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Nate Parker Opens Up About College Rape Trial: "I Am Open To The Scrutiny"

And the Internet is ready to deliver.

Nate Parker's past is under heavy surveillance as a rape trial from his college days threatens to interrupt the buzz of his highly anticipated film Birth of a Nation.

While enrolled at Penn State University in 1999, Parker and his roommate Jean Celestin, who has since co-written the Oscar contender, were charged with raping a 20-year-old female student in their apartment. The woman claimed she was unconscious after a night of drinking and did not agree to have sex with either Parker or Celestin. She also accused both men of stalking and harassing her after she reported the incident to authorities.

Following the charge, Parker, then a student athlete, lost his spot on the wrestling team and transferred to another college in Oklahoma. He eventually was acquitted in a 2001 trial based on testimony that he and his accuser previously engaged in consensual intercourse. Although Celestin was found guilty, Parker's former roommate successfully appealed his six month prison sentence after the victim chose not to testify again in a 2005 trial.

“Seventeen years ago, I experienced a very painful moment in my life. It resulted in it being litigated. I was cleared of it. That’s that," Parker told Variety in an exclusive interview. "Seventeen years later, I’m a filmmaker. I have a family. I have five beautiful daughters. I have a lovely wife. I get it. The reality is” — he took a long silence — “I can’t relive 17 years ago. All I can do is be the best man I can be now.”

Despite his effort to bury the past, Parker understands his personal life will be up for grabs as he moves forward with press runs for his film centered on Nat Turner's 1831 slave revolt. The actor, who has already been criticized about his marriage to a white woman, says he's bracing himself for what more is to come with his burgeoning fame.

"My life will be examined and put under the microscope in ways that it never has. There are numerous things that are surfacing," he continued. "But I’ve always been an open book. I’m an advocate of justice. I’m an older man. I’ve matured a lot. I’ve had many obstacles in my life. I grew up very poor. My father passed away. There are so many things that happened. At the same time, I am the man that I am. I am open to the scrutiny. I will never hide anything from my past.”

Fox Searchlight, who acquired the rights for Parker's Sundance smash in a $17.5 million deal, has chosen to maintain their support in the wake of the resurrected ordeal. “Fox Searchlight is aware of the incident that occurred while Nate Parker was at Penn State. We also know that he was found innocent and cleared of all charges. We stand behind Nate and are proud to help bring this important and powerful story to the screen.”

The Internet, on the other hand, isn't ready to forgive and forget.

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Ty Dolla $ign Releases New Album Feat. Nicki Minaj, Roddy Ricch, Kanye West And More

After a three-year album hiatus, Ty Dolla $ign released his latest studio effort, Featuring Ty Dolla $ign, on Friday (Oct. 23).

The 25-track album features appearances from Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi, FKA Twigs, Roddy Ricch, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani, 6lack, Young Thug, Music Soulchild, Skrillex, Quavo, Anderson Paak, Post Malone, Kanye West, and more.

Powered by previously released singles, “Ego Death,” Expensive” and By Yourself,” the new album flexes a different music muscle for the Grammy-nominated recording artists who steered clear of  making club records.

“I was intentionally trying to not make club songs [talking about] hoes and *itches and all the sh*t I used to talk about,” Ty told Vulture in a recent interview. “I was trying to, like, talk about my life, and what it is now, and really do something different with it. I got a daughter going to high school this year, and she’s paying attention, and all her friends are paying attention, so I can’t talk as crazy or do the crazy sh*t that I used to do.”

Stream Featuring Ty Dolla Sign below.

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Jay Z Launches His Own Cannabis Brand

Jay Z is venturing into the world of cannabis. The  mogul officially announced the launch of his new cannabis brand, Monogram, on Friday (Oct. 23) marking his first product collaboration since becoming chief brand strategists of the Northern California-based dispensary, Caliva, last year.

“Monogram seeks to redefine what cannabis means to consumers today,” the company said in a press release. As many marijuana storefronts have implemented new rules amid the global pandemic, Monogram is also planing to launch an e-commerce sales option, “In an effort to provide a more tailored customer experience.”

Caliva and Hov opened their first Southern California storefront last year. Besides providing quality products, Hov aims to use his position at Caliva to help the formerly incarcerated (many of whom are not reaping the benefits of marijuana legalization) through advocacy, job training, and employee and workforce development.

According to the company website, Monogram uses “expert growers” to ensure that each marijuana flowers receives the “respect it deserves” in every stage of the growth process. Additionally, Monogram flowers are grown in small batches so that every plant gets “personalized attention.”

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Kehlani Plays Bryson Tiller’s Love Interest In “Always Forever” Video

Kehlani stars as Tiller’s love interest in the intimate new music video for “Always Forever,” released on Thursday (Oct. 22).

The stunning visual, directed by Glenn Michael of Toronto’s Kid Studio, is a creative take on how a relationship can become your entire universe. Tyler and Kehlani cuddle up, kiss, and hold hand in the steamy visual, prompting some fans to question the chemistry between the two. They might look pretty cozy, but Kehlani and Tiller are just friends (Tiller welcomed a child with girlfriend Kendra Bailey last year).

 

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🌎🎥💫Thanks Guys. #alwaysforever @kidstudio_ @ichiki @kehlani

A post shared by [ Bryson ] (@brysontiller) on Oct 22, 2020 at 12:35pm PDT

Kehlani shared some close-up stills from the music video on Instagram along with a message thanking Tiller for being a “solid” friend. “To one of my dearest friends…matching tattoos, years worth of stories, nights of dying laughter and holding each other down in the roughest times…I’m so proud of you. Thank you for being solid.”

The post was deleted after fans in the comments continued to speculate if the two were an item. Kehlani shared a follow-up message on her Instagram Story explaining in part, “I post lengthy captions about all my friends. You would have to follow me to know that.”

 

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#Roommates, #Kehlani explains her previous message to #BrysonTiller. (SWIPE for previous post)

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Oct 22, 2020 at 11:53am PDT

“Always Forever” is the latest single from Tiller’s newly released ANNIVERSARY LP.

Watch the video below.

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