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Annabella Sciorra Confronts Weinstein From the Witness Stand

Actress Annabella Sciorra confronted Harvey Weinstein in court Thursday after keeping her rape accusation against the former Hollywood honcho largely hidden for decades.
    
For more than a quarter-century, she told only few friends that the once-revered producer had pinned her to a bed and violated her, until she came forward publicly in 2017.
    
Now, Sciorra has become the first of Weinstein’s accusers to testify at his New York City rape trial.
    
Sciorra, best known for her work in “The Sopranos,” stands to be a key witness in a watershed trial for the (hash)MeToo movement.
    
Sciorra, 59, started acting in the late 1980s and soon drew acclaim for her leading part in Spike Lee’s 1991 film “Jungle Fever” and her role as a pregnant woman molested by her doctor in 1992’s “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” the next year.
    
The New York trial involves just a pair of the dozens of allegations that surfaced against Weinstein in recent years. He is charged with forcibly performing oral sex on former “Project Runway” production assistant Mimi Haleyi in his apartment in 2006 and raping an aspiring actress in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013.
    
Weinstein has insisted any sexual encounters were consensual. As he left court on Wednesday, he told reporters he felt “very confident” about the case.
    
A guilty verdict could put the 67-year-old disgraced movie mogul in prison for the rest of his life.
    
Sciorra’s allegations date back too long to be prosecuted on their own, but her testimony could be a factor as prosecutors look to show that Weinstein has engaged in a pattern of predatory behavior.
    
Her testimony about events in the mid-to-late 1990s could give the  jury of seven men and five women a sense of the breadth of Weinstein’s alleged wrongdoing and insight into the power dynamics at play in his interactions with young actresses.
    
Prosecutors previewed Sciorra’s testimony in a lengthy, at-times graphic opening statement Wednesday that painted Weinstein as a sexual predator who used his film industry clout to abuse women for decades.
    
She’s one of four other accusers that prosecutors plan to call as witnesses during the monthlong trial.
    
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault, unless they come forward publicly.
    
Sciorra alleges Weinstein showed up at her Manhattan apartment after dropping her off from a dinner, forced himself inside and raped her sometime in late 1993 or early 1994.
    
“The evidence will show that despite her protests, despite her fight, despite her body revolting, Harvey Weinstein felt he was entitled to take what he wanted from Annabella ,forcing her to live in terror of him for decades,” prosecutor Meghan Hast told jurors in her opening statement.
    
That touched off several years of Weinstein tormenting Sciorra, Hast said, culminating in an incident at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 in which he arrived at her hotel door in his underwear, with a bottle of baby oil in hand.
    
A petrified Sciorra ran to the back of the room and started hitting call buttons, at which point Weinstein left,  Hast said.
    
Sciorra did not go to authorities because she feared reprisal from Weinstein, prosecutors said. She went public in The New Yorker in October 2017, telling the magazine that for years she had been “so ashamed of what happened.”
   
 “I fought. I fought. But still I was like, `Why did I open that door? Who opens the door at that time of night?”  Sciorra said. “I was definitely embarrassed by it. I felt disgusting.”
    
Weinstein lawyer Damon Cheronis, in his opening statement, made clear the defense intends to go on the offensive.
    
He questioned the validity of Sciorra’s account, saying she once told a friend that she “did a crazy thing and had sex with Harvey Weinstein” and that she had a consensual encounter with him.
    
“She didn’t describe it as rape because it wasn’t,” Cheronis said.
 

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April Trial Set for Cuba Gooding Jr. in Bar Groping Case

Two women who have accused Cuba Gooding Jr. of sexual misconduct will be allowed to testify at his trial on charges that he groped three other women at Manhattan bars in 2018 and 2019, a judge ruled Wednesday.
    
An April 21 trial date was set for Gooding, who previously pleaded not guilty to an updated indictment that covers the three accusations of groping.
    
Prosecutors said they had 19 other women who could testify that the Oscar-winning “Jerry Maguire” actor was also inappropriate with them in similar settings, bars, hotels and restaurants, as far back as 2001.
    
Gooding has denied the charges. His defense attorney, Mark Heller, previously called the allegations “incredulous “and assailed the prosecution as a waste of taxpayer dollars.
    
Gooding and his attorneys left Wednesday’s proceeding without commenting.
    
