A female student arrested as part of a drugs raid connected to Philip Seymour Hoffman's death has walked free from court after striking a plea deal.
Juliana Luchkiw, 23, was one of four suspects busted during a raid on a New York City apartment in February (14) as cops investigated the source of heroin packets found at the Capote star's home.
Luchkiw appeared at Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday (29Oct14) and during the hearing, a charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance was reduced to disorderly conduct and she was sentenced to time served.
Hoffman's suspected dealer, jazz musician Robert Vineberg, was also among those detained in the raid. He pleaded guilty to a drug charge over the summer (14).
The Hollywood actor was found dead at his Manhattan home in February (14) after suffering a drug overdose.
"Ten years ago one of the biggest obstacles in the fight against AIDS was the Catholic Church. Today we have a Pope that speaks out about it. He is a compassionate, loving man who wants everybody to be included in the love of God. It is formidable what he is trying to do against many, many people in the church that opposes. He is courageous and he is fearless, and that's what we need in the world today... Make this man a saint now, OK?" Sir Elton John heaped praise on Pope Francis at his Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit in Manhattan, New York on Tuesday night (28Oct14).
Pop superstar Taylor Swift is taking her new role as New York's tourism ambassador to heart by donating all proceeds from her new Big Apple anthem to help fund the city's public schools.
The Shake It Off hitmaker recently released the tune Welcome To New York, about her experiences since moving to Manhattan earlier this year (14), and she is planning to aid the city's school system by handing over much-needed cash.
During an appearance on U.S. daytime show The View on Wednesday (29Oct14), she explained, "I love it here. I love it so much and I actually ended up writing a song called Welcome to New York about what it felt like to move here and about how it just felt very, very much like endless possibilities and it feels like being unique is celebrated here." She added, "The song... it's selling really, really well, which is good because I'm donating all of my proceeds to New York City public schools."
The announcement took place just a day after Swift sat down with a group of New York City schoolkids at publishers Scholastic's Soho headquarters to share her love of reading and writing with the youngsters. More than 100 other children from schools in Michigan and California also joined in the special session via Skype.
The singer was named New York's new tourism spokesperson on Monday (27Oct14) and will front a global campaign to encourage more people to visit the Big Apple.
Swift will also ring in 2015 in the city as the headliner at annual U.S. TV extravaganza Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on 31 December (14).
Actor Ansel Elgort has lined up one of his biggest gigs yet as a dance DJ by joining the bill for New York City's Pier of Fear event this weekend (01Nov14). The Fault in Our Stars actor recently revealed he has been secretly building up his resume as an electronic music producer for several years under the moniker Ansolo, and now he is preparing to perform alongside the likes of top DJs Nicky Romero, Dirty South and Don Diablo on Saturday (01Nov14), when he will help close out the two-night dance party at Pier 94 in Manhattan in front of nearly 10,000 revellers.
Eddie Dean, founder of event organisers RPM Presents and president of club hotspot Pacha New York, tells WENN, "The first time I heard him (Ansolo) at Pacha, I thought he was a talented DJ.
"It wasn't until the next day when my daughters asked why I didn't tell them he was playing, did I realise Ansel also acted! Had no idea he was an actor - just a good DJ!"
Taylor Swift has thanked fans who attended four low-key album listening sessions in the U.S. and England for agreeing to keep details of her new release top secret. The pop star invited 89 fans to each of her mystery parties in Nashville, Tennessee, Los Angeles, Rhode Island and London and then thrilled them all by showing up and playing her latest release, 1989, for them weeks before it went on sale.
The Love Story singer then asked each one of her guests not to reveal information about the album or her new songs before the CD hit the market on Sunday (26Oct14) at midnight.
She says, "We would spend just hours together, me playing my album for them, essentially, in my living room, and explaining to them what I wrote it about.
"That's hundreds of people who have heard the entire thing (album) and you can't find any information they've given online about it."
Swift's latest "secret sessions" listening party was streamed live from a Manhattan, New York rooftop on Monday night (27Oct14).
The singer performed five songs from the new album with the Empire State Building providing a backdrop and a very special light show.
The Yahoo Live and iHeartRadio-broadcasted performance opened with Welcome to New York, and featured the songs Out of the Woods, Style and Blank Space, before she finished the sky-high set with her hit Shake It Off.
