Here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:
- Ewan McGregor seen smooching Mary Elizabeth Winstead after quiet split from his wife
- Documentary about Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood sexual assault is in the works
- George Clooney and Matt Damon explain what and when they knew about Harvey Weinstein's conduct
- Justin Timberlake to headline Super Bowl halftime show, 14 years after Janet Jackson's so-called 'wardrobe malfunction'
- Loretta Lynn, recovering from a stroke, surprises crowd at the Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony
- Watch the first trailer for 'Phantom Thread,' possibly Daniel Day-Lewis' final film
If it wasn't clear before, it is now: Kathy Griffin and Lisa Bloom are beyond done.
Griffin, who's on tour in Australia, took a shot at her former attorney Sunday on Twitter: "Dear @LisaBloom pls stop calling me. If you'd like to refund me the tens of thousands of $$ I wasted on your services maybe I'll talk to you."
Bloom responded that same day, saying Griffin was the only client she has ever had "who chose to extemporize at a press conference rather than read from notes we planned in advance." Now, Bloom said in her statement, Griffin blames her for the bad reaction to comments that were decidedly ad-libbed.
In addition to the tweet, Griffin spoke to the Daily Beast about their relationship after discussing it in a Facebook video posted last week.
"If you want my Lisa Bloom statement, anybody, OK, here it is. Yes, I got Bloomed. Yes, I did not have a good experience with her. Yes, I feel that she and her husband exacerbated my personal situation. OK, there ...," Griffin said in the video, which she offered as a call for women to band together. She added that she doesn't intend to sue Bloom and or wish bodily harm on her.
Speaking to the Daily Beast several days after that video, Griffin accused Bloom of "fame-whoring" and "badgering" her to go on a national media tour that she didn't want to do.
Bloom, also speaking to the Daily Beast, disputed the notion that she had been peppering the comic with calls. “Please show call logs then. I sent one text to Kathy in the last three months, and placed one call to Randy [Bick, Griffin's manager-boyfriend] recently.”
Bloom further noted: "Kathy has now made a video about how women should stand together, and yes she's attacked me, a lifetime women's rights attorney, and not the rest of her team, all of whom were men." Bloom called that "sad," but she wishes her former client the best.
Interest in Griffin's opinion about her former attorney was renewed recently; Griffin was the most recent high-profile client Bloom represented before she briefly took on Harvey Weinstein as a client. Bloom quit as his counsel about two days into his sexual harassment scandal.
Griffin's Facebook video from Oct. 19 appeared to be inspired by reporters from various outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, reaching out for comment on Bloom. The Times profiled Bloom in a story published the same day as the video.
Here is Bloom's full statement on Griffin's recent remarks:
Stevie Wonder will perform two of his watershed 1970s albums, “Talking Book” and “Innervisions,” back to back for the 21st edition of his annual House Full of Toys benefit concert, slated to take place Dec. 10 at Staples Center.
“Even though House Full of Toys will be celebrating 21 years,” Wonder said in a statement, "the joy of giving in the spirit of song will make this night such pleasured fun for the old and young."
The idea to perform two albums follows previous holiday benefit shows in 2013 and 2014, when he focused on his 1976 album “Songs in the Key of Life,” performing the double album in its entirety with numerous guests, including several who performed on the album four decades earlier.
The success of those shows prompted a tour in which Wonder took the presentation to nearly a dozen cities.
“Talking Book,” released in 1972, represented his maturation as a songwriter, instrumentalist, vocalist and producer after he had first gained fame as a wunderkind who scored a No. 1 single and album at age 13 with the hit “Fingertips (Part 1)” and the companion album “Little Stevie Wonder/The 12 Year Old Genius.”
“Talking Book,” arriving nearly a decade later, became his second Top 10 album up to that point in his career, and spawned two more No. 1 singles, “Superstition” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.” The album also helped earn him a slot as the opening act for the Rolling Stones on their 1972 U.S. tour supporting their “Exile on Main Street” album.
