Speaking Out

Meek Mill speaks out from prison: 'I am a political prisoner'

Rapper Meek Mill tells Page Six that he is a "political prisoner" and a victim of a marred criminal justice system that holds black men in prison for crimes they did not commit.

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Back in 2008, Mill was convicted in Philadelphia for selling crack to an informant and threatening police officers with a gun — charges he has denied. Judge Genece Brinkley sentenced him to up to 23 months in jail and 10 years probation. The hip-hop star served several months of his sentence and was let out on parole.

However, he was arrested again in 2017 for "reckless endangerment" for doing wheelies on a motorbike in New York City while not wearing a helmet. While no new charges were filed, because he was still on probation, the same judge sentenced him to two to four years in jail.

This hefty sentence has ignited criticism from fellow artists like JAY-Z, who has said that "the criminal justice system stalks black people like Meek Mill."

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In a major development, it has now been alleged in court documents that Mill's original conviction was a setup by corrupt police officers. A few months ago, his arresting officer and the main witness against the rapper, Reggie Graham, was revealed to be part of a list held by the Philadelphia District Attorney of "tainted" police who had a "history of lying, racial bias, or brutality."

While Meek is still in jail, having now served five months behind bars, appeal pending, the criticism of his sentencing grows louder. The DA, the mayor and the governor all say that he should be let out on bail, however, Judge Brinkley thus far has refused.

Mill recently got on the phone with Page Six from the State Correctional Institution in Chester, Pennsylvania, to discuss the ongoing case: "I am a political prisoner. Yes, I'm frustrated there's no way in a million years I could get a fair trial in front of this judge," he said. "Yeah, I am angry, but I am a prisoner of politics — me being in this situation, has brought light to the people who are serving time because of other corrupt cops."

Mill went on to explain why he could not have pointed a loaded gun at the cops: "In the middle of a full-blown raid, do you believe that I could point a gun at two officers, when there's 10 other officers in attendance with firearms in the air?"

"Do you believe in America that I could point a gun at two officers and not be killed or at least shot at?" he asked. "They are trained … to shoot into the target and neutralize, that's why you are seeing young black men who are shot 20 times, 15 times, for reaching for their cellphone in their pocket or running from police."

"Anybody in the world — you don't even have to be a judge — knows I didn't point a gun at these cops," he continued. "I don't have a reason to point a gun at a police officer, I am not a suicidal person, I never thought about suicide, I don't want to kill myself. Pointing a gun at a cop is suicide."

"You will never even hear a lyric [from] me talking about killing a cop or shooting at a cop," he said. "Everybody knows if you are a black young kid coming up, you know don't ever lift a firearm at a cop unless you want to die. It's simple."

Along with a sworn affidavit filed in February by an officer saying that he never saw Meek point the gun, the rapper also claims that officers lied about him having sold crack to an informant.

"They [the officers] are supposed to bring the crack to court as evidence, most of the time they give the informant marked money," he said. "I didn't have any of that in my case, and she [Judge Brinkley] found me guilty on all charges. … Now there's all this evidence coming forward that the cop that testified against me is corrupt, he's not allowed to testify [again] in the city of Philadelphia," Mill explained to Page Six.

"Once officers are corrupted, they say it is fruit from a poisonous tree, anything that he ever did is poisonous, and the cases are supposed to be retried or thrown out," he added. "I did not point a gun at police … and they arrested me outside, they handcuffed me, they took me into the house and they beat me up … and when I came out my face was bloody, I had abrasions to my face … my hair pulled out of my head. The way the cops treated me, they were the thugs, they beat me, they lied about it, and they sent me to jail."

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Meek feels that the judge's bizarre interest in the case keeps him a victim of the system. He says her actions include checking up on him personally at community service, telling him that he should get a new manager for his music and inviting him and former girlfriend Nicki Minaj to her chambers and requesting he write a song about her as a judge. The judge also selected Meek's probation officer while he was on parole.

Meek told Page Six of Brinkley, "It is clearly an obsession with me because … anybody should be able to handle my case … the judge hand-picked my probation officer and then I am in trouble every time."

Judge Brinkley's attorney, Charles Peruto Jr., has vehemently denied that she has a "personal vendetta" against Meek. "It's a ridiculous and outrageous claim," he said, insisting that she is just doing her job. "If you don't want a tough judge, then don't elect them."

Meek continued to plead his case to Page Six: "But now it is not normal, I'm doing time in a state penitentiary right now for a crime I didn't do when I was 19, I'm 30 years old now. Do you think I pointed a gun at a cop? That's just as simple as it gets …. you would be dead … I was arrested by a dirty strike force. … I was locked up by corrupt cops, they think that because I am a celebrity, I'll find a way around it. No — I want justice."

