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Emily Ratajkowski accuses photographer Jonathan Leder of sexual assault

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SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 08: Emily Ratajkowski attends the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 08, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

Emily Ratajkowski is accusing photographer Jonathan Leder of sexual assault.

The Gone Girl actress and model, 29, made the claim in what she describes as an “extremely personal” essay “about image, power and consent,” titled “Buying Myself Back,” which was run by New York Magazine. She said that the alleged incident occurred in 2012 after a photo shoot. Leder, with whom Ratajkowski has been engaged in a longtime dispute over that shoot, denied the claim to the magazine, saying the allegation is “too tawdry and childish to respond to.”

Ratajkowski wrote in the essay that her agent booked a modeling job for her, then 20, in which she would be shot by Leder and the photos would appear in Darius magazine. It would be an “unpaid editorial,” she explained, “meaning it would be printed in the magazine and the ‘exposure’ would be my reward,” a regular part of being a young model.

She traveled from NYC to Woodstock, NY, via bus for the shoot, and was to stay the night at the photographer’s home. When Leder picked her up, she recalled him seeming “disinterested” in her, and she admitted that led her to want to impress him, as that was “an important part of building a good reputation” — and booking more jobs.

At Leder’s home, he gave her a glass of red wine which she “drank quickly” in her nervousness, and “old-fashioned lingerie,” which she was to wear for the shoot. She drank several more glasses before the shoot began, in the bedroom. At first it was in the lingerie, before she said Leder said he’d like to shoot her nude, which she has done before.

The shoot went late into the night, the makeup artist who was with them the whole time went to bed, and at that point Ratajkowski was “very, very drunk” and just remembers being on the couch with Leder.

“Most of what came next was a blur except for the feeling. I don’t remember kissing, but I do remember his fingers suddenly being inside of me,” she wrote. “Harder and harder and pushing and pushing like no one had touched me before or has touched me since. I could feel the shape of myself and my ridges, and it really, really hurt. I brought my hand instinctively to his wrist and pulled his fingers out of me with force. I didn’t say a word. He stood up abruptly and scurried silently into the darkness up the stairs.”

Ratajkowski said she then went to bed, in the bedroom where the shoot began, where she “shivered uncontrollably,” adding, “I was both confused as to why Jonathan had left without a word and terrified that he would come back.” The next morning, Leder offered her coffee, not mentioning what happened, and she left on a bus back to the city.

A few of the images appeared in the magazine spread, and that was the end of it, she wrote, trying to put that experience behind her. Then, a few years later, after Gone Girl came out and she landed numerous magazine covers, she learned that Leder was putting out a book of her shoot titled Emily Ratajkowski, which contained “among the most revealing and vulgar Polaroids he had taken of me.”

A legal battle ensued, as Ratajkowski said she only consented to the photos running in that specific magazine shoot, but Leder had a signed release from Ratajkowski’s former agent, so she ultimately gave up on what had begun to be an expensive legal fight. The book sold out and was printed three more times via publishing company Leder co-founded. And Leder — who owns the photographs as the one who took them — released second and third books, as well as showed the photographs at galleries. He’s also given interviews just detailing the shoot.

The magazine reached out to Leder for a comment about the alleged assault, and he said her allegations were “too tawdry and childish to respond to,” adding, “You do know who we are talking about right? This is the girl that was naked in Treats! magazine, and bounced around naked in the Robin Thicke video at that time. You really want someone to believe she was a victim?”

Leder’s Imperial Pictures Publishing has statement on its website in which “Leder totally denies her outrageous allegations of being ’assaulted’. It is grotesque and sad that she is so vindictive to lie in such a way to the press.” Here is the statement in its entirety:

“We are all deeply disturbed to read Ms. Ratajkowski’s latest ( false ) statements to NY Mag in her never-ending search for press and publicity.

Of course Mr. Leder totally denies her outrageous allegations of being ’assaulted’.  It is grotesque and sad that she is so vindictive to lie in such a way to the press.  

It is also not our first encounter with her wrath. 

In 2016 Ms. Ratajkowski tried to stop publication of Imperial’s books.  She hired famed L.A. lawyer Marty Singer to send us a bullying scare tactic ‘Cease and Desist’ letter. 

Attached is our attorney’s response, proving that we had every legal right to publish these images. 

It is disheartening to us that NY Mag would publish such a tawdry and baseless article. 