“Innervisions,” which followed in 1973, further demonstrated his remarkable artistic growth and ambition through such career high watermarks as “Higher Ground,” “Living for the City,” “All in Love Is Fair” and “Don’t You Worry 'Bout a Thing.”
It earned Wonder his first album of the year Grammy Award, and began a remarkable run of three such awards for his consecutive album releases — “Fulfillingness' First Finale” in 1974 and “Songs in the Key of Life” in 1976.
When Paul Simon took the award in 1975 for his album “Still Crazy After All These Years,” which was released between “Fulfillingness' First Finale” and “Songs in the Key of Life,” he famously thanked Wonder “for not releasing an album last year.”
House Full of Toys began more than two decades ago, with Wonder inviting various musician friends to perform for audiences who were asked to bring new unwrapped toys to be delivered during the holidays to underprivileged families around Los Angeles.
Last year’s event featured Queen Latifah, Lionel Richie, John Legend, Rachel Platten, Anderson .Paak and other guests. Performers for this year’s event have not been announced.
Tickets go on sale Oct. 27, and range from $49.50 to $159.50. Full information is available at axs.com.
Documentary filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering — the duo behind the Oscar-nominated “The Invisible War,” about rape in the U.S. military, and “The Hunting Ground,” a look at sex abuse on college campuses — say they have wanted for years to make a film about sexual assault in Hollywood but couldn’t get cooperation from the entertainment industry.
Then allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates. And now their Untitled Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary project has the green light.
“Everyone was frightened about what would happen to their careers, and worried about whether they would be sued. Distributors were unwilling to fund or release the film, and few people were willing to talk on the record,” producer Ziering said in a news release Monday. “Then the Weinstein stories broke, and it's like an invisible dam collapsed.”
The documentary will focus on “the underlying current of abuse and manipulation at the hands of power,” director Dick said in the news release. “Our film will also underscore the courage it takes to come forward and be a catalyst for change.”
Financing is coming from Impact Partners, a New York documentary-investment group that also worked with Dick and Ziering on “The Hunting Ground.”
A release date has not yet been set.
Ewan McGregor and his wife of 22 years have quietly called it quits, and now he looks to have something romantic going now with "Fargo" costar Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
The "Moulin Rouge" actor was photographed "snogging" Winstead in a busy London cafe, the Sun reported Sunday. After an hour in "deep conversation," they zipped away on his motorcycle, the paper said.
Earlier this month, according to E! News, the two were spotted getting affectionate at a hotel and spa. They had arrived at the English countryside establishment via helicopter, the outlet said.
Turns out McGregor, 46, and Eve Mavrakis, 51, split in May, according to a family source who talked to People. The former couple have four daughters, the oldest of whom, Clara McGregor, is a model in her 20s.
Also in May, Winstead, 32, and her writer husband, Riley Stearns, announced that they had "decided to move on" from their 15-year relationship. "We are still ride or die, just in a different way now," she said on Instagram in a now-deleted post that was captured by People.
"We still love each other very much, but we’re different people with different paths and different futures. I can’t wait to see where we both end up," Stearns wrote at the time, also on Instagram, also deleted.
Winstead and McGregor joined the "Fargo" cast in the show's third season. It shoots primarily in Calgary, Canada, where, according to the actress' Instagram, it can be "pretty lovely."
Of course, the locations the show hit in Los Angeles were pretty lovely as well.
Oscar winners George Clooney and Matt Damon on Monday further condemned producer Harvey Weinstein, their former mentor who had a hand in launching their careers in the 1990s.
The "Suburbicon" director and the film's star have been sucked into the Weinstein narrative since the scandal broke earlier this month. On Monday, instead of promoting their film during an interview on "Good Morning America," they spoke of the scandal that has dominated Hollywood and of the mogul's reputation as a bully.
"You had to spend about five minutes with him to know that he was a bully, he was intimidating. That was his legend. That was his whole M.O.: Could you survive a meeting with Harvey?" Damon explained, speaking to Weinstein's reputation since the days he ran his first studio, Miramax, before touching on the scores of allegations of sexual assault levied against the disgraced producer.
