Amber Heard switches up legal team for appeal of Johnny Depp trial verdict


Amber Heard is switching up her legal team for her appeal of the June 1 verdict in the high-profile defamation case between her and ex-husband Johnny Depp.

The Aquaman actress has hired attorneys David L. Axelrod and Jay Ward Brown, of Ballard Spahr, as her appellate counsel, according to a press release.

“We welcome the opportunity to represent Ms. Heard in this appeal as it is a case with important First Amendment implications for every American,” Axelrod and Brown said in a joint statement. “We’re confident the appellate court will apply the law properly without deference to popularity, reverse the judgment against Ms. Heard, and reaffirm the fundamental principals of Freedom of Speech.”

Ben Rottenborn, of Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black, is staying on as co-counsel while Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, of Charlson Bredehoft Cohen Brown & Nadelhaft, is stepping down. Rottenborn and Bredehoft represented Heard during the initial defamation trial.

“This is the perfect time to pass the baton,” Bredehoft said in a statement. “I have pledged to Amber and her appellate team my complete cooperation and assistance as they move forward on a path towards success.”

A spokesperson for Heard said in a statement, “When it comes to protecting the fundamental right of Freedom of Speech, we look at the jury’s decision — to paraphrase a famous quote — not ‘as the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.'” They added that “a different court warrants different representation.”

The jury largely sided with Depp in its June 1 verdict, ordering Heard to pay Depp more than $10 million in damages. Depp was ordered to pay his ex-wife $2 million in damages.

Heard filed a notice of appeal on July 21, with Depp filing a notice of appeal the following day.

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Hello, Sidney? Neve Campbell discusses whether she’d return to the ‘Scream’ franchise

Campbel in 2021’s “Scream” — Paramount Pictures/Brownie Harris

Neve Campbell is opening up about her future — or lack thereof — in the Scream franchise.

The actress, who played hard-to-kill heroine Sidney Prescott in five Scream films, announced in June that she was stepping away from the series over an apparent salary dispute.

In a statement at the time, she said, “I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise.”

She called the move a “very difficult decision.”

However, Campbell recently told Entertainment Tonight the coffin isn’t nailed shut on her possible return to the series.

“I care about these movies,” Campbell said. “If they were to come to me with an amount that felt in keeping with … the value that I bring them, I would certainly consider it.”

The Party of Five alum praised the directors of the fifth Scream movie, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, and wished them luck on the next film.

However, she stood firm in her decision to walk away from the series: “My feeling truly is, had I been a man in this franchise — 25 years, five movies — the offer would have been very different,” she said, explaining women should be “on par financially with men.”

“I fought for a long time to have that be a part of my life and … I really just didn’t feel that what was offered to me really equated to what I bring to these films — the value that I bring to these films and that Sidney brings to these films,” she said.

“The idea of being on set and feeling taken for granted or taken advantage of just seemed impossible for me to endure, to be honest.”

Scream 6 is reportedly set for a 2023 release.

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John Travolta reacts to ‘Grease’ co-star Olivia Newton-John’s death: ‘Your impact was incredible’

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John Travolta is mourning the loss of his Grease co-star Olivia Newton-John, who died Monday at the age of 73.

“My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible,” he wrote on Instagram alongside an old photo of Newton-John. “I love you so much.”

The two starred in the iconic 1978 movie musical as Sandy and Danny, cementing themselves as one of Hollywood’s most beloved onscreen couples.

“We will see you down the road and we will all be together again,” Travolta, 68, continued. “Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”

Newton-John’s death was announced via a statement from her husband, John Easterling, and shared to her verified social media pages. In it, Easterling noted that Newton-John “passed away peacefully” at her ranch in Southern California surrounded by family and friends.

“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” Easterling said in the statement, pointing to the work she did through her Olivia Newton-John Foundation after first being diagnosed in the early ’90s.

The actress and singer battled a recurrence of breast cancer in 2013 and again in 2017, which metastasized to the sacrum and progressed to stage 4.

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‘Shades of Grey’: Ellen Pompeo will only appear in 8 episodes of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ new season

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Grey’s Anatomy fans will see less Meredith Grey next season.

ABC News can confirm that series star Ellen Pompeo, the show’s namesake character who has appeared in 400 episodes to date, will continue her iconic role in a limited capacity in season 19.

Pompeo will appear in eight episodes this upcoming season, premiering Oct. 6 on ABC, and stay on as executive producer.

A new crop of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital interns have recently been announced for season 19, including Alexis Floyd as Simone Griffin, Niko Terho as Lucas Adams, Midori Francis as Mika Yasuda, Adelaide Kane as Jules Millin and Harry Shum Jr. as Daniel “Blue” Kwan.

