Singer and U.S. TV host Kathie Lee Gifford has accused embattled comedian/actor Bill Cosby of once trying to kiss her while on tour together. The Today show presenter served as Cosby's back-up dancer on one of his comedy tours in the 1970s, early on in her career, and reveals they grew so close, the married funnyman tried to make a pass at her.
She turned down his advances and insists he didn't try to take it any further.
She says, "I was an opening act for Bill for so many years. I went all over the country with him. Saw lots and lots of people coming and going everywhere. He is kind, he is capable of great kindness, he is capable of great generosity...
"I, like so many other Americans don't want these stories to be true. There was, and I will admit, towards the very, very end of the last time I saw him, he did try to kiss me. I said, 'No, Bill, we're friends.' He goes, 'OK, goodnight,' and I said, 'Goodnight,' and I went into my room and he went into his room."
Gifford's revelation emerges after more than 20 women, including former models Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson, went public with sexual assault allegations against Cosby, and although she is refusing to pass judgement over the claims, she is adamant she never witnessed any indecent behaviour.
She continues, "I'm not saying the women's allegations are not true, I'm just saying I never personally saw it with my own two eyes.
"I do know I got a chill (when I heard the accusations) because every night when we'd come off stage and Bill would be going on stage, they would make three cappuccinos for all three of us and I always thought it was such a kindness and so sweet and now you see Beverly Johnson saying he made a cappuccino (and allegedly drugged her). I just don't want it to be true, but I'm not saying that the women are liars. For my own personal experience, it didn't happen..."
Her comments come a day after Cosby's wife of 50 years, Camille, released a statement voicing her support for her man.
The couple's daughter, Evin, has since released her own statement of support to U.S. news show Access Hollywood on Tuesday (16Dec14). The message reads: "He is the FATHER you thought you knew. The Cosby Show was my today's tv reality show. Thank you. That's all I would like to say."
She also took to Facebook.com to blast the allegations, writing, "Rape is a serious allegation and it is suppose to be taken VERY seriously but so is Falsely accusing someone. When someone rapes a person they go to prison.
"THAT should also happen to the person that has wrongfully accused an innocent victim.They are not ONLY destroying innocent people's life they are ALSO making it hard for the MEN and Women to find justice when they have been raped."
Rolling Stones star Keith Richards has paid tribute to the band's late saxophonist Bobby Keys in a touching new magazine interview. Insisting the musician, who died on Tuesday (02Dec14), was "built for fun", the guitar great recalled working with Keys in the studio during a chat with Rolling Stone this week (ends05Dec14).
Richards remembers, "When we were making Exile on Main Street in France, we were there for several months, and I had a good old speedboat. In the afternoons, before we went down the basement to record, we'd sort of zoom around, creating mayhem from Monte Carlo to Cannes. Bobby also bought a huge motorcycle, which he used to roar around the hills and pick up a few girlfriends. He'd always come back with a different chick on the back. He was that kind of guy.
"He was the epitome of the rock & roll sax-playing man. He used to tell me about listening to Buddy Holly rehearse in his garage just down the road from his house. That's one of the reasons he wanted to get into music. That's pretty early rock & roll, so he was right in there at the very beginning. He was playing on the road by the time he was 15. He was a piece of history in himself, and had a deep knowledge of it.
"When we brought Bobby in, we were listening to the great soul bands of the 60s. We wanted to give the band a bigger sound and were influenced by all of the beautiful R&B records with the Memphis horns... so adding saxes seemed quite natural to us...
"When he cut Live With Me, his first record with us, I immediately thought of great players like Plas Johnson or Lee Allen, who played for Little Richard and Fats Domino. He had that same Southern feel on the way he played. I guess that's not too astounding, since he does come from Texas. He never let anybody forget he was from Texas."
He adds, "Bobby and I were on the road together for about two years before we found out that we were actually born within hours of each other. I think we had a passport check somewhere in Europe, so we started to read our passports to each other: '18th of December, 1943, get out of here!' We still never figured out who was older.
"We went on a lot of cruises together. It was nuts, you know. Bobby, in those days, was very large on the stimulants... and he always had an incredible list of drinks.
"Once in the Playboy mansion, we hung out until the bathroom went down. We were smoking and forgot where we were putting the ashes: 'Bobby, is it getting a bit smoky in here?' Suddenly, the drapes are smouldering. I'm going, 'Oh, Hugh Hefner's gonna love this!"
