A Conversation With Eckhart Tolle

One of my favorite moments on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday came when Oprah asked the poet Mark Nepo what he considers sacred. When he replied, "Conversations like this are sacred to me," Oprah said, "They're so sacred to me I created a whole show to have them!"

In 2008 Oprah and the spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle held a number of those conversations as part of their Web series Oprah & Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth. Now they're bringing those episodes to television for the first time, Sundays at noon on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. Since my new book Thrive is concerned with many of the same questions, I asked Tolle about the series, why this is a conversation we as a society need to have now, and the moment he knew he needed to change his life. Here's our conversation.

There's a great deal of common ground between your work and Oprah's: You share belief that by looking at our inner world, we can better equip ourselves to improve our outer world and the lives of those around us. Why did you decide to join forces with Oprah for this series, and how did it come together?

It all started when Oprah chose A New Earth as one of her book club selections. I got a message from my office that Oprah wanted to talk to me. At the time I was at our little island vacation home when Oprah called and told me that she had chosen A New Earth to be her book club selection, which was wonderful news. Then she said, "There's something else: I don't just want to have this book as my book club selection; I also want to do a teaching seminar with you on the Web, and we can do that over a 10-week period to bring the teaching to all those people who chose to tune in." I was amazed. I didn't even realize that such a thing was possible.

I said to Oprah, "Have you ever done this before?" She said, "No, this is completely new," and then I immediately heard myself say, "Yes, I'll do it." That's how it started. It was, for both of us, and for millions of other people, a wonderful experience and a way to use the new technology to bring greater consciousness to the planet and to humans on a very large scale. That's how it started, and it acquired its own momentum, as things do. By now it has been viewed over 40 million times.

Now, for the first time, it's on television, because when we first did it, it was only accessible on the Web. Now it will be reaching even more people, and there are people now who were not ready at the time, because to be able to understand and become transformed through a spiritual teaching, there needs to be a point of readiness. Not every human has reached that point of inner readiness. Sometimes it takes time and more suffering before people become ready to awaken. So the series is reaching people now who perhaps it could not reach then.

In your book A New Earth, and in the new series with Oprah that's based on the book, you made a compelling case for the need to be more present in our lives. Is there something about this particular moment that makes that message more important and urgent?

To become present in one's daily life is the arising of what may be called a different state of consciousness or a shift in consciousness. Everybody can verify that for themselves by noticing the difference between what it feels like when you are completely identified with every thought that comes into your head and what it feels like when you are present. When you are present, there is clarity, inner peace and a sense of aliveness, which is so different from the mind-identified state. When you are completely identified with thinking, you are also reactive. This is a dysfunctional, negative state that creates a lot of conflict.

Collectively, we are at a point where the old -- I call it the old, dysfunctional, egoic state of consciousness -- has become extremely dangerous. We can go back 100 years ago, which is 1914, when World War I started, and that was the first time humans fully realized how insane warfare was because of all the advances in technology that had happened by that time. Millions upon millions of people died in World War I from chemical warfare, tanks, poison gas, machine guns and all the other clever inventions of the egoic mind. That was the first time we realized the magnitude of the dysfunction in the collective consciousness, as it became amplified by the advances in science and technology.

We have reached a point now where if there's no shift in consciousness away from the dysfunctional, egoic state that generates all that insanity, then humans would most likely destroy themselves, or at least bring about a complete collapse of civilization. We have arrived at a point of great danger, collectively, but danger also means great opportunity for change. There's a fundamental universal truth, and that is humans do not change until they reach a point of crisis. That applies not only to individuals, but it also applies to humanity as a whole. It's only when we reach a state of crisis, the suffering that it produces creates the impetus behind the shift in consciousness. This is the point that we have reached now, and we've been moving towards this for the past 100 years. This is why so many people are now ready to undergo that shift.

So this is a very important moment in human history, where there is a possibility of almost a quantum leap in human consciousness. There's also the possibility, of course, that humans are not going to make it, that the shift won't happen, in which case there would be a regression in human evolution that could throw us back several thousand years. Hopefully, that's not going to happen, but it could happen, and even that would not be ultimately tragic, because I believe that consciousness is destined to grow and flower on this planet. I'm fairly confident that it is happening already, but we must not underestimate the gravitational pull, so to speak, of the old, dysfunctional consciousness that is still here and operates, as you can see when you watch the daily news. Most things you see on the daily news are reflections of the old, dysfunctional consciousness, or, rather, unconsciousness. We have reached a very interesting point in human evolution. It's quite amazing to be alive at this time.

