Disney Channel actor Stoney Westmoreland has been fired after he was arrested in Salt Lake City for allegedly attempting to have a sexual relationship with an online acquaintance he believed was 13 years old.
In a statement Saturday, Disney announced that the 48-year-old Westmoreland had been dropped from the sitcom "Andi Mack," on which he plays the grandfather of the teen-age title character. The show films in Utah.
Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking told The Associated Press that Westmoreland was on his way to what he believed would be a sexual encounter when he was arrested Friday and charged with enticing a minor and sending inappropriate materials, including nude images. A message left with Westmoreland's agent, Mitchell Stubbs, was not immediately returned.
Westmoreland's other acting credits include "Scandal" and "Breaking Bad."
Out of all the great new albums released this year, only Paul McCartney, Dave Matthews and U2 represent the genre -- and so we hear “Rock Is Dead” again.
As Stevie Nicks is celebrating her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, she's also thinking of a pair of friends that have departed in recent years, Tom Petty and Prince.
A look at how video game developers have incorporated classic rock and musicians in their works.
Alarmed by the growing popularity of rap among Russian youth, President Vladimir Putin wants cultural leaders to devise a means of controlling, rather than banning, the popular music.
Putin says "if it is impossible to stop, then we must lead it and direct it."
But Putin said at a St. Petersburg meeting with cultural advisers Saturday that attempts to ban artists from performing will have an adverse effect and bolster their popularity.
Putin noted that "rap is based on three pillars: sex, drugs and protest." But he is particularly concerned with drug themes prevalent in rap, saying "this is a path to the degradation of the nation."
He said "drug propaganda" is worse than cursing.
Putin's comments come amid a crackdown on contemporary music that evoked Soviet-era censorship of the arts.
Last month, a rapper known as Husky, whose videos have garnered more than 6 million views on YouTube, was arrested after he staged an impromptu performance when his show was shut down in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar.
The 25-year-old rapper, known for his lyrics about poverty, corruption and police brutality, was preparing to take to the stage on Nov. 21 when local prosecutors warned the venue that his act had elements of what they termed "extremism."
Husky climbed onto a car, surrounded by hundreds of fans, and chanted "I will sing my music, the most honest music!" before he was taken away by police.
On Nov. 30, rapper Gone.Fludd announced two concert cancellations, citing pressure from "every police agency you can imagine," while the popular hip hop artist Allj cancelled his show in the Arctic city of Yakutsk after receiving threats of violence.
Other artists have been affected as well — pop sensation Monetochka and punk band Friendzona were among those who had their concerts shut down by the authorities last month.
This story has corrected the location of the meeting to St. Petersburg, not the Kremlin.
Francesca Ebel in Moscow contributed.
One Academy Award trophy sold for nearly $500,000 and the second for well over $200,000 in a rare auction of Oscars that ended Friday in Los Angeles.
A best-picture Oscar for "Gentleman's Agreement," the 1947 film starring Gregory Peck that took on anti-Semitism, sold for $492,000. A best picture statuette for 1935's "Mutiny on the Bounty" fetched $240,000.
Both were outpaced by an archive of papers on the origin and development of "The Wizard of Oz" that brought in $1.2 million.
Auction house Profiles in History announced the results after four days of bidding on Hollywood memorabilia that brought in more than $8 million in total.
Other items sold include a TIE fighter helmet from the original "Star Wars" that went for $240,000, a Phaser pistol from the original "Star Trek" TV series that fetched $192,000, a hover board Marty McFly rode in "Back to the Future II" that sold for $102,000, and a golden ticket from "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" that brought in $48,000.
The "Mutiny on the Bounty" Oscar price came close to auction-house projections, but the "Gentleman's Agreement" statuette brought in more than twice what was expected, for reasons that are not clear. The buyers of both Oscars and "The Wizard of Oz" document chose to remain anonymous.
