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"I cannot be silenced": Oprah Winfrey denies backing out of Russell Simmons doc because she was "intimated"

©2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Re served.

(LOS ANGELES) -- Oprah Winfrey is clarifying her decision to step away from the On the Record doc, which centers on sexual harassment in the music industry, including the women who have accused mogul Russell Simmons of misconduct.

After announcing she would no longer serve as an executive producer on the project because she felt there was "still work to be done on the film," Winfrey tells CBS This Morning that she didn't pull out of the project because of Simmons' reported intimidation.I just care about getting it right, and I think there are some inconsistencies in the stories that we need to look at,” Winfrey said.

Oprah, who's also a victim of sexual assault, admits it wasn't an easy decision to back out of the doc because of how people might perceive it as a win for Simmons. The music mogul has been critical of Winfrey's involvement in the project, even going as far as calling her out on social media.
“This is not a victory for Russell, and I unequivocally say that I did not pull out because of Russell,” Winfrey said. “This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by Russell Simmons after all I’ve been through.”
Ultimately, Winfrey said, the decision she had to make was, "What is the right thing to do?”
"[It’s] ridiculous to think I could be intimidated by Russell Simmons," she added.
Simmons has vehemently denied all sexual misconduct allegations.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'John Wick', 'Hobbs & Shaw' director David Leitch directing big-screen version of Kung Fu

Eric Charbonneau/Universal Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Stuntman turned director David Leitch, who called the shots on the first John Wick with Chad Stahelski before tackling the hits Deadpool 2 and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw on his own, is on a vintage martial arts kick -- pardon the pun.

Leitch, who will reportedly direct a remake of the Bruce Lee classic Enter the Dragon for Warner Bros., has just signed on to also direct a big-screen version of the 1972 TV series Kung Fu for Universal.

The series, which ran until 1975, featured Kill Bill star David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a Chinese Shaolin monk and martial arts master trying to stay on the peaceful path as he wandered the American Old West.  But of course, every week there would be some excuse for him to fight someone.

Ironically, Bruce Lee was passed over for the role of Caine in the series in favor of the non-Asian Carradine.  It's also been asserted that Lee himself developed the idea for Kung Fu, which was then appropriated by the show's producers.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"For 35 years -- I've only wanted Pamela": Producer Jon Peters marries Pamela Anderson in secret ceremony

Peters and Anderson in 1989/ Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It's said that love waits for no one, but if you're veteran producer Jon Peters, it does.  The Hollywood Reporter notes he tied the knot with Pamela Anderson in a private ceremony in Malibu on Jan. 20 -- some 30 years after they first dated.

It is the fifth marriage for both the former Baywatch star and the producer of movies including Batman and two versions of A Star Is Born -- the earlier incarnation of which starred his former flame, Barbra Streisand.

"There are beautiful girls everywhere. I could have my pick, but -- for 35 years -- I’ve only wanted Pamela," the 74-year-old filmmaker notes, recalling that when they first met, Anderson, now 52, was 19. "In 30 years, our age difference won't mean so much," he said he told her at the time. 

"Pamela has never seen her full potential as an artist," he gushed to the trade. "She has yet to shine in a real way. There is much more to her than meets the eye, or I wouldn't love her so much."

For her part, Anderson literally waxed poetic about their relationship. "He's been there all along/Never failed me/I’m ready now and he’s ready too," in her poem she sent to the trade about the "original 'bad boy'" of Hollywood. "I'm a lucky woman/Proof God has a plan," she concluded.

Anderson was previously married to Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee -- he of their infamous sex tape -- with whom she has two adult sons. She was also married to Kid Rock and producer Rick Salomon, whom she married twice.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Netflix grabs Bradley Cooper's 'A Star Is Born' directorial follow-up, about composer Leonard Bernstein

ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) --  After his directorial debut, A Star Is Born, was nominated for seven Oscars, fans have been wondering what Bradley Cooper would be up to next behind the camera.

Now Variety reports Netflix is betting Cooper's next directorial effort, a drama about famed composer Leonard Bernstein, could be on next year's Oscars short list.

