Things That Matter

J.Lo’s Manager, Benny Medina, Is Accused of Attempted Rape

Actor Jason Dottley has come forward with rape allegations against Benny Medina, Jennifer Lopez’s longtime manager. In an interview with The Advocate, Dottley goes into detail about the day, he claims, that Medina attempted to rape him.

Jason Dottley says that after he read about the allegations against Kevin Spacey, he found the strength to tell his story.

Dottley, who says he carried the secret for almost ten years, was married at the time to TV writer and playwright Del Shores (they have since divorced). Dottley alleges that he was out at a Hollywood club with his friend, actor T. Ashanti Mozelle, when they met Medina, who invited them to his L.A. mansion. Dottley says that he was very open about the fact that he was married and was wearing a wedding ring.

“We drive up there and he welcomes us in and he says, ‘Do you want a tour of the house…?’ And we’re like, ‘Yes, please,'” Dottley recalls to The Advocate. “He brings us out to his beautiful swimming pool … my friend [Mozelle] says, ‘I think I’m going to take a little dip,’ so he undresses down to his underwear. And I’m thinking to myself, He’s trying to get it, he’s trying to get it…”

Dottley believed that Medina was trying to hook up with his friend, but that all changed when they got to Medina’s bedroom. Dottley alleges that Medina “stuck his tongue” down Dottley’s throat. Dottley claims he told Medina to stop and reiterated that he was married by pointing to his ring.

According to Dottley, that didn’t stop Medina, who became more aggressive.

“I’m having you,” Medina allegedly said to him.

“His forearm was bearing down on my neck so hard that I don’t know how much longer I would have remained conscious,” Dottley told The Advocate. The two struggled for a bit and that is when his friend rushed to the room to help him.

“[Mozelle] burst in the room and screamed something like, ‘Get off him!’ I don’t remember [exactly] what he said, but whatever he said worked,” Dottley said. “Benny Medina got off of me and grabbed me again by the chest of my shirt and threw me at — not to, but at — his bedroom door and all he said was ‘You two get the fuck out of here.'”

Dottley also said that since the alleged attack, Medina threatened him and his former husband.

While Medina is best known for being J.Lo’s long-time manager, he’s also a high-level Hollywood producer.

#JenniferLopez #BennyMedina #DemiLovato #OneVoice #SomosUnaVoz

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Dottley says that he told his current agent that he never wanted to be sent to any casting or projects associated with Medina.

Dottley also says that he is not planning on suing Medina and doesn’t want any kind of settlement. He says he just wanted to share his story to help others come forward with their stories.

Lawyers for Medina vehemently deny the claim made against him.

Nuestra ? #48 ? #bennymedina #jlohbd

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“Benny Medina categorically denies the allegation of attempted rape,” attorneys Howard Weitzman and Shawn Holley told People magazine.

In 2003, Lopez fired Medina for claiming he “illegally contracted work on her behalf and misappropriated more than $100,000,” The New York Times reports. However, they resolved their issues and continued to work together.

READ: 6 Actresses Accuse Cuban-American Director Brett Ratner Of Sexual Assault

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Latina Actresses Are Pivoting to Directing and Producing In Order to Get More Latinx Stories Told

Entertainment

Latina Actresses Are Pivoting to Directing and Producing In Order to Get More Latinx Stories Told

Credit: EVALONGORIA/AMERICAFERRERA/INSTAGRAM ; KEVIN WINTER/GETTY

The numbers are bleak. Latinos make up 18% of America’s population but only 5% of the number of speaking roles in movies in 2019 according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

Hollywood seems to be late to the party when it comes to Latino representation onscreen. But luckily, there are a handful of Latino artists and creators out there who are taking the fight to appear in front of the screen to behind the camera.

Take, for example, Eva Longoria, who was just announced to be directing and co-starring in the new action-comedy film, “Spa Day”

This marks the third movie the Mexican-American actress will be helming and the first Latina to ever direct more than one major studio film.

The other films on Longoria’s roster include a vehicle for her and Kerry Washington tentatively titled “24/7”, as well as the upcoming biopic “Flamin’ Hot”–a movie centered around Richard Montañez, the man who invented Flaming Hot Cheetos.

