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National Entertainment

Jim Carrey, Sandra Oh, Stephan James get Golden Globe nominations

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  • Jim Carrey, Sandra Oh, Stephan James and Jean-Marc Vallee were among the Canadian Golden Globe nominees announced Thursday, while Ryan Gosling’s lack of a mention for “First Man” had many fans declaring the London, Ont., native was snubbed.

    Oh got a nod for best actress in a TV drama series for “Killing Eve,” on which she’s also an executive producer.

    The Korean-Canadian star plays an MI5 operative hunting down a female assassin on the BBC America series, which aired on Bravo in Canada.

    Earlier this year Oh was nominated for an Emmy for lead actress in a drama series for the role, making her the first Asian woman to be nominated in that category. She didn’t win but made a big splash by bringing her parents to the awards show.

    In an interview earlier this year, the former “Grey’s Anatomy” star said she enjoyed “delving deeply into a piece about female psychology.”

    “What is more interesting to me is seeing two human beings embroiled in a relationship that they can’t define or let go of,” Oh told The Canadian Press.

    Oh’s competition for the Golden Globe includes Elisabeth Moss for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is shot in Toronto, as well as Caitriona Balfe for “Outlander,” Julia Roberts for “Homecoming,” and Keri Russell for “The Americans.”

    Oh will also host the 76th annual Golden Globes, along with Andy Samberg, from Beverly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 6 on NBC and CTV.

    Toronto-born Carrey is up for best performance by an actor in a television series, musical or comedy for “Kidding.” The Showtime comedy-drama is set in Columbus, Ohio and stars Carrey as a beloved children’s television host.

    Carrey’s competition includes Michael Douglas for “The Kominsky Method,” Donald Glover for “Atlanta,” Bill Hader for “Barry” and Sacha Baron Cohen for “Who Is America?”

    James, who also hails from Toronto, made the cut for the Amazon Prime Video series “Homecoming.” He stars alongside Roberts as a soldier in a post-battlefield treatment centre in the noir psychological thriller, which is based on the podcast created by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg.

    Other actors nominated in that category include Jason Bateman with “Ozark,” Richard Madden for “Bodyguard,” Billy Porter for “Pose,” and Matthew Rhys with “The Americans.”

    It’s been a big year for James, who grew up in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, with another major leading role — in the widely acclaimed Barry Jenkins film “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

    Meanwhile, Vallee’s production company Crazyrose was named in the nomination for best television limited series or movie for “Sharp Objects.”

    Montreal-based Vallee also directed the HBO gothic mystery, which stars Amy Adams as an alcoholic reporter investigating the murder of a preteen girl and the disappearance of another in her Missouri hometown.

    “Sharp Objects” is up against “The Alienist,” “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” “Escape at Dannemora” and “A Very English Scandal.”

    Adams also scored a Golden Globe nod for her role in the series, as did co-star Patricia Clarkson, who plays her judgmental mother.

    Vallee’s previous HBO series, “Big Little Lies,” won several Golden Globes, including best television limited series or movie.

    Gosling was widely expected to be nominated for his role as astronaut Neil Armstrong in the biopic “First Man,” but alas his name was not called, prompting a stream of angry social media posts from upset fans.

    Winners in 25 categories — 14 in film and 11 in television — are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

    Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press




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    National Entertainment

    R. Kelly due in Chicago court to face sex abuse charges

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  • CHICAGO — R. Kelly, the R&B star who has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves, is due in court Saturday after being charged with aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims, including at least three between the ages of 13 and 17.

    In a brief appearance before reporters, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx on Friday announced the 10 counts against the 52-year-old Grammy winner, whose real name is Robert Kelly. She said the abuse dated back as far as 1998 and spanned more than a decade. She did not comment on the charges or take questions.

    Kelly was driven to a Chicago police station in a dark colored van with heavily tinted rear windows around 8:15 p.m. Friday. He did not respond to questions from gathered reporters as he walked inside the building.

    Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted a short time later that Kelly was under arrest. He was expected to be held overnight before an appearance Saturday in bond court.

    Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, told reporters following the singer’s arrest that one of the charges he faces appears to be tied to a decade-old child pornography case.

    “Double jeopardy should bar that case,” Greenberg said. “He won that case.”

    Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, has consistently denied any sexual misconduct.

    Greenberg said he thinks prosecutors rushed to judgment Friday in charging Kelly, calling the singer “an innocent man.”

    “Mr. Kelly is strong,” Greenberg added. “He’s got a lot of support and he’s going to be vindicated on all these charges.”

