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Ellen DeGeneres Defends Sitting Next to George W. Bush at NFL Game

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Ellen DeGeneres is speaking out after controversy erupted when she was spotted sitting next to former President George W. Bush at this past weekend’s Dallas Cowboys game against the Green Bay Packers.

Simultaneously keeping things light while also discussing the matter on Tuesday’s episode of her talk show, the comedian explained how she wound up in the suite next to Bush, noting she was invited to the game by Charlotte Jones, the daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“We went because we wanted to keep up with the Joneses,” she said, drawing laughs.

DeGeneres, 61, then shared a video she took while at the game, scanning the crowd while capturing wife, Portia DeRossi, before settling on a smiling Bush and his wife, Laura.

“When we were invited, I was aware I was gonna be surrounded by people from very different views and beliefs and I’m not talking politics. I was rooting for the Packers and — get this — everyone in the Cowboys suite was rooting for the Cowboys,” DeGeneres said while mentioning that she’s friends with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

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Hip-Hop Legend, Actor Eric B. Jailed in NJ on Warrant From 17 Years Ago

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Legendary hip-hop musician and actor Eric Barrier is in a New Jersey jail after surrendering voluntarily in connection to a warrant issued 17 years ago.

Court records show that the 56-year-old has been jailed since Oct. 28 all stemming from an incident that took place September 2001.

NJ Advance Media reports that Barrier pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and resisting arrest/eluding on Jan. 28, 2002 for the incident that took place in Ridgefield Park the previous year.

A bench warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest after he failed to appear in court for sentencing in March 2002, according to court documents. 

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Barrier’s attorney at the time, Paul Bergrin of Nutley, told him “there was no need to appear on the sentencing date,” Barrier’s current attorney Patrick Toscano said in a letter to the court last week, according to NJ Advance Media.

Years later, in an unrelated case, according to the report, Bergrin himself was convicted of murder, cocaine, trafficking, racketeering and other crimes, for which he is serving six life sentences at a “supermax” federal prison in Colorado.

According to NJ Advance Media, Toscano wrote in a letter to the judge that “Mr. Bergrin told Mr. Barrier that his case was ‘dismissed’ because he was accepted into PTI (pre-trial intervention)” and that Barrier also said he received no notice from the court about his failure to appear.

Toscano described Bergrin’s counsel as “flawed, fraudulent, unethical and deceptive, through no fault of Mr. Barrier.” Toscano says that punishing his client would be “draconian and unfair.”

Barrier came back to New Jersey, contacted an attorney about the warrant and has been in the Bergen County Jail since late last month, according to Toscano, who also says he met with Barrier recently and he “was literally at wits end and overcome with anxiety.”

Toscano has filed for a bail hearing and said he hopes to argue the motion in Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement to News 4 New York, Toscano said: “The allegations against my client are some 19 years old. The legal advice given to him at that time was exceedingly impolitic, and we will be righting that wrong promptly. Mr. Barrier will be clearing this all up with reasonable dispatch.”

Barrier was part of the legendary rap duo Eric B. & Rakim and is currently an actor on the CBS series “Blue Bloods.”

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George to the Rescue Helps Blind Teenage Swimmer

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Fifteen year-old Anastasia Pagonis’ vision impairment has progressively worsened over the years. In 2018, she lost her vision, but she did not let that stop her zest for life. She turned to what she knew and loved — swimming.

Pagonis’ passion for swimming developed as a form of therapy as she battled vision decline between the ages of five and 15. Now, she’s almost completely blind.

“I want to live a normal life. I don’t want my disability to stop me in any way,” Pagonis said.

George to the Rescue host George Oliphant was moved by Pagonis’ story and wanted to help make life easier for Pagonis, also known as Tas.

“We want to surprise Tas with a lifechanging rescue that will give her the independence and comfort she deserves,” said Oliphant. “Now usually on the rescue we like to the change the layout. But, I think in this house it’s important to keep it the same because that’s what Tas knows.”

The George to the Rescue crew worked to renovate her home with a tactile bathroom, bedroom makeover, light sensitivity windows and an endless swimming pool to make it easier for Pagonis to navigate her home while managing vision loss.

Pagonis hopes to inspire others who are visually impaired and face their own personal challenges. She is currently training for the 2020 Paralympics. 

Oliphant brought Molly Burke, a blind YouTuber, to meet Pagonis. 

“It’s mindblowing… You helped me with so much with everything,” Pagonis said to Burke.

Watch the episode to see the Pagonis family home transformation.

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Fan Sues Madonna for Frequently Being Hours Late to Concerts

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A Florida man has filed a class-action lawsuit against Madonna after a concert he planned to attend in Miami Beach was pushed back by two hours to accommodate the pop star’s tardiness, NBC News reports.

Nate Hollander purchased three tickets totaling $1,024.95 for Madonna’s Dec. 17, 2019, “Madame X Tour” at the Fillmore Miami Beach concert venue, according to the suit filed Nov. 4 in federal court in Miami-Dade County.

At the time Hollander bought the tickets, the show was scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m., according to the suit against the pop star and concert promoter Live Nation.

The suit alleges at the start of the tour, which kicked off in September, Madonna repeatedly arrived hours late to her shows.

Madonna and Live Nation could not immediately be reached for comment on the lawsuit.

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