The brief hearing at Manhattan criminal court came as opening statements began in the same building in the prosecution of Harvey Weinstein, a landmark moment for the (hash) MeToo movement.
    
Heller has called the charges against Gooding a “distorted overreaction pandering to the current hypersensitive climate where innocent commonplace gestures are now misperceived and mischaracterized as offensive.” He has accused prosecutors of amplifying long-ago allegations to bolster an otherwise weak case.
     
Attorneys in the case are expected to return to court next week for a hearing on a protective order governing discovery.
    
Prosecutors wanted an earlier trial date, but Gooding’s defense team said it needed more time to examine the evidence.
    
Prosecutors asked Judge Curtis Farber to allow a parade of witnesses to testify that Gooding violated them in bars, hotels and restaurants as long ago as 2001. None of those claims resulted in criminal charges, but state law allows prosecutors to call accusers not involved in the criminal case as witnesses in an effort to show a pattern of misconduct.
    
Gooding prosecutor Jenna Long said in a court filing that the previous incidents make clear that Gooding’s “contacts with (women’s) intimate parts are intentional, not accidental, and that he is not mistaken about their lack of consent.”
    
Farber, in a written ruling, said “the admission of all 19 uncharged prior incidents would result in undue prejudice.” He added that admitting a “limited selection of incidents outweighs such prejudice.”
    
Farber also denied a defense motion to dismiss the charges on the grounds that Gooding was not allowed to testify to the grand jury. The judge wrote that prosecutors “had no obligation to inform the defendant that a grand jury proceeding

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‘Naughty Boy’: Monty Python Star Terry Jones Dies at 77

Terry Jones, a founding member of the anarchic Monty Python troupe who was hailed by colleagues as “the complete Renaissance comedian” an d “a man of endless enthusiasms,”  has died after a battle with dementia.Jones’ family said the 77-year-old died Tuesday evening at his home in London. In a statement, his family said he died “after a long, extremely brave but always good humored battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD.”
   
Jones’ wife, Anna Soderstrom, and children Bill, Sally and Siri, said “we have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man whose uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humor has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades.””His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programs, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath,” they said.Born in Wales in 1942, Jones attended Oxford University, where he began writing and performing with fellow student Michael Palin.After leaving university, he wrote for seminal 1960s comedy series, including “The Frost Report” and “Do Not Adjust Your Set.” At the end of the decade he, along with Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam, formed Monty Python’s Flying Circus, whose irreverent humor — a blend of satire, surrealism and silliness — helped revolutionize British comedy.FILE – From left, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones of the comedy group Monty Python pose for photographers during a photo call in London, June 30, 2014.Jones wrote and performed for the troupe’s early-70s TV series and films including “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” in 1975 and “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” in 1979.Playing the mother of Brian, a hapless young man who is mistaken for Jesus, he delivered one of the Pythons’ most famous lines: “He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!”Jones played many of the Pythons’ female characters, as well as a grinning nude organist, Spanish Inquisitor Cardinal Biggles and the explosively gluttonous restaurant patron Mr. Creosote.Cleese tweeted: “It feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away.”He added: “Two down, four to go,” a reference to the six members of the troupe. Chapman died of cancer in 1989.As well as performing, Jones co-directed “Holy Grail” with Gilliam, and directed “Life of Brian” and the 1983 Python film “The Meaning of Life.”FILE – From left to right, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, three of the six creators of the hit British TV comedy series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” are shown in New York, March 12, 1975.During the 1970s, Jones also created the show “Ripping Yarns” with Palin and wrote sketches for comedy duo The Two Ronnies.After the Pythons largely disbanded in the 1980s, Jones wrote books on medieval and ancient history, presented documentaries, wrote poetry and directed films, including “Personal Services,” about a suburban brothel madam, and the comedy adventure “Erik the Viking.” He also scripted the Jim Henson-directed fantasy film “Labyrinth,” which starred David Bowie.In 2014, more than three decades after their last live performance, the five surviving Pythons reunited for a string of stage shows that revived their old skits for adoring audiences.Two years later, Jones was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, which gradually robbed him of the ability to write and speak.”Terry was one of my closest, most valued friends. He was kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to the full,” Palin said in a statement.”He was far more than one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation. He was the complete Renaissance comedian — writer, director, presenter, historian, brilliant children’s author, and the warmest, most wonderful company you could wish to have,” Palin said.Jones is survived by his wife, his ex-wife Alison Telfer, and three children.
 

