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Jussie Smollett Found Guilty of Staging Phony Hate Crime Against Himself

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Lawyers for the actor plan on appealing the verdict, which came after nine hours of jury deliberation.


Smollett Found Guilty

Actor Jussie Smollett was found guilty on five of six felony disorderly conduct counts Thursday for falsely reporting that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime. 

A Chicago jury deliberated for over nine hours on the decision following a week-long trial. 

The actor appeared on 84 episodes of the television series “Empire” before losing the gig over allegations that he faked the attack. He now faces up to three years in prison but no sentencing date has been set yet. Experts are split as to whether or not Smollett is more likely to face time behind bars or be sentenced to probation and community service. 

Smollett, who is Black and gay, claimed in January 2019 that he was assaulted by two men in Chicago who yelled slurs at him and said, “This is MAGA country.” He also said the two men punched him, poured bleach on his clothes, and tied a noose around his neck. 

The allegations prompted a swift investigation from the Chicago Police Department, but weeks later authorities claimed Smollett had staged the attack.

Prosecutors argued in court that Smollett hired two brothers, Abimbola Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo, to carry out the stunt. Both Osundairo siblings testified that Smollett had recruited them and orchestrated the hoax crime. 

Smollett testified himself for roughly seven hours while countering their story. He called the brothers “liars” and said, “there was no hoax.” Prosecutors for Smollett said they plan on fighting the verdict.

What Comes Next in Smollett’s Case?

“(Smollett) is 100% confident that this will be reversed on appeal,” attorney Nenye Uche said in a statement. “At the end of the day, we believe justice will prevail. We don’t believe it was done today but we’re very confident that he will be cleared and he will be found to be innocent.”

Daniel K. Webb, a special prosecutor handling the case, backed the jury’s decision. 

“This jury worked so hard, and for Mr. Smollett to come up before them and lie for hours and hours and hours — that really compounded his misconduct,” he told reporters. 

Gloria Rodriguez, the attorney representing the Osundairo brothers, likewise said she and her clients “could not be more thrilled and pleased with the results.”

Smollett is still facing a lawsuit filed against him in 2019 by the city of Chicago. It was filed to recover the costs spent by the Chicago Police Department when it initially investigated Smollett’s hate crime claim.

“While using a different standard of proof, the jury’s finding of guilt convicting Jussie Smollett of criminal charges stemming from the incident confirms that the City was correct in bringing its civil lawsuit,” the city said in a statement Thursday. “The City intends to continue to pursue its lawsuit to hold Smollett accountable for his unlawful actions and to demand that he compensate the City for costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department which took his false claims of harm seriously.”

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (CNN) (USA Today)

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Max to Agrees to “Properly” Credit Writers and Directors After Facing Backlash For Lumping Them in As “Creators”

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The company said the credits were laid out incorrectly due to “an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max.”


After film and television writers slammed Max for crediting all writers, producers, and directors as general “creators” on its platform, the company said it will be adjusting its credits display.

“We agree that the talent behind the content on Max deserve their work to be properly recognized,” the streaming service said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. 

Max — the new rebrand of HBO Max that incorporates Discovery content — launched on Tuesday to much criticism. Amid glitches and app-switching confusion, the biggest backlash it faced was over the choice to lump creative roles into one credit section called “creators.” As one viral tweet noted, if a user were to select the film “Raging Bull,” the service’s display would not specifically credit Martin Scorsese as the director, rather, his name would be included at random with half a dozen other people, including writers and producers. 

The decision was condemned by many in the industry who argued it minimizes writers and directors by not properly giving them credit where it is due. Especially amid the ongoing writers’ strike, and with directors and actors starting negotiations with studios, some took it as a slap in the face. 

“The studios don’t want anyone to know our names,” writer Christina Strain tweeted. “It’s easier to pay us nothing if we’re faceless.”

“Another move from studios to diminish the role of writers, directors, actors and other craftspeople. Miss me wit this nonsense,” Jorge Rivera, the Vice-Chair of the Writers Guild’s Latinx Writers Committee, added. 

In a statement, Directors Guild President Lesli Linka Glatter said that Warner Bros. Discovery’s choice to “collapse” these roles into one credit “while we are in negotiations with them is a grave insult to our members and our union.”

