The Rock 'seriously considering' running for US President in 2020

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has admitted he is "seriously considering" running for President of the United States in 2020.

The Juamnji star was joined by fellow cast mate Kevin Hart this week on Ellen and the talk show host posed the question of running for president.

Hart fully endorsed Johnson saying, "I think the world that we're living in today, you're seeing the real effect that genuine people like Dwayne have.

"The one thing about him is he's very serious when it comes to spreading that love, that laughter and just the upselling of life on a positive level. And if he were to put himself in that position, he would get my support wholeheartedly – unless it comes to a financial dollar, then we've got to talk," Hart said.

"I know where his heart is.

"I really know him. So I know if he puts himself in that position it’s for the better of the people. I can only applaud him and support him for doing that."

Johnson then told the audience he is "seriously considering" running for president which isn't the first time the idea has been floated. 

The actor told GQ magazine back in May that it was "a real possibility." 


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Indian actresses, writers flood social media with allegations of sexual harassment amid calls to enforce 2013 law

Indian actresses and writers are flooding social media with allegations of sexual harassment and assault, releasing pent-up frustration with a law that was lauded internationally but that critics say has done little to change the status quo in the world's largest democracy.

"People using social media to articulate their complaints should be recognised in the context of failure. The system has in effect failed us, has failed women," T.K. Rajalakshmi, the president of the Indian Women's Press Corps, said in a panel discussion yesterday in New Delhi.

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act of 2013 holds Indian workplaces liable for sexual harassment, and prescribes a system for investigating and redressing complaints. Employers must create committees that are at least 50 per cent women, presided over by a woman and with one external expert, to process complaints. The law builds on the landmark 1997 Vishakha case, in which India's Supreme Court held that sexual harassment at work violated a woman's constitutional right to equality.

But nearly five years since the law came into effect, many managers and employees are not aware of it.

Those who are rarely implement it fully, in part because of the enormous taboo in India of discussing anything related to sex, said Naina Kapur, the attorney who argued the Vishakha case before the Supreme Court.

"Every time I get a call it's after the event has happened. It's supposed to be effectively communicated and it hasn't been," Kapur said, adding that in India, "as women get more into the marketplace and the workplace, their experience of sex harassment and violence is a growing area of concern but it's not being heard."

Based on the nonstop TV coverage, alleged victims are making themselves heard on social media, bypassing completely the protocol created by the 2013 law.

The social media storm began in September, when former Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta spoke to several Indian TV news channels about her frustration with a fruitless police complaint she filed in 2008 against actor Nana Patekar for alleged sexual harassment on a Mumbai movie set.

Retired Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta. Source: Associated Press

Dutta said that after Patekar groped her during a dance routine, she fled the set and a mob surrounded her car, smashed the windshield and trapped her inside.

Patekar has denied the allegations.

Then on October 4, Mumbai comedy group AIB announced it had decided to de-list every video featuring former member Utsav Chakraborty, whom women had taken to social media to condemn for alleged sexual harassment.

On October 7, an unnamed former employee at Phantom Films writing in the Huffington Post described allegations she had made in 2015 against one of the company's partners, director Vikas Bahl, whom she said behaved inappropriately during a trip to Goa.

The following day, company partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane dissolved Phantom Films. Bahl has filed an intent to sue his former partners for defamation.

Also on October 8, journalist Sandhya Menon shared screenshots of her conversation with two women claiming that actor Rajat Kapoor harassed them over the phone.

Kapoor apologised on Twitter if he had "slipped and through my actions or words caused pain or hurt."

That same day, former TV producer, director and writer Vinta Nanda said on Facebook and in TV interviews that she was raped 19 years ago by actor Alok Nath.

Nath said in a TV interview that he neither denied or agreed with the allegations. "It must have happened, but someone else would have done it," Nath said.

TV actress Sandy Mridul expressed her support for Nanda in a tweet. Fellow TV actress Deepika Amin followed on Twitter: "Everyone in the industry knows that #AlokNath is an obnoxious drunkard who harasses women."

On October 10, actor and heavyweight Bollywood producer Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao put out a statement saying they were "committed to doing any and everything to make our film industry a safe and happy one to work in." In a tweet, Khan said they were about to begin work with someone who had been accused of sexual misconduct and that the matter was pending in court.

