to child sexual abuse
Allegedly sexually abused as a child - Jones obviously did not get the help he needed to prevent him from passing his abuse on to another generation. This is one of our biggest failures in this great atrocity of child sexual abuse.
Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY
CHICAGO — A former YouTube star with a large teenage following was sentenced in Chicago federal court to 10 years in prison for coercing six girls to send him sexually explicit videos.
Prosecutors sought an 11-year prison sentence for Austin Jones on Friday. The defense wanted the minimum available five years.
Prosecutors said the 26-year-old singer admitted to reaching out to 30 other girls online before his arrest on child pornography charges in 2017. In addition to giving the girls suggestions for poses and underwear choices, Jones frequently gave them "lines" to recite.
In a court filing last week, prosecutors said Jones "preyed on their youth, their vulnerabilities and most glaringly, their adoration of him." A defense filing contended Jones' life was "marred with abuse, pain, loss and death." It asserted he suffered sexual abuse as a child.
His YouTube channel has more than 534,000 subscribers and includes a cappella covers of Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Fall Out Boy. Some of Jones' music videos garnered millions of views on YouTube, which he parlayed into tours.
By Molly Pike, James Rodger, Head Of Trends
'This is England' director Shane Meadows has revealed that he was sexually abused as a child.
The filmmaker has spoken out after he was sexually abused in the Midlands - at the age of just nine. The director, aged 46, was sexually assaulted by an older boy.
The bully, watched on by his younger brother, abused the 'Room for Romeo Brass' filmmaker after his dad Arty was wrongfully suspected of murder.
Shane appeared in the press as a child after the story kicked off and he became known locally for the accusation against his dad, the Mirror reports.
Arty was arrested on suspicion of murder after he found the body of an 11-year-old schoolgirl, Susan Maxwell.
Shane recalled one occasion when he went to the park and was approached by two brothers, who made him go into the woods.
The older brother sexually abused him over a long period of time, which left a lasting impact on Shane.
The harrowing incident unfolded in Uttoxeter, Staffs. (Staffordshire).
He told The Observer: "I was so affected and [the abuse] only happened once. I’ve had at least three breakdowns as a result; it’s caused me a lifetime of anguish."
Shane initially dealt with it by pretending it didn't happen but began experiencing the classic signs of trauma, such as wetting the bed.
He claims he eventually forgot about the incident, but every five or six years he'd have bouts of depression or anxiety attacks, which he compared to being "dragged to the pits of hell".
Two years ago he went to a clinical psychologist and was diagnosed with PTSD.
He recalls his therapist asking him if he'd change what happened to him.
Shane said: "He said to me, ‘Imagine you could go back and make that event not happen. The risk is that you quite possibly wouldn’t be doing what you’d be doing now. Would you go back and change it?’
"And I know I wouldn’t. Having experienced that, and the empathy that comes with it… I’d never swap that in a million years."
By Marina Fang, HuffPost US
Amazon Studios may have shelved Woody Allen’s movie “A Rainy Day in New York” in the U.S. due to child sexual abuse allegations against him, but the film is now set to be released in Italy and several other European countries.
Where, I guess, they don't seem to mind watching movies by pedophiles. Or, at least, that's what Allen is hoping.
Variety first reported Sunday that the Italian film distribution company Lucky Red plans to release Allen’s movie in the fall. Distribution companies in several other European countries also have deals to release the film, according to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.
FilmNation, the company that handled international sales for “A Rainy Day in New York,” sold the movie when it was initially filmed in 2017, a spokeswoman for FilmNation told HuffPost on Monday. Allen’s company handled the individual distribution deals, the spokeswoman said.
Representatives for Lucky Red and for Allen did not respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
“A Rainy Day in New York” has yet to see the light of day. Last year, Amazon Studios, which produced the movie, severed ties with Allen and canceled a deal to release it, plus three more of his films.
In response, “A Rainy Day in New York” actors Rebecca Hall, Timothée Chalamet and Griffin Newman announced they would donate their salaries to anti-sexual assault advocacy organizations, including Time’s Up and RAINN.
