R Kelly faces fresh sexual misconduct allegation

R Kelly in 2015

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R Kelly is accused of “predatory, controlling and abusive behaviour”

R Kelly is facing a fresh allegation of sexual misconduct, from a former partner who claims he “intentionally” infected her with an STD in Dallas.

According to her lawyer, the unnamed woman was the victim of “unlawful restraint” during her 11-month relationship with the R&B singer.

It is claimed that Kelly, 51, attempted to make the woman a member of the “sex cult” he is alleged to have run.

The Dallas Police Department has said it is looking into the allegation.

In a statement issued in advance of a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, lawyer Lee Merritt claims his client was 19 when she and Kelly began a sexual relationship.

Mr Merritt goes on to accuse the singer of “predatory, controlling and abusive behaviour” and “furnishing alcohol and illegal drugs to a minor”.

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The singer has faced accusations of sexual misconduct since the 1990s

Kelly, best known in the UK for hits including I Believe I Can Fly, has faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, making indecent images of children and other offences.

Last year the singer – whose full name is Robert Kelly – denied allegations he was holding a number of young women in a so-called cult.

The Washington Post has quoted a representative for the singer as saying that he “categorically denies all claims and allegations”.

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Choi Eun-hee: South Korean actress who was kidnapped by North dies

This picture taken on April 16, 2018 shows a portrait of South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee on a mourning altar at a hospital in Seoul.

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AFP

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Ms Choi was one of South Korea’s most famous actresses during the peak of her popularity

A South Korean actress, once kidnapped by North Korea and forced to make films for the state, has died at 91.

Choi Eun-hee was a leading actress in the South when she was kidnapped on the orders of then leader-in-waiting Kim Jong-il in the late 1970s.

Her ex-husband, a famous film director, was also abducted several months later. The duo later escaped.

North Korea has always denied abducting the couple, saying they had sought sanctuary there.

Ms Choi died on Monday afternoon in hospital in South Korea.

“My mother passed when she went to hospital for kidney dialysis this afternoon,” Ms Choi’s eldest son, director Shin Jeong-gyun, told news outlet Yonhap.

The kidnapping and a film buff

Born in November 1926 in South Korea’s Gyeonggi province, Ms Choi began her film career in 1947.

She and her then-husband Shin Sang-ok eventually rose to be among South Korea’s most celebrated film directors and stars.

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BBC / Hellflower films / Shin Films Foundation

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This still of Ms Choi and Mr Shin is taken from a film about the couple, titled “The Lovers and the Despot”

But by the late 1970s, the couple had divorced and Choi’s career had hit a downturn.

It was during that time that Choi was approached by someone posing as a Hong Kong businessman with a proposal to form a film-making company which would revive her fortunes.

According to a book “A Kim Jong-il Production”, she was persuaded to go to Hong Kong. Once in Hong Kong, she was grabbed and sedated by a group of men.

Eight days later she was in Pyongyang in a luxurious villa that was constantly guarded.

Despite being divorced, Mr Shin and his ex-wife had remained close and he went to Hong Kong to look for her. He too was later abducted.

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BBC / Hellflower films / Shin Films Foundation

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Mr Shin and Ms Choi are shown here with Kim Jong-il (centre)

The late Mr Kim, who ruled North Korea from his father’s death in 1994 until his own in 2011, was said to be a great film buff, and an avid watcher of Hollywood movies.

He had hoped that the couple’s presence in the North could help their film industry compete on the international stage. After eight years, the couple won Mr Kim’s trust and were allowed to travel to Vienna to promote their films.

While in Vienna, the duo sought political asylum at the US embassy. They returned to South Korea years later and Mr Shin died in 2006.

The outlandish tale has gone on to grip audiences across the globe. In 2016, a film titled “The Lovers and the Despot” premiered, following the life of the couple as they were kidnapped and taken to North Korea.

‘Gone but never forgotten’

Ms Choi’s passing has been widely mourned across South Korea.

“I went to see her movie when I was in high school,” said 82-year-old actress Um Aing-ran. “After seeing her acting I decided to become an actress.”

Other social media users also remembered her.

“You were such a beauty. You really had a rough life, you are gone now but your passion for acting will never be forgotten,” said one user on Naver. “I hope you reunited with Mr Shin and be happy.”

“We say there is no life without a story. But her life was so dramatic,” said another Naver user. “I [will] remember your elegance. Rest in peace.”

Ms Choi’s funeral will be held on Thursday in Seoul.

Are celebrity baby Instagram accounts OK?

