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Bill Cosby's graphic deposition of 'consensual sex' with main accuser read in court

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By Jonah Haskell

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images(NORRISTOWN, Penn.) — Jurors in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial heard the comedian’s side of the story for the first time Tuesday afternoon, when law enforcement officials read portions of a 2005 civil lawsuit deposition the legendary entertainer gave to his main accuser’s attorneys.

In the deposition excerpts, which were read aloud by a detective and a prosecutor, Cosby graphically described what he characterized as a consensual sexual encounter with Andrea Constand, who alleges she was sexually assaulted by the man once known as “America’s Dad.” The account Cosby described occurred prior to the night of the alleged assault, according to the entertainer’s deposition. In the deposition, Cosby was describing this incident to make the case that the later incident was consensual.

The married Cosby, 80, is being retried on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault. His first trial ended in a mistrial in June when a jury failed to reach a verdict.

Cosby has adamantly denied the accusations he drugged and sexually assaulted numerous women, including six who have now testified in his retrial. Five of the women were called by the prosecution to testify and show an alleged pattern of criminal behavior by Cosby, even though the statute of limitations has run out on filing criminal charges in their cases.

The charges the comedian faces stem from a 2004 incident at his suburban Philadelphia home, where Constand, 44, the former director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, claims she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby, who was a Temple trustee.

In the encounter at his home, Cosby said he began rubbing Constand’s bare midriff — which he described as “the question zone,” according to the deposition read for the jury in Montgomery County Court in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

He said he moved his hand down to her pants near her private parts — a region he referred to as “the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection,” according to his deposition. He said Constand did not tell him to stop.

Cosby graphically described Constand returning his physical affection.

He said he didn’t directly ask for permission to touch her private parts, but that his actions were a form of a wordless question.

“I’m asking, without saying [for permission]. I’m giving Andrea time to say yes or no — to the area right there in the question zone,” Cosby said, according to the deposition.

“I didn’t say it verbally. The action is my hand on her midriff, which is skin. I’m not lifting … I’ve got her skin and it’s just above where you can go in her pants. I don’t hear her say anything. And I don’t feel her say anything,” he said in the deposition. “And so I continue and I go into the area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. I am not stopped.”

He said Constand ultimately rejected his advances when they moved to another room and he began to kiss her breasts, according to the deposition.

“Andrea said to me either one of two words: ‘Stop’ or ‘No,'” he said in the deposition.

He said he stopped and walked her out of his home.

“She does not look angry. She doesn’t say to me, ‘Don’t ever do that again.’ She doesn’t walk off in a huff, because I think I’m a pretty good reader of people in these romantic situations,” he said in the deposition.

The prosecution is scheduled to wrap up its case this week.

If convicted, Cosby faces up to 10 years in prison for each count.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Russell Simmons legal team says $10 million rape lawsuit is a "work of pure fiction" in new response

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By Music News Group

Amanda Edwards/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has responded to a Jane Doe lawsuit that accuses him of forcible rape and infliction of emotional distress.

In the $10 million lawsuit, which was filed March 23 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the woman alleges that she spent time with Simmons at a nightclub following a concert, and went with him to his hotel room after he told her he needed to retrieve an item. She then says the Def Jam Records co-founder sexually threatened her and her young son, who had attended the concert, and subsequently threw her on the bed and raped her.

ABC News has obtained a response filed Tuesday by Simmons’ lawyers. It states, “Plaintiff’s Complaint is a work of pure fiction. Her use of two of the most vile allegations possible – accusing well known defendant Russell Simmons of threatening to molest her son before raping her – is nothing more than an attempt by ‘Jane Doe’ to extort large sums of money from Mr. Simmons and for her lawyer to try to make a name for himself.”

Simmons’ lawyers are calling for the case to be dismissed, with the response further declaring, “While Plaintiff’s case is substantively baseless and utterly false, all three causes of action ultimately will fail on statute of limitations grounds.”

Prior to this latest legal response, Simmons issued a statement on March 26 in which he vehemently refuted the woman’s allegations.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News


Former first lady Barbara Bush dies at age 92

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By Lily Lieberman

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(HOUSTON) — Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at her home in Houston, Texas. She was 92.

