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ABC/Image Group LA(LOS ANGELES) -- Celebrity sports fans from around the world are paying homage to NBA legend Kobe Bryant after he died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday.

Fellow former NBA stars Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were among the high-profile players who reacted to news of the beloved basketball player's death.

Bryant was one of nine people on a private helicopter that went down in Calabasas, California on Sunday, killing everyone on board. He was 41.

Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also killed in the crash, according to the NBA. The other seven victims in the crash have not been identified.

"I’m stunned. Words can’t even come close to describing it. Just an incredibly sad and tragic day," Pippen, an NBA Hall of Famer, tweeted.

Shaquille O'Neal, who played with Kobe on the Lakers, shared an emotional post.

"There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed," O'Neal wrote. "My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW."

Meanwhile, retired NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, posted a video of himself reacting to the news.

"Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players," he wrote in part. "But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete."

Twitter temporarily crashed at around 3 p.m. ET as news of the player's death flooded the platform. The term "Kobe" quickly became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter, followed by "Mamba" and "BlackMamba."

Music stars also reacted to the news of Bryant's passing, with Drake posting a mural of Bryant on Instagram and R&B singer John Legend reminding fans to hold their loved ones close.

"I'm so sad and stunned right now. In Staples Arena, where Kobe created so many memories for all of us, preparing to pay tribute to another brilliant man we lost too soon, Nipsey Hussle," Legend, who was preparing for the Grammy Awards, tweeted. "Life can be so brutal and senseless sometimes. Hold on to your loved ones. We miss you, Kobe."

Other notable reactions throughout the day have included former President Barack Obama, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Kevin Hart.

"Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents," Obama wrote. "Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day."

"This makes me so sad. Kobe you were always so sweet to me. Known you over 10 years.. not super well but we always joked about you coming over and playing that game of horse!" Lavato wrote, sharing a photo of herself with Kobe and Gianna. "You will he so missed by so many. You’re a legend with wings now. RIP Kobe."

"This honestly doesn’t make sense....I just saw you man," Hart wrote, sharing a image of Bryant on Instagram. "This hurts my heart. God please place your hands on his family and help guide them thru this unbearable time. We love you forever man...Legends never die!!!! #MambaMentality #RIP.... RIP to the other passengers as well as sending prayers to their families."

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- NBA icon and Oscar-winner Kobe Bryant was killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles, ABC News has confirmed. He was 41.

Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died alongside her father, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

There were nine people on board the helicopter and no survivors in the crash around 10 a.m. local time Sunday, fire officials said in a press conference. The other victims have not been publicly identified.

The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances, a spokesperson from the National Transportation Safety Board told ABC News. Firefighters worked to contain the fire that resulted.

Bryant was drafted to the NBA out of high school in 1996 and spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships. He was awarded NBA MVP in 2008 and NBA Finals MVP in 2009 and 2010.

He won gold medals as a member of the U.S. men's basketball team in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

LeBron James surpassed Bryant's all-time scoring record on Saturday during the Lakers' game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Bryant tweeted at James congratulating him on beating his record.

In 2018, Bryant won an Academy award for his animated short Dear Basketball, based on a poem he wrote in 2015 when he announced his retirement.

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NBC/Trae Patton(NEW YORK) -- America's Got Talent host Terry Crews apparently had a very different experience on the set of NBC's variety series.

Amid the network's investigation into Gabrielle Union's departure from the show following claims of a toxic culture, Crews tells NBC's Today that he begs to differ.

“First of all, I can't speak for sexism because I’m not a woman, but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments. That was never my experience," he said. "In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment."

"The Top 10 acts were Asian, women, older, younger, black, white, it was everything in the gamut,” he continued, defending the shows' diversity.

Crews went on to say that he even sought out the advice of his wife, actress Rebecca King-Crews, and her thoughts on what she should do in the wake of Union's claims.

"She was like, 'first of all, if it's coming from an unnamed source – because Gabrielle Union has not made any statement to this day about any of these allegations publicly …if she hasn't made a statement, why would you?'"