"The [Philadelphia] District Attorney, Larry Krasner supports me getting bail … he isn't supporting me getting bail because I'm a rapper, or I'm a black kid, or because I make money, he's doing it because it's the right thing to do. He's familiar with these cops, he's familiar with their activities. … He knows nine times out of 10 these charges would be thrown away. He's not doing it to look good for Philadelphia, he's doing it because it's the right thing to do."

Meek (real name Robert Williams) was raised in poor conditions in North Philadelphia and grew to stardom after his 2012 debut album, "Dreams and Nightmares." But he says that he's still grounded despite the fame: "There's many other men in this situation, their lives need to be saved too, they're kidnapped from their families, locked up in a concrete and metal facility, over crimes they most likely didn't commit."

"Every day that goes by I am losing [time with] my family, I am losing millions of dollars, I am wasting time in prison on a case they know they might overturn, but [I'm told] it's a process, it takes time, they know I can't be treated special," he said.

Finally, Meek is worried about his 6-year-old son, Papi, who lives with his mom in New Jersey and is having a tough time dealing with it all.

"I've always been humble and I know God has a plan for me. I'm wasting time in here, I read, I learn, but I'm wasting time," said the rapper. "I've got a 6-year-old son who has never been suspended from school and in the five months I've spent in jail, my son has been suspended from school," Mill said. "My son uses YouTube and he sees his dad is in prison, so he thinks that's the right thing to do — be bad. I'm not there to support my son — if I'm not there to support my son, I'm wasting time as a man."

The rapper's next hearing is on Monday, April, 16, with Judge Brinkley. As of now, there are no clear signs of any progress being made toward freeing him.

baby news?

Ellen DeGeneres may have accidentally revealed gender of Jennifer Lawrence's baby

Jennifer Lawrence and her husband, Cooke Maroney, have been incredibly secretive about their newborn child, who they welcomed in February. Not only is the baby's name not known, neither was the gender… until Ellen DeGeneres seemed to slip up.

The "Hunger Games" star joined Ellen via telephone on the Monday, May 23 episode of "Ellen." In setting up the interview, the TV host said, "As the show is winding down, I got a lot of sweet messages from people and one of whom was Jennifer Lawrence. Not to brag, but we're neighbors. Jennifer told me how sad she was that the show was ending and that when she was a kid growing up in Kentucky, she used to sit on the toilet and pretend that I was interviewing her."

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So, Ellen called J. Law, who said she was on the toilet for this very interview. Quickly, Ellen congratulated the actress on her marriage and new baby. 

"Congratulations about the everything, the marriage, the baby, congratulations for everything. And this is a full circle moment. People don't know this, but I used to live in the house that you live in now when I started this show 20 years ago," Ellen then revealed. "So, now I live next door to you and I'm looking at you living in my house with a brand new baby when I started this show 20 years ago."

In continuing, Ellen then inadvertently dropped a piece of news and seemed to reveal that J.Law and Cooke welcomed a son.

"By the way, I do hear you sometimes talking to him and it's really cute. It's so sweet," Ellen said, prompting an "awww" from Jennifer, who may not have realized what just happened. 

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After the apparent gender reveal, the two women continued to talk as if they didn't notice the reveal (because they may not have). Ellen even asked Jennifer what those faux bathroom interviews would consist of. 

"Probably just like, 'How did you get so pretty? You're the prettiest person I've ever seen,' and I'd be like, 'Ellen, stop, I'm definitely not the prettiest person you've ever seen,'" Jennifer joked.

Ellen's last show will air on Thursday, May 26.

Hair care

James Corden's 'nasty' hygiene confession sparks debate

The amount of times James Corden washes his hair in a year can almost be counted on one hand.

The "The Late Late Show" host revealed during a recent episode that he washes his hair once "every two months."

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James' confession came as he spoke about Los Angeles advising its citizens to cut their showers by four minutes. After relaying the information, James learned that the average shower time is around 10 minutes, something he couldn't grasp.

"I'm in and out [of the shower] in a solid three or four," he said of his own bathing routine.

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Still baffled, James began speaking to his staff about their showering situations. He learned that a few of them are guilty of taking lengthy showers, especially if they have to wash their hair. 

"I'm trying to think of what I'd do in there for 10 minutes," he said. "I use soap, but I don't wash my hair. I wash it every two months. That is a true story."

His staff said he was "dirty" and "nasty."

"I don't think we are nasty," James retorted while defending his short showers. He then joked, "We're trying to protect the planet. You know what, there is no planet B."

