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Monday
Aug142017

"Yes, he is": Taylor Swift defiant as Mueller's attorney presents closing arguments

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(DENVER) -- In a Denver court Monday, former deejay David Mueller's attorney insisted there's no way he could've groped Taylor Swift, while the singer silently insisted he did just that.

Mueller is suing Taylor Swift's mother, Andrea Swift, and Taylor's manager for allegedly getting him fired after Taylor accused him of grabbing her butt during a 2013 backstage meet-and-greet, which he denies he did. He was suing Taylor for the same reason, but the judge threw out that part of the case Friday. Taylor's counter-suing for assault and battery.

During attorney Gabe McFarland's closing arguments, he insisted Mueller wouldn't have jeopardized his "dream job" at a Denver station by touching the butt of someone as famous as Taylor, noting "That's not the kind of guy who grabs a superstar out of the blue."

McFarland also said that in the photo of Taylor, Mueller and Mueller's then-girlfriend that shows the alleged groping, there's no way Mueller is reaching under Taylor's skirt.  But in the courtroom, Taylor silently mouthed, "Yes, he is."  Taylor also repeatedly rolled her eyes and sighed during McFarland's statements.

McFarland referenced Taylor's face in the photo, saying, "Look at Ms. Swift's face. Is that the face of someone who just had a strange man grab their butt?"   He also said that the photographer who took the picture couldn't have seen anything, but is saying she did because she worked for Taylor. 

In addition, McFarland claimed Taylor's bodyguard took no action during the alleged incident because he didn't see anything amiss.  Taylor shook her head "no" at that assertion.

McFarland said the jury should award Mueller $250,000 in damages, even though the judge ruled last week that he cannot receive damages for future earnings, only for the remainder of his contract at the time he was fired.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

Oprah Winfrey on her battle with depression: "I was behind a veil"

Vogue/Annie Leibovitz

(LOS ANGELES) -- It's hard to imagine that a woman like Oprah Winfrey has ever had a "down" moment, but the TV titan reveals that even she has battled depression.

She said she first experienced depression after her film adaptation of Toni Morrison's Beloved hit theaters in 1998.  "I got a call from someone at the studio, and they said, 'It’s over. You got beat by 'Chucky,'" she tells Vogue in a new interview.

"And I said, 'Who’s "Chucky?' What do you mean it’s over? It’s just Saturday morning!'" she recalled. "...[A]nd so began my long plunge into food and depression and suppressing all my feelings."

Winfrey, 63, said her depression lasted for six weeks.

"I actually started to think, 'maybe I really am depressed.' Because it’s more than 'I feel bad about this.' I felt like I was behind a veil. I felt like what many people had described over the years on my show, and I could never imagine it."

"That’s when the gratitude practice became really strong for me, because it’s hard to remain sad if you’re focused on what you have instead of what you don’t have," she explained.

"It taught me to never again...put all of your hopes, expectations, eggs in the basket of box office," Winfrey said. "Do the work as an offering, and then whatever happens, happens."

Winfrey will be seen in theaters next year as Mrs. Which in the adaptation of the beloved book A Wrinkle in Time.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

Shonda Rhimes bringing Shondaland to Netflix 

ABC/Todd Wawrychuk

(LOS ANGELES) -- Shonda Rhimes has inked a multi-year deal to bring her Shondaland production company to Netflix.

Rhimes, creator of the ABC Thursday night staples Grey’s AnatomyScandal and How to Get Away with Murder, along with her partner Betsy Beers, will produce new series, along with other projects, Netflix announced on Sunday.

"Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan [Netflix Chief Content Officer] Ted Sarandosand I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company,” says Rhimes.

“Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix," she explains. "He understood what I was looking for -- the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation. The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities."

"Our current shows will continue to thrive on ABC and Shondaland will be there every step of the way," she continues. "I could not have asked for a better home to begin my career. I continue to be grateful to work with so many talented people – especially our studio gladiator Patrick Moran and our most powerful and brilliant champion Channing Dungey.

Adds Sarandos, “Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television, Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best...she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work, and she delivers for her audience. We’re so excited to welcome her to Netflix.”

Grey's Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder return for their 13th and third seasons, respectively, September 22, along with the series premiere of NotoriousScandal season six moves to midseason.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

Jessica Williams loves her "unapologetic" character in "The Incredible Jessica James"

Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Former Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams is dishing on her original Netflix film, The Incredible Jessica James, and her "unapologetic" character which she says doesn't subscribe to black women stereotypes.

Williams stars as Jessica James, an up-and-coming Brooklyn playwright who's navigating life after a difficult breakup. According to the actress-comedian, her focus in creating this film was to offer an alternative storyline for black women.

