UFC star McGregor facing criminal charges in New York

UFC star Conor McGregor is facing criminal charges after a backstage melee injured two fighters and forced the removal of three bouts on Saturday night from UFC’s biggest card this year.

Video footage appears to show the promotion’s most bankable star throwing a hand truck at a bus full of fighters on Thursday after a news conference for UFC 223 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

The New York Police Department says McGregor was charged, facing three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief. He’s making a court appearance on Friday. It was not immediately known if McGregor has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

UFC President Dana White said Friday he spoke to McGregor via text and the brawler said the confrontation “had to be done.”

“It was probably the worst conversation we ever had,” White told FS1’s “First Things First” on Friday morning. “We talked yesterday before he turned himself in.

“It’s not that I don’t think he understood what happened. He justified it. It was justified to him.”

White said the 29-year-old McGregor said he was sorry about the fighters who were injured, but, “this had to be done.”

Video showed McGregor with a group of people causing chaos Thursday as they took an elevator to the loading dock at Barclays Center. He can be seen tossing trash cans and being prevented from throwing a barricade at a bus during his unannounced appearance in New York.

Michael Chiesa was sent to the hospital with injuries sustained in the attack and was forced out of his scheduled fight against Anthony Pettis.

“A decision was made by the New York State Athletic Commission to pull me from UFC 223,” Chiesa tweeted. “I’m devastated to say the least. @showtimepettis I hope to run this match up ASAP. June 9th in your backyard. That’s all I have to say for now. Much love.”

Flyweight Ray Borg suffered multiple cornea abrasions in the wake of the McGregor attack and his fight against Brandon Moreno was also scratched.

“The organization deems today’s disruption completely unacceptable and is currently working on the consequences that will follow,” UFC said in a statement. “Individuals involved in the incident are not welcome at tomorrow’s ceremonial weigh-in or Saturday’s event at Barclays Center.”

McGregor hasn’t fought for UFC since November 2016 and was stripped this week by UFC President Dana White of the 155-pound championship he had never defended. White also said this week he did not expect McGregor to attend Saturday’s fights.

McGregor profanely responded on Twitter and wrote, “You’ll strip me of nothing.”

McGregor last fought in a boxing match he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Aug. 26, 2017.

The popular Irishman is tight with UFC 223 fighter Artem Lobov, who was involved this week in a scuffle in a hotel with Khabib Nurmagomedov. The fight between Max Holloway and Nurmagomedov was canceled Friday when Holloway didn’t make weight for the main event, a lightweight championship left vacant by McGregor.

Lobov was yanked from the card and banned from the building.

White said this week in New York that McGregor would fight again for UFC this year. McGregor’s actions now put future fights in doubt.

McGregor once held the 145 and 155-pound championships at the same time and boldly stated he wanted an ownership stake in UFC.

But the trash-talking, egocentric has been out of the fight game except for his boxing dalliance with Mayweather that made him wealthy enough to never need to fight again. McGregor and his girlfriend welcomed their first child, a son, in May 2017.

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Associated Press writer Dan Gelston in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

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Menendez brothers who killed parents reunited in prison

The Menendez brothers, who were convicted of killing their parents in their Beverly Hills mansion nearly three decades ago, have been reunited in a Southern California prison.

Erik Menendez, 47, has moved into the same housing unit as his 50-year-old brother, Lyle Menendez, Corrections department spokeswoman Terry Thornton said Thursday.

The brothers are serving life sentences for fatally shooting their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, in 1989.

Lyle Menendez was moved in February from Mule Creek State Prison in Northern California to San Diego’s R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility, after his security classification was lowered. But the brothers lived in separate housing units and would not have seen each other, Thornton said. The prison houses nearly 3,900 male inmates.

That changed Wednesday, when Eric moved into the same housing unit as his brother, a unit where inmates agree to participate in educational and other rehabilitation programs without fighting or creating disruptions.

“They can and do interact with each other, all the inmates in that facility,” she said, though she didn’t know how the brothers reacted during their reunion.

The brothers had asked two decades ago, after they were sentenced, to be sent to the same prison.

Prison officials said then that they often balked at putting partners in crime together, and the Beverly Hills detective who investigated the slayings argued that the brothers might conspire to escape if they were together. Leslie Abramson, Erik Menendez’s attorney, at the time called housing the brothers separately “exceedingly cruel and heartless.”

Lyle, who was then 21, and Erik, then 18, admitted they fatally shot-gunned their entertainment executive father and their mother, but said they feared their parents were about to kill them to prevent the disclosure of the father’s long-term sexual molestation of Erik.

Prosecutors contended there was no evidence of any molestation. They said the sons were after their parents’ multimillion-dollar estate.