Was there a moment in your own life -- a wakeup call or a personal turning point -- that showed you the importance of presence, focus and stillness?

Yes, there was a moment when the unhappiness in me became almost unbearable. I was depressed and anxious most of the time. This is what we've just been talking about now, the deep crisis that precedes a change in consciousness. I experienced that in my own life. I briefly describe it in the introduction to The Power of Now. I couldn't live with myself any longer, and so I considered suicide. I had considered suicide quite a few times in my life. At that point, suddenly something happened within me. I didn't understand what it was, because it happened spontaneously. It was only later I realized that what happened inside me was the arising of presence.

It was spontaneous. Nobody had told me that there's such thing as presence; it just happened. I disidentified from the thinking mind, the voice in the head that, in my case, as it is in many people's lives, was quite negative and self-destructive. I stepped out of the stream of thinking, and what arose inside me was presence or awareness, and suddenly I found this inner peace, and this happened as a result of extreme depression and anxiety. So I reached a crisis point in my life, and then, spontaneously, this shift in consciousness happened. This could be called a spontaneous healing at a very deep level, because the only true healing is a change in consciousness.

All other forms of healing, although they may be helpful and beneficial, are ultimately temporary and relatively superficial. This deep healing happened to me without a conceptual understanding, and that's an interesting thing, because it's not that I suddenly understood everything. I didn't understand conceptually what happened, so the shift in consciousness does not happen on the conceptual level. For most people it is helpful to come into contact with a teaching, to read a spiritual book or to listen to a spiritual talk. Those are conceptual pointers, and they can be helpful, but presence itself has nothing to do with concepts in your mind; it's going beyond thinking. You realize that there are basically two dimensions inside of you.

One of those two dimensions is thinking, which is where your identity as a person lies. The other dimension is consciousness itself, which is a where you are connected with something vast that goes far beyond who you are as a person. It is where you are connected to the universal intelligence itself that underlies the entire universe. This happened to me as a result of suffering, so there is a redeeming feature to suffering, because suffering can bring about that shift, and until a certain point in an individual's evolution is reached, suffering is inevitable and fulfills a necessary function, without which the shift would not take place. Humanity as a whole has already suffered enormously. Most of history is a history of dreadful suffering, much of it self-inflicted through violence and continuous conflict.

Because humanity has already gone through acute suffering, there are many people alive now who are actually at a point of readiness. They don't need to suffer that much more, because now we benefit from the past collective human suffering.

The ego is central to your work and the series -- how to understand it, talk about it and ultimately transcend it. How can we begin to free ourselves from our own egos?

In A New Earth I dealt in more detail with the ego and the various ways in which it manifests. I recommend that people read those chapters, but here I'd just like to mention that on the most basic level ego means complete identification with the thinking mind. In the egoic state, your sense of self, your identity, is derived from your thinking mind -- in other words, what your mind tells you about yourself: the storyline of you, the memories, the expectations, all the thoughts that go through your head continuously and the emotions that reflect those thoughts. All those things make up your sense of self. This mind-made sense of self is a mental image, and you live through that mental image. This mental image is the ego.

How you can free yourself from the ego is by realizing that there is another dimension of consciousness in you. That dimension is in everybody, but if you're completely identified with every thought that comes into you head, then you continuously overlook that there is that dimension of stillness and spaciousness inside you. Thought can be so seductive and hypnotic that it absorbs your attention totally, so you become your thoughts. When you become your thoughts, that is the ego. To realize that you are not your thoughts is when you begin to awaken spiritually.

For example, when your mind is very critical of yourself or other people, frequently complaining or berating yourself or creating anxiety by worrying about what might go wrong in the future, this creates a lot of unhappiness. Then you reach a point where you ask yourself, "What is at the root of this unhappiness I feel all the time?" And then you may be amazed to realize that in most cases when you are unhappy, you're not unhappy because of something that's happening in your life; you're unhappy because of what your mind is telling you about it. It's not a situation or an event that makes you unhappy but your mental commentary about it, the voice in your head. When you realize that, that's when you begin to disidentify from the voice in your head. The disidentification from thinking is the arising of presence. Then you realize that there is a sense of conscious presence behind your thoughts, and that this conscious presence is who you are. The thoughts happen within that presence, so thoughts come and go.

