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Nicki Minaj's England concert postponed after rapper was detained by Dutch authorities over pot

People
Nicki Minaj

MANCHESTER, England — Nicki Minaj's concert in Manchester scheduled for Saturday night was postponed after police in the Netherlands discovered marijuana in her bags as she was preparing to leave the country.

Promoter Live Nation said the performance will be rescheduled and tickets will be honored.

“Despite Nicki’s best efforts to explore every possible avenue to make tonight’s show happen, the events of today have made it impossible,” the promoter said in a statement. “We are deeply disappointed by the inconvenience this has caused.”

Minaj tweeted earlier Saturday that she was stopped at the Amsterdam airport as she was about to board a plane for the concert in Manchester. Police told her they found marijuana in her bags, and it would have to be weighed, she tweeted. Cannabis is illegal in the Netherlands, but it is tolerated for recreational use.

Robert Van Kapel, a spokesperson for the Netherlands military police, said a 41-year-old American woman had been arrested for exporting “soft drugs.” He did not identify the woman or elaborate on the type of drugs in question. Police later tweeted that they fined the woman and released her.

Minaj, who is 41 years old, tweeted that she believes police just wanted to make her late for her concert in Manchester.

“Told you, it’s to try to make me late so that they can write negative stories. Jealousy is a disease. You know the rest,” Minaj tweeted.

Her representatives didn't immediately respond to messages Saturday.

The Trinidadian-born rapper is best known for her hits “Super Freaky Girl," “Anaconda” and “Starships.” She has been nominated for 12 Grammy awards over the course of her career. The Manchester concert is part of her “Pink Friday 2” tour, which includes stops in Paris, Poland, Germany, Romania and Switzerland.

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Alec Baldwin

SANTA FE, N.M. — A New Mexico judge has rejected a request by Alec Baldwin to dismiss the sole criminal charge against him in a fatal shooting on the set of the movie “Rust,” keeping the case on track for a trial this summer.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer on Friday upheld an indictment charging Baldwin with one count of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in 2021. The judge rejected defense arguments that prosecutors flouted the rules of grand jury proceedings to divert attention away from exculpatory evidence and witnesses.

Special prosecutors have denied accusations that the grand jury proceedings were marred and say Baldwin made “shameless” attempts to escape culpability, highlighting contradictions in his statements to law enforcement, to workplace safety regulators and in a televised interview.

Friday’s decision removes one of the last hurdles for prosecutors to put Baldwin on trial in July.

“We look forward to our day in court,” defense attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in an email.

During a rehearsal on the set of the Western film, Baldwin pointed a gun at Hutchins when the revolver went off, killing her and injuring director Joel Souza. Baldwin has maintained that he pulled back the gun’s hammer but not the trigger.

Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 1.5 years in prison.

Marlowe Sommer rejected arguments that prosecutors acted in “bad faith” after reviewing transcripts of the January grand jury proceedings, noting that prosecutors are not required to present exculpatory evidence.

“New Mexico law does not require a prosecutor to present exculpatory evidence to a grand jury, or require a grand jury to even consider exculpatory evidence after alerted to its existence,” the judge wrote.

She acknowledged that some questions by grand jurors were deferred to a hired expert witness for the prosecution, but she said that didn’t prevent the jury from making an independent determination in charging Baldwin.

Court arguments last week on the motion to dismiss stretched for more than two hours, as defense attorneys for Baldwin accused prosecutors of cutting off questions from grand jurors and making little or no effort to communicate with defense witnesses in case they were called upon. Detailed records of the grand jury proceedings are not open to the public.

Lead special prosecutor Kari Morrissey said she ensured jurors had questions answered by witnesses with relevant experience and that the grand jury was shown that it had access to boxes of evidence supplied by the defense. Baldwin did not appear at the hearing.

Prosecutors last year dismissed an earlier involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin after being told the gun he was holding might have been modified before the shooting and malfunctioned. A new analysis of the gun last year enabled prosecutors to reboot the case.

Prosecutors have turned their full attention to Baldwin after a judge in April sentenced movie weapons supervisor Hannah Gutierrez-Reed to the maximum of 1.5 years at a state penitentiary on an involuntary manslaughter conviction for Hutchins’ death.

The two-week trial of Gutierrez-Reed gave attorneys for Baldwin and the public a unusual window into how the actor’s own trial could unfold.

Baldwin figured prominently in testimony and closing arguments that highlighted his authority as a co-producer and the lead actor on “Rust.” Both the prosecution and defense in Gutierrez-Reed’s trial dissected video footage of Baldwin before the fatal shooting for clues about breakdowns in firearms safety.

Prosecutors said Gutierrez-Reed unwittingly brought live ammunition onto the set of “Rust,” where it was expressly prohibited, and failed to follow basic gun safety protocols. Gutierrez-Reed is appealing her conviction but hasn't yet filed detailed arguments.

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Sean Kingston

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Rapper and singer Sean Kingston and his mother committed more than a million dollars in fraud in recent months, stealing money, jewelry, a Cadillac Escalade and furniture, documents released Friday allege.

Kingston, 34, and his 61-year-old mother, Janice Turner, have been charged with conducting an organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, identity theft and related crimes, according to arrest warrants released by the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

The two were arrested Thursday after a SWAT team raided Kingston's rented mansion in suburban Fort Lauderdale. Turner was arrested in the raid, while Kingston was arrested at Fort Irwin, an Army training base in California's Mojave Desert where he was performing.

Kingston, who had a No. 1 hit with “Beautiful Girls” in 2007 and performed with Justin Bieber on the song “Eenie Meenie," is being held at a California jail awaiting his return to Florida.

Robert Rosenblatt, the attorney for the Jamaican-American performer and his mother, said on Friday that Kingston would return voluntarily if allowed, “which would save the state the expense of extradition and the costs of travel for the detectives and Sean.”

His mother was being held Friday at the Broward County jail on $160,000 bond.

“We look forward to addressing these (charges) in court and are confident of a successful resolution for Shawn and his mother,” Rosenblatt said.

Specific details of Kingston's and Turner's alleged crimes are not included in the warrants, but the documents say that from October to March they stole almost $500,000 in jewelry, more than $200,000 from Bank of America, $160,000 from the Escalade dealer, more than $100,000 from First Republic Bank, $86,000 from the maker of customized beds and other smaller amounts.

Kingston, whose legal name is Kisean Anderson, was already on two years’ probation for trafficking stolen property. Further information on that conviction could not be found.

According to federal court records, his mother pleaded guilty in 2006 to bank fraud for stealing over $160,000 and served nearly 1.5 years in prison.

The two have also been sued.

In 2015, a seller of customized watches successfully sued Kingston and his mother in a New York City federal court for $356,000 after they failed to pay.

In 2018, a New York jeweler successfully sued the two for $301,000 after they scammed the store out of nine items.

More recently, a Florida entertainment systems company sued Kingston in February, saying he failed to pay $120,000 of a $150,000 bill for a 232-inch television it installed in his home. The TV is approximately 17 feet by 9.5 feet and covers a wall.

He allegedly told the owners that if they gave him a low down payment and credit, he and Bieber would make commercials for them. That never happened, and Kingston never paid, the lawsuit says.

The company's attorney says Bieber had no involvement — Kingston was falsely using his name.

From combined wire reports

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