Friday, December 1, 2017

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Candace Cameron Bure Explains How She Talks to Her Kids About Sexual Harassment. Like so many parents today, Candace Cameron Bure can't avoid the headlines surrounding sexual harassment allegations. With growing teenagers at home, the actress has found herself talking to them about the difficult subjects. And with daughter Natasha Bure working in Hollywood, Candace is finding the conversations to be more important than ever before. "My daughter is in the industry so those are conversations that we have and really that I've been having with my children since they were young because that's what parenting is about and helping them be secure with who they are and having moral boundaries and knowing what's right and what's wrong and what's appropriate for people to ask of you and not and not to be afraid to speak out," she explained to E! News. Candace continued, "As a mom, the only other thing you can do is pray." While the Staying Stylish author said she has not personally had to deal with any sexual harassment in the industry, Candace couldn't help but express empathy for potential victims. "I can't imagine. It's horrific listening to all the stories," she explained to us. "Thinking about what so many women have gone through and the courage they have to come out as well. I'm glad it's all being exposed and I hope that we can eventually put an end to it." When asked about Matt Lauer's termination from NBC News, Candace said she was "shocked." "Shocked like the rest of the world but we don't know people personally and what happens behind closed doors so we'll just wait for more details, but very sad," she shared. As the actress continues her work on Fuller House, Candace is looking forward to spending the holidays with her family in Los Angeles. She's also celebrating the release of her new book just released titled Staying Stylish: Cultivating a Confident Look, Style and Attitude. In the project, Candace gives readers a behind-the-scenes look into her day-to-day life and reveals more than 100 tips and tricks for looking and feeling your best. Perhaps those skills will be put to use when she celebrates John Stamos and Bob Saget's respective engagements in the future. "I'm sure there will be some party -- dual party -- we'll all be there," she shared with E! News. "All of Fuller House. We can't not be with each other. It will be obnoxious. You'll be sick of seeing all the pictures." (Eonline)

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber are keeping the faith. The rekindled couple, who dated on-and-off from 2010 to 2015, were spotted leaving church at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, California, on Wednesday evening. They arrived separately for the service, with the newly blonde Gomez, 25, keeping things casual chic in a striped shirt covered with a brown jacket. Bieber, 23, completely dressed down for the outing, sporting a baggy grey sweatshirt and matching sweatpants. He also donned a pair of aviator glasses. Earlier this month, the duo were spotted at Hillsong Church in Los Angeles several times over the same weekend. After heading to a church event on Friday night, the two were seen twice at the church on Saturday. Though multiple sources recently told PEOPLE that Gomez and Bieber are still not officially back together and are taking a more low-key approach to their relationship, they're logging plenty of quality time together -- from riding bikes to sharing meals. They appeared to be close as can be when they were photographed kissing at Bieber's weekly hockey game at Los Angeles Valley Ice Center in Ventura, California, on Nov. 16. "Justin is still very happy. They have had quiet date nights at home and outings to local, low-key sports," a Bieber pal said. "They are still catching up and just enjoying hanging out. They have learned from past mistakes and are not putting any pressure on each other. Things are much different and more mature." Bieber and Gomez went through a period of estrangement following an Instagram spat last summer after Bieber flaunted his new relationship with Sofia Richie on Instagram. But according to multiple sources, Bieber reached out to the "Wolves" singer after learning about her kidney transplant. They had their differences in the past, of course, but Bieber is apparently hoping it's not too late to say "Sorry." An insider close to the pair previously told PEOPLE, "Justin is happy Selena is single. He hopes to regain her trust so they can get back together." Meanwhile, The Weeknd made his split with Gomez Instagram official when he unfollowed his ex-girlfriend and deleted all photos of her from his account. They broke up in October after 10 months of dating. (People)

Jay-Z finally admitted he's cheated on Beyonce. The recording artist and music mogul told the New York Times, in an interview posted on Wednesday, that he's still emotionally scarred from his impoverished upbringing in Brooklyn. And as Jay-Z discussed psychotherapy that's when he made his admission of "infidelity." "You have to survive. So you go into survival mode, and when you go into survival mode what happens? You shut down all emotions. So even with women, you gonna shut down emotionally, so you can't connect," he told executive editor Dean Baquet. "In my case, like it's, it's deep. And then all the things happen from there: Infidelity." Baquet didn't appear to push Jay-Z for any other details of his cheating. Both Jay-Z and his wife have seemingly addressed their marital ups and downs via song. In Beyonce's track "Sorry" in 2016, she referenced, "Becky with the good hair," a phrase that's been used to describe the other woman. Then this past summer, Jay-Z in his track "4:44" alluded to cheating. "I apologize often womanize. Took for my child to be born. See through a woman's eyes. Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles. Took me too long for this song, I don't deserve you," according to Jay-Z's lyrics. Jay-Z also said he's closer than ever to mom Gloria Carter, who came out through his track "Smile" earlier this year. The Brooklyn native said he's known since he was teen that his mom was gay. "But we never spoke about it," he said. "Until like recently now we start having these beautiful conversations and just really getting to know each other. We were always good friends but now we're really great friends." The 47-year-old artist born Shawn Corey Carter said rap is a young man's game – and that he's in the sunset of his recording career. "I think rap in particular is a young man's sport and I'll move out of that white-hot space. Rap is about the gift discovery. The white-hot space is when it's fresh and new, and it's like the hottest song ever," he said. "I stretched it. Oh I stood in that window a really long time. But still, no, I don't think people are looking to me as like, The Thing." (Page Six)

