Kraken lawyer Sidney Powell and Mike Flynn suspended by Twitter along with 8kun operator Ron Watkins


Rush Limbaugh has deactivated his Twitter account hours after Donald Trump, Sidney Powell and Mike Flynn were suspended and conservatives threatened to flee the platform in protest. 

A search for the account of right-wing radio host Limbaugh Friday night comes up with the notice: ‘This account doesn’t exist.’

Neither Limbaugh nor Twitter have commented on the removal however it comes amid a flurry of chatter from conservatives that they will stage an exodus from the platform in the wake of several bans of far-right commentators.    

Earlier Friday, Twitter announced it had suspended the accounts of Donald Trump‘s former election fraud lawyer Powell, former National Security advisor Flynn, and the founder of 8Chan – now known as 8kun – for breaking its ‘coordinated harmful activity’ policy in their promotion of conspiracy theories. 

Soon after, Twitter then announced the president had been banned permanently. 

Rush Limbaugh has been banned from Twitter. Twitter is yet to comment on the removal however it comes one day after Limbaugh compared the MAGA mob that stormed the US Capitol Wednesday in a riot that claimed five lives to the founding fathers of the Unites States of America (above)

‘After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,’ Twitter said of its ban on Trump. 

The moves come as Twitter is becoming increasingly aggressive in policing its platform, forcing those in the line of fire to switch to Parler, which is not moderated. 

Apple is reportedly now mulling removing Parler from the app store, owing to the inflammatory content circulating on the platform.  

Sidney Powell, who served on Trump's legal team for just over a week, has been banned

Sidney Powell, who served on Trump’s legal team for just over a week, has been banned

Michael Flynn, Trump's former National Security Advisor, has also been banned

Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Advisor, has also been banned

Ron Watkins, who founded 8Chan - now known as 8kun - has also been banned from Twitter

Ron Watkins, who founded 8Chan – now known as 8kun – has also been banned from Twitter

Trump was suspended for 12 hours on Wednesday night after he incited rioters to storm the Capitol, causing chaos and killing four of his supporters plus a member of the Capitol Police.

His account was then reinstated for 24 hours, but taken down permanently on Friday.

Powell, Flynn and Ron Watkins, the 8kun founder, will also have their accounts permanently deleted, along with other QAnon supporters.

Powell is Flynn’s attorney, and rose to prominence promoting conspiracy theories. 

Twitter said the move against them was in response to their repeated promotion of QAnon conspiracy theories – the idea that a ‘deep state’ of former Obama officials is working to undermine Trump, and that Washington is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles.

Powell is Flynn's attorney. Flynn was convicted of lying to the FBI but pardoned by Trump

Powell is Flynn’s attorney. Flynn was convicted of lying to the FBI but pardoned by Trump

Supporters of the QAnon theory protest in Oregon in May. Twitter on Friday banned a series of accounts which promoted the idea

Supporters of the QAnon theory protest in Oregon in May. Twitter on Friday banned a series of accounts which promoted the idea

QAnon supporters have been prevented by Google from selling their wares

QAnon supporters have been prevented by Google from selling their wares

Cartoons promoting QAnon circulate widely on Facebook, and are being investigated

Cartoons promoting QAnon circulate widely on Facebook, and are being investigated

Believers in the conspiracy theory see Donald Trump as taking on a cabal of Satanists

Believers in the conspiracy theory see Donald Trump as taking on a cabal of Satanists

‘The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy on Coordinated Harmful Activity,’ a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News

‘We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content.’

Twitter explains the policy as preventing harm in the real world.

Powell is being sued for $1.3 billion by Dominion Voting Systems

Powell is being sued for $1.3 billion by Dominion Voting Systems

‘We identify groups, movements, or campaigns that are engaged in coordinated activity resulting in harm on and off of Twitter,’ they state. 

The Twitter account @TrumpsAlert, which automatically shows follows and unfollows from the Trump family and other insiders, showed that Rudy Giuliani had been following a number of the conspiracy-theory accounts which were deleted by Twitter.

Jared Kushner, senior presidential advisor and Trump’s son-in-law, followed Powell.

When the accounts were deleted, it showed they had ‘unfollowed’ them.

Powell was sued by Dominion Voting Systems on Friday for $1.3 billion after she falsely accused the company of creating means of rigging the vote in favor of Joe Biden.  

Watkins, who lives in Japan, has like Powell spent recent weeks pushing false claims about Dominion Voting Systems and the company’s role in the U.S. elections.  

QAnon believers’ bizarre beliefs have led to real-world violence.

A man in a QAnon hoodie is seen inside the Capitol on Wednesday

A man in a QAnon hoodie is seen inside the Capitol on Wednesday

QAnon fanatics have been driven to carry out violent attacks in real life

QAnon fanatics have been driven to carry out violent attacks in real life

QAnon supporters have been arrested for threatening politicians, breaking into the residence of the Canadian prime minister, an armed standoff near the Hoover dam, a kidnapping plot and two kidnappings, and at least one murder.

On Wednesday night QAnon adherents were among the individuals at the front line of the storming of Capitol Hill, with a man in a bearskin and a Viking helmet, Jake Angeli from Arizona, describing himself as a ‘QAnon Shaman’. 

Others wore QAnon hoodies and insignia. One reporter said the rioters told him they were ‘looking for pedophiles’ inside the Capitol. 

Their involvement seems to have driven Twitter’s decision to ban Powell, Flynn, Watkins and other high-profile promoters of the theory. 

Jake Angeli, who calls himself the 'QAnon Shaman', was among the rioters on Wednesday

Jake Angeli, who calls himself the ‘QAnon Shaman’, was among the rioters on Wednesday 

QAnon supporters were among those who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, killing five

QAnon supporters were among those who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, killing five  

Social media networks have long been concerned about QAnon theories circulating on their platforms. 

In July, Twitter announced it had banned 7,000 QAnon accounts for breaking its rules around platform manipulation, misinformation and harassment. 

Twitter also said it would no longer recommend QAnon accounts and content, would stop such content from appearing in trends and search, and would block QAnon’s internet links. 

In August Facebook uncovered thousands of groups and pages, with millions of members and followers, that support QAnon, according to internal company documents.

The tech giant has been under immense pressure to clamp down on hate speech and dangerous conspiracy theories, both of which are found in abundance on the site.

Last year the company announced new policies to reduce the visibility of vaccine misinformation on its platform, including rejecting advertising and excluding groups and pages from search results that spread ‘vaccine hoaxes.’ 

Facebook has since June been studying the QAnon movement, and in early removed a QAnon group with nearly 200,000 members ‘for repeatedly posting content that violated our policies.’

It was unclear whether Facebook would follow Twitter and ban Powell, Flynn, Watkins and the others.  Facebook is yet to respond to DailyMail.com’s request.

