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Chance the Rapper blesses Chicago Public Schools with $1 million promise  
Spencer Dukoff Mar-06-2017 298 0


Chance the Rapper announced Monday that he would donate $1 million to the Chicago Public Schools for arts education.

The Grammy Award-winning artist made the announcement at an impromptu press conference at Westcott Elementary School in Chicago.

The rap star, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, was born in Chicago and attended public school in his hometown. Hemet with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner over the weekend after the governor vetoed a bill that would’ve helped the school district pay its pension bill.

Chance said Monday that their conversation had been “unsuccessful” and that Rauner would only propose solutions with “caveats and ultimatums.”

“While I’m frustrated and disappointed in the governor’s inaction, that will not stop me from continuing to do all I can to support Chicago’s most valuable resource,” Chance said.

Live Nation, AEG, Ticketmaster, and independent promoters and venues will work in coordination to donate funds from ticket sales for Chance’s upcoming concerts to Chicago Public Schools.

In addition to his personal donation and the donations from his ticket sales, fans can donate directly through the SocialWorks website. For every $100,000 raised, SocialWorks will donate $10,000 to a specific Chicago public school.

Michelle Obama thanked Chance in a tweet for being a role model.

Chance went on to say that increased funding for the arts in schools would help teach students valuable lessons about perseverance and collaboration.

“This isn’t about politics. This isn’t about posturing. This about taking care of the kids,” Chance said.

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jed dreben Oct-07-2017 95 0
It's being reported by TMZ that rapper Nelly has been arrested for allegedly raping a woman in Washington.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ that the women claims the incident occurred while on the hip hop star's tour bus in Washington, where he's been performing with Florida Georgia Line, as they were set to hit the stage on Saturday night in Ridgefield, Washington.

TMZ added that the alleged rape occurred early Saturday morning at about 3:45 AM, and that Nelly has been specifically said to be the one who committed the act.

And TMZ also posted a video of Nelly appearing in good spirits while taking hits and blowing out smoke, hours before the arrest, telling fans that the first one to come up to him and say "all work and no play," would be given four free tickets to "tomorrow's" Ridgefield show.

Professionally known as Nelly, 42, the rapper, singer and actor whose real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr, was booked on second degree rape charges Saturday morning at around 7 AM, TMZ reports, adding that he was in custody at the time their news story broke.

Nelly's lawyer commented to TMZ: "Nelly is the victim of a completely fabricated allegation. Our initial investigation, clearly establishes the allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness. I am confident, once the scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges. Nelly is prepared to pursue all all legal avenues to redress any damage caused by this clearly false allegation."


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Nicole Bitette Oct-04-2017 179 0
Tyrese Gibson is reportedly being investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) after his ex-wife claimed he abused their 10-year-old daughter.

Gibson's ex-wife Norma (Mitchell) Gibson accused the actor of spanking their 10-year-old daughter between 12 and 16 times and her attorney revealed in court Tuesday that DCFS has opened an investigation into the claims, TMZ reported.

However, it is not uncommon for DCFS to open an investigation after any accusation is made as a precautionary measure, according to the gossip site.

Norma was previously granted a temporary restraining order against Gibson for both her and their daughter after she said in court documents that he "pinned (the child) face down, put his knees on her back, grabbed her hands with one arm and beat her with the other," according to documents obtained by People.

She is now seeking a permanent restraining order out of fear Tyrese will take their daughter to Dubai, according to TMZ.

Norma also wants her ex to take domestic violence courses.

A lawyer for "The Fast and Furious" star vehemently denied the claims, telling TMZ: "She's a lying piece of s--t. Tyrese is devastated. He's a good guy and I will prove that."

Gibson and Mitchell were married between 2007 and 2009 and the rapper-turned-actor recently married Samantha Lee Gibson in March.
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Chris Malone Sep-28-2017 77 0
Trump team offered him Rapper and TV producer 50 Cent stopped by Hot 97 yesterday (Sep. 26) to talk with Ebro about his new show, the state of New York hip-hop and, most notably, our current president.

