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Yiannopoulos dropping lawsuit against former publisher

Milo Yiannopoulos is dropping his lawsuit against his former publisher.

In papers filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court, Yiannopoulos and Simon & Schuster asked that the case be dismissed "without costs or fees to either party." The far-right author and agitator sued for $10 million last summer after the publisher canceled the release of his memoir "Dangerous." Simon & Schuster acted after video clips of Yiannopoulos surfaced in which he appeared to defend sexual relationships between men and underage boys. Yiannopoulos alleged breach of contract and said the publisher gave in to "false and misleading reports." Simon & Schuster had called the suit a publicity stunt.

Last fall, a judge allowed the case to proceed after Simon & Schuster had asked that it be dismissed. But in January, Yiannopoulous' legal counsel withdrew and the author announced that he would represent himself.

"We are pleased that Mr. Yiannopoulos' lawsuit has been withdrawn," Simon & Schuster said in a statement Tuesday. "We stand by our decision to terminate the publication of Mr. Yiannopoulos' book."

In a Facebook posting Tuesday, Yiannopoulos said ending the suit was a "tough decision" but the "right one." He wrote that "it was always going to be hard to prove damages, as anyone who has ever hired a 'damages expert' will know."

Yiannopoulos eventually self-published "Dangerous," which came out last July 4.

"I don't want to spend all the money I made from my book, and the next two years of my life, on a lawsuit," he wrote on Facebook.

Guess co-founder steps aside amid misconduct investigation

Guess Inc. says that co-founder Paul Marciano will give up his day-to-day responsibilities at the clothing company until a sexual misconduct investigation is completed.

Model and actress Kate Upton told Time magazine earlier this month that Marciano forcibly grabbed her breasts during a Guess photo shoot nearly eight years ago. She also says that he harassed her by showing up at hotels she was staying at and texting her inappropriate comments.

Marciano has denied the allegations.

Guess, based in Los Angeles, says that Marciano will not be paid while he steps aside. He is an executive chairman of the company's board, and is its chief creative officer.

Marciano, who co-founded the brand with his brother in 1981, also owns a 17 percent stake in Guess.

Picasso, Monet works up for auction in Rockefeller art trove

An art collection amassed by billionaire David Rockefeller could raise more than $500 million for charity when it is auctioned this spring.

Auctioneer Christie's is selling hundreds of artworks including major paintings by Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, from the collection of the oil-family scion and his wife Peggy .

Rockefeller, grandson of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller, died in March at the age of 101. His family is selling the art collection to benefit cultural, educational, medical and environmental charities.

It includes Monet's water-lily painting "Nympheas en fleur," estimated to sell for $50 million to $70 million, and Picasso's "Fillette a la corbeille fleurie (Young Girl with a Flower Basket)," which has an estimate of $90 million to $120 million.

"You end up running out of superlatives," Jonathan Rendell, deputy chairman of Christie's Americas, said at a preview Tuesday. "Some of the things are jaw-dropping."

Rendell cites Picasso's "extraordinary" portrait of a young girl, which was painted in 1905 when the artist was in his early 20s, and first bought by writer Gertrude Stein.

Also up for sale is a small painting of an apple, given by Picasso as a gift to Stein, a friend and patron.

"That little apple is a lovely object because it takes you right into the history of art," Rendell said. "Picasso's gift to Gertrude Stein, who made his career — it doesn't get much better than that."

Matisse's reclining nude, "Odalisque couchee aux magnolias" is expected to sell for $50 million, breaking the sale record for the artist.

"I expect to see quite a lot of records broken," Rendell said. He added: "That was my most English understatement."

As well as major European Impressionist and modern paintings, the Rockefeller collection includes works by American artists such as Edward Hopper and Georgia O'Keefe. Also up for sale is a selection of furniture, jewelry, Chinese bronzes and porcelain — including a dessert service that accompanied Napoleon into exile on the island of Elba.

Highlights of the collection are on display in London from Wednesday to March 8. There will also be previews in Paris, Beijing, Los Angeles and Shanghai before a series of sales in New York from May 7 to 11.

Eugenides, Chernow voted into arts academy

Historian Ron Chernow, playwright Lynn Nottage and artist Jenny Holzer are among this year's inductees in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

On Tuesday, the academy told The Associated Press that others voted into the organization include fiction writers George Saunders and Jeffrey Eugenides, playwright Terrence Rafferty, and musicians Ben Johnston and George Lewis.

The academy is an honor society founded in 1898. It has a core membership of 250 living writers, musicians and visual artists. Members in the past have included Mark Twain, James Baldwin and Leonard Bernstein.

