Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg has hit back at critics who have suggested he does not deserve to be pardoned for a 1988 assault conviction, insisting the move is part of his rehabilitation. The Departed star was just 16 years old when he was jailed for 45 days for attacking two Vietnamese men, and he recently filed a petition asking officials in Massachusetts to wipe the felony charge from his record.
The pardon request has sparked outrage among a number of critics, including a woman who claims Wahlberg and his friends pelted her and her African-American schoolmates with rocks during a field trip in 1986, and retired Massachusetts prosecutor Judith Beals, who pursued that case against him.
Wahlberg has now hit back at those who are opposing his request, telling Britain's The Times newspaper that he is seeking the pardon for personal reasons rather than financial or professional gain.
He tells the publication, "It does bother me a bit that people say, 'Oh, now that he's a successful celebrity, he feels entitled to a clean slate.' This is my life... Hopefully I've done enough to be given a second chance and if not, it doesn't change how much work I'm going to put into what I'm doing (with work)..."
The actor goes on to reveal he felt huge relief when one of the victims in the assault case offered his forgiveness, adding, "Imagine the weight lifted off of my shoulders when this guy came out and said that he forgave me and that I wasn't responsible for his eye injury."
A woman who was injured by Mark Wahlberg as a schoolgirl is opposing an appeal to grant the actor a pardon for his assault conviction in the 1980s. The Hollywood star has filed a petition asking officials in Massachusetts to wipe a 1988 felony charge from his record, claiming he is a different person to who he was at 16 years old, when was jailed for 45 days for attacking two Vietnamese men.
Two years earlier in 1986, Wahlberg and a group of friends were slapped with a civil rights injunction for allegedly throwing rocks and yelling insults at a group of black school children during a field trip, and one of the girls, now 38, has urged officials to deny his request.
Kristyn Atwood, who claims she was scarred by a rock during the incident, tells the Associated Press, "I don't think he should get a pardon... I don't really care who he is. It doesn't make him any exception... For him to want to erase it I just think it's wrong... It... should be on his record forever."
Wahlberg's request has created a stir on both sides - thousands have signed a petition urging state officials to block it, while one of his Vietnamese victims, Johnny Trinh, publicly stated that he believes the actor "deserves another chance".
The prosecutor who worked on the rock case, Judith Beals, recently wrote an article for a local newspaper opposing the pardon.
A prosecutor who pursued a case against Mark Wahlberg as a teenager has urged officials in Massachusetts not to pardon the Hollywood actor for an assault conviction in the 1980s. The Departed star spent 45 days in jail for beating up two Vietnamese men in separate incidents in his hometown of Dorchester, Massachusetts when he was 16, and he has filed a petition with state officials in a bid to have the 1988 felony charge removed from his record.
However, former assistant attorney general Judith Beals, who pursued a case against Wahlberg two years before his assault conviction, has written an article for a local newspaper urging officials not to pardon the star.
Beals won a civil rights injunction against Wahlberg and several of his friends after they allegedly threw rocks and yelled insults at a group of black school children during a field trip in 1986, and she insists the actor failed to heed the "stern warning" over his behaviour.
She writes in a piece for the Boston Globe, "Sometimes, wiping the slate clean is not the right thing to do... I prosecuted Wahlberg for his actions 26 years ago when I was an assistant attorney general. Now, as a private citizen, I see no reason why that history should be erased from the public record through a pardon... (Although Wahlberg) was not criminally prosecuted for his actions (in 1986). Instead, we secured a civil rights injunction - a court order - that essentially amounted to a stern warning: if you do this again, you will go to prison...
"In the 13 years I served in the attorney general's office, I recall only one instance of a defendant violating a civil rights injunction - Mark Wahlberg... I'm glad Mark Wahlberg has turned his life around... But a public pardon is an extraordinary public act... On this, I am not sold... Wahlberg's status as a 'role model to troubled youth' would not be helped by a public pardon, as he claims. In fact, a formal public pardon would highlight all too clearly that if you are white and a movie star, a different standard applies. Is that really what Wahlberg wants?"
Celebrity lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan is facing a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) following an arrest on Friday night (21Nov14). The legal eagle, who is currently representing embattled actor Stephen Collins in his divorce case, was taken into custody after failing a field sobriety test following a traffic stop in West Hollywood.
Kaplan was booked on the charge and subsequently released, according to TMZ.com.
His other famous clients have included rapper Nas and Britney Spears' ex-husband Kevin Federline, who he represented during their divorce, which was finalised in 2007.