We have every legal right to publish our books of Ms. Ratajkowski – despite what she tries to maintain to the press.

Ms. Ratajkowski knows that, and her lawyers know that.

She knows she has no legal recourse to stop publication,  so bad mouthing the photographer ( again ) with false and salacious, baseless accusations seems to be her newfound answer. 

It is a shame, because the photos are really powerful and they are beloved by so many of her fans.” 

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Pelosi and Mnuchin make one final attempt at Covid talks before elections

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Pelosi and Mnuchin make one final attempt at Covid talks before elections

Top Democrats spent much of the weekend and Monday finalizing the roughly 2,152-page bill before releasing it Monday evening. A vote could happen as soon as Wednesday, though nothing has been scheduled and lawmakers and aides warned that timeline could easily slip.

The package is essentially a scaled back version of the House’s sweeping bill passed in May, which Republicans have already rejected. It includes nearly a half-trillion dollars to shore up state and local governments, as well as a second round of stimulus checks to most Americans. It also restarts the extra $600-per-week in federal unemployment benefits, which expired in late July.

The Democratic bill includes some new money for airlines and restaurants, two industries that have faced dramatic financial losses since the House’s last package this spring.

Pelosi held a call with her leadership team Monday afternoon to discuss the current strategy. The full Democratic Caucus will be briefed on the bill Wednesday morning.

This week’s vote on a Democratic proposal is intended to mollify an increasingly vocal group of moderate Democrats, who have demanded that Pelosi bring more pandemic aid bills to the floor, after key relief programs expired for millions of Americans.

But the House bill, if it passes, will do little to deliver real relief to the American public. The House Democrats’ proposal will stand virtually no chance of becoming law, and both parties acknowledge that this is the final week to strike an accord before Congress departs for its roughly month-long recess before Election Day.

Democrats and Republicans are still more than $1 trillion apart in coronavirus talks, which have been stalled for months despite mounting pressure from desperate U.S. businesses and households. And Pelosi has repeatedly said Republicans will have to bridge the trillion dollar gap, noting she sliced $1 trillion from Democrats initial $3.4 trillion proposal — something GOP negotiators have been unwilling to do.

“We’ve come down $1 trillion and they need to come up because we have to crush this virus,” Pelosi said on MSNBC Monday.

Pelosi and Mnuchin quietly restarted talks on coronavirus aid in recent days, after the two successfully navigated a short-term fix to avert a federal government shutdown on Sept. 30.

The two spoke briefly Sunday, and made plans to speak again Monday night. But Pelosi told MSNBC on Monday that Republicans would still need to commit to “much more” spending to reach a bipartisan deal on a relief package.

“When he’s ready to come back to the table we’re ready to have that conversation. But he has to come back with much more money to get the job done. So I’m hopeful. I’m optimistic,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi initially directed her committee chairmen to begin drafting a pared down coronavirus relief bill last week, shifting strategies after resisting calls for weeks to put a smaller stimulus package on the floor. Until then, Pelosi stood behind the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act the House passed in May, saying the onus was on Senate Republicans — not her — to take the next step.

But moderate Democrats, particularly those in the most vulnerable districts, were particularly uneasy with that strategy. Those Democrats, staring down the dwindling weeks before the election, have repeatedly sounded alarms in recent weeks, calling on leadership to redouble efforts to reach a bipartisan agreement.

“As of right now, this is the last week the House has votes before we head back to our districts,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), who co-leads the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus, which has pushed for months for the two parties to negotiate a deal. “It would be unconscionable for Congress to go home without taking action.”

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Shares of LG Chem rise after report of Tesla’s interest in battery unit

