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Al Sharpton says Jussie Smollett should ‘face accountability to the maximum’ if attack was orchestrated

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Al Sharpton says Jussie Smollett should ‘face accountability to the maximum’ if attack was orchestrated

When “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett said he was attacked by two masked men yelling racist and homophobic epithets, as well as “This is MAGA country,” MSNBC host Al Sharpton came out in support of the star.

“We can’t make people love each other, but we can sure hold them accountable if they harm each other,” Sharpton said at the end of his “Final Thoughts” segment headlined, “We’re with you Jussie.”

But amid multiple reports this weekend that Smollett may have been involved in orchestrating the attack, Sharpton, who made his name in the 1980s as the spokesperson Tawana Brawley in what turned out to be false claims she was raped by four white men, changed his tune on-air on Sunday.

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Sharpton still thinks someone should be punished, but his tune has changed as these new reports emerged.

“If it is found that Smollett and these gentlemen did, in some way, perpetrate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum,” Sharpton said referring to the actor and two men linked to him who have been questioned by police. “Let us get to the bottom of it, and let justice be done, no matter who is right or wrong.”

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Smollett, who is black and openly gay, has claimed he was attacked by two masked men early on Jan. 29 as he walked to his Chicago apartment from a Subway restaurant. Smollett alleged the men shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at him.

Sharpton famously lost a defamation suit when the Brawley attack was eventually found not to have happened. Now, there are reports that Smollett might have also orchestrated an alleged attack — as local reports have cited sources saying the attack was a hoax, though the Chicago Police Department has not confirmed that.

Last week, Chicago police questioned two Nigerian brothers in the reported attack but released them Friday without charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the pair had given officers information that had “shifted the trajectory of the investigation.”

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“While we are not in a position to confirm, deny or comment on the validity of what’s been unofficially released, there are some developments in this investigation and detectives have some follow-ups to complete which include speaking to the individual who reported the incident, ” Guglielmi said Sunday.

In this 1988 file photo, Tawana Brawley speaks to reporters with her adviser the Rev. Al Sharpton in Chicago.

In this 1988 file photo, Tawana Brawley speaks to reporters with her adviser the Rev. Al Sharpton in Chicago.
(AP)

Smollett received an outpouring of support from politicians and celebs when he first went public about the alleged attack in January. Smollett reportedly has claimed at least one of the attackers said to him, “this is MAGA country,” in reference to President Trump’s campaign slogan.

The Brawley rape allegations in the late 1980s left an entire community on the brink of “civil war” – and a recent Fox Nation documentary took a closer look at one of the most racially-charged legal sagas in American history.

The New York teen’s claims — in which she said she was allegedly raped in the woods by multiple white men in Wappingers Falls, New York, and then left wrapped in a feces-covered plastic bag with racial slurs written on her body — helped springboard the careers of activists including Sharpton. But after an extensive investigation filled with twists and turns, a grand jury found the allegations to be an elaborate hoax.

Smollett’s lawyer has denied his client had anything to do with his alleged attack in Chicago.

“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” attorneys Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson said in a statement. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas, Greg Norman and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.

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Janet Jackson allegedly changes position on Glastonbury Festival poster after original placed her fourth

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Janet Jackson allegedly changes position on Glastonbury Festival poster after original placed her fourth

If there is anything Janet Jackson wants you to know about her, it’s that she’s always the headliner.

That’s what fans pointed out Monday when the singer, 52, shared the lineup for the iconic Glastonbury Festival this year – only Jackson’s version of the poster looked a little different from the original.

As it turns out, the lineup poster Jackson shared with fans on Twitter lists her name first among acts headlining the British festival instead of fourth, where it landed before the change.

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It’s unclear who made the alteration, but it seems the legendary pop star and her fans liked the switch. After posting the image with the caption, “Can’t wait to see you,” fans immediately shared their support for Jackson – with one Twitter user responding, “It appears someone corrected it so Janet’s name is first – as it SHOULD be…actually it needs to be at the very top, but I’ll settle.” Another user echoed the sentiment, writing that “Miss Jackson knows her worth.”

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When Glastonbury Festival tickets went on sale in October 2018, event organizers went on Twitter to share their gratitude after the event sold out in half an hour, as Billboard reported at the time.

