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Oprah Winfrey's OWN announces four new series

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In addition to new scripted series from Tyler Perry (The Haves and the Have NotsLove Thy Neighbor), Oprah Winfrey’s OWN has announced four new series that will be added to the network’s lineup.  One of the series will feature actress Kym Whitley in a starring role.  According to THR, the new series are:

  Blackboard Wars The Discovery Studios-produced docu-series centers on the dramatic transformation of New Orleans’ John McDonogh High School, one of the most dangerous and under-performing high schools in the country, where more than half of its students fail to graduate. The show, which will premiere in March, will go behind the scenes with education maverick Steve Barr and no-nonsense principal Dr. Marvin Thompson as they embark on an unpredictable mission to reinvent and revive the struggling school. Golden Sisters The real-life comedy chronicles the hilarious adventures of Mary, Josie & Teresa, three sisters who shot to fame after a web video of the women watching a celebrity sex tape went viral. With Mary in her eighties and her twin sisters only slightly younger, the three raucous senior citizens share their outrageous opinions on everything from sex and dating to celebrities and pop culture. The series hails from LMNO Productions.
Raising Whitley The tentatively titled Raising Whitley is a Pilgrim Studios-produced docu-series that centers on actress and comedienne Kym Whitley and her group of friends – whom she refers to as “The Village” – as they attempt to do something none of them have ever done before: raise a baby together. The latter comes about when Whitley’s mentee in the Big Sister program flees the maternity ward without her baby, leaving only Whitley’s contact information to raise the child. Dogfellas The Nerd TV-helmed Dogfellas revolves around James “Head” Guiliani, a former street enforcer for the mafia and one of John Gotti’s most trusted men, whose life-changing encounter with a stray dog inspired him to open Brooklyn’s top dog grooming parlor. In addition to pampering canines, Head –who is in a constant battle to pay the bills– rescues dogs. Between his fiery wife and self-absorbed staff, he has his hands full.
  Also on OWN, “Master Class” will return with Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Diahann Carroll and Berry Gordy in featured episodes. Meanwhile, “Oprah’s Next Chapter” will highlight Cissy Houston’s life since the death of daughter Whitney and LL Cool J at home with his family. And in March “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” will show the whereabouts of former “Oprah” show guests like Omarosa, Bow Wow, and Dennis Rodman. It sounds like 2013 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the once fledgling network.  Which shows will you be watching?]]>

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Diddy sued by male producer who alleges sexual assault

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A former employee of Sean “Diddy” Combs has filed a lawsuit against the producer and businessman, accusing him of sexual assault, sexual harassment and “grooming.”

Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones, a former producer and videographer for Combs, filed his civil complaint in New York federal court on Monday. He states he worked for and traveled with Combs between 2022 – 2023, while collaborating with Combs on his most recent album, “Love.”

Among other allegations, Jones claims that Combs did not compensate him for his music producing work, forced him to procure and interact with sex workers, threatened him and served alcoholic beverages laced with drugs to guests at parties at his homes. Combs’ chief of staff, Kristina Khorram; Universal Music Group CEO Sir Lucian Grainge; former Motown CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam; and Combs’ adult son, Justin, are also named as defendants.

Justin Combs is accused of soliciting prostitutes and underage girls to attend parties at his father’s homes. Khorram allegedly ordered prostitutes and illicit drugs for Combs and his guests and according to the lawsuit, Jones believed Khorram “aided and abetted” Combs’ sexual assault. Grainge and Habtemarian, according to the lawsuit, “sponsored and attended several” listening parties for the “Love” album at Combs’ Los Angeles home, and “knew or should have known that Mr. Combs was drugging the attendees through laced bottles of DeLeon Tequila, and Ciroc Vodka.” As sponsors of these events, the lawsuit states Grainge and Habtemarian “had a duty and obligation to ensure that sex workers and underaged girls were not present, and that Mr. Combs was not spiking the alcohol with date rape drugs.”

Read Also: Diddy Breaks Silence On ‘Sickening Allegations’ Made Against Him

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Jones is seeking $30 million.

Shawn Holley, Sean Combs’ attorney, denied the allegations in a statement to CNN, calling Jones “a liar.”

“His reckless name-dropping about events that are pure fiction and simply did not happen is nothing more than a transparent attempt to garner headlines. We have overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies,” Holley said in the statement. “Our attempts to share this proof with Mr. Jones’ attorney, Tyrone Blackburn, have been ignored, as Mr. Blackburn refuses to return our calls. We will address these outlandish allegations in court and take all appropriate action against those who make them.”

