Prince Andrew under pressure after arrest

With another dramatic development in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal overnight, Prince Andrew has been left “bewildered” over claims he hasn’t offered to co-operate with US police.

The senior royal is being “welcomed” to talk to US authorities after Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested and charged with six counts relating to the sexual abuse and trafficking of minors.

“We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk to us,” Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss said in a media conference overnight.

“Our doors remain open and we would like to hear from him and have the benefit of his statement.”

Andrew has previously claimed he has offered three times to be a witness in the case, but US prosecutors say he has declined their request to schedule an interview.

He has faced a global backlash over his friendship with Epstein, for whom Ms Maxwell is accused of grooming girls as young as 14.

Prince Andrew pictured with Epstein victim Virginia Roberts, with Ghislaine Maxwell. Picture: Shutterstock
media_cameraPrince Andrew pictured with Epstein victim Virginia Roberts, with Ghislaine Maxwell. Picture: Shutterstock

One Epstein victim, Virginia Roberts, has claimed that she had sex with the royal on several occasions.

Prince Andrew has strongly denied the allegations and took part in a car crash TV interview where he claimed he had been at a Pizza Express restaurant on the night Ms Roberts claims they met in a London nightclub.

He has also denied any knowledge of wrongdoing by Jeffrey Epstein or Ghislaine Maxwell.

Prince Andrew has previously spoken about his fondness for Ms Maxwell, saying he had been introduced to Epstein by her.

Despite the renewed calls for him to come forward overnight, sources close to the Prince said they were “bewildered” at the comments.

The sources told several British newspapers that his legal team has “reached out” to lawyers on “a senior level” in the US in the past four weeks but say received no reply.

The source close to Andrew said: “The Duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the Department of Justice in the last month and to date, we have had no response.”

Prince Andrew has strongly denied any wrongdoing. Picture: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP
media_cameraPrince Andrew has strongly denied any wrongdoing. Picture: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP

Royal author Robert Jobson told the Daily Mail Andrew must now be living in fear that Maxwell will implicate him in the activities of Epstein.

“He keeps protesting his innocence, but her arrest has brought everything more sharply into focus. It is certainly a very worrying development for him,” Jobson said.

“It is obviously a cause for concern for him as nobody knows what she is going to say. She could strike a deal with prosecutors for a lesser sentence in return for implicating others.”

Ms Maxwell was arrested “without incident” in Bedford, New Hampshire at around 8.30am on Thursday, close to the home of her alleged boyfriend, Scott Borgeson.

Ms Maxwell, 58, lived with Epstein for years and was his former girlfriend. An indictment filed in a New York court showed that the charges include conspiracy to entice minors to travel in order to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation of minors for criminal sexual activity and perjury.

Ms Strauss said Ms Maxwell’s arrest was over allegations she helped Jeffrey Epstein sexually assault and abuse multiple minor girls from 1994 to 1997.

Ghislaine Maxwell was the former girlfriend of late financier Jeffrey Epstein. Picture: Laura Cavanaugh and Handout/various sources/AFP
media_cameraGhislaine Maxwell was the former girlfriend of late financier Jeffrey Epstein. Picture: Laura Cavanaugh and Handout/various sources/AFP

“You will recall that the indictment against Jeffrey Epstein charged Epstein with sexual abuse from 2002 through 2005,” she said in a press conference on Thursday. “This case against Ghislaine Maxwell is the prequel to the earlier case.

“Starting in 1994 until at least 1997, Maxwell had a personal and professional relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell was among Epstein’s closest associates and helped him exploit girls who were as young as 14 years old,” she alleged.

“Maxwell played a critical role in helping Epstein to identify, befriend and groom minor victims for abuse,” she said adding that Ms Maxwell was also alleged to have participated in the abuse in some cases.

Ms Strauss alleged the pair had a “method” in which “typically” Ms Maxwell would befriend young women by taking them to the movies and shopping, encouraging them to accept Epstein’s offers of travel.

“After developing a rapport with the victims, Maxwell then tried to normalise sexual abuse with a minor victim through a process known as grooming.”

Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, said she would welcome Andrew coming forward. Picture: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP
media_cameraActing United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, said she would welcome Andrew coming forward. Picture: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

She alleged Ms Maxwell would discuss sexual topics with the women and undress in front of them, helping to put them at ease and leaving them “susceptible to sexual abuse”. This abuse included sexualised massages and sexual encounters which she “sometimes participated in” Ms Strauss alleged.

