Search This Blog

Recently Played

Loading ...

Radio Station Music Requests

Song artist:
Song title:
Dedicated to:
Your name:
Your E-mail:

Desert Radio AZ LIVE!

Friday, February 23, 2018

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Rachel McAdams Is Pregnant With Her First Child. Rachel McAdams is going to be a mom! The Oscar nominee is pregnant, multiple sources tell E! News. A rep for McAdams could not be reached. The actress has been keeping a low profile in recent months (she didn't attend Wednesday's premiere of Game Night), and she was last photographed at an airport in Toronto sporting a baggy jacket. McAdams has typically been very private about her personal life, but she was spotted holding hands with screenwriter Jamie Linden in the summer of 2016, fanning speculation that the two were a couple. Though she has yet to personally confirm the baby news, McAdams revealed years ago that she was looking forward to becoming a mother. "Having a few [kids] would be great," she told People in 2009. Furthermore, she told the magazine, "My mom is a great inspiration to me...She's a nurse and very nurturing and gentle. She lets me be who I am. Hopefully I can take on those qualities and be as great as her." Then, in 2015, Marie Claire also noted in an interview with the star that she'd like to have kids at some point. Well, that time has officially arrived! Congratulations to the mom-to-be! (Eonline)

Ed Sheeran Isn't Married -- He's Wearing an Engagement Ring. It's no secret that Ed Sheeran is a romantic at heart. After he was spotted performing in London over the weekend wearing a silver ring on that finger, the 27-year-old "Supermarket Flowers" singer sparked rumors that he and fiancee Cherry Seaborn had secretly tied the knot. Sheeran also wore the band when he posed for photographers on the red carpet at the 2018 BRIT Awards Tuesday, adding to the speculation. Lorraine's Dan Wooton asked him about it point blank, saying, "Are you married?" "No," the singer-songwriter said with a smirk. "I'm not married." Sheeran said the ring symbolizes his devotion to Seaborn, whom he proposed to in December. "I never saw why men didn't wear engagement rings. It's the same commitment either way. Cherry made it for me herself out of silver clay. I really like it. I haven't told anyone that, either." In a separate red-carpet interview with Sky News, Sheeran further addressed the marriage speculation. "It's an engagement ring, because I feel like...I don't know," he said with a shrug. "I feel like it's good to both do things." Asked if he's set a wedding date, he played coy. "I don't know, but I don't know if I'd tell you," he said. "It'll be a situation like this where no one knows." Sheeran told Beats 1's Zane Lowe in January that he's "never been happier" than with Seaborn. "I've never been more comfortable. I've never been more inspired. I feel like everything's fallen into place," he shared," and it's fallen into place because I've given it the time to fall into place." The singer also said he "massively" wants to have kids. "I wanted to be a dad, like, last year," he confessed. "I'm ready. Let's go! Tour bus babies: little fat, chubby babies that just walk around." (Eonline)

When Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux got engaged in 2012, they hoped their happily ever after included starting a family together. "When Jen met Justin, she had almost given up on the idea that she would have kids," a source close to Aniston tells PEOPLE in this week's new cover story. "They wanted to have a baby, but it didn't work out." While the pair -- who announced their split Thursday following over two years of marriage -- were disappointed kids didn't come into their lives, they didn't let it devastate them. "She has been sad that it never happened," the source says, "but it never consumed her." The actress, 49, and the Leftovers star, 46, were immediately attracted to each other when they worked as costars on 2012's Wanderlust. (They'd first met on the set of 2008's Tropic Thunder, which Theroux co-wrote). "From the beginning they had amazing chemistry," says the Aniston source. A film source adds, "They were always affectionate, loving and deeply respectful of each other." But their divergent lifestyles and increasingly separate lives on opposite coasts -- with Aniston most comfortable in Los Angeles and Theroux out and about in New York City -- eventually destroyed their relationship. "They didn't really fight," another film-world source says. "They just did things separately." Now the Friends alum is "sad and disappointed," but "seems to be okay" in the wake of the split, says the source close to her. As for her future? "She isn't a fan of dating," says the source, but "she is a big believer in falling in love and spending her life with a partner that loves sharing hers." (People)

Carrie Underwood's Husband Mike Fisher Shuts Down Split Rumors. Mike Fisher is setting the record straight! Carrie Underwood's hubby made it clear to a fan (and the world) things were just fine -- maybe even better than fine! -- in their marriage, despite recent reports the twosome was headed for a split. Earlier, the officially un-retired hockey player responded to a fan @beverlyayers, who wrote on his Instagram that she was "praying for you and Carrie" and for the pair to "hold tight to each other" because there are always "bumps in the road." The Canadian athlete, who just announced that he be coming out of retirement to play with the Nashville Predators, wrote back to the fan, "We've never been better. Thanks." The sports star and the country queen were wed in 2010. The two welcomed son Isaiah Michael Fisher in March 2015. Three days ago, Fisher, who wed the country queen in 2010, posted an Instagram with an image of a sunset over a lake and Bible quote from Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. The post had the caption, "One of my new favorite verses because I need this reminder daily!" Many commenters were quick to post about their well wishes and prayers for the rumored-to-be struggling couple. But it seems as though Fisher was all about shutting that split talk down. Just last month, the "Before He Cheats" singer took to social media to gush over her main man's big move back to the NHL. "This is happening!" the Grammy winner wrote to her millions of followers. "Fish is back! So proud of you, baby! We want the cup!!!" Over the weekend, Carrie echoed the same sentiments posting an Instagram image a t-shirt with her husband's face on it that says, "The Fish is back!" The 37-year-old athlete previously played for the Predators from 2011 through 2017, becoming the team's captain in 2016. However, a year later, he announced his retirement after 17 years of playing in the NHL. Rumors have circulated that Carrie was unhappy with his decision, but all evidence points to the contrary. Looks like the Fish is back and he's "never been better." (Eonline)

The Parent Trap's Hayley Mills Had No Idea She Won an Oscar 57 Years Ago. In a world where pop culture is alive and well 24/7, it's hard to imagine a Hollywood actress not realizing she was an Oscar winner. But according to Hayley Mills, she didn't realize just how special her role in Pollyanna was until after the biggest award show of the year. Back in 1961, the then child star won the Academy Juvenile Award. But instead of accepting the award in front of her peers, Annette Funicello accepted the trophy on her behalf. "I was actually at boarding school in England, and I didn't know anything about it until it turned up. Like, 'Oh, that's sweet. What's that?' I was told, 'Well, this is a very special award,' but it was quite a few years before I began to appreciate what I had," Hayley shared with Entertainment Weekly. She continued, "It really wasn't until the 75th Oscar ceremony, where I was one of the [former] winners on stage. The curtains parted, and I found myself staring out at the Kodak Theatre, and I looked straight at Richard Gere and [Martin] Scorsese, and nearly fainted. I thought, 'My God, I'm actually a part of this!' I hadn't ever felt that connection, and it was extraordinary. My heroes were on that stage with me, and I was considered to be one of their number!" Hayley explained to the publication that her parents didn't tell her about the award and didn't send her to the ceremony partly because of her young age. As for where her Oscar trophy stands today, the former child star isn't quite sure where it could be. "I'm terribly embarrassed to say this, because it looks so careless, but it has disappeared," she told EW. "In the late '80s, I came to California to do a television series [Good Morning, Miss Bliss]. When I came back from that first year, my little statuette had disappeared, and I never found it. And you know, it's not something you can replace. They've broken the mold. I spoke to the Academy, and I said, 'Well, look, give me a big one then!' [Laughs] They said, 'I'm sorry, it doesn't work like that.' But I'd say for 25 years it was on the mantelpiece in my drawing room, and I was always very proud of it." Today, Hayley is displaying her talents in the off-Broadway play Party Face. She also is enjoying time with some young family members. "I've got four grandchildren now, and that's an amazing, fabulous experience, and I can't wait to see them all again, and the fact that I'm still working at this age is extraordinary, you know?" she shared. "I am so surprised and so grateful that I am still paying the bills by doing this!" (Eonline)

