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                                         THIS WEEK



Scenes Cut

by Cheryl Lakes

Jussie Smollett’s ‘Empire’ Scenes Cut:  Scenes featuring Jussie Smollett on the hit TV show “Empire” have been drastically cut amid the whirlwind of controversy surrounding his alleged hate attack, according to a report Tuesday.  The actor, who plays gay singer-songwriter Jamal Lyon on the show, was supposed to have nine scenes and a big musical performance in the second-to-last episode of Season 5, production sources told TMZ.  But five scenes and the musical number have been axed.  Smollett’s character is also no longer the focus of his remaining four scenes, which will now feature an ensemble of characters.  The 36-year-old actor is spending far less time on set as a result. He’ll be working Friday and possibly Thursday but won’t be rehearsing  “Empire” scriptwriters have been scrambling over the last 24 hours to revise this season’s scripts.  Smollett claims he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack near his Chicago apartment Jan. 29, but suspicion has since emerged that he paid two friends to help stage the assault.  Meanwhile,  The Rev. Al Sharpton believes Jussie Smollett should face “accountability to the maximum” — if it’s found that he made up the hate attack against him.  “I, among many others when hearing of the report, said that the reports were horrific and that we should come with all that we can come with in law enforcement to find out what happened and the guilty should suffer the maximum,” Sharpton said Sunday night on his show “PoliticsNation” on MSNBC.  “I still maintain that,” he continued. “And if it is that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetuate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum.”  Chicago police said this weekend that their interviews of the Osundairo brothers — who were arrested on Wednesday but released two days later without charges — “shifted the trajectory” of their ongoing investigation.  The latest twist in the case comes as reports emerged that Smollett paid the budding actor-models $3,500 to stage the 2 a.m. attack.

Alonzo Mourning And Wife Divorcing:  Former NBA All-Star and Miami society fixture Alonzo Mourning is getting divorced from wife Tracy after 22 years of marriage, Page Six has learned.Sources say the pair — who have three children together — quietly separated a couple of months ago and are now planning to file for divorce.  Page Six says it’s quite a topic of conversation around the Heat offices, where the team’s former star center now works in player development.  It’s unclear what led to the breakup of the marriage, but it appears to be cordial. Alonzo’s official Instagram account posted about Tracy’s charity work at the end of January.  Somewhat awkwardly, given the split, they opened a school in North Miami named after themselves in 2009 — the Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High Biscayne Bay Campus. No word on who will keep it in the divorce.

Justine Skye Gets Restraining Order On Sheck Wes:  Singer Justine Skye has been granted a restraining order against rapper Sheck Wes.  The “Mo Bamba” rapper must stay away from Skye until a hearing next month, reports The Blast.  In court docs obtained by the website, the 23-year-old cites an alleged incident from Feb. 11 when she claims Sheck Wes, 20, had her and her friends followed and attacked.  Following the altercation, Skye, who also acts and models, said she does “not feel safe and I believe my life is in danger.”  The restraining order comes on the heels of a string of tweets that day in which Skye labeled the rapper, whose real name is Khadimou Rassoul Cheikh Fall, her “abuser” and described the incident in vivid detail.  “Taking a walk with my friends and my man and Sheck Wes (my abuser) and his friends decide to STALK US and attack my friends,” she wrote in a tweet. “Two cars full of n—as while he sat in the car like a bitch. You’re pathetic sheck and you beat women. You hit your girl before me and you’ll do it again.”  Following his denial, Skye posted a 10-second video clip in which he appears to hop a fence and yell out her name.  “Just clarifying this is a video of me hopping a fence to get my stuff back from a girl who refused to give me my stuff,” he responded later. “Once again for the record I never hit or beat up any woman.”