"When people say 'everybody knew' – yeah, I knew he was an asshole," Damon said. "He was proud of that. That's how he carried himself. And I knew he was a womanizer."
What Damon didn't know, which he said in earlier rebukes of the producer, was the "level of criminal sexual predation."
Damon, who co-wrote and starred in Miramax's "Good Will Hunting" and went on to win Oscar gold for the screenplay, said he knew of actress Gwyneth Paltrow's encounter with Weinstein through writing partner Ben Affleck but never discussed it directly with her. (Paltrow was among the numerous A-listers who came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct.)
Meanwhile, Clooney said there had to be "a comeuppance for all of this."
"We have to make it safe for people to feel that they can talk about this. And in doing that, I think that'll scare away that kind of behavior," Clooney said.
The actor-director added that he witnessed Weinstein bragging of affairs with actresses who were friends of his, but he never believed him.
"I didn't really think that they were going to have affairs with Harvey, quite honestly. And clearly they didn't," he added. "But the idea that this predator, this assaulter ... was out there silencing women like that, it's beyond infuriating."
As the story unfolds now, Clooney said, he insisted that he wants to know "all of it." He also said that men who sexually harass people should know that it won't be tolerated and that they "will be outed."
"You'll be out of the business. And more than that, you might be prosecuted," he said.
Justin Timberlake will return to the Super Bowl halftime show next year, the NFL announced Sunday night, 14 years after one of the pop star's most notorious live performances on that same stage. Blame it on that "wardrobe malfunction."
Timberlake and his performance partner, Janet Jackson shocked -- shocked! -- an estimated 140 million people with an incident that became known as "Nipplegate."
At the conclusion of their well-choreographed 2004 performance of Timberlake's "Rock Your Body," the singer reached over to Jackson's chest and tore off a section of clothing to reveal her breast.
The resulting uproar resulted in an FCC fine -- later rescinded -- and a statement from Timberlake that coined a new term: "I am sorry if anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance at the Super Bowl," he said. "It was not intentional and is regrettable."
The incident helped propel Timberlake to even greater fame, while simultaneously damaging Jackson's career.
Asked by NBC Sports analyst Mike Tirico during a sit-down interview as part of Sunday night's NFL broadcast whether the malfunction was discussed during negotiations, Timberlake responded with a grin and a stutter. "That ... that ... that won't happen this time," he said.
Timberlake added that he's been studying halftime performances to make sure that he doesn't mimic earlier spectacles.
"What I really want to do is take the opportunity to put together a performance that feels like it unifies," Timberlake said. "I feel like that would be the ultimate accomplishment, and then the icing on the cake is at some point within that 12 minutes that everybody is shaking their booty."
Added Timberlake, referring to another NFL analyst: "I have a goal to make Al Michaels dance." He then pitched a new Twitter meme: "By the way, we can start a hashtag -- #almichealsshakeyourbooty. That would be the icing on the cake."
Actually, the icing on the cake would be Timberlake inviting Jackson back onto the stage for a true show of unity, which some fans are calling for on social media.
Looking frail but still speaking with characteristic wit and charisma, the iconic singer Loretta Lynn surprised an excited crowd on Sunday night in Nashville when she appeared at the Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The singer, who suffered a stroke in May, presented at the behest of superstar Alan Jackson, who was inducted. By tradition, new inductees are introduced by fellow Hall of Fame members; Lynn, 85, is part of that club.
"The first time I ever met Alan, he looked like a scared little boy," Lynn said after being led to the podium by Jackson. "He was practicing backstage, going through his songs, and I remember I looked at him and said, 'You're going to be one of the greatest singers in country music.' He hasn't let me down."
Also inducted on Sunday were the late singer, songwriter and actor Jerry Reed and the songwriter Don Schlitz.
For her part, Lynn is still cracking, although health concerns prompted her to cancel some performances and push back the release of her new album. "Wouldn't It Be Great" is expected to come out in 2018.
