Amanda Knox went shopping yesterday with her best friend, Madison Paxton, in downtown Seattle. Just last week, the 24-year-old American student was still locked up in an Italian jail, but after winning her murder-conviction appeal, she's been embracing her freedom back in the States. Since her release, Amanda's enjoyed low-key outings and simple pleasures she missed while she was locked up, including takeout Chinese. But as she makes an attempt to get back to a normal life, we've also been learning more about her ordeal, including allegations that Amanda was sexually harassed by a prison official. Someone else who understands her experience, her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who was also accused and jailed, is expected to pay her a visit sometime this year. See photos of Amanda getting out in Seattle with her friend now.
"I didn't know how to stop doing it myself," explained Christopher Chaney, the 35-year-old man accused of hacking the private email accounts of 50 celebrities. In an interview with CNN, above, Chaney said "I deeply apologize. I know what I did was probably one of the worst invasions of privacy someone could experience."
Chaney has been indicted for accessing protected computers without authorization, damaging protected computers, wiretapping, and identity theft, and his targets included Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, and Christina Aguilera. While he maintains that he wasn't trying to profit off the information or distribute it, he also allegedly accessed financial information, movie scripts, and private conversations.
Chaney plans to plead guilty, but if convicted he could face an astounding 121 years in prison. Like many people, Chaney was fascinated by celebrities, but his curiosity caused him to cross the line and he soon got addicted to "seeing the behind the scenes of what's going on with the people you see on the big screen."
After nude photos of Scarlett Johansson hit the Internet last month, she reportedly met with the FBI about it, and she must feel a sense of relief that an arrest has been made. But after her photos leaked many people, including some of our readers, felt stars who take nude photos of themselves should share part of the blame, knowing that there's a public demand for such photos. And some of you said that the FBI has more important things to deal with, despite the serious violation of privacy. Now that the guy's been caught after a reported yearlong investigation, do you think he should go to prison for a significant part of his life?
Today, most people aren't shocked by the idea of a nonmarried couple cohabiting. Many opt to live together and test the waters before they officially tie the knot, while others aren't sure that marriage is the right option for their relationship. The most recent data from the National Survey of Family Growth in 2002 found that more than half of all women aged 15 to 44 have lived with an unmarried partner. Yet, in the state of Florida, cohabitation of an unmarried man and woman is still a second-degree misdemeanor, meaning it's punishable by a $500 fine or up to 60 days in jail.
This law may sound a little more than a tad dated, but it's not just the case in Florida. In the US, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia all have laws against the cohabitation of males and females, deeming the behavior as "lewd and lascivious."
According to the Sun-Sentinel, steps have been taken by Republican Rep. Ritch Workman to repeal Florida laws he finds outdated. Times have changed, and it seems like the government should keep up. But some conservatives have different ideas on what is deemed appropriate. In response to the action toward repeal, Rep. Dennis Baxley, of Ocala, FL, who previously headed the Florida chapter of the Christian Coalition said, "I'm not ready to give up on monogamy and a cultural statement that marriage still matters."
This isn't the only legislation that needs to catch up with the times. Here are some more of our favorite outdated laws:
- In Iowa, a man with a mustache may not kiss a woman.
- In Detroit, MI, couples are not allowed to make love in an automobile unless the act takes place while the vehicle is parked on the couple's own property.
- In Idaho, nonmarried couples who engage in sexual intercourse can be jailed for up to six months.
- In Raleigh, NC, before a man asks for a woman's hand in marriage, he must be "inspected by all the barnyard animals on the young woman's family's property to ensure a harmonious farm life."
- In Carmel, CA, women may not wear high heels while in the city limits without a permit.
Are there any other crazy laws you can't believe are still on the books? Share below!
In a move many saw coming, the Manhattan district attorney officially asked to drop charges of sexual assault against powerful French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The reasoning? They do not think a jury will believe the hotel maid's story of assault beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutors explained: "The nature and number of the complainant's falsehoods leave us unable to credit her version of events beyond a reasonable doubt, whatever the truth may be about the encounter between the complainant and the defendant." In another case of he-said-she-said, the prosecutors felt he, DSK, would win.
After her reputation and anonymity came under attack with claims of prostitution and blackmail, the maid accusing DSK came forward last month for a number of interviews. The graphic account the 32-year-old Guinean immigrant named Nafissatou Diallo described was backed up by hospital records, but other apparent inconsistencies doomed the case.
In powerfully worded letters to the prosecution, lawyers for the maid recently accused them of treating her like the defendant and DSK like the victim, spending more time and resources investigating the maid. While the public may never know the truth for certain, this does look like another example of a legal system and media that put a potential sexual assault victim's life on trial, instead of the alleged attacker.