Former NFL Player Shot And Killed:  Former Colorado wide receiver and defensive back Anthony “T.J.” Cunningham was shot and killed on Sunday after a dispute with a neighbor over a parking spot, according to the Denver Post.  Police responded to reports of a shooting near Eaglecrest High School and Thunder Ridge Middle School — which are located on the same campus in Aurora, Colorado — on Sunday morning when they found Cunningham shot multiple times. Cunningham was transported to a local hospital after the shooting, but died on Monday afternoon.  He was 46.  Police have arrested 31-year-old Marcus Johnson on a first-degree murder charge, according to the Denver Post. Johnson reportedly told investigators that his neighbor had attacked him earlier in the day, and the two men met near the high school to settle their dispute over a parking spot. According to ABC 7 in Denver, the feud between Cunningham and Johnson had been ongoing.  Cunningham played at Colorado from 1992-1995, and recorded 239 yards on 21 receptions as a wide receiver. He was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the sixth round of the 1996 NFL draft. He only played in nine games, however, before injuries ended his career. He was working as an assistant principal at Hinkley High School in Aurora.


I’m set to marry a good guy, whose ring I’ve accepted, but I’m secretly in love with his best friend, who is no longer interested in me.  Should I go through it?

by Sarah Smart

Q.  I recently accepted an engagement ring from a man and I’m truly in love with his best friend. The best friend and I “slipped up” once.  But since then, he won’t even look at me.  I’m perplexed.  I want to be married, and I’m afraid to blow this opportunity to be with a good man who is financially stable.  But I don’t love him, and all my friends are advising me to marry now and fall in love later.  What do you say?


The Dating Chronicles


Kim closed Joe’s bedroom door quietly.  She didn’t want to awake Joe, who had fallen asleep on the couch watching the game.  She was tense with excitement as she realized the opportunity had finally arrived for her to snoop among his things. They had been dating for three months and she was especially interested in the journal she had accidentally overheard him discussing with his friend Jay.  She couldn’t wait to find it to see if her name was in it, and to find out if he was seeing someone else, as she suspected.    MORE


Question: What was

your calendar like last year?

by Vern Anderson and Isaac Salem

Here’s a poll of  857 singles from across the country who answered a questionnaire on their individual dating activity last year.  They ranged in age from 23-44.  MORE

From The Front Lines

To Marry Is Not

Always The Answer

Phoebe, Dallas, Texas – “In the last 5 years, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on wedding gifts, bridesmaid’s dresses, rehearsal suits, etc, and not one of the couples who became betrothed before my eyes, is still with their partner.  One friend married a man who confessed to her on the eve of the wedding, that he was bi-sexual, and could not commit to fidelity, and she still married him.  Her excuse was that she didn’t want to be embarrassed at the church by calling the wedding off.”



At The Club

Out With

An Attitude

by Jovan Tahale

When I was asked to do this article, I immediately thought of all my girlfriends, and how they behave to a guy’s approach in a social setting, and I was embarrassed after the fact.  I have one friend who I go out with all the time and after a thoughtful analysis of our conduct, I came to the conclusion that neither one of us could qualify to enter a Ms. Manners contest.   Admittedly, we’ve have behaved shamelessly at one time or another when a guy did not measure up, approached and attempted to engage us for any reason.  In a party setting, we would wait patiently for our “kind” to approach, and if the wrong guy came and asked us to dance, we would wave him away without a smile.


Dating Data

How To Cure

Dating Despair

by Lisa Cregier

The lights were low and the music was soft, as I sat across the table from a man who had taken my appetite away.  He was perfect.  He was tall, handsome, resplendently dressed, articulate, funny and respectfully employed.  I liked his hair, his eyes, his shoulders and the way he pronounced my name.    This was our fifth date, in less than a month and I was convinced he really liked me.  As usual, I was excited about being out with him again…but this night something wasn’t quite right.  I couldn’t put my finger on it and neither did I want to.  There had been some strange aura coming from him since the beginning of the evening.


Personal Finance

Do A Budget

And Change

Your Life

by Desmund Adams

You’re counting down the days until payday.  You can’t wait to get your paycheck so you can buy that new outfit or go out with your friends on the weekend.  But as money comes in from your job or investments, it goes right out with living expenses and bills.  If this sounds familiar, you probably need a budget to help you take control of your finances.  Just like a good exercise program, you could begin to see results of establishing a budget in just three months.  It may be worth spending the time to record and examine your earnings and expenses and then carefully develop a budget that suits you.      MORE

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