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'Willie Wonka' actor appears on 'Jeopardy!'

Mike Teevee won another Golden Ticket, but you had to be a big chocolate fan to recognize him.

>> Read more trending news

Paris Themmen, who played the TV-obsessed kid in the 1971 movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” finally made it to television on Tuesday when he appeared in an episode of “Jeopardy!” ET Online reported.

However, Themmen did not mention that he had been in the classic that starred Gene Wilder. When host Alex Trebek asked Themmen about an interesting fact, the former child star said he was an “avid backpacker” who had hiked on six continents, ET Online reported.

Themmen’s fans recognized him, however, and mentioned that fact on Twitter. He wound up finishing second during Tuesday’s episode, ET Online reported. The last acting role Themmen had was a small part in the 2000 television series, “Star Trek: Voyager.”

Joan Silber, Frances FitzGerald win Critics Circle awards

"Improvement," Joan Silber's novel about interconnected lives spanning from Turkey to New York's Harlem, won the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction.

On a night when winners in all six competitive categories were women, Frances FitzGerald's "The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America" was honored Thursday for nonfiction and Caroline Fraser's book on Laura Ingalls Wilder, "Prairie Fires," won for biography.

Silber has long been praised as a master of narrative, timing and capturing her characters' inner lives. Her previous works include her acclaimed debut novel, "Household Words," and the story collection "Ideas of Heaven." FitzGerald, a celebrated journalist and author, is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning work on the Vietnam War, "Fire in the Lake," and for "Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War," a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Her latest work was a National Book Award finalist last fall.

Others cited Thursday night included Layli Long Soldier in poetry for "Whereas," Xiaolu Guo's "Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China" for autobiography and Carina Chocano's "You Play The Girl" for criticism.

National Book Critics Circle award finalists included two of last year's most-talked about novels, Jesmyn Ward's "Sing, Unburied, Sing" and Mohsin Hamid's best-selling "Exit West."

The NBCC also presented a lifetime achievement award to prize-winning author-journalist John McPhee and cited author-critic Charles Finch for "excellence in reviewing." Silber is among the authors Finch has praised. In a review last year in The Washington Post, he likened her to Alice Munro and Grace Paley and lamented that she was "too little loved, too little mentioned, beyond a small readership that seems to be composed mostly of other writers." Carmen Maria Machado, author of the story collection "Her Body and Other Parties: Stories," was given the John Leonard Prize for best debut book. Leonard, who died in 2008, was a founder of the National Book Critics Circle and had a long history of championing emerging writers.

The NBCC was founded in 1974 and is comprised of more than 700 critics and editors.



Ava DuVernay to direct DC superhero film 'The New Gods'

Ava DuVernay's "A Wrinkle in Time" may have disappointed at the box office, but she's already booked another big-budget project.

Warner Bros. said Thursday that DuVernay will direct "The New Gods," a DC Comics property created by the famed comic book artist Jack Kirby. It's an elaborate science fiction work, part of Kirby's "Fourth World Saga," about two warring alien planets. It debuted in 1971.

DuVernay became the first African-American woman to direct a live-action movie with a budget of $100 million or more with "A Wrinkle in Time." The Disney release debuted last weekend with $33 million in ticket sales.

Warner Bros. recently reshuffled its DC film division after critical duds like "Justice League" and "Suicide Squad." A "Wonder Woman" sequel is in development and an "Aquaman" spinoff is due out in December.

Easter Seals Greater Houston

AboutWalk With Me is a non-competitive 5K or shorter Family Fun Walk presented by Prosperity Bank, chaired by Darron Drago, Mac DeLaup and Whitney Mercilus, that benefits Easter Seals Greater Houston, which provides services for people of all ages with all types of disabilities. Following the walk, there will be an after-party at the Masihara Pavilion inside the zoo with children's activities, live music, food, drinks and more until 10:30am. After the event, participants are welcome to stay and enjoy the zoo for the remainder of the day.

Route Length5K (3.1 miles) or shorter Family Fun Walk.The route is a loop through the Houston Zoo. 5K = 4 laps. For a shorter Family Fun Walk, cut down the number of laps. This is a non-competitive event so it is completely up to you as to how far you walk!Route map

Pre-packet pick-upAvoid the registration line the morning of by picking up your packets early. Please note that you MUST bring your wristband and ticket the day of the race. This is your entry into the event so please do NOT forget these items. Date: TBDTime: TBDLocation: TBD

General Information

Where do the funds go?Your gift helps Easter Seals Greater Houston provide life-changing services, such as therapy, training, education and more, for thousands of children, adults and veterans with disabilities in the Greater Houston area each year. Easter Seals is one of the oldest and most efficient charities in Texas with $0.92 of every dollar going towards direct client services. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the law.

