A North Carolina woman who is convinced David Cassidy is her biological father has penned an open letter to the veteran singer/actor in a desperate bid to establish paternity once and for all. Shelly Wright believes she was conceived during a one-night stand between The Partridge Family star and her mother back in the 1970s.
She has previously attempted to contact Cassidy via his publicist, seeking a DNA test to prove or disprove her claim, but alleges her requests to be put in touch with him have been rebuffed.
Now Wright, 40, has written a heartfelt note to the 64 year old in the pages of the National Enquirer magazine, in the hope it will be brought to Cassidy's attention.
In the note, she writes, "This is my cry: that the truth be revealed! All I want is to find my father - my real father.
"Growing up, I never looked like the man who was raising me as his daughter - and my whole family talked about it. Finally, I confronted my mother. She revealed that she'd had a one-night stand with David Cassidy in Nashville (Tennessee) in 1973. When I Googled him, I realized that I looked amazingly like David, and his daughter Katie."
She continues, "This is not a gimmick. It's not a game. I'm frustrated and desperate, and I just want David to know that I've been trying to contact him... And this isn't about money or fame. My husband has a good job. We have a good life. A well-known daytime talk show offered me a lot of money to tell my story. But I didn't do it - because my quest is to find my father. That's all.
"From the bottom of my heart, I'm begging David Cassidy - the man that I believe is my father - to agree to a DNA test. Then, and only then, will I find the truth."
Cassidy, who has been struggling to overcome his battle with alcoholism in recent months, has yet to respond to the letter. He has two legitimate children - actress daughter Katie from his relationship with Sherry Benedon, and son Beau with third wife Sue Shifrin, who filed for divorce in February (14) after 23 years of marriage.
Rapper Lil Wayne has reportedly been slapped with a new paternity suit amid allegations he is the father of a 12-year-old boy. Keiotia Brown filed legal papers in a Miami, Florida courthouse earlier this month (Aug14), seeking a DNA test from the Lollipop hitmaker to determine if he is or isn't her son Dwayne Keyshawn Brown's biological dad.
If the results are positive, she plans to obtain a court order against the hip-hop star, real name Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., for child support.
The kid's grandmother, Brenda Ann Brown, previously attempted to establish the youngster's paternity back in August, 2010, but a judge postponed the DNA testing until the end of the year as Wayne was behind bars, serving time for weapons possession, when he received the legal notice.
However, it appears he failed to submit to the testing and now his alleged former lover, Keiotia, is attempting to get to the bottom of the case once and for all.
Lil Wayne is already a dad to four children with four different women. He has a daughter named Reginae with his ex-wife Antonia Carter, a son named Lennox with actress/model Lauren London, boy Neal with singer Nivea and another kid, called Dwayne III, with an unnamed ex-lover.
The rapper has yet to respond to the new paternity suit.
James Brown's grieving widow was left distraught amid a slew of legal battles over the star's estate after a judge ordered his body to be cut up so DNA tests could be performed. Tomi Rae Hynie, mother of Brown's youngest son James, Jr., has revealed she was horrified when she found out medical officers had to hack the legs from the singer's remains to carry out tests on his bone marrow in a bid to prove the youngster is really his child.
James, Jr.'s parentage was challenged as part of a feud among Brown's other children over his estate following the music legend's death in 2006, aged 73. Brown left a will which was signed in 2000, a year before he married his wife.
In an interview with Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, she explains, "The drama that has unfolded since his death is more painful and outrageous than anything a scriptwriter could dream up... James would be spinning in his grave if he knew the hell I'd gone through over the past eight years... They couldn't do the normal DNA test because of all the embalming fluid in his body. So they had to cut off his legs to get to his bone marrow. I wept uncontrollably when I found out. My husband, the greatest dancer in the world, had his legs hacked off in death... My husband was a prolific womaniser. There are the children we know about but there are more and more people coming out of the woodwork claiming to be his. They are doing DNA testing all the time."
Hynie also claims Brown's body was moved 14 times in the six months after his death amid the raging legal battles: "That is the final insult to James. He and I would often talk about his legacy. He wanted our home - a 230-acre estate on Beech Island in South Carolina - to be turned into a living memorial, like (Elvis Presley's home) Graceland. That's where he wanted a proper mausoleum."
She now lives in Las Vegas with her son, and claims she is so broke she has to busk to earn extra cash. She adds "I've been forced to busk on the streets at times to make ends meet. I'm broke."
Hynie was included in a settlement agreement in 2011 which would have given her a quarter of her late husband's estate, but the legal wrangling is believed to be ongoing.