Oscar De La Renta's family and close friends will gather in New York next week (begs03Nov14) to bid a final farewell to the iconic fashion designer. The style legend, who had been diagnosed with cancer in 2006, passed away on 20 October (14), at the age of 82.
His death was marked with a national day of mourning in his native Dominican Republic shortly after news of his passing broke, and now details for his private funeral have emerged.
According to Vogue magazine, he will be laid to rest following a mass at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan next Tuesday (04Nov14), when a slew of celebrity friends and fashionistas, including Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and actress Sarah Jessica Parker, are expected to be in attendance.
Wintour and Parker honoured the memory of de la Renta in the days after his death by penning heartfelt essays about their close pal online, while other famous clients, including Taylor Swift, Zoe Saldana, Gloria Estefan and Lindsay Lohan, also paid tribute to the late designer via Twitter.com.
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong joined veteran rocker Joan Jett on stage at a charity benefit in New York on Thursday (23Oct14). The American Idiot singer teamed up with Jett to perform her 1980 hit Don't Abuse Me at the 2014 Little Kids Rock Benefit in Manhattan.
The event aims to raise money for music education and schemes in American public schools.
Jett received the Rocker of the Year award at the annual event and took to the stage with Armstrong after being presented with her accolade.
Other stars who performed on the night included Brody Dalle, Alice Cooper, Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna, and Beastie Boys' Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz.
A cousin of actress Rosario Dawson has reportedly been charged with attempted rape, sexual abuse and burglary following an incident in New York last week (ends19Oct14). Juan Scott was detained by police on Monday (20Oct14) and charged with first-degree attempted rape, after he allegedly tried to assault a woman on 17 October (14), according to TheVillager.com.
Scott was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday (21Oct14), when he was held without bail and hit with two additional charges of sexual abuse and burglary.
Assistant District Attorney Brendan Tracy says, "(He followed) a 20-year-old woman into her apartment building, into an elevator (and then) brutally and violently sexually assaulting that female.
"The entire incident is on video, including the defendant fleeing the scene."
Scott is due back in court on Friday (24Oct14).
The Sin City star has refused to comment on the situation, telling the New York Daily News, "We're not talking about that."
Scott is no stranger to the law - in September (14), the 26 year old's ex-girlfriend accused him of sexually abusing her in her home and bombarding her with text messages demanding she drop the criminal complaint, according to the New York Daily News.
He also allegedly followed a woman into her residential building, lifted up her dress and grabbed her in June (14).
Tracy continues, "There is also surveillance video from that incident as well as positive identification from a lineup... There is a great deal of evidence against this defendant."
Rapper Maino was arrested for misdemeanour assault on Thursday (23Oct14), two days after police launched a manhunt over an alleged bust-up. Officers of the New York Police Department began searching for the hip-hop star on Tuesday (21Oct14) after porn actress Mellanie Monroe claimed he had assaulted her during an altercation outside a nightclub in the Big Apple.
Maino, real name Jermaine Coleman, turned himself in to cops on Thursday morning and was arrested for misdemeanour assault, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
The outcome of his arraignment hearing in Manhattan was unknown as WENN went to press.
Richard Gere and his estranged wife Carey Lowell gave one another the silent treatment on Thursday (23Oct14) as they came face-to-face in court for a private divorce hearing. The couple separated last year (13) and in June (14), former Bond girl and Law & Order regular Lowell quietly filed legal papers to officially end her 12-year marriage to the Pretty Woman star.
Gere and Lowell, who share a teenage son, showed up to Manhattan Supreme Court in New York just moments apart on Thursday, but refused to acknowledge each other as they arrived with their lawyers, according to the New York Post.
They were then ushered into Justice Matthew Cooper's private chambers to discuss the proceedings.
Lowell's divorce papers were given an 'anonymous' label at the time of filing after she requested the case be kept public.
The split marks Lowell's third failed marriage and Gere's second. He was previously wed to supermodel Cindy Crawford and more recently enjoyed a six-month romance with celebrity chef Padma Lakshmi, before reportedly parting ways earlier this month (Oct14).
Set against the backdrop of the clandestine mission to build the world's first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico and follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families as they attempt to co-exist in a world where secrets and lies infiltrate every aspect of their lives.