Matt Lauer "Embarrassed" by Sexual Misconduct Scandal: "I Am Truly Sorry." Matt Lauer has broken his silence regarding the growing sexual misconduct allegations made against him throughout the week. Today's Savannah Guthrie read his apology on-air Thursday. "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappoint I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish deeply," the former Today anchor wrote. "Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I am committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job." Lauer, who was fired from NBC News after a swift internal investigation, added, "The last two days have forced me to take very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It's been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace." An employee filed a complaint Monday night, in which she claimed the sexual misconduct began during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and continued afterward. NBC News chairman Andy Lack previously sent a memo to employees Wednesday, saying the claims about Lauer's misconduct "represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards." "While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he's been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident. Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender," Lack wrote. "We are deeply saddened by this turn of events but we will face it together as a news organization -- and do it in as transparent a manner as we can." Since Lauer's firing, two more women have made complaints about Lauer's alleged misconduct. The first accuser's attorney, Ari Wilkenfeld, issued a statement to E! News Wednesday. "My client and I met with representatives from NBC's Human Resources and Legal Department at 6 p.m. on Monday. Over the course of several hours, my client detailed egregious acts of sexual harassment and misconduct by Mr. Lauer. In fewer than 35 hours, NBC investigated and removed Mr. Lauer. Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly and responsibly, as all companies should when confronted with credible allegations about sexual misconduct in the workplace," he said. "It is our hope that NBC will continue to do what it can to repair the damage done to my client -- their employee -- and any other women who may come forward." "While I am impressed by NBC's response to date, I am awed by the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than asking the company do the right thing," her attorney concluded. "This is how the system should work." (Eonline)

Geoffrey Rush Denies Accusations of ''Inappropriate Behavior.'' Australian actor and Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush vehemently "denies" allegations of "inappropriate behavior" made against him, a lawyer for the actor has said in a statement obtained by E! News on Wednesday. In a statement issued by Rush's legal team, HWL Ebsworth, the actor says that he "denies having been involved in any 'inappropriate behavior' whatsoever." In a now-deleted Daily Telegraph article, the publication alleged earlier in the day that reports of inappropriate behavior had been made against the actor when he starred in the Sydney Theatre Company's (STC) production of King Lear in 2015 and 2016. A rep for the theater company gave a statement to E! News on the matter: "Sydney Theatre Company received a complaint alleging that Mr. Geoffrey Rush had engaged in inappropriate behavior. The Company received the complaint when Mr. Rush's engagement with the Company had ended." The company's statement continued, "The Company continues to work with the complainant to minimize the risk of future instances of the alleged behavior occurring in its workplace. The complainant has requested that their identity be withheld. STC respects that request and for privacy reasons, will not be making any further comments." Subsequently, the 66-year-old issued a lengthy statement to E! News, denying the claims and adding that he was still unaware of the specific allegations made against him, despite his best efforts to ascertain details. The document stated, "To date, Mr. Rush or any of his representatives have not received any representations from the STC or the complainant. In other words, there has been no provision of any details, circumstances, allegations or events that can be meaningfully responded to." The statement, which goes on at length to say that Rush is still in the dark on the claims, continues, "It must be made clear from the outset that Mr. Rush abhors any form of maltreatment of any person in any form." The statement also says, "It is a great disappointment to Mr. Rush the STC has chosen to smear his name and unjustifiably damage his reputation in this way." The statement continues, "Not to afford a person their right to know what has been alleged against them let alone not inform them of it but release such information to the public is both a denial of natural justice and is not how our society operates." The document also includes a direct statement from the actor in which he expresses that he tried to find out more information from STC but did not receive it. The actor states: "The moment I became aware of rumors of a complaint I immediately phoned and spoke to senior management at the Sydney Theatre Company asking for clarification about the details of the statement. They refused to illuminate me with the details." The King's Speech actor says, "I also asked why this information was being withheld, and why, according to standard theatre practice the issue had not been raised with me during the production via stage management, the director, my fellow actors or anyone at management level. However, no response was forthcoming." The statement ends: "At this stage, Mr. Rush can only reiterate his statement that he denies having been involved in any 'inappropriate behavior' whatsoever. Until there is the decency afforded to Mr. Rush of what the 'inappropriate behavior' actually is then there is nothing more that can be said at this stage. (Eonline)

