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Trump appeals again to delay 'Apprentice' contestant's suit

President Donald Trump wants New York's highest court to delay a defamation suit filed by a former "Apprentice" contestant who accused him of unwanted groping and kissing.

Trump's lawyers filed notice late Monday that they're asking the state Court of Appeals to freeze Summer Zervos' suit while a lower appellate court considers Trump's request to dismiss it or postpone it until after his presidency.

The president has denied Zervos' claims, and his lawyers formally did so in a filing late Tuesday. They also argue that he can't be sued in a state court while he's president.

Zervos' lawyer, Mariann Wang, said she looked forward "to proving that his denials are baseless."

She also noted that Trump has lost bids so far to delay the case.

"And for good reason," Wang added in a statement. "No one is above the law."

Zervos, a California restaurateur, appeared in 2006 on Trump's former reality show, "The Apprentice." She says he made unwelcome advances when she sought career advice in 2007.

Zervos was among more than a dozen women who came forward late in the 2016 presidential race to say Trump had sexually harassed or assaulted them.

Trump denied all the claims, saying they were "100 percent fabricated" and "totally false" and his accusers were "liars." He specifically contested Zervos' allegations in a statement and retweeted a message that included her photo and described her claims as a "hoax."

Zervos' suit argues Trump defamed her by calling her a liar. She says his words hurt her reputation, harmed her business and led to threats against her.

She's seeking a retraction, an apology and compensatory and punitive damages.

Trump's attorneys have said his remarks were "non-defamatory opinions" protected by the First Amendment. In Tuesday's filing, they also said his statements were true.

A Manhattan judge ruled in March that the case could go forward. Last week, a mid-level appeals court turned down Trump's bid to halt information-gathering in the case while appeals judges weigh his argument that a private citizen can't sue a sitting president in a state court.

Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz said last week there was "no valid reason" to reject the request.

Zervos' lawyers have issued subpoenas seeking a range of information about Trump's behavior toward women, including any Trump campaign documents concerning any woman who accused him of inappropriate touching and any unaired "Apprentice" footage that might feature Trump discussing female contestants in a sexual or inappropriate way.

A pregnant Claire Danes mulls motherhood stress in new film

A radiant Claire Danes walked the red carpet for the New York premiere of her new film, "A Kid Like Jake." She was glowing for a good reason — not just a new movie.

"I'm quite pregnant, but feeling good so far," Danes told The Associated Press. The actress is in her second trimester. It will be the second child for Danes and husband, Hugh Dancy.

Her co-star, Jim Parsons, was feeling good, too, though he strolled in with a cane and walking cast. It was the result of an onstage accident he sustained during his Broadway play, "The Boys in the Band."

"I injured it going to curtain call. I don't have any physical feats in this play that require me to jump or anything like that, I just tripped going down a goddamn stair, and cracked my foot and tore a ligament in my ankle," Parsons said.

As for the film, Danes and Parsons play the parents of a 4-year old boy named Jake who likes dressing up as a princess. The couple wonders if they should exploit Jake's gender nonconformity to gain an edge in school applications.

Danes identified with the challenge of finding the right school, because she was experiencing a similar issue while making the film.

"I related immediately to the story," she said. "When I shot the movie, my son was 4 years old, and I had just gone through that gauntlet of applying to kindergartens here in New York City, which is a unique kind of torture, really."

While the story deals with the topical discussion of gender identity, it's told through the lens of parenting, so it could easily apply to other types of family struggles. Danes said it taps into "that anxiety that we parents have that our children might be vulnerable out in the world."

Parsons agrees: "There's a big blowout fight scene between the parents that me and Claire play in this. And the thing I've heard many, many times is people saying, 'I've had the exact same argument, not about this obviously, but basically the exact same argument.'"

___

Follow John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci

A farewell to the road for Paul Simon

Farewell tours don't always mean farewell, but are a ripe time for appreciation and appraisal. Paul Simon's concerts and a new biography offer the opportunity for both.

Simon's "Homeward Bound" tour began last week in Vancouver and takes him across North America, to Europe and an eventual conclusion with three dates back home in New York City.

