The anti-choice abortion ‘heartbeat’ bill has gotten plenty of response, but actress Alyssa Milano but the biggest response with her sex strike plan. It received plenty of comments from all sides of the issue, and Michael Jackson’s son Prince just graduated from college. Dennis Rodman has been accused of stealing from a yoga studio while “Fresh Off the Boat” Constance Wu explained her strange reaction when the show was renewed for another season.
Sex Strike Brings Debate From All Sides
Actress Alyssa Milano ignited social media with a tweet Friday night calling for women to join her in a sex strike to protest strict abortion bans passed by Republican-controlled legislatures.
The former star of “Charmed” and “Melrose Place” urged women in her tweet to stop having sex “until we get bodily autonomy back.” Her tweet came days after Georgia became the fourth state in the U.S. this year to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant.
“We need to understand how dire the situation is across the country,” Milano told media outlets on Saturday. “It’s reminding people that we have control over our own bodies and how we use them.”
She noted that women have historically withheld sex to protest or advocate for political reform. She cited how Iroquois women refused to have sex in the 1600s as a way to stop unregulated warfare. Most recently, she noted that Liberian women used a sex strike in 2003 to demand an end to a long-running civil war.
Milano received support from fans and fellow actress Bette Midler joined her in also calling for a sex strike with her own tweet. But both liberals and conservatives also lampooned her idea, with conservatives praising her for promoting abstinence and liberals saying she was pushing a false narrative that women only have sex as a favor to men.
Milano said the criticism didn’t bother her and that her tweet was having her desired effect, “which is getting people to talk about the war on women.”
She said she fears one of the laws could eventually be decided by the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court, which Republicans hope will overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
“That is absolutely horrifying to me,” Milano said. “Anyone who is not completely and totally outraged by this and doesn’t see where this is leading, I think is not taking this threat seriously.”
Milano said people have to determine for themselves how long the sex strike should last. For her part, she hasn’t decided yet how long she will forgo sex.
“I mean I don’t know,” she said. “I sent a tweet last night I haven’t really thought much past that this morning.”
Prince Jackson Graduates
Michael Jackson’s eldest child Prince is a college graduate.
Twenty-two-year-old Prince Jackson — whose real name is Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. — went through commencement ceremonies Saturday at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Prince Jackson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
The day was celebrated in social media posts from the graduate and relatives in his famous family.
T.J. Jackson, the cousin who served as Prince’s guardian after his father died, tweeted, “it’s been a long road but you did it. Keep learning, keep growing and keep giving back!”
Prince Jackson was 12 when his father died nearly 10 years ago.
Michael Jackson has two other children, 21-year-old Paris and 17-year-old Prince Michael Jackson, known by the nickname Blanket.
Dennis Rodman Yoga Studio Theft
The owner of a Southern California yoga studio is accusing Dennis Rodman of helping three people steal more than $3,500 in merchandise from his business.
Ali Shah says security cameras captured the former NBA star walking into Vibes Hot Yoga in Newport Beach on Tuesday with his alleged accomplices. Shah said the four worked together to distract an employee so they could steal clothes and a 400-pound (181-kilogram) amethyst crystal from the front desk.
Shah said Rodman returned Wednesday and tried to distract a different employee while a female companion grabbed clothes that were on display.
Police told the Los Angeles Times they were investigating the matter and no one has been arrested.
Rodman told TMZ that the studio’s owner offered him the clothes as gifts in exchange for moving the crystal.
Constance Wu Explains Fresh Off the Boat Reaction
Constance Wu said she was initially unhappy that “Fresh Off the Boat” was renewed for a sixth season because it meant she had to give up another project she was passionate about.
In a lengthy statement posted on her Twitter page Saturday, the actress said she loves her ABC sitcom but she was “temporarily upset yesterday” because the other project “would have challenged me as an artist.”
When ABC announced the renewal Friday, Wu said in a series of tweets that it was not welcome news.
On Saturday, she clarified that she loves working on the TV show and that her disappointment had more to do with losing another role.
“My words and ill-timing were insensitive to those who are struggling, especially insensitive considering the fact that I used to be in that struggle too,” her statement said.
Wu stars in “Fresh off the Boat” playing the mother in a Taiwanese-American family in Florida in the 1990s.
Wu’s star rose considerably in 2018 with her lead role in “Crazy Rich Asians,” a major hit that got her a Golden Globe nomination.
A Dog’s Purpose Vindicated From PETA
The 2017 family movie “A Dog’s Purpose” was marred by accusations of animal abuse after a video of a frightened dog that appeared to be forced into rushing water during the making of the film was posted by TMZ.
