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John Palmer, NBC News correspondent, dies at 77

Longtime NBC News correspondent John Palmer has died at the age of 77 after a brief illness, the network has confirmed. Palmer started working at NBC in 1962 and reported for the network in various capacities over the next four decades, serving as the White House correspondent during the administrations of Presidents Carter and Reagan and as news anchor for Today in the ’80s. He retired in 2002. In a statement released by the network, NBC describes Palmer as “a brilliant, brave, and tireless journalist who guided viewers through many of the most significant events of the past half-century — from the early days of the civil rights movement through the tragedy of 9/11.”

British comedian and film director Mel Smith dies at age 60

British comedian and film director Mel Smith has died at the age of 60, according to the BBC. Smith was a cast member of the groundbreaking U.K. sketch show Not the Nine O’Clock News, alongside Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson, and Griff Rhys Jones, with whom Smith formed a long-lasting comedy partnership. In addition to his onscreen performances—which also included small roles in The Princess Bride and National Lampoon’s European Vacation—Smith directed several films, notably 1989’s Richard Curtis-penned The Tall Guy and 1997’s Bean, a showcase for Atkinson’s titular bumbler.

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Cory Monteith's cause of death revealed

Glee star Cory Monteith died of a “mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol,” according to an autopsy report conducted by the British Columbia coroner’s office.

“There is no evidence to suggest Mr. Monteith’s death was anything other than a most tragic accident,” the coroner’s office said in a statement Tuesday.

Monteith died in Vancouver Saturday at age 31. In April, Monteith checked himself into a rehab facility for substance addiction. After finishing a 30-day stint, he made his first post-rehab appearance at the Chrysalis Butterfly Ball charity event with girlfriend and Glee co-star Lea Michele last month.

'Glee' star Cory Monteith dead at 31

Vancouver police have confirmed that Glee actor Cory Monteith was found dead at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel shortly after noon on Saturday. He was 31 years old. Police say the cause of death was not apparent upon initial examination, though there did not appear to be any foul play.

“At this point, we do not have a great deal of information as to cause of death except to reiterate…that there are no indications of foul play,” a Vancouver police spokesperson said during a press conference late Saturday night. Monteith’s family was notified Saturday night before the conference.

Police did not have information about whether Montieth was in Vancouver with any Glee castmates but confirmed they have talked to the people he was out with Friday night. The actor — who was born in Calgary, Alberta, and raised in Victoria, British Columbia — checked into the Fairmont on July 6 and was expected to check out Saturday. He reportedly returned to his room alone early Saturday morning, but when he didn’t check out as planned, hotel staff discovered his body.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday. READ FULL STORY

Jimmy Kimmel weds co-head writer Molly McNearney

Comedian and late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, 45, married Molly McNearney, 35, the co-head writer of Jimmy Kimmel Live, on Saturday, Kimmel’s rep confirms to EW. The couple’s ceremony in Ojai, Calif. was attended by stars like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Howard Stern, and Emily Blunt, according to People. This is the second marriage for Kimmel, who has two children from his first wife and famously dated comedian Sarah Silverman for seven years.

Report: Leah Remini breaks with Church of Scientology

Actress Leah Remini is expressing appreciation to fans and others following word of her decision to leave the Church of Scientology.

In a statement issued Thursday by her talent agency, the former King of Queens star said she was grateful to the media, her colleagues and fans around the world for their “overwhelmingly positive support.”

The statement made no mention of Scientology, and the APA talent and literary agency said Remini had no further comment.

But a person familiar with Remini’s decision said the statement referred to her break with the church and public reaction to it. The person, who wasn’t authorized to comment publicly, spoke on condition of anonymity.

A message seeking comment from the Church of Scientology International in Los Angeles was not immediately returned Thursday night.
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Paula Deen dumps legal team after admitting slurs

Paula Deen has replaced her lead legal team, the latest fallout from her admission she used racial slurs in the past.

Deen announced last week she had cut ties with her longtime agent who helped make her a Food Network star and start a media and merchandising empire that has largely collapsed.

Grace Speights, an attorney for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, has been retained as the new lead counsel for Paula Deen Enterprises Inc. and other defendants in an employment discrimination lawsuit, according to Jennifer Costa, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based firm.

The lawsuit was filed by Lisa Jackson, who once worked as a manager at Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House, which Deen co-owns with her brother, Bubba Hiers. Jackson says she was sexually harassed and worked in an environment rife with racial slurs and innuendo.

Asked in a deposition if she had ever used the N-word, Deen replied: “Yes, of course.” But she also insisted “it’s been a very long time.”
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Statue of Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy rises from London lake

It’s Colin Firth, but not as we know him. He’s 12 feet tall and made of fiberglass.

A statue of brooding Mr. Darcy, the character played by Firth in Pride and Prejudice was installed Monday in London’s Serpentine lake. (See a photo here.)

The figure shows Darcy emerging from the water in a soaked shirt, re-creating a scene from the 1995 television adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel.

The scene helped turn Firth into a sex symbol and is regularly voted among Britain’s most memorable TV moments.

One of the sculptors, Toby Crowther, said the work took the lake scene as a starting point but also drew on other depictions of Austen’s romantic hero.
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Judge drops three lawsuits against ex-Elmo puppeteer

A judge in New York has tossed out three lawsuits brought by men who said former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash sexually abused them when they were underage.

Federal Judge John Koeltl threw out the lawsuits Monday. He says the claims came more than six years after each man reasonably should have become aware of Clash’s alleged violations and more than three years after each turned 18. There’s one other lawsuit pending.

Clash resigned from Sesame Street in November. He was the man behind the popular furry red monster for 28 years.

His resignation came after college student Cecil Singleton sued him for more than $5 million, accusing Clash of having sex with him when he was 15. Singleton’s lawsuit was among those thrown out Monday.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers say they are considering an appeal.

Read more:
Elmo puppeteer sued again for sexual abuse
Former Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash facing more sexual abuse charges
Fourth accuser steps forward against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash

'90210' alum Matt Lanter gets married

Matt Lanter ended his run on the CW’s 90210 reboot last month, and now he’s starting a new chapter — as a married man. The actor wed longtime girlfriend Angela Stacy on Friday in Malibu, he confirmed on Twitter.

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