Brad Pitt ‘Got What He Wanted’ In Custody Agreement — Did Angie??

We were relieved to hear Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had finally reached a custody agreement last week.

We did not, however, learn anything about their great compromise.

Now we’re getting the tiniest bit thanks to a source speaking to UsWeekly, who says it was Brad who “got what he wanted.”

What was that exactly? The insider says:

“Angelina agreed to a deal that gives Brad joint physical and legal custody of the children.”

As for what he gave up? Maybe nothing at all. According to the outlet Angie may have made the move to avoid losing custody herself!

Hmm… Or maybe in the end Angie simply chose peace?

What do YOU think??

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Andrei Bitov, Russian Writer Who Chose Not to Flee, Dies at 81

Andrei Bitov, a Russian writer whose work, whether elaborate travelogue or intricate novel, was full of insights into his country’s history and literature, died on Monday in Moscow. He was 81.

The Russian chapter of the writers’ group PEN International, which he helped found, announced his death on its website. Mikhail Epstein, Mr. Bitov’s friend and the Samuel Candler Dobbs professor of cultural theory and Russian literature at Emory University, said the cause was heart disease.

“Bitov is justly considered a founder of Russian postmodernism, a vast and still influential movement,” Professor Epstein said by email, “especially in his masterpiece novel ‘Pushkin House,’ which explores the complex relationship between the author and his hero.

“Bitov,” he added, “introduced into Russian literature the most subtle nuances of self-reflective existence, and the multiplicity of narrative frames and points of view. In this respect he can be compared only with Vladimir Nabokov.”

Mr. Bitov finished “Pushkin House” in 1972 and, as a 1988 article in The New York Times explained, it was “published in Russian, though not in Russia, in 1978.”

The story involved a literary institute in Leningrad named Pushkin House and a philologist there, and through that character’s study of texts, Mr. Bitov invoked great Russian literature of the past and fashioned a critique of Soviet life and culture. David Remnick, reviewing the book for The Washington Post in 1987, when it was published in English, noted that unlike many other Soviet writers, Mr. Bitov had not fled to the West or been exiled.

“So great is the success of exile literature,” Mr. Remnick wrote, “that one is left wondering: Are there any writers of the first rank left in the Soviet Union? The publication in English of Andrei Bitov’s extraordinary novel ‘Pushkin House’ not only answers the question in the affirmative, it brings to American attention a work of prose that stands with the best of modernist fiction.”

Andrei Georgievich Bitov was born on May 27, 1937, in Leningrad. His earliest memory, he said, was of being in the midst of the siege of that city by the Germans in the 1940s, during World War II.

“Suffering did not mean being hungry, it meant starvation,” he told The Post in 1988. “But it seems to me the real suffering was for my mother, who couldn’t stand the starvation of her children.”

In 1942, Andrei, his mother and his brother were evacuated to the Ural Mountains region, where his father, an architect, was working. The family returned to Leningrad after the war, and Andrei began to find pleasure in an uncle’s vast book collection. Reading Charles Dickens’s “The Pickwick Papers” was especially revelatory.

“It was a moment when, without realizing it, I was already writing,” he said. “I actually felt the pleasure of writing ‘The Pickwick Papers.’ ”

In the mid-1950s Mr. Bitov enrolled in the Leningrad Mining Institute, falling in with some other aspiring writers there. He was eventually expelled for spending too much time on poetry and not enough on geology.

After that he held an assortment of jobs, including stevedore and construction worker, served in the Soviet army and later returned to the institute, still somewhat inattentive; he began writing prose during lectures. He graduated all the same, in 1962.

By 1960 Mr. Bitov was publishing short stories, a collection of which appeared in 1963. “Lessons of Armenia,” a book about his travels to that region, appeared in 1969. (It was one of two travel memoirs published in English in 1992 under the title “A Captive of the Caucasus.”)

Mr. Bitov incurred official wrath in 1979 by helping to edit and contributing to the Metropol Literary Almanac, a collection of uncensored poems, stories and other writings, many by well-known authors. It was offered for publication in the West at the same time that it was offered for publication in the Soviet Union, a move that was considered a challenge to authority. (It went unpublished in the Soviet Union.)

But while other writers in this period were being told to leave the country or were doing so on their own, Mr. Bitov stayed.

“For me there was never really any question of leaving, maybe because of my connection with my family, which is strong and complicated,” he said. “It surely was not some great patriotic idea. But such things as leaving were dreams, never thoughts.”

Mr. Bitov once spoke of the unusual sensation, after the Cold War had thawed, of re-encountering writer friends who had left the country while he stayed.

