Jussie Smollet Speaks on Being Convicted for Hate Crime Hoax in First Post-Jail Interview

Jussie Smollet’s acting career might be in serious jeopardy, but his post-acting career has been full of hot takes that are just as entertaining and captivating as any role he ever portrayed on camera. His infamous interview with Robin Roberts on ABC News, back in 2019 in which he alleged that he was attacked by Trump supporters has been viewed over 3 million times. Not too far behind that occurrence was his highly publicized declaration in a Chicago courtroom, immediately following his sentencing (for lying to police) where he maintained his innocence during his final statement. Now that jail time for the aforementioned crime is in his rearview mirror, the 40-year-old actor has his sights set on repairing his image in the public eye. In a recent interview with Sway’s Universe, an emotional Smollett talked about his family before discussing exactly how he found the strength to survive in Chicago’s dreaded Cook County Jail.

“How did you make it through [six days in Cook County Jail]?” Asked Sway. “What was your saving grace?”

“God and my family,” Smollet replied. “I fasted, I was [at Cook County Jail] for six and a half days, I fasted for six and a half days. My lawyer…was lying when he said I was fasting for lent (a day of repentance observed by Catholics). I wasn’t fasting for lent, I was fasting because that’s what we do in my family. We fast for clarity. I have never in my life been as clear as I was during those six and a half days. What I was doing was fasting until I found out whether or not I was going to be in there for those five and a half months.” 

As the interview continued, Smollett made a point to give credit to some of the inmates who he got to know while he was behind bars at Cook County Jail, highlighting how well they treated him during his short stint there.

“I have to keep it real, everybody inside was very kind and when I left I thanked them all,” Smollet said. “I said, ‘I don’t know what y’all think either way, but the fact that you didn’t let me know what you think, either way, and you just showed me respect, I’m grateful for it.” 

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Source: TMZ

Drake to Release New Album ‘Honestly, Nevermind’ Tonight

Drake has unveiled his follow-up to last year’s “Certified Lover Boy.” The rapper announced his seventh studio album titled “Honestly, Nevermind” is set to drop tonight at midnight via an Instagram post earlier today (June 16). 

Drake will expectedly expand more on “Honestly, Nevermind” details during the premiere episode of his SiriusXM radio show “Table For One.” The program will air one hour before the album’s release at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 16 on Sound 42.

Jury sides with Johnny Depp in libel case, awards him $10M

A jury sided Wednesday with Johnny Depp in his libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, awarding the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor more than $10 million and vindicating his allegations that Heard lied about Depp abusing her before and during their brief marriage.

But in a split decision, the jury also found that Heard was defamed by one Depp’s lawyers, who accused her of creating a detailed hoax that included roughing up the couple’s apartment to look worse for police. The jury awarded her $2 million.

The verdicts bring an end to a televised trial that Depp had hoped would help restore his reputation, though it turned into a spectacle that offered a window into a vicious marriage.

Heard, who was stoic in the courtroom as the verdict was read, said she was heartbroken.

“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It’s a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously,” she said in a statement posted on her Twitter account.

Depp, who was not in court Wednesday, said “the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”

“I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up,” he said in a statement posted to Instagram.

Depp sued Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” His lawyers said he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.

The jury found in Depp’s favor on all three of his claims relating to specific statements in the 2018 piece.

Throughout the proceedings, fans who were overwhelmingly on Depp’s side lined up overnight for coveted courtroom seats. Spectators who couldn’t get in gathered on the street to cheer Depp and jeer Heard whenever they appeared outside.

A crowd of about 200 people cheered when Depp’s lawyers came out after the verdict. “Johnny for president!” one man yelled repeatedly.

Source: AP News

Big L Family and Fans Celebrate Street Renaming In Harlem

Previously, it was reported that late rapper Big L was to be honored with a street named after him in Harlem. The renaming ceremony was set to take place on 140th Street and Lenox Avenue. Since then, the ceremony for Big L took place and found the likes of Fat Joe and the Ruff Ryders crew making appearances at the celebration. 

The celebration in the form of a street sign came about after a petition was presented by the makers of a Big L documentary called ‘Street Stuck.’ An announcement was made on Instagram saying, “It took a whole lot of effort and Support to get to this great point but as a collective, we made it happen. The Biggest Thank you’s go out to the Dope 500 plus people who signed and passed the petition around so we could get this street renamed. There are entirely tooo many good people that gave this their support, so with all my heart, I personally want to say THANK YOU!!!!” Take a look above.  

source: Complex

Preakness 2022: Your guide to the 147th running of the Preakness

The middle jewel of the Triple Crown returns in 2022 on May 21.

The Preakness was postponed to October in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, which marked the latest running of the race in a history that dates back to 1873. And, Rombauer won last year’s race, which returned to its spot as the second race in the Triple Crown.

This year’s race will be highly anticipated to see whether long-shot Kentucky Derby-winner Rich Strike can get one win away from the most improbable Triple Crown ever.

