Review Category : Entertainment

Jay Z and Beyonce Cleared of Violating US Sanctions in Cuba Trip

Image Courtesy Cliff Lipson/CBS(WASHINGTON) — It’s been determined Jay Z and Beyonce did not violate U.S. sanctions when they made a trip to Cuba to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary in 2013, Time magazine reports.

The United States Treasury Department’s inspector general’s office made an announcement Wednesday. It concludes that the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which issues licenses to organizations that sponsor educational exchange programs in Cuba, was “reasonable” for having passed on a formal investigation into the couple’s visit.

In April 2013, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, who are Cuban-Americans, raised concerns that the Obama administration wasn’t properly enforcing the travel regulations between the U.S. and Cuba.

At the time, the Treasury Department had given Jay and Bey clearance to make the trip.

In response to the accusations, Jay Z released the song “Open Letter,” in which he rapped, “Obama said, ‘Chill, you gonna get me impeached. You don’t need this s**t anyway, chill with me on the beach.’”

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“Guardians” Star Chris Pratt Turns Real-Life Hero for Kids Hospital Patients

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(LOS ANGELES) — Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt has made good on a promise to do some good with his Star-Lord he swiped from the set of the hit film.

According to a tweet and pictures posted from the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Wednesday, the actor paid a visit in full costume, and even let some of the patients try on his character’s red leather duster.

The tweet read, “Star Lord (@prattprattpratt) cheered up our patients by sharing #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy! Thanks for making them smile!”

Before the blockbuster opened, Pratt told Panzer TV, “If it was a big enough movie to where it would mean something to a kid who’s sick in the hospital for Peter Quill or Star-Lord to come visit them, I’ll do that. I think that’s awesome, man. That would give me real meaning for this movie, you know?”

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Experts Say There Could Be Comedy Gold for “Orange’s” Kate Mulgrew

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will be held Monday night at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, and there’s stiff competition in the comedy categories.

Many experts are predicting Orange Is the New Black will earn some gold trophies, and Kate Mulgrew has a good shot at taking the win in the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category.

Tom O’Neil, the founder of the Hollywood awards prediction website GoldDerby.com, tells ABC News Radio viewers should “watch out” for the former Star Trek: Voyager captain. “She plays the cook with the kind of Russian accent, she’s very funny,” O’Neil says, with the caveat, “I wouldn’t bet against Allison Janney.”

He explains the West Wing veteran-turned-Mom star “has five Emmy wins behind her, she just won at the Creative Arts for Masters of Sex in the guest category. I think she’s got it again,” explaining the Mom episode she submitted to Emmy voters has the actress “dealing with menopause and hot flashes, it’s really over the top.”

Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter, also tells ABC News Radio that it’s between Mulgrew and Janney. “Many people are picking Allison Janney and she does have a long history of Emmy love and could happen here,” the expert says. “But I think the fact that her show was not widely embraced at all and Kate Mulgrew’s was, and also the fact that Allison Janney’s already been so recognized in her past, whereas Kate Mulgrew was never even nominated before now, I think those things will work in the favor of Orange Is the New Black.”

In the supporting comedy actor category, O’Neil’s betting on Veep’s Tony Hale, explaining the Arrested Development star “pulled off an upset for Veep last year and I think he’s going to do it again…And that combination of physical comedy and great acting and a major plot development…usually translates into Emmys.”

Seth Meyers will serve as host of the ceremony, which will air live on NBC starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time and 5 p.m. Pacific time on Monday.

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Robin Williams’ Death Certificate Reveals He Was Cremated

Image Courtesy Monty Brinton/CBS(SAN RAFAEL, Calif.) — Robin Williams’ death certificate was issued Wednesday and obtained by RadarOnline.com. The document revealed that Williams was cremated and his ashes were scattered in San Francisco Bay just one day after his death.

It also listed his cause of death as still “pending investigation.” The certificate confirmed that Williams died at his Tiburon, California, residence on Aug. 11.

