The Kanye West and Taylor Swift public beef has reignited again with the ongoing feud now involving his wife and Swift's publicist.
Swift's publicist, Tree Paine, fired back Monday night at Kim Kardashian West, who had defended herself after someone released a video, clipped into segments, of the full 25-minute conversation of Kanye West and Swift discussing his song "Famous." Kardashian West posted several tweets Monday to address Swift who said in a statement earlier in the day on Instagram that she was illegally recorded in the "manipulated" video.
West was condemned for a lyric in which he called Swift a bitch in his 2016 song "Famous." The rapper said Swift gave her blessing to use the lyric during a phone call, but the singer denied ever hearing the lyric.
The new footage of the phone call between West and Swift was posted online from an unknown source Friday night.
The new clips seem to corroborate Swift's claims that West didn't tell her the full lyrics of the song. But they also show West repeatedly asking Taylor for her approval of a lyric in which he raps: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex, Why? I made that bitch famous." Swift does tell West she thinks it's funny, just as the rapper said when the song first was released.
Previously, Kardashian West seemed to vindicate her husband — months later — by releasing snippets of the call where Swift appeared to approve the lyrics. She said in a tweet Monday that Swift lied through her publicist that "Kanye never called to ask for permission."
In response, Paine said in her tweet Monday that West did not call to get the lyric approved from Swift. She said West asked Swift if she could release the song on her Twitter account but she declined.
Renowned jazz man Manu Dibango, to many the beloved "Papy Groove" who served as an inspiration and pioneer in his art, died on Tuesday with the coronavirus, his official Facebook page announced. He was 86.
The saxophonist who inspired what is known as "world music" was recently hospitalized with an illness "linked to COVID-19," his official Facebook page said last Wednesday, adding that he was "resting well and calmly recovering."
The announcement did not say where he had been hospitalized, but Dibango, who was born in Cameroon, was known to live in France.
"He can't wait to meet you again," the earlier message said. That was not to be.
The artist inspired "world music" in the 1970s with the song "Soul Makossa."
Funeral services were to be "held in strict privacy" followed by a tribute "when possible," Tuesday's announcement said. Funerals in France have been limited to 20 people who are in the closest circle of the deceased because of a lockdown to try to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Broadway actress Ruthie Ann Miles, who tragically lost her daughter and unborn child two years ago, is pregnant.
The Tony-winner shared on Twitter Saturday that she is due this spring.
In 2018, Miles and her 4-year-old daughter Abigail were struck by a vehicle on a New York street that killed Abigail and a friend's 1-year-old son. Miles was pregnant at the time of the crash and lost her unborn daughter, who she planned to name Sophia, two months later.
In her Twitter message announcing the pregnancy, Miles thanked those who supported her and her husband Jonathan Blumenstein after the crash and let them grieve for the past two years.
"We know Abigail Joy and Sophia would have loved being big sisters and are loving watching their family grow," Miles wrote.
The intrepid and daring Phryne Fisher, last seen in an internationally popular TV mystery series, is getting the welcome back she deserves in "Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears."
In the movie debuting Monday on the Acorn TV streaming service, star Essie Davis' amateur sleuth plunges into a case that encompasses ancient curses and 1929 turmoil in the Middle East. She also further tests the affections of her admirer, Melbourne police detective inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page).
One flourish missing from Phryne's return after five years: The film's planned big-screen release in select cities, which was stymied by the coronavirus-forced closure of theaters. Before that happened, fans of the 2012-15 series "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" made showings in New York City and elsewhere a success.
"Given the enthusiastic response from U.S. fans to attend several sold out screenings and dress in 1920s fashion, we're sorry we can't offer the film theatrically at this time, but we're glad to make it easily accessible" via streaming, said Matthew Graham, Acorn TV's general manager.
Theaters have expressed interest in re-booking the film that boasts big-screen worthy production values, including elegant costumes and sweeping desert scenes shot in Morocco. But the project's true charm is Phryne herself and Davis' portrayal of a bold, self-reliant woman who makes her own way in the world with guts and style and without apology. The tone of the movie, written by series co-creator Deb Cox, is gleefully feminist.
