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Charlize Theron on the challenges of playing Megyn Kelly

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Charlize Theron is already earning Oscar buzz for her performance as Megyn Kelly in Bombshell, but the actress had doubts about accepting the role of the former Fox News anchor. In an interview with the New York Times, Theron described what she learned by playing Kelly in the film and said that friends had an “awkward” reaction to her gig.

“It was definitely awkward,” Theron explained. “In a weird way, the judgment [Megyn] gets from a lot of people, I felt on me a little bit. But up until four weeks into shooting, I was still grappling with who she was as a person, and it wasn’t until I really zeroed in on that year and a half of the story that I could actually defend her.”

Kelly was one of the many women to come forward accusing Roger Ailes, the longtime chairman of Fox News, of sexual harassment. The film walks a fine line, according to the New York Times, of portraying the journalist as sympathetic when it comes the harassment she faced, while also including her more controversial moments — like when she insisted on-air in 2013 that “Santa just is white.”

“There are things she has said that I’ve definitely had issues with, but it doesn’t invalidate how I feel about her struggle,” explained Theron. “Avoiding all of that stuff to get an emotional arc out of her character, I just didn’t want to be a part of that.”

Theron continued, “By the way, if this was a movie about me — and I hope nobody ever does one — it would be filled with flaws and mistakes, and I wouldn’t want somebody to take those things away. I really do believe that what she and those women went through was messed up, even though they work for a network that I highly have issues with.”

“I would imagine that as the mother of two black children, you didn’t relish re-enacting her ‘Santa is white’ segment,” remarked the New York Times reporter.

“Thank you!” Theron “emphatically” replied. “Yeah, that was hard for me.”

Theron agreed when the reporter made the connection between the similarities in Bombshell and how Harvey Weinstein behaved with the women he allegedly harassed, pitting them against each other.

“Yeah, and he did that to everybody,” said Theron. “Pitting women against each other? He was really, really good at that. There was a lot of, like, ‘Well, I’m talking to Gwyneth [Paltrow] for this movie …’ One of his lines was that Renée [Zellweger] and I slept with him to get jobs. There was no limit to him. Even in the sexual favors, he would still pit us against each other.”

Bombshell hits theaters on Friday, Dec. 13.

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Lizzo Hit on Niall Horan When They First Met

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  • Earlier this week, Niall Horan told the story of when he first met Lizzo in London.
  • He said Lizzo took the opportunity to hit on him, like the queen she is!

    Maybe because we’ve all been focusing on how amazing/talented/funny Lizzo is, we don’t know a ton about her dating life. Well, besides the fact that she’s looking to find herself “a Hemsworth cousin” and would be down to be the Bachelorette on the condition that she gets “[her] pussy eaten at least once on the whole season, and it would have to be filmed.” Which seems pretty reasonable if you as me!

    But now we also know that our girl made a play for former One Director member Niall Horan. Earlier this week during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Niall recounted meeting Lizzo for the first time and her making a pass at him, saying:

    I was in London doing a radio performance in the studio. She was coming in to do an interview in the studio as well, and someone said, ‘Oh, Lizzo’s here! She’d love to meet you.’ So we’re passing in the corridor, I was like, ‘Ah! Lovely to meet you!’ Gave her a big hug. ‘Your voice is incredible. Your songs are amazing. You’re absolutely smashing it.’And literally, without missing a beat, she just went, ‘You can smash this!’” And I was just like, ‘Fair play’…I actually started blushing myself!

    Even after Lizzo tweeted at him to call her (lol), it didn’t seem like anything came of it. However, the two did seem friendly at an event last night, hugging on the red carpet:

    iHeartRadio's Z100 Jingle Ball 2019 Presented By Capital One - Press Room

    Monica SchipperGetty Images

    And Niall posted a photo of them together, captioning, “MY GIRRRRLLLL:

    image

    Instagram

    And while I totally understand that Lizzo was probably half-joking when she hit on Niall, after these cute photos I genuinely want them to get together, #sorrynotstorry!





