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Wannabe 25-year remake

The Spice Girls are reportedly planning to reshoot the video for their debut single Wannabe to mark their 25th anniversary.

The group were said to be planning to hit the road for a celebratory tour to celebrate the occasion, but the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to that idea. So instead, a source told Britain's The Sun newspaper that Mel B, Emma Bunton, Geri Horner and Mel C are thinking about filming a new video for Wannabe, which topped the charts upon its release back in 1996.

"The Spice Girls were hoping to hit the road in 2021 to mark their big anniversary but now it's not possible because of the pandemic," the insider said. "They're all in touch weekly and are trying to come up with new ideas on how they can do something special to mark the big day. Mel C suggested doing something around Wannabe - including the idea of possibly re-working the video for social media.

"There are so many options and nothing is off-limits. They want to give the fans something special."

However, Victoria Beckham - who opted out of the girl's U.K. and Ireland tour last year - is said to be "exceedingly unlikely" to be involved.



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Weinstein stripped of CBE

Harvey Weinstein has been stripped of his honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) accolade following his conviction on sex crime charges.

Weinstein is serving a 23-year sentence after being convicted of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree and rape in the third degree - and is also facing five felony sex crime charges in Los Angeles.

On Friday, a notice in The Gazette, the U.K.'s paper of public record, announced that following his conviction, Queen Elizabeth II was stripping him of the honor, which he received for his contribution to the British film industry in 2004.

"The Queen has directed that the appointment of Harvey Weinstein to be an Honorary Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 29 January 2004, shall be canceled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order," the notice read.

The former Miramax chief was one of the most powerful men in the U.K. and U.S. film industries until October 2017 exposes published in The New Yorker and New York Times, in which scores of women, including some of Hollywood's biggest actresses, accused him of predatory behavior - including rape, harassment, and sexual assault.



Ellen's not a racist: Steve

Steve Harvey has defended Ellen DeGeneres, insisting she doesn't have any "racist tendency" after staff who work on her show complained about instances of racial micro aggressions.

The popular chat show host as been at the center of a scandal after BuzzFeed News published a report in July which detailed staffers negative experiences on the Ellen set, including claims of being penalized for taking medical leave, instances of racial micro aggressions and fear of retribution for raising complaints.

However, many of her famous pals including Kevin Hart and Katy Perry have come to her defence, and Harvey joined them as he told People TV on Thursday, DeGeneres is "one of the coolest and kindest people I've met in this business" and insisted she "has no control over what every staff member does."

"I'm a 63-year-old black man. I've been black the entire time," he told People. "I ain't took no days off. I ain't experimented with nothing else. I ain't got nothing else going. I've been a black dude my whole life. I know racism.

"If I have a conversation with you, I know if you got racist tendency somewhere in you, because it radiates. I can feel it. I've been around a long time, man. That's not Ellen DeGeneres. That's just not her, period."

Harvey later added: "You make it like that if you want to. But if you try to make it that way, it's because you don't know her. I know her. And that's the feeling I have."

The Steve Harvey Show host confirmed he's been in touch with DeGeneres, with the star encouraging her to keep her "head up."

"We've texted each other. But my first advice was Ellen got enough money to walk away. But, we're in the cancel culture right now, man, everybody want to see everybody fall down, man," he said. "People used to cheer for people. Now, it's so important to ruin everybody's career... But I think Ellen's going to be absolutely fine myself."

Following an internal investigation into The Ellen DeGeneres Show conducted WarnerMedia, DeGeneres has since apologized to her staff, and three of the show's top producers have parted ways with the show.



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Melrose star back in jail

Melrose Place star Amy Locane has been sent back to prison after an appeals court panel agreed her three-year drink-driving sentence was too lenient.

The actress ploughed her vehicle into the side of another car, killing the woman in the front seat, in 2010, and was sentenced to three years behind bars, which she served.

Prosecutors appealed the original sentence, claiming the judge was too lenient, requesting a five-to-eight-year prison term - and Locane is now heading back to jail.

She has been handed a full eight-year term, but TMZ reports she will only have to serve five because of her previous time served.

Locane's attorney, James Wronko, tells the outlet his client, who was surprised with the sentence, hasn't touched alcohol since the deadly crash, and she has been talking to kids about the dangers of booze since her release from the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Union Township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.



He's not gonna take it

Twisted Sister star Dee Snider is raging at anti-mask demonstrators in Florida after they used his band's anthem We're Not Gonna Take It during a protest at a store.

The rocker was appalled to learn the song had been used as the soundtrack to an act of defiance, during which activists ripped off their face coverings inside the Target store at the Coral Ridge Mall in Fort Lauderdale.

The protest quickly went viral after it was captured on video, and Dee was far from happy.

"(They don't have) permission or blessing to use my song for their moronic cause." he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Broward County officials have fined Target bosses for failing to enforce the county's face covering law and citations were mailed to many of the protesters, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

Snider isn't the only star who has blasted anti-maskers for their song choices at rallies - Sinead O'Connor condemned a group of Irish protesters last month.