I like to give the analogy of the sky. The sky also has two dimensions: There are clouds, and there is the empty, blue sky. In this analogy the clouds are your thoughts, and they continuously drift past. And for many people there are so many clouds that their inner sky is continuously overcast. They don't realize that beyond the clouds is a vast, blue sky -- luminous vastness. But then a moment comes when there is a break in the clouds, a gap between two thoughts, and you realize, "Oh, the clouds are there, but I am that spacious vastness that is beyond the clouds." That means you're beginning to be free of the ego. Then your sense of identity is the feeling of your own presence. This is the realization that the essence of who you are is consciousness. Consciousness can be compared to space. It enables everything to be. We could put it like this: You are not what happens; you are the space in which it happens. That space is consciousness.

Thoughts are fine when you don't confuse them with who you are, and then thoughts are not a problem. Thinking is a wonderful tool to create things in this world. It only becomes problematic and a source of suffering when you confuse thinking with who you are. When you no longer confuse thinking with who you are, you begin to be free of the ego. It doesn't mean that you don't periodically fall back, because awakening is gradual.
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A Conversation With Eckhart Tolle

One of my favorite moments on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday came when Oprah asked the poet Mark Nepo what he considers sacred. When he replied, "Conversations like this are sacred to me," Oprah said, "They're so sacred to me I created a whole show to have them!"

In 2008 Oprah and the spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle held a number of those conversations as part of their Web series Oprah & Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth. Now they're bringing those episodes to television for the first time, Sundays at noon on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. Since my new book Thrive is concerned with many of the same questions, I asked Tolle about the series, why this is a conversation we as a society need to have now, and the moment he knew he needed to change his life. Here's our conversation.

There's a great deal of common ground between your work and Oprah's: You share belief that by looking at our inner world, we can better equip ourselves to improve our outer world and the lives of those around us. Why did you decide to join forces with Oprah for this series, and how did it come together?

It all started when Oprah chose A New Earth as one of her book club selections. I got a message from my office that Oprah wanted to talk to me. At the time I was at our little island vacation home when Oprah called and told me that she had chosen A New Earth to be her book club selection, which was wonderful news. Then she said, "There's something else: I don't just want to have this book as my book club selection; I also want to do a teaching seminar with you on the Web, and we can do that over a 10-week period to bring the teaching to all those people who chose to tune in." I was amazed. I didn't even realize that such a thing was possible.

I said to Oprah, "Have you ever done this before?" She said, "No, this is completely new," and then I immediately heard myself say, "Yes, I'll do it." That's how it started. It was, for both of us, and for millions of other people, a wonderful experience and a way to use the new technology to bring greater consciousness to the planet and to humans on a very large scale. That's how it started, and it acquired its own momentum, as things do. By now it has been viewed over 40 million times.

Now, for the first time, it's on television, because when we first did it, it was only accessible on the Web. Now it will be reaching even more people, and there are people now who were not ready at the time, because to be able to understand and become transformed through a spiritual teaching, there needs to be a point of readiness. Not every human has reached that point of inner readiness. Sometimes it takes time and more suffering before people become ready to awaken. So the series is reaching people now who perhaps it could not reach then.

In your book A New Earth, and in the new series with Oprah that's based on the book, you made a compelling case for the need to be more present in our lives. Is there something about this particular moment that makes that message more important and urgent?

To become present in one's daily life is the arising of what may be called a different state of consciousness or a shift in consciousness. Everybody can verify that for themselves by noticing the difference between what it feels like when you are completely identified with every thought that comes into your head and what it feels like when you are present. When you are present, there is clarity, inner peace and a sense of aliveness, which is so different from the mind-identified state. When you are completely identified with thinking, you are also reactive. This is a dysfunctional, negative state that creates a lot of conflict.

Collectively, we are at a point where the old -- I call it the old, dysfunctional, egoic state of consciousness -- has become extremely dangerous. We can go back 100 years ago, which is 1914, when World War I started, and that was the first time humans fully realized how insane warfare was because of all the advances in technology that had happened by that time. Millions upon millions of people died in World War I from chemical warfare, tanks, poison gas, machine guns and all the other clever inventions of the egoic mind. That was the first time we realized the magnitude of the dysfunction in the collective consciousness, as it became amplified by the advances in science and technology.

We have reached a point now where if there's no shift in consciousness away from the dysfunctional, egoic state that generates all that insanity, then humans would most likely destroy themselves, or at least bring about a complete collapse of civilization. We have arrived at a point of great danger, collectively, but danger also means great opportunity for change. There's a fundamental universal truth, and that is humans do not change until they reach a point of crisis. That applies not only to individuals, but it also applies to humanity as a whole. It's only when we reach a state of crisis, the suffering that it produces creates the impetus behind the shift in consciousness. This is the point that we have reached now, and we've been moving towards this for the past 100 years. This is why so many people are now ready to undergo that shift.

