Friday, April 11, 2014

Colin Kaepernick tweets that the sexual assault story is 'completely wrong'

As media blazes over a report that superstar San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is under investigation for sexual assault, the person in the crosshairs of the investigation has responded. On Friday morning, Kaepernick was adamant about his innocence. He tweeted, in multiple tweets (beginning here):
The charges made in the TMZ story and other stories I’ve seen are completely wrong. They make things up about me that never happened. I take great pride in who I am and what I do, but I guess sometimes you have to deal with someone who makes things up. I want to thank all of the people who have shared their encouraging sentiments. I assure you that your faith is not misplaced.
The news hit media on Thursday, when TMZ first reported the matter. Since then it has exploded on media. According to the TMZ report Kaepernick and two other NFL players (fellow San Francisco 49er and wide receiver Quinton Patton and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette) were all involved in the incident.

Although the USA Today reported on Friday with a story confirming the sexual assault allegation -- to be clear, this is still and investigation, and Kaepernick, Lockette, and Patton have not been charged -- it later clarified the matter, saying that the investigation is about a "suspicious incident," not sexual assault. In addition, it has been reported that TMZ took the police report out of context, which may explain the original confusion.

The woman in the matter, remains unknown. Her name was redacted from the report first accessed by TMZ. It has not been released since that first report.

Kaepernick's agents, XAM Sports, issued a statement on Friday. They said "We stand by Colin 100 percent and are fully confident that the truth will be evident once the facts come to light regarding this matter. Thank you for supporting Colin."

Colin Kaepernick is considered one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL. He is 26 and was drafted in by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of te 2011 draft. He began his pro career as the 49ers' backup to then-starter Alex Smith. but the middle of the 2012 season, Kaepernick filled in for an injured Smith and played well enough to take the starter role. He set an NFL record for most rushing yards (181) by a quarterback in a game (playoffs or regular season) in his first playoff game. The 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens.

Last season, Kaepernick took the 49ers to the NFC Championship game, where the 49ers lost to the eventual Super Bowl champs, the Seattle Seahawks.

Superstar 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick under investigation for sexual assault

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First reported by TMZ on Thursday, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is under investigation for sexual assault. Also listed on the complaint were Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette and 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton. The incident allegedly took place at a residence at the Viceroy Hotel on April Fools' Day -- but the report is definitely not a prank.

Updating the story on Friday, USA Today said that Miami Police Department public information officer Rene Pimentel confirmed the report. Viceroy is a chain of hotels; this particular one is in Miami.

According to the original report, the woman == who claimed that she had a sexual relationship with Kaepernick in the past -- told police that around 9 p.m. that evening she mixed some drinks for the trio and gave them shots. However, they told her that "in order to drink the shots she had to 'hit' the bong which contained marijuana."

At that point, the woman felt lightheaded and went to the bedroom where she laid down. Then, she asserted in the report, Kaepernick "came up behind her into the bedroom and started kissing her. She advised they were kissing (mouth) and Mr. Kaepernick started to undressed [sic] her. She got completely naked. Mr. Kaepernick told her that he was going to be right back and left the bedroom. They did not have sex."

At that time, the other two -- Patton and Lockette -- peeked into the room. She was still naked. She told them to get out, but it is at that time that she apparently passed out. She doesn't remember anything after that, according to the report, until she woke up later in a hospital, completely unaware of how she got there.

While Pimentel said he did not know if a rape examination had been conducted on the woman. Kaepernick's team, the San Francisco 49ers, said they were aware of the incident. 49ers general manager Trent Baalke issued a statement. In it, he said, "The 49ers organization is aware of the recent media report regarding Colin Kaepernick and is in the process of gathering the pertinent facts."

Of the three, Kaepernick, 26, is the highest profile NFL player. A star, he is entering the final year of his rookie contract with the 49ers. The team has been quite public in its desire to sign him to a long-term deal. He was a second-round pick out of Nevada in 2011, AND took over the starting job midway through his second year, replacing former No. 1 (overall) pick Alex Smith. He has 23 starts, in which he has posted a 17-6 record. He led the 49ers to a Super Bowl XLVII appearance (they lost) and last year led the team to the NFC Championship, where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champs, the Seahawks.