Hundreds of anti-mask activists gathered in Dublin on Aug. 22 to stage a protest at Custom House Quay, belting out a version of O'Connor's The Foggy Dew. The Mandinka singer saw video footage of the protest and took to social media to ask activists campaigning against coronavirus lockdown guidelines, dubbed COVID-iots, to stop singing her songs at rallies.

"Can I please ask that selfishly unmasked crowds standing shoulder to shoulder protesting and ignoring Covid protective restrictions not use my music as if to suggest I support you in any way. I do not," she snarled.



Baskin lands new show

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness star Carole Baskin has landed a new reality show in which she'll shine a light on animal abusers.

The big cat conservationist, who is currently appearing on U.S. competition show Dancing With the Stars, will front the show, which chronicles the efforts of organization bosses fighting animal exploitation in America.

"This is a chance for us to use our new platform to battle the everyday evils facing big cats and so many other animals," Carole and her husband Howard say in a joint statement to Variety. "Working with Thinkfactory on this show will help us further our life's mission, while bringing important stories and information to 'cool cats and kittens' across the country."

Baskin will also be the subject of an upcoming ID series investigating the mysterious disappearance of her former husband, Don Lewis, and a scripted drama series, starring Kate McKinnon as the Tiger King star, is also in development.



'Forrest Gump' author Winston Groom dead at 77

'Forrest Gump' author dies

Winston Groom, the writer whose novel “Forrest Gump” was made into a six-Oscar winning 1994 movie that became a soaring pop cultural phenomenon, has died at age 77.

Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope, Alabama, said in a message on social media that Groom had died in that south Alabama town. A local funeral home also confirmed the death and said arrangements were pending.

“While he will be remembered for creating Forrest Gump, Winston Groom was a talented journalist & noted author of American history. Our hearts & prayers are extended to his family,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement.

“Forrest Gump” was the improbable tale of a slow-witted but mathematically gifted man who was a participant or witness to key points of 20th century history — from Alabama segregationist Gov. George Wallace's “stand at the schoolhouse door," to meetings with presidents.

It was the best known book by Groom, who grew up in Mobile, Alabama, and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1965, according to a biography posted by the university.

Groom served in the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division from 1965 to 1969, the university said. His service included a tour in Vietnam — one of the settings for “Forrest Gump.”

He wrote 16 books, fiction and nonfiction. One, “Conversations with the Enemy,” about a American prisoner of war in Vietnam accused of collaboration, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, according to the university.

It was “Forrest Gump” — and the success of the 1994 movie starring Tom Hanks in the iconic role of Gump, as well as Sally Field and Gary Sinise — that earned him widespread fame and some financial success.

The novel is considerably different from the film. Don Noble, University of Alabama professor emeritus of English, and a 40-year friend of Groom’s told The Tuscaloosa News that the novel was “darker” and “richer” than the movie.

“You can make a lot of money as a comic writer, but you can’t get no respect,” Noble said. “But ‘Forrest Gump’ is really actually quite a fine novel. It’s more subtle and more complicated ... richer than the movie.”

The movie, which also starred Robin Wright and Mykelti Williamson, became deeply embedded in the American psyche and has remained an enduring television staple and huge cultural phenomenon since.

“It touched a nerve,” Groom told the Tuscaloosa News in 2014.

The film dominated the 1995 Academy Awards, winning six Oscars including best picture, best director for Robert Zemeckis and best actor for Hanks.

It was 1994’s No. 2 grossing film at the box office, second only to “The Lion King.”

Groom got $350,000 for the rights to “Forrest Gump” plus 3% of the net profit of the movie. But he got into a serious dispute with Paramount Pictures when they told him a film that had earned over $600 million was in the red after expenses.

But years later he wasn’t bitter.

“They did an excellent job,” he told the Tuscaloosa News. “I would have probably preferred my version of it, but that thing never would have opened.”



'Cheer' star Jerry Harris arrested on child porn charges

Charges for 'Cheer' star

Jerry Harris, the star of the Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” was arrested Thursday with producing child pornography, three days after twin boys filed a lawsuit alleging he sent them sexually explicit photos of himself and cornered one of them in a bathroom and begged for oral sex.

According to the complaint, Harris admitted during an interview after FBI agents raided his home in the Chicago suburb of Naperville on Monday that he had asked one of the teens to send him photographs and videos of his penis and buttocks on Snapchat. He also admitted that he repeatedly asked the teen, identified only as Minor 1, between December 2018 and March of this year for such photographs and videos.

Further, according to the complaint, Harris admitted to requesting and receiving on Snapchat child pornography from “at least between 10 to 15 other individuals he knew were minors.”

Harris, who was taken into custody on Thursday, will remain in jail until at least Monday after a judge ordered him to return for a deterntion hearing on Monday morning.

The boys' mother told the newspaper that both of her sons had spoken to the FBI, and the lawsuit alleges that she also reported the allegations to Fort Worth police, the FBI and others. The complaint contends that the mother contacted authorities after she saw messages from Harris on one of her son’s cellphones. Prosecutors said they recovered several text messages between Harris and the boys, as well as Harris' admission that he had solicited pornographic images and videos from the boys and had sent explicit images of himself.

