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Donna Karan begs forgiveness for Harvey Weinstein remarks

Fashion designer Donna Karan is "apologetic from the bottom of my heart" and embarrassed about "stupid" remarks she made last week that suggested sexual harassment victims were "asking for it" by the way they dressed.

Her comments on a red carpet touched off outrage online following sexual harassment and assault allegations against fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Karan spoke to Women's Wear Daily in an interview published Monday, saying she spoke while sleep deprived and without knowing details of the mounting allegations against Weinstein, telling a red carpet reporter:

"How do we display ourselves, how do we present ourselves as women, what are we asking? Are we asking for it, you know, by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality? ... It's not Harvey Weinstein. You look at everything all over the world today, you know, and how women are dressing and, you know, what they're asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble."

The designer told WWD, "I made a horrible mistake. I regret it from the bottom of my heart. This is never who I am as a woman."

Karan has been in the fashion business for 40 years, often championing women's causes. Her on-camera comments went viral, triggering outrage and a drop in the stock price of G-111, which has owned the company that bears her name since last year.

The production company Weinstein co-founded fired him Oct. 8, days after he was accused of sexually harassing women for decades in an expose by The New York Times. Subsequent stories by the Times and The New Yorker included allegations of abuse, and more than three dozen women have publicly accused the disgraced mogul of abuse. He resigned from the board of The Weinstein Co. on Tuesday. Weinstein has denied the allegations.

Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez raise $26M for Puerto Rico

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have raised $26 million for Puerto Rico disaster relief, with another $9 million raised by a benefit show.

The two hosted "One Voice: Somos Live!" on Saturday with Marc Anthony.

Lopez says that amid "swirling negativity dividing our country," the outpouring of support for Puerto Rico following the devastating hurricane was gratifying.

The benefit show included performances by Demi Lovato, Ricky Martin, Mary J. Blige and Gwen Stefani.

Lopez, Anthony, Rodriguez raise $35M for Puerto Rico relief

Jennifer Lopez, her ex-husband Marc Anthony and her current boyfriend Alex Rodriguez have raised more than $35 million for Puerto Rico hurricane relief.

A spokeswoman said in a statement Tuesday that the two singers and the retired baseball superstar raised the money in donations, pledges and their own contributions.

About $9 million was raised via the Oct. 14 benefit show "One Voice: Somos Live! A Concert for Disaster Relief," which the trio hosted.

Most of the rest came from corporate donations and pledges.

Lopez and Anthony's parents both came to the United States from Puerto Rico, and Rodriguez's family is from the Dominican Republic.

The two singers were married in 2004 and divorced in 2014. Lopez has been dating Rodriguez since early this year.

Shock, anger over Weinstein at NY women filmmakers event

Anger, shock, unity and solidarity: Those were the prevailing emotions on Tuesday at a Manhattan event for women filmmakers, writers and actors, where the Harvey Weinstein scandal wasn't far from anyone's mind.

"I'm mad as hell!" Jane Rosenthal, executive chair of Tribeca Enterprises, said to the crowd. She was channeling the famous line from the movie "Network," and telling guests that they needed to be mad, too.

Rosenthal did not reserve her ire for only Weinstein: She also excoriated President Donald Trump for his comments about grabbing women, as well as Bill Cosby, former Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly and the late Roger Ailes, and former congressman Anthony Weiner. (She even threw in a mention of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.)

These men "aren't going to change their world through conversation," Rosenthal said. "We have to change the world around them."

On the sidelines of the luncheon for "Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women's Filmmaker Program," many discussed the sordid saga roiling Hollywood, where a slew of women have come out with allegations of sexual harassment, and worse, on Weinstein's part.

Actress Olivia Wilde said that while she felt anger was necessary as an "energizing" factor, people needed to remain optimistic and hopeful, "or else we won't try to reach out to each other." And she said she was indeed hopeful that the Weinstein scandal — and the reaction to it — could prove to be a moment of real change in awareness of sexual harassment and assault.

