Monday Feb 8, 2016

'Good Wife' creators welcome show's end; possible spinoff?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The Good Wife" creators Robert and Michelle King say they welcomed CBS' decision to end the series, allowing them to write its final chapter. The Kings already had decided to exit as executive producers after this season, the seventh, leaving CBS to...
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TV

'Good Wife' creators welcome show's end; possible spinoff?
Monday Feb 8, 2016
'Good Wife' creators welcome show's end; possible spinoff?

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The Good Wife" creators Robert and Michelle King say they welcomed CBS' decision to end the series, allowing them to write its final chapter. The Kings already had decided to exit as executive producers after this season, the seventh, leaving CBS to weigh whether to keep the critically acclaimed show afloat without them. On Sunday, the network used its Super Bowl telecast to announce that "The Good Wife" was heading into its final nine episodes, with the series finale to air May 8. The Kings had just learned of the decision in the past week, they told a phone news conference Monday. "We felt very fortunate and flattered that we're being allowed to end the show .... the way we hoped it would end," Michelle King said. "The Good Wife" airs 9 p.m. EST Sunday. CBS may have faced the loss of series star Julianna Margulies as well. At an event last month honoring the Kings, Margulies joked in her speech that she'd only shown up because she would soon be out of work and needed the exposure. The actress "was kind of up in the air" about returning as lawyer Alicia Florick, Michael King said. Margulies has won two Emmys for the role. But after conversations in recent days involving her, CBS, the studio and the Kings, the conclusion was that everybody "really wanted to go all together," Michelle King said. The couple, who are moving on to a new series for CBS, the comic political thriller "BrainDead," said they had long envisioned "Good Wife" as lasting seven years. To avoid spoilers, the Kings spoke in broad strokes about how their critically acclaimed drama will conclude. Robert King said he likes shows that "end with some resonance," citing "Breaking Bad" and "Six Feet Under" as memorable examples. "What I admire an ending that feels inevitable and surprising," Michelle King said. There will be a return of characters who have been offstage, including Gary Cole's Kurt McVeigh, but viewers won't see private investigator Kalinda Sharma, played by Emmy-winner Archie Panjabi. Kalinda chose to disappear and "it wouldn't make any sense to bring her back," Michelle King said. Asked about a possible "Good Wife" spinoff, she said "nothing's off the table but there's nothing formal. ... We're not saying 'no' to anything at this point." Robert King said such a spinoff likely would be an ensemble drama focusing on characters who haven't gotten as much attention, such as Elsbeth Tascioni, played by Carrie Preston, or Martha Plimpton's Patti Nyholm. "The Good Wife," initially built on the response of Margulies' character to a scandal involving her politician husband (Chris Noth), was centered on the world of Chicago law and politics. In early January, CBS programming chief Glenn Geller told reporters that the network hadn't decided the show's future without the Kings. ___ Online: http://www.cbs.com/shows/the_good_wife Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Conan O'Brien to discuss liberal arts education at Harvard
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Conan O'Brien to discuss liberal arts education at Harvard

BOSTON (AP) — Conan O'Brien is coming to Harvard to talk about the value of a liberal arts education. The late night TV host will visit the Cambridge campus on Friday for a conversation about arts and education with university President Drew Faust, followed by questions from the audience. O'Brien is a Brookline native and a 1985 graduate of the Ivy League university, which has about 29,000 students. He hosts "Conan" on TBS and is a former host of "The Tonight Show" on NBC. The ticketed event will be held at 4 p.m. at Harvard's Sanders Theatre. It will also be streamed live on the university's website. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Porn actress drops $500K assault lawsuit against Josh Duggar
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Porn actress drops $500K assault lawsuit against Josh Duggar

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A porn actress has dropped her $500,000 assault lawsuit against reality TV personality Josh Duggar amid evidence that her claims were fabricated. Duggar's lawyer calls the accusations in Ashley Stamm-Northup's lawsuit "entirely fictitious." Stamm-Northup is a San Diego woman known as Danica Dillon in adult films. Her lawsuit says that she met Duggar while working at a Philadelphia strip club last spring and that Duggar assaulted her when they went to a hotel to have sex. Evidence shows Duggar wasn't in Philadelphia at the time. His family's wholesome reality show, "19 Kids and Counting," was pulled from the TLC network in May over revelations that he had molested four of his sisters and a baby sitter. He has apologized for having a pornography addiction and for cheating on his wife. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

NY Times launches Spanish-language digital version
Monday Feb 8, 2016
NY Times launches Spanish-language digital version