The footage quickly went viral but a third-party investigation discounted the allegations. On Thursday, one of the writers reflected on the allegations at the premiere of the film’s sequel, “A Dog’s Journey.”
“Nothing happened,” said Cathryn Michon, a co-screenwriter on both “Purpose” and the follow-up. However, she continued: “I think that some good things came from it because we now had two animal-welfare agencies on the set and I think that’s the kind of safeguards that films need.”
American Humane has said its investigation showed no dogs were harmed but acknowledged the dog was in distress and production staff should have realized that earlier.
Dennis Quaid, the star of both movies, said: “I think we were really vindicated in that.”
He also criticized the animal rights group PETA, which lodged the original complaint.
“That was PETA that was coming forward, and they, and it was somebody who was not a crew member who showed up on a closed set, took a little bit of video and then edited the video to make it look like a dog was being abused where there was no dog being abused,” Quaid said.
Lisa Lange, a PETA vice president, said in a statement Friday “no amount of spin can change the fact that an animal was terrorized while filming a scene for which computer-generated imagery could easily have been used instead.”
Both films are based on W. Bruce Cameron’s best-selling series of books, which propose that dogs may have short physical lives but continue their journeys through reincarnation. Cameron was on the sets of both films and said no dogs were harmed.
″(There were) very few people on the set who can call, ‘Cut,’” he explained. “And one of them was the people that were there to protect the animals. That was the most important thing. There was signage. It was stressed at every meeting and everybody understood what we were there to do.”
Fugees Pras Michel Indicted
One of the founding members of the 1990s hip-hop group the Fugees has been charged in a campaign finance conspiracy that took place during the 2012 presidential election, the Justice Department said Friday.
A four-count indictment accuses Prakazrel “Pras” Michel of conspiring with fugitive Malaysian financer Low Taek Jho, usually known as Jho Low, to make and conceal foreign campaign contributions. He is alleged to have used straw donors to give campaign contributions to a U.S. presidential candidate, who is identified in the indictment only as Candidate A.
Low has gained attention in the last several years after U.S. officials accused him of masterminding a money laundering and bribery scheme that pilfered billions from the Malaysian state investment fund known as 1MDB. He’s been charged separately by both U.S. and Malaysian officials in connection with that alleged fraud but remains at large.
Prosecutors allege that from June to November 2012, Low directed more than $21.6 million to be moved from foreign entities to Michel’s accounts in order to funnel money into the 2012 presidential election. They say Michel then paid about 20 straw donors and conduits so they could make the donations in their names and conceal where the money actually came from, according to the indictment.
More than $1 million was also sent to an independent expenditure committee, prosecutors said.
“Mr. Michel is extremely disappointed that so many years after the fact the government would bring charges related to 2012 campaign contributions,” said defense lawyer Barry Pollack. “Mr. Michel is innocent of these charges and looks forward to having the case heard by a jury.”
Representatives for Low said in a statement that he is innocent and the allegations against him “have no basis in fact.”
“Mr. Low has never made any campaign contributions directly or indirectly in the U.S. and he unequivocally denies any involvement in or knowledge of the alleged activities,” the statement said.
Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21, a nonprofit campaign finance watchdog group, said that his organization and another one filed a complaint against Michel to both the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department.
“It’s pretty unusual to get the government to bring criminal campaign finance cases,” he said. “On the other hand, we thought this was a clear case where enforcement was called for.”
Michel faces a separate civil forfeiture complaint accusing him in a scheme to try to get the department to drop an investigation into embezzlement from a Malaysian investment fund. Michel has denied wrongdoing in that case.
The embezzlement from the fund, known as 1MDB, became a political scandal in Malaysia. Looted money paid for jewelry and luxury art and helped finance “The Wolf of Wall Street” and other Hollywood productions films. The Justice Department last year announced charges against Jho Low and two former Goldman Sachs bankers in a money laundering and bribery scheme that pilfered money from the fund, created to spur economic development projects in that country.
One of those bankers, Roger Ng, was extradited from Malaysia earlier this month to face charges in New York.
Kim Kardashian Kanye West New Son
Kardashian West tweeted Friday: “He’s here and he’s perfect!” A spokeswoman said in an email the baby was born Thursday, weighing in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces.
The new baby joins North, Saint and Chicago. Chicago, who’s a year and a half, was also born via a gestational carrier. North, the oldest, is five. The new baby is the couple’s second son after Saint.
Kardashian West later tweeted the new arrival is “Chicago’s twin lol I’m sure he will change a lot but now he looks just like her.”
The birth comes after she disclosed she’s studying to be a lawyer through California rules that allow for professional mentorship over law school.