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Kelly Clarkson says she was unhappy when she was ‘really skinny’

Despite nearly incessant reports about her figure, Kelly Clarkson is just fine with her curves.

In a revealing interview with Attitude magazine, the singer and mother of two revealed that soon after her career reached new heights after the release of her sophomore album, she faced increased pressure from executives to be thin.

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“When I was really skinny, I wanted to kill myself,” Clarkson told the magazine. “I was miserable, liked inside and out, for four years of my life. But no one cared, because aesthetically you make sense.”

“It was a very dark time for me,” she said. “I thought the only way out was quitting. I, like, wrecked my knees and my feet because all I would do is put in headphones and run. I was at the gym all the time.”

A few years after “Breakaway,” Clarkson released “My December” in 2007. She fought with her label for creative control to be able to make the album she wanted. 

“I was around some really negative people, and I got out of it because I had a lot of great people there too. It was a case of turning around, facing them and walking toward the light.

“There’s a song on ‘My December’ called ‘Sober.’ There’s this line ‘Picked the weeds but kept the flowers,’ and I just live my life by that because you are who you surround yourself with.”

Loretta Lynn returns to the spotlight to induct Alan Jackson into Country Music Hall of Fame

Alan Jackson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame at the annual Medallion Ceremony on Sunday. The honoree requested that country icon Loretta Lynn be the one to place the Country Music Hall of Fame medallion around his neck. Lynn suffered a stroke in May and has only made one public appearance since then.

When she walked onto the stage with a little help from fellow Country Music Hall of Fame member George Strait and her daughter, Patsy, the audience erupted into applause.

Lynn spoke slowly, but her thoughts were very clear as she explained why she made the effort to travel from her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, to Nashville for Jackson’s induction.

“This is the first time I’ve been out of the house. You’re the only thing that could have brought me here,” she said. “I love you, honey, and I want to say, ‘Congratulations.’ I am so proud of you.”

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Lynn also shared the story of her first conversation with Jackson after hearing him perform a few songs.

She recalled, “The first time I ever met Alan and seen Alan, he looked like a scared little boy. He was practicing backstage going through his songs. I remember, I looked at him and I said, ‘You’re gonna be one of the greatest singers in country music.’ He hasn’t let me down.”

Strait sang Jackson’s 2003 song “Remember When” for the honoree. Lee Ann Womack delivered Alan’s 1990 debut hit, “Here in the Real World,” and Alison Krauss performed another hit from Alan’s early years, 1991’s “Someday.”

Lynn joined Alan, George and fellow Country Music Hall of Fame member Connie Smith to close out the ceremony with a singalong of the official anthem of the Hall of Fame, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

Before the event, Rare Country caught up with Jackson and his wife, Denise, to see what he was thinking going into the big event. Alan told us he’d spent most of the day just watching football and watching his wife and three daughters get ready for the ceremony.

Jackson’s daughters have inspired several of his biggest hits, most notably 2002’s “Drive (For Daddy Gene).” We asked him what they thought of their father getting country music’s highest honor.

“They are all so proud,” Jackson said. “They all say how proud they are. They’ve always been that way about my music and been such a big part of it, influencing songs and everything. I’m so happy they were able to be here tonight to be a part of this.”

Jackson said it’s a little overwhelming to realize the plaque with his name on it will now hang in the Country Music Hall of Fame’s rotunda beside the plaques of other giants of country music.

He said, “A lot of ’em are heroes I’ve patterned myself after, or tried to. All the way from Hank Williams to, more recently, Don Williams that passed away. Everyone from George (Jones) and Merle (Haggard). Just so many people that have been a part of all this history. Especially when you look at how many are members here and how many that aren’t -- I feel so blessed and special to be included with these guys and girls.”

Others inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame include late country star and actor Jerry Reed and songwriter Don Schlitz, best known for writing Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” and Randy Travis’s “Forever and Ever, Amen” among scores of other major country hits.

Jemele Hill announces her return to ESPN after suspension

Jemele Hill returned to Twitter Monday and announced her return to ESPN after her two-week suspension for a second violation of ESPN’s social media guidelines. 

ESPN suspended Hill after the SportsCenter anchor tweeted that those upset with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should take issue with advertisers, not players.

“Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers,” she tweeted Oct. 8.

The tweet was in response to Jones telling reporters that day that players who were “disrespectful to the flag” would not play. That is, players who kneeled during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racism wouldn’t be allowed to participate in the game.

