As drug abuse allegations continue to swirl around Prince’s death, those close to the legendary singer are speaking out. According to bodyguard Chris “Romeo” Gaither, the artist never had an issue with drugs. “I was Prince’s bodyguard up until the day he died,” said Gaither outside of an invite-only memorial service for the singer in Minnesota. When asked about Prince’s possible addiction to painkillers, he referred to the allegations as lies. “I packed this man’s bag on the daily. I have been on tour with him for months. So if anybody had an addiction that would be something you would see. That would be something that you would know,” he said. Gaither also recounted the moment he found out Prince passed away. “I immediately stopped what I was doing. I couldn’t concentrate on anything I was doing after that,” he said. “I went all over the world with him. And suddenly he was just gone.” He also shared his thoughts about the tribute ceremony held at the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall that Prince attended before his death. “It was truly beautiful, fitting for someone as well known as Prince. We acknowledged his memory and his presence and everything that he’s done for this world and for generations to come,” he said. Read more.
Supreme Court Sends Cost-Free Birth Control Case Back to Lower Courts
On Monday, the Supreme Court sent a case concerning faith-based groups and cost-free birth control rules under the Affordable Care Act back to lower court. The justices decided they didn’t want to make a decision on the case and thought that it would be best for lower courts to help both parties reach a compromising solution. “The court expresses no view on the merits of the cases,” wrote the justices. The government will still be able to administer cost-free birth control to women who are covered by faith-based groups’ health plans. The groups argue the rules don’t align with their religious beliefs. The Obama administration argued that ruling against the legislation would be a disadvantage for many women. “They are getting health insurance, and we are properly accommodating religious institutions who have objections,” said President Obama during an interview on Monday. The Supreme Court was split 4-4 while making the decision, bringing the attention back to the need for someone to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat. “I won’t speculate as to why they punted, but my suspicion is if we have nine Supreme Court justices instead of eight we might have had a different outcome,” said President Obama. Read more.
Journalists Arrested in Ferguson Barred from Talking About Settlement
A group of journalists who sued the St. Louis County Police Department following their arrests during the protests for Michael Brown have reached a settlement in their civil rights lawsuit, but are barred from talking about it. Under the deal, St. Louis County will have to pay $75,000. All officers will also be required to participate in a training centered on recording police activity and handling media access. According to the settlement, a “qualified legal instructor with significant experience” will oversee the training. A new media policy created by the department notes that officials “shall not unreasonably interfere with media access to incidents or intentionally prevent or obstruct the photographing or videotaping of news in public places. Intentional interference such as blocking or obstructing cameras or harassing a photographer constitutes censorship.” It also states that members of the press who happen to be on private property “will not be arrested, or threatened with arrest for criminal trespass or otherwise, unless an owner or representative expressly indicates that the press is not permitted to enter or remain on the property.” Journalists filed the lawsuit back in March 2015. It claimed police officials were guilty of unreasonable search and seizure, false arrest, and battery. Read more.
Serena Williams Wins First Title in Nine Months
Tennis star Serena Williams is back on the court taking names and winning titles. On Sunday, Williams came out victorious in a match against Madison Keys in the Italian Open. It’s the first title she’s won in 9 months. “It feels great,” said Williams after her win. “I feel like it was important for me to just go out there like usual. I think she’s such a powerful player.” The last title she won was last August during a tournament in Cincinnati. Her win on Sunday marked her 70th title. Williams will participate in the French Open next week. Read more.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty