2018 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - Day 3
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Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty To 16 Felony Counts And Lying To Police

The Empire actor appeared at the Leighton Criminal Court Building for his hearing in Chicago, IL.

Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty to a 16 count indictment for allegedly lying to authorities about a staged hate crime in court on Thursday (March 14). According to USA Today, the actor’s legal team requested on Tuesday (March 12) that cameras be present during court so that the public could see the alleged evidence proving the 36-year-old’s innocence.

Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos joined Smollett’s defense team in February and argues that all the media coverage surrounding his client’s alleged hoax has created a tarnished image of his persona.

"What is unexpected, however, is the prosecutorial overkill in charging 16 separate counts against Jussie," Geragos stated last week. "This redundant and vindictive indictment is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make headlines in order to distract from the internal investigation launched to investigate the outrageous leaking of false information by the Chicago Police Department and the shameless and illegal invasion of Jussie's privacy in tampering with his medical records."

Another lawyer assigned to Jussie’s case, Tina Glandian, reportedly filed the non-guilty plea on his behalf.

Before his plea occurred, Judge Steven G. Watkins was assigned to his case. Watkins slightly changed some of the stipulations to the court mandates once Jussie was released on bond. He allowed the Empire star to travel to New York and Los Angeles to meet with his attorneys without having to get court approval.

Smollett was allegedly attacked in Jan. 2019 by two men wearing black ski masks. He alleged that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime by two MAGA supporters. Since then, many discrepancies on the case have surfaced which have led the Chicago Police Department to question whether or not, the incident is true.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson held a press conference last month, in which he furiously denounced Smollett’s alleged lie, stating the actor used his racial identity to his advantage to bring attention to himself and lie about the whole ordeal

“I am left hanging my head asking ‘why?’ Why would anyone – especially an African-American man – use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations,” Johnson said. “Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who is in need of support by police and investigators as well as the citizens of this city … I’m offended by what happened and I am also angry.”

Smollet is due back in court on April 17, 2019.

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Pop Smoke: 5 Suspects Arrested In Connection With Rapper’s Murder

Five people have been arrested in connection with the murder of Pop Smoke, the Los Angeles Police Department's  Robbery-Homicide Division revealed on Friday (July 10). According to an LAPD news release, the suspects include two teenagers and three adults, the latter of whom were identified as Corey Walker, 19, Jaquan Murphy, 21, and Keandre D. Rodgers, 18.

The LAPD claims that the suspects are gang members who were involved in Jackson’s murder in February, and in the murder of an 18-year-old victim who was gunned down last year in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

No other details were released as both investigations are ongoing.

Pop Smoke, whose birth name was Bashar Jackson, was gunned down at a temporary rental home in the Hollywood Hills while visiting Los Angeles. The 20-year-old Brooklyn native was the victim of an armed robbery, per the LAPD.

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Jada Pinkett Smith Confirms Past Relationship With August Alsina

As promised, Jada Pinkett Smith brought herself to the infamous red table but she wasn’t alone. Will Smith joined his wife to address August Alsina’s claims in a special mini-episode of Red Table Talk that premiered on Friday (July 10).

Jada confirmed that she was once in a relationship with the 27-year-old singer while “separated” from Will. According to Jada, things with Alsina started out as a platonic friendship before turning into something more.

“As time went on, I got into a different kind of entanglement with August,” she admitted.

The actress went on to clarify that Will never August “permission” to date her. “The only person that can give permission in that particular circumstance is myself,” she said. “I could see how he would perceive it as ‘permission' because we were separated amicably and I think he also wanted to make it clear that he’s not a home wrecker — which he’s not.

“I was in a lot of pain. I was broken. I definitely realized that you can’t find happiness outside of yourself, and luckily enough, you and I were going through a process of healing in a much different manner,” Jada told Will. “I would definitely say we did everything we could to get away from each other only to realize that that wasn’t possible.”

Later in the talk, Will asked Jada what she was looking for in August. “I just wanted to feel good,” she said. “And it was really a joy just to heal somebody.”

The couple, who have been together for 25 years, also revealed their relationship mantra: “We ride together. We die together. Bad marriage for life.”

Watch the full episode below.

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Kid Cudi Announces Eminem Collaboration, "The Adventures Of Moon Man And Slim Shady”

Kid Cudi and Eminem are releasing a new single, "The Adventures of Moon Man and Slim Shady,” scheduled to drop this Friday (July 10).

Cudster’s daughter, Vada, announced the news in an adorable video posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday (July 8).

And now a word from Princess Vada the chosen... pic.twitter.com/xmgIMkUntz

— The Chosen One (@KidCudi) July 8, 2020

Besides working with Eminem, Cudi collaborated with Kanye West on an upcoming Kids See Ghost animated series. Additionally, the Ohio native is gearing up to debut an animated Netflix series, Entergalactic, based off his upcoming concept album of the same name. Cudi will executive produce the series along with Kenya Barris.

The 36-year-old rapper and actor will also appear in the HBO mini-series, We Are Who We Are. The coming-of-age story centers around two teenagers living on an American military base in Italy.

Watch the trailer below.

 

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