6-14-19 Cuba Gooding Jr charged over nightclub 'grope'
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr has been charged with forcible touching after allegedly groping a woman in a Manhattan bar. The 51-year-old star of Boyz N The Hood and Jerry Maguire turned himself in to New York police on Thursday and was later taken to court in handcuffs. He is accused of grabbing a woman's breast during a night out last weekend. His lawyer told reporters he had "not acted inappropriately in any shape or form" and that a video existed that would see him "totally exonerated". "He did absolutely nothing wrong," said Mark J Heller. "I frankly am shocked and horrified that this case is being prosecuted." Footage obtained by celebrity website TMZ of the night in question shows Gooding Jr with girlfriend Claudine De Niro and a woman identified as his accuser. The actor seems to touch the woman's leg and hold her hand in scenes the website says are "open to interpretation". Gooding Jr pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree on Thursday and was released without bail. The Oscar-winning actor, who recently appeared in TV series The People vs OJ Simpson and in a West End production of Chicago, is due back in court on 26 June.
6-11-19 The Nightingale: Film director defends controversial rape scenes
Australian director Jennifer Kent has defended her new film The Nightingale following criticism about its graphic scenes of rape and murder. The film tells the story of a convict woman seeking revenge amid colonial violence in 19th Century Tasmania. Its depictions of rape prompted some viewers to walk out of screenings in Sydney on Monday, local media reported. Kent said the filmmakers had received "more than a few" positive messages from survivors of sexual violence. "Whilst The Nightingale contains historically accurate depictions of colonial violence and racism towards our indigenous people, the film is not 'about' violence," she said in a statement on Monday. "It's about the need for love, compassion and kindness in dark times." The film, starring Aisling Franciosi, has won accolades including last year's special jury prize at the Venice Film Festival. But it has drawn controversy after screenings at the Sydney Film Festival on Sunday and Monday, ahead of a nationwide release. The Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) reported that several people had walked out during the film, with one saying loudly: "I'm not watching this. She's already been raped twice." However, others who said they had seen the film defended it as exploring important subjects. Kent said she and Franciosi had been personally contacted by sexual violence victims who were "grateful for the film's honesty and who have drawn comfort from its themes". "I do not believe this would be happening if the film was at all gratuitous or exploitative," she said. The writer-director said she had also collaborated with Aboriginal elders in Australia to present an "honest and necessary depiction their history".
6-9-19 Boxing teaches Kenyan girls to defend themselves
In one of Nairobi's toughest neighbourhoods, a boxing academy is helping girls and young women learn how to defend themselves. Box Girls uses self-defence training to help women and girls feel safer and to stand up for themselves and those around them. (Webmaster's comment: Also teach them to kick him hard in the nuts, that always works.)
6-7-19 Kellen Winslow II
Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II told a judge this week he planned not to testify in his ongoing trial on charges of raping three women, including a hitchhiker and a homeless woman, and exposing himself to two women, ages 59 and 78. Winslow, 35, the son of a Hall of Fame player by the same name, played in the NFL from 2004 to 2013. He pleaded not guilty to 12 counts. “I’m not going to testify, your honor,” Winslow said during a hearing. Defense attorney Brian Watkins told jurors Winslow had been unfaithful to his wife, but claimed all the encounters were consensual. “It’s wrong, it’s immoral,” Watkins said, “but it’s not illegal.”
6-7-19 R Kelly pleads not guilty to new sexual assault charges
R Kelly's lawyer says: "We pled not guilty to all of the charges because he's not guilty." He was talking to reporters in Chicago after the singer denied 11 new charges of sexual assault and abuse. They relate to claims he abused a victim between the age of 13-16 and, if found guilty, the Grammy-winner could face up to 30 years in prison. The accusations focus on someone identified only as J. P. Prosecutors have said the alleged offences took place between May 2009 and January 2010. His lawyer, Steve Greenberg, has claimed the latest charges don't relate to a new accuser. R Kelly has faced allegations for decades, in 2008 he went on trial for child pornography charges and was found not guilty. In February, he pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted three teenage girls and a fourth woman. The case was brought after seven women, including his ex-wife, appeared in a documentary called Surviving R Kelly and accused him of emotional and sexual abuse. The R&B star is awaiting full trial in Chicago.
