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R. Kelly’s Bond Set at $1 Million, Pleads Not Guilty

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Following his arrest on February 22nd, R. Kelly has entered a not guilty plea via his attorney. The singer is facing 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse with four victims.

R. Kelly spent this past weekend in a Chicago jail, donning an orange jumpsuit like the rest of the inmates in the facility. Saturday, Kelly’s bond was set at $1 million, where the singer would have to pay 10% for temporary freedom and adhere to the conditions of his release. Among those terms was a condition that Kelly refrains from contacting females younger than 18. Monday, February 25th, he went before a judge after failing to raise the $100,000 bail to secure his release.

At this hearing, Kelly’s case was assigned to Cook County Associate Judge Lawrence Flood. Judge Flood will preside over the trial where the next court date is March 22nd. While Kelly awaits his next court date, news of additional evidence is making the rounds. Attorney Michael Avenatti stated his team is providing prosecutors with a second video of Kelly assaulting a minor. Avenatti is currently representing one victim and one witness of Kelly’s crimes.

Case Outline

Of R. Kelly’s current accusers, three of the victims are minors and one is an adult. A bond proffer detailing the extent of Kelly’s offenses has been made public with the initial page citing an offense in 1998. The victim, aged 16 at the time, says Kelly approached her on her 16th birthday while she was celebrating at a restaurant. R. Kelly’s manager provided the victim with a business card that had Kelly’s personal number. Kelly convinced the victim to meet him at his Chicago studio where the first encounter took place. The victim was then told to collect an envelope from Kelly’s receptionist which contained a “large sum of money.” These encounters continues monthly from May ’98 to May ’99.

The second victim was abused from September 1998 until September 2001. Only 14 years old at the time, this victim has been identified as the niece of S.E., who is presumably Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards. This information has been provided via a witness who claims he had conversations with R and his associates. In these talks, R. Kelly told the witness to retrieve the tapes containing evidence of Kelly assaulting the victim. The witness viewed the tapes before turning them over to Cook County State’s Attorney Office through his legal representation.

DNA Evidence

The third victim, 24, has provided DNA evidence that R. Kelly assaulted her February 18 2003. A former hairdresser who used to braid R. Kelly’s hair, the victim stated Kelly assaulted her after saying he “wanted his head massaged.” He motioned to his genitals and tried to force himself onto her. However, she resisted and Kelly ejaculated onto the victim and spit in her face several times. The shirt she was wearing was submitted for testing and returned as a match for R. Kelly’s DNA.

The fourth victim was abused between May 2009 and January 2010 at 16 years old. Having attended the criminal trial of R. Kelly in 2008, the victim eventually made contact with the singer at his Olympia Fields home. R. Kelly was aware the victim was underage. During their encounters he would slap, choke, and spit on the victim. The victim saved one of the shirts she was wearing during the attacks and submitted it to Olympia Fields Police Department for DNA testing. The shirt tested positive for R. Kelly’s semen.

According to the Associated Press, R. Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg expects the singer to post bail this evening. Greenberg is maintaining his clients innocence and that no one has shown his evidence that contradicts that. Although R. Kelly has an outstanding amount in unpaid child support to the tune of $170,000, his attorney does not believe that will interfere with Kelly’s ability to post bail since it is a civil dispute.

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Jason Mitchell Loses Representation and ALL Gigs Following Misconduct Allegations

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As the breakout star of Straight Outta Compton, Jason Mitchell made his mark with a spot on performance as Eazy E. His indisputable talent caught the eyes of top-notch talent agencies and management. His star was rising, only to descend with equal speed. The one-time star of Showtime’s drama, The Chi, has found himself out of all jobs and prospects, lacking management, or a talent agency after allegations of “inappropriate behavior”.

Jason Mitchell was in line to star as the lead of Desperados, a Netflix film, when the news of an off-set incident made its way to the ears of producers. While the details of what happened have not been made public, the fallout of Mitchell’s actions has been swift. Since Netflix conducted an investigation into the misconduct allegation, news of the incident spread to the ears of his other employers. This led to Mitchell being dropped by his agency, his management company, Netflix, and Showtime.

Representatives for United Talent Agency, Authentic Talent & Literary Management, and Netflix production company Good Universe have all confirmed Mitchell’s unemployment. In the past, an incident occurred on the set of The Chi. There were allegations of inappropriate behavior involving Tiffany Boone, who plays Mitchell’s girlfriend on the show. While resolved, the history of Mitchell’s repeated complaints of sexual harassment have influenced future decisions. The series was recently renewed but production company Fox 21 Television Studios opted not to pick up Mitchell’s option for the third season.