Jurors rejected a death sentence in favor of life without parole.

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British royals go to Easter service without Harry and Markle

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and his wife, Kate, and other senior British royals celebrated an Easter church service Sunday at the chapel where Prince Harry and American fiancee Meghan Markle will get married in May.

Harry and Markle did not attend the service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, England. Palace officials said their weekend plans were private.

Prince Philip, the queen’s husband, also did not attend. The 96-year-old has retired from public duties and been seen less frequently.

Most of the royals walked down the hill from Windsor Castle to the chapel, but the 91-year-old queen arrived by car, wearing a purple fuchsia coatdress and matching hat.

William and Kate also took a car to the chapel, arriving at the church a few minutes late. They emerged without their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Kate is expecting the couple’s third child later this month.

Jack Brooksbank, who is engaged to the queen’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie, made his first Easter appearance with the royal family. Brooksbank and Eugenie, the daughter of Princess Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, plan to wed in October.

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Meghan Markle's life before Prince Harry examined in new book

Meghan Markle is less than 50 days away from becoming a member of Britain’s royal family but a new book is shedding light on her life before meeting Prince Harry.

The book, “Meghan: A Hollywood Princess,” claims Markle’s divorce from her first husband, producer Trevor Engelson, was so abrupt that Markle sent her ring back through the mail.

“Trevor went from cherishing Meghan to, as one friend observed, ‘feeling like he was a piece of something stuck to the bottom of her shoe,’” royal biographer Andrew Morton writes in the new book.

Morton portrays Markle in the book as a social climber.

“A networker to her fingertips, she seemed to be recalibrating her life, forging new friendships with those who could develop her career,” he writes.

Markle, 36, is a California native who ended her seven-season run as an actress on the TV show “Suits” when her engagement to Harry, 33, was announced last November.

“Because I’m from the states, we don’t grow up with the same understanding of the royal family,” Markle said last November in her first engagement interview with Harry. “And so, while I now understand very clearly that there’s a global interest there, I didn’t know very much about him.”

A person Morton identifies as a childhood friend of Markle’s is quoted in the book saying the former actress was in fact “always fascinated by the royal family.”

The friend is also quoted as saying Markle “wants to be Princess Diana 2.0,” referring to Harry’s late mother, who was a noted humanitarian.

Markle, who graduated from Northwestern University, is also a humanitarian who worked with the United Nations on women’s issues and was an ambassador for World Vision prior to meeting Harry.

Morton interviewed Markle’s teenage friends who claim Markle was crying as they watched the funeral for Diana in 1997.

“According to family and friends, she was intrigued by Diana not just for her style but for her independent humanitarian mission, seeing her as a role model,” Morton writes.

As Markle prepares for her May 19 wedding to Harry, she has thrown herself into humanitarian work.

Markle, who now lives in London, has been warmly welcomed by residents of the U.K. as she has traveled the country alongside Harry. She has also worked closely with Harry and Prince William and Princess Kate on The Royal Foundation, the royals’ charitable arm of which Markle will become a patron.

Markle has also, by all accounts, been warmly welcomed by the royal family.

Harry and Markle did not join Queen Elizabeth, William, Kate and other family members on Sunday for Easter services at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor’s Castle, where the couple will wed.

“Meghan: A Hollywood Princess” will be released in the U.S. on April 17.

Andrew Morton will discuss his new book about Markle live on “Good Morning America” on Monday, April 16. Tune in from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., EST.

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'Roseanne' reboot picks up where show left off, adds Trump

When the reboot of “Roseanne” premieres on ABC on Tuesday, it picks up where the show left off in 1997 — with one notable difference.

For the reboot, Roseanne will be at odds with her sister Jackie, played by Laurie Metcalf, over President Donald Trump.

Roseanne Barr says she thought it was important to show how the Conner family deals with the same issues that many American families currently face.

“It shows people’s different opinions and how they resolve them,” Barr said at the New York premiere of the show on Monday night.

She added: “I saw it happening in all the families I know, so I thought, ‘Well this is, you know, it’s good, hopefully it will get people talking to each other.'”

Much like his on-screen persona, John Goodman, who reprises his role as Dan Conner, wanted to stay out of the fray.

“All politics is local, and ultimately it’s all meant to crush the family,” Goodman said.

But he says he thinks it’s important to cover the political dynamic on the show.

“It’s how we deal with it. It’s just how we deal with everything within the group, and we disagree or not it’s really not that big a deal,” Goodman said.

Barr, who counts herself as a Trump supporter, was not able to fully express why she backs the president so intensely.

“You know, well he is the president and that’s it. He is the president, and we are in a war, so I think we should all pull together and, uh, try to get over our great divide,” Barr said.

