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‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ Star Dina Manzo’s Ex-Husband Indicted in Brutal Home Invasion – NBC4 Washington

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What to Know

  • “Real Housewives of New Jersey” cast member Dina Manzo and her then-fiance were attacked during a home invasion at their Holmdel townhouse in May 2017
  • Prosecutors said Tuesday Dina Manzo’s former husband, Thomas Manzo, had been newly indicted in connection with that assault
  • Dina Manzo told investigators one of two masked intruders pushed her against a wall, covered her mouth, threw her to the floor and kicked her before taking her $60,000 engagement ring off her finger

The ex-husband of a “Real Housewives of New Jersey” cast member has been charged in a new indictment with acting as an accomplice in a 2017 home invasion where the TV star’s current husband was beaten with a baseball bat and tied up.

A Monmouth County grand jury returned the indictment against Thomas Manzo, 56, of Franklin Lakes, this week. He is accused of acting as an accomplice to robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, theft and other crimes in the May 13, 2017, home invasion at Dina Manzo’s townhouse on Banyan Boulevard in Holmdel.

Thomas Manzo is also charged as the sole actor in two counts of fourth-degree stalking related to the victims. Also named in the indictment: 53-year-old James Mainello, of Bayonne, who is accused of the same crimes as Manzo except stalking. Mainello was previously indicted in 2019 on other charges in the case.

According to the investigation, Holmdel Police responded to the townhouse just before 11 p.m. that May night four years ago after getting a 911 call about the attack. They found Dina Manzo and her current husband, who had freed themselves from zip-ties after being attacked with a baseball bat. Dina Manzo’s new $60,000 engagement ring was stolen, along with $500 in cash, officials have said.

The initial investigation led to Mainello’s arrest in May 2019. Two years later, prosecutors say their investigation ultimately uncovered Thomas Manzo’s alleged role in stalking both victims and his motivations for the robbery and assault carried out by Mainello and another still unknown assailant.

Mainello is allegedly one of the two masked intruders who attacked and robbed Dina Manzo and her then-fiancé Dave Cantin in a brutal home invasion, saying, “That’s what you get for f—ing with a guy from Paterson” during the attack, according to an affidavit. 

Cantin told investigators he and Dina Manzo had just gotten home on May 13, 2017, when one of the suspects charged at him with a baseball bat and attacked him, according to an affidavit provided by prosecutors.

Dina Manzo told investigators one of the suspects pushed her against a wall, covered her mouth, threw her to the floor and kicked her before taking her engagement ring off her finger.

Cantin at one point allegedly tried to shield Manzo’s body from being kicked as both were on the floor.

Thomas Manzo turned himself in without incident, prosecutors said Tuesday, and will be held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold pending an initial court appearance, prosecutors said Tuesday.

A detention hearing is expected shortly thereafter. The name of Thomas Manzo’s attorney wasn’t immediately available.

Manzo and Mainello each face up to 30 years in state prison if convicted of the first-degree robbery and second-degree aggravated assault counts.

Anyone with additional information on the case is asked to call the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or the Holmdel Police Department at 732-946-4400.

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Video Wall at Rolling Loud Stage Collapses Ahead of Festival – NBC4 Washington

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A video wall that was set up at a stage for the Rolling Loud music festival collapsed Thursday ahead of the event, but no injuries were reported.

Footage from Chopper 6 showed the scene at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The wall collapsed at around 8:30 a.m.

The crew was working on repairing the wall.

“The show goes on!” said a tweet from the official Rolling Loud account.

Like many other events, Rolling Loud was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Originally set for May 2020, the event was rescheduled several times. This weekend’s lineup includes A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott and Post Malone.

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Family of James Brown Settles 15-Year Battle Over His Estate – NBC4 Washington

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The family of entertainer James Brown has reached a settlement ending a 15-year battle over the late singer’s estate, according to an attorney involved in the mediation.

David Black, an attorney representing Brown’s estate, confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday that the agreement was reached July 9. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

Legal wrangling over the Godfather of Soul’s estate has been ongoing since his death at the age of 73 on Christmas Day 2006.

The performer’s death touched off years of bizarre headlines, beginning with Tomi Rae Hynie — a former partner who claimed to be Brown’s wife — being locked out of his 60-acre (24-hectare) estate, while photographers captured her sobbing and shaking its iron gates, begging to be let in.

More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed over the years by people trying to lay claim to what’s left, which courts have estimated to be worth anything from $5 million to more than $100 million.

Brown was renowned for hundreds of iconic musical works including hits like “I Feel Good” and “A Man’s World,” and was known around the world for his flashy performances and dynamic stage presence. But years of drug problems and financial mismanagement caused his estate to dwindle.

Last year, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that Hynie had not been legally married to him and therefore did not have a right to his multimillion-dollar estate.

Justices also ordered a circuit court to “promptly proceed with the probate of Brown’s estate in accordance with his estate plan,” which outlined creation of a trust that would use his music royalties to fund educational expenses for children in South Carolina and Georgia.

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NBC Quickly Hires Maria Taylor After Her Departure From ESPN – NBC4 Washington

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Maria Taylor has joined NBC less than a week after her contract with ESPN expired.

NBC is formally making the announcement during its primetime Olympic show Friday before a replay of the opening ceremony.

Taylor had been with ESPN since 2014 but her contract expired Tuesday. Her last assignment for the network was Tuesday night at the NBA Finals, where she was the pregame and postgame host for the network’s “NBA Countdown” show.

ESPN and Taylor announced Wednesday that they could not agree on a new contract. Her first assignment for NBC will be the Tokyo Olympics.

Taylor had hosted “NBA Countdown” since 2019 as well as being a reporter for “College GameDay” and ABC “Saturday Night Football” since 2017.

ESPN had been discussing a contract with Taylor for over a year but things reached a boiling point over the past month. Taylor rejected an extension last year and the two sides were far apart heading into the NBA Finals. Then came a New York Times report detailing comments her colleague Rachel Nichols made about Taylor last year during the NBA’s restart in Florida.

Nichols, who is white, was introduced in September 2019 as the NBA Finals host but the network later decided to promote Taylor, who is Black.

Nichols said in an accidentally recorded phone call obtained by the Times: “I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball. If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”

Nichols apologized on July 5 while hosting “The Jump.” She was slated to be the sideline reporter for the Finals, but was pulled off the assignment.

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Singers From All Continents, Including John Legend and Alejandro Sanz, Perform ‘Imagine’ at Opening Ceremony – NBC4 Washington

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Singers from around the world, including John Legend and Keith Urban, performed “Imagine” at the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.

The song, co-written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono 50 years ago, played while a giant Earth made of drones rotated above the Olympic stadium. The artists singing hailed from different continents, with Legend representing the Americas, Urban representing Australia, Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz representing Europe, Angelique Kidjo representing Africa and the Junior Chorus representing Asia.

“We’re not the first to say ‘Imagine no countries’ or ‘Give peace a chance,’ but we’re carrying that torch, like the Olympic torch, passing it hand to hand, to each other, to each country, to each generation,” Lennon once said. “And that’s our job.”

While some on social media took issue with the song choice because of the opening line, noting that without countries to compete against each other there may not be an Olympic Games, Ono explained in a Twitter post that the song embodies what she and Lennon believed together at the time, saying “he comes from the West and I come from the East – and still we are together.”

Missed the Opening Ceremony? Watch it on NBC on primetime tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET. On that broadcast, Leslie Odom Jr. will tell the story of the hopes and dreams of Olympians in an opening vignette, Dwayne Johnson will introduce Team USA, and Uma Thurman will narrate a special feature leading into the Parade of Athletes.

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‘Jeopardy!’ Host Gig Began ‘Scary,’ Ended Fun – NBC4 Washington

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LeVar Burton’s quest to become the new host of “Jeopardy!” has been a confident, upbeat effort by the actor and those who rooted him on with a petition drive.

But when the day came to tape the first of his week’s share of episodes as one of a succession of guest hosts, the show’s pace and the challenge of following in Alex Trebek’s much-admired footsteps threw Burton off stride.

