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48 Abuse of Women News Articles
for October 2018
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source
10-26-18 The President says it's OK
A Florida man who was charged with groping a woman on a Southwest Airlines flight allegedly told authorities that the “president of the United States says it’s OK to grab women by their private parts.” Bruce Michael Alexander, 49, was charged with abusive sexual contact after a woman said he’d touched her breast twice. Alexander invoked President Trump after an FBI agent arrested him at the gate.
10-26-18 Bill Clinton’s history as a predator
Bill and Hillary Clinton are about to embark on an extended speaking tour of the country, said Joshua Kendall. Don’t expect them to address the evidence that “the 42nd president is actually a sexual predator who has long been hiding in plain sight.” Everyone knows about Clinton’s affair with his 22-year-old intern, Monica Lewinsky, but the Lewinsky scandal was “just one link in a long chain of predatory behavior” dating back decades. Several women—Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, and Paula Jones—made credible accusations of physical assault and harassment that received attention during Clinton’s presidency, and there are at least a half-dozen other women who barely got any attention. Now there’s a new accuser, Leslie Millwee, who says Clinton repeatedly sexually assaulted her while she was working as a TV journalist and he was governor of Arkansas. These women’s accusations are no less credible or disturbing than the one Christine Blasey Ford made against Brett Kavanaugh—and in some cases are backed by more corroborating evidence. In the #MeToo era, “it’s time to listen carefully to what Leslie Millwee and all of Clinton’s other accusers have to say.”
10-26-18 Being a man in #MeToo
Anthony Rapp agonized over whether to come forward about Kevin Spacey, said Adam Vary in BuzzFeed.com. Rapp knew he could suffer vicious blowback for accusing the acclaimed actor of making unwanted sexual advances in 1986, when the 26-year-old Spacey and the 14-year-old Rapp starred in a Broadway play. “I’m taking on someone who’s beloved,” he remembers thinking. “How much can I stand?” After reading the first accusations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein last October, Rapp decided he had to speak out. A day after his account was published, Netflix suspended production of House of Cards. “I was like, Oh, my God, this is an unintended consequence,” Rapp says. He didn’t want to hurt the careers of Spacey’s colleagues, but after an avalanche of accusations from other young men, Spacey was promptly fired from the show. Rapp thinks the response highlights the difference between male and female victims in #MeToo. Despite some angry social media posts from House of Cards fans, Rapp says he’s been treated “overwhelmingly” positively. Now 46, Rapp says he believes that Spacey was driven by personal “demons,” but adds, “Every human being has some form of a demon. The question is, Can you wrestle with them enough so you don’t hurt other people.”
10-25-18 Desirée Mariottini killing: Migrants held in Italy over girl's death
Three migrants from Senegal and Nigeria have been arrested by police investigating the rape and killing of a girl whose death has been seized upon by the populist right. The body of Desirée Mariottini, 16, was found in a derelict building in an area of Rome known for drug trafficking. She had been drugged and gang raped. Right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini hailed the arrests, condemning those behind the murder as "worms". It would not go unpunished, he said. Mr Salvini, who leads the anti-immigration League party, has spearheaded measures aimed at scrapping protection for migrants not given refugee status, as well as stopping NGO ships carrying rescued migrants from landing in Italy. When he visited the scene of Ms Mariottini's murder on Wednesday close to Rome's main Termini station, he was given a mixed reception of cheers and insults. There were shouts of "jackal", an insult used by critics who have accused him of taking political advantage of human tragedy. Investigators believe the victim fell unconscious for several hours last week after being given a cocktail of drugs by several people, and died of an overdose. She was sexually abused before she died.
10-24-18 XXXTentacion: Secret recording has domestic abuse and stabbing confession
Audio has emerged of late rapper XXXTentacion apparently admitting assaulting his ex-girlfriend and stabbing nine people The recording was made in secret and is believed to date from 2016, when he was accused of aggravated battery of a pregnant woman. The Miami-Dade County state attorney's office said he "makes admissions to multiple criminal acts" in the audio. The 20-year-old was shot and killed in south Florida in June. At the time of his death, the star, real name Jahseh Onfroy, was awaiting trial for domestic violence charges, harassment and witness tampering - all of which he denied. The Miami-Dade County state attorney said the recording was thought to have been made around the time of his arrest in October 2016 for the assault and false imprisonment of his ex-girlfriend, Geneva Ayala. A spokesman for the state attorney's office said: "Both defense and state believed the tape had confessions of criminal activity on it." In the recording, the rapper discusses his ex-girlfriend, who he believed had cheated on him. He can be heard saying: "I put my source of happiness in another person, which was a mistake initially, right? But she fell through on every occasion until now." He goes on to say how he began assaulting her, adding: "Now she's scared. That girl is scared for her life. Which I understand." Earlier in the recording, he vowed to kill her "if she play with me". (Webmaster's comment: Typical abusive male brute!)
10-24-18 US white nationalist Richard Spencer's wife says he abused her
The wife of US white nationalist Richard Spencer has accused him of being "physically, verbally and emotionally abusive", US media report. In papers filing for divorce, Nina Koupriianova said on one occasion in 2011 Mr Spencer dragged her down the stairs, resulting in bruises. She said that in 2014 he again "attacked" her when she was four-months pregnant. In comments to the Associated Press, Mr Spencer denied being an abusive person. Richard Spencer is a figurehead for US far-right groups and popularised the term "alternative right". Ms Koupriianova's divorce papers were filed in a Montana Court in June but were first reported by Buzzfeed News on Tuesday. According to the report, Ms Koupriianova's lawyers said she had been "reluctant to call police or seek an order of protection for fear of further reprisal". "Much of the abuse has occurred in the presence of the parties' children," the court documents said. Speaking to the Associated Press news agency on Tuesday, Mr Spencer said he was "not an abusive person" and that his wife was "never in a dangerous situation". Richard Spencer first rose to prominence when he led chants of "Hail Trump" to a Nazi-saluting group in Washington after the US president's election victory. He was also one of the organisers of a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year that left one woman dead. (Webmaster's comment: Why are we not surprised!)
