R. Kelly Prosecutors Want 25 More Years For The Singer
CHICAGO, Ill. — Federal prosecutors asked a judge on Thursday to sentence singer R. Kelly to an additional 25 years in prison for his child pornography and enticement convictions in Chicago last year, which would be in addition to the 30 years he has already served in a New York case.
If the judge agrees to the 25-year sentence and another government request that Kelly begins serving his Chicago sentence only after the 30-year New York sentence is completed, the 56-year-old would only be eligible for release once he was around 100.
Prosecutors described R. Kelly’s behavior as “sadistic,” calling him a “serial sexual predator” with no remorse who “poses a danger to society” in their sentencing recommendation, which was filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
“The only way to ensure Kelly does not re-offend is to impose a sentence that will keep him in prison for the rest of his life,” the government says in a 37-page filing.
Kelly’s sentencing in Chicago is scheduled for next Thursday.
Kelly’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, stated in a filing last week that even with his current 30-year sentence in New York, “Kelly would have to defy all statistical odds to make it out of prison alive.” She stated that the average life expectancy of inmates is 64 years.
R. Kelly Prosecutors Want 10 Years
She proposed a sentence of around ten years, at the low end of the sentencing guidelines range, to be served concurrently with the New York sentence.
In arguing for a reduced sentence, Bonjean claimed that Kelly, who is Black, was singled out for behavior that white rock stars have gotten away with for decades.
“No one has been charged, and no one will die in prison,” she wrote.
Prosecutors admitted that a 25-year sentence in the Chicago case would be longer than even sentencing guidelines recommend. They argued, however, that imposing a long sentence and directing that it be served only after the New York sentence was appropriate.
“Given the egregiousness of R. Kelly’s conduct, a consecutive sentence is eminently reasonable,” the filing argued. “Kelly’s sexual abuse of minors was both intentional and widespread.”
Last year, jurors in Chicago convicted the Grammy Award-winning singer on six of thirteen counts. The government, however, missed the big picture when Kelly and his then-business manager successfully rigged his state child pornography trial in 2008.
Co-defendants Found Not Guilty
R. Kelly’s co-defendants, including longtime business manager Derrel McDavid, were found not guilty on all counts.
Kelly rose from poverty in Chicago to superstardom, best known for his smash hit “I Believe I Can Fly” and sex-infused songs like “Bump n’ Grind.”
While the Grammy Award-winner was tried in 2008, it wasn’t until the airing of Lifetime’s 2019 docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which featured testimonies from his accusers, that criminal investigations were kicked into high gear, culminating in federal and new state charges.
On the recommendation of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, an Illinois judge dismissed state sex abuse charges before a trial in January. Foxx stated that she was comfortable dropping the case because Kelly would be imprisoned for decades for his federal convictions.
Prosecutors at Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago painted him as a master manipulator who used his celebrity and wealth to entice star-struck fans to sexually abuse, video record and discard them.
After two days of deliberation, jurors convicted Kelly on three counts of producing child pornography and three counts of enticing minors for sex while acquitting him on obstruction of justice, one count of producing child porn, and three counts of receiving child porn.
Sentenced to 30 Years For Sex Trafficking
A federal judge in New York sentenced Kelly to 30 years in prison for racketeering and sex trafficking months before the Chicago verdict. Based on that sentence alone, he won’t be eligible for release until he’s in his eighties.
According to the government’s Thursday filing, even if given time off for good behavior, Kelly would be eligible for release only if he served 25 years after his New York sentence in 2066.
It will be up to Judge Harry Leinenweber in Chicago to decide whether Kelly serves his sentence concurrently, simultaneously with the New York sentence, or consecutively.
R. Kelly’s legal team is appealing his convictions in New York and Chicago. Prosecutors will sometimes seek long sentences for defendants sentenced in earlier trials to ensure that even if some convictions are later overturned, they will still serve time in prison.