Simon, who's 76, isn't retiring. He has an album due out this fall and promises he'll still occasionally appear on stage. Since he started writing songs as a teen-ager, it's hard to imagine that impulse shutting off forever. He's done with the idea of long concert tours, though, so if you live in Greensboro, North Carolina, Austin, Texas or Orlando, Florida, and want to see him perform, this is probably it.

The death of his lead guitarist and friend, Vincent N'guini, last December influenced his decision to step away, Simon said in a statement when the tour was announced. (He has declined interview requests).

"Mostly, though, I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing," he said.

The set list from the tour's opener in Vancouver indicates that he's exploring the breadth of his career — from Simon & Garfunkel favorites like "Mrs. Robinson" and "America" to touchstones from "Graceland" and recent fare "Dazzling Blue" and "Rewrite." With a 16-piece band, he often searches for new ways to tell familiar stories.

"He was far more a curious musician than a self-congratulatory, self-repeating pop star," wrote Jon Pareles of The New York Times in his review of opening night.

Simon's musical restlessness sets him apart from many peers, said Robert Hilburn, author of the just-released book "Paul Simon: The Life." Simon was interviewed by Hilburn for the book. Many of Simon's contemporaries aren't interested in pushing boundaries or have fans who resist if they do. Simon's last few albums have been adventurous, earning him critical and commercial success.

Many people forget that Simon spent years as a mediocre writer searching for pop hits until his breakthrough song, "The Sound of Silence," Hilburn said.

"Once he became this great songwriter, he realized right away that you're always in jeopardy," he said. "There are always these distractions and temptations. He had this determination and intelligence to know that music is the most important thing — that you could never master it and never take it for granted."

Hilburn believes that the desire to stretch himself musically was the biggest factor in Simon's break with partner Art Garfunkel in 1970, not the famous prickly relationship between the childhood chums. "If he hadn't left Simon & Garfunkel, he'd have burned out like all the others," Hilburn said.

The two are more distant than ever after an unpleasant end to the "Old Friends" tour in 2012, and Garfunkel declined requests to be interviewed for Hilburn's biography. So it would be wise not to expect another reunion soon.

For the book, Hilburn pressed Simon to reveal details of the 2014 incident where Simon and his wife, Edie Brickell, were arrested on disorderly conduct charges for a fight at their Connecticut home. Without setting the record straight, it would remain a defining image of their marriage, he argued. Simon refused; instead, a photo of him and Brickell later renewing their vows at their Montauk, New York, home is in the book, standing as Simon's testimony to the endurance of their relationship.

Even though two of his three wives — Brickell and Carrie Fisher — were celebrities in their own right when they were married, Simon has generally been reluctant to feed the media machine. Hilburn believes that has cost him popularity through the years. Instead, people know Simon through his songs, and they're likely to be remembered long after he's gone, he said.

In fact, that legacy drives the album he's been working on for release this fall. He records again some of the compositions he's particularly proud of that were lost along the way in terms of public attention. One song on the Vancouver playlist, "Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War," is a likely target.

Even though Hilburn was the first biographer that Simon cooperated with, they had their clashes. Hilburn wrote that he feared the project was close to breaking down. But ultimately he said Simon kept his word that Hilburn would be the final arbiter of what was written, and gradually opened up.

"With all of the success he's had, he still loves it when people love the music," Hilburn said. "He wants people to love the music, not necessarily to like him. But I think if they got to know him, they will get to like him."

Marc Summers returning to ‘Double Dare’ reboot in new role, Liza Koshy to host

The new host of Nickelodeon’s reboot of “Double Dare” was announced by the network Tuesday, and it’s not Marc Summers -- although he will be on the show in a new role.

YouTuber and actress Liza Koshy will host the new version of the classic late ‘80s, early ‘90s children’s game show. According to a news release, Marc Summers, the host of the original show, “returns to give color commentary on the challenges, lending his vast knowledge of the game and expertise to each episode.”

>> Read more trending news 

“I can’t think of many shows like ‘Double Dare’ that have the ability to bond people together -- those who grew up watching the original series can now pass along their love for this game show to today’s kids,” Summers said in a statement. “It’s an honor to be a part of this reboot.”

The competition features two teams that compete to win prizes by answering trivia questions, completing messy physical challenges and going through the show’s signature obstacle course, which includes a human hamster wheel and the “Double Dare” giant nose.