10-23-18 WHO calls for ban on ‘virginity tests’, including those used by police
The World Health Organization wants governments worldwide to ban the ‘virginity tests’ used by some police, doctors and employers to assess women and girls. Doctors, police and employers should be banned from using so-called virginity tests on women and girls, and those who continue to use them should be prosecuted, the World Health Organization has declared. Such tests are used around the world in rape investigations and even in hiring women for certain professions. The WHO is calling on governments to ban these practices, and to educate doctors, police and others that these tests don’t indicate past sexual activity. For centuries, many people have believed that the hymen – a fringe of tissue inside most vaginas – can be used as a sign of virginity. But there is no evidence that the hymen can reveal if a woman has had sex, as underscored by a review of available research co-authored by the WHO’s Claudia Garcia-Moreno last year. In one study, doctors found that the differences between the hymens of women who had or hadn’t had penetrative intercourse were insignificant. Another study found that hymen inspection accurately identified less than 10 per cent of the women who had experienced penetration. Yet in Indonesia, a woman wanting to join the military must have a “virginal” hymen. Virginity tests are also used to humiliate women in prisons, including demonstrators in Egypt’s 2011 Arab Spring. In South Africa, girls who fail virginity tests may be ostracised, and some employers have held policies of only hiring women who pass. Women who fail virginity tests – regardless of whether they have ever had sex – suffer socially and psychologically, says the WHO. Some attempt suicide; others are killed by their families.
10-23-18 South Africa shocked by live rape trial of Timothy Omotoso
A televised rape trial in South Africa has prompted a furious public backlash after a witness - who says she was raped by her pastor from the age of 14 - was subjected to a lengthy and, at times, aggressively intimate cross-examination by the lawyer representing a 60-year-old Nigerian televangelist, Timothy Omotoso, who denies the allegation. Over the weekend, Mr Omotoso's church, in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, was forced to shut its door after angry crowds besieged the building, while a Sunday newspaper reported that the woman who gave evidence against him - Cheryl Zondi, now a 22-year-old student - had received death threats ahead of the trial. The trial - the first prominent rape case to be broadcast live in a country where more than 100 rapes are reported to the police each day - has attracted huge interest, and raised difficult questions about victims' rights, impartiality and whether justice is best served by having television cameras in courtrooms. Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela's granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela - who said in 2017 that she had been raped by a former boyfriend - is one of many South African women who have voiced support for Ms Zondi, linking her experience to the global #MeToo movement. Ms Mandela argued that the student's treatment during three days in the witness box helped explain why so many rape victims stay silent in a nation with notoriously high levels of sexual violence. "I really feel pain for this young woman and I am so proud to see how courageous she's been on the witness stand," Ms Mandela told South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper. Mr Omotoso and two female co-accused, from the Jesus Dominion International church, based in South Africa's Eastern Cape, are facing 97 charges, ranging from sexual assault to rape and human trafficking. They deny all the charges.
10-23-18 Kavanaugh case: Graffiti at Yale supports Blasey Ford
Quotes from the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her, have appeared on the campus of Yale University. Locals noticed the spray-painted graffiti at parts of the New Haven campus, including outside the university's law school, on Monday. Mr Kavanaugh, who denied the claims, is an alumnus of Yale Law School. He was confirmed to the Supreme Court earlier this month. His nomination has deeply divided US public opinion. Many of those who believe Ms Ford see her case as a test of whether the #MeToo movement has changed the US. Supporters of Judge Kavanaugh have seen the case as politically motivated to bar the conservative judge from joining the Supreme Court. In public testimony ahead of the confirmation, Prof Blasey Ford said she had been assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh when they were both teenagers in 1982. Fellow Yale University classmate Deborah Ramirez then accused the judge of exposing himself to her at a party. A third woman, Julie Swetnick, alleged she was the victim of a gang rape in 1982 at a party the judge attended. Judge Kavanaugh denies all the claims - and allegations that he used to drink to the point of memory loss in his youth. Supreme Court judges hold the position for life and the nine-member court has the final say on US law, including on contentious social issues and challenges to government policy. According to media reports, the spay-painted quotes were washed off later in the day. The graffiti isn't the first time Yale Law School students have protested against Judge Kavanaugh. In late September, bulletin boards across the campus were plastered with notes saying "We believe Dr Christine Blasey Ford."
10-23-18 'Feminism is sexist': The women backing Brazil's Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro is one of the most controversial politicians in recent Brazilian history. The far-right candidate, who has a wide lead in the polls ahead of the second round in Brazil's presidential election, is a man who speaks his mind. And he has revealed his homophobic, sexist and racist viewpoints while doing so. His supporters have brushed his comments off as bad but innocent jokes or have simply dismissed reports of his more controversial remarks as fake news. The list of offensive statements he has made is long. He certainly likes to stir. He told a congresswoman she "did not deserve to be raped" because she was "too ugly". He has justified why women earn less than men by saying they are expensive to employ because they continue to draw a salary while on maternity leave. He even said that the birth of his daughter had "made him weaker". They are comments that experts thought would make it hard for Mr Bolsonaro to win over the female electorate. But they were wrong. The most recent opinion poll by Datafolha suggested 43% of female voters would vote for Mr Bolsonaro, compared to 39% who said they would vote for his rival, the Workers' Party candidate, Fernando Haddad. "There are women who hate him but we love him," says Carina Soledade, a mother of three who works as a secretary in a fertility clinic. "He's a man of a certain age, he's a military man, he's explosive. But that's him. Lots of things people accuse him of saying are twisted by the media." One of his more active and outspoken supporters is Vanessa Pacheco. The 27-year-old radiology technician set up a Facebook page in early September called Women with Bolsonaro, which she says has two million members.
10-19-18 Can #MeToo change our culture?
Indian women are naming and shaming their abusers, said The Indian Express. The #MeToo movement has unleashed “a crescendo of rage, trauma, and anguish” in this country as women tell their stories of being propositioned at work, followed, harassed, groped, and even raped. They have revealed “a toxic, patriarchal culture so ingrained as to be inevitable” and a justice system that fails them at every level. Every profession is implicated. Journalist turned politician M.J. Akbar now has at least 15 accusers; comedian Utsav Chakraborty faces numerous allegations. Times of India editor KR Sreenivas has been put on leave after being accused by seven women of sexual misconduct. To many men, this public pillorying seems like anarchy. Can a reputation now be destroyed by a tweet? But they must remember that women are going public because other routes have failed them. Complaints of harassment to superiors have brought no relief; complaints to police are too often ignored. This movement hasn’t gone too far—it hasn’t gone far enough. It needs to spread to the “startup cultures riddled by the bro code” and especially to the informal work sector, “where the weakest of women battle the most unequal working conditions.” Indian institutions must accept their complicity in “pervasive injustice”—and change. It’s going to be “a long, fraught journey.”