The New York Times on Monday launched a Spanish-language digital edition, aiming to expand the global reach of the prestigious US daily.The Times is offering "a selection of the best of New York Times translated into Spanish" as well as original articles, said a welcome statement from deputy international editor Lydia Polgreen. On the first day, the newspaper was running a story on the perilous journey of Central American migrants trying to reach the United States, as well as articles on the Zika virus from Brazil and on politics in Peru and Venezuela. "We have a fantastic team with journalists from various parts of Latin America and in Spain, and our mission is to offer high-quality journalism every day," Polgreen said. The Times said last week it is eyeing further changes to its newsroom to meet the growing challenges of digital. On the heels of its quarterly report, the daily -- seeking to navigate a shift to digital readership -- said executive editor Dean Baquet and longtime journalist David Leonhardt would lead a review of operations. During a conference call to discuss earnings, New York Times Co. chief executive Mark Thompson indicated some shifts were coming. He said that in the coming months "we will take a close look at our existing cost base, even as we make targeted investments in our digital future." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Internet freaks out over Super Bowl Doritos ultrasound ad
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Internet freaks out over Super Bowl Doritos ultrasound ad

A Super Bowl Doritos ad featuring a woman who goes into premature labor when the father teases his unborn child with nacho chips has drawn both outrage and applause on social media.On Super Bowl Sunday -- the biggest advertising day of the year in the US -- marketing giants pulled out every trick in the trade, enlisting celebrity power to peddle their brands and creating strange and wacky storylines to try  and retain viewers' attention. But while most ads garnered a chuckle at most, it was a Doritos commercial titled “Ultrasound” that had the internet freaking out, with some viewers calling the ad offensive and inappropriate, and others laughing at the outlandish humor. In the ad, a pregnant woman is getting a routine ultrasound while her disinterested husband noshes on Doritos chips. The ultrasound monitor shows the baby reaching for the nacho until the mom throws it across the room, prompting it to initiate an early evacuation from the womb. According to Twitter, it was the best and worst ad during Super Bowl 2016, with both viewers and celebrities weighing in. “That Doritos ad was chilling,” tweeted comedian Mindy Kaling. Speaking on behalf of its fans, actor Dwayne Johnson disagreed, tweeting “That Doritos baby ultrasound commercial could win best commercial #SB50.” Some pledged to boycott the brand saying they'll never eat Doritos again, while others crowned it the best Super Bowl ad of 2016. The commercial even drew out Twitter spats between pro-choice and pro-lifers on the significance of the ad. “#NotBuyingIt - that @Doritos ad using #antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses & sexist tropes of dads as clueless & moms as uptight. #SB50,” tweeted American pro-choice group NARAL. Watch the ad at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH2LsFcWOFY. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

Michael Douglas among film stars honored by AARP
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Michael Douglas among film stars honored by AARP

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Michael Douglas was initially confused when he was told that he was being honored with a career achievement honor by the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards. The star of such films as "Wall Street" and "Fatal Attraction" told the crowd at Monday's glitzy ceremony that his assistant mistakenly informed him that he was receiving an award for his work in adult films. "I remember all my films," joked Douglas after receiving a standing ovation. "I don't remember any adult films." The newspaper drama "Spotlight" was selected as best picture at the 15th annual ceremony presented by the advocacy group AARP to stars over the age of 50 and the films that speak to that demographic. "I think when we set out to make this movie, we weren't thinking about whether it was for kids or for grownups," said "Spotlight" filmmaker Tom McCarthy. "Collectively, we understood that it was a story we had to tell. It was that important. We hoped it would reach everybody who needed to hear it." Mark Rylance was chosen as best supporting actor for "Bridge of Spies," while Bryan Cranston won the best actor trophy for "Trumbo." "I'm delighted to be here tonight — and not just because my AARP card gives me a deep discount on the parking," said Cranston. Lily Tomlin was honored as best actress for "Grandma," while Diane Ladd was awarded the best supporting actress for "Joy." In her acceptance speech, Ladd took issue with the competitive race for supporting actress at this year's Academy Awards, which she is not among. "I'm a little ticked off that the studios with greed put stars in films in the best supporting Oscar category," said Ladd. "That's not right. Rooney Mara won the best actress category at Cannes (for "Carol"). Why is she in my supporting category?" At the beginning of night, show host Kathy Griffin joked that #OscarsSoYoung should be trending on Twitter and that she felt comfortable mocking youngsters at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel ceremony. "As a comic, there's only so many groups I can make fun of anymore because everyone is so sensitive, but in this room, I can really talk (expletive) about millennials," said Griffin. Other winners Monday included "The Intern" as best comedy, "Love & Mercy" as best time capsule, "The Last Man on the Moon" as best documentary, "Learning to Drive" as best buddy picture, "5 Flights Up" as best grownup love story, "Rams" as best foreign film, "Inside Out" for best movie for grownups who refuse to grow up and "Creed" as best intergenerational film. "I'm one of those weird millennials," said "Creed" director Ryan Coogler during his acceptance speech, which he joking left Sylvester Stallone out of in a nod to the "Rocky" star not thanking him at the Golden Globes. Other attendees at Monday's star-studded ceremony included Morgan Freeman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bette Midler, Patricia Clarkson, June Squibb, Phylicia Rashad, Elizabeth Banks, Mark Ruffalo and Dick Van Dyke. "I expected to see a lot of old people here," joked Van Dyke. "I'm 90. I'm probably like the oldest person in this room!" ___ Online: http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/movies-for-grownups ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/derrik-j-lang. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Derrik J. Lang from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Piper-Heidsieck unveils Oscars Champagne
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Piper-Heidsieck unveils Oscars Champagne

