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      Empire star Jussie Smollett appeared in court Thursday after surrendering to police early in the morning. He faces one felony count of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report.

      His bond was set at $100,000. Smollett was also ordered to surrender his passport. He is due back in court on March 14th. Prosecutors say that he was disappointed by Fox’s reaction to the "racist and homophobic" letter that was sent to the Empire set and addressed to him. (He allegedly sent the letter or arranged to have it sent).

      The letter contained written threats, cutout letters and a powdery substance later found to be Ibuprofin. Part of the letter reportedly said, "Smollett, jussie, you will die" and "MAGA" was written as the return address.

      Smollett then staged an attack, according to prosecutors. He paid two brothers $3,500 to fake an attack on him. He allegedly texted (one of the brothers) Abimbola Osundairo, "Might need your help on the low. You around to meet up to talk face-to-face?"


      At a press conference after the hearing, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett was motivated to write the letter and stage the attack because he was "dissatisfied with his salary." (Some reports peg the salary at $65K per episode).

      Johnson said: "I am left hanging my head and asking, 'Why? Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?

      Johnson continued: "How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile? How can an individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?'" (OC: ... these false claims?) 0:24


      President Donald Trump (who originated the term MAGA, or "Make America Great Again" during his campaign for president) weighed in on the scandal on Twitter, writing: ".@JussieSmollett - what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA."


      While she didn’t name names, Khloe Kardashian definitely addressed her break-up with boyfriend Tristan Thomson on Instagram Stories Thursday. Thomson, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, got busted cheating with Khloe’s sister Kylie Jenner’s BFF Jordyn Woods.

      This comes after he cheated on her previously just prior to her giving birth to their daughter True on April 12th.

      Khloe, 34, posted three quotes and one photo. The first said, "The worst pain is gettin hurt by a person you explained your pain to."

      The second read, "Somebody needs to hear this... that betrayal was your blessing!!!"

      The third read, "If they ask you about me, tell them: "She was the only person that loved me with honesty, and I broke her."

      Then she posted a Roy Lichtenstein-like drawing of a woman crying.


      Kylie, meanwhile, posted two late night selfie videos of herself in PJs, reportedly after giving Woods the boot. Woods has reportedly moved back in with her mom.

      When she was spotted out and about Thursday, Woods appeared to be wearing shoes with a message for … someone. One slider, from the Japanese brand Undercover, and were originally priced at $165, said "BALANCE" while the other said "CHAOS."

      TBD if Kylie or any of the other Kardashian-Jenners will forgive her.


      Meanwhile, Mike Fleiss, the creator and exec producer of The Bachelorette tweeted that he wants Khloe to star in the next season. Twitter is still having a meltdown.


      Natalie Portman has been granted a temporary restraining order against a man who she says got into her gated community and showed up outside of her home, The Blast reports. The alleged stalker told police his name was John Wick.

      He has been ordered to stay 100 yards away from Portman, her husband and their two children. A hearing has been scheduled for next month, and Portman reportedly hopes to make the order permanent.

      Police sources tell the site that the man, who hails from Colorado, claims he spoke to Portman multiple times telepathically. Police also say he didn’t respond to the name on his license, but did respond to John.


      The 91st Academy Awards are set to air live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles Sunday. Here’s what to know.


      Tune into ABC at 8 p.m. ET to watch the show live. Red carpet coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. Cable-cutters can live stream or watch on demand through ABC’s website or app.


      This year’s ceremony will be host-free. Kevin Hart was set to do the honors, but stepped down after decades-old homophobic tweets were resurfaced.

      No replacement host was named; this will be the first ceremony without a host in 30 years.

      Instead, there will be a star-studded cast of presenters, including Chris Evans, Tina Fey, Awkwafina, Chadwick Boseman, Daniel Craig, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lopez, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amandla Stenberg, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson and Constance Wu.


      This year’s most nominated films are Roma and The Favourite, with 10 each. A Star Is Born and Vice garnered 8. Black Panther snagged 7.

      Each of those five was nominated for Best Picture, along with Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody and BlacKkKlansman.


      Meghan Markle presumably got an epic haul at her $200,000 New York City baby shower (her famous friends, including Serena Williams and Amal Clooney reportedly footed the epic bill), but none of the attendees found out who gave what because the Duchess opted to not open them.

