8/18/21 Entertainment News

— R. Kelly’s sex trafficking trial gets underway today in New York City. Following repeated delays, opening statements are slated to begin with multiple female accusers and a number of former associates expected to testify. The 54-year-old R&B singer has pleaded not guilty and faces a series of charges that include racketeering based on sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor, and transporting people across state lines for sex. A jury of seven men and five women will hear the case.

–The hit 1980s TV series “Highway to Heaven” is getting a reboot. The original NBC drama starred Michael Landon as an angel sent to Earth to help someone in need each episode. Now it’s getting remade as a Lifetime movie, with actress and singer Jill Scott playing an angel who gets hired to work as a junior high school guidance counselor. “Highway to Heaven” will air in several chapters, with the first installment debuting November 6th on Lifetime.

— Actress Laura Prepon  says she’s no longer a Scientologist. In a new interview for People magazine, the 41-year-old “Orange Is the New Black” star says she hasn’t practiced Scientology in about five years, and it’s no longer a part of her life. Prepon, who has two children with actor Ben Foster, says now she practices meditation, and that they meditate together daily.

— Scarlett Johansson’s husband is confirming she’s pregnant. Page Six reports the Saturday Night Live writer Colin Jost confirmed the news to a crowd while performing stand-up at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Connecticut. He reportedly said “We’re having a baby, it’s exciting.” Johansson and Jost married last October and she already has a six-year-old daughter from her previous marriage to Frenchman Romain Dauriac.

— Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against ex Amber Heard will head to trial next year. A Virginia judge ruled Tuesday the two-year-old case can proceed. Depp filed the lawsuit in March 2019 after Heard wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, which is printed in Virginia, accusing him of domestic abuse. He is seeking 50-million dollars in damages. Although his name is not mentioned in the Post article, Depp says it is obvious who she is referring to. The two were married for a little over a year from 2015 to 2016.