To mark the 88th Academy Awards ceremony, Piper-Heidsieck is making a very special edition of its Cuvee BrutPiper-Heidsieck Red Carpet edition will be limited to just 1000 magnums and will be poured exclusively at this year's Oscars on February 28. "We are thrilled to celebrate a momentous occasion with a momentous bottle, one that reflects the Academy and the House's shared value of excellence," says Benoit Collard, Global Executive Director Piper-Heidsieck. "These magnums are as grand and bold as the films and performances we are celebrating this year." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Super Bowl 50: 4 family film trailers
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Super Bowl 50: 4 family film trailers

Trailers for "Alice Through the Looking Glass," "Eddie the Eagle," "The Jungle Book" and "The Secret Life of Pets" all aired during Super Bowl 50 -- catch up with them here.Alice Through the Looking GlassUS release: May 27, 2016Blink and you'll miss it as the 30-second "Tick Tock" clip rattles through 35 scenes at breakneck speed; Alice, played by Mia Wasikowska, will need plenty of momentum in order to rescue Wonderland, and the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp), before the film's running time elapses. Uploaded to YouTube on February 1, well in advance of Super Bowl 50.youtu.be/dX-bT1SdKj8 Eddie the EagleUS release: February 26, 2016Its first trailer was played for laughs, but for the Super Bowl this ski-jumping biopic went sentimental and serious, with three current or ex-NFL quarterbacks drafted in to comment on its inspirational merits after seeing a special advanced screening.youtu.be/dARGS9l8z5M The Jungle BookUS release: 15 April, 2016A first teaser in September 2015 was a chance to see this live-action and CGI blend in motion; this one lets us hear Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) and the other jungle inhabitants speak, with Ben Kingsley as black panther Bagheera, Lupita Nyong'o as snake Rashka, and Idris Elba as tiger Shere Khan among the talent.youtu.be/C4qgAaxB_pc The Secret Life of PetsUS release: July 8, 2016The studio behind "Despicable Me" prepares the ground in front of its next hit in waiting, a look at what pets get up to when humans aren't around. Though the animated feature can call upon Kevin Hart, Lake Bell, Louis CK and Albert Brooks to voice it, this trailer is more of a skit-based affair to show how cats and dogs prefer to spend time away from their owners.youtu.be/hz8VOiTgcW4 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Super Bowl trailers: 'Captain America,' 'Deadpool,' 'Jason Bourne,' 'X-Men' action spectacular
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Super Bowl trailers: 'Captain America,' 'Deadpool,' 'Jason Bourne,' 'X-Men' action spectacular