"She has no respect for the rules," a male character harrumphs after witnessing a display of Phryne's determination.
"That's because they tend to be written by men," she retorts.
Davis, a respected stage actor whose screen credits include "The Babadook" and "Game of Thrones," said she was delighted to bring back Phryne, whom she describes as a "real James Bond, Indiana Jones" hero.
"It's like revisiting an old friend," Davis said of the character drawn from Australian writer Kerry Greenwood's mystery novels.
"She's a woman of independent means who completely rejoices in her independence, but really cares about other people at the same time. She's very happy to love any man who she wants to love, as much as she wants to love, and as frequently as she would like," Davis said, with the last few words punctuated by a chortle.
As devotees are well aware, the peripatetic Miss Fisher grew up in Australia, attended boarding school in England, was a World War I ambulance driver in France and lived the high life in post-war Europe before returning to Melbourne to put her smarts and charm to use as a well-heeled private eye and, at times, make poor Jack thoroughly miserable.
While knowing the background enriches the story, newcomers can enjoy the film as "a meal in itself. People who have never seen the series love it as action adventure, romance, murder mystery that is satisfying in itself," Davis said.
The movie, which had its Australian premiere last month, owes a tip of the hat to its devoted fans. An online fundraising campaign in 2017 reached its 30-day goal of $250,000 in under 48 hours, and donations continued to roll in for the film reportedly budgeted at $8 million by Every Cloud Productions, which also produced the series.
Making the most of relatively modest funding for the 100-minute film, Melbourne's Victorian-era public buildings and private mansions helped the city double for 1929 London at points in the film directed by Tony Tilse. Among the grand properties on display: the National Trust's Labassa and Ripponlea estates and the Victorian government-owned Werribee Mansion.
The filming in Morocco was memorable for Davis. It took place in the town of Ouarzazate, which has hosted other productions. Besides the magnificent Sahara desert, she said, they made use of existing sets that included an "incredible" one from filmmaker Ridley Scott's 2005 "Kingdom of Heaven."
She admits to a less appealing moment on set.
"Here we are in the Sahara, where they shot 'The English Patient,' and it's incredible and beautiful. But tummy upsets and linen suits don't necessarily go together," Davis said, with a rueful laugh.
While she predicts audiences will find the film's conclusion satisfying — "Like the cat that ate the cream" — there is potential for more Fisher movie adventures, depending on the audience's response and, crucially, what the script might be.
"'I'm up for any great story, because Phryne is a great character, and we always have to see her growing and changing and doing things that we've never seen her do before," Davis said. "Otherwise it's just boring, and I would rather not bore myself or anyone else."
From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to canceling events, here's a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.
COLTON, COHEN TEST POSITIVE
Former star of "The Bachelor" Colton Underwood and talk-show host Andy Cohen have joined the growing group of celebrities who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Underwood posted a video on his social media pages saying he has been following all social distancing rules for a week, but tested positive on Friday.
The 28-year-old former football player who appeared as "The Bachelor" in 2019 says he began having symptoms, primarily exhaustion, a few days ago.
"The main thing is I can't even walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath or going to the bathroom without having to sit down because I'm exhausted," he said.
Underwood says he is recovering and self-isolating at his girlfriend's family home in Huntington Beach, California.
Cohen the 51-year-old host of the long-running Bravo late-night show "Watch What Happens Live" said on Instagram and Twitter Friday afternoon that he has also tested positive, and will not do shows from home as he had planned.
"As much as I felt like I could push through whatever I was feeling to do #WWHL from home, we're putting a pin in that for now so I can focus on getting better," Cohen wrote.
Underwood and Cohen join other entertainers including Tom Hanks, Idris Elba and Daniel Dae Kim who have tested positive for the virus amid the global pandemic.
BROADWAY PRODUCERS AND UNIONS COME TOGETHER
Broadway's unions and producers have agreed on emergency relief agreement that will provide Broadway employees with pay and health insurance during the current suspension of all Broadway shows.