“Tickets have now all sold out! We are blown away by the huge demand, looks like record numbers tried,” read the tweet. “Thank you for your patience and incredible support and for those of you who missed out, there will be a ticket resale in April.”

The Glastonbury Festival runs June 26-30, and although tickets are currently unavailable, organizers say any canceled tickets will be made available to the public on April 28.

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Mugshot of ‘Mama June’ released after drug arrest

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Mugshot of 'Mama June' released after drug arrest

The arrest of “Mama June” — a reality star who gained fame on TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” — went down just like every other  carried out by the Macon County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama, the sheriff said Tuesday.

June Shannon, 39, and her boyfriend, 43-year-old Eugene Doak, were taken into custody on Wednesday at a gas station in Alabama after deputies received a report alleging domestic violence.

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Sheriff Andre Brunson said the pair were heading home after a night of gambling. The two were sitting in Shannon’s vehicle when responding officers “found some drug paraphernalia and some other drugs in the car,” Brunson said at a news conference.

The sheriff said that Shannon “was very cordial, she was very nice and funny, of course, and we didn’t have any problem with either one” as she and Doak were taken into custody.

Shannon is best known for her series on TLC, in which she and her family starred in a show surrounding her daughter Alana Thompson, otherwise known as “Honey Boo Boo.” Shannon went on to star in her own show, “Mama June: From Not to Hot,” which followed her weight loss journey.

Despite her reality star fame, Brunson said he “wasn’t too familiar with Mama June and the whole TV series.”

“We tried to be fair to them as we do to everybody else with the confidentiality and all that stuff, but it’s public knowledge and public records and all that stuff at some point,” he told reporters. He said that the sheriff’s office “want to treat them the same and give them the same respect and privacy as we give everybody else.”

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Shannon and Doak were both charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, and Doak was charged with domestic violence, according to the sheriff.

He said the couple would be in court soon for their initial appearance.

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‘The Young and the Restless’ star Kristoff St. John’s cause of death revealed

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'The Young and the Restless' star Kristoff St. John's cause of death revealed

“The Young and the Restless” star Kristoff St. John died of hypertrophic heart disease, according to an autopsy report obtained by Fox News.

Other contributing factors included “myocardial bridging of left anterior descending coronary artery and the effects of ethanol.” The Los Angeles county coroner officially ruled St John’s death an accident.

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The 52-year-old, best known for his role as Neil Winters on the long-running soap opera, died on Feb. 3 in California.

TMZ said police responded to a call from friends who’d found the two-time Emmy winner dead at his San Fernando Valley home.

According to the gossip site, St. John was pronounced dead at the scene.

In this June 20, 2008, file photo, Kristoff St. John accepts the award for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his work on "The Young and the Restless" at the 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. 

In this June 20, 2008, file photo, Kristoff St. John accepts the award for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his work on “The Young and the Restless” at the 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. 
(AP, File)

In 2014, St. John’s personal life was marked by tragedy when his son with ex-wife and boxer Mia St. John, Julian, committed suicide while receiving treatment at a mental health facility. The family later sued the treatment center, alleging negligence, and the suit was settled, according to TMZ.

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Per the site, St. John was placed under a 72-hour psychiatric hold in 2017 after attempting suicide around the anniversary of his son’s death. At the time, Mia said reporting about her ex-husband’s “incident” were “inaccurate.”

“No parent should ever have to bury their child, and for those who do, it is a nightmare that haunts you forever. The death of our beloved son, Julian, has taken a toll on both of us. He is an actor and while he may appear whole on the outside, his heart is broken,” she told Entertainment Tonight at the time. She added, “Last week, an incident occurred, that pushed him to the breaking point, but was not accurately reported.”

She did not elaborate further but asked fans for prayers and support.

St. John is survived by his daughter Paris Nicole, whom he shared with Mia St. John. He is also survived by another daughter, Lola, who was born in 2003 while he was married to his second wife, Allana Nadal. The couple divorced in 2007 and he became engaged to Russian model Kseniya Olegovna Mikhaleva in September.

 Fox News’ Sasha Savitsky contributed to this report. 

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