Entertainment News

Drake Bell posts to Instagram following guilty plea on child endangerment charges

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Drake Bell took to Instagram Friday to explain his guilty plea in June for improper conduct with an underage girl.

The 35-year-old former Drake & Josh star also wanted to address what he called, "entirely false" reports regarding his plea, for which he was sentenced in July to two years probation and community service.

Bell, whose birth name is Jared Drake Bell, was indicted in May on charges stemming from an interaction with a then-15-year-old girl in December of 2017. He initially entered a not guilty plea before deciding to take a deal, pleading guilty to attempted endangering children, a fourth-degree felony, and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a first-degree misdemeanor.

In his post, Bell explained, "I didn't get arrested, I didn't go to jail," and for that matter he didn't change his name and move to Mexico, he said in the Spanish-subtitled post. Bell maintains, "I responded to a fan whose age I didn’t know, and when I became aware of their age, all conversation and communication stopped."

The alleged victim, "continued to come to shows and pay for meet and greets," Bell said, maintaining he didn't know this was the same person he'd cut off.

Bell maintains that while his behavior was "reckless and irresponsible," he wanted to make clear, "there were no sexual images, nothing physical" between he and his accuser. "I was not charged with the disseminating of photographs or...anything like that. This is strictly over text messages."

"It's not me telling you that the claims are false, but the state of Ohio," Bell added. "If these claims were remotely true...I would not be here at home with my wife and my son."

Bell's statements sync with what his attorneys claimed at sentencing.

 

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'Law & Order: SVU' co-star Denmore Barnes on his "surprise" exit: "I don't totally know why this happened"

NBC/Virginia Sherwood

Law & Order: SVU co-star Demore Barnes, who played Deputy Chief Christian Garland on the long-running series, says he was just as surprised as his fans were about news he won't be returning for season 23. 

Neither Barns nor Jamie Gray Hyder, who played Detective Kat Tamin, will be seen in SVU's upcoming season, which kicks off Thursday. 

In an Instagram post, in which he acknowledged that, "it's almost every actor's...right of passage just to appear in even one episode of SVU," Barnes addressed his followers regarding the development.

"While I know you were happy that I was here, and that I'm happy that I was here, I also know you're sad and surprised and I am too. I don’t totally know why this happened."

Barnes said he was "so very proud" to portray his character, the first Black person to hold the position of deputy chief of the sex crimes unit. He also heaped praised on the cast and crew, particularly star and executive producer Mariska Hargitay, who he says "spearheaded" his path to series regular.

Referencing series creator Dick Wolf's company, which he also thanked in his post, Barnes said, "I hope that Wolf Entertainment’s leadership, in giving me [the] opportunity [to] amplify vital voice and story, will result in many studios continuing to open doors of opportunities for others to do the same. This must continue."

He closed with, "Chief Garland and I would not have it any other way."

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Emmy Awards host Cedric the Entertainer says he's committed to improving conditions for Black comedians

Cliff Lipson/CBS 2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

After more than 30 years in show business, Cedric the Entertainer wants to do more than just make people laugh.

The five-time NAACP Image Award winner is hosting the 2021 Emmy Awards Sunday night, and he says more Blacks need to follow in his footsteps.

"The industry hasn't changed much," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I mean, someone just told me that I'm only the second solo African American host of the Emmys. That's ridiculous. Out of all these years, it's been Bryant Gumbel and me."

At 57 years old, Cedric is revered in the comic world, and the veteran wants to use his position to make a difference.

"I noticed, with the platforms that I have, this idea of leadership -- a lot of people come to me to try to get things done," he says. "I don't know when I became this kind of OG godfather, especially when it comes to Black comedians, but I want to evoke change."

Cedric continues, "I want things to happen in this business. And I do have a voice, so I will use it to see if I can make a change."

Cedric is the star and one of the executive producers of the CBS sitcom The Neighborhood. He's determined to make sure the show reflects his view of society.

"I'm making sure the show has a voice, making sure the episodes aren't limiting and putting us in a box," he says. "We can talk about the subjects that we want to. I can do it with a TV show, and I can do it in life. That's probably the greatest thing that I learned about myself in the last year."

