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The Latest Entertainment Headlines

    Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. have split as a couple after nearly five years.A spokeswoman for Patrick confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday that the drivers are 'no longer in a relationship.'Patrick didn't attend the season-ending awards ceremony last month in Las Vegas with Stenhouse, who was honored for making NASCAR's playoffs in 2017. That led to speculation about the most prolific couple in motorsports.Patrick and Stenhouse announced they were dating in early 2013. She confirmed that by telling the AP: 'I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard.'It was an unconventional pairing. They raced against each other weekly, and over the course of their relationship they clashed competitively, leading to post-race disagreements.Patrick is 35 and had been previously married before she began dating Stenhouse. He recently turned 30.She has made no secret of a desire to marry again, and revealed in a recent documentary directed by Hannah Storm she has frozen eggs in case she decides to have children one day.Patrick is retiring as a full-time driver and hopes to end her career next year by racing in the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. It's an outgoing celebration she has dubbed the 'Danica Double.'Her 90-day fitness plan book 'Pretty Intense' will be released next week.___More AP auto racing: www.racing.ap.org
  • Sean “Diddy” Combs wants to buy the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, and NBA star Stephen Curry wants in on it, too, according to the New York Daily News. If Combs does buy the team, he said he’ll immediately sign Colin Kaepernick as quarterback. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has remained unsigned the entire season since opting out of his contract earlier this year. >> Read more trending news  Kaeprnick’s protests in the form of kneeling during the national anthem to bring attention to racism and social injustice in the United States has been suspected in a factor in his unsigned status. The legendary rapper and producer made his intentions known Sunday on social media shortly after Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced he plans to sell the team in the wake of a sexual harassment allegations against him. First came Combs’ tweet: “I would like to buy the @Panthers. Spread the word. Retweet!” Soon after, Curry, the Golden State Warriors All-Star and back-to-back NBA MVP, who grew up in North Carolina and played college basketball at Davidson College, tweeted, “I want in.” The hip-hop mogul Combs then posted a video to his Instagram account that was viewed more than 600,000 times in the first 11 hours it was posted. Judging by the comments on his post, Carolina fans seemed to be on board with Diddy becoming the NFL’s first African-American owner. “There are no majority African-American NFL owners. Let’s make history,” Diddy wrote. Some fans weren’t as keen on the idea of bringing in Kaepernick to compete for the starting job, as Combs said on his Instagram post. The Panthers already have Cam Newton as their starting quarterback. Carolina fans made it clear in the comments section that they’re good with Newton. Diddy’s plan to sign Kaepernick may not be needed. An hour after Curry’s tweet, Kaepernick himself said he wanted to be part of ownership plans, too.  “I want in on the ownership group! Let’s make it happen,” he tweeted. Combs has had his eye on buying an NFL team for a few years now. In 2013, he told Bloomberg, “I have aspirations to become — it will happen — to become the first African-American majority owner. Not having a small stake but actually owning an NFL team. I think it’s time for that. A majority of the players in the NFL are African-American, but there are no African-American owners. So that’s one of my dreams.” The Daily News reported that the Panthers are currently valued at $1 billion, while Diddy’s net worth sits at $820 million, according to Forbes. It’s also common for professional sports franchises to fetch notably higher prices than their listed values, meaning Diddy may need several investors to make his NFL ownership dream come true. Still, net worth is an estimate, and doesn’t mean Diddy has that amount or if he makes more or less. Curry, still in his prime as a player and having a net worth of $47.3 million, certainly makes a lot of sense as a partner in a potential deal.
  • John Skipper, the president of ESPN, resigned from his position Monday citing a substance addiction problem, according to the sports network. >> Read more trending news The network announced that former ESPN president and executive chairman George Bodenheimer will serve as acting chair for the next 90 days. Bodenheimer worked for ESPN from 1981 to 2014.
