British soap star David Easter is "ecstatic" after a rape case against him was dropped. Easter, who has starred in U.K. soaps Brookside and Emmerdale, was interviewed under caution at a police station in Surrey, England in May (14) on one allegation of rape, which is said to have occurred 17 years ago involving a woman who was aged 30 at the time.
The actor, who was married to British TV personality Denise Welch for five years in the 1980s, denied the allegation and was allowed to leave the station hours later.
The case against the 54 year old has now been dropped due to lack of evidence.
His lawyer Julian Lee tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "David is obviously ecstatic... thankfully (the claims) didn't get anywhere - I hope David can get on with his life now."
British soap actor David Easter was quizzed by police on Tuesday (13May14) after a woman accused him of rape. Easter, who has starred in U.K. soaps Brookside and Emmerdale, was interviewed under caution at a police station in Surrey, England regarding the alleged attack, which is said to have occurred 17 years ago on a woman who was aged 30 at the time.
The 54-year-old actor, who was married to British TV personality Denise Welch for five years in the 1980s, denies the allegation and was allowed to leave the station hours later.
His lawyer, Julian Lee, tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "It relates to a woman he knew well and was not a random incident.
"David was not arrested. The allegation is one of rape. It is totally denied. The matter has now been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision whether or not to charge.
"The lady in question was in her thirties at the time. She saw him on Emmerdale and decided to make a complaint... There is no suggestion this was anything more than one incident."
Cult New York rockers The Virgins have axed a 2014 tour of Europe after announcing their split. Frontman Donald Cumming broke the news to fans on Wednesday (13Nov13), a year after the band signed to Julian Casablancas' fledgling label Cult Records.
A statement released by the singer reads: "There's nothing I'd hoped to do with The Virgins that we haven't done. It's been an incredible experience and I want to thank everyone who was a part of it, but now it's time to move on. I'll see you in my dreams."
Cumming formed the group with bassist Max Kamins, guitarist Xan Aird and drummer John Eatherly in 2006 and they released their self-titled debut album in 2008. Their sophomore project, Strike Gently, hit retailers in March (13).
"I was so shocked last year when Matthew (Crawley) got killed in the car crash, I couldn’t believe it! I jumped out of bed and tried to call Julian Fellowes. You know, ‘What’s going on here?’ I was so stunned." New Downton Abbey star Shirley Maclaine was stunned when Dan Stevens' character in the period drama was killed off during the show's Christmas special last year (13).
Actress Angelica Huston has appealed to Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes to offer her a part on the hit British period drama after confessing she is a big fan. The Witches star admits she would jump at the chance to join the cast of the show, which is set to return for a fifth season next year (14).
Huston tells Britain's The Times Magazine, "I know some people have a problem with it, but I really like Downton Abbey. I like manners and behaviour, and to me that's a very satisfying show.
"I get very involved, and it takes me somewhere else. I get emotional. I love costume drama. I'm very sort of traditional when it comes to that.... I'd be slathering to work on Downton. I love it. Or maybe not slathering, but yes, I'd like to work on Downton. It's great."
TV bosses have renewed Downton Abbey for a fifth season. The fourth season finale of the award-winning period drama, created by Julian Fellowes, aired in the U.K. on Sunday (10Nov13), and seconds after the credits, fans were treated to the good news that the show will be back next year (14).
Downton has garnered an average of 11.8 million viewers, becoming the highest-rated drama in the U.K. this year (13).
The show is also a big hit in America, but fans there will have until the new year for the fourth season to debut on 5 January (14).
The season four Christmas special, which will air on Christmas Day (25Dec13) in Britain, will feature two veteran American actors - Shirley MacLaine, who will reprise her role as Martha Levinson, and Golden Globe-winner Paul Giamatti, who will join the cast as family matriarch Cora Crawley’s playboy brother, Harold.
Politically-outspoken rapper M.I.A. had an unusual guest lined-up for her concert in New York on Friday (01Nov13) - she opened the show with a live video transmission from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Paper Planes hitmaker decided to use her gig at Terminal 5 to give Assange a new platform to air his views on press freedom and online privacy, as he urged the sold-out crowd to fight the "military occupation of cyberspace".
He then recalled lyrics from M.I.A.'s 2010 track The Message to get his point across, reciting: "'iPhone connected to the Internet/ Connected to the Google/ Connected to the government' - it turns out she was right."
Assange also praised the British star as "the most courageous woman working in Western music".
M.I.A.'s choice of guest should come as no surprise to her loyal fans - she teamed up with Assange to compose the soundtrack for his TV show The World Tomorrow last year (12).
Assange was unable to appear in New York in person as he continues to hide out at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been given political asylum for over a year. He faces immediate arrest and extradition to Sweden to face accusations of rape and sexual assault if he leaves the building.