Several Republican candidates for Congress have openly expressed support for QAnon, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, who won her seat in November and declared that QAnon was ‘a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ to take this supposed global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out. 

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Ron Klain on Donald Trump and the Coronavirus Outbreak


I called Klain the other day to ask him how he knew, to such a granular degree, that the Trump-Fauci relationship would go sideways. “We knew already that Trump has a style of governing that rejects facts and that demands that people see the world his way, that they live in his counterfactual reality,” he said. “He also has a tendency to downplay threats, whatever kind of threats they are. I knew Dr. Fauci well enough to know that he was going to tell the truth and speak out and that sooner or later that would run afoul of the Trump approach to governance.”

Klain was in a unique position to make predictions about COVID-19. As the coordinator of Obama’s successful fight against Ebola, he had developed important knowledge about infectious disease. But he also gained an understanding of Trump’s destructive impact on public health.

“One thing people forget is that after ‘birtherism’ blew up on Trump, he faded from view for a little while and only emerged back into our politics around Ebola,” Klain said. “He was the leading public voice attacking Obama’s Ebola response. His tweets—there are studies that show this—were a main cause of the fear that galvanized around Ebola. He tweeted that the efforts to fight Ebola in West Africa were a mistake, that bringing home the doctor who had contracted Ebola in West Africa was a mistake—he said he should be left to die. Trump was completely unhinged from science, and this had a significant impact on the public psyche. It gave me an early indication of how he would handle a pandemic.”

What did Klain learn by watching Trump? Overpromising solutions in a pandemic is dangerous, but so is under-promising: “One of the reasons we’re in the mess we’re in is that President Trump believed, or simply said, that this virus would be gone like a miracle. It would be gone by Easter; it will be gone by Memorial Day.”

Biden, Klain said, will take a more nuanced approach. “President-elect Biden is very clear in saying that COVID is not going to go away in 100 days, that life will not go back to normal in 100 days. But it’s important for a leader in this situation to offer a mix of realism and hope. I don’t think you’re going to get people to participate in a response if you tell them that the slog goes on forever, that there are no midpoints, no progress. But you just can’t overpromise.”

Go Nakamura / Getty

What to read if … you’re looking to better understand the current state of the outbreak:

Tonight’s Atlantic-approved isolation activity:

Reflect on the year with our photo editor Alan Taylor’s picks for the top 25 news photos of 2020.

Today’s break from the news:

Perpetual outsiders, Mormons spent 200 years assimilating to a certain national ideal—only to find their country in an identity crisis. What will the third century of the faith look like?


Thanks for reading. This email was written by Jeffrey Goldberg, with help from Caroline Mimbs Nyce.

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Ron Irwin, former Sault Ste. Marie mayor and Liberal cabinet minister, dies at 84


Ron Irwin, the former mayor of Sault Ste. Marie who later served as a federal Liberal cabinet minister, died Saturday at the age of 84.

“Ron loved Sault Ste. Marie dearly and he served it loyally for decades. On behalf of our community, I want to express my appreciation for his leadership and his incredible record of public service,” current Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano said in a statement.

Irwin was the city’s mayor from 1972 until 1974 and later served as the member of parliament for Sault Ste. Marie from 1980 to 1984 and again from 1993 to 1997. During his second tenure as an MP, he was a member of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s cabinet.

After retiring from Parliament in 1997, Irwin served as Canada’s ambassador to Ireland and consul-general in Boston.

“During his tenure as mayor, Irwin helped the city transform its waterfront from industrial use to a people-oriented place, including relocating city hall to its current location,” the statement from the city read.

In September, Sault Ste. Marie’s city hall was renamed in honour of Irwin, who was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1975.

The city said in its statement that flags at city facilities will be flown at half-mast to commemorate Irwin’s contributions to the city.



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US President-elect Joe Biden chooses longtime adviser Ron Klain as chief of staff


President-elect Joe Biden has chosen his longtime adviser Ron Klain to reprise his role as his chief of staff, installing an aide with decades of experience in the top role in his White House.

Klain will lead a White House likely to be consumed by the response to the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to spread unchecked across the nation, and he”ll face the challenge of working with a divided Congress that could include a Republican-led Senate. Klain served as the coordinator to the Ebola response during the 2014 outbreak.

In a statement Wednesday night, Biden suggested he chose Klain for the position because his longtime experience in Washington had prepared him for such challenges.

“His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again,” Biden said.

Klain served as chief of staff for Biden during Barack Obama’s first term, was chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore in the mid-1990s and was a key adviser on the Biden campaign, guiding Biden’s debate preparations and coronavirus response. He’s known and worked with Biden since the Democrat’s 1987 presidential campaign.

The choice of Klain underscores the effort the incoming Biden administration will place on the coronavirus response from day one. Klain has experience in public health as the Ebola response coordinator and played a central role in drafting and implementing the Obama administration’s economic recovery plan in 2009.

“I’m honoured by the President-elect’s confidence and will give my all to lead a talented and diverse team in a Biden-Harris WH,” Klain tweeted.

Choosing Klain is also likely to assuage some concerns among progressives who had been gearing up for a fight over one of the first and biggest staff picks Biden will make as he builds out his White House team. The chief of staff is typically a gatekeeper for the president, crafts political and legislative strategy and often serves as a liaison to Capitol Hill in legislative negotiations.

Progressives had expressed concerns that Biden would pick one of his other former chiefs of staff: Steve Richetti, who faces skepticism for his work as a lobbyist, or Bruce Reed, who is seen as too much of a moderate to embrace reforms pushed by the party’s base. But progressives see Klain as open to working with them on top priorities like climate change and health care.



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Ray Thomas and Ron Dufficy’s best bets and analysis


The Daily Telegraph racing editor Ray Thomas and Sky Thoroughbred Central’s form expert Ron Dufficy debate all the big-race chances at the Golden Eagle meeting at Rosehill Gardens and for Derby Day at Flemington on Saturday.

SUGGESTED BETS

DUFF’S BEST

Race 3, No.1: SEGALAS

Race 4, No.11: ARCHANNA

BEST VALUE

Race 6, No.13: SHE’S IDEEL

Race 9, No.13: SURREAL STEP

RAY’S BEST

Race 4, No.11: ARCHANNA

BEST VALUE

Race 9, No.5: STOCKMAN

The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!

ROSEHILL GARDENS

Track: Heavy 8. Rail: True.

R1: TAB HIGHWAY (1200m)

Dufficy: Blitzar looks quite impressive. He bolted in at Dubbo last start and his two barrier trials have been outstanding. I know he hasn’t got any wet track form on raceday but his latest trial on a heavy track was excellent. I’m happy to be with him. I’m interested in Choccy Gaf. He is only a three-year-old and has had no trial after 88 days between runs but resumes off a win, likes it wet and has some nice form lines around him finishing alongside Montefilia two starts back. Art Cadeau has to go in for sheer consistency. He found the 1000m too short for him first-up but still ran well. Depth That Varies did a good job making a long, sustained run last start and is in the mix.

