Bill Cosby Faces Trial Again, With #MeToo Elements Now In Play

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The Bill Cosby case — which heads back to trial on Monday — is a litmus test in many ways. Perhaps the most pertinent is that it may wind up being one of the only court cases involving the men whose alleged sexual misconduct was recently exposed, helping lead to the #MeToo movement.
While famous men like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and many others have seen their careers upended after various accusations, most haven’t faced criminal charges (Weinstein is being…

Donald Trump’s Alleged Tryst With Stormy Daniels Might Have Violated Quid Pro Quo Harassment Laws

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Stormy Daniels told 60 Minutes that she is “not a victim” to be lumped into the #MeToo movement, but if her story is true, her 2006 encounter with Donald Trump in a hotel room could be seen as a classic example of Hollywood’s casting couch – a trade for sex in the hope of being cast as a contestant on The Apprentice. If true, Trump might have violated state and federal laws that prohibit quid pro quo sex harassment, according to two experts Deadline spoke with…

Ex-‘Apprentice’ Contestant’s Defamation Case Against Trump Moves Forward

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A New York Judge said Tuesday that a defamation lawsuit against President Trump, alleging that he sexually harassed a former “Apprentice” contestant, may go forward, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Summer Zervos, a former contestant on the NBC hit reality show, accused Trump last year of sexually assaulting her in 2007. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling Zervos’ and another women’s accusations “total fiction” and “all false stuff” during a 2016 campaign rally.

While the statute of limitations for this case has since expired, Zervos and her lawyer, civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, are suing for defamation, arguing that Trump maligned her reputation by calling her a liar.

Also Read: Donald Trump Sued by ‘Apprentice’ Alum Who Says He Grabbed Her Breast

Trump tried to block her suit. But the judge disagreed with the president’s legal team, saying that “a sitting president is not immune from being sued in federal court for unofficial acts.”

The judge gave the president’s lawyers 10 days to respond.

Zervos said that Trump kissed her aggressively on the lips during a meeting in New York City and another time in Beverly Hills. She also said that he touched her breast.

Also Read: ‘Apprentice’ Contestant Says Donald Trump Grabbed Her Breast Without Consent

The judge’s ruling comes as the president is being dogged by reports of an alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, an adult film star, as well as former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Both said that they had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006.

The White House did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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‘Seeing Allred’ Film Review: Gloria Allred’s Fight for Rights Makes a Stirring Documentary

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Even if you don’t know exactly what infamous women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred does, you have  likely gleaned a few things from the cultural consciousness about her: She’s loud, attention-hungry and in “it” for the money. At least, that’s what numerous talk-show commentators and the U.S. president would like you to believe.

Directors Roberta Grossman and Sophie Sartain, then, had an almost easy task of revealing the real Allred in their Netflix documentary “Seeing Allred”: if we really know nothing about the woman, then we’re certain to be surprised. And in this film, pleasantly so.

The film opens with Allred selecting from about 20 pink suits in her closet, applying perfect pink lipstick and hopping in her sports car. The scene is impossibly gaudy. As she glides down a palm tree-lined Los Angeles street to the tune of Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox’s “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” Allred, in voiceover, offers a seeming explanation for that showy display. “Women depend on me to be strong, to be fearless and to assert and protect their rights,” she says. “And power only understands power.” That mini-speech is the perfect lens through which we can view this film, and Allred herself.

Also Read: Bill Cosby Spokesman Slams Gloria Allred: ‘Go Back to Law School’

Grossman and Sartain jump around in Allred’s biography, from her college years and first turbulent marriage all the way up through Trump’s inauguration, but the framing device for this film is that of the timeline of the Bill Cosby sexual assault accusations. Allred represented many of the victims who came forward, and we continually return to the case’s progress. In multiple clips from press conferences, we see her sitting beside the victims, whispering in their ears and touching their arms when they tear up in front of the cameras.

If you’d only ever seen Allred at those press conferences, you might read her as an opportunist. Grossman and Sartain found no shortage of media personalities over the years stating that as fact. One such man on the now-cancelled “Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” proclaims, “Wherever you see Gloria Allred, you know someone is lying.” But as the directors dive into Allred’s historical reasoning for holding press conferences, we see a fuller picture of the woman and the necessity for airing grievances in public.

