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Pussycat Dolls were a front for ‘prostitution ring,’ former member alleges 

A former member of the popular girl group and dance ensemble  Pussycat Dolls, Kaya Jones, is claiming that members of the pop music hit-makers were a part of a “prostitution ring.”

>> UPDATE: Pussycat Dolls founder responds to former member's 'prostitution ring' allegations

“My truth. I wasn’t in a girl group. I was in a prostitution ring,” Jones said in a post on Twitter.

>> Read more trending news

“Oh and we happened to sing and be famous. While everyone who owned us made the money,” she said.

How bad was it? People ask—bad enough that I walked away from my dreams, my bandmates and a 13 million dollar record deal. We knew we were going to be #1.”

Jones also referenced a “den mother” but stopped short of naming names, writing, “I want the den mother from hell to confess why another 1 of her girl group girls committed suicide? Tell the public how you mentally broke us,” Jones said.

There has been no confirmation of who Jones was referencing, but reports suggest that Jones was talking about G.R.L. singer Simone Battle, who killed herself in 2014, according to E! Online.

She continued her accusations, saying, “To be a part of the team you must be a team player. Meaning sleep with whoever they say. If you don’t, they have nothing on you to leverage…Yes I said leverage. Meaning after they turn you out or get you hooked on drugs they use it against you. Correct. Victimizing the victim again.”

<< Related: Fifth Harmony singer takes a fall on stage and absolutely slays it

The Pussycat Dolls, including lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, have not responded to Jones’ allegations.

George Clooney denies anything to do with ‘ER” sexual harassment cover-up

George Clooney is categorically denying reports that he played a role in the blacklisting his former “ER” costar Vanessa Marquez for speaking out about harassment, according to US Weekly.

>> Read more trending news

“I had no idea Vanessa was blacklisted,” Clooney said. “I take her at her word. I was not a writer or a producer or a director on that show. I had nothing to do with casting. I was an actor and only an actor. If she was told I was involved in any decision about her career, then she was lied to. The fact that I couldn’t affect her career is only surpassed by the fact that I wouldn’t.”

Marquez, who played Nurse Wendy Goldman on the NBC medical drama, tweeted that Clooney “helped blacklist me when I spoke up about harassment on ER.”

>> Related: George Clooney’s 'ER' co-star makes allegations about his role in harassment on set

In other tweets, the Mexican-American actress says other “ER” cast members and producers made sexist and/or racist comments. She says that after speaking out, she was blacklisted by producers and network executives.

>> Related: George Clooney publicly slams Harvey Weinstein amid sexual harassment allegations

Clooney’s denial comes just a few days after he spoke out about the allegations of sexual misconduct made against his long-time associate Harvey Weinstein.

French president moves to revoke Weinstein's Legion of Honor

British police are investigating three new allegations of sexual assault against film producer Harvey Weinstein, all made by the same woman.

In another blow to the Hollywood titan after he was ejected from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, France's president said Sunday he was working to rescind Weinstein's prestigious Legion of Honor award.

In the new British allegations, London's Metropolitan Police force said Sunday that the woman reported being assaulted in London in 2010, 2011 and 2015. The force said officers from its Child Abuse and Sexual Offenses Command are investigating.

The woman's name has not been made public. The force also did not name Weinstein, in keeping with its policy of not identifying suspects who have not been charged.

But it said the allegations involve a man against whom another accusation was made Wednesday. That alleged assault — reported to have taken place in west London during the late 1980s — also is being investigated.

British actress Lysette Anthony says she reported to police on Wednesday that Weinstein raped her in her west London home in the late 1980s.

Anthony, 54, who appears on the British soap opera "Hollyoaks," told the Sunday Times newspaper that Weinstein raped her in the late 1980s after showing up at her London home. She said she was left feeling "disgusted and embarrassed" after the attack.

"It was pathetic, revolting," she was quoted as saying in a Thursday interview. "I remember lying in the bath later and crying."

Dozens of women have made allegations of sexual harassment and assault against the movie mogul in recent days, some dating back decades. Weinstein denies non-consensual sexual activity.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took the almost unprecedented step Saturday of revoking Weinstein's membership.

It said it did so "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."

Weinstein, who backed many British movies including "Shakespeare in Love" and "The King's Speech," also has been suspended by the British film academy.

The fallout from the multiplying accusations against Weinstein also reverberated in France on Sunday. French President Emmanuel Macron said he had "started the procedures" to revoke Weinstein's Legion of Honor award.

Rescinding the honor is rare, although it also happened to another American: disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Weinstein was given the prestigious French award in 2012 by then-President Nicolas Sarkozy after the French film "The Artist" won multiple Oscars.

Weinstein's company produced the film, and he predicted in an interview with The Associated Press at the time that it would augur a new "golden age" of French cinema.

French actresses are among those who have accused Weinstein of sexual wrongdoing, notably during his multiple appearances at the Cannes Film Festival.

Macron said he wants to speed up procedures for investigating and prosecuting sexual harassment in France to encourage more women to come forward.

___

Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.