When asked if she watched Sunday’s “60 Minutes” interview with Stormy Daniels, who has alleged she had an affair with Trump in 2006, she was dismissive.

“No. I don’t care about that,” Barr said.

Then Goodman chimed in.

“I didn’t see her on that,” he said as he grinned, inferring he’d seen her as an adult film actress.

When Barr got the joke, she burst out laughing as the pair walked away.

“Roseanne” airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

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Online:

http://abc.go.com/shows/roseanne

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Omarosa dishes on Trump and gets his attention

Omarosa Manigault Newman once predicted that “every critic, every detractor will have to bow down to President Trump.” The question now for the former White House aide and “Apprentice” contestant is whether that applies to her, too.

Starring in another reality TV show after resigning from the West Wing, Manigault Newman unleashed one criticism after another of her longtime friend Donald Trump and former White House colleagues, testing the widely held view that few people are ever really exiled from Trump’s orbit.

Manigault Newman said she was “haunted” every day by Trump’s tweets and “attacked” by colleagues when she tried to intervene. She said he tweets in his underwear in the early morning. She compared leaving the White House to being freed from a plantation, a reference to her one-time status as the only black member of the White House senior staff.

If that wasn’t enough, she said the country will not be OK under Trump, and teased that she may tell everything in a book.

The ill feelings may well be mutual.

Trump, who called Manigault Newman a “good person” after she left the White House, referred to her as “the worst” in a speech at a press dinner where the president traditionally jabs at friends and foes alike.

The White House dismisses Manigault Newman as someone Trump has now fired four times: thrice from “The Apprentice” and once from the White House last December.

Armstrong Williams, a longtime friend of Manigault Newman, said the fact that Trump name-checked her in the Gridiron dinner speech this month “means she’s on his mind.” He doesn’t think she had fallen out of favor because of her nationally broadcast criticisms.

“Here’s the key: The president has not tweeted about anything that Omarosa has done since she left. That’s significant,” said Williams, a conservative commentator. “He’s tweeted about (Steve) Bannon and everybody else, but he has not tweeted or pushed back in any way against Omarosa.”

Bannon is the former White House chief strategist whom Trump publicly broke with after a book about Trump’s first year in office quoted Bannon criticizing some of Trump’s adult children. Trump then accused Bannon of “losing his mind.”

Others fired by Trump, including his first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and his first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, remain in contact with the president.

During her stint on CBS’ “Celebrity Big Brother,” where Manigault Newman and other celebrities lived under constant surveillance in a shared house until voted out, she steered clear of Trump’s third rail, his family. But she let loose on the president and Vice President Mike Pence.

In one whispered conversation, she said working for Trump was “like a call to duty,” but “I was haunted by the tweets every single day, like ‘What is he going to tweet next?'” When she tried to intervene, Manigault Newman said through tears, “all of the people around him attacked me.”

When asked if people should be worried, Manigault Newman nodded her head and said, “It is going to not be OK. It’s not.”

She criticized Pence in a later episode, saying he’d be more extreme than Trump. “So everybody that’s wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their lives. We would be begging for days of Trump back if Pence became president,” she said. “He’s extreme. I’m Christian. I love Jesus. But he thinks Jesus tells him to say things. I’m like, ‘Jesus ain’t saying that.'”

The conversations eventually came around to Trump’s tweets. Manigault Newman was asked who monitors them.

“He’s up in his underwear or something at 4 in the morning. Who’s going to monitor that?” she said. “Remember, the bad tweets happen between 4 and 6 in the morning. Ain’t nobody up there but Melania” — Trump’s wife. Manigault Newman then commented on the large diamond the first lady wears on her left ring finger and said Trump “can do whatever he wants. She ain’t saying nothing.”

It was unclear whether her criticisms were genuine or whether she was trying to curry favor with her castmates to avoid eviction. (She didn’t win.)

Manigualt Newman, who declined to comment for this story, passed up a chance to repeat her criticisms during a recent appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” after the reality TV show ended.

When asked if everything will be OK under Trump, she told Colbert, “You’ll have to wait and see.”

She did tell Colbert that she plans to focus on her ministry. Last April, she married John Allen Newman, senior pastor at a Baptist church in Jacksonville, Florida, during a ceremony at Trump’s hotel near the White House. The website of Mount Calvary Baptist Church says she was licensed to preach in 2011 and later ordained and served as assistant pastor.

“My calling to the ministry is more important than anything else that I’ve done and I don’t want to neglect it,” Manigault Newman told Colbert.

Whether that means she’s done bashing Trump remains to be seen.

In her first interview after leaving the White House, she told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that “when I can tell my story, it is a profound story that I know the world will want to hear.”

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Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

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