Chris Brown knows the drill.
During his appearance Monday in a Washington, D.C., courtroom, a judge reduced the felony assault charge the singer was facing for allegedly punching a man in the face during a fight that broke out early Sunday morning and ordered Brown released from custody, E! News reports.
He is now scheduled to return to court to answer to a misdemeanor charge on Nov. 25.
“Christopher Brown committed no crime,” his attorney Danny Onorato told reporters after the hearing, according to CNN. “We understand that his security acted to protect Mr. Brown and his property, as he is authorized to do under D.C. law. We are confident that Mr. Brown will be exonerated of any wrongdoing.”
According to authorities, the altercation took place just before 4:30 a.m. near the W Hotel. The alleged victim needed medical attention for his injuries, the extent of which led to the initial felony charge. Another man, 35-year-old Christopher Hollosy, had also been charged with assault.
“I’m not down with that gay [expletive],” Brown was heard saying before hitting 20-year-old Parker Isaac Adams after Adams tried to squeeze into a photo with the singer and two other people, according to the police report obtained by E! News. Brown also said, “I feel like boxing,” per the report.
The “F.A.M.E.” artist, who has one year of probation left stemming from his 2009 assault on Rihanna, spent the night in jail and remained in custody leading up to his arraignment.
Brown’s mother, Joyce Hawkins, was in the courtroom to support her son, as was rapper Trey Songz. A number of fans wielding “Free Chris!” signs showed up outside as well.
The 24-year-old’s probation was temporarily revoked following his involvement in an alleged hit-and-run accident. The charge was ultimately dropped, but a judge gave him 1,000 hours of community service to perform when he reinstated his probation.
Also earlier this year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office called into question whether Brown had legitimately completed the 180 days of community labor he was sentenced to as part of his 2009 plea deal.
Brown was supposed to host a costume party on Halloween at L.A. Live, but there’s no word yet on whether that’s still on his schedule.
Update: Julianne Hough apologized on Twitter for her Crazy Eyes costume on Saturday, writing: “I am a huge fan of the show ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created. It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize,” E! News reports.
Hough opted for a controversial Halloween costume, donning blackface while dressing up as a character from the hit series “Orange Is the New Black” at a Halloween party on Friday.
The 25-year-old actress was Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren from the Netflix series, but we are willing to bet that all eyes at the Beverly Hills bash were on Hough for her surprising costume choice.
In addition to the dark makeup, the “Safe Haven” star wore prison orange with a longsleeve gray T-shirt over her hands. She darkened her eyebrows and blond hair, which was styled in knotted nubs just like the fictional prisoner. She completed the look with an ID tag on her chest featuring the TV character, portrayed by Uzo Aduba.
Hough was joined by several other friends dressed an inmates, wearing matching orange outfits but no dark makeup. A male friend dressed as a prison warden and held a baton.
Crazy Eyes is a standout character from the critically acclaimed comedy drama series.
Jimmy Kimmel’s kids are at it again.
ABC issued an apology on Saturday to 80-20 Initiative, an online organization in the U.S. promoting equal opportunities for Asian-Americans, in regards to a controversial comment that was made during a children’s skit on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” that featured a young boy saying, “Kill everyone in China,” E! News reports.
“We’re writing to offer our sincere apology,” ABC said in a copy of the letter obtained by the South China Morning Post. “We would never purposefully broadcast anything to upset the Chinese community, Asian community, anyone of Chinese descent or any community at large … our objective is to entertain.”
ABC’s senior executives added in the letter that the network had removed the controversial comment from all media platforms and would edit the comment out of any future airing of the show.
The skit “Kids Table,” which originally aired Oct. 16, shows a panel of children talking about current events, such as the government’s debt in this case. In the clip, Kimmel asks the kids how the U.S. should “pay China back” the $1.3 trillion it owes, and one young boy’s response surprised viewers (and Kimmel).
“Kill everyone in China,” he suggested.
Chinese-Americans were infuriated with the comment, and nearly 60,000 signed a White House petition calling on Barack Obama to investigate Kimmel’s “Kids Table” for employing “the same rhetoric used in Nazi Germany against Jewish people.”
S.B. Woo, chairman of the 80-20 Initiative and of Hong Kong origin, told the Post by telephone that he immediately began a protest with ABC as soon as he found out that the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show was actually not live.
“Otherwise, personally I do not think it is a big deal — because kids say the darnedest things,” said Woo. “However, allowing it to air shows ABC’s grievous lack of judgment. … Personally I don’t consider [the apology] a victory at all,” he said.
The doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson was released from jail Monday after serving nearly two years of a four-year sentence, People reports.
Conrad Murray was released from a downtown Los Angeles jail at 12:01 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office. A change in California law allowed his incarceration time to be significantly cut down.
The former cardiologist was convicted in 2011 of causing Jackson’s death in June 2009 by providing the superstar with an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid. Jackson was in the midst of preparations for a series of comeback concerts, and Murray was serving as his personal physician.
Murray’s prospects are uncertain: At age 60 his license to practice medicine has been suspended or revoked in three states, and his face and name are well known due to his association with Jackson and his highly publicized involuntary manslaughter trial.
The former doctor is appealing his conviction, although an appeals court has questioned whether it needs to hear the case. His attorney Valerie Wass has argued that the court should not dismiss the appeal because it could alter his overall sentence and reduce some of the stigma his conviction has caused.