Did Brad Pitt Cause Tension in Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux's Marriage? We're on rumor patrol! Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux recently announced their decision to end their marriage after less than three years. Which means that she and ex-husband Brad Pitt are both on the market again, and rumors have been swirling that Brad may have had something to do with her recent split. US Weekly claims Brad Pitt caused tension between the couple, after Justin allegedly found post-it notes Jen saved from her first marriage. While Jennifer has admitted in the past to keeping in contact with her ex, don't expect a reconciliation soon. "She never talks about him," a source told E! News. "That chapter is sealed and in the past." What's the real reason for the split? (Eonline)

Josh Gad sent his support and love to his family friend Max Schachter after the bereaved father read a poem by his son Alex, who was killed in the Parkland, Fla. school shooting. The Frozen actor, 36, tweeted about his friend Max after the latter appeared on CNN's televised town hall on Wednesday night to read the poem his 14-year-old son penned two weeks before his death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Gad tweeted, "Watching our family friend #maxschachter read his son Alex's poem tonight is almost too much for me to bear. Max, we are all with you. We love you. Your strength is incredible. Your son's poetry is light in this darkness. #alexschachter" Alex's poem was written as a free verse and went as follows, "Life is like a roller coaster/it has some ups and down/sometimes you can take it slow or very fast/ it may be hard to breathe at times/but you have to push yourself and keep going." "Your bar is your safety/it's like your family and friends/You hold on tight and you don't let go/But sometimes you might throw your hands up/Because your friends and family will always be with you," Alex's poem continued. "Just like that bar keeping you safe at all times/ it may be too much for you at times/the twists, the turns, the upside downs/But you get back up/you keep chugging along/ eventually it comes to a stop/you won't know when or how/but you will know that'll be the time to get off and start anew/Life is like a roller coaster." Last week, Gad expressed his grief for Alex's death on Twitter, writing that he was "angry" and "sad" as he called for stricter gun laws. "I am so angry tonight. I am so sad. I'm putting my phone down because we are debating sensible gun laws again," he tweeted last week. "A child of one of our friend's has a bullet in his chest & is critical condition because a 19 year old had access to a military weapon. Pretend it's normal. It's not." The next morning, he revealed that Alex had passed away from his injuries. "Last night, I received a text while I slept that our friend's son passed away from his gunshot wound. My grief for this family and the many others knows no bounds. I'm so sorry this happened," he tweeted. Gad then called out political leaders for their lack of action when it comes to gun control. "I'm so sorry our leaders are worthless," he continued. "I'm so sorry we are bound to repeat this again." The shooting took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland around dismissal time. Seventeen students and educators were allegedly killed by a 19-year-old former student. On Wednesday night, several students and parents of those killed in the mass shooting attended the town hall to speak to their representatives about gun reform. (People)

Angie Everhart has filed for divorce ... TMZ has learned. Everhart cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for ending her marriage to Carl Ferro. The couple married in 2014. Sources tell us there is no prenup, so community property laws apply, which provides a 50/50 of assets acquired during the marriage. Angie, a model who also appeared in numerous TV shows and movies, including "Last Action Hero," also wants spousal support from Ferro, who owns Sunfare, a meal delivery service. Angie and Carl each have one child from previous relationships but none together. TMZ broke the story of their engagement. He popped the question in 2014 ... in an elevator. This is Angie's second marriage. She was previously married to George Hamilton's son Ashley. They divorced in 1997. (TMZ)

Kendra Wilkinson Admits to More ''Marital Problems'' With Hank Baskett. They got 99 problems... In an unusual move, Kendra Wilkinson hopped on Instagram on Wednesday to confirm that admit that she and husband Hank Baskett were indeed having marital problems amid reports that the two were making up problems for TV. The Kendra on Top reality star posted an image of an article of a report that the two were only pretending to have problems in their marriage in order to secure a seventh season of her WE tv show. The story mentions that Hank has not recently appeared on the bubbly star's social media. While many celebs are known for taking to social media to slam rumors that there's trouble in their marriage, Kendra responded with seven-point post, confirming that the couple's relationship was indeed strained and that the issues were not trumped up for cameras. The blunt blonde wrote, "1. how do u fake marital problems? makes absolutely no sense." The star, who was previously on the Girls Next Door from 2005-2010 and then simply Kendra from 2009-2011, flat-out admitted that the problems between her and Hank were real. "Yes we are having issues," wrote the personality, who married the former NFL star in 2009. It appears as though some fans have taken issue with her reality show's change in tone over the years. Kendra explained, "My show was a comedy and light hearted til sad times happened then we had to change my show from comedy to drama. Not what i wanted but was a part of my journey and story." In 2014, Hank got involved in a sex scandal that nearly cost him his marriage. They have chronicled their marriage woes in several seasons. But Kendra swears that they are still facing major obstacles in their union -- and that those close to them are fully aware of the truth of what is going on between them. The mother of two continued, "These issues Hank n I are having in our home which we are tryin to hard to over come, everyone knows about, including producers and network, friends and family." She also said, "I love my job unfortunately these issues at home are affecting my decisions cuz the last thing i want to do is hurt Hank." But the star also let her fans know that she wanted to get back to "the fun Kendra you all know" because she hates "drama." The 32-year-old concluded the revealing post thanking fans for their support, writing, "Thank you all for your support and understanding me at this time. I've been in a lot of therapy lately n hope all gets resolved for me, Hank, kids and even for TV. Lol [sic]." At least she has a good sense of humor about it! (Eonline)

Golf star Bill Haas was completely disoriented when he called 911 following a fatal car crash involving the Ferrari he was a passenger in during the wreck. TMZ obtained audio of the call Haas made immediately following last week's crash in Pacific Palisades, CA. The 71-year-old driver of the Ferrari was killed. The crash also involved Luke Wilson's car, although he was not injured. In the audio, you can hear Haas say he's just been involved in a terrible head-on collision and the driver is trapped. The dispatcher asks Bill if they'll need to rip the car apart to get to the trapped driver. Haas says yes. As we reported ... the 35-year-old golfer was rushed to a hospital where he was treated for pain and swelling in his legs. He's expected to make a full recovery. (TMZ)

Chevy Chase tracked down a truck he says cut him off, but when he tried to confront the driver he ended up getting booted to the ground ... according to a police report. Chevy claims he was traveling over NY's Tappan Zee Bridge on February 9 when a black pickup cut him off. He told cops he though the truck hit his car, so he flashed his high beams and followed it until the driver pulled over. According to police docs ... Chevy realized there was no damage to either vehicle but approached the driver to "speak to him about his reckless driving." He claims there were 3 other people in the truck, and one of 'em flipped him off. Apparently not "Fletch" or "Caddyshack" fans. Chevy says he fired back, "If I were a lot younger I'd bust your nose" ... then one of 'em got out and kicked him in the shoulder so hard he went to the ground. According to docs, the pickup driver claims Chevy tried to throw a punch first, and the alleged kicker was just blocking Chevy's fist ... with his foot. Cops cited ol' quick foot for 2nd degree harassment with physical contact. There was a 3rd party witness who, according to cops, pulled over because he didn't want to see an old man "get his ass stomped." (TMZ)

