Disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly was arrested in Chicago last week on 18 federal charges involving child pornography and sex trafficking, adding to 21 counts brought by Illinois prosecutors earlier this year. Kelly, 52, maintained his innocence. Yet his former “enablers” reportedly gave federal prosecutors 20-plus videos of Kelly having sex with underage girls; one tape allegedly shows Kelly having sex with a girl who was 12 or 13 when they met. The indictment describes an “Enterprise” in which Kelly’s bodyguards, managers, and other handlers recruited at least five women and girls for Kelly. The victims were subjected to strict rules, including being forbidden to look at other men and required to call Kelly “Daddy.”
Scarlett Johansson provoked a second backlash this week after complaining that she had to withdraw last year from a leading role as a transgender man. “As an actor,” Johansson said, “I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal, because that is my job.” Johansson, 34, had been criticized—mainly by trans actors—after agreeing last year to star in Rub & Tug as Dante “Tex” Grill, a trans man who ran massage parlors in the 1970s and ’80s that doubled as fronts for prostitution dens. The movie’s future is now in limbo, and Johansson says she’s “uncomfortable” when casting is driven by “political correctness,” adding, “Art should be free of restrictions.” That brought a wave of complaints on social media that Johansson didn’t understand the issue of “inclusion” for trans actors.
Former pitching phenom Dwight Gooden was arrested yet again for alleged cocaine possession, the New York Post reported last week. Gooden, 54, was also charged with driving under the influence after New Jersey police say they found two plastic baggies of cocaine in his car on June 7. “Doc” Gooden won Rookie of the Year as a 19-year-old New York Met in 1984 and was named the National League’s top pitcher the following season. He led the Mets to a World Series title in 1986 but tested positive for cocaine during the ’87 spring training, leading to a series of arrests and substance-abuse relapses that derailed his career and led to a jail term. ■