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Actor Danny Masterson Convicted Of 2 Counts Of Rape

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LA – After a jury found Danny Masterson guilty on two of three counts of rape in his second trial, in which the Church of Scientology played a significant part, “That ’70s Show” star Danny Masterson was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs on Wednesday. He faces a prison sentence of 30 years to life.

Masterson’s wife, actor and model Bijou Phillips, who had sat stony-faced throughout both trials, gasped when the conviction was pronounced and sobbed as he was brought into custody.

After debating for seven days over two weeks, the jury of five men and seven women decided. On the third count, which claimed Masterson had sexually assaulted a previous girlfriend, they could not reach a decision. The verdict had received an 8-4 vote in favor.

Masterson, 47, will remain behind bars until his sentence is rendered. There is no established date for sentencing.

“I am experiencing a complex array of emotions — relief, exhaustion, strength, and sadness — knowing that my abuser, Danny Masterson, will face accountability for his criminal behaviour,” said one of the women, who Masterson knew as a fellow churchgoer and was found guilty of rape at his home in 2003.

In the statement, a second woman, a former girlfriend whose count caused the jury to reach a deadlock, said: “While I’m encouraged that Danny Masterson will face some criminal punishment, I am devastated that he has dodged criminal accountability for his heinous conduct against me.”

Masterson’s representatives declined to comment, although it is almost clear they will appeal.

Prosecutors retried Masterson in December after a deadlocked jury resulted in a mistrial. They said that between 2001 and 2003, he drugged and brutally raped three women at his Hollywood Hills home. All three women were church members then, and they claimed he utilized his status there to evade punishment for many years.

The three women bravely came forward and revealed their stories, and for that, we are grateful, said Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón in a statement following the verdict on Wednesday.

Masterson’s attorneys cited no witnesses, and he declined to testify. The defense asserted that the acts were consensual and worked to undermine the women’s accounts by calling attention to changes and contradictions that they claimed indicated coordination between the parties.

Masterson, 47, will remain behind bars until his sentence is rendered. There is no established date for sentencing.

In his closing argument, defense attorney Philip Cohen reminded the jury of their instructions and said, “You should consider not believing anything the witness says if you find that a witness in this case intentionally lied about something.

The Church of Scientology had a major impact in the first trial, but it may have been even more influential in the second trial. Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo permitted expert testimony on church policy from a former member of the leadership of Scientology who has since become a well-known adversary.

In a statement following the verdict, the Church said that the “inclusion of religion in this trial was an unprecedented violation of the First Amendment and impacted the due process rights of every American. The Church was not a party to this action, and according to centuries-old Supreme Court tradition, religion had no place in this legal process.

The accusers said on the witness stand that they were intimidated by certain Scientologists in the courtroom due to the high tension between current and former Scientologists.

Leah Remini, an actor and former church member who has emerged as its most prominent critic, occasionally attended the trial and held one of the accusers close to her during closing statements.

According to Remini, the two guilty convictions in the retrial are “a relief,” she wrote on Twitter. Heroes are the ladies who escaped Danny Masterson’s harassment. They have endured violent attacks and harassment from Danny’s well-funded legal team and Scientology for years, she wrote in her post. However, they persisted in their quest for justice.

Two of the accusers have filed a civil action regarding the alleged harassment.

masterson

Masterson, 47, will remain behind bars until his sentence is rendered. There is no established date for sentencing.

Scientology states, “There is not a scintilla of evidence supporting the scandalous allegations that the Church harassed the accusers.”

L. Ron Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology in 1953 with many Hollywood-based adherents. The judge set restrictions on how much the prosecution may discuss the Church and mostly allowed it to be used as an excuse for why the women delayed so long to contact the police.

The women stated that when they reported Masterson to church officials, they were informed that they had not been sexually assaulted, were required to participate in ethics training, and counseled against reporting a member of such high standing to criminal enforcement.

Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller’s closing statement to the jury stated, “They were raped, they were punished for it, and they were retaliated against.” They were taught by science that there is no justice for them.

“Testimony and descriptions of Scientology beliefs” during the trial, according to the Church, were “uniformly false.”

“The Church has no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting criminal conduct of anyone — Scientologists or not — to law enforcement,” the statement read.

Olmedo will hold a hearing the following week to establish how a lawyer for the Church of Scientology obtained information that the prosecution had sent to the defense. Links that the attorney unintentionally included in an email to Mueller served as the basis for the evidence.

People who claim they have been sexually abused are not routinely named by The Associated Press.

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In this case, the testimony was explicit and intense.

According to the two women whose evidence resulted in Masterson’s conviction, he served them drinks in 2003, causing them to get drunk or pass out before he viciously raped them.