Clockwise from left: Serena Williams with Alexis, DJ Khaled with Asahd and Michael Phelps with Boomer

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Instagram

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Serena Williams with Alexis, DJ Khaled with Asahd and Michael Phelps with Boomer

It’s the news the world has been waiting for – or at least her 75.1m Instagram followers.

Khloe Kardashian announced that the name of her newborn baby was True Thompson. What was also revealed was that Baby True already has her very own Instagram account.

And little True isn’t the only one – DJ Khaled’s son, Asahd, and Serena William’s daughter, Alexis, also have their own Instagram accounts, to name but two.

The American DJ and his wife Nicole Tuck documented Asahd’s birth via Snapchat, and – according to some reports – are also hoping to trademark his name.

But is it right to set up an account and post in your child’s name when they aren’t able to give consent?

As is often the case, things aren’t as clear cut as they may first appear.

For starters, some famous names may just be setting up a social media handle in their baby’s name for them to use later on should they want it.

That could be the case with baby True, for example, whose Instagram handle is @true. There are not yet any posts on her account, although she already has 138,000 followers. Her mother has posted on her own account more than 3,000 times.

True’s cousin, Dream, was born in 2016 and also has her own Instagram account – with almost a million followers. But to date, there are still no posts to the account of Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna’s baby.

On the other hand, Asahd Khaled’s account features more than 350 posts and the one-year-old already has a huge 1.8m followers.

His Instagram feed mainly consists of family photos and some fashion shoots with the odd celebrity face thrown in.

Similarly, Boomer Phelps – the son of Olympic champion swimmer Michael and his wife Nicole – is a prolific poster with nearly 250 posts in his short life.

It is worth noting that Instagram guidelines require users to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account.

We asked our Facebook group members whether they thought baby accounts are a good idea.

“I would rather see a dedicated account for a baby than to see someone’s personal account swarmed with only baby pictures,” Luke James Dunn posted on the BBC News Entertainment Facebook page.

‘Child as an accessory’

Nicole James agrees: “It would be a place for me to stick all the endless baby pictures that won’t annoy my friends, and it’s also like a little memory book I can pass on. You can always make the account private.”

Yvonne Vincent says she wouldn’t create an Instagram account for her baby “but part of me thinks some celebrity kids are going to grow up without privacy anyway so what does it matter? It’s treating your child as an accessory, which is pretty horrible really”.

Indeed, there are many famous names who deliberately don’t put pictures of their children on social media – or if they do, their faces are obscured – including TV presenters Holly Willoughby and Emma Willis.

Award-winning blogger Jen Walshaw, who runs parenting website Mum in the Madhouse, has been posting images of herself and her two boys on her Instagram account for several years.

She says it’s all about being mindful of what you post, especially as they get older (the boys are now 12 and 13).

Jen has also never used her sons’ real names.

“I’ve never posted pictures of them naked or on the potty. I’ve never called them by their first names [they’re referred to as Maxi and Mini].

“But now I want them to be judged for themselves and tell their own stories.”

The eldest has his own account, which Jen says is private and “has about four pictures of football boots!”

She cautions: “You’ve got to bear in my mind they’re the first generation growing up with this digital footprint that they haven’t created.

“If my two wanted me to delete all the posts, that’s their prerogative.”

But if you land financial bonuses as a result of your online life, there are more factors to consider.

Jen says if she benefits financially from her Instagram posts i.e. a free holiday “and it involves the boys, we make a decision as a family”.

“The payback might be that they get the experiences,” she explains.

Dr Victoria Nash, deputy director of the Oxford Internet Institute, agrees that people should think before they post.

“We are becoming much more aware… in the early days, we put pictures of kids up willy nilly.

‘Later embarrassment’

“The major pitfalls include increasingly recognising that children have rights of consent. Who owns a child’s identity?

“It’s impossible to really delete anything from the internet. Even if in five years, they delete the account, someone may have screen-shotted it. You have to think about the type of picture you post – could this be embarrassing later?”

Dr Nash says we are becoming more aware of what might be appropriate – “it’s more common for people to ask permission from other parents to post pictures of their children online” – but she says most of us still post our holiday pictures for all to see.

Where celebrities are concerned, Dr Nash suggests they should look at their motives: “Am I using my child to further my own celebrity? I don’t want to judge as I’ve not been in that situation but it is a consideration.”

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Jessie J wins China singing talent show contest

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Media captionJessie J wowed Chinese audiences to land the title

Jessie J has won a singing competition in China, which has been likened to the X Factor.

The singer used to be a judge on The Voice UK, and is the star behind hits including Price Tag and Domino.