Thomas: Art Cadeau will be improved by that Kembla comeback run and is ready to break through for a deserved win. He’s very genuine, handles soft-heavy track and the stable knows how to win these races. Monica’s Star is lightly raced but showing promise and was impressive storming home to win at Port Macquarie when resuming. King’s Trust was on the worst part of the track last start and can improve at odds here. Your selection, Ronnie, Blitzar, does rate as one of the main chances.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Monica’s Star $6.50-$4.60 ($300 @ $6 TWICE), Blitzar $6.50-$4-$4.20 ($500 @ $4.20 MULTIPLE TIMES)

R2: SCHWEPPES HCP (1400m)

Dufficy. I like Obvious Step. She was very good at big odds in the Reginald Allen Quality last start, she has a win in town on a heavy track and has to be considered here. Air To Air was a late nomination for this race but only has to be close to her best form to win. I would prefer her on a soft rather than heavy track. Perfect Radiance is a nice filly whose only defeat was by Peltzer on a heavy track. She appears big odds for this race. Nicci’s Fling also comes out of the Reginald Allen where she hit the line quite nicely and has some soft track form as well.

Thomas: I like Fortune Seeker’s attitude. I know this is a jump in grade but she fights hard and wants to win. She’s protecting her perfect race record and her competitive nature ensures she is right in this contest. Enchanted Heart attacked the line strongly to win at the midweeks. Talented and hard to beat despite creeping up in the weights. Last-start winners Perfect Radiance and Colonel are improvers who can make their presence felt here.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Enchanted Heart $4.60-$4 ($1,000 @ $4), Ellsberg $6-$4.80-$4.40 ($500 @ $5.50, $300 @ $5.50, $350 @ $4.80)

WEEKEND BEST BETS: Run machine up for challenge

DAVO’S TIPS: Star to shine in the wet

R3: TRESEMME HCP (1200m)

Dufficy: I’m very keen on Segalas here. He has had 38 days and a barrier trial between runs but gets the claim, he has some good wet track form and I think he is going to be very hard to hold out. Miss Einstein was unlucky first-up last campaign and I expect her to be running on hard late. Willowheart is an honest mare, she is back in distance but maps well from the draw and handles all conditions. Misteed has nice wet track form and should improve.

Thomas: Segalas did enough first-up to suggest she is in for a good campaign. She does handle rain-affected conditions and this is her optimum distance. Let It Pour is very fit, makes her own luck racing on speed and she will run well. Trajection is resuming, she always races well fresh and the stable is in form. The well-bred Saas Fee ran well behind Intrepidacious at Warwick Farm when resuming and is an improving mare.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Segalas $7-$5

R4: FUJITSU GENERAL HCP (1900m)

Dufficy: Archanna is a nice mare, very fit and she did bolt in with her maiden on a heavy track at her debut. She will be hard to beat. The danger is Quintessa. She is a grinding, on-pace mare who did run third in the ATC Australian Oaks on a heavy track so she should be close up at the finish here. Across Dubai ran an improved race last start, he has run well on a heavy track previously and the 3kg weight swing he has on Kirwan’s Lane brings him in at odds. Kirwan’s Lane is heading in the right direction having won both races this campaign.

Thomas: I agree, Ronnie, Archanna is the one to beat. She’s in great form, running down Nimalee at Canterbury then was held up at a vital stage and was unlucky not to have beaten She’s Ideel at Randwick. This looks the right race for her, distance suits, she handles the wet tracks and just needs even luck in running. She’s my bet of the day. Kirwan’s Lane is flying this campaign and is the main danger. Quintessa and Navy Cross are not out of this race. Both will go forward and settle on speed and will take running down.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Kirwan’s Lane $8-$5.50, Navy Cross $11-$6.50 ($500 @ $8.50), Archanna $8-$8.50-$5.50-$4.80 ($300 e/w @ $8.50/$2.90, $1,000 @ $6, $500 @ $6 MULTIPLE TIMES, $1,000 @ $5.50 TWICE, $500 @ $5.50)

R5: RENDR DELIVERY SPRINT (1100m)

Dufficy: I’m going with the consistent mare Switched here. She is a tough sprinter and has been placed in all seven starts on heavy tracks. She is third-up off a win and at her peak. Macroura is an impressive filly. She is resuming here off two trials and although I was not 100 per cent sold on those trials, she did win her first three starts and go to a Group 1 race at her debut race campaign last season. Mo’s Crown is trialling well and is a talented sprinter when right. Irish Songs is a good long shot as he ran well in The Kosciuszko and was impressive winning the Wagga Wagga Town Plate on a heavy track back in June.

Thomas: Switched is reliable and consistent. She turns up on raceday and gives her all every start. She gets in well at the weights after the claim and her wet track form is very good. I also have Macroura as the danger. She showed natural talent in her debut race campaign last season and is effective on soft-heavy tracks. Plaquette is racing in very good form and watch for her charging home late. Mo’s Crown has good first-up form and his recent trial suggests he is in for another good campaign.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Black Magnum $8.50-$9-$7.50 ($300 e/w @ $9/$3, $500 x $1,500 e/w @ $8.50/$2.90, $500 e/w @ $8/$2.70), Lesage $10-$6.50, Macroura $5-$3.70-$3.80 ($300 @ $5, $556 @ $4.60, $667 @ $4)

R6: ROSEHILL GOLD CUP (2000m)

Dufficy: She’s Ideel is coming back from 2600m but she is a strong mare with no weight, her soft track form is great and she will be hard to hold out. House Of Cartier is ticking along beautifully for a race like this. She has been good at her last two starts and is ready for 2000m. We can forget she did win the Wagga Gold Cup on a very heavy track before being disqualified. Wu Gok is one of the best wet trackers going around with eight wins on heavy tracks. I think he should be around the mark considering the track conditions. Nimalee is an improving mare, her soft track form is OK and she could easily shape up here.