When asked if he's spoken to Union, beyond his tweet in December where he told Union she "will be missed," Crews replied, “I haven’t reached out, but I haven’t heard anything,” he said.

As previously reported, Union was fired from America's Got Talent following her reported complaints about the allegedly racially insensitive work environment on set. Following the immense backlash about her firing, Union confirmed that she met with NBC to discuss her complaints and "express [her] unfiltered truth."

Crews, Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel are all expected to return to AGT for its next season.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Around the holidays, if you recall, actor Kumail Nanjiani found himself an unlikely viral star, when he posted a snap of his ripped body, which he whipped into shape for Marvel's The Eternals.

He talked about the situation with Jimmy Kimmel Thursday night, explaining he loved the attention -- particularly from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who gave him a thumbs-up online. 

The visit to Kimmel was just two days after Nanjiani's final day on the set, adding that his strict diet continued.

"I have not had pizza or a donut in over a year!" he declared. "I have had no refined sugar in a year. I've had almost no carbs at all."

For his part, Kimmel, who's a foodie, surprised the actor with a mobile full of desserts, which descended from the ceiling to come to rest around Nanjiani's head.  Kimmel also offered Nanjiani a pizza, courtesy of Jimmy's sidekick, Guillermo.

The 41-year-old Silicon Valley alum freaked out, exclaiming, "I'm literally gonna cry right now. I'm not joking." He took a bite of pizza and his ecstasy was evident: "Oh my God. I'm shaking. Hey, pizza's really good!"

After breaking for a commercial, the actor was still working over various desserts while trying to promote his Apple TV Plus show, Little America. "What were we talking about again?" he asked, mouth full.

Marvel's The Eternals is set for release on November 6 from Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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L-R Phoenix, Phillips/Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Oscar-nominated Hollywood filmmaker Todd Phillips has worked on a range of movie genres, but his latest hit, Joker, broke a box office record and set a high bar for awards season.

Phillips, who directed, co-wrote and produced the Batman villain origin story, told Good Morning America that despite early criticisms, fans flocked to the film that now leads the Academy Awards with 11 nominations, including best picture.

Joaquin Phoenix, who stars as the disturbed comedian Arthur Fleck in the film, is an "intense" actor, but "kind of light" on set, Phillips found. 

"To inhabit the character of Arthur slash Joker in the movie, he had to go to some dark places...[But] we would say 'Cut!' and we'd be off to the side joking around or laughing about something and then we'd get back into it."

Joker set the record as the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time with over $1 billion at the box office.

"This movie has been a wild ride for sure," said Phillips.  "Ultimately, when I look back at it I'm not surprised that a movie called Joker made so many people crazy.  It got painted very early with a brush that the violence in it was irresponsible and we felt differently. We thought we could show real-world implications on violence and that seems responsible to me, as opposed to celebrating violence in movies."

Phillips added that, "ultimately it was the audience [who] turned up and it became their movie."

The 92nd Oscars air Sunday Feb. 9 on ABC.

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Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- As we learned recently, Brad Pitt is on Tinder, but he already might have locked in a date for the Oscars: Dax Shepard.

Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood nominee Pitt received the Maltin Modern Masters Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Wednesday night, when he joked to E! that Shepard could walk the red carpet with him. 

Truth be told, Dax started this back-and-forth, when he revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he had a crush on Pitt. Pitt returned the compliment at one point last year, and Shepard flipped.

Dax and Brad told Ellen that they recently went riding their motorcycles together, during a day that also included a helicopter ride. "I went on a date with him," Dax joked.

Shepard, who's married to Frozen and The Good Place star Kristen Bell, said, "I felt like Pretty Woman." 

To this, Pitt laughed to E!, "He's a funny fella." When asked if he'd consider Dax as his Oscars date, Pitt responded, "Yeah, yeah that's a great idea."

Pitt was still in a joking mood when he accepted his award, from his Se7en and Fight Club director David Fincher. Now 56, Pitt said, "I can't do night shoots anymore," and added at his age, "I no longer remember the first rule of Fight Club."

For the record, it's the same as the second rule: You do not talk about Fight Club.

