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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who announced an investigation into the Weinstein Company on Monday, will be in Los Angeles on Thursday for a 2018 election fundraiser at WME Entertainment.
The Oct. 26 event, a luncheon at the agency, is hosted by Ari Emanuel, producer-manager Eric Ortner, songwriter Bruce Roberts, tech consultant Greg Mertz, producer Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, and business executive Jon Vein, according to a copy of an invite.
The event was planned before Schneiderman announced the probe, in which the state attorney general’s civil rights division subpoenaed the company for documents related to settlements of sexual harassment complaints as well as complaints. They also are seeking documents relating to age and gender discrimination complaints.
Schneiderman is expected to run for a third term next year. Tickets for the event are $1,000 per person, and $5,000 to host.
In announcing the investigation of the Weinstein Co., Schneiderman said in a statement, “No New Yorker should be forced to walk into a workplace ruled by sexual intimidation, harassment, or fear. If sexual harassment or discrimination is pervasive at a company, we want to know.”
Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein’s brother, claimed, along with other board members, that they were unaware of the allegations, even though there have been reports that the board was made aware of at least some of the settlements in 2015.
Schneiderman received a $5,000 contribution from The Weinstein Co. in 2014, and in light of the allegations against Weinstein, his campaign said he would give that sum to Sanctuary for Families, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
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A long-running struggle between singer Katy Perry and Silver Lake businesswoman Dana Hollister over the ownership of a former convent drew to a close Friday when a Los Angeles jury ruled in favor of Perry and the archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Earlier this year, a judge had ruled that the archdiocese had the right to sell the property, rather than the nuns who once lived in the Los Feliz property, and thus the nuns’ sale to Hollister was not valid.
Perry had purchased the property for $14.5 million.
The nuns had opposed the 2015 sale to Perry for $14.5 million and tried to sell the property to Hollister, the owner of several restaurants Cliff’s Edge and the Brite Spot. The archdiocese was awarded $3.47 million in attorney fees, according to the Los Angeles Times, while Perry’s Bird Nest LLC company was awarded $1.57 million in fees.
Hollister bought the Waverly Drive property from two of the five remaining members of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who contended they had the right to sell the property. However, at the same time, the archdiocese was working to sell the property to Perry. Hollister’s attorney vowed to appeal the ruling.
In addition, the jury said Hollister acted with malice, oppression or fraud, giving Perry and the church the chance to recover punitive damages in a second phase of the trial next month.
Nearby residents had been concerned that Hollister would turn the secluded compound into a boutique hotel. Perry reportedly planned to turn the convent, which closed in 2011, into a family home for herself and her mother.
Ejogo will star opposite the previously announced Mahershala Ali in the new installment of the HBO anthology drama. She will play Amelia Reardon, an Arkansas schoolteacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980. Ali is set to play Wayne Hays, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas. The new season tells the story of a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks, and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.
Ejogo will next be seen in Dan Gilroy’s “Roman J. Israel, ESQ.” alongside Denzel Washington. She currently stars on the second season of the Starz series “The Girlfriend Experience” for writer and director Amy Seimetz. Her credits include “Selma,” “It Comes at Night,” “Alien: Covenant,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and “Born to be Blue.” She recently wrapped shooting on “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” She is represented by WME, Anonymous Content, and Conway Van Gelder Grant.
Executive producers on season three of “True Detective” are Nic Pizzolatto, Scott Stephens, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Steve Golin, Bard Dorros, and Richard Brown. Pizzolatto, the series creator, is serving as director, writer, and showrunner.
Is “everything in moderation” possible during the holidays? James Loomis, M.D., talks about dieting and the brain in episode 1 of The Exam Room podcast. PCRM.org/Podcast
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Anthony Jerjen is directing from Andrew Crabtree’s original script. The project is produced by Michel Merkt (“Elle,” “Toni Erdmann”) and Benito Mueller (“The Whistleblower”) and executive produced by Wolfgang Mueller for Barry Films.
Hartnett and Levieva will portray siblings as they try to escape the spiral of violence that has held them captive since their father’s passing. Their characters deal with a region left behind by the economy, in which selling drugs has become their way of survival and a business that’s very hard to quit.
“’Inherit the Viper’ is a visceral story of a family fighting to escape its destiny,” said Merkt. “I am thrilled to be able to tell it on this third collaboration with the incredibly talented director Anthony Jerjen, whose career I have been following since its very inception.”
Mueller added, “The opioid drug epidemic has become an extremely relevant topic and we hope that Andrew Crabtree’s touching story will resonate with audiences worldwide, as a great thriller and also as a cautionary tale.”