Perhaps the most startling development has been the string of accusations against Junior External Affairs Minister M.J. Akbar. In less than a week, at least nine women journalists have accused Akbar of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior when he was a newspaper editor in Kolkata and Delhi.

Neither Akbar nor the ministry has responded.

But for India's burgeoning #MeToo movement to take hold in the broader strata of Indian society, the 2013 sex harassment law must be implemented more broadly, said Sunieta Ojha, a lawyer who regularly conducts workshops on the law.

"It requires a complete change of attitude toward women and toward workplace ethics. Employers instead of looking at it as a hassle, they have to see it as an investment. If they start doing that, it starts to have a very positive effect," she said.

Mumbai police yesterday said they had opened an investigation into Patekar after Dutta filed a fresh complaint, charging him with violating two sections of the Indian Penal Code related to offending a woman's modesty. If found guilty, the maximum penalty is two years in prison.

Dutta said that after the alleged attack in 2008, she also lodged a complaint with Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA), an agency now subject to the 2013 law.

Dutta's lawyer, Nitin Satpute, said Dutta decided to speak out again about what allegedly happened to her in 2008 because she hoped the spotlight would help enforce the workplace sex harassment law within CINTAA.

"Some are rich, some are poor, but many women are working there, and it will benefit all," Satpute said.

Activists of Congress party’s women’s wing shout slogans against Bollywood actor Nana Patekar during a protest in support of former Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta. Source: Associated Press

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The Crown actress 'deeply hurt' by pay scandal

Claire Foy was "deeply hurt" by The Crown pay scandal.

The 34-year-old actress admits it was tough to hear she was being paid much less than her co-star Matt Smith but felt she had to speak out about it or she would be "cheating herself and all the other women she knows".

She said: "I was deeply hurt by it, because I’d been working on that show for two years. I loved everybody on it. And then I realised, there’s been a big, fat, dirty secret that nobody’s ever talked about.

"But then there was also that thing [of being] an inadvertent spokesperson. Why did it have to be me? I could have said nothing. And I think everyone would have preferred that. But I thought, if I do that, I will be cheating myself and all the other women I know."

And Claire feels the industry can get away with things like this because it is so competitive.

She added to NET-A-PORTER’s weekly digital magazine PorterEdi: "You feel lucky to have a job. It’s so competitive. So, in that way, they rely on competitiveness and actors’ vulnerability to say, 'They’ll accept it for 10 grand less.'"

Matt had previously broken his silence on the issue to condemn the pay gap.

He said at the time: "Claire is one of my best friends, and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly and there should be equality for all.

"I support her completely, and I'm pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it, because that what's needed to happen.

"Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved - but not just in our industry, in all industries."

Actress Claire Foy poses on the red carpet of the 75th Venice International Film Festival in Venice, Italy.
Actress Claire Foy poses on the red carpet of the 75th Venice International Film Festival in Venice, Italy. Source: Bang Showbiz

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Meet BTS, South Korean boy band breaking into the US and UK music charts

First came The Beatles, then One Direction – now, it's BTS.

The South Korean boy band, one of the most influential music groups on social media, recently finished a run of sold-out shows at London's O2 Arena.

Their success has brought K-Pop, or Korean pop music, to the world stage as the first South Korean group to break into the US and UK charts.

But, as the BBC's Sophie Van Brugen, it isn't just the music the fans love.

BTS has just finished a run of sold out shows at London’s 02 Arena. Source: 1 NEWS


One charge dismissed against Harvey Weinstein amid concerns detective coached witness to remain silent

Prosecutors in New York City abandoned part of their sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein today after evidence surfaced that a lead police detective coached a witness to keep quiet when she raised doubts about the veracity of one of the allegations.

Weinstein, 66, looked on as a judge agreed to dismiss the lone charge related to Lucia Evans, who helped spark the #MeToo movement a year ago when she told The New Yorker that the Hollywood mogul had forced her to perform oral sex in 2004 when she was a college student and fledgling actress.

Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, unsuccessfully urged Judge James Burke to deep-six the whole case, telling him: "The integrity of these proceedings has been compromised."

