We’re in the aftermath of the Surviving R Kelly documentary, and many things have come from it. First, Lifetime had its best ratings in more than two years from airing the documentary that included those who claim to be ex-employees, former girlfriends, ex-mentees and even parents who claim their daughters are being held against their will. So what was R Kelly’s response? First, his reps said they’ll sue all involved. Then the reps began a website and a now cancelled Facebook page called Surviving Lies and made a vow to expose the accusers and their motives. Then comes the accusation that R Kelly’s manager, Don Russell, is threatening the families of some of the accusers with exposing their true motives for having anything to do with R Kelly. Finally, prosecutors in two different states, Georgia and Illinois, are asking any witnesses to come forward regarding their newly launched investigations into the singer. R Kelly’s music online and streaming has gone up, but folks seem to think that’s out of curiosity as many of the accusers say the songs are about Kelly’s bad deeds. Expect more stories to come forward, particularly those about the late singer Aaliyah, as those close to her may want to finally speak out. Now for his part, R Kelly denies all allegations of holding people hostage, abuse, domestic violence, underage sex and child pornography. The Chicago studio that was the center of much of the documentary is now up for sale.
TV Correspondent A.J. Calloway is facing more sexual misconduct allegations himself. He is the former host of BET’s 106 & Park and a current correspondent on the daily entertainment magazine show Extra. Calloway had a Metoo moment of his own when a woman went public with allegations of sexual misconduct last year. Now, two more women have accused the TV personality of assault in the media, and one has gone to the police in West Orange late last year. The women at this point are remaining anonymous. West Orange police confirm a complaint against Calloway for aggravated sexual assault was filed, but wouldn’t elaborate further. A spokesperson for Warner Bros., the producers of Extra, say, to date, they have not received a complaint about Calloway or his work, and that’s there’s no current investigation going on. Last year, Calloway denied Writer Sil Lai Abrams’ claim that he forced her to perform a sex act.
The costliest divorce in history may be taking place right now. Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, 54, the world’s richest man and his wife MacKenzie, 48, have jointly announced after 25 years of marriage they’re divorcing. They both met as hedge fund managers before Bezos created Amazon. Now reports have surfaced the two didn’t have a prenup. Bezos is reportedly worth $137 billion. MacKenzie could see half in a divorce making her the world’s richest woman.
Little is a movie coming out this spring, but it’s already going into the record books. A high powered but super mean business executive (Regina Hall from Girls’ Trip) is transformed back into her 13-year old self with her present day mind (Marsai Martin, “Diane” from Black-ish). Her assistant (Issa Rae of Insecure) is the only one who knows the truth, and must keep her boss’ business going until they can make her normal again. Will Packer, Hall and Martin are the executive producers and that makes Martin the youngest executive producer in movie history. Also, congrats to Hall who recently won Best Actress from The New York Film Critics Circle Awards making her the first African American to take that honor. Little, co-starring Tone Bell (CBS’ Fam) and Justin Hartley (NBC’s This Is Us) opens in theaters April 12th.
Speaking of This Is Us, legendary Cosby Show alum will return to NBC and join the cast of the critically acclaimed drama. Tony Winner and Emmy Nominee Phylicia Rashad will play the mother of Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) and mother-in-law to Randall (Sterling K. Brown). Rashad still has a recurring role on FOX’s Empire as well.
Wendy Williams has once again pushed up her TV return date. After a slew of controversy surrounding her husband/manager Kevin Hunter, his alleged mistress, their alleged side-jawn pad and her alleged side jawn pregnancy, Williams will not return to her show next week but the show will be moderated by a celebrity panel. Williams has not spoken out publicly about these controversies. Her husband however is a different story. Hunter has reportedly gathered the staff of Williams’ show for an hour long meeting and laid down the law. Reports are flying that he threatened the staff not to ask about Williams’ personal life or his and nothing was to be leaked to the media. Or, he will find out who did it and that person or persons will be out by his order. Can Williams’ show survive all this, and how will she be able to return and not talk about the biggest topic her audience is concerned about….her? Time will tell.