Hogwarts Express rescues stranded family in Scotland

As if by magic, the Hogwarts Express has come to the rescue of a stranded family in Scotland.

The train that took Harry Potter to school was played onscreen by the Jacobite steam train , which runs on a remote and scenic route through the Scottish Highlands.

On Friday, it made an unscheduled stop to pick up a family of six that was stranded when a storm washed away their canoe.

Jon Cluett, his wife and four children between the ages of 6 and 12 were staying in a lakeside hut on Loch Eilt when they awoke to find their canoe was gone.

Faced with walking several miles over boggy ground to get back to the family car, Cluett called police to see if any form of rescue was available.

"The policeman said, 'We've arranged for the next train passing to stop for you, and you're not going to believe this but it's the Hogwarts Express steam train. Your kids are going to love it,'" Cluett said Sunday.

Cluett said his children, all Harry Potter fans, were "really excited" by the adventure.

"They know the Harry Potter films and they know that are filmed in the Highlands," he said. "But they hadn't put all of that together in their heads until they saw the train."

Cluett, the pastor of a church in Stirling, central Scotland, is hopeful someone will find his canoe and give the story a perfect happy ending.

"It's got to turn up at some point. The thing is 16-foot-long, red and floats," he said.

PBS airing film on Mark Twain's trip aboard 1st cruise ship

When the steamship considered the first cruise ship to originate in America left its New York City pier 150 years ago, the passenger list included a little-known California newspaperman writing under the pen name Mark Twain.

By the time the six-month overseas journey ended, the writer born in Missouri as Samuel Clemens was famous for his newspaper dispatches describing his experiences visiting Europe, North Africa and the Holy Land with American sightseers. The popular book from those dispatches — "Innocents Abroad" — allowed him to quit newspapers and start writing novels.

A new documentary on the 1867 voyage of the Quaker City, "Mark Twain's Journey to Jerusalem: Dreamland," airs at 8 p.m. Monday on the PBS World Channel .

Historians consider the voyage to be America's first large-scale tourist excursion cruise.

'Fixer Upper' fans rejoice: Chip and Joanna Gaines may not be finished with TV forever

Chip and Joanna Gaines may be open to other TV opportunities even after “Fixer Upper” comes to an end after season 5.

>> Chip, Joanna Gaines reveal why they’re calling it quits on Fixer Upper

Joanna said the couple will remain open to the idea of making a TV return in the latest issue of People.

“It isn’t inconceivable,” she said. “We’re entrepreneurs at heart, so we’ll always be looking forward to what’s next. As it relates to TV, you just never know.”

>> On Rare.us: Chip and Joanna Gaines reveal the real reason they are leaving 'Fixer Upper' behind

The hit HGTV series skyrocketed the couple into their own line with Target, a real estate company and their ever-so-popular Magnolia Market. They recently shared that they decided to leave the show to “catch [their] breath for a bit.”

>> Read more trending news

“We gave everything we had to this show, the beautiful homes and those sweet families, but this just felt like the right time to catch our breath for a bit,” Joanna said.

The fifth and final season of “Fixer Upper” will air in November.

'SNL' tackles Weinstein and Trump, transforms Kellyanne Conway into Pennywise

After facing criticism for ignoring the Harvey Weinstein scandal last week, "Saturday Night Live" slammed the Hollywood producer and tackled two of its favorite targets – President Donald Trump and White House adviser Kellyanne Conway – in this week's episode.

>> Harvey Weinstein booted from film academy

Saturday night's show, which featured host Kumail Nanjiani and musical guest Pink, kicked off with a fresh skewering of the president (Alec Baldwin), who ordered Vice President Mike Pence (Beck Bennett) to boycott everything from athletes' national anthem protests to Starbucks to a gay wedding. 

>> Read more trending news

"Outrageous. No one should disrespect the sanctity of marriage like that," Baldwin's Trump said. "As it says in my favorite verse of the Bible, double Corinthians, marriage is between a man and a woman – then another woman, then another woman and maybe one more if you've got it in you."

>> Watch the sketch here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

The comedy show also took aim at Conway (Kate McKinnon) in a parody of "It," transforming her into a sewer-dwelling clown whose sights are set on CNN's Anderson Cooper (Alex Moffat). 

>> Click here to watch

The show then turned its attention to Weinstein. In one sketch, McKinnon appeared as fictional Hollywood icon Debette Goldry, who said Weinstein "was naked, hanging upside down from a monkey bar" when she met him in a hotel room. 

McKinnon's Goldry later talked about "a secret code" actresses used "to warn each other about creeps."

"The code was, 'He raped me,'" she said. "That way, if any men were listening, they'd tune us right out."

>> Watch the sketch here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

Cast members Colin Jost and Michael Che also blasted the media mogul on "Weekend Update."

Addressing reports that Weinstein was seeking rehabilitation for sex addiction, Jost said, "Somehow, I don't think that's gonna help anybody. He doesn't need sex rehab; he needs a specialized facility where there are no women, no contact with the outside world, metal bars and it's a prison."