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Beyoncé’s 7 Best Girls Night Songs

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Beyonce "The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour" - Los Angeles

Larry Busacca/PWGetty Images

The truth is that Beyoncé is perfect for all situations—falling in love, hooking up, getting your heart broken. But when you’re getting ready for a night out with your girls, there’s no question about whether Bey will make it to the playlist. Her albums are scattered with the kind of songs that instantly make you feel like a bad bitch, no matter where you’re going or who you’re with. While this list could theoretically be endless, here are the top seven songs you need to hear at your next GNO:

“Freakum Dress” (2006)

The song: You have one, I have one, the girl sitting next to you on the subway has one. A freakum dress, as described by Bey in this classic, is the dress that makes you feel like you could literally do anything. Put yours on, crank this song, and revel in all the confidence that combo will bring.

The best line to sing with your girlfriends: Cause when he acts wrong, that’s when you put it on / Been on him up tight, this is your song / Hold out your back, time to impress / Pull out your freakum dress”

“Single Ladies” (2008)

The song: It can be exhausting to actually get out of bed, get ready, and physically leave the house. But Beyoncé was kind enough to write this anthem for single women, so the least we can do is add it to our playlists, attempt the music video dance, and have the best night with our equally single friends.

The best line to sing with your girlfriends: “‘Cause if you like it, then you shoulda put a ring on it”

“Run the World (Girls)” (2011)

The song: It’s literally written into the song that girls run this shit. What else do you need to hear before a night out with your favs?

The best line to sing with your girlfriends: This goes out to all the women getting it in / You’re on your grind / To other men that respect what I do / Please accept my shine”

“Schoolin’ Life” (2011)

The song: Why yes, I did once run to this song for 30 minutes straight. It’s the magical type of track that instantly gives you energy while making you feel like oh, wait, maybe I am killing it? In turn, perfect for a going out playlist.

The best line to sing with your girlfriends: Who needs a degree when you’re schoolin’ life?”

“***Flawless” (2013)

The song: If you’re not screaming “Bow down, bitches” alongside your friends before a night out, maybe consider getting new friends?

The best line to sing with your girlfriends:I woke up like this / We flawless / Ladies tell ’em / Say ‘I look so good tonight'”

“7/11” (2014)

The song: This isn’t so much about the song—which is great—but about the music video that you and your girlfriends absolutely must recreate while you’re getting ready.

The best line to sing with your girlfriends:Wave your hands side to side, put it in the air / Clap, clap, clap like you don’t care”

“Formation” (2016)

The song: In the words of Beyoncé: All right ladies, now let’s get in formation.

The best line to sing with your girlfriends: “Sometimes I go off / I go hard / Get what’s mine / I’m a star / ‘Cause I slay”



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Lori Loughlin’s attorneys argue feds are concealing evidence in college admissions scandal

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BOSTON — Attorneys for actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli say the Justice Department has refused to turn over critical evidence in the nation’s college admissions case and have asked a judge to intervene to force federal prosecutors to hand it over.

The celebrity couple’s attorneys filed a motion Friday seeking the government to produce the material, arguing it should be included as exculpatory evidence.

Both have pleaded not guilty to federal charges for paying $500,000 to Rick Singer, the mastermind of a sprawling college admissions cheating and bribery scheme, to get their daughters tagged as crew recruits to slip them into the University of Southern California. They’re preparing for trial next year.

The couple’s legal team asked for “all information” concerning Singer’s representations to his clients regarding payments to USC as well as information about “USC’s knowledge of Singer’s operation.” In particular, they singled out Federal Bureau of Investigation reports, known as “302 reports,” that detail statements and interview notes taken during the college admissions investigation.

More: ‘Legitimate donations’: Lori Loughlin attorney previews college admissions defense in court

Attorneys, led by Sean Berkowitz, say the documents would prove the central argument of Loughlin, Giannulli and other parents charged in the “Varsity Blues” case who have maintained their innocence — that they made “legitimate donations” to a nonprofit led by Singer, not bribes. 