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A #MeToo Moment: Harvey Weinstein Trial Set to Open

Harvey Weinstein spawned the (hash)MeToo movement. Now, the former film titan is starring in the biggest trial of its era – a landmark moment in a global reckoning that has empowered women while shining a light on power dynamics in workplaces from Hollywood Boulevard to Main Street.Opening statements and the first witness testimony are expected Wednesday in Weinstein’s New York City rape trial, where the possibility of life in prison looms for the once-celebrated “Pulp Fiction” producer now vilified as a predator by scores of women.Weinstein’s accusers include some well-known actresses who plan to testify or attend the trial and others who are looking to the New York case for a form of justice because their allegations haven’t resulted in criminal charges.”This trial is so important because the enormity of Harvey Weinstein’s international power and fame offers an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the rampant abuse of power that permeates our culture on a global level,” actress Jessica Barth said Tuesday.”Not only the outcome of this trial, but the trial as a whole, is precedent setting,” said Barth, a star of the “Ted” films who says Weinstein once invited her to his hotel suite and demanded a naked massage.Weinstein’s trial could take more than a month, Judge James Burke said. Judging from an arduous two-week  jury selection that netted a panel of seven men and five women, it could be a hotbed of protests and intense media coverage.Extra court officers have been lining the front of the Manhattan courthouse where Weinstein, 67, has been ambling in and out with a walker that his lawyers say was necessitated by a summer car crash and subsequent back surgery.In a failed last-minute push to get the trial moved, Weinstein’s lawyers said a flash mob’s chanting “the rapist is you!” at street level could be heard in the courtroom, 15 floors above.Adding to the drama, actor Cuba Gooding Jr. is due at the same courthouse Wednesday for a hearing in a case in which several women have accused him of groping. He’s denied  all allegations of wrongdoing.Though dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexually harassing or assaulting them over the years, his New York trial involves just a pair of allegations: that he raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulted a different woman in 2006.Backed by expected testimony from four other accusers, prosecutors will attempt to portray Weinstein as a monster who used his power to ingratiate himself with women, sometimes promising a film role or other career advancement, before sexually assaulting or raping them.One of them, actress Annabella Sciorra will testify  that Weinstein forced himself inside her Manhattan apartment and raped her in 1993 or 1994 after she starred in a film for his movie studio.While Sciorra’s allegations are outside the statute of limitations for criminal charges, the judge has said her testimony can be used to prove predatory sexual assault charges, which carries a maximum life sentence and requires prosecutors to show a pattern of misconduct.Weinstein’s lawyers say any encounters were consensual. They plan to go on the offensive, pointing to dozens and dozens and dozens of loving emails to Mr. Weinstein'' they say show he and some of his accusers were in consenting relationships. Defense lawyer Damon Cheronis said some of the womenalso bragged about being in a sexual relationship with him.’’Once trailed by whispers in Hollywood circles, Weinstein was met with an explosion of allegations from dozens of women after The New York Times and The New Yorker published separate exposes about his behavior in October 2017.After opening statements, prosecutors are expected to call a former member of the board of directors at Weinstein’s old movie studio to testify about how the company handled allegations against him.One issue that has remained unresolved in the trial is the defense’s objection to a juror who wrote an upcoming novel about young women that includes, according to the book’s publicity materials, descriptions of their relationships with predatory older men. If she is removed and replaced as a juror, that’ll leave just two remaining alternates for the trial.Once the New York trial is over, Weinstein faces additional rape and sexual assault charges in Los Angeles. Those charges were filed this month as jury selection in his New York trial was getting underway.

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Winfrey Chooses the Novel ‘American Dirt’ for Her Book Club