Thomas: I like Nimalee. She is an emerging mare who is ready for the step up to 2000m now after three very good runs this campaign. She gets all the favours from her inside draw and is very effective on soft tracks. She’s Ideel is going to have to go back from her wide gate and is likely to be giving Nimalee a big start from the turn but she will be powering home. Think It Over comes into this race off his good Craven Plate win and rates highly again. The Candy Man is unbeaten in four starts on heavy tracks and could be the surprise packet if he gets his preferred track conditions.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Wu Gok $6-$5.50, The Candy Man $11-$10-$7-$7.50 ($840 @ $8.50), Nimalee $8-$4.80 ($500 @ $6)

R7: YES YES YES STAKES (1300m)

Dufficy: I think it has to be The Everest form with Gytrash. It’s a big tricky for him at 1300m, wide draw and on a heavy track but he is a class sprinter and his soft track form is good. The worst track he has been on was a soft 7 at Flemington but he bolted in that day in the Creswick Stakes. I have to be with him. Haut Brion Her is the danger. She ran out of her skin in The Everest, the track and distance here is ideal and she is two from two on soft tracks. Eduardo is the big improver. He needs to settle better than he did in The Everest, obviously, but he has been untouchable on wet tracks in the past and has won at 1300m. Deprive is fresh blood and will be running on strongly.

Thomas: Gytrash is one of the nation’s elite sprinters as he has shown in Sydney this spring winning the Concorde Stakes and finishing a very good third to Classique Legend in The Everest. The barrier is the concern but if Jason Collett can get across and find cover, Gytrash’s acceleration and class should get him home. I also expect Eduardo to bounce back off his The Everest flop when nothing went right. His form prior to his last-start defeat was outstanding and is going to take catching. Haut Brion Her only has to reproduce her effort in The Everest to be in the finish. If the track conditions improve into the soft range, brilliant filly Dame Giselle’s chances soar.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Gytrash $2.90 unchanged ($500 @ $2.90 MULTIPLE TIMES), Mister Sea Wolf $15-$17-$16 ($200 x $400 e/w @ $15/$4), Man Of Peace $26-$23-$18 ($250 e/w @ $23/$6)

R8: GOLDEN EAGLE (1500m)

Dufficy: I just feel Bottega is getting out to big odds. He should have won both runs back this spring, he gets into a nice spot from the draw, and he should be okay in the going. I want to be on him around $21. Colette has been beautifully set-up for the Golden Eagle. If this race becomes a real slog, she will come into her own being an Oaks winner. She has been so good on a wet track in the past. Riodini is going to settle on speed and is an emerging type who was terrific in the Epsom. Funstar has to go in the numbers as she is a class mare, loves the wet and has had a nice trial since the Epsom. She just needs luck getting across from her wide draw and she will be hard to beat.

Thomas: Funstar and Alligator Blood are the class runners in the Golden Eagle and I have them fighting out the finish. Funstar has been racing well without winning this spring. She raced wide without cover and was unlucky to be run down by Wild Planet in the Theo Marks before another second, this time to arch rival Probabeel in the Epsom. Funstar has to overcome another horror barrier but with any sort of luck in running, her superior wet track ability will kick in. Alligator Blood has been prepared specifically for this race and there is improvement off his Silver Eagle second placing. The promising Criaderas doesn’t have any early speed but he does boast a powerful finish. Riodini finished right alongside Funstar in the Epsom, he’s advantaged by the draw and enjoys racing on rain-affected tracks.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Alligator Blood $6.50-$7 ($700 x $300 e/w @ $7/$2.60, $500 @ $7 MULTIPLE TIMES), Superstorm $15-$16-$14-$15 ($1,000 e/w @ $16/$5, $1,000 e/w @ $14/$4.40, $250 e/w @ $14/$4.25), Colette $13-$7.50-$6 ($300 x $100 e/w @ $13/$4, $200 x $300 e/w @ $11/$3.50, $500 @ $9.50, $200 x $500 e/w @ $9/$3.10, $500 @ $8.50, $1,000 @ $8, $900 @ $8), Funstar $4.40-$5-$4.80-$5 ($1,000 @ $5 MULTIPLE TIMES, $400 @ $5, $300 x $600 e/w @ $4.80/$2.10), Sierra Sue $13-$14-$9.50-$10 ($500 e/w @ $14/$4.25, $500 e/w @ $12/$3.90, $400 @ $12 TWICE), Icebath $26-$19-$13 9$300 x $200 e/w @ $18/$5)

R9: QUAYCLEAN HCP (1400m)

Dufficy: Surreal Step enjoys a big drop class here from the Silver Eagle where he just got tired in the last 100m. He is one from one in the heavy, his other two wins in the soft were great, and I think he can perform well, I have a big query on Greek Hero. He’s an import having his second preparation in Australia, his trials have been great and he’s a very genuine horse with the right form. The wet track seems okay for him. Coterie gets a nice run and back in distance suits him.

Thomas: I don’t mind Stockman at odds here. He had to go back to last from a wide barrier and wasn’t suited by the slow race tempo before unplaced when resuming at Randwick. He’s drawn more favourably here, he enjoys rain-affected tracks, and he will be strong through the line. I’d prefer this race to be a mile or even a touch further for Stockman but I still feel he is great each way value. Surreal Step is fitter and should be hard to beat, Zakat has drawn the car park but doesn’t know how to run a bad race, and Fender is a risk at the trip but will be in this race for a long way.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Stockman $17-$14, Surreal Step $10-$7-$5.50 ($250 e/w @ $9/$3.20, $1,500 @ $5.50), Greek Hero $16-$11

FLEMINGTON

R5: EMPIRE ROSE STAKES (1600m)

Dufficy: Mystic Journey is a class mare who returned to winning form in the Stock Stakes at Moonee Valley. Now she has found form she can hold it in a race like this. I don’t mind the look of Pretty Brazen. It has taken her a while to get back up to a mile for her Grand Final, she is one from one at the distance and is the best value in the race. Shout The Bar is the big improver. If she finds the front on her own, she can give a big sight. Odeum is a talented filly coming off her Thousand Guineas win and gets in with a light weight.

Thomas: Vanna Girl is working her way back to top form and there were encouraging signs with her third in the Craven Plate. Flemington will suit her racing style and the booking of Hugh Bowman is significant. Forbidden Love is an underrated filly, drops 10kg on her stakes win at Randwick, and can run a big race here. Mystic Journey and Odeum come off impressive last-start wins and will be hard to beat.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Mystic Journey $4.60-$4.40-$4.60-$4.40 ($2,000 @ $4.60, $1,000 @ $4.60, $500 @ $4.60, $500 e/w @ $4.60/$1.90, $2,500 e/w @ $4.40/$1.85, $450 @ $4.40), Pretty Brazen $15-$14 ($200 e/w @ $15/$4.20), Missile Mantra $26-$23-$26 ($300 @ $26), Odeum $3.80-$4-$3.70 ($1,400 @ $4, $740 @ $3.70), Forbidden Love $17-$21-$16 ($500 e/w @ $21/$5, $750 e/w @ $18/$4.80, $600 e/w @ $17/$4.60, $500 @ $16)

R6: COOLMORE STUD STAKES (1200m)

Dufficy: Tough race. I’m going with the Sydney three-year-olds and I’m leaning Farnan’s way. I think we have to be forgiving for his first-up run, he has had a little issue since but hopefully if he is anywhere near his best he will be hard to beat. September Run is two from two down the straight at Flemington and the extra 100m won’t pose her any problems. Wild Ruler is drawn out which is ideal as he will be ready to pounce racing on top of the speed. The local, Swats That, is going great and will run well again.

