anderson cooper

Anderson Cooper Takes On Prof. Who Called Newtown Massacre A 'Hoax'

CNN's Anderson Cooper is taking one of the Newtown conspiracy theorists head-on. Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy has proposed that the tragic mass killing of 20 children and six faculty members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT was all a rouse. Tracy theorized that the shooting was put together by the American media and government to expedite gun control legislation. He is just one of a slew of naysayers who have all come under fire for their claims. “In terms of saying that Sandy Hook — the Newtown massacre — did not take place, is really an oversimplification of what I actually said,” Tracy said in response to his critics. “I said that I think that there may very well be elements of that event that are synthetic to some degree, that are somewhat contrived. I think that, overall, the media really did drop the ball. I don’t think that they got to the bottom of some of the things that may have taken place there.” Cooper came to the defense of those affected by the Sandy Hook shootings on Friday (Jan. 16) after families had reported that they were receiving negative comments, messages and phone calls in their times of grief. He also reported that one family was forced to remove their Facebook memorial after receiving offensive comments Tracy then took to his personal blog in response to Anderson's report with the headline, "Does Anderson Cooper Want James Tracey and/or His Family Members Harmed?" Cooper rebutted Tracy once again last night (Jan. 15), citing Tracy's status as an educator as the primary reasoning for his reports. He also reported that Tracy declined to appear on his show. "It's one thing for ill-informed people to take to the Internet to voice their paranoia. There are always these types of people," he said. "But it's another for an associate professor at a university to do it." Though he refused to appear on CNN, Tracy released a statement concerning his claims: "I apologize for any additional anguish and grief my remarks-and how they have been taken out of context and misrepresented-may have caused the families who've lost loved ones on December 14. At the same time I believe the most profound memorial we can give the children and educators who lost their lives on that day is to identify and interrogate the specific causes of their tragic and untimely demise."

From the Web

More on Vibe

MICHAEL CAMPANELLA

Judge Removes Tekashi 6ix9ine's Lawyer From Racketeering Case

Tekashi 6ix9ine is in need of new legal representation. A judge has reportedly removed one of 6ix9ine's lawyers from his racketeering case ahead of his trial, XXL reports. The decision was made during a pre-trial conference on Tuesday (Jan. 22).

The presiding Judge Paul A. Engelmayer ruled that the 6ix9ine's lawyer, Lance Lazarro, would have to be removed from the case due to a potential conflict of interest. Lazarro reportedly represented Tekashi's co-defendants, Faheem "Crippy" Walter and Kifano "Shotti" Jordan before representing 6ix9ine in his racketeering case.

During the conference, Engelmayer stated that he was upset that Lazarro had not disclosed his relationship with the co-defendants previously. Lazarro reportedly represented Walter for a gang assault charge in Oct. 2018 and Jordan for numerous charges in 2009 and 2015. He explained that he didn't think the matter was important to mention.  Judge Engelmayer responded by noting that it wasn't the attorney's place to determine whether his previous work was significant.

Lazzaro will not be able to act as Tekashi's lawyer until he sends letters detailing the extent of his relationships with Walter and Jordan. If the judge finds no conflict of interest, Lazarro will be able to return as an acting attorney for Tekashi. Dawn Florio will continue as part of Tekashi's legal team.

As previously reported, the "Stoopid" artist, Walter, and Jordan are awaiting trial for a racketeering case. Tekashi pleaded not guilty to the federal charges in Nov. 2018. If convicted, he could face a life sentence in prison. His trial date is slated to begin on Sept. 4.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Drake And Odell Backham Jr. Sued For Orchestrating Violent Attack On Man

Drake and NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. are reportedly being sued for allegedly orchestrating a violent attack on a man in a West Hollywood club, TMZ reports. According to court docs obtained by the celeb site, Bennett Sipes is accusing Drake and Beckham of telling their entourage to beat him up after a brief confrontation.

Sipes claims the incident occurred in the VIP section of the Delilah nightclub after he began to argue with Drizzy, Beckham, Kourtney Kardashian's ex-boyfriend Younes Benjima, and the rest of their crew. A source close to the incident claims Sipes was "talking smack" at the time. When he attempted to exit the area, Sipes alleges that Drake gave him the "cut throat" gesture.

When the victim entered the bathroom, he was attack by Benjima and Drake and Beckham's friends. The whole fight was caught on video, showing Benjima throwing the first punch at Sipes. Drake and OBJ are also seen on camera watching from a distance.

Sipes reportedly filed a police report following the incident, but dropped it shortly after. He is suing OBJ, Drake, Delilah and others other for an undisclosed amount.

Check out footage from the attack below.

Continue Reading
Getty Images | Mike Pont

A Judge Has Closed Off The Second Floor Of R.Kelly's Chicago Studio

A Chicago judge ordered the second floor of R.Kelly’s studio to be shut down. The 52 year-old musician, who is now under criminal investigation stemming from a slew of allegations of physical and sexual abuse against a bevy of women, initially used the warehouse as a place of work, but apparently as a residence as well.

The judge on the case mandated that the warehouse can only be of use from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to CBS Chicago, an inspection took place at the property on January 16, which revealed the property has bathrooms, bedrooms, a kitchen, a full bar and lounge area.

Because the building is zoned for commercial use only, all the evidence found suggests that people indeed inhabit the premises.

“We did find bedrooms with bathrooms. Inside the bathrooms there was evidence of toiletries, robes, and it appeared that people were living in the property,” Kimberly Roberts, deputy corporation counsel said. “In addition to that, the stairs were dangerous.”

Another form of evidence found in the property was a staircase, which allegedly was not properly secured to a wall. Ultimately, the deficient staircase can become a major fire hazard if an emergency were to occur on the premises. In response to the findings, Judge Patrice Ball-Reed mandated that the second floor be closed until the staircase is repaired.

“There’s no plan to suggest how this was built out. There hasn’t been one inspection by a city inspector to verify the work was done properly, and being out there, it’s obvious that the work was not done well, which leads us to concerns about public safety,” Ball-Reed said. “If a fire breaks out with that lack of fire separation, the entire warehouse can go up.”

Still, R,Kelly’s attorney Melvin Sims said that despite all that was found, his client does not use the studio as a residence but only as a workplace. “A facility on the premises does not a residence make. A couch on the premises does not make it a living room,” Sims said. “Obviously, you have attorneys and judges, and we are interpreting how a creative space is to be used, and we’re probably the least creative people inclined to do that.”

A follow-up hearing will take place on February 7, where another debate will take place to see if the studio will remain open in any capacity.

 

 

Continue Reading

Top Stories