Meryl Streep's pissed Harvey Weinstein used her for his defense in one of the class action lawsuits against him ... and she's not having any of it. The Oscar-winning actress says just because it's true that Weinstein wasn't sexually inappropriate or physically abusive toward her in their business relationship ... it's not evidence he didn't assault or harass the many other women who have alleged such misconduct. She calls Weinstein's move to use her name -- along with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lawrence -- to aid in his case "pathetic and exploitative," and adds ... "The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility, and if there is any justice left in the system he will pay for them." Translation -- This is all on you ... and keep my name out of your mouth. (TMZ)

Jennifer Lawrence has joined the chorus blasting Harvey Weinstein for suggesting she's fine with his conduct, at least toward her. Weinstein filed legal docs Wednesday trying to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of all women who dealt with the fallen mogul, saying Lawrence had spoken "glowingly" about him and quoting her as saying, "He had only ever been nice to me." Lawrence tells TMZ, "Harvey Weinstein and his company are continuing to do what they have always done which is to take things out of context and use them for their own benefit. This is what predators do, and it must stop." Lawrence goes on ... "For the record, while I was not victimized personally by Harvey Weinstein, I stand behind the women who have survived his terrible abuse and I applaud them in using all means necessary to bring him to justice whether through criminal or civil actions. Time's up." Meryl Streep, who was also mentioned in Weinstein's docs, called Weinstein's legal tactics, "pathetic and exploitative." (TMZ)

Brendan Fraser Says 2003 Groping Incident Spurred Hollywood Absence. Brendan Fraser, star of The Mummy films, Encino Man and other '90s films, has not been seen on the big screen in a while and in a recent interview, he opens up about some turmoil that has likely contributed to his Hollywood disappearance. The 49-year-old star's main residence is a house north of New York City, where the divorced actor is helping to raise three sons, one of whom is autistic. Over the past decade, he went through a divorce, lost his mother to cancer, underwent surgeries as a result of his Mummy stunts, and also was traumatized by an unwanted encounter in Hollywood. In 2003, Fraser claimed Philip Berk, a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, grabbed his butt after a ceremony at which the actor had announced the group's annual charitable donation. Fraser demanded and received a written apology from both the organization, which hands out the Golden Globes, and from the journalist, who disputed Fraser's account, The New York Times reported in 2004. Fraser talks about the encounter for the first time in an interview with GQ, published on Thursday. "I felt ill," Fraser said. "I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry." The actor said Berk had reached out to shake his hand and then allegedly reached around, grabbed part of his butt and touched him inappropriately. Fraser said he was overcome with panic and fear. He said he was eventually able to remove Berk's hand. The journalist, who is still an HFPA member and once served as the group's president, told GQ, "Mr. Fraser's version is a total fabrication," adding, "My apology admitted no wrongdoing, the usual 'If I've done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize.'" Fraser said after the encounter, he rushed home and told his then-wife, Afton, what had happened. "I became depressed," he added. "I was blaming myself and I was miserable -- because I was saying, 'This is nothing; this guy reached around and he copped a feel." Fraser said the experience made him "retreat" and "feel reclusive" and messed with his sense of "who I was and what I was doing." He said work "withered on the vine" for him, saying, "In my mind, at least, something had been taken away from me." "Am I still frightened? Absolutely," Fraser told GQ. "Do I feel like I need to say something? Absolutely. Have I wanted to many, many times? Absolutely. Have I stopped myself? Absolutely...And maybe I am over-reacting in terms of what the instance was. I just know what my truth is." Fraser's comments come amid the rise of the #MeToo movement, in which people have come forward with stories of being sexually harassed and assaulted amid months of sexual misconduct accusations made against a growing number of powerful men in an out of Hollywood, namely Harvey Weinstein, whose accusers include Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino. Fraser told GQ he's worked with all three actresses and considers them friends, adding, "I watched this wonderful movement, these people with the courage to say what I didn't have the courage to say." At the recent 2018 Golden Globes, stars wore black and Time's Up pins to show support for a the Time's Up campaign to help victims of sexual harassment and curb inequality in the workplace. The last Golden Globes Fraser appeared at was the 2003 ceremony. He told GQ he was rarely invited back to the event after then. Berk denied that the HFPA retaliated against the actor, telling GQ, "His career declined through no fault of ours." "The phone does stop ringing in your career, and you start asking yourself why," Fraser said. "There's many reasons, but was this one of them? I think it was." Despite his Hollywood disappearance, Fraser has continued his acting career, concentrating on television. In recent years, he has appeared on The Affair, which is shot in New York, the miniseries Texas Rising, which is shot in Mexico, and is filming Trust, a series about John Paul Getty III, in Europe. The show premieres on FX on March 25. (Eonline)

Prince's estate is spending a ton of cash -- at times more than $600k PER MONTH -- and dropping that kinda loot has the singer's heirs worried they'll be left with nothing when it's their turn to collect. Sources close to Prince's heirs tell TMZ ... they're dumbfounded at how much money it costs to manage the late singer's estate. We're told at the current burn rate, heirs feel there's gonna be close to nothing when it's time to distribute the inheritance. According to docs -- obtained by TMZ -- Comerica's monthly fee to manage the estate is $125k per month. Comerica also hired the law firm Fredrikson & Byron P.A. to rep the estate in court (i.e. Prince's label suing Roc Nation), supervise and coordinate with accountants and advise on tax-related issues. Last November alone, the law firm billed more than $440k in fees and expenses. The spending keeps going ... F&B then hired other attorneys to deal with trademarks, oversea litigation and services on deal proposals, among other things. Comerica, for its part, has painstakingly broken down in more than 600 pages of invoices exactly where the money's going and why it costs so much to manage the estate, which is reportedly worth around $250 mil. (TMZ)

Steve Wilkos just confessed to TMZ, he lied when he told us the horrific car crash in which he was involved last month was the result of him being distracted as he reached for his glasses ... he was actually under the influence of alcohol. We've learned the talk show host was charged Wednesday with DUI in the single-car crash in Darien, Conn. We broke the story, Wilkos struck several poles and a tree before the vehicle rolled over. He went to a hospital for minor injuries and his show was put on ice for a few days while he recovered. Wilkos tells TMZ, "Over the course of my life, I have been struggling with bouts of depression and on the day of my accident, I had a complete lapse in judgment which resulted in me drinking and getting behind the wheel of my car." He went on ... "This experience reinforces my commitment to get the professional help that I need and I have recently completed an intensive medically supervised program" ... translation, rehab. UPDATE: Cops say as part of the investigation into Wilkos' accident, a search warrant for his medical records was secured and it discovered his BAC was .29% and way over the legal limit the afternoon he crashed his car. A warrant was issued for Steve's arrest, but he turned himself in Wednesday evening in Connecticut. He's been charged with operating under the influence and failure to drive right. He was released after posting $1,500 bond. (TMZ)

Trey Songz Accused of Physically Assaulting a Woman During NBA All-Star Weekend. R&B singer Trey Songz has been accused of hitting a woman in the face during NBA All-Star weekend. According to TMZ, the 33-year-old star allegedly grew upset after an unidentified woman began talking to a male attendee at a party in the Hollywood Hills on Saturday night, prompting the alleged assault. Sources told the outlet that following the argument, the woman then left the party to seek medical attention for minor injuries before filing a report with police. E! News can confirm that the Los Angeles Police Department has received a report naming Songz as a suspect. However, they could not confirm the details of the report. This is unfortunately not the first time that Songz has been in trouble with the law, as the "Bottoms Up" singer has found himself in hot water in recent years. Last August, Songz plead guilty to two misdemeanors after destroying a stage during a concert in Detroit. He was sentenced to 18 months' probation, as well as ordered to complete anger management classes, submit to substance abuse screenings and pay restitution. And back in December 2017, the star was sued for allegedly smacking a phone out of a female fan's hand inside a Philadelphia strip club. (Eonline)

