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Entertainment

    Actress Rose McGowan filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday alleging that Harvey Weinstein and two of his former attorneys engaged in racketeering to silence her and derail her career before she accused him of rape. The suit filed in Los Angeles names as defendants Weinstein, attorneys David Boies and Lisa Bloom and their law firms, and Black Cube, an Israeli intelligence firm hired by Weinstein. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants conspired to defraud, smear and marginalize McGowan as she was preparing to name Weinstein during the run-up to the explosion of the #MeToo movement late in 2017. The suit comes on the heels of a pair of recent books that detail Weinstein and his team's efforts to keep his accusers quiet. 'Harvey Weinstein was able to perpetrate and cover up decades of violence and control over women because he had a sophisticated team working on his behalf to systematically silence and discredit his victims,' McGowan said in a statement. 'My life was upended by their actions, and I refuse to be intimidated any longer.' Weinstein's attorney Phyllis Kupferstein said McGowan is 'a publicity seeker looking for money' and her suit is meritless. 'From the moment she sought a $6 million dollar payout in return for not making these baseless allegations, which we rejected at the time, we knew that she was waiting for an opportune time such as this to begin her suit,' Kupferstein said. Emails seeking comment from the other defendants were not immediately returned. McGowan, 46, known for her role in the 'Scream' movie franchise, was one of the earliest and one of the most prominent of dozens of women to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, making her a major figure in the #MeToo movement. McGowan had been tweeting in 2017 that she was preparing to name her rapist in a forthcoming memoir, 'Brave,' which was published the following year. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants used spies posing as women's rights advocates and journalists to obtain a copy of the memoir, illegally recorded her conversations, and smeared her to those in the entertainment industry who were working on projects with her. Hers is one of several lawsuits, along with criminal charges, against Weinstein stemming from the sexual misconduct allegations, including a defamation suit from actress Ashley Judd. But McGowan's lawsuit goes further than most in including the team around Weinstein, alleging that they illegally conspired to intimidate her, other victims, and journalists attempting to tell their stories. 'Weinstein enlisted others — including his co-Defendants in this case — as co-conspirators, all working with a single mission: to protect Weinstein's reputation, suppress negative information about him, and silence and discredit his accusers,' the lawsuit states. The lawsuit heavily cites and repeats stories detailed in the recently released books 'Catch and Kill' by New Yorker writer Ronan Farrow, and 'She Said' by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. Both books delve in to the work done for Weinstein by Boies and Bloom, two of the most prominent and visible attorneys in the nation, who both faced heated criticism for representing the movie mogul. Boies is best known for defending Al Gore during the disputed 2000 presidential election. Bloom, like her mother and fellow attorney Gloria Allred, is primarily known as a women's rights attorney who often represents women in sexual harassment and assault cases. The lawsuit alleges that Bloom approached McGowan and Farrow as an ally in an attempt to get them to back off Weinstein, without revealing that she was working for him to revive his reputation. Bloom's attorney, Eric M. George, said in a statement that it 'is inexcusable that Ms. McGowan chose to include my client in her lawsuit. Facts matter. There is simply no credible factual or legal basis for her claims against my client.' An email to Boies seeking comment was not immediately returned. The suit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages to be determined at trial, and an injunction forbidding further misconduct toward McGowan. 'McGowan has suffered tremendously from Defendants' conspiracy and lies,' the suit states.' Her book sales suffered; her expenses mounted; her job opportunities vanished; and her emotional health cratered. She has experienced trauma and depression from defendants' actions, and the deep betrayal will have life-long effects.' The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, unless they speak publicly as McGowan has done. Weinstein, 67, is scheduled for trial in January on charges alleging that he raped an unidentified woman in his New York City hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006. The former movie mogul has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton .
  • Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood' is heading back into theaters with 10 minutes of added scenes. Sony Pictures said Wednesday that the longer 'Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood' will play in more than 1,000 theaters in the U.S. and Canada beginning Friday. The new running time will push Tarantino's 1969 Los Angeles fable to nearly three hours. 'Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood' has been one of the most successful original films of the year. The movie was made for $90 million. It has grossed $139.8 million domestically and $366.8 million worldwide. The film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt is expected to be a major Oscar contender.
  • Mark Twain's adventures overseas, and the irreverent book which helped make him famous, will be featured in an upcoming exhibit at the New-York Historical Society. 'Mark Twain and the Holy Land' opens Friday and runs through Feb. 2. The exhibit follows Twain's so-called 'Great Pleasure Excursion' to Europe and the Holy Land in 1867 and the book it inspired, 'The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims' Progress,' published in 1869, 150 years ago. The society announced the exhibit Wednesday. It has gathered documents, photographs and other artifacts, in partnership with the Shapell Manuscript Foundation. 'The Innocents Abroad' was drawn from newspaper columns he wrote about his trip and was the best-selling book in his lifetime.
