Rupert Grint has taken legal action against the British government to pursue a tax refund estimated to be worth a reported $1.34 million (£1 million).
The Harry Potter star, 27, appeared in a London court on Monday (27Jun16) for a hearing aimed at resolving his dispute with U.K. tax authorities Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Although no figure was given in court for how much Rupert would recoup if his case, which is over his tax returns from 2008-2010, is successful, his accountant confirmed to reporters the amount at stake could be as much as $1.34 million (£1 million).
According to Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, when appearing at the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice’s tax chamber, the British actor said he did not look after his tax affairs himself.
“I didn’t really have a reason to question them (the accounts),” he told the court. “I am not too great. My knowledge of this is quite limited so I put a lot of faith and trust in Dan’s knowledge.”
Rupert’s lawyer Patrick Soares told the tribunal, ““There is no tax avoidance involved here. He has paid all his tax up front,” he said. If he wins the case he gets a refund. He just wants to make that point in open court.”
HMRC officials are yet to comment on the hearing, which is due to last until Wednesday (29Jun16).
The star, who played Ron Weasley in the wizarding films, is not the only Harry Potter actor whose financial affairs have hit the headlines in recent months.
Last month (May16) Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, was named as one of several celebrities who set up an offshore company for the purpose of purchasing a home in London in leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
A spokesperson for the actress insisted the purchase of the property was made through the offshore company for privacy reasons rather than to gain a tax advantage.
“Emma (like many high profile individuals) set up an offshore company for the sole purpose of protecting her anonymity and safety,” the representative told Britain’s Spectator magazine.
Police officers have launched an investigation over allegations thieves stole Sean Kingston’s $300,000 (£225,000) necklace.
The Beautiful Girls singer claims two suspects approached him inside the Penthouse Nightclub & Dayclub in Los Angeles and began punching him. During the physical altercation, his expensive chain was allegedly stolen from around his neck.
Police officers arrived at the scene after the suspects had left and one of Sean’s team filed a police report. Officers have now launched an investigation into the claims, according to TMZ.com.
This isn’t the first time the 26-year-old has gone to the police over a jewellery dispute. He filed a police report after he was allegedly kidnapped in November (15). According to the singer, he met up with a jeweller in a parking lot to exchange his $225,000 (£169,000) watch for a cheaper timepiece because he wanted to stop paying instalments on the expensive one.
However, during the exchange, which reportedly took place in a car at night, the jeweller simply took the expensive watch, locked the doors of the car and drove Sean to the middle of nowhere and threw him out.
Officials at the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) closed their investigation after ruling the incident was a business dispute.
In March (16), the singer was also sued by owners of Haimov Jewelers in Florida for allegedly failing to pay them fully for a Rolex watch and a diamond bracelet.
E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey books and movies have made her more than $69 million (£52 million).
Editors at British newspaper The Daily Mirror report the author’s company Fifty Shades Limited earned £30 million last year alone after selling the rights for book.
It was made into a film starring actress Dakota Johnson and British star Jamie Dornan, and filming is underway on the sequels, Fifty Shades Darker, which is in production for a 2017 release, and Fifty Shades Freed.
Documents obtained by The Daily Mirror reveal James, real name Erika Mitchell, reportedly earned $6.4 million (£4.8 million), from the film deal. After paying a tax bill of $6.6 million (£5 million) and giving away £1 million in charitable donations, the outlet reports she was still left with a profit of £19 million by the end of September 2015. The company’s balance sheet now stands at a reported $69 million dollars (£52 million). James owns all of the company’s shares.
James, 53, lives with her husband, TV drama and comedy screenwriter Niall Leonard and their two sons in a $3.5 million (£2.65 million) home in west London.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lawyers have fired off a legal warning to the producers of a Kardashians parody for using songs from his musical Cats.
The composer and theatre mogul has taken issue with the officials of off-Broadway comedy show Katdashians! Break the Musical!, which mocks the reality TV family in a story about “Internet famous cats torn apart by fame, family, and friskies!”
The production also contained songs which parody those written by Webber for Cats, and his legal team sent off a letter warning the producers to remove them from the show or they would have to file a damages claim for “continued willful infringement on our client’s rights”.
“It is clear that the production is not a parody of ‘Cats’,” his legal team said, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six. “Our client’s property is being extensively misappropriated… to parody another subject matter entirely.”
“We were pretty shocked,” co-creator Tobly McSmith told the website about the legal pressure. “We are fans of Webber and his work… We thought he’d enjoy the parodies we did of his songs, but apparently he did not.”
His lawyer Robert Hantman added, “While we disagree with (Webber’s) position, it would be foolish to burden the court, but we are inviting all judges to see the show for free and decide on their own.”
The songs were removed by Monday night’s (27Jun16) show and replaced with original songs. A representative from Webber’s company Really Useful Group said they were pleased with the cooperation and urged Cats fans to see the real musical on Broadway.
The revival of Cats officially opens at the Neil Simon Theatre on 02 August (16) with Leona Lewis making her Broadway debut as Grizabella, following the departure of Nicole Scherzinger.