Actress Brit Marling was left horrified while researching lab work for her role in new sci-fi drama I Origins after accidentally destroying a student's thesis project. The Arbitrage star and actor Michael Pitt portray molecular biologists who make a groundbreaking discovering in the film, and they headed to private research school John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland to brush up on their science knowledge prior to shooting.
However, Marling reveals the trip didn't end so well for her.
She explains, "Mike Cahill, the director, his brother went to John Hopkins so Michael Pitt and I went down to the lab, and we put on the lab coats and the gloves and we learned how to splice DNA.
"The bad thing is I accidentally broke someone's thesis experiment and he'd been working on it for two years. It was really bad... He passed it (DNA slide) to me and I was looking at it through the microscope and it was so beautiful I got really excited and I turned to pass it to Michael Pitt and I dropped it. So that happened. And it didn't even make it in the film...!
"But then I made it up to him because I was like, 'I'm basically your lab slave now' and I just spent the rest of the month pipetting saline solution to test tubes for him, helping him back out. It was a rough start."
A woman who alleges Beyonce's dad Mathew Knowles fathered her baby daughter has asked for privacy as she fights for child support. Taqoya Branscomb hit headlines on Tuesday (08Jul14) when it emerged she had filed suit in a Harris County, Texas court seeking a DNA test to prove that music manager Knowles is her little girl's dad.
The plaintiff claims she fell pregnant after a fling with Knowles in 2010 - the same year his ex-wife, Beyonce's mum Tina, filed for divorce.
However, Branscomb insists she is not looking for fame.
A statement issued to U.S. daytime show The Talk reads: "I have taken the necessary legal action against Mathew Knowles. With that being said, it's in my best interest for this to remain a private matter for now. It was never my intention for this to become a public matter."
Knowles has yet to comment on the lawsuit.
Stylist Tina Knowles moved to end her 31-year marriage to Mathew after discovering he had been cheating on her with another woman, Alexsandra Wright, the mother of his four-year-old son, Nixon.
Mathew is already paying Wright child support, although earlier this year (14), his monthly fees were reduced from $12,000 (£7,058) to $2,400 (£1,412) after arguing his income had dropped significantly since he was fired as Beyonce's manager in 2011.
Beyonce's dad Mathew Knowles has been hit with a second paternity lawsuit from a woman who alleges he fathered her child. In legal documents obtained by TMZ, Taqoya Branscomb filed suit in a Harris County, Texas court, claiming she became pregnant after having a fling with Knowles in 2010 - the same year his ex-wife, Beyonce's mum Tina, filed for divorce.
Branscomb is asking Knowles for a DNA test, declaration of paternity and child support.
Tina Knowles initially split from her ex-husband after finding out he was cheating on her with another woman, Alexsandra Wright, whom he also got pregnant.
They share a four-year-old son, Nixon, and earlier this year (14), Knowles's child support payment was reduced from $12,000 (£7,005) to $2,400 (£1,411)-a-month after his income dropped when he was fired as Beyonce's music manager in 2011.
Taiwanese director Chang Tso-Chi has been sentenced to serve almost four years behind bars for sexually assaulting a woman last year (13). The Soul of a Demon filmmaker was found guilty of raping a woman playwright when she was under the influence of alcohol at a party in his Taipei, China studio in May, 2013.
Tso-chi initially denied the charge, but changed his plea after DNA evidence tied him to the crime.
He subsequently pleaded mitigating circumstances and claimed the victim came on to him and did not object while they were having sex.
He was sentenced to serve three years and 10 months in prison on Friday (13Jun14). The victim is reportedly planning to appeal his short sentence.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
For a long time, it was understood that Pixar was supper and DreamWorks was dessert. Pixar was the filling meal: animation that required serious digestion, with its meaty emotional beats and deep characters giving their work a texture that other animated films didn't have. It wasn't all eye-popping visuals and pop culture references thrown at the screen, but stories crafted with care. DreamWorks, on the other hand, was the after dinner treat: sweet, fun, but nothing to really chew on. But with How to Train your Dragon, things changed for the company. After all the Shreks, Madagascars, and other films, suddenly DreamWorks was finally serving up lobster.
And boy was it good. The first Dragon was a revelation for the studio. The flying sequences made a serious case for that pesky 3D surcharge, but at the film’s beating heart was the tender relationship between a boy and his dragon, so resonant and fully realized. And now we have the sequel, living up to its predecessor almost entirely. For most of its running time, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a delicacy. It's just the final bites that aren't so smooth.
