Disgraced glam rocker Gary Glitter struggled to hear what the judge overseeing his child sex case had to say on Wednesday (25Jun14) as he appeared in a London court for a preliminary hearing. The reclusive British star, real name Paul Gadd, has been charged with six counts of indecent assault, one count of "administering a drug or other thing in order to facilitate sexual intercourse", and one of sexual intercourse with a girl under 13. The alleged offences date back to between 1977 and 1980.
During Wednesday's court date, Glitter, 70, was asked to confirm his name as he sat in the dock at Southwark Crown Court, but he seemed to suffer a problem with his hearing aid, prompting Judge Alistair McCreath to ask, "Mr. Gadd, can you hear me now?".
The singer, who is hard of hearing, responded, stating, "I'm sorry, I can't", causing McCreath to reply, "It sounded like you just did."
Despite the exchange, McCreath allowed the rocker to leave the dock and sit with his lawyer, and he spent the rest of the hearing cupping his ears with his hands to help him pay attention to the proceedings, reports the BBC.
The judge allowed Glitter to remain free on bail until a plea and case management hearing on 20 August (14).
Reclusive rock star Gary Glitter returned to the spotlight on Thursday (19Jun14) as he appeared in court to face child sex charges. The glam rock icon, who has been charged with eight sex assaults on two girls as young as 12, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London under his real name Paul Gadd.
He is facing six counts of indecent assault, one count of "administering a drug or other thing in order to facilitate sexual intercourse", and one of sexual intercourse with a girl under 13. The alleged offences date from between 1977 and 1980.
During the brief hearing, Gadd spoke only to confirm his name and personal details, and when the deputy chief magistrate questioned why the veteran star was wearing sunglasses in court, his defence attorney Christopher Ware insisted his client has a "medical condition".
Gadd was released on bail and will appear at Southwark Crown Court in London on 3 July (14).
Glam rock icon Gary Glitter has been charged with eight sex assaults on girls as young as 12. The Rock and Roll Part II hitmaker is accused of abusing two females between 1977 and 1980, and faces a claim that one alleged victim was drugged by the star.
He has been charged with six counts of indecent assault, one count of "administering a drug or other thing in order to facilitate sexual intercourse", and one of sexual intercourse with a girl under 13.
Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, is due at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on 19 June (14).
The genesis of Universal's 47 Ronin is almost as tragic as the actual history that the movie is culling from. As the story goes, Universal saw the sprigs of talent sprouting from fresh faced director Carl Rinsch, whose previous experience was limited to just a couple of commercials and a nifty short film. The studio decided to ease the new director into feature filmmaking by cutting him what amounts to virtually a blank check, and giving him charge over a multi-national samurai fantasy epic. Almost impossibly, the film isn't a complete disaster. It's just a minor one.
47 Ronin follows the classic story of the titular team of warriors, a group of disgraced samurai who band together to seek revenge against a merciless warlord that betrayed and killed their master. But this isn't your grandfather's version of the story. 47 Ronin is an international affair, and it's covered with a veneer of Japanese mysticism and a thick coating of Hollywood lacquer, but east meets west rather uncomfortably, and it's mostly due to Keanu Reeves. Reeves' character is clearly crowbarred into the story that has no room for him, and it's plainly obvious where the seams of the story were stretched in order to patch him into the narrative. Reeves plays Kai, a half Japanese, half English orphan who is adopted by the samurai clan. His character serves no real purpose beyond being white, slicing things until they die, and playing the male lead of the most superfluous love story of the year. Rinsch simply can't make the inclusion of the character feel organic in any way, and "Kai" ends up feeling like a calculated studio move. It's a shame that the film spends so much time on Reeves when the real star is clearly Hiroyuki Sanada, who plays off the stoic samurai most believably among the rest of the cast.
It's also shame that with all the mysticism pumped into the story, there's no magic in the actual center of the film, the ronin themselves. The only personality trait a samurai is allowed to possess seems to be unerring stoicism, and between all 47 ronin, there are probably only three distinct samurai with any discernible character traits beyond an intense need to brood, and you'll probably only remember those three by the time the credits roll, only to promptly forget about them only a few hours later. Thankfully, Rinko Kikuchi's slinky and treacherous witch adds some much needed camp and personality to the mostly forgettable human characters.