“A former first lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at the age of 92,” reads a statement from the office of former President George H.W. Bush.

Mrs. Bush served as the country’s first lady from 1989 to 1993. She passed away shortly after deciding to forgo further medical treatments for her failing health.

Having been hospitalized numerous times while battling congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she decided Sunday that she wanted to be “surrounded by a family she adores,” according to an earlier statement released by Mr. Bush’s office.

“It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others,” the statement continued. “She is surrounded by a family she adores and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”

In January 2017, Mrs. Bush and her husband were hospitalized at the same time. She was being treated for bronchitis and the nation’s 41st president was being treated for pneumonia.

Mrs. Bush is one of only two first ladies in the history of the country who is also the mother of a president. Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, a founding father of the nation and its second president, was the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth U.S. president.

Mrs. Bush is the mother of George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, and Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida who ran for president of the United States in 2016.

During her tenure as the nation’s first lady, Mrs. Bush, the mother of six children, was a champion for global literacy and continued the work after she and her husband left the White House.

In 1989, she formed the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which encourages parents to read to their children.

“Literacy fits in with so many other things,” she once told The Chicago Tribune. “If more people could read, fewer people would have AIDS. There would be less homelessness. I’m absolutely convinced of that.”

Descendent of a president

Barbara Pierce Bush was born in New York City, New York, on June 8, 1925, to Marvin and Pauline Pierce. Her father, a magazine publishing executive, was a descendant of Franklin Pierce, a Democrat and the nation’s 14th U.S. president who served from 1853 to 1857. Her mother was the daughter of an Ohio Supreme Court justice and was active in civic causes.

The third of four children, Bush later recalled a childhood where her parents would gather and read around the fireplace, fostering her early love of reading.

She graduated high school from the all-girls private Ashley Hall boarding school in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 1940s and enrolled in Smith College, a women’s college in Northampton, Massachusetts.

At Smith, which was racially integrated, Mrs. Bush became captain of the freshman soccer team, but she dropped out of college in 1945 at the beginning of her sophomore year. She later admitted that she was more interested in her future husband than in her studies.

She had met George Herbert Walker Bush at age 16, while at a Christmastime dance at the Round Hill Country Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. The pair were immediately attracted to each other and began exchanging letters, even as Mr. Bush completed his training to become the then-youngest pilot in the Navy. He named his bomber plane “Barbara” in her honor.

The pair were engaged shortly before Mr. Bush left to fly in World War II, and they wed Jan. 6, 1945, while he was on leave.

Mr. and Mrs. Bush celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary on Jan. 6.

In an alumni magazine from Smith College, Mrs. Bush said the marriage has endured because of the couple’s love for each other.

“I am still old and still in love with the man I married 72 years ago,” she said in the interview published in “Smith Alumnae Quarterly” earlier this month.

“George Bush has given me the world,” she also said in the magazine. “He is the best — thoughtful and loving.”

Family joys and sorrows

Mrs. Bush gave birth to their first child, future President George Walker Bush, on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut. As the family moved about in Texas and California, the couple had five more children, who would eventually deliver the Bushes more than a dozen grandkids. Mrs. Bush took great joy in her family and told Barbara Walters in 1994, “If you opt to have children, I feel very strongly that they should be your top priority.”

The family was dealt a blow in October 1953, when daughter Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush died of leukemia at age 3.

“Because of Robin, George and I love every living human more,” said Mrs. Bush, who became increasingly active in cancer research — notably, the Leukemia Society of America — following her daughter’s death.

After a failed senatorial bid, Mr. Bush was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966. He quit his job as an oil executive in Houston to relocate the family to Washington, D.C.

