Los Angeles, Jun 13 (AP/UNB) — A Los Angeles judge is set to consider Thursday whether to extend a temporary restraining order taken out in the name of Britney Spears against her former manager.
The hearing on the restraining order against Sam Lutfi is a resumption of one that began on May 28, with lawyers for Spears intending to show that tweets and texts from Lutfi to Spears and her family are doing her emotional damage.
When the last hearing ended, Spears' father Jamie Spears, who runs her affairs through a court-ordered conservatorship, was testifying, and is scheduled to resume on Thursday.
Judge Brenda Penny, who can give a lengthy extension to the restraining order she granted on May 8, has closed the hearing to media and the rest of the public. Britney Spears is not expected to appear.
Lutfi and his lawyer argue that the order, which prohibits him from making disparaging statements about Spears or her family, is a violation of his constitutional rights.
"There has been no psychological or other evidence offered by Ms. Spears that she has actually suffered any distress," Lutfi argued in court documents.
It's the second time the Spears family has taken out a restraining order against Lutfi. He alleges that he has not contacted Britney Spears directly since the last one was taken out in 2009.
That came shortly after Lutfi was a constant confidante and adviser to her, a phase where she also went through a series of very public mental struggles.
Los Angeles, Jun 12 (AP/UNB) — The Oscars will be headed back to late February after next year's show.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says Tuesday that the 93rd and 94th ceremonies will be held on Feb. 28, 2021 and Feb. 27, 2022 respectively.
The 2020 show was moved up significantly on the calendar to Feb. 9, drastically truncating the awards season calendar.
But the organization that puts on the show says that the following two shows will remain on the last Sunday of February to account for events like the 2022 Olympics, the Super Bowl and national holidays.
The Oscars have in recent years faced declining viewership, but this year saw an uptick with a hostless show. They will air live on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Wellington, Jun 11 (AP/UNB) — The Pacific nation of Samoa has banned the Elton John biopic "Rocketman" because of its depictions of homosexuality.
About 97% of people in Samoa identify as Christian, and the society is generally considered conservative and traditional. Under Samoa's 2013 Crimes Act, sodomy is deemed an offense that is punishable by up to seven years in prison, even if both parties consent.
Samoa's principal censor Leiataua Niuapu Faaui told the Samoa Observer on Tuesday that the homosexual activity depicted on screen violated laws and didn't sit well with the country's cultural and Christian beliefs.
The censor did concede to the newspaper that "It's a good story, in that it's about an individual trying to move on in life."
Apollo Cinemas Samoa wrote on Facebook that "due to censoring issues we have had to cancel Rocketman."
The movie examines John's sexuality and relationship with then-manager John Reid. It stars Taron Egerton who does his own singing as John in the musical fantasy that aims to capture the essence of the musician's life.
A Russian distributor censored scenes from "Rocketman" that featured gay sex and drug use, and John wrote in a joint statement with the filmmakers that it was a "sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people."
Russian gay rights activists and prominent figures denounced the move. Although homosexuality is not criminalized in Russia, animosity toward gay people remains strong.
Samoa, which is home to about 200,000 people, also banned the 2008 movie "Milk," in which actor Sean Penn portrayed American gay activist Harvey Milk.
Since opening 10 days ago, Rocketman has taken in about $101 million at theaters around the world.
New Delhi, June 10 (AP/UNB) — Girish Karnad, a top Indian playwright, actor, director and a rights activist, died on Monday after a prolonged illness. He was 81.
India's president and the prime minister expressed their condolences after Karnad died at his home in Bangalore, the capital of southern Karnataka state. The family did not elaborate on his illness.
A renowned theater personality, he predominantly worked in South Indian cinema and Bollywood. He was a Rhodes scholar in the 1960s and earned a master of arts degree in philosophy, political science and economics, the Press Trust of India news agency said.
President Ram Nath Kovind said with Karnad's demise India's cultural world has become poorer.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Karnad will be remembered for his versatile acting across all mediums.
Karnad received India's top literary prize, the Jnanpith Award, and two national awards, the Padma Shri in 1974 and Padma Bhushan in 1992, for his body of work. His plays, written in Kannada language, were translated into English and several Indian languages.
Karnad made his acting as well as screenwriting debut in 1970 in the Kannada film "Samskara." The movie won the Indian president's Golden Lotus Award for Kannada cinema.
He was popular on television screen as well, especially for playing a role in "Malgudi Days." He also hosted a science magazine "Turning Point" on state-run television "Doordarshan" in early 1990s.
He made his directorial debut with "Vamsha Vriksha,", a Kannada language movie that won a National Film Award for Best Direction along with B. V. Karanth, who co-directed the film. Later, Karnad directed several movies in Kannada and Hindi languages.
Los Angeles, May 29 (AP/UNB) — "Game of Thrones" star Kit Harington has checked into a wellness retreat to work on what his representative says are "personal issues."
A representative for Harington said Tuesday the British actor was utilizing a post-"Game of Thrones" break in his schedule to spend time at the facility. No additional details were released.
Harington played Jon Snow in HBO's widely popular fantasy series "Game of Thrones," which ended after eight seasons this month.
The 32-year-old actor is married to his "Game of Thrones" co-star Rose Leslie.