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OffSet Confirms What Caused His Accident

Scottoline has new publisher, writing book inspired by Roth

Lisa Scottoline, the best-selling crime writer, has a new publisher and is working on a different kind of book.

A book inspired in part by Philip Roth.

G.P. Putnam's Sons told The Associated Press on Thursday that it had reached a six-book deal with Scottoline, who previously published with St. Martin's Press. The deal includes her first historical fiction, a planned trilogy set in Italy during the fascist reign of Mussolini. The first novel in the series is called "Eternal," and Scottoline is citing Roth, who died Tuesday at age 85, as a reason for writing it. In the 1970s, she studied under Roth while attending the University of Pennsylvania, taking seminars on the "Literature of Desire" and the "Literature of the Holocaust."

"In both courses, we did a close, almost line-by-line, analysis of the books he chose for us, evidence of Roth's famous saying that he became an author because he 'liked sentences,'" she told the AP in a recent statement. "I myself became an author because of him, his seminar and his books, especially his survey of the harrowing first-person accounts of the Holocaust. Roth admired very much the books of Primo Levi, notably his 'Survival in Auschwitz,' which haunted me for decades to follow. I knew that someday I would write about the Holocaust in Italy and have been researching and studying it since then."

"I owe it to Philip Roth," she added. "I will mourn him always."

Financial terms for her book deal were not disclosed. With Putnam, Scottoline also plans three domestic thrillers "centered on strong female characters up against impossible odds." The first work, "Someone Knows," is scheduled for next spring. Scottoline, 62, is known for novels such as "After Anna" and "Final Appeal."

Rockwell work at center of controversy gets $8M at auction

One of the two Norman Rockwell paintings at the center of a Massachusetts museum's contentious decision to sell 40 works of art has been sold at auction for more than $8 million.

"Blacksmith's Boy — Heel and Toe," also known as "Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop," was sold by Sotheby's in New York on Wednesday for $8.1 million, within the expected $7 million to $10 million range.

Rockwell gave the oil painting to the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield in 1966 as a gift when he was living in nearby Stockbridge.

The decision by the struggling museum to sell 40 works drew widespread condemnation and sparked legal challenges.

Under a deal, another Rockwell painting, "Shuffleton's Barbershop" was sold to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles for an undisclosed price.

'Survivor' final vote deadlocks, tiebreaker vote needed

History was made on the CBS reality series "Survivor."

For the first time in 36 seasons, the season finale ended in a deadlock, and a tiebreaker was needed to crown a champ.

Host Jeff Probst on Wednesday night revealed jurors on "Survivor: Ghost Island" in Fiji were deadlocked at five votes apiece for Wendell Holland and construction supervisor Domenick Abbate of Nesconset, New York.

It was up to the third member of the final three, Laurel Johnson, to break the tie.

Johnson cast her vote for Holland. The 33-year-old furniture builder from Philadelphia received the $1 million prize.

Will Smith Teases New Music

Will Smith just released a tease to some new music and Twitter is going crazy. It’s been 13 years since he last dropped an album but he says, “I got the beast back”.  His new bars throw some shade at rappers of today and talk about how he’s been in the rap game. He even slid a curse word in there. Do you think the Fresh Prince can do a comeback?

“More information from me than from most teachers/More inspiration from me than from most preachers/But wait, wait, wait, truly, just for the record/directors make movies/I make directors.”-Will Smith

Will Just snapped on em’! Check it out below.

 

'The Chew' canceled: ABC kills foodie talk show amid Mario Batali allegations

ABC’s appetite for afternoon talk show “The Chew” is over after seven years.

Instead, a third hour of “Good Morning America” will air at 1 p.m. starting this fall. 

>> Mario Batali faces criminal investigation, NYPD officials say

“The Chew,” currently hosted by Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Michael Symon, replaced “All My Children” in 2011. Former co-host chef Mario Batali was fired late last year after several women alleged he sexually harassed them at his New York restaurants. Batali is now under criminal investigation by the New York Police Department.

>> Read more trending news 

The chat/food show’s ratings have fallen sharply this season to its lowest levels since its debut.