Do I have to register in order to walk?Yes, all participants must be registered in order to walk. You can register as an individual, create a team or join an existing team. We encourage people to sign up as a team, as this seems to be more fun from what we have gathered from past participants, but we welcome individual walkers.

Do I need to register my children to walk?Yes, children should register. Parents/guardians can register children online by clicking 'register another person' after you have completed your online registration form. 

Is there a registration fee?Registering for the walk is free, but each individual walker MUST raise a minimum of $50 in order to participate in the walk; or your team needs to raise enough as a whole to cover each walker signed up ($50 x Number of Walkers on your team = Total fundraising dollars needed). Children under the age of 12 are free, but donations are appreciated.

'Slap Rihanna' ad on Snapchat brings outrage, apologies

An ad on Snapchat asking users if they'd rather "Slap Rihanna" or "Punch Chris Brown" has spawned widespread outrage, including from the singer herself, and brought profuse apologies from the company behind the visual-messaging app.

Snapchat said it is investigating how the ad for a mobile video game called "Would You Rather" made it to the app.

Rihanna, who Brown was convicted of assaulting when she was his girlfriend in 2009, posted an angry statement on her Snapchat and Instagram accounts.

"I'm just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess!" Rihanna, 30, wrote. "I'd love to call it ignorance but I know you ain't that dumb! You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!!"

"Shame on you" she goes on to say, "Throw the whole app-oligy away."

"This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service," a Snap, Inc. spokesman said in a statement. "We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process."

Snapchat said most of its advertising is bought through a self-service platform but is subject to review that should have stopped the ad. "Would You Rather" is now blocked from advertising there.

Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault for his attack on Rihanna in 2009 just hours before the Grammy Awards.

The ad and Rihanna's response lit up Twitter, with many vowing to delete their Snapchat accounts.

Snapchat's stocks were down 4 percent Thursday. The company's stock is always volatile, and investors worry that the fickle teens and young millennials who are its primary users will drop it.

Last month a tweet from Kylie Jenner saying she rarely uses Snapchat anymore sent the company's stocks plunging even more than they did Thursday.

After Shkreli conviction, what will happen to Wu-Tang album?

Two unreleased, collectible rap albums may go up for auction following the criminal conviction of the albums' owner, pharmaceutical company investor Martin Shkreli.

Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud on Friday. He owns an unreleased Wu-Tang Clan album and claims to own an unreleased Lil Wayne album. Both could be auctioned by the government since Shkreli has to forfeit more than $7.3 million in a brokerage account and personal assets.

The 34-year-old entrepreneur known as "Pharma Bro" boasted that he paid $2 million in 2015 for "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," the 31-track double album the Wu-Tang Clan spent six years creating. Shkreli won an auction for the sole copy of the album in 2015. Group member RZA said he wanted the album — which was packaged in a hand-crafted silver and nickel case and includes a 174-page book wrapped in leather— to be viewed as a piece of contemporary art

Prosecutors said the forfeiture order requires Shkreli to say if he's still in possession of the album — or has proceeds from a sale of it — by Thursday. Until then, he "shall not, directly or indirectly, transfer, assign, license, waste, pledge, encumber, hypothecate, distribute, dissipate, dilute or remove" it from the court's jurisdiction, reads the order, which is still subject to appeal.

Along with the Wu-Tang Clan album, the government has listed a Picasso painting and Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter V" as substitute assets for Shkreli. In September 2017, Shkreli put the Wu-Tang Clan album up for sale on eBay. It's unknown if he sold it.

Jeff Gold, a longtime record executive and owner of Recordmecca, a music collectibles and memorabilia store, said the value of the albums have decreased since being in Shkreli's hands.

"Martin is not viewed by the general public in a necessarily positive way, so his association with (the albums) I don't think is a positive," he said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Gold called the rollout of Wu-Tang's album "brilliant" and said "there's never been anything like this." But he added, "These (albums) are problematic to sell."

"If there are cars or boats or brokerage accounts, all of that stuff is going to be a lot simpler to quantify. There are a lot of questions around these albums and what you can and can't do with them," he said.

Shkreli's attorney, Ben Brafman, said he had no comment on the albums.