Ms Strauss alleged the couple “worked together” to entice victims to travel to Epstein’s homes in New York City, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Palm Beach, Florida. Some of the abuse is also alleged to have taken place at Maxwell’s home in London.

She “compounded her crimes by repeatedly lying under oath,” Ms Strauss alleged. “Maxwell lied because the truth as alleged, was almost unspeakable.

“Maxwell enticed minor girls, got them to trust her and then delivered them into the trap that she and Epstein had set for them,” she alleged.

“She pretended to be a woman they could trust. All the while she was setting them up to be sexually abused by Epstein and in some cases by Maxwell herself.”

A federal judge in New Hampshire ordered Ms Maxwell to be sent to New York City to face charges.

Originally published as Prince Andrew under pressure after arrest

Meghan Markle Speaks With Wisconsin Victim Of Alleged Hate Crime

As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry continue to carve out their role in the racial justice space, reports surfaced over the weekend that the two have spoken with Althea Bernstein, who was the recent victim of an alleged hate crime

Bernstein, who is biracial, filed a police report in Madison, Wisconsin, last week after she was reportedly attacked by four white men. The 18-year-old said that she was stopped at a red light when the men shouted a racial epithet, poured lighter fluid on her face and neck, and then set her on fire with a lighter, according to the police report. The incident is being treated as a hate crime. 

Meghan Markle in March 2018.



Chris Jackson via Getty Images

Meghan Markle in March 2018.

Meghan and Bernstein connected for a 40-minute phone call on Saturday, thanks to Michael Johnson, the CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, who was also on the call. 

“Her and Meghan talked about the importance of self care and allowing herself to heal,” Johnson told local news outlet Channel 3000, adding that Meghan, who was impressed with the way Bernstein responded to the alleged attack, asked for Bernstein’s phone number to stay in touch. He also said that the Duchess of Sussex was interested in coming to speak in Wisconsin at some point.

Johnson said that the duchess “lifted” Bernstein’s spirits and that the two bonded over being biracial. He added Prince Harry joined the call for about 10 minutes at one point. 

In a social media post on Twitter and Facebook, Johnson said the Duke of Sussex “shared that young people[’s] voices matter.”  

Over the weekend, Axios reported that the couple were backing the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which calls on advertisers to boycott Facebook until the social media giant stops making money off disinformation and works to curb the spreading of hate speech. 

The NAACP praised the couple for getting involved and joining the fight against Facebook. 

“We are grateful for the leadership of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in recognizing the importance of solidarity in this moment,” the organization said in a tweet. “Your commitment to truth, justice, and equality are appreciated.” 

People magazine spoke to an anonymous source close to the couple who said that the Sussexes are interested in addressing online hate speech and are “working with civil rights and racial justice groups on it.” 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have refocused their efforts on the Black Lives Matter movement and protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police at the end of May.

Meghan spoke about the importance of the BLM movement and the protests currently gripping the country during a virtual graduation speech for her old school, Immaculate Heart High School and Middle School, in Los Angeles earlier this month. 

“I wasn’t sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing,” Meghan said. “And I was really nervous that I wouldn’t, or that it would get picked apart, and I realized, the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.

“Because George Floyd’s life mattered, and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered, and Philando Castile’s life mattered, and Tamir Rice’s life mattered, and so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know,” she said.

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Dixie Chicks Change Their Name To Simply ‘The Chicks’

The Dixie Chicks have officially renamed themselves The Chicks.

Coinciding with the release of their new song and video, “March March,” the group all of its social media pages to reflect the change, which comes amid a powerful new focus in the U.S. on the legacy of the enslavement of Blacks and systematic racism. 

Formed in 1989, The Dixie Chicksformed in 1989, took its name from “Dixie Chicken,” the 1973 hit song and album by the rock band Little Feat. Dixie has long been the nickname for the southern states in America. The 1859 minstrel song that included the refrain “Away, away, away down south in Dixie!” became the “de facto national anthem of the Confederacy during the Civil War,” according to History.com. 

As of Thursday, The Chicks’ site greeted fans with the YouTube video for “March March” as well as the quote: “If your voice held no power, they wouldn’t try to silence you.” 

http://thechicks.com/



HuffPost US

http://thechicks.com/

A representative for The Chicks gave HuffPost the following statement, acknowledging that a New Zealand band of the same name already exists.

“A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to ‘The Chicks’ of NZ for their gracious gesture in allowing us to share their name. We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters. Chicks Rock!” they wrote.

The name change for the trio comes on the heels of fellow country music group Lady Antebellum officially changing their name to Lady A. The definition of antebellum is “existing before a war,” and it is most widely used to refer to the slave-holding South before the 1861-65 Civil War.