  • Lizzo is sharing writing credit on her hit song 'Truth Hurts' with the creator behind the song's signature line, but not with two other writers who claim they also contributed to the track. 'Truth Hurts' features the popular line, 'I just took a DNA test, turns out I'm 100 percent that bitch,' which originated from a 2017 tweet by singer Mina Lioness and was turned into a popular meme. On Wednesday Lizzo wrote on social media that Lioness 'is the person I am sharing my success with.' The line was also used in Lizzo's song 'Healthy,' created in 2017 with the songwriting brothers Justin and Jeremiah Raisen. The Raisens feel they deserve writing credit on 'Truth Hurts' as a result, though Lizzo wrote they 'had nothing to do with the line or how I chose to sing it.' 'The men who now claim a piece of 'Truth Hurts' did not help me write any part of the song. There was no one in the room when I wrote 'Truth Hurts' except me, Ricky Reed, and my tears. That song is my life, and its words are my truth,' Lizzo wrote Wednesday. In addition, Lizzo's lawyer Cynthia Arato announced Wednesday that a lawsuit has been filed to establish that the Raisens, as well as Justin 'Yves' Rothman, are not entitled to any credit for the song. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, notes the Raisens 'expressly withdrew any claim to 'Truth Hurts,' in writing, in April of this year, and subsequently assured Lizzo, again in writing, that they were making no claims to the work.' The songwriters credited on 'Truth Hurts,' which is spending its seventh week at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, are Lizzo, Ricky Reed, Tele and Jesse Saint John. After the claim made by the Raisens, CeCe Peniston wrote on Instagram that Lizzo's 'Juice' plagiarizes her classic '90s hit, 'Finally,' calling it 'a clear example of #copyrightinfringement.' 'Truth Hurts' was originally released in September 2017 but got a boost this year after it was featured in the Netflix film 'Someone Great,' released on April 19, the same day Lizzo dropped her album, 'Cuz I Love You.' The song wasn't originally featured on the 11-track 'Cuz I Love You,' but her record label added it to the deluxe version of the album, released on May 3. 'Truth Hurts' was submitted for the 2020 Grammys in categories like song and record of the year — where songwriters and producers also earn nominations; the Recording Academy will announce its nominees on Nov. 20. Lizzo is currently selling T-shirts on her website that read '100% that bitch.' __ This story has been corrected to show CeCe Peniston has claimed Lizzo's 'Juice' plagiarizes her classic '90s hit, 'Finally,' not Lizzo's 'Truth Hurts.
  • Rapper Chuck D is this year's winner of the Woody Guthrie Prize, an award that recognizes artists who speak out for the less fortunate. Chuck D was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 as part of the groundbreaking hip-hop group Public Enemy. He'll be honored at a ceremony in Tulsa on Nov. 16. Woody Guthrie Center Director Deana McCloud noted that Guthrie was 'a fighter for the people.' She says Chuck's D's work has aligned with that message to 'choose a side, fight the power, and work for a better world.' Chuck D is the sixth recipient of the prize named for the Oklahoma native. Past recipients of the award include John Mellencamp, Norman Lear, Kris Kristofferson, Mavis Staples and Pete Seeger.
  • Dolly Parton will perform a new song 'Faith' in a gospel medley, Reba McEntire will revisit her hit 'Fancy' and Chris Stapleton will perform a duet with Pink at this year's Country Music Association Awards. CMA announced Wednesday the first round of performers for the Nov. 13 awards show in Nashville, Tennessee. Parton will also sing 'God Only Knows' with Christian duo for KING & COUNTRY and 'There Was Jesus' with Zach Williams. Carrie Underwood, who is nominated for entertainer of the year and will host the show with McEntire and Parton, will perform 'Drinking Alone,' while Miranda Lambert will sing her new single, 'It All Comes Out in the Wash.' Additional performers include Eric Church, Luke Combs, Keith Urban and the show's top nominee, Maren Morris.
  • A painting seized by the Nazis from a Jewish family in 1933 has been recovered from a museum in upstate New York by the FBI. The work, 'Winter' by American artist Gari Melchers, was part of the collection at the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie until Sept. 10, according to federal court documents. The recovery is part of an international effort to find artwork that was stolen after the Nazis' ascension to power. German publisher and philanthropist Rudolf Mosse first acquired the painting from the Great Berlin Art Exhibition in 1900. The Nazi government seized control of the family's art collection after Mosse's family members fled Germany in 1933. The Nazis had persecuted the family because they were Jewish and because of their affiliations with Berliner Tageblatt, a newspaper critical of the party, according to court documents. Bartlett Arkell, the first president of the Beech-Nut Packing Company, brought the painting from a New York City gallery in 1934 for his personal collection and it later became part of the collection at the museum 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Albany that bears his name. Suzan D. Friedlander, the museum's executive director and chief curator, said in an emailed statement that the museum 'was of course very upset to learn the history of the painting's seizure from the Mosse family by the Nazis in 1933.' The museum waived all rights to the painting, which is also known as 'Skaters' or 'Snow.' The painting will remain at the FBI's Albany office until it is reunited with the Mosse family.