So this is a very important moment in human history, where there is a possibility of almost a quantum leap in human consciousness. There's also the possibility, of course, that humans are not going to make it, that the shift won't happen, in which case there would be a regression in human evolution that could throw us back several thousand years. Hopefully, that's not going to happen, but it could happen, and even that would not be ultimately tragic, because I believe that consciousness is destined to grow and flower on this planet. I'm fairly confident that it is happening already, but we must not underestimate the gravitational pull, so to speak, of the old, dysfunctional consciousness that is still here and operates, as you can see when you watch the daily news. Most things you see on the daily news are reflections of the old, dysfunctional consciousness, or, rather, unconsciousness. We have reached a very interesting point in human evolution. It's quite amazing to be alive at this time.

Was there a moment in your own life -- a wakeup call or a personal turning point -- that showed you the importance of presence, focus and stillness?

Yes, there was a moment when the unhappiness in me became almost unbearable. I was depressed and anxious most of the time. This is what we've just been talking about now, the deep crisis that precedes a change in consciousness. I experienced that in my own life. I briefly describe it in the introduction to The Power of Now. I couldn't live with myself any longer, and so I considered suicide. I had considered suicide quite a few times in my life. At that point, suddenly something happened within me. I didn't understand what it was, because it happened spontaneously. It was only later I realized that what happened inside me was the arising of presence.

It was spontaneous. Nobody had told me that there's such thing as presence; it just happened. I disidentified from the thinking mind, the voice in the head that, in my case, as it is in many people's lives, was quite negative and self-destructive. I stepped out of the stream of thinking, and what arose inside me was presence or awareness, and suddenly I found this inner peace, and this happened as a result of extreme depression and anxiety. So I reached a crisis point in my life, and then, spontaneously, this shift in consciousness happened. This could be called a spontaneous healing at a very deep level, because the only true healing is a change in consciousness.

All other forms of healing, although they may be helpful and beneficial, are ultimately temporary and relatively superficial. This deep healing happened to me without a conceptual understanding, and that's an interesting thing, because it's not that I suddenly understood everything. I didn't understand conceptually what happened, so the shift in consciousness does not happen on the conceptual level. For most people it is helpful to come into contact with a teaching, to read a spiritual book or to listen to a spiritual talk. Those are conceptual pointers, and they can be helpful, but presence itself has nothing to do with concepts in your mind; it's going beyond thinking. You realize that there are basically two dimensions inside of you.

One of those two dimensions is thinking, which is where your identity as a person lies. The other dimension is consciousness itself, which is a where you are connected with something vast that goes far beyond who you are as a person. It is where you are connected to the universal intelligence itself that underlies the entire universe. This happened to me as a result of suffering, so there is a redeeming feature to suffering, because suffering can bring about that shift, and until a certain point in an individual's evolution is reached, suffering is inevitable and fulfills a necessary function, without which the shift would not take place. Humanity as a whole has already suffered enormously. Most of history is a history of dreadful suffering, much of it self-inflicted through violence and continuous conflict.

Because humanity has already gone through acute suffering, there are many people alive now who are actually at a point of readiness. They don't need to suffer that much more, because now we benefit from the past collective human suffering.

The ego is central to your work and the series -- how to understand it, talk about it and ultimately transcend it. How can we begin to free ourselves from our own egos?

In A New Earth I dealt in more detail with the ego and the various ways in which it manifests. I recommend that people read those chapters, but here I'd just like to mention that on the most basic level ego means complete identification with the thinking mind. In the egoic state, your sense of self, your identity, is derived from your thinking mind -- in other words, what your mind tells you about yourself: the storyline of you, the memories, the expectations, all the thoughts that go through your head continuously and the emotions that reflect those thoughts. All those things make up your sense of self. This mind-made sense of self is a mental image, and you live through that mental image. This mental image is the ego.

How you can free yourself from the ego is by realizing that there is another dimension of consciousness in you. That dimension is in everybody, but if you're completely identified with every thought that comes into you head, then you continuously overlook that there is that dimension of stillness and spaciousness inside you. Thought can be so seductive and hypnotic that it absorbs your attention totally, so you become your thoughts. When you become your thoughts, that is the ego. To realize that you are not your thoughts is when you begin to awaken spiritually.

