TIME celebrities

Bieber Denies Stealing Phone, Says Fan Harassed Him at Batting Cages

Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs on stage during the "I Believe Tour" in Helsinki
Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs on stage in Helsinki on April 26, 2013 Reuters

Police in Los Angeles are looking for more information as they continue an investigation of Justin Bieber for a fan's claim of attempted robbery, but whether the Canadian singer ripped a cell phone out of an aggressive fan's hand or "stole" it is not yet clear

New details emerged on Wednesday surrounding allegations that Justin Bieber tried to steal a female fan’s phone at a Los Angeles family-fun center earlier this week.

The “Believe” singer’s attorney Howard Weitzman told the Associated Press that a fan approached the pop star on Monday night and was trying to take photographs while he was hitting baseballs in a batting cage.

Weitzman said his 20-year-old client asked the fan to refrain from bothering him, and employees at the park later confirmed that the woman was being aggressive.

“I would think this would fade away, given the facts here,” said Weitzman, according to the Associated Press.

However, allegations reached police that Bieber ripped the phone out of the woman’s hand and started screaming at onlookers.

Law-enforcement officers have interviewed the fan in question, and there are no reports that Bieber has been detained over the incident. Authorities are asking anyone with information to come forward.

“The case remains under investigation, with detectives conducting numerous interviews,” LAPD said in a statement on Wednesday.

TIME Reviews

Mario Kart 8 Review: Just What the Wii U Ordered


If you have a Wii U, Mario Kart 8 is the proverbial no-brainer for any sort of player, casual to pro.

Scooting down a neon-gobsmacked raceway in Mario Kart 8, I snake left, then right, then left again, chaining mini-turbos and rocketing past visually thumping loudspeakers, pulsing purplish stars and a tower-sized EQ that throbs in time with the soundtrack’s symphony of techno. Everything’s moving and alive and lit up like one long, continuous Jumbotron. And then I’m gliding over lacquered blackness, my just-upturned anti-grav wheels flying inches above what looks like grooved vinyl, the music flanging, the track ahead twisting and looping back at me — above me — like a disco Möbius strip.

That’s what it’s like to wrap your hands around the Wii U’s GamePad and plumb Mario Kart 8‘s wild panoply of wonderfully absurd tracks — 16 new, 16 reimagined — spinning, sideslipping, soaring and tumbling, roaring down vast mountainside waterfalls or bulleting through squalling banks of lightning-lit clouds. (“Hello, hello… I’m at a place called Vertigo…“)

Imagine a carnival of race tropes, a grab bag of driver profiles, tactics and race types, a melange of little gameplay iterations and configuration tweaks and “Holy crap, I’m racing up and down that?” moments jammed into a single game. To sum up my affection for this best of all Nintendo’s Mario Karts to date in a few words: lavish, kaleidoscopic, gasp-inducing, ingenious, exotic, balletic and — let’s switch from words to statements — something I’ll be playing for a long, long time.

Not because the basic kart racing’s been rejiggered in some wondrous new Nintendo-fied way. It hasn’t. Think of it more like a 22-year-old snowball that’s still snowballing, a slightly bigger smorgasbord of soothing cartoon-scape tracks and fanciful kart types, a collage of all-terrain vehicles (including actual ATVs this time, enlarging racer metrics like speed, acceleration and handling), some new objects to toss (the cleverest: the piranha plant that snaps up items, coins and other racers and the three-use boomerang flower that does damage outgoing and incoming), upside-down anti-grav racing (though since the screen shifts to maintain perspective, it doesn’t feel like upside-down racing), more karts and kart parts and unlockables and so forth. And then Nintendo whops you upside both retinas with some of the most sublime visuals ever seen in or out of a Nintendo game.

The ballyhooed new mechanic — antigravity racing, your wheels automatically flipping perpendicular to the ground, like Doc Brown’s DeLorean during Back to the Future‘s coda — makes the new every-which-way (including upside-down and backwards) tracks feel cooler to course through, but that’s about it unless you’re playing cooperatively.