“I never thought that I would see these people again, and they thought the same,” he told The Post. “It seemed only natural, as if I were in paradise and everyone gone from life was coming back to me. I felt as if I walked a little farther, I would soon see the shade of my grandfather.”

By the mid-1980s he was again being published at home, and then the cultural thaw under Mikhail S. Gorbachev came.

Mr. Bitov helped found the Russian chapter of PEN, a group that advocates freedom of expression, in 1989. In 2000, the group, with him as president, hosted the International PEN Congress, amid some controversy. Russia was at war in Chechnya, and even though the Russian chapter had vigorously protested the war, some PEN members felt that the conference should not be held in a country engaged in repression.

“We in Russian PEN have become hostages of East and West at the same moment,” Mr. Bitov complained.

He said all Russians were being tainted by the actions of the government.

“I, too, am outraged by the war in Chechnya, but now the word ‘Soviet’ is being replaced by the word ‘Russian,’ and I also don’t like it,” he said. “What I don’t like is that as a private person I was made to feel responsible. There is a kind of snobbism to some of the criticism.”

Information on his survivors was not immediately available.

Mr. Bitov’s books can be tough sledding, with nonlinear narratives, chapters that seem not to connect to one another, and obscure historical and literary references. Robert Taylor, reviewing “The Monkey Link,” which Mr. Bitov called “a pilgrimage novel,” in 1995 in The Boston Globe, had this advice:

“To follow the pilgrimage requires a specialist’s knowledge of Russian history and literature. Western readers lacking background should proceed at once to the enlightening commentary and notes of the translator Susan Brownsberger.”

Yet a persistent reader might find rewards. In 2014 The New Yorker, calling Mr. Bitov’s “The Symmetry Teacher” “an ingenious, often maddening series of echoing tales,” said that “bizarre and wonderful sequences await readers with a taste for vertiginous postmodern mayhem.”

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Woods wants US Presidents Cup stars to skip Australian Open

In a blow to the 2019 Australian Open, US captain Tiger Woods has confirmed he wants his Presidents Cup players to compete in his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas rather than playing in Sydney.

"I hope they play at the Hero World Challenge – that's an obvious one," Woods said in Melbourne on Thursday.

Open and shut: Tiger Woods doesn’t want his US Presidents Cup team playing at next year’s Australian Open.Credit:Paul Jeffers

It means a repeat of 2011's superstar Australian Open field appears unlikely.

Organisers will instead need to heavily target International team players for their tournament at The Australian the week before the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne from December 12-15.

When the Presidents Cup was last played at Royal Melbourne in 2011, the Australian Open was also played the week before in Sydney and it attracted a field it can only dream of now due to the scheduling clash with Woods' tournament.

In that Open cast at The Lakes were Woods and fellow Americans Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, David Toms, Nick Watney, Hunter Mahan and Bill Haas plus their Cup captain Fred Couples and his assistants Bill Haas and John Cook.

They were joined by International team captain Greg Norman and team members Jason Day, Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley and Robert Allenby.

While International captain Ernie Els says he wants his team to be playing at the Open, Woods is certain to attract his US players to the Bahamas and is intent only on ensuring they are ready to fire when they arrive in Melbourne.

For that reason his tournament may finish on the Saturday instead of Sunday to allow more time for practice after the trip to Royal Melbourne that week.

"We'll see what happens as we have to figure some of the logistical things between now and then and that's one of the reasons I'm here," said Woods.

We've got a few meetings scheduled in today, try to get a better plan going forward, so that we can get the best that we can at the Hero as well as getting everyone here from the Bahamas to this tournament rested, get them prepared and get them ready to play."

The only time in the 24-year Presidents Cup history that the US team has tasted defeat was at Royal Melbourne back in 1998.

Woods was part of that line-up, which was captained by Jack Nicklaus, and bested Greg Norman in the Sunday singles despite the International team winning by a margin of 20.5 – 11.5.

Woods said that American team weren't tournament-ready and suffered the consequences but circumstances were different now.

"It was late in the year and we didn't have the wrap-around schedule that we have now," the 42-year-old said.

"The guys took quite a bit of time off and quite frankly we weren't prepared to play, and we got smoked.

"The Internationals came out ready, prepared, played, and they drummed us so my job is to make sure that the guys are prepared, they're still playing and trying to stay fresh and competitive late in the year."