"If it is that kind of moment, the change will come from women recognizing that they're not alone," Wilde said in an interview. She said the stories women are now telling of their ordeals with Weinstein, and others, "are so personal that they will add a humanity to the issue that will potentially inspire people to operate with less fear." She added that she hoped women would now be able to overcome "the shame factor, this idea that 'it was my fault,' and to admit it is somehow admitting weakness."

"Right now I'm just saying to everyone, 'I'm here to listen and nothing you say could make me value you any less as a powerful woman,'" Wilde said. "And through those conversations I have learned some heartbreaking things but I am also really feeling connected to the women in this community more than ever."

Actress Cynthia Nixon wasn't sure that Hollywood was experiencing a watershed moment. "That would be nice!" she said in an interview. "You know, the jury is out. It's hard. In Hollywood, traditionally the women were the showpieces and the men were the power. Still, unless you're really holding the reins of power, you can fall into a trap where your job is to please, and then it's hard for you to speak up when a crime is happening to you."

But Nixon also noted that change was afoot. "I do think that generationally, people's attitudes about what's OK and what's not OK are changing," she said. "Whether they will change completely, I don't know. Even a great lessoning would be a step in the right direction."

Director Mira Nair ("The Namesake," ''Monsoon Wedding") said she was not totally surprised by the Weinstein scandal, but was "shocked that it took so long to be exposed, and that they did such a good job of shutting it up when it was going on."

She said that she had made an active choice not to work personally with Weinstein because of his behavior and temper. "I try to stay away from those that contaminate the air," Nair said. "Life is hard enough."

She added that Weinstein had professed to love her films and sent her elaborate floral arrangements. "He was a passionate creep," she said.

Would Weinstein's sudden and stunning downfall eventually be that needed watershed moment many are hoping for?

"I think so," Nair said. "It bloody well better be."

The luncheon, in its third year, launched a three-day workshop in which five rising filmmakers receive one-on-one mentorship and classes, and receive funding for developing and producing their projects.

Tom Petty buried at famous cemetery in private funeral service

 

Family and friends gathered Monday at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, California to bid a final farewell to legendary rocker Tom Petty, People magazine reported.

>> Read more trending news

Petty died of cardiac arrest on Oct. 2 at the age of 66.

The grounds of the shrine are just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean on Sunset Boulevard, and includes a temple, windmill chapel and meditation garden. The sanctuary also includes a spring-fed lake, waterfalls, and wildlife. 

The funeral for George Harrison, the iconic Beatle and Petty’s Traveling Wilburys band mate,  was held at the shrine in 2001, Rolling Stone magazine reported.

There’s no word on who attended Petty’s private burial, but the musician’s daughter AnnaKim Violette Petty shared scenes from the day on Instagram.

>> Related: Rocker Tom Petty dead at 66, manager says

The music community and fans around the world were grief-stricken with word of Petty’s sudden and unexpected death. Numerous tributes have poured in and musicians have been playing Petty’s music at concerts and shows, honoring his memory. 

Celebrity-named seal pups rehabilitated, set free on beach

Two celebrity-named harbor seal pups rescued in Maine earlier this year have been rehabilitated and set free on a Massachusetts beach.

"Giseal Bündchen" and "Sealonardo DiCaprio' were released Tuesday on Scusset Beach on Cape Cod by workers at the nonprofit National Marine Life Center. Video shows the seals make their way toward the water after being set free from their cages.

Giseal, named after supermodel Gisele Bündchen, was taken to the rehabilitation center on Buzzards Bay after it was found abandoned by its mother on Chebaugue Island, Maine, in June. Sealonardo, named after Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, also was rescued in Maine, on Great Spruce Head Island, in May.

The pups were taught to swim and eat fish.

Weinstein's film academy ouster raises concerns about others

Harvey Weinstein has been kicked out of the group that awards the Oscars and his producers guild expulsion is a formality at this point, but now questions are being raised about what to do with other bad seeds who remain card-carrying members of the entertainment industry's most prestigious organizations.

Before Saturday, only one person is said to have had their Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science membership revoked, and that was for loaning out awards screeners. And before Monday, the only people to have lost their Producers Guild of America standing were those who had failed to pay their dues. Now, both organizations have opened a can of worms in expelling Weinstein for conduct following more than three dozen accusations of sexual harassment, including from some of Hollywood's most well-known actresses.

