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Casey Affleck Apologizes For ‘Unprofessional’ Behavior After #MeToo Backlash

Actor Casey Affleck is speaking out publicly for the first time since sexual harassment allegations resurfaced against him last year.  “I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And I’m sorry,” Affleck told The Associated Press in an interview published Thursday.  The actor was accused of verbal and physical harassment in 2010 by two women who worked with him on the set of “I’m Still Here,” a hoax documentary-style film directed by Affleck and starring Joaquin Phoenix. Affleck denied all the allegations at the time and later settled two lawsuits filed by the accusers for undisclosed amounts. Both women reportedly signed nondisclosure agreements.  The allegations against Affleck resurfaced last fall when the actor was receiving critical acclaim for his starring role in “Manchester by the Sea.” Affleck was deemed controversial in light of the past allegations, however still received the Oscar for Best Actor.  Affleck chose to skip the Oscars earlier this year and backed out of presenting the award for Best Actress.  ...Read more

Tom Brady And New England Patriots To Add Performance-Based Incentives To Contract

The New England Patriots reportedly will add a number of performance-related incentives into his contract for the 2018 and 2019 seasons; the incentives will allow the five-time Super Bowl winner to earn up to $5 million more this season. According to reports, Brady’s base salary of $14 million for the 2018 season puts him fifth in the NFL among quarterbacks behind Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins ($22.5 million), Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers ($19.8 million), Seattle’s Russell Wilson ($15.5 million) and Carolina’s Cam Newton ($14.5 million). Thus Brady’s contract represents a bargain for the Patriots, considering that the 41-year-old was the league’s MVP last season—the third time he’s won the award.   ...Read more

New Toronto Raptors Forward Kawhi Leonard Breaks Silence To Thank San Antonio Spurs And Gregg Popovich

New Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard said farewell to San Antonio and the Spurs into two words: “Thank you.” In a letter submitted to the San Antonio Express-News, Leonard thanked the Spurs organization, his former teammates, coach Gregg Popovich and the team’s fans. “I have been going back and forth the last few weeks trying to figure out the right things to say, and it comes down to two simple words: THANK YOU!” Leonard wrote. Leonard’s exit from San Antonio had been tumultuous. He appeared in nine games for the Spurs in 2017-18, last playing on Jan. 13 before sitting out the rest of the season with a quad injury. Leonard was traded to the Raptors in July, along with Danny Green, in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round pick. ...Read more

Demi Lovato Cancels Remaining Dates Of Tour After Checking Into Rehab

Demi Lovato won’t be embarking on the rest of her tour as she continues her recovery process. The 25-year-old singer was scheduled to perform in Mexico in September in addition to visiting six cities in South America in November, but she has canceled the remaining shows of her Tell Me You Love Me tour, according to a statement released by her promoters. In a statement, Live Nation and Lotus Productions wrote that they “Wish Demi Lovato the best now and in the future and we hope to see her soon in South America,” the outlet reported, adding that refunds will be issued for all ticket holders. The news comes five days after multiple sources confirmed that Lovato was released from Cedars-Sinai to seek in-patient treatment following an overdose on July 24.  On Sunday, the singer made her first statement following her overdose and hospitalization, as she shared that she would “need time to heal and focus on my sobriety and road to recovery.” ...Read more

‘Catfish’ Co-Host Max Joseph Leaving Show To Pursue Filmmaking

Catfish host Nev Schulman is losing his longtime TV partner and co-host, Max Joseph, to life behind the camera. Joseph announced he is leaving the MTV show which he helped create and co-host for 7 years to pursue his budding career in filmmaking. Said Joseph: “For a while now I have been straddling two careers as TV host and filmmaker and, while this level of busy-ness is a dream come true, my life can no longer sustain it. With ‘Catfish’ still going strong after 7 seasons, 115 episodes, 31 specials and showing no sign of slowing down, I feel it is finally the time for me to make my exit.” MTV has not said if it is going to cast a replacement host for Max. ‘Catfish’ is in the middle of airing its seventh season right now. Max’s final episode will air August 22 ...Read more

New Oscars ‘Popular Film’ Category To Be Introduced At 2019 Show

The Academy of Motion Pictures just announced some changes to its annual Oscars event. In a tweet Wednesday morning, the Academy announced it’s planning a new category “around achievement in popular film.” The Academy Board of Governors has yet to reveal more information about what kind of achievement will be recognized and what qualifies as a popular film, and the Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Hollywood Reporter reported that “a single film is eligible for an Oscar in both categories- Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film and the Academy Award for Best Picture. The new category will be introduced this coming year, at the 91st Oscars.”   The new category was announced in a letter to Academy members that also reveals the 2020 date of the Oscars ceremony will be moved to earlier in February than the event usually runs. Next year’s Oscars, however, will still air on Sunday, February 24.  ...Read more

New York Knicks To Part Ways With Joakim Noah

According to multiple reports, the New York Knicks are preparing to part ways with center Joakim Noah. The Knicks new regime led by Scott Perry and David Fizdale will use the waive-and-stretch provision on their veteran sometime after Sept. 1. Perry has been trying to move Noah since the Feb. trade deadline but has been unwilling to part with the first-round pick or young prospect that it would cost to unload the veteran. Noah abruptly left the team last season due to issues with then head coach Jeff Hornacek. Noah has appeared in just 53 games in two seasons following his infamous $72 million contract in the summer of 2016. ...Read more

NCAA Announces New College Basketball Policies

The NCAA adopted a sweeping series of policy and rules changes Wednesday that it hopes will clean up college basketball, which has been engulfed by controversy the past few years. Among the significant changes that were adopted by the NCAA’s board of governors and Division I board of directors are allowing elite high school basketball recruits and college players to be represented by agents who are certified by the NCAA; allowing eligible underclassmen to enter the NBA draft and return to school if undrafted; introducing more rigorous certification requirements for summer amateur basketball events; and imposing longer postseason bans, suspensions and increased recruiting restrictions for coaches who break rules.  ...Read more

Trump Administration To Impose New Sanctions On Russia Over Nerve Agent Attack

The Trump administration said Wednesday it would impose new sanctions on Russia for its involvement in the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia Skripal. The pair were found unconscious on a bench after they came into contact with a Novichok nerve agent. They were taken to the hospital in critical condition and have now been released. The State Department announced Wednesday it had determined the Russian government had “used chemical or biological weapons” in violation of international law. The administration’s announcement came after demands from the GOP chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce of California. Royce called on the administration to hold Russia accountable for the Skripal poisonings. British officials have blamed Russia for the poisonings, but Russia has denied any involvement. ...Read more