The novelty here’s that instead of avoiding drivers, you’re encouraged to ram them, which causes both vehicles to turbo off in different directions. But it’s too happenstance as a solo tactic, other drivers slamming into you from behind unexpectedly, or sliding away at the last minute and wrecking your angle of attack. Team up with another player, by contrast, and it becomes an indispensable tactic, the two of you slamming into one another willfully, rocketing down the course like a yo-yoing centrifuge.

The series’ signature element of chance remains: the most skilled players in the world can still wind up losing an otherwise expertly played race thanks to another player’s inopportunely dispatched blue shell. And as usual, finding the fastest path through a course (and figuring out how to maximize drifting through it) is at least half of winning. You can hone your skills learning from the best players by using returning features like Ghost mode (in Time Trials), uploading your own performances as you like. And though I wasn’t able to test it (it’s not working yet), the game now supports (modest) editing and uploading of video clips to YouTube, a move that only brings it up to par with its rivals, but warrants an attaboy nonetheless.

You can’t talk about Mario Kart 8, the most important game Nintendo’s yet released for its flagship console, without thinking about the troubled state of the Wii U. Mario Kart 8 alone won’t save the Wii U, if indeed the Wii U needs saving. That’s the implicit question, the kart-riding elephant in all the game’s glittering stadiums, water parks, shoals, harbors, mansions and electrodromes. No single game has the power to make (or, for that matter, break) something as multivalent as a platform. Mario Kart 8 is wonderful, thank goodness, but it’s still just one game.

Nor does the racer best emblematize what the Wii U stands for: playing games with a tablet that’s not a tablet, juggling input from disjunct screens that aren’t supposed to feel disjunct (and they definitely seem at odds here — I rarely felt comfortable enough to look down). Sure, the Wii U GamePad offers sometimes-complimentary feedback, but nothing about its stack of command center feeds tracking racer positions or letting you enable motion control steering on the fly feel essential, much less exude halcyon-days-Wii novelty.

Put it this way: if you have a Wii U, it’s the proverbial no-brainer for any sort of player, casual to pro. If you don’t own a Wii U, here’s a reason to buy one, with the caveat that the Wii U’s software future looks pretty hazy right now. Nintendo’s deluxe 32GB Wii U bundled with Mario Kart 8 runs $330, knocking $30 off the standalone price for the racer, so there’s that, but it’s still $330 for one game (plus a driving wheel and Wii Remote) and a platform with an uncertain future. But it’s also one of the best games Nintendo’s delivered, and a reminder that when the company’s firing on all cylinders — even when it’s standing on its own shoulders, gameplay-wise — its creative output remains peerless.

5 out of 5

Wii U

TIME celebrities

Emma Watson Will Graduate This Month (From Brown, Not Hogwarts)

Emma Watson
Emma Watson Paul Hackett—Reuters

The The 24-year-old Brit, who played Hermonie Granger in Harry Potter won't be receiving a degree in wizardry but in English literature at her graduation ceremony at Brown University on May 25

Emma Watson, better known as Hermione Granger to Harry Potter fans, will graduate from college this month.

The actress will be departing Brown University — one of the U.S.’s top schools — with a degree in English literature after attending a graduation ceremony on May 25, a spokesman from the university told the Associated Press.

The 24-year-old Brit, who spent part of her college career at Oxford, enrolled at Brown in 2009, but continued to work on several films while studying, most recently the biblical epic Noah.


TIME celebrities

The Hotel Employee Who Leaked the Solange-Jay Z Video Got Fired

This May 5, 2014 file photo shows Jay Z, left, and Beyonce at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" in New York, on the night when Beyonce's sister allegedly attacked Jay Z. Evan Agostini—Invision/AP

The Standard Hotel in New York said it had sacked the employee who recorded and released the security footage that appears to show Solange Knowles assaulting her brother-in-law, Jay Z, after the Met Gala and was posted this week on celebrity gossip website TMZ

New York’s Standard Hotel says it has identified and fired the person who leaked a security video that apparently shows Beyonce’s sister Solange assaulting her brother-in-law Jay Z in one of the hotel’s elevators.