Jeanine Cummins’ “American Dirt,” one of the year’s most anticipated and debated novels, is Oprah Winfrey’s new pick for her book club.“American Dirt,” published Tuesday, tells of a bookstore owner in Acapulco, Mexico, who loses much of her family to a murderous drug cartel and flees north on a terrifying journey with her 8-year-old son. The novel was acquired by Flatiron Books in 2018 in a reported seven-figure deal and has been talked about in the publishing world ever since. It has appeared on numerous lists of books to look for in 2020, has reached the top 20 on Amazon.com  ahead of its release,  and has been praised by everyone from John Grisham and Stephen King to Erika Sanchez and Sandra Cisneros.Winfrey, interviewed Friday by telephone, told The Associated Press that one blurb that stood out was novelist Don Winslow’s comparing “American Dirt” to John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath.”“And I remember thinking, Yeah right, you better know what you're talking about because I have a first edition ofGrapes of Wrath,’ and it sits on a pedestal in my living room,’“ Winfrey said. “Now I wouldn’t say this is Grapes of Wrath,' but I would say that ... I have been a news reporter, watched the news, seen the stories every day, seen the children at the border and my heart is wrenched by that. And nothing has done more (thanAmerican Dirt’) to make me feel the pain and desperation of what it means to be on the run. It’s changed the way I see the whole issue and I was already empathetic.”Cummins, who also spoke recently to the AP, says she first thought of the book in 2013 and was inspired for various reasons. Her husband emigrated from Ireland and she remembered the many years it took for him to get his green card, and the anxiety, before they married, that he might be deported. She also was moved by what she considered the media’s sensationalized coverage of immigration, and, more indirectly, by her lasting grief over a 1991 tragedy when two of her cousins were raped and forced off a bridge, falling to their deaths.“So many of the stories center on violent men and macho violent stories about people who commit atrocities,” she said. “My hope was to reframe the narrative and show it from the point of view of the people on the flip side of violence.”Cummins, who has ancestors from Ireland and Puerto Rico, said she spent extensive time in Mexico and met with many people on both sides of the border. Her novel has raised questions, however, over whether she, a non-Mexican and non-migrant, was suited for the narrative. Cummins herself has expressed doubts, writing in the book’s afterword: “I wished someone slightly browner than me would write it.” She then added that perhaps she could serve as a bridge. “I thought, `If you’re the person who has the capacity to be a bridge, why not be a bridge?”’ Cummins wrote.Cisneros has called “American Dirt” the “international story of our times,” but some other writers of Mexican heritage have criticized it. Myriam Gurba, whose work has been praised in O: The Oprah Magazine among other publications, has written online that Cummins reinforces “overly-ripe Mexican stereotypes, among them the Latin lover, the suffering mother, and the stoic man child.” David Bowles, a writer and translator, called the book “smug saviorism.”Over the past few days, The New York Times published contrasting reviews. Times critic Parul Sehgal labeled the novel’s characters “thin creations,” criticized the language as strained and even nonsensical, and concluded that the “book feels conspicuously like the work of an outsider.” Author Lauren Groff, reviewing the book for The New York Times Book Review, found herself completely immersed but wondering whether she should have accepted the assignment.“I could never speak to the accuracy of the book’s representation of Mexican culture or the plights of migrants; I have never been Mexican or a migrant,” wrote Groff, who nonetheless “kept turning the pages.”“’American Dirt’ is written for people like me,” Groff wrote, “those native to the United States who are worried about what is happening at our southern border but who have never felt the migrants’ fear and desperation in their own bodies. This novel is aimed at people who have loved a child and who would fight with everything they have to see that child be allowed a good future.”After her review ran, Groff tweeted: “I wrestled like a beast with this review, the morals of my taking it on, my complicity in the white gaze.” She called Sehgal’s  take “better and smarter.”As a turning point in deciding to write the book, Cummins, 45, cited a conversation with Norma Iglesias-Prieto, a professor of Chicano and Chicana studies at San Diego State University. According to Cummins, Iglesias-Prieto told her, “We need as many voices as we can get.” (Iglesias-Preto recently told The Los Angeles Times that “everyone has the right to write about a particular topic even if you are not part of this community.”)Winfrey chose “American Dirt” last fall and, when asked (before the Times reviews ran) about the controversy, said she wasn’t aware of it. But she cited her own visceral response as a sign that Cummins had fulfilled a vital role for fiction.“She humanized this issue,” said Winfrey, who hopes to interview Cummins somewhere along the U.S-Mexico border. The interview will air March 6 on Apple TV Plus.Winfrey has been boosting sales for books, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of copies or more, since 1996. She has championed first-time authors such as Ayana Mathis, and has looked back to such classics as “Anna Karenina” and “A Tale of Two Cities.” Cummins’ novel, Winfrey’s third pick for the partnership with Apple she began last year, continues her recent pattern of choosing high-profile new releases, including Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “The Water Dancer” and Elizabeth Strout’s “Olive, Again.” Winfrey said she follows no pattern except that the books compel her to tell others about them.“There is no strategy. There is no plan,” she says. “I am open to all books.”Cummins is the author of three previous works: the novels “The Crooked Branch” and “The Outside Boy,” and the memoir “A Rip In Heaven,” about the assaults and deaths of her cousins.  She is hoping to start soon on a new novel. Cummins says she hasn’t decided on a plot, but expects the setting will be tied to her background — Puerto Rico. 