10-19-18 Baldwin’s #MeToo paranoia
Alec Baldwin doesn’t think #MeToo is a witch hunt, said Lacey Rose in The Hollywood Reporter, but he still worries he’ll end up getting burned at the stake. “I get it a lot online,” says Baldwin, who has a well-earned reputation as a hothead. “People will write, ‘You seem like the kind of guy who would do that.’ Or, ‘You’re next, aren’t you?’ And it’s painful.” Last year, in the immediate aftermath of the reporting on Harvey Weinstein, a woman Baldwin worked with on a film set in the ’80s called to warn him that people were asking questions about their relationship. “She goes, ‘Alec, they called me and they said that a wardrobe person said you sexually molested me and that you constantly had me sitting on your lap and they asked me for a comment.’ I go, ‘My God, what did you say?’ And she said, ‘I told them it was ridiculous, that you never groped me.’” No story was published, but the conversation gave Baldwin pause. “I just remember thinking in that moment, ‘Wow, they’re looking for people. This is a fire that needs fresh wood, and they’re coming for me.’ What worries me is that this is a fire that needs constant kindling.”
10-19-18 Of Course
Between 2010 and 2016, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security received 84 complaints that Border Patrol and other U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers sexually abused female migrants, including children and teens. The inspector general’s office opened just seven investigations, none of which appears to have resulted in criminal charges.
10-19-18 ‘Game on,’ again
A federal judge this week threw out a defamation lawsuit against President Trump from adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, sparking a new and ugly exchange of insults. Daniels has asserted she had sex with Trump in 2006; she received a hush payment of $130,000 from the Trump campaign. She filed the suit in April after he called her claim that she’d been threatened to keep silent “a total con job.” Daniels has another pending lawsuit over a nondisclosure agreement she signed regarding the alleged affair. The judge in the defamation case said Trump’s tweet amounted to ordinary “rhetorical hyperbole” in politics and ordered Daniels to pay Trump’s legal fees. In response, Trump posted on Twitter, “Now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer,” Michael Avenatti. Avenatti hit back, calling Trump a “disgusting misogynist.” Daniels offered up her own salacious nickname, tweeting at Trump, “Game on, Tiny.”
10-19-18 Sabarimala: The Indian god who bars women from his temple
The Sabarimala temple in the south Indian state of Kerala this week opened its doors to women of all ages for the first time after a historic Supreme Court ruling. However no women devotees have yet entered as violent protesters have blocked their way. Two women - journalist Kavitha Jagdal and social activist Rehana Fathima - managed to reach the main temple premises on Thursday. More than 100 policemen protected them from stone-throwing protesters as they walked the last 5km (3-mile) stretch to the temple. But they had to return after a stand-off with devotees metres from Sabarimala's sanctum. The protesters have also included many women - they have participated in rallies, blocked roads and checked vehicles heading towards the temple to see if any women of a "menstruating age" - deemed to be those aged between 10 and 50 years - were trying to enter. The temple attracts millions of devotees from across the country every year. Part of the violent opposition to the Supreme Court order to reverse the temple's historical ban on women is because protesters feel the ruling goes against the wishes of the deity, Lord Ayappa, himself. Hinduism regards menstruating women as unclean and bars them from participating in religious rituals. But while most Hindu temples allow women to enter as long as they are not menstruating, the Sabarimala temple is unusual in that it was one of the few that did not allow women in a broad age group to enter at all. Hindu devotees say that the ban on women entering Sabarimala is not about menstruation alone - it is also in keeping with the wish of the deity who is believed to have laid down clear rules about the pilgrimage to seek his blessings. Every year, millions of male devotees trek up a steep hill, often barefoot, to visit the shrine. They also undertake a rigorous 41-day fast, abstaining from smoking, alcohol, meat, sex and contact with menstruating women before they begin the journey.
10-18-18 Harvey Weinstein accuser told to delete phone files
One of Harvey Weinstein's accusers was told by police to delete any files from her phone that she wanted to keep private, prosecutors have admitted. Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said the complainant was told by a detective to "delete anything she did not want anyone to see". Mr Weinstein's lawyer said the development "undermines" the case. The Hollywood producer faces charges involving alleged sex assaults on two women. Mr Weinstein denies the charges. "My office had asked Complainant 2 to produce any and all cell phones that she might have used during the time she interacted with the defendant," Ms Illuzzi-Orbon wrote in a letter to Mr Weinstein's lawyer, Ben Brafman. She adds, however, that the woman said she was then advised to remove files "before providing the phones to our office". Despite this advice, the woman still provided the phones used to communicate with Mr Weinstein "without any deletions", Ms Illuzzi-Orbon said. Mr Brafman later released a statement in response to the letter, saying the news "further undermines the integrity of an already deeply flawed indictment of Mr Weinstein". He earlier requested that the entire case be dismissed. Last week a charge against Mr Weinstein by actress Lucia Evans was dismissed by a judge in New York after she was said to have given a differing account of events. Mr Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women.
10-18-18 Steve Penny: Ex-USA Gymnastics head held over Nassar case
The former president and CEO of USA Gymnastics has been arrested for tampering with evidence in relation to the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. Steve Penny had been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly removing documents from a training centre during the investigation into the disgraced former team doctor. The arrest was made in Tennessee on Wednesday. The files have not been recovered. Nassar has been sentenced to more than 300 years for molesting young gymnasts. Mr Penny resigned as head of USA Gymnastics in 2017 during the investigation into Nassar, who assaulted over 300 women under the guise of medical treatment at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. According to the indictment, Mr Penny removed documents relating to Nassar's activities at the Karolyi Ranch training facility in Walker County, Texas with "the purpose of impairing the ongoing investigation by destroying or hiding the documents". Mr Penny is awaiting transfer to Texas, where he faces between two and 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 (£7,635) if found guilty. (Webmaster's comment: Many men will go to any lenghts to protect sexual predators. Blame the woman! Delete the evidence! And Death Threats!)
10-18-18 Marbella Ibarra: Mexican women's football pioneer killed
One of the main promoters of women's football in Mexico, Marbella Ibarra, has been killed. Ms Ibarra, 44, was the founder of Mexico's first professional women's football team, Xolas de Tijuana. Her body, which showed signs of torture, was found wrapped in plastic sheeting in Rosarito, a beach resort south of the border city of Tijuana. She had disappeared last month and her family believe she was kidnapped. The motive behind her murder is unclear. Officials said a post-mortem examination would be carried out to determine the exact cause of her death, but the case was being treated as murder. Her hands and feet had been tied and she had been severely beaten. She is believed to have been killed on Friday but her body was not found until Monday. Investigators say they think her murder is unrelated to her role as coach and football promoter. Most recently Ms Ibarra had dedicated her time to a foundation helping young female footballer players financially so they could have trials with teams other than their local ones. There was an outpouring of grief on social media, with many players recalling the influence Ms Ibarra had had on them and the support she had offered. Her niece Fabiola Ibarra, who plays for Guadalajara-based football club Atlas Femenil and the Mexican national women's team, wrote that she would "hang on to all the beautiful moments I had with you and all that you did for me, you are the best friend, the best aunt and the best coach!" (Webmaster's comment: Many males feel that any women that challenges male supremacy must be eliminated.)