Matt Lauer is being accused of alleged sexual assault in two new complaints against him. PEOPLE confirms two new sexual harassment allegations have been made to NBC against Lauer, 59, who was fired overnight from his position on the TODAY show. A former NBC employee-who spoke to the The New York Times on condition of anonymity-said that Lauer sexually assaulted her in 2001. According to the publication, Lauer had been making "inappropriate comments" to her after she started working at the media company in the late 1990s. The woman told the Times that Lauer asked her into his office in 2001, and that he locked the doors by pressing a button from his desk. (A source tells PEOPLE "many exec offices in 30 Rock have the button. It's an idiosyncratic thing.") Lauer allegedly proceeded to ask her to unbutton her shirt, which she did. She claims he then pulled down her pants, bent her over a chair and proceeded to have intercourse with her. The unidentified woman claims she blacked out with her pants halfway down and that she woke up on the floor to Lauer asking his assistant to take her to a nurse, according to the Times. She told the publication she didn't report the incident due to feeling as though she might lose her job, but did leave NBC a year later. PEOPLE reached out to Lauer's representatives for comment but did not immediately receive a response. The Times reported that the woman's ex-husband confirmed she had told him about the alleged incident at the time while a friend said the woman had shared her story with them five years ago. The nature of the second complaint has not been revealed. In a report published Wednesday afternoon by Variety, three anonymous women accused the former newsman of sexual harassment, claiming Lauer had once brought a female employee into this office "and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis." Lauer then allegedly "reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act." Lauer, who is a father of three, also allegedly gave a female colleague a sex toy as a present. Guthrie opened the TODAY show Wednesday with a statement from Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News, explaining that Lauer's firing was the result of unwelcome actions: "On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he's been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident." Meanwhile, multiple current and former NBC employees who spoke to Variety said they complained to upper management about Lauer to no avail. "Management sucks there," a former anonymous reporter told Variety about executives who previously worked at the show. "They protected the shit out of Matt Lauer." However, an NBC spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement, "We can say unequivocally, that, prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer's conduct." (People)

Bette Midler once told Barbara Walters that Geraldo Rivera had groped her in the 1970s. A video of the 1991 interview resurfaced Wednesday after Rivera defended TODAY show anchor Matt Lauer who was fired for alleged sexually inappropriate behavior. Midler revealed the alleged incident to Walters after the veteran journalist asked about Rivera's claim that he and the stage star had a sexual encounter. "Geraldo and his producer came to do an interview with me, in the '70s, the early '70s," Midler said. "And this was when he was very, sort of, hot. And he and his producer left the crew in the other room, they pushed me into my bathroom, they broke two poppers and pushed them under my nose and proceeded to grope me." (The word "poppers" is slang for the recreational drug alkyl nitrite.) Walters cocked her head to the side and looked shocked as she asked, "Grope... ?" Midler nodded and said, "Groped me. I did not offer myself up on the altar of Geraldo Rivera. He was... he was unseemly." PEOPLE has reached out to Midler's and Rivera's representatives for comment but has yet to receive a response. While a high profile star accusing another celebrity of groping her would be taken very seriously today, when the interview aired more than 20 years ago, it did not cause any major scandal. Rivera, 74, addressed the encounter in his 1991 memoir called Exposing Myself, which was reviewed by the Washington Post at the time. A short line about the encounter was excerpted, in which Rivera wrote, "We were in the bathroom, preparing for the interview, and at some point I put my hands on her breasts." In an interview with the Post for the review, Rivera said, "I went to bed with a lot of people in my life. With all the private people, their names were either changed or they were used with their permission. With the public people, like Bette Midler and Margaret Trudeau and Marian Javits, they live their lives on the public stage, and much worse things have been written about them. I don't think it's that slanderous a statement to say that somebody made love to me 15 years ago." The news reporter defended Lauer, 59, on Wednesday after the NBC host was let go due to alleged inappropriate sexual behavior throughout 2014, including at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Following his tweets, Fox News issued a statement about Rivera: "Geraldo's tweets do not reflect the views of FOX News or its management. We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him." After receiving backlash from this tweets, Rivera tweeted again, apologizing for his earlier comments. "Reaction to my tweets today on #sexharassment makes clear I didn't sufficiently explain that this is a horrendous problem long hidden Harassers are deviants who deserve what is coming to them-Often victims are too frightened to come forward in a timely fashion-I humbly apologize," he wrote. NBC announced early Wednesday that Lauer had been fired after the network received a "detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior" on Monday, with reason to believe "this may not have been an isolated incident." (People)