In a statement issued after her stroke via her Facebook page, she thanked everyone for the well wishes: "I’m just letting everybody know that Willie [Nelson] ain’t dead yet and neither am I, and I can’t wait to see all of you on the road!"
The official trailer for "Phantom Thread," possibly the final role of Daniel Day-Lewis' acting career, debuted Monday. The three-time Oscar winner announced back in June that he will be retiring.
From famed writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson ("There Will Be Blood," "Magnolia"), "Phantom Thread" is set in the fashion world of 1950s London. Day-Lewis plays a dressmaker commissioned to design for members of high society and the royal family and who falls in love with a waitress, played by Vicky Krieps. Lesley Manville and Camilla Rutherford also star.
Due out on Christmas, the film is one of the final award-season contenders to be released. Will Day-Lewis nab another nomination come Oscars time? Perhaps.
Check out the trailer below:
Sam Smith seems to regret a couple of things in his life. But neither of them has to do with his sexuality. Or his singing.
It's the tattoos. The ones on his biceps that say "Alone" and "Honesty."
“They’re dramatic — I don’t know why I got them,” the 25-year-old singer said in a new interview with London's Sunday Times, reportedly rolling his eyes a tad as he continued. “I look back on them now and I cringe. But I have to respect what I was feeling in the moment, you know?”
So maybe regret is too strong a word? However, two other tattoos give a hint about Smith's sense of self. On each hand, he has inked the Venus symbol — the gender sign for female. And he knows how to rock that.
“I love a heel. I’ve got loads of heels at home,” says the singer, who was “obsessed” with Marilyn Manson and Boy George when he was 17. For 2½ years when he was in school, full makeup and “huge fur coats” were his style. No “male” clothing. No biggie, except he was the only gay person in his village. He got teased a lot, he said, but also had people who respected his style choice.
He particularly loves one drag shop in Sydney, Australia, which he frequents when he's on tour Down Under. “Oh my God, I just buy everything — heels, dresses. We have a great time.”
But Smith isn’t quick to label himself, even as more specific terms about gender identity are knocking on the mainstream door. “I don’t know what the title would be,” he said, “but I feel just as much woman as I am man.”
But let's back up a bit. In February 2015, when Smith was about to win a Grammy for best new artist, he told the Los Angeles Times that at that moment, all the talk about his sexuality was something he was dealing with more than ever.
“The fact that it's still a headline makes me feel uncomfortable. There aren’t headlines talking about how Lorde is straight or how Beyoncé is straight,” Smith said. “I look at it from a very equal perspective. I want them to talk about my music. I want them to talk about my singing.”
But the singer — who hopes one day to have a Las Vegas residency like Elton John has had — has shifted his mind set a bit since that interview.
“I remember, at the beginning of my career, being called a ‘gay singer,’ and I didn’t want that," he told London's Sunday Times. “I wanted to be seen as a singer first, before people spoke about my private life. And now it’s changed — I’ve changed. I realize that maybe I don’t mind that title.”
John Stamos is engaged to model-actress Caitlin McHugh.
The "Fuller House" star popped the question at Disneyland, sharing the news on Twitter and Instagram on Sunday.
"I asked...she said yes! ...And we lived happily ever after," Stamos wrote, captioning an illustration of himself and his lady love embracing in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle.
The "Scream Queens" actor made a short film of romantic moments from several Disney and Pixar films, People reported, and was prompted to "just ask the girl" after finishing it off with a scene from "The Little Mermaid." (Much to the chagrin of his fans on Twitter.)
After that, he and "The Vampire Diaries" actress celebrated at 21 Royal, a restaurant at the Anaheim resort where Walt Disney once hosted celebrities and dignitaries.
Stamos, 54, first revealed he was seeing a mystery woman during an appearance on "The View" in March 2016. Though he did not refer to her by name, he did disclose her love of Disney. The model-actress, 31, also starred in his short film "Ingenue-ish."
This will be the second marriage for Stamos, who was previously wed to model-actress Rebecca Romijn from 1998 to 2004.
