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Comic-Con Death Shakes up 'Twilight' Fans Across The Nation

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -

On Monday, 'Twilight" fans were already lined up to see the popular franchise's final panel Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con.

Far from a rowdy bunch, the "Twi-hards," as the fan group calls itself, quietly and insistently brought their sleeping bags, snacks and comfy chairs to the lawn adjacent to Hall H and waited for official lines to start, despite convention organizers' advice not to line up before an official queue could be organized for the historically packed panel.

One of those fans, 53-year-old Gisela Gagliardi, was killed near the convention center when walking across the intersection at Harbor Drive and Fifth Avenue in downtown San Diego just before 9:30 am on Tuesday.
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While crossing the street against oncoming traffic that had a green light, Gagliardi tripped and fell against a moving car. She died en route to the hospital.

Although not confirmed by San Diego authorities at this time, Gagliardi's identity was established by friends who noted she was a compatriot in the Twi-hard contingent. She went by @mad4hugh on Twitter and described herself as a "Lover of in no particular order: Twilight books, movies, etc., Hugh Jackman, Robert Pattinson, travelling, NYC, Australlia, cats...."

As more and more people attend Comic-Con, lines for panels have grown exponentially longer. The process for acquiring tickets and hotel rooms has become a complicated dance of online forms, refreshed browsers and lottery systems. And any return attendee can tell you, the snarl of automobile and pedestrian traffic around the convention center and the adjacent Gaslamp District is at once confusing and infuriating.

The fact that such a tragedy happened in the run-up to one of the most exciting conventions known to fandom has plenty of attendees soberly focused on the possible dangers to pedestrians - who can certainly be less than alert in the exhilaration surrounding Comic-Con.

iReporter and Comic-Con veteran Alan Kistler told CNN, "I think we're already seeing yet another clear sign that there needs to be some changes in how certain things are run."

"People started lining up for Hall H on Monday," he said. "Not only is that absurd, it's already proven to be dangerous as one person has actually died. Yes, she was jay-walking and didn't have the right of way. But I don't think she or anyone else should have been allowed to line up so early anyway. It's absurd and it's not a place free of traffic."

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Nuccio DiNuzzo

Jussie Smollett's Brother Pens Op-Ed Questioning "What If Jussie Is Telling The Truth"

Jussie Smollet's older brother, JoJo penned an op-ed letter defending his sibling and begged the question: what if Jussie is telling the truth?

The essay, written exclusively for BET.com tackles the holes of the case, the Chicago Police Department and its years of corruption, the statement from the Osundarios brothers, as well as the role media played in helping to "convict Jussie in the court of public opinion before he even entered a courtroom."

"The fact that these two brothers, who in the final hour confessed to attacking my brother yet say it was Jussie who told them to, is all the evidence that the police and the general public needed to be convinced, should be frightening to everyone," Jojo wrote.

JoJo, who owns a nonprofit aimed at helping disabled people enter the workforce, noted that it was underreported the brothers were arrested for attempted murder but secured a plea deal of aggravated battery.

In late January, the 36-year-old actor was leaving a Subway fast-food restaurant at about 2 AM when he said he was attacked by two MAGA hat-wearing men. They allegedly beat, kicked him shouted racial and homophobic slurs while trying to tie a noose around his neck and pour bleach on him.

Initially, many of the entertainer's friends took to social media to show support. The Chicago PD alleged the former Empire actor staged the attack because of a financial dispute on the show. JoJo said his brother wasn't strapped for cash.

"Jussie had actually begun directing episodes of Empire, which brought additional compensation. He worked out a deal with Fox to own 100% of his music masters, released an album, which lead to a sold-out world tour and he donated every cent of ticket sales to charity. He even signed the group, June’s Diary, to his label...To suggest that he staged his own attack to boost a sagging career is ludicrous"

JoJo, who's the oldest of the Smollett clan, ended his lengthy essay hoping there are some who are willing to give his brother the benefit of the doubt.

"I am simply hoping there are some conscious-minded people out there who, instead of carelessly victim blaming and shaming, want to loudly ask the simple question: “What if Jussie is telling the truth?”

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Christopher Polk

Writer And Director John Singleton Hospitalized After A Stroke

Writer and director John Singleton, famous for his classic 90s films Boyz n The Hood and Poetic Justice reportedly suffered a stroke and is recovering in ICU at an undisclosed hospital.

In a statement from Singleton's family, the 51-year-old director was already at the hospital Wednesday (April 17) when he had the stroke. The statement didn't offer many details but asked for privacy.

Just received a statement from John Singleton’s family: pic.twitter.com/FzKlESvhMe

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 20, 2019

After learning of Singleton's health, many celebrities and fans took to Twitter to offer their support, including Mark Wahlberg, who starred in Singleton's 4 Brothers and Luke Cage's Mike Colter.

Saying prayers for my brother John Singleton today. 🙏❤️🙏

— Mark Wahlberg (@markwahlberg) April 20, 2019

get well king 👑 #JohnSingleton pic.twitter.com/c3jGXz9Huk

— Mike Colter (@realmikecolter) April 20, 2019

In 1991, Singleton's Boyz n The Hood starred an All-star cast of Hollywood actors including Cuba Gooding Jr, Moris Chestnut, Nia Long, and Ice Cube. Famed film critic Roger Ebert referred to Singleton's work as "human drama of rare power."

"Singleton is a director who brings together two attributes not always found in the same film: He has a subject, and he has a style," Ebert wrote. "The film is not only important but also a joy to watch because his camera is so confident and he wins such natural performances from his actors."

The film earned Singleton an Oscar nomination for best director, the first given to an African-American filmmaker.

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Chris Brown Confirms Summer Tour With Nicki Minaj

Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj are hitting the road. The duo will team up for an upcoming U.S. tour set to kick off this summer, Brown confirmed via social media Friday (April 19) after Variety reported that the tour would begin in the fall.

A potential Sept. 13 concert at New Jersey’s Prudential Center was added to the venue's website and later deleted. The site listed Brown as the marquee act, while Minaj was a featured performer.

Besides going on tour together, Minaj makes an appearance on Brown’s newly released single “Wobble Up,” which also features G-Eazy. The track is the latest music collaboration from Brown and Minaj who have worked together a few times over the years.

News of the joint tour comes a day after it was reported that Minaj parted ways with her longtime management team. The “Gonja Burns” rapper was originally billed to hit the road with Future for the North American leg of her Queen tour but the jaunt was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. The Queens native recently finished up her European tour with Juice WRLD as her special guest.

Last Sunday, Minaj took the stage as a surprise guest for week one of Ariana Grande’s headlining set at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music Festival. It’s unclear if she will hit the stage when Grande returns to perform for week two of Coachella on April 21.

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