But now she’s won China’s Singer after being the first international performer to appear on the show.

The singer won the contest – which involves professional singers competing against each other – with 48% of the vote.

She sang some of her own hits, such as Flashlight and Domino, as well as cover tracks including Whitney Houston’s version of I Will Always Love You.

“Thank you China for giving me this moment,” Jessie said.

“I Will Always Love You is the song that made me want to be singer when I was four years old,” she added.

She also explained why she had taken part.

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Jessie J said she wanted to bridge the culture gap

“I know a lot of people were shocked when they found out. Like why would I compete in a singing competition… I’m probably the least competitive person I know.

“I said yes because I LOVE to do the unexpected and I LOVE to represent the UK and singing everywhere I go. I LOVE to sing. But also it was an opportunity to bridge a gap between two cultures.

“China is an amazing place and so different to anywhere I have ever been. I have never been made to feel more welcomed and loved as I have done here.”

She added that one billion people had watched the show.

Jessie’s last UK single, Flashlight, was released in 2015 and reached number 13 on the official UK chart.

Jessie’s appearance on Singer 2018 follows a failed launch of her album R.O.S.E. late last year.

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Cliff Richard felt violated by BBC – Gloria Hunniford

Sir Cliff Richard arriving at the High Court with Gloria Hunniford on 13 April 2018

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Reuters

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Ms Hunniford has attended some of the court hearings with Sir Cliff

Sir Cliff Richard felt “violated and betrayed” by BBC coverage of a police search of his flat, TV and radio presenter Gloria Hunniford has said.

In a witness statement presented to the singer’s High Court privacy case against the corporation, she said her friend was left “extremely distressed”.

Sir Cliff was not charged after South Yorkshire Police’s investigation into a historical sexual assault claim.

The BBC says its August 2014 report was of legitimate public interest.

Lawyers for the broadcaster maintain it acted in good faith and its journalists had respected Sir Cliff’s “presumption of innocence”.

Ms Hunniford, who attended some of the court hearings with Sir Cliff, said she had been watching television when the BBC first reported officers were searching his home in Sunningdale, Berkshire.

“That the police were searching my friend’s apartment was of course a shock in itself, but to witness the search being carried out on television apparently in real time, with a helicopter filming overhead, together with details of the appalling criminal allegations that the police were said to be investigating, seemed beyond belief,” she said.

Sir Cliff, 77, is suing the BBC for the misuse of private information and breaking data protection rules.

He told the judge how the BBC decision to name him and report on the raid left him feeling “forever tainted” and “smeared”.

‘Mental change’

Ms Hunniford’s statement said Sir Cliff had always been the “most positive and upbeat of people” but after the coverage “he seemed a different person; broken and extremely confused”.

She said there was a “real emotional and mental change… and even a physical one” in the two years it took for prosecutors to announce Sir Cliff would not be charged.

Ms Hunniford, who hosted a daily show on BBC Radio 2 for 10 years and currently presents Rip Off Britain on BBC One, has known Sir Cliff since 1969.

She said after the raid he “tried to keep things as normal as he could” and they continued to go on holidays together and spent occasional time at his home in Portugal.

“He was clearly trying to stay positive and put on a brave face on things, but he was not quite succeeding,” she said.

Ms Hunniford said Sir Cliff later spoke of how relieved he was when cleared.

She added: “I could tell that he was, but at the same time I could still see evidence of the toll that this extraordinarily difficult time had taken upon him. When I gave him a hug, he had lost so much weight that he felt like skin and bones.”

Ms Hunniford said while Sir Cliff now “seems more his old self and is looking a lot better… he cannot stop talking about how violated and betrayed he feels about the BBC decision to broadcast the police search of his apartment and create the media storm that ensued”.

One of the singer’s lawyers, Paul Morris, gave evidence to the court and described South Yorkshire Police’s investigation into Sir Cliff as “astonishingly long”.

Sir Cliff’s business manager, Malcolm Smith, told the judge, Mr Justice Mann, it was hoped the investigation would be over within 12 weeks. But he said it was delayed by further false allegations that “would not have been made but for the BBC publicising the raid in the way they did”.

‘Bonkers but brilliant’

Police had been looking into a claim Sir Cliff sexually assaulted a boy under the age of 16 in Sheffield in 1985.

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A text message exchange between Dan Johnson and Carrie Goodwin was read out in court

South Yorkshire Police has settled its own privacy case with Sir Cliff for £400,000 and argues that the BBC should pay a share of this because its actions were “far more causative of the damage suffered”.

