seeking comfort in the fact that his songs sparked a positive change.
“We all have a plan, but God has his own plan,” he mused. “So he had completed what he needed to be doing and he did it early so (God) probably want to take him early too.”
Angelique recalled her son’s early years when he was at school and asked to be put in advanced classes, smiling: “He recognized at an early age his own capability. His own potential. He has always known.”
As for how she wants Nipsey to be remembered, Angelique added that he was “a humble, spirited, respectful man who had, since his childhood, had an extraordinary and unlimited intellectual capacity.”
Meanwhile, Lauren, who started dating the hip-hop star in 2013, told the publication that she’s trying to “keep her head high” following his murder.
“I’m going to keep my head high and always represent for my king to the fullest,” she said. “He loved his kids. He was a family man. His family came first.”
A memorial event is taking place to honor Nipsey at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Thursday. And, in another move to remember the slain rapper, the intersection of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard – in the center of where the musician grew up – is to be renamed “Ermias ‘Nipsey Hussle’ Asghedom Square.”
Apr 10, 2019 / 7:02 am | Story:
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Hilaria & Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin’s wife has suffered a miscarriage.
Hilaria Baldwin has been updating followers about her fifth pregnancy, and recently revealed she felt she would lose her unborn baby – and on Tuesday her worst fears were realized.
“There was no heartbeat today at my scan… so it’s over…,” the 35 year old wrote in a heartbreaking Instagram post, “but I have some pretty strong and amazing heartbeats right here,” referring to her husband and their children.
“I am surrounded by such love and I feel so fortunate.”
She went on to thank her fans and followers for their support and for “sharing your own personal stories”, adding: “We are stronger together… I hope this conversation continues to grow and that we stick together through both the beautiful and challenging moments in life. Much love and appreciation to all of you.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Hilaria appeared on the Today show and addressed a post from last week, when she revealed that she was “most likely suffering a miscarriage.”
“I’m pretty sure that this is not gonna stick,” she said. “And, you know what, when we agree to be parents we have to accept the good and the bad. Whether our child gets a scraped knee or gets their heart broken when they’re a teenager or gets really sick, or God forbid something worse, we have to realize that it’s not just all diapers and blankets and hair bows.
“We have to open our hearts and realize that there’s gonna be hard moments too.
“I wanted to come out and speak about it because it’s something so many people deal with and, as women, we’re trained to deal with it silently. You’re definitely not supposed to say anything before 12 weeks. And some of that is because people are superstitious or that’s how they feel that they’re going to be stronger and a lot of it for other people is fear. And I don’t think we have to live with such fear.”
The Baldwins have four young children together and Alec has a grown-up daughter, Ireland, from his marriage to Kim Basinger.
Apr 10, 2019 / 7:01 am | Story:
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Shawn Mendes has admitted he finds speculation about his sexuality “hurtful.”
The In My Blood hitmaker made the comments during an interview with the Guardian, insisting that he finds it tough to deal with the rumours.
“For me it’s hurtful,” he asserted. “I get mad when people assume things about me because I imagine the people who don’t have the support system I have and how that must affect them.”
Rumours that the star is gay have been rife for several years, and he famously took to Snapchat in late 2017 to refute the claims, saying: “First of all, I’m not gay. Second of all, it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or wasn’t.”
While the There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back singer reflected that the talk doesn’t affect him personally, he suggested that it is the effect that it has on other people that bothers him the most.
“I was so angry, and you can see I still get riled up, because I don’t think people understand that when you come at me about something that’s stupid you hurt so many other people,” the 20-year-old considered. “They might not be speaking, but they’re listening.”
Elsewhere in the chat, the Stitches star reflected on the role of social media in this life, and claimed that it has made him more conscious of maintaining his public image.
“I’m scared of social media and how much it affects me,” he reflected. “It’s literally become infused with who I am.
“I don’t think of myself as conceited, but I definitely spend a lot of time reading about myself.”