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Conor Oberst drops libel lawsuit against rape accuser

Conor Oberst, musician and Bright Eyes frontman, has dropped the libel lawsuit he filed against rape accuser Joanie Faircloth.

In 2013, Faircloth took to the xoJane comments section to claim that Oberst raped her when she was 16. Her claim quickly spread across the internet, and she later wrote a Tumblr further detailing the supposed encounter. Although both the comments and the Tumblr post were deleted, Oberst said that the claims damaged his reputation and career, leading him to file a libel lawsuit against Faircloth.

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Former Destiny's Child member Farrah Franklin arrested

Farrah Franklin, a former member of Destiny’s Child, was arrested Sunday in South Carolina’s Horry County on a charge of disorderly conduct. She was booked at about 5 a.m. and was released at noon later that day, according to police reports.

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'The Patriot' actress dies at 21

Skye McCole Bartusiak, an actress best known for her role as Mel Gibson’s daughter in 2000′s The Patriot, died Saturday. She was 21.

The cause of death has not yet been determined, but Bartusiak’s mother told CNN that epileptic seizures her daughter had endured for most of her life had returned in the past week.

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Casey Kasem's body has gone missing

The remains of late DJ and voice actor Casey Kasem have gone missing.

According to the Associated Press, the body’s whereabouts were called into question when Scott Winship, lawyer for the deceased’s daughter Kerri Kasem, went to deliver a temporary restraining order to the Tacoma, Wash., funeral home where Kasem’s body was being held.

The order was granted by Judge Ronald Culpepper, and was meant to prevent the deceased’s wife, Jean Kasem, from cremating Kasem’s remains while Kerri Kasem sought authorization to seek an autopsy on the body. When Winship went to deliver the order to Gaffney Funeral Home & Cremation Services, he was informed that the remains were no longer in their care.

“I cannot discuss the actual arrangements themselves, but he’s no longer in our care,” funeral director Tim Grant told the Associated Press.

A hearing for the autopsy petition was scheduled for July 25.

U.K. court rules that 'Glee' must change its name

Britain’s high court ruled Friday that Glee can’t keep its name—at least not in the U.K.

The ruling comes after a legal battle between Twentieth Century Fox and and Comic Enterprises, which operates a string of comedy venues called The Glee Club, The Associated Press reports.

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'Walking Dead' extra sentenced to 18 years for mailing ricin to Obama

Shannon Guess Richardson, a Texas actress who appeared in The Walking Dead and the Sandra Bullock movie The Blind Side, was sentenced to the maximum of 18 years after she admitted to sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and then lying about it. In May 2013, she sent tainted letters addressed to Obama, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the leader of a national gun-control group. “What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what ive got in store for you mr president,” the letter warned Obama. “You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face.”

Richardson had grown the biological toxin herself, and she went to police and blamed the act on her husband, who was in the process of filing for divorce.

In federal court on July 16, Richardson, 36, tearfully pleaded for mercy, referenced her six children, and claimed that she never intended to hurt anybody because she assumed that security measures were in place to protect those who receive official mail. “I don’t feel like I was in my right mind leading up to that point,” she said, according to the Associated Press. Eighteen years was the maximum sentence, and Richardson was also ordered to pay $367,000 in restitution.

Elaine Stritch dies at 89

Broadway legend Elaine Stritch—best known for her acerbic performances in plays and musicals including CompanyA Little Night Music, and her award-winning one-woman show Elaine Stritch at Liberty—has died, the New York Times reports. She was 89.

Stritch spent nearly 70 years performing on the stage and screen; contemporary audiences may know her best as Colleen Donaghy, the sharp-tongued mother of Alec Baldwin’s character on 30 Rock. She won an Emmy for playing that role in 2007—her third such award, following statuettes for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Law & Order in 1993 and Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety Program for Elaine Stritch at Liberty in 2004. Stritch was also nominated for four Tony awards; in 2002, at Liberty won the Tony for Best Special Theatrical Event, as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show.

A full obituary is in the works; in the meantime, celebrate Stritch by watching her perform her two signature songs, “The Ladies Who Lunch” and “I’m Still Here” (both by Stephen Sondheim): READ FULL STORY

'Midnight Rider' filmmakers surrender to Georgia police

Back in February, camera assistant Sarah Jones died on the set of Midnight Rider. Jones, who was 27 at the time, was struck by a train while on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic. Georgia’s Wayne County Police Department confirmed to EW that the film’s director (Randall Miller) and producer (Miller’s wife Jody Savin) turned themselves in on Sunday.

The couple, along with executive producer Jay Sedrish, were charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass in a Georgia county court on July 3. Both Miller and Savin were released on bail.

Conor Oberst rape accuser recants story

More than half a year after accusing Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst of raping her after a 2003 concert when she was 16 years old, North Carolina resident Joanie Faircloth has recanted her allegation.

She initially made the claim in the comments section of an xoJane post about an anonymous woman’s experience being raped by her rock-star boyfriend, writing that Oberst “took advantage of my teenage crush on him,” and later expanded on the story in a Tumblr that, along with the xoJane comments, has since been deleted.

In a statement published by Spin, Faircloth writes, in part, “The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100% false. I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son’s illness.”

Back in February, Oberst sued Faircloth for defamation, asking the court for $1.2 million in damages. Faircloth hadn’t responded to the suit, which Oberst asked a judge to rule in his favor last week, before approaching them to retract her claim. Oberst and his camp have yet to announce whether or not they’ll continue to pursue their case.

Germany wins World Cup, defeats Argentina 1-0

After a brutal World Cup final which saw flying kneecaps of fury and tears of blood, Germany defeated Argentina to win the World Cup 1-0. It was an exciting end to a tournament that saw renewed interest in the game here in the states: The US-Portugal game was the most-watched soccer game in American history, which would make it one of the least-watched soccer games in any other country’s history, but still. It’s an exciting day for the German team–and for their beloved coach, German Sandy Cohen.

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