R. Kelly Is Troubled Human Says Friends Of The Singer
Bonjean argued that traumas in R. Kelly’s life, such as child abuse and illiteracy throughout adulthood, justified leniency in sentencing.
Kelly “is not an evil monster, but a complex (undeniably troubled) human being who faced overwhelming challenges as a child that shaped his adult life,” she said.
She stated that the conduct he was convicted of decades ago should also be considered.
“While Kelly was not a child in the late 1990s, he was also not the middle-aged man he was at the time of his indictment in 2019,” she contended. “In his late twenties, Kelly was a damaged man.”
She said that Kelly has already paid a high price for his legal problems, including a financial one. She claimed he was once worth $1 billion but is now “destitute.”
SOURCE – (AP)
Prince Harry in London for Privacy Lawsuits Against Daily Mail
Prince Harry made an unannounced appearance at the High Court in London on Monday morning, where a hearing is being held against the publisher of the Daily Mail. The newspaper is accused of allegedly gathering information from several celebrities illegally.
This hearing pertains to one of Prince Harry’s numerous lawsuits against the media. The expected duration is four days.
In the London court proceedings, the six plaintiffs accuse the publisher of employing detectives to wiretap them in their homes and vehicles.
Attorney David Sherborne stated, “They were the victims of numerous unlawful acts committed by the defendant or by those acting on the instructions of its newspapers, The Daily Mail and The Mail On Sunday.”
Sherborne stated that the allegations date back to 1993 and continue beyond 2018.
The publisher has denied the accusation. In October, it refuted “absolutely and unequivocally these preposterous smears that appear to be nothing more than a planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail’s headlines into the wiretapping scandal involving 30-year-old articles.”
The publisher stated that the claims are too old to be brought and should be dismissed because they are based on confidential information in newspapers provided in 2012 for an investigation into media law-breaking.
After revelations in 2011 that News of the World tabloid employees eavesdropped on the mobile phone voicemails of celebrities, politicians, and a teen murder victim, Britain conducted a yearlong investigation into press ethics.
More than sixty journalists were detained as a result of the scandal.
Prince Harry May Not Be Included In the Procession
The coronation of King Charles III is scheduled for May of this year, and whether his youngest son Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, will attend has been the subject of much speculation.
Leaked plans for the Coronation rehearsal indicate that Prince Harry will likely be on the sidelines if they are present at Westminster Abbey.
According to a report from The Times of London, there is no place for Harry and Meghan in the procession, even though they have been invited to the ceremony. The King’s brother, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, were excluded from the procession.
The procession is significantly smaller than at The Queen’s 1953 coronation, which was reportedly three times as large. Charles’ plans appear to be limited to “working” royals.
William, the eldest son of Charles, will participate in the procession alongside his wife, Kate Middleton. George, Charlotte, and Louis will accompany the Prince and Princess of Wales. In September, Louis was deemed too young to participate in the procession for the Queen’s funeral, but he will be included this spring.
The children of Meghan and Prince Harry, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, have not been invited to the Coronation. One may arrive later, but the ceremony is quickly approaching.
Early in March, the Sussexes confirmed that their representative had received an invitation, but a spokesperson added, “At this time, we will not disclose whether or not the Duke and Duchess will attend.”
The Sun reported that an anonymous source told the OK! magazine that “tense” negotiations are underway to determine whether or not Meghan and Harry will be there in May.
The alleged insider stated, “The Palace is attempting to conclude negotiations as quickly as possible because they cannot go to the wire.” “It could result in anarchy. It is possible that it will result in a stalemate and that they will not attend. However, the Palace is doing everything possible to prevent this from occurring.
The Palace is coordinating two separate schedules. One with the Sussexes and the other without. They wish to be ready for any contingency.”
Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Accuser Calls Utah Ski Crash ‘Serious Smack’
PARK CITY, Ute. The man suing Gwyneth Paltrow for a 2016 skiing accident at an upmarket Utah resort told a jury on Monday that the actress-turned-lifestyle blogger hit him from behind and sent him “absolutely flying.”