Last summer, Hollywood hygiene became a viral discussion after several stars noted they don't shower regularly. In James' defense, he showers… just not for long.

Fatal fire

Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne's daughter narrowly escapes fatal studio fire

Aimee Osbourne, the daughter of Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, is lucky to be alive after narrowly escaping a deadly fire in a Los Angeles recording studio.

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On Friday, May 20, Sharon posted a a screenshot of a news article that spoke about the fire, which killed one person and injured two others. She then revealed that her eldest daughter escaped the inferno.

"Today my daughter @aro_officialmusic was working in a recording studio at this building with her producer. They are the lucky two that made it out alive," Sharon wrote on Instagram. "It is utterly heartbreaking that someone lost their life today in this fire & we are sending our prayers to this person & their family."

The former "The Talk" co-host then called for a change in fire safety regulations. 

"What happened today was beyond horrific. I really hope moving forward that buildings like this are better regulated for fire safety," she wrote. "This building was a creative hub for music in Hollywood, a space that should have been regulated for fire code. Producers, musicians, mixers & artists also lost all of their equipment. Once again, our prayers go out to the family and friends of the person that lost their life to this senseless fire."

While Aimme made it out of the building on foot, it seems that she was considering jumping out a second story window.

"She asked my husband to catch her so she can jump out of the second floor after he was yelling letting everyone in the building know," one person told Sharon, who then shared the comment on her Instagram Story. "Glad she didn't have to and she was okay." 

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Several cats also perished in the blaze.

Medical move

Doja Cat undergoes tonsil surgery to remove abscess

Doja Cat is recovering after have surgery to remove an abscess from her throat. 

The Grammy winner plans to quit smoking her vape, as well. 

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"dr. just had to cut into my left tonsil. i had an abscess in it. my whole throat is f***** so i might have some bad news for yall coming soon," the "Say So" singer tweeted Thursday, May 19.

Doja has known for a while that her throat was in dire shape, telling her Twitter followers that her tonsils got infected before the Billboard Music Awards on May 15. She "forgot" to take her antibiotics while in Las Vegas for the award show festivities. "Then i drank wine and was vaping all day long," she wrote. 

Soon, Doja noticed a growth on her tonsils, which has since been removed.

The singer went into fairly graphic and gross detail about the surgery, noting, "I cried and it hurt a lot but I'm ok."

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Doja now says she's planning to have her tonsils removed "very soon." She also added, "I'm quitting the vape for a while and hopefully i don't crave it anymore after that."

Considering what she's been through, Doja said she's "too scared" to vape. 

"My throat hurts so bad," she said. "i cried for hours. its not worth it."

Interestingly, even though she plans to quit vaping, she doesn't want to toss the vape pen.

"Throwing them away just instills panic. I'm addicted but I'm not weak," she said. "I was literally staring at my vape today that normally i'd hit a thousand times a day and hit it two times instead. I'ma try to go cold turkey for now but hopefully my brain doesn't need it at all by then."

"Also what makes yall think i cant go buy a 50 pack right now? Its not about throwing them away its about not needing them," she continued. "Right now I NEED THEM. I don't WANT them rn because im in pain. But my brain is addicted to it."

Ab city

'Ripped' Brie Larson stuns Instagram with six-pack abs

Brie Larson is making the Internet sit up!

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The Marvel star set social media ablaze on Wednesday, May 18, after posting a series of photos with an incredibly fit stomach. The images even caught the attention of several famous friends. 

"If you taught an abs masterclass. I would take it!!!!," Kerry Washington commented. Samuel L. Jackson added, "Aberoni," a slang term for someone who always has your back.

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The actress' photos were apparently posted while she waited to head out for a meal with her beau, film director Elijah Allan-Blitz.

"A must: pre-dinner photos while waiting for your partner to finish getting ready!," she captioned the snaps.

Immediately, fans were stunned at Brie's flat, toned stomach. 

"Ripped city," one person said. Users told Brie she was "stunning" and "fire" and a host of other adjectives. Many users commented with some variation of "those abs."

In a comical response, one of Brie's 7 million Instagram followers joked that the Oscar winner might get thrown out of the restaurant for "bringing your own six-pack."

The fact that Brie has an incredibly enviable body isn't news to many of her fans, as she often posts workout videos to Instagram. Over the past several months, Brie has posted videos of her strength training, calisthenics and rowing.

On May 16, she even tried a pole dancing workout. 

"Made an im-POLE-sive decision to try a new workout class," she captioned several photos.

It's all every Marvel-ous.

Sad face

Courteney Cox hilariously falls victim to viral crying filter prank

Why so sad, Courteney Cox?

