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R. Kelly Prosecutors Want 25 More Years For The Singer

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R. Kelly

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 Trial

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.

R. Kelly

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.

R. Kelly

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

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)

 

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Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

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According to a statement on his agent’s website, Chris Gauthier, an actor best known for roles in “Once Upon a Time,” “Eureka,” and other well-known Hallmark Channel movies, passed away on February 23.

He was 48.

His agent, Chad Colvin, confirmed the news on Facebook, adding, “This still doesn’t feel real. How could it be? “A world without you is much darker.”

His reps verified the news to CNN.

gauthier

Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

“So much so that when his wife contacted me with the news yesterday, I grieved for hours in shock. “It took me until now to fully mentally and emotionally prepare myself to write this,” Colvin wrote on Sunday. “When I started in the talent representation profession almost nine years ago this month, it was at the request of one specific actor. However, I realised I needed more clients to get started if any event would take my business venture seriously. Chris Gauthier was the second actor to join the cast after recalling my experience as a press member on the Eureka production.”

“He felt my excitement for this new endeavour, he trusted me and he had faith in what I wanted to do to get him out there with the public and fans more,” he said. “Without Chris’ excitement and devotion, I wouldn’t be able to book practically the whole Eureka cast. His word of mouth, trust, and unending love of life encouraged me every day.”

gauthier

Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

Colvin cited Gauthier’s work on shows such as “Smallville” and “Supernatural,” as well as his role as William Smee on “Once Upon a Time.”

“Brother…Colvin commented, “I will miss you more than you can imagine.” “I wish we could have spent more time together and that you realised how much of an impact you had on my life and everyone else’s. “Without you, this world feels smaller and colder.”

Raphael Sbarge, the actor’s “Once Upon a Time” co-star, also expressed his condolences.

gauthier

Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon A Time’ And Hallmark Movies Actor, Dead At 48

“A sweeter, happier soul would be hard to find,” Sbarge wrote in the caption to a group photo he shared on his verified Instagram account. “A man of consummate character, generosity and great talent, he was someone who cared deeply, loved his art, and was always kind to everyone he met.”

Gauthier’s other credits include the TV shows “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Joe Pickett,” and various Hallmark TV movies, including “Ms. Christmas Comes to Town.”

“We’re sorry to learn of Chris Gauthier’s passing. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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2024: Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

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Bridgit Mendler, known for appearing on Good Luck Charlie and other Disney productions, is venturing into new territory: space.

Disney has effectively launched the careers of major stars such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. However, one former child actor who starred on the network is pursuing a different venture: a space corporation.

mendler

Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Bridgit, a 31-year-old singer and actor best known for her role as Teddy Duncan on the Disney Channel original series Good Luck Charlie, announced this week on X (formerly Twitter) that she is venturing into uncharted territory by launching Northwood Space, a California-based satellite data startup.

Bridgit will lead the company as CEO, while her husband, Gryphon Cleverly, whom she married in 2019, will serve as chief technical officer. “Expect the unexpected!” she posted on X, reacting to a CNBC reporter who broke the story.

According to Ari Eisenstat, the space programme director for the upcoming Texas Eclipse Festival, Bridgit’s venture into science “is a great example of space moving from the domain of governments to becoming accessible to everyone”. Eisenstadt adds that we should all look to “younger generations to see diverse entrepreneurs create social, economic, and environmental impact in the space community”.

According to Bridgit’s post on X, investors have already provided $6.3 million (£4.9 million) in preliminary funding for the startup to create “a data highway between Earth and space.” Mendler said, “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but that’s the fun part.”

While it may come as a surprise to her followers, Mendler has always had interests beyond performing. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2016 and began working at the MIT Media Lab in 2017. She enrolled in the graduate programme in 2018 and will begin her doctorate in philosophy at MIT in 2020. The next year, Mendler enrolled at Harvard Law School.

mendler

Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Then, Mendler told CNBC that the seed of the Northwood idea was planted while she was in New Hampshire during the COVID-19 lockdown. “While everyone else was preparing their sourdough starts, we created antennae from whatever we could find at Home Depot. For me, the ground side is important because it brings the effects of space closer to people. However, it wasn’t until she started working at the Federal Communications Commission in 2022 that she understood her new path: she told CNBC it was when she “completely fell in love with space law”.