The fresh faces seem to indicate that Grey Sloan’s residency program — which was shut down in the season 18 finale — will be back up and running sooner rather than later. That shocking twist, however, led to Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) resigning and Meredith agreeing to step in as interim chief of surgery.

Pompeo had already downsized her role on the show somewhat over the past two seasons, with Meredith having been in a COVID-19 coma for most of the pandemic-centric season 17. Her character also spent a large part of last season in Minnesota, where she entered into a relationship with Scott Speedman‘s Nick Marsh.

Production on the long-running ABC medical primetime drama begins this week.

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Ken Jennings, Mayim Bialik to stay on as ‘Jeopardy!’ hosts “moving forward”

Jeopardy! Productions/Sony Pictures Television

Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik are sticking around as Jeopardy! hosts.

The pair will continue to share hosting duties on the flagship version of the iconic quiz show “moving forward,” executive producer Michael Davies said in a note posted to the Jeopardy! website Wednesday afternoon.

“In Mayim and Ken, we have two outstanding hosts at the beginning of their Jeopardy! hosting careers who connect with their own unique fanbases, new fans, and the traditional ‘Jeopardy!‘ viewer,” he noted.

According to Davies, Jennings will kick off season 39 and will host the first “Second Chance” competition and the next “Tournament of Champions” — featuring Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, Mattea Roach, Ryan Long and more — which takes the show through December.

In the meantime, Bialik will host Celebrity Jeopardy! on ABC and take over hosting duties for the flagship show in January. She will also host “a couple new tournaments,” as well as the Jeopardy! National College Championship while fitting in filming for her show, Call Me Kat.

“Mayim and Ken are both extraordinarily talented and simply lovely humans,” Davies added. “They support the staff and each other. They love and respect this institution of a television program. In return, the staff and I are honored to work alongside them.”

He ended the note by congratulating the two, saying they “have both been a joy to work with” thus far.

Jennings, who holds the record for consecutive games won (74), as well as highest winnings in regular-season play ($2,520,700), and Bialik have been alternating behind the podium since August 2021.

That whirlwind month saw former executive producer Mike Richards named as the official replacement for Alex Trebek, following the longtime host’s tragic death, only for him to step down and exit the franchise entirely days later, following online controversy over his past behavior and disparaging comments he had made about women. Richards later apologized for the comments.

Trebek hosted Jeopardy! from 1984 until his death from pancreatic cancer in November 2020 at the age of 80.

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Alfonso Ribeiro joins Tyra Banks as co-host for ‘Dancing with the Stars’ season 31

ABC/Ricky Middlesworth — ABC/Adrienne Raque

Alfonso Ribeiro is headed back to the Dancing with the Stars ballroom — this time as Tyra Banks‘ co-host.

Good Morning America on Thursday exclusively revealed that the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum, whose character Carlton Banks is known for his iconic dance moves, will join the America’s Next Top Model legend when DWTS makes its debut on Disney+ for season 31 this fall.

Ribeiro won the coveted Mirrorball on DWTS‘ season 19 alongside professional dancer Witney Carson.

Dancing with the Stars has been such an important part of my life for so many years, and I am ecstatic to officially re-join this tight-knit family as co-host,” he said in a press release, adding that he hopes his “longstanding friendship” with the supermodel will resonate with viewers.

“I’ve known Alfonso since I was 19 years old and he always puts a smile on my face whenever I see him. Having such a fun-loving, longtime friend as co-host warms my heart,” said Banks, who also returns this fall in her executive producer role. “Bantering back and forth with him live is going to be so much fun!”

Banks and the America’s Funniest Home Videos host crossed paths in 1993 when she had an arc on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as Jackie Ames, a childhood friend and former girlfriend of Will Smith‘s character.

Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough will be returning to the DWTS judges’ table for season 31 on the show’s new streaming home.

GMA will exclusively reveal the cast for DWTS season 31 on Sept. 8.

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Gabby Windey, Rachel Recchia dish on historic ‘Bachelorette’ season, friendship

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Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, the first Bachelorettes to co-star in a full season, meet their 32 potential suitors on the season 19 premiere, debuting Monday night on ABC.

The ladies established a tight bond on Clayton Echard‘s The Bachelor season, which ended with their shocking double elimination. They told Good Morning America that their bond will be on full display throughout their Bachelorette experience.

“We do have the same journey but, in a way, our own, and people get to see two different love stories and our friendship along the way,” Recchia said.

Windey added that, while they didn’t really have a game plan for the season going into it, they had “lots of open communication” because they didn’t want to jeopardize their friendship.