Shkreli grew up in Brooklyn and said rock music was his preference as a kid, not rap.

"I told RZA to his face, 'I'm not your biggest fan,'" he told the popular New York radio show "The Breakfast Club" in 2016. "I can't name every track on every affiliated Wu album. That's not me."

He said he was introduced to Wu-Tang's music while in summer school, and he became a fan. He said when he learned about the rare Wu-Tang album, he had to have it.

"There's a lot of things rich dudes buy just ... to show off," he told "The Breakfast Club."

"The point is I wanted to show respect for art," he added, saying he didn't purchase the album as an investment. "Music means more to me than anything."

Shkreli became the face of pharmaceutical industry evil in 2015 when he increased by 5,000 percent the price of Daraprim, a previously cheap drug used to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can be fatal to people with the AIDS virus or other immune system disorders.

He also claims he owns Lil Wayne's highly anticipated "Tha Carter V." The rapper's "Tha Carter III" sold more than 1 million copies in its debut week in 2008, and helped launch Lil Wayne to superstar status. It featured multiple rap and pop hits, from "A Milli" to "Lollipop," made the rapper the most nominated act at the 2009 Grammys (he won four awards) and helped solidify his stance as one of hip-hop's elite performers.

"Tha Carter IV" sold 964,000 albums in its first week, adding anticipation to "Tha Carter V," an album Lil Wayne had been recording for years.

In 2015, Lil Wayne sued Cash Money Records for $51 million after claiming that it stiffed him for $8 million for creating "Tha Carter V."

The album has not been released and it's unknown whether or how Shkreli got it.

Gold, who is also the author behind several music books, said whoever purchases Wu-Tang and Lil Wayne's albums may not be the only person to have the albums.

"(Shkreli) bought something digital and there's nothing to prevent him from having kept a copy. ...We live in a digital world where almost everything eventually gets bootlegged," Gold said. "When the first person bought it, they knew they were getting the only copy besides maybe whatever the Wu-Tang Clan had. But whoever buys it now has no assurance of that.

Gold added that "it's possible that there are copies of this floating around" and if it leaks, "the world's most exclusive album becomes something that everyone has instantly."


AP Writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.

Conductor Levine, ousted after sex abuse inquiry, sues Met

Conductor James Levine sued the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday after a sexual misconduct investigation sank his storied career, saying the renowned company exploited baseless allegations to tarnish him and then fired him without so much as a phone call.

"Cynically hijacking the good will of the #MeToo movement," the Met and its general manager, Peter Gelb, "brazenly seized on these allegations as a pretext to end a longstanding personal campaign to force Levine out of the Met," said Levine's suit, filed in a Manhattan state court.

But a lawyer for the Met said Levine wasn't the victim of a vendetta but a man fired because of "credible and corroborated evidence of sexual misconduct."

"It is shocking that Mr. Levine has refused to accept responsibility for his actions and has today instead decided to lash out at the Met with a suit riddled with untruths," attorney Bettina (Betsy) Plevan said in a statement.

The suit accuses the Met and Gelb of defamation and breach of contract. It seeks at least $5.8 million in damages — and "to restore Levine's name, reputation and career."

Unleashed three days after his ouster, the suit represents Levine's most extensive public effort to date to combat allegations of sexual abuse and harassment that go back decades.

Levine's suit says one of his accusers sent him friendly letters for decades after their alleged encounter that never accused him of wrongdoing, and even talked of visiting. The suit says the Met wouldn't tell Levine who some accusers were but acknowledged no one who worked at the opera company made a complaint about him during his 46 years there.

The opera company suspended Levine and began an investigation in December, after the New York Post and The New York Times aired allegations of sexual misconduct from three men who said it took place decades ago when they were teenage music students or aspiring conductors. A fourth man later came forward to say Levine had sexually abused him when he was a 20-year-old music student.

Levine, 74, has called the claims unfounded.

"I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor," he said in a December statement. "My fervent hope is that in time, people will come to understand the truth."

He hasn't been charged with any crime. Prosecutors in Lake County, Illinois, said in December they had investigated a 1980s sexual abuse allegation but concluded that they could not bring charges, citing factors including the age of consent — 16 — at the time.

But the Met said Monday that its investigation, by an outside lawyer, found credible evidence of "sexually abusive and harassing conduct" both before and during Levine's tenure there.

His suit calls the investigation "nothing more than a kangaroo court" that capped years of efforts by Gelb to get rid of him.