The trade notes that the project will stream on Netflix but also hit theaters, in an attempt to make it eligible for awards season.  Netflix's The Irishman, The Two Popes, and Marriage Story are all nominated for Academy Awards this year.

By the way, Cooper's also headed to the Oscars again next month: he's one of the producers of the Oscar-nominated Joker.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jason Momoa shares sweet photos of visit to children's hospital

ABC/Rick Rowell(PENNSYLVANIA) -- The King of Atlantis himself, Jason Momoa, recently delighted fans as he paid a visit to patients healing at a children's hospital.

The star shared heartwarming photos on his Instagram page of himself greeting a number of kids at UPMC children's hospital of Pittsburgh, writing, "The greatest part of him being aquaman is making children happy spreading aloha."

One photo showed the hulking star mock-arm wrestling a young patient in a wheelchair as they're all smiles.

"Me and Joshua bet that if he beat me in arm wresting he gets to have my trident," Momoa wrote in reference to one of his young fans. "See u on set of Aquaman 2 Joshua. Stay strong."

This isn't the first time Momoa has come through for the children. In July, the former Game of Thrones actor worked with the Make a Wish Foundation. He also opened a climbing wall for kids at the Variety Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles.

Momoa can currently be seen in the Apple TV Plus series See, and will once again diving into the undersea world as Aquaman when production on Aquaman 2 starts this year.  The film comes out in 2022.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Billy Porter dishes on his "Fab G" role in 'Cinderella', says film's inspired by the "#MeToo era"

ABC News/Steve Iervolino(NEW YORK) -- Emmy-winner Billy Porter will officially get to live out a lifelong dream in Sony's upcoming re-imagined Cinderella.

Porter will play the fairy godmother in the movie musical, which stars Camila Cabello in the titular role. Porter tells ABC Audio that he's already renamed and remixed his new gig.

"I know that I'm the fairy -- the Fab G," he says. "The slot is the fairy godmother. The slot, I keep joking is the Whitney Houston part. So I get to play the Whitney Houston part. I'm really excited about that, because I always wanted to be the male Whitney Houston. So here I get to live out that dream."

As you may recall, Houston played the fairy godmother in The Wonderful World of Disney's Cinderella in 1997. She starred opposite Brandy, who played the pauper-turned-princess in the film. Although he remains tight-lipped about the details of his role, Porter says fans can expect a "fierce" wardrobe and some quality music.

"You know, I've seen the costume, I've developed it with the costume designer. It's fierce," he reveals. "And I know the song that I get to sing. I can't tell you any of it, any of that. But like, it's good."

Regarding the film, which is based on an original idea from James Corden, Porter shares the perfect description.

"I call it a Cinderella for the #Metoo era," he says. 

Cinderella is set to hit theaters in 2021.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Did Ed Sheeran play an alien in 'The Rise of Skywalker?'

Lucasfilm(LONDON) -- Pop star Ed Sheeran may have had a secret cameo in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker -- but it's not like you would have recognized him or anything.

Last year, it was rumored that Ed would be playing a Stormtrooper in the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise, after the release of a behind-the-scenes video showing the singer wearing the Stormtrooper costume on set.

But now, according to an article on Oh My Disney titled “7 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Easter Eggs You Might’ve Missed,” it’s been revealed that Ed actually plays an alien member of the resistance.  Since the actor who's playing this particular alien wears a costume that covers his entire head, it could be anyone under there...including Ed.

So, is it really true? The Stars Wars official Twitter account tweeted the article, so it would seem to be legit, though Ed has yet to confirm it.

It wouldn’t be the first time Ed scored a bit part in one of his favorite series: Who could forget his brief but much-ridiculed cameo in Game of Thrones?

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jennifer Aniston reveals just how far she went to keep her SAG Awards gown wrinkle free

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Any woman in the history of ever knows that some dress materials wrinkle a lot worse than others. That said, Jennifer Aniston knew she was playing with fire when she donned a form-fitting satin dress for Sunday's SAG Awards.