"People recognized this was an extremely important decision on the part of the Academy," film academy board member and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy told The Associated Press Monday. "I think they made the right choice."

The film academy said its decision was, in part, to "send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over." The board also intends to establish ethical standards that its members will be expected to uphold.

The implications could be far-ranging for the 8,400-plus member group. What becomes of Roman Polanski, who in the 1970s pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl he plied with champagne and Quaaludes? Or Bill Cosby, who has faced dozens of allegations of sexual assault?

The list of film academy members is not public, and thus, occasionally there are incorrect assumptions made about who is in fact a member. Woody Allen, for one, is not.

"We are going to have to look at what does that mean for the future, what kind of changes — moral clause — that we need to put into the bylaws at the academy," Kennedy said. "And then I'm sure that the next step will be that we'll start to look at some of these other people."

Now the scrutiny around other potentially problematic members has already become something of a dark joke.

John Oliver took the organization behind the Oscars to task this week on his HBO show.

"Yes, finally — the group that counts among its current members Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and Mel Gibson has found the one guy who treated women badly and kicked him out," Oliver said Sunday night. "So congratulations, Hollywood. See you at the next Oscars where — and this is true — Casey Affleck will be presenting Best Actress."

Neither the film academy nor the PGA responded to requests for interviews.

Sasha Stone, the founder and editor of the Hollywood awards blog Awards Daily thinks there will be enormous pressure on the film academy to evaluate other members, but believes that even among the most frequent names mentioned the differing circumstances behind each are significant to members.

"What I suspect will happen is that the Academy will want to plug the leak so that it doesn't become an institution that requires its members to behave perfectly," Stone said. "If there are enough victims, as is the case with Weinstein, that alone creates pressure. It really comes down to them not wanting to deal with the bad publicity involved in standing behind a repeat offender."

The extent of what it will be able to do is still a major question.

Film academy president John Bailey said in a memo to members Tuesday that the organization, "Cannot, and will not, be an inquisitorial court, but we can be a part of a larger initiative to define standards of behavior and to support the vulnerable women and men who may be at personal and career risk because of violations of ethical standards by their peers."

But even speaking out about conduct, unrelated to screener loaning or excessive awards season parties, is a bold and unprecedented move for an organization that has become a metonym for the overseers of entertainment industry at large in recent years.

"The Academy was not set up for this in terms of its structure. The board meets, what, three times a year at most sometimes? They are not a government agency and they're not a judicial branch. They are also not a union ... I think that gets a little lost sometimes," said Gregory Ellwood, the editor-at-large of The Playlist. "In many ways it speaks to what the Academy has been in the past decade. It has been, for Hollywood, a looking in the mirror decade and they have had to lead the charge in this way and they haven't always been prepared."

This includes the film academy's recent efforts on behalf of diversity among its membership ranks.

"The Academy is shifting. Everything is shifting," said Laura Dern, who is a film academy member. "Hopefully as we move forward, more and more will shift. And there will be zero tolerance for unconscionable behavior, for abuse of power, to not only women but to men as well, in our industry and others."

___

AP Entertainment Reporter Ryan Pearson contributed to this report.

Designer Mychael Knight, ‘Project Runway’ alum, dead at 39

Mychael Knight, the engaging designer who appeared on Season 3 of Bravo’s reality TV competition series “Project Runway,” has died.

Obviousmag.com first reported that Knight, 39, died Tuesday at his home in Atlanta surrounded by friends and family. No cause of death was given, but Knight had reportedly been hospitalized in September.

“We are still processing the untimely death of our son, brother, friend, and uncle. Mychael meant everything to us and we loved him dearly. He was generous and so full of life. This is how we choose to remember his legacy,” the Knight family said in a statement to the publication.

>> Read more trending news

Knight, an Alabama native who was born in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1978, studied at Georgia Southern University and worked on the local fashion scene before trying out for “Project Runway.” He didn’t make it the first time, but in 2006, he was granted a slot on season 3 and quickly became a fan favorite.