The third witness, Masterson’s then-girlfriend of five years, said she awoke to discover him raping her and had to yank his hair to stop him. Her testimony caused the jury to reach a deadlock.

Olmedo only let the ladies describe their state in the first trial but enabled the accusers and the prosecution to directly state that Masterson drugged the women in the second trial.

There were no drug-related charges against Masterson, and there was no toxicology data to support the claim.

The allegations were made when Masterson was at the height of his fame, appearing as Steven Hyde on Fox’s “That ’70s Show” from 1998 to 2006, the program that launched the careers of Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Topher Grace.

On the 2016 Netflix comedy “The Ranch,” Masterson reconnected with Kutcher, but the project was canceled when an LAPD investigation became public in December 2017.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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‘Hawaii Five-0’ Fan Favorite And Former UFC Fighter Taylor Wily Dies At 56

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Los Angeles — Taylor Wily, a former sumo wrestler best known for his role as confidential informant Kamekona Tupuola on “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum P.I,” died on Friday, according to a friend and a “Hawaii Five-0” producer. He was 56.

“Hawaii Five-0” executive producer Peter M. Lenkov announced his death to The Associated Press and posted numerous condolences to the actor on Instagram, adding, “I am devastated. “Heartbroken” was the caption for a photo of the two.

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Wily

‘Hawaii Five-0’ Fan Favorite And Former UFC Fighter Taylor Wily Dies At 56

KITV 4 in Honolulu was the first to report Taylor’s death on Thursday. Additional data concerning the cause are unknown. Lina Girl Langi, a TV and radio personality, said on the show “Island Life Live” that she broke the news “with a heavy heart,” because Wily was a friend.

Taylor’s longtime friend and partner, Lenkov, uploaded a second post later on Thursday with a video montage of images and clips with him. He commented, “You charmed me into making you a regular on the show and my life.” You were a family member. I’ll miss you every day, brother.”

In an extra statement to the AP, Lenkov said it was difficult to characterize Wily’s “special” qualities and praised the actor’s abilities.

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Wily AP News image

‘Hawaii Five-0’ Fan Favorite And Former UFC Fighter Taylor Wily Dies At 56

“Even though a lot of his ‘Hawaii Five-0’ and ‘Magnum’ scenes featured his comedy skills, he was also an incredible dramatic actor,” Lenvok pointed out. “I wrote a script for him a few years ago and hoped to cast him in my next production. I wanted to keep him near, both as a friend and as an artist. I’m devastated that I won’t get the opportunity.

Taylor played Kamekona on “Hawaii Five-0” from 2010 to 2020 and became a fan favorite. He reprised his role in the reboot of “Magnum P.I.” and had a noteworthy performance as a hotel worker in the 2008 comedy “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”

‘Hawaii Five-0’ Fan Favorite And Former UFC Fighter Taylor Wily Dies At 56

Before becoming an actor, Taylor, born Teila Tuli, was a well-known sumo wrestler and UFC 1 competitor. In 1993, he became the first knockout victim in UFC history after opponent Gerard Gordeau’s kick knocked a tooth out of Wily’s mouth, ending the bout in 26 seconds.

Wily is survived by his wife, Halona, and two children.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Jeff Bezos Is Under Fire At The Washington Post As Patience Wears Thin Among Staffers

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Jeff Bezos | CNN Image

When will Jeff Bezos confront the crisis in his newsroom?

The Washington Post’s owner and Amazon millionaire has yet to take any meaningful action to address concerns at his newspaper, which continues in disarray while explosive reports are published on a daily basis, calling the outlet’s new publisher, Will Lewis, into severe question.

Staffers at The Post are losing patience with Bezos, whose only response to the Lewis disaster so far has been to send a 138-word, single-paragraph memo from his Mediterranean yachting vacation to a few leaders at The Post, assuring them that he wants standards to remain “very high.” That is the root of the problem, according to The Post staff. They, too, want standards to stay “very high” and are concerned that Lewis constitutes an active threat to that common goal.

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Jeff Bezos | Variety Image

Jeff Bezos Is Under Fire At The Washington Post As Patience Wears Thin Among Staffers

More drama occurred Friday when Lewis said that Robert Winnett, whom he had identified as the paper’s incoming editor, would not be coming to manage the Post. This comes after The Post published a 3,000-word front-page exposé this week, revealing that Winnett had previously utilized documents from a self-described “thief” for reporting.

Frustrations and concerns are so severe at the outlet that two of the institution’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists have chosen to come out publicly, pushing for a change in leadership, an unprecedented move at the venerable newspaper. David Maraniss, an associate editor at The Post for nearly 50 years, said he doesn’t “know a single person at the Post who thinks the current situation with the publisher and the supposed new editor can stand.” Scott Higham, who has been with The Post for over two decades, concurred and urged for Lewis’ dismissal.

