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Director Roman Polanski has reportedly appealed to Polish authorities to grant him permission to return to his native country to make a movie without the threat of extradition to the U.S., where he remains a fugitive on sex charges dating back to the 1970s.
The reclusive Chinatown filmmaker fled America for Europe more than 30 years ago on the eve of his sentencing for having unlawful sex with a minor, to which he had pleaded guilty. He has lived in France for the past few decades, but his freedom was threatened in 2009 when he was arrested in Switzerland and threatened with extradition back to the U.S. He was eventually released and allowed to return to France.
Now Polanski is seeking a special pardon from Polish officials, who have an extradition treaty in place with the U.S., to protect him from any legal action so that he can shoot a prospective new film about 19th century French army officer Alfred Dreyfus in the country.
His Polish lawyer, Jerzy Stachowicz, tells Reuters, "Roman Polanski is considering filming in Poland about (sic) the Dreyfus Affair."
His producer pal Robert Benmussa reveals an official decision about the project has yet to be made, adding, "We have to be sure that filming will not be interrupted for legal reasons."
Dreyfus, an artillery officer of Jewish heritage, was convicted of treason in 1894, but his case caused an uproar among members of the French society amid allegations of anti-Semitism, and he was subsequently exonerated.
Actress Sanaa Lathan's stalker has been sentenced to probation and psychiatric treatment after pleading guilty to criminal trespassing. Shawn Caples was arrested earlier this month (Jun14) after contractors working on The Best Man Holiday star's house found him asleep in her laundry room.
Lathan obtained a restraining order after he returned to her home twice.
On Thursday (26Jun14), Caples was ordered to stay away from the 42 year old for three years, according to TMZ.com.
He was also placed on three years probation and has to undergo psychiatric counselling for one year.
Rapper French Montana has pleaded guilty to driving without a license. The hip hop star was pulled over in New York on 1 February (14) and charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, according to the New York Post.
On Thursday (26Jun14), Montana, real name Karim Kharbouch, appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court, where he was ordered to pay a $588 (£368) fine by 26 August (14), according to TMZ.com.
This isn't the first run in with the law for the 29 year old - on 5 February (14), he was arrested for a five-year-old charge of driving on a suspended license.
British rapper Professor Green has swapped his car for the train following his recent driving ban, but he doesn't enjoy mixing with the public on London's subway system. The Read All About It hitmaker, real name Stephen Manderson, was banned from the roads for a year in March (14) after he pleaded guilty to a drink-driving charge.
Green is now using the London Underground and the Docklands Light Railway to get around the capital, but he is not happy about being surrounded by strangers during his travels.
He tells Britain's The Sun, "I had to get an Oyster card (London travel card). It's about nine f**king quid (pounds) a day. Since when?... I get the Docklands Light Railway, and people never think it's me. What I miss, apart from my car, is being away from other people. I don't really like other people."
Embattled Chris Brown is heading back to court after rejecting a plea deal in his 2013 assault case. The singer is accused of beating up 20-year-old Patrick Adams outside a Washington, D.C. hotel and now he's heading to trial, insisting he is innocent of all charges.
Brown was in court on Wednesday (25Jun14), when he was offered a deal, but his lawyer Mark Geragos and the prosecutor could not agree on the details of the alleged assault.
The deal would have kept Brown out of jail, but now he could be back behind bars if he's found guilty.
The Kiss Kiss singer was released from prison on 2 June (14), over two months after he was incarcerated for violating his probation by getting kicked out of a court-ordered rehab programme for bad behaviour in March (14).
He was handed an additional four-month term in early May (14) after admitting to breaking the terms of his probation, served up during his 2009 Rihanna assault trial.
A new trial date has been set for September (14), reports TMZ.com.
Brown's bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, has already been convicted of the assault.
British actress Billie Piper will star in a new London play inspired by the U.K. phone-hacking scandal. The satirical drama, titled Great Britain, focuses on the country's press and politics, drawing inspiration from high-profile stories such as the furore over now-defunct tabloid the News of The World, as well as a public battle over politicians' expenses and the disappearance of British youngster Madeleine McCann in 2007.
Piper plays Paige Britain, a young news editor at a tabloid struggling to increase readership.
However, the play's director, Sir Nicholas Hytner, is adamant the character is not based on Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of British newspapers The Sun and the News of the World, who was sensationally cleared of all charges relating to the phone-hacking scandal in court in London on Tuesday (24Jun14).
He says, "She (the character) is not an editor. She is not based on Rebekah Brooks. There is no character in this play that is identifiable as any living protagonist... As satire always is, it is an exaggeration and grotesque distortion of current events. But I hope it throws a critical light on current events through a fictional treatment of them."
Hytner chose to wait until the phone hacking trial was over before announcing the play, which will open on Monday (30Jun14) at the National Theatre's Lyttelton venue. It will run until 23 August (14).
Brooks walked free from court in London on Tuesday following the lengthy trial. Another former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, was found guilty on a charge of conspiracy to intercept communications.
The jury was unable to reach a majority verdict on two further charges against Coulson on Wednesday (25Jun14) and was discharged.
Publishing tycoon Rupert Murdoch is wanted for questioning by British police as part of an inquiry into alleged criminal activity at his newspapers. The news comes after Murdoch's former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was found guilty on a charge of conspiracy to intercept communications at the Old Bailey in London on Tuesday (24Jun14).
Rebekah Brooks, the ex-News International chief executive and former editor of Murdoch's British newspapers The Sun and the News of the World, was cleared of all charges relating to the sensational phone-hacking trial.