Richards concludes, "He was just a barrel of laughs to be around. I very rarely saw him down, and if I did, it was usually about a young lady who dumped him or something. And he soon got over that. He probably wouldn't want us to be too solemn right now. Basically when it's all said and done, I'm looking upon this now as a celebration of life rather than a memorial for his death. He'd like a big wake.
"It's a sad thing, but not totally unexpected. I've been speaking to him for the last couple of weeks and he was still laughing, but he was getting weak. I just wanted to cheer him up."
The Stones released a collective statement after hearing of Keys' passing. It read: "The Rolling Stones are devastated by the loss of their very dear friend and legendary saxophone player, Bobby Keys. Bobby made a unique musical contribution to the band since the 1960s. He will be greatly missed."
Actor Jamie Foxx partied with politicians on Saturday night (16Aug14) by inviting former presidential candidate John Mccain and New Jersey governor Chris Christie to join him onstage for a dance at a star-studded fundraiser. The Ray star was a guest at the annual Apollo in the Hamptons bash and he made an extra special effort to get the party swinging.
He took to the stage and invited Christie to join him for a dance, before Senator McCain got up to join in, swiftly followed by Sir Paul McCartney and director Spike Lee.
After the stunt, Foxx told New York Post gossip column Page Six, "Its always the ones you don't expect. Republicans love to dance - in the Hamptons."
Other guests at the event, organised by business magnate Ron Perelman, included Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Barbra Streisand, Roger Waters, Anjelica Huston, and Don Johnson.
The audience enjoyed performances by Pharrell Williams, Sting, Gladys Knight, and Jon Bon Jovi at the fundraiser, which netted $4 million (£2.4 million) for development projects at New York's famous Apollo Theatre.
At the close of the evening, Nicholson told Page Six, "That was one hell of a night. Christie really held his own. I told him, as he walked back to his seat, 'Governor, you can't let New Jersey down.'"
Former Lostprophets stars would have killed frontman Ian Watkins if they had realised he was a child molester. Watkins, 36, was convicted of a catalogue of sickening abuse last year (13), including the attempted rape of a baby, and he was sentenced to 35 years behind bars for his crimes.
His bandmates initially hoped the allegations were "all a mistake", but they were horrified when Watkins pleaded guilty, and now they have insisted they would have reacted violently if they had known about the singer's abuse before he was arrested.
Guitarist Lee Gaze tells BBC Newsbeat, "How could you know? How would you know? Who would disclose such a thing to five people who have eight children? You just wouldn't because they would be killed on the spot."
He went on to add that the rest of the band had grown so distant from Watkins that he believes they would have split up regardless of the abuse case, adding, "He was doing his own thing. That just grew worse over the years, the more he was using drugs. He could be in the same city as me and I wouldn't hang out with him, even if we weren't playing shows."
Lostprophets split in the aftermath of Watkins' arrest, and the five remaining bandmates - Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson - formed a new group, No Devotion.
Former Lostprophets star Stuart Richardson smashed a platinum record to pieces in anger at frontman Ian Watkins' sickening child sex offences. Watkins was convicted of a number of shocking abuse charges, including the attempted rape of a baby, last year (13). He was sentenced to 35 years behind bars and the band, which formed in Wales in 1997, split shortly after.
Now members Richardson and Lee Gaze have spoken out about their shock and disgust for their disgraced ex-bandmate and the music they made with him.
Speaking to Britain's The Guardian, bassist Richardson explained how he believes their music has been tarnished by Watkins' actions, and he recently vented his fury by smashing an award he received for sales of their hit third album Liberation Transmission.
He says, "I don't know how his badness can't cancel out our music. We had platinum records in our houses, awards. I smashed Liberation Transmission the other day. The rest are in the garage and they'll probably never come out again."
Glaze adds that he will never be able to listen to their material from that time again: "I can't. It's tainted, because he was the voice of the band, and it was his lyrics."
They also reveal how they confronted Watkins in 2012 when his drug taking got out of hand. Glaze adds, "We had an intervention with him to get him off coke, and he denied he was doing it, and then a year later he was addicted to crystal meth. The gigs in 2012 were awful - on tour, he was barely functioning; he'd miss cues for songs and wasn't interacting with (the) audience. He really didn't spend much time with us. I'm quite a loner, anyway, and we weren't close... We were operating on a fractured basis, where we would only get together to do our job."
The pair has since formed a new band, Lost Devotion, with other ex-Lostprophets rockers Mike Lewis, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson. Former Thursday star Geoff Rickly is acting as frontman.