Being at 30 Rock on Wednesday after the Matt Lauer firing was like being at a mortuary, according to "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi -- who was there to do a cooking segment with him. The Emmy-nominated food expert described the scene in an Instagram post, saying it was one she'll never forget. "When I walked into 30 Rock it felt like someone had died," Lakshimi said. "The mood was somber to say the least, shell shocked would be more accurate." Lakshmi had been scheduled to make a chicken dish with Lauer, who was axed Wednesday over his alleged harassment -- which included exposing himself and sexting -- but she was forced to film the segment with Al Roker, instead. "This morning I woke up expecting to do a cooking segment on the Today show with my friend @MattLauerNBC," Lakshmi said. "Driving uptown I was in shock as I heard the news of his dismissal due to allegations of sexual misconduct at work. As I watched @SavannahGuthrie read Andy Lack's statement, I was utterly shaken up." According to Lakshmi, learning about the Lauer accusations was "like finding out your dad has been cheating on your mom and the happy family you thought you were living in is in fact broken," The Bravo star has appeared alongside the "Today" show anchor on numerous occasions and insists that she never saw anything inappropriate in the past. "I must say that in all the many years I have been on the @TodayShow I have only experienced a warm, cordial and respectful environment," Lakshimi said. "In all the years I have known Matt, and worked with him on the Today show, I have never found him to be anything but empathic, kind, totally appropriate, and respectful of me; a consummate professional. But as someone who has experienced sexual assault and sexual harassment I know how hard it is to come forward or even properly process that it is indeed happening to you. Especially when it's someone who holds such a high place in one's profession." Lakishimi went on to say that she stands with Lauer's alleged victims and hopes that their stories can prompt other women and men to speak up about misconduct and abuse that they've experienced in the past. "I don't know who the women who have come forward are but I can tell you how hard it is to even admit that it's actually happened," she said, using the #MeToo hashtag. "You feel utterly intimidated and often blame yourself. There is little upside for a victim speaking out. And as a victim myself I am thankful they did. I am deeply saddened about Matt as I am saddened about @CharlieRose, two people I have very much looked up to in television. Their presence and contributions to our industry will be sorely missed. But I stand in solidarity with the victims. And while this is a painful period in our cultural history, it is a good and necessary purging of one of the most harmful aspects of the 'old boys club'. There is always pain when the thorn gets pulled out of the flesh. But only when it's gone can the healing begin." (Page Six)

Mariah Carey receives a multimillion dollar settlement from ex-fiance James Packer. Mariah will be cashing in and keeping the ring, for the "inconvenience" he has caused her. The popstar had allegedly wanted up to 50 million dollars for the "inconvenience" James had caused her - a couple months after the announcement of their breakup, it was reported that she was feeling depressed. Mariah, who was set to tie the knot with James in the beginning of 2017, has left the courthouse with a settlement of 5 to 10 million dollars. The amount comprises her engagement ring, which is allegedly worth 8 million dollars and the singer will get to keep. The news come a month after James opened up to The Australian about the real reason why they've broken up. And no, it has nothing to do with Mariah's "extravagant spending" or James being jealous of Mariah's backup dancers - as it was previously reported. James says the breakup was down to him: "I was at a low point in my personal life," the 50-year-old told the publication. "She was kind, exciting and fun. Mariah is a woman of substance. But it was a mistake for her and a mistake for me." Could millions of dollars fix a heart break? Probably not. But it would be damn great to get a multimillion dollar settlement for every guy that was ever an "inconvenience" in our lives. Kudos, Mariah. Mariah and James got engaged in January 2016 after dating for less than a year. The pair were first spotted together in the summer of 2015 after pictures of them holding hands in Italy emerged. (British Glamour)

Jim Nabors, who starred in the massive '60s hit 'Gomer Pyle,' died Thursday. Nabors became famous as the bumbling mechanic on "The Andy Griffith Show" and then went on to do his own show, which ran for 5 years. He also appeared in movies, including "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "Cannonball Run II." He also was an accomplished singer, who recorded dozens of albums and scored 5 gold and 1 platinum records. One of his iconic songs is the staple of the Indie 500 ... "Back Home Again in Indiana." He last appeared at the race in 2014. Nabors was gay and long before social media there was gossip -- which was false -- that he secretly married Rock Hudson. In real life, Jim was married to his partner of 40 years. They lived in Hawaii. Nabors was 87. RIP. (TMZ)

Man Who Inspired ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Dead at 46. Anthony Senerchia Jr., who served as an inspiration behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, died this past weekend after a battle with ALS. He was 46. "Anthony's positive attitude and fighting spirit helped him beat doctors' expectations by living more than ten years beyond their prognosis," his obituary stated. "If you asked Anthony, he would attribute this to his love and desire to be with his daughter Taya." The post continued, "Throughout his fight, Anthony maintained a positive attitude and would say 'It's not what we take from life, but what we give back to others is what ultimately defines us.'" With that in mind, Anthony would create the Anthony Senerchia Jr. ALS Charitable Foundation. As for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it helped the ALS Association fund over 150 ongoing research projects and raised more than $115 million in eight weeks. (Eonline)

