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Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to new charges in ‘Rust’ film set shooting case

Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to new charges in ‘Rust’ film set shooting case

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Alec Baldwin pleads not guilty to new charges in 'Rust' film set shooting case

Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges over the death of a young woman who was fatally shot on the set of a budget Western, US court documents showed Wednesday.

Baldwin, a producer and star of the film, was charged last month for his role in the 2021 death of Halyna Hutchins during the filming of period piece “Rust” in New Mexico. He was holding a Colt .45 when it discharged, killing Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza.

Baldwin has repeatedly denied responsibility, insisting he did not pull the trigger on the gun, which should not have been loaded with a live round.

The incident sent shockwaves through Hollywood, and led to calls for a tightening of the rules around the use of firearms on movie sets.

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But it also led to accusations of sloppy management, with some in the industry saying regulations were already tight, and that they had simply not been properly followed during the making of “Rust.”

Baldwin’s lawyers Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro have filed a request for a quick trial in order to “minimise public vilification and suspicion and to avoid the hazards of proving his innocence that often arise after a lengthy delay in prosecution.

Baldwin had been due to appear virtually in the New Mexico court on Thursday for an arraignment, but his lawyers submitted a waiver that also contained his plea of not guilty.

Initial manslaughter charges against 65-year-old Baldwin were dropped in April last year, due to what prosecutors called “new facts” that demanded “further investigation and forensic analysis.”

That led to the empaneling of a grand jury, which ultimately handed down the indictment he is now facing — and could see him jailed for up to 18 months, if convicted.

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Baldwin faces two alternative counts of involuntary manslaughter — one involving “negligent use of a firearm” and one of acting “without due caution or circumspection.” It will be up to the jury to decide whether to convict him on one or the other, or neither (but not both).

The charges relate to the action, not to the oversight of the movie, meaning he is being held culpable as an actor, not in his capacity as producer.

Actors’ union SAG-AFTRA criticised the charges, which it said were based on “an incorrect assessment of the actual duties of an actor.”

“An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert,” the union said. “Firearms are provided for use on set under the guidance of multiple expert professionals directly responsible for the safe and accurate operation of that firearm.”

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer — the person responsible for supplying and maintaining weapons — is set to go on trial later in the month on charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence.

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Dave Halls, the film’s safety coordinator and assistant director who handed Baldwin the loaded gun, agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to six months’ probation.

Filming of “Rust” was halted by the tragedy, but resumed last year.

The cinematographer’s widower, Matthew Hutchins, who has already settled a wrongful death suit with “Rust” producers, served as an executive producer on the project.

Director Souza also returned, saying at the time that completing the movie would be “bittersweet” but that the cast and crew “are committed to completing what Halyna and I started.”

Baldwin remains free on bail. 

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Kareena ignores Shahid Kapoor at award show

Kareena ignores Shahid Kapoor at award show

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Kareena ignores Shahid Kapoor at award show

The Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards (DPIFF) 2024 took place in Mumbai on Feb 20. 

On the red carpet, exes Kareena Kapoor Khan and Shahid Kapoor had an awkward encounter, which is now going viral on social media.

It looks like Kareena ‘royally’ ignored Shahid and went on to pose for the paparazzi.

The viral video, which is now doing the rounds, shows Shahid Kapoor holding a trophy in his hands and posing with director duo Raj and DK.

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As the photo session was underway, Kareena Kapoor arrived and greeted the directors as she moved past them to pose for the paparazzi.

Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s past relationship has always made headlines.

The two worked in superhit films like ‘Jab We Met’ and ‘Udta Punjab’. In several interviews, they have spoken about sharing a cordial relationship after they moved on with their respective lives.

But, the recent video seems to indicate otherwise.

Work-wise, Kareena Kapoor Khan will be seen next in ‘The Crew’ and ‘Singham Again’. Shahid Kapoor’s upcoming release is ‘Deva’, which is currently under production.

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Faryal Makhdoom threatens to expose ITV after CBB axe

Faryal Makhdoom threatens to expose ITV after CBB axe

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Faryal Makhdoom threatens to expose ITV after CBB axe

Faryal Makhdoom has threatened to expose ITV after she was dropped from Celebrity Big Brother, just days before the show airs.

The wife of Amir Khan was reportedly signed up for the show.

However, Faryal later said Celebrity Big Brother axed her over her pro-Palestine views on social media.

On Instagram, Faryal said: “As many of you know, I was offered to do a show for which the producers had offered me a few years ago and I had previously refused.

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“This time, they made a very lucrative offer and after a lot of convincing, I finally agreed to sign for the show.

“I also wanted to do this show to make it more inclusive for the Muslim community.

“But it seems from my social media activity and being pro-Palestine is not appropriate for ITV and its sponsors.

“Mind you, ITV and this particular show has had many controversial people on it before, but for some reason, I was singled out.

“I was told to step down 10 days before going in.

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“I have never in my life been treated like this. It’s a violation of free speech.

“This is why cowards with a huge following (especially Muslims) refuse to speak on this issue because they deprive you of opportunities and so you have no choice but to support them and stand them.

“Bear in mind, I was offered substantial money not to speak on this issue but I rejected it.

“For me, no amount of money will ever stop me from speaking on the injustice happening in Palestine.”

ITV responded and denied Faryal’s claims, with a spokesperson saying: “We meet numerous prospective housemates when casting for Celebrity Big Brother, however the final lineup is not confirmed until closer to transmission.

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“As per our welfare protocols, we are unable to comment on the casting process for individual prospective Housemates, other than to say that suitability to participate is determined by a number of factors.”

Faryal hit back, sharing what appeared to be a screenshot of her contract between herself and Celebrity Big Brother producer Banijay.

She wrote: “Attempting to downplay a situation when I have my contract right here.”

In another post, she said: “Do better with the lies ITV.

“I had gone through all of the relevant and necessary assessments, including a mental health assessment.

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George Michael honoured with UK collectible coin

George Michael honoured with UK collectible coin

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George Michael honoured with UK collectible coin

Late British singer-songwriter George Michael is being honoured with a personalised collectible coin.

Britain’s Royal Mint said on Monday the new coin, which depicts Michael wearing his trademark sunglasses, pays tribute to the music star’s 1987 hit solo single “Faith”.

Officially approved by Michael’s estate, it was designed by artist and sculptor Sandra Deiana.

“From his debut with WHAM! to becoming one of the bestselling solo musicians of all time, George Michael is a global superstar whose work has inspired and influenced generations with his music and his unique style,” said Rebecca Morgan, director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint.

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“Loved by millions of fans worldwide, we are delighted to be introducing an official UK coin celebrating his life and legacy,” she said in a statement.

Michael, who rose to stardom in the 1980s with Wham! before embarking on a successful solo career, died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53.

Wham!’s enduring 1984 festive song “Last Christmas” finally secured the “Christmas Number 1” spot for the first time on the UK music charts in December, 39 years after its release.

The new coin is the latest addition to the Royal Mint’s “Music Legends” series, which has previously honoured David Bowie, Elton John and Queen with coins, and will be available to purchase from Monday.

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