      CBS This Morning show host Gayle King, who attended, confirmed that she received gifts (which, by the way, is against royal protocol), but decided to wait and open them with her husband Prince Harry. The pair are expecting their first child in April.

      Guests at the shower learned make shower arrangements together, King reported, and added that all of their arrangements were donated to charity after the event. Attendees also left with suitcases as party favors!


      Meghan’s sister in law Kate Middleton, with whom she is rumored to have strained relations, did not attend. She was reportedly away with her husband Prince William and their three kids on a ski vacation (school’s out of session this week).


      VINNY VELLA DIES AT 72: Vinny Vella, best known for his roles in Casino and The Sopranos, has died at age 72 from liver cancer. His son Vinny Vella Jr. released a statement confirming the sad news: "We are saddened to report that Vinny Vella has passed and I'm sure that no one more saddened than himself. Vinny loved life from his family to his friends and fans he was easily one of the funniest, endearing actors to have ever graced the screen. Vinny also had integrity and pride rarely seen. Arguably the fastest on the draw, king of the comebacks. His verbal jousting was legendary but many know Vinny for his favorite saying - 'Who's better than you?' Well Vinny, I think we all can agree on the answer to that, it was you, it always was you! We miss you my boy!"

      FIRST ROCKETMAN TRAILER DROPS: Taron Egerton is Elton John in the first look at Rocketman. Paramount Pictures dropped the trailer Thursday, and the film promises to be a journey fueled by drugs, hooks and glitter. Rocketman lands in theater on May 31.

      DANIELLE STAUB & MARTY CAFFREY FINALIZE DIVORCE: After a whirlwind three-month marriage, Danielle Staub and Marty Caffrey have finalized their divorce, six months after he filed and less than a year since they wed in May of 2018. "The last several months have been extremely difficult for Danielle and she is very glad to be able to focus on her future and the next chapter of her life," Staub's rep Steven Honig said in a statement to E! News.


      WENDY WILLIAMS SETS RETURN: She’s coming back March 4th! After a six-week absence from her titular show, Wendy Williams is coming back. She has been on leave since January 18th to contend with health issues, including a fractured shoulder and complications from the immune system complication Graves disease. Williams is reportedly on the mend and ready to return.

      BILLIE HOLIDAY DOC SET: A documentary about jazz legend Billie Holiday is in the works. Titled Billie, it will be directed by James Erskine and has the support of her estate. The film will follow her life through fan and journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl, who began a biography of Holiday in 1970 and recorded interviews with Charles Mingus, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Count Basie and Holiday's step-parents, lovers, school friends, jail-mates, lawyers, pushers, pimps and the FBI agents who arrested her. Kuehl died in 1979 before the biography was finished, but some of her tapes will be heard in Billie for the first time.

      NETFLIX RECRUITS CHRIS HEMSWORTH TO PLAY HULK HOGAN: Netflix is developing a Hulk Hogan biopic with Chris Hemsworth attached to star. Todd Philips (War Dogs) will direct a script by Scott Silver and John Pollono. The story will follow Hogan’s rise to fame from the Florida wrestling world of the 1970s, through the 1980s worldwide Hulkamania and beyond.

      EMINEM IS NOT OK WITH PUNISHER CANCELLATION: Slim Shady is peeved. When Netflix canceled Marvel’s The Punisher Eminem responded on Twitter, writing (all-caps his): "DEAR @NETFLIX, REGARDING YOUR CANCELLATION OF THE PUNISHER, YOU ARE BLOWING IT!! SINCERELY, MARSHALL".

      EVERMOR RECRUITS HELLBOY SCRIBE: Legion M has snagged Hellboy writer Andrew Cosby to take on showrunning duties for Evermor, a steampunk TV show in the works. The family series is inspired by Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park. The story synopsis: "Evermor follows orphaned teenage twins, Ellie and Sam, who are sent to live at the mysterious estate of their eccentric aunt, Dr. Catherine Evermor. A powerful secret reveals that their world is not what it seems, and neither are they. Ellie and Sam’s discovery of a wondrous machine called the Forevertron allows them to journey through the multiverse and its alternate Earths, finding danger, love, family, the limitless potential of human adventure and their ultimate destinies."