Former Det Supt Matthew Fenwick told the court on Monday that police only agreed to tell the BBC about the raid because it had wanted to stop reporter Dan Johnson breaking the story before it had a chance to search Sir Cliff’s flat.

Details of text message conversations between Mr Johnson and South Yorkshire Police’s head of media, Carrie Goodwin, on the day of the raid were raised in court by the BBC’s barrister Gavin Millar.

The lawyer referred to a message Ms Goodwin sent a few hours after the search and the first BBC broadcast, to ask Mr Johnson whether he had had a “good day”.

Mr Johnson said it had been “bonkers but brilliant. Thanks for your help. Hope it went well from your point of view. Any idea what happens next?”

In response, Ms Goodwin said: “Just waiting for meeting to be arranged – everyone thinks we tipped you off so lots of grief from the media but nothing we cannot handle.”

Cross-examined by Mr Millar, she denied police had been “perfectly happy to use Johnson and the BBC after his initial approach to get coverage” for its “high profile” investigation, saying his suggestion “couldn’t be further from the truth”.

Ms Goodwin also rejected the lawyer’s assertion the force had gone “out of its way” to help the BBC to report the case.

Ronald Chesney, On the Buses co-writer, dies at 98

Ronald Chesney in 1962

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Chesney started out as a harmonica player before turning his hand to writing

Ronald Chesney, the celebrated British sitcom writer who created On the Buses and The Rag Trade with writing partner Ronnie Wolfe, has died aged 98.

His daughter, Marianne Cadier, said he died peacefully on 12 April at Kingston Hospital in Surrey.

Chesney and Wolfe, who died in 2011, created so many TV comedies they were known as “The Other Two Ronnies”.

Chesney was also an acclaimed harmonica player who performed with Gracie Fields, Duke Ellington and others.

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Peter Jones with Miriam Karlin and Sheila Hancock in The Rag Trade

Chesney and Wolfe met in 1955 when the latter began writing for Educating Archie, a radio show on which Chesney had a “talking harmonica” novelty act.

After quitting performing, Chesney and Wolfe began a prolific collaboration that saw them create a string of sitcoms for the BBC.

The Rag Trade, starring Reg Varney and Miriam Karlin, depicted the comic conflict between management and staff at a London garment factory.

Meet The Wife, starring Thora Hird and Freddie Frinton as a middle-aged married couple, was another popular success.

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ITV/REX/Shutterstock

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Stephen Lewis, Reg Varney and Bob Grant in On the Buses

Yet the BBC turned down the chance to make On the Buses, which eventually found a home at LWT and became one of their biggest hits.

Set in a bus garage in the fictional town of Luxton, the show spawned three spin-off feature films as well as a short-lived American remake.

Chesney and Wolfe’s later credits included Don’t Drink the Water, featuring On the Buses’ “Blakey”, and Take a Letter, Mr Jones with John Inman.

Morris Bright, chairman of Elstree Studios, remembered Chesney on Twitter as a “lovely modest chap”.

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‘Toxic’ Radar Radio suspends broadcasting after allegations

Radar Radio Twitter

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Radar Radio/Twitter

Online radio station Radar Radio has suspended broadcasting after allegations of mistreatment and exploitation of its staff.

The London-based station is seen as a breeding ground for the next generation of musicians and broadcasters.

Several DJs cut ties with Radar in response to claims of sexual harassment, racism and homophobia.

The station says it will be off air until it’s “in a position” to respond to the recent allegations.

Radar Radio, which describes itself as “the next generation of radio”, is known for its shows highlighting both new and established musical talent. Past guests have included Cardi B, M.I.A, and JME.

Pxssy Palace, a DJ collective which had a show on Radar, was one of the first to release a statement about its experience with the station.

It cited “a string of disappointing experiences with Radar” – which it says included “allowing the airing of sexist, homophobic and transphobic shows”, “organisational racism” indicated by an imbalance in pay and promotion, and “creating an uncomfortable and toxic environment”.

Radar Radio, which is owned by Ollie Ashley, the son of Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, responded to Pxssy Palace’s claims in a statement that was published on its blog last Friday.

“We were very concerned and disappointed to see the statement from Pxssy Palace suggesting that we are getting some important aspects wrong.

“We don’t agree with all the opinions in that statement but like most organisations we know we are capable of making mistakes and have to be vigilant to maintain standards.”

However, more allegations against the radio station surfaced when a person claiming to be a former employee released an anonymous blog post regarding her mistreatment at Radar Radio.

She told Newsbeat: “There was a producer who grabbed my bum when I was out at a club one night.”