AAP

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Jennifer Aniston Didn't Exactly Say No to a Threesome With Dolly Parton

Jennifer Aniston's newest film, Netflix's Dumplin', has her playing a former beauty queen whose anti-pageant daughter Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald), feeling neglected by Aniston's Rosie, turns instead to the music of Dolly Parton—as well as a merry band of Parton-impersonating drag queens—for comfort and wisdom. Though Parton doesn't appear in the film, she did readily approve the use of her music in it and even co-wrote six new songs for the soundtrack, all of which has resulted in Parton and Aniston teaming up for various Dumplin' press junkets, and thus giving the world the friendship we didn't know we needed.

On Wednesday, the pair sat through multiple interviews in the same studio with various outlets, spilling details of their collaborations on set, in the recording booth, and, if Parton's husband Carl Dean has any say in it, in the bedroom. In one of the day's interviews, with E! News, Parton and Aniston were asked about Parton's recent reveal on The Tonight Show that Dean "fantasizes" about having a threesome with Aniston. "My husband, he thought it was a hoot," Parton told E! of Dean's reaction to her spilling his secret fantasy on national television. "And he said, 'Well, maybe I couldn't do a threesome, but I think if it is Jennifer, I could do, like, a two and a half."

Aniston, for her part, didn't totally shut down the proposal. "I could not believe it," she said. "I basically fell over and I just was like, the only person in the world who could get away with saying that is Dolly Parton."

In another of Wednesday's interviews, this time with Entertainment Tonight, the dynamic duo talked about teaming up on Parton's new song "Push and Pull," which also features Macdonald. "It was terrifying and fun and all of it," Aniston said of the experience, which marked her first time recording a song for any of her many films. "I sort of just had this weird dream of a lifetime just come crashing in on me…I imagine if I ever were to jump out of an airplane, I would probably have the same reaction of, like, 'I just did that!'"

Though Aniston said she initially had trouble even getting a "squeak" out, she was eventually able to perform the song. "And then when we finished, I remember, I just burst into tears," she said. "She did get emotional after she was done," Parton noted, but reassured Aniston that her harmonies had been top-notch.

Parton also gave her stamp of approval to Aniston's Texas accent, which Aniston said she picked up mostly by ear. "I thought she did great, and I told her that," Parton said. "I was really impressed. And I knew she worried about it because she did not know—she needed to hear it from somebody who knew. So I leaned in and said, 'Your accent is great, you did a great job,' and she said, 'Whew!' but I meant it."

Related: Jennifer Aniston Explains How the Mother-Daughter Relationship in Dumplin' Mirrored Her Own With Late Mother Nancy Dow

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Police ‘tipped off pensioner unfit’ before his triple fatal M40 crash

Police ‘were tipped off that pensioner was unfit to drive FIVE DAYS before he towed a caravan the wrong way down the M40’ causing crash that killed him, his wife and motorist he smashed into

  • John Norton, 80, towed his caravan the wrong way killing Stuart Richards, 32
  • Mr Norton and his wife, Olive Howard, also died in the motorway collision
  • Police watchdog will investigate how Thames Valley Police reacted to tip-off 
  • Five days before another motorist reported Mr Norton for hitting his parked car

The police watchdog will investigate how Thames Valley Police reacted to a tip-off that a motorist might be unfit to drive five days before he caused a triple fatal crash.

Officers received a complaint from the driver of a parked car which was hit by John Norton, 80, the driver who incredibly drove for miles the wrong way down the M40 motorway – towing a caravan.

He crashed head-on into ex-soldier Stuart Richards, 32, an innocent motorist travelling the right way and killed him as well himself and his wife on October 15.

It was revealed on Wednesday that five days before the fatal collision, the driver of another car hit by Mr Norton’s Subaru vehicle had reported to Thames Valley Police that he felt the elderly man should not be driving.

Scroll down for video 

Shocking footage shows cars swerving out of the way of the Subaru before the collision on October 15

Stuart Richards, 32, was killed in the crash along with the 80-year-old wrong-way driver John Norton and his wife Olive Howard near junction six of the M40 in October


  • Female passenger with serious head injuries fights for life…


    Dangerous junctions are to be revamped in wake of wrong-way…

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However, he was told to send an email to the police by filling out a form which apparently may have not been acted upon.

On Wednesday the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) said it was investigating whether Thames Valley Police dealt with the tip-off properly.

A spokesman for the IOPC said: ‘We have launched an investigation into how Thames Valley Police progressed a report of fitness to drive in the days before a triple fatal collision on the M40.

‘We are carrying out an investigation into how a report of concerns regarding a driver’s ability was handled by the police.

‘Thames Valley Police (TVP) referred the matter to us following a collision on the M40 in south Oxfordshire on Monday, October 15, in which John Norton, Olive Howard and Stuart Richards all died.