The former Pussycat Doll starred in the U.K. revival but dropped out of the transfer to judge Britain’s The X Factor.
Blac Chyna was embraced by the Kardashian-Jenner clan as they played a string of arcade games to celebrate Khloe Kardashian’s birthday on Monday night (27Jun16).
Blac, 28, divided the famous family when she struck up a romance with Rob Kardashian at the beginning of the year (16), as she was previously engaged to his half-sister Kylie Jenner’s love interest Tyga, with whom she has son King Cairo, three. Blac and Rob, 29, surprised people even more when they announced their engagement in April (16), followed by the news that the model was expecting their first child together.
Khloe, her sister Kim Kardashian and their mother Kris Jenner all voiced their shock and initial disapproval on reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but it seems they’ve firmly put their differences aside now as they united on Monday.
Kim, 35, shared a moving Boomerang photo on Instagram of her and Blac playing air hockey together, captioning the shot: “Slip n slide with@blacchyna,” and even Kylie, 18, was present, as she posed for a picture with Kim in front of a colourful wheel, writing: “my mom and me@kimkardashian”.
Blac appeared thrilled to be spending time with her fiance’s relatives as she too took to Instagram to post a cute photo of her and Kris, 60, beaming at the camera.
“So much fun with Mama@krisjenner,” she captioned the moment, followed by another black and white photobooth picture of her, Rob and Khloe, 32, pulling silly poses.
“Happy Birthday@khloekardashian,” Blac wrote.
Kylie and Tyga, 26, were believed to have parted ways in May (16), after their relationship began when the reality star was just 16. It seems as though they’ve reunited though, as the musician posted a photo of his former flame on his bed online last week (end24Jun16), and Kylie stepped out in a jumper with a giant tiger on the front on Sunday (26Jun16).
Jamelia alleges she was racially abused by a police officer in front of her children.
The 35-year-old singer turned TV presenter was driving to a train station and overtook another motorist because she was rushing to get to her destination.
She claims the motorist, who was wearing a police uniform, was so enraged with her overtaking manoeuvre that he followed her to the train station and hurled racist abuse at her.
“So, This morning I did a bad thing, I overtook someone as I was driving to the train station,” she writes on her Facebook page. “I was running late, and in a rush. Not an excuse, it wasn’t the right thing to do.
“I parked up and as my girls and I got out of the car, I noticed the person had followed us, and was shouting ‘Is there something wrong with you you stupid b**ch, you should have waited!!’ I replied, ‘I know, I’m so sorry, i (sic) was rushing for the train, my apologies’.
“He then retorted ”you lot make me f*cking sick’ I said ‘can you please not swear in front of my children’ he replied ‘Oh f**k off you stupid black b**ch, you lot are sickening’.”
She adds, “I am mostly disappointed because this man was a POLICE OFFICER.”
The star explains she was particularly upset because the alleged incident occurred in front of her daughters Teja, 15, and Tiani, 10.
“I’ve always wanted my girls to trust & respect the police, and have confidence that they are there for their protection,” she writes. “But I think the police should realise that profiling works both ways, what you display is what you potentially become in the eyes of a child. How can you expect black children to have faith in you if they witness their parents being mistreated like this? It is not Ok.”
In a later post, the singer revealed she had reported the matter to the authorities.
Christopher Eccleston feels a “great deal of shame” over his past as a school bully.
The 52-year-old actor has joined forces with the Stand Up To Bullying campaign, and appeared on television show Good Morning Britain on Tuesday morning (28Jun16) to reveal his own experiences – both as a bullying victim and as a bully himself.
Recalling the times he targeted a boy as a youngster, Christopher was overcome with emotion and appeared to be struggling to hold back tears as he spoke about how disappointed he was with himself.
“There was a period when I bullied, for a very short period, and I did stop it myself but it’s a shame that I carry to this day,” he said. “The pop psychology of it is ‘I bullied because I was bullied’, I don’t know that I accept that, I know that I feel a great deal of shame.”
When asked what he did to bully the young boy, former Doctor Who actor Christopher told hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid that at break time he used to “make him give me some of his crisps”.
“I feel a lot of shame about it,” he added. “It’s been a great shame and I would like to apologise to him. I know his name but I don’t know where he is. He was probably like myself when I went into infants, vulnerable and sensitive and you can make the leap of… I felt powerless so I made somebody else feel powerless.”
With regards to his own experience as a bullying victim, Christopher admitted he has since realised that his tormenter, a girl two years older than him, may have had more going on in the background that he didn’t know about. And as an adult, he can recognise that her troubled upbringing could well have contributed to her desire to bully.
“As I’ve grown up and thought about that girl, she seemed not as cared for physically as some of the other children and my thought is, God knows what was going on at home because there was definitely a sense that this girl was very, very troubled and that’s what I take from it really,” he continued.
Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams’s hopes his stirring speech on racial inequality at the BET Awards will spur activists to transform America.
