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Actor Jussie Smollett sentenced to 150 days in jail for lying to police in hate crime hoax

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US actor Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to 150 days in jail after a jury found he lied to police about being the victim of a hate crime.

The former Empire star, 39, was found guilty in December of five charges of felony disorderly conduct after making false reports about the hoax attack.

The sentence also includes 30 months of probation and $145,000 (£110,000) in restitution and fines.

Following the sentence, Smollett said: “I did not do this!”

The trial stemmed from an incident three years ago when Smollett said he was attacked by two assailants.

The actor, who is black and gay, said the attackers shouted slurs at him and a Trump slogan, dumped a “chemical substance” on him and tied a noose around his neck while he was walking late at night in January 2019.

Authorities opened an investigation, but in February of that year, police charged Smollett with filing a false police report, alleging he had staged the assault.

At trial last year, a jury of six men and six women heard from brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who testified Smollett paid them to orchestrate the attack and paid them $3,500 to carry it out.

Smollett faced up to three years in prison for each of the five counts. The first 150 days of his probation will be spent in custody, beginning immediately.

He must also pay $120,106 in restitution to the city of Chicago and $25,000 in fines – the maximum allowable by law.

Throughout the trial, Smollett maintained that he had been the victim of a crime.

How the Jussie Smollett drama unfolded

In court on Thursday, his defence team again asked that the case be thrown out or declared a mistrial, citing a previous prosecutor’s 2019 promise to drop the charges.

Prosecutors characterised the effort as “finger-pointing and scapegoating”.

Additionally, the judge heard from several witnesses who testified on Smollett’s behalf in a bid for leniency. Letters were also read from the likes of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and actor Samuel L Jackson.

“Jussie should not be incarcerated,” his brother Joel said. “He is not a threat to the people of Illinois.”

A victim impact statement on behalf of the Chicago Police Department read in court said police officers had committed more than 30 officers to the investigation – spread over 1,426 regular hours and 1,837 overtime hours.

They had interviewed dozens of witnesses, watched thousands of hours of surveillance videos and gone door-to-door during Chicago’s Polar Vortex – one of the coldest periods in the city’s history, it said.

Judge James Linn repeatedly addressed Smollett directly and noted that the “unprecedented” media attention the case attracted is usually reserved for murder cases.

“There is nothing that I can do here today that can come close to the damage you’ve already done to your own life,” Mr Linn told Smollett. “You’ve turned your life upside down by your conduct and shenanigans.”

“You’re just a charlatan pretending to be a victim of a hate crime, and that’s shameful,” Mr Linn later added.

Following the sentencing, Smollett left the courtroom with a raised fist, and exclaimed: “I am innocent, and I am not suicidal.”

“If I did this, then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBT community,” he said. “But I did not do this.”

Smollett’s acting career stalled after the incident. He lost his role as a singer-songwriter in the final season of Empire, a Fox television hip-hop drama.

SOURCE: BBC.

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Viola Davis receives Women In Motion Award at Cannes Film Festival

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Viola Davis receives Women In Motion Award at Cannes Film Festival

In her honor, Kering and the Cannes Film Festival were pleased to welcome Isabelle Huppert, Vincent Lindon, Valeria Golino, Paolo Sorrentino, Audrey Diwan, Lola Quivoron and Raymond Depardon on the occasion of the official dinner of the 8th edition of Women In Motion.

The official dinner of Women In Motion, Kering’s program to highlight the invaluable contribution of women to the 7th art, took place Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Place de la Castre in the heights of Cannes, around a menu conceived by the starred chef of the Gucci Osteria, Karime Lopez.

On this occasion, François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Festival de Cannes, presented the eighth Women In Motion Award to American actress and producer Viola Davis, who delivered a powerful speech, in the presence of the members of the Festival Jury. The Young Talent Award was given to Swedish director Ninja Thyberg.

Among the guests were actresses and actors Isabelle Huppert, Vincent Lindon, Rebecca Hall, Letitia Wright, Julie Gayet, Edgar Ramirez, Noomi Rapace, Alba Rohrwacher, Paul Mescal, Benoît Magimel, Rossy de Palma, Clotilde Courau, Elodie Bouchez, Déborah François, Riz Ahmed, Romain Brau, Anthony Sonigo, Pierre Deladonchamps as well as comedian Stéphane de Groodt. The cast of Novembre by Cédric Jimenez, including Sandrine Kiberlain, Jean Dujardin, Anaïs Demoustier, Lyna Khoudri et Sami Outalbali were also present.