"It reads as interesting and different because she is a black woman," Williams tells ABC Radio about the narrative of Jessica James. "And I think that a lot of times in our industry, black women have been pigeonholed into not fully formed characters, or, how we are pigeonholed into being a supporting character into somebody else's narrative."

Williams, who in addition to acting co-hosts the comedy podcast 2 Dope Queens with longtime friend Phoebe Robinson, believes James will be a breath of fresh air for anyone looking for something "dynamic."

"We wanted to tell a story about a woman who's unapologetic, complicated, ambitious, smart funny and not defined with the idea that she needs to get a man," Williams says. "So, we just wanted to present this fully dynamic, fully formed character." 

The Incredible Jessica James, also starring Get Out’s Lakeith Stanfield and Master of None's Noël Wells, is now available on Netflix.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

Tom Cruise seemingly injured on set of "Mission: Impossible" sequel

ABC/Randy Holmes

(LOS ANGELES) -- Tom Cruise may have suffered an injury while performing a stunt on the London set of Mission: Impossible 6.

In a video obtained by ABC News, the actor is seen leaping off a platform, while attached to a bungee cord. Cruise, 55, lands short of the building he was aiming for and catches himself with his hands.

Cruise is shown limping away, apparently attempting to avoid putting pressure on his right leg.

A rep for the actor and Paramount, the studio behind the forthcoming sixth installment of the action-spy franchise that is due out July 27, 2018, did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Cruise is known for doing his own stunts. The thrill-seeking actor has explained why he prefers to do it himself.

"I've trained for 30 years doing things like this," he said back in 2013 on The Graham Norton Show. "It allows us to put cameras in places that you're not normally able to do. When I started producing Mission: Impossible, I started developing different action around what I could physically train to do."

Robert Elswit, director of photography for 2015's Rogue Nation, said Cruise will "figure out a way to do" any stunt himself.

"I'm always stunned," Elswit told The Hollywood Reporter that year. "What inside of him makes it possible for anybody to do that kind of s*** and not be scared s*******? He loves it."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

"Game of Thrones" recap: "Eastwatch"

HBO/Macall B. Polay(NEW YORK) -- (SPOILERS AHEAD) After last week's fiery episode, this week's Game of Thrones moves back to the chessboard. Fresh off her decisive victory at Highgarden, Daenerys debates how she can further exert her power, and her new ally Jon Snow wants to return his focus to the White Walkers. Mystery is afoot in Winterfell,  and Sam Tarly contemplates a career change. We start in Highgarden, where we find out if Jaime Lannister survived his long fall into a surprisingly large body of water.

Highgarden

After last week's cliffhanger, both Jaime and Bronn swim to shore, shaken but essentially unhurt. Jaime is still in shock following the battle against Daenerys, her Dothraki army, and, oh yeah, her fire-breathing dragon. He's especially worried since Dany only used one of her dragons, and she's got two more back in Dragonstone. Jaime realizes he has to tell Cersei what they're up against.

Shockingly, there are other survivors from the battle. Dany tells them they have a choice: bend the knee or die. A number of the soldiers pick the former, and a lot more join when they hear Drogon's roar. Still, a few remain standing, including Lord Tarly and Dickon, Sam's father and brother, respectively. Tyrion suggests sending the elder Tarly to work at The Wall, but the Lord rejects that proposal. Following his father, Dickon volunteers his life as well. Despite Tyrion's pleas otherwise, Dany uses her dragon to burn both of them alive. Everyone bends the knee after that.

Back at Dragonstone, Tyrion expresses his concern about what transpired with Varys, given that Dany's father, the Mad King, also employed the death-by-dragon-fire method of execution. Varys assures him that Dany is not her father, but says that they need to find a way to get her to listen to them. 

Winterfell

Bran uses his visions to find the ever-terrifying Army of the Dead marching towards The Wall. He sends a raven to Jon, telling him not only about the White Walkers, but also that he and Arya are alive. 

With this information, Jon and Tyrion hatch a plan to capture a White Walker beyond The Wall and bring it to Cersei in order to prove that the Army of the Dead is real, which they hope might broker peace between Dany and King's Landing. In order to do that, Tyrion intends to meet with Jaime to convince him to convince Cersei to meet with Dany. Jon declares that he'll lead the raid beyond The Wall.

While Jon is off at Dragonstone, the people of Winterfell begin to grow restless that the King of the North is not, well, in the North. Sansa defends Jon's absence, but not strongly enough for Arya's liking. In private, she accuses Sansa of secretly wanting to rule Winterfell herself. 

