- Bingo Barnes
- One day after being fired by NBC News for alleged inappropriate sexual behavior with a subordinate and several hours after at least two new complaints of lewd behavior in the workplace, former Today Show host Matt Lauer issued a statement early today, insisting that some of the stories were untrue but conceding there was "enough truth" to make him "embarrassed and ashamed." In a statement read by Today Show co-host Savannah Guthrie on this morning's broadcast, Lauer wrote, "To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC." Meanwhile, the news just got worse. In an exclusive story, Variety reports that even more women are coming forward with lurid details of Lauer's alleged behavior.
- In still another scandal, Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons announced this morning that he would step down from his companies after being accused of sexual assault. In a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter, writer Jenny Lumet accused Simmons of forcing her to have sex in 1991. Simmons issued a statement this morning, saying he had a different recollection of the encounter, but added Lumet's "feelings of fear and intimidation are real." Lumet is the daughter of Oscar-winning director Sidney Lumet and the screenwriter behind Rachel Getting Married.
Statement of Russell Simmons in Response to LA Times Article. pic.twitter.com/iwT7Wy3SoY— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) November 19, 2017
- The man convicted of starting the June 2016 Table Rock fire, which scorched more than 2,500 acres of the Boise Foothills, is back in a jail cell for reportedly violating the terms of his probation, which include requirements to secure a full time job or to enroll as a full-time student, and to make regular installment payments of restitution totaling $391,790. 20-year-old Taylor Kemp of Middleton was arrested November 28 after a bench warrant was issued.
- In a direct response to the national anthem protests preceding many nationally televised professional football games this season, the NFL and a group of players reached an agreement late Wednesday that calls for the league to commit $89 million over seven years to social justice causes. But there is no quid pro quo. ESPN reports that the agreement does not include any language calling for players to end protests during the national anthem in exchange for the funds.
- Food & Wine magazine is listing the top-selling Christmas candy in each U.S. state. Cue the little drummer boy, candy canes are tops in seven states: Delaware, Georgia, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington. But apparently candy canes don't ring too many jingle bells in Idaho. According to CandyStore.com, the Gem State prefers holiday M&Ms.