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TipRanks

3 Stocks Flashing Signs of Strong Insider Buying

If you really want to know which stocks the experts – and those in the know – are buying, pay attention to what they’re doing. Stock reports, company reviews, and press statements are helpful, but you’ll get significant information from watching what the insiders are up to.The insiders – the corporate officers and board members – have to disclose when they snap up shares to prevent any unfair advantages. Tracking their stock purchases can be a useful strategy because if an insider spends their own money on a stock, it could signal that they believe big gains are in store.So, investors looking for stocks that may be flying ‘under the radar,’ but with potential to climb fast, watching for insider purchases identify some sweet market plays. To make that search easier, the TipRanks Insiders’ Hot Stocks tool gets the footwork started – identifying stocks that have seen informative moves by insiders, highlighting several common strategies used by the insiders, and collecting the data all in one place.Fresh from that database, here are the details on three stocks showing ‘informative buys’ in recent days.TravelCenters of America (TA)We’ll start with a company that you probably don’t think about often, but that does provide an essential service. TravelCenters of America is the largest publicly traded owner, operator, and franchisor of full-service highway rest stops in the US. TA started out operating truck stops for rest, repair, and maintenance, and has since expanded to full-service fueling stations offering both gasoline and diesel, fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, and other rest stop amenities. Their network of rest stops is part of the infrastructure that makes long-distance motor transport, both private and commercial, possible in the USA.As can be imagined, the social lockdowns and travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic were not good for TA. The good news is, the worst of the pandemic hit during Q1, and the first quarter is normally TA’s slowest of the year. This year, the first quarter showed a net loss of $1.81 per share. In the second quarter, when warmer weather normally leads to increased driving, the pandemic restrictions were also – at least partially – lifted, and TA reported a sudden turnaround, with a 59 cent EPS profit. Even so, that missed the forecast by almost a dime. The outlook for Q3, normally TA’s strongest of the year, is for EPS of 73 cents.Turning to the insider trades, Adam Portnoy of the Board of Directors has the most recent informative buys. Earlier this month, he purchased over 323,000 shares, laying out more than $5.32 million for the stock. Analyst James Sullivan, of BTIG makes two observations about TravelCenters. First, he points out, “The long-haul trucking industry has an approximate 71% share of total primary tonnage in the U.S. freight industry, making it the primary mode of freight transportation.” Sullivan then adds that this opens up opportunity for TA going forward: “The increasing demands of the nation’s large trucking fleets for consolidated service providers that can provide fuel and truck service on a national basis appear likely to drive additional consolidation in the industry.”Sullivan rates TA shares a Buy, and his $34 price target suggests the stock has an impressive 82% upside potential for the coming year. (To watch Sullivan’s track record, click here)Overall, shares in TA are rated a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus, based on 5 recent reviews including 4 Buys and 1 Hold. The shares are selling for $19.24, and the $22.70 average price target implies room for 18% upside growth. (See TA stock analysis on TipRanks)Highwoods Properties (HIW)The next stock is a real estate investment trust. Highwood operates mostly in the Southeast US, but also in Pittsburgh, where it acquires, develops, leases, and manages a portfolio of suburban office and light industrial properties.Where most companies reported heavy losses during the corona crisis, HIW saw revenues in 1H20 remain stable. EPS has grown sequentially into Q1 and remained flat in Q2 at 93 cents. Both quarter beat EPS expectations.Despite the solid financial results, HIW shares have still not recovered from the market collapse of midwinter. The stock is down 27% year-to-date.Through all of this, Highwoods has maintained its dividend, as is common among REITs. The company has a 17-year history of dividend growth and reliability, and the current payment of 48 cents per common share has been stable for the past 7 quarters. At this level, it annualizes to $1.92 and gives a yield of 5.8%.Highwoods’ insider trading has come from Board member Carlos Evans, who purchased 10,000 shares for $337,000 dollars last week. His move was the first informative buy on HIW in the last 6 months.Truist analyst Michael Lewis is impressed by the quality of HIW’s portfolio. He writes, “We continue to believe that HIW’s portfolio is one of the best-positioned among traditional office REITs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rent collections have been excellent and there are no large near-term lease expirations. More broadly, the portfolio should benefit from being focused in drivable, close-in Sunbelt suburbs.”In line with these comments, Lewis rates the stock a Buy. His price target, $45, indicates a 31% potential upside from current levels. (To watch Lewis’ track record, click here)Overall, HIW has a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy consensus rating from the Street. This breaks down into 2 Buy ratings and 1 Hold. We can also see from TipRanks that the average analyst price target is $43, which implies a ~25% upside from the current share price. (See HIW stock analysis on TipRanks)VEREIT (VER)The last stock on our insider trading list is another REIT. VEREIT is major owner and manager of retail, restaurant, and commercial real estate, with a portfolio that includes over 3,800 properties worth a collective $14.7 billion. The company’s assets are 45% retail and 20% restaurants; the rest is mainly office and light industrial sites. The total leasable square footage is 88.9 million square feet.So VEREIT is a giant in the REIT sector – but size didn’t protect it from the general downturn this year. Share performance has been lackluster, and revenues have been falling off gradually since Q4 of last year. The second quarter results showed $279 million on the top line, the lowest in a year – but the quarter also saw earnings turn back upwards, reaching 17 cents per share.VER cut back on its dividend earlier this year, reducing the payment to 8 cents per share to keep it in line with earnings. That dividend has been maintained, and the next payment is set for mid-October. The current dividend yield is 4.5%, well over double the average found among S&P stocks.The big insider trade on VER comes from Board member and CEO Glenn Rufrano. He spent over $252K on a block of 40,000 shares, pushing the insider sentiment on this stock into positive territory.Covering the stock for JPMorgan, 5-star analyst Anthony Paolone sees an important strength in VER, noting that the company has been successful in collecting rents during the crisis period. “[Its] collections showed good improvement going into July, with 85% collections in 2Q and 91% in July; when considering all the abatements and deferrals, it appears that at this point about 94% of pre-COVID contractual rental revenue has been addressed, and it seems to us that a normalized run rate for this vast majority of the portfolio should take hold in early 2021; the company is making progress in working through the remaining 5-6% of non-collections,” Paolone noted.Paolone gives VER an Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating, and his $8 price target implies a 22% upside for the next 12 months. (To watch Paolone’s track record, click here)All in all, VER has drawn optimism mixed with caution when it comes to consensus opinion among sell-side analysts. Out of 5 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 3 are bullish on the stock, while 2 remain sidelined. With an 11% upside potential, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $7.25. (See VEREIT’s stock analysis at TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Fox News’ Chris Wallace Won’t Tolerate Lies at Presidential Debate