“Will Lewis needs to step down for the good of The Post and the public,” Higham posted on Facebook. “He has lost the newsroom and will never win it back.”

To summarise, Maraniss and Higham express what many in the newsroom believe. In meetings with more than a dozen people inside and close to The Post this week, it became evident that Lewis, in his brief six months on the job, has completely alienated personnel and now confronts insurmountable odds in regaining the employee base he hopes to lead. Whether or not he has strong business ideas is irrelevant. He has lost the respect of his staff. And any successful leader will tell you that without the credibility to lead, it is impossible to accomplish anything, let alone perform a Herculean company revolution.

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Jeff Bezos | CNN Image

Jeff Bezos Is Under Fire At The Washington Post As Patience Wears Thin Among Staffers

Bezos’ spokeswoman did not reply to demands for comment on Thursday. But certainly, the millionaire realizes the grave predicament that has gripped The Post. And it’s hard to imagine he truly feels his brief memo to The Post’s leadership was sufficient to quell the worries that have sparked the extraordinary outrage at the newspaper. In fact, it’s worth noting that Bezos has not expressed support for Lewis recently, providing him options as he assesses the deteriorating situation and decides how to stop the bleeding.

Staff at The Post are eagerly awaiting Bezos’ action. Since Lewis’s fury flared earlier this month, CNN employees have repeatedly warned the outlet that the ongoing turmoil has diverted attention away from the newsroom’s essential job. With a high-stakes election just months away, it is far from ideal to have the attention of one of the country’s leading news organizations diverted by internal strife.

It’s “a massive distraction,” one Postie told me Thursday, adding that The Guardian’s eye-catching story accusing Lewis of allegedly advising then-U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “clean up” his phone amid the so-called “Partygate” controversies is “the talk of the newsroom.” (Both Lewis and Johnson refuted the story.)

“I don’t think the mood will change until something else changes,” the employee explained.

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Jeff Bezos | CNBC Image

Jeff Bezos Is Under Fire At The Washington Post As Patience Wears Thin Among Staffers

In Bezos’ absence, reports questioning Lewis’ ethical integrity continue to emerge. According to the Financial Times, Lewis “retains links” to a public relations agency that advises powerful corporate and political figures on negotiating difficult circumstances. While the FT reported that Lewis had sold his ownership part in the company, it also stated that the firm had “continued to distribute regular emails from Lewis,” producing “confusion among people in contact with the agency.”

While the FT’s Thursday story lacked the weight of other news outlets’ recent reports, it did raise new questions about Lewis’ past and entanglements.

Meanwhile, as The Post and other sources, including The New York Times, continue to investigate Lewis’ past, many more concerns will arise. And as the inquiries continue, those at The Post will undoubtedly have one in particular for Bezos: What are your plans for restoring your newspaper’s reputation and status?

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Donald Sutherland, The Towering Actor Whose Career Spanned ‘M.A.S.H.’ To ‘Hunger Games,’ Dies At 88

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NEW YORK — Donald Sutherland, a famous film and television actor whose work ranged from “M.A.S.H.” to “The Hunger Games,” has died. He was 88.

The actor’s son, Kiefer Sutherland, confirmed his father’s death Thursday. No other information was immediately provided.

“I personally think one of the most important actors in the history of film,” Kiefer Sutherland stated on X. “Never intimidated by a part, whether good, awful, or ugly. He loved what he did and did what he loved, and you can’t ask for more.”

The tall and gaunt Canadian actor with a charming or wicked grin was recognized for oddball characters like Hawkeye Pierce in Robert Altman’s “M.A.S.H.,” the hippy tank commander in “Kelly’s Heroes,” and the stoned professor in “Animal House.”

Before starting a long career as a respected character actor, Sutherland exemplified 1970s cinema’s unconventional, anti-establishment style.

Over the years, Sutherland demonstrated his versatility in more conventional but unconventional roles like Robert Redford’s “Ordinary People” and Oliver Stone’s “JFK.” More recently, he appeared in the “Hunger Games” movies. He never retired and worked frequently till his death. “Made Up, But Still True,” a memoir, was scheduled to be released in November.

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Sutherland | AP News Image

Donald Sutherland, The Towering Actor Whose Career Spanned ‘M.A.S.H.’ To ‘Hunger Games,’ Dies At 88

“I enjoy working. In 1998, Sutherland told Charlie Rose, “I passionately love to work.” “I adore seeing my hand fit into the glove of another figure. I get a great sense of freedom; time seems to halt. I’m not as crazy as I used to be, but I’m still slightly insane.”