She also claims that the harassment continued in the office.

When she wrote about the experience on social media, she claims a manager told her “it’s just boys being boys” and “either tell a manager or stay silent on the topic”.

She says she was told to sign a confidentiality agreement, but has now decided to speak out.

“I’ve heard conversations of Radar staff behind the scenes saying very misogynistic things, very homophobic things, very very racist things – and it’s like, you wouldn’t have a platform if it wasn’t for black people.

“The idea that young white men can come in, use this platform that’s built off the back of grime and have racist views at the same time is really really messed up.”

The allegations appear to have caused a wave of Radar Radio DJs to leave their radio shows.

Amongst those who have left the station are Cheyenne ‘Snoochie Shy’ Davide, Chidera ‘The Slumflower’ Eggerue, and DJ P Montana.

Breakfast show presenter Snoochie Shy tweeted: “I am deeply saddened by the recent news regarding Radar Radio.”

“Unfortunately, due to these views being so far removed from my own, this has left me with no choice but to step down as host of the breakfast show.”

Radar celebrated its third birthday at the end of 2017.

The station is yet to respond to numerous requests for comment from Newsbeat.

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Coachella: Is Cara right about Coachella being ‘anti-LGBT’?

Cara Delevingne and Beyonce

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“I still refuse to go to a festival that is owned by someone who is anti-LGBT and pro-gun”.

Those were the words from Cara Delevingne as she explained her decision to boycott Coachella to her 41m fans on Instagram on Sunday.

Despite being left “speechless” and in tears by what she called Beyonce’s “iconic” headline performance, the 25-year-old continues to protest against the alleged values of its billionaire owner Philip Anschutz – who has been linked with far-right Christian evangelical groups.

Delevingne, a supporter of gay rights and herself sexually fluid, added that she should be “allowed to shame that man and the festival and still show my appreciation of an artist at the same time”.

In response to the model’s remarks, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) released a statement saying it “wholeheartedly” supports the LGBT community.

The statement said: “Our recent support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and its vital work speaks to our organization’s true values.”

Anschutz went on to express “regret” if any money given to charities “may have worked against these values”.

“That was not my intention, it does not reflect my beliefs, and I am committed to making sure it does not happen again”.

‘Fake news’

Anschutz, 78, made his initial fortune through the oil, road and telecom industries before forming AEG in 1999.

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Getty/AFP

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Delevingne came under criticism for her remarks after posting about Beyonce’s Coachella performance

Its live music arm, AEG Live, brought Goldenvoice in 2001 which operates Coachella, as well as a host of venues worldwide – including the London O2.

But the accusations – which Anschutz denies – relate to payments made to hard-line conservative religious and political groups across the US, through his charitable foundation.

These include allegedly supporting:

  • Anti-gay laws – According to US campaign group Freedom For All Americans, Anschutz allegedly gave £35,000 to the National Christian Foundation (NCF) between 2011 – 2013. The Washington Post reported that NCF “funds a lot of the groups aggressively working to chip away at the equal rights of LGBT Americans”.
  • Same-sex marriage opposition – Culture website The Fader detailed alleged payments made by Anschutz to a number of hard-line conservative politicians. This included a payment of £1,900 to Republican Scott Tipton. a strong opponent of same-sex marriage and abortion, in October 2017.
  • Pro-gun support – The same Fader investigation alleged that in March, he gave £3,780 to Senator Cory Gardner, a vocal pro-gun advocate. Following the Las Vegas shooting that killed 58 people, Gardner came out against gun control. “This is a tragedy, if you’re trying to politicize it, or if anyone is trying to politicise it, then shame on them,” he told TIME.

Anschutz released a statement at the time strenuously denying all the allegations, branding them “garbage” and “fake news”.

In his statement to The Fader website, Anschutz said: “I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation.”

The billionaire went on to highlight the diversity of AEG’s workforce as evidence, saying: “We do not tolerate discrimination in any form.”

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Getty Images

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Philip Anschutz (L) is the controversial CEO of AEG, the company that runs Coachella

“Both The Anschutz Foundation and I contribute to numerous organizations that pursue a wide range of causes.” He added that both he and his foundation “immediately ceased all contributions” to organisations if it was discovered they were funding anti-LGBT initiatives.

Anschutz’s ‘regret’

Delevingne’s renewed criticisms of Anschutz followed fan claims that her support of Beyonce’s Coachella set was hypocritical given her stance on its in owner.

