Entertainment – International

Singer R. Kelly gets 30 years in jail over sex crimes

by Ana FERNÁNDEZ and Peter HUTCHISON Agence France Presse Disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years behind bars on Wednesday for leading a decades-long effort to recruit and trap teenagers and women for sex. The sentence, stiffer than the 25 years in prison that prosecutors had sought, caps a long downfall for the 55-year-old former superstar. “I’m grateful that Robert Sylvester Kelly is away and will stay away and will not be […]

YouTube Shorts touts 1.5 bn users, taking on TikTok

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — YouTube on Wednesday said that more than 1.5 billion people monthly tune into its Shorts video service, which competes with global sensation TikTok. Alphabet-owned YouTube and Facebook-parent Meta both added short-form video sharing formats to their services after TikTok — which late last year said it topped a billion users — became the rage. YouTube Shorts went live less than two years ago, adding videos of no longer than […]

Shares of BTS label tumble after band announces break

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Shares in the management agency of the K-pop supergroup BTS plummeted Wednesday in early trading in Seoul after the band announced they were taking an indefinite break. The seven members, credited with generating billions of dollars for the South Korean economy, dropped the bombshell during their streamed “FESTA” dinner, part of a celebration that marks their anniversary as a group. The news sent shares of the band’s label HYBE tumbling […]

10 years after ‘Gangnam Style’, Psy is happier than ever

by Qasim Nauman and Kang Jin-kyu Agence France-Presse SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Ten years after “Gangnam Style” became a global phenomenon, South Korean rapper Psy is living his best life –- proud of his “greatest trophy” and free from the pressure of repeating that unprecedented success. Uploaded to YouTube on July 15, 2012, the song’s wacky music video became a runaway megahit, with its trademark horse-riding dance spawning thousands of imitations, spoofs and spinoffs. […]

Paramount sued over ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ copyright

The heirs of an author whose article inspired the 1986 film “Top Gun” have sued Paramount Pictures for copyright infringement, according to court documents. Three decades after the blockbuster original, which was based on Ehud Yonay’s 1983 magazine article “Top Guns”, Paramount released a sequel last month that has topped North America’s box office. In their complaint filed Monday to a California court, Shosh Yonay and Yuval Yonay, the writer’s widow and son who live in […]

Depp wins out in bitter Heard defamation trial

  FAIRFAX, United States (AFP) — A US jury Wednesday found both Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard liable for defamation — but sided more strongly with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star following an intense trial riding on bitterly contested allegations of domestic abuse. The verdict capped a bitterly-fought six-week trial riding on lurid claims and counterclaims of between the Hollywood celebrities. The seven-member jury in Virginia awarded the 58-year-old actor $15 million […]

New ‘Star Wars’ series with Jude Law in works as Disney targets streaming

by Andrew Marszal © Agence France-Presse  Anaheim, UNITED STATES (AFP) — Disney announced a new live-action “Star Wars” series featuring Jude Law at a major fan convention Thursday — but any mention of upcoming films in the beloved sci-fi franchise was conspicuously absent, as the company focuses on its streaming service. Harrison Ford and Ewan McGregor were among the stars who appeared on stage before a raucous and outlandishly dressed crowd in Anaheim, California for […]

‘Goodfellas’ actor Ray Liotta dead at 67

Actor Ray Liotta, who starred in Martin Scorsese’s gangster classic “Goodfellas,” has died suddenly in the Dominican Republic, officials and police said Thursday. He was 67. Liotta, whose blistering turn as real-life mobster Henry Hill in Scorsese’s crime masterpiece won universal admiration, was shooting a new film in the country when he died in his sleep. Police said emergency services were called early Thursday morning to a hotel in Santo Domingo where they found Liotta […]

‘Chariots of Fire’ and ‘Blade Runner’ composer Vangelis dies aged 79

  by John HADOULIS “Blade Runner” and “Chariots of Fire” composer Vangelis, the Oscar-winning electronic music pioneer whose distinctive musical style defined a generation of film soundtracks, has died aged 79, Greece’s prime minister said on Thursday. According to several Greek media outlets, Vangelis died of the coronavirus in France where he lived part-time, as well as in London and Athens. “Vangelis Papathanassiou is no longer with us,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted. “The […]

Johnny Depp was jealous, controlling: actress Ellen Barkin

  by Chris Lefkow Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Johnny Depp was jealous, controlling and frequently drunk, and once threw a wine bottle in his hotel room in Las Vegas, his former girlfriend, the actress Ellen Barkin, said in pre-recorded testimony Thursday. Barkin, 68, testifying as a witness in the defamation suit filed by Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard, said she had a brief “sexual relationship” with Depp in the 1990s. […]

Johnny Depp grabbed Amber Heard by hair, hit her repeatedly: sister

Washington, UNITED STATES (AFP) — Johnny Depp grabbed his then-wife Amber Heard by the hair and repeatedly struck her in the face during a heated argument about a month after their marriage, her sister said Wednesday. Heard also punched Depp during the March 2015 fight at their Los Angeles penthouse, Whitney Henriquez testified at the high-profile defamation case between the celebrity couple. Henriquez, Heard’s 34-year-old younger sister, said the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star sought […]

How Tom Cruise survived the end of the star era

Cannes, FRANCE (AFP) — Tom Cruise jets into Cannes on Wednesday for the first time in 30 years to launch “Top Gun: Maverick”, and much has changed in the film industry since his last visit — except his continued box office power. That kind of longevity is a rare thing in Hollywood where superhero franchises have become far more financially important to studios than individual actors and actresses. When Cruise was last in Cannes for […]