Despite being jailed, Murray has not been entirely silent. Audio recordings of his calls have been posted on celebrity website TMZ and the ex-doctor told the “Today” show that he cried tears of joy after a civil jury recently determined that the promoters of Jackson’s comeback shows did not negligently hire Murray.
He did not, however, testify in the civil case or take the stand during his criminal trial.
Murray previously maintained clinics in Houston and Las Vegas and frequently complained about conditions in jail after his conviction. He was allowed to serve his entire sentence in a Los Angeles jail rather than a state prison due to a law aimed at easing overcrowding by shifting nonviolent offenders to local lockups.
Although widely used, propofol is intended only for surgical settings and experts have noted that its effects are not actually sleep.
Garth Brooks is taking his intimate one-man Las Vegas show to live television, The Associated Press reports.
A news release issued Monday says CBS will broadcast Brooks’ performance at the Wynn Las Vegas live on Nov. 29.
Brooks came out of retirement in 2009 for a series of occasional gigs at Steve Wynn’s invitation. Brooks formally ended that run after three years but has played occasionally since then.
The broadcast will be his final performance of the show, which has mostly been Brooks with just his guitar exploring his musical influences with fans.
Brooks has mostly been out of music since 2001, when he became a stay-at-home dad. But fans remain fervent, helping to set a record viewership for the Academy of Country Music Awards earlier this year when Brooks performed with George Strait.
The harmonies came magically, almost supernaturally, People reports.
One day, after having a minor surgery on her arm, Mary Steenburgen literally woke up with a sudden, inexplicable musical ability — something she had never really had in all her 60 years.
“[The surgery] was enough that I went under general anesthetic, and the music started right after that,” she recently told CBS News.
She couldn’t explain it, but she went with it. And since that day, the Oscar-winning actress has written or co-written more than 40 songs, and was even signed recently by Universal Music.
Her favorite instrument, oddly enough? The accordion.
“I’m obsessed by it,” she says. “I love it beyond belief. There’s something about it that just appeals to me. I don’t know why.”
Steenburgen’s husband of 18 years, Ted Danson, bought her her first accordion on Valentine’s Day, although he admits having been unnerved by his wife’s new passion.
“At first it was scary and threatening to our relationship,” he says. “Is she humming to herself, or is she pissed off? I can’t tell!” But he knew it brought her great joy. “When you write,” he tells his wife, “you go to heaven. You really go to some other place that is really almost divine.”
Steenburgen was a little conflicted herself by her new hobby. “At one point I kind of looked in the mirror and said, ‘You know, you’re a mom, you’re a wife, people count on you, you can’t go off the deep end into this kind of crazy, musical swirl,’ ” she says.
Yet, she adds: “Hey, it’s a miracle to have a career in Hollywood. But it doesn’t begin to sum me up.”
AMC Networks said Monday that it had agreed to acquire substantially all of Chellomedia, an international content division of Liberty Global, the media company controlled by John C. Malone, in a deal valued at 750 million euros, or $1.04 billion, the New York Times reports.
The deal gives AMC access to an array of television networks distributed in 138 countries while providing additional opportunities to distribute its programming worldwide, including popular shows like “The Walking Dead,” “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men.”
“As AMC Networks has expanded internationally, we have had a great desire to do something we consider fundamentally strategic, which is to take our content and put it on channels we own,” said Joshua W. Sapan, AMC’s president and chief executive. “This acquisition allows us to secure a large, global platform on which to distribute our increasingly successful original programming through a collection of strong, well-established and well-managed assets worldwide.”
In addition to its namesake AMC channel, AMC Networks also owns IFC and IFC Films, WE and the Sundance Channel. It was spun off from Cablevision in 2011.
“AMC Networks are content professionals with an excellent creative and business track record,” said Niall Curran, Chellomedia’s president. “They are highly enthusiastic about the business we have built at Chellomedia and are ambitious to develop it further, making AMC Networks a great owner and partner for Chello’s next phase of growth.”
As part of the deal, AMC will acquire Chello Central Europe, Chello Latin America, Chello Multicanal, Chello Zone, the ad sales unit Atmedia and the broadcast solutions unit Chello DMC.
Liberty Global will retain its Dutch premium channel business, which consists of the Film1 and Sport1 channels.
To celebrate season four of the hit-British drama “Downton Abbey” (which returns to PBS’s “Masterpiece” in January), Grands Vins de Bordeaux winery debuts a duo of Downton Abbey Wines: a “Blanc” white wine and a “Claret” red wine.
Beyond the “Downton” name on the label, the wines have a true connection to the show: They’re made from grapes grown on the same vines and from the same soil in the Bordeaux region of France as the era depicted in “Downton Abbey.” “We truly believe the Crawley Family would have been proud to serve [them] at their table,” co-creator William Zysblat says in a statement.
This isn’t the first series to offer a line of branded beverages: There are “Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones” beers, “True Blood” orange sodas and, hey, even E.L. James released a collection of “Fifty Shades of Grey”-inspired wines.
So whether you want to re-create your own “Downton Abbey” dinner party or indulge in a treat while catching up on all the saucy storylines, you can order them for $15 at downtonabbeywine.com or from select retailers beginning Friday.