Kering and the Festival de Cannes were also pleased to welcome directors Audrey Diwan, Paolo Sorrentino, Mélanie Laurent, Joachim Trier, Valeria Golino, Asghar Farhadi, Maïwenn, Debra Granik, Lola Quivoron, Chie Hayakawa, Monia Chokri, Aïssa Maïga, Costa Gavras, Claudine Nougaret, Jeff Nichols, Audrey Dana and the winner of the 2021 Young Talent Award, Shannon Murphy. Film industry professionals Julius Tennon, Melita Toscan Du Plantier, Jeremy Thomas, Rosalie Varda, Ronald Chammah were also present.

The great French photographer and documentary filmmaker Raymond Depardon, musicians Carla Bruni, Clara Luciani and Benjamin Biolay, models Adriana Lima, Anja Rubik, Eva Herzigova, as well as and influencers Aha & Lolo and Nour Arida also attended this exceptional moment.

Download the visuals of the dinner: HERE

About Women In Motion

Kering’s commitment to women is at the heart of the Group’s priorities and extends, through Women In Motion, to the field of arts and culture, where gender inequalities are still glaring, even though creation is one of the most powerful vectors for change.

In 2015, Kering launched Women In Motion at the Festival de Cannes with the ambition of highlighting women in cinema, both in front of and behind the camera. The program has since expanded in a major way to photography, but also to art, design, choreography and music. Through its Awards, the program recognizes inspirational figures and young female talent, while its Talks provide an opportunity for leading personalities to share their views on the representation of women in their profession.

For the past eight years, Women In Motion has been a platform of choice that contributes to changing mind sets and thinking on the place of women – and the recognition they receive – in the arts and culture.

About Kering

A global Luxury group, Kering manages the development of a series of renowned Houses in Fashion, Leather Goods, Jewelry: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, as well as Kering Eyewear. By placing creativity at the heart of its strategy, Kering enables its Houses to set new limits in terms of their creative expression while crafting tomorrow’s Luxury in a sustainable and responsible way. We capture these beliefs in our signature: “Empowering Imagination”.

Photos: Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Daniele Venturelli and Boby

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Photos: Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker marry in lavish Italian ceremony

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Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker have got married – again. (more…)

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South African Film, ‘Two Hues’ selected for Cannes NEXT

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South African filmmaker and actor, Weaam Williams will pitch her up-coming feature film, Two Hues at NEXT, Marche du Film, Festival De Cannes.

 

The screenplay is funded by the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, and has been selected to participate at Marche du Film with the Swiss tech company, largo.ai.

 

Two Hues is a high concept, fiction feature film about a woman who suffers from bi-polar disorder and is a silent victim of sexual assault. The title refers to her two opposite moods portrayed via colour, red and blue.

 

The proof of concept short film, garnered several awards on the 2021 festival circuit, including Best Women Empowerment Film at Berlin Short Film Festival and Best Lead Actress at West Europe International Film Festival.

 

Williams will pitch the project, as a part of the largo NEXT selection, to an audience of financiers, studio representatives and distributors on the 20th May 2022 at The Main Stage, Riviera – Festival De Canes.

 

“I feel that the return of film festivals will encourage a return to the cinema, and this is a very exciting prospect after the hard lock-down. I am very happy to participate at Marche du Film this year, and will promote Two Hues and the rest of the Tribal Alchemy catalogue, as well as meet with co-producers interested in working in South Africa,” expresses Williams.

 

South African producer, Kethiwe Ngcobo, from Fuzebox Entertainment, is a co-producer on this project. She has many years of experience as the Head of Drama at the South African national broadcaster, as well as three feature films under her belt.

 

 

“I am privileged to be working with Weaam, her creativity extends to writing, acting and directing. I am very happy to be a part of the project as Weaam is such a committed filmmaker,” says co-producer Kethiwe Ngcobo.

 

Two Hues feature film script is complete and has generated impressive box office statistics, in proportion to its budget, country of origin and cast. Weaam is set to continue to play the lead for the feature film, however, the director for the project is to be confirmed.