When candidly discussing Trump's handling of the office with Ebro and co-hosts Laura Stylez and Peter Rosenberg, the Power star and executive producer revealed that the Trump team offered him $500,000 to make an appearance for him during his campaign.

"Before he got elected, they were having issues with the African American vote," 50 said. "They wanted to pay me $500,000 as part of the campaign just to make an appearance. I was like, 'Nah, that's not good money.'"

"I'm not going to do that," he continued. "That's not worth it!"
$500,000 to make an appearance for him during his campaign
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Chancellor Agard Sep-18-2017 113 0
Sterling K. Brown’s Emmys speech was cut short on Sunday after the This Is Us star became the first black actor to win the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series since 1998.

“To my fellow nominees, I’m a fan. I love you all,” said Brown, who plays Randall Pearson on the NBC drama, when he took the stage to accept his award.

“This one right here?” he continued, referring to his trophy before giving a shout out to the fictional characters played by Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), and Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street), respectively. (Braugher was the last black actor to win the award before Brown.)

“When I think about it, Walter White held this joint. Dick Whitman held this joint. And 19 years ago, Detective Frank Pembleton held this joint. I just want to say, Mr. Braugher, whether it’s at Stanford University or on this Emmys stage, it is my supreme honor to follow in your footsteps,” Brown said.

“I wanna thank my cast. You are the best white TV family that a brother has ever had, better than the white folks who raised Webster,” Brown told his This is Us costars in the audience, not long before the music began to play and cut his time short. Though the actor remained on stage to continue the rest of his speech, the camera panned out and the sound was cut from the mic.

Created by Dan Fogelman, This Is Us follows the Pearson family across the decades. Via flashbacks, we learn about Jack and Rebecca’s (Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore) marriage and lives as young parents; and in the present day storyline, we see who their now 37-year-old kids Randall, Kate (Chrissy Metz), and Kevin (Justin Hartley) have grown up to be. In the first season, Brown brought audiences to tears multiple times as his character dealt with his anxiety problems and reconnected with his birth father, who was dying from cancer.

“When people who have gone through anxiety said, ‘I haven’t seen this on TV. Thank you for representing it as well as you did, and making me not feel as if something is wrong with me.’ You often have this feeling that it’s just me, and then you get a chance to see somebody else go through what it is that you go through, and then you feel like you’re not alone again. I am always really, really proud of an opportunity to tell people that they’re not alone,” Brown told EW.

Brown — who won the Emmy for best supporting actor in a limited series last year for his work on The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – beat out fellow nominees Anthony Hopkins (Westworld), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), and his This Is Us costar Milo Ventimiglia.

This Is Us returns September 26 at 9 p.m. on NBC.
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Variety Sep-04-2017 245 0
Rapper Lil Wayne has reportedly been hospitalized in Chicago after suffering an epileptic seizure. According to TMZ, Wayne (real name: Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.) was found unconscious in his Westin Hotel room on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 3). He was taken to Northwestern Hospital where he experienced another seizure.

The New Orleans rapper has long suffered from the neurological disorder and has been hospitalized several times in recent years, including a six-day stay in 2013, and following an incident on a cross-country flight in 2016.

Wayne, who is currently on tour with Rae Sremmurd, was scheduled to perform at Drai’s Nightclub in Las Vegas on Sept. 3. It is unclear as of yet whether Wayne will be discharged.

Variety has reached out to a Wayne rep for comment.
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Caitlyn Hitt Aug-22-2017 138 0
Mystikal turned himself in to police on Monday.

The Louisiana rapper, born Michael Lawrence Tyler, was booked and charged by the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office in his native Louisiana. He's been accused of first-degree rape.

According to TMZ, the 46-year-old surrendered after the Shreveport Police Department put out a warrant for his arrest.

