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Mr Bean star Rowan Atkinson’s wife granted divorced on grounds of his ‘unreasonable behaviour’

ACTOR Rowan Atkinson’s wife has been granted a divorce on the grounds of his “unreasonable behaviour”.

The Mr Bean and Blackadder star was not present at the brief proceedings in central London.

Estranged wife Sunetra was granted a decree nisi against the 60-year-old by a district judge at the Central Family Court.

Atkinson married the make-up artist in 1990.

Divorce papers made public today did not give any details relating to the unreasonable behaviour ground.

Listed as Atkinson S D v R S, the case was the fourth in a list of 26 before District Judge Stephen Alderson for decrees and orders to be made under the “quickie” procedure.

The County Durham-born actor and his wife, who have two children, are reported to have split last year.

Andrew Newbury, head of family law at Slater and Gordon, said: “Unreasonable behaviour is the most common ground for divorce.

“Even in the happiest of marriages, it’s always possible to find behaviour which can be described as unreasonable.”

Mr Newbury said such behaviour could include complaints that “she talks too much”, or “he never listens”, or that a husband “always wants to go out with friends”.

He added: “Although described as granting a divorce, the divorce itself won’t be made final until Sunetra Atkinson applies for the decree absolute.

“She can do that six weeks after today. She may well be advised by her lawyers to delay the application until the financial settlement has been agreed. It could be many months before the divorce is final.”

Read Full Article – http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/celebrity/mr-bean-star-rowan-atkinsons-6805304

Scientology Takes Legal Hit In Ongoing Harassment Suit

David Miscavige’s church denied claim that actions were free speech-protected.

It’s been a rough stretch for the Church of Scientology amid the release of Leah Remini‘s tell all book, and now the church has taken another hit in a legal fight with another prominent opponent, Monique Rathbun.

Rathbun (who herself has never been a member of the church) is the wife of former high-ranking Scientology official Marty Rathbun, who left the church under hostile circumstances 11 years ago.

In a 2013 suit she filed in Texas, Monique said that the church — which she called a “notorious, multi-billion dollar cult” — had harassed her and her husband, and had them under surveillance, on orders from the church’s controversial leader, David Miscavige.

READ THE SHOCKING COURT DOCUMENTS

According to Scientology watchdog Tony Ortega‘s blog, Rathbun claimed a legal win after the Texas Third Court of Appeals denied the church’s legal appeal of a ruling from a lower court. The church in 2014 filed an “anti-SLAPP” motion in the ongoing litigation, saying that the religious-based conflict was protected under free speech.

After the initial motion was shot down by Comal County District Judge DibWaldrip, the church appealed to the Third Court of Appeals — which denied the church’s request, saying it had not proven that Rathbun’s claims were “based on, related to, or in response to” their protected free speech.

Leslie Hyman, a member of Monique’s legal team, said that “we are very pleased that the court saw through the church’s attempt to recast into protected activity Monique’s complaints of stalking and harassment and the church’s attempt to shield its wrongdoing with a Texas statute not meant for that purpose.”

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Legal experts told Ortega’s blog that the decision handed down was overwhelmingly in Rathbun’s favor, expect for its denial of her request to have them pay for her legal fees.

The church still has the option of petitioning the Texas Supreme Court to appeal the court’s latest ruling.

As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Marty Rathbun — a one-time “inspector general for ethics” who defected in 2004 after 27 years in the church — slammed Miscavige as having “a complete narcissistic psychotic personality” in a deposition, and compared him to notorious historical figures Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Ayatollah Khomeini.

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“That doesn’t connote hate or dislike, it just is what it is,” he said. “There’s parallels in their behavior that are very direct.”

Full Article – http://radaronline.com/celebrity-news/scientology-lawsuit-monique-rathbun-legal-win/

Hawaii becomes first U.S. state to raise smoking age to 21

Hawaii’s governor on Friday signed a bill raising the legal smoking age statewide to 21, the first U.S. state to do so.

The law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2016, and will also ban the sale, purchase or use of electronic cigarettes for those under the age of 21.

“Raising the minimum age as part of our comprehensive tobacco control efforts will help reduce tobacco use among our youth and increase the likelihood that our keiki (children) will grow up to be tobacco-free,” Governor David Ige said in a statement.

Also on Friday, Ige signed a bill banning smoking and e-cigarette use at state parks and beaches, acts already banned in all city and county parks other than of Kaua’i County, according to his office.

Most U.S. states set the legal smoking age at 18, while a handful have set it higher at 19. Some cities and counties, including New York City and Hawaii County, have already raised the smoking age to 21.

Lawmakers in Washington state and California have also pushed to raise the legal smoking age to 21 in recent months.

Opponents of the bill have argued that it limits choice for people considered adults in other situations, like joining the military.

In Hawaii, roughly nine out of 10 smokers start before the age of 21 and many report receiving cigarettes from friends or relatives of legal age, according to the governor’s office.

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids said that tobacco use kills 1,400 people and costs some $526 million in medical bills annually in Hawaii.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths annually, or one of every five deaths overall, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Researchers have found that raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 or 25 years old would significantly reduce smoking and tobacco-related illnesses in the country and that a majority of U.S. adults support raising the legal age to 21.

Adult smoking rates in the country have dropped sharply to 18 percent of the population today from 42 percent in 1964.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Nick Macfie)
Read more at Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/20/us-usa-hawaii-tobacco-idUSKBN0P006V20150620#jkmCyfL88G3D7aGO.99

Suge Knight, Katt Williams Plead Not Guilty in Robbery Case

  • By ANTHONY MCCARTNEY, AP ENTERTAINMENT WRITER

LOS ANGELES — Oct 27, 2015, 5:00 PM ET

Former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight and comedian Katt Williams pleaded not guilty Tuesday to robbery charges filed against them after a celebrity photographer accused them of taking her camera last year.