Kathy Griffin's request for a restraining order in her ongoing feud with a neighbor has been denied. A judge just tossed Griffin's request to keep Jeffrey Mezger away from her, and also ruled she can only record video -- not audio -- from one of her security cams. You may recall, Mezger alleged she was spying on him and his family with the cameras. Kathy can continue recording from all other cameras. As we reported ... Kathy went to court to get protection for herself and her boyfriend, Randy Bick, after claiming Mezger uncorked an expletive-laced rant. Kathy claimed she recorded Mezger saying, "Hey Randy, go f*** yourself ... Now you're calling the cops? F**k you and f**k Kathy." Mezger fired back and got a temporary restraining order to block Kathy from recording him. There's a hearing in that case next month. (TMZ)

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

Police Investigating Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Anthrax Scare. Scotland Yard is conducting an investigation after a letter containing white powder and a racist message was sent to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. According to the Evening Standard, the Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism command was called after the letter was delivered to St. James's Palace for sorting on Feb. 12. Although there was concern the letter contained anthrax -- an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis -- the newspaper claimed the powder was determined harmless. It also reported the letter was intercepted before it reached Harry and Meghan -- although, the couple was informed of the incident. "Police are investigating after a package containing a substance was delivered to St James's Palace on Monday, 12 February," the Metropolitan Police told the Evening Standard. E! News has reached out to Kensington Palace and Scotland Yard for comment. Per the newspaper, the scare comes around the same time a letter containing white powder was sent to Home Secretary Amber Rudd. While the substance was again determined harmless, police are reportedly investigating whether there's a connection between the two incidents. The incident also comes less than three months before the royal wedding -- an event that is sure to have high security. As Kensington Palace previously noted, the couple is expected to embark on a carriage procession through Windsor. An insider told E! News Meghan has already received defense training -- such as how to deal with threats and kidnappers -- and that "she knows all the protocol." (Eonline)

Allison Janney Recalls Awkward Encounter With Kate Middleton. Allison Janney felt rather exposed during an "awkward" encounter with Kate Middleton after the 2018 BAFTA Film Awards in London this weekend. The 58-year-old actress had won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Tonya Harding's mother in I, Tonya at the event, which the 36-year-old pregnant Duchess of Cambridge attended with husband Prince William, 35. As she left the Royal Albert Hall, Janney took her black high-heeled sandals off and walked barefoot due to foot pain. "I did meet Kate and William and she was in her heels and pregnant, so I felt like a bit of a wimp that I was there in my bare feet," Allison said on the Late Late Show on Wednesday. "She was in full-on heels and she was my height, when I was in my bare feet. It was kind of extraordinary that she was that tall." Kate, who is pregnant with her and William's third child, is believed to be 5'9". Janney is 6'0". The awkwardness continued. "I just told her that I was in bare feet and I felt- I told her she should take her shoes off 'cause she's pregnant. It was an awkward moment," Janney said. "As I did, I called her 'honey' and that might not have been royal etiquette." "She was lovely," the actress said about Kate. "They loved I, Tonya and it was a pretty cool thing to meet them." (Eonline)

Tiffany Haddish Is Hosting the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards. She ready! Tiffany Haddish is set to host the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards on Monday, June 18, at 9 p.m., the network announced Thursday. Categories and nominees will be shared at a later date. Haddish follows previous hosts Adam DeVine (2017), Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart (2016), Amy Schumer (2015), Conan O'Brien (2014), Rebel Wilson (2013), Russell Brand (2012), Jason Sudeikis (2011), Aziz Ansari (2010), Andy Samberg (2009) and Mike Myers (2008). Formerly focused on film, the show was rebranded in 2017 to recognize contributions made to television. Winners are presented with the "golden popcorn" statue. Haddish stars opposite Tracy Morgan in the TBS sitcom The Last O.G., premiering Apr. 3, and also shares the screen with Kevin Hart in Universal Pictures' Night School, premiering Sept. 28. (Eonline)

Kourtney Kardashian won't be happy about this! It looks like her sister, Kim Kardashian, could be getting buddy-buddy with Scott Disick's new girl, Sofia Richie. Whoa! Kim Kardashian, 37, posted a photo of the most adorable dog to her Instagram story on Feb. 20, and at first glance, it was nothing more than a picture of a cute pup. Upon further investigation, though, it looks like this snapshot may reveal a WHOLE lot more -- is Kim spending time with Scott Disick's girlfriend, Sofia Richie?! Sofia has recently posted several photos and videos of herself with the same pooch, and when she first debuted the pet on Instagram, she captioned it, "Our newest family member." Sofia has said on Snapchat that the dog is Scott and his daughter, Penelope Disick's, but the caption makes it seem like she and Scott have claimed the dog together. So, Kim could've just been paying Scott a visit without Sofia even there when she saw the dog, but still, the whole situation raises questions! We can't imagine that Kourtney Kardashian would be too thrilled if Kim was spending time with her ex's new girl. The Kardashian family has yet to publicly embrace Scott's relationship with Sofia -- she wasn't invited to join Scott at the family Christmas Eve party, and the two were dating for months before she met his kids. However, the unlikely couple, who are 15 years apart, have been dating for several months now, so perhaps the family decided that it may be time to give Sofia a chance. The beginning of Scott and Sofia's relationship was recently documented on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Although Sofia didn't actually appear on the show herself, Kris Jenner discussed the romance with Scott, and Kim told the cameras that she decided to give it her nod of approval. "Whatever makes him happy," she said. "I don't judge. I don't care. I just hope he's making good choices." (Hollywood Life)

Rihanna rang in her 30th birthday on Tuesday with an elegant dinner in New York with close family and friends followed by a champagne-flushed party with a performance from Toni Braxton. RiRi celebrated her milestone birthday at the luxuriant Landmark Rooms with stars including Paris Hilton and Leonardo DiCaprio, who snuck into the party later. Also, there was Rihanna's billionaire Saudi boyfriend, Hassan Jameel, whom sources say she looked "very close with" all night. Rihanna's group shared a four-course meal at The Grill, before moving to the landmarked Pool space for the afterparty, where Braxton performed. An insider exclusively told "Page Six TV," "It was a really elegant black-tie event. Rihanna and her guests dined on gnudi with caviar and peppered filet mignon, washed down with a lot of champagne. "The dinner was followed by a big party at The Pool. Rihanna was with her new boyfriend, who was at her side all night, and Toni Braxton performed." Other sources say Braxton is revered among RiRi's circle of friends, and the birthday girl "is a huge fan" who was "clearly delighted" to have the recently engaged singer perform six songs. "They crushed hundreds of bottles of champagne, and Leo DiCaprio snuck into the afterparty through a side door." DiCaprio, 43, has remained friends with Rihanna after she briefly dated one of his friends in 2015, we're told. Other guests included Rihanna's family and executives from Roc Nation including Shawn Pecas and OG Juan Perez, who was looking pretty sharp considering it was for his birthday that Jay-Z racked up that epic $91,135 bar tab just days earlier on Sunday, as exclusively revealed by Page Six. Meanwhile, other sources tell us that Rihanna, who wore a vibrant purple gown for the party, is "really into her boyfriend Hassan. They seemed to be really close all night." Earlier in the day, Rihanna had shared a sweet shoutout to her mother on Instagram along with a throwback photo from her childhood. "10958 days ago @monica_fenty became a mother for the first time to her only daughter! Today is just as much your birthday as it is mine! I love you mom!" she captioned the picture. "Thank you for carrying me, birthing me, raising me, supporting me, teaching me, and loving me unconditionally! The woman I am today is because of everything that you are! I thank God for perfectly hand picking you to be my mother when He sent my spirit to you! You are the greatest! Thank you!" Monica also gushed about her daughter on Instagram, writing, "Happy 30th. God's blessings to my 1st born. The sweetest, most humble person I know, and most loving daughter ever. Lots of love back to you on your special day." (Page Six)