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Beyonce became the first black woman to headline Coachella

In response, she posted in an Instagram story: “Just because I love Beyoncé doesn’t mean I now love Coachella. My hashtag was #Nochella, I still wouldn’t go.”

The model added: “Don’t let anyone come between you and your truth”.

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Big Tom, a voice from home for the Irish in Britain

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PA

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Big Tom McBride died on Tuesday aged 81

Renowned Irish country singer Big Tom McBride has died at the age of 81, after a career spanning more than five decades.

But his impact stretched further afield than the Emerald Isle, bringing joy and comfort to those settling in the UK.

“When you hear Big Tom singing, for those three minutes of that song, you were back home again.”

This is how Tyrone man Aidan Quinn described the king of country Big Tom McBride, who he had known all of his life.

The son of the singer Philomena Begley – the queen of the scene – he recalled how Big Tom always had time for everyone.

“He always kept his footing,” said Mr Quinn. “Fame and fortune didn’t really mean anything to him.”

‘Happy at home’

It was back home in Ireland that Big Tom was at his happiest.

“He was happy out, happy in the local pub, happy at church of a Sunday morning, happy in his family life, happy at home,” said Mr Quinn.

It was, perhaps, that connection to home and the “story in every song” that proved irresistible to so many Irish in the 1960s and 1970s, when emigration played heavy on hearts and minds – romantic Ireland dead and gone.

The Irish in London married and settled in places like Kilburn and Cricklewood, and in cities such as Manchester and Birmingham.

And with Catholic Ireland left behind, clubs and dancehalls became new places to worship.

The Galtymore, the original Ballroom of Romance that opened its doors in Cricklewood in 1952, was alive – sizzling with hope and opportunity for what the future might hold.

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Media captionThe resurgence of London’s Irish dancing halls

Big Tom’s music became part of a show band soundtrack for that first generation, and the second that quickly followed.

Culture, it seemed, became a huge emotional support for the emigrants at a time when Ireland felt so far away.

“In the late 1960s, London was unimaginably further then than it would be for any Irish digital native of today,” said historian and author of The Men Who Built Britain, Ultan Cowley.

“Back then a call home could necessitate standing in a public telephone booth, with a stack of hard-earned silver at the ready, frantically feeding coins into the pay-per-minute call box.”

‘National treasure’

Almost a decade ago – on May 25, 2008 – Big Tom returned to The Galtymore to play a final waltz in front of a full house at the iconic north London venue.

“In the 1960s, many of us spent our time in poor accommodation in Cricklewood, Kilburn, Manchester or Liverpool,” says Dr Joe Kearney, co-author of From the Candy Store to the Galtymore.

“The Galtymore, The 32 Club, The Gresham and the Hibernian in London were Meccas for us. They were packed to the rafters every time the show bands came to town.”

And there will never be another Big Tom to bring that sense of home to the community.

“Everybody knows the name Big Tom McBride regardless of whether you were into country music or you weren’t,” said Mr Quinn.

“He was a very unique character, he was 100% one of a kind – a national treasure.”

Siobhan Breatnach is editor-in chief for the Irish Post, the biggest-selling newspaper for the Irish diaspora in Britain and globally.

Sean Hannity unmasked as Trump lawyer’s mystery client

Sean Hannity (left) and Michael Cohen

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Twitter/ Sean Hannity

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Sean Hannity (left) and Michael Cohen

A Fox News host is the mystery third client of US President Donald Trump’s lawyer, a court has heard.

A judge ruled that Michael Cohen, the president’s personal attorney, must reveal the link to Sean Hannity.

Monday’s hearing in New York City follows an FBI raid this month on the presidential lawyer’s home and office, which Mr Hannity has called an anti-Trump “witch hunt”.

A vocal Trump advocate, Mr Hannity denied he was a client of Mr Cohen.

The conservative host, who is known for passionately defending Mr Trump on his Fox News show against what he describes as biased attacks by the media, had never previously divulged any legal ties to the president’s attorney.

Fox News said in a statement: “While Fox News was unaware of Sean Hannity’s informal relationship with Michael Cohen and was surprised by the announcement in court yesterday, we have reviewed the matter and spoken to Sean and he continues to have our full support.”

What is the court case about?

FBI agents who raided Mr Cohen’s home and evidence were looking for evidence on various matters, including a $130,000 (£90,000) payment made to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had an affair with Mr Trump and was paid “hush money”.

Monday saw the judge deny Mr Cohen’s attempts to prevent prosecutors from reviewing the materials seized in the FBI raids.

Mr Trump’s attorney says the computers, phones and documents should be protected under attorney-client privilege.