The bulk of the prosecution case remains intact, with Weinstein still facing five charges over allegations that he raped an unidentified woman in his Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006. A conviction on the most serious charges could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

Weinstein denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

The turn of events, which had been simmering for weeks in closed-door meetings and sealed court documents, enraged Evans' lawyer, who took to the courthouse steps to blast Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. for walking away from her client. Evans told the truth and never misled investigators, lawyer Carrie Goldberg said.

"Let me be clear: the decision to throw away my client's sexual assault charges says nothing about Weinstein's guilt or innocence. Nor does it reflect on Lucia's consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein," Goldberg said outside the courthouse.

"It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan DA's office and its mishandling of my client's case."

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon insisted in court that the rest of the case is strong and said the district attorney's office was looking into the possibility of bringing additional charges.

"In short, your honor, we are moving full steam ahead," she said.

Detective Nicholas DiGaudio, who was one of two investigators who escorted Weinstein out of a police station and into court after his May arrest, is now embroiled in an internal police department investigation and has been thrown off the case. Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said today that the department takes seriously the allegations against him.

Prosecutors said in a letter unsealed after today's hearing that they learned weeks ago that a woman who was with Evans the night she first met Weinstein at a restaurant had given DiGaudio a contradictory account of what happened, but that the detective had urged her to keep quiet, telling her "less is more."

The woman, prosecutors said, told the detective in February that Weinstein had offered them money to flash their breasts during the restaurant encounter.

They initially declined, but the woman said that Evans later told her she had gone ahead and exposed herself to the film producer in a hallway. Goldberg disputed that.

The woman also told the detective that sometime after an office meeting where Evans alleged Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex, she suggested what happened was consensual, according to the letter. Weinstein had promised to get her an acting job if she agreed to perform oral sex, and she agreed, it said.

According to the witness, who was not named in the letter, Evans had been drinking and "appeared to be upset, embarrassed and shaking" when she recounted the story.

Prosecutors also disclosed that they had discovered a draft email that Evans had written three years ago to a man who is now her husband that "describes details of the sexual assault that differ from the account" she provided to investigators.

A message left on a phone DiGaudio used in the past wasn't returned. The union for New York City police detectives didn't return a message.

Brafman said he believed Evans had lied both to the grand jury and to The New Yorker about her encounter with Weinstein and suggested she be prosecuted for perjury.

"This is an attack on the fundamental integrity of the grand jury process," Brafman said. "If you have a person willing to commit perjury in the grand jury, that is as serious as the crime of sexual assault because it undermines the fairness of the process for all of us."

The developments in Weinstein's case today capped a tough six-day stretch for the #MeToo movement, bookended by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation amid decades-old allegations that he had committed sexual misconduct. But victim advocates didn't see it as a setback.

"This is so much larger than any singular case," Kristen Houser of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center said. "Weinstein may have been the snowball that started the avalanche, but the ability of any one perpetrator being held accountable or getting away with it doesn't alter the national outrage."

The New Yorker, in a statement, said it stands by its reporting and fact-checking process and that "any assertion by lawyers for Harvey Weinstein that The New Yorker had information that contradicted Lucia Evans's account is patently incorrect."

Vance has already been fiercely criticised for declining to prosecute Weinstein when an Italian model accused him of grabbing her breasts in 2015. At the time, Vance cited a lack of supporting evidence, despite the existence of a clandestinely made recording of Weinstein discussing the episode with the woman.

In the months after The New York Times and The New Yorker began publishing stories about Weinstein's interactions with women, activists pressured Vance to bring charges as dozens of people came forward with claims of sexual misconduct against him.

DiGaudio and other police officials poured on the pressure, saying publicly that they believed they had gathered ample evidence to make an arrest.

The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assaults unless they come forward publicly, as Evans has done.
Weinstein is free on $1.5 million bail and is due back in court December 20.

FILE - In this July 9, 2018 file photo, Harvey Weinstein is escorted in handcuffs to a courtroom in New York. The #MeToo movement has sent dozens of once-powerful men in Hollywood into exile, but it has yet to put many of them in handcuffs or courtrooms. Weinstein has been charged with sexual assault in New York and Bill Cosby has been sent to prison in Pennsylvania in the year since stories on Weinstein in The New York Times and The New Yorker set off waves of revelations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood. But those two central figures have been exceptions. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Harvey Weinstein is escorted in handcuffs to a courtroom in New York. Source: Associated Press