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Protests or Not, Politics and Olympics Are Intertwined

More than a half-century later, Tommie Smith and John Carlos are cemented into Olympic lore — their names enshrined in the Olympic Hall of Fame in the United States, their portrait an indelible fixture on the universal sports landscape.As for that raised-fist salute that transformed them into Olympic icons, while also symbolizing the power athletes possess for the short time they’re on their biggest stage — it’s still forbidden.Such was the warning this month in the announcement  by the IOC, whose athletes’ commission banned kneeling and hand gestures during medals ceremonies and competiton. It’s all part of an attempt to tamp down political demonstrations at this summer’s Tokyo Games.”The eyes of the world will be on the athletes and the Olympic Games,” IOC President Thomas Bach said, in delivering an impassioned defense of the rules.FILE – U.S. athletes Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos stare downward and extend gloved hands skyward in a Black power salute after winning medals in the 200-meter run at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, Oct. 16, 1968.IOC athlete’s rep Kirsty Coventry portrayed the guidance as a way to provide some clarity on an issue that has confounded both athletes and authorities for decades.The issue, always bubbling, surfaced last year when two U.S. athletes — Gwen Berry and Race Imboden — used medal ceremonies to make political statements at the Pan American Games. Those gestures brought a strong rebuke from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic committees, but the groups still appear  confused and conflicted  about the entire matter. (The  USOPC didn’t welcome Smith and Carlos to an officially sanctioned event until 2016. )The IOC got its athletes’ commission, which has often contradicted key athlete movements in other Olympic areas, to get out front on the issue and offer its advice. It was essentially no different from what the IOC itself has been touting for years. Not surprisingly, some view it as an out-of-touch, retrograde attempt to stifle an increasingly outspoken generation of athletes.The mushrooming of live TV, to say nothing of the outlets now available on social media, has empowered athletes — the best examples from recent years would be Colin Kaepernick and Megan Rapinoe, but there are dozens more — to use sports to send a message.Rapinoe’s reaction to the IOC announcement: “We will not be silenced.” As much as her play, Rapinoe’s outspoken fight for equal pay for the U.S. women’s soccer team underscored the American victory in the World Cup last year and made her, in the minds of many, the most influential athlete of 2019.”So much for being done about the protests,” Rapinoe wrote on Instagram last weekend. “So little being done about what we are protesting about.”Disciplinary actionThe athletes’ commission said disciplinary action would be taken “on a case-by-case basis as necessary” and listed the IOC, the sports federations and the athletes’ national governing bodies as those who will have authority to make the call. It made no mention of what the sanctions could be. In that respect, it added confusion, and might have served to emphasize the power disparity between the athletes, who are the show, and the agencies who run this multibillion-dollar enterprise and, for all intents and purposes, control the invitation list.Among the other questions not answered in the guidance document:* Who, exactly, will adjudicate the individual cases and how will cases be adjudicated?* Who, exactly, will have ultimate responsibility for implementing sanctions?While those questions went unanswered, the document did include the reminder that “it is a fundamental principle that sport is neutral and must be separate from political, religious or any other type of interference.”Political historyThat concept, however, runs counter to long thread of Olympics-as-politics storylines that have dominated the movement since it was founded in 1896.A truncated list includes:* Hitler’s hosting of the 1936 Games (winter and summer) in Nazi Germany.* IOC President Avery Brundage’s ham-handed handling of South Africa’s status in the Olympics during apartheid.* The 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes during the Munich Games.* The U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, followed by the Soviet Union’s boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Games.* The IOC’s awarding of the 2008 Olympics to Beijing, in part compelled by promises to shine a light on the country’s attempt to improve human rights.More recently, Bach has found the committee a permanent place at the United Nations, used the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea to strive for better relations between the Koreas, and spent ample time negotiating deals with leaders who have been kind enough to spend billions to stage the Olympics.FILE – International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach delivers a speech during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, August 2014.Though the IOC would argue that there are still places to make political statements in the Olympic space — news conferences and social media among them —it does not condone them on the field of play or the medals stand. It made all the more striking the picture the IOC tweeted out last Monday: Bach posing on a mountain with athletes in uniform from the United States and Iran at the Youth Olympic Games — a political statement during a time of strife that is designed to forward the long-held IOC-driven credo that the Olympics promote peace.IOC membersPeace itself is dependent on politics, and the people who run the Olympics are well connected to that world.No fewer than nine members of IOC itself are princes, princesses, dukes or sheiks — and that list doesn’t include the multitude of government officials involved in organizations that branch out of the IOC. For instance, half the World Anti-Doping Agency’s board comes from governments across the globe.Bach has singled out political concerns as a major divider in the Russian doping scandal that has embroiled the Olympics the past five years — implying it’s as much an East vs. West issue as one based on decisions that stem from painstakingly accumulated evidence.The latest move comes in the run-up to what figures to be a divisive election year in the United States, the country that sends the largest contingent to the Olympics, wins the most medals and often lands some of the most outspoken athletes on the podium.Smith and Carlos were booted from Mexico City after their protest. If history — to say nothing of Rapinoe’s reaction — is any guide, the IOC could be placed in the position to decide whether to make that same sort of statement again.
 