But Judge Kimba Wood ruled his application for a preliminary injunction was premature.

The judge allowed prosecutors to proceed with the cataloguing of evidence seized in the raids while a system is set up to ensure that records protected by attorney-client privilege are not disclosed to investigators.

But she will also consider appointing a “special master” to play a supervisory role in the process.

More on Sean Hannity:

Advertisers desert embattled Fox host

ABC star’s ‘gay insult’ in Fox News spat

How did Hannity’s name come up?

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Mr Hannity frequently visits the White House

Just before Monday’s hearing, Mr Cohen said in a statement that he had only provided advice to three clients in the past year.

One was Mr Trump. Another was a Republican fundraiser who admitted to paying a former Playboy model after she became pregnant during their affair.

The third client, Mr Cohen said, had refused to give him permission to be publicly named.

But Judge Wood made one of the lawyers identify Mr Hannity on Monday.

There were gasps and some laughter in the courtroom after the announcement, and some journalists raced out of the courtroom to report the revelation.

Mr Hannity later issued a statement of denial.

“Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter,” the Fox host said.

“I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.

“I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third party.”

In a post on Twitter, he said the advice “dealt almost exclusively” with real estate.

He maintained it was no “big deal”.

After last week’s raid on Mr Cohen’s offices, Mr Hannity took to the airwaves to denounce the probe as a “declared war against the president of the United States”.

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EPA

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Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels spoke to the media outside the federal court

Did Stormy Daniels make an appearance, and what is her role in the case?

Also in the Manhattan federal court was Ms Daniels, whose appearance triggered a scrum by photographers outside.

Mr Cohen has admitted making a payment to the adult film actress, who claims the money was to keep her quiet about an affair she says she had with Mr Trump in 2006.

Mr Trump’s attorney says he made the payment just before the 2016 election, but maintains Mr Trump did not know about it.

He is facing a criminal inquiry, which the president has strongly criticised.

The payoff to Ms Daniels could amount to a campaign finance violation, say legal analysts.

The White House has denied Mr Trump had an extramarital affair.

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Media captionNon-disclosure agreements have been in the news a lot – but what exactly are they?

Sting: ‘Cultural appropriation is an ugly term’

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Media captionSting and Shaggy’s favourite reggae records

Pop legend Sting is browsing the racks at Honest Jon’s record store on London’s Portobello Road when a single catches his attention.

It’s a limited edition white vinyl by the late hip-hop producer J Dilla. The title is unprintable here, but it roughly translates as “Forget The Police”.

“Now there’s a song I should have written,” says Sting, repeating the title with a grin.

But while the star’s relationship with his first band remains fractious, his latest musical partnership is a veritable ‘bromance’.

The 66-year-old has teamed up with dancehall/reggae star Shaggy, of Mr Boombastic fame, to create one of the year’s unlikeliest albums.

The duo first hooked up last summer, when Shaggy was recording new material in LA.

Shaggy’s producer, Martin Kierszenbaum, also happens to be Sting’s manager and sent the British star an unfinished song called Don’t Make Me Wait, asking if he’d sing the chorus.

Six weeks later, the pair had finished not only that song but an entire album.

“It’s a total accident, but we’re very happy,” says Sting.

“Everyone who heard about it said ‘Oh, what a surprise,’ and actually that’s the most important element in all music – surprise.”

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Salvador Ochoa

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The musicians’ real names are Gordon Sumner and Orville Burrell

The musicians’ camaraderie is evident as they wait for the BBC’s cameras to set up.

“I heard you were bringing weed to the Queen’s birthday,” Sting teases Shaggy, who’s made an unwelcome appearance in the British tabloids that morning.

“You know she’s going to expect it now.”

“And I heard I was bringing it to Harry’s wedding,” laughs the Jamaican star. “To which I wasn’t invited.”

The musicians start to rifle through Honest Jon’s reggae section, pulling out classics by Bob Marley, Yellowman and Horace Andy while reminiscing about their childhoods.

“I really miss this ritual,” sighs Sting. “I could spend all day here, man.”

“The record shops I used to go to had big speakers and a hype crew,” recalls Shaggy.

“When a record came on, they’d bang on the walls like crazy so you’d think it was the hot record.

“Now that’s a way to get records sold.”

Culturally appropriate?

Selling records is a topic both musicians know inside out. Together, Sting and Shaggy have shifted more than 350 million units over the last 40 years.

Their new collaboration – named 44/876 after the respective dialling codes for the UK and Jamaica – probably won’t match the multi-platinum sales of Shaggy’s Hot Shot or Sting’s Brand New Day.