She later clarified her previous tweets, saying, “I’m not advocating a NFL boycott. But an unfair burden has been put on players in Dallas & Miami w/ anthem directives.”

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“Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines,” ESPN said in an Oct. 9 statement. “She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company down with an impulsive tweet. In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences. Hence the decision.”

Hill’s SC6 co-anchor, Michael Smith, stepped away from the show the first day Hill’s suspension in solidarity and anchored alone until her return.

Hill told TMZ Sports in a video posted Saturday that she regretted putting her company and co-workers in a tough spot and that she wasn’t upset about the suspension. In fact, she said she deserved it.

“Here’s the reality, ESPN acted what they felt was right, and I don't have any argument or quibble with that,” Hill said. “I would tell people, absolutely, after my Donald Trump tweets, I deserved that suspension. I deserved it. Like, absolutely. I violated the policy. I deserved that suspension.”

But Hill isn’t saying she regrets what she said about President Donald Trump. In those tweets, posted Sept. 11, she referred to him a white supremacist.

“I put ESPN in a bad spot,” she said. “I’ll never take back what I said.”

Hill will return to SportsCenter on ESPN2 Monday at 6 p.m. 

What Hollywood’s men are saying about Harvey Weinstein amid sexual harassment allegations

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is accused of multiple sexual assaults and harassment incidents dating back to the 1980s, according to groundbreaking investigations from the New York Timesthe New Yorker and other outlets.

Related: Timeline of Weinstein allegations dating back decades

Actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angelina Jolie, Lena Headey, Lisa Rose and Kate Beckinsale are among the many women who have come forward with allegations against Weinstein.

There are more than 50 accusations against the producer so far.

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Weinstein’s spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said last week, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein.”

Here’s a running list of some of Hollywood’s biggest male stars and media moguls on Harvey Weinstein:

Janet Jackson fans not happy about Justin Timberlake Super Bowl Halftime show

When Justin Timberlake announced Sunday he would be performing at the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show, the first thought for many was: Will Janet Jackson join Timberlake during the performance?

Before the NFL or Timberlake could respond, livid fans took to social media to dispute the league’s decision to give the singer with a halftime spot and not Jackson.

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In 2004, the duo performed during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime, but as the two ended Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body,” a wardrobe malfunction revealed Jackson’s nipple for less than a second, spawning what now is referred to as the “Nipplegate” scandal.

The FCC nightmare led to the now-standard video delay during live events. Many argue Timberlake was not negatively affected by the scandal like Jackson was. Rolling Stone reported that the incident at the show, which was produced by MTV, led to a blacklisting of the artist by Viacom, MTV’s parent company, and CBS, the network the halftime show aired on. The blacklisting reportedly led to dismal record sales for Jackson’s “Damita Jo” LP and a dark cloud over the performance until this day.

Related: Justin Timberlake will headline Super Bowl LII halftime show

In light of the impactof the controversial moment, some fans found issue with the NFL inviting one-half of the duo back for a second shot at a drama-free performance. Such concerns were expressed on Twitter.

Some even sensed a racial undertone to the missing invitation for a Janet Jackson performance.

NFL officials cleared up the rumors Monday afternoon that Jackson is banned from performing. 

Related: Justin Timberlake will headline Super Bowl LII halftime show

“No ban, no,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told CNN. He declined comment on “any speculation regarding potential guests,” and he said there may be no guests. McCarthy went on to describer Timberlake as the “ultimate global superstar.”

Timberlake has not yet announced whether he plans to invite Jackson as a special guest. Jackson is currently traveling across the U.S. for her State of the World North American Tour.

'Magnum P.I.' reboot in the works: reports

CBS is working on a reboot of its classic show “Magnum P.I.,” according to reports.

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The first eight seasons of the original series aired on CBS in the 1980s. The show starred Tom Selleck.

The series reboot “follows Thomas Magnum (Selleck’s former role), a decorated ex-Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator. With help from fellow vets Theodore ‘TC’ Calvin and Orville ‘Rick’ Wright, as well as that of disavowed former MI:6 agent Juliet Higgins, Magnum takes on the cases no one else will, helping those who have no one else to turn to,” Variety magazine reported.

The reboot has already been given a “pilot-production commitment” from the network, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It’s unclear whether Selleck will return for the reboot, but as he is currently under contract with CBS for the hit show “Blue Bloods,” it’s plausible that he could appear on the new “Magnum P.I.”