According to reports, Murdoch was contacted by officers at Scotland Yard last year (13) but they agreed to his lawyer's request to wait until the trial was over to quiz the media mogul.
He is expected to be questioned "under caution" as part of their probe into alleged criminal activities at his British newspapers, and his son James, who was executive chairman of News International in the U.K., may also be interviewed.
In 2011, Murdoch and his son attended a British Parliament inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal, during which the tycoon was attacked by an interloper wielding a cream pie.
Stars including Hugh Grant, Jude Law, Sienna Miller and Steve Coogan were among the high-profile victims of the News of the World's hacking scandal. The publication was closed by Murdoch in 2011.
A jury is still deliberating further charges against Coulson, who denies allegations of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.
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When The Lion King arrived in theaters 20 years ago, it helped cement Disney’s reputation as the premiere studio for animated films, entertained movie-goers both young and old with its catchy songs and brightly-colored characters, and taught a generation of children many valuable life lessons. We learned not to take life too seriously, that grubs taste like chicken, to avoid anywhere the light doesn’t reach, and that hyenas are not the brightest of creatures. But most importantly, The Lion King taught us all a great deal about death, and the emotional baggage that comes with it.
For most kids who grew up in the ‘90s, Mufasa’s death was the first traumatizing cinematic event we experienced. (And if you were fortunate, it was also the first time that you encountered death in any form.) No matter how many times we watched the mighty king fall to his demise in a stampede of wildebeests, it never got easier. There are even some of us who still get teary-eyed watching Simba crying over the lifeless body of his father, barely able to understand why he wasn’t going to wake up.
In most of the cartoons and movies that we had seen until that point, the person hanging off the side of the cliff would be rescued in the nick of time. Mufasa’s death is one of the first times that we were forced to deal with the idea that the hero doesn’t always triumph. Mufasa is established as a good king, a noble character who cares for his family and his people, someone we look up to and admire. Watching him die showed us that terrible things can often happen to noble people, and that being good isn’t always enough to guarantee us a happy ending. His death is unfair – both because of his role as the hero and the fact that he’s leaving his son alone – as death usually is, and watching Simba plead with his father to wake up is the first time that most of us had to wrestle with that notion.
But The Lion King didn’t just introduce us to the notion of death; it also helped us reconcile the difficult, complicated emotions that come with the grieving process. Like Simba, we learned that death can bring up a host of complicated emotions, and that losing a loved one doesn’t just make you sad. You’ll feel angry, frustrated, guilty, burdened, but that it’s ultimately okay to feel those things. In fact, it’s important to feel those things. We watched Simba wrestle with his guilt over Mufasa’a death, and learn that it wasn’t his fault. We learned that losing a loved one can have a life-long impact, and can be difficult to reconcile, even years later.
These are all emotions and issues that adults face, and often struggle with, and here they were, presented in a children’s film for kids to digest and learn from. The Lion King doesn’t sugar coat these issues or talk down to its audience, either. It simply presents us with a situation that all of us are going to have to endure at some point in our lives, and shows us the reality of what that experience is like. “It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be complicated and messy, but you will make it through this,” is what The Lion King says about death, “You’re stronger than you realize, and you can handle this.” That’s an important message for both kids and adults, and The Lion King presents it in a simple, matter-of-fact way. Death is an important part of the circle of life, and in real life, we’re going to be expected to carry on, to keep living and learning and changing in the same way that Simba does after his father dies. The Lion King understands that, and taught us kids that we will have to learn from it and grow in order to be the people that we want to be. Life and death aren’t easy, but with a little strength, determination and some good friends to help us through, we can make it through anything that gets thrown our way.
It’s like Rafiki said: “The past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it.“ That’s the lesson the film wants to impart, and it’s one that has stayed with us for our whole lives. The Lion King may have been the first time that many of us were forced to confront the idea of death, but it was also the first time we were given the knowledge to face up to that idea, and overcome the hardships it brings with it. And ultimately, that’s worth more than all of the catchy songs and wise-cracking sidekicks in Disney’s arsenal.
Former newspaper boss Rebekah Brooks has been sensationally cleared of all charges relating to the high-profile phone-hacking trial in London. The ex-News International chief executive, and former editor of Britain's The Sun and News of the World newspapers, was found not guilty of four charges, including conspiracy to intercept communications, perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.
Meanwhile, Andy Coulson, another former editor of now-defunct tabloid News of the World, was found guilty on a charge of conspiracy to intercept communications.
Brooks' husband Charlie Brooks was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice, while her personal assistant Cheryl Carter was also cleared of the same charge.
News International's former head of security Mark Hanna was cleared of concealing computers, while the News of the World's former managing editor Stuart Kuttner was found not guilty of conspiracy to intercept communications.
The jury is still deliberating two further charges against Coulson and another against the News of the World's former royal editor Clive Goodman.
Stars including Hugh Grant, Jude Law, Sienna Miller and Steve Coogan were among the high-profile victims of the News of the World's hacking scandal. The publication was closed by Rupert Murdoch in 2011.
U.S. soccer star Hope Solo has been released from jail after pleading not guilty to beating up her teenage nephew and sister at a weekend (20-22Jun14) party. The Team USA goalkeeper appeared in front of a Seattle, Washington courtroom on Monday (23Jun14), when she was ordered to stay away from both alleged victims.
She is due back in court in August (14).
Her attorney has issued a statement to TMZ.com insisting his client is not guilty of any crime, adding, "In fact, our investigation reveals that Hope was assaulted and injured during this unfortunate incident."