Catch seven action movie trailers that aired during Super Bowl 50 as movie studios went all out to capture that young, male audience with TV spots for "10 Cloverfield Lane," "Captain America: Civil War," "Deadpool," "Gods of Egypt," "Independence Day: Resurgence," "Jason Bourne," and "X-Men: Apocalypse."10 Cloverfield LaneUS release date: March 11, 2016There's a lot left open to interpretation in this 30 second teaser of terror, with the true intentions of John Goodman's survivalist / kidnapper unknown, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead caught between a rock and a monstrous place.youtu.be/IhdJkFH7K38 Captain America: Civil WarUS release date: May 6, 2016Can't we all just get along? Not when there's Marvel's Cinematic Universe to fill out, no, as former best buddies Captain America and Iron Man face off against each other. Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. return as the two lead characters, flanked by returning faces from previous entries to the Avengers franchise.youtu.be/0L7iH3foZU0 DeadpoolUS release date: February 12, 2016The near-indestructible, utterly irreverent vigilante Deadpool reveals his secret pro-athlete aspirations in this latest trailer for a first R-rated addition to the X-Men franchise. Ryan Reynolds stars.youtu.be/1JcaAlQbEwU Gods of EgyptUS release date: February 26, 2016One of Egypt's most elaborate origin stories gets a CGI-heavy treatment and the hands of "The Crow," "I, Robot," "Dark City" and "Knowing" director Alex Proyas, with the likes of Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and a very shouty Gerard Butler bringing the ancient gods to life.youtu.be/S37sBYwlULs Independence Day: ResurgenceUS release date: June 24, 2016Possibly the most overtly US-centric of the Super Bowl ads, playing over a sports stadium rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, there's screen time for leads Liam Hemsworth, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Jessie Usher, Jeff Goldblum in this special effects spectacular.youtu.be/g5K0lKrebqg Jason BourneUS release date: July 29, 2016Nine years after "The Bourne Ultimatum" and it's time to return to the Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass franchise. But why now? What's motivating secret agent Jason Bourne? And why has he become some sort of street-fighting king in the interim? If there's one thing we now know, post-trailer, it's that the film has a non-numbered title.youtu.be/_gBnmKOixDM X-Men: ApocalypseUS release date: May 27, 2016Olivia Munn makes her franchise debut as Psylocke, and Oscar Isaac's Apocalypse gets a new voice -- hear the comparison for yourself when this trailer's bumper extends to include a clip from December's equivalent treatment.youtu.be/mnu06cIUpMs Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

First trailer for Zac Efron's 'Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates' released during the Super Bowl
Monday Feb 8, 2016
First trailer for Zac Efron's 'Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates' released during the Super Bowl

The first trailer for Zac Efron's new movie "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates' aired Sunday during the Super Bowl.The comedy stars Efron alongside "Pitch Perfect" actor Adam Devine as two brothers looking for dates to take to their sister's wedding, finding that they have met their matches in the form of Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick. "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" will be released in theaters on July 8.  You can watch the official trailer now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33MtR-g4Jcg Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Michael Douglas among film stars honored by AARP
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Michael Douglas among film stars honored by AARP

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Michael Douglas was initially confused when he was told that he was being honored with a career achievement honor by the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards. The star of such films as "Wall Street" and "Fatal Attraction" told the crowd at Monday's glitzy ceremony that his assistant mistakenly informed him that he was receiving an award for his work in adult films. "I remember all my films," joked Douglas after receiving a standing ovation. "I don't remember any adult films." The newspaper drama "Spotlight" was selected as best picture at the 15th annual ceremony presented by the advocacy group AARP to stars over the age of 50 and the films that speak to that demographic. "I think when we set out to make this movie, we weren't thinking about whether it was for kids or for grownups," said "Spotlight" filmmaker Tom McCarthy. "Collectively, we understood that it was a story we had to tell. It was that important. We hoped it would reach everybody who needed to hear it." Mark Rylance was chosen as best supporting actor for "Bridge of Spies," while Bryan Cranston won the best actor trophy for "Trumbo." "I'm delighted to be here tonight — and not just because my AARP card gives me a deep discount on the parking," said Cranston. Lily Tomlin was honored as best actress for "Grandma," while Diane Ladd was awarded the best supporting actress for "Joy." In her acceptance speech, Ladd took issue with the competitive race for supporting actress at this year's Academy Awards, which she is not among. "I'm a little ticked off that the studios with greed put stars in films in the best supporting Oscar category," said Ladd. "That's not right. Rooney Mara won the best actress category at Cannes (for "Carol"). Why is she in my supporting category?" At the beginning of night, show host Kathy Griffin joked that #OscarsSoYoung should be trending on Twitter and that she felt comfortable mocking youngsters at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel ceremony. "As a comic, there's only so many groups I can make fun of anymore because everyone is so sensitive, but in this room, I can really talk (expletive) about millennials," said Griffin. Other winners Monday included "The Intern" as best comedy, "Love & Mercy" as best time capsule, "The Last Man on the Moon" as best documentary, "Learning to Drive" as best buddy picture, "5 Flights Up" as best grownup love story, "Rams" as best foreign film, "Inside Out" for best movie for grownups who refuse to grow up and "Creed" as best intergenerational film. "I'm one of those weird millennials," said "Creed" director Ryan Coogler during his acceptance speech, which he joking left Sylvester Stallone out of in a nod to the "Rocky" star not thanking him at the Golden Globes. Other attendees at Monday's star-studded ceremony included Morgan Freeman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bette Midler, Patricia Clarkson, June Squibb, Phylicia Rashad, Elizabeth Banks, Mark Ruffalo and Dick Van Dyke. "I expected to see a lot of old people here," joked Van Dyke. "I'm 90. I'm probably like the oldest person in this room!" ___ Online: http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/movies-for-grownups ___ Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/derrik-j-lang. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Derrik J. Lang from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