The actress became the latest person to fall victim to the harmless, but hilarious social media filter that makes people appear as though they're crying. Since the filter was released just weeks ago, it's been used on several unsuspecting "victims," and the results are all funny.

In Courteney's case, a friend filmed her doing a variety of things on Thursday, from working out to putting on shoes. While the "Friends" actress seemed to know she was being filmed, she apparently didn't realize the friend was recording with the cry-filter, making Courteney look overly emotional at every turn.

At the end of the video, the friend told Courteney to look at the screen. Upon seeing herself looking incredibly tearful, she exclaimed, "What the f***!"

Taking the joke in stride, Courteney posted the video, writing, "This joke is not funny." Courteney's 12 million Instagram followers, though, thought it was hilarious.

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Diane Keaton commented with several laugh-crying emojis. Tobey Maguire's ex-wife, Jennifer Meyer, wrote, "I'm dying!!!!!!!!" alongside four laugh-crying emojis. Michelle Pfeiffer called the filter "terrifying" and laughed, "OMG. I thought this was real."

Other followers said they've fallen victim to the crying filter, too. "My girlfriend did this to me the other day and it's the effin funniest thing ever!!!," one person said. Another said, "That's how I felt when my daughter did this to me."

To little surprise, several fans tied the sad face into her character on "Friends," Monica Gellar.

"Monica after breaking up with Richard," one person commented. Another said, "It's like when monica couldn't find any thing to clean up in her apartment."

Fire

Cigarette butt to blame for massive fire at 'General Hospital' star Kelly Monaco's house

Kelly Monaco is picking up the pieces of her home after it went up in flames last week due to a stray cigarette butt.

Last week, the "General Hospital" star was woken up by a fire in her front yard, with flames touching the windows of the home. She got out before the fire engulfed the house. 

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TMZ reported that the damage is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, noting the home won't be livable for a while. It is not a total loss.

After an investigation, it was determined that a lit cigarette butt had been tossed on an empty lot next to Kelly's home. Security footage even showed the fire spreading. 

It is not believed that the fire was started intentionally.

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"Something as little as a cigarette butt can cause casualties and devastation," she told TMZ afterward. She had a similar take when sharing the security footage of the fire spreading.

"This is how it started. Isn't this crazy?" she said in the background. 

Kelly, 45, is primarily known for her nearly two-decade run as Sam McCall on "General Hospital."  She was also the first celebrity winner of "Dancing With The Stars" back in 2005. 

Social gal

Carmen Electra, 50, makes a big social media move

Carmen Electra is going social for her fans. 

The still-stunning '90s sex symbol has joined OnlyFans, the subscription-based social media site known primarily for its racy content.

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"It was like a no-brainer" to join the site, she told People magazine. "I just felt like, 'Yeah, I need to do this.' I, for once, have this opportunity to be my own boss and have my own creative vision to share with my fans without someone standing over me, telling me, 'Don't do this, don't do that. Cover up this.'"

The former "Singled Out" host plans to post fun, harmless content to the site, but she won't shy away from "more sexy, classy pictures and videos." OnlyFans, she says, allows her to be "a little bit more intimate" with her fans than other social media sites. 

"People are going to do what they want to do anyway with your photos, you might as well be in control of them and follow what you feel like doing inside," she said, noting that she won't censor herself if she doesn't want to.

Just last month, Carmen sent the Internet ablaze after sharing a a sultry snap in a tangerine two-bikini on her 50th birthday. Fans immediately commented with awe, calling Carmen a "queen," "beauty" and "tangerine dream." 

Concert situation

Halsey stops concert to scold fans: 'Act like people!'

Halsey stopped a Florida concert in mid-song to scold fans for their behavior.

Video shows that Halsey was about 30 minutes into her set, singing "You Should Be Sad," when she told her band to stop. The crowd initially screamed but was soon confused about the abrupt, unexplained stoppage. 

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After a moment without explanation, Halsey looked out into the crowd at iThink Financial Ampitheater in West Palm Beach and launched into a bit of a tirade.

"I didn't think I was going to have to do that until a couple days into the tour, dammit," she said, without giving context to her rant. 

She then implied that something was happening in the crowd that she didn't care for. 

"While I have you I just want to make a statement … make a reminder, you know.  I know we've been locked inside for a long time and forgot how to act like f****** people," she said in the video obtained by TMZ. "But, everybody is here because they love the same thing you do so treat them with compassion, community."

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She added, "All of us are here because we love the same thing, hate the same thing. Because your girlfriend dragged you here, that's fine too. You love your girlfriend. I love your girlfriend. Let's talk about that later in the set. Let's try that one more time."

Halsey then began the song from the beginning.