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Linda Fairstein Sues Ava DuVernay Over ‘When They See Us’

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(TMZ) — Linda Fairstein , the woman who helped prosecute the now-vindicated Central Park 5, is suing Netflix and director Ava DuVernay over her portrayal in “When They See Us.”

A rep for Netflix tells us, “Linda Fairstein’s frivolous lawsuit is without merit. We intend to vigorously defend When They See Us and Ava DuVernay and Attica Locke, the incredible team behind the series.”

Fairstein filed the federal suit Wednesday, saying she fired off a warning to DuVernay before her series was released. Fairstein says she was concerned she would be portrayed in a false and defamatory manner.

She says it fell on deaf ears because Ava’s only response was Linda had no right to object before seeing the series.

Once it came out in June 2019, Fairstein says every episode in which she appears portrayed her as a “racist, unethical villain who is determined to jail innocent children of color at any cost.”

In the suit, obtained by TMZ, Fairstein objects to nearly every single aspect of the case … as it’s portrayed in the series. She denies taking any of the following actions: unlawfully interrogating unaccompanied minors, calling for a roundup of “young black” thugs, manipulating the timeline to pin the jogger’s rape on the Central Park 5, referring to people of color as animals, directing NYPD detectives to coerce confessions, and suppressing DNA evidence.

If you’ve seen the critically acclaimed series, you know that’s the entire plot. So, Fairstein is claiming it’s ALL a lie, as far as her role in the case.

Fairstein says after “When They See Us” was released her career as a prolific crime author was destroyed. Her publisher and agents dropped her, she lost speaking appearances and was forced to resign from the boards of several non-profit organizations.

Fairstein is suing Netflix, DuVernay and her co-writer, Attica Locke, for defamation. She wants a public apology, removal of the scenes she calls false, and a disclaimer added that labels the series as a dramatization and NOT a true story. She also wants damages.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

TMZ refers to to a studio-established “thirty mile zone” to monitor rules for filming in Hollywood. The center of the zone was the offices of The Association of Motion Pictures and Television Producers, formerly at Beverly and La Cienega Boulevard. Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check https://www.tmz.com/shows/ for syndicated/local listings at the bottom of the page)

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Celebrity News

Bethenny Frankel to Deliver Half-a-Million Masks in Wake of Coronavirus

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(TMZ) — Bethenny Frankel is about to deliver half-a-million masks to doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who are at high risk for contracting coronavirus, and the decks have just been cleared to deliver them quickly.

FEMA has told hospital workers they can get masks outside normal channels and get reimbursement because the supply is so critically lacking.

Bethenny tells TMZ, she’s getting thousands of messages a day from medical professionals — many in New York but also other areas of the country — begging for help.

Bethenny is working with manufacturers from all over the world to make masks, and the number she’s making has ballooned from 10,000 to 500,000 N-95 masks and counting.

She says the masks will be available in a few and they will go directly to the people who need it, because the red tape is being eliminated.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation Donates $5M to Coronavirus Relief

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(TMZ) — Rihanna ‘s Clara Lionel Foundation just made a massive donation in an effort to help support those challenged by and working to stop the coronavirus.

RiRi has pledged $5 MILLION to support groups in the United States and around the world. We’re told the cash will be used to support a myriad of efforts including local food banks serving at-risk communities in the U.S., speed up testing and medical care in countries like Haiti and Malawi.

The donation will also help doctors and nurses on the frontlines … with protective equipment, maintenance of intensive care units and the acceleration of the development of vaccines and other methods to fight the disease. It will also be used to help distribute critical respiratory supplies.

CLF’s Executive Director, Justine Lucas, tells us, “Never has it been more important or urgent to protect and prepare marginalized and underserved communities — those who will be hit hardest by this pandemic.”

Rihanna founded CLF in 2012, the group has worked tirelessly to support and fund education and emergency response programs around the world. CLF is accepting donations on its website to continue its fight.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Katy Perry Shows Baby Bump During Grocery Run with Orlando Bloom

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LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom are on the hunt for supermarket supplies — just like most of us adjusting to life in a pandemic — but the expectant parents look super comfy doing it.

Orlando and his pregnant, pop singer fiancee hit up a Whole Foods in L.A. along with Katy’s sister, Angela, and another male friend.

It looks like all 4 remained pretty chill amid the coronavirus panic-shopping many are still doing — and they walked out fresh produce, frozen veggies, boxes of bottled water and a plant-based protein powder called Vega.

One thing not visible in their haul — toilet paper. Let’s hope they’ve already stocked up.

We’re told Katy and co. shopped for about 30 minutes and practiced good social distancing. She went to the car about 10 minutes before Orlando. Of course, KP — whose baby bump is more prevalent these days — could’ve just needed to get off her feet.

As we reported … Katy revealed her pregnancy earlier this month in her new “Never Worn White” music video, referring to it as the hardest secret she’s had to keep.

She and Orlando recently returned to the U.S. just before the new reality of self-isolating at home to limit the COVID-19 outbreak really set in. They’re reportedly postponing their summer wedding in Japan due to the global crisis.

At least they’ve got plenty of water and protein to get through.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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