The reboot comes after a recent attempt to revive the series flopped.

Last year, ABC attempted to develop a sequel series, titled “Magnum,” which would have followed Magnum’s daughter who returns to Hawaii to take over her father’s P.I. firm. However, the show did not move beyond the development stage.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Neighbors make sure 95-year-old WWII is comfortable during daily walk

Harvey Djerf , a 95-year-old World War II veteran, doesn’t let his age stop him from taking his daily walks.

He takes the sojourns twice a day, all year long, and he’s been doing it for 65 years, Inside Edition reported.

But his neighbors are keeping an eye out for Djerf.

>> Read more trending news

Every so often, a random chair has been left out for Djerf to take a load off when he’s out for his walks.

“People saw me stopping and catching my breath,” Djerf told KARE. “They figured maybe Harvey needs a place to rest.”

Tom and Melanie Heuerman saw Harvey taking a break in other neighbors’ chairs. That’s when they added another one to his route.

The winter doesn’t stop Djerf, either, and his neighbors make sure Djerf can get safely to his seat by shoveling a path to his chairs, KARE reported.

Djerf said his walks keep him going and give him something to do since his wife, 95, suffered a stroke last year and has been living at an assisted living facility, Inside Edition reported.

Waka Flocka Flame will release ‘Flockaveli II’ in 2018

Waka Flocka Flame is finally ready to release “Flockaveli II.”

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The Atlanta rapper said his first solo album in five years will arrive in early 2018.

“This is the fourth time I’ve made ‘Flockaveli II,’” he said in a statement. “I lost the original version when I lost my hard drives, and then I lost two more after that. With this version of the album, I just did it.”

The singles “Trap My (Expletive) Off,” produced by Louney G, and “Circles,” the EDM-brushed track featuring rapper Derez Deshon, preface the release of the album, Waka’s first since “Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family” in 2012.

The Gucci Mane protégé recorded 42 tracks for the album, but pared it down to 19. Other producers featured include Lex Leuger, Supa Mario and C Notes.

“An album is supposed to be personal. People want to hear me,” Waka said. “There was a whole bunch of frustration and anger making this album, but I want people to know the same as ‘Flockaveli II.’ Better delivery, better flow. This is a Waka Flocka album.”

Earlier this year, the MC, legally known as Juaquin James Malphurs,was acquitted of gun charges stemming from a 2014 arrest at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Hikers rescue dog who fell down mine shaft

Three hikers went on a journey into the woods of Colorado, and came out as heroes.

Portia Scovern and her boyfriend Preston Gladd were hiking in Park County, Colorado, when they heard sounds from a cave, The Summit Daily reported.

They thought it was a wild animal. 

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But when they returned a week later, Gladd, Scovern and Gladd’s roommate, Gannon Ingels, said they found out it wasn’t a wild animal, but rather a dog that had fallen to the bottom of a mine shaft, KXRM reported.

The fall was at least 20 feet, KMGH reported.

The dog, who they found out was named Cheyenne, was not hurt, but was a little underweight and dehydrated. She’s since been returned to his owner, all thanks to Facebook, The Summit Daily reported.

The dog had been missing since Oct. 4 when he ran off and is believed to have been at the bottom of the mine for at least a week.

Renee Zellweger to play Judy Garland in new movie

Actress Renee Zellweger will play the lead role in a movie about the final year of Judy Garland’s life that will begin production in February 2018, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

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“Judy” will chronicle the true story of Garland as she arrives in swinging London in 1968 to perform in a series of sellout shows, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It has been nearly 30 years since Garland shot to fame as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” and as she prepares to perform, she battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and fans, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Garland died on June 22, 1969, in London at the age of 47 from an overdose of barbiturates.

Zellweger, who was born two months before Garland’s death, won an Academy Award in 2003 for Best Supporting Actress in the war drama film, “Cold Mountain.”

UK restaurant leaves bags of food for homeless

A restaurant in the United Kingdom wants the homeless people in its area to be left holding the bag.

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At the end of each day, the Bosu Body Bar in Manchester leaves brown paper bags of leftover food outside its location for the homeless people in the area.

“When we close the doors for the day, we promise to leave bags outside full of tasty food,” restaurant officials said. “If you see anyone on the streets of Manchester or Didsbury who look hungry, let them know where they can find a meal in a bag.”

The bar now plans to expand its project by teaming up with local charities in Manchester to distribute the food each night.