Sex and the City's Jason Lewis Picks Sides in Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall's Feud. Jason Lewis has weighed in on the Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall feud. During an interview with KTLA 5 on Wednesday, Lewis, who played Cattrall's on-screen love interest Smith in Sex and the City, was asked about the drama going on between the former co-stars. "So with all this stuff, going back and forth in the press...Kim and Sarah Jessica Parker, you were there, did you have a thought about it?" KTLA 5 anchor Sam Rubin asked. "Mmhmm...if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all," the actor replied. "Listen, I have to say that Sarah was always just so lovely and such a consummate professional and I think that people should remember their graciousness and the things that have been given to them." "And I'm gonna stop there because I've got nothing good to say," Lewis said. When asked if that meant he was on "team Sarah," the 46-year-old replied, "I might just have to say yeah...what a gracious lady. She was always so good to me." "Were other people not as good to you?" Rubin asked. "Sarah was amazing," Lewis laughed. The drama between Parker and Cattrall has been highly-publicized since plans for a Sex and the City 3 movie were canceled in September. In early February, Cattrall announced the death of her brother in a heartbreaking post on Instagram. Parker left a comment on the post, writing to her former co-star, "Dearest Kim, my love and condolences to you and yours and Godspeed to your beloved brother. Xx." Days later, Cattrall went on to slam Parker in another Instagram post that said, "I don't need your love and support at this tragic time @sarahjessicaparker." The caption for the post read, "My Mom asked me today 'When will that @sarahjessicaparker, that hypocrite, leave you alone?' Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now. Let me make this VERY clear. (If I haven't already) You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I'm writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your 'nice girl' persona." Cattrall also included a link to an October 2017 New York Post article with a headline that reads, "Inside the mean-girls culture that destroyed Sex and the City." (Eonline)

Jackie Kennedy Death Suit All The Rage With Fashion Models. Jackie Kennedy was a fashion icon for the 3 years she reigned as First Lady, but Jackie imitators in the fashion world have chosen one specific outfit that has JFK's blood all over it. Check out the models at the Moschino Women's Fall/Winter 2018/2019 Collection Fashion Show in Milan, Italy. They're wearing knockoffs of the Chanel dress and pillbox hat Jackie wore in Dallas on November 22, 1963 -- the day her husband had his head blown off by an assassin. The models may not even have had a clue as they walked the runway ... and, speaking of runways, Jackie wore the blood-stained dress as she accompanied her husband's body to a mortuary after Air Force One landed that night in Washington D.C. Jackie later said she wore the dress to show people the horror of the assassination. (TMZ)

Chocolatier Lindt goes after Weinstein Company. Harvey Weinstein's film company is facing yet another lawsuit this time by chocolatier Lindt over a canceled sponsorship for the 2018 Golden Globes Awards party. The Lindor truffles maker paid The Weinstein Company $400,000 to exclusively offer its goodies at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 awards events. The first two parties went off without a hitch but TWC didn't host this year's bash following an avalanche of claims by women accusing the movie mogul of being a sexual predator. When Lindt asked for a $133,333 refund, "TWC personnel did not dispute that TWC had breached the agreement or that TWC was obligated to pay Lindt," according to the confectioner's Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit. "Indeed, they implicitly admitted to the breach," the suit says. "TWC personnel responded they 'just need[ed]' Lindt's Form W-9 and wrote that they were '[h]oping' to pay Lindt 'by the end of Dec[ember] or early Jan[uary] at the latest!'" according to court papers. But when Lindt followed up regarding the outstanding payment TWC did not respond, the suit says. The film company's attorneys did not return messages for comment on the dispute. (PageSix)

Music

Camila Cabello, Chance the Rapper and Bon Jovi to Receive Honors at 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards. Let the countdown to the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards begin! Wednesday night at the iHeartRadio ICONS With Bon Jovi event in New York City it was announced that the 80s rock band would receive the first-ever iHeartRadio Icon Award during the March 11 ceremony. Additionally, the "Livin' on a Prayer" chart-toppers are expected to perform. That's not all though, music lovers! Camila Cabello will be honored with the iHeartRadio Fangirls Award presented by L'Oreal Paris for demonstrating ambition, passion and a strong sense of self-worth," according to a press release. iHeartRadio will also present Chance the Rapper with the Innovator Award for his accomplishments in the music industry and dedication to social activism. Previously announced performers include Cabello, Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, Charlie Puth and the Backstreet Boys. Hailey Baldwin and DJ Khaled are hosting the annual award show, which celebrates the biggest hits as heard on iHeartRadio music stations. Check out the complete list of nominees here. The 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards will take place Sunday, March 11 at The Forum in Los Angeles. (Eonline)

Liam Gallagher Fills in for Ariana Grande With Manchester Tribute Performance at 2018 BRIT Awards. Liam Gallagher stepped in for Ariana Grande at the 2018 BRIT Awards on Wednesday and performed a touching tribute to the victims of the May 2017 Manchester terror attack. Earlier in the day on Wednesday, a source confirmed to E! News that Grande is sick and was forced to pull out of the surprise tribute. The singer was still planning to attend the award show after recently falling ill but was ordered by her doctor to not fly overseas. Over an hour into the award show, Gallagher took the stage and performed a rendition of the Oasis song "Live Forever." Attendees at the BRITs, including Ed Sheeran, stood up and were seen singing along to the song during the tribute performance. The Mirror reported earlier in the day on Wednesday that Gallagher had stepped in at the last minute to perform at the show. "Liam has saved the day by stepping in at the last minute. It's a perfect choice," a source told the publication. (Eonline)

The National's Matt Berninger Is Creating & Starring in a TV Show About Himself The National's Matt Berninger and his brother Tom are taking the dark-comedic energy that fueled Mistaken for Strangers, the 2013 psuedo-documentary focused on the band, and applying it to a new, "more scripted" television project. The National lead singer confirmed during an AMA on the Australian radio station Double J that he would be starring in the series, which is based on his own life, and playing himself. His brother, who directed and plays a fundamental role in Mistaken for Strangers, will also portray himself "Tom can't play anybody else," Berninger quipped. The series will be made up of half-hour episodes. The Berninger brothers are working on the project with Matt's wife and frequent co-writer Carin and accomplished Australian TV and film producer and director Trent O'Connell. Berninger explained that the rest of his band would be portrayed by other musicians that worked on the massive, National-helmed Grateful Dead tribute box set Day of the Dead. "I'm in a band [in it]... It's a bunch of guys from different bands that we've known and been friends with for a long time who play the band," Berninger said. "And Aaron [Dessner] kind of is in it as a producer, sort of as himself but not really." In the interview, Aaron Dessner retorted that he doesn't actually have a "speaking part," and refers to the project as a "tragi-comedy." "We're hoping it's a comedy," Berninger said. "It's something we've been cooking for a while." Berninger and Dessner specified that the series "won't see the light of day this year." No word of a potential release date or which platform the project will be released on, but we've reached out to The National's representative for further comment. In other The National news, the band has written a musical of Cyrano de Bergerac that will debut this summer. Listen to Berninger and Dessner discuss the show circa 2:32:00 via a stream of Double J's site. (Billboard)