Fear is our strongest emotion. Not even love — fear is the No. 1 thing that tends to make us do the best thing. I don't think we're looking for the fall, but we just want to go to the edge.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: 'Life of Pi's' Ang Lee on going 'to the edge'
After The Times published an investigation of writer-director James Toback's decades of alleged sexual misconduct on Sunday, some readers were reminded that accusations had been percolating for years.
A story in the March 1989 issue of the defunct magazine Spy, titled "The Pickup Artist's Guide to Picking Up Women: A Case-by-Case Look at Movie Director James Toback's Street Technique," compiled testimonies from 13 of Toback's alleged victims, including the story's author, Vincenza Demetz.
According to Demetz, the director went to great lengths to impress the women he sought to pick up. Toback flaunted his membership in the Directors Guild of America and the Harvard Club of New York, boasted about being pictured in a book of Helmut Newton photographs and even offered roles in his upcoming films.
"Out in the field, Toback can frequently be spotted casting future major motion pictures in the Fairway Market at Broadway and 74th Street, whiling away entire afternoons importuning females as they shop for fresh fruits and cheeses," Demetz wrote.
Though Toback initially cooperated for the story, Demetz noted that he soon grew agitated: "If you print this piece, I promise it will be the single thing you regret most in your life."
Read the full Spy article here. (It begins on page 86.)
The Los Angeles Times revealed Sunday that 38 women have accused "Bugsy" screenwriter James Toback of sexual harassment going back decades. The reaction on social media was swift — and pretty unforgiving.
"Long overdue for this well known sack of ...," tweeted TV food personality Anthony Bourdain, ending the post with an expletive. Director James Gunn weighed in with a lengthy post decrying Toback, which he shared on Twitter with the message: "Why I've despised James Toback for over 20 years."
Actress and director Asia Argento, who told the New Yorker about how Harvey Weinstein allegedly sexually assaulted her, tweeted in support of the women coming forward, expressing pride for her "sisters" for "bringing down yet another pig."
Toback's accusers also took to Twitter to share their stories, with one former reporter sharing a snapshot of a Post-It note Toback gave her on the streets of New York in the 1980s.
Here's more of the ensuing fallout from The Times' story:
Harvey Weinstein's sexual misconduct scandal opened the floodgates for victims of sexual assault to come forward with their own allegations of abuse by Hollywood heavyweights. Director James Toback is the latest to be accused.
After The Times broke a story in which 38 women came forward to allege harassment and assault by Toback, 72, "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn weighed in. He took to Facebook on Sunday morning to back up the mounting allegations, saying that he's been warning people about Toback for more than 20 years.
"I have personally met at least FIFTEEN WOMEN, probably more, who say that he's accosted them in NYC," wrote Gunn in his post.
Gunn accused Toback of using his clout to try to get women to sleep with him. "He essentially goes up to women and says, 'Hey, I'm James Toback, and I'm a famous director, and I feel like there's a connection between us.'
"He has done this to three girls I've dated, two of my very best friends, and a family member...twice," Gunn added. "And that's just people I know."
Gunn shared the post on social media in a tweet that said "Why I've despised James Toback for over 20 years."
"I don't have any firsthand information about any of this," wrote Gunn. "But the stories are so eerily similar, and I've heard them again and again from some of the people I trust most in the world, I know the chances of them being untrue, well, it would just be impossible."
Read Gunn's entire Facebook post below.
Generations coming up have different feelings about what's pertinent to them. Where they find humor and drama. I guess! What do I know?
FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Sunday Conversation - Christopher Lloyd
The Directors Guild of America has filed disciplinary charges against member Harvey Weinstein, the organization announced Saturday
DGA President Thomas Schlamme said that the guild made the charges over a week ago, on Oct. 13. Typically, the DGA does not make public remarks about "internal union matters, but has decided to make an exception in this case," according to a guild statement.
The DGA released the news after its quarterly National Board of Directors meeting in New York City on Saturday. In a statement, the guild also condemned sexual harassment, noting that the issue went beyond "one person" and urged those in the industry to break a "shameful code of complicity" by speaking out about the problem.