‘On Wednesday, October 10, TVP received a report of a damage only collision in High Wycombe, Bucks., in which a Subaru struck a parked car.

‘The owner of the parked car was sitting in his vehicle at the time and alerted the Subaru driver to the incident.

Stuart Richards, 32, (left) was driving home from Gatwick airport when he was hit and killed in the horrific smash on October 15; he is seen with his brother, Niall (right), and their mother, Marie, in an undated photo


Niall, (left) who described his brother (right) as the ‘rock’ of the family, said in October that the family was reeling from news that the same car that hit him had been involved a crash only five days before

‘The drivers exchanged details and the owner of the parked car reported the incident to the police via 999, during which he was advised to submit a report online, which he did the same day.

‘In the report he raised concerns over the Subaru driver’s fitness to drive and the safety of other road users as a result.

‘It is believed that the driver of the Subaru on October 10 was Mr Norton.

‘Our investigation is examining the actions taken by TVP following the concerns raised and whether these actions were in accordance with local and national policies and procedures.’

IOPC Regional Director, Sarah Green, said: ‘Clearly the events on the M40 motorway are terribly tragic and the families of those who died and all of those affected have my deepest sympathies.

‘We are examining whether the response from Thames Valley Police adhered to relevant guidelines and policies when concerns were raised over the driver’s abilities five days ahead of the fatal collision.

‘We are also looking to see whether there are any areas for potential amendments to policies and practices which may assist in reducing the likelihood of something this devastating occurring again.’

Dozens of motorists swerved to avoid the caravan-towing Subaru as it barrelled down the M40 and collided with Mr Richards’ Ford Mondeo.

Mr Richards’ younger brother Niall described Stuart as the ‘rock’ of the family after the crash and told the MailOnline in October he was reeling after being told Mr Norton’s car had been involved in another crash only five days before.

‘I am extremely angry,’ Niall told MailOnline. ‘The news of what happened was tragic enough and then to find out the extra circumstances surrounding it just drew everyone down even further.

‘It could have been completely avoided if certain things had been put into practice. This is the world we live in – under police cuts and roads not being looked after properly. Right now, we are more angry than upset.’

Upon leaving the military Mr Richards became a keen activist for Veterans for Peace, which raises awareness of the problems that come with war, such as PTSD. 

Inquests into all three deaths have been opened and adjourned while further inquiries are carried out by the police.

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Misty Copeland, Gigi Hadid and more leading ladies featured in 2019 Pirelli calendar

MILAN (AP) — Photographer Albert Watson is keeping the Pirelli calendar on its arc away from its origins as a pinup calendar, portraying four women trying to find their purpose in life.

The 2019 Pirelli calendar unveiled Wednesday features four stories of women and those around them: ballet dancer Misty Copeland as an aspiring dancer, actress Julia Garner as a botanical photographer, model Gigi Hadid as a socialite and French model and actress Laetitia Casta as an artist.

Watson said he wanted an art-driven project, adding that “the idea was to change Pirelli, and not to do Misty or Julia or Laetitia as pin-ups. That is why I introduced quite strongly some men into this, because it was about their lives.”

The Pirelli calendar in recent years has had less focus on nudity, although it has not been removed completely.

Some photos from the calendar were also shared on Pirelli’s official Instagram, including this action shot of Copeland.

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Natalie Portman doubles down on apology to Jessica Simpson

Natalie Portman is following up on her original explanation of her comments about Jessica Simpson with a direct apology.

“Thank you for your words. I completely agree with you that a woman should be allowed to dress however she likes and behave however she likes and not be judged,” the actress, 37, commented on the singer’s Instagram post.

“I only meant to say I was confused — as a girl coming of age in the public eye around the same time — by the media’s mixed messages about how girls and women were supposed to behave. I didn’t mean to shame you and I’m sorry for any hurt my words may have caused. I have nothing but respect for your talent and your voice that you use to encourage and empower women all over the globe.”

The “Black Swan” star had previously tried to clarify her comments while talking to Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday

Portman told ET, “I would never intend to shame anybody and that was absolutely not my intention. I was really talking about mixed media messages out there for young women and completely apologize for any hurt it may have caused because that was definitely not my intention.”

The social media back-and-forth comes after Portman said in a previous interview with USA Today that she was “confused” as a teenager by a photo of the “With You” singer in a sexy bikini, accompanied by an article saying she was a virgin. Simpson, 38, responded with an Instagram post, saying she was “disappointed” in the Time’s Up activist and explained that “being sexy in a bikini and being proud of my body are not synonymous with having sex.”