10-17-18 Trump's Stormy Daniels complex
This sexcapade has shown us Trump at his worst — and his weirdest. Another day, another important national conversation about the president and pornography. The good ole U.S. of A., land of the free and home of the brave, purple mountain majesties and all that. Give me your tired, your poor, your 72-year-old TV billionaires yearning to — actually, let's not, okay? Earlier this week a federal judge rejected the defamation lawsuit brought by Stormy Daniels against President Trump. This was always going to happen. Defamation cases are hard to win in this country and almost impossible when they involve two or more public figures. While it is true that in theory the president is not immune from private actions, the path leading, à la Clinton v. Jones, from the Daniels suit to a Lewinsky scandal was always a tangled one at best. The real danger for Trump was simply that the hush money payment arranged by Michael Cohen to cover up Trump's alleged affair with a porn star would be considered an illegal federal campaign contribution and thus grounds for the former's impeachment at the hands of a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. This still seems likely. Trump responded to the judge's dismissal with a syntactically defective tweet — what else — in which he coined another of his famous nicknames, "Horseface," for Daniels. If you are like me, you might have asked yourself why he went out of his way to commit adultery with a woman whose countenance reminds him of a mammal of the family Equidae. Was he ashamed of himself afterward for this reason? Perhaps this explains why he went to such extraordinary lengths to hush up something that his supporters, predictably, laughed off as soon as it became public.
Imagine this thing kissing and slobbering all over you! Yuk!
10-17-18 MJ Akbar: India minister quits after #MeToo allegations
India's junior foreign minister MJ Akbar has resigned after numerous women accused him of sexual harassment and assault, officials have confirmed. The former prominent newspaper editor is the most high profile figure to be named in what is being called India's #MeToo movement. The charges range from "predatory behaviour" to sexual assault. Mr Akbar had earlier filed a criminal defamation case against the female journalist who first named him. He said in a statement that since he had decided to challenge the "false accusations" against him in his "personal capacity", he felt it was appropriate to step down from office. Mr Akbar's resignation came as pressure grew on the government to respond to the allegations being made against him. One of India's most influential editors, he has edited leading English-language newspapers in India, such as The Telegraph and The Asian Age. He was first named last week by journalist Priya Ramani, who retweeted an article she had written for Vogue India a year ago titled "To the Harvey Weinsteins of the world", where she recounted what she called her first experience of workplace harassment.
10-17-18 Sabarimala: Mobs attack women near India Hindu temple
Crowds of angry Hindu devotees have prevented women from entering one of Hinduisms holiest temples despite a historic Supreme Court ruling. Crowds of agitated protesters in Kerala attacked female devotees, many of whom turned back as a result. Several people including an old woman were injured as crowds threw stones at vehicles and attacked police officers. The Sabarimala temple has historically been closed to women of "menstruating age". Hinduism regards menstruating women as unclean and bars them from participating in religious rituals. But while most Hindu temples allow women to enter as long as they are not menstruating, the Sabarimala temple was unusual in that it was one of the few that do not allow women in a broad age group to enter at all. This was overturned by the Supreme Court last month, with judges observing that "the right to practice religion is available to both men and women". The temple did open its doors as directed by the court ruling. However, not a single woman was able to enter because of the protesters.
10-16-18 Kidman: 'Cruise marriage protected me from harassment'
Nicole Kidman has said her marriage to Tom Cruise gave her "protection" from sexual harassment early in her career. The Australian actress married Cruise in 1990 after they starred together in the film Days Of Thunder. She said: "I got married very young, but it definitely wasn't power for me - it was protection. "I married for love, but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed." The couple divorced in 2001. Speaking about Hollywood's harassment scandal, Kidman said: "Of course I've had MeToo moments - since I was little! But do I want to expose them in an article? No. Do they come out in my work? Absolutely." Kidman and Cruise, who during their marriage adopted two children, Isabella, now 25, and son Connor, now 23, divorced in 2001. Kidman said her separation from Cruise forced her to "grow up". She wrote: "I would work, but I was still very much cocooned. So when I came out of it at 32, 33, it's almost like I had to grow up." Kidman married country music singer Keith Urban in 2006. The couple have two daughters together: Sunday, 10, and Faith, seven. The Oscar-winning star's films include Moulin Rouge!, The Hours, Lion, The Others and Dead Calm. (Webmaster's comment: But millions for women have been abused and raped and have yet to speak up against their abusers. They'll not be safe until every one of the abusers has been identified and jailed.)
10-16-18 Judge dismisses Stormy Daniels' defamation case against Trump
A US judge has dismissed adult film star Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump. Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, says she had a sexual affair with Mr Trump in 2006. She filed the case after the president tweeted that she had invented a story about being threatened for speaking out about the alleged relationship. But the judge ruled that the tweet was protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech. Stormy Daniels was also ordered to pay Mr Trump's legal fees, although the amount is yet to be determined. Her lawyer said she would appeal against the decision. Mr Trump has denied any relationship with the actress. In an interview with CBS News earlier this year, Stormy Daniels said a stranger approached her while she was with her young daughter and threatened her. She later issued an image of the man. Mr Trump responded to her account on Twitter, saying: "A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!" The ruling does not affect a separate lawsuit the actress has filed against the president over money she says she was paid by Mr Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, to keep quiet about the alleged affair. In August, Mr Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws during the 2016 presidential election over payments to two women who said they had sexual relationships with Mr Trump. He said he made the payments at Mr Trump's request.
10-15-18 More Than Me CEO temporarily resigns amid Liberia rape scandal
The CEO of a US-backed academy in Liberia has temporarily resigned after a report found that dozens of girls were allegedly raped by an employee. Katie Meyler, the CEO of charity More Than Me, announced she would step aside after a report by ProPublica and Time magazine revealed the abuse. More Than Me says they have taken steps to safeguard girls at the school, which is devoted to women's empowerment. The group has also created a panel to review the investigation. The non-governmental organisation's (NGO) advisory board recommended an independent investigation into allegations of widespread abuse and negligence at the institution, which exists to protect young Liberian girls from sexual abuse and exploitation. In a statement on Monday, a committee of seven Liberian government agencies said it met twice since the story was published on Thursday, with the aim "to taking the appropriate legal actions to protect the children and ensure they are safe", Time magazine reported. The NGO had received almost $600,000 (£456,000) from the US government, and Ms Meyler had been praised by celebrity philanthropists including Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. She had also received an invitation to the White House by former President Barack Obama. During the Ebola epidemic in 2014, western media organisations - including the BBC - profiled Ms Meyler and her Instagram account, where she documented the struggles of the Liberians she met. She was named among Time Magazine's 2014 Person of the Year, which was dedicated to the first responders to the Ebola crisis. More Than Me now runs 19 schools in Liberia, teaching approximately 4,000 students.