The 73rd Emmy Awards airs live this Sunday, September 19, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.

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Angela Bassett is amazed by her Madame Tussauds wax figure: "Oh Lord! I'm a twin!"

FOX

Angela Bassett's Madame Tussauds wax figure was unveiled Thursday in Hollywood, and the 9-1-1 star was in awe of it.

"Oh, Lord! I'm a twin," Bassett said with a laugh in an Instagram video as she admired her replica. "Oh My God, its so lifelike," she continued. "Its like its gonna jump alive and give me a hug."

The Hollywood Walk of Fame member, who began her distinguished career in 1985, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her leading role in the 1993 Tina Turner biopic, What's Love Got to Do with It. Her credits also include Black PantherWaiting to Exhale, and Boyz n the Hood.

"Somebody call 9-1-1 because this figure is on FIRE!," Madame Tussauds commented on Instagram. "Angela Bassett aka Athena Grant is here...The wait to exhale is over, The Queen of Wakanda herself, Angela Bassett has arrived! The ageless icon has been officially immortalized by Madame Tussauds Hollywood."

Bassett walked all around her figure and declared, "Look at my derriere. Even that's cute...Absolutely amazing. Thank you!"

Earlier this week, Tiffany Haddish was honored with a wax figure at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas. On September 13, Jennifer Hudson celebrated her 40th birthday with the debut of her likeness at Madame Tussauds in New York City.

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Report: Wendy Williams taken to hospital to receive "psychiatric services"

Wendy Williams on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” in January, 2021; Bravo

Wendy Williams was reportedly taken to a New York City hospital for a mental health check-up.

According to The Sun, a 911 call was placed and police arrived early Wednesday morning at the talk show host's Manhattan apartment,

"There was a call for a 57-year-old non-violent female who needed psychiatric services at that address on Wednesday morning," a police spokesperson told The Sun. "They were transported to the hospital.”

As previously reported, later that day, it was announced that the season premiere of Williams’ show was pushed back to October 4 from its original date of September 20. 

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the National Radio Hall of Fame member had tested positive for a “breakthrough case of COVID-19."  That news followed last week's announcement that Williams would be stepping back from "promotional activities" due to “ongoing health issues.”

Wendy previously discussed several health issues on her daytime series, including her battle with Graves’ disease and substance abuse.

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Tyra Banks defends Olivia Jade ahead of her 'Dancing with the Stars' debut: "Olivia is so brave"

ABC/Laretta Houston

Tyra Banks is defending this year's most controversial Dancing with the Stars casting choice -- Olivia Jade.

The 21-year-old daughter of Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli is set to make her DWTS debut Monday night.  But some fans criticized her involvement because of her parents' participation in the Varsity Blues college admissions cheating scandal.  But returning show host Banks told Entertainment Tonight that fans need to give Olivia the benefit of the doubt.

"I think Olivia is so brave," the supermodel said. "I think people don't know her, they know what happened to her."

As previously reported, Giannulli and Loughlin pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison last year for paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as rowing crew recruits, when neither participated in the sport.

"She has said that she did not know about what was going on and it's really sad, and it's very hurtful when something publicly happens but you had nothing to do with it. So I trust that she says she didn't know," continued Banks.

"[Olivia] is having to deal with that and I think she's coming to Dancing with the Stars to be able to tell her story and show her vulnerability," Banks went on. "And is she a celebrity? Not traditionally, but what is a celebrity today? If that's the case then there's no Instagram influencer that is a celebrity. We are in a whole different world and celebrity has taken a turn and a change."

As for whether or not Olivia deserves to be on the show, Banks declared, "If people are talking about you, you're famous and you can be on Dancing with the Stars."

Dancing with the Stars returns Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Priyanka Chopra responds to growing criticism over 'The Activist': "The show got it wrong"

Kyle Galvin/Courtesy of Priyanka Chopra Jonas/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Priyanka Chopra responded Thursday to the growing backlash against her upcoming new show, The Activist.

