Child sex abuse lawsuit against Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears is dismissed at plaintiff’s request

The lawsuit filed against Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears that accused the comedians of sexual battery, sexual harassment and sexual abuse of a minor has been dismissed.  The lawsuit. which was filed in late August by a 22-year-old woman and her minor brother (identified as Jane and John Doe), was dismissed at the request of the plaintiff.

Spears took to Instagram to address the lawsuit’s dismissal, sharing a screenshot of the news with the caption “I hope y’all keep that same energy.”  Haddish’s representative Cesidia Carosa also provided a photo of the notice of dismissal, adding that it was filed “with prejudice,” meaning the plaintiffs will be unable to file the same claims against Haddish or Spears again.

Jane and John Doe alleged in the lawsuit that they were both assaulted by Haddish and Spears in Los Angeles several years ago when they were minors, claiming Haddish was a “longtime family friend” of their mother. The lawsuit described several instances of grooming and molestation by Haddish and Spears, such as when the comedians worked with the plaintiffs on a “Funny or Die” project about eight years ago that was sexually suggestive. In a statement posted to Instagram Sept. 5, Haddish said that while there was very little she could say on the legal matter, she deeply regretted taking part in the “Funny or Die” skit. writing, “Clearly, while this sketch was intended to be comedic, it wasn’t funny at all.”

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs’ mother previously attempted to work out a $15,000 settlement with Spears over the video of John Doe but was unsuccessful. The suit did not specify the monetary value the plaintiffs were seeking. Spears’ attorney Debra Opri called the lawsuit a “shakedown”, while Haddish’s lawyer Andrew Brettler called the plaintiff’s previous claims of abuse “bogus.” Brettler said: “Every attorney who has initially taken on her case – and there were several – ultimately dropped the matter once it became clear that the claims were meritless and Ms. Haddish would not be shaken down.” 

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Miles Teller, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Thee Stallion to host ‘Saturday Night Live’ in October

Miles Teller, Brendan Gleeson and Megan Thee Stallion have all been announced as hosts for the 48th season of “Saturday Night Live” next month. The news was announced on show’s Twitter feed.

Teller will host the Oct. 1 show, with Kendrick Lamar serving as musical guest for the third time. Gleeson is set for Oct. 8 with Willow as musical guest, and Megan Thee Stallion will do double duty as guest host and musical guest on Oct. 15.

Cast members including Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Pete Davidson have departed the series ahead of its Season 48 premiere. Joining the cast this season are newbies Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker.

‘SNL’: Miles Teller, Brendan Gleeson & Megan Thee Stallion To Host Opening Three Episodes Of Season 48

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80th Golden Globe Awards ceremony returning to NBC on Jan. 10th

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (“HFPA”), dick clark productions and NBC announced that the 80th Golden Globe Awards will air live on NBC and Peacock on Jan. 10, 2023. No host has been announced as of press time.

Frances Berwick, chairman of entertainment networks at NBCUniversal television and streaming, said in a statement: “We recognize the HFPA’s commitment to ongoing change and look forward to welcoming back the Golden Globes to NBC for its landmark 80th anniversary in January 2023.” 

Helen Hoehne, president of the HFPA, added: “We are thrilled to announce the return of the Golden Globe Awards on NBC and to hosting the ‘party of the year’ for audiences around the world who have been waiting for its return. It’s great to be back at the Beverly Hilton for the must-see celebration recognizing the best in film and television. The HFPA remains committed to important changes and supporting programs which prioritize diversity, inclusion, and transparency. See you on Jan. 10!”

The Golden Globes, honoring excellence in film and TV, were canceled last year as the HFPA worked to improve its business practices and increase the diversity in its membership. The Globes voting body is now 52% female, 51.5% racially and ethnically diverse, with 19.5% Latinx, 12% Asian, 10% Black and 10% Middle Eastern.

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Sarah Paulson to portray Gwen Shamblin Lara in HBO Max’s scripted adaptation of ‘The Way Down’

Sarah Paulson is set to executive produce and star as the late Gwen Shamblin Lara in the HBO Max scripted adaptation of its docuseries, The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin.

Shamblin rose to fame with her ‘Weigh Down Workshop,’ a Christian-based diet program, and founded the the controversial, Tennessee-based Remnant Fellowship Church.  The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin explored the practices of the Remnant Fellowship Church and the legacy of Lara — a flamboyant and charismatic figure with a carefully curated image, who was accused of emotional, psychological and physical abuse and exploitation for the church’s alleged cult-like practices.

The Way Down docuseries launched in September 2021 with three episodes, becoming the streamer’s most-watched docuseries at the time. Just before finishing the series, Shamblin and her husband died in a plane crash; and the series aired two more episodes where they spoke to more people about the controversial Remnant Fellowship Church. The second part examined the mysterious circumstances surrounding the crash and investigation into the aftermath, including new stories from former survivors who share their experience following Shamblin’s death.

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Broadway’s longest-running show ‘Phantom of the Opera’ announces final curtain call in 2023

Broadway’s longest-running show, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” is ending its run after 35 years. The final performance will take place on Saturday, February, 18, 2023, at Broadway’s Majestic Theatre. Prior to the Broadway show’s conclusion, “Phantom” will celebrate its 35th anniversary on January 26 with director Seth Sklar-Heyn at the helm.