Lady A said it was dropping the word “antebellum” as a response to the eruption of nationwide protests against racial inequality after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

“As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge … inclusive of all. We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face every day. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed,” the band’s statement said. 

“After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues, we have decided to drop the word ‘antebellum’ from our name and move forward as Lady A, the nickname our fans gave us almost from the start.”

Unlike The Chicks, the members of Lady A found themselves in hot water with a blues singer who had gone by Lady A for decades.

Man Finds Caterpillars In Supermarket Broccoli And Raises Them As His Own

Most people would be bugged to find a caterpillar in their supermarket broccoli, but not Sam Darlaston.

Instead, the British media personality decided to raise it to maturity ― and six others he also found among the broccoli shoots. 

Darlaston, a host on KISS FM UK and a vegetarian, discovered the first caterpillar back on June 11 when he started to prepare his favorite vegetable purchased from his local Tesco supermarket.

Darlaston was shocked at first, but that feeling soon turned to joy when he realized he had a new pet to enjoy during lockdown in his London home.

“I did my research initially and discovered the exact type of caterpillar/butterfly we were dealing with (a cabbage white),” he told HuffPost. “I then decided to build him a little home in my lounge with all the broccoli he wanted.”

He gave his new companion the name of Cedric.

Tesco refunded him the $1.37 U.S. for the cost of the caterpillar-infested broccoli. He used it to purchase more veggies and, unexpectedly, got more caterpillars.

“The broccoli I’d got as a replacement contained 5 more,” Darlaston told HuffPost. “And then a 3rd broccoli belonging to my housemate had another one! So 1 became 7 caterpillars overnight!”

He decided to keep them all.

“I’m a firm believer in not harming any animals or insects if possible and I just sort of knew what I had to do after googling how to keep a caterpillar,” he said.

Darlaston named the other members of his buggy brood Broc, Olly, Carlos, Croc, Janine and Slim Eric.

Along the way, he has faced challenges, especially when they started evolving toward their mature state.

“The biggest challenge I faced whilst raising the caterpillars was their love of escaping! Especially when they are about to cocoon,” he told HuffPost. “One day we found one on an ornamental vanilla stick! One under a table and one under a candle holder cocooning! They’d broke free from the paper lid!”

Darlaston also got to see his caterpillar family start to hook up with each other.

He also witnessed them going into the cocoon stage of their life.

But his parents had a hard time accepting his new family.

Still, Darlaston learned to enjoy the simple pleasures of parenthood.

He also became melancholy when he realized they were growing up.

Late last week, six of his seven caterpillars had gone into the cocooning stage.

That necessitated some family photos.

Darlaston said his oldest “child,” Cedric, finally emerged as a butterfly this past weekend.

Eventually, it was time for the older ones to move out.

“I felt a tiny bit sad watching them spread their wings but overall feeling was happiness,” Darlaston told HuffPost. “I’m just happy at least one of us gets to go out during these times.”

Still, the experience has made Darlaston hopeful that he’ll find more creatures in his cruciferous vegetables in the future.

“If I find more I’d 100% do it all again,” he told HuffPost.

Exasperated Colbert Hits ‘Naive’ Bolton In Blunt Interview: ‘How Did You Not Know?’

Stephen Colbert put former national security adviser John Bolton on the spot over his all-too-late realization that President Donald Trump represents a danger to the country.

“What I thought in 2016 was, we at least have to try it out,” Bolton, a longtime Republican foreign policy apparatchik, told Colbert. “So I voted for Trump.”

Colbert found that answer “exasperating.”

“There is absolutely nothing that Donald Trump has done that is surprising to me,” Colbert said, adding:

“My rule is: Everything you think about Donald Trump is probably true, because he’s not deep enough to get your socks wet in. He’s incredibly readable, that’s why when he ran casinos, the house lost.”

Bolton said he at first didn’t believe Trump was as bad as people were saying. 

“But you’re an international negotiator. How could you be naive?” Colbert said. “You’ve dealt with the worst people in the world.”

“You’ve really insulted me now by calling me naive,” Bolton said, although he was smiling at the time. He said he thought it would be possible to work with Trump, and for Trump to learn about complex foreign policy issues such as arms control. 

“As I detail in the book, that turned out not to be true,” he confessed.

See more of the interview below:  

Pink Says She ‘Got A Lot Of S**t’ For Opening Up About Marriage Counseling

Singer Pink and her husband, Carey Hart, have had their share of ups and downs over the years.

