'Empire' actor alleges

homophobic attack

A cast member on the hit television show "Empire" alleged he was physically attacked by men in Chicago who shouted racial and homophobic slurs, police said Tuesday.

Police did not release the actor's name but a statement from Fox, which airs "Empire," identified him as Jussie Smollett, 36. Authorities said they are investigating the alleged attack as a hate crime. Smollett is black and openly gay.

According to a police statement, the actor was walking near the Chicago River downtown around 2 a.m. Tuesday when he was approached by two men who shouted at him, struck him in the face and poured an "unknown substance" on him before one of them wrapped a rope around his neck.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the two men were wearing masks.

Smollett was able to take himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Smollett was last reported in good condition.

 

Aguilera announces

Las Vegas residency 

Christina Aguilera is joining the growing number of musicians launching residencies in Las Vegas.

The singer announced Tuesday that "Christina Aguilera: The Xperience" will open at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on May 31.

 

Lawsuit accuses Paltrow

of injuring skier in 2016

A Utah man filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing actress Gwyneth Paltrow of seriously injuring him during a ski crash at a Park City resort in 2016.

Retired doctor Terry Sanderson said in the lawsuit that Paltrow was skiing out of control and smashed into him from behind, leaving him with a concussion and four broken ribs. The alleged incident occurred Feb. 26, 2016, on a beginner run at Deer Valley Resort.

Paltrow denied the claims through spokeswoman Heather Wilson, who said in an emailed statement: "This lawsuit is without merit and we expect to be vindicated."