'Scary' Lucille Ball statue replaced in her New York hometown

NEW YORK Lucille Ball fans can rest easy.A new statue honoring the "I Love Lucy" star was set to be unveiled on Saturday in Celoron, New York, on what would have been Ball's 105th birthday, after residents of her hometown made it clear they did not "love" an unflattering previous version.The life-size bronze artwork was created by the well-known sculptor Carolyn Palmer, whose proposal was selected from more than 60 submitted by artists around the world.The statue at Lucille Ball Memorial Park will replace another that was installed seven years ago. Critics panned the sculpture, saying it looked nothing like the iconic redhead, and it eventually became known as "Scary Lucy." Palmer spent nine months working on the project, including watching countless episodes of "I Love Lucy" and hiring models to pose in 1950s-style dresses."I not only wanted to portray the playful, animated and spontaneous Lucy, but also the glamorous Hollywood icon," Palmer said in a statement. Palmer has sculpted a number of other famous figures. Her marble statue of Pope Francis stands at the papal residence in New York City, where the pope blessed it during his visit last year.A bronze version of that statue is being produced for St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. "I Love Lucy" aired in the 1950s and is considered one of the greatest television comedies ever. Ball played the wife of bandleader Ricky Ricardo, who was portrayed by her real-life husband, Desi Arnaz. (Editing by Frank McGurty)

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Bill Cosby drops remainder of federal suit against accuser

Comedian Bill Cosby on Thursday dropped the remaining counts of a lawsuit he filed against one of the women accusing him of sexual assault, along with several others, claiming they violated the terms of a confidential settlement in another lawsuit.The dismissal comes 10 days after U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno ruled that Cosby could not sue Andrea Constand, her mother, Gianna Constand, or her attorneys, Dolores Troiani and Bebe Kivitz, for speaking to investigators about her accusations.Cosby filed the suit in February, accusing the Constands, the lawyers and American Media Inc., publisher of the National Enquirer, of violating the terms of a 2006 confidential settlement.Robreno let stand Cosby's other claims, including that Constand, a former Temple University basketball coach, violated the confidentiality agreement through posts she made on Twitter about the case and in comments to the Toronto Sun newspaper. Those remaining claims were dropped in a two-page notice filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Thursday, according to online court documents. Cosby, 78, faces accusations of sexual assault by more than 50 women. He has denied having non-consensual sex with any of them. Constand's allegations that he drugged and assaulted her at his Pennsylvania home in 2004 are the basis for the only criminal case against him so far. Most of the other alleged assaults occurred too long ago for the cases to be prosecuted. The 2006 agreement stemmed from a lawsuit Constand filed against Cosby in 2005 over the alleged assault and a separate legal action she took against the National Enquirer for defamation. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee, editing by Larry King)

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Ai Weiwei puts himself back in a jail cell in new Spanish show

CUENCA, Spain Artist Ai Weiwei has reproduced scenes of his incarceration for a new art installation, a series of almost life-size dioramas - encased in steel boxes - showing his life in jail.Visitors to the exhibition, in a cathedral in central Spain, have to peer through peep-holes in the stark, gray boxes to see the 3D scenes, which show Ai watched by two uniformed guards as he eats, sleeps, showers and uses the toilet in his tiny cell.Ai, one of China's most high-profile artists and political activists, was jailed for 81 days on charges of tax evasion in 2011. China confiscated his passport, only returning it in July last year.His installation, "S.A.C.R.E.D.", is a highlight of a series of events under the title "The Poetry of Freedom" taking place across Spain to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes. The Spanish writer was held as a slave in Algiers for five years in the late 16th century and spent months in jail in Spain later in life for bookkeeping discrepancies, where he is thought to have conceived the idea for his masterpiece "Don Quixote". A quote from that novel, about a middle-aged gentleman obsessed by ideals of chivalry who travels central Spain with his loyal squire Sancho Panza, adorns the wall of the Cuenca exhibition: "Freedom, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts that heaven has ever given man." The exhibition, at the 12th century cathedral in the fortified medieval city of Cuenca, opens on July 26 and runs until Nov. 6. (Reporting by Catherine Bennett; Editing by Sonya Dowsett and Robin Pomeroy)

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No shaking off Taylor Swift-Kanye West 'Famous' feud

(Editor's note: this story contains language in paragraph three that may offend some readers)Taylor Swift and Kanye West won't be shaking off their bad blood anytime soon, as the feud between the pop star and rapper over the lyrics of his single "Famous" took an ugly turn with the release of a video and phone call between the two music stars.The video, released online on Sunday by West's reality star wife, Kim Kardashian, was a recording of West chatting by phone with Swift earlier this year in which the "Shake It Off" singer gave her approval - at least in part - to the song, which she later deemed offensive and misogynistic."Famous," released by West in February, contains the line, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. I made that bitch famous."The trio, three of the biggest pop culture celebrities, have been fighting long distance via tabloid and social media for months over West's insistence that Swift gave her blessing for the lyrics, and Swift's strenuous denials. According to video of the phone call, released by Kardashian on social media on Sunday after an episode of "Keeping up with the Kardashians," Swift told West of the song, "I really appreciate you telling me about it. That’s really nice," she says. "It’s all very tongue-in-cheek either way." "If people ask me about it, I think it would be great for me to be like, ‘Look, he called me and told me about the line,’" Swift says in the call, which took place before the February release of "Famous."On Sunday, however, Swift said that she had been secretly recorded by West and accused him of character assassination. "Where is the video of Kanye telling me that he was going to call me 'that bitch' in his song?," the 10-time Grammy winner wrote on her Instagram account on Sunday."It doesn't exist because it never happened ... While I wanted to be supportive of Kanye on the phone call, you cannot 'approve' a song you haven't heard. Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination," added Swift. "Famous" refers to an infamous 2009 MTV Video Music Awards incident in which West snatched the microphone from Swift during her acceptance speech and declared that Beyonce should have won.The pair publicly made up in August last year when Swift presented West with an lifetime award. (Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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Ali's gloves, Frazier's jockstrap from famed 1971 fight go on sale

A jockstrap worn by boxer Joe Frazier when he defeated Muhammad Ali for the combined heavyweight title hit the auction block on Monday, along with the gloves Ali wore in that 1971 bout dubbed the "Fight of the Century." The jockstrap - expected to sell for $10,000 - already met its minimum bid of $5,000 bid by mid-morning, said Ken Goldin, owner of Goldin Auctions of Runnemede, New Jersey.No bids had yet been received for the gloves, which are expected to sell for more than $1 million, Goldin said.The auction concludes with live bidding on Aug. 4. "People used to make jokes about auctioning off jockstraps as an example of something outrageous," Goldin told Reuters. "Here we got one consigned for sale."The memorabilia went on sale just over a month after Ali's death at an Arizona hospital at age 74. Frazier died in 2011. Both fighters were undefeated when they met up in the match on March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden in New York. Frazier defeated Ali in a unanimous, 15-round decision. After the fight, Frazier gave the jockstrap to corner-man David Wolf, according to Goldin. Wolf, who was in the Frazier corner for all three of his fights with Ali, later became a manager for Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and other boxers.The jockstrap was found in Wolf's apartment in New York after his death in 2009. Minimum bids were set at $5,000 for the jockstrap and $250,000 for the gloves."Similar (Ali) gloves have sold in the millions,” Goldin said. "And that was before he died." (Reporting by David DeKok in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; editing by Barbara Goldberg and G Crosse)

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