“This is a dream that I have been dreaming to live!” Koshy said in a statement. “From watching Double Dare to hosting it!? I am ready for a summer of slime and nose picking.”

The reboot, which consists of 40 new episodes, premieres June 25 at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon.

Avicii's family says DJ-producer's funeral will be private

The family of late Swedish DJ-producer Avicii says his funeral will be private.

In a statement released Tuesday, Avicii's family says the funeral will include "people who were closest" to the performer. The family also asked the media to respect their decision.

They added that no more information about the funeral will be made publicly.

Avicii, born Tim Bergling, was found dead last month in Muscat, Oman at age 28. He earned Grammy nominations, had success on U.S. radio and performed his music around the world at music festivals.

He retired from touring in 2016. He had in the past suffered acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking. After having his gallbladder and appendix removed in 2014, he canceled a series of shows in attempt to recover.

For Robert Indiana, 'LOVE' was a complicated relationship

Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, died at his secluded island home off the Maine coast having never found the type of lasting love that was celebrated by thousands through his iconic work.

The artist's endearing image of LOVE is instantly recognizable around the world. Couples have their photo taken at the LOVE sculpture in Philadelphia, and the iconic image was used on postage stamps.

But the man behind the art grew up in a household where the word "love" was never spoken, and he never found a lasting relationship, said Barbara Haskell, curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

"The word was never used in his family growing up. He had a complicated relationship with the word," Haskell said.

Indiana died Saturday from respiratory failure at his home in a converted Odd Fellows Hall, a fraternal order lodge, on Vinalhaven Island, 15 miles off the mainland, said James Brannan, his attorney. He was 89.

Friends had expressed concern for his well-being because the reclusive artist had not been heard from for some time.

A lawsuit filed in New York City the day before his death suggested he was purposefully isolated by his caretakers.

Brannan declined to comment on the situation.

Indiana created a lifetime of art but he's best known for LOVE, spelled with two letters to a line and with a tilted "O." It's been transformed into sculptures around the world, sometimes in different languages, from Spain to Israel to Japan.

"In some ways he was perhaps seen as the proverbial one-hit wonder because 'LOVE' was so immensely iconic and immensely huge in pop culture," said Dan Mills, the director at Bates College Museum of Art. "For better or for worse, it overshadowed some of his other contributions."

Haskell compared the image to "American Gothic," the painting by Grant Wood of a man with a pitchfork and a woman in front of a farmhouse . The public knows those images even if they don't know the creators, she noted.

Indiana, who was born Robert Clark in the state of Indiana, left behind the art scene in New York and retreated in 1978 to Maine, living on Vinalhaven.

He told The Associated Press in 2009 that he moved to his house — which a benefactor bought for him — when he needed a place to go after his lease ran out on his five-story studio and gallery in the Bowery section of New York City.

His desire for solitude was legendary.

In 2014, he disappointed dozens of fans by failing to make an appearance outside his home for an event dubbed International HOPE Day, which was inspired by his creativity.

Some of his long-time friends became worried about him in recent months.

Kathleen Rogers, a friend and former publicist, said she was so concerned that six to eight weeks ago she contacted the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to investigate.

She said she wants him to be remembered as an eccentric and inspiring artist, not as a man who shut out friends and closed off his studio.

"He was reclusive, cantankerous and sometimes difficult. But he was a very loyal, loving man. He was the architect of love," she said.

A DHHS spokeswoman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Although his iconic "LOVE" tended to overshadow everything else, he never stopped producing art. That included fashioning a "HOPE" design, similar to "LOVE," in honor of former President Barack Obama.

The Whitney Museum of American Art staged a 2013 exhibit, "Robert Indiana: Beyond Love." In Maine, Mills was inspired by the Whitney's exhibition to produce a 2016 exhibition, "Robert Indiana: Now and Then."

In the end, Indiana found love through his art and adoration from the public. But real love, Indiana recognized, was a "dangerous commodity" that can die out and lead to disappointment, Haskell said.

"On one hand he accepted that love became a symbol that brought him international renown," she said. "But for him love also has this element of fragility and precariousness."

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

R. Kelly sexually abused and demeaned a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment and infected her with herpes, according to a lawsuit that furthers a string of misconduct accusations against the platinum-selling singer.

Faith Rodgers said in the suit filed Monday in New York that the "I Believe I Can Fly" singer "mentally, sexually and verbally" abused her during a roughly yearlong relationship.