    The arrest sets the stage for another #MeToo-era celebrity trial. Bill Cosby went to prison last year, and former Hollywood studio boss Harvey Weinstein is awaiting trial.

    Best known for hits such as “I Believe I Can Fly,” Kelly was charged a week after Michael Avenatti, the attorney whose clients have included porn star Stormy Daniels, said he gave prosecutors new video evidence of the singer with an underage girl.

    At a news conference earlier Friday in Chicago, Avenatti said a 14-year-old girl seen with R. Kelly on the video is among four victims mentioned in the indictment. He said the footage shows two separate scenes on two separate days at Kelly’s residence in the late 1990s.

    During the video, both the victim and Kelly refer to her age 10 times, he said.

    Avenatti said he represents six clients, including two victims, two parents and two people he describes as “knowing R. Kelly and being within his inner circle for the better part of 25 years.”

    “I don’t know what the tape is,” Greenberg said of the video Avenatti gave prosecutors. “We haven’t seen it. No one’s showed us the tape.”

    The new charges marked “a watershed moment,” Avenatti said, adding that he believes more than 10 other people associated with Kelly should be charged as “enablers” for helping with the assaults, transporting minors and covering up evidence.

    The video surfaced during a 10-month investigation by Avenatti’s office. He told the AP that the person who provided the VHS tape knew both Kelly and the female in the video.

    The jury in 2008 acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges that arose from a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. He and the young woman allegedly seen with him denied they were in the 27-minute video, even though the picture quality was good and witnesses testified it was them, and she did not take the stand. Kelly could have gotten 15 years in prison.

    Charging Kelly now for actions that occurred in the same time frame as the allegations from the 2008 trial suggests the accusers are co-operating this time and willing to testify.

    Because the alleged victim 10 years ago denied that she was on the video and did not testify, the state’s attorney office had little recourse except to charge the lesser offence under Illinois law, child pornography, which required a lower standard of evidence.

    Each count of the new charges carries up to seven years in prison. If Kelly is convicted on all 10 counts, a judge could decide that the sentences run one after the other — making it possible for him to receive up to 70 years behind bars. Probation is also an option under the statute.

    Greenberg said he offered to sit down with prosecutors before charges were filed to discuss why the allegations were “baseless.” But they refused, he said.

    “Unfortunately, they have succumbed to the court of public opinion, who’ve convicted him,” he said.

    Legally and professionally, the walls began closing in on Kelly after the release of a BBC documentary about him last year and the multipart Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired last month. Together they detailed allegations he was holding women against their will and running a “sex cult.”

    #MeToo activists and a social media movement using the hashtag #MuteRKelly called on streaming services to drop Kelly’s music and promoters not to book any more concerts. Protesters demonstrated outside Kelly’s Chicago studio.

    As recently as Thursday, two women held a news conference in New York to describe how Kelly picked them out of a crowd at a Baltimore after-party in the mid-1990s when they were underage. They said Kelly had sex with one of the teens when she was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol and could not consent.

    Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington were joined by lawyer Gloria Allred when they told their story publicly for the first time.

    In the indictment, the prosecution addressed the question of the statute of limitations, saying that even abuse that happened more than two decades ago falls within the charging window allowed under Illinois law. Victims typically have 20 years to report abuse, beginning when they turn 18.

    The singer and songwriter, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, rose from poverty on Chicago’s South Side and has retained a sizable following. He has written numerous hits for himself and other artists, including Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. His collaborators have included Jay-Z and Usher.

    Kelly broke into the R&B scene in 1993 with his first solo album, “12 Play,” which produced such popular sex-themed songs as “Bump N’ Grind” and “Your Body’s Callin’.”

    Months after those successes, the then-27-year-old Kelly faced allegations he married 15-year-old Aaliyah, the R&B star who later died in a plane crash in the Bahamas. Kelly was the lead songwriter and producer of Aaliyah’s 1994 debut album.

    Kelly and Aaliyah never confirmed the marriage, though Vibe magazine published a copy of the purported marriage license. Court documents later obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times showed Aaliyah admitted lying about her age on the license.

    Jim DeRogatis, a longtime music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, played a key role in drawing the attention of law enforcement to Kelly. In 2002, he received the sex tape in the mail that was central to Kelly’s 2008 trial. He turned it over to prosecutors. In 2017, DeRogatis wrote a story for BuzzFeed about the allegations Kelly was holding women against their will in Georgia.

