Tuesday 22 January, 2019

Year in review: top international entertainment headlines of 2018

Here's a roundup of some of the biggest headlines in international entertainment in 2018: 

A Royal Wedding and a baby 

Duchess Kate gave birth to her and Prince William’s third child, Louis Arthur Charles in late April, the fifth in line to the throne and the sixth great-grandchild of 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth.

Just about a month later on May 19, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, tied the knot in front of members of the royal family, A-list celebrities and revellers around the world. Five months later, they announced that they would be expecting their first child. 

 

The Kardashian family expands by three 

In January, Kim and Kanye West--welcomed their third child--born via surrogate--who they named Chicago. 

On February 4, Kylie Jenner surprised the world when she announced that she had welcomed a “beautiful and healthy baby girl” named Stormi. Jenner, who kept the pregnancy quiet, said she did it in order to maintain a calm environment for her baby.

“Pregnancy has been the most beautiful, empowering and life-changing experience I’ve had in my entire life,” she said in a statement, “and I’m actually going to miss it.”

Just two months later, Khloe Kardashian gave birth to her first daughter, True Thompson. News of the birth came on the heels of cheating allegations after a video surfaced of her boyfriend, Tristan Thompson, kissing two women. It was rumoured that the news sent Kardashian into early labour. 

 

Kanye West supports Donald Trump and calls slavery “a choice”

In May, Kanye West appeared on TMZ Live with founder Harvey Levin, where he made several startling statements and defended his support of U.S. President Donald Trump as well as his posting of a photo of himself on social media wearing a MAGA hat.

The Life of Pablo rapper said he loves his “boy” Trump and added: “So many rappers [used to] love Trump, but then he get into office, and now they don’t love him. Trump is one of rap’s favourite people.”

West then transitioned to the discussion of race, stating: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice. Like, you were there for 400 years and there’s all of y’all? It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.”

 

Kanye West admits drug problem 

During that same interview he revealed that he became addicted to opioids after having liposuction a few years ago. "Two days before I was in the hospital I was on opioids," he said, referencing his November 2016 mental breakdown during his Saint Pablo tour.

"I was addicted to opioids. I had plastic surgery because I was trying to look good for y'all. I got liposuction because I didn't want y'all to call me fat like y'all called Rob [Kardashian] at the wedding and made him fly home before me and Kim got married."

 

ABC and the entertainment world cancels Roseanne

Roseanne Barr's über-popular rebooted show, Roseanne, was cancelled on May 29 after she sent out a racially charged tweet about former President Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett that read, "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj." She later apologised and said her joke was in "bad taste," but it was too late.

After ABC announced it was pulling the plug on the new season, cast member and producer Sara Gilbert called her TV mom's comments "abhorrent." She tweeted, "This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we've created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love -- one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member." Not long after the cancellation,  it was reported that a "Roseanne" spinoff that would centre around Sara Gilbert's character, Darlene, was being discussed. The Conners premiered, sans Roseanne, in October.

 

Mariah Carey reveals she has bipolar disorder

In an exclusive interview with People Magazine, Mariah Carey opened up about living with bipolar disorder. She revealed that she was first diagnosed with bipolar II disorder in 2001. "Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me. It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn't do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love -- writing songs and making music," she told People.

"I'm just in a really good place right now, where I'm comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder. I'm hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me."

 

Former Smallville actress linked to a sex cult

Smallville actress Allison Mack was arrested in mid-April after authorities determined she was deeply involved in and was even an alleged leader in the self-help group NXIVM and a smaller organisation within it that prosecutors allege was actually a sex cult. She's been formally charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy and she faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. 

 

Film producer mogul Harvey Weinstein surrenders to police

Harvey Weinstein surrendered to New York City police on May 25 and was arraigned in court on charges of first- and third-degree rape and committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree. The legal proceeding came about seven months after a multitude of women came forward alleging sexual misconduct against the disgraced producer, whose bail was set at $10 million. He was released after posting $1 million cash and fitted with a monitoring device. In June, he pleaded not guilty.  In October, some of the charges were dropped amid allegations of witness and evidence tampering.