International designers to explore 'fashion utopia' during LFW
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
International designers to explore 'fashion utopia' during LFW

London Fashion Week will be shining the spotlight on international designers this month with an exhibition titled "Fashion Utopias."The show will see emerging fashion designers from 24 countries create fashion installations at the city's Somerset House. The building's west wing will be transformed into a Utopian terrain, designed by Hatty Ellis Coward, where an emerging generation of international designers and curators will present their vision of the future. Over 14 galleries, 13 of which will represent a country, designers will unveil creations on a theme that honors the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More's inspirational text, "Utopia." There will be one group installation, "Next in Line", which will feature designers from 11 more nations. It is the fifth annual edition of the British Council and the British Fashion Council's International Fashion Showcase (IFS) initiative, which explores the link between fashion and contemporary culture. Nationalities represented in the 2016 exhibition include Austria, Czech Republic, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia, Lebanon, Korea, Portugal, Philippines, Nigeria, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Argentina, Bahrain, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates will feature in the Next in Line installation. Highlights are set to include Guatemala's installation, where each designer will create miniature versions of their designs as traditional worry dolls, and Indonesia, where each designer will represent an essential element -- earth, fire, water and wind. Each designer from Lebanon will create a customized piece for IFS in the unifying shade of blue, while Lagos Fashion and Design Week will curate an installation of Nigerian menswear and womenswear that imagines the creative energy of designers as a cosmic bang. Fashion Utopias will run February 19 - 23. A winning Country and Designer, as well as a "Curator Award" sponsored by mannequin creator Bonaveri, will be announced on February 21 during London Fashion Week. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Paltrow describes years of messages from accused stalker
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Paltrow describes years of messages from accused stalker

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The letters addressed to Gwyneth Paltrow came for years, often with unsolicited items ranging from pornography and sex toys to religious books, earrings and clothes. The last package for Paltrow arrived in January 2015 and is now part of a stalking case against Dante Soiu, a man the actress had previously faced in court in a proceeding that resulted in him spending years in a mental institution for his lewd missives in 1999 and 2000. On Monday Paltrow faced Soiu once again, this time in a case filed over 66 letters and packages he has sent the actress in recent years with notes about his desire to marry her, discussing her death and religious writings. With furrowed brow and at times fighting back tears, Paltrow described the impact of the letters, which first began arriving shortly after she won her best actress Academy Award in 1999 and resumed after a hiatus in 2009. "I felt very upset by it. It defied logic, and I found it very, very upsetting," Paltrow said, noting the later letters came after she had two children. "This was something I had been through a very long and traumatic experience with already," she said, wiping her eyes. Soiu has pleaded not guilty to felony stalking of the actress, and his attorney contends his writings were non-threatening and focused primarily on scripture and his desire to minister to the actress. His attorney also noted that unlike in 1999, Soiu hadn't traveled to try to meet Paltrow recently. Paltrow read excerpts of many of the notes Soiu sent in measured tones during her two-and-a-half hours of testimony, but broke down when a prosecutor asked if she was afraid of him and feared for her children's safety. "Yes," the actress tearfully responded. Her fear is a key element of the felony stalking case against Soiu. Testimony will resume Tuesday. Paltrow's head of security Terry Abbott testified Monday that he always informed his client when a letter from Soiu was received, but he stopped providing her details from them after one debriefing "caused her too much distress." Paltrow, 43, testified about letters and packages she received from Soiu dating to 1999, including several that contained pornography, sex toys and statements that he wanted to cleanse her of sin. "This is a case that has gone on for Ms. Paltrow for 17 years," Deputy District Attorney Wendy Segall said during opening statements. "Her sense of security has been shattered by this man." Soiu was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 2000 in a previous trial involving the pornographic messages he sent to Paltrow. He was sent to a mental institution for several years, but re-arrested last year after sending the actress new correspondence. The recent batch letters described Soiu's intention to marry the actress as well as a pair of earrings he sent her in 2009 as a Christmas gift, some second-hand clothes and a Weight Watchers cookbook. He has also sent her religious books, and forwarded her letters he has sent to President Barack Obama and actress Angelina Jolie. One letter described Paltrow "bowing to death." The actress said the reference was disturbing. In another, Soiu is accused of writing, "I have a goal: to marry Gwyneth Paltrow and take care of her." "I felt very upset by it," Paltrow said. "This has been a very long and very traumatic experience already," Paltrow said. Soiu, who is from suburban Columbus, Ohio, shook his head during portions of Segall's opening statement and Paltrow's testimony. Her testimony came a day after Paltrow appeared at Super Bowl 50, cheering on Coldplay and her friend, Beyonce Knowles, during their halftime performance. ___ Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Anthony Mccartney from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Academy luncheon is time for reflection in high stakes year
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Academy luncheon is time for reflection in high stakes year