The 92nd Academy Awards telecast airs Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8p.m. Eastern on ABC.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

iStock/jarun011(LOS ANGELES) -- The potentially deadly coronavirus has led Chinese health officials to quarantine people and cancel many public activities -- and some of those will hurt Hollywood's bottom line.

Deadline reports amid the outbreak, all local film releases scheduled for the highly lucrative Chinese New Year period have been canceled, and theaters closed.  And that could spell a one-billion-dollar blow to global box office, or more.

The Chinese New Year period -- the New Year itself begins Saturday -- is huge for movies in China, which is the globe's second-biggest moviegoing market.

What's at stake is not only the box office receipts for Chinese-made films, but for Hollywood movies for which the Middle Kingdom's audience normally has a healthy appetite.

Indeed, many films that were considered bombs in the U.S. became hits thanks to audiences in China and throughout Asia.

As for the coronavirus' impact, an industry insider tells Deadline, "Moviegoing is so concentrated during this period, even with later releases, it will be impossible to overcome the massive loss."

How concentrated? Chinese box office receipts tallied $1.6 billion bucks by February's end in 2019.

China has also extended its severe travel ban to additional cities, cutting off travel for 20 million people during a time when millions are expected to be traveling for the holiday.

The quarantine began Thursday in Wuhan, the city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak. Authorities shut down transportation in the 11 million person city, prohibiting people from using buses, trains or ferries, and canceling flights and trains leaving Wuhan.

Those travel restrictions have since been extended to the nearby cities of Huanggang and Ezhou, both in China's Hubei province.

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Animal Planet(NEW YORK) -- Some people watch the Super Bowl for the game, Others watch it for the commercials or halftime show, and some choose to forgo the entire event to watch Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl instead.

Well, for fans of the latter, the entire starting lineup is out and its chock-full of adoptable puppies from all over the country who will wag their way across the end zone on February 2.

This year, Animal Planet will feature a variety of rescue puppies of all sizes and breeds, from the massive Great Dane to the tiniest chihuahua.

The 42 adoptable pups have already been divided into their respective teams, Team Ruff and Team Fluff.

Here are some of the adorably named pups who are repping Team Ruff: Aspen (Australian cattle dog), Cafecito (crested Yorkshire terrier), Crumpet (American Staffordshire terrier), Filbert (Sheltie/border collie mix), Linus (Pomeranian), Rhubarb (mini schnauzer/Shih Tzu mix), and Starla (cocker spaniel/Siberian husky mix.)

As for some of Team Fluff's 2020 lineup: Bert (Great Pyrenees/Weimaraner mix), Duncan (rough collie), Granny Smith (Catahoula/pit bull mix), Killian (Great Dane), Papaya (Lab/border collie mix), Rocky Road (German Shepherd/Samoyed mix), and Strudel (miniature pinscher/toy poodle mix). 

To see the complete lineup and to read each individual player's incredibly adorable bio, including where they are available for adoption, head on over to Animal Planet's website

The Puppy Bowl and the kitten halftime show, which has been entertaining dog and cat lovers alike since 2005, airs Sunday, February 2, at 3 p.m. ET on Animal Planet.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) -- (NOTE LANGUAGE) "Ah, 'The Negotiator!'" Ewan McGregor is living up to his character Obi-Wan Kenobi's flair for diplomacy, putting a positive spin on a much-hyped pause in production of his Disney Kenobi series.

An online firestorm erupted after news broke Thursday that script issues forced a halt in production on the series, which takes place before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.

However, at a Los Angeles press event promoting his upcoming film Birds of Prey Thursday evening, McGregor told The Wrap that the hype was overblown. "We just pushed the shoot to the beginning of next year," he explained. "The scripts are really good. I saw 90% of the writing and I really liked it." 

McGregor added, "All this bulls*** about creative differences and all that stuff is, none of it true."

Instead, website insists, McGregor seemed to suggest that the replacing of the series' writer Hossein Amini could have something to do with fan reaction to the last Star Wars film, The Rise of Skywalker. "...Episode IX came out, everyone had more time to read the stuff that had been written, and they felt that they wanted to do more work on [Kenobi]," the actor noted. "So they slid the shoot. It's not nearly as dramatic as it sounds online."