A number of actors have said that they will no longer work with Allen, including Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Ellen Page, Greta Gerwig and Mira Sorvino.
Earlier this year, Allen sued Amazon for $68 million in damages.
Lawyers for Amazon Studios responded last month, saying the company was “justified” in terminating the deal with Allen because he’d made a series of comments about Me Too “suggesting that he failed to grasp the gravity of the issues or the implications for his own career,” thus “effectively sabotaging” the studio’s efforts to promote and distribute his film “Wonder Wheel” in the fall of 2017.
At the time, Allen expressed sympathy for disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, whom numerous women have accused of sexual assault, saying he was “sad for Harvey that [his] life is so messed up.” Allen also lamented what he called a “witch-hunt atmosphere, a Salem atmosphere, where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself.”
The director also attacked Farrow, accusing her of “cynically using” the Me Too movement for personal gain.
He didn't explain how Farrow 'gained' from speaking out about her abuse.
Despite Farrow’s child abuse allegation, Allen, 83, is currently working on his next movie, set to begin filming in Spain this summer, after securing financing from a Spanish production company.
Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY
A default judgement against R. Kelly has been withdrawn after his lawyers say the singer didn't respond to a lawsuit because he's illiterate.
And, apparently, didn't have enough sense to call his lawyer when he received legal documents he didn't understand.
"The Defendant suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read, in essence he cannot," Shalabi and Abdallah said in an April 26 filing obtained by the Sun-Times.
Shalabi told USA TODAY that Kelly "got served (the paperwork) while he was in jail" in March, adding that the singer, "didn’t know what the documents were."
"Once we found out there was a judgment against him we filed a motion to vacate right away," Shalabi added.
The lawsuit was filed by one of Kelly's alleged four victims in his criminal sexual abuse case. She has been identified only as "H.W."
The victim alleges that she began a sexual relationship with Kelly in 1998, when she was 16. Kelly has denied all allegations.
Later in the day, Kelly appeared at a hearing in his child support case, where the singer's attorney forked over $62,000 to Kelly's ex-wife to avoid another jail stint.
A check was handed over for Drea Kelly, the mother of Kelly's three children, during Wednesday's hearing in Chicago. The latest payment comes months after Kelly was jailed in March for failure to pay $161,000 in back child support.
He was released after three days behind bars after someone came forward and paid the the overdue amount. "He's not a deadbeat dad," Kelly's attorney Lisa Damico told reporters after Wednesday's hearing, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. "All he wants to do is do right by his kids."
Good grief! Seriously?
Common, on Wednesday explained why he decided to open up in his latest book about being molested as a child — to help others.
The rapper, actor and activist, whose real name is Lonnie Lynn, said in a series of tweets that he wrote his new memoir, "Let Love Have the Last Word," in part to help lift the stigma of sexual abuse.
"I hope being open about my childhood trauma can give others the strength to do the same and help them on their healing journeys," he said. "We all have experienced pain and suffering. It’s nothing to be ashamed of."
He also said that he made the disclosure for cultural reasons.
"I talked about being molested because, as a Black man, many men have hidden that," Common, 47, said. "Many people have hidden that. And you carry that weight with you. But at some point, you’ve got to let it go."
In the book, which was released Tuesday, Common says it wasn't until two years ago, while preparing for his role in “The Tale,” alongside Laura Dern, that he uncovered memories of being molested, according to People. The 2018 film is a true story about child rape.
“One day, while talking through the script with Laura, old memories surprisingly flashed in my mind,” he wrote. “I caught my breath and just kept looping the memories over and over, like rewinding an old VHS tape…I said ‘Laura, I think I was abused.’”
He wrote that the abuse happened at age 9 or 10, during a family trip to Cleveland, when he had to share a bed with his godbrother’s relative, whom he refers to as “Brandon.”
After the incident, he said he felt "a deep and sudden shame for what happened."
The Grammy, Golden Globe and Oscar-winning rapper has since forgiven his abuser, he said in the new memoir, and he is still working through what he endured with the help of his therapist.
“I want to be a person who helps break cycles of violence,” he writes. “This is love in action and I intend to practice it.”