“All I could see was a lot of snow.” “And I didn’t see the sky, but I was flying,” said Terry Sanderson, 76, a retired optometrist, who described the impact as “a serious smack.”
That contradicts Paltrow’s testimony, and as the trial enters its second week, the jury has heard opposing tales. Sanderson, according to Paltrow, was uphill and hit her from behind. He’s suing her for over $300,000, claiming she skied carelessly and that the incident permanently damaged his personality.
Paltrow testified on Friday that Sanderson hit her gently from behind, but the incident worsened as the two went down the novice slope. She added that his skis went between her legs, causing her to fear as she heard a man sigh behind her. Paltrow appeared in court on Monday.
Sanderson remembered a screaming woman skidding out of control and slamming into him in the rear. Craig Ramon, another skier who claims to be the only eyewitness to the accident, testified last week that he witnessed Paltrow collide with Sanderson.
Regardless of who hit who, both parties agreed that the two fell, and Paltrow landed on top of Sanderson. Paltrow’s attorneys have challenged the extent of Sanderson’s injuries and post-crash disorientation, but both parties agree the impact resulted in four broken ribs and a concussion.
Sanderson was moved to tears several times during his testimony on Monday, especially when he appeared unable to focus or remember things.
The fancy mountain must be equipped with a helmet camera because they are commonplace at ski resorts
His legal team attempted to depict his bewilderment and memory lapses as evidence of brain injury. Paltrow’s lawyers used it to call into question his credibility as a witness.
Sanderson’s testimony also raised new concerns regarding the possibility of a GoPro helmet camera recording the crash. Though no video was shown in court, attorneys frequently questioned witnesses about an email one of his daughters sent that said, “I also can’t believe this is all on GoPro.”
Shae Herath that daughter said this week that her statements were speculative, implying that someone on the fancy mountain must be equipped with a helmet camera because they are commonplace at ski resorts.
Paltrow’s attorneys have continued to raise concerns about what happened to the footage Sanderson and his family members mentioned.
On Monday, it became evident that the potentially explosive evidence would not detonate.
Judge Kent Holmberg stated that online sleuths discovered the link, and its contents would be used as evidence. It didn’t include any GoPro footage. Instead, it was a conversation amongst Sanderson’s ski group members in which Ramon — the man claiming to be the crash’s lone eyewitness — stated that Paltrow had plowed into Sanderson on the day of the crash.
“Terry was struck unconscious. “That was a bad hit to the head!” Ramon penned a letter. “I saw the hit.” Terry had no idea what his name was.”
The exchange revealed that Ramon believed Paltrow collided with Sanderson years before any lawsuit was filed. It also demonstrates that Sanderson and those skiing with him recognized Paltrow as the woman in the collision.
Simulations of how they believed the collision occurred, with high enough clarity to depict trees, children’s ski jackets
Paltrow’s defense team had an equal opportunity to present their case after Sanderson’s counsel called witnesses for four and a half days. They brought one of her family’s four ski instructors to the stand on Monday afternoon. Attorneys indicated Monday that Paltrow’s two teenage children, Moses and Apple, would have their depositions read into the record later this week rather than testifying in court.
Jurors sat spellbound as Paltrow’s attorneys showed computer-animated simulations of how they believed the collision occurred, with high enough clarity to depict trees, children’s ski jackets, and different vantage points.
The defense called Eric Christiansen, a mustachioed 40-year experienced ski instructor teaching Paltrow’s family at Deer Valley Resort on the day of the crash, as their first witness. He claimed he was monitoring most of the mountain when Sanderson and Paltrow crashed and didn’t see the impact but did observe what transpired just before and after.
Christiansen said that Paltrow was doing “short radius turns” while Sanderson was skiing down the groomed run “edge to edge” and “quite dynamically” in testimony that veered into skiing technique instruction.