Meanwhi;e, Lockette, 27, signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2011. After 13 games on the practice squad, he was signed to the active roster in December 2011. He played in 8 games last year, including one start. He caught five passes for 82 yards.

Patton, 23, was a fourth-round pick of the 49ers, and completed his first season with the 49ers in 2013. He played in four games with one reception for zero yards. He was also inactive for over two months with a broken foot.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Justin, Selena rendezvous at recording studio

It wasn't a romantic get-together, but they did get together. The Daily Mail reported that the on-again off-again pair, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, enjoyed a writing session at Miami's Hit Factory recording studio on Tuesday.

TMZ caught video (embedded) of the pair greeting each other, with the headline, "Justin & Selena Rendezvous She Looks Very Shaky".

At the time of Gomez's visit, Bieber was working with his 15-year-old protégé Madison Beer. Beer, you might recall, was discovered by Justin on a YouTube video when she was 13 years old; she is being mentored him.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New posthumous Michael Jackson album slated for May 13

A new posthumous Michael Jackson album, featuring eight previously unreleased tracks will be released on a new album in May, Epic Records announced Monday.

Fans can pre-order the new album, titled "Xscape," on iTunes and elsewhere beginning on Tuesday, the company said. "Xscape" will reach retail outlets stores around the world on May 13, Epic added. It will be Jackson's twelfth studio album.

The press release said that Epic teamed up with several top producers to “contemporize” the songs "while retaining Jackson’s essence and integrity, creating the best music you’ve never heard." The list of producers includes Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate and John McClain.

The album shares its name with one of the new singles. Jackson and Jerkins co-wrote and co-produced the song "Xscape," which Jerkins then "contemporized" for the album, Epic said.

We may see more from Jackson. Sony's Columbia Epic Records, which was the pop superstar's record label for three decades, signed a long-term deal with Jackson's estate to posthumously release music from the large archives of his recordings.

To reiterate, iTunes and other outlets will have the album for pre-order beginning on April 1.  Only Apple's online store was mentioned in the press release, though, and we were unable to find it on Amazon.com.  For now, it can be ordered from iTunes in deluxe form here and regular form here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Zac Efron labeled a hero, reportedly saves life of bodyguard

+The details appear a little confusing, but nevertheless, actor Zac Efron seems to be a hero, TMZ reported on Thursday.

The incident involved the 26-year-old "High School Musical" star and a man Efron identified as his bodyguard. Reportedly, the bodyguard, who said he and Efron were tooling around downtown Los Angeles on Sunday at 12:30 a.m. when the car ran out of fuel. It rolled to a stop at the bottom of a downtown L.A. off-ramp. Efron said that while they were waiting for a tow truck they threw a bottle out the window -- it was not clear was in the bottle -- and it hit the pavement near a group of transients.

That angered the transients, who confronted the pair, believing they intentionally threw the bottle at them.

The bodyguard -- who wished to remain unnamed -- said that the went after him with a shank, stabbing him in the face, stomach and chest. Efron exited the car and a vodka bottle at the transients to fend off the attack. The bodyguard said that Efron beat off the attack and saved his life.

The mention of the bottle was strange though, unless Efron and crew had more than one empty bottle in the car.

There were no arrests, as police viewed the incident as "mutual combat." TMZ's source claimed Efron was "obviously intoxicated" at the time of the events.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Brewery pays homage to 'Walking Dead' season four finale with brain-infused beer

The season four finale of "The Walking Dead" has nearly shambled upon us, and with that, the Dock Street Brewing Company in Philadelphia has created a brew just for fans. Cnet "reviewed" the pale American stout on Tuesday.

A somewhat mundane ingredient list is zombified when one notes that in addition to the more typical wheat, oats, flaked barley, and organic cranberries, Dock Street's Walker also includes brains. That's right, although we are not speaking about human brains. Instead, Walker includes smoked goat brains.