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

Prince George Asks Santa Claus for a Single Gift With Handwritten Christmas List. It looks like Prince George will make Santa's nice list this year. During Prince William's two-day trip to Finland, the Duke of Cambridge met with the one-and-only Santa Claus and presented him with his son's Christmas list. "I've seen you, and I had to give you this letter, " William said to Old St. Nick at a Christmas market in Helsinki. So what does the four-year-old royal want for Christmas this year? According to his handwritten note, there's only one item he's hoping to find underneath his tree: a police car. "He hasn't written down many requests, so I think one request is probably OK," William added with a laugh. In addition to featuring George's short list of requests, the note featured a brief questionnaire -- one that asked the young prince whether he'd been naughty or nice this year. George circled the word "nice." William pointed this out to Father Christmas and offered to vouch for his son. "But he's been a nice boy, a nice boy," he said to Santa. George even gave his royal signature at the bottom of the form. Santa looked over George's list and seemed to nod in agreement -- always a good sign. However, the tot will have to wait until Christmas to find out if Mr. Claus will grant his request. Now the only question is: What does two-year-old Princess Charlotte want this holiday season? (Eonline)

Angela Lansbury Says Women Must Sometimes Accept "Blame" for Sexual Harassment. Angela Lansbury's comments about sexual harassment have sparked controversy on social media. In the wake of the numerous allegations against Harvey Weinstein and others in Hollywood, the 92-year-old former Murder, She Wrote actress is receiving backlash for statements she made about sexual harassment in an interview with the Radio Times. "There are two sides to this coin. We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive. And unfortunately it has backfired on us - and this is where we are today," Lansbury said. She went on to say, "We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that. Although it's awful to say we can't make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped." But Lansbury added that women "shouldn't have to be" prepared for this. "Should women be prepared for this? No, they shouldn't have to be," she said. "There's no excuse for that. And I think it will stop now - it will have to. I think a lot of men must be very worried at this point." In response to her comments, the Rape Crisis England & Wales released a statement (via the Telegraph): "It is a deeply unhelpful myth that rape and other forms of sexual violence are caused or 'provoked' by women's sexuality or 'attractiveness'. Rape is an act of sexual violence, power and control that has little to nothing to do with sexual desire. It is as insulting to men as it is to anyone to suggest they're unable to take responsibility for their own behaviours and that the way a woman presents herself can cause them to lose control or force them to sexually harass or assault her." The statement continued, "There is no excuse or mitigation for sexual violence and there is no circumstance in which it's even partially the victim's or survivor's fault. Until we accept and acknowledge that, it will be very difficult for us as a society to reduce or prevent rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or sexual abuse." UPDATE: Angela Lansbury is speaking up to clarify her highly criticized interview, explaining that she's "devastated" by the backlash. "There is no excuse whatsoever for men to harass women in an abusive sexual manner," the 92-year-old said in a statement to People. "And, I am devastated that anyone should deem me capable of thinking otherwise. Those who have known the quality of my work and the many public statements I have made over the course of my life, must know, that I am a strong supporter of Women's Rights." (Eonline)

Former "Baywatch" beauty Pamela Anderson used her charms on the Secret Service to tackle Vice President Mike Pence in New York to exact a pardon for her pale paramour Julian Assange. Spies tell Page Six that Anderson was in Manhattan filming a PSA at the JW Marriott Essex House when she learned that Pence was at the same address. The blond bombshell has said that she "loves" WikiLeaks founder Assange and visits him every two weeks in his "cramped" room at London's Ecuadorian embassy, where he's staying in order to evade extradition. According to onlookers, Anderson "marched straight up to the Secret Service and asked to see Pence." A witness said: "The Secret Service agent practically swooned and fainted when she walked up to him and started pressing her finger on his badge. Pam said, 'I'd like to meet the vice president.'" But, the source added, "The agent did get it together enough to politely refuse, saying the vice president was busy." When we reached activist Anderson for comment, she confirmed to Page Six: "I wanted to thank [Pence] for supporting protection of sources for journalists. He is heralded for co-sponsoring proposals for a 'federal shield law,' which I deeply admire. This action would have allowed journalists to keep confidential sources secret -- even if the government requested them." She added, "I really wanted to mention this -- it is a topic close to my heart. Julian Assange deserves a pardon, and I thought I might be able to help. Julian is a hero to most of the world's youth and free-minded thinking people. America needs to be on the right side of history." Assange holed up in Ecuador's embassy to avoid Swedish rape charges, which he denied and were eventually dropped. But he's remained in the diplomatic dungeon over claims that he could face charges in the US for document leaks. Anderson's PSA was for the National Limousine Association's Ride Responsibly campaign, which is fighting for tighter background checks on app-based hailed drivers following sexual assaults. (Page Six)