If the affable stars of Sister Wives make polygamy seem appealing, Warren Jeffs makes it look like a nightmare. Last week a jury convicted the 55-year-old leader and self-proclaimed prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and today Jeffs was sentenced to life in prison for aggravated sexual assault with a child and 20 years for sexual assault of a child. In total, Warren Jeffs had 78 wives, including 12 whom he married before they turned 16. The youngest was 12.
Back when Jeffs was arrested in 2008 and authorities seized more than 400 children from the polygamous compound, the public became fascinated with the sect. The "children of the cult" got a People cover story, in which they discussed their exposure to mysterious modern marvels like TV and baseball while in custody. In 2009, Oprah infiltrated Jeffs's former compound and got a lesson in polygamous hair secrets, specifically how to master the Snooki-esque poof. When she asked about underage marriage, answers ranged from "absolutely not" to "not really."
Since then, polygamy has continued to hold a secure place in pop culture. HBO's Big Love inspired guided polygamy tours, and Kody Brown and his four wives, the family portrayed on TLC's Sister Wives, have turned plural married into a civil rights cause, suing Utah's governor alleging that by "criminalizing religious-based plural families and intimate relationships under the criminal bigamy law, Utah officials prosecute private conduct between consenting adults." Whether or not you think polygamy should be decriminalized, you can see the distinction between Brown and Jeffs: consenting adults vs. underage brides.
- The shooter was obsessed with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords — WSJ
- What will Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni talk about at their lunch today? — Daily Beast
- Natalie Portman shows off baby bump at Palm Springs International Film Festival — PopSugar
- Jim Carrey is a black swan on SNL — BuzzSugar
- New York subway was invaded by people not wearing pants yesterday — Nerve
- Vogue Paris might be more commercial under new editor — Fashionologie
- Who will sing at the royal wedding? — People
New York TV reporter Heidi Jones is making news after police charged her for lying about attempted rape. The 37-year-old weatherwoman alleged that a Hispanic man attacked her while she was jogging in Central Park this Fall and then threatened her again two months later near her apartment. She filed a police report following the made-up second incident. Police got suspicious, and Jones apparently told them that she was having trouble in her relationship and made up the crimes to get sympathy. She now faces a year in jail.
Lying about rape is horrible and should be treated as a crime — it can ruin the lives of innocent men and make it harder for true victims to get justice. But I'm not sure Jones should go to jail since she didn't accuse and tarnish the reputation of an actual person. Maybe a more fitting punishment would be to have her repay the police for resources wasted and announce on air that the attack never happen. That is if she keeps her job after this.
What do you think should happen to Jones?
It's common for a mom to get distracted when she's at the mall with her children. While a great deal or a disgruntled tot can steal a mother's attention for a moment or two, it also may make her a target for theft. In the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, a woman should be aware of her surroundings and susceptibility. Avoid being robbed by following these five practical tips!
Could a college graduate living in Midtown Manhattan become a slave? Yes, according to Nicholas Kristof's weekend piece in the New York Times.
Such a thing happened to Yumi Li, who thought she was taking an accounting job in NYC when she accepted an offer to move from China to America. Professional smugglers gave her a South Korean passport, but when she arrived, she was violently gang-raped, filmed in humiliating positions, and forced to work in a brothel to pay off her $50,000 smuggler's fee. After three years, and threats that the film would be sent to her family and their homes would be confiscated, Yumi decided to seek the help of an antitrafficking nonprofit.
Kristof tells Yumi's story hoping that men who pay for sex will know that the prostitutes are often sex slaves working against their will. But increasing awareness is not enough; he says that police and prosecutors need to go after the customers to reduce demand while also targeting the pimps. He writes:
Prostitutes tend to be arrested because they are easy to catch, while pimping is a far harder crime to prosecute. That's one reason thugs become pimps: It's hugely profitable and carries less risk than selling drugs or stealing cars. But that can change as state and federal authorities target traffickers rather than their victims.
More than 70 percent of TrèsSugar readers think prostitution should be legal already, but Kristof makes a case for strengthening the law to go after pimps and customers. But if it were legal, perhaps demand for the oldest profession would be met at safe brothels controlled by the government and monitored for sex trafficking. What do you think?
With 500 million of us on Facebook, finding someone has never been easier. Talk about a great thing for law enforcement. From incriminating photos to status confessions, using information posted voluntarily can make it easier for police to find culprits. But in what could be a first for Facebook, Australian authorities have issued a restraining order to a cyber bully using the social network. The police sent a private message with a video recording of a head police officer reading the details. The man was not allowed to contact the victim, his ex-girlfriend, by any means or risk being arrested and charged. Find out what this could mean for a new era of technology and justice after the break.