Kesha Posts Live Versions of 'Praying' & 'We R Who We R' After Postponing World Tour. As a thoughtful consolation to fans, Kesha has shared two live versions of her songs "Praying" and "We R Who We R," after postponing a large segment of her world tour due to an ACL tear that happened during a recent show in Dubai. Earlier this week, the "Woman" singer said she was "heartbroken" to announce the news, but promised new dates for the delayed shows, as well as an unaffected schedule for her upcoming summer tour with Macklemore. She will undergo required knee surgery for the injury in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the singer gave fans what they can look forward to as she recovers. She posted a live version of "Praying," the tear-jerking ballad that details her healing process after a lengthy and emotional legal battle with former producer Dr. Luke, who she says sexually and emotionally abused her. She also performed an incredibly emotional rendition of the song at the Grammy Awards in January, which was especially timely as the red carpet and the show's acceptance speeches were centered around the Time's Up movement. Along with "Praying," the singer posted a live version of the much more upbeat Kesha classic "We R Who We R," one of her earliest breakout songs from 2010. Kesha wrote on Instagram Tuesday (Feb. 20), that she had no choice but to postpone the tour: "Moving these dates is making me sick with sadness, but I tried to will this injury away and unfortunately it didn't work." She encouraged fans to keep their tickets and look for coming updates on the new schedule in a press release. (Billboard)

Tim McGraw 'Deeply Moved' By Stoneman Douglas Student Gun Control Activists. Tim McGraw added his voice to the rising tide of artists offering their support and praise for the students marching and advocating for changes to the nation's gun laws in the wake of last week's mass killing of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On Wednesday (Feb. 21), McGraw posted a compelling picture of students holding signs during a march this week along with a personal story of how the murder of the 14 teenagers and three teachers at the school by a 19-year-old gunman wielding an AR-15 military-style semi-automatic assault rifle had hit home for him. "I learned one of the teachers who was shot in Florida at Stoneman Douglas, Scott Beigel, was a friend of one of my associates -- they were camp counselors together," he wrote. "What an amazing man who lost his life protecting the children. That is a true hero." McGraw is one of the few mainstream country acts to speak out about the latest in the nearly two dozen school shootings so far this year. He said he was "deeply moved" by the students who are lifting up their voices and challenging the rest of us to "listen, learn, and make real changes." The country star added the #NeverAgain hashtag to his post as well. A small handful of other country acts have also spoken out about the massacre at the school, which has spurred calls across the nation from a number of advocates for stronger gun control legislation. Among those tweeting out their shock, grief and praise for the strength and eloquence of the Marjory Stoneman students are Margo Price and Kacey Musgraves, as well as Cam, Jennifer Nettles and Brothers Osborne. On Friday (Feb. 23), Austin Mahone, Jack & Jack and a number of other artists will play a benefit for the survivors of the shooting in Parkland. The teenagers faced with an armed assault from one of their former peers have become instant activists seeking substantive change to the nation's gun laws, including calls to raise the minimum age for purchase of semi-automatic rifles to 21. A number of them descended on the Florida capital this week to demand changes to the state's laws even as the GOP-led state house on Tuesday (Feb. 21) rejected a motion to consider a ban on semiautomatic guns and high capacity magazines by a 36-71 vote. Some of the survivors and parents from Stoneman Douglas met with President Trump at the White House on Wednesday to share their stories and demand action on guns, with the president suggesting that one solution to the scourge of gun-involved school violence was to arm teachers and school staff. The students have organized a march on Washington slated for March 24 called March for our Lives, which has gained support from a number of music activists and artists. (Billboard)

Movies

J.J. Abrams Announces He Has a Script for Star Wars: Episode IX. Star Wars: Episode IX is in good shape, according to J.J. Abrams. The final chapter in the current trilogy won't hit theaters until Dec. 20, 2019 (seven months after its initial planned release date), but Abrams shared some spoiler-free updates on CBS' The Late Show Wednesday night. Before he signed on to direct, produce and write 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he said, "I was terrified. Luckily, I was surrounded by incredible people. We had a lot of fun. Being back for Episode IX is as surreal as it gets and really exciting." Given how passionate Star Wars fans are about the franchise, he didn't want to disappoint anyone. But at the same time, Abrams knew he couldn't turn it down. "As scary as it is to put yourself in [front of] that firing squad," he said, "the opportunity is always bigger than the fear." John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac and Daisy Ridley are all confirmed to reprise their roles in the film. "We have a script, which is a big deal for me. It starts shooting end of July," Abrams told Stephen Colbert. "Having a script in advance is something I haven't always been lucky enough to have. I'm writing this with Chris Terrio, who is a genius, and I'm having a great time." Though Abrams produced the second film in the series, 2017's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson stepped in to write and direct the sequel. Lucasfilm announced in September that Abrams would be returning for Episode IX, replacing Colin Trevorrow. "With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said, "and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy." Trevorrow and Walt Disney Pictures, Lucasfilm's parent company, "mutually" decided to part. "Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process," a rep for the studio clarified, "but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ." (Eonline)

"The Shape of Water" doesn't deserve a Best Picture Oscar, it deserves one for Best Ripoff ... according to the family of a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. David Zindel says his father, Paul Zindel, wrote a 1969 play called, "Let Me Hear You Whisper" ... the story of a lonely female janitor who works graveyard shifts at a lab that performs animal experiments for military use. She becomes infatuated with a "fantastic, intelligent aquatic creature held captive in a glass tank." Spoiler alert: that's 'Shape of Water' to a T. There are several more similarities according to the lawsuit filed by Zindel. In docs, obtained by TMZ, Zindel says the scientists in his father's play discuss using "vivisection" to kill the creature, and scientists in 'Water' use the same exact term. He adds ... the amphibious creature in 'Water' is removed using a laundry cart -- ditto for his dad's play. If Zindel's allegations are true, the biggest difference is the creature -- it's a dolphin in the play, and a merman in 'Water.' Paul Zindel died in 2003. David is suing FOX Searchlight and director Guillermo del Toro on behalf of the family trust Paul set up for his children. Zindel is seeking all the profits from the Oscar nominated film, and an injunction blocking it from further showings in theaters. UPDATE: FOX tells us, "These claims from Mr. Zindel's estate are baseless, wholly without merit and we will be filing a motion to dismiss. Furthermore, the estate's complaint seems timed to coincide with the Academy Award voting cycle in order to pressure our studio to quickly settle. Instead, we will vigorously defend ourselves and, by extension, this groundbreaking and original film. (TMZ)

Lupita Nyong'o to Star in Trevor Noah Memoir Adaptation 'Born a Crime'. The actress will play the mother of the 'Daily Show' host in the story. Lupita Nyong'o, currently lighting up the big screen in the blockbuster Black Panther, will star in the adaptation of The Daily Show host Trevor Noah's memoir Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Noah is producing the project through his Ark Angel Productions banner. Norman Aladjem, Derek Van Pelt and Sanaz Yamin of Mainstay Entertainment are also producing, along with Nyong'o. The project is in its early stages and has no director or writer. Nyong'o is attached to portray Noah's mother, the central figure in the book that has been described as not just the comedian's account of growing up under apartheid rule in South Africa but also a love letter to his mother. Noah was conceived from a white father and a black mother under a regime in which mixed relations were punishable by months-long prison incarcerations. Key in the book is Noah's time with his mother, who at first concealed her son to keep him safe from the threat of being taken by government forces to later giving everything to him in order to break a cycle of poverty and violence. Born a Crime was released in 2016 and became a best-seller. Nyong'o is repped by CAA. (Hollywood Reporter)