“The DGA will not stand for it,” Glatter continued.

WGA West President Meredith Stiehm claimed the move was “a credits violation,” as well as an insult “to the artists that make the films and TV shows that make their corporation billions.”

On Wednesday, Max said it would rework its crediting. 

“We will correct the credits, which were altered due to an oversight in the technical transition from HBO Max to Max and we apologize for this mistake,” the platform said.

See what others are saying: (Gizmodo) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Los Angeles Times)

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A Quarter of Young British Men Support Andrew Tate’s Thoughts on Women

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U.K. residents at large, however, do not view him favorably.


Even under house arrest in Romania, misogynist influencer Andrew Tate still holds substantial sway over young men. 

According to data from YouGov that was obtained by The Independent, 26% of U.K. men between 18 and 29 years old who know of Tate agree with his views on women. That figure was largely the same for men between 30 and 39, as 28% agreed with Tate’s opinions on the subject. 

Men in their 30s were slightly more likely to agree with Tate on his thoughts about masculinity. Three out of ten supported those views, compared to just a quarter of men 18 to 29.

Those statistics only include the thoughts of men who have heard of Tate, but per YouGov, most have. In the 18 to 29 group, 93% were familiar with him, and 86% of men in their 30s knew of him. 

The U.K. at large was less aware of Tate, with just 63% of British adults having heard of him. Of that group, only 6% held a positive view of him. 

Tate has faced substantial backlash for his sexist rhetoric over the years. In the past, he said that men should have “authority” over their wives or girlfriends, and that women should “bear some responsibility” for being raped. He was previously banned from Twitter over his extremist views on women but has since been allowed back on the platform. 

He is currently being investigated in Romania for organized crime and human trafficking. He was arrested and held in custody in December but was released to house arrest earlier this year. No formal charges have been filed against him yet and he has maintained his innocence. 

Tate currently boasts a Twitter following of 6.7 million. It has grown significantly since he was enveloped in legal controversy, and many of his supporters have demanded his release. 

See what others are saying: (The Independent) (Glamour U.K.)

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Involved in “Near Catastrophic” Paparazzi Chase

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“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” a spokesperson for the couple said.


“Aggressive” Paparazzi Chase Couple in New York

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a “near catastrophic” paparazzi car chase Tuesday night in New York City, according to a spokesperson for the couple.

In a statement, the spokesperson described the photographers as “highly aggressive.”

“While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone’s safety,” the statement added.

“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers,” it continued. 

Details of the incident are still emerging, but BBC News reported that there are claims the chase involved roughly six cars driving recklessly by running red lights, driving on the sidewalk, carrying out blocking moves, going backward on a one-way road, and taking pictures while driving. 

The chase happened after Harry and Meghan were leaving the Women of Vision Awards with Meghan’s mother, Doria. They did not want photographers to learn where they were staying and attempted to avoid them in what turned into a 75-minute chase on a main road in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They eventually ducked into a New York Police Department Precinct to hide out before getting into a different vehicle.

The NYPD released a statement confirming that they assisted in protecting the couple as “numerous photographers” hindered their transport. Officials said they made it to their destination and there were no collisions, injuries, or arrests. 

The couple’s spokesperson is asking the public to not share or post footage of the incident. 

“Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved,” the spokesperson said. 

Memories of Princess Diana

The chase evokes the brutal press hounding Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was subjected to throughout her life. The paparazzi’s obsession with her ultimately resulted in her death in 1997, when she was killed in a car crash after being chased by photographers in Paris. 

Since marrying Meghan and later bowing out of the Royal Family, Harry has made it explicitly clear that he fears those events could happen again. Meghan has been the subject of endless tabloid scrutiny, enduring racism and harassment from the press. Part of the reason they left the Royal Family was to keep their family protected from such attacks.

Mayor Eric Adams brought up Diana’s tragic passing while speaking about Tuesday night’s chase. 

“I don’t think there’s many of us who don’t recall how [Harry’s] mom died,” Adams said while speaking to reporters. “And it would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well…I think that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.” 

Adams also questioned whether or not he believes a chase could go on for two hours in a city as congested as New York, but noted that even a 10-minute chase would be dangerous. He said he will be briefed on the exact timeline and details later. 

See what others are saying: (BBC News) (Associated Press) (Yahoo News)

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