But it’s still a thoroughly amiable slice of island-inspired reggae pop.

First single Don’t Make Me Wait pairs Shaggy’s “Mr Lover Lover” patter with a typically plaintive Sting chorus; while Waiting For The Break Of Day is a breezily optimistic song about political resistance.

And while Sting and Shaggy’s partnership has raised more than a few eyebrows, it’s easy to forget that both artists have made a career out of interpreting reggae for a pop audience.

What do they make, then, of the current debate over cultural appropriation in music?

“It’s such an ugly term,” says Sting. “For me, reggae is something I respect and value, and take seriously. It’s something I’ve learned from.

“I owe a great deal to the whole reggae bass community. My spiritual, musical mentor was Bob Marley – who I knew – and I really feel that I’m doing something that feels authentic to me.

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Reuters

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The musicians will tour together this year, playing a selection of each other’s hits

“Working with Shaggy gives it that extra edge. He’s an authentic reggae dancehall superstar. I dabble and I dibble, but that was the common ground we had.”

For his part, Shaggy is proud that Jamaica’s dancehall rhythms can now be found in songs by Justin Bieber, Drake and Diplo.

“When I started, it was really, really tough to get dancehall music played [on radio],” he says.

“Oh Carolina was the first dancehall song to go into the British chart and go to number one. To see it now, where it is, where it’s a mainstream phenomenon it’s amazing.

“It makes you feel like we did something. We were part of moving our culture to the mainstream.”

The collision of Sting and Shaggy’s musical universes seems to have run smoothly, despite the artists’ differing approaches to songcraft.

“He’s a very meticulous person when it comes to the instrumentation,” observes Shaggy.

“When we do reggae, it’s normally a one-chord or a two-chord, or whatever it is. With Sting, there’ll be chord changes, key changes.

“You’ll find a reggae beat but it’ll have jazz chords on it. That was pretty interesting for me.”

Sting, on the other hand, had to adapt his scholarly approach to Shaggy’s more spontaneous style.

“I may have written almost the whole lyric and I would say to Shaggy ‘Well, here’s the theme. You write a verse of your own and see where that takes us.’

“So it became a kind of soup – you know, you throw something in a soup and it kind of fizzes a bit.”

Clearly, Sting hasn’t got a clue about soup. Culinary misunderstandings aside, though, the duo found common ground in their love of wordplay.

Just One Lifetime riffs on Lewis Carroll’s The Walrus and the Carpenter, while Crooked Tree is a courtroom drama in which Shaggy plays the judge to Sting’s condemned man.

“I always figured Shaggy wanted to wear a blonde wig and robes,” quips Sting. “So I gave him that role.”

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Salvador Ocha

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The stars have both adopted New York as their home

Things get more serious on Dreaming in the USA, a Motown-inspired song that simultaneously celebrates America and frets over its future.

I’m a military man who carried arms and fought in defence of America,” sings Shaggy, referencing his time as a US Marine.

I await the day when we will all inhabit a better America.

“I fought for the US government. I live in New York. I pay taxes in America,” says the star. “When you see what’s going on, these are dark times.

“America is a symbol of freedom, it’s a symbol of democracy, and if that is threatened, we have to take this platform and use it to be a voice for the voiceless.”

“I actually take the citation on the Statue of Liberty very seriously – ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,'” adds Sting.

“So that song’s really a reminder to the Americans that we love to protect those very important values. It’s a love letter, but it also has a warning in it.”

Shaggy adds: “As much as we’re giving that message, there’s a lot of hope in the record. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. You feel that things can change.”

The songs will come to life when Sting and Shaggy head out on tour next month. Rather than play two separate sets, the musicians will both be on stage throughout the show.

“I’m going to be Shaggy’s bass player, playing Mr Boombastic,” grins Sting.

“And I’ll be his hype man,” says Shaggy, chuckling like Muttley.

“Why don’t you just sing Fields of Gold and I’ll do the toasting?” Sting suggests.

“Ah, that’s my joint,” Shaggy adds. “Fields of Gold is my favourite record. He knows that.”

At the moment, they’re billed as Sting and Shaggy – but fans have already given them a Brangelina-style portmanteau name.

“Really? What are we?” asks Shaggy.

The answer – and please avert your eyes if you’re of a sensitive nature – is “Shagging”.

“That’s the best one I’ve heard so far!” roars Shaggy in approval.

“Woah. Yeah. It’s not inappropriate,” Sting adds. “I think we’ll go with that. Shagging.”

Sting and Shaggy’s album 44/876 is released on Friday.

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