A representative for Justin Combs told CNN in a statement: “Justin Combs categorically denies these absurd allegations. They are all lies! This is a a clear example of a desperate person taking desperate measures in hopes of a pay day. There will be legal consequences for ALL defamatory statements made about the Combs family.”

CNN has reached out to an attorney for Jones for comment on their statements. Representatives for Khorram, Grainge and Habtemariam were not immediately available for comment.

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According to the complaint, obtained by CNN, Jones claims that “Throughout his time living with Mr. Combs, Mr. Jones was the victim of constant unsolicited and unauthorized groping and touching of his anus.”

When Jones raised concerns about the alleged harassment to Khorram, the lawsuit states she dismissed it as “friendly horseplay.”

Jones described Combs as “forceful and demanding” in the lawsuit, claiming that Combs displayed firearms, talked about getting away with shooting people, and intimidated Jones with his influence in the music industry.

As his videographer, Jones alleges that he “has secured HUNDREDS of hours of footage and audio recordings of Mr. Combs, his staff, and his guests engaging in serious illegal activity.”

Citing as an example of alleged grooming he experienced by Combs, Jones claims that Combs encouraged him to watch producer and reality TV personality Steven ‘Stevie J’ Jordan, someone who Combs allegedly knew Jones admired professionally, engage in sex with another man.

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“This was done to ease Mr. Jones’ anxiety concerning homosexuality,” the suit alleges. “According to Mr. Combs, ‘this is a normal practice in the music industry, look even Stevie J is doing it.’”

Stevie J is not accused of wrongdoing and is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. In a statement to CNN, he called Jones’ allegations “false.”

“My lawyer will be handling this going forward,” Stevie J added.

Jones also alleges in the suit that Combs is liable for a sexual assault he says he experienced by Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., which allegedly took place “on a yacht rented by Mr. Combs in the US Virgin Islands in January 2023.”

“Mr. Combs was present while Mr. Jones was being assaulted by Cuba Gooding Jr.,” the suit alleges. “Mr. Jones was legally on the premises as a guest and invitee of Mr. Combs. Cuba Gooding Jr. was legally on the premises as a guest and invitee of Mr. Combs.”

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Gooding, Jr. has not publicly commented on the complaint and his representatives have not yet returned CNN’s request for comment. He is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

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DAVIDO & THE DAVID ADELEKE FOUNDATION, COMMITS ADDITIONAL ₦300 MILLION NAIRA (189K USD) TO ORPHANAGES ACROSS NIGERIA

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Today, The David Adeleke Foundation, DAF was pleased to announce that it has committed an additional donation of ₦300 million (189K USD) to orphanages across Nigeria as part of its’ ongoing efforts to improve the welfare of Nigeria’s children. Committed to bettering the lives of others and giving back, over the past four years, The David Adeleke Foundation, DAF has successfully donated over ₦1Billion NAIRA (657K USD) to Nigeria’s most vulnerable.

Davido grew up inspired by the philanthropic work of his father which had a strong influence on his own philosophy in life: “’We rise by lifting others’ is a quote I always loved,” said Davido. “It means that as I grow, I want other people to grow with me.”

As with previous initiatives, this donation has been made with careful consideration and a steadfast dedication to bettering the lives of underprivileged children within Nigeria. The disbursement process, which will commence within the coming weeks, will be overseen by the DAF Disbursement Committee, ensuring transparency and accountability in the allocation of funds.

The David Adeleke Foundation understands the importance of transparency and accountability in charitable endeavors and acknowledges that the process of disbursing these funds to various orphanages will take time. A complete list of previous donation recipients has been posted on Davido’s social media account along with this year’s announcement. The DAF anticipates that the disbursement process will be completed within the next three weeks. During this time, the DAF team will work diligently to verify and process payments to the selected orphanages across the country. In the meantime, updates on the progress of the disbursement will be provided in a timely manner.

ABOUT THE DAVID ADELEKE FOUNDATION (DAF)

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The DAVID ADELEKE FOUNDATION was born out of the passion and benevolence of David Adeleke, popularly known as “Davido”, to help others constantly. Davido is famous for his popular saying, “We Rise By Lifting Others”, a statement he has lived by over the years. From paying for surgeries of ailing Nigerians, donating funds from his music video to research on COVID-19 Virus, to offering scholarships to students, both locally and overseas. 