“We were really lucky, because when Bachelorettes before have gone through this, it can be very isolating and you do really just have to rely on yourself,” she said. 

In addition to each other, the Bachelorettes also had host Jesse Palmer — who first met them as he hosted Echard’s Bachelor season — to lean on.

“He knew our ins and outs and what we had been through, so he knew our personalities, he knew who we are as women, and was able to support us accordingly,” Windey said.

But Palmer wasn’t only a source of comfort throughout their season. “I think we gave Jesse a little bit of trouble,” Recchia joked. “He’s never had Bachelorettes before — let alone two of us.”

Both ladies said going through this unique adventure together was a chance for their own individual growth.

“Just having Rachel by my side,” Windey added, “I got to learn so much from her and grow as a person.”

The Bachelorette season 19 premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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JoJo Siwa, Jesse Tyler Ferguson join ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ season 3


JoJo Siwa and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are joining High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

The pair will appear in guest roles, joining previously announced guest star Corbin Bleu from the High School Musical film franchise, when the show premieres July 27.

Season 3 has the Wildcats at Camp Shallow Lake, a sleep-away camp in California, as they work on staging a production of Frozen. Music from Camp Rock and the High School Musical movies will also be featured.

Siwa, who recently was runner-up on Dancing with the Stars season 30 and is a judge on season 17 of So You Think You Can Dance, will play Madison, an alum of Camp Shallow Lake. Ferguson, who starred on Modern Family and just won a Tony for Take Me Out on Broadway, will play Marvin, who is described as an old family friend of Olivia Rodrigo‘s character, Nini.

Disney+ also dropped the official trailer for season 3, giving fans an extensive look at all the fun to expect as the Wildcats set out to put on yet another show-stopping production.

The cast of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series also includes Joshua Bassett, Sofia Wylie and Julia Lester.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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Elizabeth Olsen will “never” think of her ‘Multiverse of Madness’ character as a “baddie”

Marvel Studios

(POTENTIAL SPOILERS) Elizabeth Olsen‘s Wanda Maximoff may have been causing multiversal chaos as the Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but she doesn’t see her character as a villain.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe veteran recently stopped by Good Morning America to answer fan questions. When asked about what it was like to play an evil character, Olsen said, “I will never think of her as a baddie.”

“I think she learns a lesson, but I think of her as she’s just processing big emotions,” she explained, drawing a parallel between her MCU persona and the protagonist of her and husband Robbie Arnett‘s new children’s book, Hattie Harmony: Worry Detective, out now.

Olsen described Hattie Harmony’s name as being “inspired by helping kids deal with big, complicated feelings that are hard to understand or identify” and giving kids the language and tools to manage those feelings.

The Emmy-nominated actress said she utilized methods like mindful movement and mindful breathing when dealing with “a lot of weird panic attacks” in her early 20s, which she said “really threw me off.”

“I never had a stress ball, but I would do other kinds of body tension things to help relieve the anxiety in my head or the stress or the overwhelming feelings I would get,” she continued. “And also the positive self-talk that Hattie uses I feel like we could all use a little bit of that.”

With the fate of Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch left uncertain at the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Olsen said she doesn’t know what’s next for her in the MCU.

“I would love to know myself,” she said. “Keep spreading rumors and maybe they’ll hire me again.”

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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Chris Hemsworth turns ‘Thor’ premiere into family date night with wife and kids

Walt Disney Studios

Chris Hemsworth turned the Australian premiere of Thor: Love and Thunder into a family date night.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe actor, 38, brought along wife Elsa Pataky and their twin sons, Tristan and Sasha, for the star-studded event at the Entertainment Quarter in Sydney on Monday.

Hemsworth kept things casual with an all-black look, pairing a T-shirt with a blazer and pants while Pataky rocked a black dress with cut-outs and sequins at the top for a hint of sparkle.

The couple’s 8-year-old sons wore their best red carpet ensembles as they adorably clung to their dad while posing for photos.

Hemsworth and Pataky, who married in December 2010, also share a 10-year-old daughter, India.

Thor: Love and Thunder sees Taika Waititi returning to direct the God of Thunder’s newest adventure. Hemsworth’s titular hero is once again joined by Tessa Thompson‘s Valkyrie, the king of New Asgard. Natalie Portman‘s Jane Foster takes on the title of Mighty Thor.

And keeping it in the family, both Pataky and Sasha are credited with small parts in the movie; Chris’ brother Luke Hemsworth also reprises a small role from Ragnarok.

Playing the movie’s villain, Gorr the God Butcher, is Christian Bale. The Guardians of the Galaxy are also featured in the film, including Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper.

Thor: Love and Thunder premieres in theaters July 8 from Marvel Studios, which is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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