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Thursday
Mar142019

Lori Loughlin dropped by Hallmark Channel; daughter Olivia Jade dropped by Sephora

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- Facing charges in the wake of the massive college admissions bribery investigation known as Operation Varsity Blues, actress Lori Loughlin has now been dropped by the Hallmark Channel.

In a statement, Hallmark’s parent company Crown Media says, “We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations. We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin, including Garage Sale Mysteries, an independent third party production.”

Loughlin had starred on the network’s show When Calls the Heart, as well as in several holiday movies.

Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade is also feeling the effects of the scandal. The popular YouTube star and beauty influencer had a line of makeup with Sephora, but the cosmetics retailer is now ending that partnership.

"After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately,” Sephora says in a statement.

Loughlin was released on one million dollars bond Wednesday after appearing in a Los Angeles court on charges that she and her husband paid half a million dollars to get their two daughters, Olivia and Isabella, into the University of Southern California under false pretenses.

Her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, appeared in court Tuesday and was also ordered to pay a separate $1 million bond.

They, along with Felicity Huffman, are among 33 parents charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the nationwide scam to get their children into elite colleges.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar142019

Danai will not be denied! After fan outcry, Marvel adds Danai Gurira's name to 'Avengers: Endgame' poster

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- "She should have been up there all this time." That was the response from Marvel Studios, after it sent out a revised poster for Avengers: Endgame on Thursday afternoon.

The mea culpa tweet is a paraphrase of a line from Avengers: Infinity War, uttered by none other than Danai Gurira's character Okoye -- fitting, seeing as the disclusion of Gurira's name from the top of the original poster caused static among fans earlier in the day.

A new Marvel Avengers: Endgame trailer and poster were released early this morning to much fanfare, but for many fans, Marvel's new imaging of the forthcoming film missed one major and important detail. Although Okoye was featured prominently on the new poster, her name was noticeably missing from a list of the other stars' names on the top of it.

Instead, the Dora Milaje general got a minor mention at the bottom of the poster, along with the film's credits.

Not surprisingly, fans were quick to notice and blast the shade on the name of the baddest woman in the MCU.

"HOLD the friggin' phone here … WHY is Danai Gurira name NOT on this poster???," one fan wrote. "She's pictured, put her name up there w/ the rest of them! And don't give me that crap that there wasn't enough room! CHANGE THE FONT SIZE...or list them all BELOW the movie title."

Another reminded Marvel of the Walking Dead star, "She is the only black woman on that poster, the highest profile post-snappening wakandan, a firm fan favorite, and freaking actual DANAI GURIRA to boot. put some respect on her name, damn."

Another pointed out that a talking raccoon even got more Marvel love.

"I mean, they've got Bradley Cooper's name in there and he's just the VOICE of Rocket," the fan wrote. "Danai Gurira is the ONLY person on the poster not to be listed by name."

Another fan demanded an immediate correction. "@MarvelStudios, this isn’t difficult. Fix this."

Marvel Studios did.

Marvel Studios, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar142019

'For the People' star Hope Davis talks immigration-themed new episode: "This is something that's happening...as we speak" 

ABC/Mitch Haaseth(NEW YORK) -- For the People kicked off its second season last week on ABC and it’s already tackling some heavy real-world issues. In tonight’s episode, the legal drama is taking on immigration and family separation.

An undocumented immigrant is asked to testify in a federal case and when he’s done testifying, ICE agents are waiting to take him away and deport him.

Hope Davis, who plays public defender Jill Carlan in the series, explains to ABC Radio that this is something happening in the real world "as we speak."

"In this case, a man has come to testify and the ICE agents are unaware that around the corner his young son is sitting on a bench outside the courtroom and he's waiting and waiting for his father to come and get him -- and his father doesn't come," she says.

The lawyers must then band together in an attempt to reunite father and son.

As for what else is coming up this season, Davis teases that it’ll be a mix of ripped-from-the-headlines drama, original court cases and the characters’ personal lives.

"Yeah, I think you're gonna see a little bit more of everybody's personal lives," she says. "You'll see Jill, uh, ends up in a compromising situation."

This being a Shonda Rhimes show, you can expect it to be juicy. But Davis says Shondaland shows aren’t just fun to watch, they’re fun to work on as well.

"[Shondaland] is a place where everybody is respected and taken care of and heard and you're safe there and it's like, every workplace should be like that," Davis says. 

For the People airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved

Thursday
Mar142019

Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to charges he lied to Chicago police about "hate crime"

Chicago Police Department(CHICAGO) -- Empire actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty in a Chicago courtroom Thursday to charges that he lied to police about being the victim of an alleged hate crime in January.