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Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Tina Fey is making fetch happen all over again.  After her smash 2004 comedy Mean Girls was turned into a Broadway musical in 2017, Fey is bringing her beloved brainchild into the new century by turning the musical adaption... back into a movie.

Fey announced in a statement Thursday obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, "I’m very excited to bring Mean Girls back to the big screen.  It’s been incredibly gratifying to see how much the movie and the musical have meant to audiences."

Added the 30 Rock star, "I’ve spent 16 years with these characters now. They are my Marvel Universe and I love them dearly."

Mean Girls follows the story of 16-year-old Cady Heron, who moves back to America after being raised by her zoologist parents in Africa.  Cady soon learns how high school differs from the animal kingdom once she's absorbed by The Plastics -- a popular girl clique -- and falls in love with the ex-boyfriend of Regina George, the ringleader of the group of said mean girls.

The 2004 cult classic, which starred Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams, earned $129 million in the box office while the Mean Girls Broadway musical has earned $118 to date.

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Christopher Raphael(NEW YORK) -- Opening nationwide on Friday:

The Gentlemen -- Guy Ritchie's action comedy stars Matthew McConaughey as a drug lord with a profitable empire in London.  His efforts to cash out of the business leads to bribery and blackmail schemes in an attempt to steal his business out from under him.  Jeremy Strong, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant round out the all-star cast.  Rated R.

The Turning – This modern take on Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw centers on a young nanny, played by Mackenzie Davis, charged with caring for two disturbed orphans – played by Brooklynn Prince and Finn Wolfhard – both of whom, along with the house, harbor dark secrets.  Joely Richardson also stars.  Rated PG-13.

Opening in limited release on Friday:

The Last Full Measure – This drama tells the true-life story of Vietnam War hero William H. Pitsenbarger, Jr., whose courageous acts weren’t recognized until 32 years later, when a Pentagon staffer, played by Captain America’s Sebastian Stan, investigates a Congressional Medal of Honor request for Pitsenbarger made by his best friend  -- and PJ partner on the mission -- and his parents, played respectively by William Hurt, Christopher Plummer and Diane Ladd, which uncovers a high-level conspiracy behind the decades-long denial of the medal.  Also starring Ed Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irvine and Peter Fonda in his final film role.  Rated R.

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Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Ali Fedotowsky, star of 2010's The Bachelorette, is urging fans to get themselves checked after opening up about her battle with skin cancer.

"GET YOUR SKIN CHECKED. A couple weeks ago I found out I have skin cancer," The 35-year-old revealed Thursday on Instagram. "When my dermatologist used the c-word, I just about fainted in his office."

The mother of two is remaining positive about her diagnosis and encouraged fans, "Thankfully, the type of skin cancer I have is rarely fatal and really never fatal when you catch it early."

Fedotowsky went on to explain that she's been diagnosed with Basal cell carcinoma and urged fans to look at what her mole looked like before the biopsy, so they "know what to look for."

After vowing to never expose "my stomach to sun without sunscreen again," the former Bachelorette used her platform to educate fans about her diagnosis and what they can do to prevent it.

"Basal cell carcinoma is super common. The most common skin cancer. You probably know someone who has it. So it’s no big deal," She revealed. "But what IS a big deal is not treating it and treating it early. That is why going to a dermatologist and getting your skin checked every year is SO important."

She also urged fans to be "rigorous about applying sunscreen" and be mindful what products they use on their skin.

Fedotowsky competed on 2010's The Bachelor but left after receiving an ultimatum from Facebook, where she was employed.  She returned as The Bachelorette later that year and became engaged to Roberto Martinez, but broke up a year later. 

After meeting TV host Kevin Manno in 2013, the two became engaged and later wed in 2017.  They have two kids together, Molly and Riley.

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Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Turns out Chrissy Teigen and John Legend's three-year-old Luna loves scary movies, much to their chagrin.