>> Click here to watch (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

'SNL' gave passing notice to fallen mogul Harvey Weinstein

NBC's "Saturday Night Live" gave Harvey Weinstein a pass last week. The disgraced movie mogul wasn't quite so lucky this week.

"Weekend Update" tossed off a few barbs targeting Weinstein and his fall amid numerous accusations of sexual assault.

Colin Jost proposed that rather than the rehab Weinstein has pledged to undergo, jail would be more fitting. Michael Che suggested that Weinstein's face resembles "chewed bubblegum rolled in cat hair."

Earlier, a sketch depicted actresses discussing sexual harassment. Kate McKinnon as a dotty Hollywood veteran recalled being invited to Weinstein's hotel room where he was naked and hanging upside down, trying to trick her into thinking his genitals were actually his face.

But thanks to Alec Baldwin and fellow players, the night's preferred target was, as usual, President Donald Trump.

___

This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Alec Baldwin's name.

The Latest: British actress accuses Harvey Weinstein of rape

The Latest on sexual harassment and assault allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

British actress Lysette Anthony says she's told police that Harvey Weinstein raped her in the 1980s.

Anthony, who currently appears in the British soap opera "Hollyoaks," tells the Sunday Times newspaper that Weinstein attacked her after showing up at her London home. She says she was left feeling "disgusted and embarrassed."

It was reported this week that London police were investigating a rape allegation against the producer relating to an incident in the '80s. The city's Metropolitan Police confirmed their investigation without identifying Weinstein by name.

Anthony is the latest of dozens of women, including actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, who've gone public with accusations against Harvey following recent reports by The New York Times and The New Yorker detailing misconduct claims by others. He has denied any nonconsensual sexual conduct with any women.

___

1:42 p.m.

The brother of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and co-founder of the company now struggling to survive says he had no idea "the type of predator" his brother is accused of being.

Bob Weinstein says he's in a "waking nightmare."

Bob operated in the shadow of his much more public brother for three decades as they partnered in Miramax and, more recently, The Weinstein Co.

But in an interview published Saturday by The Hollywood Reporter, he said that he and Harvey have barely spoken in five years, explaining they ran separate divisions of their company from opposite coasts.

Bob said he knew Harvey was unfaithful to his wife, but had no idea of the alleged acts of sexual harassment and assault. He says he feels "sick for the victims."

London film festival to end with 'Three Billboards'

The 12-day London Film Festival ends Sunday with "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," a small-town tragicomedy starring Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson that is being tipped as an Oscar contender next year.

Martin McDonagh's film won best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival and last month took the Toronto International Film Festival's People's Choice Award, frequently a bellwether for Hollywood's coming awards season.

Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev's "Loveless," a piercing drama about a divorcing couple whose son disappears, won the best picture prize Saturday at the London festival's awards ceremony, where filmmaker Paul Greengrass said the industry needs to do "much, much better" on diversity after the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Zvyagintsev's prize was the director's second top trophy from the London festival. He received the best picture award in 2014 for "Leviathan," a tragic satire of small-town corruption that brought the director criticism from Russian officials.

British director Andrea Arnold, president of the judging panel, said "Loveless" turned one family's story into "a universal tragedy."

"Loveless" is also an indictment of social flaws, with resonance well beyond Russia. Festival director Clare Stewart said the film's depiction of parents so consumed with their own lives they don't initially realize their son is missing "is such a powerful metaphor for what is happening with many children around the world."

Stewart said "Loveless" asks audiences, "Are we caring for our future?"

During an awards ceremony at London's 17th-century Banqueting House, South African director John Trengove won the first feature trophy for "The Wound," a drama about masculinity and sexuality set against the backdrop of a Xhosa initiation ritual.

The documentary prize went to Lucy Cohen's "Kingdom of Us," a portrait of a family trying to recover after a suicide. Patrick Bresnan's "The Rabbit Hunt" was named best short film.

Greengrass, the English director of "United 93" and three of the Jason Bourne thrillers, received the British Film Institute Fellowship, a career honor.

The 61st London festival has featured glitzy galas for other potential awards season favorites, including Guillermo del Toro's fantastical "The Shape of Water," Sean Baker's vibrant "The Florida Project" and directing duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' tennis drama "Battle of the Sexes."

But it has also been shaken by the allegations of sexual harassment and rape against powerful Hollywood producer Weinstein. The disgraced movie mogul has denied non-consensual sexual activity.

Accepting his award, Greengrass said it had been a difficult week for the industry, which still has a "profound issue with diversity."

"We need to do much, much better, including addressing our lack of women directors as a matter of urgency," Greengrass said.

He said "every one of us in leadership positions have to do more" to stamp out bad behavior.

The London festival has sought in recent years to encourage diversity in the film industry. About one-quarter of the 242 features in this year's lineup were directed by women — a higher share than many festivals manage.

Stewart said that "it's been very important for us, given our history of championing strong women, to really support the women who are brave enough to come forward and speak out" against Weinstein.

Stewart said she hoped exposure of Weinstein's behavior over decades would be a turning point.

"I think that this will lead to change," she said.

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