Later, Arya sees Littlefinger mysteriously talking to someone, which isn't too strange, since that's pretty much all he does. Arya then watches as another person delivers him a scroll. "Lady Stark thanks you for your service," Littlefinger says, which does not put Arya's mind at ease. She sneaks into his room and finds the scroll, which is the message Sansa wrote under duress way back in season one asking her family to pledge allegiance to King Joffrey. From the shadows, Littlefinger sees Arya leave the room.

The Citadel

Bran also sent a raven to the Citadel informing them of his White Walker visions. Sam suggests that the maesters tell everyone that the White Walkers are indeed real. However, they aren't convinced, and think that the letter might be a forgery sent by Dany in order to draw Cersei's armies from the South. They do agree to write back to Winterfell, though. When Sam leaves, the Archmaester says that he hasn't told Sam that his father and brother are dead.

Even without that knowledge, Sam isn't having fun at work. He's frustrated that the maesters seem more concerned with counting steps in cities and documenting, uh, bowel movements than with solving real world problems. While Sam vents, Gilly reads from a book that describes how Rhaegar Targaryen, Dany's brother and Jon's real father, had his marriage annulled, and that he got secretly married again in Dorne, presumably to Lyanna Stark. That means Jon would be their lawful son, and perhaps the rightful heir to the Iron Throne instead of Dany.

This flies over Sam's head, though, but he does decide to sneak into the forbidden library again. Not only that, he decides to leave the Citadel altogether.

King's Landing

Jaime returns to Cersei, and tells her they cannot defeat Daenerys. He also tells her that, despite what she's believed, Tyrion didn't kill Joffrey, it was Olenna Tyrell. 

Davos and Tyrion arrive by boat at King's Landing to meet Jaime. Underneath the Red Keep, Bronn and Jaime plan to train, only to find Tyrion standing in front of them. Jaime is not at all receptive to his brother's presence, as he's still angry about Tyrion killing their father. Tyrion tells Jaime that the both know that Dany will win this war. When Jaime asks if Dany wants Cersei to bend the knee, Tyrion says no -- not now, anyway. Instead, he says she has a "more important request."  

While all that goes down, Davos searches the streets of King's Landing and finds the one and only Gendry, the surviving bastard of the late King Robert Baratheon, last seen sailing away after escaping the Red Woman, who intended to sacrifice him to the Lord of Light. Gendry is happy to join Davos, and they return to their boat. Just as they're about to leave, two soldiers arrive. Davos successfully bribes them at first, but then they see Tyrion. Seeing no other choice, a hammer-wielding Gendry kills the soldiers. 

Jaime returns again to Cersei, and tells her that he met with Tyrion. Cersei reveals that she knew about the meeting, and that she allowed it to happen. She also reveals that she's pregnant with Jaime's child, and she will tell anyone who asks that her brother is indeed the father. The two embrace, and it's an oddly touching moment, up until Cersei whispers in Jaime's ear to never betray her again.

Dragonstone

Dany and Drogon return to Dragonstone victorious. The dragon approaches Jon, who nervously reaches out his hand to touch the beast's snout. He successfully pets it without the dragon ripping his arm off, which surprises both him and Dany. She senses Jon's disapproval of her military methods. She also asks him about what Davos meant when he said Jon took a knife to the heart for his people. Before Jon can answer, a greyscale-free Jorah arrives, and Dany welcomes back her old advisor with open arms.

When they return to Dragonstone, Davos tells Gendry to keep his identity a secret. When he's introduced to Jon, Gendry immediately reveals his true identity, and the two bond over their bastard status and their fathers' friendship.  

Jon prepares to leave Dragonstone for his White Walker-capturing mission, and Jorah joins him. Jon tells Dany that if he doesn't survive his mission, she won't have to worry about the King of the North anymore. "I've grown used to him," Dany replies. By still, my fiery and icy heart.  

The Wall

Jon, Jorah, Davos and Gendry arrive at Eastwatch, a castle along The Wall under the care of the wildling Tormund. They want tell him they want to go beyond The Wall, and Tormund says that he just captured a group wanting to do the same thing. That group consists of The Hound, along with members of the Lord of Light-worshipping Brotherhood Without Banners. Jon and company go to talk to the prisoners, and, after some arguing, Jon assures that everyone is all on the same side. Why? "We're all breathing," Jon declares.

With that out the way, the whole group begins its snowy journey beyond The Wall. 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

"Annabelle: Creation" scares up $35 million weekend to top the weekend box office

© 2017 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC(LOS ANGELES) -- Annabelle: Creation, the fourth film in The Conjuring film series, topped the weekend box office, with an estimated $35 million haul.