This Game of Thrones candle literally hatches a dragon as a melts. Ever wanted a pet dragon? If you simply can't wait for series 8 of Game of Thrones to come out, you can (kind of) have a go at hatching a dragon in the comfort of your bedroom with this clever candle from ThinkGeek... Hatching dragons is risky business, and we're pretty down for simple revealing one as we have a bath. Inside the candle, there are three different random dragon figures, so it's a complete surprise which one you get. So it's the gift that keeps giving - a candle to enjoy as it burns, and then a tiny dragon to keep. Literally, what more could you ever want? The candle is $35.99 and available on thinkgeek.com (British Glamour)

Music

Kelly Clarkson's Carpool Karaoke Doubles as a Romantic Date With Husband Brandon Blackstock. It's about time! Kelly Clarkson finally got in the passenger seat of James Corden's car on The Late Late Show and in what might be a first for the segment, she found herself on a romantic date with none other than her husband, Brandon Blackstock. Unfortunately, his idea of romance is talking about reports from the farm, but it was a nice idea, and Kelly sure seemed delighted. The little jaunt to work was mostly a showcase for Kelly's voice, which is still just a delight. She and Corden jammed out and harmonized to a bunch of her hits, including "Since U Been Gone," "Because of You," "Stronger," and the newer "Love So Soft," and Kelly proved that she can even sing about receipts and make it sound pretty damn good. Maybe next time she could even try singing some of those farm reports! The Late Late Show airs weeknights at 12:37 a.m. on CBS. (Eonline)

T-Pain Says You've Been Singing the Lyrics to ''Buy U a Drank'' Wrong This Whole Time. Remember T-Pain's hit song, "Buy U A Drank"? Well, you've been singing it wrong the whole time. The rapper took to Twitter to clear up confusion surrounding the lyrics in the 2007 song, writing, "It's 'and then' not 'ooh wee' but really it's whatever you want it to be." Even when you Google the lyrics to the song, what comes up is: "Baby girl, what's your name? / Let me talk to you, let me buy you a drink / I'm T-Pain, you know me / Konvict Muzic, Nappy Boy, ooh wee / I know the club close at 3." But it looks like that's all wrong. Understandably Twitter users were shook when they realized they had been singing the wrong lyrics for the last ten years. And while he was on the subject, T-Pain added that we have also been botching the song "All I Do Is Win," saying, "I don't wanna throw another wrench in your childhood but also it's 'Everybody hands go UP......... and they stay there....... AND THEY SAY YEAH' sorry." Twitter fans responded hilariously to the news, many joking about their total surprise over the clarification. Record producer Dillon Francis tweeted his shock, writing to the rapper, "listening back ASAP cause now i feel like my life is a lie." Despite the earth-shaking revelation, the artist reassured his followers that he was just grateful that people still enjoyed the tune. He advised, "Just enjoy the song however you hear it. I just appreciate you listening. #BuyUADrank #THANX." In good humor, he also called out a fellow musician, "You" singer Lloyd, whose lyrics have been incorrectly sung over the years, telling him, "Cough it up homie! '5'2' or 'fine too'?!" So, have you been singing the lyrics wrong too? (Eonline)

Florence Welch Releasing First Book of Lyrics/Poetry. "Useless Magic" will hit stores in July. If you've ever wanted a peek behind the curtain into Florence Welch's creative mind, this is your lucky day. Actually, July 5, 2018, is your lucky day, because that's when the Florence + the Machine singer will release her first book, Useless Magic, a collection of lyrics, poetry and artwork from Welch's sketchbook. "Extremely honored to announce that I will be releasing my first book of collected lyrics and poetry with Penguin Books next year," Welch tweeted Thursday morning (Nov. 30) along with an image of the cover, which features a sketch of a flaming heart. Welch also posted a peek at what appeared to be the preface page of the collection, which features her reflections on the power of music. "Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don't know what I'm trying to say till years later," it begins. (Billboard)

Drake Tried His Hand As a Sideline Reporter for the NBA's Toronto Raptors...And it Wasn't a Slam Dunk. Drake's a beast of hip-hip. He's no slouch at acting either. Now he's gone total ball-hog with a stint as a sideline reporter for his hometown Toronto Raptors. It wasn't his slickest performance. Drizzy looked chilled as he sat on the sidelines and shared his thoughts on the game for the fans back home as the Raptors took on (and beat) the Charlotte Hornets at Air Canada Center. The rapper also stepped up for an on-air chat with the Raptors' all-star guard Kyle Lowry, who dropped a season-high 36 points in his team's 126-113 win. Drake had a nervy start as he nearly flubbed Lowry's stats-line then made a rookie mistake of pulling the mic from the baller as he was in his flow. Drake is the Raptors' global ambassador and the franchise's No. 1 fan, but he'll need to go study the tape on this one. (Billboard)

Hear Pearl Jam's New Song From The Brie Larson Rom-Com 'Basmati Blues'. After being filmed in 2012 and then shelved for several years, the Brie Larson-starring romantic comedy Basmati Blues is finally coming out. It's about a pretty young white woman, played by Larson, who saves an Indian village, and the trailer made a lot of people very unhappy. (Billboard)