Auctions of Oscar statuettes are very uncommon because winners from 1951 onward have had to agree that they or their heirs must offer it back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for $1 before selling it elsewhere. The academy has said it firmly believes Oscars should be won, not bought.
Neither of the Oscars sold this week approached the record of $1.5 million paid by Michael Jackson to acquire David O. Selznick's "Gone With the Wind" Oscar in 1999.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected a request from Bill Cosby to be released on bail while he appeals his sexual assault conviction.
The order from the court issued Friday does not elaborate on the decision.
Cosby filed an appeal earlier this month saying that Pennsylvania trial Judge Steven O'Neill had a feud with a key pretrial witness, the former county prosecutor who declined to arrest Cosby a decade earlier. And they say his decision to let five other accusers testify among other alleged issues are grounds for a new trial.
A jury convicted the 81-year-old Cosby in April of drugging and molesting a woman in 2004.
The legally blind comedian is housed in a new state prison about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from his Philadelphia-area estate.
CBS on Friday pledged to give $20 million to 18 organizations dedicated to eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace as the network tries to recover from a scandal that led to the ouster of its top executive, Les Moonves.
The announcement comes as the network's crisis deepens, with details emerging from an ongoing investigation into Moonves' conduct and news surfacing of other instances of sexual misconduct at CBS.
In the latest revelation, CBS acknowledged that it reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year with actress Eliza Dushku, who said she was written off the show "Bull" in March 2017 after complaining about on-set sexual comments from its star, Michael Weatherly. Some women's rights activists called on CBS to fire Weatherly.
The funds for the grants to the 18 organizations are being deducted from severance owed to Moonves under his contract, and the company had previously said the former CEO would have a say in which groups would receive the money.
But whether Moonves, who was one of the television industry's most powerful executives, receives the remaining $120 million of his severance hinges on the investigation, which is being conducted by two outside law firms. The company has said Moonves would not be entitled to the severance if its board of directors determines he was fired for cause.
CBS said its donation to the 18 groups will go toward helping expand their work and "ties into the company's ongoing commitment to strengthening its own workplace culture."
Among the recipients are Catalyst, a 56-year-old organization dedicated to empowering women in the workplace, and several groups that have emerged as prominent voices since the downfall last year of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, which triggered an avalanche of sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men across several industries.
The 18 organizations issued a joint statement praising the donations as a first step while calling on CBS to disclose the results of the Moonves investigation and the company's efforts to rectify practices that may have enabled misconduct.
"We thank CBS for these donations. We also recognize these funds are not a panacea, nor do they erase or absolve decades of bad behavior," the groups said.
Moonves was ousted in September after the New Yorker published allegations from 12 women who said he subjected them to mistreatment that included forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted. Moonves has denied having any non-consensual sexual relationships.
Two other major figures at CBS have lost their jobs in the past year over misconduct allegations: "60 Minutes" top executive Jeff Fager, and news anchor Charlie Rose.
The New York Women's Foundation said it is receiving $2.25 million from CBS to support its "Fund for the Me Too Movement and Allies," which is co-led by #MeToo founder Tarana Burke. The fund invests in community organizations nationwide dedicated to fighting sexual violence and harassment.
Ana Oliveira, the foundation's president and CEO, said the donation will help give survivors of sexual misconduct a voice in developing solutions. But she urged CBS to do the same within its own organization.
"Those who have lived through the issues have some of the best solutions. This is not a conversation about the perpetrators. CBS needs to do its own work there," Oliveira said.
Other grant recipients include Time's Up, a Hollywood-based group promoting gender equity in the workplace, and Press Forward, an organization of women dedicated to fighting sexual harassment in the news industry.
Time's Up Entertainment said it will use its $500,000 from CBS to launch an initiative to increase the presence of people of color and of different social backgrounds in the entertainment industry's producing and executive ranks.
