Suspects in alleged attack on ‘Empire’ actor released

By Gabriella Borter | Reuters

Suspects arrested in connection with an alleged racist and homophobic assault on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago were released Friday, police said.

“Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” the Chicago Police Department said in an email to Reuters.

The individuals are no longer being classified as suspects, the department said.

A spokesman for the department on Friday night declined to confirm to Reuters whether the individuals released were the two Nigerian brothers police said they arrested on Wednesday at Chicago O’Hare Airport in connection to the attack.

Authorities had previously said only that the pair, whose names have not been released, were persons of interest after they were recognized from surveillance camera footage taken in the area where Smollett said two men shouted slurs at him and put a rope around his neck on Jan. 29.

“Detectives have probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime and we are working to corroborate the allegations and investigative timeline as our investigation continues,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement.

He has denied a media report on Thursday that said officers were investigating whether Smollett staged the attack because he was being written out of the television show.

“While we haven’t found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is no evidence to say that this is a hoax. The alleged victim is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect,” Guglielmi said on Friday.

News of the alleged attack on Smollett, a 36-year-old openly gay African-American who plays a gay character on the hip-hop drama “Empire,” caused uproar on social media, but some have …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins the subject of new TV documentary

Showtime on Friday announced a premiere date for “The Resurgence: DeMarcus Cousins,” a documentary that chronicles the NBA star’s grueling comeback from a career-threatening injury.

The film will debut on the premium cable network at 8 p.m., April 13.

Per Showtime, “The Resurgence” will provide viewers with “unfettered access” to Cousins throughout his emotionally charged comeback from a devastating Achilles tear, and his “roller coaster ride through free agency that resulted in a stunning one-year deal with the three-time NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

In a statement released by Showtime, Stephen Espinoza, chief of the network’s sports programming, said the film “delivers the intimate account and high-stakes drama of one of the most misunderstood men in sports. DeMarcus reveals himself as never before—a relatable man whose fiercely competitive personality, daily struggles and triumphs embody the nature of sport.”

“The Resurgence” includes exclusive interviews with teammates, coaches and NBA insiders closest to the story, including John Calipari, who coached Cousins at University of Kentucky, former Sacramento Kings’ head coach Mike Malone, Warriors coach Steve Kerr, current and former teammates Isaiah Thomas, Matt Barnes, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and more.

Since last summer’s NBA free agency period, the network has released a series of short-form behind-the-scenes clips online to introduce the project. Visit: https://s.sho.com/2DGbouU to watch each clip, including the private moment when Cousins shocked the sports world by announcing that he would join the Warriors for the 2018-’19 season.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

Police have ‘potential suspects’ in alleged attack on ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett

By Gabriella Borter | Reuters

Two men being questioned in connection with an alleged racist and homophobic assault on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago are potential suspects in the alleged crime, the city’s police department said on Friday.

Authorities had previously said only that the pair, whose names have not been released, were persons of interest after they were recognized from surveillance camera footage taken in the area where Smollett said two men shouted slurs at him and put a rope around his neck on Jan. 29.

“Detectives have probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime and we are working to corroborate the allegations and investigative timeline as our investigation continues,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement.

He has denied a media report on Thursday that said officers were investigating whether Smollett staged the attack because he was being written out of the television show.

“While we haven’t found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is no evidence to say that this is a hoax. The alleged victim is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect,” Guglielmi said on Friday.

News of the alleged attack on Smollett, a 36-year-old openly gay African-American who plays a gay character on the hip-hop drama “Empire,” caused uproar on social media, but some have doubted Smollett’s account.

In an interview with “Good Morning America” that aired on Thursday, Smollett said he was angry that some people questioned his story, and he suggested the disbelief might come from racial bias.

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Jussie Smollett speaks out in first …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

Katy Perry’s $5 million ring near top of 20 priciest celebrity engagement rings

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom got engaged on Valentine’s Day, having survived lots of ups and downs in their three-year relationship, including a breakup and Bloom being exposed as someone who likes to paddleboard in the nude.

In announcing their engagement with twin Instagram posts, the 34-year-old singer and the 42-year-old movie star offered up an image that shows how much they believe their love is forever. On her finger, Perry displayed a very big, very floral-looking ring that is incredible pricey.

“Full bloom,” Perry captioned her selfie with Bloom.

The ring features a 4-carat pink stone in the center, surrounded by eight white diamonds, a diamond expert told E! News. Andrew Brown, president of WP Diamonds, also said the ring would retail in the range of $5 million, making it one of the priciest engagement rings to ever grace the hand of a celebrity.

“This ring is truly one-of-a-kind and wildly valuable,” Brown said.

Indeed. According to a survey by Vogue magazine of more than 51 “best” celebrity rings, Perry is now wearing one of the most expensive rings ever worn by a star.

If Perry’s ring in fact retails for $5 million that would make it as expensive as the reported $5 million, 18-carat diamond Jay Z gave to Beyonce in 2008.

Mariah Carey, wearing her $10 million engagement ring, in 2016. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

But $5 million is nothing compared to the $10 million that Australian billionaire James Packer spent on a 35-carat, emerald-cut diamond he presented in January 2016 to another pop diva: Mariah Carey.

Then again, Beyonce and Perry can probably console themselves with much cheaper rings because their relationships may actually last. Carey and Packer called off their engagement in October 2016.

Here are 17 other famously valuable celebrity engagement rings, according to Vogue and other …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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