Jason Mitchell has not made any comments on the matter at this time.

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Snubs and Celebrations: 2019 BET Award Nominations Are in!

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While the major award season has long passed, summer entertainment and music awards season is upon us. BET just announced the nominees for the 2019 awards show.

Taking place on June 23rd at the Microsoft Theater in LA, actors and musicians will find out who stands among the winners and the losers. But the network that claims “We got you” is facing some heat for neglecting to include the queer community.

When it comes to who is looking to win big, all signs point to Cardi B. The “Money” rapper has been nominated 7 times with one award being Album of the Year. Her award nominations span 5 of the 20 available categories the ceremony highlights. While she’s sure to collect some trophies, her competition is rather steep. Cardi is up against The Carters album “Everything is Love.”

For actors, the categories are few and far between, but there’s love to go around…provided you aren’t a queer actor. The critically acclaimed FX drama series Pose is good enough to snatch trophies anywhere but home. BET has not recognized any talent from the series for either best actor or actress despite Billy Porter’s renowned performance. Fans of Pose have voiced their concerns on Twitter, calling out Black Entertainment Television for not rooting for everybody Black.

The full list of nominees is available here.

Are you excited to see who leaves a winner? Tune in June 23rd to find out who shines.

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And Now Our Watch Has Ended: Game of Thrones Conclusion Falls Flat

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Lovers of the fantasy series Game of Thrones tuned in for the nonsensical ending Sunday night. Much to their dismay, the conclusion to the once well-crafted tale left them with more continuity errors and questions than they bargained for.

Caution: This post contains spoilers for the entire series of Game of Thrones!

Howland Reed, The Grand Maester Conspiracy, The North Remembers, Lady Stoneheart. There were so many neglected arcs in the series that led to the rushed ending fans received last night. Although some still look fondly upon the franchise as one of the most enthralling, culturally captivating shows of all time, it’s memory is forever laced not just with what it included, but with what it altered or flat out ignored.

Originally foreseen by George R.R. Martin as having a Tolkien-esque ending where all loose ends are tied, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are being roasted for the botched ending they’ve presented to a longsuffering fanbase. Appearing to have conveniently forgotten the iconic author’s grand plan, D & D stood by as plot lines and character arcs suffered from their deviation. No longer able to contain their frustrations fans have been incredibly vocal with their displeasure. Screaming in a single voice and echoing the cast’s sentiments, the Game of Thrones fandom agrees that this ending is “bullshit”.

The beginning of the series finale focused on Tyrion’s journey to uncover the fate of his siblings and Jon’s journey to convince Daenerys not to be “more of the same.” The Red Keep, thought to be in complete ruin, was still accessible to Tyrion, even as he wandered toward the underbelly of the enormous castle. A torch in hand, he dug through bricks to reach the tunnels where Jamie and Cersei lay. In what would be the first of many “What the f*ck?!” moments of the evening, Tyrion actually discovers the corpses of the star-crossed twins. Viewers watched in disappointment as he managed to stand in an area that should have been clearly collapsed, implying that if the lovers stood a few feet to the right, they might have survived the implosion. A travesty! Yet more cringe would follow as the episode unfolded.

For anxious onlookers who couldn’t wait to see what Sunday would bring, they could feast their eyes upon an accurate leak that described the events. Telegraphing Grey Worm’s descent into heartlessness as he killed enemies of “The Queen”, Jon’s eventual betrayal of Daenerys, and even character endings, it all played out just as the unnamed source said things would. No matter how much we wanted it all to be untrue, there it was in all of it’s ugliness. After 10 long years of production, after 2 long years of wait, Game of Thrones ended with democracy, SIX kingdoms, and Bran The Broken, First of His Name ascending to rule.

The overall reception of the conclusion to the series is a solid “NOPE!”. Viewers and critics have given the episode, titled The Iron Throne, a 57% rating. As social media users continue to share the ways in which the end was unfulfilling for them, book readers are urging them to begin reading the texts. There are still two novels left in the series, giving show watchers access to a true ending and the satisfaction of complete arcs with stunning detail.

Were you disappointed with Season 8? Did you think the series finale was an epic conclusion or did it leave much to be desired?

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