  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the winner of this year's $1 million Berggruen Prize for philosophy and culture. The award announced Wednesday by the Los Angeles-based Berggruen Institute honors Ginsburg for her pioneering legal work for gender equality and her support for the rule of law. The institute says Ginsburg will direct the money to charity. The 86-year-old Ginsburg has been on the Supreme Court since 1993. She is the court's oldest justice, but maintains an active public speaking schedule that took her to the San Francisco Bay Area earlier this week. Ginsburg has been treated for cancer twice in the past 10 months. Before joining the high court, she served 13 years as a federal appeals court judge in Washington, D.C. Ginsburg spent the early part of her career as a professor at the Rutgers University law school in New Jersey and at Columbia University law school. She started the American Civil Liberties Union's Women's Rights Project in the 1970s. The Berggruen Prize was established in 2016 by philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen to honor those who have 'profoundly shaped human self-understanding and advancement.' Berggruen said in an interview that Ginsburg played a leading role in gender equality. 'She has done a lot to protect and further civil liberties. She has done a lot for women. That's especially important in these times,' he said. Ginsburg will receive the award on Dec. 16 at a ceremony at the New York Public Library. When she received a different foundation's $100,000 award in 1996, Ginsburg directed the money to more than a dozen schools, performing arts groups and civil rights organizations, according to her financial disclosure report.
  • French authorities say a man has been detained by police after he was holed up for several hours in a museum in southern France. Police carried out an operation Wednesday at the archaeology museum of Saint-Raphael on the French Riviera. A security perimeter had been set up around the building. Police said the man was not armed. His motives were unknown. French media say he allegedly broke out in the museum overnight and refused to communicate with police. They say the museum's cleaning woman alerted police when she arrived before the museum's opening. Authorities said potentially threatening inscriptions in Arabic — for which the exact translation was unclear— were written on the building's wall.
  • Two employees of a San Francisco Bay Area solar energy company pleaded guilty Tuesday to participating in what federal prosecutors say was a massive scheme that defrauded investors of $1 billion. While the company's owners have not been charged, they agreed to let the government auction their collection of 150 classic, performance and luxury vehicles, including a 1978 Pontiac Trans Am once owned by Burt Reynolds. The replica of the car the late actor drove in 'Smokey and the Bandit' and the other vehicles are to be auctioned Saturday, with online bidding already pushing the accumulated value past $5.5 million. Bidding on that Trans Am alone had topped $65,000 by late Tuesday. The auction company said it had been driven less than 3,400 miles (5,472 kilometers). It's the largest single-owner car collection ever auctioned by the U.S. Marshals Service. Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Lasha Boyden of the Sacramento office called it 'a stunning collection of vehicles' that also includes classic 1960s Ford Mustangs, 1990s Humvees and a 1960 Austin-Healey. Pleading guilty Tuesday were certified public accountant Ronald Roach, 53, and general contractor Joseph Bayliss, 44, both of the Bay Area. Roach's attorney, Christian Picone, declined comment. Bayliss' attorney, Tom Johnson, did not return a telephone message seeking comment. Both men agreed to cooperate in the ongoing investigation. The two men admitted providing false reports that misled investors of DC Solar, owned by Jeffrey and Paulette Carpoff of Martinez. The owners have not been charged with any crime, said Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento, but their vehicles and numerous other assets were seized by the federal government as part of the investigation. The owners agreed to allow the vehicles to be auctioned off because it is expensive to store them and they lose value the longer they sit idle, Horwood said. The auction proceeds will go back to the owners if they are never convicted, but the proceeds will go to the victims if they are convicted and forfeit their belongings. The Carpoffs' attorney, Malcolm Segal, said the couple have been cooperating with prosecutors. 'Mr. and Mrs. Carpoff have authorized the government to sell well over $75 million of their personal real estate, automobiles and other assets in the interest of the investors who may come up short when in time things settle,' Segal said. Prosecutors alleged that the company engaged in $2.5 billion in investment transactions between 2011 and 2018, costing investors $1 billion in a classic Ponzi scheme. The company based in Benicia, northeast of San Francisco, made solar generators mounted on trailers and marketed them as able to provide emergency power for cellphone companies or to provide lighting at sporting and other events. However, purportedly to improve tax benefits, the investors never actually took possession of the generators, authorities said. Instead, they would lease the generators back to DC Solar, which would then provide them to other companies for their use. 'The investors, all national and internationally known companies, have to date greatly benefited by being able to claim financially significant tax and depreciation credits since making their investments,' Segal said. Authorities said the investors were supposed to be paid with the profits, but the generators never provided much income. Instead, prosecutors say early investors were paid with funds from later investors. Roach, of Walnut Creek, admitted preparing financial documents to hide the pyramid scheme, and faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in January. He also pleaded guilty to securities violations. Bayliss, of Martinez, admitted to preparing false reports showing thousands of solar generators that were sold to investors on paper but in fact did not exist. He also admitted flying to Las Vegas to destroy evidence after federal investigators served search warrants at the company's headquarters and other locations in December. He faces up to five years in prison.