Carolyn McGourty Supple, co-founder of Press Forward, said the new funding would accelerate her group's programs, which include a partnership with the Poynter Institute to develop innovative sexual-harassment training and a study on the state of women in America's newsrooms.
She said Press Forward has been "very encouraged" by the willingness of CBS News' leadership "to engage with us."
"We have faith that we will work side by side to make sure our newsrooms are places where journalists do their best work," McGourty Supple said.
The entertainment business of CBS, however, is facing new outcry over the revelations about "Bull" star Weatherly, which were first reported by The New York Times.
Shaunna Thomas, executive director of the women's rights organization UltraViolet, said CBS tried to sweep "his abuse under the rug" and "must immediately move to fire Michael Weatherly."
Melissa Silverstein, founder of the "Women and Hollywood" initiative, tweeted that she was "still wondering why" Weatherly has a job.
Neither UltraViolet nor Silverstein's group received funds from CBS.
Weatherly, who appeared on the CBS series "NCIS" for 13 years before "Bull" began in 2016, said in an email to the Times that he had apologized to Dushku after she confronted him. Weatherly's manager, Doug Wald, has not responded to Associated Press requests for additional comment.
In a September interview with the AP , Weatherly said his long history with CBS made it difficult to comment on the Moonves scandal.
"Not to get into any of the ifs, ands or buts about what is right or wrong and where it comes from," Weatherly said then. "Professionally I owe a great part of my career to the decision-making of the higher-ups at the company. It's a complicated place to be."
CBS News is replacing the top executive at "CBS This Morning," which has struggled to maintain its footing since Charlie Rose was fired a year ago on sexual misconduct charges.
The network announced Friday that executive producer Ryan Kadro will be leaving "CBS This Morning" and the network. He's been with the show since its 2012 launch and been running it since his predecessor, Chris Licht, left to take over Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" three years ago
CBS said Kadro's exit had nothing to do with the network's settlement this week of a lawsuit filed by three women concerning Rose's behavior that had faulted management, including Kadro, for not acting to stop him.
No replacement has been named.
Kadro, in a note to his staff, said he had been discussing his future with CBS News President David Rhodes since September. His contract expires at the end of the year.
"Through our discussions, I couldn't shake the feeling in my gut that I need a new challenge, and a serious nap," Kadro wrote. "It's the natural course of things."
"CBS This Morning" had generated significant momentum in the lucrative morning marketplace earlier in the decade with a newsier approach led by the on-air anchor team of Rose, Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell. While it remained third in the ratings to ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "Today" show, its audience grew and it was competitive with its rivals for the first time in a long time.
After Rose's departure, that momentum halted. All of the network morning news shows are losing audience, but none as quickly as CBS. The show has been averaging just under 3.2 million viewers this year, compared to 3.6 million before Rose's exit in November 2017, the Nielsen company said.
Rose was replaced by John Dickerson, the former "Face the Nation" host. In October, Bianna Golodryga was added as a fourth anchor.
CBS had said earlier this week that it had settled its portion of a lawsuit filed by two former "CBS This Morning" employees, Katherine Brooks Harris and Yuqing Wei, and a third woman who worked as Rose's assistant, Sydney McNeal, who had accused Rose of unwanted physical contact. The lawsuit said one of the women had warned Kadro of Rose's behavior but that nothing had been done; CBS said Kadro had a different recollection of the discussion.
CBS News said the settlement was unrelated to the change.
Finding a new leader for its morning show and entrusting that person to turn things around isn't the only management issue Rhodes is facing.
He's mulling a closely-watched decision on leadership at "60 Minutes," television news' most popular and influential program. The show's previous executive producer, Jeff Fager, was let go in September after sending a threatening text to another CBS News reporter who was working on a story about misconduct allegations against Fager.
It's one of the top jobs in television journalism. Bill Owens, a veteran "60 Minutes" executive who is the show's interim leader, and "48 Hours" top executive Susan Zirinsky are thought to be two of the top candidates.