They are also encouraging customers to fill a small bag with winter clothes they no longer need and drop it off at one of their restaurants

Homecoming queen kicks game-winning field goal

It was a great week for a Texas high school student. She was named homecoming queen last week, and on Friday she kicked five extra points and the game-winning field goal for her football team.

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Claire Jeffress was the clutch kicker for Dawson High School on Friday, converting a 30-yard field goal with 1:08 to play to snap a tie and give the Eagles a 38-35 victory against Pearland.

“Homecoming queen knocks it through, Dawson wins,” Dawson head coach Eric Wells told the Houston Chronicle. “You have to love that.”

Wells said Dawson “doesn’t get rattled” during games. 

“There wasn’t even a question that she was going to kick it,” he said.

Besides, it wasn’t even Jeffress’ first game-winning kick. She made a go-ahead extra point on Oct. 5 to give Dawson a 14-13 victory against George Ranch.

Jeffress has been playing football since she was a seventh-grader. She told TMC News in January that she felt she needed to prove herself to play on the boys squad.

“I didn't want to make the team because I was a girl -- I didn't want it to be some special factor," she told TMC News. “I wanted to make it because I deserved to be on the team. They understood that.”

On the night she was crowned homecoming queen -- her homecoming dress was adorned with a football -- Jeffress was 6-for-6 on extra points as Dawson defeated Brazoswood 51-16. 

So kicking a game-winner on Friday was not a pressure situation, she said.

“I just wanted to do what I've always done and not think of it as any big deal,” Jeffress told the Chronicle. “My team had faith in me, and they were going to block for me, and the snap and the hold were going to be good, so I just had to do my job.”

Easybeats songwriter, AC/DC producer George Young dead at 70

George Young, an Australian songwriter who co-wrote the 1965 hit “Friday on My Mind” for the Easybeats and later was a producer for AC/DC, has died, The Guardian reported. He was 70.

>> Read more trending news

Young’s death was reported on Facebook by the music publishing company Alberts, which has both the Easybeats and AC/DC in its musical catalog.

Young was the brother of AC/DC’s Angus and Malcolm Young. 

With the Easybeats, he and fellow band member Harry Vanda produced songs like “Yesterday’s Hero” and “Love Is in the Air” for John Paul Young and “Evie” for Stevie Wright.

George Young played bass with his younger brothers during the early years of AC/DC, and then produced several of the band’s more successful releases, including “High Voltage,” “T.N.T.,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Let There Be Rock,” and “Powerage,” The Guardian reported.

“Without his help and guidance, there would not have been an AC/DC,” the band wrote on its website. “As a musician, songwriter, producer, adviser and much, much more, you could not ask for a more dedicated and professional man.”

Young was born in Scotland in 1946 and migrated to Australia with his family as a teenager, The Guardian reported. The Easybeats formed after Young met Vanda in Sydney.

The Easybeats broke up in 1969. Young and Vanda were inducted into the inaugural Aria hall of fame in 1988; the Easybeats were inducted in 2005.

Justin Timberlake will headline Super Bowl LII halftime show

Singer Justin Timberlake will be returning to the Super Bowl stage for the first time since he was part of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004, the NFL confirmed Sunday.

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Timberlake, who will be performing in his third Super Bowl halftime show, will be the featured artist during the intermission of the NFL’s showcase game on Feb. 4, 2018 in Minneapolis. He previously appeared at Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa in 2001, but it was his appearance with Jackson at Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004 that caused controversy.

Related: Justin Timberlake in talks to do 2018 Super Bowl halftime show, report says

An estimated 140 million people were watching the show when at the end, Timberlake popped off part of Jackson’s corset, exposing her breast. The incident, later described as a “wardrobe malfunction,” led to numerous complaints and a large fine by the Federal Communications Commission, The New York Times reported. The fine was eventually vacated by an appeals court, the Times reported. For Jackson, there was more fallout. Rolling Stone reported she was essentially blacklisted, which affected her music career.

During an interview televised during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcast, Mike Tirico asked Timberlake if the NFL had addressed the incident with him.

The singer smiled and said, “That won’t happen again.”

Timberlake, the 10-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, rose to fame with the boy band ’N Sync. He has since had solo hits such as “Sexy Back,” “Cry Me a River” and “Rock Your Body.”

Timberlake also had a hit with “Can’t Stop the Feeling” on the soundtrack for the animated movie, “Trolls.”

While Jackson remains banned from singing at the Super Bowl. Several people on Twitter were angered by the choice of Timberlake. 