10-12-18 #MeToo: One year later, what’s changed?
It’s been one year since the sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein ignited the #MeToo movement, said Riley Griffin, Hannah Recht, and Jeff Green in Bloomberg.com, and the headlines since then have been “dizzying.” At least 429 prominent individuals, mostly men, have been accused of misconduct ranging from lewd comments to serial rape. The #MeToo hashtag has appeared in almost 14 million tweets over the past year. “This is just the beginning,” said Julianne Escobedo Shepherd in Jezebel.com. Powerful men such as Weinstein, comedian Bill Cosby, numerous corporate executives, and dozens of politicians are finally facing consequences for their actions. And despite Republicans’ confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in defiance of sexual assault allegations, society is tilting toward believing victims for the first time in our history. I wish I could be so optimistic, said Roxane Gay in The New York Times. Many of the disgraced men outed by #MeToo are now reportedly eyeing comebacks, including former Today host Matt Lauer and comedian Louis C.K. In recent weeks, journalist John Hockenberry and musician Jian Ghomeshi published self-pitying essays about how their lives have been “ruined.” How telling that “instead of self-reflection, men would reflect on how they had been harmed by their own bad behavior”—with no awareness of how much pain they’ve caused their victims. #MeToo hasn’t made me feel “any safer or more empowered,” said Bre Payton in TheFederalist.com. The movement has become radicalized by far-left feminists who turn gray-area encounters into assaults. “Do we want to live in a world where the details of a bad date could end up in the front pages of every major newspaper?” One year in, #MeToo has just begun “the campaign to change our sexual culture,” said Alyssa Rosenberg in The Washington Post. Many very hard questions still need to be addressed. How do we determine guilt or innocence in cases that don’t end up in court? Given the range of transgressions, from gross come-ons to physical assault, “how do we make sure the penalty matches the harm done?” What are the terms under which some offenders should be forgiven? These questions couldn’t be answered in one year, but we’re finally starting to try. “The agonizing stories we’ve heard over the past 12 months have done a great deal to make it possible to do that work at all.”
10-12-18 Men’s Health/SurveyMonkey Poll Watch
One year after the #MeToo movement began, 43% of men say their behavior toward women has not changed at all, while 32% of men are more careful about their actions and their words.
10-12-18 Public Religion Research Institute Poll Watch
60% say they would not vote for a candidate who had been accused of sexual harassment by multiple people, while 32% say they would still consider voting for the candidate if they agreed with him on the issues.
10-12-18 Republican men's hatred
Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, is still receiving “unending” death threats, and her family will not be able to return to their home for “quite some time,” her lawyer says.
10-12-18 Nobel laureates
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Congolese surgeon Denis Mukwege and Iraqi human rights activist Nadia Murad for their campaigns to end rape as a weapon of war. Mukwege, 63, opened a hospital that specializes in repairing fistulas—tears between the vagina and anus that can be caused by a violent rape. He has operated on some 20,000 women and girls and has braved death threats to raise awareness of their plight. Murad, 25, was abducted by ISIS in 2014 along with thousands of other women and girls from Iraq’s Yazidi minority and forced into sexual slavery. After she escaped, she became an activist for other sexual slavery survivors.
10-12-18 Sexual assault case
Canada’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear a sexual assault case that has generated loud protests from indigenous and women’s rights groups. Trucker Bradley Barton was found not guilty in 2015 of murder or manslaughter in the 2011 death of Cindy Gladue, 36, an indigenous woman and sex worker. Gladue bled to death from a large cut to her pelvic tissue; Barton said the wound was caused by consensual rough sex; prosecutors said it was likely inflicted with a sharp object. The ruling was thrown out by an appeals court—because Gladue was repeatedly referred to as a “native girl” and “prostitute” during the trial, possibly prejudicing the jury. The Supreme Court will now decide whether Barton will face another trial and how the issue of consent is applied to cases involving sex workers.
10-12-18 Biles hopes sharing abuse story will encourage others to speak out
Four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles says she hopes that speaking out about the sexual abuse she suffered will "encourage others to share their stories." Biles is due to compete in the World Gymnastics Championships in Doha.
10-10-18 The women sending postcards to Kavanaugh's accuser
After lawyer Anita Hill accused Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991, she received 25,000 letters from women expressing their support. Mrs Hill suffered a gruelling questioning and the judge was confirmed to the court. But the messages, she wrote in Time Magazine later, "wound up impacting my life in a way I could never have foreseen." Now as the US digests a similar episode of a judge accused of sexual assault taking his place on the bench of the top court in the country, women are once again taking up their pens. On Saturday, when Brett Kavanaugh's position on the Supreme Court was confirmed by the Senate, an idea spread on social media - postcards for Professor Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him. Prof Ford has been unable to return to her home due to "unending" death threats and on Monday President Donald Trump said the professor's claims were "all made up." Mr Kavanaugh has strenuously denied the allegations made by Prof Ford and two other women. On Instagram and Twitter, women replied to the call to write to Prof Ford at her publicly-available work address, sending cards from the US, Canada, Germany, the UK, and as far as Australia. Mathaya Winter, aged 27, lives in Karlsruhe, Germany, where she works in a bakery. "Hearing the story of Prof Ford made me think a lot. I was never political active but her telling her story changed me. I'm so shocked about what's going on," she told the BBC. She felt "helpless" so she decided to do something. "I thanked her for her brave heart and I told her: 'We will fight for you. We believe you.'" Mathaya has a three-year-old daughter, and says that concern for her future as a woman also inspired her to send a card. Amanda (she asked the BBC not to reveal her full identity), from New York, wrote to Prof Ford on Tuesday. "I have been sexually assaulted in a relationship. I can't imagine being in Prof Ford's position and having to see this person in such an official, powerful place. "I think her courage of coming forward is extremely commendable," the 22-year-old explained. "I wanted to tell her she has one more supporter, and to share my story, and say any words of encouragement and comfort." (Webmaster's comment: The bottom line is that most men do not care about rape or sexual abuse of women. They just can't see why it is a problem.)