Also Read: Third Woman Claims Roman Polanski ‘Sexually Victimized’ Her as a Minor

Allred never intended to be a lawyer. She also didn’t know at first that women lacked any fundamental rights. A series of fortunate and disastrous events led her down her eventual path: Her father saved up money for her to attend college at a time when 93 percent of the school’s population was men; she married and had a child young, then endured an abusive period before she divorced and moved to Los Angeles; she got a job teaching at Watts, which led her to become a union organizer for teachers and to fight for civil rights; and she eventually met her now-ex Bill Allred, who encouraged her to go to law school.

One of her first clients was a woman who was abused by seven different priests, and when the media heard her speak, they essentially crowned her as the authority on women’s legal rights; as the documentary makes clear, there was no one else who could talk about these issues in public. Allred was it. So she either did the press conferences and talk shows and aired these grievances, or no one did. She essentially became the lightning rod for controversy to make it OK to talk about sexual assault and harassment in the workplace.

What’s perhaps most fascinating about this documentary is how sure-footed Allred has been in picking her battles over the years. In one segment, we’re shown how Allred had sued a store for gender discrimination, because they’d separated the boys’ toys from the girls’ toys and only gave the girls dolls and play vacuums. At the time, the case was unprecedented and outrageous. Allred was considered a kook. Decades later, people have finally seen the merit in her claims.

Also Read: Gloria Allred Fires Back at ‘Fourth Rate Politician’ Donald Trump: ‘Put Up or Shut Up’

For her, the legal battles she fought — no matter how sensationalized — were fundamental fights for equality, which also fueled another one of her media stunts. For decades, she would show up at the Beverly Hills LA county clerk with her lesbian friends and invite the press to watch them apply for a marriage license. Each time, they were inevitably turned down, so even one of Allred’s law partners had difficulty understanding why she would do any of it if not just for personal publicity and gains.

Over time, he got it: Allred was normalizing gay rights, incrementally. The best twist comes when that Doubting Thomas says proudly that he was one of the lawyers who eventually argued for gay marriage in front of the Supreme Court, in part because of Allred’s tireless work. The directors play a short clip of Allred watching him with glee in her eyes as he argues the case before a lower court.

Allred says in the documentary that people ask her all the time what her endgame is. “There doesn’t have to be an end,” she replies. One of the reasons she’s been so successful is possibly because she’s not looking for a goal. She’s looking for what her longtime friend Gloria Steinem calls in the film an “explosion of consciousness,” which both Glorias seem to think we’re experiencing right now.

Every generation’s new feminists believe for a time that their revolutionary thoughts are the first of their kind. Today, Twitter activists will often decry women of the Second Wave for their selective feminism, but what “Seeing Allred” shows us is that there are those who’ve been fighting for intersectional politics from the get-go: for transpeople’s rights and gay rights, for racial, economic and gender equality. Whether or not we’ve bought into the decades-long media smear campaign against them is the larger problem.



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Gloria Allred Talks Fighting On After Hillary Clinton Election Loss + ‘Seeing Allred’ Docu – Sundance Studio

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“They can break our hearts but they can not break our spirit,” declares Gloria Allred of the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and the continuing fight to break that glass ceiling and for civil rights in America. “That was shocking to millions of people, probably billions around the world,” the instigative attorney and subject of the Sundance Film Festival competition documentary Seeing Allred added.
“We’re going to have to pick ourselves up, take another…

Sundance Scene: Musical Performances from Idris Elba, Post Malone and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Photos)

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Maggie Gyllenhaal and Martha Wainwright (Rufus’ sister) sang “Papa Was a Rodeo” together on Saturday at a party for the Autograph Collection Hotels & The Black List. “I need one more drink of tequila,” she said after admitting, “my brother and I sometimes try to figure out the harmonies that [Martha] and her brother sing on some of her albums.”

It’s my party and I’ll DJ if I want to, DJ if I want to…

DJ Idris Elba took over the decks on the second floor of the Grey Goose Blue Door on Saturday night during his party for “Yardie,” his feature film directorial debut. This got him in a musical mindset for the night…

Also Read: Idris Elba Insists He Wasn’t Thinking About Modern Race Issues With ’70s-Set ‘Yardie’ (Video)

Elba turned up at TAO later on Saturday night as one of the featured head-turning guests. Johnny Damon and Tom Felton also made the scene at The Yard, where Don Julio’s top of the line 1942 magnums anchored the  VIP tables.