Thomas: There is real confidence in the Farnan camp that he will bounce back to his brilliant best. Farnan has been trialling sensationally all spring and if he brings that form to the races he will be too good. Doubtland enjoys the straight track and is over the odds. Anders will be fitter after his Caulfield loss and I also have Wild Ruler finishing top four.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Farnan $5-$6-$4.80-$5 ($2,000 e/w @ $6/$2.20, $1,500 @ $6, $400 @ $6, $5,900 @ $5, $950 @ $5, $800 @ $5, $2,000 @ $4.80), Wild Ruler $6-$6.50 ($500 @ $6.50 TWICE), Ranting $15-$16-$15 ($4,000 e/w @ $16/$4.20, $1,000 x $200 e/w @ $15/$4, $500 e/w @ $15/$4), Swat’s That $10-$8.50 ($300 x $350 e/w @ $10/$3.20, $240 @ $10), September Run $5.50-$4.40-$4.20 ($335 @ $5.50, $2,500 e/w @ $4.40/$1.90, $2,500 @ $4.40, $1,000 @ $4.20 MULTIPLE TIMES)

R7: VICTORIA DERBY (2500m)

Dufficy: I’m a fan of Cherry Tortoni. We didn’t see the best of him in Sydney but he bounced back to win the Vase last start. He’s still a raw talent but the big stretches of Flemington will suit him. Young Werther is the favourite and has had an interesting program going into the Derby at just his third start and with a month between runs. It is not going to be easy for him but he does look a quality three-year-old. Let’s Karaka Deel gets the favours on speed and will run a good race. Albarado comes off a good win in the Norman Robinson Stakes last start and has hit his straps at the right time.

Thomas: We are on the same page with Cherry Tortoni. He’s an emerging staying talent and showed his true form winning the Vase. He gives the impression 2500m won’t be an issue. Let’s Karaka Deel is a promising stayer and there is improvement in him after Caulfield. Young Werther might be the best horse in this race but his interrupted preparation and inexperience makes him a risk. Johnny Get Angry is a bolter who can run a competitive race.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Cherry Tortoni $6-$4.20 ($1,500 @ $6, $1,100 @ $5, $500 @ $4.50 TWICE), Albarado $8-$7 ($500 x $1,500 e/w @ $7/$2.40, $500 @ $7), Young Werther $3-$4 ($2,000 @ $4 TWICE, $1,500 @ $4, $1,500 e/w @ $4/$1.75, $1,000 @ $4, $1,500 @ $3.90, $1,000 @ $3.90, $500 @ $3.90), Hit The Shot $8-$7 ($500 @ $8, $1,000 @ $7, $600 x $400 e/w @ $7/$2.40, $500 @ $7 MULTIPLE TIMES)

R8: CANTALA STAKES (1600m)

Dufficy: Another tough race. I’m not going to give up on King’s Legacy. He just wasn’t himself in the Caulfield Guineas, I know he is better than that and I’m happy to be with him. He does have big-race jockey Glen Boss on board. Fifty Stars likes Flemington and third-up at a mile is perfect for him. Rock does no work from the inside draw which helps him to run the mile right out. Cascadian has been desperate to get to the big Flemington track and I’m convinced he is going much better than what his form suggests.

Thomas: I was on Rock in the Epsom and I’ve got to give him another chance. Rock just couldn’t get into the race at Randwick but from his soft draw, he can settle closer in the Cantala and he is a strong finisher. Cascadian has had no luck this spring and has drawn off the track. I don’t mind the barrier provided he gets cover early because he won’t strike any “traffic” problems this time. Buffalo River looks hard to beat and I also feel King’s Legacy deserves another chance.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Mr Quickie $5 unchanged ($500 @ $5), Wild Planet $16-$12-$11 ($800 x $200 e/w @ $16/$4.80, $1,500 x $750 e/w @ $16/$4.80, $1,500 e/w @ $15/$4.60, $1,000 e/w @ $13/$4, $800 x $300 e/w @ $13/$4, $500 @ $12), Yulong Prince $16-$12

SATURDAY EXTRA

SHAYNE O’ACSS’S TOP PICKS

NEWCASTLE

BEST BET

Race 1, No.3: MICRONA

Winless after 14 starts but has six placings, four of them seconds, including a luckless one here last time behind subsequent Cessnock Cup winner Unamerican.

NEXT BEST

Race 5, No.4: SUPER

Was scratched from the Jungle Juice Cup on Tuesday after a huge win here on October 13. Has the perfect drawn a 2kgs claim.

VALUE

Race 8, No.2: ALL THINGS

So You Think gelding from the John Sargent camp. Twice second from his three first-up runs and has won at this venue.

DUBBO

BEST BET

Race 7, No.2: REVEAL THE MAGIC

Put the writing on the wall for a win with that close second to a handy horse at Scone last start. Close up behind Toto before that.

NEXT BEST

Race 1, No.1: ACTIVATION

Should have won first time out for Kody Nestor on Coonamble Cup day when odds-on. Greg Ryan on here so he is sure to be popular again.

VALUE

Race 3, No.10: RUSTY HAWK

Former Chris Waller trained galloper who is working his way up to a win now. Best run of the campaign was the last one. Go well.

COFFS HARBOUR

BEST BET

Race 5, No.4: CABRIERE

Inverell galloper by Pierro armed with the best form in the race line-up here and has the draw and 4kgs off.

NEXT BEST

Race 4, No.2: VENUSIAN

Has been racing far superior company than what he meets here. Has the perfect draw to get the perfect run. Easy to like.

VALUE

Race 3, No.6: QUKES

Gerry Harvey-bred mare who has won one and placed four times in her 10 starts. Goes well fresh and will be strong late.



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Alchermes ready to peak third-up for trainer Ron Quinton


The Ron Quinton-trained mare Alchermes hasn’t raced on a heavy track before Wednesday but if she is anything like her great-grandam Whisked, she should plough through it.

Quinton has first hand experience of Whisked’s epic talent, having ridden against the Grahame Begg-trained filly who like Alchermes, wore the famous ‘red, white cap’ colours of the Tait/Nivison families.

“Whisked was good all right,’’ Quinton recalled. “She was by Whiskey Road and they loved the wet.

“I didn’t ride Whisked but I rode Twiglet a bit basically in between trips for me when I went to Ireland.’’

Whisked and Twiglet met five times in the period spanning 1989 and 1991 with a scoreline of 4-1 to Begg’s filly.