10-11-18 Melania Trump: 'I'm the most bullied person on the world'
US First Lady Melania Trump has said she started her anti-cyberbullying campaign because she is "the most bullied person on the world". In a wide-ranging interview with ABC News, she also said she does not trust some people who have worked in the West Wing. And she said that women who allege sexual abuse must produce "really hard evidence". The interview was recorded on her trip last week across four African nations. "I could say that I'm the most bullied person on the world," the first lady said. "You're really the most bullied person in the world?" asked presenter Tom Llamas. "One of them - if you really see what people are saying about me," Mrs Trump said in the interview, which was recorded last week in Kenya and airs in full on Friday. Mrs Trump was also asked if she is Mr Trump's gatekeeper. "Oh, I wish," she said, laughing. She said she does not trust some people who have worked in the West Wing, and that she has given Mr Trump her "honest advice" about them. "Well, some people they don't work there anymore," she said, when asked what action Mr Trump had taken. "It's harder to govern," she said. "You always need to watch your back." Mrs Trump last week undertook her first solo trip abroad as US first lady, travelling to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt. In the ABC interview she also said women alleging they have been sexually abused "need to have really hard evidence". (Webmaster's comment: She's whinning and not offering any help for sexually abused women. Given her husband she doesn't dare. OVER 90% TO 98% OF SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIMS BY WOMEN HAVE BEEN PROVED TO BE TRUE.)
10-10-18 MJ Akbar: India minister under scrutiny over #MeToo allegations
A former prominent newspaper editor who is now a junior foreign minister is the latest to be named in what is being called India's #MeToo movement. MJ Akbar is accused of predatory behaviour, including inviting young women to hotel rooms for "meetings". Neither Mr Akbar nor the foreign ministry have responded to the historic allegations against him. But another minister, Maneka Gandhi, said all allegations, including those against politicians, must be probed. Mr Akbar is the most senior person so far to be named in the flurry of allegations that have been made against comedians, journalists, authors, actors and filmmakers in the last few days. One of India's most influential editors, he has edited leading English-language newspapers such as The Telegraph and The Asian Age. He was first named on Monday by senior journalist Priya Ramani, who retweeted an article she had written for Vogue India a year ago titled "To the Harvey Weinsteins of the world", where she recounted what she called her first experience of workplace harassment. Ms Ramani did not name anyone in the original piece, but said in Monday's tweet that the article had been about Mr Akbar. Since then, five other women have also come forward with their own stories, naming Mr Akbar. At least one other anonymous account is believed to be about him. Apart from Mr Akbar, veteran actors Alok Nath and film director Vikas Bahl have been accused of sexual assault. Nath has denied the allegations, while Bahl has not responded.
10-9-18 #MeToo firestorm consumes Bollywood and Indian media
India's #MeToo movement arrived in a cascade of allegations as women took to Twitter to call out comedians, journalists, authors, actors and filmmakers - in the process, they have sparked a debate about consent and complicity. Unlike its American counterpart, it has not been spurred by investigative journalism. Rather, it has been a spontaneous outpouring in the last few days, amplified by journalists themselves. And it has hit Indian media the hardest. Veteran actor Alok Nath is the latest to be named for an alleged sexual assault nearly 20 years ago. His accuser, the director of a television show starring Nath, recounted the alleged incident in a Facebook post that has since gone viral. "Neither I am denying this nor do I would agree with it. It [rape] must have happened, but someone else would have done it," Mr Nath is quoted as saying by the Indian Express newspaper. Meanwhile, the association of TV actors has promised an inquiry into the matter. It's difficult to say what sparked the torrent of allegations. But it seems to have started on 4 October when a young female comedian accused Utsav Chakraborty, a 33-year-old comedian, of sending her an unsolicited photo of his penis. More allegations followed as other women replied to her tweet or she shared private messages they sent her (with their names blurred) - they said he had either sent them photos of his penis or asked them for naked photos of themselves. Mr Chakraborty, who admitted to the accusation in a series of tweets, apologised the next day. By then, more women, many of them journalists, had begun to share stories of sexual harassment and even assault.
10-7-18 Tina Turner: 'Ike took me to sex show on wedding night'
Legendary American singer Tina Turner has described how she was forced to watch a live sex show on the night she married blues musician Ike Turner. She told the Mail on Sunday the "experience was so disturbing... I suppressed it, scratched it out". Tina was 22 when she married Ike, and they went on to become a famous husband-and-wife R&B act. But she later revealed she had suffered years of abuse at his hands. After they divorced she had a string of hits. As a solo artist, Tina Turner has sold more than 200 million albums and singles worldwide. Now aged 78, she lives in Switzerland, having married her long-time partner, music producer Edwin Bach, there in 2013. Ike Turner died in 2007 at 76. He had struggled for many years with drug addiction. Tina Turner told the Mail that she was afraid to turn down a marriage proposal in 1962 from Ike - who was seven years her senior, had discovered her and made her the singer of his Kings of Rhythm band. There would be no fancy wedding though. Instead, he drove them from California across the Mexican border into Tijuana to find "the Mexican version of a justice of the peace", she told the Mail. But the day got worse and she described being miserable and close to tears throughout the sex show. "People can't imagine the kind of man he was - a man who takes his brand new wife to a live, pornographic sex show right after their marriage ceremony," she said. But she said she then presented an image of the happy young bride when they returned to Los Angeles. In her autobiography, I, Tina, in 1986, she revealed how he physically abused her throughout their marriage. He acknowledged some of it, saying in his own autobiography: "Sure I've slapped Tina. There have been times when I punched her to the ground without thinking. But I never beat her."
10-5-18 Kavanaugh: Who is more likely to be telling the truth?
We’ll never know for sure what exactly happened between Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford in the summer of 1982, said Nathan Robinson in CurrentAffairs.org. But last week’s dramatic Senate testimony did prove one thing: President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is a “serial liar.” Kavanaugh insisted that he “never attended” an event like the informal drunken gathering where he allegedly assaulted Blasey Ford. But Kavanaugh’s own calendars show that he went to a friend’s house for “skis”—that is, “brewskies,” or beer—on a weeknight with two of the boys Blasey Ford said were present. Kavanaugh portrayed himself as a studious virgin, admitting to occasional excessive drinking on weekends, yet his high school yearbook lists him as treasurer of the “Keg City Club,” includes his boast, “100 Kegs or Bust,” and refers to him as the “biggest contributor” to the “Beach Week Ralph Club,” a reference to vomiting (“ralphing”). There are also sexually suggestive references to the “devil’s triangle,” a sexual encounter between two men and one woman, and the “Renate Alumni”—boys who claimed they’d had sex with a girl named Renate. Asked about these references, Kavanaugh dissembled, claiming, for example, that the sneering Renate boast was “clumsily intended to show affection.” Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford both spoke “with passion and clarity.” But only one of them told blatant falsehoods. Why? Both Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh probably think they’re telling the truth, said Katie Herzog in TheStranger.com. Naturally, a traumatic event like the one Blasey Ford described would stick with her for life. But in the toxic “bro” culture of an elite prep school, Kavanaugh and his buddy Mark Judge likely viewed their actions of pinning a younger girl to a bed and clumsily feeling her up as a bit of drunken fun that didn’t lead anywhere. “When Kavanaugh says the attack never took place, that’s because for him, it did not.” For her, it was a lifelong trauma; for him, it was “less than nothing.” He may even not remember it.