For example, when your mind is very critical of yourself or other people, frequently complaining or berating yourself or creating anxiety by worrying about what might go wrong in the future, this creates a lot of unhappiness. Then you reach a point where you ask yourself, "What is at the root of this unhappiness I feel all the time?" And then you may be amazed to realize that in most cases when you are unhappy, you're not unhappy because of something that's happening in your life; you're unhappy because of what your mind is telling you about it. It's not a situation or an event that makes you unhappy but your mental commentary about it, the voice in your head. When you realize that, that's when you begin to disidentify from the voice in your head. The disidentification from thinking is the arising of presence. Then you realize that there is a sense of conscious presence behind your thoughts, and that this conscious presence is who you are. The thoughts happen within that presence, so thoughts come and go.

I like to give the analogy of the sky. The sky also has two dimensions: There are clouds, and there is the empty, blue sky. In this analogy the clouds are your thoughts, and they continuously drift past. And for many people there are so many clouds that their inner sky is continuously overcast. They don't realize that beyond the clouds is a vast, blue sky -- luminous vastness. But then a moment comes when there is a break in the clouds, a gap between two thoughts, and you realize, "Oh, the clouds are there, but I am that spacious vastness that is beyond the clouds." That means you're beginning to be free of the ego. Then your sense of identity is the feeling of your own presence. This is the realization that the essence of who you are is consciousness. Consciousness can be compared to space. It enables everything to be. We could put it like this: You are not what happens; you are the space in which it happens. That space is consciousness.

Thoughts are fine when you don't confuse them with who you are, and then thoughts are not a problem. Thinking is a wonderful tool to create things in this world. It only becomes problematic and a source of suffering when you confuse thinking with who you are. When you no longer confuse thinking with who you are, you begin to be free of the ego. It doesn't mean that you don't periodically fall back, because awakening is gradual.
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Courtney Love: I Was A ‘Fag Hag,’ Gays Taught Me How To Be A Rock Star

Courtney Love opened up this week about the influence of her gay friends on her development as a rock star, as well as her status as a gay icon.

Speaking to Gay Times magazine, and as reported by Contact Music, the lead singer of Hole said, "When I was a kid I was definitely what you would call a fag hag because that's how I learned to dress and be extrovert and walk into a room."

She also stated that her "freshman year of learning how to be a rock star was just hanging around drag queens.."

This isn't the first time that Love has acknowledged the impact of gay individuals on her career and the large percentage of gay men that make up her fan base. She previously told Vanity Fair that, "My homos -- they stick by me through thick and thin." She also told The Rainbow Times last summer that she needs her gay fans at her performances, stating that "If I don’t have the gays, I just go nuts, because they always know every word and they’re the best core audience you can have."

Love also addressed her status as a gay icon in her Gay Times magazine interview, claiming that longevity with that tile is about "surviving. It has to be. Surviving, and also the ability to do drag, to clean up nice. I might look like s**t this morning, but you know, I clean up nice."

Love recently confirmed that fans can expect a Hole reunion next month, with both new music and a tour.
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Miss America: Don’t Suspend Teen Over Prom Invite

YORK, Pa. (AP) — Miss America is asking a Pennsylvania school district to reconsider the punishment of a senior who asked her to prom during the question-and-answer portion of an assembly.

The York Dispatch reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1iBazDw) that Nina Davuluri posted a statement on the Miss America Organization's Facebook page saying she contacted Central York High School to ask officials to rethink the three-day in-school suspension issued to 18-year-old Patrick Farves. Davuluri says her travel schedule will prevent her from attending the dance with Farves.

School officials knew Farves intended to ask her to prom and warned him not to do it. Fellow students cheered afterward, but Farves was suspended for misbehaving.

He apologized for disrupting Thursday's event. Davuluri was there to talk about the importance of science, technology, engineering and math studies.

___

Information from: The York Dispatch, http://www.yorkdispatch.com
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Stars Shake Things Up With Their Signature Looks On This Week’s Best & Worst Beauty List

Last week, celebrities took bold risks with their hair and makeup. While some stars like Kate Walsh and Jennifer Garner blew our minds, others just left us scratching our heads. (Yeah, we're still not sure what Katy Perry was thinking when she dyed her hair green.) But it looks like more stars are taking Perry's lead and switching things up in the beauty department.

Brandy ditched her signature box braids for an Afro hairstyle. Meanwhile, Shailene Woodley appears to be having some fun experimenting with wearing more makeup these days. And we've decided to give Leighton Meester a pass for her ombre hair because we can't deny how stunning it is.

See these examples of gorgeous hair and makeup below (plus some not-so-pretty looks).