Thankfully, the Golden Globe winner seemed to know exactly how to keep those pesky creases from forming on her silky smooth ivory gown.

The Morning Show actress demonstrated on Monday the extreme measures she underwent to ensure a picture-perfect entrance on the red carpet. 

Aniston posted a photo of her reclining all the way back in the back seat of her ride to the award show with the cheeky caption, "No wrinkles... harder than it looks!"

The 50-year-old, who went on to win the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for The Morning Show, is flashing the peace sign and a proud open-mouthed grin at the camera as she lays practically flat as her knees comically press against the front seat of the vehicle.

The second photo in her hilarious Instagram post shows the aftermath of the SAG Awards, with her actor statue perched atop her marble tub.  In addition, the dress Aniston labored to keep wrinkle-free is hilariously draped over the rim of the tub next to her shoes that look like they had been kicked off.

"Somewhere between these two photos, my peers gave me a gift I will cherish and a night I will never forget," Writes the Murder Mystery actress. "Thank you @sagawards, @themorningshow, and our incredible cast and crew. Let’s get back to work!"

The Morning Show, which is available exclusively on Apple TV , was recently greenlit for a second season, which will premiere in November 2020.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'The Bachelor' recap: Sydney calls out Alayah in front of Peter, leading to a shocking elimination

ABC/John Fleenor(LOS ANGELES) -- On Monday’s episode of ABC’s The Bachelor, Hannah Ann and Kelsey attempted to smooth things out between them, while a new rivalry between Sydney and Alayah led to a shocking elimination.

The episode kicked off with a one-on-one date between Victoria P. and Peter, who enjoy a fun day of line dancing, before Victoria confides to him a heartbreaking story of her father’s death when she was very young, which led to her mother’s slide into drug addiction.  The tragic series of events took a toll on Victoria, who admittedly feels insecure in her romantic relationships.  However, she confesses to being smitten with Peter, which makes him he feel “inspired” by Victoria, so he offers her the date rose.

Meanwhile, back at the mansion, Hannah Ann and Kelsey try in vain to put "Champagne-gate" behind them, to the frustration of the other ladies.

Another group date includes Kiarra, Sarah, Tammy, Kelley, Shiann, Savannah, Sydney and Alayah, who are warned that Peter “likes surprises” and hopes they do too.

The first surprise is the return of The Bachelor Season 23’s Demi Burnett, who helped out Hannah Brown during season 15 of The Bachelorette, and wants to do the same for Peter.  She brings along a couple of “henchmen” who rouse the girls out of bed with an early morning pillow fight.  Next, all the girls are asked to choose one of eight shopping bags, each containing some form of sleep ware, leading to the next surprise: an extreme pillow fight at a packed local saloon – emceed by Bachelor host Chris Harrison and actor/comedian Fred Willard. 

Alayah “The Royal Pain” and Sydney “Syd Vicious” are the two finalists deemed worthy of fighting it out for Pete’s heart.  Alayah decides to throw her weight around -- literally -- by sitting on Sydney and is declared the winner.  That victory only riles Sydney all the more, who already has daggers out for the former beauty pageant queen.

She exacts her revenge by telling Peter that Alayah is fake, both privately and in front of the other ladies on the date, explaining that she doesn’t want him to get hurt.  Peter believes Sydney is sincere and offers her the group date rose.

The following day, Harrison informs all of the ladies that instead of the usual pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, Peter will be joining them for a pool party.  It’s there he discovers that several of the other women share Sydney’s opinion of Alayah.

However, it’s Victoria P. who delivers the final bombshell.  It turns out that, unbeknownst to the show’s producers, she and Alayah knew each other before the show, and that Alayah has pressured Sydney to keep their friendship a secret.

There's more.  Victoria also disclosed that Alayah was "open to all the opportunities that will come after this" even if she didn't marry Peter, adding, "So, maybe she's not the one for you."

When Peter confronts Alayah, she admits to the cover-up, explaining she did it because she thought it would protect both women from disqualification.