Smollett's lawyer Tina Glandian entered the plea on Smollett’s behalf to Judge Steven Watkins, who was assigned to oversee the case and trial.

During the proceedings, the judge grated Smollett's request to be allowed to meet with lawyers in New York and California, but said the actor must give the court prior notice. Smollett's next court date is scheduled for April 17.

As previously noted, Smollett has been charged with 16 felony counts related to his claim that he was the victim of a brutal hate crime in Chicago on January 29. After a thorough investigation, police declared the attack to be a hoax, and said that Smollett hired two brothers of Nigerian descent, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, to carry out the plan. 

After Smollett's initial arraignment, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson told reporters that the "phony attack" was "orchestrated" by the actor "to boost his profile" amid "a salary dispute." 

Smollett, who still maintains his innocence, has denied all claims.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar142019

"This was really bad!" Whoopi surprises her 'View' co-stars after brush with death

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Whoopi Goldberg shocked her co-stars -- and the studio audience -- on The View on Thursday, by making a surprise appearance on the set for the first time since she nearly died from complications of pneumonia. 

"Hurry back, Whoopi," Joy Behar was just telling the camera, when Goldberg emerged from backstage, to cheers.

"This was death, and here was me," the EGOT-winning entertainer said, indicating a very small distance with her hand.

She went on to explain that after suffering from a cough since November, she'd finally reached a point where she felt bad enough to go to the hospital. Once there, she learned she was spiking a fever, and one of her lungs was nearly filled "with stuff."

Goldberg said she was eventually diagnosed with double pneumonia and sepsis,  each of which on their own could easily be fatal.

Goldberg went onto explain how she "wasn't supposed to be here," but got permission from her doctor.  However, she still has a cough, and will be "easing back into" her old schedule, potentially returning to her View chair on Monday.

There were moments of levity during her hospital stay as well, Whoopi recalled -- like when her co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro were recognized by another patient.

"'You look like that lady from The View,'" Goldberg said, quoting the patient. "'Oh, I hate that show!'" Navarro, who was trying to remain incognito, reportedly. Whoopi was recognized, too -- but claimed she was just "Whoopi's cousin."

Before she left, Goldberg also claimed to have found a new cause.  After being tied up in red tape during her time in the hospital, she now wants to advocate for the improvement of the health insurance system.


Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar142019

"Whatever it takes" - The surviving Avengers gear up for a final battle in second trailer to 'Endgame'

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- On Thursday, Marvel Studios released the second trailer to Avengers: Endgame, the conclusion of the heroes' last stand against Thanos, who -- spoiler alert -- wiped out half of all living things in the closing moments of Avengers: Infinity War.

The coming attraction intersperses flashbacks from the 10 years' worth of Marvel movies leading up to this final chapter -- even Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark admits in the trailer, "It seems like a thousand years" since he became Iron Man -- with the heroes' current predicament.

In the present, Stark and Nebula are stranded in space with dwindling life support following their defeat at the hands of Thanos, and the deaths of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy members Star-Lord, Mantis, and Drax on the planet Titan. 

On earth, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Bruce Banner, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, War Machine, and Rocket Racoon are mourning witnessing the deaths of Black Panther, Falcon, and others, who were also turned to ash -- along with half of all living things in the universe -- thanks to Thanos' finger snap with the Infinity Gauntlet. Determined, they rally for one last stand. Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow tells Chris Evans' Cap: "Even if there's a small chance, we owe this to everyone who's not in this room to try."

"We will," Cap says. "Whatever it takes."

"Whatever it takes," is echoed by Widow, Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, and finally, Stark.

The trailer ends with a stinger featuring the heroes' newest ally. A grim-looking Thor stares down Brie Larson's Captain Marvel, raising his hand. His fearsome axe Stormbreaker flies past her close enough to ruffle her hair, and into his hand. She smirks. "I like this one," Thor says.

Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26 from Marvel Studios, which like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar142019

'The Bachelor's' Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph happy to be "a normal dating couple"

ABC/John Fleenor(NEW YORK) -- Colton Underwood's wild journey on The Bachelor ended with him landing the girl of his dreams, Cassie Randolph.  While the new couple tells ABC Radio that an engagement is definitely in the cards, after the craziness that was The Bachelor they're happy to finally be a normal couple for now.

"We are very excited about our future and of course like any couple we talk about it and, I mean, we're just a normal dating couple right now excited for things to come," explains Cassie.

Adds Colton, "We're excited to go out on a few dates out in public, I'm excited to hang out with her friends, I'm excited for our families to get to hang out again...the little steps that people normally take in relationships, because we've already taken so many big ones and we've been through so much together."