BEST: Brandy

brandy

Brandy's big and beautiful 'fro frames her face perfectly. And it doesn't hurt that the singer/actress has some of the best brows in Hollywood.

BEST: Shailene Woodley

shailene woodley

The "Divergent" star dazzled on the 2014 MTV Movie Awards red carpet with slicked-back hair, luminous skin and rosy lips. Those few strokes of mascara and black eyeliner is what really makes her eyes pop.

BEST: Rita Ora

rita ora

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's why we'll never grow tired of Ora's side-swept waves, bold brows, smokey eye makeup and matte red lips.

BEST: Leighton Meester

leighton meester

"The Gossip Girl" actress' ombre locks are the only acceptable version of 'do in 2014.

BEST: Camilla Belle

camilla belle

Belle perfects festival beauty with her shoulder-length haircut, well-groomed brows and peachy-pink lips.

WORST: Gemma Arterton

gemma arterton

This helmet hair isn't something that we'd expect to see on a Bond girl. The thick and heavy hairstyle practically covers up Arterton's beautiful freckles.

WORST: Giuliana Rancic

giuliana rancic

It looks like Rancic rolled around in a tub filled with sunless tanner. Her unnatural orange glow competes with her bronze hair color and neutral eyeshadow.

WORST: Pia Mia

pia mia

Take your lavender bandana, blue contact lenses and oversized chain hoop earrings and return them to the costume store that sold them to you, Pia.

WORST: Kendall Jenner

kendall jenner

We have a strong feeling that Jenner stuck this earring (there's no way that's a nose ring) onto her face just so we'd talk about her.

WORST: Monique

monique

Snooki comparisons aside, this young lady's red hair, red brows and sea green eyeshadow is just a catastrophe.
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Lawyer Of Bryan Singer’s Accuser: More ‘Hollywood Insiders’ Will Be Named In Sex Abuse Suits

The lawyer representing Michael F. Egan III, who has accused "X-Men" director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him when he was underage, told HuffPost Live on Friday that more recognizable Hollywood figures involved in sexually assaulting young men will be named next week.

"There's more Hollywood names. These are other men who Mike alleges were part of these pool parties in California and then also flew to the parties in Hawaii, where they sexually abused Mike. They're Hollywood insiders," said attorney Jeffrey Herman.

Herman told host Ricky Camilleri that he and his client have not yet named all parties involved because they need to take "certain procedural steps" before filing additional lawsuits in Hawaii. Herman expects the new names will be made public Monday, though he said under Hawaiian law he has until Thursday to file suit against the other "sexual predators."

AN 'ORGANIZED AND ONGOING OPEN SECRET'




Since Egan's lawsuit became public this week, Herman said he has been amazed by what he's discovered about the widespread nature of sex abuse in Hollywood and the unspoken knowledge of such conduct.

"I've seen a lot of things -- [defending victims of sexual abuse] is all that I do -- but I don't know that I've ever seen a more organized and ongoing open secret," he said. "I'm getting regular contacts from people saying, 'Oh, you should hear what's happening over here.'"

Herman added that he's been told about numerous "vile" rings of sexual predation, some of which overlap. But "the commonality of this is they're all men in Hollywood, all men using their positions of power and influence to sexually exploit children," he said.

'I'M NOT GOING TO BE BULLIED'




Singer's attorney has shot back against Egan, Herman and their allegations, declaring on Friday that receipts, telephone records and production schedules can prove Singer was not in Hawaii at the time Egan claims he was assaulted. Singer's lawyer also vowed to file a countersuit for "malicious prosecution."

Herman said he plans to move forward with Egan's suit no matter what Singer's representatives say.

"I'm not going to be bullied, I'm not going to be intimidated by someone threatening to do something to me because I'm representing a victim," he said. "I am the voice of these victims who have been silenced."

Click here to watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with attorney Jeffrey Herman.
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Rumors That Beyonce And Jay Z Will Tour Together Give Us Hope For Summer

Jay Z and Beyonce might go on the run this summer. According to Page Six, the pop superstars -- and husband and wife -- could launch a stadium tour together. Though the claims are supported by anonymous sources, the report states that the couple will announce a 20-stadium U.S. tour to start in late June, and that they might perform in New York City on July 4.

Technically, this is feasible. Jay Z finished his 52-date tour in January and Bey closed out the Mrs. Carter Show tour in March. If the king and queen of hip-hop -- nay, all music -- go on tour together, all online ticketing sites would crash, New York's horrific summer weather predictions would be negated and maybe Solange could be the opening act. (Hey, we can dream.)