‘Phantom’ is based on the horror novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux. Webber and Richard Stilgoe wrote the play with music by Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart. The play tells the story of the Phantom, who haunts the stage of the Paris Opera and subsequently falls in love with a beautiful young soprano. The show has played 13,733 performances since opening January 26, 1988 at New York City’s Majestic Theatre, and has won over 70 theater awards, including seven Tony Awards in 1988 for Best Musical, among others.

However, ‘Phantom’ has been losing between $800,000 and $1 million per month since reopening in October 2021, having failed to recover from the 18 month COVID-19 closure in March 2020. According to The Broadway League, ticket sales recently dropped from 255,000 weekly attendees in May to about 180,000 attendees in September.

The Phantom of the Opera is widely considered one of the most successful productions in history, playing to over 145 million people in 41 countries and 183 cities in 17 languages. The show will continue in London’s Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End, where it’s played since opening in October 1986.  A recently premiered Melbourne version will also continue, and a Mandarin-language version is slated to debut in China in 2023, along with a Spanish-language venture, starring Antonio Banderas.

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Kelly Clarkson reunites with original ‘American Idol’ judges at her Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony

Kelly Clarkson – the very first winner of American Idol –  received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was joined with some special guests at her ceremony: original Idol judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson.  Clarkson’s daughter River, 8, and son Remington, 6, were also in attendance at the ceremony.

It was 20 years ago this month that Clarkson won the first season of the singing competition. Upon receiving her, Clarkson said, “I think [it’s] important to have not just ‘yes’ people around you, but people that actually love you and care about you and give their honest advice. I’ve always welcomed that, and I think that is why I’m here today. Not just because of myself, but because of having constantly teams of people that love you and support you and really want to make your dreams come true while making their dreams come true.”

The 40-year-old Clarkson wrote via Instagram alongside a photo of her receiving her star on the Walk of Fame: “Thank you so much @NBC, @americanidol, @atlanticrecords, @kellyclarksonshow, @nbcthevoice, @creativeartistsagency, my personal team/crew, my band, my friends and family, and all the fans that came out today at The Walk of Fame ceremony ❤ It meant so much to have y’all there and it was so cool to celebrate with y’all! Here’s to the next 20 years!!🍾 by the way, my star is between Harry Potter and Deadpool ….I dare anyone to top that!”

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‘The Woman King’ tops North American box office with $19M opening weekend

‘The Woman King’ starring Viola Davis earned $19 million in total box office sales over the weekend, bringing the film’s box office earnings well above the $16 million in expectations. The film premiered in 3,271 theaters after debuting to positive reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival.

‘The Woman King’ also stars Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and John Boyega, and is based on true events and is centered on the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who historically protected the Dahomey African Kingdom in the 1800s. Agojie’s warriors battle with skills and a relentlessness that stopped at nothing to protect their home.  The film follows General Nanisca (Davis), as she prepares the following generation of recruits. Nanisca readies the new warriors for battle against a powerful adversary who wants to rid them of their lives and culture.

Coming in at No. 2 is Barbarian with $6.3 million, followed by Pearl at No. 3 with $3.12 million, See How They Run at No. 4 with $3.1 million and Bullet Train at No. 5 with $2.5 million.

The Woman King is in theaters now.  You can check out the trailer – here.

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Alan Alda and Mike Farrell mark the 50th anniversary of M*A*S*H

Alan Alda shared a photo of himself with his former co-star Mike Farrell on social media to celebrate a half-century milestone of their 1970s-80s classic sitcom, M*A*S*H.  The photo shows Alda, 86, and Farrell, 83, smiling with wine glasses in their hands, along with the caption on Twitter: “Mike Farrell and I today toasting the 50th anniversary of the show that changed our lives – and our brilliant pals who made it what it was. MASH was a great gift to us.”

Alda and Farrell played surgeons and tent-mates Hawkeye Pierce and B.J. Hunnicutt in the classic comedy, which ran 11 seasons from 1972 to 1983.  Jamie Farr, Loretta Swit, Harry Morgan and William Christopher co-starred. The series finale was a huge television event at the time, with approximately 125 million viewers tuning in.

M*A*S*H was based on the 1968 novel by Richard Hooker, which was previously adapted as a 1970 movie starring Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould.

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Take a look at Naomi Ackie as Whitney Houston in the first trailer for the biopic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”

The first trailer has been released for the Whitney Houston biopic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” starring Naomi Ackie.  The two-minute trailer gives fans a look at Houston’s most memorable career moments, from the night she was discovered by famous record executive Clive Davis, to her unforgettable rendition of the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl.

The movie, set to hit theaters this December, also stars Ashton Sanders and Stanley Tucci.  Check our trailer for “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”  – here.

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Andy Cohen’s memoir “Most Talkative” in development as coming-of-age comedy for Universal TV

Universal Television is developing Andy Cohen’s memoir “Most Talkative” into a coming-of-age comedy series for NBC.

“Most Talkative” ‘centers a fictionalized 13-year-old Cohen coming of age in 1980s St Louis. He’s gay, loves the Cardinals, his bar mitzvah tutor is a stoner and his soap opera-fueled imagination makes him both the life of the party and the source of endless drama. The series will follow young Cohen’s journey not fitting into any one box and figuring out how to build his own.’

Cohen published his memoir in 2012; he is best known for hosting Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” and executive producing the “Real Housewives” franchise for the network.

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