"Gelb pursued this agenda for his personal gain to advance his own career and step out of the long shadow cast by Levine's incredible talent," says the complaint from Gelb's lawyers, Elkan Abramowitz and Edward J.M. Little.

The events have brought scrutiny upon the Met, as well as Levine.

One of the world's most prominent opera companies, the Met has faced questions about why it didn't act sooner, particularly since a Lake Forest detective contacted the company in October 2016.

Gelb has said he briefed Met board leaders about the police investigation and spoke to Levine. But at the time, the opera company decided to leave the matter to police, a Met spokeswoman said in December.

The Met said its own inquiry found any claims of a Met "cover-up of information relating to these issues are completely unsubstantiated."

After Leonard Bernstein's 1990 death, Levine was regarded as the top American conductor, so widely known he was given a starring role in the film "Fantasia 2000."

He made his Met debut in 1971, became chief conductor in 1973, then music or artistic director from 1976 until he stepped down two years ago because of Parkinson's disease. Levine then became music director emeritus and headed the Met's young artists program until his suspension.

He has conducted from a wheelchair since a 2011 spinal injury.

The Met paid Levine's company, Phramus LLC, over $1.8 million for his services as music director in the year ending July 31, 2016, according to the Met's last-released tax return. The lawsuit says his pay as music director emeritus dropped to $400,000, plus additional pay for performances.


Associated Press writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

‘American Idol’ contestant says Katy Perry kiss wasn’t harassment

“American Idol” contestant Benjamin Glaze was unexpectedly kissed by judge Katy Perry during his audition.

On Sunday night’s episode, the 19-year-old confessed that he had never been kissed.

“Have you kissed a girl and liked it?” Luke Bryan asked, referencing Perry’s popular song, “I Kissed A Girl”.

“I’ve never been in a relationship,” he said. “I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship.”

>> Read more trending news 

Perry decided to swoop in and give him a good luck kiss. “Come here, Benjamin. Come here right now!” she said.

Glaze walked to the judge’s panel and went in for a kiss on the cheek that just wasn’t up to Perry’s standards. When Glaze went in for another kiss, the “Roar” singer turned her head and planted one on his lips.

After composing himself, Glaze began his audition singing Nick Jonas’s hit “Levels.” Unfortunately, he didn’t get sent Hollywood to continue in the competition.

Bryan suggested he “hone his craft a little more” and “get better at singing” before trying again soon.

Fellow judge Lionel Richie also said he had high hopes for Glaze’s career, even though it was a no from him.

“I really enjoyed meeting you today,” Perry said. “You gave my heart a flutter. I think you’re really sweet, but truthfully, there are just some people that are outsinging you right now, and so I don’t think it’d be fair to put you in that kind of competition. Next time just take your time. I think you were a bit rushed, and I think that’s because I sped up your BPM of the heartbeat.”

Glaze spoke about the media coverage of the kiss on his Instagram page. Contrary to reports, Glaze said he wasn’t uncomfortable with the kiss, but the fact that he wasn’t expecting the kiss and hadn’t been kissed before was what caused discomfort.

“The way certain articles are worded is not done by me, and my true intentions are not accurately represented in every article you read about the situation,” Glaze said on Instagram. “I am not complaining about the kiss, I am very honored and thankful to have been apart of American Idol. The main purpose for the show is to find stars and new music artist. I do wish I would have performed better in the moment. I should have picked another song to sing and calmed myself down regardless of the kiss.”

“I do not think I was sexually harassed by Katy Perry and I am thankful for the judges comments and critiques. I was uncomfortable in a sense of how I have never been kissed before and was not expecting it.”

Glaze emphasized that he wants to reach people through music and not cause tension among anyone. 

“American Idol” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Country music star Tim McGraw changing workout routine after collapsing onstage

It sounds like Tim McGraw will be taking it easy, after giving fans quite a scare last weekend.

>> Read more trending news 

The country music superstar collapsed onstage after his performance of “Humble and Kind” at the C2C Festival in Dublin, Ireland, on March 11. 

After the incident, he was carried off the stage by a medical staffer, and his wife and touring partner, Faith Hill, took the microphone to explain that her husband had been “super dehydrated.” She also made the decision to end the show at that point and keep Tim from returning to the stage that night.

Now, Tim is opening up for the first time since the unsettling incident.