It's been five long years since we last saw the cliffs of Berk, and things have changed for the better. humans and dragons are living in blissful cohabitation. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is 20 years old, sporting some young adult scruff of the chin. His father Stoic (Gerald Butler) is grooming his heir as a successor to the throne, but Hiccup would rather pass his time in the clouds with Toothless, discovering parts of his world that were inaccessible before humans partnered up with dragons. His travels brush him up against Drago Bloodsport (with a name like that, he may be the bad guy) played by Djimon Hounsou (okay, definitely the bad guy), a man who wishes to build a dragon army... not to mention a mysterious dragon rider whose identity has been spoiled by the film's trailers but won't be here.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Berk and the surrounding domains of its pseudo-Nordic fantasy land are once again richly realized and provide a beautiful backdrop for the flying scenes, which are even more kinetic and grand than the original. The bond between Hiccup and Toothless is felt every second the duo zips through the air, giving the film's action scenes an extra oomph of feeling. Hiccup’s budding relationship with this his father, who struggles to understand his son's dalliances in the sky, gives the film an emotional pulp that hasn't been seen in any animated effort this year.
It's almost perfect, but the film just doesn’t earn that gold star in the end. So much of the power threaded through the film is cut short by its conclusion, proving that there's still blockbuster DNA wiggling around inside its cells: Hiccup’s personal story gets lost in the mix as the film is relegated to an explosive and cliche final act with more dragons than heart. It almost feels like the film is straining to be something better and more nuanced, but can't fight its own animated genetics. Nature wins over nurture.
It's a pity, but a small one. Despite its disappointing finale, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is so charming it's ultimately irresistible. The core relationships brim with poignancy, and it's a swashbuckling adventure through and through. It doesn't quite stick the landing, but the flight getting there is just so damned pretty.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
It's hard not to feel worried for Marvel's Ant-Man, a project that was put in serious creative jeopardy when director Edgar Wright suddenly left the film to which he had been attached since 2006. In the fallout, Marvel was left with a gaping hole in the center of one of it’s most interesting projects, but after a couple weeks of scrambling, the studio has assembled a new creative team for the project. Director Peyton Reed has been chosen to helm Ant-Man in the wake of Wright with Adam McKay, who was formally in the pool of directors being considered by Marvel, helping to rewrite the script. While Reed's filmography isn't as impressive as Wright's at first glance, there is some hidden potential buried in the director's short body of work: his underappreciated comedies Yes Man and Bring It On, to be specific.
Jim Carrey, physical comedian extraordinaire, is second only to Charlie Chaplin in his ability to contort and tax his body for amusement, and Reed get's the most out of the actor's mostly rubber body in 2008's Yes Man. While the film mostly feels like a retread of Carrey's earlier modern fairy tale Liar Liar, there are some engaging moments, including this scene where Carrey careens down the streets of Los Angeles on a Ducati while just barely clad in a billowy hospital gown.
The scene offers some impressive stunt work as Carrey zips through traffic, but it's the little things that really pop and make the scene noteworthy. The awkward flailing of limbs as Carrey's character just barely holds onto the beast of the machine displays Reed's ability to meld action and comedy. Seeing as how a great chase sequence has become a requisite part of any Marvel film (think back to Nick Fury's fantastic car chase at the start of Captain America: The Winter Soldier), having a director that can infuse comedy into adrenaline pumping action is a huge asset.
You may have missed it, but buried about a minute into the credits of Yes Man was a mid-credit scene featuring Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel strapping on suits made out of roller blades and careening down a twisty mountain road. Again, Reed shows his knack for blending action and comedy, something that an Ant-Man script written by Adam Mckay and possibly still possessing some of Edgar Wright's comedic DNA would benefit from.
Finally, we recall the cult hit Bring It On. Everybody remembers the sass and spirit fingers, but Reed's seminal cheerleading comedy also has some really dizzying cheerleader choreography, especially during the film's climax where the two rival high schools do battle with increasingly complicated cheer routines.
With a film like Ant-Man, whose action scenes will likely hinge on complex and unique choreography, a director with knowledge of how to construct an involved and dense setpiece with multiple performers is a must, and Peyton has that experience with Bring It On.
Museum officials in Germany have unveiled a replica of Vincent Van Gogh's severed ear, grown using the artist's family DNA. The 19th century painter sliced off his left ear in 1888 and now bosses at The Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe have put a copy of the gruesome organ on display.
The replica, the work of artist Diemut Strebe, is made from living cells grown using genetic material provided by the great-great-grandson of the Dutch master's brother, Theo.
Strebe claims she wanted to combine art and science with the macabre piece, and she hopes to display it in New York next year (15), according to the Associated Press.