Another important show for the network, the "CBS Evening News," has been hurting in the ratings with Jeff Glor as top anchor.
Five out of seven inductees for 2019 are U.K. artists – but why are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and others still on the outside?
Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. But which Superman movies leap over the others?
It's early yet, but 2019 is already shaping up to be an intriguing year for rock fans.
British officials have released the photos chosen by members of the royal family for their Christmas cards.
Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow. Prince Harry and Meghan chose a black and white motif that shows the newlyweds admiring a fireworks display at their evening wedding reception in May.
For ardent gardener Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the choice was a photo that showed them gazing lovingly at one another while sitting on a bench surrounded by greenery.
And Queen Elizabeth II? Buckingham Palace officials say there are no plans to release an image of the card used by the queen and her husband, Prince Philip.
Gloomy, gothy, punky, poppy -- the multidimensional band's albums are among the best of the era.
The rapper's shark-jumping “Ocean to Ocean” might be the worst version of all time.
Spanish prosecutors have charged pop music star Shakira with tax evasion, alleging she failed to pay more than 14.5 million euros ($16.3 million) between 2012 and 2014. The Colombian singer denied the charges.
The charges published Friday allege that Shakira listed the Bahamas as her official residence for tax purposes during those years but was in fact living in Spain with her partner, Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique.
Tax rates are much lower in the Bahamas than in Spain.
Shakira said in a statement Friday through her representatives that she was not a legal resident in Spain during the years in question and owed nothing to the Spanish tax authorities, who are using her "as a scapegoat" to frighten other taxpayers into coming clean.
Prosecutors in Barcelona said Shakira's travel abroad was for short periods because of professional commitments, while most of the year she stayed in Spain. They want her to pay tax in Spain on her worldwide income.
Shakira officially moved to Spain for tax purposes in 2015, after having two children by Pique.
A magistrate will assess whether there is enough evidence to put Shakira on trial.
Prosecutors want Shakira to pay a bond of 19.4 million euros — the amount they say she owes in tax, plus 33 percent, in accordance with Spanish law. Otherwise, they recommend a court freeze of her assets to that amount.
Shakira was named in the "Paradise Papers" leaks that detailed the offshore tax arrangements of numerous high-profile individuals, including musical celebrities like Madonna and U2's Bono.
The documents were obtained by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and investigated by Spanish news website El Confidencial.
Spain's tax authorities referred their probe to the Barcelona prosecutor's office a year ago.
Sports celebrities have also been in trouble with Spanish tax authorities, including soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Kanye West is not sending Christmas cheer to Drake.
West appeared to reignite a feud with the fellow rapper in a series of tweets on Thursday in which he claimed Drake had called trying to threaten him.
West wrote "So drake if anything happens to me or anyone from my family you are the first suspect - So cut the tough talk."
West alleged Drake was behind audience members rushing the stage and splashing fellow rapper Pusha T with liquid during a concert in Toronto in November.
Drake did not post a response. An email seeking comment was sent to a Drake representative.
The rappers have had an ongoing feud this year, but West had apologized to Drake in September.
They were on the ballot last year as well, and showed no small degree of apathy toward the nomination.
He bulked up, then immediately crash dieted to play Freddie Mercury in the world-dominating biopic.
Nancy Wilson, the Grammy-winning "song stylist" and torch singer whose polished pop-jazz vocals made her a platinum artist and top concert performer, has died.
Wilson, who retired from touring in 2011, died after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, a California desert community near Joshua Tree National Park, her manager and publicist Devra Hall Levy told The Associated Press late Thursday night. She was 81.
Influenced by Dinah Washington, Nat "King" Cole and other stars, Wilson covered everything from jazz standards to "Little Green Apples" and in the 1960s alone released eight albums that reached the top 20 on Billboard's pop charts. Sometimes elegant and understated, or quick and conversational and a little naughty, she was best known for such songs as her breakthrough "Guess Who I Saw Today" and the 1964 hit "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am," which drew upon Broadway, pop and jazz.