>> Related: Tim McGraw reportedly collapses onstage in Dublin

He gave an update about his health after touching down at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City on March 12. He explained to TMZ that he is now “feeling good,” and also confirmed that his onstage collapse was, indeed, due to “lots of flying and dehydration.” He then added that he has to put his intense fitness routine on the back burner for a while.

“I’ve got to cut short my workouts,” the 50-year-old star, who is known for his washboard abs, said while walking through the terminal with his wife and crew.

Aside from making a few changes to his daily schedule, Tim seemed to be in good spirits, as he offered up plenty of smiles and a casual thumbs up before jumping into a vehicle.

>> Related: ACM Awards nominations hold surprises and snubs for some top stars

We’re glad to hear that Tim is on the mend, especially since he’ll soon return to the road for his and Faith’s joint tour. The country couple’s “Soul2Soul The World Tour” picks up on May 31 in Richmond, Virginia.

Judge: 5 other accusers can testify at Bill Cosby's retrial

A judge agreed Thursday to let five additional Bill Cosby accusers testify at his April 2 retrial for an alleged 2004 sexual assault, giving prosecutors a chance to portray the man once known as "America's Dad" as a serial predator who made a sadistic habit of drugging and molesting women.

Judge Steven O'Neill said prosecutors could choose the witnesses from a list of eight women with allegations dating as far back as the early 1980s. They include model Janice Dickinson, who said Cosby knocked her out with pills and raped her during a 1982 trip to Lake Tahoe.

Prosecutors, eager to expand the scope of the underlying he-said-she-said case, had pushed to let jurors hear from as many as 19 of the dozens of women who say Cosby assaulted them over a five-decade span.

"We are reviewing the judge's order and will be making some determinations," District Attorney Kevin Steele said.

Dickinson's lawyer, Lisa Bloom, said if her client is picked, she would be "ready, willing and able to testify." Bloom said Dickinson "has waited decades for this opportunity."

Cosby's retooled legal team, led by former Michael Jackson lawyer Tom Mesereau, went to court last week to block any additional accusers from testifying.

Cosby's lawyers argued prosecutors are trying to bolster an otherwise weak case with "ancient allegations" that would confuse, distract and prejudice the jury against the 80-year-old comedian.

"It just shows how desperate they are and that this is a very weak case," Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said after O'Neill's ruling. "Mr. Cosby is innocent of these charges."

Cosby has pleaded not guilty to charges he drugged and molested former Temple University women's basketball official Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in January 2004. He remains free on bail.

O'Neill has yet to rule on whether Cosby's lawyers can tell jurors about his 2006 settlement with Constand.

Mesereau said in court March 6 that jurors would learn "just how greedy" Constand was when they hear details about how much money she demanded from Cosby and what the star wound up paying her.

Allowing additional accusers to testify is sure to keep Cosby in court longer than his first trial, which ended in a hung jury last year after six days of testimony and five days of deliberations.

Mesereau said prospective jurors should expect a monthlong trial. Jury selection begins March 29.

Pennsylvania allows prosecutors to present evidence of alleged past misdeeds if they demonstrate the defendant engaged in a signature pattern of crime.

Prosecutors argue Cosby used his power and appeal as a beloved entertainer to befriend younger women and then plied them with drugs or alcohol before assaulting them.

Prosecutors tried to have 13 additional accusers testify at Cosby's first trial last year, but O'Neill limited them to just one and barred any mention of about 60 others who have come forward to accuse Cosby in recent years.

Kelly Johnson, who worked for Cosby's agent, testified Cosby knocked her out with a pill during a 1996 meeting at the Bel-Air Hotel in Los Angeles. She said she woke up to find her dress disheveled, her breasts exposed and Cosby forcing her to touch his genitals.

The only other hints jurors got of Cosby's past came from deposition excerpts from 2005 and 2006 in which he admitted getting quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with.

For prosecutors, having several accusers tell similar stories about Cosby would give them a chance to smooth over issues with Constand's credibility and insulate her from attacks from his lawyers, who've already indicated they're likely to paint her as a money-grubbing liar.

Dave Zuckerman, a former prosecutor who practices criminal defense in the Pittsburgh area, said that "might help put the case over the edge in favor of the prosecution."

"Now it becomes more than just one accuser against Bill Cosby," he said. "Now you have a pattern of multiple women."

Also Thursday, Dickinson's defamation lawsuit against Cosby was allowed to move forward after the California Supreme Court refused his appeal. Dickinson sued Cosby after he and his representatives said her allegations were false.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand and Dickinson have done.

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