Peter, who feels a connection with Alayah, is then forced to decide on following his heart or his head.  Then, in a dramatic rose ceremony, he sends Alayah packing, along with Alexa and Maurissa.

The Bachelor returns Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Hate shoveling snow? Martha Stewart spent almost 3 hours plowing four miles of roads

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times(BEDFORD, Connecticut) -- A good chunk of Americans had to shovel a sizable amount of heavy snow over the weekend.  One of those Americans buried under six inches of thick snow was no one other than Martha Stewart.

However, instead of hiring a team of professionals to do the laborious task of shoveling and plowing, the TV personality took it upon herself to clear her property.

"After a beautiful but cold snowstorm my farm was covered with four to six inches of moderately heavy snow," the 78-year-old cheerfully wrote on Instagram Sunday.  

So, how much snow did she have to move?  "Got up early to plow the four miles of [sic] roads on the farm," revealed Stewart alongside a series of videos of her happily bustling around and clearing away the compacted snow like a champ.  "I plowed non stop for two and a half hours and I think I did a great job!"

Luckily, the businesswoman had a little help with her Polaris UTV, in which she gratefully shouts out for allowing her to manicure her trails just the way she likes, which explains why she spent nearly three hours making sure the roads were just right.

"I don't like to damage the defined crown of my carriage roads, nor do I like to disturb the gravel topping," Stewart explains before jumping into the nitty-gritty of her routine, "So I plow leaving an inch or two of snow cover. Looks prettier and I can use the roads for horseback riding as well as cross country skiing."

That said, the next time you rue the day you have to shovel the driveway or porch, just know 78-year-old Martha Stewart is out there somewhere spending a minimum of two and a half hours plowing about four miles of roads.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Christina Milian welcomes "simply perfect" newborn son with Matt Pokora

Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Looks like model Ashley Graham wasn't the only celebrity who announced the birth to a baby boy on Monday. Actress Christina Milian is head over heels in love with her little bundle of joy, who came into the world on Martin Luther King Day.

The Love Don't Cost a Thing actress and boyfriend Matt Pokora sweetly announced the arrival of baby Isaiah on Monday with dual Instagram posts.

Wrote Milian against a black and white photo of Isiah's tiny hand wrapped around her finger, "And so we begin. Isaiah 1/20/20. Simply perfect. The world is yours Son. Love, Mom & Dad."

Pokora gushed about his newborn son, his first child, in his native French language that roughly translates to, "Once upon a time there was Isaiah, born on 20/01/2020 ... it's up to you to write the rest ... Welcome my son."  He also included a black and white photo of his child sweetly holding onto his index finger.

Milian's friends rushed to congratulate her on her new bundle of joy.  

"Ahhhhh congratulations!!!!," Gushed pregnant Jenna Dewan, who is expecting a child herself sometime this year. " So happy for you!!!!" 

Gabrielle Union also congratulated, "OMGGGGGG so happy for you mama!!! Congratulations!!!!!" and spammed her with a series of golden heart emojis.

Isiah is the "Dip It Low" singer's second child.  He joins his nine-year-old half-sister Violet Madison, whom Milian shares with ex The-Dream.  

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Who knew?" Eddie Murphy shares the worst advice he's ever received

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- It's a good thing Eddie Murphy decided to forge his own path early on in his career, because according to the legendary comedian, he received some pretty "bad advice" when he first started out.

In a new feature with W Magazine, Murphy reveals that the worst advice he's ever received was from late comic legend Rodney Dangerfield.

"In the early days, I don't remember getting any good advice. I remember some bad advice I got years ago," Murphy recalls. "I played the Comic Strip in Fort Lauderdale, and I was maybe 17, 18 years old. And Rodney Dangerfield comes in, he bumps everybody. It was like, 'Dangerfield is here. Dangerfield's going up.'"

"I was really full of myself back then," he continues. "So I would say, 'Mr. Dangerfield, after the show, will you watch my set?' And he was like, 'Yeah, yeah, sure kid.' "

Murphy then explains what Dangerfield witnessed.