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Film News Roundup: ‘Wizard of Oz’ to Launch TCM Big Screen Classics in 2019

In today’s film news roundup, “The Wizard of Oz” leads off the 2019 TCM Big Screen Classics, “Jobe’z World” gets distribution, and NRG and SAG-AFTRA make executive hires.

CLASSIC FILMS

Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies have unveiled 14 classic films that will be shown in theaters in 2019 in the TCM Big Screen Classics series, starting with “The Wizard of Oz” on Jan. 27, 29 and 30.

The other titles are “My Fair Lady,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Ben-Hur,” “True Grit,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Field of Dreams,” “Glory,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Alien,” “The Godfather Part II” and “When Harry Met Sally.”

Fathom specializes in event movies shown on Mondays through Thursdays. It’s jointly owned by the AMC, Regal and Cinemark chains.

“Every year, more and more film fans have flocked to the TCM Big Screen Classics series, proving the lasting appeal of these movies and the thrill of seeing them in a movie theater,” said Fathom Events vice president of studio relations Tom Lucas. “From spectacular musicals and grand Westerns to epic adventures, we are tremendously proud of this year’s lineup and our continuing partnership with TCM.”

Related

Film Review: 'Restoring Tomorrow'

FBI Recovers Stolen 'Wizard of Oz' Ruby Slippers

ACQUISITION

Factory 25 has acquired the rights to the dark rollerblading comedy “Jobe’z World,” director Michael M. Bilandic’s follow up to 2014’s “Hellaware,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The story follows a mysterious middle-aged rollerblader who spends his days selling drugs to an eclectic mix of downtown weirdos. What starts off as an exciting encounter with an A-list celebrity quickly devolves into a nightmarishly comedic trainwreck when the actor dies.

“Jobe’z World” stars Jason P. Grisell and Theodore Bouloukos, featuring Owen Kline, Lindsay Burdge, Kate Lyn Sheil, Keith Poulson and Jeremy O. Harris. Producers are Adam Ginsberg and Spencer Kiernan.

Factory 25 is premiering the film theatrically in New York followed by a theatrical rollout across the country. Factory 25 will also release the film digitally premiering the film digitally in late spring.and Vimeo followed by an iTunes, Amazon, cable VOD and many other digital outlets.

EXECUTIVE HIRES

National Research Group has re-hired Kevin Yoder as executive vice president of theatrical strategy.

Yoder joined NRG in 1992 and, over a 20-year career, rose to the role of chief operating officer. After departing NRG, he worked as managing director at MarketCast and most recently, exec VP of research and strategy at 20th Century Fox.

“I have worked closely with Kevin for the past five years when he led domestic strategy at Fox,” said Jon Penn, CEO of NRG. “He was a terrific thought-partner: strategic, creative, passionate, and intellectual. He is a pre-eminent strategic advisor who thrives in solving complex marketing challenges. Our clients will benefit greatly from his wisdom and sharp insights.”

Yoder will serve as a strategic advisor to NRG theatrical clients at every stage of a film’s lifecycle.

“I am thrilled to be part of the dynamic and fast-growing NRG team, unlocking opportunity for our clients by ensuring that campaigns are optimized to convey what is unique, accessible and theatrical about each film,” he said. “It’s a process NRG is uniquely suited for as they are the leading research firm that works start to finish globally across the entire research process.”

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SAGAFTRA has hired veteran music industry executive Rebecca Greenberg as the executive director of its music department.

Greenberg will oversee SAGAFTRA’s activities in the music industry, including the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements with the major and independent record labels, artist and performer relations, as well as collaboration with the organizing and government affairs departments. She will report jointly to chief operating officer and general counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and chief contracts officer Ray Rodriguez.

“I am thrilled to join SAGAFTRA and am looking forward to working with my team to continue protecting and advocating for our sound recording artists,” said Greenberg. “The music industry is constantly evolving and our artists are showcased everywhere  ̶  from radio to digital platforms  ̶  so it’s imperative to work with our members and allies to ensure that our artists’ rights are protected and that they are fairly compensated for their work.”

Greenberg has worked for Irving Azoff at his various companies, including The Madison Square Garden Company / The Forum, Azoff Music Management, and Global Music Rights. Previously, she was head of government relations for Live Nation Entertainment and Ticketmaster. In 2004, Don Henley and Azoff hired Greenberg to be the national director of the Recording Artists’ Coalition. She also worked for the Screen Actors Guild from 2001-2004, after working on Capitol Hill as well as for the Clinton administration.

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