The David Adeleke Foundation began in earnest in 2021, upon celebrating his 29th birthday, Davido requested that his friends and those he had helped in the industry donate. In the space of minutes, Davido had received millions of Naira from various celebrities and organizations who had benefitted from him one way or the other, further evidencing his compassion and help rendered to many. Davido received Two Hundred Million Naira from the public in a few days, and he added the sum of Fifty Million Naira to the money received and donated the total sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira to orphanages across the country. 

After the successful distribution of funds, The David Adeleke Foundation has continued to grow each year and remains committed to making a positive impact on the lives of Nigerian children, it is grateful for the continued support and encouragement it has received.

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Emirates scores its fourth Grand Slam – The Championships, Wimbledon

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Emirates scores its fourth “Grand Slam” as the airline announces a multi-year partnership with one of the most prestigious tennis events in the world – The Championships, Wimbledon.

As the Official Airline Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon – Emirates will take the world of tennis to new heights with exciting activations on-ground. The Championships is set to take place from 1 to 14 July 2024 at The All England Lawn Tennis Club.

The airline is now a proud partner of all four Grand Slam tournaments.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said: “From hard court to grass court – we’re proud to be growing our presence in the world of tennis. Wimbledon is a major sporting event viewed by millions around the world, and we’re delighted to be associated with such a well-respected brand.

Emirates has always been a supporter of tennis and as a sponsor of all four Grand Slams – our commitment to the sport is as staunch as ever. We look forward to serving up world-class tennis action this summer, and to celebrating the very best of tennis with fans from all over the world.”

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Deborah Jevans CBE, Chair of the All England Club, said: “We are delighted to welcome Emirates to our family of Official Partners at Wimbledon. In partnering with Emirates, as Official Airline Partner, Wimbledon is joining forces with a premium brand and one of the world’s leading sponsors of tennis, and sport more generally. As Emirates embarks on its fourth decade supporting tennis, this exciting partnership takes the organisation’s investment and connection to the sport to the next level.  

We have received record levels of interest from the UK and around the world in attending The Championships this year, and support from Official Partners like Emirates helps us maintain the event at the pinnacle of sport for both players and fans.” 

Official Airline Partner of Wimbledon

Through the partnership, Emirates will enjoy a wide-range of benefits including: on-court branding in Centre Court and No.1 Court; on-site activations to engage with tennis fans; marketing, digital, and social media rights; hospitality tickets; and an opportunity for the airline to join the popular ‘Wimbleworld’ on the metaverse platform, Roblox, with Emirates’ branded tennis courts and obstacle courses.

Championing “Force for Good” initiatives

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Emirates and Wimbledon will also join forces to support social impact initiatives across the UK. Under the partnership, a multimillion-pound “Force for Good” fund will be created to support and promote initiatives that positively impact society and support local communities. Further details on this fund will be announced during 2024.

Proud sponsor of four Grand Slams

Emirates has been the Official Airline of the ATP Tour since 2013 and Premier Partner since 2016. The airline’s portfolio includes some of the most high-profile events on the ATP and WTA tours. In addition to all four Grand Slam tournaments, including: US Open (since 2012); Roland-Garros (since 2013); Australian Open (since 2015); and The Championships, Wimbledon (announced 2024) – the airline also supports 60 other tournaments across the year. Emirates has also supported the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships since its inception in 1993.

The airline’s sponsorship portfolio also includes other top global sports such as golf, horse racing and sailing. In the UK, the airline is a proud sponsor of Arsenal, Emirates FA Cup and Lancashire Cricket Club & Emirates Old Trafford.

Committed to the UK 

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Emirates has been serving the UK with world-class travel experiences for more than 37 years. The airline currently operates  131 weekly flights to the UK utilizing a mix fleet of its iconic A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft.

Emirates’ extensive network of more than 130 destinations offers UK customers access to an array of onward connections to Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia.