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Whether you loved the way it neatly wrapped things up or hated the cheesy fairy tale ending it gave the series, the epilogue to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been, for the most part, the only real glimpse that fans got at the lives of Harry, Ron, and Hermione after their time at Hogwarts concluded. Though many have been able to get their fix of the Wizarding World through the snippets that J.K. Rowling has posted on Pottermore, she's been silent on the fate of the Golden Trio and the rest of Dumbledore's Army... until Tuesday morning, that is. In honor of the Quidditch World Cup — which conveniently coincides with the muggle world's World Cup — the author has released a series of short stories and mock articles about the game, its history, and now its famous spectators.
But while the always reliable Rita Skeeter has filled us in on what Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny have been up to in the years since school (working as an Auror, helping George run Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, working up the ranks in the Ministry, and becoming a Quidditch reporter, respectively), there are still so many more characters whose fates were not addressed. In fact, Rita's article brings up more questions than answers, since everything it reveals leaves us wanting to know more about the Wizarding World. On the off chance that Rowling is looking for inspiration for another Pottermore update, we'd recommend she start by tackling some of these burning questions:
Where’s Draco Malfoy? We don’t expect Draco to be hanging out with Dumbledore’s Army any more now than he did when they were all at Hogwarts, but does Rowling really expect us to believe that he would pass up any opportunity to swan around a VIP area and brag about his success, real or exaggerated? Surely, if everyone were gathering at the World Cup, he would be there, flanked by Crabbe and Goyle and ready to start a fight, just as he always was. Draco Malfoy never shies away from a potential spotlight.
Did Lee Jordan Ever Make It as a Quidditch Announcer? Perhaps the greatest sports announcers – real or fictional – of all time, Lee Jordan had a gift for adding color and sass to even the most boring of calls, and even if Professor McGonagall didn’t appreciate his admittedly biased reporting, readers certainly did. It’s hard to imagine a career that suits the Weasley twins’ former partner-in-crime better.
How Does Rita Have Trouble Telling the Weasley Boys Apart? They might all have red hair, freckles and hand-me-down clothes, but all of the Weasley boys are distinct entities, and if she’s already got Ron and Bill down, it shouldn’t be too difficult for her to figure out the other three. Here’s a cheat sheet: if he looks self-important, slightly nerdy, and wears glasses, it’s Percy; if he’s ruggedly handsome and desert-worn, it’s Charlie, and if he has one ear, is constantly joking around and seems like there should be another one of him standing right there, it’s George.
Has Luna Mellowed Out Since School? Rita seems intrigued by Luna’s World Cup outfit, but we’re a little disappointed by it. What happened to the elaborate roaring lion’s head she broke out for a Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match in the sixth book? Where are her radish earrings or her Spectrespecs or her colorful shoes? This is the tamest Luna costume we’ve seen, and it makes us a bit worried that she’s lost some of her unique, spacey edge.
What Did Hannah Abbott Do Before She Married Neville? The epilogue revealed a bit about what the other potential Boy Who Lived has been up to since school has ended, but we know next to nothing about the new Mrs. Longbottom. What were her school years like? What did she get her OWLs in? How did she and Neville meet and fall in love? How long have they been married? What did she do for work before deciding to become a Healer and move to Hogwarts with Neville? Forget the Marauders; we want to hear a lot more about Neville and Hannah.
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Where’s Angelina Johnson? There’s no way that the former Gryffindor Captain would let her husband George Weasley attend the Quidditch World Cup without her. After all, this is the one person who was as obsessed with the sport as Oliver Wood, who captained the team with a drive and determination that would have made even her predecessor request a day off. The only possibly explanation, therefore, is that she’s a Chaser on the English National Team and was getting ready for the match at the time Rita observed her friends.
Is Hagrid Still Working at Hogwarts? That mention of Neville and Hannah hoping to move to the school’s grounds reminded us of the only non-dormitory living quarters we’ve seen: Hagrid’s hut. So, naturally, we’re curious as to what the Wizarding World’s foremost foster parent to dangerous animals is up to now. Is he still working as the Keeper of the Keys and Grounds? Did he and Madame Maxime ever manage to work things out? Did he ever get his pet dragon? For the sake of everyone else on the Hogwarts grounds, we’re hoping the answer to that last one is still “no.”
Is Professor McGonagall Still Headmaster? She was, after all, the natural successor to Dumbledore. And more importantly, is she still the toughest, kindest, smartest, most sensible and admirable woman in the Wizarding World? Actually, we can just answer that one ourselves. She definitely is.