10-5-18 Kavanaugh: Was his display of anger justified?
Brett Kavanaugh may or may not have assaulted Christine Blasey Ford at a high school gathering in 1982, said Greg Weiner in The New York Times, but the “injudicious temperament” he displayed at last week’s hearings should nonetheless doom his nomination. The “eruption of Mount Kavanaugh” began with the judge’s opening statement—a vindictive, spluttering diatribe against a conspiracy of Democrats and “left-wing opposition groups” who blackened his name as payback for President Trump’s election and to get “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” With sneering sarcasm, Kavanaugh demanded that Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Amy Klobuchar share details of their own drinking habits before answering their relevant questions about his high school debauchery. “Veering from fury to sniveling sobs,” Kavanaugh came across as an “angry brat” and entitled, self-pitying frat boy, said Roger Cohen, also in the Times. His falsehood-riddled testimony blurred into one long “primal scream for threatened white male privilege.” Only men are considered more credible when they display volcanic anger, said Lili Loofbourow in Slate.com. Only conservatives could find Kavanaugh’s extraordinary tantrum “not just acceptable, but corroborating.” Had the soft-spoken Blasey Ford showed even a hint of anger over what Kavanaugh allegedly did to her, the Right would have read it as proof of her “pathology and brokenness,” and dismissed her accusations as “hysterical.” Kavanaugh actually did himself no favors by dropping his apolitical umpire’s mask, said Laurence Tribe in The New York Times. He not only displayed “a strikingly injudicious temperament” but also revealed himself as a rank partisan with deep “personal animosity toward liberals.” If he’s confirmed, what happens when one of those “left-wing opposition groups” he denounced comes before the Supreme Court? Will he use his new power to take his revenge? “What goes around,” a bitter Kavanaugh said in warning to Democrats, “comes around.”
10-5-18 The FBI’s Kavanaugh investigation
Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court hung in the balance this week as the FBI conducted an investigation into the sexual assault allegations against him, at the insistence of wavering Republican senators. After hearing emotional testimony from both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused the judge of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said the issue of who was telling the truth “is tearing the country apart,” and that he could not vote for Kavanaugh without further clarification from the FBI. Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined Flake in backing an investigation. But House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would call for a vote as soon as the FBI concluded its expanded background check. “The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close,” McConnell said. President Trump ordered the FBI to conduct an investigation into the allegations from Blasey Ford as well as from Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale classmate who has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a college party. But the FBI reportedly was not given authority to look into Kavanaugh’s drinking habits in high school and college or whether he told the truth during his Senate testimony. Initially, the White House provided the bureau with a list of only four witnesses to question; after backlash from Democrats, the White House clarified that the FBI could interview anyone agents felt necessary, as long as the investigation wrapped up within one week. Ramirez’s attorney, John Clune, said she provided more than 20 names to the FBI, but there’s no indication that the FBI has contacted any of them. “We have great concern that the FBI is not conducting—or not being permitted to conduct—a serious investigation,” Clune said. The FBI’s report was due be sent to the Senate after The Week went to press. (Webmaster's comment: This "investigation" is a shame. It's only purpose is to white wash Kavanaugh! Get ready for Republican's gross violations of human rights!)
10-4-18 Brett Kavanaugh accusations: Are young men in America scared?
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that it was a "difficult" and "scary" time for young men in the US and mocked a woman who says she was assaulted by his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Mr Trump was expressing support for Mr Kavanaugh as the FBI investigates claims of sexual misconduct by several women, including Christine Blasey Ford, against the judge. The remarks come a year after the #MeToo movement toppled prominent Hollywood figures and thousands of women shared their experiences of sexual harassment. Donald Trump Jnr has also said he is more worried about his sons than his daughters. Is the president right? Do young men feel under threat, and have any changed their behaviour and views in the past 12 months? Drake King, an 18-year-old student from Tennessee, told the BBC that he did not feel scared as a young man in college. "I feel comfortable with this social change - it helps me realise what I've been doing wrong as a man. Self-reflection is something that most people need," he says. Explaining how he felt he had acted disrespectfully towards women in the past, he believes the guidelines on what is and isn't OK are now clearer: "It helps to have someone tell me what I am doing wrong." The feeling that #MeToo was a learning experience for young men is echoed by 21-year-old Ohio student Parker Smith. "Genuinely listening to these perspectives has led me to reflect on my own. #MeToo has helped make me more cognisant of how I handle myself. "#MeToo has led me to do a better job of listening, which has, in turn, prompted me to be more self-reflective and aware of how women perceive my own actions and those of other men." (Webmaster's comment: It's all part of the blame the women for their own rapes movement!)
10-5-18 ‘Iraq’s Kim Kardashian’ killed
Tara Fares, a 22-year-old Iraqi social media star and former Miss Baghdad, was murdered in broad daylight this week, shot dead at the wheel of her convertible by an assassin who escaped on a motorcycle. Fares, who had 2.7 million Instagram followers, “was living a very Western lifestyle—she dressed the way she wanted to,” Daryna Sarhan, who runs an Iraqi lifestyle magazine, told The New York Times. “She basically did everything the conservatives go against.” In her Instagram posts, Fares wore makeup and figure-hugging dresses and revealed the tattoos on her arms and back. Fares was the fourth prominent Iraqi woman to be killed in two months, and the government has ordered an investigation. The other victims were two beauticians—who were known to Fares—and a women’s rights activist.
10-5-18 Nobel Peace Prize for anti-rape activists Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege
The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize has gone to campaigners against rape in warfare, Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege. Ms Murad is an Iraqi Yazidi who was tortured and raped by Islamic State militants and later became the face of a campaign to free the Yazidi people. Dr Mukwege is a Congolese gynaecologist who, along with his colleagues, has treated tens of thousands of victims. Some 331 individuals and organisations were nominated for the prestigious peace award this year. The winners announced in the Norwegian capital Oslo on Friday won the award for their "efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war", Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair, said. The pair both made a "crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes", Ms Reiss-Andersen added. (Webmaster's comment: We need to campign against rape under any circumstances and for any reason!)
10-4-18 Trump has never paid a price for his misogyny. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins could change that.