HuffPost Entertainment contacted reps for Beyonce and Jay Z, but did not receive immediate response. This article will be updated if and when the tour rumors are confirmed or denied.

[via Page Six]
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AC/DC Retirement Rumors Swirl Around Malcolm Young’s Health

AC/DC may call it quits, according to new rumors that surfaced after an Australian radio station reported the band would go into retirement. A person identifying themselves as "Thuderstruck" wrote an anonymous email to Perth radio station 6PR and stated that one of the band's members was "quite ill" and that "AC/DC members have previously made a pact that no band members will be replaced should someone need to leave the band."

This isn't the first time news of an ill AC/DC member has made the rounds. Singer Brian Johnson confirmed that someone in the band was sick back in February. He told a Florida radio station that they hadn't set any plans in stone. "One of our boys was pretty ill, so we didn't like to say anything, and we're very private about things like this, so we didn't want to say anything."

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, among other reports, guitarist and songwriter Malcolm Young is the sick band member. "He is believed to be unable to continue playing, although there has not been any explanation why," the Morning Herald report noted. Aussie entertainment commentator Peter Ford, meanwhile, fueled the fire when he said that "we may not hear them perform or record ever again” on radio station 3AW.

Despite all these rumors, AC/DC is still booked for six weeks in a Vancouver recording studio starting on May 1.

AC/DC has yet to make an official statement confirming or denying the claims. HuffPost Entertainment contacted the band's representatives to comment on this story. Our post will be updated if and when they respond.
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Benedict Cumberbatch Apparently Told A Crowd Of Fans He Isn’t In ‘Star Wars’

Cross him off, then. According to reports from Australian entertainment news site The Iris, Benedict Cumberbatch told an Oz Comic Con crowd that he was not going to star in "Star Wars: Episode VII."




HuffPost Entertainment contacted Cumberbatch's representatives to confirm that the actor did indeed make this statement during his appearance. This post will be updated if and when they respond.

Cumberbatch was first rumored for "Star Wars" in September of 2013. At the time, the actor's reps shot down the report, but Cumberbatch did allude to the fact that appearing in the J.J. Abrams film was something he was interested in doing.

"I worked with J.J. [Abrams]. Obviously, he knows," Cumberbatch to THR. "Everyone who wants to be part of that film, they know about."

In December, Cumberbatch told Conan O'Brien that he was calling Abrams and leaving him messages about starring in "Episode VII."

"I would leave casual messages on his phone as a light saber," Cumberbatch said.

"Star Wars: Episode VII" is out in theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.

[via Indiewire/The Playlist]
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9 Lessons We Can Learn From The Longest-Lasting Celebrity Couples

With news of Hollywood breakups coming almost every day, our faith in marriage, soul mates, and everlasting love can get a bit shaky at times. Cheating, the pressures of work, and "irreconcilable differences" seem to be the main culprits that are bursting the bubble that is happily-ever-after. And no, it's not just quickie, Kardashian-style marriages that are going kaput.

Just recently Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow called it quits after 11 years of marriage. Childhood sweethearts Paula Patton and singer Robin Thicke split in February after nearly nine years of marriage, and around a decade of dating. That's an eternity in Hollywood years.

But still, even with the media glare, many celebrities are making it work. Dozens of celebrity marriages have lasted decades or more and are still going strong. Here's what these couples are doing to beat the odds in the land of imminent divorce.

1. Always remind yourself how lucky you are to have your spouse.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and are undeniably Hollywood's most famous long-term couple. “I got lucky," Hanks told Extra late last year. "No secrets, it’s about winning the lottery. She could’ve done better, but man oh man, I’m no dope. I’m sticking with her.” In fact, the only problem in their marriage is a pretty good one, according to Hanks. "The only thing we ever argue about is who loves each other more," he said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Aww!

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
meryl streep don gummer
With a couple wins under her belt, Meryl Streep has somehow avoided the "Oscar curse" that has befallen so many other winners in their love lives. Streep has been married over 35 years to sculptor Don Gummer.

"You have to talk about all the issues that arise, even the smallest things," Streep said in an interview with New Zealand Women's Weekly. "You have to listen to your partner’s problems, suggestions and advice, and accept that you’re not always right. Conversation is the key to a successful marriage."

3. Keep having sex. Lots of it.
Lisa Rinna isn't one to shy away from talking about marriage... or sex. She co-authored "The Big, Fun, Sexy Sexy Book" on having a great sex life at any age and getting the sizzle back in your relationship.