Both fillies went on to foal Group 1 winners; Whisked produced Tie The Knot while Twiglet threw Hong Kong idol fairy King Prawn and Easy Rocking who, as it happens, was Quinton’s first Group 1 winner as a trainer 20 years ago this weekend.

As for pressing matters, Quinton is rightfully confident that Alchermes can win for a third time in her career when she steps out in Wednesday’s ATC Bowermans Commercial Furniture Handicap (1400m) at Randwick/Kensington.

The daughter of Excelebration is primed to peak on Wednesday after two rock solid performances last month.

“She got a bit lost on the Kenso last start,’’ Quinton explained. ‘’Sam (Clipperton) said she lost her bearings a little bit on the turn. Her first-up run was really good. Her second-up run probably wasn’t quite as good but as I say, she had some excuses.

“She hasn’t run a bad race in her whole career bar the last run of the last campaign where she was probably just coming to the end of it.

“She had a nice spell and has come back and poking along quite nicely.

“The race should suit her (Wednesday) and she has drawn a good gate but you never know on that Kensington track how it is going to work out. It is a tricky track. Even the jockeys have trouble working out how to ride it, you’re not quite sure of they can come from back or up-front, I suppose most times it is tempo related.

“But look, she is very, very well and she has had a month between runs which I am not worried about. She looks the best she has looked this time in. She has built up and she looks a lot stronger.

“I expect her to run very well,’’ the Hall of Famer told The Daily Telegraph.

Quinton is naturally eager to win some black-type with Alchermes and return her to her famed owner/breeders as another gold mine broodmare prospect.

Even before then, Alchermes value is in line for a considerable boost as early as this weekend if her very close relation, Cherry Tortoni, wins the VRC Victoria Derby (2500m) in the red and white colours.

NEWNHAM PAIR TO ‘LORD’ IT OVER THEIR RIVALS

Mark Newnham reckons Lord Olympus should be unbeaten but can take comfort in the fact that when he was rolled, it was at least by one of his stablemates.

Lord Olympus and his ‘nemesis’, Shadow Crush, are both in action again on Wednesday only this time they are kept well apart in the first and races on the Kensington program.

Lord Olympus, a distant relative of Might And Power, is already showing a $20,000 profit on his purchase price of ‘just’ $70,000 at the Easter Yearling Sale where the averaged priced horse was $350,000.

“He has not got the greatest conformation and (his sire) Olympic Glory was a little bit on the nose and he was late a foal,’’ Newnham says. “He is not three (years-old) yet.’’

In fact, Lord Olympus won’t turn three until November 23 by which time he could have racked up a fifth or even sixth win.

“He has been very consistent, very genuine and probably unlucky not to be four from four,’’ Newnham says. “He is a good, tough genuine horse who I hadn’t thought would get this far into his preparation but he is thriving, he is loving it.’’

Lord Olympus has his first look at the Kensington track on Wednesday and also his first run on heavy going when he leads them out in the ATC Impending @ Darley Handicap (1100m).

“He has got an action that tells me that he will (handle a heavy track). He was pretty good on a Soft 7 in his only trial this time in.’’

Whilst Lord Olympus was essentially friendless at the yearling sales, that certainly wasn’t the case with Shadow Crush who was in the Top Ten lots at the 2018 Inglis Classic Sale knocked down for $330,000.

“He was a very good looking yearling,’’ Newnham recalls. “He has always had good ability but had a few hiccups along the way but we are actually now getting some consistent racing out of him and he has been terrific.

“He won his first start very well and then he bled at his second start in a race and that really set us back with him but his runs since have all been very good.’’

Newnham is also forecasting sharp improvement from blue-blood mare Money magic in her 1400m assignment.



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Ron Johnson says he’d wear ‘moon suit’ to vote for Barrett if necessary


Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., says he will wear a “moon suit” if it means he can appear for an in-person vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett despite testing positive for the coronavirus.

“There’s no reason we can’t confirm Judge Barrett,” Johnson said Monday during a radio interview on the Ross Kaminsky Show.

CORONAVIRUS-POSITIVE JUDICIARY REPUBLICAN TILLIS SAYS HE WILL PARTICIPATE IN BARRETT HEARINGS REMOTELY, VOTE IN PERSON

Republicans have been steadfast about putting Barrett on the court as successor to the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day despite Democratic resistance and accusations of hypocrisy.

The Republican majority refused to consider President Barack Obama’s nomination nine months before the 2016 election, arguing that voters deserved a chance to weigh in.

The logistics of the GOP’s plans were thrown into turmoil, however, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recessed the entire chamber for two weeks after three senators tested positive for the coronavirus.

Two of those senators — Republicans Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah — serve on the House Judiciary Committee, which will hold Barrett’s confirmation hearings.

Nonetheless, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has vowed confirmation hearings would kick off on Oct. 12 as planned.

LINDSEY GRAHAM SAYS AMY CONEY BARRETT’S CONFIRMATION SCHEDULE TO PROCEED AS PLANNED ON OCT. 12

Tillis, who is currently self-quarantined, says he, too, would appear in person for a confirmation vote.

Democrats have warned that sending senators and staffers to work on the nomination puts them at risk of contracting the virus and have ruled out the possibility of virtual hearings, which they say are not sufficient for considering a Supreme Court nominee.

Johnson disagrees, saying the hearings could take place electronically or remotely, but voting would have to be in-person to adhere to Senate rules.

“If we have to go in and vote, I’ve already told leadership I’ll go in a moon suit,” Johnson said.

“Where there is a will, there’s a way,” he added. “We can do these things.”

WISCONSIN SEN. RON JOHNSON TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS

Last week, President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, several White House staffers and advisers to the president also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Johnson said he is not experiencing any symptoms and insisted he feels “perfectly normal.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP



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Maiden win for Pia Sofia will mean so much to Ron Quinton


Lightly raced mare Pia Sofia is set to post her first win at Wyong on Tuesday, much to the delight of one Hall Of Famer and the daughter of another.

Pia Sofia is trained by eight-time champion Sydney jockey Ron Quinton for her owner/breeder Catherine Remond.

She is the daughter of Stanley Wotton, who changed the shape of Australian breeding with his English import Star Kingdom.

“I rode a number of winners for both Mrs Remond and her father, including the Galaxy on Bletchingly for them,’’ Quinton said.

“That was his last start before he went to stud.”

The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!

Quinton also rode Remond’s ­beloved mate Twiglet in her early days.

It was Twiglet’s son Easy Rocking who later delivered Quinton his first Group 1 win as a trainer when he came from last to win the VRC Salinger Stakes at Flemington in 2000.

Four-year-old mare Pia Sofia won’t have to do anything near as heroic when she resumes from barrier one in the Coca-Cola Maiden Plate (1100m).