These two GOP women hold a lot of power in the Kavanaugh vote. Let's not mince words: President Trump is aggressively, gleefully sexist. He demonstrates his disrespect and contempt for women — especially minority women — on a regular basis. And he's not going to stop, or even slow down, unless he's made to pay a price. But there's good news. Now that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has scheduled votes on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, women — two Republican women in particular — have in their grasp the power to make Trump finally pay. Let's set the scene first: Even by his usual misogynistic shock-jock standards, Trump was in rare form Tuesday night at a rally in Mississippi. He stunned even the usually supportive souls at Fox & Friends by taunting Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school. As the crowd of supporters applauded and laughed, Trump made fun of Ford's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was a new low. On Wednesday, White House officials said Trump was "just stating facts" without mockery, but no one — even the president's Republican allies — was buying it. Even Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the judiciary committee, washed his hands of it. Here's where the Republican women come in. Two of them — Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) — hold Kavanaugh's fate in their hands. And they were upset by Trump's mocking of Ford. (Webmaster's comment: The male response to a rape. Attack the accuser! Defend the male!)
10-4-18 Amber Heard's 'anger' at Johnny Depp's domestic abuse denial
Amber Heard's lawyers have reportedly hit out at an "outrageous" interview in which Johnny Depp denied abusing her. Depp was recently quoted in GQ magazine as saying: "To harm someone you love? As a kind of bully? No, it didn't, it couldn't even sound like me." But Heard's lawyer told The Hollywood Reporter: "If GQ had done even a basic investigation into Mr Depp's claims, it would have quickly realised that his statements are entirely untrue." The pair settled their divorce in 2016. Depp, who will soon be seen in the next Fantastic Beasts film, said that after the allegations of physical abuse came out, he initially "just kept my mouth shut". He added: "I knew it was going to stick on me and it would get weirder. Keep going, you know?" Heard's response to the article, through her lawyers, was: "Mr Depp has blatantly disregarded the parties' confidentiality agreement and yet has refused to allow Ms Heard to respond to his baseless allegations, despite repeated requests that she be allowed to do so. "Mr Depp is shamefully continuing his psychological abuse of Ms Heard, who has attempted to put a very painful part of her life firmly in her past. One need only look at the physical evidence to draw the proper conclusion."
10-3-18 Republicans deplore Trump mocking Brett Kavanaugh accuser
US President Donald Trump is facing criticism from fellow Republicans after he mocked a woman who says she was assaulted by his Supreme Court nominee. Senators Jeff Flake and Susan Collins, both key votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, spoke out a day after Mr Trump's remarks at a Mississippi rally. Mr Flake called the president's comments "appalling", and Ms Collins said they were "just plain wrong". Last week Mr Trump called Christine Blasey Ford a "compelling" witness. Mr Flake - who joined a committee vote in favour of the judge so long as an FBI investigation was held - told NBC's Today show he wished the president had not spoken out. "There's no time and no place for remarks like that," he said on NBC's Today show. "To discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right. It's just not right. I wish he hadn't had done it." Mr Flake of Arizona is a closely watched swing vote as Republicans can potentially only afford one defection if they are to confirm their nominee. Ms Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine, has not yet said whether she will vote for Judge Kavanaugh either. CNN quoted her as saying on Wednesday morning: "The president's comments were just plain wrong." Prof Ford's lawyer, Michael Bromwich, described Mr Trump's words as "a vicious, vile and soulless attack" on her. "Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well?" he added. On Tuesday, Mr Flake said he was "very troubled" by the tenor of Judge Kavanaugh's "partisan" testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. (Webmaster's comment: She was sexually attacked and to protect the man the Republican nation attacks her!)
10-2-18 Cristiano Ronaldo rape allegation: Las Vegas police reopen case
Police in Las Vegas have reopened a sexual assault investigation from 2009 at the request of a woman who has alleged she was raped by Cristiano Ronaldo. Kathryn Mayorga says she was attacked by the Portuguese footballer in a hotel room in the US city that year. Juventus forward Ronaldo, 33, has dismissed the claim, first reported in Germany's Der Spiegel, as "fake news". His representatives said he would take legal action against the magazine. Der Spiegel said Ms Mayorga, 34, filed a report with Las Vegas police shortly after the alleged incident. In 2010, she reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo involving a $375,000 (£288,000) payment for agreeing never to go public with the allegations. Her lawyers are now seeking to declare the non-disclosure agreement void. Las Vegas police confirmed they had investigated a complaint in June 2009, but added they had no suspect in the case. "At the time the report was taken, the victim did not provide detectives with the location of the incident or suspect description," a statement said. "As of September 2018, the case has been reopened and our detectives are following up on information being provided," it added.
10-1-18 Brett Kavanaugh's classmate says he lied about drinking
A Yale classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says the judge lied under oath about his "heavy" drinking habits. Charles Ludington said that he was "deeply troubled" by the judge's "blatant mischaracterisation". Mr Kavanaugh has denied ever drinking to the point of memory loss - most recently during last week's testimony before a Senate committee. The FBI is inquiring into allegations of sexual assault by Mr Kavanaugh. The new inquiry has delayed a final vote on Judge Kavanaugh, who if confirmed is likely to tip America's highest court in favour of conservatives. Prof Ludington, who teaches at North Carolina State University, said he had seen Judge Kavanaugh slurring his words and staggering after excessive alcohol consumption while at Yale. The professor also said Judge Kavanaugh "was often belligerent and aggressive" when drunk, according to US media. "I can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth." He noted that it was not Judge Kavanaugh's drinking habits in college that worried him - it was the fact that he made questionable statements under oath. "If he lied about his past actions on national television, and more especially while speaking under oath in front of the United States Senate, I believe those lies should have consequences," Prof Ludington said. The professor plans to speak with the FBI on Monday, according the New York Times. His statement contradicts another Yale classmate - former NBA player Chris Dudley - who told the Washington Post he "never, ever saw Brett Kavanaugh black out" from alcohol consumption.
10-1-18 Jean-Claude Arnault, photographer in Nobel prize scandal, jailed
A French photographer at the heart of a rape scandal that saw this year's Nobel Prize for Literature postponed has been handed a two-year prison sentence. On Monday a Swedish court found Jean-Claude Arnault, 72, guilty of raping a woman in an apartment in Stockholm in 2011. Arnault, who is well known in Sweden, is married to a former member of the centuries-old Swedish Academy. The crisis forced the academy to cancel this year's literature award in May. "The defendant is found guilty of rape committed during the night between the 5 October and 6 October 2011," the Stockholm district court said while announcing its verdict. It added that the victim had also been "awarded compensation for damages" and ordered Arnault to pay about $12,000 (£10,000). The victim's lawyer, Elisabeth Massi Fritz, said her client was "relieved" following the verdict, local media report. (Webmaster's comment: 2 Years? It should have been 20!)