Both sides issued statements late Friday applauding the agreement. The deal includes pay for the week that was cut short and then two additional weeks pay, including pension and 401 (k) benefits. Health benefits are guaranteed through April 12 and there is a commitment to discuss health care again the week of April 6.
Members of the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds said, "We are grateful to be able to tell our members that the industry came together to provide some compensation during this terrible time."
Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, echoed the positive vibe: "We are a community that cares about each other, and we are pleased that we can offer some relief."
The news came just hours before it was revealed that Martin McDonagh's dark comedy "Hangmen" will suffer an early death and will not reopen on Broadway, the first casualty of the coronavirus on the Great White Way.
"Hangmen" was one of 16 shows that were scheduled to open this spring that were suspended when Broadway went dark on March 12. It was to officially open on March 19. The play won the Olivier Award in London for best new play but only managed 13 previews in New York.
McDonagh's ferocious comedy centers on an executioner facing forced retirement as Britain abolishes capital punishment during the '60s.
NETFLIX STREAMING FUNDS TO THE UNEMPLOYED
Netflix is establishing a $100 million relief fund for workers whose jobs in TV and film production have been brought to a halt by coronavirus.
The streaming service said Friday the majority of the fund will support the hardest-hit workers on Netflix's own productions around the world, especially crew members.
In an effort to support the broader film and TV industry, Netflix says $15 million of the fund will be distributed to organizations providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where it has a large production base, including three nonprofits in the United States.
Pixar's "Onward" will go from the top movie at the box office straight to digital release, as Hollywood continued to shuffle its recent releases from theaters into the home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Walt Disney Co. said Friday that "Onward" will be available for purchase on digital platforms for $19.99 beginning Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern. It will land on the studio's streaming platform, Disney Plus, on April 3.
"Onward" had been the top movie at the domestic box office the last two weekends. But the wide majority of cinemas have closed in recent days to help limit large gatherings as the virus spreads. Other recently released films have also moved to on-demand or other home-viewing platforms, including Sony Pictures' "Bloodshot" and Universal Pictures releases "The Hunt," "Emma" and "The Invisible Man."
LATIN STARS SING FROM HOME
Telemundo is offering a first-of-its-kind virtual music special on Spanish-language media, featuring stars such as J Balvin, Luis Fonsi, Alejandro Sanz and Gloria Estefan.
"Concierto en Casa" will air Saturday at 7 p.m. Eastern on Telemundo Network, UNIVERSO and across all its platforms.
The star-studded line-up also includes Farruko, Prince Royce, Reik, Sofía Reyes, Carlos Vives, Wisin, Jesse and Joy, Alejandra Guzmán, Mau y Ricky, Camila, Emilia, Angela and Pepe Aguilar, Paulina Rubio, Raymix, Franco de Vita, Calibre 50, among others. All will appear from their homes or studios.
PAYING ARTS BACK
Ticketing outlet Goldstar focuses on live entertainment events. Now, with that industry crippled, the company is encouraging users to keep live events alive.
Subscribers are being asked to donate to live entertainment and arts organizations nationwide, giving the option of $10, $20 or $50 amounts.
The push is open to all genres, for profit and not, from the Center Stage Children's Theater in San Diego to The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago.
"We're tapping into our audience of 10 million subscribers to encourage them to donate at this critical time to support the artists, the people behind the scenes and all who bring so much to our lives," said Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy.
DEPP SUIT ON HOLD
Johnny Depp's libel suit against British tabloid The Sun has been put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic.
Depp is suing the newspaper's parent company over a 2018 article claiming he was violent and abusive to his ex-wife Amber Heard.
A trial had been due to start Monday at the High Court in London, with Depp, Heard and other celebrities due to give evidence. But judge Andrew Nicol said Friday that he had "reached the reluctant conclusion that the trial does have to be adjourned."
Depp's lawyer Jennifer Afia told a preliminary hearing that the star could not come to court because he was at a "remote location" in France and could not travel because of the pandemic.
But the newspaper's attorney, Adam Wolanski, alleged Depp wanted to delay the trial "because he's a coward and because he knows he's going to lose."