The Bring the Funny host turned to Twitter on Wednesday and begged her followers for much-needed advice.  "What are some good "scary" movies but for kids? luna loves creepy s***," tweeted an exasperated Teigen.  "She loves Coraline but I cannot watch it anymore, I will actually die."

Thankfully, the self professed de-motivational speaker found something to appease her toddler for the time being.  "The new animated Addams Family doing the trick right now but will need more soon!," pleaded the mom of two before admitting "yes we are weird."

The good news is, Teigen turned to the right place and received an abundance of advice from friends and fans.  

Model Gigi Hadid helpfully suggested Spirited Away while Zelda Williams went all-in and offered a plethora of titles

"ParanormanLabyrinthNightmare Before ChristmasThe Secrets of NimhFrankenweenie9Corpse Bride," the 30-year-old excitedly rattled off before admitting that she, too, lived for "creepy kids movies." 

After naming a few other potential scary movies fit for kids, the daughter of the late Robin Williams dared, "You wanna scar your kid for life show them Watership Down."

However, Teigen's Twitter thread eventually made its way to the one who started Luna's scary movie obsession -- Neil Gaiman, the creator of Coraline

The author helpfully proposed titles such as Scooby Doo and Missing Link before admitting that he, too, plans on stealing some of Teigen's hard earned suggestions to appease his own three-year-old, Ash.

So, what movie did Teigen eventually settle on?  "We went with Insidious," the model joked.  "Thanks, guys!"

 Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Tom Hanks called out an advertisement using his image to promote CBD on Tuesday, calling the ad in question a "false and an intentional hoax."

The ad from an undisclosed company appears to promote "CannaPro CBD" and features a photo of the actor, alongside a fake quote attributed to him.

"The advances Dr. Oz has made in the CBD industry are remarkable. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t had the chance to try it out for myself. After using CannaPro CBD for two weeks I was already feeling like a new me," the quote reads.

In an Instagram post, Hanks shared the ad, writing, "I’ve never said this and would never make such an endorsement. Come on, man!" As always, he signs off with his usual: "Hanx."

The false ad also garnered criticism from Dr. Mehmet Oz, who's mentioned in the quote.

Reposting Hanks' message, Dr Oz added, "Could not agree more with @tomhanks. This is a fake and misleading advertisement intended to take advantage of consumers using false claims and our likenesses illegally. I am not involved with any cannabis companies."

Hanks previously shared another fake advertisement, also using his likeness to promote CBD, in July 2019.

High-profile actors and actresses often fall victim to celebrity endorsement theft. Ellen DeGeneres and Sandra Bullock filed a joint lawsuit in November 2019 against 100 anonymous defendants for using their name and likeness for unauthorized product endorsements.  Bullock and DeGeneres say their images and personas are mostly used to push beauty wares like anti-aging serum and weight-loss products.

The FTC and Better Business Bureau told ABC News that the issue has impacted millions across the United States. Some of the scammers creating the false adverts can be difficult to identify, experts say.

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"Ghostbusters" - Columbia Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- The boys are back!  As rumored, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson will once again strap on their proton packs in the upcoming film sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

The news was confirmed in a new Vanity Fair interview with  Murray, who of course played sarcastic parapsychologist Dr. Peter Venkman to Aykroyd's Dr. Raymond Stantz, Ernie Hudson's Winston Zeddemore and the late Harold Ramis' Dr. Egon Spengler.

The cast, along with Sigourney Weaver, did appear in the ill-fated 2016 all female reboot of Ghostbusters, though director Paul Feig chose to have them play other characters.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife stars Paul Rudd as a science teacher whose students find themselves in the middle of a spooky mystery. One of the students, played by McKenna Grace, is none other than Egon's granddaughter.

Ghostbusters co-creator Ramis died in 2014 at 69. Of the film's plot, Murray says, "Well, we are a man down. That’s the deal," he said somberly. "And that's the story that we’re telling, that's the story they've written."

Murray famously had a decades-long feud with his Groundhog Day director and Stripes co-star Ramis, but reportedly buried the hatchet before Ramis passed away.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife opens July 10.


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