Alejandro Inarritu is going to bat for the creative team behind the Oscar nominated documentary about Syria ... posing one simple question for the feds. We got the Academy Award-winning director Wednesday at LAX and asked if he'd heard about a hiccup the filmmakers of "Last Men in Aleppo" are having under Trump's travel ban. We broke the story ... the directors and cinematographers of the film are trying to attend the Oscars after being nominated this year but can't come because their country is on Trump's banned list. They're currently attempting to use party invites to gain passage. Alejandro thinks it's absurd they're not being allowed in the country, especially since their reasons are more than legit. His point ... a ban is only warranted for criminals. (TMZ)

Box-Office Preview: 'Black Panther' to Annihilate the Competition. A trio of films go up against the juggernaut this weekend -- 'Game Night,' 'Annihilation' and 'Every Day.' Disney and Marvel Studios' Black Panther will continue to rule at the North American box office this weekend -- the only question is by how much after debuting to a record-shattering $242.2 million over the four-day Presidents Day weekend, including a three-day haul of $202 million. The movie, directed by Ryan Coogler, is projected to earn anywhere from $90 million in its second outing to north of $100 million. All along, Black Panther has defied expectations. On Tuesday, it took in $20.9 million, the biggest Tuesday for any superhero movie and the biggest Tuesday for any movie outside of summer and the year-end holidays. It ended the day with a domestic total of $263 million, meaning it will zoom past $300 million by the end of Friday. A trio of films go up against the juggernaut this weekend -- the year's first studio comedy, Game Night, the sci-fi epic Annihilation and YA film adaptation Every Day. New Line's Game Night, starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, is tracking to come in No. 2 with $12 million-$14 million. Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the story follows a couple whose regular game night with friends suddenly turns into a real-life murder mystery. The cast includes Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury. Game Night, hoping to avoid the comedy curse that has plagued the box office over the past two years, is McAdams' first comedy since About Time in 2013. Starring Natalie Portman opposite Oscar Isaac, Annihilation is tracking to open in the $10 million-$12 million range. The film made headlines late last year when Paramount and Skydance, partners on the movie, sold off international rights to Netflix. Alex Garland -- director of the acclaimed Ex Machina -- helmed the movie, which tells the tale of a biologist and former soldier who joins a mission to find out what happened to her husband inside "Area X" along America's coastline, where a sinister phenomenon has turned the landscape into an dangerous environmental wasteland where mysterious dangers abound. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Tuva Novotny co-star. Both Game Night and Annihilation boast strong reviews. Every Day, directed by Michael Sucsy, is the first release from the relaunched Orion Pictures. MGM intends to use the revived label to release low-budget, targeted fare. Every Day, going after teenage girls and younger adult females, cost under $5 million to produce and is based on the bestselling book by David Levithan about a 16-year-old girl who falls in love with a disembodied spirit who inhabits a different body every day. Angourie Rice, Justice Smith, Debby Ryan and Maria Bello star in the movie, which hopes to clear $3 million in its debut. Reviews won't hit until Thursday. (Hollywood Reporter)

Studios Must Face Trimmed Lawsuit Over CG Characters in Blockbuster Moviesn A judge rejects a copyright claim, but tells Disney, Fox, and Paramount that claims for inducing patent infringement and violating trademarks will move forward. Disney, Fox, and Paramount got a mixed decision on Wednesday in a case that tests Hollywood's liability for using a technology determined to be stolen to create photorealistic computer graphic effects in huge films including Guardians of the Galaxy, Deadpool and Night at the Museum. A federal judge has rejected the plaintiff's bold copyright claim but won't dismiss assertions that the studios induced patent infringement nor committed trademark infringement. The lawsuit comes from Rearden LLC, a firm founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Perlman that previously defended and then counterclaimed against Digital Domain 3.0 and the Chinese company, Shenzhenshi Haitiecheng Science and Technology Co., Ltd. Ultimately, in a battle that involved an FBI investigation into economic espionage, Rearden came out as the victorious winning owner of motion capture technology known as the MOVA Contour Program, which captures and tracks the 3D shape and motion of a human face to sub-millimeter precision. The technology might be most famous for de-aging Brad Pitt in the film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Rearden has followed up its win in the Shenzhenshi case by bringing suit against various studios that contracted with Digital Domain to use the technology. In considering a motion to dismiss, U.S District Court Judge Jon Tigar was tasked with figuring out which claims made by the plaintiff were plausible ones to move forward. Perhaps the most unusual claim came on the copyright front where Rearden argued a software program's output can be owned by the programmer instead of the end user so long as the program does the "lion's share" of operations required to create output. In response, the studios pointed to the substantial creative input of directors and actors and warned if that the theory held, it could mean that Adobe or Microsoft would be deemed the author-owners of works created by using Photoshop or Word. The studios win this point. "The Court does not find it plausible that the MOVA Contour output is created by the program without any substantial contribution from the actors or directors," writes the judge. "Unquestionably, the MOVA program does a significant amount of work to transform the two dimensional information captured on camera into three dimensional Captured Surface and Tracking Mesh outputs. But this cannot be enough, since all computer programs take inputs and turn them into outputs." After a reference to Dan Stevens' work in Beauty and the Beast, Tigar concludes that Rearden has not plausibly alleged that its program "'does the lion's share of the work" or that the user's input is "marginal." Thus, the theory that Rearden owns copyright ownership of the output fails -- a huge relief to the owners of movies that have earned billions of dollars in ticket sales. The studios don't fare quite as lucky on the two other fronts of intellectual property. First, there's patents, which cover ownership of inventions. The studios do succeed in dismissing Rearden's claim of direct patent infringement upon the judge's conclusion that "it would stretch the boundaries of the patent law past their breaking point to equate a contract to provide services with the use of a system." But when it comes to contracting with Digital Domain for MOVA, Disney can't get rid of a claim for actively inducing patent infringement. (Given that the studios have pushed secondary liability at least on the copyright front, there's some irony here.) The judge points to allegations that Disney performed intellectual property diligence to verify owernship of MOVA facial motion capture plus demand letters sent by Rearden. "Assuming the truth of these allegations, it is not an unreasonable inference that Disney became aware of Rearden's patents, and continued to be aware that the MOVA technology was patented when it contracted with DD3," states the opinion. "The allegations are inarguably thin, but they are enough to survive a motion to dismiss." Maybe the most surprising development comes with respect to trademarks. (As a reminder, copyright protects original works of authorship while trademark protects words, phrases, and designs that identify the source of goods and services.) Tigar states that Disney's use of a MOVA service mark in credits for Guardians of the Galaxy might lead viewers to "believe that Rearden endorsed" the movie. The same goes for Fox' use of a MOVA service mark in credits for Deadpool. The judge also writes that when Beauty and the Beast actor Dan Stevens spoke at a press conference that the facial capture on the Beast "was done separately using a technology called MOVA," this also could have created confusion. Similarly, the judge won't reject trademark claims over what was said about MOVA in commercial advertising and promotion for Fox's Fantastic Four as well as Paramount's Terminator: Genisys. The defendants argued that statements about MOVA or using the MOVA mark constituted descriptive fair use, but with one exception pertaining to one of the claims over Beauty and the Beast, that's not enough at this stage, which is still an early one, but nevertheless, may command attention. Here's the full decision: (Hollywood Reporter)