The Activist's initial concept was to have contestants compete in several challenges for a cash grant and to raise awareness for their particular issue.  With Chopra, Usher and Julianne Hough were set to serve as judges. However, the backlash was immediate when the series was unveiled, with some critics saying the show pitted activists against one another for entertainment.

Chopra took to Instagram to acknowledge the growing complaints, declaring, "You were heard."

"The show got it wrong, and I'm sorry that my participation in it disappointed many of you," the actress continued. "The intention was always to bring attention to the people behind the ideas and highlight the actions and impact of the causes they support tirelessly."

CBS has since announced plans to revise The Activist, turning it into a documentary that will remove all competitive elements and instead celebrate the six individuals and their work.

Referencing the show's new direction, Chopra added, "I'm happy to know that in this new format, their stories will be the highlight, and I'm proud to collaborate with partners who have their ear to the ground and know when it's time to hit pause and re-evaluate."

The Quantico star's remarks come a day after Hough apologized, saying the show "missed the mark" and understood why critics called it "tone-deaf."

The Activist was originally intended to premiere in late October.  CBS, in tandem with the show's production partners Global Citizen and Live Nation, have yet to announce the show's new airdate.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In theaters now: Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo in the "irreverent, explosive" 'COPSHOP'

STX Films/Briarcliff Entertainment

Hitting theaters today is the gritty crime thriller COPSHOP, starring and produced by Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo, and directed by Narc's Joe Carnahan.

"This is like...in the spirit of all the best 70s Westerns," Butler, star of 300 and Olympus Has Fallen, tells ABC Audio.  "Small-town rookie cop, there's not a lot going on in that town until the bad guys roll in."

"And you have this wily con man, Teddy Muretto, that's Frank Grillo, who actually breaks into the police station, essentially gets arrested because he's trying to get away from myself," Butler says of his shadowy hitman, Bob Viddick. "And I also find a way to break into the police station. People just keep following into this damn police station to try and kill Teddy Muretto," he says with a laugh. 

COPSHOP is anchored by newcomer Alexis Louder, playing the rookie cop trapped with the two main characters, and who has to unravel a mystery dealing with corrupt officers while dealing with a psychotic contract killer, played by Toby Huss.

Louder called her acting trial by fire "amazing."  "It felt great to work with people that they are veterans in this industry and in this genre, and they treated me like a peer," she told ABC Audio. "They had confidence in me to do what I know how to do."

Louder added, "But if I had a question, they were very generous and humble and gracious with the wealth of information that they have. And it was just so much fun just running through the police station with these guys."

Butler says COPSHOP is, "Extremely tense and fun and dark and hard edged and yet kind of irreverent and explosive." 

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'Ted Lasso'? 'WandaVision'? 'Mare of Easttown'? Who will clean up on Sunday's Emmy night?

Apple TV+

The 73rd Annual Emmy Awards will be held live and in person in Los Angeles on Sunday night, and many prognosticators say there could be some new faces heading to the podium.

Netflix's trophy magnet The Crown earned 24 nominations -- tied with the Star Wars series The Mandalorian -- and could do well indeed. But with last year's big winners Schitt's CreekEuphoriaWatchmen and Succession out of contention this year, the door could finally be open for Ted Lasso to score, and surprising nominees Cobra Kai and The Boys to shine. 

Another newcomer that could log some wins on the big night is Marvel Studios' first small-screen MCU spin-off, WandaVision, which earned 23 nominations, one shy of its fellow Disney+ show The MandalorianW/V earned nominations in the Outstanding Actor category for its two stars -- Marvel movie vets Paul Bettany and his onscreen love Elizabeth Olsen.

Both of those shows are already on the winner board, thanks to trophies won at last weekend's Creative Arts Emmys, which also saw The Crown and The Queen's Gambit log wins. 

NBC's previous Emmy winner This Is Us could win again, but this year it's facing stiff competition from Kate Winslet and her HBO show Mare of Easttown.