And that's the issue with 47 Ronin. It's largely forgettable. When your film takes on a historical legend like the tale of the 47 ronin, a story that has been told and told again ad nauseum over the years, you really need to justify your own version. There are reels and reels of film dedicated to this story, and 47 Ronin doesn't manage to add anything significant to the canon. It promises to weld myth and history together, but does so clumsily, and while some of the action scenes are exciting, especially a particularly inspired set piece that involves the ronin noiselessly breaking into a heavily guarded fortress, the film is a bore when it's not clanking swords together.
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47 Ronin is a film with many stories. As much as it is a tale about the revenge of four dozen masterless samurai, it's also the tale of an inexperienced filmmaker swallowed up by the enormity of blockbuster filmmaking. Most of all though, It's proof that you shouldn't cram Keanu Reeves into a movie that doesn't really need Keanu Reeves. What you're left with is a dull and bloated samurai epic that has its moments, but feels largely unnecessary.
Shamed former pop star Gary Glitter has been rebailed until next year (14) following his arrest on suspicion of sex offences. The 69 year old, real name Paul Gadd, was arrested last October (12) by officers probing the abuse scandal sparked by late British entertainer Jimmy Savile.
Glitter was free on bail until the middle of December (13) while cops continue Operation Yewtree, an investigation into claims that Savile abused hundreds of youngsters throughout his long-running entertainment career, but he has now been rebailed until February (14).
Savile died in 2011.
BBC host Jimmy Savile (left) and pop star Gary Glitter
UPDATE: The BBC's top executive, George Entwistle, resigned late Saturday in the wake of the company's alleged mishandling of two sex-abuse scandals that have rocked the country.
As infamous Penn State predator Jerry Sandusky begins his 30- to 60-year sentence in a Camp Hill, Penn. prison, a similar scandal is making entertainment headlines across the pond.
It's a terrifying story, decades in the making, involving a popular TV host, a 1970s pop star and the world's largest broadcaster — the BBC.
On Sunday, former glam rock star Gary Glitter was arrested by London police investigating a wide-scale child sex abuse scandal.
Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, hit it big with his 1972 stadium anthem "Rock & Roll (Part 2)," which you can still hear today at most sporting events thanks to its catchy "Hey!" chorus. But in 2006, the musician spent several years in a Vietnamese prison after he was convicted of sexually abusing two preteen girls there.
British detectives now suspect his involvement in another sex abuse scandal surrounding his friend, once-beloved BBC TV host Jimmy Savile, who's been described as one of the worst sex offenders in recent history. (Although Glitter denies the allegations.)
For two decades, Savile hosted the popular show Top of the Pops and also — frighteningly — had his own kids' show called Jim'll Fix It.
Later in his life, the star, who died last year at 84, was accused of so many counts of child sex abuse that investigators now believe he victimized about 300 children and adolescents, often allegedly using his fame and the TV set premises to lure them.
WHAT DID HIS BBC BOSSES KNOW?
Now, in a year that's already swirled with one massive British media scandal (Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. hacking debacle), international media is shifting a critical eye to the BBC, one of the world's most respected news organizations, and what key executives really knew.
One reason people are starting to care this side of the Atlantic? In August, the New York Times named former BBC director general Mark Thompson its new Chief Executive with his first day slated as Nov. 12. And journalists are starting to seriously question his involvement in the Savile scandal.
So much so that even the NYT itself published an Op-Ed piece questioning his appointment. "Given the seriousness of sexual abuse allegations — look at what it did to Penn State — you would think that Thompson and his underlings would immediately want to get to the bottom of it," the writer charged.
For now, as police wrap up their investigation, the worlds of media and entertainment are left to wonder if the scandal could take down the news giant.
"The BBC's reputation is on the line," Chris Patten, the chairman of the BBC Trust, wrote in The Mail on Sunday newspaper. "[It] risks squandering public trust because one of its stars over three decades was apparently a sexual criminal ... and because others — BBC employees and hangers-on — may also have been involved."
[Photo credit: Wenn]
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NYCC offered a premiere of the pilot episode of MTV's Good Vibes, a “new kid in town/fish out of water” story created by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) about a chubby, nerdy New Jersey teenager moving to the model-ridden beaches of California. The pilot delivered a steady dose of witty dialogue (often vulgar, but usually clever) from its silly but likable characters. Although risqué, the series is never mean-spirited, and seems to value and care about its characters and their journeys to find themselves.