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The annual Oscar nominees luncheon is generally a time of low-stakes celebration, but this year amid discussions of Oscar diversity and a boycott, as well as dramatic changes to academy membership, the Monday gathering was also one for reflection. Those at the luncheon did their best to keep things focused on the nominees and not the controversy swirling around the industry. Producers Reginald Hudlin and David Hill also announced a big change for the show on Feb. 28. Winners will still have a tight 45 seconds for their acceptance speeches, but now, thanks to a scroll of key names that will appear on the screen, the speech doesn't just have to be a list of people. This development, they hope, will give winners an opportunity to say what's in their heart, rather than worrying about forgetting to thank an agent, producer or director. While the luncheon was full of schmoozing and love, with attendees like Steven Spielberg, Alejandro Inarritu, Lady Gaga and more, backstage, diversity and #OscarsSoWhite dominated the discussions. Sylvester Stallone, who became a focal point in the controversy for being the sole nominee (supporting actor) from "Creed," which had both a black director and lead actor, said he consulted with director Ryan Coogler as to whether or not he should attend at all. "I said, 'if you want me to go, I'll go, if you don't, I won't,'" Stallone told reporters before lunch. "He said, 'Just go there and try to represent the film.'" Prior to the luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., various nominees stopped to speak to a room of reporters about everything from finance reform to fashion. But Stallone wasn't the only one thinking about the question of diversity, both at the Oscars and in the industry at large. For his part, Stallone said that he believes things will change and it's just a matter of time. "Spotlight" director Tom McCarthy complimented Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for doing "an amazing job of navigating change." McCarthy said he has faith in the film community's ability to push the needle for change. "Mad Max: Fury Road" director George Miller said that from his standpoint, casting is story-driven and commented how television has been ahead of the game in diverse casting. Rooney Mara, nominated for her supporting performance in the 1950s-set lesbian drama "Carol," said she had just read an article the other day suggesting that there should be a hashtag for "Oscars so straight." "These are all important conversations for us to be having," Mara said. Beyond the discussions of #OscarsSoWhite, the nominees were also just excited to be there to celebrate with their peers. Alicia Vikander, nominated for her supporting performance in "The Danish Girl," was one appreciating the moment. She saw her co-star Eddie Redmayne (also a nominee) go through the process last year during filming when he was nominated, and won, for "The Theory of Everything." "He said try and enjoy it because it is very wonderful," Vikander said. Isaacs also tried to steer the focus back to the nominees at large inside the room. "This year, we all know there's an elephant in the room. I've asked the elephant to leave," said Isaacs in her opening remarks. "Today is all about your incredible work." The annual event brings together over 150 nominees to celebrate the honor before the golden statuettes are actually handed out at the 88th Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 28. ___ AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report. ___ Online: www.oscars.org Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lindsey Bahr from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Piper-Heidsieck unveils Oscars Champagne
Monday Feb 8, 2016
Piper-Heidsieck unveils Oscars Champagne

To mark the 88th Academy Awards ceremony, Piper-Heidsieck is making a very special edition of its Cuvee BrutPiper-Heidsieck Red Carpet edition will be limited to just 1000 magnums and will be poured exclusively at this year's Oscars on February 28. "We are thrilled to celebrate a momentous occasion with a momentous bottle, one that reflects the Academy and the House's shared value of excellence," says Benoit Collard, Global Executive Director Piper-Heidsieck. "These magnums are as grand and bold as the films and performances we are celebrating this year." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.