Investment company “i-cubed capital” is the first company to support the production of what is forecasted to be a box-office success. 

“We are pleased and honoured to participate as investors in Two Hues. Our investment in Two Hues highlights our support for local film production, gender equality, anti-racism and anti-violence. I-cubed Consulting believes that the film once completed and screened will have a positive social impact on society,” says Ismail Kajee, Founding Partner at i-Cubed Capital. 

 

Two Hues is currently in development, and Tribal Alchemy Productions will continue fund-raising for the next 12 months.

 

The indie short was produced with a shoe-string budget and managed to receive a few accolades and good audience interaction across the world.

 

“The feature is more ambitious and I am optimistic about the impact it will have on the South African film landscape and tech space, as well as its universal message against gender based violence and exclusion of cultural minorities,” says Williams.

 

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Grammy-Winning Artist Leon Thomas Reveals New Single & Music Video “X-Rated”

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Leon Thomas

Entering what promises to be a massive era, GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Leon Thomas unveils a new single and music video entitled “X-Rated” [feat. Benny The Butcher] today. Listen to it HERE, and watch the music video HERE.

 

The single marks Leon’s debut music under multiplatinum artist, singer, songwriter, producer Ty Dolla $ign’s newly inked EZMNY Records, a joint label venture with Motown Records. Ty shares his excitement, stating, “Leon’s talent was just a higher level from every other singer or producer that I was hearing, and the fact that he was doing everything himself from playing bass to working Logic and Pro Tools. From the first song I heard, I knew he was one of them ones.”

 

On Leon’s “X-Rated” track, a glitchy beat holds down the groove beneath warbling loops, building a layered soundscape evocative of nineties hip-hop. His vocals glide over this backdrop as he celebrates female sexual freedom in the verses before a chantable chorus, “X-Rated girl, if these walls could talk.” Meanwhile, Griselda spitter Benny The Butcher pulls up with a fiery feature. The strikingly cinematic visual, which Thomas directed, captures these vibes on-screen and includes a cameo appearance from Ty Dolla $ign.

 

Speaking on the inspiration behind the song, Leon shares, “X-Rated is an ode to my love of “Boom Bap” and early 90’s instrumentals. Benny The Butcher brought authentic bars and helped further the theme of this record.”

 

A prolific songwriter and producer, Leon’s unique sound and writing wizardry can be found up and down the Billboard charts. He’s contributed to anthems for everyone from Toni Braxton and Babyface –winning a Grammy for his writing credits on the duo’s 2014 joint album Love, Marriage & Divorce—to Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Chris Brown, Kehlani, J. Cole, Rick Ross, Ella Mai, and more. As a co-writer and co-producer, he recently powered “Pipe Down,” “Love All” [feat. JAY-Z], and “In the Bible” [feat. Lil Durk & Giveon] from Drake’s global chart-topping Certified Lover Boy album.

 

Also, a true vocalist and artist in his own right, Leon unveiled his debut EP Genesis in 2018, which garnered tens of millions of streams and earned him critical acclaim. He continues to be a musical force of nature with the release of “X-Rated” and a highly anticipated project due out soon. Be on the lookout for more from Leon!

From writing and producing on #1 albums with chart-breaking artists to starring on hit television series, GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Leon Thomas has become one of the most watched multi-hyphenate talents in the entertainment industry today. He has written and produced with the likes of Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Kehlani, J. Cole, Rick Ross, and more, and won a Grammy for writing credits on Babyface and Toni Braxton’s 2014 joint album Love, Marriage & Divorce. In 2021, Leon found himself contributing his writing and production skills to Drake’s global chart-topping album Certified Lover Boy on “Pipe Down,” “Love All” feat. JAY-Z, and “In the Bible” feat. Lil Durk and Giveon. Born in Brooklyn and raised by his vocalist mother, opera-singing grandfather, and stepfather who played guitar for B.B. King, Thomas’ musical career began early. He appeared as Young Simba on Broadway’s The Lion King at 10 years old and began working with Nickelodeon at 13, voicing The Backyardigans character Tyrone and starring in Victorious for the show’s entire run. In 2018, Leon released his debut EP Genesis to critical acclaim. He continues to expand his artistry and venture into a new era of music under Ty Dolla $ign’s EZMNY Records and Motown Records, with the release of “X-Rated” feat. Benny The Butcher and a full project due out soon.