The charges stem from an incident that reportedly took place in 2016 at a casino where Tyler had performed. TMZ was unable to uncover further details about the incident.

The outlet reports that a man by the name of Averweone Holman was also arrested on August 18, where he lives in Killeen, Texas, and charged in connection with this case.

A later report from TMZ suggests that police in the area are searching for a woman named Tenichia Wafford, whom they believe is an accomplice to the rape.

Reporters with the site were able to get in touch with Wafford to get her side of the story, which is vastly different than the one being projected by authorities.

According to the outlet, police are on the hunt for Wafford because they believe she pushed the victim to drop charges against Tyler and Holman.

She admitted to TMZ that she'd been in touch with the unidentified woman about the incident, but said she was simply checking up on her friend.

Additionally, she told the outlet she's certain "nobody did nothing to that girl."
"She said ain't nobody did nothing to her. This is some bulls--t though. If I would have known all that I wouldn't have called her," Wafford said.

"Now all of a sudden I got a charge."

Rapper Mystikal going back to jail for 90 days

Wafford alleged, during her conversation with TMZ, that the victim is trying to cover up for the fact that she "ditched" her boyfriend on the night in question.

According to the publication, she's still at large.

KTBS, an ABC News affiliate in Texas, reported that Wafford is facing one count of accessory after the fact to first degree rape.

Like Wafford, Tyler has alleged that the charges against him are false. Members of his team told TMZ he intends to plead not guilty to the rape charges against him.

Until they have their day in court, Tyler and Holman remain behind bars. Both are being held on $2 million bond.
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reuters Aug-22-2017 118 0
Comedian Bill Cosby's retrial on sexual assault charges will be moved from November 2017 to March 2018, a Pennsylvania judge said on Tuesday.

Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill said the additional time was necessary to give Cosby's new lawyers, who made their first appearance on Tuesday, time to prepare. The 80-year-old entertainer's first trial for allegedly assaulting a woman in 2004 ended in a mistrial in June when a jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.
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PETER SBLENDORIO Aug-22-2017 124 0
Another woman has come forward with explosive allegations against R. Kelly in the wake of claims that the Grammy-winning singer manipulates every aspect of life for several women who live with him.

Jerhonda Pace, now 24, told Buzzfeed she was only 16 when she began a sexual relationship with the singer, whom she first met in Chicago when she attended his child pornography trial in 2008 when she was only 15. She says Kelly did not ask her how old she was when she was first invited over to his house in 2009, but told private investigators later on that she had claimed she was 19.

Pace accused the R&B star of mentally and physically abusing her during their 8-month relationship. She says she told Kelly she was 16 in July 2009, after they'd already started their sexual relationship, and he allegedly told her to lie about her age and tell people she was 19.

Pace — whose last name was Johnson at the time (she’s since married) — told Buzzfeed that she followed a set of "rules" when she spent weekends with Kelly at the singer's Olympia Fields, Ill. home that required her to wear baggy clothes and ask for permission to use the bathroom, shower, and even eat.

She claims Kelly turned violent toward her in January 2010 after the singer saw her texting one of her friends.

"I was slapped and I was choked and I was spit on," she told Buzzfeed.

Pace says she stopped seeing Kelly from there, and reached out to Chicago attorney Susan E. Loggans, who had worked with woman who claimed to be wronged by Kelly in the past. Pace told Buzzfeed that Loggans reached a big settlement with Kelly within weeks.

Years later, Pace tells the outlet that she's currently worried about a friend who she brought into Kelly's group, who sources tell Buzzfeed still lives with the singer.

Pace's allegations come a month after Buzzfeed originally reported that the parents of an aspiring singer — since identified as Joycelyn Savage — believed their daughter was one of several women being manipulated by Kelly in what they've described as a "cult."

Three other women who were allegedly once part of Kelly's circle went on the record in that article to accuse Kelly of regulating everything that the six women who live with him do, from what they eat, to what they wear and what they do sexually.

