Shamed rocker Ian Watkins has lost his bid to appeal against his 35-year jail sentence for child sex offences. The former Lostprophets frontman was ordered to serve at least 29 years behind bars before he can apply for early release after he was convicted of a number of sickening charges, including the attempted rape of a baby.
Watkins, 36, moved to challenge his lengthy sentence, but his bid was rejected by a panel of judges at Cardiff Crown Court in Wales on Wednesday (23Jul14). They ruled he does not have grounds to appeal against his prison term.
Lord Justice Pritchard, one of the three judges sitting at Cardiff Crown Court, ruled, "These were offences against infant children of such shocking depravity that a very lengthy sentence of imprisonment was demanded, not withstanding the absence of physical injury. It is not demonstrated that the total sentence of 29 years together with the extended licence period was arguably manifestly excessive. Accordingly, the application in his case is refused."
The singer was convicted last year (13) after he pleaded guilty to 13 charges.
Broadway's Tupac Shakur musical Holler If Ya Hear Me failed because producers refused to build up anticipation for the show with a national tour, according to star Saul Williams. The production, based on Shakur's music, closed on Sunday (20Jul14) after just six weeks, and Williams, who played the lead character John, insists producer Eric Gold always knew the show would fail on the New York stage.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, he explains, "They (producers) wanted that Broadway stamp. This is the cost of that stamp... When you do something fresh and new, you're going to face obstacles and I promise you this story isn't over."
Williams claims critics failed to get how important the musical was: "There's actually a generic response when I don't think critics realise they're playing into the hands of something that runs deeper than how this made you feel. I am speaking to that American race psyche; that thing that Harry Belafonte said to me after he saw the play, which is, 'You took an Afrocentric-themed play and placed it on a Eurocentric stage. The problems you'll face are larger than you think'."
Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams has blasted bosses at British Airways after she was turned away from the airline's business class lounge due to age restrictions. Company executives only allow guests aged 18 and over, or kids travelling with an adult, access to the exclusive airport rooms, and as a result, the 17-year-old actress was refused entry as she waited for a solo flight on Saturday night (19Jul14).
Ranting about the ban on Twitter.com, she wrote, "Denied from the business lounge once again for being under 18 and without an adult.. @British_Airways sort your s**t out.
"I'm not saying I deserve special treatment... Just saying if 16-18 yr (year) olds are grown up enough to travel 5,400 miles around the world... I'm sure we can handle sitting quietly in the damn lounge."
Her rant was picked up by Ed Sheeran, who tweeted: "Ah British Airways. You failed again."
A representative for the airline attempted to appease the actress by insisting rules are rules, stating, "Hi Maisie. We're sorry if you were disappointed, lounge guests must be 18 or older. We look forward to welcoming you soon."
Williams turns 18 in April (15).
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Action man Dwayne Johnson had to get up at 3.30 ever morning to hit the gym and gobble up steak and egg whites to maintain his impressive physique for new movie Hercules.
The man-mountain spent over six months perfecting his look for the film about the world's strongest man, and he admits preparing for the part was a tiring experience of working out and eating.
His days began long before dawn with 35-minute gym sessions and then he had to consume calories before most people were awake. He tells U.S. news show Access Hollywood, "I had a cardio machine that was inside of my hotel room, and I would just roll out of bed, I'd have my unleaded caffeine, and I'd hop on there and I'd do 35 minutes of that cardio."
Then there would be a quick stop for breakfast before he hit the gym for muscle training. He adds, "I would go hit the gym and then I would go to set for 12 hours - it was a lot. (I did that) from day one to (day) 95. That was my schedule."
"It was the most gruelling production I had ever done by far. It was the most gruelling physical prep I had done for anything - by the way, that includes years of playing football, years of being inside a wrestling ring and years of acting."
But, while he was happy to give up his favourite junk food and treats to get in shape, he refused to stop drinking tequila. Johnson states, "To prep as a demigod, in my opinion, is the occasional glass of tequila - sipped, not a shoot-up. We're not back at college."