Donald McNichol Sutherland was born in St. John, New Brunswick, the son of a salesperson and a math teacher. He was up in Nova Scotia and was a disc jockey with his radio station by age 14.

“When I was 13 or 14, I really thought everything I felt was wrong and dangerous, and that God was going to kill me for it,” said Sutherland to The New York Times in 1981. “My father always said, ‘Keep your mouth shut, Donnie, and maybe people will think you have character.'”

Sutherland began as an engineering student at the University of Toronto but switched to English and began acting in school plays. While studying in Toronto, he met an aspiring actress named Lois Hardwick. They married in 1959 and divorced seven years later.

Sutherland graduated in 1956 and studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. Sutherland began performing in West End shows and on British television. He bounced around after moving to Los Angeles until a series of war films altered his path.

His first American picture was “The Dirty Dozen” (1967), in which he played Vernon Pinkley, an officer mimicking psychotic. In 1970, the World War II drama “Kelly’s Heroes” and “M.A.S.H.,” an acclaimed smash hit, were released, catapulting Sutherland to fame.

“There is more challenge in character roles,” Sutherland told The Washington Post in 1970. “There is longevity. A good character actor can portray a distinct face in each film without boring the audience.”

If Sutherland had gotten his way, Altman would have been sacked from “M.A.S.H.” He and co-star Elliott Gould were dissatisfied with the director’s unconventional, improvisational approach and lobbied to have him changed. But the picture outperformed everyone’s expectations, and Sutherland personally resonated with its anti-war message. Sutherland, actress Jane Fonda, and others created the Free Theater Associates in 1971 after being outspokenly opposed to the Vietnam War. In 1973, they performed in venues near military facilities in Southeast Asia after being banned by the Army for their political ideas.

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Sutherland | AP News Image

Donald Sutherland, The Towering Actor Whose Career Spanned ‘M.A.S.H.’ To ‘Hunger Games,’ Dies At 88

Sutherland’s career as a leading man peaked in the 1970s, when he starred in pictures by the greatest directors of the day, even if they didn’t always perform their best work with him. Sutherland, who repeatedly stated that he regarded himself at the service of a director’s vision, collaborated with Federico Fellini (1976’s “Fellini’s Casanova”), Bernardo Bertolucci (1976’s “1900”), Claude Chabrol (1978’s “Blood Relatives”), and John Schlesinger (1975’s “The Day of the Locust”).

One of his most memorable performances was as a detective in Alan Pakula’s “Klute” (1971). He met Fonda while filming “Klute,” they had a three-year relationship that began after his second marriage to actor Shirley Douglas ended. He married Douglas in 1966 and divorced in 1971.

In 1966, Sutherland and Douglas welcomed twins Rachel and Kiefer, named after Warren Kiefer, the writer of Sutherland’s first film, “Castle of the Living Dead.”

In 1974, the actor began living with actress Francine Racette, with whom he remained ever since. They had three children: Roeg, born in 1974 and named after filmmaker Nicolas Roeg (“Don’t Look Now”); Rossif, born in 1978 and named after director Frederick Rossif; and Angus Redford, born in 1979 and named after Robert Redford.

To some astonishment, Redford cast Sutherland as the father in his directorial debut, 1980’s “Ordinary People.” Redford’s drama about a gorgeous suburban family shattered by tragedy received four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

The academy neglected Sutherland for the majority of his career. He was never nominated, but he received an honorary Oscar in 2017. He did, however, win an Emmy in 1995 for the television film “Citizen X” and was nominated for seven Golden Globes (including for his roles in “M.A.S.H.” and “Ordinary People”), winning two — again for “Citizen X” and for the 2003 television film “Path to War.”

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Sutherland | AP News Image

Donald Sutherland, The Towering Actor Whose Career Spanned ‘M.A.S.H.’ To ‘Hunger Games,’ Dies At 88

“Ordinary People” also signaled a transition in Sutherland’s career toward more mature and, in some cases, less eccentric characters.

However, his New York stage debut in 1981 was a disaster. He played Humbert Humbert in Edward Albee’s version of Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita,” which received harsh reviews and closed after only a dozen performances.

A slump ensued in the 1980s, owing to flops such as the 1981 satire “Gas” and the 1984 comedy “Crackers.”

Sutherland, however, persisted in his efforts. He has a brief but noteworthy appearance in Oliver Stone’s film “JFK” (1991). He returned to play a grandpa for Redford in his 1993 film “Six Degrees of Separation.” He played Bill Bowerman, a track coach, in the 1998 film Without Limits.

Sutherland has worked more on television over the last decade, most notably in HBO’s “Path to War,” when he played President Lyndon Johnson’s Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford. It was an appropriate, albeit ironic, bookend to a career began by “M.A.S.H.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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