Who’s the Current Minister of Magic? We know that the Department of Magical Transportation falls under Percy’s jurisdiction, and that Hermione is, as expected, quickly working her way up the ranks at the Ministry, and is currently the Deputy Head of Magical Law Enforcement. But what we don’t know is who Hermione would potentially be outsing as Minister of Magic, should she ascend to the position. Last we heard, it was Kingsley Shacklebolt, but knowing the Wizarding World as well as we do, it’s entirely possible that power has changed hands since then.
Who Is Still Hiring Rita Skeeter as a Writer? Was the Daily Prophet so desperate for subscriptions that they kept her on? Or does the Wizarding World have its own version of TMZ, where Rita can write and publish all of the gossip her QuickQuotesQuill can possibly come up with? Is there a publication out there that could keep up with the sheer number of slander lawsuits she’s probably had filed against her?
Charlie Weasley Is Basically the Wizarding World’s Equivalent of George Clooney, Right? Handsome bachelor, more focused on his glamorous job than his love life, unlikely to settle down any time soon, but making people swoon everywhere he goes? All Charlie needs is a villa in Italy, and they’d be the exact same person.
The former stars of defunct Welsh rock group Lostprophets have returned to the spotlight as No Devotion to release a new single on Tuesday (01Jul14). The Streets of Nowhere hitmakers split in October (13) shortly before their frontman Ian Watkins pleaded guilty to a string of sickening sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby.
The singer was jailed for 35 years, and his former bandmates - Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson - have gone on to form a new group without him.
They returned as No Devotion, fronted by former Thursday star Geoff Rickly, and released their debut single, Stay, on Tuesday. They plan to head out on tour later this month (Jul14).
Proving that there’s nothing Hollywood won’t reboot if given then chance, a new Scooby Doo movie is reportedly in the works at Warner Bros. According to Variety, the studio is looking to send Scooby, Shaggy, and the gang on another spooky adventure, which will be written by Randall Green. The news comes just a year after Warner Bros. also announced plans for an animated Scooby Doo movie, which is reportedly still on track. Though the last live-action Mystery Gang outings, 2002’s Scooby Doo and its sequel Monsters Unleashed, did well commercially, they weren’t received well by critics and fans of the series, which is why it’s surprising that Warner Bros. would be so intent at taking a third shot at big-screen adventure. After all, the live-action Scooby Doo’s were only slightly better than Yogi Bear. There are plenty of other great classic Hanna-Barbera properties that would make for great films, so why does Scooby get a third shot at big screen success? Think about all of the possibilities that are open…
Wacky Races Concept: Think The Lego Movie meets Speed Racer, with a touch of Mega Mind thrown in. Plot: Set at the Wacky Races Grand Prix, a sprawling, dangerous race that spans three days and covers a variety of terrains, the film charts the highs and lows of all your favorite racers, from Penelope Pitstop to the Ant Hill Mob to the Gruesome Twosome, and sees Dick Dastardly’s desperate attempts to finally experience the glory for himself. Starring: Charlie Day as Dick Dastardly, Isla Fisher as Penelope Pitstop, Bill Hader as Clyde the leader of the Ant Hill Mob, Amy Poheler as the Red Max, and Tom Hanks as the Narrator. Directed By: Edgar Wright.
Inch High, Private Eye Concept: The Maltese Falcon meets Osmosis Jones.Plot: The city is being terrorized by a robber who keeps stealing priceless works of art and jewels from museums and homes. The police are understaffed, and the detectives are at their wits’ ends, and the case has reached a dead end. Then, Mrs. Gotrocks hires Inch High, Private Eye, the most brilliant and tortured detective around to look into the case. But she might not like what he finds… Casting: Casey Affleck as Inch High, Kate Mara as Lori, Josh Brolin as Gator, Tommy Lee Jones as Mr. Finkerton and June Squibb as Mrs. Gotrocks. Directed By: The Coen Brothers.
Hong Kong Phooey Concept: Think 22 Jump Street, but sillier. Plot: Penry Pooch has always wanted to be a cop, but his enthusiasm for the job doesn’t quite balance out his complete incompetence. After failing out of the police academy, he takes a job working as a janitor under the watchful eye of the constantly frustrated Sergeant. One night, when he’s the only one at the precinct, he stops and apprehends a robber, which inspires him to take up crime fighting as Hong Kong Phooey. Luckily, he’s got Spot to help him out of whatever jams he finds himself in. Casting: Will Arnett as Penry, Keith David as Sarge, Anna Kendrick as Rosemary, the telephone operator, and Nick Frost as Spot. Directed By: Shane Black.