The hotel said Wednesday that it will hand over “all available information to criminal authorities,” the Associated Press reports.

The video was posted on celebrity gossip website TMZ on Monday. Representatives for Jay Z, Beyonce and Solange have yet to comment on it.


TIME Courts

Lost Boys Star Jason Patric Can Pursue Paternity Claim

Actor Jason Patric arrives for his custody hearing at the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles
Actor Jason Patric arrives for his custody hearing at the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles May 8, 2014. Patric and ex-girlfriend Danielle Schreiber conceived a child by in-vitro fertilization, and Patric seeks recognition as the boy's father. © Jonathan Alcorn / Reuters—REUTERS

A California appellate court ruled Wednesday that the actor could establish parentage even though his son was conceived through in-vitro fertilization with an ex-girlfriend

Jason Patric, star of the 1980s teen vampire flick The Lost Boys, won on appeal Wednesday the right to establish that he is the father of a four-year-old boy conceived through in vitro fertilization with a former lover who he never married.

Patric and his ex-girlfriend Danielle Schreiber agreed to have a child via in-vitro fertilization in 2008 after trying unsuccessfully to have a baby naturally for several years while they were still living together. At the time Patric agreed to in-vitro fertilization, Schreiber had moved out of Patric’s home and says she told him that she planned to have a child as a single mother. Patric wrote Schreiber a letter saying that he was not ready to be a father, but that it was okay for her to use his sperm to conceive as long as she told no one about the arrangement.

In December 2009 their son Gus was born. Patric formed a bond with the boy and spent time together with him and Schreiber. He also Skyped with Gus and remain in contact with the boy until Schreiber terminated contact with Patric in 2012.

A lower court judge had ruled that the law allowed Schreiber to keep Patric away from the child because he had served as a sperm donor at the time of the insemination, even though she had included Patric’s name as an “intended parent” on the informed consent form she signed for the procedure. Patric was not listed as the father on Gus’ birth certificate.

An appellate court overturned that decision Wednesday, ruling that the California statute at issue did not apply if the couple was purposefully trying to have a child together, the Hollywood Reporter reports. The court held that the original law was intended only to allow women to receive sperm donations without having to fear a paternity test in the future and that men could donate sperm without being forced to pay child support.

The reversal went on to state that “a sperm donor who has established a familial relationship with the child, and has demonstrated a commitment to the child and the child’s welfare, can be found to be a presumed parent even though he could not establish paternity based upon his biological connection to the child.”

As a result of the Wednesday’s decision, the case will now be returned to trial court.

TIME Television

Upfronts Watch: CBS Changes, Albeit By Staying the Same

Mark Harmon and Scott Bakula in the crossover episode that launched NCIS: New Orleans. Skip Bolen/CBS

The Consistency Broadcasting System is shaking up its schedule, but returning with more crime shows, more sports, and more series with abbreviations in the title.

CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves came to the upfronts this year with what is arguably the CBS upfronts message every year: “There are some things that never change.” CBS, he says, is the network advertisers can rely on for “stability” and “experience.” It delivers big audiences (generally) for well-executed traditional TV shows. It’s the last network, as it likes to say, doing broadcasting in a fragmented media market.

Well, one little thing changed. In recent years, CBS has gotten used to winning the ratings competition. It was kind of their thing. The network didn’t do too badly this season either, falling only into second place in the advertising-sales demographic behind NBC, which was boosted by football and the Olympics. But CBS doesn’t like second place, and many of the hits it has are aging (Two and a Half Men, for instance, entering its final season). So it came to its upfront this year with one of the most deeply changed fall schedules it’s had in years.