  • John Skipper, president of the sprawling ESPN sports network, said Monday that he is resigning to treat a substance abuse problem.Skipper's sudden announcement will force the Walt Disney Co.-owned network to search for new leadership at a time of retrenchment, with the company losing subscribers due to cord-cutters and working to boost its digital output to follow the migration of young sports fans to their smartphones.The 61-year-old executive, who has worked at ESPN since 1997 and has led the company since 2012, said he's struggled for many years with substance addiction but gave no details of his specific problem. He said he had concluded that now is the time to deal with it.'I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down,' he said. 'As I deal with this issue and what it means to me and my family, I ask for appropriate privacy and a little understanding.'The sports network said Skipper's predecessor, George Bodenheimer, has agreed to serve as acting head of the company for the next 90 days.Disney Co. chief executive Robert Iger said he wishes Skipper well during a challenging time. 'I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family,' Iger said.There was no public indication that this was coming. Earlier this year, Skipper signed a contract extension to keep him at ESPN through 2021 and last week spoke about the company's plans in New York at the Sports Video Group Summit. He told the group of industry experts that ESPN's growing digital audience is making up for the loss of television viewers.He also called hundreds of ESPN's on-air talent to a summit last week at company headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, to talk about the business. ESPN has laid off personnel this year to deal with new economic realities.Disney's proposed purchase of several of 21st Century Fox's assets, if approved, is likely to add the 22 Fox-owned regional sports networks to ESPN's portfolio.ESPN is also not escaping the current focus on sexual misconduct. ESPN quickly canceled a show earlier this year produced in partnership with Barstool Sports after some questions were raised about content, and the Boston Globe reported last week about several current and former employees describing a 'locker room culture' at the network that is hostile to women.Skipper received public support online from several media figures, among them ESPN's anchor Jemele Hill — who Skipper suspended earlier this year for violating the network's social media policy. Hill had criticized President Donald Trump and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in tweets.'John Skipper is one of the finest people I've ever worked for,' Hill tweeted.___Associated Press Business Writer Tali Arbel in New York contributed to this report.
  • George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 and was acquitted of second-degree murder the next year, is now threatening JAY-Z. According to celebrity gossip site The Blast, Zimmerman himself says that he is being harassed by production crews working on a 6-part documentary on the late Martin. In March, Variety reported that JAY-Z was a partner with the Weinstein Company on the project as part of a first-look deal with the production company. The documentary, titled, “Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story,” will look at Martin’s life, the shooting by Zimmerman and and the 2013 acquittal. >> Read more trending news  Zimmerman claims that, two weeks ago, a production team led by Michael Gasparro, who is executive producing the doc, made visits to his parents’ and uncle’s houses in Florida. Zimmerman says the crews “harassed” his family but would not say how.  “He also would not answer whether his family agreed at any point to go on camera with the producers,” The Blast reported. Zimmerman is threatening to “beat JAY-Z” and feed him to an alligator because of the alleged harassment from production crews. “I know how to handle people who (expletive) with me, I have since February 2012,” Zimmerman told The Blast. Zimmerman claims that his ex-wife was paid to participate in the doc, and says producers would not pay his parents or family members.  JAY-Z hasn’t responded to Zimmerman’s threat, but Snoop Dogg did in an Instagram post Saturday.  “If one hair on Jay’s hair is touched that’s when the revolution will be televised. We one,” he wrote.
  • The lead singer of popular South Korean boy band SHINee died on Monday, police said, in a possible suicide.Kim Jong-hyun, better known by the stage name Jonghyun, was found unconscious at a residence hotel in Seoul and was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, Seoul police said.Police said Kim's sister told them that the singer sent her text messages such as 'Final farewell' and 'I've had difficulties' before his death.Police said they have not yet determined whether he killed himself.Yonhap news agency said authorities found burned coal briquettes, which produce carbon monoxide, in a frying pan in Kim's hotel room.Kim debuted in 2008 as the main singer of SHINee, and cultivated a career as both a group member and a solo singer-song writer. His last public appearance was at a solo concert titled 'Inspired' on Dec. 9-10 in Seoul, and he was scheduled to hold concerts with SHINee members in Tokyo and Osaka in February, Yonhap said.South Korea has one of the highest suicide rates among developed countries. A string of high-profile figures, including a former president and business executives, have killed themselves in recent years.
  • Tavis Smiley has defended himself from allegations he had sexual relationships with subordinates and created an abusive workplace environment, denying any wrongdoing and saying PBS made a mistake by suspending him from his talk show. PBS almost immediately fired back, saying he 'needs to get his story straight.'He told ABC's 'Good Morning America' Monday that he's never coerced anyone into a relationship but has had consensual relationships in the workplace. He said those relationships weren't forbidden by the company he owns and he claims he never promoted or fired anyone based on their relationship with him.'I've never groped. I've never coerced, I've never exposed myself inappropriately to anyone in 30 years,' Smiley said. 'I've made mistakes — I'm human. I'm not perfect. But it doesn't rise to the level of wrongful termination.'Smiley said Monday that he applauds women coming forward to share their sexual assault and harassment experiences 'to lead us in a conversation about how to create healthy workspaces.'At the same time, he said 'I want to make sure we don't lose all sense of nuance and proportionality in this conversation, because if we do then people end up being guilty simply by accusation.'PBS responded in a matter of hours, saying Smiley's acknowledgement of multiple relationships contradicted his previous statements.'Tavis Smiley needs to get his story straight,' it said in a statement, which also promised more accusations: 'Additional allegations are continuing to come to light since last week's announcement.'PBS also derided Smiley's claim that he applauds women who have come forward, pointing out that Smiley's company hinders such actions by requiring former and current employees to sign non-disclosure agreements. 'Witnesses who have bravely come forward to speak with the independent investigators retained by PBS report a fear of retribution for speaking out,' it said.Smiley's career took a huge hit last week when PBS said it was suspending him following an independent investigation by a law firm that uncovered 'multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS.'Then fallout was swift: Walmart, a sponsor, cut ties with him and live producer Mills Entertainment pulled out of backing Smiley's upcoming theatrical show that was to focus on the last year of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. Hay House, which distributes the Smiley Books imprint, said all Smiley projects were 'on hold' pending an internal review.As to accusations he created a verbally abusive and threatening work place, Smiley admitted many of his TV and radio projects are intense at times but said 'I'm not an angry black man and this notion of a hostile environment just doesn't fit.' He added that no complaints about him have ever been raised.Smiley's suspension comes weeks after PBS cut ties with anchor and talk show host Charlie Rose, citing 'extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior' by him toward women at his PBS talk show. The actions against Smiley and Rose follow dozens of firings and suspensions of prominent men who have been accused of sexual misconduct or harassment.