British pop star Elly Jackson has taken aim at Kanye West, insisting he is despised by almost everyone in the music industry. The La Roux singer spent two days working with the iconic rapper to provide vocals for a track on his 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Jackson later revealed she was left baffled because she could not hear her vocals in the final mix of the record, and now she has refused to discuss the collaboration as she cannot bear to talk about the hip-hop star.
Asked by a journalist from British magazine Culture if she was willing to talk about working with West, she replied, "No, f**k him. Nobody likes him."
Veteran rocker Ginger Baker caused an upset during an appearance on a U.K. political talk show by branding Members of Parliament (MPs) "crooks" and refusing to speak to his fellow panellists. The former Cream star was a guest on BBC current affairs series This Week to discuss his career with host Andrew Neil.
Baker was talking about his decision not to quit music when Neil made a reference to the other two panellists, MP Alan Johnson and former politician Michael Portillo, and the rocker refused to acknowledge the pair.
The drummer told Neil, "He's an MP... I don't speak to them, they're all b**ody crooks," prompting the host to quickly change the subject.
Killswitch Engage star Joel Stroetzel has been forced to take some time away from the group's tour due to a "family emergency". The guitarist will sit out of the band's dates this week (beg21Jul14) to concentrate on private affairs. He will be replaced by Unearth star Ken Susi.
The band has refused to divulge what family issues Stroetzel is dealing with, but a statement reads: "We will be performing some songs as a four-piece and some songs with the talented and entertaining Ken Susi.
"Our thoughts and love go out to Joel and his family. Joel wanted us to carry on and not cancel any shows, so here we go! Big thanks to Ken Susi for learning songs in a day!"
The remains of beloved U.S. broadcaster Casey Kasem have reportedly gone missing. The eldest daughter of the radio and TV regular, who died last month (Jun14), has revealed she has no idea where her father's body is.
A family spokesman says, "When we called the mortuary on July 15, they couldn't tell us where Casey was. Then they said they couldn't confirm or deny whether he was there."
Officials at the Santa Monica Police Department have since contacted the mortuary and confirmed the body had been moved. The owner of the mortuary has also verified the body has not been in his care for at least two days.
Kerri Kasem and the broadcaster's other kids from his first marriage have been waging a war with his widow Jean for well over a year after claiming she had refused to let them visit their ailing father. Kerri was eventually given the authority to implement end-of-life measures for her father in the days leading up to his death after he went missing in Washington.
In an effort to appease her stepmother, Kerri gave Jean permission to plan her father's funeral, but after learning his remains had still not been buried or cremated, she filed a motion to reclaim the broadcaster's body for an autopsy.
Jean Kasem has denied her late husband's remains are missing.
A man accused of trespassing on Taylor Swift's beachfront property in Rhode Island on three separate occasions has been sentenced to 18 months of probation. Daniel P. Cole was initially taken into custody and charged in December (13) after he parked his pick-up truck outside the singer's Watch Hill home and refused to move.
Police were called to the scene to investigate and the Massachusetts resident allegedly became involved in an altercation with officers, just 12 days after Swift's security guards had to escort Cole off the star's estate.
The second incident landed the 39 year old a no trespassing order, but cops found him back on the property in March (14), when he was also slapped with a no contact ruling, demanding he keep his distance from the singer and her home, according to local paper The Westerly Sun.
He pleaded not guilty to misdemeanour charges of wilful trespassing and disorderly conduct, but was convicted on Thursday (17Jul14) after a three-day trial in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Judge Frank Cenerini ordered Cole serve probation and undergo anger management screening and counselling. He also renewed the no trespassing and no contact orders.
Cole hasn't been the only unwelcome visitor at Swift's Rhode Island luxury house - three people recently pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct charges after allegedly hurling beer bottles at the mansion in June (14).
The singer was not home at the time of either incident.