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Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- 

Three more women have come forward to accuse Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct in an article published by Variety  on Thursday.

One, Cori Thomas, alleges that the actor exposed himself to her in a hotel room while she was a 16-year-old high school student; another, Melissa Kester, claims that Hoffman assaulted her while recording audio for the movie Ishtar; a third woman, who declined to be named, claims that Hoffman assaulted her and, according to the magazine, "manipulated her into a subsequent sexual encounter that left her compromised."

 

Hoffman did not comment for the Variety story, but the magazine notes that the actor's attorney sent a letter to Variety's owner, Penske Media Corp., calling the accusations "defamatory falsehoods."

 

In November two women accused Hoffman of sexual harassment in separate articles in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

At the time the actor issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter saying, "I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."

 

In a statement to ABC News, Melissa Kester confirms the details of the Variety article and says she hadn't planned to speak out, but after she reached out to Anna Graham Hunter, one of the women who'd accused Hoffman in November, she changed her mind.

 

"She told me how others had done the same, and revealed their stories," Kester says in her statement. "Anna told me about the others’ pain, the terrible impact the abuse had on their lives, all without revealing their names or specifics. Somehow I felt more upset about what had happened to them, than what happened to me."

"It became clear that without my going public the reporter would be unable to publish their stories," she continues. "They needed two women on the record. Cori Thomas had already stepped up and now it was my turn."

Kester notes, "It was my teenage daughter who gave me the last shot of courage - 'Mom, you have to do it for the sisterhood.' So I did."

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Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for DIFF(LOS ANGELES) -- Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock is stepping down from the production company he co-founded after publication of a confession on Twitter Wednesday in which he admitted to sexually harassing an employee and to being accused of having sex with a woman who "believed she'd been raped," reports IndieWire.

Jeremy Chilnick, co-founder of the company, Warrior Poets, and partner Matthew Galkin, issued a statement saying, "On behalf of Warrior Poets, we as partners have always supported our company and its endeavors. As of today, Morgan Spurlock will be stepping down effective immediately. We will continue to lead the company as equal partners, producing, distributing & creating from our independent production company."

The company's Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, directed by Spurlock, debuted in September at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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ABC/Adam Rose(LOS ANGELES) -- They're back! The cast of ABC's groundbreaking, Emmy-winning family sitcom Roseanne will return to the network in an hour-long premiere on Tuesday, March 27 at 8 p.m. Eastern time. The subsequent eight episodes will air Tuesday nights at 8:30 p.m.

The gang's all here: the revival series again stars Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner, John Goodman as Dan Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner-Healy, Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner. The Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki, who used to play David, Darlene's guy back in the day, will reportedly also appear.

Even Sarah Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons is returning -- but in another role.

The new series also features a new generation of the family, in the form of Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy, Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy, and Jayden Rey as Mary Conner.

According to a press release from ABC, the revival will, "explore life, death and everything in between through the relatable, hilarious and brutally honest lens of the Conner household," adding the, "brilliant cast and crew haven't missed a beat." 

Production on the highly anticipated revival’s nine episodes is slated to wrap today in Studio City, California.

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Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- Opening in wide release on Friday:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi -- The second film in the latest Star Wars trilogy finds Daisy Ridley's Rey developing the power she discovered in The Force Awakens, guided by Luke Skywalker -- played by Mark Hamill. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order. John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver also star, along with a final appearance from the late Carrie Fisher. Rated PG-13. Lucasfilm, like ABC, is owned by Disney.

* Ferdinand -- John Cena provides the voice for the titular character -- a fierce-looking bull with a big heart who is captured and taken from his home. Aided by a team of misfits, he's determined to return to his family. Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson and Bobby Cannavale provide additional voices. Rated PG.


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Disney(NEW YORK) -- Even the frigid temperatures couldn't keep loyal Star Wars fans from being among the first to catch the franchise's latest installment, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, when it opened Thursday night in New York City and other select locations, and they weren't disappointed. 

Chris, who made the trek from New Jersey to catch the film, thought it was even better than The Force Awakens, noting this one had "a lot more surprises."

Anna -- also from Jersey -- has been a Star Wars fan from the start, and brought her two kids with her. She enjoyed the "modern twist" of this installment, as well as a "touching tribute" to the late Carrie Fisher in her last role as the franchise's iconic Princess -- now General -- Leia. "I think everybody's gonna enjoy it," she added.

Even Alex -- who admitted this was her first Star Wars movie -- found it "riveting," adding that it had "a lot of action" and "a really great soundtrack."