Mendler’s big news has her admirers excited to follow up, and her X announcement currently has over 23,000 likes. Northwood Space, which plans to mass-produce massive terrestrial antennas that connect to satellites in space, says: “The one-lane rickety road for space data needs to adapt to a ten-lane highway routing continuous traffic across the globe.”And, as a woman in science who changed careers to pursue her ambition, Mendler is likely to inspire other women to make timely career changes.

mendler

Bridgit Mendler, A Former Disney Actor Turned Space Startup CEO, Is Reaching For The Stars

Laurie Bardon Syphard, an environmental science educator, says she’s impressed by Mendler’s credentials and is already excited about her new business. “My gut is telling me that she is going to go really far with this career in science and technology,” she adds, adding that the young scientist’s Disney admirers would most certainly keep an eye on her, especially given space is “one of the areas that just is exciting and inspires people”.

Mendler’s followers appear to agree and have taken to X to celebrate her continuous success. One fan wrote, “She’s Barbie. Like 12 different careers. Singer/songwriter, actor, Harvard PhD in law, MIT PHD student, startup CEO.”

SOURCE – (BBC)

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2024 OSCARS: Everything You Need To Know About This Year’s Oscars

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NEW YORK — After a winter of award events, including the Emmys, Golden Globes, and Grammys, the granddaddy of them all, the Academy Awards, is just around the horizon. The 96th Academy Awards may be a coronation for “Oppenheimer,” which leads with 13 nominations, but other films, including “Barbie,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and “Poor Things,” are also in the running.

Here’s what you should know about this year’s show:

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When are the Oscars?

The Oscars will be on Sunday, March 10, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The event will begin at 7 p.m. EDT, one hour earlier than normal, and will be live on ABC. The pre-show will begin at 6:30 p.m. EDT. This is an early reminder to set your clocks – the first day of daylight saving time in the United States.

Are the Oscars livestreamed?
You can access the show on ABC.com and the ABC app with a cable subscription. You may also watch on Hulu Live, YouTube, AT&T, and FuboTV.

Who is hosting the Oscars?
Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the ceremony last year, will serve as emcee for the fourth time. That matches him with fellow four-timers Whoopi Goldberg and Jack Lemmon, leaving Kimmel trailing only Johnny Carson (five), Billy Crystal (nine), and Bob Hope (eleven) among Oscar hosts. “I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times,” Kimmel told the audience.

What films are nominated for Best Picture at the 2024 Oscars?
The ten best-picture nominees are: “American Fiction,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” “Barbie,” “The Holdovers,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro,” “Oppenheimer,” “Past Lives,” “Poor Things,” and “The Zone of Interest.”

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Who are the favourites?

Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” is the front-runner. Nolan, the best director favourite, is expected to win his first Oscar. The best actress category could be a close call between Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”) and Emma Stone (“Poor Things”). If Gladstone wins, she will be the first Native American to win an Oscar. Best actor might also be a tight call between Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”) and Paul Giamatti (“The Holdovers”). They would be first-time winners. Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Giamatti’s co-star, is the favourite to win Best supporting actress, while Robert Downey Jr. (“Oppenheimer”) is predicted to win Best Supporting Actor. Ryan Gosling is his closest competitor for “Barbie.”

What’s with the ‘Barbie’ snubs?
While “Barbie,” 2023’s largest box-office blockbuster, received eight nominations, much of the conversation has focused on the film’s lack of nominations. Greta Gerwig was not nominated for directing, while Margot Robbie did not win best actress. Some have detected reflections of the misogyny spoofed in “Barbie,” while others have noted comedians’ traditionally poor reception at the Oscars. The nominations for “Barbie” include best-adapted screenplay (by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach), best supporting actress (America Ferrera), and two best song nominees: Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For” and Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt’s “I’m Just Ken.”

oscars

Are there any changes to this year’s Oscars?

Though prior Oscars have been marred by slaps, envelope snafus, and debates about which prizes are presented live during the ceremony, this year’s show promises to remain relatively unchanged. All of the awards will be broadcast live. The academy is introducing a new award for best casting, but the trophy will be handed in at the 2026 Oscars.

What else is there to look for?
Composer John Williams has been nominated for his record 49th best-score Oscar for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and 54th overall. Godzilla is making his Oscar debut, with “Godzilla Minus One” nominated for outstanding visual effects. Two non-English language films are nominated for Best Picture for the first time: the German-language Auschwitz drama “The Zone of Interest” and the French courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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