It made for a rough start to the five back-to-back tapings that begin airing Monday, said the veteran actor known for “Roots,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and ”Reading Rainbow.” He turned for advice to wife Stephanie Cozart Burton, who as his makeup artist was on hand to play coach during a production break.

“Being at home, it feels like a really relaxed half-hour, but it’s not relaxed at all,” he said. “You can’t let your focus drop for a nanosecond.”

Burton has been watching and assessing the other guest hosts — in other words, his competition for the position that the Canadian-born Trebek held from 1984 to shortly before his November 2020 death from cancer at age 80. Art Fleming was the quiz’s show’s original and only other host, in the 1960s and ’70s.

Although Burton had made the show’s producers aware of his interest in being considered, his addition to the roster came after a petition backing him as the new “Jeopardy!” host caught fire (with more than 250,000 signatures to date).

He faces other openly eager would-be hosts — including NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers — but the actor, director and education and literacy advocate sees himself as a solid match for a game show that rewards knowledge.

Burton spoke with The Associated Press about his wife’s on-point advice, why diversity matters for “Jeopardy!” and what he thinks of his chances for the job expected to be filled this summer, before next season’s taping begins. Remarks have been edited for clarity and length.

AP: What was the guest-host experience like?

BURTON: Scary. Really, really, really scary. Did I mention it was scary?

AP: How so?

BURTON: I’ve jumped out of airplanes. I’ve walked over hot coals. This was a real challenge. First of all, because (‘Jeopardy!’) is singular in the culture and what it means to people as a part of their daily lives. And the fact that there are only two hosts who have ever stood in that spot. The pressure, the natural tendency was to want to live up to Alex’s example, his legacy. I had, like all of the hosts, one day of rehearsal and the following day I shot five episodes of ‘Jeopardy!’ I came backstage after taping the first episode and I said to Stephanie, ‘Well, how did I do?’ She said, ‘ehhh.’ Now, this is a woman who loves me enough to tell me the truth. She said it wasn’t me.

AP: How did you adjust?

BURTON: I made it my business for the next four chances at bat to just be myself, to forget about the procedure, to forget about the process, stop trying, stop focusing on the wrong thing. You’re not going to be smooth as Alex, let go of that. But what you can bring to the table is you. So that became my point of focus. And when it did, I started having fun.

AP: Why do you consider the show and the host’s role as worthwhile?

BURTON: I’ve been about education my entire career, and I definitely believe in the medium (of television) as one where more than simply entertaining is the order of the day. I try and use the medium in a way that brings something else to the table as often as I can. I think that ‘Roots’ and ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Reading Rainbow,’ they all have that commonality about them, that common thread of entertainment, yes — and informational, inspiring, enlightening, educational, uplifting. We can do so much more than just sell each other stuff with the medium.

AP: There’s significant diversity among the guest hosts. Would there be value in ‘Jeopardy!” having its first person of color or woman as host?

BURTON: There’s nothing like ‘Jeopardy!’ in the cultural consciousness. It’s not that I’m trying to put it on the same level, but I liken it to Barack Obama being elected president in the United States in 2008. I personally never thought I would see that happen in my lifetime. Did his election mean that we were in a post-racial America? Obviously not at all. But it was an important step. Every time we reach that milestone of a first, it does say something about us. It also tells us something that we continue to have these moments of firsts…. that white is the normative default. The reason that white is the default is the conversation that we are trying to have in this country now, that there’s so much resistance to.

AP: How optimistic are you about being picked as host?

BURTON: I am a preternaturally optimistic person. Look, if I don’t get this job, will it be devastating to me? No. I mean, it will hurt, I’ll be disappointed. And I’ll be fine, because what I know about my life is that which is supposed to be for me comes my way. And that which is not mine, doesn’t. The most important thing is that I went for it and my passion was rewarded. I got what I wanted, which was an opportunity to compete for the job. If I don’t get the gig, it’s not immaterial, but it certainly is secondary. I got what I was after. The chance — get me in the room.

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