 

Bill Cosby, America's favourite dad, is sent to prison 

On April 26, Bill Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand. The jury deliberated for 14 hours. The victim claimed that the disgraced 80-year-old comedian drugged and sexually assaulted her in his home in January 2004.

In September, a judge labelled as a "sexually violent predator." He was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.  

 

Morgan Freeman accused of sexual harassment 

Morgan Freeman apologised after he was accused of sexual harassment by eight women who claimed his alleged misconduct has been going on for years on the sets of his movies. CNN broke the story on May 24, saying it spoke to 16 people -- eight alleged victims and eight alleged witnesses.

After the report was made public, the legendary actor said, "Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologise to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected -- that was never my intent."  Five days after his apology, he and his team demanded CNN retract its story and apologize, calling the story "the product of malicious intent, falsehoods, slight-of-hand, an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice."

CNN stood by its story.

 

Kevin Hart's close friend tries to extort him over a sex tape

One of Kevin Hart's friends who allegedly attempted to blackmail Kevin Hart over a sex video was criminally charged with extortion. The comedian publicly expressed shock that the friend, Jonathan Todd Jackson, could do such a thing. "Mind blown ... Hurt ... at a loss for words and simply in complete disbelief at the moment. WOW," Kevin tweeted on May 2.

In September 2017, Kevin was caught in the middle of a sex scandal after he allegedly cheated on his then-pregnant wife while in Las Vegas. A video purporting to show Kevin having sex was secretly recorded earlier in the summer. Prosecutors claim Jonathan tried to get money out of Kevin in return for keeping the video secret. TMZ reported that Kevin and Jonathan, who goes by JT, have been close for 15 years. 

 

Cardi B reveals a secret wedding, a baby and a public break up

Cardi B has had a whirlwind year, to say the least. 

Weeks before Cardi B and Offset welcomed daughter Kulture Kiari Cephus on July 10, Cardi revealed that the couple had secretly wed in September 2017. In the midst of that, she released her first album, broke several music records, including one making her the first woman in hip-hop to have three No. 1 songs on the Billboard charts. Unfortunately, 2018 has been a year of many highs and lows for Cardi. In September, Cardi got into an altercation with  Nicki Minaj. Nicki said the whole thing was "mortifying," while Cardi had "zero regrets" about it.

Then in October, Cardi was arrested for assault and reckless endangerment in New York City for her alleged role in an August strip club attack on two female bartenders. It was rumoured that Offset was cheating on Cardi with one of the two bartenders, and one of several women that he cheated with. Seemingly fed up, Cardi announced on Instagram Live that she and Offset were no longer together.  What followed was a series of attempts by Offset to get Cardi back, including crashing one of her performances. Although visibly upset at the time, the two later enjoyed a tryst in Puerto Rico. 

 

#MeToo advocate Asia Argento accused of statutory rape 

One of the first Harvey Weinstein rape accusers Asia Argento was accused of having sex with one of her former co-stars when he was 17 years old. According to legal documents obtained by The New York Times in August, Jimmy Bennett met his former co-star at a Los Angeles-area hotel in May 2013 where she allegedly gave him alcohol before they had intercourse.

Bennett, now 22, approached Asia with his assault allegations until late 2017 or early 2018. According to Asia, her boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, encouraged her to settle with BennettJimmy--whom she's accused of being troubled and forcing himself on her--so that he'd leave them alone. Asia said Anthony, who died after supporting her in the deal, paid the initial portion of a $380,000 settlement.

 

Cosby Show actor job-shamed for working at Trader Joe's

The Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens was trending for several days in early September after a photograph emerged of him working at a New Jersey Trader Joe's. Initially, Geoffrey was job shamed, but he was soon showered with support. "There is no job that's better than another," he said during an interview. "It may pay better, it may have better benefits, it may look better on paper. But it's not better. Every job is worthwhile," he said. "No one should feel sorry for me either from a positive or negative perspective because I've had a great life and a great career. I'm doing fine."

He got acting job offers after the photos emerged. "#GeoffreyOwens I'm about to start shooting OWN's number one drama next week! Come join us!!!" Tyler Perry tweeted. "I have so much respect for people who hustle between gigs. The measure of a true artist." Owens later agreed to take part in Tyler's project.

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