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Jussie Smollett refuses to reimburse Chicago officials for alleged hate crime investigation cost

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Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — When Chicago prosecutors unexpectedly dropped charges last week against Jussie Smollett, city officials two days later demanded that the Empire actor reimburse the city $130,000 for the cost of the investigation.  Apparently, Smollett isn’t willing to do that.

A statement late Thursday from Bill McCaffrey, spokesperson for the City of Chicago Department of Law, declares: “Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019.  The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook Country.  Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett’s Los Angeles-based legal team.”

The statement concludes: “The Law Department will file the suit in the near future.  As part of this legal action, the Law Department will pursue the full measure of damages allowed under the ordinance.”

The city asked for an “immediate payment” of $130,106.15 “in an attempt to resolve this matter without further legal action,” according to a letter obtained by ABC News last week, which was sent from the Chicago Department of Law to Smollett’s attorneys. 

The letter requested the payment to be made within seven days, and added that if the fee isn’t paid in a “timely” manner, the Chicago Department of Law would prosecute Smollett and impose a fine between $500 and $1,000, in addition to up to three times the amount of damages.

Repaying the $130,000 wasn’t required in exchange for prosecutors dropping all 16 felony charges against Smollett for what police said was his staging the January 29 alleged hate crime attack against him.  Smollett did forfeit $10,000, which was 10% of his $100,000 bond, and also performed some community service, prosecutors said.

A federal investigation into a threatening letter investigators say was part of the hoax is still underway.

21st Century Fox, which produces Empire, is now a part of Disney, ABC’s parent company.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

At 80, Francis Ford Coppola readies dream project, ‘Megalopolis’

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Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — For years, Godfather director and Oscar-winner Francis Ford Coppola dreamed of an epic film called Megalopolis, and now — three days before he turns 80 — he’s announced he’s making it a reality.

According to Deadline, Coppola even shot footage for the film — about an architect’s plans to revamp a major city — but the project was shelved after the 9/11 attacks on New York.

Now, given what’s possible thanks to computer-generated special effects, Coppola has given himself the go-ahead, and the publication notes that Captain Marvel star Jude Law could be among its leads.

“I plan this year to begin my longstanding ambition to make a major work utilizing all I have learned during my long career, beginning at age 16 doing theater, and that will be an epic on a grand scale, which I’ve titled Megalopolis,” Coppola told Deadline’s Michael Fleming Jr. on Thursday.

“It is unusual,” Coppola said of the project. “[I]t will be a production on a grand scale with a large cast. It makes use of all of my years of trying films in different styles and types, culminating in what I think is my own voice and aspiration. It is not within the mainstream of what is produced now, but I am intending and wishing and, in fact, encouraged, to begin production this year.”

Coppola also mentioned that he’s re-edited a new version of his classic Apocalypse Now. While the 1979 Vietnam-set original “was too abruptly shortened,” a successful 2001 re-edit called Apocalypse Now Redux was “too long,” in Coppola’s eyes.  He says now, he’s “settled on what I now felt was the perfect version.” 

Apocalypse Now Final Cut will debut later this month at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Marvel’s Avengers to assemble again during ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ takeover

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — Some of Marvel’s Avengers — Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson — plus Black Panther and Infinity War star Danai Gurira, will assemble on Jimmy Kimmel Live! for another week-long takeover of the late night show, starting April 8.

Because the cast of the Avengers movies is so large, the actors traditionally spread out their appearances across several installments of Kimmel’s show.

Fans might notice that the only announced guests so far were the stars whose characters survived Thanos’ game-changing, genocidal finger snap in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.

The next installment, Avengers: Endgame, opens April 26 from Marvel Studios which, like ABC, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 4/3/19

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iStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE
Colorado 1, Tampa Bay 0, 11 Innings

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Chi White Sox 8, Cleveland 3
Minnesota 7, Kansas City 6
Detroit 2, NY Yankees 1
Toronto 5, Baltimore 3
Texas 4, Houston 0
Boston 6, Oakland 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Milwaukee 1, Cincinnati 0
Washington 9, Philadelphia 8
San Diego 4, Arizona 1
NY Mets 6, Miami 4
St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 4, 10 Innings
Atlanta 6, Chi Cubs 4
LA Dodgers 5, San Francisco 3

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Orlando 114, NY Knicks 100
Indiana 108, Detroit 89
Chicago 115, Washington 114
Boston 112, Miami 102
Atlanta 130, Philadelphia 122
Toronto 115, Brooklyn 105
Charlotte 115, New Orleans 109
Minnesota 110, Dallas 108
Denver 113, San Antonio 85
Utah 118, Phoenix 97
Portland 116, Memphis 89
Houston 135, L.A. Clippers 103

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Ottawa 4, NY Rangers 1
SO Chicago 4, St. Louis 3
Anaheim 3, Calgary 1

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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