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Robert De Niro Gets Political as he Accepts SAG Awards Honor

Robert De Niro received the Screen Actors Guild lifetime achievement award Sunday to praise for his illustrious career and thunderous applause from his fellow performers, but spent much of his acceptance speech on politics.
“There’s right and there’s wrong, and there’s common sense and there’s abuse of power,” said De Niro, who received a standing ovation that lasted nearly a minute after Leonardo DiCaprio presented him with the award. About half of the room stood and applauded when De Niro said it was his responsibility to speak about politics and seemingly took aim at President Donald Trump, whose name he didn’t mention.
“As a citizen, I have as much right as anybody — an actor, an athlete, anybody else — to voice my opinion,” De Niro said. “And if I have a bigger voice because of my situation, I’m going to use it whenever I see a blatant abuse of power.”
De Niro became the 56th recipient of the guild’s highest honor during the ceremony held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
The actor has been a frequent, and occasionally profane, critic of Trump, but kept his criticism Sunday G-rated. He ended the politics portion of his speech by saying, “That’s all I’m going to say.”
DiCaprio praised the actor for his authenticity during his introduction, saying he’s been watching De Niro since the age of 13. DiCaprio recounted how his his father at the time suggested he pattern his early acting skills after the “Raging Bull” star.
 
“His specificity in detail and his fearless pursuit of authenticity in his work have influenced not only myself, but entire generations,” said DiCaprio, who co-starred with De Niro in “This Boy’s Life” in 1993. The two will co-star in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
 
“He has given us career-long explorations of the human conditions,” DiCaprio said.
After accepting the honor, De Niro thanked DiCaprio for his words then said he was ready to get back to work. DiCaprio carried De Niro’s award for him while the pair walked off stage, handing it back to his idol once in the wings.
“As actors, we don’t take victory laps,” De Niro said. “We’re too worried about what our next job will be. It makes me very happy to know that my next job will be working with you and Marty. At least I know that I have another year of health insurance.”
De Niro is a two-time Oscar winner for his supporting role in “The Godfather: Part II” and best actor in “Raging Bull.”  In 2011, he was also honored with the Golden Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille Award for his impact on the world of entertainment and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom five years later.
Through his career, De Niro has worked with some of Hollywood’s top directors, but he’s best known for his collaborations with Scorsese. The veteran actor had his breakthrough performance in Scorsese’s 1973 film “Mean Streets” before their partnership flourished in other standout projects including “Taxi Driver,” “Goodfellas,” “Casino” and “The Irishman.” Those films helped De Niro become known for tough-minded and dark characters who sometimes displayed a violent nature.
DiCaprio called De Niro and Scorsese the “greatest partnership in cinema history.”
Later in his career, De Niro had some light-hearted roles, exploring his comedic persona in films such as in the “Meet the Fockers” and “Analyze That” franchises along with “Joker.”
“Robert De Niro is elemental,” DiCaprio said Sunday. “It feels as if he’s always been here, and will always be here.”

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