But it’s worth noting that CBS’s changes are almost entirely about strategy and scheduling: in particular, it’s forgoing a two-hour comedy block on Mondays for the first time since the 1980s. Creatively, the changes involve bringing in new series that look absolutely, 100%, like CBS shows. As in having “CSI” or “NCIS” in the titles. Or involving heroes protecting you from psychos and terrorists. (If CBS has a brand identity, it’s raunchy comedy and fear of a dangerous world. Plus sports.) Arguably the most radical creative decision CBS made–not counting hiring Stephen Colbert a few weeks ago–was what it didn’t pick up: the How I Met Your Mother spinoff How I Met Your Dad.

If CBS is a restaurant, in other words, they’re rearranging the dining room, not changing the menu. So its new shows don’t much clash with its old shows. There are brand extensions NCIS: New Orleans and (later in the season) CSI: Cyber. There’s bleak crime drama Stalker, being paired with bleak crime drama Criminal Minds for what appears like a Dead/Terrified Woman of the Week superblock (in the trailer, a woman gets burned alive). There’s Madam Secretary, with Tea Leoni as secretary of state in a drama CBS is comparing with The Good Wife. (An encouraging sign, if not for this show, than for the fact that CBS gave The Good Wife more love at this upfront than any I recall, including an opening skit that had Alan Cumming singing “Willkommen” from Cabaret as Eli Gold.) Scorpion, a cyber-crime drama about elite hackers (between that and the new CSI, get ready for some typing, America!). And The McCarthys, about a gay son in a sports-crazy Boston family.

Neither of the most intriguing trailers CBS showed Wednesday were for the fall. Extant, the summer sci-fi drama starring Halle Berry, has elements of Gravity (a solo mission in space), AI (a robot child!), and Contact (possible alien communications), plus a mystery pregnancy. And Battle Creek, the first post-Breaking Bad series from Vince Gilligan, suggests it will likewise have a mix of suspense and quirky humor, though it looks to be more procedural, less operatic.

Really, the big moves CBS is making don’t involve comedy and drama at all: they’re in sports, where it’s adding Thursday-night football, and late night, where Stephen Colbert is replacing David Letterman. The upfront brought Letterman out on stage for one last tribute, after which he thanked Moonves for two decades of support, then closed with a joke that he attributed to Norm MacDonald:

A moth walks into a podiatrist. His life is terrible. His older son was kicked out of college. His middle son might be going to jail. His younger daughter may be pregnant. He doesn’t get along with his wife. That’s awful, the doctor says. You don’t need a podiatrist, you need a psychiatrist. Why’d you come here? “Well,” Letterman concluded for the moth, “the light was on.”

Letterman got a big round of applause. He’ll end two decades of CBS history when he leaves, but the message of CBS’s presentation was that, however much was changing, it aimed to deliver advertisers more of what they expect from the Consistency Broadcasting System. The upfronts, after all, are all about keeping the lights on.

TIME Football

Michael Sam Docuseries Coming to the Oprah Network

Michael Sam Oprah
St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam attends an introductory press conference at Rams Park in Earth City, Mo. on May 13, 2014. Chris Lee—Landov

Brought to you by the same film team that did Lindsay Lohan’s show Lindsay, the cable network's new docuseries will follow the first openly gay football player drafted to the NFL through his start with the St. Louis Rams

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable network announced Wednesday it’s creating a docuseries that will follow Michael Sam, the first openly gay man drafted to the National Football League, as he starts his career with the St. Louis Rams.

“Like every player out there working to make a team right now, my focus is on playing football to the very best of my ability,” said Sam. “I am determined. And if seeing my story helps somebody else accept who they are and to go for their dreams too, that’s great. I am thankful to Oprah for her support and excited to work together.”

Sam, who came out publicly in February, was drafted to the Rams May 10.

“We are honored that Michael is trusting us with his private journey in this moment that has not only made history but will shape it forever,” said Winfrey. “The next real-life story we follow in The Untitled Michael Sam Project promises to spark valuable, important discussion on life in America today. Acceptance and illumination start here.”

The team behind the untitled Michael Sam project is the same that created Lindsay Lohan’s show “Lindsay.”

[The Hollywood Reporter]





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