"Back then, I was really dirty and did edgy, racial stuff," Murphy says. "And so, afterward, Dangerfield sees me and he's like, 'Hey, kid, I don't know where you're gonna go with that, you know? The language, and the race stuff,' and I was crestfallen."

However, according to Murphy, Dangerfield's criticism didn't quite inspire him to switch up his comedy style.

"Cut to two, three years later, I got on Saturday Night Live, and had gotten really successful," he says. "And I was in Vegas in the bathroom at Caesars Palace. I was at the urinal, and Rodney Dangerfield comes to the urinal right next to me. And I look over, and he looks at me and says, 'Hey, who knew?'"

It's safe to say Murphy's still doing pretty well, with a number of film projects and a comedy special lined up.

The issue of W Magazine featuring Murphy hits newsstands on February 4.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Watch now: Mark Wahlberg & Winston Duke team up in 'Spenser Confidential' trailer

Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- In the '80s, an ABC series called Spenser: For Hire -- based on Robert P. Parker's bestselling detective novels -- was a popular crime drama.  It starred the late Robert Urich as Boston private eye Spenser and Avery Brooks as his friend and enforcer, Hawk. Now, Netflix has reimagined the series as an action comedy called Spenser Confidential, streaming March 6.

The new version stars Mark Wahlberg as Spenser and Black Panther's Winston Duke as Hawk, but the characters and the relationship between the two men are very different.  In this version, Spenser's an ex-cop who's sent to prison after being framed by the bad guys he was investigating. When he gets out, his old boxing coach, Henry, played by Alan Arkin, introduces him to Hawk, a promising MMA fighter played by Duke.  Spenser and Hawk then team up to investigate the murder of two of Spenser's former colleagues.

The movie's inspired by the novel Wonderland by Ace Atkins, who took over writing the Spenser book series after Parker died in 2010.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Ashley Graham welcomes a baby boy: "Our lives changed for the better"

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) -- Ashley Graham has given birth to a baby boy.

The model and her husband, Justin Ervin, welcomed their first child together on Saturday and shared the happy news on their Instagram Stories Monday.

“At 6:00pm on Saturday our lives changed for the better,” Graham wrote in the post, along with a heart emoji.

She added, “Thank you all for your love and support during this incredible time.”

Further details, like the baby’s name, have not yet been revealed.

Graham, 32, announced her pregnancy back in August on her ninth wedding anniversary.

“Nine years ago today, I married the love of my life,” she wrote on Instagram. “It has been the best journey with my favorite person in the world! Today, we are feeling so blessed, grateful and excited to celebrate with our GROWING FAMILY! Happy anniversary, @mrjustinervin. Life is about to get even better.”

A few months later, she revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that they were having a boy.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dwayne Johnson reflects on father’s sudden death: “Didn’t get a chance to say goodbye”

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- In an Instagram video posted Sunday, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reflected on his father’s sudden death last week and thanked fans for their support.

His father, former wrestler Rocky Johnson, passed away Wednesday at the age of 75.

"As you know, I lost my old man a few days ago. I lost him just like that, didn't get a chance to say goodbye to him," Johnson says in the video.

He adds, "I would give anything right now to give him a big ole hug and a big ole kiss before he crossed over and just say thank you and I love you and I respect you. I didn't get a chance to say that, but such is life as many of you know.”

Johnson went on to reveal his father’s cause of death, saying it happened “very quickly.”

"He had not been feeling well. He'd been battling a cold and infection and on Tuesday he had what's called a deep vein thrombosis, which is essentially a blood clot in the leg," Johnson explained. "It was a big ole blood clot that broke free, traveled up his body, and went right to his lung, clotted his lung and he died very quickly from a massive heart attack."

He added, "That did give me great comfort because it wasn't prolonged.”

Johnson revealed in another post Monday that he's writing his father's eulogy. "Written a lot of things over the years, but nothing prepared me for this one," he wrote.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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