The second chapter in the latest Star Wars trilogy picks up where The Force Awakens left off, with Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker found in self-exile by Rey, a powerful Force user played by Daisy Ridley. The Last Jedi follows her training under a cautious Luke, while Kylo Ren comes to terms with murdering his father, Han Solo, in The Force Awakens. We learn more about the alien who showed him the dark side: the evil First Order's Supreme Leader Snoke.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens nationwide on Friday. Lucasfilm, like ABC is owned by Disney.

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Photo by 2430/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A day after Salma Hayek wrote a New York Times op-ed piece in which she claimed disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein made frequent sexual advances towards her during the making of the movie Frida, her friend Antonio Banderas, who co-starred in the movie, wants the world to know he has Hayek's back.

"I'm deeply saddened by the terrible events that my dear friend Salma Hayek has made public about Harvey #Weinstein," Banderas tweeted. "Her integrity and honesty as a woman and as an actress make me firmly trust her words."

In her op-ed piece, Hayek described her experience making Frida, her 2002 film about famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, which she produced and starred in for Weinstein's former company, Miramax. She claimed that Weinstein continually harassed and propositioned her, and that he even threatened her life when she rejected him. 

The actress also claimed she suffered a nervous breakdown while shooting a nude sex scene that Weinstein demanded be included in the movie.  Despite all that, Frida, which had been Hayek's passion project, went on to earn six Academy Award nominations and win two Oscars. However, Hayek claimed that Weinstein never offered her another starring role for the remainder of her contract with Miramax.

Weinstein has issued a statement to ABC News via a spokesperson, in which Hayek's claims are specifically addressed, and then denied, one by one. The statement reads, in part, "All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired."

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ABC/Ida Mae Astute(LOS ANGELES) -- While he's been coy about it in the past -- but never denied it outright -- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has now confirmed that he has his sights on the White House. 

The Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle star tells Variety he'd "100% consider" a run for president.  However, due to his busy career as one of the highest-paid actors in the world, Johnson says a career change would be a bit further down the road. 

"Realistically, as we go into 2018, when you look at my slate as we’re developing and shooting into 2019 and 2020, the slate goes deep into 2021, so it feels like the realistic consideration would be 2024," he tells the trade publication.

A 2016 column in the Washington Post first floated the idea of a presidential run for The Rock, noting,  "...And he could actually win." 

"It was never something that I trumpeted and beat my chest and ever said publicly, 'This is what I’m going to do,' but as that story picked up, Americans picked it up and there was this sentiment of, 'We're not joking, and we would really love the idea if you would run,'" Johnson tells Variety

"That’s where I’m at right now -- I'm well aware politics is not the business I’m in, so the best thing I can do is continuing to listen and learn as much as I can."

Johnson, who claims to be a registered independent, tells Variety his loyalty isn't to a particular party. Rather, as the man who once wielded "The People's Elbow" as a pro wrestler explains, he's loyal to his fellow Americans.

"I care deeply about our country, and I care deeply about our people – especially now," The Rock says. "Decency matters and being a decent human being matters, and character matters, and leadership matters."

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Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- Oprah Winfrey will be honored with the 2018 Cecil B. de Millie Award when the Golden Globes are handed out next month.

The annual award is given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Board of Directors to an individual who has had, "an incredible impact on the world of entertainment." Other honorees have included Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington.

"For generations, Oprah has celebrated strong female characters on and off screen, and has been a role model for women and young girls for decades. Holding titles such as chairman, CEO and founder, Oprah is one of the most influential women of our time, and this honor is well deserved especially in this 75th anniversary year of the Golden Globe Awards,” Meher Tatna, president of the HFPA said in a statement.

The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards air Sunday, January 7, beginning at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Disney(NEW YORK) -- Actress Laura Dern plays Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, opening Friday. It's a character so mysterious that the actor didn't realize she was auditioning for the role. 

Director Rian Johnson was playing his cards very close to the vest when he approached her, Dern told ABC Radio. "He really wanted a mystery around her. You're not sure which side she's on, or what her mission might be -- and that journey was really fun as an actor."

She added with a laugh, "it was almost like he talked to me about a character which I loved, then sort of mentioned that it was Star Wars. Which I liked, that Star Wars came later. And I was like, 'Wait a minute: you're asking me about Star Wars? YES!'"

Dern told Good Morning America that one character left her starstruck. "I saw C-3PO and I started crying. I kind of blew my first take because I was so emotional."

The Last Jedi is the late Carrie Fisher's last film. Regarding Fisher's Princess Leia character, Dern said, "She didn't create some false female superhero. She created a real woman in that iconic character for girls and women to aspire to. And being around Carrie, it was so reflective of that. She...led with her full self, and requires that of others, and that was a great inspiration."

Incidentally, Dern told GMA she, "had the privilege of knowing and meeting" a real-life princess, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, something she told Diana's sons, princes William and Harry about at The Last Jedi's recent London premiere. "She was so brilliant about film and music -- a true pioneer goddess," Dern said.

