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Joe Jackson, patriarch of the Jackson family, dead at 89

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Joseph “Joe” Jackson, the patriarch who launched the musical Jackson family dynasty, died Wednesday in a Las Vegas hospital, a source close to the family tells CNN.

He was 89.

Jackson was the father and at times manager to pop stars Michael and Janet Jackson, along with the sibling-singing group, The Jackson 5.

No cause of death has been released, but Jackson had reportedly been in ill health.

“I have seen more sunsets than I have left to see,” read a tweet posted Sunday from Jackson’s official twitter account. “The sun rises when the time comes and whether you like it or not the sun sets when the time comes.”

He and Katherine Jackson wed in 1949. They moved into to a home on Jackson Street in Gary, Indiana, the following year, where they welcomed their first of 10 children, Maureen “Rebbie” Jackson.

Rebbie was followed by Sigmund “Jackie” Jackson in 1951, Toriano “Tito” Jackson in 1953, Jermaine Jackson in 1954, La Toya Jackson in 1956, Marlon Jackson in 1957, Michael Jackson in 1958, Steven Randall “Randy” Jackson in 1961 and Janet Jackson in 1966.

Marlon’s twin, Brandon, died soon after birth.

With a large family to support, Joe Jackson surrendered his dreams of becoming a boxer and secured a job as a crane operator for U.S. Steel.

He and his brother Luther also formed a band in the mid-1950s called The Falcons, intent on booking gigs for extra money.

The band only lasted a few years, but Jackson had developed an ear for music and believed he had found some talent in his children. He formed The Jackson Brothers in 1963 — with sons Tito, Jackie and Jermaine — and began entering them in local talent shows. With the addition of Marlon and Michael, The Jackson 5 was born in 1966. Two years later, they signed with Motown Records.

They went on to become one of the most successful R&B groups in history, with their father initially acting as their manager.

At the height of their stardom, The Jackson 5 sold millions of records and had their own CBS variety show.

“Joseph’s role as manager dwindled however as Motown CEO Berry Gordy began to take more charge on his act, a role that reverted back to Joseph when he began managing the entire family for performances in Las Vegas,” according to Jackson’s official site. “Joseph also helped his sons seal a deal with CBS after leaving Motown.”

The success of The Jackson 5 led to Michael Jackson going solo, becoming such a major star that he was later dubbed the King of Pop. Youngest daughter Janet also became a hugely successful recording artist.

The elder Jackson managed daughters Rebbie, La Toya, and Janet in the early 1980s until they, like their brothers before, struck out on their own.

Joe Jackson was criticized at times for being a harsh task master. His children told stories about their father being hard on them growing up.

In 2013 interview with CNN, Jackson was asked about his daughter Janet’s complaint that the children were not allowed to call him “Dad,” instead referring to him as “Joe.”

“You had all those kids running hollering around,” Jackson said. “They’re hollering, ‘Dad, Dad, Dad,’ you know, and it gets to be — it sounds kind of funny to me. But I didn’t care too much about what they called me, just as long as they (were) able to listen to me and what I had to tell them, you know, in order to make their lives successful. This was the main thing.”

Jackson admitted that he disciplined his children physically but said he had no regrets.

Joe Jackson on physically disciplining his kids: ‘I’m glad I was tough’

“I’m glad I was tough, because look what I came out with,” he said. “I came out with some kids that everybody loved all over the world. And they treated everybody right.”

Jackson also weathered some controversy after his wife documented his alleged extramarital affairs in her book, “My Family, The Jacksons.”

The couple split more than once and lived apart for decades, but they reportedly never divorced.

The couple presented a united front when their son Michael died in 2009 from an overdose of Propofol.

The elder Jackson told CNN his son had tried to reach him before his death, but they didn’t connect.

“He says, ‘Call my father.’ This was before he passed. ‘He would know how to get me out of this,'” Joe Jackson said. “But they didn’t get in touch with me. They said they couldn’t find me, but I was right there.”

Just this past weekend, Janet Jackson hailed her father during an acceptance speech at a Radio Disney awards ceremony.

“My mother nourished me with the most extravagant love imaginable,” she said. “My father, my incredible father drove me to be the best I can. My siblings set an incredibly high standard, a high bar for artistic excellence.”

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‘Young and the Restless’ actor Kristoff St. John dead at 52

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“Young and the Restless” actor Kristoff St. John has died at age 52.

Officials say Los Angeles police were called to his home on Sunday and his body was turned over to the Los Angeles County coroner. The cause of death was not available.

St. John had played Neil Winters on the CBS soap opera since 1991, earning nine daytime Emmy nominations. He won a Daytime Emmy in 1992 for outstanding younger actor in a drama series and won 10 NAACP Image Awards.