The star has been married to actor Harry Hamlin for 16 years and has been with him for a total of 20. "That's like 150 years together in Hollywood math," she told Know More TV.

Rinna credits a healthy sex life for her happy marriage. "I just know how important it is in keeping a marriage going. Without it, you're roommates, you don't value each other, and boom -- someone's going to have an affair and get divorced," Rinna told CNN. "It's not easy being married; it's hard after 20 years! If you don't have sex you just want to walk away half the time, so you really need to make the effort."

4. Don't stop getting to know one another.
kyra kevin bacon
Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon are a Hollywood anomaly after celebrating 25 years of marriage. It's a long time, but they've made sure not to let complacency set in.

"We've been married for so long and there are no secrets. But I never in a million years thought there would be sides to Kevin that I'm still learning," Sedgwick told Redbook. "I'm constantly amazed that we are still surprised and interested in each other. When I look back at our first four years... by that time we'd had our second kid, and I look back at those pictures and I think, Gosh, I didn't know him at all! I loved him, but I didn't know him, and he probably didn't know me. But you grow together and learn more about each other."

5. There's no need to flaunt your relationship to be happy.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick have been married over 15 years, but despite their high-profile careers, you'll rarely see them posing on the red carpet together. The couple is known for staying tight-lipped and private when it comes to their marriage, but it's clearly working for them.

"People have asked me about my marriage, 'How do you make it work, and I say, 'We don't talk about it.' That's not really true. It's sort of a nasty response," Parker told Harper's Bazaar. "Matthew and I come from a different time and place. When we were young people, all we ever wanted was to be good working actors... nobody talked about being a celebrity. So when our marriage came up in conversation, it wouldn't occur to us that we were obligated to respond to allegations or gossip. You have to be a bit circumspect, but you also have to take up a position, and you have to stick to it."

6. Understand that marriage has peaks and valleys.
antonio banderas melanie
Marriage hasn't always been a cakewalk for Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith. They've been together just shy of 20 years and have withstood Griffith's addiction troubles and divorce rumors.

"The secret is that we had failures before. And love at the beginning is a rush. It's big, full of energy, beautiful. But it doesn't last like that. Melanie and I talked about that a lot," Banderas told AARP. "That thing at the beginning disappeared, but it became something better. We discovered the value and warmth of family, and what is home — that we can be stronger together. That thing that you thought was gone comes back again, and you fall in love again. Even in crisis, we have been patient enough to detect that at the end of the tunnel was a light."

7. Embrace your differences.
They're probably one of Hollywood's happiest un-married couples, but Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn's relationship has stood the test of time, after 30 years together. Hawn is known to be a free-spirit and their laid back approach seems to be the recipe for success.

"Relationships are always challenging because you're living with someone and two people are very different but it really is about, 'What are your core values? What are the things that matter to you?'" Hawn told talk show host Jonathan Ross. ''Kurt's quite different in many ways to what I am, and vice versa, but we want the same things out of life and so it's been an incredible ride with him."

8. Be passionate -- about each other and about what you do.
ali hewson bonoRelationships can be consuming and overwhelming, and you sometimes lose sight of who you were and what you wanted before you met your significant other. But it's that sense of self and independence that can make your marriage stronger. Just ask Ali Hewson, who's married to U2 frontman Bono. Rather than dropping everything to be a rocker's wife, Hewson has been involved with various causes and even launched her own fashion line Edun, in 2005.

"Our marriage has worked because we like each other, because we talk to each other, and we are passionate about what we do. We allow each other to pursue our goals," Hewson told The Guardian. "I wouldn't want to be married to someone who wasn't happy with what they were doing in life, and B wouldn't either. I have learned a lot about what it means to be married, how great it can be if you persevere. We're very close."

9. Learn from each other.
It can't be easy being married to the most famous and powerful man in the world. But while President Barack Obama is busy leading the country, he and his wife both lead by example in their marriage.

"'Patience and calm I’m borrowing. Or trying to mirror," Michelle said in an interview with Vogue. I’ve learned that from my husband, that sort of, you know, ability to not get too high or too low with changes and bumps in the road . . . to do more breathing in and just going with it. I’m learning that every day... So I’ve learned to let go and enjoy it and take it in and not take things too personally.”

Barack added, "And what Michelle has done is to remind me every day of the virtues of order... Being on time. Hanging up your clothes. Being intentional about planning time with your kids... I think what we’ve learned from each other is that sense of..." "Balance," Michelle said.




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