Star Wars is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- Former reality-TV star-turned White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman tried to set the record straight Thursday on her reported dramatic exit from the White House Tuesday, and alluded to situations "that have made me uncomfortable.”

Concerning her decision, Omarosa told ABC's Good Morning America, “[Chief of Staff] John Kelly and I sat down in the situation room, which is a very secure, very quiet room in the White House, and we had a very candid conversation. And I wanted to make the next year mark -- that was one of the goals I set out to -- and then get back to my life."  Manigault will stay on until January 20.

As far as her time in the White House, Omarosa said there "were a lot of things that I observed during the last year that I was very unhappy with. ...as the only African American woman in this White House, as a senior staff and assistant to the president, I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and my people and when I can tell my story, it is a profound story that I know the world will want to hear."

Sources tell ABC News that Omarosa's departure was a long time coming, and Kelly's decision to limit access to the president was a source of tension for her.  She said, however, Kelly brought, “much-needed order to the West Wing,” and denied that he restricted her access to Trump, though adds, "Certainly I had more access than most and people had problems with that. People had problems with my 14-year relationship with this president.”

White House sources have told ABC News Manigault-Newman was fired and escorted off the White House grounds, a claim she denied on Good Morning America.  The official White House statement is that she resigned, “to pursue other opportunities.”

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(LOS ANGELES) -- The wait is over! Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on Thursday, and we know Luke Skywalker will be a big part of this movie, after Mark Hamill was barely in the last one. Whatever the future of the franchise holds for Luke, Hamill tells ABC News the cycle of Star Wars fandom could last indefinitely.

"Original fans have grown up...and they're sharing it with their family," he says. "And I think it's really apropos, because I've always thought of these films as fairy tales set in space."

Of course, the longevity of the franchise comes as no surprise to the 66-year-old actor. While Star Warscreator George Lucas "kept saying these are for adolescents at best," says Hamill, "these adolescents grow up into 45-year-old fanboys who want to be eight years old all over again."

Hamill admits he was "in a state of shock," when Lucas approached him about coming back for the new trilogy. While he found the idea "thrilling in a way," Mark recalls he was also a little hesitant at first.

"I thought, 'Let's leave well enough alone,'" he adds. "We had a beginning, a middle, and an end and everyone was happy." 

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ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) -- Funnyman Will Ferrell and his fellow Saturday Night Live alum Molly Shannon appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday night as characters from their upcoming Amazon special.

Ferrell appeared as Cord Hosenbeck, with Shannon as his fictional TV co-host and partner of 25 years, Tish Cattigan. Shannon was bouncy and youthful while Farrell wore a bald cap and glasses, sporting a close-cropped red beard. The two were reminiscent of Ferrell’s effervescent character from the SNL sketch, “Morning Latte” and entertained host Jimmy Kimmel with their superficial banter.

The pair was visiting to promote their upcoming special, The 2018 Rose Parade Hosted by Cord & Tish, which is presented by Ferrell’s Funny or Die and Amazon, although they showed little knowledge of the event.

Later, they performed the holiday classic, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” during which Ferrell’s starting enthusiastically scatting.

The 2018 Rose Parade Hosted by Cord & Tish will stream live on Amazon Prime video on New Year’s Day.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on ABC.

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Disney/20th Century Fox(NEW YORK) -- ABC News' parent company The Walt Disney Co. is acquiring 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion in stock, Disney announced Thursday morning.

Fox will spin off and retain some of its properties, including Fox News, but Disney will own Fox's massive film and TV empires.

"The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before," Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co., said in a statement announcing the acquisition.

For Disney, which owns ABC News, taking ownership of one the country's largest movie studios from the Rupert Murdoch-controlled company is one of the biggest media deals in history.

For Marvel movie fans, this means that finally, 20th Century Fox characters from The X-Men franchise, as well as others to which Fox owned the rights, like the Fantastic Four and Deadpool, could now potentially join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

21st Century Fox assets not acquired by Disney include Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network and the Fox Sports 1 sports channel.

Disney, home to family friendly films such as Frozen, will now also include assets from Fox that target a different demographic, such as the gritty, acclaimed shows on FX Networks, as well as the National Geographic Channel.

Along with the movie studio and the aforementioned TV channels, Disney will have a majority ownership of Hulu, which airs originally produced series such as the critically-acclaimed hit The Handmaid's Tale.

And added to the Disney library from Fox will be TV shows such as The Simpsons and classic films like The Sound of Music.

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ABC Image Group LA(LOS ANGELES) -- Salma Hayek has added her voice to the growing chorus of women speaking out about Harvey Weinstein, saying he "is my monster too."

In a striking new New York Times op-ed piece, Hayek wrote about her experience making Frida, her 2002 film about famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, which she produced and starred in for Weinstein's now-former company Miramax.