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Quavo x Takeoff Present New Single & Music Video “Hotel Lobby”

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Quavo

Over the years, Quavo and Takeoff have gone wild once or twice. However, they go wilder than ever on their new single and music video “Hotel Lobby”—available today via Quality Control Music Group/Motown Records.  Quavo and Takeoff reveal a woozy and wobbly banger on a whole different level..

 

Listen to “Hotel Lobby” HERE and watch the music video for “Hotel Lobby” HERE.

 

The airy cinematic production and ominous beat set the tone as Quavo and Takeoff trade one intoxicating bar after another. Co-directed by Keemotion and Quavo, the music video serves as an insane homage to the cult classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas directed by Terry Gilliam and co-starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. In the clip, Quavo and Takeoff assume the roles of Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo cruising through the desert with a “mobile pharmacy” before pulling up to a Las Vegas hotel and barely passing the doors to check in. All kinds of psychedelic, tripped-out trap madness follows as they deliver the South’s first proper hip-hop homage to the late Hunter S. Thompson. It’s unlike anything either of these two multiplatinum GRAMMY® Award-nominated superstars have done either solo or as part of Migos!

 

It also paves the way for more music to come.

 

Takeoff recently dropped off “Crypto” with Rich The Kid. It has already amassed over 6.5 million Spotify streams and 4.7 million YouTube views on the music video. Receiving critical acclaim, HYPEBEAST proclaimed, “the new single sees the Migos rapper embrace his love for cryptocurrency and the fortune that it has brought him.”

 

Meanwhile, Quavo served up the intense “Shooters Inside My Crib.” It posted up 6 million Spotify streams and 6.6 million YouTube views on the music video. Touted among the “Soundsystem 50,” High Snobiety observed, “Quavo skates over the Ayo-B-produced beat effortlessly teasing us about an upcoming project.” REVOLT added, “‘Shooters Inside My Crib’ sees the North Atlanta star harmonizing about past struggles and current successes.” Sports Illustrated summed it up best as “an absolute banger.” Not to mention, he joined NBA2K22 as a playable character and will star in a new action thriller Takeover.

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Stunna 4 Vegas Drops New Album “Rae Rae’s Son”

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After releasing a barrage of fiery singles, burgeoning star Stunna 4 Vegas’ (Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment / Interscope Records) unveils his blistering new album Rae Rae’s Son. The 12-track effort is a slam-dunk for Stunna enthusiasts who crave his high-octane energy and robust swagger. Fans who reveled at Stunna’s previous records “BMF,” Ice Wear Vezzo, and “Pay Me To Speak” will love the album’s latest record, “Sad Song,” featuring Spinnabenz. Listen HERE.
To celebrate the release of his new album, Stunna will perform three concerts including performances in Charlotte (May 21), Dallas (May 29) and Billings (June 9). YRB Teez and SSG Splurge will accompany the Billion Dollar Baby star on his trek. Fans can purchase tickets HERE.
Since he joined Billion Dollar Baby and Interscope in 2019, Stunna 4 Vegas has emerged into one of the roster’s most promising talents, with over 816 million streams in the U.S. alone. His frenetic energy and ear for top-tier street anthems launched the run of success that began with his Big 4X mixtape release that cracked the top 50 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Results only improved with the January 2020 release of his debut album, Rich Youngin, which shot into the top 30 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and the top 20 of the Rap Albums list on the heels of hits such as “DO DAT,” featuring DaBaby and Lil Baby and “Up the Smoke” with Offset. His credentials only grew with a heavy touring lineup in 2021, including featured performer slots at Rolling Loud, Made in America, and OVO Fest and headlining his national tour.
 
Rae Rae’s Son Track List
  1. Rae Rae’s Intro
  2. The One
  3. Pay Me To Speak
  4. BMF ft. Ice Wear Vezzo
  5. Going For Nun
  6. Suspect
  7. Activated
  8. Sticks
  9. Fye ft. YRB Tezz
  10. Skurrt
  11. Sad Song ft. Spinnabenz
Stunna 4 Vegas Rae Rae’s Son eAlbum
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