ROBERT MORSE, TWO-TIME TONY-WINNING ACTOR, DIES AT 90
NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Robert Morse, who won a Tony Award as a hilariously brash corporate climber in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and a second one a generation later as the brilliant, troubled Truman Capote in “Tru,” has died. He was 90. David Shaul of BRS/Gage Talent Agency says Morse died at his home Wednesday after a brief illness. More recently, Morse played the autocratic and eccentric leader of an advertising agency in “Mad Men,” AMC’s hit drama that debuted in 2007. The role earned him an Emmy nomination in 2008 as best guest actor in a drama series.
JOHNNY DEPP FACES CROSS-EXAMINATION IN LIBEL TRIAL
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Attorneys for actor Amber Heard have resumed their cross-examination of her ex-husband Johnny Depp in a Virginia courtroom. On Thursday morning, they focused on the copious drug and alcohol use of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star as well as texts he sent to a friend about wanting to kill and defile his then-wife. Depp is pursuing a libel suit against Heard over allegations that he abused her. Depp has testified that Heard was the aggressor in the relationship and that he never physically or sexually assaulted her. Heard’s lawyers argue that Depp can’t deny what happened because he was often drunk and high on drugs to the point of blacking out.
WINFREY PICKS VIOLA DAVIS MEMOIR FOR HER BOOK CLUB
NEW YORK (AP) — Viola Davis’ latest honor is not for her acting, but for her writing. The Oscar winner’s upcoming memoir, “Finding Me,” is Oprah Winfrey’s new book club pick. “Finding Me,” which comes out next Tuesday, traces Davis’ journey from what she has calls a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to acclaim for her work on stage and screen. Her many prizes include a Tony for the 2010 Broadway production of August Wilson’s “Fences.” She won an Academy Award for the film adaptation of “Fences” that came out in 2016.
DISNEY SELF-GOVERNMENT IN PERIL AFTER FLORIDA HOUSE VOTE
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House of Representatives has given final passage to a bill to dissolve a private government that Walt Disney World has been allowed to operate on its properties for more than five decades. House lawmakers approved the measure on Thursday. The passage is a victory for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. He has been feuding with the entertainment giant after it publicly declared its opposition to a new law backed by the governor that critics have dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.” The Disney bill would eliminate the self-governed districts by June 2023. But it would allow the districts to be reestablished in the future, leaving the door open for further negotiations.
BALDWIN ATTORNEY SAYS NEW MEXICO REPORT “EXONERATES” ACTOR
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico state agency out with a report on the fatal shooting on the set of “Rust” last year is being hailed by a lawyer for Alec Baldwin. The attorney says the report exonerates Baldwin of responsibility in the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins last fall. It was a gun Baldwin pointed at the cinematographer at a rehearsal that killed Hutchins and injured the movie’s director. The state report says that shooting was preceded by two other misfires on the set — but nothing was done to prevent a repeat. A key part of the report says an assistant director handed Baldwin the fatal weapon after declaring it safe to use, unaware it held a live round.
NENE LEAKES SUES CLAIMING RACIAL BIAS ON “RHOA”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former cast member on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” says not only was she a victim of racial bias while on the show, when she reported it, she was the one who lost her job. NeNe Leakes makes the allegations in a lawsuit against show producers and the companies behind the reality show. Leakes says she had to endure years of racist comments from fellow housewife Kim Zolciak-Biermann, who’s white. Part of her complaint says when she griped about her co-star to her bosses, she was ignored. What’s more, the co-worker got her own spinoff, while Leakes was forced off the show in 2020. The suit seeks monetary damages to be determined at trial.
BLAC CHYNA CHALLENGED ABOUT ACCOUNT OF FIGHT THAT BROKE ENGAGEMENT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was a fight big enough to cause Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian to break off their engagement and go their separate ways. But the rapper says some of what happened at their 2016 clash was just them joking around. Chyna acknowledges she did wrap a smartphone charging cord around Kardashian’s neck and grabbed a gun from a nightstand, but they both knew it was joking. Chyna’s suit says Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner knew that too, but exaggerated the incident to producers. Chyna says that’s how the “Rob and Chyna” show got canceled.
POOH SHEISTY SENTENCED IN FLORIDA GUN CASE
MIAMI (AP) — Five years, three months. That’s the prison sentence Pooh Sheisty will have to serve in a drug case. The rapper was sentenced yesterday in Miami in a case from May of last year. He pleaded guilty in January to conspiring to possess firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence and drug trafficking. Before the plea, Sheisty had been facing as much as 20 years in federal lockup.
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