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Russell Simmons accused of rape by 3 more women, ‘vehemently’ denies it

Music mogul and entrepreneur Russell Simmons is “vehemently” denying he raped at least three women dating back to the late 1980s.

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The three women have stepped forward, accusing Simmons, 60, of a “pattern of violent sexual behavior,” including rape, between the late 1980s and 2014, according to the New York Times.

The women all spoke on the record and allowed their names to be revealed.

The Times said it confirmed the allegations through friends and associates of the women at the time the incidents occurred.

The women said they decided to come forward and tell their stories after dozens of victims publicly detailed alleged sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein.

Simmons said the accusations are false.

“I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all my relations have been consensual,” the Def Jam Records co-founder told the newspaper.

He also said he has “enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power.”

Simmons stepped down from his business empire last month after sexual misconduct allegations against him first surfaced. 

>> Related: Russell Simmons stepping down from companies after sexual assault allegation

At that time he also denied the allegations, but apologized.

“While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize,” he said.

Second Georgia Dome implosion scheduled to bring down remaining wall

The portions of the Georgia Dome that remained standing after the building’s implosion last month will be brought down next week, officials said Wednesday.

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“supplemental implosion” has been scheduled for 1 a.m. on Dec. 20 to remove a long wall on the stadium’s east end and a structure around Gate B on the northwest corner. 

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which operated the Dome, said the second implosion “has been determined to be the safest method to bring down the remaining infrastructure still standing.” 

>> Related: Dust from Georgia Dome’s implosion impacts residents and businesses

The Georgia Dome was the home of the Atlanta Falcons until the Falcons’ new home  Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in August.

Who Is Tavis Smiley?

Who Is Tavis Smiley?

PBS suspends ‘Tavis Smiley’ show amid sexual misconduct investigation

PBS has suspended the “Tavis Smiley” show following allegations of sexual misconduct between Smiley and former production staffers.

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According to Variety, PBS hired a firm to oversee Smiley’s behavior after reports of misconduct. As many as 10 witnesses, both men and women, spoke to investigators.  

A PBS spokesperson released a statement on the suspension:

"Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of Tavis Smiley, produced by TS Media, an independent production company. PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision."

Car Shop Disappears, Customer Wants Car Back

Car Shop Disappears, Customer Wants Car Back

Tom Hanks jokes about ‘The Post’ co-star Meryl Streep calling her ‘high maintenance’

When Hollywood legend Tom Hanks appeared on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” to promote his new movie “The Post,” he managed to find time to take a few playful jabs at his co-star and fellow Hollywood legend Meryl Streep.

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Colbert and Hanks were having a friendly chat when Colbert mentioned the veteran actress. Hanks rolled his eyes and said, “You mean, can I just say, Meryl ‘High Maintenance’ Streep?’”

This clearly peaked Colbert’s interest. “Oh really? Diva?” the host asked.

“Look, the shoes alone, man,” Hanks quipped, before quickly adding, “No, I am so joking.”

He made sure to clarify that Streep isn’t actually a diva.

“You know what’s scary about Meryl? She comes in and does it just like everybody else does,” Hanks said. “You’re expecting French horns before she enters the stage.”

Putting on a posh accent he added, “You expect a guy in livery to come out: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the actress known as Meryl Streep.’ And she comes in and waves to the crew the way the royals used to.”

>> Related: Tom Hanks’ ominous take on Trump’s ongoing media feud

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy Award winning actor issued a warning to those who aspire to a career in Hollywood: “There are predators absolutely everywhere.”

Hanks began his musings on the recent wave of sexual assault scandals by addressing the positive aspects of Hollywood: “There’s a lot of reasons people do this for a living. Making a movie is a life experience that can create an awful lot of joy,” he said. “You can meet the person you fall in love with, you can laugh your heads off. That’s the good stuff.”

But the 61-year-old “Forrest Gump” star added that there were sinister elements in the film industry: “The bad stuff can happen on a movie as well. There are some people who go into this business because they get off on having power,” he said. “And the times they feel the most powerful, which is why they went into the business, are when they are hitting on somebody who’s underneath them, [and] I don’t necessarily mean completely sexually,” he said. “There are predators absolutely everywhere.”

But true to his reputation as a Hollywood nice guy, Hanks ended his train of thought on the matter with a hint of optimism:

“Somebody said, ‘Is it too late to change things?’ No, it’s never too late,” Hanks said. “It’s never too late to learn new behaviors. And that’s a responsibility of anybody who wants to obey a code of professional ethics.”