The Jetsons Concept: August: Osage County in space. Plot: George Jetson is an ordinary man, living an ordinary life. He loves his family, endures his job and spends his time relaxing with his dog, Astro. But when he catches his wife having an affair with his boss, his world comes crashing down around him, and he’s forced to re-evaluate everything he knew about his life, and decide whether to move forward or move on. Starring: Joaquin Phoenix as George, Sandra Bullock as Jane, Hailee Steinfeld as Judy, and Steve Buscemi as Mr. Spacely, with Art Parksinson as Elroy and Scarlett Johansson as Rosie. Directed By: Spike Jonze.
JabberJaw Concept: Almost Famous meets Jaws, with a dash of Star Trek .Plot: The Neptunes were on their way to becoming the hottest rock band under the seas, until their drummer abruptly left. Then, they discovered Jabberjaw, a 15-foot-tall shark with the skills of Keith Moon, and it seemed like they had it made. But the path to rock stardom is paved with dangers and it’s time for the Neptunes to face them. Starring: Chris Pratt as Jabberjaw, Adam Levine as Clamhead, Malin Ackerman as Bubbles, Zoe Kravitz as Shelly, and Oscar Isaac as Biff. Directed By: John Carney.
Quick Draw McGraw Concept: A better homage to Blazing Saddles than A Million Ways to Die in the West .Plot: The Wild West is a dangerous place, thanks to outlaws, frequent dueling and a lack of modern medicine, but one man is there to keep order in place, and uphold justice where ever he goes… Sherrif Quick Draw McGraw. Unfortunately, he might have finally met his match when the deadliest outlaw in the west rides into his town. Starring: Damon Wayans Jr. as Quick Draw McGraw and Fred Armisen as Baba Looey.Directed By: Mel Brooks, in an ideal world.
Space Ghost Concept: It’s basically Guardians of the Galaxy, but with a monkey instead of a raccoon. Plot: After Zorak, Space Ghosts’ nemesis, escapes from prison, he recruits Black Widow (no, not that Black Widow) and Brak and Sisto in order to form a league of villains that will take over the galaxy and allow chaos to reign, but in order to do so, they need a gauntlet of power, one that only Space Ghost’s sidekick Jace possesses. Can Space Ghost and Jan rescue him and save the universe before it’s too late? Starring: Channing Tatum as Space Ghost, Emma Stone as Jan, Miles Teller as Jace, Idris Elba as Zorak, Dwayne Johnson as Brak, Jason Statham as Sisto, and Nicole Beharie as Black Widow (see, told you she was different!).Directed By: Joss Whedon, of course.
Top Cat Concept: Dancing on the Edge meets GoodFellas.Plot: Set in the 1940s, a group of rag-tag musicians are groomed to become a proper jazz sensation. But in order to do so, they’ll have to overcome prejudice, corrupt managers, in-fighting, and substance abuse and stick by each other through everything. Starring: Anthony Mackie as TC, Lamorne Morris as Brain, Albert Tsai as Choo-Choo, Michael B. Jordan as Fancy-Fancy, Josh Gad as Benny the Ball, Ruth Negga as Trixie, and Sean Penn as Officer Dibble.Directed By: Martin Scorsese.
You're welcome, Hollywood.
Paramount via Everett Collection
Actor Dylan Baker has been tapped to play former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation director J. Edgar Hoover in the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma.
The Spider-Man 2 star will portray the government official who famously wiretapped the civil rights leader's office in a failed bid to prove he was a part of the Communist party, according to Deadline.com.
Baker will join a cast that includes David Oyelowo as King, Cuba Gooding, Jr. as American civil rights lawyer Fred Gray, British actor Tom Wilkinson as former U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson and Tim Roth, who will portray controversial U.S. governor George Wallace.
Oprah Winfrey, who will play civil rights protester Annie Lee Cooper in the film, and Brad Pitt are among the producers of the project.
TV titan Oprah Winfrey has joined the cast of her Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma. Winfrey is producing the film alongside Brad Pitt and now she is set to portray civil rights protester Annie Lee Cooper, an elderly woman who tried to register to vote and was denied by a sheriff.
The movie will reunite the 60 year old with her Lee Daniels' The Butler co-star David Oyelowo, who will play King, while Cuba Gooding, Jr. will star as American civil rights lawyer Fred Gray, British actor Tom Wilkinson has signed on to play former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Tim Roth will portray controversial U.S. governor George Wallace.