In the 1970s, Mrs. Bush followed her husband from Washington, D.C., to New York City, to Beijing as Mr. Bush filled a succession of appointed political posts: ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee, head of the U.S. liaison office in Beijing and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Mrs. Bush at that time volunteered at the Washington Home, a hospice where she …read more

Source:: National News


"People" magazine renames "World's Most Beautiful" issue: "It's not a beauty contest"

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By Andrea Dresdale

Courtesy PEOPLE(HOLLYWOOD) — People magazine is changing with the times. Wednesday, the magazine will release its annual issue that celebrates the most beautiful stars in Hollywood, but there’s a difference.

Since 1990, when the magazine unveiled its first-ever issue on this theme featuring Michelle Pfeiffer on the cover, the issue has always been called some variation on “Most Beautiful” — “World’s Most Beautiful,” “Most Beautiful Woman” or “50 Most Beautiful.” But no longer.

As editor Jess Cagle explains in a note, “This year we’re renaming it ‘The Beautiful Issue,’ to make clear that the issue is not a beauty contest. Nothing else has changed. As always it will feature beautiful women (and a few men) of all shapes, sizes and colors, and it will celebrate the most beautiful qualities of all: strength, humanity and artistry.”

As for who will appear on the cover of The Beautiful Issue 2018, Cagle provides a hint: It’s a woman who, he says, is a “performer, mother and role model whose honesty, humor, confidence and sheer star power make her one of the most beloved and fascinating entertainers on the planet.”

Let the guessing begin.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News


Southwest emergency landing: 1 dead after engine fails in midair

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By Eric Mollo

WPVI-TV(PHILADELPHIA) — One person has died after a Southwest plane engine failed in midair on Tuesday, marking the first accidental domestic airline fatality in nine years, said the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Flight 1380 was en route from New York City’s LaGuardia International Airport to Dallas Love Field when the engine failure forced the plane to make an emergency landing at the Philadelphia International Airport this morning.

Passenger Matt Tranchin said the flight took a turn when he saw a “huge explosion and glass shattering three rows ahead of me.”

“Flight attendants rushed up. There was momentary chaos. Everyone kind of descended on where this hole was. As passengers, we weren’t sure if they were trying to cover up the hole, but the plane smelled like smoke. There was ash coming through the ventilation system. We started dropping,” Tranchin told ABC station WPVI in Philadelphia. “Some of the crew couldn’t hold back their horror. And some were crying as they looked out through the open window onto the engine.”

Passengers posted photos from inside showing their midair oxygen masks, a blown-out window and the remains of an engine.

Passenger Jim Demetros, who said he was about three rows ahead of where the engine failed, told ABC News everybody was looking at “the woman who was sitting next to window that had blown out.”

“It was a pretty harrowing experience,” he said, adding that the “crew did fantastic job … keeping everyone calm.”

Seven people were minorly injured but not taken to hospitals, said Thiel. The NTSB said 144 passengers and five crew members were on board.

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt described the emergency as engine failure. The crew had reported damage to the main body of the plane, an engine and a window, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

“This is a sad day and on behalf of the entire Southwest family I want to extend my deepest sympathies for the family and the loved ones of our deceased customer,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said. “They are our immediate and primary concern and we will do all that we can to support them during this difficult time and the difficult days ahead.

“The safety of our customers and our crew is always our uncompromising priority,” Kelly added. “I do want to thank and commend our flight crew for their swift action and for safely landing this aircraft. I also want to thank all involved in Philadelphia for their quick professional and compassionate response.

“I’m immensely grateful there are no other reports of injuries but truly this is a tragic loss,” Kelly said. “Please join us in offering thoughts and prayers and support to all of those affected by today’s tragedy.”

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said in a statement, “The department extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the airline passenger who was fatally injured today. The department’s priority is to work with the NTSB, which will lead the investigation, to determine the cause and the steps necessary to ensure the safety of the traveling public. I commend the pilots who safely landed the aircraft, and the crew and fellow passengers who provided support and care for the injured, preventing what could have been far worse.”

The runway was closed for over two hours but has since reopened.

The NTSB and the FAA are investigating. Boeing said it is providing technical help to the investigation and Southwest said it is cooperating.

The last accidental domestic airline fatality in 2009, when Colgan 3407 crashed near Buffalo, New York, killing all 49 people on board and a person on the ground.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


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