Longoria has been candid about how the decision to move into directing and producing has been a strategic one.

“One of the reasons I went into producing and directing was I wasn’t going to sit back and wait for somebody to create a role I wanted to do,” Longoria told Variety in 2018.

“You can’t just sit around waiting for [good projects], and I wanted to create that — not just for myself but for other Latinas.”

But her career transition isn’t unique as a Latina in Hollywood. She has joined the ranks of other Latinas in Hollywood who have began to produce and direct their own projects in order to finally see Latino stories told on screen.

Her peers include Jennifer Lopez (“Shades of Blue“, “Hustlers“), Selena Gomez (“Living Undocumented“), America Ferrera (“Gentefied“, “Superstore“), Gina Rodriguez (“Diary of an American President,” “Carmen San Diego“), and Salma Hayek (“Ugly Betty”).

All of these women have thrown their weight behind projects that otherwise wouldn’t be made if their names weren’t attached to them.

All of these women are creating stories that feature Latino stories and Latino talent–in front of and behind the camera.

America Ferrera explained the reason behind her conscious career pivot from acting to directing/producing: “My genuine heart’s desire is to tell stories that haven’t been told,” she told CBS This Morning. “It’s hard to get stories about people like us made. And then to get those stories told by us is very very uncommon.”

Although the endgame is to have Latinx stories greenlit without having to first be a famous singer or actress, the work these ladies are doing might be laying the foundation for an easier road for future industry players of Latino descent. Or as Longoria so eloquently put it: “If we unite and create opportunities for each other and pull each other up, there could be a lot more success for representation on TV.”

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ICE Just Deported A Key Witness in A Sexual Assault Investigation Against Them

Things That Matter

ICE Just Deported A Key Witness in A Sexual Assault Investigation Against Them

According to the Texas Tribune, the key witness in the ongoing sexual assault investigation at an ICE detention center has been deported. She was previously being held at a Customs Enforcement detention center in El Paso, Texas.

While the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General initially forbid ICE from deporting her, the office apparently reversed their decision on Monday. According to reports, the office determined that “further interviews could be done over the phone”.

via Getty Images

According to previous reports, the unidentified 35-year-old woman alleged that guards had “forcibly kissed” her and touched her on the private parts.

Documents, which were extensively reported on by ProPublica, described the harassment as a “pattern and practice” at this particular detention center.

The woman also alleges that the guards would attempt to extort sexual favors from her and other detainees when they were returning from the medical unit back to her barrack. One guard allegedly told her that he would help get her released “if she behaved”.

The unnamed woman reported the harrasment to her lawyers who then filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. The DHS then opened an investigation into the ICE Detention Center in El Paso.

The FBI has, since then, interviewed the woman extensively. According to documents, the woman gave investigators a tour of the facility where she showed them where the alleged harassment took place–in what were identified as security camera “blind spots”.

According to her, the guard told her that if she reported him, “No one would believe her”.

via Getty Images

Since the woman made these accusations, at least two other women at the same detention center came forward with similar claims. One of these women has already been deported.

According to previous reports, the unnamed woman accusing ICE officials of sexual assault was being held at the El Paso detention center for a drug-related crime and illegally entering the country. She claims she initially fled Mexico after a cartel member sexually assaulted and threatened her.

While ICE says that they have “zero tolerance for any form of sexual abuse or assault against individuals in the agency’s custody”, the reality is much bleaker.

According to the advocacy group Freedom for Immigrants, ICE has had 14,700 complaints filed against them between 2010 and 2016 alleging sexual and/or physical abuse.

In the most recent statistics available, ICE reported 374 formal accusations of sexual assault in 2018. Forty-eight of those were substantiated by the agency and 29 were still pending an investigation. According to Freedom for Immigrants, only a fraction of these complaints are investigated by the Office of Inspector General.

The woman’s lawyer, Linda Corchado, has not been shy about expressing her displeasure over her client’s deportation.

“[The government] allowed their most powerful witness to be deported,” Corchado said. “How can we possibly take this investigation seriously now or ever pretend that it ever was from the outset?”

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