The 63-year-old entertainer apparently hanged himself after battling depression. His wife has also said Williams was suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Toxicology reports are still pending.

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Julianne Hough Joins “Dancing with the Stars” Judges’ Panel

ABC/Adam Taylor(LOS ANGELES) — Two-time Dancing with the Stars champ and former pro Julianne Hough is trading in her dancing shoes to join the show’s judges’ panel. On Thursday’s Good Morning America, Hough explained why she’s returning to the ABC dancing competition, which will also see her brother Derek competing this season.

“Well, Dancing with the Stars has always been apart of my family. I mean, that’s where it all began for me so it just kind of made sense,” she explained. “And when I think about what Derek and I just did on tour, with Move Live on Tour, reconnecting with the fans and just the people that have supported me from day one from Dancing with the Stars, it just felt like the right time and the right kind of opportunity.”

Hough won’t be replacing anyone. Instead, she’ll be joining returning judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.

Hough said “the camaraderie between the judges” is what she’s most looking forward to next season. But will it be tough judging her brother Derek and his celebrity partner on the dance floor?

“It’s not necessarily about Derek and the pro dancer. It’s about a collaboration,” she said, after admitting she can be hard on her brother. “It’s the team effort. It’s what they’re doing as a partnership and really the celebrity and what they can do to improve each week.”

ABC’s Dancing with the Stars returns Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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Joe Manganiello Won’t Apologize for Checking Out Sofia Vergara

Photo: Tony Rivetti/HBO(NEW YORK) — Joe Manganiello is not sorry for checking out Sofia Vergara’s assets at the White House correspondents dinner earlier this year.

The actor stopped by E! News and when a picture of him looking down at her famous backside was brought up, his answer could not have been better.

“Come on! You can’t put that in front of me,” he joked. “I’m not going to apologize. I totally got busted.”

The True Blood star said since he and Vergara have started dating, it has become a joke between the love birds.

But a true guy’s guy, Manganiello said he didn’t act on any attraction at the dinner back in May because she was taken at the time.

“We didn’t start dating till she was single; she had a boyfriend at that time, so I probably could have gotten into a fight for doing that,” he added. “I’m not trying to start a fight at the White House, but if that walks in front of you, it’s like the Pied Piper.”

Manganiello said filming for Magic Mike 2 is starting soon and that Vergara may be reaping the benefits of his dance moves.

“I need to practice getting ready for Magic Mike 2, so that’s all I’ll say,” he said.

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Experts Predict Good Things for “Breaking Bad” at the Emmys

Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC(LOS ANGELES) — The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will be held Monday night at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Seth Meyers will serve as host of the ceremony, which will air live on NBC.

AMC’s Breaking Bad, which ended its run last year, will go out on top at the Emmys, according to Tom O’Neil, founder of the Hollywood awards prediction website GoldDerby.com.

He tells ABC News Radio two-time Breaking Bad Emmy winner Aaron Paul could be victorious in the supporting drama actor category for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman. “I’m betting on Aaron Paul to win again,” O’Neil said, part of what he predicts will be “a huge Breaking Bad sweep.”

Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter, agrees, telling ABC News Radio, “I do think it’s Aaron Paul’s to lose, and it would be an unprecedented third win in this category if he does pull it off.”

O’Neil also said Anna Gunn will be part of Breaking Bad’s victory lap, and she’ll take home another best supporting actress in a drama trophy. “Anna’s got this locked up,” O’Neil explains. “She won last year, this year she’s back with an even bigger performance, this is ‘Ozymandias,’ the same episode Bryan Cranston submitted, it is the one where she has her baby ripped from her arms by her thug husband, she sees the world collapse around her, it is magnificent.”