Harris, 21, was the breakout star of the show that followed the cheerleading team from Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, as it sought a national title.

Harris did not respond for comment from USA Today, and attempts by The Associated Press to find a phone number for Harris have not been successful.

In interviews with USA Today at their Texas home, the boys — who are now 14 years old — described a pattern of harassment both online and at cheer competitions, which began when they were 13 and Harris was 19. They said it continued for over a year.

Besides accusing Harris of sexual misconduct, the lawsuit alleges that cheer organizations failed to protect the boys. The organizations named in the lawsuit are U.S. All Star Federation, which governs competitive cheerleading; Varsity Spirit, which puts on competitions; and the Cheer Athletics, a chain of gyms.

A Varsity official in Aug. 1 letters to police in Florida and Texas said the organization had learned of “inappropriate sexual conduct” allegations against Harris, USA TODAY reported.

Cheer Athletics owner Angela Rogers told the newspaper that Harris hasn’t been affiliated with the gym since March 1. Rogers told the newspaper that she learned of the allegations against him in mid-May and reported them to police.

“Cheer” was an instant success when it was released in January, and Harris drew fans for his upbeat attitude and his encouraging “mat talk.” Earlier this year, he interviewed celebrities on the red carpet at the Academy Awards for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”



New box set has trove of rare, unreleased Elton John songs

Elton John opening the vault

Elton John is opening up his vault and releasing an expansive collection of rarely heard and unreleased tracks.

John announced Thursday that the eight-CD collection, “Elton: Jewel Box," will be released on Nov. 13. The collection includes “Sing Me No Sad Songs,” an unreleased studio demo from 1969.

The “Jewel Box” collection includes 148 songs, 60 of them unreleased, that span recordings from 1965 to 2019 and his early collaborations with songwriter Bernie Taupin.

Two of the CDs include songs specially chosen by John, along with narration about them by the six-time Grammy winner.

“Hearing these long lost tracks again, I find it hard to comprehend just how prolific Bernie and I were during the early days. The songs just poured out of us, and the bands were just unbelievable in the studio,” John said in a statement. “I always want to push forward with everything I do and look to the future, but having time during lockdown to take stock and pull these moments from my memory from each era has been a joy.”

No price for the collection was announced.



Elton, ex halt court battle

Elton John and his ex-wife Renate Blauel have reportedly halted their bitter divorce battle amid ongoing peace talks.

It was reported back in July that Blauel was suing the Tiny Dancer singer after he wrote about their four-year marriage in his memoir - which she alleged breached their 1988 divorce deal.

She claimed that the details he wrote about in his book Me, and the references in 2019 biopic Rocketman, had seriously damaged her health, and sued for a reported $3.8 million.

However, Britain's The Sun newspaper has reported that the legal fight is currently on hold, as lawyers for the singer and his former spouse have been given until 4 p.m. on Oct. 13 to reach a deal.

If they do agree on a settlement, it means that Elton and Blauel will manage to avoid clashing in open court - during which further details about their relationship would likely emerge.

Elton is now married to movie producer David Furnish and has two sons, Elijah, seven, and Zachary, nine.



Swearing lessons with Sam

Samuel L. Jackson is offering to share his vast knowledge of swearing, in a bid to get people out to vote in the upcoming U.S. election.

The 71-year-old actor is promising to teach 2,500 fans how to swear in 15 languages, and all they have to do is prove they intend to head to the polls this election season.

The Avengers star is is teaming up with the Good to Vote campaign, a non-partisan initiative with HeadCount that sees public figures and celebrities challenging fans to vote in the presidential election in November.

Entertainers who participate offer their fans access to something unique when their followers hit a specific number of registrations.

"Listen up, If 2,500 of you click a voting action below to make sure you're #GoodToVote, I will teach you to swear in 15 different languages," he wrote in a tweet alongside a video of his pledge, along with a link to his website.

Jackson once famously held the record as the actor who has dropped the most swear words in his movies before being overtaken by The Wolf of Wall Street star Jonah Hill.

Other celebrities who have taken part include Booksmart stars Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein, who reconnected for a reunion on Instagram Live; Debra Messing, who pledged to reunite with her Mysteries of Laura co-star Josh Lucas if 100 fans proved they would be voting; and JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who shaved her husband Nick Swisher's head.



Swift stalker gets 30 months

Taylor Swift's stalker has been sentenced to 30 months behind bars.

Texas native Eric Swarbrick pleaded guilty to stalking and sending threatening emails to the singer's former label Big Machine Records.

According to legal papers, he sent over 40 letters and emails, which became increasingly violent and sexual.

He also drove to Nashville, Tennessee to personally deliver letters and he was arrested after staff found him wandering the halls of the record label.

Swarbrick continued to contact Big Machine Records upon his release, telling label boss Scott Borchetta he was going to rape and kill Swift.

A federal judge in Nashville sentenced Swarbrick on Wednesday.



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