Hartnett starred in Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” and can next be seen in James Franco’s “The Long Home.” Levieva is known for her role as Abigail ‘Abby’ Parker in HBO’s “The Deuce” alongside James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Jerjen’s credits include “Trained” and “The End.”
Hartnett is represented by UTA and Management 360. Levieva is repped by UTA and Silver Lining Entertainment. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.
In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks with actress and author Jenna Fischer about the elements of her career that inspired her book, “The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide.”
Fischer, who is best known for her role as secretary-turned-paper saleswoman Pam on the NBC’s adaptation of “The Office,” tells Variety she was inspired to write her new book in part because of interactions she used to have with fans on early social networking site Myspace. There, she ended up writing a “really comprehensive” blog post about breaking into the business that went viral.
“It’s still out there today, and I have acting students who tell me their teachers hand it out to them when they’re graduating,” Fischer says.
She realized she had so much more she wanted to share, including lessons from her earliest days working as an extra in an ad for the “Jurassic Park” water ride at the Universal Studios theme park, which she booked only being in Los Angeles for 48 hours.
“The water ride doesn’t get you that wet, but for the sake of the commercial they had guys with hoses spraying us with water, and then at the end they brought out a water canon that shoots giant icy cold water balls at us,” Fischer recalls, adding that she was on the ride for 12 hours on that nonunion shoot.
Another early job Fischer talks about as part of her “origin story” was being a transcriber at the biannual Television Critics Assn. press tour, which she enjoyed because if you got your work done on time, you could attend the parties. The aspiring actress wasn’t just looking to network with execs and her peers but rather eat the free food and drinks because “I didn’t have a lot of access to food because I was a poor, struggling actress,” she says. “So you might have noticed in the book I do speak a lot about food — how to find food, how to get food on the set.”
It wasn’t long before Fischer was on the other side of the TCAs, though, as an actress on new shows, like “The Office,” from which a favorite memory to this day is still filming big group conference scenes because “John Krasinski would always come out of his shell” during those moments, she shares. “He was always really good [when] it’s hour seven and we’re losing steam, and he would get a second wind and just rally us all into hysterics again.”
Though “The Office” may have been a turning point for Fischer’s career, she notes that an actor’s life is never fully smooth sailing. While writing the book, she was actually fired from what she thought would be her next great comedy and dream job, CBS’ “Man With a Plan.”
Fischer was so confident the Eye was going to pick up the show she had an outfit ready and hair and makeup people standing by for the upfronts presentation announcing the new series. But on the day of those announcements she got a call that it was “bad news.”
“They’re picking up the show but focus groups didn’t love the chemistry between you and Matt LeBlanc — they didn’t believe you as a couple — and
since it’s Matt’s show they’re obviously not replacing Matt. So they’ll be replacing you,” she recalls being told.
Fischer has quite a few pieces of advice for up-and-coming actors in her book, and she offers some of those to Variety as well. Chief among them? “Know what you’re selling, know what your brand is,” she says. And of course, when you go into auditions — some that may be for a lead role, some that may be for only a few lines — you must always show that you’re ready to work.
You can listen to this week’s podcast here:
Jay-Z has been outspoken about what he considers the unfairness of Meek Mill’s recent two-to-four-year prison sentence for probation violation, and on Friday the New York Times published a strong editorial by the rapper criticizing not just the sentence but the entire U.S. judicial system and the probation program in particular.
Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley cited a failed drug test and unapproved travel, stemming from a 2008 gun and drug case, as the reason for Mill’s — real name: Rameek Williams — harsh sentence.
“On the surface, this may look like the story of yet another criminal rapper who didn’t smarten up and is back where he started,” Jay writes. “But consider this: Meek was around 19 when he was convicted on charges relating to drug and gun possession, and he served an eight-month sentence. Now he’s 30, so he has been on probation for basically his entire adult life. For about a decade, he’s been stalked by a system that considers the slightest infraction a justification for locking him back inside.
“What’s happening to Meek Mill is just one example of how our criminal justice system entraps and harasses hundreds of thousands of black people every day,” he continues. “I saw this up close when I was growing up in Brooklyn during the 1970s and 1980s. Instead of a second chance, probation ends up being a land mine, with a random misstep bringing consequences greater than the crime. A person on probation can end up in jail over a technical violation like missing a curfew…. Probation is a trap and we must fight for Meek and everyone else unjustly sent to prison.”
Read his op-ed in full here.