6-6-19 Neymar rape accuser appears in Brazil TV interview
A woman has appeared on Brazilian TV to go public with accusations that she was raped by star footballer Neymar. Najila Trindade, who filed a rape allegation last Friday, told SBT Brasil the incident in a Paris hotel on 15 May was "an assault together with rape". Neymar has denied the accusations, posting a WhatsApp message exchange to try to prove his innocence. He appeared briefly to play for Brazil on Wednesday in a game he said was the most difficult of his career. Neymar was injured after 20 minutes of the match against Qatar in Brasilia and will miss the upcoming 2019 Copa America tournament in Brazil with a ruptured ankle ligament. Ms Trindade says she was attracted to the Paris St-Germain and Brazil forward and wanted to have sex with him. She said she was flown to Paris and put up in a hotel at Neymar's expense. Ms Trindade said she was an "ordinary person - a model and a student of interior design" and a "daughter and mother". The interviewer asked Ms Trindade whether what happened was an assault or rape, and Ms Trindade replied that it was "an assault together with rape". She said that when she met Neymar, he was "aggressive, totally different than the boy that I got to know through the messages". Ms Trindade said she was initially prepared for consensual sex but demanded the use of a condom. She alleged that Neymar refused, became aggressive again and raped her. She said she told him to stop but he refused.
6-6-19 Madonna says Weinstein 'crossed boundaries'
Madonna is the latest star to accuse disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of making unwanted sexual advances. Hollywood was rocked last year by allegations of sexual assault made against Weinstein, which he denies. The singer said Weinstein "crossed lines and boundaries", when they worked on her 1991 documentary, Truth or Dare. She told The New York Times he was "incredibly sexually flirtatious and forward with me when we were working together. "He was married at the time, and I certainly wasn't interested," she added. Truth or Dare was distributed by the film mogul's Weinstein Company, which filed for bankruptcy last year, having fired him as chairman in 2017. Madonna told the newspaper: "I was aware that he did the same with a lot of other women that I knew in the business. "We were all 'Harvey gets to do that because he's got so much power and he's so successful and his movies do so well and everybody wants to work with him, so you have to put up with it'." Last month Weinstein and his former studio's board members reached a tentative deal with a women who accused him of sexual misconduct, according to US reports. Lawyers said the settlement to resolve civil lawsuits and compensate alleged victims was worth about $44m (£34.7m). However, he is still facing criminal charges relating to other counts of sexual abuse, including rape, as well as civil cases - including one brought by the actress Ashley Judd.
6-5-19 Miley Cyrus: 'I won't be grabbed without consent'
Miley Cyrus has responded angrily online after apparently being grabbed by a stranger in Barcelona. The singer, writing on Twitter, said: "She CAN'T be grabbed without her consent." A video posted online appears to show a fan grabbing the singer by the neck before trying to kiss her. Miley's reaction seems to have been a direct response to some social media users who suggested her lyrics or what she wears made her a deserving target. (Webmaster's comment: That's what guys do. Always blame the woman for her abuse by men!) The Wrecking Ball singer and her husband Liam Hemsworth were being escorted to a waiting car by a security team when it happened. A video of the incident appears to have been captured by Spanish Twitter user @AlvaroSaucedo13. On Twitter Miley wrote: "She can be wearing what she wants. She can be a virgin. She can be sleeping with five different people. "She can be with her husband. She can be with her girlfriend. She can be naked. She CAN'T be grabbed without her consent." Miley reiterated the message on her Instagram stories, writing "#StillNotAskingForIt" over screenshots of comments from fans, including one which said: "You wanted to be 'sexy,' what did you expect?" The former Disney star, who last month appeared at Radio 1's Big Weekend, is due to perform at Glastonbury Festival later this month. She will also make a return to acting in an upcoming episode of Black Mirror which she's described as "outrageously out there and dark". "This is the story of females in the music industry," she told Radio 1 Newsbeat. "I understand everyone's gone through this but I do think for females in the industry… it's hard to be taken seriously. "People assume that if you're not wearing a body suit and singing pop music, why would anyone want to see you?"