He took fourth place for the season and went on to launch several fashion collections, including Kitty & Dick, which he previewed in Atlanta at a 2008 runway show.

He also appeared on BET’s “Rip the Runway” and worked on design projects with Starbucks.

Most recently, he partnered with fellow “Project Runway” contestant Korto Momolu for the MKKM Experience on Sept. 8 during New York Fashion Week.

Knight’s spring/aummer fashion collection, titled Mercy & Grace, featured colorful skirts, dresses and shorts that fans seemed to love. His designs have appeared on celebrities ranging from Sherri Shepherd to Iggy Azalea.

Head of Amazon Studios resigns after harassment charge

Amazon Studios says it has accepted the resignation of its top executive, Roy Price, following sexual harassment allegations made by a producer on the Amazon series "Man in the High Castle."

Price was put on leave last week and had not been expected to return. An Amazon spokesman confirmed the resignation Tuesday. Albert Cheng, who had been Amazon's COO, will be the interim chief.

The accusations against Price came in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that is roiling Hollywood. Producer Isa Hackett charged in an account published in The Hollywood Reporter that Price had repeatedly and crudely propositioned her following a 2015 event in San Diego.

A steady stream of women have gone public with accusations against Weinstein after reports by The New York Times and The New Yorker about the misconduct claims of others. But it has spread beyond that disgraced executive, with women across the world saying they'd been harassed through the social media thread "me too."

Hackett said in a statement on Tuesday that she was pleased that Amazon had taken steps to address the issue.

"An important conversation has begun about the need to create a culture in our industry which values respect and decency and rejects the abuse of power and dehumanizing treatment of others," she said. "This is truly an opportunity to find a better way forward, and ultimately toward a balanced representation of women and minorities in leadership positions."

Hackett said in her account on Price that he propositioned her during a cab ride, saying, "you will love my (slang for penis)."

She said he persisted at a company party even after she told him she was a lesbian with a wife and children, even standing near her and loudly saying, "anal sex!"

She wrote that she told Amazon executivee about it, and the company brought in an outside investigator. She said she hadn't seen Price at Amazon events involving her shows, which also include the upcoming "Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams."

Showrunner alleges sexual harassment by Bob Weinstein

Spike network is investigating reports of sexual harassment by the brother of disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein against the female showrunner of a series produced by The Weinstein Co. and aired on Spike.

Amanda Segel, a former executive producer of the sci-fi series "The Mist," claims Bob Weinstein made repeated overtures to her that included invitations to dinner, to his home and to a hotel room, according to a story published Tuesday by Variety.

"We take all allegations of this nature very seriously, and are investigating," Spike said in a statement.

She says the propositions began in June 2016 and were put to a stop a few months later only after Segel's lawyer gave Weinstein Co. executives an ultimatum that Segel would leave the show if Weinstein persisted.

An arrangement reportedly was struck that restricted Weinstein's contact with Segel while she was doing her job. ("The Mist" was recently cancelled after a 10-episode first season.)

Bert Fields, an attorney for Weinstein, strongly refuted the allegations.

"Variety's story is riddled with false and misleading assertions by Miss Segel," Fields said. "Even if you believed anything that she said, it contains not a hint of any inappropriate touching, or even a request for such touching."

"I've known Bob Weinstein for many years," Fields added, "and he's the last guy that would be involved in any form of sexual harassment."

Segel's attorney, David Fox, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Segel's accusations came to light just two weeks after an explosive story by The New York Times reported on older brother Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment and assault of women spanning several decades. That story was followed by another expose in The New Yorker.

Since those stories surfaced, more than three dozen women have spoken up with additional accusations. Harvey Weinstein was fired from the company he co-founded with Bob, and on Tuesday resigned from its board. He lost his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. The very future of The Weinstein Co. is currently in doubt.

In the meantime, Bob Weinstein has publicly condemned his brother while professing he was unaware that Harvey had engaged in any non-consensual relations with women.

"I'm mortified and disgusted by my brother's actions. And I am sick for the victims," he said in an interview by The Hollywood reporter published Saturday.

Until now, no such accusations had been made against Bob Weinstein.

___

Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore@ap.org

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