On this point, Feinberg agrees as well, with one caveat: “It really to me is between Anna Gunn and [Downton Abbey's] Maggie Smith, and I would not rule out Maggie Smith, but I am picking Anna Gunn. Because she won last year, I think she probably stands a very good chance to win this year for really the final episodes of her show.”

Cranston is a nominee for lead drama actor, and Breaking Bad is a contender for best drama series.

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Adam Driver Doesn’t Feel Like He’s Earned “Star Wars: Episode VII” Role

Lucasfilm Ltd.(NEW YORK) — Girls star Adam Driver is one of the many actors attached to J. J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. Still, he doesn’t feel like he’s earned such a coveted spot.

“It’s very nice,” he said in the September issue of GQ. “But in a way, I don’t feel like I’ve really put in my dues. Like it doesn’t feel earned.”

Driver hates talking about acting, telling the magazine it makes him feel like “a pretentious f***ing a**hole.” Instead, the actor would rather talk about his time in the Marines.

“It’s hard to describe. You’re put in these very heightened circumstances, and you learn a lot about who people are at the core, I think. You end up having this very intimate relationship where you would, like, die for these people,” he said of his time serving the country.

Why did he enlist? “It just seemed like a bada** thing to do, to go and shoot machine guns and serve your country,” he explained.

Driver was eventually discharged after two years thanks to a broken sternum. He now focuses his attention to his organization, Arts in the Armed Forces, which educates and entertains those in the armed forces. The actor said he founded the organization to make the life of servicemen and women easier.

“Here’s the thing, life’s sh**ty, and we’re all gonna die. You have friends, and they die,” he explained. “…What a terrible thing to process! Every. Day. And then you go to sleep. But then sometimes, things can suspend themselves for like a minute, and then every once in a while there’s something where you find a connection.”

Driver will be seen in Episode VII, which also stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker. Episode VII is slated for a Dec. 18, 2015 release.

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Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson Among “Marie Claire’s” ’20 Women Changing the World’

ABC/Jon LeMay(NEW YORK) — Can a pop star change the world? According to Marie Claire magazine, the answer’s yes. The magazine’s current issue highlights “20 Women Changing the World,” and some top female singers are included on that list.

Alicia Keys, Taylor Swift, Shakira and Jennifer Hudson are all featured on the list, alongside people like Chelsea Clinton, Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria. Alicia is included because of her work with her charity Keep a Child Alive, which helps families in Africa and India fight HIV/AIDS. J-Hud is there for establishing her charity, the Julian D. King Gift Foundation, named after her murdered nephew. The charity distributes school supplies on Julian’s birthday, as well as gifts at Christmastime.

Taylor makes the list for her philanthropy in general, as well as for writing a song about a young cancer patient and then donating the proceeds to cancer charities. She also makes unannounced visits to children’s hospitals and visits with the patients for hours. Shakira is included because of her Barefoot Foundation, which builds schools and early childhood centers in poor countries around the world, including her own, Colombia.

Visit MarieClaire.com, or buy the magazine’s September issue, to read about all the other women who are changing the world.

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Pharrell’s Hat Going on Display in Washington, D.C.

ABC/Randy Holmes(WASHINGTON) — Over the past year, Pharrell Williams’ hat — that huge brown one that he wore to the Grammy Awards — has become almost as famous as he is. Now, you’ll be able to see it up close and personal, when it goes on display in a Washington, D.C. museum.

As you might remember, the fast food chain Arby’s, whose logo is a large hat that’s very similar to Pharrell’s Vivienne Westwood-designed topper, joked about the resemblance during the Grammy Awards via Twitter, and that tweet was retweeted more than 80,000 times. Arby’s later purchased the headgear from the singer for more than $44,000, and all the money went to charity. Now, Arby’s is loaning the hat to D.C.’s Newseum, where it’ll go on display starting Aug. 22, according to the Washington Post.

An Arby’s executive tells the Post that the reason the short-term exhibit is being set up at the Newseum is because “it goes to show the power of social media in its ability to create news.”

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