 EXPLAINERHow 81-1 shot Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby

PREAKNESS LIVE & INFIELDFEST

Last year, Preakness LIVE replaced InfieldFest with a socially distant concert experience. This year’s Preakness will feature both programs!

Preakness LIVE on Friday, May 20, is being billed as racing’s biggest after-party! It’s a culinary, arts and music festival taking place from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Get Preakness LIVE tickets here.

Preakness LIVE set times — main stage from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

  • 5 p.m. — Brittney Spencer
  • 5:30 p.m. — DJ Quicksilva
  • 6 p.m. — D-Nice, featuring Darin Atwater and Soulful Symphony
  • 7:30 p.m. — Megan Thee Stallion
  • 9 p.m. — Ms. Lauryn Hill

The Culinary Stage opens at 4 p.m. with a Chef Expo by Marcus Samuelsson, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons.

The 300 Unplugged Stage starts at 4 p.m. with Brave Williams, Gary Groove, Mond Already, Money Jake, Shannon Ramsey, Yanna Maria, DJ Keebee and Hi-Def.

InfieldFest on Saturday, May 21, features performances by world-renowned artists from the heart of the historic Pimlico Race Course. This year, Marshmello is the headliner, joined by Frank Walker and Moneybagg Yo. The Chainsmokers will take part in a special NBC broadcast performance. Get InfieldFest tickets here

PREAKNESS SCHEDULE

POST-POSITION DRAW: Monday, May 16, 4 p.m. (See our coverage here)

Here are the post positions and morning lines as of Monday:

  1. Simplification (6-1)
  2. Creative Minister (10-1)
  3. Fenwick (50-1)
  4. Secret Oath (9-2)
  5. Early Voting (7-2)
  6. Happy Jack (30-1)
  7. Armagnac (12-1)
  8. Epicenter (6-5)
  9. Skippylongstocking (20-1)

BLACK-EYED SUSAN DAY: Friday, May 20. Doors at Pimlico Race Course open at 10 a.m.

PREAKNESS STAKES: Saturday, May 21, at Pimlico Race Course in northwest Baltimore. There are races all day leading up Preakness post time, which is around 6:50 p.m.

Admission gates open at 9 a.m. on Preakness Day with a first post of 10:30 a.m. Traffic flow will be the lightest before noon, and wait times could be lengthy between noon and 3 p.m.

PREAKNESS TICKET INFORMATION

General admission tickets start at $60 and go up from there for concourse, clubhouse, grandstand, dining and Turfside Terrace levels. Buy Preakness tickets in advance here.

Can’t go? Watch the special coverage and all of the Preakness Stakes on WBAL-TV 11.

PLACE YOUR BETS: How to wager on the Preakness

PROHIBITED ITEMS LIST

The following items are prohibited everywhere on Black-Eyed Susan and Preakness Days:

  • Drugs or weapons of any kind
  • Outside food or beverage of any kind
  • Glass containers of any type
  • Tents
  • Umbrellas of any kind
  • Balloons, balls and Frisbees
  • Drones of any kind
  • Selfie sticks
  • Camelbacks or water bladders of any kind
  • Chairs or folding chairs of any kind
  • Hibachis or barbecues
  • Ladders, scaffolding or other raised devices
  • Bulk or oversized carrying devices
  • Non-folding, or folding, metal furniture
  • Hand carts or wheeled carts
  • Backpacks and duffel bags

Smoking and vaping are prohibited in all indoor and seating sections. Please use designated smoking areas.

The following items are prohibited in the grandstand/clubhouse:

  • Outside beverages of any kind (including alcohol, beer, wine, soft drinks, water or other beverages)
  • Outside food of any kind
  • Coolers, backpacks or thermoses
  • Vaping not permitted anywhere indoors

The following items are permitted in the grandstand/clubhouse:

  • Beach blankets and suntan lotion
  • Cellphones, cameras (up to 35mm), camcorders and binoculars
  • Clear bags for personal items, no larger than 18 inches x 18 inches
  • Empty, clear water disposable bottles
  • Personal bags including purses, no larger than 18 inches x 18 inches (subject to search)
  • For medical needs and equipment, please see on-site supervisor

The following items are prohibited in the turfside terrace and clubhouse:

  • Outside food or beverage items
  • Coolers, backpacks, or thermoses

The following items are prohibited in the InfieldFest/Mug & Vine Lounge presented by Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer:

  • Thermoses
  • Balloons, balls, and frisbees
  • Food or beverages of any kind (including alcohol, beer, wine, soft drinks, water, or other beverages)

The following items are permitted in the InfieldFest/Mug & Vine Lounge presented by Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer:

  • Beach blankets (InfieldFest only) and suntan lotion
  • Cellphones, cameras (up to 35mm), camcorders and binoculars

*Pimlico reserves the right to confiscate any such item.

All persons entering Pimlico and their camera bags, purses and containers are subject to direct physical search or indirect search by wanding or magnetometers.