Sylvester Stallone assures fans he is 'alive and well' after death hoax goes viral

Actor Sylvester Stallone is the victim of a death hoax.

A rumor claiming that the 71-year-old actor had passed away recently surfaced on social media — and he was not happy about it.

>> Read more trending news 

Stallone took to Twitter to express his annoyance.

“Please ignore the stupidity,” the “Rocky” star tweeted Monday. “Alive and well and happy and healthy … Still punching!”

>> See the tweet here

Stallone’s younger brother, Frank, also took to the social media platform to inform everyone of the death hoax. And he wasn’t happy either.

“Rumors that my brother is dead are false,” he wrote. “What kind of sick demented cruel mind thinks of things like this to post? People like this are mentally deranged and don’t deserve a place in society.”

>> See the tweet here

Read more here.

Court told actress swore at Geoffrey Rush to leave toilet

An actress who accused Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush of inappropriately touching her on a Sydney stage later swore at him when he followed her into a toilet at a party after a performance, Australian court documents allege.

Rush is suing Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Federal Court for defamation over articles last year that he argued portray him as a pervert and sexual predator. The articles allege inappropriate behavior and touching during the Sydney Theatre Company production of "King Lear" in 2015.

Accusations in defense documents previously suppressed by the court were made public on Tuesday.

Eryn Jean Norvill played Cordelia alongside the 66-year-old Australian actor, who played the title role and her father.

The documents allege Rush touched Norvill in a way that made her feel uncomfortable on five separate occasions during the final week of the production, in a scene where he carried her as she simulated a lifeless body.

Rush's lawyer, Richard McHugh, told the court on Monday the accusations were vague.

But the newspaper will attempt to prove that Rush engaged in scandalously inappropriate behavior, and that his conduct was so serious that the theatre company would not work with him again.

The defense documents allege Norvill was visibly upset and told Rush to stop after the first instance of on-stage touching, which was not scripted, directed or necessary for the performance.

Rush is also accused of following the actress into the women's toilet at a restaurant during the cast's celebration after the final performance. Rush is accused of standing outside her toilet stall until she swore at him and told him to leave.

The newspaper denies Rush's claims that its articles made him out to be a pervert and a sexual predator, and its lawyers previously told the court they made no allegations of a sexual nature.

Justice Michael Wigney on Monday delayed to a later date Rush's request to have the newspaper's truth defense struck out.

Rush has performed in the Sydney Theatre Company for 35 years. He won the 1997 best actor Academy Award for "Shine" and has three other Oscar nominations. He is perhaps best known as Captain Barbossa in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films.

Actor Michael Keaton to give Kent State commencement address

Actor Michael Keaton is slated to give the commencement address at Ohio's Kent State University.

Keaton enrolled at Kent State in 1971, intending to major in journalism and speech. He left school to pursue acting, landing appearances on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," ''Maude" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." His range of hit movies includes "Batman," ''Birdman" and "Spotlight."

Keaton spoke at Kent State in 1985 and said then that he would like to return someday.

Kent State President Beverly Warren says having Keaton speak at the May 12th ceremony is a "rare opportunity" for graduates to hear from "someone who has walked in their shoes and now has risen to the top of his field."

The school will pay Keaton $100,000, the same it paid actress Octavia Spencer last year.

'SNL' alum Quinn recovering from heart attack with humor

"Saturday Night Live" alum Colin Quinn is exercising his wit days after a heart attack interrupted his busy touring schedule.

The 58-year-old Quinn took to Twitter on Monday to let friends and foes alike know he's "starting a list of those who didn't 'check in' yet," five days after his Valentine's Day health emergency.

The deep-thinking comic thanks the doctors and nurses at his New York hospital, saying they "realized they had a precious jewel of comedy in their hands."

Quinn announced his heart attack last week, saying on Twitter his heart broke on Valentine's Day, "literally." He said he was doing well but if he dropped dead "you would see a funeral like Al Capone!"

He says the attack made him reflect, realizing "we aren't guaranteed tomorrow."

French ice dancer doesn't risk another wardrobe malfunction

Highlights from media coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics:

WARDROBE MALFUNCTION: Gabriella Papadakis took no chances. Her ice dancing costume on Tuesday contained no hooks, nothing that could come undone as it did a day earlier in the Olympics' most famous wardrobe malfunction. The French athlete and partner Guillaume Cizeron completed a lovely, lyrical free skate to win a silver medal behind the Canadian team of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, but it was hard not to see in their faces the belief that the faulty costume had cost them gold. NBC analyst Tanith White said she was "sitting here grabbing my chest feeling my heart pound" after their performance. White, however, punted when the time came to give her opinion on the deserving winner. "It's making me sweat, just the idea of having to choose between the Canadian and the French, but most important, they were both exceptional," she said. True, it was tough. But that's her job.