    ___

    Associated Press Writer Amanda Seitz contributed to this report.

    ___

    More of The Associated Press’ coverage of the investigations into R. Kelly can be found at: https://www.apnews.com/RKelly .

    Sara Burnett And Michael Tarm, The Associated Press

















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    National Entertainment

    Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player Peter Tork dead at 77

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  • LOS ANGELES — Peter Tork, a talented singer-songwriter and instrumentalist whose musical skills were often overshadowed by his role as the goofy, lovable bass guitarist in the made-for-television rock band The Monkees, has died at age 77.

    Tork’s son Ivan Iannoli told The Associated Press his father died Thursday at the family home in Connecticut of complications from adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands. He had battled the disease since 2009.

    “Peter’s energy, intelligence, silliness, and curiosity were traits that for decades brought laughter and enjoyment to millions, including those of us closest to him,” his son said in a statement. “Those traits also equipped him well to take on cancer, a condition he met like everything else in his life, with unwavering humour and courage.”

    Tork, who was often hailed as the band’s best musician, had studied music since childhood. He was accomplished on guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, banjo and other instruments, and Michael Nesmith, the Monkees’ lead guitarist, said Tork was actually the better of the two.

    He had been playing in small clubs in Los Angeles when a friend and fellow musician, Stephen Stills, told him TV casting directors were looking for “four insane boys” to play members of a struggling rock band.

    Stills, a member of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, reportedly told Tork he had been rejected because his teeth were ugly. He thought the handsome Tork might fare better.

    When “The Monkees” debuted in September 1966, Tork and fellow Monkees Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones became overnight teen idols.

    Producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider modeled the show after the Beatles’ popular musical comedies “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!,” seeking to create a band that would mirror them in cheekiness if not musical talent.

    In the Monkees iteration, Nesmith was the serious one, Jones the cute one and Dolenz the zany one.

    Tork said he adopted his “dummy” persona from the way he’d get audiences to engage with him at Greenwich Village folk clubs in the early 1960s.

    He knew only one member of the Monkees before the show’s debut, Nesmith who had been running “Hoot Nights” at the Troubadour nightclub, where Tork would occasionally perform after moving to L.A.

    “As I write this my tears are awash, and my heart is broken,” Nesmith posted on his Facebook page Thursday. “PT will be a part of me forever.”

    During its two-year run “The Monkees” would win an Emmy for outstanding comedy series and the group would land seven songs in Billboard’s Top 10. “I’m a Believer,” ”Daydream Believer” and “Last Train to Clarksville,” would reach No. 1.

    Initially, the Monkees was a band whose members didn’t play their instruments or write many of their songs, something that infuriated both Tork and Nesmith.

    Tork would tell of going to an early recording session, only to be told dismissively that session musicians were laying down the musical tracks and all the Monkees had to do was sing.

    “I was a hired hand, and I didn’t quite know that, and I didn’t quite get it,” he told The Associated Press in 2000. “I had fantasies of being more important than it turns out I was.”

    Eventually he and Nesmith wrested control of the band’s musical fate from Don Kirshner, who had been brought in as the show’s music producer. By the group’s third album, “Headquarters,” the Monkees were playing their instruments and even performed live in Hawaii.

    After the show concluded in 1968 the band went on a lengthy concert tour that at one point included Jimi Hendrix as the opening act. But music critics had turned on them. They were dismissed as the PreFab Four, a mocking comparison to the Beatles.

    That and creative differences led Tork to leave soon after the group’s 1968 movie and album “Head.”

    For several years he struggled financially and creatively, working for a time as a waiter and a schoolteacher.

    By the mid-1980s, thanks to TV reruns and album reissues, the Monkees gained a new, younger following, and Tork rejoined the others for reunion tours. All four produced a new album, “Justus,” in 1996 featuring them on all of the instrumentals and including songs they had written.

    In the 1990s Tork also formed the group Shoe Suede Blues and toured and recorded frequently.

    Later albums included the solo work “Stranger Things Have Happened” and the Shoe Suede Blues albums “Cambria Hotel,” ”Step By Step” and Relax Your Mind.”

    Tork begged off a Monkees reunion tour with Nesmith and Dolenz just last year to finish “Relax Your Mind.” Jones died in 2012.

    ___

    This story has corrected the spelling of Stephen Stills, and adenoid cystic carcinoma.

    ___

    Associated Press Writer Pat Eaton-Robb in Hartford, Connecticut contributed to this story.

    John Rogers, The Associated Press






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