“She has taken a long time because she had some issues as a very young horse but Mrs Remond has been very patient with her and we’ve had to be patient with her as well,’’ Quinton said.

“She has had a couple of starts. She ran second at her first one then didn’t do so well at her second start, but the circumstances of the day went totally against her. She went for a spell and has come back and had a couple of nice trials and she appears to be going very well.’’

Another owner of a Wyong-bound runner with whom Quinton has had Group 1 success is David Bentata, the owner/breeder of Coolmore Classic winner Ofcourseican and de Bortoli Wines Maiden (1350m) hopeful Deep Creek.

The daughter of Deep Field lost no admirers with her fourth at Hawkesbury last start in an infinitely stronger maiden.

“She only got beat half a length and with a little bit of improvement in her education, she should run well. It looks a nice opportunity for her,’’ Quinton said.

The third and final Quinton runner at Wyong is Empress Bea in the Great Northern Benchmark 68 Handicap (1100m).

It is a big drop in class and grade from her past two runs in town, one of them a third to Emeralds at Canterbury

“It looks a suitable race and she appears to have done really well, so if she runs up to her form, she has to be in the mix somewhere.’’

Quinton is keeping in touch with his former pupil Andrew Adkins, who is recovering from a horrific fall at Rosehill on July 25.

“He rang me last Friday and he was so excited,’’ Quinton said.

“He had just come back from the doctor and he got a very, very good report.

“The doctor thinks maybe in five weeks Andrew may be able to start doing something. I don’t mean riding in races but he may be able to start doing a fair bit more.’’

DUO GIVE SARGENT CONFIDENCE

A step up in distance for John Sargent pair Anakin Skywalker and Aspect Ratio has Brandenburg’s trainer in line for a perfect two for two at Wyong on Tuesday.

First to go is Anakin Skywalker, who was sent out a $2.70 favourite in a 1600m maiden at Scone.

Despite being given every chance by Andrew Gibbons, Sargent’s gelding no more than held his ground throughout to finish fourth.

With that in mind, the hulking three-year-old should relish the opportunity to go over 2100m in the Team Thoroughbreds NSW Maiden Plate, albeit with a wide barrier with which to contend.

“He was a bit one-paced last start,’’ Sargent said.

“He is still learning the game but he has picked his work up in his gallops and he should run a nice race in that field.

“He is a big, gross Choisir gelding and it’s taken a bit of time to get a lot of work into him, but he should be at his peak for Tuesday.

“Andrew Gibbons has ridden him most starts, so whether he goes forward or back, I’ll leave it to him.’’

Anakin Skywalker is out of a Galileo mare, something he shares with his two High St stablemates, Luvaluva and her Golden Eagle-bound sibling Brandenburg.

As for Aspect Ratio, while she is a winner of just one race from 12 starts, she was runner-up in the Group 3 ATC Ming Dynasty to subsequent ATC Derby winner Quick Thinker and has faced off against the likes of Funstar, Probabeel and Collette.

A $75,000 Karaka Yearling purchase, Aspect Ratio was taken back as expected first-up but finished hard up along the inside rail to clock in third over the 1350m.

Sargent said that was the ideal lead-up to the TAB.com.au Class 1 Handicap over 1600m.

“She should be spot on for this,’’ he said.

“She has gone up a level in her work and I think she will go at least to city class by the end of the campaign. She has also drawn a little bit wide but she goes back a bit anyway. Sam (Clipperton) will just have to time his run to get at them down the outside.’’



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Blackmailers sent draft lawsuit to NBCUniversal before vice-chairman Ron Meyer, 75, was ousted


Eighteen months before Charlotte Kirk was linked to a potential affair with Meyer, the actress opened up to DailyMailTV about her secret rendezvous with another Hollywood power player, Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara. 

Kirk was just 21 when she had sex with Tsujihara, 28 years her senior, with the Hollywood executive promising to help her acting career after their rendezvous in a motel in 2013.

Five years later her texts to Tsujihara, his friend Australian billionaire James Packer, who was also her lover, and film director Brett Ratner were leaked – and Tsujihara stepped down from his position as one of the movie world’s most powerful men.

It was widely seen as a moment of vindication for the MeToo movement that a CEO’s casting couch sex with an actress decades his junior had cost him his job and millions of dollars in pay and bonuses.

But Kirk told DailyMailTV in her first television interview in April 2019 that she did not see what happened as part of #MeToo, saying: ‘I don’t consider myself a victim then because it was my choice.

‘I wasn’t forced into anything and I did what I wanted to do – good or bad. I would make completely different choices now and I regret doing that.’

She said she wants to be judged on her own merits as an actress – and insisted that her latest roles were gained entirely without the help of any powerful Hollywood sponsors.

‘I have been thrust into the limelight and no one had heard of me before this. My intention was to make a big bang in the world but not for this, for my work,’ she said.

‘It’s terrible but I’m trying to reverse that by showing people my abilities.’

Eighteen months before Charlotte Kirk was linked to a potential affair with Meyer, the actress opened up to DailyMailTV about her secret rendezvous with another Hollywood power player, Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara 

She also insisted that she was not the one who leaked the texts that cost Tsujihara his job, and that she had ‘begged’ for them not to published and felt sorry for what had happened to the former movie mogul.

Until his fall, Tsujihara had been the architect of successes including Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and was forced out on March 18, 2019 – just two weeks after being given an expanded role in the company. He denied he influenced casting decisions but said his leadership was a ‘distraction’ when he stepped down. 

Kirk’s road to becoming a public example of the casting couch began when she was 19 and moved from her childhood home in Bexleyheath, south-east London, to Los Angeles in hopes of breaking into Hollywood.

Living alone in a rented studio apartment, she embarked on a revolving door of auditions and acting classes to build on her time at stage school at the Italia Conti School of Acting in London.

‘It was really scary and lonely. It was tough because I had no family or friends there,’ she said.

Within months, however, she had met Brett Ratner, the director of movies including the Rush Hour series of movies and X-Men: The Last Stand, who introduced her to Packer, 25 years her senior and married with a two-month-old daughter. 

Packer is Australia’s ninth-richest man, with a net worth of $3billion, according to CEOWORLD magazine. His marriage collapsed and he later had a broken engagement with Mariah Carey.

Kirk and Packer began a months-long affair in November 2012 and in September the next year, Packer introduced Kirk, by then 21, to Tsujihara, texting her at midnight: ‘I have the opportunity of a lifetime for u.

‘Come to [the Hotel] Bel air now. U will never be able to pay me.’