“The Government’s theory in this case is that Giannulli and Loughlin knowingly bribed a rogue USC administrator in order to secure their daughters’ admission to the university,” the new motion reads. “But the Government appears to be concealing exculpatory evidence that helps show that both Defendants believed all of the payments they made would go to USC itself — for legitimate, university-approved purposes — or to other legitimate charitable causes. 

“The Government’s failure to disclose this information is unacceptable, and this Court should put a stop to it.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment. A spokesperson from USC, Leigh Hopper, did not immediately comment on the filing. Attorneys for other parents in the admissions scandal have been denied similar requests for the same documents.

Loughlin and Giannulli are among 36 parents accused of paying into a vast criminal network led by Singer, a college admissions consultant from California, who took payments in exchange for either tagging their children as fake athletic recruits to get them admitted into elite colleges or fixing their college entrance exam scores. A newly charged parent agreed this week to plead guilty to paying Singer to have someone take online college courses for her son. Singer has pleaded guilty and cooperated with authorities. 

Loughlin and Giannulli are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, honest services fraud, money laundering and federal programs bribery, which was tacked on in October to parents who declined plea deals offered by prosecutors.

More: College admissions scandal tracker: Who’s pleaded guilty, who’s gone to prison — and who’s still fighting

The couple’s attorneys argue the Justice Department must prove Loughlin and Giannulli “intended” to defraud USC and that they “knew” their donations to Singer’s nonprofit, the Key Worldwide Foundation, would be used to bribe a USC official, former senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel.

“At trial, Giannulli and Loughlin will help establish their innocence by showing that they understood both sets of payments to be legitimate donations and did not understand or intend that either set of payments would be used to directly or indirectly bribe Heinel,” their motion reads. 

The government has argued that payments from wealthy parents to Singer produced a classic quid pro quo, with the payments serving as bribes to get their children into elite universities.

To counter, the couple’s attorneys say they need “any statements by Singer as to what he precisely told his clients” about the use of their funds. They also say they need statements detailing what USC knew of Singer’s operation, arguing that if they did know about the operation but accepted money anyway then the university was not bribed or defrauded. 

More: College admissions scandal: Parents say payments to ringleader weren’t bribes

Attorneys for Robert Zangrillo, another parent accused of making bribes to USC, in September released emails from USC that showed the university maintained a spreadsheet that classified some applicants as “VIP” because their families made major donations to the school, were friends or had other connections.

Zangrillo’s defense team said it showed a “university-wide program at USC” where past and future donations affected a student’s admissions, meaning Zangrillo’s payment of $50,000 to USC was a gift, not a bribe. 

Prosecutors have turned over more than 3 million pages of emails, wiretaps and other evidence to defense attorneys in the admissions case. But at a court hearing in June, defense attorneys flagged how the government had not released FBI interviews with parents not charged in the case.

These uncharged parents told the FBI that Singer said their donations would go to athletic programs or schools, not bribes, the defense attorneys said.

Federal Magistrate Page Kelley denied the defense’s request to certify the documents as exculpatory evidence. 

Loughlin and Giannulli’s new court filing includes letters this past summer between their attorneys, continuing to press for the documents, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling. He wrote to them that their request for information detailing how Singer represented himself to clients was a “fishing expedition” for evidence that was immaterial.

“To the extent that Singer made representations to actual or potential clients who are not defendants in this case, such representations are, on their face, irrelevant,” Lelling wrote in an Oct. 31 letter.

More: USC tagged applicants from big-donor and connected families as ‘VIPs’ emails show

Loughlin and Giannulli’s attorney argue the government’s “fundamental misunderstanding of its obligations” to turn over all evidence raises concerns about their ability to do so and suggests there could be other relevant information they’re withholding. 

“The Government’s failures directly threaten Giannulli and Loughlin’s constitutional rights to a fair trial and due process of law,” the attorneys say in the motion. 

Fifty-three people, including 36 parents as well as college coaches, have been charged in the college admissions case. Thirty have either pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty later while the remaining 23 prepare for trial. 

More: New ‘Varsity Blues’ charges: Georgetown mom pleads guilty to cheating in son’s online classes

Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lori Loughlin lawyer: Feds hiding evidence in college admissions case



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