Chris Brown Lands Multi-Year Residency in Las Vegas

Grammy-winning Chris Brown returns to Drai’s Nightclub in Las Vegas for a “multi-year” residency, the full details will be released soon.

Starting June 11th, as part of the residency, Chris will perform hits and album tracks, while premiering new songs from his forthcoming album, “Breezy.

Chris Brown helped define Drai’s LIVE and what has become an unmatched lineup of residency performers on the Las Vegas Strip,” stated Dustin DraiVP of Entertainment for Drai’s Management Group. “He’s one of the most dynamic live performers today, and we’re thrilled to welcome him back with a production that’s set to deliver an unprecedented fan experience.

For the residency, Chris Brown will be the first to perform on a self-designed and transparent two-level stage to present a more immersive experience for the audience.

Tickets on Sale Now!

Chris Rock Reveals He Won’t Speak on Will Smith’s Slap Until Netflix Special Drops

Chris Rock has continued with his ‘Ego Death’ tour following being slapped by Will Smith at the 2022 Academy Awards. During a stop he made at the Royal Albert Hall in the U.K., Rock briefly addressed when he would talk about the Will Smith slap. 

“People expect me to talk about the bulls**t,” said Rock. He continued saying, “I’m not going to talk about it right now. I’ll get to it eventually, on Netflix.” The comedian went on to say, “I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point, I’ll talk about that shit. And it will be serious and funny.”

Previously, Rock said he wouldn’t speak on the incident unless a paycheck were attached to his story. In another show he did in April 2022, Rock said, “I’m OK, I have a whole show, and I’m not talking about that until I get paid. Life is good. I got my hearing back.”

source: Times.co.uk

Chris Rock Sides with Johnny Depp: ‘Believe All Women, Except Amber Heard’

Chris Rock ruffled some feathers after he reportedly speaking on the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation case during a recent stand-up stop. 

“Believe all women, believe all women,” he reportedly said. “Except Amber Heard What the f*ck is she on? She sh*t in his bed!” This in direct reference to Heard allegedly admitting to defacating on her and Depp’s bed, in what a security guard for the former couple called a “practical joke.” 

“She’s fine but she’s not sh*t fine. She sh*t in his bed. What the f*ck is going on there? Wow,” Rock continued. “And they had a relationship after that. It must be amazing p*ssy… I’ve been with some crazy b*tches but goddamn.”

Source: hollywoodlife.com

Wanda Sykes Says She’s “Still Traumatized” By Will Smith Slap: “F**k Him”

Wanda Sykes was one of the many hosts of the 2022 Academy Awards and was a witness to the infamous slapping incident involving Will Smith and Oscars host Chris Rock. Since then, Sykes has commented on the slap, saying she’s still processing the situation. 

This past Thursday, Sykes was candid about the incident during a comedy tour stop in Orlando, Florida, at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts. “I’m still traumatized. I can’t talk about it. I get emotional,” said Sykes. She continued saying, “I couldn’t believe he was still sitting there, like an a**hole. Shouldn’t you be sitting there with a lawyer or LAPD, motherf**ker?” Sykes concluded by saying, “I hope he gets his s**t together. Until then, f**k him.” Stay tuned for more updates. 

source: People

Kentucky Derby: 80-1 long shot Rich Strike wins astounding upset victory

Friday morning, Rich Strike wasn’t entered in the Kentucky Derby. Saturday evening, the 80-1 long shot was a Derby champion.

The 148th Kentucky Derby went off under gray skies on a track that wasn’t nearly as soaked as conditions had forecast, and for almost all of the race the favorites ran as predicted. But in the final few paces, jockey Sonny Leon cut Rich Strike to the inside to beat two favorites, Zandon and Epicenter, to win the race. Rich Strike, entered only when Ethereal Road scratched out Friday morning, is one of the longest-odds horses ever to win the race. Epicenter placed second, and Zandon finished third.

Rich Strike was in 17th position into the final turn, and began accelerating through the pack, moving to the inside as the race entered the front stretch. As Zandon and Epicenter battled for the lead, Rich Strike streaked along the rail to claim victory. The horses raced out to the fastest quarter mile in the race’s 148-year history, and that quick start may have contributed to the last-second fade of the leaders.

Rick Dawson, owner of Rich Strike, found out his horse would be running in the Derby about 30 seconds before the Friday morning entry deadline. Ethereal Road’s scratch opened the door for Rich Strike, whose owner and trainer had already made plans to begin training this weekend in New York for the Belmont Stakes. It’s safe to say those plans have changed.

“We always felt if we could just get in, we’d have a shot,” Dawson said. “We proved it today.” Rich Strike collected a purse payout of $1.86 million for the victory.

Rich Strike’s victory was the greatest odds upset since 1913, when 91-1 long shot Donerail claimed victory. Whether unaccustomed to victory or charged up from the atmosphere, Rich Strike began nipping at the escort pony after the race, adding even more chaos to a scene already rampant with madness.

Source: Yahoo News