After Weinstein said yes to making the film, she wrote, "It would become my turn to say no."

She said the disgraced movie mogul continually harassed her, showing up at her door "at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location." She wrote that he allegedly repeatedly propositioned her to take a shower with him or let him watch her take a shower, give him a massage or let him give her oral sex, and more.

"And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage," she wrote. "I don’t think he hated anything more than the word 'no.'"

Weinstein has been accused by dozens of women, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Annabella Sciorra and more, of sexual misconduct and, in some cases, assault.

A spokesperson for Weinstein issued a lengthy statement to ABC News on Wednesday night, refuting Hayek's claim. (See the statement at the bottom of this article.) 

Hayek said Weinstein then threatened to take away her script and role in Frida. She said he made impossible demands, including that she raise $10 million and find an A-list director, all of which she met in order to move forward with the film.

After filming began, she said, "The sexual harassment stopped but the rage escalated."

Hayek said Weinstein threatened to shut down production if she did not agree to do a fully nude sex scene with co-star Ashley Judd. "It was clear to me he would never let me finish this movie without him having his fantasy one way or another."

The actress agreed but said she suffered a nervous breakdown while shooting the scene and had to distance herself from the film when shooting wrapped. The film went on to earn six Academy Award nominations and two Oscars. Weinstein, she said, never offered her another starring role for the remainder of her contract with Miramax.

"Why do so many of us, as female artists, have to go to war to tell our stories when we have so much to offer? Why do we have to fight tooth and nail to maintain our dignity?" Hayek wrote, adding that women in the industry have been "devalued artistically to an indecent state."

She concluded that "until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators."

A spokesperson for Weinstein issued the following statement:

Mr. Weinstein regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress and cast her in several of his movies, among them Once Upon a Time in MexicoDogma, and Studio 54. He was very proud of her Best Actress Academy Award nomination for Frida and continues to support her work.

While Jennifer Lopez was interested in playing Frida and at the time was a bigger star, Mr. Weinstein overruled other investors to back Salma as the lead. Miramax put up half of the money and all of the P&A; the budget was over 12 million. As in most collaborative projects, there was creative friction on Frida, but it served to drive the project to perfection. The movie opened in multiple theaters and was supported by a huge advertising campaign and an enormous Academy Awards budget.

Mr. Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female costar and he was not there for the filming. However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms. Hayek with Geoffrey Rush. The original uni-brow used was an issue because it diverted attention from the performances. All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.

Ed Norton, who was Ms. Hayek’s boyfriend at the time, [worked with Mr. Weinstein on the rewrite of the script in Mexico] did a brilliant job of rewriting the script and Mr. Weinstein battled the WGA to get him a credit on the film. His effort was unsuccessful to everyone’s disappointment.

By Mr. Weinstein’s own admission, his boorish behavior following a screening of Frida was prompted by his disappointment in the cut of the movie — and a reason he took a firm hand in the final edit, alongside the very skilled director Julie Taymor.

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Fox/Chuck Hodes(NEW YORK) -- Empire delivered its fall finale, "Slave to Memory," Wednesday night.  Here's some highlights from the explosive show: 

-- Lucious wants a crack at exacting revenge on the DuBois family after Andre's mental breakdown. But Cookie tells him to slow down for a moment. Meanwhile Cookie, Hakeem, Jamal and Thirsty concoct a plan of their own in order to break into the DuBois family's Captain Ball.

-- A farewell party is thrown for Eddie, who's leaving the Empire family.   

-- Warren visits Jamal at his home with an important message. 

-- Lucious and Cookie trick Angelo, who gets into a car with the two. Lucious tells Angelo to sign a confession. Lucious beats up Angelo in a dark alleyway as Cookie watches. Angelo signs the confession. 

-- Lucious, Cookie, Andre, Jamal and a group of musicians crash the Captain Ball. 

-- Cookie introduces Warren via video. He says he wants everyone at the Captain Ball to know who Diana is and confesses that she conspired to kidnap Bella. Cookie also tells everyone that Dr. Lambert gave Andre psychosis-inducing drugs, thanks to Diana, and that Diana paid Warren to break Jamal's heart.   

-- Hakeem gives Anika a document to sign in order to give Bella back to him and to save herself from going back to jail. 

-- Police arrive at the Captain Ball to arrest Diana.  

-- Angelo intentionally shoots Warren and Jamal accidentally shoots Angelo.  

-- Lucious visits Andre in the hospital and finds Shine there. After Shine leaves them alone, Andre, in a drugged-up state, confesses to Lucious that he tried to kill him in Las Vegas. A needle is then injected into Lucious' neck and Lucious finds himself tied up, with Claudia to blame. 

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