People: Sheldon Stephens, Dani Allen, Michelle Shocked, PSY, Joss Stone, Lil Wayne
A man who initially recanted sex abuse allegations against the former puppeteer of the "Sesame Street" character Elmo has sued him, alleging the entertainer lured him into drug-fueled sex when he was 16, The Associated Press reports.
"I was taken advantage of by someone a lot older and manipulated," Sheldon Stephens, who's now 24, told a Manhattan news conference on Tuesday.
He said he had met puppeteer Kevin Clash at a networking event for models and actors and was later brought by limousine from his home in Pennsylvania to a New York apartment. There, Stephens said, Clash smoked crystal meth while giving the teenager another recreational drug.
In a federal lawsuit filed Monday in Pennsylvania, Stephens accused the 52-year-old Clash of sexual battery for childhood sexual abuse; travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct; and coercion and enticement to sexual activity. Stephens is asking for unspecified damages and coverage of his legal expenses.
Clash's attorney, Michael Berger, said in a statement Tuesday that his client denies any wrongdoing. He said Stephens already admitted he had had an adult consensual relationship with Clash.
Three other men also are suing Clash, alleging underage sex. Clash resigned from "Sesame Street" in November.
Stephens first made the allegations last year. His lawyer, Jeff Herman, said Stephens recanted over the possibility of a settlement, but none was ever reached. Herman said his client would not discuss details of any possible agreement.
Stephens said at the news conference that he was 22 when the relationship ended. He said he only took action after watching "Sesame Street" with his young nieces.
"When I started to realize my nieces were idolizing this character, it just disgusted me inside because I knew what had happened to me," Stephens said.
You lose some, you win some.
After a season of battling it out with the scale -- and each other -- Danni Allen, Jeff Nichols and Jackson Carter were the three left vying for the big prize Monday night on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," People reports.
So who was named the winner? Allen took home the title in the live finale by losing the biggest percentage of her body weight over six months -- 46.9 percent -- outlasting Nichols and Carter to pick up the $250,000 grand prize.
"At the end of the day, look at me!" she said, beaming, right before the final weigh-in.
Allen, an advertising account coordinator from Wheeling, Ill., lost 121 pounds in all, going from 258 to 137 pounds Her percentage loss just beat out Jeff Nichols, who lost 46.65 percent in going from 388 to 207 pounds
As host Alison Sweeney pronounced her the winner, Allen embraced her trainer, Jillian Michaels -- who had returned for the show's 14th season after two seasons off.
Jackson Carter, the first openly gay contestant, finished third, going from 328 to 190 pounds for 42.07 percent body-weight loss.
A scheduled May 5 performance by singer Michelle Shocked at a club in Evanston, Ill., has been canceled following reports of her anti-gay rant from a San Francisco stage Sunday night, The Associated Press reports.
"After speaking with the promoter of that show about the nature of the remarks, it's clear that this is no longer a show we're willing to put our name on," the club, SPACE, announced on its website and Facebook page Monday, offering refunds to ticket-holders.
Reports from Sunday's show at San Francisco's Yoshi's say Shocked, a born-again Christian, railed against gay marriage and told the crowd, "You can go on Twitter and say, 'Michelle Shocked says God hates [anti-gay slur].' " The Twittersphere reacted accordingly.
SPACE general manager/talent buyer Jake Samuels, who had booked Shocked previously without incident, said he confirmed with the San Francisco promoter that Shocked's comments were "ugly in nature and not meant to be artistic or satirical in any way . It wasn't a very hard decision for us."
PSY says he will change the title and lyrics of his potential "Gangnam Style" follow-up over worries it could offend Arabs, the AP reports.
The announced title for the song can be written as "Assarabia" or "Assaravia" in English. It's slang used by South Koreans to express thrills. It suggests no ethnicity or body part, but worries have risen that Arabs might misinterpret the title and find it derogatory.
PSY said Monday on a South Korean social media website that he has decided to change the title. Some lyrics also will change.
After several Korean albums, PSY has promised future work in English but it isn't clear when. The "Gangnam Style" video with its catchy tune and much-imitated horse-riding dance has a record 1.44 billion views on YouTube since July.
Prosecutors said Monday two men accused of plotting to rob and kill soul singer Joss Stone planned to decapitate her, then dump her body in a river, the AP reports.
The suspects, Junior Bradshaw and Kevin Liverpool, were arrested in June 2011, close to the singer's house after suspicious neighbors reported them to police. They never reached her house.
Opening the case at Exeter Crown Court, prosecutor Simon Morgan told a jury the pair, age 32 and 35, set off from their home in Manchester with a samurai sword, knives, a hammer, black bags and gloves for Stone's house in Devon. The men were allegedly part of a gang that hatched the plot, but other members could not be traced.
Morgan said that handwritten notes found in the suspects' car made reference to "decapitate," another read "Jocelyn RIP" and a further note said: "Once Jocelyn's dead ....find a river to dump her."
The motive for the plot was not clear, but Morgan said the men may have targeted Stone for her money or because they disliked her links with the royal family.
The notes indicated that the pair disapproved of Stone being invited to the Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding in 2011, he said.
The defendants deny all charges. The trial continues.
Having spent the weekend in the hospital after suffering multiple seizures, rapper Lil Wayne was discharged Monday, E! News reports.
"Thanks to [Cedars-Sinai] for everything!!! @LilTunechi has been officially released and is headed home. ... God is great," Young Money Entertainment president (and helpful provider of Lil Wayne health updates) Mack Maine tweeted.
Slamming a report that the 30-year-old star was in a medically induced coma and in dire straits at L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Weezy's fellow YMCMB members took to Twitter on Friday night to set the record straight.
After the hubbub had died down, Lil Wayne himself tweeted: "I'm good everybody. Thx for the prayers and love."
First Published March 20, 2013 12:00 am