The 34-year-old actor received a Humanitarian award at the ceremony, hosted by America’s Black Entertainment Television network at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater on Sunday (26Jun16).
In his acceptance speech, Jesse, who in addition to acting has campaigned for civil rights and been involved with the anti-racism movement Black Lives Matter, called on activists to transform U.S. society to improve the lives of non-white Americans.
Speaking to America’s People magazine after his epic address, Jesse said he hoped his words inspired people, and that changes to tackle racial inequality in U.S. society should begin with altering the country’s education system.
“Words are only as good as the response to those words,” he says. “But I’d like to think that I give people a sense that they are not alone.
“If we keep poisoning our children to believe that we are nothing and that white people are everything, that’s when it finds itself reflected in the way we treat each other. It’s not that complicated.
He believes that teachers’ focus on the contributions of white historical figures results in violence towards non-white people, saying, “The truth we are teaching is that every contribution in the history of the planet came from blonde people. It’s not true and it’s destructive and people are getting killed long-term as a result. People don’t believe that we deserve it.”
In his speech at the BET Awards, Jesse also took on the matter of cultural appropriation – the borrowing of cultural traditions or trends associated with non-whites by white people.
He said, “Millions of you smile in awe of our music, comedy, inventions, athletics, fashion, etc., but when we’re not entertaining you, you hate us? How does that work exactly?”
The issue sparked controversy when Justin Timberlake wrote on Twitter that he had been “inspired” by the speech, with many social media users accusing Justin of cultural appropriation throughout his pop career.
After the backlash, the Cry Me A River singer sought to clarify his comments, writing, “I feel misunderstood. I responded to a specific tweet that wasn’t meant to be a general response. I shouldn’t have responded anyway… I forget this forum sometimes… I was truly inspired by @iJesseWilliams speech because I really do feel that we are all one…A human race.”
Josh Kelley is excited about all of the experiences that come with wife Katherine Heigl’s pregnancy because everything is new to the couple.
The Knocked Up star and Josh are already parents to two adopted daughters and they recently announced they were expecting a baby boy in January (17). Josh explains the pregnancy is a new, exciting journey.
“With (second child) Adalaide, you know, we adopted her from birth, so we got that experience,” he tells Us Weekly magazine. “(First child) Naleigh, we got her when she was nine months old, so this obviously is our first time going through this. It’s exciting and super new.”
Josh and Katherine’s daughters also are looking forward to becoming big sisters, but they are growing impatient.
“They ask about the baby all the time,” he continues. “Adalaide asks more than Naleigh because she’s so curious. (She’s) four… and she thinks the baby is supposed to be here tomorrow, and it’s hilarious.”
And Josh is in awe of Katherine, who is busy preparing for the new addition to the family.
“That girl is always prepared,” he adds. “I don’t know if you’ve seen her blog, Those Heavenly Days, but she’s like the craftiest person in the world. She’s like our (U.S. lifetstyle guru) Martha Stewart. She’s the craftiest person I’ve ever seen in my entire life. And I was an art major! Right when we found out it was a boy, she started making stuff… crocheting, knitting, everything.”
And while Katherine gets ready for the impending birth, she is dealing with her own first experiences from the pregnancy.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for us, filled with hope, anticipation, and hormones,” she said when she announced the happy news last week (ends24Jun16). “Well, only I’m filled with hormones, but everyone in the family gets to enjoy them. We couldn’t be more excited to be able to finally share this news with our fans and are looking forward to continuing to share the journey with you all.”
The Backstreet Boys are going country with a new collaboration with Florida Georgia Line.
The Cruise duo is releasing its third studio album, Dig Your Roots, in August (16), and Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard have unexpectedly recruited the boy band to feature on one of the tracks on the record.
Nick Carter took to Instagram on Monday (27Jun16) to reveal the news, posting a selfie of him in the recording studio, where he and the other Backstreet Boys have also been laying down tracks for their next album.
Nick wrote, “In the studio with my @backstreetboys recording a song for @flagaline new album. Also working on the new backstreet album as well. Get ready!!!”
His bandmate Brian Littrell added his own post, writing, “In the Lab…… Doing something we’ve never done before…. BSB feature with FGL….. Great record…. Comes out late August.”
The collaboration comes after Florida Georgia Line professed their admiration for the Backstreet Boys during a gig last month (May16), when Kelley revealed they were his first concert.
His confession was met with a few laughs from the audience, but Hubbard then went on to admit one of the boy band’s records was the first one he ever purchased, adding, “BK (Brian Kelley), sometimes I think that we are the Backstreet Boys.”
The duo went on to do a cover of the group’s hit Everybody (Backstreet’s Back), which got the attention of Nick Carter, who praised their version.
Nick even met up with the duo earlier this month (Jun16) at the CMA Festival in Nashville, and praised their set with a post on Instagram.
“Enjoying an amazing concert at CMA fest where my boys from @flagaline killed it on stage,” Nick wrote. “Best performance of the whole show.”
The Backstreet Boys have yet to announce a release date for their next album.