Kelly's team has vehemently denied all allegations against him, and Savage has said she's fine, despite her parent's concerns. An attorney for Kelly did not immediately return a request for comment on the latest Buzzfeed story.

Pace says she broke a nondisclosure agreement by speaking to Buzzfeed, but decided to tell her story to try and help the women who are allegedly living with Kelly.

"If I can speak out and I can help them get out of that situation, that's what I will do," Pace said. "I didn't have anybody to speak up on my behalf when I was going through what I was going through with him. He's brainwashed them really bad, and it kind of reminds me of Charles Manson."
"I just really hope I can help these women out," she continued. "Kelly needs to be stopped."
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Dee Thompson Aug-17-2017 96 0
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals at Dallas ruled that Erykah Badu’s comments on social media about former manager Paul Levatino were protected free speech, however the case is going back to the trial court for further rulings.

Paul Levatino worked for Erykah Badu (real name Erica Wright) for 8 years as the general manager of her business interests. His duties included merchandising, concert and event management, and marketing. He was paid through her company Apple Tree Cafe Touring.

On May 27, 2014, Badu terminated the employment of Levatino. She said on May 29, 2014, on social media that Levatino was never her manager and she had never had a manager, according to the court's opinion. She also alleged he had shut down her Facebook fan page.

In October 2014, Badu received a letter from Levatino’s lawyer Joseph H. Gillespie of Gillespie Sanford LLP stating she had defamed Levatino, and asking for a public retraction and compensation. 

On Oct. 31, 2014, Badu filed a petition seeking a declaratory judgment, saying that Levatino had never been her talent manager and was not owed any compensation. Badu next filed an amendment to the petition alleging fraud, conversion and theft by deception.

In response to the petition, Levatino filed a counterclaim “...asserting Badu’s Facebook and Twitter posts were defamatory and have caused Levatino to suffer actual damages in the form of lost compensation and earning capacity, and non-pecuniary damages.” Additionally, “Levatino asserts Apple Tree is liable for the statements and omissions made by Badu,” according to the court of appeals' Aug. 3 order.

Levatino moved for dismissal of Badu’s claims under the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA) and asserted that his pre-suit demand letters were protected activity under the TCPA. 
To be considered an exercise of the right of association under the TCPA, communication must happen “between individuals who join together to collectively express, promote, pursue or defend common interests,” according to the court's opinion.

In his petition, Levantino claimed “Attorney-client communications that culminate in a demand letter to opposing counsel expressing the common interests of the attorney and client are protected under the right of association and it was error to hold otherwise.” 

His petition also stated, “The court of appeals decision also contravenes the broadly written and liberally construed purpose of the act because instead of limiting frivolous anti-SLAPP suits, it instead incentivizes such suits by protecting parties that rush to the courthouse to file strategic retaliatory suits in response to pre-suit demand letters.”

The trial court, appellate court and Texas Supreme Court all denied his petition for review.
In its Aug. 3, ruling, the Court of Appeals Fifth District of Texas ruled that the issue of attorney’s fees was remanded back to the trial court to decide. It also ruled that Badu’s comments on social media were exercises of her right of association. 

Additionally, the Court of Appeals 5th District of Texas ruled that because Badu’s comments on social media were damaging to his reputation, and it was commonly known in the music industry that he was her manager, that Levatino presented a prima facie case of defamation. According to the Wex Legal Dictionary, a "prima facie case is a cause of action or defense that is sufficiently established by a party's evidence to justify a verdict in his or her favor, provided such evidence is not rebutted by the other party."

The Court of Appeals Fifth District of Texas concluded that “We reverse, in part, that portion of the trial court’s order awarding Levatino attorney’s fees and cost, and remand the attorney’s fees and cost issue to the trial court to determine whether appellants’ motion was frivolous or solely intended to delay. We otherwise affirm the trial court’s order.”
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