  • Their lips are no longer sealed.  >> Read more trending news The musical “Head Over Heels,” which will feature songs from the 1980s female group The Go-Go’s, will be heading to Broadway for the 2018-19 season after opening next spring in San Francisco, Variety reported. Gwyneth Paltrow will be one of the producers for the show, described by Variety as “an unlikely pairing of an Elizabethan romance with the pop hits of the all-female band.” Familiar songs in the production will include Go-Go’s hits like “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation” and “Head Over Heels,” Variety reported. Other songs will include solo hits by Go-Go’s lead singer Belinda Carlisle, including “Mad About You” and “Heaven Is A Place On Earth.” The production premiered in 2015 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and had a developmental workshop at New York Stage and Film the following year, Variety reported.
  • It's off to nursery school for Princess Charlotte.Kensington Palace said Monday that Charlotte will attend the Willcocks Nursery School in London in January.The daughter of Prince William and his wife Kate turns 3 in May. She is fourth in line to the British throne, after grandfather Prince Charles, father William and older brother Prince George.School officials say they are 'delighted' with the decision and look forward to welcoming Charlotte to the nursery.William and Kate also Monday released a holiday photograph of their family, including Charlotte and her older brother, Prince George.The image was used on their Christmas card this year.
  • Hollywood star John Travolta has wooed fans during a visit to Saudi Arabia, where authorities have said that commercial cinemas will reopen next year after more than a three-decade ban on movie theaters.Travolta met with fans in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Friday, fielding questions from the audience about his career and movies, which include hits like Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction. On Saturday, the American movie star attended a gala dinner and press conference.Travolta was a guest of the kingdom's General Entertainment Authority, which was established by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as he pushes social reforms such as allowing musical concerts and family-friendly shows in order to boost local spending and the economy.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • An Amtrak train derailed in Washington state Monday, killing at least six people and injuring  dozens of others, according to authorities. >> Read more trending news  Amtrak Cascades Train 501, carrying 78 passengers and five crew members, jumped the track near Tacoma in Pierce County, Washington, plunging off an overpass onto the I-5 freeway below, according to Amtrak officials. Amtrak has provided a phone number for people to call with questions about family or friends who may have been on the train: 800-523-9101. At least 70 people were taken to St. Joseph’s Medical Center and at least 20 were transported to the Madigan Army Medical Emergency Center. The main phone number for St. Joseph’s is 253-426-4101. You can inquire about a loved one at this number by providing the name of the person. >> Related:  LIVE UPDATES: At least 70 sent to hospital, 6 dead after train derails on I-5 Madigan has two numbers listed for patient admissions: 253-968-3827 and 253-968-3829.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice released its review of how officers with the Orlando Police Department responded to the Pulse nightclub mass shooting. More than 100 people were injured and 49 people died at the nightclub June 12, 2016 when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire as the club was closing. Photos: Victims of Pulse nightclub Orlando Police Chief John Mina requested the independent review by the DOJ and Police Foundation to identify best practices and areas in which to improve regarding planning, training, polices, procedures and practices, the report said. The report found: The tactical response by the OPD was consistent with the department’s policies, procedures, and training as well as recognized practices;  The OPD successfully leveraged existing relationships with federal, state and local public safety agencies in their response to the Pulse nightclub terrorist attack;  OPD leadership prioritized the mental health of all OPD personnel following the response to the Pulse attack;  Pre-existing Orlando police-community relationships, fostered and sustained over time, enhanced the resilience of the community in the aftermath of the Pulse terrorist shooting.   Read: Pulse nightclub victims' detail terrifying moments of Orlando mass shooting Dispatchers had to mute their phones to compose themselves when victims, survivors and others called 911 for help, the report said. The report said the Police Department had a “laser-like” focus to stop the killings and save lives. The SWAT team said in the report, however, that the response during the incident was disorganized and that more training is needed for future joint response. Read: Orlando firefighter remembers treating Pulse attack's patient No. 1 Read the full report here.  Channel 9's Shannon Butler is following this story. Follow her on Twitter and Eyewitness News at 4 p.m. for updates. Report: teams like swat said response during incident was disorganized. Need to train more together in joint response— Shannon Butler (@SButlerWFTV) December 18, 2017   The @COPSOffice has released its review of the Pulse nightclub attack - calls it 'a valuable guide to #LawEnforcement or #FirstResponders seeking to prepare for similar mass casualty incidents.' OPD release: https://t.co/8vJPia1O7O Full report: https://t.co/V73UMs75HF pic.twitter.com/GMJIXMztPa — Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) December 18, 2017  
