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Husband of 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star sentenced to eight years in prison

Apollo Nida, the husband of Real Housewives of Atlanta star Phaedra Parks, has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of federal fraud including conspiring to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud.

At the sentencing hearing in Atlanta, Nida was also ordered to pay restitution to victims of a $2.3 million scheme. According to the report, Nida and his co-conspirators were able to launder money by opening bank accounts using the names of their victims.

[The Associated Press]

Conor Oberst says rape accusations cost him a record deal (updated)

Last December, a woman posting in the comments section at the online magazine xoJane claimed that in 2003, when she was 16, Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst raped her following a show in North Carolina. Oberst denied the accusations and claimed that the woman, Joanie Faircloth, was a serial liar and, according to an article by Jezebel, had a history of “catfishing” online, at one point claiming falsely to be suffering from cancer.

Back in February, Oberst filed a defamation suit against Faircloth for $1.2 million in damages, and he says that so far she hasn’t even shown up for their court hearings. According to TMZ, he’s asking a judge to rule in his favor and award him the money. Oberst claims that the accusations have damaged his record sales as well as his reputation, and led to the cancellation of a $200,000 label contract.

Update: According to his publicist, Oberst has not been dropped by his label and his libel suit against Faircloth makes no claim that he was.

Emma Watson named Goodwill Ambassador for U.N. Women

Emma Watson, star of the Harry Potter film franchise and recent Brown University graduate, has a new honor to add to her resume: United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.

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Columbus Short arrested in Texas for public intoxication

Former Scandal actor Columbus Short was arrested for public intoxication in Dallas early Saturday morning, CNN reports.

The 31-year-old actor, no stranger to run-ins with the law, was apprehended by local police at around 2 a.m. while at a restaurant and beer garden named Katy Trail Ice House, a DPD spokesperson told CNN.

According to TMZ, Short may have been involved in a bar fight with a guard after a long night of Fourth of July celebration. The TMZ report goes on to say that Short also tried to scuffle with police officers before getting taken to jail.

Short was arrested for a similar incident back in April, when he was charged with a felony for allegedly injuring a man during an altercation at a restaurant in California; the actor has also been involved in multiple domestic violence charges.

SiriusXM fires 'Opie and Anthony' shock jock Anthony Cumia

Anthony Cumia, longtime co-host of the popular radio program Opie & Anthony, has been fired by SiriusXM in the wake of incendiary comments Cumia made on Twitter earlier this week.

Cumia tweeted about the news himself early Friday morning, writing, “Sirius decided to cave and fire me. Welcome to bizarro world. Fired for s— that wasn’t even on the air & wasn’t illegal. So, who’s next?”

“After the weekend, I’ll have a better idea of things,” Cumia continued in a follow-up tweet, adding: “F— Sirius.” READ FULL STORY

'Opie and Anthony' host goes on racist Twitter rant

SiriusXM DJ Anthony Cumia, host of Opie and Anthony, is making headlines for reasons completely unrelated to his work. On July 2, the radio personality took to Twitter to explain an experience he’d had in Times Square, claiming that a woman came up to him and punched him for trying to take a picture.

According to Cumia, the African-American woman did not want to have her picture taken and proceeded to attack him. Cumia called the woman a “c—” and said “I hope she gets shot,” sparking an immediate reaction from followers, many of whom called Cumia a racist.

From there, Cumia continued to tweet about the incident, even posting pictures of his attacker. And today, he’s still replying to messages about the situation. Check out some of Cumia’s NSFW tweets below: READ FULL STORY

Author Colum McCann assaulted in New Haven

Novelist Colum McCann was assaulted outside a New Haven hotel on Saturday night.

According to the New Haven Register, witnesses stated that the author of the National Book Award-winning Let the Great World Spin tried to help a woman involved in a dispute. The woman’s companion may be the assailant, New Haven Police Office David Hartman said in a statement on Wednesday.

McCann, 49, was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and treated for significant but not life-threatening facial injuries. He has since been released from the hospital.

McCann, whose most recent novel is 2013′s Transatlantic, lives in New York and was in Connecticut to address a Sunday event at Southern Connecticut State University, which he missed as a result of his injuries. McCann’s wife, Allison Hawke, told the Associated Press that he is getting dental work and is unable to comment.

 

Louis Zamperini, subject of Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken,' dies at 97

World War II hero and former Olympic long-distance runner Louis Zamperini died Wednesday from pneumonia at the age of 97, his family announced in a statement. Zamperini, also a prisoner of war in World War II and recipient of a Purple Heart medal for his service with the U.S. Army Air Forces, was the subject of the upcoming film Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie and based on Laura Hillenbrand’s novel Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.

“After a 40-day long battle for his life, he peacefully passed in the presence of his entire family, leaving behind a legacy that has touched so many lives,” the Zamperini family said in a statement. “His indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days.”

In a statement, Jolie said, “It is a loss impossible to describe. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly.”

Universal Pictures also released a statement:

We are so profoundly sad at this moment and all of our thoughts and prayers are with the Zamperini family.  Louis was truly one of a kind. He lived the most remarkable life, not because of the many unbelievable incidents that marked his near century’s worth of years, but because of the spirit with which he faced every one of them.  Confronting challenges that would cause most of us to surrender, Louie always persevered and always prevailed, and he spent the better part of his lifetime sharing the message that you could do the same. His example of grace, dignity and resilience inspired all of us lucky enough to know him and the millions who got to know him from the pages of Laura’s book.

The studio added that they are moving forward to the December 25, 2014 release of Unbroken “with a renewed sense of responsibility in bringing Louie’s abundant life and indomitable spirit to the screen. Now more than ever, we join Angelina in honoring the lessons and legacy of this extraordinary man who has meant so much to many.”

Lindsay Lohan sues Rockstar Games over 'Grand Theft Auto V'

Last December, Forbes reported that Lindsay Lohan spoke with her lawyers about the inclusion of a character with her likeness in Grand Theft Auto V. On Wednesday, Forbes reports that the actress has filed suit against Take-Two Interactive and subsidiary publisher and developer Rockstar Games, maker of the blockbuster videogame.

The suit claims that the character Lacey Jonas is an “unequivocal” reference to Lohan, citing the use of her likeness, clothing line, and the Chateau Marmont hotel where she used to live.

For more on the suit, see the Forbes story here.

Author Walter Dean Myers dies at 76

Update: Myer’s publisher Sholastic Books has a released a statement on the author’s death.

Walter Dean Myers, a beloved author of children’s books, died on Tuesday following a brief illness, according to the Children’s Book Council. He was 76.

Myers’s career spanned over 45 years, during which he wrote more than 100 books. Some of his best-known work includes Monster, a fictional 1999 account of an African-American teenager on trial for a felony murder in New York, and Fallen Angels, a 1988 novel about the Vietnam War.

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