Though the two have separated twice, they’ve come back together ― something the singer attributes to going to marriage counseling. 

Over the weekend, Pink did a live interview on Instagram with therapist Vanessa Inn, who does both individual therapy for the singer and marital counseling for her and Hart. 

“I got a lot of shit for telling people that Carey and I have been in couples counseling with Vanessa,” the singer said during their conversation.

“It’s the only reason that we’re still together,” she explained. “Because you know, I think partners after a long time, we just speak — I can’t say it’s a man and woman thing, I think it’s a partner thing, a spouse thing — that you just speak two different languages.”

Carey Hart and Pink attend Billboard's 2019 Live Music Summit and Awards Ceremony on Nov. 5, 2019, in Beverly Hills.



Alberto E. Rodriguez via Getty Images

Carey Hart and Pink attend Billboard’s 2019 Live Music Summit and Awards Ceremony on Nov. 5, 2019, in Beverly Hills.

Pink said that the beauty of talking to someone like Inn is that a therapist can “hear both of you and then translate it for you.” 

“Without Vanessa translating for me for the last 18 years, I mean, we would not be together,” the “What About Us” singer revealed.

“We just wouldn’t because we are not taught as kids how to have relationships, how to get along with people,” she added. “I mean, what’s happening in our country right now is a perfect example of that. We don’t know how to love each other, we don’t know how to get along, we don’t know how to communicate.” 

Pink and Hart, who have been married since 2006, have had two, nearly yearlong breaks, according to the singer. 

“There are moments where I look at [Hart] and he is the most thoughtful, logical, constant … he’s like a rock,” Pink said in an interview with The Guardian in 2017, in which she confessed that “monogamy is work.”

“He’s a good man. He’s a good dad. He’s just the kind of dad I thought he’d be and then some,” the singer said. 

“And then I’ll look at him and go: I’ve never liked you. There’s nothing I like about you. We have nothing in common,” Pink said. “I don’t like any of the shit you like. I don’t ever wanna see you again. Then two weeks later I’m like, ‘Things are so good, you guys.’”

Alfalfa From ‘Little Rascals’ Arrested After Overdose Report

Actor Bug Hall, who is best known for playing Alfalfa in the 1994 film “The Little Rascals,” was arrested Saturday in Weatherford, Texas, after police received a call about a possible overdose.

Police told TMZ a member of Hall’s family called asking for a “status check” on the 35-year-old actor, who was reportedly staying in a local hotel. The person who placed the call spotted Hall huffing, or inhaling, something near a hotel dumpster and feared he might have overdosed, a police spokesperson told Page Six.

Officers said when the actor opened the door, they noticed a large number of cans of air duster ― typically used for blasting debris from computer keyboards ― all over the room.

Hall, whose real name is Brandon Bug Hall-Barnett, admitted he had been inhaling from the cans, according to TMZ’s report. He apparently didn’t require medical treatment.

Hall was charged with misdemeanor possession for use to inhale or ingest a volatile chemical, according to Fox News. He was released Sunday from the Parker County Jail after posting a $1,500 surety bond.

Air duster huffing can cause life-threatening injury, including rapid airway compromise, according to a 2015 peer-reviewed study documenting one man’s recovery from what appeared to be a combination of frostbite and rapid swelling called angioedema.

Bug Hall, who played Alfalfa in the 1994 film "The Little Rascals," was arrested in Weatherford, Texas, on June 20, 2020, on



Weatherford Poice Department

Bug Hall, who played Alfalfa in the 1994 film “The Little Rascals,” was arrested in Weatherford, Texas, on June 20, 2020, on a charge of possession for use to inhale or ingest a volatile chemical.

Kate Middleton Took The Cutest Photos Of Prince William And The Cambridge Kids

Kate Middleton broke out her photography skills for two very important events on Sunday: Prince William’s 38th birthday and Father’s Day. 

Kensington Palace released a pre-birthday photo on Saturday, taken by the duchess earlier this month for the Duke of Cambridge’s big day. The pictures were likely snapped at the family’s Anmer Hall estate, where the Cambridges have been isolating since March. 

The cute snap of William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis quickly racked up over 2 million likes on Instagram. 

On the day of the duke’s birthday, the palace released two additional photos that show the kids tackling their father and rolling on the grass with him. 

“Thank you everyone for your very kind wishes on The Duke of Cambridge’s birthday today!” the palace wrote. 



Kensington Palace/Instagram

In addition to those sweet photos, the duchess snapped an endearing shot of William with his dad Prince Charles that the palace posted on Father’s Day.