Dunkirk earned an estimated $11.4 million to take the number-two spot. Its total earnings stateside now stand at $153.7 million. The movie added another $14.5 overseas, bringing its worldwide tally to $363.6 million.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, bowed in third place with an estimated $8.9 million weekend. However, the animated adventure -- featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Bobby Moynahan, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, and Jackie Chan -- posted the worst opening numbers for a film playing in more than 4,000 theaters.

The Dark Tower dropped to fourth place with an estimated $7.87 take, and The Emoji Movie rounded out the top five, earning an estimated $6.6 million.

Ingrid Goes West, starring Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen, had one of the year's best debuts for a film in limited release, earning an estimated $141,216. The Robert Pattinson crime drama, Good Time, another new release, also impressed with a $137,625 haul.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated weekend gross ticket sales:

1. Annabelle: Creation, $35 million
2. Dunkirk, $11.4 million
3. The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, $8.9 million
4. The Dark Tower, $7.87 million
5. The Emoji Movie, $6.6 million
6. Girls Trip, $6.5 million
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming, $6.1 million
8. Kidnap, $5.2 million
9. The Glass Castle, $4.87 million
10. Atomic Blonde, $4.57 million

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Aug112017

Judge throws out civil trial claims against Taylor Swift

iStock/ThinkStock(DENVER) -- The judge in the Denver, CO, civil trial of pop superstar Taylor Swift has thrown out all claims by former radio disc jockey David Mueller against the singer. 

Both sides rested their cases earlier today.  Swift's legal team rested without calling a single witness, relying instead on defense testimony to make their case.

The judge has allowed Mueller's case against Swift's mother, Andrea Swift, and Swift's manager, Frank Bell, to proceed.  Each side has been allotted an hour for closing arguments.

Mueller's attorney had already questioned Swift, her mom and her bodyguard, among others, all of whom backed the singer's claim that Mueller put his hand up Swift's skirt and grabbed her bare behind during a backstage photo op in 2013.

Swift smiled and her legal team shook hands as the judge read his decision.  After the judge adjourned court for the day, Swift and her legal team exchanged embraces.

Usually when as judge throws out claims in this manner, it means he or she has determined that as a matter of law, there wasn't enough evidence presented during the trial, regarding this particular aspect of the case, for a reasonable jury to find in favor of the relevant party.

Mueller sued Swift, saying her claim that he groped her is false, and caused him to be fired.  Swift is counter-suing, claiming assault and battery for "offensive and harmful physical contact." Her portion of the suit will move forward.

Closing arguments will come Monday, and the jury should get the case by Monday afternoon.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Aug112017

'Munsters' TV reboot in the works

L-R: Al Lewis, Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo and Butch Patrick; CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Munsters is returning to TV, with a new address and a on a new network, according to Deadline.

This time, the family of friendly ghouls trade their house at at 1313 Mockingbird Lane in the fictional Los Angeles suburb of Mockingbird Heights, for hipster Brooklyn, New York. The new take on the comedy series -- which originally aired on CBS from 1964-1966 and starred Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick and Pat Priest -- comes from Late Night host Seth Meyers for NBC, with a script from Odd Mom Out creator Jill Kargman.

If this sounds fmamiliar, here's why: NBC previously attempted to resurrect the show several years ago as an hour-long series starring Jerry O’Connell, Portia de Rossi, Eddie Izzard and Charity Wakefield, but it never made past the pilot episode.  Instead, it aired as a Halloween special called Mockingbird Lane.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Aug112017

Marlon Wayans explains why being 'Naked' brings out the best in him 

Quantrell D. Colbert/Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Marlon Wayans literally is showing off some of his best assets -- over and over again -- in the new Netflix film, Naked. The comedian and actor says the comedy, which follows his character Rob Anderson to the altar in a Groundhog Day-like time loop, also helps to showcase great talent and some of his best work.

"What's beautiful about this is it's a movie, people get to act. To do a scene with Loretta Devine and we're actually acting and have a scene with a emotional content-- is dope," Wayans tells ABC Radio. "To be in a scene with people you respect and emotionally ground a movie... and then be able to go crazy in terms of this stuff this guy gets into-- I think is one of my better performances."

Devine, who plays Marlon's mother in the film, agrees and adds the film is charming and hilarious because of her "son."

"It's high comedy because of Marlon," Devine explains. "If you look around him, everyone else is so seriously playing or creating the characters that they are. The father loves his daughter and wants the best for her. I think my son is perfect."

While the family dynamic between mother-and-son and father-and-daughter are apparent, Wayans believes the film also centers around the idea of being naked - which he likens to being "free."

"I'm quick to get naked," Marlon says. "I don't care, I don't think too much about things...I just try to use that and live that way and be free. Because I feel like you're exposed, and you're vulnerable, and you're silly and you don't care. So once you get these things out the way -- you live naked, you're living free."


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