The pair appeared briefly in a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday and entered the pleas, which needed to be re-entered because a judge determined two weeks ago that they should stand trial for the September 2014 incident in Beverly Hills.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen on Tuesday admonished Knight because the Death Row Records co-founder had held up a sign conveying a happy birthday message to his son for cameras during his last court appearance two weeks ago.

“If he does it again, I will shackle his hands to a chair,” Coen said. Knight, 50, acknowledged he understood the judge’s warning.

Coen has taken a hard line with Knight, who had a series of medical episodes in court and refused to leave his cell for one hearing, prompting the judge to sign an order to have him forcibly brought to hearings if necessary.

Knight’s attorney denies the Death Row Records co-founder was involved in taking photographer Leslie Redden’s camera last year, just days after he was wounded in a nightclub shooting. His attorneys have cited the wounds as causing some of his courthouse medical episodes.

Attorney Thomas Mesereau said Oct. 13 that threats Knight made toward Redden were attempts to get her to not shoot photos of his young son.

“The only evidence that exists is he didn’t want his son photographed,” Mesereau said. “Any father would have acted as he did.”

Redden recorded a verbal confrontation with Knight on a camera hanging from her neck, but the device did not capture the physical struggle over her professional camera.

Knight remains jailed on $10 million bail in a separate murder case filed after he ran over two men outside a Compton burger stand in January, killing one and seriously injuring an adviser to the film “Straight Outta Compton.” Knight’s lawyers have said he was fleeing armed attackers when he hit the men.

Knight has pleaded not guilty and already been ordered to stand trial in that case, but no trial date has been set. Coen set a Dec. 11 court hearing to get an update on the case.

Knight was a key player in the gangster rap scene that flourished in the 1990s, and his Death Row Records label once listed Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg among its artists. He lost control of the company after it was forced into bankruptcy.

He faces potential life sentences if convicted in either case because of prior convictions for armed robbery and assault with a gun.

Williams, 44, has starred in several comedy specials and appeared in films such as “First Sunday” and “Friday After Next.”

The next hearing in the robbery case is scheduled for Nov. 30. No trial date has been set.

———

This story has been corrected to show that Knight is being held on $10 million bail in a murder case, not without bail.

Full Article – http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/suge-knight-katt-williams-due-back-los-angeles-34753983

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

Mississippi Supreme Court rules same-sex divorce legal

Anna Wolfe, The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger

6:15 p.m. EST November 5, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Courton Thursday acknowledged the divorce of a same-sex couple under Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

In the process, two justices made claims that states may not have to follow U.S. Supreme Court rulings when they believe the court is creating policy as opposed to interpreting the law.

Five justices agreed with the ruling, consisting of just four paragraphs, that same-sex divorce is legal and should be recognized. Remaining Justices Jess Dickinson, Leslie King, Josiah Coleman and Jim Kitchens objected.

Dickinson acknowledged in his dissent, signed by Coleman, that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage and state Attorney General Jim Hoodhas informed the court that, following Obergefell v. Hodges, he finds Mississippi’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Dickinson, however, goes on to question whether the U.S. Supreme Court exceeded the authority of its court.

“And while it is true that the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution obligates state courts to follow the United States Supreme Court’s constitutional interpretations, even when they disagree with those interpretations, there is substantial support from legal scholars that state courts are not required to recognize as legitimate legal authority a Supreme Court decision that is no way a constitutional interpretation, but rather is a legislative act by a judicial body that is — as Chief Justice Roberts put it — a decision that “has no basis in the Constitution or (United States Supreme Court) precedent,” Dickinson writes.

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts wrote the dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, which is why Matt Steffey, constitutional law expert and Mississippi College of Law professor, doesn’t believe Roberts’ opinion can be used for a valid argument.

“A dissent is the opinion of the side that lost,” Steffey said.

Steffey said Dickinson is simply saying the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong. Steffey also said Dickinson’s argument is the same one that the Ku Klux Klan, the White Citizens Council and former Gov. Ross Barnett used to oppose Brown v. Board of Education.

“It’s exactly the same line of argument considered and rejected by our founding fathers,” Steffey said. “I’m talking about the line of thinking where every person gets to decide for themselves what the law means instead of following binding decisions of the court.”

In 2013, a judge in DeSoto County prevented Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham from divorcing her wife, whom she married in California, because of Mississippi’s same-sex marriage ban.

Chief Justice William Waller and Justices Michael Randolph, Ann Lamar, Randy Pierce and David Chandler wrote an order in favor of Czekala-Chatham, overturning the Desoto County Chancery Court ruling.

Czekala-Chatham said she hopes to soon be divorced from her wife, who now lives in Arkansas.

“I’m happy this battle has been won. But the war on discrimination is still ongoing,” the 53-year-old Hernando resident told The Associated Press on Thursday.

She said searching for a job as a credit analyst has been difficult because potential employers see her involvement in the case.

“This fight has damaged my life in ways I can’t recover from,” she said.

In Dickinson’s dissent, he acknowledges the Chancery Court of DeSoto County’s refusal to grant a divorce to the appellant.

Dickinson attempted to prove his argument that the Supreme Court is able to “exceed its authority,” with what he called an “absurd hypothetical” about Congress taking all guns from gun owners.

“One example of this view, for instance, is that if the Supreme Court concluded that gun violence impedes the flow of interstate commerce, leading it to interpret theCommerce Clause as granting the Congress the power to confiscate all privately owned guns, who would feel bound to follow it? This absurd hypothetical, some believe, debunks any notion that it is impossible for the Supreme Court to exceed its authority. So in the context of today’s case, the question becomes whether it has done so in Obergefell,” Dickinson wrote.