>> Related: Furious Rose McGowan blasts old friend Alissa Milano on Twitter over Weinstein’s wife

“The Post” is based on a true story involving the Pentagon Papers and the cover-up that spanned four U.S. presidents and pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher, Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep), and a hard-driving editor, Ben Bradlee (Hanks), to join in an unprecedented battle between journalism and government. It was directed by Hanks’ longtime collaborator Steven Spielberg.

Man stuns fellow drivers by stripping naked, jumping on cars

Wild footage taken during a Tuesday afternoon Incident shows a naked man running down a highway and jumping onto vehicles after crashing his own truck — causing the road to close to traffic.

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Police responded to a call about an accident near Washington Dulles International Airport and a man possibly fleeing the scene without his clothes on. According to officers, one of the drivers involved in the crash got out of his car and assaulted the other driver. That’s when the suspect reportedly undressed and jumped onto a passing vehicle. After causing damage to the truck, he got off of it and ran away.

The video shows the man trying to climb into a dump truck. At one point, he jumps onto the back of a passing truck, clinging on as the driver attempts to drive away. Theo Garner watched the entire episode from the Herndon office building.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I see a ... half-naked guy cross eight lanes of traffic on 28. He then climbs up on the back of the dump truck that a pickup truck had slammed into the back of, disrobes and then proceeds to throw things on 28,” he said. “It’s not something you see every day. I’ve been working there for 17 years and I’ve never seen any shenanigans like that man. That was absolutely insane. But I’ll tell you it did brighten up a boring workday.”

The man was later located on Dulles property, arrested and taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police are reportedly still working to identify the suspect, and charges against him are pending.

AL sen.-elect Doug Jones says message of ‘common ground’ resonated with voters

Alabama’s new U.S. senator-elect, Democrat Doug Jones, says he wants to find common ground after a hard-fought, come-from-behind victory against Republican candidate Roy Moore Tuesday night.

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Jones, in his first press conference as the state’s new senator, told reporters Wednesday “this has been an amazing night,” referring to his victory in the special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Although Jones beat Moore, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court who had been accused of sexual misconduct, he said he has not talked with Moore, who has refused to concede the election. Asked whether Moore should concede, Jones said, “I’m going to leave that to him.”

Jones’ message, both during the campaign and after, is “common ground.”

“Let’s find common ground,” Jones said. “The key is finding the common ground.” 

“The people of this state have more in common than we do that divides us.”

"I think I'm a lot more center-of-the-road political figure, public figure," he said.

Jones is the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in deep red Alabama in 25 years.

>> Related: Trump on Roy Moore's loss in Alabama Senate race: 'I was right'

He credited volunteers and “boots on the ground” for winning the election in what seemed like a long shot.

“We knocked on 300,000 doors ... we knew the importance of minority votes ... we had a lot of support.”

“We were true to ourselves and I think that was an important piece of winning this election,” he said.

“This campaign is giving a lot of people a reason to believe.”  

President Donald Trump called Jones Wednesday to congratulate him and invited him for a White House visit. The new senator also talked with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Jones also told reporters he believed the eight women who came forward to accuse Moore of pursuing them when they were underage or young teenagers and he was in his 30s.

“We’ve reached the tipping point in this country where women need to stand up.”

When asked if he thought Moore’s accusers impacted the election, Jones responded,

"I think Roy Moore was disqualified from this job to begin with."

>> Related: 5 things to know about Doug Jones, winner of the Alabama Senate race

The Alabama election is not yet certified, but Jones said he’s in the process of forming a transition team and is expected to be sworn into office early next year.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle to spend holidays with royal family

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly breaking tradition again with their holiday plans. Kensington Palace confirmed that the former “Suits” star will be spending the holidays with her soon-to-be in-laws at Queen Elizabeth’s private estate in Norfolk, England.

“You can expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle at Sandringham on Christmas Day,” a spokesperson for the palace  told “Entertainment Tonight”.

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This reportedly is breaking royal protocol, as the royal family typically reserves holiday invitations to the Sandringham House for after an engaged couple has wed. The royal family usually spends the holidays at that estate but last year skipped the trip, after the queen and Prince Philip both caught colds.

“The Queen and members of the Royal Family will attend the Morning Service on Christmas Day at Sandringham Church,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

It was previously reported that the couple would be hosted by Prince William and wife Duchess Catherine for Christmas and would stay at their home in Norfolk. On Christmas Day, the family will attend the church service together before lunch.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are planning for a May wedding at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Following the “I do’s,” they will settle into their new home at Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace, where they will be next-door neighbors with Prince William, Duchess Catherine, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and their baby number three, who’s due in April.

2 dead after shooting at Penn State Beaver campus

Two people died Wednesday afternoon in a shooting at Penn State’s Beaver campus in what police described as a domestic situation, WPXI confirmed.

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