New episodes of “The Chew” will continue to air through the summer.

Details on who will host this third hour of “GMA” will be released later.

T.I. rails against Houston's restaurant after actresses' arrests from bathroom

Renewed criticism is emerging for Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta as three actresses say they were wrongfully arrested and attacked at the Peachtree Road restaurant after using the restroom.

>> T.I. arrest: Petition urges police to drop charges against rapper

The Atlanta Police Department is investigating whether an off-duty officer working security at the restaurant used excessive force, the agency told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday

Gerald Griggs, an attorney representing the women, said they asked for and were given permission to use the restroom. They were in the process of leaving when the officer escalated the situation, Griggs said.

>> Police report details events leading to T.I.’s arrest outside gated community

The incident is the latest in recent months to lead to accusations of mistreatment of black people at the restaurant chain. The allegations led to calls for a boycott, including from Atlanta rapper T.I., who eventually met with the company and announced that he approved of a plan to address the concerns.

“Absolutely unacceptable behavior!!!!,” he wrote Tuesday on Instagram, renewing his complaints about the chain.

The restaurant said in a statement that it is cooperating with Atlanta police on the investigation. The statement also said the women were asked multiple times to leave by employees because the restaurant was closed.

Griggs told the AJC that the women’s displeasure is with the restaurant as well as the off-duty officer. 

Brittany Lucio, Asia'h Epperson and Erica Walker, who described themselves as actresses, went to the restaurant on May 13, Mother’s Day, after attending an event nearby. 

What happened next is in dispute.

>> On AJC.com: Boy, 9, tries to save brother from carjacker at QuikTrip, cops say

The police report, which Griggs believes contains inaccuracies, said they went into the restroom at 10:26 p.m. and twice refused to leave before an employee asked Officer Jose Guzman to intervene. The restaurant closes at 10 p.m.

At 10:39 p.m., Guzman had a female employee open the door in case the women were using the toilet, the report said. He asked them to leave multiple times, but they ignored him.

The officer had a worker open the restaurant’s back door. Guzman said he grabbed Lucio’s wrist and said, “Let’s go,” but she told him not to touch her and still refused to leave.

Walker walked out of the restaurant.

>> LISTEN: 911 call released in rapper T.I.’s arrest

Guzman said Lucio punched him in the head. Once outside, he held Lucio and Walker to the ground while Epperson filmed with her phone before more police arrived and the women were arrested.

Griggs said the video and his clients’ statements don’t fit with the officer’s report.

First, the attorney emphasized, that despite the stated hours, the restaurant was not closed when the women arrived; it was a “full house.” 

They had been in the restroom 10 minutes or less when staff asked them to leave. The women said they would finish up in the restroom and leave.

“Next thing they know the police officer comes in,” Griggs said.

While the officer complained in the report of small lacerations on his face, Griggs said Lucio and Walker had markings on their bodies to prove they were attacked by the officer. 

The women were each charged with trespassing, and Lucio was also accused of obstruction. 

Griggs said he’s contacted the offices of the district attorney and solicitor to request that the charges be dismissed. He called for the officer to be placed on unpaid leave while the police department investigates the situation.

>> Read more trending news 

The police department said it will review “all aspects” of the incident.

“The Atlanta Police Department is aware of the excessive force accusations made by the arrestees and the Office of Professional Standards has opened an investigation into entire incident for appropriate action and whether proper procedures were followed, the agency said in a statement.

Griggs has been in touch with the legal team at Houston’s in hopes of setting up new meetings to discuss what he said appears to be a “climate” of racial mistreatment at the restaurant.

Historic theater cancels events due to roof damage

A century-old Vermont theater known as a popular stop for performers traveling between Montreal and Boston canceled upcoming events due to roof damage.

The Paramount Theatre in Rutland announced Tuesday it will relocate two dance recitals due to the damage, the Rutland Herald reported . Last weekend, The Oak Ridge Boys' concert was cancelled as was the screening of the Metropolitan Opera's production of Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte."

Theater officials declined to discuss the nature of the damage discovered during a routine inspection. They said they will do repairs and operations should resume after completion.