Movies

Meet the actress who will play Mulan in Disney's live remake. She's perfect for the part. Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast both stormed the box office, and now Disney's Mulan is moving closer to production by casting the lead role. Liu Yifei, 30, is a Chinese actress, model and singer. She is also fluent in English after spending some of her childhood in New York. The casting has been met with excitement on Twitter. Many Hollywood films have been accused of whitewashing, and thousands recently took part in a campaign to stop white people being cast in Asian roles. Films which have faced criticism include The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, and the Hollywood remake of Japanese anime Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson. For those of you who don't know, Mulan is a young girl who disguises herself as a man, and with the help of her dragon sidekick Mushu, becomes a skilled warrior. This is what we need - another feisty female on the big screen. Granted, we love Cinders and her glass slippers, and we adore Belle and her love of books, but what we want (what we really really want) is a Disney princess who wants to kick a little arse. Mulan is the girl who can really impress with her mad warrior skills. Earlier this year Niki Caro was appointed as Mulan's director. Hailing from New Zealand, she's the woman behind Whale Rider (whose young star Keisha Castle-Hughes was nominated for an Oscar for her role), The Zookeeper's Wife and episodes of Netflix's Anne of Green Gables adaptation, Anne with an E. The film was previously set for release for 2 November 2018, but at Disney's D23 Expo in Los Angeles, it was announced that the ballet spin-off The Nutcracker and the Four Realms will now have that spot instead. And with no further news on the Mulan front, it looks as though it will be much closer to a 2019 or even 2020 release date. (British Glamour)

Hayao Miyazaki's Son Working on CG Anime Feature at Studio Ghibli. The Japanese anime house appears to be fully back in the feature business with films from Miyazaki junior and senior both in the works. Studio Ghibli has confirmed Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao, is also working on a feature film, following the management shuffle at the legendary anime house announced this week. Studio Ghibli co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki announced that Miyazaki junior is making a CG animated feature while his father works on his hand-drawn Kimitachi wa do Ikiru ka (How do you Guys Live?). Goro, 50, previously directed Tales from Earthsea (2006) and From Up on Poppy Hill (2011), while his 26-episode TV series Ronja, the Robber's Daughter was completed in 2014 and streamed this year on Amazon Video. No title or details have yet been announced for Goro's film but it appears that Ghibli is truly back in the feature business. Suzuki, known over the years for making confusing statements about the studio, also hinted there were more films in the works. "Ghibli will keep making films. That is the true path for Ghibli. Continuing on is all we can do; until the day we are unable to do so. That is what I have resolved to do," said Suzuki. (Hollywood Reporter)

TV

Netflix Acquires Chinese Detective Drama Series 'Day and Night'. The gritty mystery is the first show from Chinese streaming video platform Yukou Tudou to get worldwide distribution. Netflix has acquired its first online drama series produced in mainland China. The U.S. entertainment giant unveiled a deal Thursday with Youku Tudou, the flagship streaming video service of Jack Ma's Alibaba Group, for worldwide rights outside of China to Day and Night, a 32-episode detective drama series. Critically praised and commercially huge in China, Day and Night has generated more than four billion views on Youku since its local online premiere on Aug. 30. The show follows the investigation of a grisly unsolved murder. The police detective in charge is recused from the case when it is revealed that his twin brother is the top suspect. Spurned by the suspension, the detective then quits his job -- only to be recruited by the new lead investigator as a secret consultant. The title is a reference to the dual but often uncertain identities of the two brothers -- one ostensibly righteous by day, the other allegedly evil at night. Directed by Wei Wang, the show stars Yueming Pan as both brothers. Netflix plans to make the series available in all of the 190-plus countries and regions where it is active. "We are proud to partner with Netflix in this ground-breaking distribution agreement," said Yang Weidong, president of Youku, Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group. "The cultural industry is undergoing robust growth in China, and I believe the export of high-quality content will help people around the world gain a better understanding of the soft power of China. I'm delighted that Youku can become a pioneer in driving this initiative." Netflix has been unable to launch its own services within the massive mainland Chinese entertainment market because of Beijing's restrictions on foreign-owned media channels in the country. Instead, the company has turned to licensing deals in both directions. Last April, Netflix sold the local streaming rights to a batch of its originals to Beijing-based video service iQiyi. (Hollywood Reporter)