 

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UK Based Nana Churcher to Host Oscar Press Lounge in Hollywood

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London based Ghanaian broadcaster, author and motivational speaker, Nana Churcher, has been announced as the host of The Nana Churcher Oscar Press Lounge, an event which is described as the pinnacle of media events throughout the OSCAR weekend.
Scheduled to take place on Friday 8th March 2024 in the heart of Hollywood, it is to celebrate the achievements of the press and talents whilst facilitating a unique convergence of key stakeholders across the entertainment industry.
The Nana Churcher Oscar Press Lounge provides an exclusive platform for interviewing OSCAR nominees and Hollywood celebrities. In addition, it offers an unparalleled opportunity for brands, bookers, producers, editors, bloggers, and writers to engage directly with celebrities in a vibrant and interactive setting.
The evening’s festivities will commence with a glamorous red carpet at 7:00 pm, with the event spanning from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. This red-carpet reception and interview lounge is designed specifically for the press and talent, providing a stage for Nana Churcher to conduct live, on-site interviews with celebrated figures attending the OSCAR awards.
Larry Gaiters, renowned for his work with iHeart Radio, will grace the evening as the Master of Ceremonies, ensuring a night filled with entertainment and insightful conversations.
A roster of confirmed celebrities, including Jax Malcolm, Kash Hovey, Gloria Garayua, Patti Negri, Sebastian Hoyt, Brenda Mejia, Grayson Thorne Kilpatrick, Ken Davitian, Paris Bravo, and Matt Edward promises to make the evening a memorable one.

Others are Suzanne Schaack, Susan Lavelle, Kathryn Hollis Peters, Tracey Louise, Lobat Asadi, Cesar D’La Torre, Jason Zlatkus, Clayton Cannon, Ta’j, Adil C, Brielle Lopez, Emcee N.I.C.E, Ashley Rae Harper, Jan Lucanus, Shaniece Jones, and many more.

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Davido, Jaheim, Jazmine Sullivan, Kirk Franklin and more for Jazz in the Gardens (JITG) in Miami

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Jazz in the Gardens (JITG)

On March 9 and 10, 2024, Jazz in the Gardens (JITG) with the Black Promoters Collective (BPC) brings together a powerhouse lineup for an unforgettable experience with one of the highlights of the weekend’s event will be the addition of sensational singer and award-nominated actress Fantasia.

New performance developments include the electrifying “Welcome to the Crib” set featuring Miami’s Own DJ Nasty and an all-star cast including The Boss Rick Ross, Miami legends Trick Daddy and Trina, the vivacious Ball Greezy, and Dance Hall sensation Wayne Wonder. The “Welcome to the Crib” set plays on Saturday, March 9.

DJ Cassidy is bringing the iconic “Pass The Mic Live” experience to Miami Gardens with an unforgettable lineup featuring Uncle Luke, T.I., Lil Kim, and Too $Hort on Sunday, March 10.

The complete 2024 JITG Lineup includes (in alphabetical order):

Babyface, Ball Greezy, Davido, DJ Cassidy, DJ Nasty, Eric Bellinger, Fantasia, Jaheim, Jazmine Sullivan, Jeezy, Kid Capri, Kirk Franklin, Lil Kim, Marsha Ambrosius, Maxwell, October London, Omarion, Scarface, Summer Walker, Tamia, T.I., Tink, Too $hort, Trick Daddy, Trina, Uncle Luke, Wayne Wonder, and more! Hosted by Rickey Smiley.

JITG tickets range from general admission for two-day entry @ $186.30 to titanium entry @ $1,500.00 on Ticketmaster here.

Sponsors include Miami Dade County and Hard Rock Stadium

In addition to the musical extravaganza, on Friday, March 8th, JITG will shine a spotlight on Women’s Month with a special luncheon honoring trailblazing black female leaders. This historic event will recognize the remarkable achievements of four distinguished individuals now at the helm of major police departments in the Miami-Dade area. Among the honorees are Chief Delma Noel-Pratt of Miami Gardens, Chief Stephanie Daniels of Miami-Dade, Chief Cherise Gause of North Miami, and Chief Harvette Smith of North Miami Beach.

As the festivities kick off, attendees can expect nothing short of an exhilarating opening night party, on Friday, March 8th where DJ Nasty will set the stage on fire alongside special guest DJ, the legendary Kid Capri. Jazz in the Gardens promises to be an unparalleled celebration of music, culture, and the incredible accomplishments of women in leadership.

For more information and tickets, visit https://jazzinthegardens.com/.

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Kodak Black released from jail after drug charge dismissal

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Kodak Black is a free man once again after the American rapper was released from jail on Wednesday (Feb. 21), according to The Associated Press. (more…)

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