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People: Affleck says Batman-fan son too young to see new film

Affleck (Cliff Owen / AP)
Affleck (Cliff Owen / AP)
From wire reports

Ben Affleck might be Batman to his four-year-old fan-boy son, Samuel, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get to see his dad in action in “Batman v Superman” with the rest of the world when it hits theaters next week.

“Four years old is a little young to see this whole movie,” Affleck said in a Friday interview. “I don’t want him to have nightmares.”

Affleck has often said he partly took on the role for his three kids – his son in particular. And from dressing up as the dark knight for Samuel’s themed birthday party to tipping the FedEx delivery guy a few bucks to stage a fake fight just because Samuel believes that he’s the Joker, it’s a part that hasn’t gone away for Affleck when the cameras stop rolling, especially with the starry-eyed youngster around.

Samuel has seen his dad in trailers for the film and whatever footage is available online, though, and, according to Affleck, those two-minute clips are basically “his whole attention span anyway.”

Affleck said at the very least, his oldest daughter, Violet, 10, can definitely see the PG-13 rated film. In addition to Violet and Samuel, Affleck and Jennifer Garner also have a 7-year-old daughter, Seraphina. The couple separated last year after 10 years of marriage.

As for Samuel, Affleck said he’ll be able to see some of “Batman v Superman” soon, even if it’s chopped up.

“I’ll have to con one of the editors into giving me a truncated version of the movie without some of the scarier stuff,” he said.

Next in Hulk Hogan sex tape suit: punitive damages, appeals

The eye-popping $115 million award for former pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan isn’t the final round in his sex tape lawsuit against Gawker Media.

Next up, the jury will return to court Monday to award punitive damages in the case that’s been closely watched by First Amendment experts, media lawyers and privacy advocates.

And even when the jury’s done, there will be appeals.

“Given the key evidence and the most important witness in this case were withheld from the jury, we all knew the appeals court would need to resolve this case,” said Gawker founder Nick Denton.

The jurors reached their decision Friday evening. Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, sued Gawker for $100 million for posting a video of him having sex with his former best friend’s wife. Hogan contended the 2012 post violated his privacy.

Jury awards this large are often reduced by appeals courts.

“It’s a huge damage award, and just the idea that a celebrity has a right to privacy that outweighs freedom of the press and the public’s right to know, that’s a huge shift in American free press law,” said Samantha Barbas.

“It could potentially be a turning point in law,” added Barbas, a law professor at the University at Buffalo and author of “The Laws of Image,” about the history of libel and privacy

Hogan, 62, wept after the award was announced Friday evening. He was silent as he walked out of the courthouse, clad all in black and wearing sunglasses in the twilight. He didn’t speak to the media, and declined to sign an autograph request from a fan.

Hogan’s team issued a statement: “We’re exceptionally happy with the verdict. We think it represents a statement as to the public’s disgust with the invasion of privacy disguised as journalism. The verdict says no more.”

The verdict and the unsealing of hundreds of pages of documents late in the day capped a three week judicial circus in the sleepy St. Petersburg courtroom.

Jurors, media and thousands who followed the case on Twitter and livestream video were treated to days of details about Hogan’s sex life, body part size, and images of him in thong underwear. There was wrestling history, videos of Hogan yukking it up with Howard Stern and, most notably, how Gawker – a 12-year-old news and gossip website in New York City– does journalism differently from legacy media.

The unsealed documents will undoubtedly be key in Gawker’s appeals process. The evidence was unsealed because a group of media companies, including the Associated Press, sued for access and won. The civil court judge in the case had ruled that the documents be sealed, but an appellate court sided with the media companies, saying they were of legitimate public interest.

The documents outline allegations, facts and conflicting testimony. Among them: assertions that Hogan filed the lawsuit to hide racist comments made on video, that the woman who Hogan had sex with knew it was being filmed, and that Hogan participated in an FBI investigation and sting because he was being extorted.

Lawyers for Hogan and Gawker discussed themes of personal life versus celebrity and freedom of speech versus the right to privacy.

They said Hogan didn’t consent to the video, that Gawker didn’t follow usual journalism procedures before posting it and that the video wasn’t newsworthy. Gawker did not try to contact Hogan or the woman in the video; nor did the website contact the woman’s husband, DJ Bubba The Love Sponge Clem, who recorded the video.

It was never conclusively determined during the trial who leaked the video to the media. Clem invoked his right to not incriminate himself and wasn’t called as a witness. Hogan sued Clem and settled for $5,000.

Hogan didn’t ask for any of this to happen, lawyer Kenneth Turkel said, adding that Bollea, the private man, expected privacy during an intimate moment. Much was made during the trial of Hogan’s celebrity persona versus Bollea’s privacy.

“I want you to imagine the fact that for 35-plus years he is essentially an actor, an entertainer, who has played the same role,” Turkel said.

He said Hogan “has every right, every right, to keep whatever precious private moments in his life, which for this gentleman are very few.”

Gawker’s attorneys told the jury that the video is “not like a real celebrity sex tape” and urged them to watch the video, which contains nine seconds of sexual content.

“He has consistently chosen to put his private life out there, for public consumption,” attorney Michael Sullivan said.

Prince says he’s writing a memoir, performs for NYC audience

Prince announced he’s writing his memoir, told the audience he was leaving to change clothes and came back to perform songs for the feverish New York City crowd.

Prince said on Friday that his book – with the working title “The Beautiful Ones” – will be released next year by publishing house Spiegel & Grau.

“If you don’t mind, I’m going to go home and change real quick and come back and party with y’all,” Prince said.

And he did.

He returned to the dark room to perform for the audience, which included Harry Belafonte, Trevor Noah, R&B singer Maxwell, journalists and music industry players. Now in another ensemble, Prince performed on piano from the second level of the venue, as the crowd looked up and sang along to songs like “When Doves Cry,” “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” “Let’s Work,” “Hot Thing” and “All the Critics Love U In New York.”

“New York, do you want to play with me?” yelled Prince, who was getting help from a DJ when performing. “You know how many hits we got? You know how long we gon’ be here? It’s time to jam!”

Dancers also were on the second level with Prince, and at one point he put his leg over the railing and stuck his microphone out to the crowd.

Before his performance, the pop icon said Spiegel & Grau made him “an offer I can’t refuse.”

He added that the book will start with his first memory.

“We’re starting from the beginning from my first memory, and hopefully we can go all the way up to the Super Bowl,” he said.

At one point Prince asked the crowd: “You all still read books right?”

The audience roared loudly.

According to a press release about the memoir released Friday, “Prince will take readers on an unconventional and poetic journey through his life and creative work.” It says the book will include stories about Prince’s music and “the family that shaped him and the people, places, and ideas that fired his creative imagination.”

The 57-year-old Minneapolis-born Prince is one of the most successful musical acts of all-time. He has released four albums in the last 18 months, including two on the Tidal streaming service last year.

New York-based Spiegel & Grau is an imprint of Penguin Random House. The book will be released in the fall of 2017.

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