He announced in September that he was engaged to model Kseniya Mikhaleva.

St. John was twice married and divorced and was the father of a son and two daughters. His 24-year-old son, Julian, died in 2014.

On Jan. 21, St. John retweeted “Grieving the loss of a child is a process. It begins on the day your child passes, and ends the day the parent joins them.”

This is an ongoing development, so please keep check with Prestige for updates.

 

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‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett assaulted in possible hate crime, police say

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Empire” star Jussie Smollett was assaulted early Tuesday morning in Chicago and hospitalized after an attack police are calling a possible hate crime.

The actor endured a racially charged and homophobic attack, the Chicago Police Department said in a statement on Tuesday. Police identified him only as “a cast member of the television show ‘Empire.’”

Around 2 a.m., two people approached the 36-year-old actor while he was walking and got his attention by yelling racial and homophobic slurs, the statement said. They then hit him in the face and “poured an unknown chemical substance” on him, police said.

“At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck,” the statement said. “The offenders fled the scene.”  

The actor took himself to Northwestern Hospital where was listed in good condition, police said. The actor was discharged Tuesday morning.

Detectives are investigating and said Smollett is “fully cooperating with investigators,” police said. They are working to gather video and potential witnesses.

LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD told The Times that it reached out to Fox, which broadcasts “Empire,” and Smollett’s team Tuesday to offer assistance as well as support for him.

“Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world,” a GLAAD spokesperson said.

Representatives for Smollett did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

 

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Atlanta News & Entertainment

Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly Sparks Criminal Investigation

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Prosecutors urged alleged R. Kelly victims to come forward in a press conference on Tuesday night following the airing of “Surviving R. Kelly,” in which several women accused the singer of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Cook County, Ill., state attorney Kim Foxx told reporters (via TMZ), “The recent allegations against entertainer R. Kelly in a recent Lifetime docuseries are deeply, deeply disturbing. It is our job at the Cook County state attorney’s office to investigate claims in the interest of justice and of public safety. I should stress that it takes courage to re-live and re-experience trauma by telling your story of sexual victimization, but we rely heavily on victim accounts and witness statements to prosecute cases involving sexual assault and domestic violence.”

“I’m here today to encourage victims of sexual assault or domestic violence related to these allegations to please get in touch with our office. The number to call is 773-674-6492. There are dedicated professionals in our witness unit who do this work on a daily basis and can work with you through this process,” Foxx continued. “Please come forward. There is nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses. We cannot seek justice without you.”  Kelly has been accused of holding women and girls against their will in Chicago, where he has a recording studio, and Georgia, where he has property.

The docuseries also claimed that he preyed on and had sexual relations with underage girls who he kept in an alleged “sex cult.”

Kelly has maintained his innocence since allegations of abuse first emerged. The singer’s attorney, Steven Greenberg, told the Associated Press that the “Surviving R. Kelly” accusations were false, and simply “another round of stories [being used to] fill reality TV time.” He added that it was inappropriate for a D.A. to characterize allegations she’d seen on TV before actually filing charges or launching an investigation into the claims.

He was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 after he was accused of making a sex tape with a 14-year-old girl. Meanwhile, Timothy Savage, who appeared in “Surviving R. Kelly” with his wife, alleged that Kelly threatened him for being involved with the docuseries.

Andrea Kelly, Lisa VanAllen and Kitti Jones star in the lifetime documentary series, “Surviving R. Kelly,” 2019.

A Henry County, Ga., police report obtained by the Associated Press says Savage told an officer on Jan. 3 that Don Russell had texted him saying it would be best for him and his family if the documentary didn’t air. The report claims Russell called Savage while the officer was there and Savage put the phone on speaker. Russell accused Savage of lying to Lifetime and that if he continued to support the series, Russell and Kelly would be forced to release information that would show Savage was a liar.

According to TMZ, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has officially opened up an investigation focusing on R. Kelly due to the several allegations made against the singer in lifetime’s documentary. In the final 2 parts of the documentary it was alleged that Kelly has been holding several women against their will.

TMZ also reports that investigators have been reaching out to several survivors featured in the TV project. In fact, the outlet confirmed investigators reached out to Asante McGee, one of the women who allegedly escaped R. Kelly’s home. Meanwhile, the attorney for Joycelyn Savage’s family was contacted by Chief Investigator Cynthia Nwokocha and the family has been fully cooperating in the investigation. We’re told investigators have been asking for contact information from others who have lived in Kelly’s former Atlanta home or have direct knowledge of what happened in the home. We’re told investigators were flooded with calls once the docuseries aired.

The D.A. is not commenting.

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