Kelly's management team declined to comment Tuesday but previously denied claims that Rodgers made in a police report filed in Dallas in April.

Rodgers' lawsuit includes some of the same allegations and adds to them, painting a portrait of forceful sex, humiliation, unwanted sex tapes and sometimes confinement by one of pop music's best-selling — and most embattled — artists.

Rodgers, 20, said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning" that Kelly, 51, instructed her to call him "daddy" and told her his goal was to teach her how to have sex like a "mature woman."

Her suit comes as Kelly faces growing criticism after years of being accused of troubling conduct toward girls and young women.

The Time's Up campaign against sexual harassment and assault took aim at the R&B singer last month. This month, a Chicago concert was canceled after protests. Spotify removed his music from its promoted playlists and algorithms following a #MuteRKelly social media campaign.

Rodgers said she met the three-time Grammy winner after a March 2017 concert in San Antonio. Two months later, she said he flew her to New York to attend a show.

She told "CBS This Morning" that she "submitted" to sex when he came to her hotel room and demanded she take off her clothes. She said she didn't want to have sex with him but "just froze up."

"He has this type of, like, intimidation right off the bat. You know? So I was just waiting for it to be over," she said.

Her lawsuit says Kelly disregarded her when she said she was "not ready to have sex" with him.

"After initiating non-permissive, painful and abusive sex with plaintiff, defendant, R. Kelly, immediately insulted and criticized" Rodgers "concerning her 'lack of participation' and physical inadequacies," the suit says.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they decide to make their names public, which Rodgers has done.

Kelly is a three-time Grammy winner who has sold close to 30 million albums, with hits including "Ignition," ''I Believe I Can Fly," and "Bump N' Grind."

Kelly has won multiple Grammys, sold close to 30 million albums and has written hits for Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Aaliyah and more. He has crafted pop anthems and love songs, but he is defined by sexually explicit songs such as "Feelin' on Yo Booty," ''Your Body's Calling Me," ''Sex Me" and even more explicit fare.

He has long been accused of behavior that has ranged from questionable to allegedly criminal.

He wed Aaliyah, then his 15-year-old protege, in 1994. The marriage was later annulled and the two refused to confirm that it happened.

He was later accused of child pornography after a widely circulated videotape appeared to show him having sex with, and urinating on, a teenage girl. He was acquitted of all charges in 2008 and continued to rack up hits and sell out stadiums around the country.

In recent years, a series of women has come forward to accuse him of everything from sexual coercion to physical abuse.

That includes parents who said their daughter was being held by Kelly as part of a sex cult, and a woman who said she was in a long-term abusive relationship with him. Kelly and the girl whose parents came forward denied the allegations against him.

Norman Rockwell 'Four Freedoms' exhibit opens this weekend

An exhibit featuring Norman Rockwell's iconic "Four Freedoms" paintings is opening this weekend.

The New-York Historical Society announced Tuesday that "Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms" will run from May 25 to Sept. 2. It will then tour everywhere from Houston to Normandy, France, by the fall of 2020.

Rockwell's 1943 illustrations, which are among the most famous in American history, were a response to President Franklin Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech from two years earlier. The illustrations are called "Freedom of Speech," ''Freedom of Worship," ''Freedom from Fear" and "Freedom from Want."

Reese Witherspoon launching audiobook project

Reese Witherspoon is launching another literary project.

The Oscar-winning actress is collaborating with the audio producer-distributor Audible on audio editions of works highlighted in her Hello Sunshine book club. Witherspoon has recommended Curtis Sittenfeld's story collection "You Think It, I'll Say It" and other works by women. The project with Audible, owned by Amazon.com, will also include original audio productions.

In a statement Tuesday, Witherspoon said she wanted to "expand our book club experience" and also looked forward to working with women narrators. The actress narrated the audio book for one of the most talked-about novels in recent years, Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman."

Luke Bryan Sings New Single On American Idol Finale, “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset”

Last night was the season finale of American Idol’s first season after it was rebooted by ABC. And your winner was Maddie Poppe!!

The judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, all performed but one of our favorites was Luke Bryans brand new single that was co-written by Maren Morris and her hubby Ryan Hurd. It’s called “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset.” What do ya think of it?

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