6-2-19 Footballer Neymar denies rape accusation
Brazilian football star Neymar has denied an accusation that he raped a woman in Paris. According to a police report filed in São Paulo, the woman alleges that the attack took place in a hotel in the French capital, where Neymar plays for Paris St-Germain (PSG). Neymar sought to prove his innocence by posting what he says is an exchange of Whatsapp messages between the pair. He is now in Brazil training with the national team for the Copa América. According to police documents, the woman - who has not been named - got to know Neymar on Instagram and he suggested they meet in Paris. He provided her with an air ticket from Brazil to France and a reservation at a luxury hotel in Paris. When Neymar came to the hotel on 15 May, he was "apparently drunk", the woman alleges. After conversation and embraces, "at some point, Neymar became aggressive, and through violence, engaged in sexual intercourse against the will of the victim", the police document states. The woman returned to Brazil two days later, without reporting the alleged incident to French police, because she was "emotionally shaken and afraid to register the facts in another country", the document continues. In a statement released after the accusations became public, the footballer's management condemned "the unjust accusations and, above all, the exposure in the press of an extremely negative situation". The statement said Neymar had been the "victim of an attempted extortion" and "evidence of attempted extortion and non-rape will be submitted to the police authorities". Neymar directly addressed the allegations in a seven-minute video on his Instagram page. The unmarried footballer posted the video alongside the caption (in Portuguese): "Due to extortion, I'm being forced to expose my life and my family."
6-1-19 Deaths of indigenous women 'a Canadian genocide', leaked report says
A national public inquiry into possibly thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada has called the deaths a "Canadian genocide". The report was leaked to Canada's national broadcaster CBC which published details on Friday. The 1,200-page document reportedly blames the disproportionate violence faced by indigenous women on deep-rooted colonialism and state inaction. The report is due to be formally released at a ceremony on Monday. The findings of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls are long-awaited in Canada, where there are about 1.6m indigenous people. "It took 40 years to get to this present moment and only because indigenous women have been on the ground making noise about this," Robyn Bourgeois, a campaigner on the issue, told the BBC. The inquiry concluded that about 1,200 aboriginal women had been murdered or gone missing in Canada since 1980, but some activists say the number is likely to have been far higher. The 2014 murder of an indigenous teenager, Tina Fontaine, galvanised national support for the better protection for indigenous women and girls. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the inquiry and reconciliation with indigenous communities a top priority of his liberal government. National broadcaster CBC obtained an advance copy of the report. It contained 230 recommendations to tackle violence faced by indigenous communities, CBC said without giving details. On Friday the inquiry said it would not discuss the recommendations ahead of official publication on Monday. The report acknowledged disagreements over what constituted genocide, but concluded: "The national inquiry's findings support characterizing these acts, including violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA [two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual] people, as genocide." (Webmaster's comment: Violence against women is everywhere.)
6-1-19 Canadian national inquiry: Giving a voice to missing and murdered women
After over two years of work, Canada's inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women has concluded and the report reached the public domain. We spoke to two of the women who fought for years to bring global attention to the violence. It has been almost 50 years since Helen Betty Osborne - a Cree woman who dreamed of becoming a teacher - was abducted and brutally murdered near The Pas, Manitoba, a town deeply divided along racial lines, its white and indigenous residents once described as "world's apart". In many ways, the death of the 19-year-old was indicative of cases to come - an indigenous teenager forced to leave her remote community, targeted by four men simply because of her race, and a family's long wait for justice. Fifteen years ago, Amnesty International called the assault and murder of the shy young woman "an unheeded warning". The violence faced by indigenous women and girls is now in the spotlight as a national inquiry into missing and murdered women drew to a close after more than two years of hearings and testimony. "It took 40 years to get to this present moment and only because indigenous women have been on the ground making noise about this," said Robyn Bourgeois, an academic and activist who researches female indigenous activism in Canada. "Without them we wouldn't be here," she said. The campaigners include family members victims who have campaigned tirelessly for their lost loved ones, and grassroots organisers and activists like Beverley Jacobs and Terri Brown, who also lost family members. For Jacobs, the murder of her 21-year-old cousin Tashina General in 2008 was a turning point in her work. For Brown, whose 41-year-old sister, Ada Elaine, died in 2001, the loss continues to haunt the family, who say she was murdered and that her case was mishandled. Jacobs, a Mohawk lawyer, was the lead researcher of the Amnesty report into discrimination and violence against indigenous women, and spent months travelling across the country meeting the families of women who had disappeared or been killed.