British TV watchdog officials have declined to take action against Downton Abbey producers after receiving a flurry of complaints following the broadcast of a controversial rape storyline last month (Oct13). Fans of the hit period drama were left aghast on 6 October (13), when lady's maid Anna May Bates, played by actress Joanne Froggatt, was sexually assaulted by valet Mr. Green, portrayed by Nigel Harman, and although the attack was not directly shown onscreen, it prompted more than 200 viewers to make their feelings known to Ofcom.
However, regulatory bosses have decided against taking the complaints further "after careful assessment", because producers "did not raise issues warranting investigation".
Officials noted that the episode did feature an early warning to viewers about the content of the show, while it was also broadcast after the 9pm watershed.
The news will be warmly welcomed by creator Julian Fellowes, who was forced to defend his decision to include the shocking scenes in the plot, insisting the sensitive subject matter allowed viewers to discover the characters' depths.
He said, "The whole point of the way we do things on Downton is we don't do them gratuitously. We are interested in exploring the resultant emotions and the effect these things have on people... The point of our handling is not that we're interested in sensationalising, but we're interested in exploring the mental damage and the emotional damage.
"Downton deals in subjecting a couple of characters per series to a very difficult situation and you get the emotions that come out of these traumas."
Actress Demi Moore has backed down in her demands for spousal support from estranged husband Ashton Kutcher, so the former couple can finally settle its divorce. The Hollywood stars separated in November, 2011 after six years of marriage and Kutcher made the first move in court by filing to legally end their union last December (12).
The Ghost beauty responded with her own papers in March (13), asking a Los Angeles judge to grant her a share of the actor's fortune, which was boosted last year (12) by the reported $24 million (£16 million) he earned as Charlie Sheen's replacement on hit sitcom Two and a Half Men.
Kutcher did not seek to deny Moore financial aid, but the pair has reportedly been battling over money he banked from his various technology investments during their relationship.
However, almost a year after the divorce filing, TMZ.com reports that Bruce Willis' ex-wife has agreed not to fight for a share of Kutcher's millions and instead settle for the division of property they acquired during their time together.
The former couple is expected to lodge details of their settlement in court next week (begs03Nov13), according to the New York Post.
The divorce agreement will leave Kutcher free to focus on his latest project - on Wednesday (30Oct13), he was announced as a product engineer for Lenovo, the world's biggest PC manufacturer. He will help bosses at the China-based firm launch the company's Yoga lines of tablet devices.
Since splitting from Moore, Kutcher has been romancing his former That '70s Show co-star Mila Kunis, while 50-year-old Moore has been linked to director Julian Schnabel's art collector son Vito, and Lindsay Lohan's ex, restaurateur Harry Morton.
Getty/Andy SheppardHaving recently topped the U.K. charts and entered the U.S. Top 10 with their debut album Days Are Gone, Los Angeles siblings Haim certainly appear to have justified the hype that was showered upon their sun-soaked soft-rock sound at the beginning of the year. But in case you've been living under a rock over the past twelve months, here's a quick everything you need to know guide to Este, Danielle and Alaina.They've Always Kept It in the FamilyProof that the trio have always kept it in the family, the girls began their music career in a band named Rockinhaim with their father Mordechai on drums and their mother Donna on guitar.They Were Once Valli GirlsDanielle & Este also cut their teeth as part of The Valli Girls, an all girl-group inspired by the likes of Blondie and The Pretenders who appeared on the soundtracks to both The Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants and the 2005 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.Julian Casablancas was Their Unofficial MentorAfter inviting Danielle to perform percussion and guitar on his solo tour, The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas then became the band's unofficial mentor, advising them to take a break from playing live and instead concentrate on their songwriting.Este is a Musical ProdigyRenowned for her incredible bass-face performances, Este is also something of a musical prodigy having completed her five-year degree in Ethnomusicology at UCLA in just two years.They Won the BBC's Sound of 2013Pipping the likes of AlunaGeorge, Angel Haze and Laura Mvula to the post, Haim were crowned the winners of the BBC's prestigious industry poll earlier this year to join such illustrious company as Adele, Florence + The Machine and Ellie Goulding.They Like CollaboratingAs well as hooking up with Jessie Ware on their own record, various members have also popped up on tracks this year by Major Lazer ("You're No Good"), Kid Cudi ("Red Eye") and Portugal. The Man ("Purple Yellow Red & Blue")Este Almost Died at GlastonburyDiabetic Este claimed that she feared she was going to die in front of a live audience after she was forced to abandon their first set at this year's Glastonbury when her blood sugar levels ran dangerously low.David Cameron is a FanDavid Cameron tweeted how he was looking forward to listening to their album after the trio dedicated a performance of "The Wire" to the Prime Minister when they both appeared on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show.