Cult British band Ride are reuniting for a tour, 18 years after they split. The Leave Them All Behind hitmakers broke up in 1996 after eight years together, and hopes of a reunion were never high because guitarist Andy Bell went on to join Oasis and then stuck with singer Liam Gallagher in his follow-up band Beady Eye.
However, the door to a Ride comeback was opened last month (Oct14) with the shock announcement that Beady Eye had split, and now Bell and his bandmates Mark Gardener, Laurence Colbert and Steve Queralt have announced a series of concerts next year (15).
Ride will perform three gigs in the U.K. in May (15) before heading to mainland Europe for shows in France, Spain and the Netherlands.
They will also play one-off concerts in New York and Toronto in June (15), before returning to Britain to round out the tour with a show at London's Field Day festival.
Facebook.com founder Mark Zuckerberg is leading the way in the fight against Ebola by donating $25 million (£15.6 million) to help U.S. medical experts find a cure for the deadly disease. The billionaire and his wife Priscilla Chan announced the grant for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control foundation on Tuesday (14Oct14), almost a week after Texan Thomas Eric Duncan died from the virus. He was America's first confirmed Ebola case and was diagnosed shortly after returning from a trip to West Africa, where more than 4,400 people have died from the condition since the outbreak began earlier this year (14).
A statement released by the couple reads: "We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn't spread further and become a long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio.
"We believe our grant is the quickest way to empower the CDC and the experts in this field to prevent this outcome."
Zuckerberg isn't the first celebrity to take action - British supermodel Naomi Campbell is organising charity fashion shows to help in the battle against Ebola, while Boardwalk Empire actor Jeffrey Wright has embarked on a global Twitter campaign called #CrushEbolaNow to raise awareness about the disease.
Funnyman Billy Crystal offered up his second TV tribute to a beloved icon in as many months on Thursday (25Sep14) when he honoured retiring baseball legend Derek Jeter.
The life-long New York Yankees fan's recorded video homage to the team's captain aired on U.S. sports news show SportsCenter on ESPN as Jeter was preparing to make his final appearance as a Yankee in the Big Apple.
Crystal said, "My grandmother said there are three things you can always count on: death, taxes and Derek Jeter. Last week was the final time I saw Derek play in person. He turned on a fastball and ripped it deep into the left field seats... He ran around the bases. This was the first home run he'd hit in the stadium this season. I wish I knew what was going on in his mind... He probably just took it in his stride and started thinking of his next at bat... I met with Derek after the game... 'Hey Willy', he said - it's a nickname my high school coach called me that Derek recalled me telling him about in 1998. We talked for a few minutes, like players. We smiled again and I sensed he wanted to go before I said something sad. We hugged goodbye and it was gone... We've had a very special relationship; (former Yankees manager) Joe Torre used to have me work out with the Yankees during the great years - even before World Series games... Derek saw that I could still play and he took infield (practice) with me many times. He never treated me like a celebrity. I was his teammate. To watch him on the field from the stands or on television is one thing; to experience the speed, the skill, the joy he had of playing on the field was like running with wild horses; it's exhilarating." The funnyman concluded, "It's almost over folks. Take a good last look. This is a baseball player."
Crystal can officially call himself a former team-mate of Jeter's after signing a one-day contract to mark his 60th birthday in March, 2008. The comedian batted for the Yankees in a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Baseball superstar Jeter's final regular season game ever will come on Sunday (28Sep14) when the Yankees complete a three-game series in Boston, Massachusetts against longtime rivals the Red Sox.
The sporting tribute came a month after Crystal delivered a touching send-off to late pal Robin Williams at the Emmy Awards.
Given the success of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, it was a no-brainer for CBS to extend the franchise to New Orleans in a new series debuting this fall. Check out where all three NCIS shows are filming right now.
NCIS, which recently celebrated its 250th episode, returns for a 12th season on Sept. 23.
Today, the show is filming scenes for for the upcoming season at Valencia Studios in Valencia, CA which has served as their home base since 2003.
NCIS: Los Angeles
NCIS: L.A. is currently filming at 104 Fremont Pl, Los Angeles, a swanky residence in a gated community that was also featured in The Artist.
The show is moving to a new Monday night timeslot when it returns to CBS this fall.