Within months of moving to Los Angeles, Kirk met Brett Ratner, the director the Rush Hour series of movies and X-Men: The Last Stand, who introduced her to Australian billionaire James Packer. The two began a months-long affair in November 2012 and in September the next year, Packer introduced Kirk, to Tsujihara, texting her: 'I have the opportunity of a lifetime for u'. From left to right: Packer, Ratner and Tsujihara in 2015

Within months of moving to Los Angeles, Kirk met Brett Ratner, the director the Rush Hour series of movies and X-Men: The Last Stand, who introduced her to Australian billionaire James Packer. The two began a months-long affair in November 2012 and in September the next year, Packer introduced Kirk, to Tsujihara, texting her: ‘I have the opportunity of a lifetime for u’. From left to right: Packer, Ratner and Tsujihara in 2015

Packer said she would be meeting ‘the most important man u can meet’. Kirk made her way to the hotel – and met with Tsujihara.

Later, Kirk wrote to Packer: ‘His [sic] not very nice! Very pushy!! He just wants to f*** nothing else does not even want to say anything!’

Packer responded, asking if she was okay and told her: ‘Be cool.’

At the time, Tsujihara was negotiating a Warner Bros. deal with Packer and Ratner’s RatPac-Dune Entertainment for $450million in movie financing. The Hollywood Reporter said the deal closed three days later. 

Tsujihara and Kirk had clandestine hook-ups at hotels around LA. In one message Tsujihara wrote: ‘Wish I was doing something else.’

Kirk replied: ‘Mmmm such as? …. I remember how good you were at Mmmm. Your a giver ;)’

She then texted him about potential auditions. Tsujihara said that he would talk to a colleague and then asked her to meet up with him the following week after a dinner he was attending.

‘We’re also beginning to cast some cable tv pilots that I’ll look into as well,’ he texted.

Around a year after the first meeting, the relationship appeared to have cooled but Kirk continued to send texts to Tsujihara, Packer and Ratner. 

Kirk was later cast in small roles in 2016’s How To Be Single and 2018’s Ocean’s 8, both made by Warner Brothers. Tsujihara has denied influencing her casting.

She told DailyMailTV: ‘Ocean’s 8 was awesome. I was shooting alongside Sandra Bullock.

‘I had some scenes with Sandra Bullock and there’s downtime as well, so it was great talking to her. She was just a normal, humble, lovely person. How To Be Single, same thing, great cast.’

She added: ‘I was still working my way up at that point and I hadn’t done so much then.

‘The lead roles were already taken so I auditioned for those two roles. My agent got me the audition. I walked in the room and got those roles on merit.’

In March 2015, Kirk texted Tsujihara and appeared to be unhappy about her role in How To Be Single, which starred Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson.

‘Kevin? A two liner?? U have got to be kidding me!!’ she texted, according to THR.

In July 2015, Kirk then texted Ratner: ‘You know what u need to do. U haven’t even come close to doing it. If you thought I would be so easily manipulated you’re wrong.’

He replied: ‘What are u talking about? I told u i would get Richard to talk to u…. And he did. He is the key to getting work…. I don’t work for u. Why are u so unappreciative?’ 

By the end of August 2015, relationships were strained and Ratner accused Kirk of extortion.

Kirk told married Tsujihara that she felt used when movie roles she said he'd promised never materialized in a series of leaked text message between the former lovers. He has denied influencing casting decisions about the actress 28 years his junior

Kirk told married Tsujihara that she felt used when movie roles she said he'd promised never materialized in a series of leaked text message between the former lovers. He has denied influencing casting decisions about the actress 28 years his junior

Kirk told Tsujihara that she felt used when movie roles she said he’d promised never materialized in a series of leaked text message between the former lovers. He has denied influencing casting decisions

‘You can’t take back the extortion u have committed because u have sent text and emails asking for these auditions and jobs,’ he reportedly texted, adding that she had landed a role in How To Be Single.

She replied: ‘Brett you’re an idiot I’m not extorting anyone.’

In May 2016, a settlement for Kirk was being discussed between Kirk’s lawyer, Raymond Markovich, and Ratner’s attorney, Hollywood legal heavyweight, Marty Singer.

It even had what appears to be a vehicle to pay Kirk – a project called From Autism to A-List, a reference to Kirk’s diagnosis with Asperger’s Syndrome, which puts her on the autism spectrum.

But the deal was never signed – and in March 2019, Kirk, Packer, Ratner, and most of all Tsujihara were hit by a bombshell: the leak of the texts.  

Kirk strongly denied leaking the hundreds of texts that were exchanged by herself and the three men.

Kirk told DailyMailTV: ‘The Hollywood Reporter said they were going to leak [sic] the story and I begged them not to. They went ahead and done it. It’s frustrating.

‘There’s really two main points – this happened a long time ago, first of all.

‘Second of all, it wasn’t me that released the [texts]. I didn’t and I tried to stop it.’

The actress said she was baffled as to why the text messages had been made public but her representative said she was barred from saying who she suspected of revealing them for ‘legal reasons.’

The reaction to the texts was explosive – and bitterly felt by Kirk.

Tsujihara stepped down as Warner Bros CEO after the bombshell report. 

‘I’m very sad that it’s happened. We hadn’t spoken for a long time. Hopefully he goes on to other things. I wish him success,’ Kirk said.

Packer and Ratner – who has faced other accusations of sexual misconduct – had not contacted Kirk since the scandal emerged, nor has she reached out to them, she said last year. 

‘I don’t see the point,’ Kirk said. ‘None of us have spoken in a very long time.’ 

Kirk herself faced a backlash but said she would not be ‘scared off’ social media. Although she was being bombarded by messages, about half were supportive.

‘Some of them assume that I released the texts and this happened yesterday. They don’t actually read my statements so that’s frustrating,’ she said. ‘I read them and then I block them because they don’t deserve to be on my Facebook or Instagram accounts. They are trolls.

‘If I had a horrible review or comment on my work that would hurt me.

‘There’s been really nice people who say positive things. ‘Hang on in there, we’ve seen you in stuff, you’re great, it’s a bad patch.”

She added: ‘My mum is very upset by the whole thing. She suffers from anxiety anyway, so it’s not helping her nerves that’s for sure. I’m just trying to block it out really and focus on my work as best as I can.’ 

Kirk said she believed she could benefit from the scandal because people knew that she did not have help to get her latest roles.

‘Kevin unfortunately has lost his job but he stood down. Hire me on my merit and what they see. Even more so now, they can say: ‘Okay well there’s nothing to hide. Kevin’s not there anymore,” she said,

‘It’s not going to hurt my career because I’m not going to allow it to hurt my career. I think I still have a hell of a long way to go.

‘From 19 to 26, I’ve spent that time nurturing my craft. I think the more you’ve gone through, the more life experience you’ve had – good and bad – makes you a better person and it makes you a fantastic actor.

‘Once you’ve had a lot of s*** happen to you, it makes you a bloody good actor.’

Reporting by Louise Boyle for DailyMail.com in London 



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