"During the inspection, we noticed there were some marks in the balcony area . something that looked different to us," Eric Mallette, programming director, said recently.

"The building, the age that it is, is always being maintained for safety issues," he added.

The 105-year-old building started as The Playhouse with performers traveling by train between Montreal and Boston, stopping halfway to perform in Rutland. It eventually became the Paramount in 1931. In 1975, then a movie theater, it closed and remained vacant for more than 20 years before reopening in 2000 following an extensive renovation.

Mallette said this was the first time he could remember the theater closing due to safety concerns.

___

Information from: Rutland Herald, http://www.rutlandherald.com/

The Latest: ABC: Jackson TV special respects copyrights

The Latest on the Michael Jackson estate's objections to a television special about him (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

ABC says its documentary on Michael Jackson airing Thursday night is news that does not infringe on intellectual property.

The network was responding to a statement from the Jackson estate alleging the two-hour TV special "The Last Days of Michael Jackson" has no regard for his legacy or his heirs, who did not sponsor or approve of it.

ABC's statement says the documentary explores the career and legacy of Jackson, who is a newsworthy subject who remains of worldwide interest.

The statement says the "program does not infringe on his estate's rights" but says as a courtesy a specific image was removed from the promotional material for the show at the estate's request.

___

11:45 a.m.

The Michael Jackson estate is objecting to an ABC TV special airing Thursday on the end of the life of the late King of Pop.

The estate said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday that "The Last Days of Michael Jackson" is not approved by Jackson's heirs, and will most likely violate their intellectual property rights.

The statement calls the special an unauthorized attempt to exploit Jackson without respect for his legacy or his children.

Representatives for ABC owner Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The estate says ABC was using a copyrighted image to promote the special, but stopped after demands from Jackson attorneys.

It says it understands the show other intellectual property without permission, including music, photos and artwork.

Lawyer: Harvey Weinstein targeted by federal prosecutors

Harvey Weinstein's lawyer said in a court filing that federal prosecutors in New York have launched a criminal investigation into the film producer, in addition to a previously disclosed probe by the Manhattan District Attorney.

Attorney Benjamin Brafman said in a declaration filed on May 3 in the Weinstein Co.'s bankruptcy proceedings that he had been advised that Weinstein was a "principal target" of an investigation being conducted by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

"I am trying my very best to persuade both the federal and state prosecutors that he should not be arrested and or indicted, because he did not knowingly violate the law," Brafman wrote. He said the allegations that Weinstein forced himself on women were "entirely without merit."

"As the court can appreciate, saving someone from unwarranted criminal prosecution is far more significant that having a baseless prosecution implode months or years from now after Mr. Weinstein's life and the lives of his family have been irreparably destroyed," he added.

Scores of women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct ranging from inappropriate comments to rape. Weinstein is under criminal investigation in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and London. He has not been charged with any crimes, though police in New York have said publicly that they believe there is enough evidence to make an arrest.

Two law enforcement officials confirmed that Weinstein has been under federal investigation. The officials were not authorized to speak to The Associated Press and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Brafman did not immediately return a message from the AP on Wednesday but told The Wall Street Journal that he had met with federal prosecutors "in an attempt to dissuade them from proceeding."

Sex crimes, aside from child pornography cases, are usually handled by local prosecutors under state law, but federal charges can be brought under certain circumstances if a person brings a victim across state lines for the purpose of a sexual assault or the attack happens on federal lands.

In the bankruptcy case, Brafman sought access to emails and correspondence under the control of the Weinstein Co. to help him in his defense efforts.

Those documents included emails that he said showed that women who have accused Weinstein of violent assaults later exchanged friendly messages with him. The bankruptcy judge ultimately granted access.

The company sought bankruptcy protection in March.

A Delaware bankruptcy judge approved a private equity firm's purchase of the Weinstein Co. Dallas-based Lantern Capital offered to pay $310 million in cash for the Weinstein Co.'s assets and to assume $127 million in project-related debt. It also agreed to cover obligations related to the assumption of certain contracts and leases.

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