“It had better damn well be a 15 minute apology to Janet Jackson for hanging her out to dry in 2004,” one person tweeted. 

Another tweeted that Timberlake was “still ensuring white privilege remains in style in 2017. Meanwhile, Janet Jackson is still left in the cold.”

“ My only request is that you don't perform any of the music inspired by her brother or any Black artist. You love our culture, but disrespect our people.”

Priscilla Presley parts ways with Church of Scientology, reports say

Priscilla Presley has quit the Church of Scientology, 40 years after she joined, according to the Daily Mail.

“I’ve had enough. I’m done,” Presley reportedly said.

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Presley — who initially joined the church after the death of her husband, Elvis — allegedly told friends she was leaving.

The church’s membership includes a long list of Hollywood celebrities, including John Travolta and Tom Cruise.

“Priscilla reached out to John Travolta after Elvis died in 1977, and that’s how she ended up in the church,” the source said. “She has been in it ever since, and she raised her daughter, Lisa Marie, in it.”

Lisa Marie Presley left the church in 2014, which apparently made remaining with the church a difficult task for her mother.

“They are very close as a family, and leaving the church has been a family decision,” the source claims.

In recent years, several celebs have ditched the church, including Katie Holmes and Nicole Kidman, who are both ex-wives of Tom Cruise, still a member himself. The testimonies and interviews of former member Leah Remini; one of the stars of the popular sitcom, “King of Queens,” appear to be impacting the church.

Fox offers Bill O’Reilly big contract after $32 million settlement, Gretchen Carlson reacts

Fox News offered Bill O’Reilly a $25 million contract even though O’Reilly had agreed to settle a sexual harassment claim for $32 million, according to The New York Times.

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The Times reported that O’Reilly settled out of court with former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl just months before he was dismissed from the network.

O’Reilly categorized the Times piece as a “smear article” about him and defended himself on his website.

“In its latest diatribe against Bill O’Reilly, the Times printed leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously designed to embarrass Bill O’Reilly and to keep him from competing in the marketplace,” a statement on O’Reilly’s website said.

“In the more than 20 years Bill O’Reilly worked at Fox News, not one complaint was filed against him with the human resources department or legal department by a coworker, even on the anonymous hotline,” the statement continued. 

The New York Times has copies of two letters written by 21st Century Fox lawyers attesting to that fact.”

>> Related: Recently released details put a new spin on when Bill O’Reilly and Fox News parted ways

After O’Reilly tweeted a link to his post, former “Fox & Friends” host Carlson responded.

“Nobody pays $32 million for false allegations – nobody,” Carlson wrote.

Carlson settled out of court in 2016, after she left Fox News amid her own allegations of sexual harassment against then chiarmen Roger Ailes.

Mariah Carey’s ex-fiance James Packer calls relationship a ‘mistake’

A year after calling off their engagement, James Packer is talking about his breakup with Mariah Carey for the first time.

>> Read more trending news

“I was at a low point in my personal life,” Packer said about his time with Carey.

“She was kind, exciting and fun. Mariah is a woman of substance. But, it was a mistake for her and a mistake for me.”

The couple first got together in 2015 and had plans to get married. Nine months after getting engaged, however, they called everything off in October 2016 while they were vacationing in Greece.

Carey, who was reportedly “blindsided” by the breakup, famously went on to burn her wedding gown in her “I Don’t” music video by tossing it into a fire.

>> Related: Mariah Carey is asking for much more than cash in her settlement with ex-fiancé James Packer

Mariah was totally blindsided by James. She read the news in Woman’s Day Australia that said he dumped her,” a source told Us Weekly. “Mariah knew they were having problems, but all relationships have issues — it wasn’t the kind of thing where she thought she’d read in the paper that she got dumped. She was devastated; she was shocked.”

A representative for the singer later confirmed the news in a statement that read, “Mariah and James had a fight in Greece, and have not seen each other since. The fight was not because of any cheating allegations or excessive spending by Mariah. James is one of the most successful businessmen in the world. They are trying to work it out. Right now, they’re not sure if they will stay together.”

>> Related: Mariah Carey slams ex-fiancé James Packer and now there are threats of lawsuits

Jim Carrey accuses dead ex-girlfriend of elaborate extortion scheme 

As the wrongful death lawsuit against him plows forward at full steam, Jim Carrey is claiming his late ex-girlfriend, Cathriona White, contracted the STDs that made her suicidal before meeting him, not after as her family alleges.