TV

Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Biggie's Josh Duhamel Says Show Is About More Than Just Murder Cases. The murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. are about to be brought to light once again in USA's limited series Unsolved, but we're going to see a lot more than just the details of their murder cases. Josh Duhamel, who plays Detective Greg Kading, tells E! News that while he did as much research on the cases as he could, but his interest in the story went a little deeper than just the facts. "What I wanted to do and what I think they did a great job of was figuring out how and sort of unpacking what these families went through, losing these two," he says. "Yeah, they were great artists, but they were also sons...and they had a lot of people around them who truly loved them, and how that affected them. And not only that, but how it affected the people who were investigating it." Duhamel's character, Detective Kading, was an LAPD detective who was best known for leading task forces investigating the murders of Tupac and Biggie. He even wrote a book in 2011 called Murder Rap: The Untold Story of the Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations. Kading also serves as an executive producer on the series, which also explores the lives of some of the investigators on the cases. "[Robbery and Homicide detective] Russell Poole, played by Jimmi Simpson, obsessed about this until he died, right up until it basically might have been the reason he died," Duhamel tells us. "My character started to go down the same path, and really truly wanted to bring justice to Christopher Wallace's mother." Duhamel explains that Kading was intent on getting justice for Biggie's mother. "He knew what happened, but wasn't able to prove it," Duhamel says. "It's not what you know, it's what you can prove, and that's really what the tragic part of this is, is that real justice was never brought to these families." The series also stars Wavvy Jonez as Biggie, Marcc Rose as Tupac, Bokeem Woodbine as Officer Daryn Dupree, Luke James as Sean "Puffy" Combs, Aisha Hinds as Voletta Wallace, Jamie McShane as Detective Fred Miller, Brent Sexton as Detective Brian Tyndall, and LeToya Luckett as Sharitha Golden. Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. premieres Tuesday, February 27 on USA. (Eonline)

There's only one person capable of hosting "The Wendy Williams Show," even if she's sidelined due to illness ... and God help you, if you suggest otherwise! We got Wendy Williams Tuesday afternoon outside her NYC studio right after she announced she's been diagnosed with Graves' diseases and needs to take time off. She had a nice farewell message for her fans, but her tone changed dramatically when we raised the possibility of a ... guest host? Remember, doctors recommended Wendy take 3 weeks of vacation, stat -- so it seemed like a reasonable question. Let's just say Wendy did NOT see things the way our photog did! She handed him a very clear lesson, which is ... NO. ONE. REPLACES. WENDY. WILLIAMS. Ya got that? (TMZ)

"Goliath" star Tania Raymonde has done a sex scene or two in her career ... so any new guidelines that would make it more comfortable for her and other actresses is totally OK with her. We got Tania at LAX Wednesday where we asked her about a new union proposal that includes having an "intimacy director" on set. The move comes on the heels of the Harvey Weinstein scandal to protect actresses who might feel they're being pressured to get naked in auditions or forced into aggressive kissing. Tania -- who appears topless and has several sex scenes in Billy Bob Thornton's Amazon show, "Goliath" -- says she's pretty lucky that her scenes have always felt comfortable ... but measures to make it even more comfortable are always welcome. (TMZ)

'Hamilton' Star Cast as Judas in NBC's 'Jesus Christ Superstar Live'. Brandon Victor Dixon will play the apostle in the broadcast net's next live musical. NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar live musical has found its Judas. Hamilton vet and two-time Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon will take on the role. He joins previously announced castmembers John Legend (playing Jesus Christ), Sara Bareilles (Mary Magdalene) and Alice Cooper (King Herod). The production will be helmed by British theatre director David Leveaux, and will air on Easter Sunday, April 1 from the Marcy Armory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N.Y. As Judas, Dixon will play an apostle of Jesus who has concerns for the poor and the consequences of Jesus's popularity. In addition to Dixon, Tony nominee Ben Daniels has been cast as Pontius Pilate, Tony nominee Norm Lewis as Caiaphas, Broadway veteran Jason Tam as Peter, M. Butterfly star Jin Ha as Annas and Swedish rocker Erik Gronwall as Simon Zealotes. Dixon is known to many Broadway theatergoers as Aaron Burr from the musical sensation Hamilton. The actor played Burr for nearly a year at the Richard Rodgers Theatre before moving on to Shuffle Along. In 2006, Dixon was Tony nominated for best featured actor in a musical for his role as Harpo in The Color Purple, and again ten years later for his role as Eubie Blake in Shuffle Along. On the TV side, Dixon currently co-stars on the Starz series Power as Terry Silver and previously appeared on The Good Wife. Rounding out the creative team is live television director and executive producer Alex Rudzinski (Hairspray Live!), costumer designer Paul Tazewell (The Wiz Live!), music producer Harvey Mason Jr. (The Wiz Live!), musical director Nigel Wright (Jesus Christ Superstar world arena tour), production designer Jason Ardizzone-West (Adele Live in NYC) and choreographer Camille A. Brown (Once on This Island). As Pontius Pilate, Daniels will play the governor of Judea who has a dream about the gruesome way Jesus will be killed. Daniels was nominated for a Tony in 2008 for best actor in a play for his role as Le Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liasons Dangereuses. In 2016, he co-starred in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. His TV credits, meanwhile, include The Exorcist and House of Cards. Lewis will play Caiaphas, a high priest who sees Jesus as a threat to the nation. He was nominated for a Tony in 2012 for best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, and is currently starring in the Broadway revival of Once on this Island. His' other Broadway credits include The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon and Les Miserables. On the small screen, Lewis has appeared in The Blacklist, Gotham, Chicago Med and Scandal. As Peter, Tam will portray one of the apostles who saves himself the night Jesus is arrested. Tam has worked steadily on Broadway and his credits include Les Miserables, A Chorus Line, Lysistrata Jones and If/Then. His TV appearances include The Blacklist, Hawaii Five-0 and Do No Harm. Meanwhile, Ha will play Annas, a priest who aligned with Caiaphas and also saw Jesus as a threat. Ha made his Broadway debut as Song Liling in the 2017 revival of M. Butterfly at the Cort Theatre. And lastly, Gronwall will play apostle Simon Zealotes, who believes Jesus should lead his followers into battle against the Romans. Gronwall rose to fame in 2009 by winning the Swedish version of American Idol. He released his first single, "Higher," a few weeks after winning the competition and the song immediately shot to No. 1 on the charts. He currently is the lead singer of the band H.E.A.T., which tour worldwide. Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert will be produced by Universal Television, The Really Useful Group, Marc Platt Productions and Zadan/Meron Productions. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will executive produce. (Hollywood Reporter)

'Scandal' Star Bellamy Young Signs With UTA. She will also soon be seen in 'A Wrinkle in Time.' Scandal's Bellamy Young has signed with UTA, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned. She was previously with Paradigm. When the ABC drama premiered in 2012, Young was a recurring player whose character, Mellie Grant, was First Lady of the United States. Now, in the Shonda Rhimes series' seventh and final season, Mellie is the president. Young has won a Critics Choice Television Award for the role. Young also will be seen on the big screen in Disney's A Wrinkle in Time premieres on March 9. Her previous credits include CBS' Criminal Minds and ABC's Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. The Yale Drama graduate made her Broadway debut in the 1997 musical The Life. Young continues to be represented by Anonymous Content and Schreck Rose. (Hollywood Reporter)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Top Box Office Week Ending 11-11-18