Along with the pilot came a panel that included Green, executive producers Tom Brady, Mike Clements and Brad Ableson, and voice actors Josh Gadd, Adam Brody, Alan Tudyk, Debi Mazer, and Olivia Thirlby.
Green opened the conversation by discussing his inspiration for the show: his desire was to tell a story about the “honesty of being a teenager and having a messed up social circle,” combining absurdity with heart. Brady elaborated that, in order to achieve this goal, they went on to acquire a team of writers that “had twisted, painful childhoods [and were] willing to write about them.”
The presentation premiered the pilot (watch it below), which revolves around awkward New Jersey teenager Mondo Brando's (Gadd) attempts to find his place in his new town in beachside California. The panel also discussed future episodes, including one wherein Mondo and his best friend Woodie (Brody) dress in drag to sneak into a Mammogram truck.
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One of Friday’s big attractions at NYCC was a panel dedicated to DC animation. The focal point of discussion at this panel—led by director Andrea Romano and animator/writer/producter Bruce Timm, with surprise appearances by Kevin Conway and Eliza Dushku—was the upcoming animated film Batman: Year One.
Attendees also got to watch the short film, Catwoman, with Dushku as the titular character as she takes down a lecherous mob boss after his hired goons are caught attempting to murder a cat for mysterious reasons. Timm called this short “ten minutes of sex and violence we didn’t get to do in Batman: Year One.”
Discussing their inspiration for making a film based on the Year One comic book, Timm said that it was “about [his] favorite comic book of all time,” due to its unprecedented “level of reality.”
Another fun aspect of the panel was a clip from the in-development Justice League: Doom short film, adapted from the “Power of Babel” comic by Mark Waid. The story surrounds Batman’s attempts to create a dossier that would serve as a useful means of taking down the Justice League were they ever to become corrupt. However, the dossier falls into the wrong hands, and as Timm puts it, “wackiness ensues.”
NYCC presented a Robot Chicken panel, hosted by creator and star Seth Green, co-creator Matt Senreich, writers Kevin Shinick, Douglas Goldstein, contributor and DC comics writer/producer Geoff Johns, and voice actors Clare Grant (Green’s wife) and—the most awesome surprise—Macaulay Culkin.
The panel was expectedly informal—the group denoted it the Silly Hat Club; each member was dressed accordingly. They discussed the upcoming DVD release on Oct. 25, which will “somehow” (as Seth put it) contain episodes not yet aired—those that will comprise the fifth season, which will premiere in Jan. 2012. The audience was treated to clip of the series’ 100th episode (it's on the DVD and part of the new season), which featured the titular chicken breaking free from the clutches of the demonic mad scientist in the opening credits and wreaking deadly havoc on a mass of unfortunate characters.
The panel also discussed two projects in the works: an animated Star Wars feature film, and DC comics homage episode on Robot Chicken.
But the real highlights of the panel were when things went a little “off book.” Provoked by an audience member to strike a “sexy pose,” Seth and Macaulay formed a pyramid of machismo around Seth’s poor wife. It all culminated when Macaulay took things one step further and gave Seth a long, slow, sensuous lick on his face. Macaulay Culkin, people. A man who (as Seth puts it) “can spend the next three years alone, never leaving his house, and still remain more relevant than anyone in this room.”
Finally, NYCC hosted a Comedy Central panel to celebrate the fifteenth season of South Park, dubbed “Year of the Fan.”
The presentation was filled with a lot of South Park fun, including outtakes from the recent special documentary 6 Days to Air, which illustrates the process behind the development of a South Park episode, as well as a South Park trivia competition and a raffle.
However, discussion of a feature film about the behind-the-scenes world of South Park was possibly the highlight of the event. The film will give fans insight into how creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone deal with their controversial series. Subject matter will include how they decide what to keep in and what to leave out, as well as how their decisions affect them and their show.
One of the big topics that will be looked at in the film is the issue surrounding their infamous “Muhammad” episodes—audience members will recall Parker’s and Stone’s choice to include a visual representation of the Islam deity in their episode “Super Best Friends.” A later group of episodes, “Cartoon Wars,” surrounded the controversy over depicting Muhammad in a visual medium. According to the panel, all of this will be discussed by Parker and Stone in the film.