Post Malone burned the promoters at Park City Live. After performing a sold out show there earlier on Saturday night, he made a second stop at Tao, rolling in at 2 a.m. with a big entourage. They took over the DJ booth from DJ Politik to perform “White Iverson” and  “Congratulations.” Posty’s next stop: Coachella in April.

Seeing digital cipher Poppy in person is an odd experience because there are no cracks in the part-android/part-human performer online.  She headlined YouTube’s house party on Saturday night, a few days before her new YouTube Red Original series “I’m Poppy” debuts as an official festival selection.

A view of the line out side on Saturday night. Google/YouTube Space on Heber is a two-story venue that has been a restaurant and the home of NBCUniversal’s parties in the past. YouTube is not crashing the Sundance scene. This is the sixth year that they have been the official sponsor of the Festival’s Shorts program.

Paul Oakenfold was not the one “Really Cool Dude” at ChefDance’s “49 Remarkable Women + 1 Really Cool Dude” event (though he was there).

It was Scooter Braun. Gloria Allred addressed him from the podium: “Scooter, you’re the one cool dude, because I’ve sued all the rest.”

Also Read: Gloria Allred on Daughter Lisa Bloom Working for Harvey Weinstein: ‘I Would Have Declined’

Geena Davis threw a party to promote her Bentonville Film Festival, an emerging festival in Arkansas each May that focuses on female voices in cinema. Here, Janina Gavankar of “Blindspotting”, and Anika Noni Rose and Colman Domingo (Both of “Assassination Nation”) enjoy Ms. Davis’ hospitality inside the DIRECTV Lodge presented by AT&T at the bottom of Main.

Remnants from the Respect Rally earlier in the day – like signs and buttons like these for Planned Parenthood –  floated around Park City on Saturday. Here, Caren Spruch, Melanie Lynskey, Jason Ritter and Dawn Laguens are still rally-ready at “The Tale” party on Saturday night.

Also Read: Common, Jane Fonda and the Scene at the Respect Rally in Sundance (Photos)

After the march, people ducked in to bars to get out of the snow and slush.  Here, Bridey Elliot and Haley Joel Osment at Rock & Reilly’s. As one of the last places slinging swat in the post-gifting suite era, Roku handed out the Streaming Stick+.

Aubrey Plaza was the toast of the 2017 festival by stalking Lizzie Olsen in “Ingrid Goes West.” This year, she came to support Chloe Sevigny at the after party for “Lizzie,” one of the buzzy titles around town. The Lizzie Borden story, about the woman accused of killing her father and stepmother in Massachusetts in 1892, had a packed party Friday night at the Cafe Artois, in the Stella Artois down a steep staircase under Main Street.

Molly Shannon x Kathryn Hahn hug it out at the DIRECTV Lodge presented by AT&T. L.A.’s prom king Jeffrey Best (event production designer) built out a gorgeous three-room space that also includes a pop-up of industry favorite Craig’s.

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Common, Jane Fonda and the Scene at the Respect Rally in Sundance (Photos)

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If you couldn’t make the Sundance Film Festival this year — or were too tied up at one of the several Women’s Marches popping up around the country — we’ve got you covered. Check out the pictures from the “Respect Rally” in Park City, Utah, which included several actors and activists from Sundance.

“Thor: Ragnarok” star Tessa Thompson spoke early at the rally, and didn’t hold back against President Trump. “Until we see legislation and policy and a president who respects our humanity…we must continue to gather and tell each other’s stories,” said Thompson.

Jane Fonda told the crowd it’s not just about rallying — it’s about organizing. “This kind of change doesn’t just come about through protest,” said the actress and activist. “It comes through organizing.”

Also Read: Jane Fonda, Tessa Thompson and Common Lead Women’s Respect Rally in Sundance

Signs at the Respect Rally.

Actor Nick Offerman takes the stage — saying men are now realizing they have “perfectly working ears.”

Rally-goers in the snow.

“Master of None” star Lena Waithe talking to the crowd.

President Trump was a common theme at the rally.

Common performed a verse from a new song titled “The Day the Women Took Over,” as snow came down. One line that stood out: “Toilet seats down, that’s a no-brainer.”

More signs.

Gloria Allred takes the mic.

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