He recalled Paltrow landing on top of Sanderson because he approached and removed her skis, then Sanderson’s.
“I believe you told me once that if a soccer player takes out someone’s legs, they’re underneath,” Paltrow’s lawyer, Steve Owens, said as he questioned her about the accident.
Paltrow’s lawyers intend to call a slew of medical specialists to testify against the neurologists, radiologists, and psychologists recruited by Sanderson’s team.
The trial has also touched on wealthy people’s habits and interests, such as Sanderson and Paltrow, and the power — and burden — of notoriety. The amount of money at stake for both parties is modest compared to the standard legal costs of a multiyear case, expert witnesses, a private security detail, and high-resolution animation.
Throughout the first five days of the trial, much of the questioning focused on Sanderson’s reason for suing Paltrow. Her lawyers claim the case is an attempt by an “obsessed” individual to take advantage of Paltrow’s wealth and reputation. Sanderson’s lawyers have attempted to portray Paltrow as a carefree movie star who harmed an elderly man and cannot accept responsibility for the consequences.
“No one believed how serious my injuries were,” said Sanderson, who had previously enjoyed wine tasting and international travel. “There were numerous insults added to that single incident.”
SOURCE – (AP)
John Wick: Chapter 4 Ending
For fans, John Wick: Chapter 4’s conclusion was a surprise.
Wick defeats the evil Marquis Vincent de Gramont (Bill Skarsgard) in a dramatic duel, although he appears to be mortally wounded after taking one too many shots. He says the name of his late wife, “Helen,” who passed away in the first scene of the 2014 film John Wick. Winston (Ian McShane) stands at Wick’s grave in the movie’s concluding scene after he appears to pass away.
A fan approached the director Chad Stahelski and the star Keanu Reeves about the movie’s ending when it had just debuted at the South by Southwest Film & TV Festival.
We got to make another movie due to Chapter Three’s audience response, and we wondered, “What was the Why?” Reeves appears to be referring to the main purpose of Chapter 4 when he says this. “And as Chad and I were chatting, the Why? Was death, namely the death of John Wick. John Wick the film aimed for him to find some measure of liberation or calm. Let’s do another one can’t be the only response. In essence, it was about death or a method of dying. ‘The Hagakure’ greatly inspired us.
And as Chad and I were chatting, the Why? Was death, namely the death of John Wick
Stahelski mentions that the Hagakure is a Japanese code of ethics. Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai is devoted to its principles and calls itself “a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior.”
According to Stahelski, “we kind of took the way of dying — or the way we live well to die well — as the theme.”
When asked which sequence in the movie he liked best, Reeves cited Wick’s climactic exchange. “Maybe him at the end on the stairs,” he continues, “if I just looked at from [John’s perspective] John Wick.” “When he calls me Helen. After filming the [big fight on the other set of stairs] and about eight years into the job, that part was [a moving nod] to the past for me.
John Wick could have pulled it off earlier; why would he wait until the very end?
Stahelski had planned to film the fourth and fifth episodes back-to-back before the outbreak. Later, the filmmakers notified the media that they were waiting and watching. A post-credits scene provides the possibility for a spinoff centered on Rina Sawayama’s Akira and Caine, played by Donnie Yen.
While Reeves and Stahelski seemed pretty certain that Baba Yaga was dead, the editing of Chapter 4’s final moments leaves just enough room for interpretation (Wick isn’t explicitly shown dead) should the filmmakers choose to bring him back John Wick with a faked-his-own-death revelation. However, doing so would weaken the impact of the Chapter 4 ending and be illogical (if John Wick could have pulled it off earlier, why would he wait until the very end?
A prequel set before Wick retired to start a family is another option, should Reeves decide to take on the role again. However, this would need Wick to play a much younger version of the character than we’ve ever seen. Reeves was told by an SXSW audience member that he doesn’t appear to age, which is a blessing. Yeah, man, I get old,” Reeves said groggily. “Man, it’s happening.”
SOURCE – (HR)
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