The Bachelor typically finishes taping in November, meaning Cassie and Colton had to keep the relationship hush-hush for nearly four months. That proved to be difficult, especially for Colton.

"That was, like, our biggest fights is like, I would just be like, 'Hey, I'm coming over!' She's like, 'You can't just do that!' I'm like, 'I wanted to see you,'" Colton confesses.

"I know, I was so scared of getting caught. I didn't want anyone to be mad at us for spoiling anything," adds Cassie.

While fans were happy to see the couple reunite after Cassie left the competition, many felt disappointed they never got to find out if Colton is still a virgin.  Don't expect an answer anytime soon.

Says Colton, "We want to step a back and keep some things private, and there's two people in this relationship and we just wanna go about our business sort of behind closed doors now."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar142019

Lori Loughlin released on $1 million bond in college admissions bribery scandal

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Lori Loughlin was released on one million dollars bond Wednesday after appearing in a Los Angeles court on charges she and her husband are part of a $25 million college admissions scam, described as the largest ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.

According to the indictment, revealed Tuesday, Loughlin, 54, and her 55-year-old husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, "agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the [University of Southern California] crew team -- despite the fact that they did not participate in crew -- thereby facilitating their admission to USC."

Loughlin, who flew to Los Angeles Tuesday night from Canada, where she had been working on a film, was taken into custody by the FBI just before noon.  Following a subsequent court appearance with her attorneys, the former Full House star was released on $1 million bond. 

Loughlin's husband and co-defendant, Giannulli, appeared Tuesday and was also ordered to pay a separate $1 million bond and surrender his passport.  Unlike her husband, the judge allowed Loughlin to retain her passport until the end of the year so she could travel to Vancouver, BC for scheduled work.

Loughlin and Giannulli are due back in court March 29. 

Loughlin and former Desperate Housewives star fellow actress Felicity Huffman are among 33 parents charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the nationwide scam to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California. Huffman is alleged to have  "made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 ... to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter," according to the indictment. 

Huffman appeared court Tuesday and was released on $250,000 bond after surrendering her passport.  Her next court date is March 29.

Announcing the indictments Tuesday -- the result of an investigation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues -- Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said the parents charged represent "a catalog of wealth and privilege."

 Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Mar132019

'Empire' exec explains current state of the show, and the "difficult decision" to sideline Jussie Smollett

Chicago Police Department(CHICAGO) -- Ahead of the midseason return of Empire tonight, the show's executive producer Brett Mahoney is opening up for the the first time on what the shocking allegations against Jussie Smollett means for his character and the show.

Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts related to his claim that he was the victim of a brutal hate crime at the hands of "racist" supporters of President Trump in Chicago early in the morning of January 29.

After a thorough investigation, police declared it a hoax, and that Smollett hired two brothers of Nigerian descent, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, to carry out the fake attack. 

Smollett denied the claims.

Mahoney tells Entertainment Weekly that the last two months have been "an emotional rollercoaster."

"You have someone in your family who's going through this, while at the same time, we're shooting the final episodes of the season..." he said. "So it was a lot to deal with and a lot to go through, but we're really just focused on finishing strong."

In regards to Smollett being written out of the final two episodes of the series, Mahoney says it was a "difficult decision," but one they were able to make work because of the "strong ensemble" and available stories to tell.

"Allowing Jussie the time to really deal with what he’s been confronted with and allow him the time to focus and prepare his case, this seems like the logical decision to make," he added.

Mahoney says it's still "too early" for anyone to think about the show without Smollett, so for now, he's "trusting the process and allowing the legal process to play out."

However, in response to the rumors that Empire will be cancelled because of the controversy, the Emprie exec says he's "confident" there will be another season.

Empire returns Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

Wednesday
Mar132019

Mommy money moves: Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade trademark daughter's name for future success

Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade's "shady baby" is reportedly getting trademarked.

According to docs obtained by The Blast, the couple is in the process of trademarking their four-month-old daughter's name, Kaavia James, in preparation for the launch of new merchandise such as clothing, hair care products and jewelry. 

The Blast reports that the focus will primarily be on baby products with Kaavia's name to be stamped on diaper bags and baby bibs. Trademark applications have already been filed under “Kaavia James” and “Shady Baby” with a loan-out company also started in their baby's name. Union is labeled as CEO of Kaavia James Inc., while her hubby Dwayne is CFO. 

For those who haven't been able to keep up with little Kaavia, the baby currently has an Instagram account with over a half a million followers. She's known as the "Shady Baby" thanks to her candid photos where she appears to be constantly throwing shade at her parents and family, who constantly love on her.

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