In more martial news, Pastor John Gray has shocked all with reports of a pregnant mistress. First, the pastor known as Baby Jakes because he was following so closely in the footsteps of his mentor T.D. Jakes, shocked his congregation with a gift to his wife. Gray bought his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini. That caused a huge controversy, and the pastor had to explain that money came from his other endeavors and not church money from his parishioners. Then came the questions of why he’d make such an extravagant gift. You know these days side chicks are not quiet, and it didn’t take long for reports of Gray getting his mistress pregnant to surface. Gray and his wife Aventer are not confirming a mistress or a pregnancy, and Gray has only preached about short comings as a husband. Hmmmm! More to come.
Kevin Hart has been making the rounds to promote his move, The Upside, but winds up saying No, No, No I’m still not hosting the Oscars. When decade old homophobic tweets Hart sent out resurfaced, he apologized (several times at this point) and stepped down as Oscars host this year. Hart says at this point he’ll be a distraction, and the heavy push for him to keep apologizing is too problematic. He’s moved on, perhaps a future hosting gig, but not this year. The Oscars will go without a host for the first time in 30 years with an all-star, yet to be announced line up. Meanwhile, Hart’s new Philly filmed movie is The Upside, with Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman, Julianna Margulies and Aja Naomi King, and it opens in theaters today. The 91st Annual Academy Awards airs Sunday, February 24th at 8pm on ABC.
The Golden Globes may have been the lowest rated in history, but it still made history with winners Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Mahershala Ali (Green Book) and Co-host Sandra Oh (Killing Eve). Unfortunately, there were rumors of backstage tension between Black Panther co-stars Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan. On stage, they didn’t sit together as Jordan sat with Director Ryan Coogler and castmembers Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira while Boseman and his girlfriend were at a separate table. Let’s hope this passes.
Toni Braxton….bankrupt again. The singer just broke her engagement to rap mogul Birdman who’s also trying to right the ship at his own company. Right now he’s only got Jacquees as his only major star on the charts, so breaking up with Braxton now allows him to focus on re-growing his empire. That doesn’t help Braxton who once again finds herself in dire money waters. She may have to get back quick to reality TV or start touring again.
Mary J. Blige is coming to Netflix. The Queen Of Hip Hop Soul is following up her Oscar nominated 2017 role in Mudbound by playing a hired killer. Blige will play an assassin in the Nextflix series The Umbrella Academy. This is a scary series. In fact, think American Horror Story type scary. Umbrella Academy begins streaming February 15th.
Taraji P. Henson’s latest film What Men Want opening in theaters February 8th.
Our Forever First Lady Michelle Obama is on the cover of Essence’s December/January issue, Ebony’s December/January Power 100 issue, and her Becoming is the hottest title in the book world.
Check out who’s coming to town:
Sunday, January 20th – The All Stars of Hip Hop starring Naughty By Nature, Kool Moe Dee, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane and more at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Tickets and information at ticketmaster.com or The Boardwalk Hall box office.
Friday, February 8th – Herbie Hancock in concert at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For Tickets and information log onto parxcasino.com/xcitecenter
Saturday, February 16th – Boyz II Men celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the album II at The Met Philly, Broad and Poplar. Log onto themetphilly.com/events for tickets and information.
Saturday, February 16th – Erykah Badu in concert at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Sunday, February 17th – The Valentine’s Day Soul Jam starring The Stylistics, The Manhattans, Bloodstone and Harold Melvin’s Bluenotes at The Tropicana in Atlantic City. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Sunday, February 17th – Gladys Knight in concert at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For tickets and information log onto parxcasino.com/xcitecenter
Saturday, March 16th – Comedian JB Smoove at the Parx Casino in Bensalem. For tickets and information log onto parxcasino.com/xcitecenter.
Wednesday March 20th – Sunday, March 24th – Madea’s Farewell starring Tyler Perry at The Met Philly, Broad & Poplar Streets. For tickets and information log onto ticketmaster.com
Saturday, March 30th – Mariah Carey in concert at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. Log onto ticketmaster.com for tickets and information.
If you would like more info please email me at PattyJackson@iHeartMedia.com or check me out with my midday reports at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm during the day.