Cedric The Entertainer hosts when the 73rd Emmys are held live at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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Jennifer Aniston says season 2 of 'The Morning Show' will tackle cancel culture

Courtesy of Apple TV+

After season one of The Morning Show ended on an incredible cliffhanger -- with Alex Levy and Bradley Jackson choosing to blow up their network and expose the toxic work environment live on television -- fans will finally know what happened next when season two premieres today on Apple TV+.

Star Jennifer Aniston, who plays Alex, chatted with ABC Audio about what themes the new season will tackle and how they will affect her character's growth. Aniston says that Alex -- who spent much of the first season trying to process the sexual assault allegations against her disgraced former co-host, Steve Carell's Mitch Kessler -- will do some real soul searching this season.

"Sitting back, taking a moment to look inward and look back at the rubble that was left behind and figuring out who you are, is it who you want to be, and how do you move forward in this new normal?" Aniston revealed.

The Emmy winner further says Alex will continue to explore the fallout of the sex scandal, and also focus on cancel culture.

"What happens to these people who, you know, commit these terrible acts? Do they just vanish and disappear? That's it. One click and one swipe in your whole entire life that you worked for is over," she explained. "Is there room for redemption? Is there room for forgiveness?"

While fans have yet to find that out, they will meet newcomer Julianna Margulies, who plays network news anchor Laura Peterson. Margulies tells ABC Audio that Laura's character is a mix of Diane SawyerRachel Maddow and Christiane Amanpour.

"There's this sort of really great mix of grit, but sophistication and incredible smarts," she teased.

The Morning Show's first episode of season two is streaming now on Apple TV+.

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Now you can own James Bond's DB5 -- the book, that is

Hero Collector

For car collectors and movie fans, there are few automobiles as iconic as James Bond's 1964 Aston Martin DB5, and now you can own it -- well, at least in coffee table book form. 

Hero Collector Books has announced that on September 28 they'll release James Bond's DB5, the official, in-depth history of 007's most famous whip, in a photo-packed 280-page book that was authorized by James Bond movie producers EON Productions.

The book's release is timed to celebrate the October 8 premiere of the 25th James Bond film No
Time To DieDaniel Craig's final turn as 007, which features the DB5 prominently.

The car has appeared in eight 007 movies to date, starting with 1964's Goldfinger, and although the super-spy has driven other gadget-packed cars over the years, the producers always return to the Aston, which they did for Craig's first outing in the tuxedo, in 2006's Casino Royale

Craig provides a forward for the new book, which details virtually every inch of the vehicle, photographed in exquisite detail from bumper to bumper -- and ejector seat to machine guns.

James Bond movie producer Michael G. Wilson and Aston Martin's Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman also penned forwards for the book.

Reichman notes, "There are no other cars that enjoy such an exciting connection to such a beloved character and I hope this book demonstrates that among all the technical and marketing data that underpins car production, an indelible truth remains: great cars are wonders to behold, blending creativity with one crucial factor: fun."

He adds, "Bond definitely enjoys the DB5. I hope you enjoy it too."

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Kevin Hart's 'True Story' drama gets November release date; Giancarlo Esposito joins Netflix 'Jigsaw' series; and more

Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix has set a November 24 release date for True Story, an upcoming limited series loosely based on the life of Kevin Hart.

The seven-episode drama follows Hart as Kid, a world famous comedian whose life suddenly hangs in the balance after "a lost evening with his wayward older brother" threatens to destroy everything he’s built. Wesley Snipes, who has been tapped to play Hart's older brother, will star alongside Tawny Newsome, Will Catlett, Paul Adelstein, Theo Rossi, Ash Santos, John Ales, Chris Diamantopoulos, Lauren London, and Billy Zane. True Story officially marks Hart’s dramatic series debut.

In other news, Deadline has learned that Giancarlo Esposito has been added to the cast of Jigsaw, an upcoming Netflix series based on the "largest heist ever attempted." It centers on the true-story of when $70 billion dollars in bonds went missing in downtown Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy. Esposito joins Paz Vega, Rufus Sewell, Tati Gabrielle, Peter Mark Kendall, Rosaline Elbay, Jai Courtney and Niousha Noor, who were previously announced. Production on Jigsaw has already begun at Netflix Studios in Brooklyn.