  • The United States Department of Justice today has released the results of a 'critical incident review' requested by Orlando Police Chief John Mina in response to the attack on the Pulse nightclub.    Chief Mina says the goal of the review is that it 'allows for open feedback in a constructive way and enables law enforcement officials to speak with total candor in an open forum.'    The independent federal review contains information on decision making from leadership and relationships, an in depth description of the timeline starting before the attack as well as the aftermath, and even includes observations and lessons learned from things like tactical response, emergency medical care, and post event victim welfare.    The review concludes by saying it 'honors the victims of the Pulse nightclub attack and the bravery of the Orlando law enforcement community and serves as a call to action for our nation's elected officials and law enforcement and public safety leaders. You can check out an interactive version of the critical incident review here.
  • A church in Ocoee is ensuring that children with autism will still be able to celebrate the holidays in way that will be safe and not overstimulating.   Ocoee Oaks United Methodist Church is partnering with Autism Law Enforcement Response Training(ALERT) to offer a traditional Christmas Eve candelight service, but with a slightly different approach to cater to the sensitivity of light and volume.    Rather than use candles, children will be offered glowsticks instead. In addition, 20 sensory kits donated by ALERT will be provided for use during the service.    The church says that space may be limited and they encourage anyone who wants to attend to register in advance for free tickets to the service.    You can register for the event here.
  • Sean “Diddy” Combs wants to buy the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, and NBA star Stephen Curry wants in on it, too, according to the New York Daily News. If Combs does buy the team, he said he’ll immediately sign Colin Kaepernick as quarterback. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has remained unsigned the entire season since opting out of his contract earlier this year. >> Read more trending news  Kaeprnick’s protests in the form of kneeling during the national anthem to bring attention to racism and social injustice in the United States has been suspected in a factor in his unsigned status. The legendary rapper and producer made his intentions known Sunday on social media shortly after Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced he plans to sell the team in the wake of a sexual harassment allegations against him. First came Combs’ tweet: “I would like to buy the @Panthers. Spread the word. Retweet!” Soon after, Curry, the Golden State Warriors All-Star and back-to-back NBA MVP, who grew up in North Carolina and played college basketball at Davidson College, tweeted, “I want in.” The hip-hop mogul Combs then posted a video to his Instagram account that was viewed more than 600,000 times in the first 11 hours it was posted. Judging by the comments on his post, Carolina fans seemed to be on board with Diddy becoming the NFL’s first African-American owner. “There are no majority African-American NFL owners. Let’s make history,” Diddy wrote. Some fans weren’t as keen on the idea of bringing in Kaepernick to compete for the starting job, as Combs said on his Instagram post. The Panthers already have Cam Newton as their starting quarterback. Carolina fans made it clear in the comments section that they’re good with Newton. Diddy’s plan to sign Kaepernick may not be needed. An hour after Curry’s tweet, Kaepernick himself said he wanted to be part of ownership plans, too.  “I want in on the ownership group! Let’s make it happen,” he tweeted. Combs has had his eye on buying an NFL team for a few years now. In 2013, he told Bloomberg, “I have aspirations to become — it will happen — to become the first African-American majority owner. Not having a small stake but actually owning an NFL team. I think it’s time for that. A majority of the players in the NFL are African-American, but there are no African-American owners. So that’s one of my dreams.” The Daily News reported that the Panthers are currently valued at $1 billion, while Diddy’s net worth sits at $820 million, according to Forbes. It’s also common for professional sports franchises to fetch notably higher prices than their listed values, meaning Diddy may need several investors to make his NFL ownership dream come true. Still, net worth is an estimate, and doesn’t mean Diddy has that amount or if he makes more or less. Curry, still in his prime as a player and having a net worth of $47.3 million, certainly makes a lot of sense as a partner in a potential deal.