Congratulate Justin Low, the head brewer of Dock Street, for the new brew. As a big fan of "The Walking Dead," he simply had to create something tasty for zombies to imbibe. The beer will get its official release at Dock Street on March 30, along with a screening of "The Walking Dead" season four finale.

Folks may need to get drunk after that finale. Creator Robert Kirkman says that the finale will "shock people." What could be more shocking that the episode from just two weeks ago, "The Grove" ("look at the flowers")?

Time will tell.  AMC airs the season four finale of "The Walking Dead" on Sunday, March 30, at 9 p.m. ET.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis expecting, say multiple sources

There has been no official announcement yet, but sources told People and Us Weekly on Sunday that Mila Kunis. 30, and Ashton Kutcher, 36, recently engaged -- are not recently expecting.

One source told Us,
This is something they both wanted. They are both so happy.
Another told People
They are both very, very happy. It’s still early.
When asked about last week's rumors that the couple was expecting twins, the second source replied,
No, not twins.
Another friend told People,
It won’t necessarily be a short engagement. They haven’t begun planning the wedding yet.

Kutcher and Kunis first met on the set of "That ‘70s Show" in 1998. They remained friends after the show's end, and began dating after the highly publicized divorce between Kutcher and Demi Moore.

Kutcher currently stars in the series "Two and a Half Men," and also starred in the title role of "Jobs," a Steve Jobs biopic. Kunis, of course, continues to star as Meg Griffin in the series "Family Guy," and was critically acclaimed for her role in "Black Swan." She was Esquire's "Sexiest Woman Alive" in 2012.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Few tears greet the death of WBC's Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps, founder of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church, died on Wednesday night at the age of 84. As the Washington Post noted, not many will shed tears for him ("Dry eyes for Fred Phelps").

His 59-year-old Westboro Baptist Church, populated mostly by relatives and in-laws, gained notoriety -- nay, national infamy, when it picked the funerals of military personnel, saying that their deaths were the result of the U.S. treating homosexual people "too well." They also picketed, or threatened to picket, funerals of others, including Steve Jobs and nine-year-old girl, Christina-Taylor Green, whose death Phelps applauded in a YouTube video where he thanked God for the shootings.

Among the signs often seen at WBC picketing events, and these can be seen on their website, as well, are such things as “God hates f*gs.” “God is your enemy.” “God hates you.” “USA = f*g nation.” “F*gs die God laughs.” “Thank God for maimed soldiers.” “Pray for more dead soldiers.” “Thank God for dead soldiers.” “Thank God for IEDs.” “God killed your sons.”

The hate won't extend into his own funeral, it appears. At least not from George Takei, who played Sulu on "Star Trek" and is openly gay. On his Facebook page, he posted:
Today, Mr. Phelps may have learned that God, in fact, hates no one. Vicious and hate-filled as he was, may his soul find the kind of peace through death that was so plainly elusive during his life.
In a separate post, Takei added:
I take no solace or joy in this man's passing. We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding "God Hates Freds" signs, tempting as it may be.

He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many. Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end.

Surveillance video shows theft of Hulk Hogan memorabilia

Hulk Hogan filed a police report on Wednesday in Clearwater, Fla., claiming that four women conspired to steal a piece of Hulkamania memorabilia from his store, Hogan's Beach Shop. On Thursday, that report was backed up by surveillance video, obtained by TMZ (embedded).

The memorabilia was an autographed wrestling shoe. In the video, you can see the group enter Hogan's Beach Shop. For a time, they congregate around the front desk clerk. Something happens outside -- perhaps another group member -- and the clerk, along with four women, leaves the store to investigate.

Then, however, one of the women re-enters the store, walks to the back of the store, grabs the shoe, and blatantly exits, calmly, as though it was nothing. Police have described the woman as "a heavy-set female in her 50s," which appears to be the case in the video.

The shoe is valued at $5,500.