She resisted being identified with a single category, especially jazz, and referred to herself as a "song stylist."
"The music that I sing today was the pop music of the 1960s," she told The San Francisco Chronicle in 2010. "I just never considered myself a jazz singer. I do not do runs and — you know. I take a lyric and make it mine. I consider myself an interpreter of the lyric."
Wilson's dozens of albums included a celebrated collaboration with Cannonball Adderley, "Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley," a small group setting which understandably could be called jazz; "Broadway — My Way"; "Lush Life"; and "The Nancy Wilson Show!" a best-selling concert recording. "How Glad I Am" brought her a Grammy in 1965 for best R&B performance, and she later won Grammys for best jazz vocal album in 2005 for the intimate "R.S.V.P (Rare Songs, Very Personal)" and in 2007 for "Turned to Blue," a showcase for the relaxed, confident swing she mastered later in life. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded her a "Jazz Masters Fellowship" in 2004 for lifetime achievement.
Wilson also had a busy career on television, film and radio, her credits including "Hawaii Five-O," ''Police Story," the Robert Townsend spoof "Meteor Man" and years hosting NPR's "Jazz Profiles" series. Active in the civil rights movement, including the Selma march of 1965, she received an NAACP Image Award in 1998.
Wilson was married twice — to drummer Kenny Dennis, whom she divorced in 1970; and to Wiley Burton, who died in 2008. She had three children.
Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, the eldest of six children of an iron foundry worker and a maid, Wilson sang in church as a girl and by age 4 had decided on her profession. She was in high school when she won a talent contest sponsored by a local TV station and was given her own program. After briefly attending Central State College, she toured Ohio with the Rusty Bryant's Carolyn Club Big Band and met such jazz artists as Adderley, who encouraged her to move to New York.
She soon had a regular gig at The Blue Morocco, and got in touch with Adderley's manager, John Levy.
"He set up a session to record a demo," Wilson later observed during an interview for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. "Ray Bryant and I went in and recorded 'Guess Who I Saw Today,' 'Sometimes I'm Happy,' and two other songs. We sent them to Capitol and within five days the phone rang. Within six weeks I had all the things I wanted."
Her first album, "Like in Love!", came out in 1959, and she had her greatest commercial success over the following decade despite contending at times with the latest sounds. Gamely, she covered Beatles songs ("And I Love Her" became "And I Love Him"), Stevie Wonder's "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" and "Son of a Preacher Man," on which she strained to mimic Aretha Franklin's fiery gospel style. She was so outside the contemporary music scene an interviewer once stumped her by asking about Cream, the million-selling rock trio featuring Eric Clapton.
"It took me years to know what that question was about. Remember, I was constantly working or I was traveling to perform. The '60s for me were about work," she told JazzWax in 2010.
In the 1970s and after, she continued to record regularly and perform worldwide, at home in nightclubs, concert halls and open-air settings, singing at jazz festivals from Newport to Tokyo. She officially stopped touring with a show at Ohio University in September 2011, but had been thinking of stepping back for years. When she turned 70, in 2007, she was guest of honor at a Carnegie Hall gala. The show ended with Wilson performing such favorites as "Never, Never Will I Marry," ''I Can't Make You Love Me" and the Gershwin classic "How Long Has This Been Going On?"
"After 55 years of doing what I do professionally, I have a right to ask how long? I'm trying to retire, people," she said with a laugh before leaving the stage to a standing ovation.
In accordance with Wilson's wishes, there will be no funeral service, a family statement said. A celebration of her life will be held most likely in February, the month of her birth.
She is survived by her son, Kacy Dennis; daughters Samantha Burton and Sheryl Burton; sisters Karen Davis and Brenda Vann and five grandchildren.
Italie reported from New York.
This story has been updated to correct the spelling of the last name of Robert Townsend.
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