It shows the Prince of Wales leaning his head on his son, with both grinning from ear to ear. 

The photo collection also included a picture of a very young duchess sitting with her dad Michael Middleton. 



Kensington Palace/Instagram

Last week, Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped out for their first public engagements since March as lockdown measures began to lift in the U.K. for nonessential businesses. 

William and Kate said they’ve kept the children occupied during the lockdown with gardening and baking. 

“The children have been attacking the kitchen and it’s just been an explosion of flour and chocolate everywhere,” the duke quipped. Because of all the baking he’s been doing, William said he’s also a bit worried about everyone’s eating habits” during the family’s isolation. 

During a visit to Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Tuesday, the prince joked: “I’m worried about the waistline of the nation as well with all the chocolate and cakes,” according to People. “I’ve done a lot of baking at home. Chocolate goes down very well.” 

Prince Harry Supports Decision To Review Singing Of Slave Song At Rugby Games

Amid protests against police brutality and the murder of George Floyd, companies are reevaluating their brands, and institutions are questioning long-standing practices and traditions in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

The Rugby Football Union announced last week that, in light of recent events, it would review the controversial use of the slave spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” which is routinely sung by fans of the England rugby union team. 

Prince Harry, who is a patron of the RFU and a lifelong supporter of the sport, backs the review, a spokesperson told HuffPost on Sunday. The Sunday Times was the first to report the news. 

“The Duke is supportive of the comments the RFU made this week regarding the review, and he will follow the lead of the RFU on this matter,” a spokesperson for the prince told HuffPost, referring to Harry by his title, the Duke of Sussex.

The RFU said in a statement: “The RFU has stated we need to do more to achieve diversity, and we are determined to accelerate change and grow awareness.” 

The union added: “The Swing Low, Sweet Chariot song has long been part of the culture of rugby and is sung by many who have no awareness of its origins or sensitivities. We are reviewing its historical context and our role in educating fans to make informed decisions.”

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” is a Black spiritual that was sung both on the Underground Railroad and at Black funerals, Josephine Wright, a professor of music history and literature and Africana studies at the College of Wooster, told The New York Times in 2017. It is “unfortunate” that rugby fans appropriated the song, she added.

“Such cross-cultural appropriations of U.S. slave songs betray a total lack of understanding of the historical context in which those songs were created by the American slave,” she said.  

The use of the song by white rugby fans is “a slap in the face to the history of slavery,” Cornell William Brooks, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and former CEO and president of the NAACP, told CNN.

“Can you imagine people whose lives, bodies and beings were being sold as commodities singing about freedom, their longing for freedom, their longing for a God to free them, and have those same songs being sung in celebration of a victory on a rugby field?” Brooks told CNN in 2017. “It’s just odd and historically insulting.” 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday that he “certainly didn’t think there should be any sort of prohibition” on singing the song. 

“My curiosity is why don’t people seem to know the rest of it,” Johnson said last week during a visit to a school in Hertfordshire. “I’d love to hear the rest of it.” 

Raven-Symoné Reveals Secret Marriage To Miranda Maday In Sweet Message

The future we didn’t see … was Raven-Symoné getting secretly married!

On Thursday, the 34-year-old actor shared a snapshot of herself alongside her now-wife, Miranda Maday, captioned: “I got married to a woman who understands me from trigger to joy, from breakfast to midnight snack, from stage to home. I love you Mrs. Pearman-Maday! Let’s tear this world a new a**hole!!!”

Every one of Raven’s fellow “Cheetah Girls” members — Adrienne Bailon, Sabrina Bryan and Kiely Williams — responded to the news with well-wishes. In response to a comment from Bailon, Raven wrote, “thanks boo. Took me forever but I’m in the club now!” 

The “That’s So Raven” star also posted a snapshot of a house and backyard with a note of thanks to “all those who helped and for those who understand why it was small during this time.”

Seven people — who presumably attended the wedding — were tagged in the post.

Maday also shared a series of snapshots on Instagram from the nuptials; one was on a 3-D image of her and Raven embracing, captioned: “8PM ~ my wife for life.” 

A few other moments from the day appeared in Maday’s Instagram Story:



Instagram



Instagram

Raven has been open about dating women since 2013, though she told Oprah in 2014 that she doesn’t “want to be labeled ‘gay.’”

“I want to be labeled ‘a human who loves humans,’” she said at the time.

In 2015, she publicly introduced AzMarie Livingston as her partner. The pair, who had been together since 2012, split later that same year.

It’s unclear when Raven and Maday began dating or how long they’ve been together. Regardless, congratulations to the happy couple!