"As directors and team members who solve problems for a living, we are committed to eradicating the scourge of sexual harassment on our industry," the statement read, with Schlamme adding the Weinstein controversy had inspired him "to look inside" himself.
"Unless we recognize what has become so acceptable in our culture and how we possibly, even unconsciously, are participants, everything else will be meaningless," the president said.
The DGA is the last major Hollywood guild to speak out about Weinstein's behavior. On Oct. 9, SAG-AFTRA called the producer's alleged misconduct “abhorrent and unacceptable." A few days later, the Writers Guild of America, East condemned Weinstein, too, calling his actions "deplorable." And earlier this week, the Producers Guild of America expelled Weinstein and said it would create an anti-sexual harassment task force.
I can't stand stupid, and I can't stand slow. I want first-time offenders to think of their appearance in my courtroom as the second-worst experience of their lives ... circumcision being the first.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Law and Disorder
The CW continues to mine DC Entertainment vault for TV content, and next up is an adaptation of comic book characters Traci Thirteen and her father Dr. Terrance Thirteen.
Officially titled “Project 13,” the project is being developed by the CW with actress and director Elizabeth Banks, The Times has confirmed. The news was first reported by Variety.
The one-hour drama will follow Traci – a twenty-something forensic scientist – who discovers her hidden extrasensory abilities after joining her estranged father to investigate mysterious cases involving the paranormal and other unexplained phenomena. As in the comics, Traci is a believer in the paranormal while Dr. Thirteen is a skeptic -- despite his family name being "Thirteen," and his repeated encounters with unexplained phenomena.
In the comics, Traci’s abilities include teleportation, fire blasts of magic energy and spell casting. Most recently she appeared as a superhero in the DC Rebirth “Superwoman” series and is in a relationship with Natasha Irons (the niece of John Henry Irons, a.k.a. Steel).
Despite their relatively unknown status in the comics, Traci and Dr. Thirteen have shared panel space with DC heroes including Batman and Superman.
“Bitten” showrunner Daegan Fryklind will serve as the writer and executive producer of the project. Max Handelman is also attached to the project along with Banks as an executive producer. Banks and Handelman’s Brownstone Productions will produce the show in association with Warner Bros. Television.
The CW’s slate of DC superhero series includes “Supergirl,” “The Flash,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” and “Arrow” along with the upcoming “Black Lightning.”
No word yet on whether "Project 13," will join "Black Lightning" as a show outside the "Arrowverse," but the network is home to plenty of universes-free comic book creations such as “Riverdale” and “iZombie.”
Former actress Heather Kerr said she was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at a business meeting in 1989.
Speaking at a news conference Friday alongside her attorney, Gloria Allred, Kerr alleged that Weinstein forced her to touch his genitals and told her that she had to be good in bed and sleep with him, directors and other producers if she wanted a career in Hollywood.
“He told me this was how things work in Hollywood and that all the actresses that had made it had made it this way. He said, ‘name anyone,’” the 56-year-old recalled.
“He told me that first I would have sex with him and then he would take me to parties and show me who I had to sleep with after that. But first he needed to know how good I was.”
The AFI Fest has added centerpiece galas for three festival favorites to this year's lineup. Luca Guadagnino's "Call Me By Your Name," which premiered at Sundance, James Franco's "The Disaster Artist," which bowed as a work in progress at SXSW, and Scott Cooper's "Hostiles," which was unveiled at Telluride.
In addition, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Errol Morris will receive a special tribute following a screening of his latest work, the hybrid docu-drama Netflix series "Wormwood," on Nov. 11.
All Gala screenings will take place at the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Errol Morris tribute is set for the Egyptian Theatre.
The festival had previously announced an opening night gala for Dee Rees' Sundance-premiered Netflix drama "Mudbound" and a closing night gala for the world premiere of Ridley Scott's "All the Money in the World."
Individual tickets are available beginning Nov. 1 and more info can be found at the AFI Fest website.