>> Read more trending news

White’s mother and estranged husband contend that White started experiencing suicidal thoughts after the actor gave her Herpes I, Herpes II and gonorrhea. However, documents filed in court by Carrey accuse White of an elaborate plot to extort him for millions “through smears and threats of public degradation via false allegations” and by faking her medical records. White allegedly told Carrey that she would lie and tell people that he gave her the diseases.

“When the threats were met with silence, White asked and obtained a copy of her friend’s Planned Parenthood records,” the motion says. “White’s intent in obtaining these records was clear — she cooked the records, creating forgeries with altered information, phony tests, and fictitious dates. A ruse, needed to support her lie, in July 2013, White and her attorney Marchino used the counterfeit records to extort money from Carrey.”

Carrey’s team points to text messages between White and a friend, which allegedly pertained to the scheme.

“This motion seeks an admission of the truth; namely that White had multiple STDs before meeting Carrey or nonforged copies of December 28, 2011 records of White, records that do not and have never actually existed,” the motion continues. 

>> Related: After months of delays, Jim Carrey finally has to answer questions about his ex’s suicide

“Recognizing that Carrey was conned before, White’s green-card husband, Mark Burton, and her estranged and emotionally abusive mother, Brigid Sweetman, decided to get a second bite at the apple by filing a lawsuit claiming Mr. Carrey caused White’s death, exploiting the judicial system with fraudulent ‘evidence’ in a continued effort to extort Carrey.”

>> Related: Jim Carrey’s ex made serious accusations against him in a note years before her suicide

2017 World Series: 5 fun facts

The Houston Astros punched a ticket to the World Series on Saturday night with a 4-0 victory in Game 7 against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

>> Read more trending news

Game 1 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles, and already this will be a historic Fall Classic. Here’s how:

Astros complete unprecedented double

By winning Game 7, the Astros became the first major-league team to reach the World Series by winning pennants in both leagues.

In 2005, Houston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in six games to win the National League pennant. The Astros entered the postseason as a wild-card team and defeated the Atlanta Braves in four games to reach the National League Championship Series.That elusive winThe Astros' next win in the World Series will be their first. Houston was swept in four games by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

The century club

The Dodgers won 104 games during the 2017 regular season, while the Astros captured 101 victories. It’s the first World Series showcasing a pair of 100-game winners since 1970 when the Baltimore Orioles (108-54) defeated the Cincinnati Reds (102-60) in five games.Playoff historyThe Dodgers and Astros have met in the playoffs before, but both as members of the National League.In the 1981 season, a 50-day players strike erased nearly 40 percent of the schedule. Major League Baseball decided to split the season and declared that the champions of each half meet in a first-round of the playoffs. In a weird way, this postseason was the ancestor of the divisional series now employed by MLB.In 1981, the Dodgers, who won the first half of the NL West Division, faced the Astros, who took the second half. The Dodgers qualified for the postseason with a 36-21 record in the first half of the season and went just 27-26 in the second half. Houston, meanwhile, went 28-29 in the first half but took the division title in the second half with a 33-20 mark.The two teams met to determine the overall NL West champion, and the Dodgers prevailed in a five-game series.Rookie influence

If the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger wins NL Rookie of the Year honors as expected, he will become the first award winner to play in the World Series as a rookie since San Francisco’s Buster Posey competed in 2010.

A-ha's stripped down version of ‘Take On Me’ is hauntingly beautiful

“Take On Me” by A-ha is one of the 1980s’ most remembered songs, not only for its fast-paced beat but also because of that iconic video, which featured a pencil-sketch animation theme (called rotoscoping) and live action featuring lead singer Morten Harket and his then-girlfriend, actress Bunty Bailey.

>> Read more trending news

It reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts in October 1985 and won six awards at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

But take away the fast tempo and the synthesizers and that catchy riff and what do you get? A stripped-down, acoustic version of the hit that the Norwegian-based group played earlier this month on an “MTV Unplugged” show at Giske Harbour Hall in Norway.

On “MTV Unplugged,” the song is slow and performed in a style vaguely reminiscent of the 1960s rock ’n’ roll band Vanilla Fudge, which took fast-paced songs and sang them at an excruciatingly slow tempo. The Ah-ha acoustic version is less psychedelic and is sung quietly -- almost reverently.

Many purists will prefer the version that bubbled through the radio and television during the 1980s, but the new arrangement is certainly haunting.

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