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Shepard Smith’s new CNBC show is called simply The News. And with that in mind, the former Fox News anchor is trying his best to play everything right down the middle.

Ahead of his premiere this Wednesday, Smith appeared on his new network colleague Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, where he offered up a series of non-committal, both-sides takes on the biggest news events of the week.

Smith got in one joke about Donald Trump writing off $70,000 in hairstyling expenses but otherwise said he didn’t expect the bombshell report on the president’s tax returns to change any voters’ minds. He similarly had little to say about the coming Supreme Court fight, telling Fallon, “Whether it’ll affect the election or not, it probably will, you just don’t know which way it’s going to play.”

“Will conservatives be so happy about it that they come out and vote for more?” he asked. “Or will Democrats and people on the left say we can’t let this happen again and come out and vote in bigger numbers? I don’t think we’ll know until we know.”

The anchor said definitively that there is no evidence of widespread fraud in vote-by-mail, but couldn’t bring himself to criticize Trump for refusing to agree to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose, only saying, “I’m not exactly sure what it is he is trying to accomplish.”

Smith’s strongest convictions seemed to come when Fallon asked about Tuesday’s night debate, which will be moderated by his former Fox colleague Chris Wallace.

Stephen Colbert Unloads on ‘Fake Billionaire’ Trump for Massive Tax Grift

“I expect Chris Wallace to be prepared,” Smith said. “Nobody who has watched Chris Wallace thinks [anything] other than that he is a very tough, very thoroughly prepared journalist. And he has said repeatedly over the years, to me and publicly, ‘My job is to stay out of the way and be unnoticed as much as possible.’”

“But he’s not one to let a falsehood or a misrepresentation or a ‘look over here’ kind of shiny object thing just slide by the way,” he continued. “He will hold them [accountable]. Both of them. He’s not a partisan guy. He’s searching for truth. He’s trying to speak truth to power. And trying to get information to the public. That’s what all journalists want to do.”

It’s the same thing Smith is trying to do at CNBC after spending 23 long years at Fox News. “We’re not going to have pundits, we’re not going to have opinion,” he said. “We’ll bring you facts. The facts, the truth, the news.”

Ex-Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Vows to Fight Disinformation With New CNBC Show

“Sometimes people live in a world of just lies,” he added. “And when that’s happening and it rises to the public discourse, we’ll point it out.” Drawing an implicit contrast with Fox, Smith said, “We want to be a source of truth and honesty and we’ll hold truth to power because that is our job.”

“The Founding Fathers didn’t only put journalism in the Constitution for no reason,” he said. “They put it there because it is important and journalists have a responsibility to get it right and tell it straight and that’s what we’re going to do.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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