HBO Asia Unveils Five New Originals. The company also confirmed that two of its earlier Asian originals -- action series 'Half Worlds' and fantasy drama 'The Teenage Psychic' -- will be made available on HBO in the U.S. this month. HBO is ramping up its original content output in Asia. The Time Warner unit's regional subsidiary, HBO Asia, unveiled two new original films and three original series in Singapore on Thursday, while also announcing a second season for The Teenage Psychic, its Taiwanese fantasy drama series about a high-school girl who can see ghosts. HBO Asia CEO Jonathan Spink also confirmed that The Teenage Psychic and Halfworlds, a dark fantasy action series set in Bangkok, are being picked up by HBO's U.S. flagship channel for North America later this month after HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler had said in October that the company would be bringing the best of its global series to American viewers. "With its richness in culture and histories, Asia is a great source of stories, which make for appealing content locally as well as globally," Spink said. "We are excited that as a start, two of our HBO Asian originals will be available to audiences in the U.S." HBO Asia is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner's HBO and reaches 23 territories across Asia with six 24-hour subscription movie channels, as well as an internet streaming video platform and SVOD service. Among the most high-profile of the new Asian originals unveiled Thursday is Folklore, a six-episode hour-long horror anthology series that takes place across multiple Asian countries including Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Each episode will be based on the given country's local superstitions and myths. Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo is the show's creator and showrunner, and he will direct the Singapore installment. Other top regional directors will helm the episodes for their home country. They include: Joko Anwar (Indonesia), Ho Yuhang (Malaysia), Lee Sang-Woo (Korea), Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand) and Takumi Saitoh (Japan). HBO Asia also has partnered with Hulu Japan to produce Miss Sherlock, its first Japanese-language drama, which will be an eight-part, hour-long series. Premiering across 20 Asian countries in April 2018, the show pays homage to the classic by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, but with bold interpretations of the key characters as Japanese women. See the first trailer here. The third new series is Grisse, an eight-part hour-long period drama series set in the mid 1800's within the colonial period of the Dutch East Indies. With showrunner Mike Wiluan in charge, the series follows a group of unlikely individuals who lead a rebellion against a brutal governor and suddenly find themselves in control of a Dutch garrison town called Grisse. The two films announced are the next installments in HBO Asia's running martial arts movie series partnership with China's CCTV6. Each TV movie in the series features a saga about a different legendary Chinese martial arts master. The two new movies are Master of the White Crane Fist: Wong Yan-Lam and Master of the Nine Dragon Fist: Wong Ching-Ho, with the former directed by Guo Jian-yong and the later helmed by Si Xiao-dong. Added Spink: "By harnessing the full potential of talent and production infrastructure [Asia] has to offer, we are well-positioned to create premium, authentic and relevant content for our audiences in the region, many of which have been recognized for various creative and performance awards." (Hollywood Reporter)

Matt Lauer Breaks Silence on Sexual Misconduct Claims. NBC News' 'Today' show released the statement from the former co-host at the top of Thursday's show. Matt Lauer has broken his silence on the sexual harassment and assault claims made against him Wednesday. The former Today co-host released the following statement that was read by Savannah Guthrie at the top of Thursday's show: "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I'm committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It's been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace." Lauer was fired by NBC News early Wednesday after a complaint from an employee about "inappropriate sexual behavior" in the workplace at the hands of Lauer in 2014. Lauer's longtime home of Today broke that news at the top of Wednesday's show, with co-host Savannah Guthrie looking visibly distressed and joined by 10 a.m. co-host Hoda Kotb. The employee, who not yet been identified, made her complaint on Monday night about alleged inappropriate behavior that began at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Hours after Lauer's termination, a report in Variety included anonymous accusations of sexual harassment from three additional women. And The New York Times reported that NBC News received at least two additional complaints about Lauer, something that NBC itself confirmed in its report on Lauer on Thursday's Today. A former employee told the Times that in 2001 she was sexually assaulted by the anchor. On Thursday's Today, Guthrie was again joined by Kotb as her temporary co-host and the show began with the latest news about Lauer. After Guthrie read Lauer's statement, she threw to correspondent Stephanie Gosk, who delivered her report on the latest developments. Gosk characterized Lauer, an anchor on Today for more than 20 years, as "one of the most high-profile faces of the sexual harassment firestorm engulfing this country." She also cited the Times and Variety reports about Lauer, stating that "several more women have leveled sexual misconduct allegations" against her former colleague. She also reiterated Wednesday morning's news -- Lauer's firing and the statement from NBC News' Andy Lack -- and featured a statement from the accuser's attorney, Natalie Morales' reaction on Access Hollywood and Trump's tweets about the Lauer news. Gosk also noted that Lauer was supposed to co-host Wednesday night's Rockefeller Center tree lighting but wasn't there. Thursday's Today began with a live shot of the illuminated Rockefeller Center Christmas tree before Kotb switched gears from the celebratory sight saying, "It is a difficult morning here again." At the top of the 8 o'clock hour, Gosk again reported on the Lauer news, with a similar video package. This time she read Lauer's statement. By that time, the statement had been circulated wide, and rival morning shows Good Morning America and CBS This Morning both shared Lauer's remarks with their viewers on ABC and CBS and via the shows' Twitter accounts. More to come... (Hollywood Reporter)

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