NCIS: New Orleans
Filming is already underway on NCIS: NOLA, starring Scott Bakula, CCH Pounder and Zoe McLellan, and this week they are filming at one of New Orleans' most famous historic site: the U.S.S. Kidd. The ship was the first to be named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor and now it will make history again with a prominent role in this NCIS: New Orleans episode.
See what else is filming on location today in my Daily Filming Locations at OnLocationVacations.com!
Getty Images/Kevin Winter
Do you remember where you were when Batman V Superman was announced? When the first glimpse of Avatar was bestowed upon the world? Probably not, but for the Comic-Con faithful, these moments are gospel. San Diego Comic-Con has become the destination for any geek worth his salt, and a select few moments throughout the convention's history have become legendary to fans across the world. Here are the most memorable moments from Comic-Cons past.
The Batman V Superman announcementRight at the tail end of the 2013 Warner Bros. panel, a Jittery Zack Snyder turned up to announce that he was working on a sequel to Man of Steel. Then, with help from the booming voice of Harry Lennix and a choice excerpt from Frank Miller's classic Batman tale The Dark Knight Returns, Warner Bros. dropped a bomb on Hall H with the announcement of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (which was then untitled). When the logo blazed on screen with all its glory, SDCC 2013 had hit its definitive peak.
Michael Keaton earns the cowlEveryone remembers the ballyhoo made about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight, but comic book fans had been complaining about casting long before then. All the way back at Comic-Con 1988, the fervor about the new Batman movie was high; many fans didn't think Michael Keaton could pull off the Caped Crusader. But most of these detractors quieted down when the original creator of Batman, Bob Kane himself, stopped by the Con and gave the actor and Tim Burton's production his blessing via a set visit. He also showed up with a ton of set photos and production designs to ensure fans that his creation was in good hands.
Twilight comes to Comic-ConFor nearly 40 years, Comic-Con had been a place for more male-focused geekery. But in 2008, the playing field was leveled when the Twilight saga was given a panel in the hallowed nerd pantheon that is Hall H. This of course brought droves of Twilight fans to the convention center, who of course butted heads with seasoned veterans of the Con who though the new visitors didn't belong. But Twilight's domination of that year's festivities were undeniable. The vamps were here to stay.
The Avatar preview screeningIf there's one thing to learn from Comic-Con, it's that you shouldn't always buy into the hype. Hyperbole flows through San Diego like a river, and people will champion anything and everything as a gamechanger. But the hype around the preview screening of Avatar at 2009's convention was so massive, it was hard not to believe. The preview of James Cameron's spectacle-laden adventure left many Con-goers slack-jawed with awe.
The Avengers assemble in Hall HJoss Whedon has long been a popular face at comic-con, but he might as well have been coronated as king when he brought every member of The Avengers on stage for the first time in 2010. It was a moment that Marvel studios had been steadily building up to for years, but seeing all of those heroes (albiet in street clothes) in one place at the same time was magical.
The Iron Man trailer premiereUnsuspecting fans at the first ever Iron Man panel were greeted with a surprise visit from Jon Favreau, and an even bigger surprise: the first look at a new trailer for Iron Man. The trailer was only a few seconds long, showing Iron Man shooting through the sky, but it was enough to send the hype for the upcoming film skyrocketing. It was surefire proof that Marvel was doing right by all these heroes.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World wows the crowdIn a rare treat, fans at the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World panel were treated to a screening of the film. Edgar Wright's dazzling comic book adaptation won heaps of praise from attendees, and Hollywood's relationship with the convention was riding high. Unfortunately, the studios soon found out the convention hype doesn't always equal ticket sales, and the film fizzled out of the box-office without recouping it's budget.
Karen Gillan goes baldMaybe it was just a really convincing wig, maybe we just couldn't wrap our heads around those deep red locks being fake, or maybe we just don't usually expect to see people ripping hair off of their heads at Comic-Con. But at the panel for Guardians of the Galaxy, after being confronted by host Chris Hardwick with accusations that her character in the upcoming space opera is bald in the comics, the actor unleashed her buzzed head to the world, and everyone lost their minds.
Ed Sheeran's new album X has broken Spotify's weekly streaming record in Britain.
The British singer/songwriter's sophomore release has overtaken Daft Punk's Random Access Memories to score the highest number of online listens in the U.K. in a seven-day period.
Sheeran's X broke the 6.3 million mark during the first week after its debut on 23 June (14), exceeding Daft Punk's previous record of around 6.2 million.
X also became Britain's fastest selling album of 2014 last week (end28Jun14) after shifting 182,000 copies.