Finally, Zoe Saldaña is getting animated for her next big project. Netflix has announced that Saldaña will play Princess Maya in the upcoming series Maya and the Three. The nine-chapter series follows Maya, a rebellious warrior princess who learns on her fifteenth birthday that she must "forfeit her life" to the god of war or the world will suffer the consequences. To save those that she loves, Maya "embarks on a quest to fulfill an ancient prophecy" that promises to "defeat the gods and save humankind." The series also stars Gabriel Iglesias, Alfred Molina, Cheech Marin, Rosie Perez, Queen Latifah, and Wyclef Jean among others. A release date for Maya and the Three has yet to be announced.

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Andrew Garfield details the "amazing, beautiful way" he honored his late mother with musical film 'Tick Tick... Boom!'

NETFLIX/Macall Polay

In a revealing interview with The New York Times, Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield explained how his work in the Lin-Manuel Miranda-directed movie musical Tick Tick...Boom! was a tribute to Garfield's late mother. 

The musical was created by Rent phenom Jonathan Larson, who died in 2001 at just 35. Garfield saw a parallel between the world's loss of Larson with the death of his mother Lynn from pancreatic cancer in 2019.

"She is someone who showed me where I was supposed to go in my life," he said of his mother. "She set me on a path."

Garfield explained, "We lost her just before COVID, just before we started shooting...So, for me, I was able to continue her song on the ocean and the wave of Jonathan’s songs. It was an attempt to honor him in his unfinished song, and her in her unfinished song, and have them meet."

The actor plays Larson in the adaptation that is the directorial debut of Hamilton creator Miranda. Garfield says, "every frame, every moment, every breath" of the film honors Larson, and his mother. 

"I've lost people before," the actor says, "but one's mother is a different thing. It's the person that gives you life no longer being here. Nothing can prepare you for that kind of cataclysm...For me, everything has changed." 

Garfield, 35 says he was grateful to be with his mom in the days leading up to his loss, and to support his father and younger brother.

"We had a very amazing connection, and now an audience will know her spirit in an unconscious way through Jon, which I just find so magical and beautiful."

Tick Tick...Boom! debuts in theaters on November 12, and on Netflix November 19.

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Happy Halloween! Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart reunite to bring tasty treats with new food competition

Nicole Weingart/Peacock

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart are reuniting to celebrate Halloween.

The 49-year-old rap icon and the 80-year-old lifestyle guru are judging a new food competition inspired by Halloween.

Snoop and Martha's Very Tasty Halloween is being produced by Buzzfeed, and will stream on Peacock. Teams of three bakers, called “Scare Squads,” must build an edible Halloween world "inspired by the concept of fear." After the judges select the winner, they will enjoy a "fantastical Halloween party."

The unlikely duo previously hosted Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party from 2016-2019 on VH1, and have appeared in several commercials together, as well a 2016 episode of $100,000 Pyramid. Last year, the "Gin & Juice" rapper was a guest star on her Martha show.

They first appeared together on her show in 2008, and again at the 2015 Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber.

Snoop and Martha serve as executive producers of their Very Tasty Halloween show which will begin streaming October 14 on Peacock.

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Brie Larson flaunts 'Captain Marvel'-ous six-pack: "Felt cute, might delete later""

Marvel Studios

Brie Larson has been showing off her rigorous training sessions as she prepares to get back into superhero shape for the sequel The Marvels, so who can blame her for showing off her #gains?

The Oscar-winning Captain Marvel actress posted to social media two shots of her in workout gear, laughing as she rocks a rock-hard six pack. "Felt cute might delete later," she captioned the photos, her note copying a popular online trope. "[O]r maybe I'd regret that," she added with a winky emoji.

Brie also tossed in a nod to her podcast Learning Lots, on which Melissa McCarthy recently appeared. "I learned so much from the comic genius @melissamccarthy on regrets for @learninglotspodcast," Brie said, before asking her fans, "Ya'll got any regrets?"

Shooting of The Marvels gets underway in November, and the Marvel Studios film is slated to hit theaters on November 11, 2022.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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