WARDROBE MALFUNCTION, PART TWO: After two wardrobe malfunctions on the ice, it was hard to watch Canadian Kaitlyn Weaver's ice dancing routine without focusing on a loose red strap that kept falling down her arm. Apparently it was part of the costume.

TUMBLE: NBC analyst Luke Van Valin built up the tension as defending American gold medalist Maddie Bowman skied through her final run in the freestyle halfpipe, noting as she was in the air that Bowman had reached the point where she wiped out in her first two runs. Then it happened again. Van Valin and Todd Harris wisely stayed quiet as the camera bore witness to Bowman sobbing in the snow, recognizing the moment as a metaphor for the U.S. team's rough showing in Pyeongchang. It was a welcome example of Van Valin stepping out of a world in which he's too comfortable. He tends to get lost in numbers describing various moves, and "amplitude" is clearly his favorite word. We were stunned, however, to hear him talking about an earlier conversation with a judge about what they needed to see in a routine by American Brita Sigourney. Extraordinary reporting. But are Olympic judges supposed to be that forthcoming about a competition that hasn't been completed yet?

I'M SO EXCITED: A tie for bobsled gold! OMG OMG OMG! We thought NBC's Leigh Diffey would blow a gasket when a Canadian team hit the same 3 minutes, 16.86 second winning time as a pair of Germans. Darned if he can't pull history out of thin air. "It's a tie!" Diffey said. "The last time Canada won a gold medal it was a tie as well. History repeats!" Not off your couch and cheering yet? "The Olympic sliding center has seen some amazing things these games but nothing like this!"

TWEET OF THE NIGHT : "So great that @leighdiffey and @JohnMorgan7 can make almost every bobsled run sound like a walk-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series." — @zagfreak.

RUSSIAN TROUBLE: NBC doesn't have a great track record of talking about uncomfortable Olympic stories that are making news elsewhere, like the sexual misconduct accusations against Shaun White or Shani Davis' unhappiness at not being a flagbearer. So it should be noted that the network addressed, in prime time and elsewhere, the doping charge against a Russian curler.

RATINGS: It was a comparatively slow Sunday for Olympic content, with an average of 18.2 million watching on NBC, NBCSN or through streaming services in prime time. That's down 15 percent from Sochi four years ago; the NBC-only telecast was down 23 percent. Saturday was the least-watched night of the Olympics so far, with 16.1 million viewers on NBC, NBCSN and streaming services, although that was down only 6 percent from Sochi. Viewership has largely exceeded expectations for the first half of the Olympics, but interest tends to dwindle in the second week.

LAST LAUGH: NBC baffled some viewers Sunday by showing extended coverage of meaningless training runs by downhill skiers. The Nielsen company gave a window into NBC's thinking: The night's viewership peaked at 20.7 million when America's skiing sweethearts, Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, were on the mountain. So no one should have been surprised to see yet another Vonn practice run on Monday's telecast.

___

Corrects to Todd Harris from Trace Worthing.

____

More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

Key mix-up at Met leaves tenor, conductor scrambling

Michael Fabiano was singing at the Metropolitan Opera when a key mix-up occurred.

The tenor began Rodolfo's famous first act aria in Puccini's "La Boheme" on Friday night when it became clear the orchestra was playing in a different key under conductor Marco Armiliato.

"I said, oh, no, they can't be doing this," Fabiano recalled on Monday.

The Met is presenting Franco Zeffirelli's 1981 production 15 times this season with four different lead tenors. When Russell Thomas sang the role in October and November, he opted for a version of "Che gelida manina! (How cold your little hand is!)" that was one half tone down and finished with a top B natural, as opposed to the original key which ends in a top C, the Met music staff said.

Puccini wrote both versions, and Fabiano prefers the higher key.

"The brilliance of the whole aria is lost in the transposition," Fabiano said. "When you sing in the lower key, the whole aria becomes fatter."

But the orchestra's sheet music never got changed for the resumption of the run last week. Fabiano glanced at the podium when that became apparent.

"We took a look at each other, like, what can we do now?" Armiliato said.

The tenor kept on going, but the mix-up was noticeable enough to prompt comments on the Opera-L chat room.

"Once you're on the new train track, there's no way to stop, have a timeout on the football field and confer," Fabiano said.

The Met said the parts will be restored to the original key for the remaining performances.

Fabiano took solace at one aspect of the mix-up.

"It's better to be down than up, I'll tell you that," he said.

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