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“If He Wins He Will Continue to Fuck With Me”: An Election Night (and Week) Vigil With Donald Trump’s Ghosts

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Stephanie Winston Wolkoff hadn’t yet gotten dressed when a doorman in her prewar Park Avenue apartment complex buzzed up to let her know someone was waiting for her downstairs. It was early Monday morning, the day before the presidential election, and she had a sneaking idea of who it would be. It wasn’t the first time she’d been roped into one of the numerous investigations into how money around Donald Trump’s inauguration—which Wolkoff, as Melania Trump’s ex-close friend and adviser, had helped plan—was spent. She threw on black jeans and a little suede jacket, pulled out a mask, and took the elevator down to meet the representative serving her a subpoena from the Trump Organization.

The 20-something-page document came from an attorney representing the president’s business, as part of a civil case out of the District of Columbia looking into inaugural spending. The Trump Organization is seeking documents related to inaugural spending, along with a recorded deposition at the end of the month as it relates to their defense. The subpoena follows revelations Wolkoff made in a best-selling book published in September, which detailed her concerns about how the Trump family planned, spent for, and oversaw the inauguration, as well as the unraveling of her long relationship with Melania. Along with the book, Wolkoff released audio recordings in which the first lady is heard downplaying the conditions in which migrant children separated from their parents were kept, as well as complaining about having to decorate the White House for Christmas.

That this is what the Trumps were focused on the day before the presidential race—where the fate of the country and their family hangs in the balance—jibes with the reality that the president was bracing for a life after the White House that could involve a legal nightmare. Wolkoff was not surprised; pettiness was always the point. If they want more from her, she said from her apartment, she has more to give. “They’re just not going to like it.”

So much of her life had been turned upside down by her association with Melania that it was a fitting cap. “I’m sort of numb,” she told me from her apartment. “I’m worried about what’s to come tonight, but I’m sort of optimistic. It’s not like last time.”

It’s hard to overstate how much of her world has changed since the previous election. Obviously, her friendship with Melania has disintegrated into a public sparring match. Wolkoff has portrayed the first lady as vapid, uncaring, and complicit in her husband’s administration. Melania has swiped back, calling Wolkoff “someone who clung to me after my husband won,” referring to her book as “idle gossip,” and her behavior as “dishonest.” In 2016, Wolkoff voted for Trump; this year, she not only cast an absentee ballot for Joe Biden, but she switched her party registration to Democrat. “When I voted four years ago, the only thing I was thinking about was my future with Melania,” she said. She spent that night at the Hilton waiting to celebrate. (She wore a bright-red pantsuit and texted Melania when she noticed the crowd getting restless. “People are starting to leave!” she wrote. “What are you doing?” Melania replied, “We’re on the way!”) Two days later, she went to the Trumps’ triplex on Fifth Avenue to congratulate her, and Melania asked her to come to D.C. “Of course,” she replied, though, as she wrote in her book, she now wishes she had declined.

This year, she was hunkered down at home. She made chicken soup for her son and iced cupcakes with her daughter. She posted videos to her Twitter feed urging her followers to vote for Biden. She’d seen footage of Melania casting her ballot in Palm Beach, mask-less in a Gucci dress. “I wanted to believe so badly,” she told me. “But she has done absolutely nothing but her hair and her makeup over the last four years. She took the easy way out and sabotaged everything. She really just did not care.”

There are plenty of Trump-era hallmarks, things that set it apart from any time period that’s come before. There’s the chaos, the cruelty, the punishing news cycle, the rallies and the tweets and the country more divided than ever. What’s always struck me, though, is the collateral damage Trump has left in his wake in such a short time. A number of the president’s closest associates, including Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort, and Roger Stone, have ended up in criminal trouble. Many more, like Wolkoff, were either betrayed by the Trumps or have pulled a 180 themselves (often a combination of the two). All have had their lives irreparably changed by association. Trump is a wrecking ball, and those closest to him suffer the brunt of his destruction.

Michael Cohen is the classic example. His Trump association upended his life a million times in a million ways, with congressional investigations into Trump’s Russian ties, l’affair Stormy Daniels, the FBI raiding his office and home, his guilty plea and flip, his testimony, and the three-year prison sentence handed down to him by the Southern District of New York. All of it hangs in the air at his apartment, a block away from Wolkoff’s, though the mood was lighter than you’d maybe imagine on Election Day. He spent much of it watching the returns in his den. Like Wolkoff, he cast his vote for Biden. He’d woken up early, at 4 a.m., and walked to a polling place on 55th Street, where the people working recognized him and brought him through what he says was a seamless process. He got his coveted voting sticker and made his way back to his Trump-branded apartment building, where he is currently serving out the remainder of his prison sentence on home confinement.

Four years ago, Cohen was still with the Trump Organization. He was working for the campaign, talking to Trump day and night, paying off Stormy Daniels days before the election at Trump’s request to pave the path for his win. But Cohen saw one incident on election night as a sign that his former boss was pushing him aside as he ascended to real power. Cohen and his daughter Samantha made their way to Trump’s victory party, only to realize that they hadn’t been invited to the private party with the Trump family and true insiders. As he wrote in his book, Cohen was wise to the ways of Trump, and he knew he was being iced out.

This year, Cohen toggled between MSNBC and CNN in his apartment. His face was unshaven, and he had put on an oatmeal turtleneck when he woke up. “I love turtlenecks,” he told me. “It’s yummy. It’s cozy.” He made himself a turkey sandwich for lunch (he’s been cooking a lot during home confinement—lasagne, rigatoni bolognese, avocado toast with truffle oil) and settled in for the long haul. “I keep thinking that four years ago, I would have been standing to his right,” he said. Now, “I’m watching with popcorn in hand, getting ready for the proverbial shitshow.” He wouldn’t trade it, though he does wish he could see Trump’s face as results roll in. “I wish I was sitting with him in the residence as each state comes in blue so I could get a front-row picture of the grimace—that ‘I just sucked on the tartest lemon while someone farted in my face’ look. Within one minute of Trump losing, he’s going to television, to radio, to print, whining about how it was stolen from him, because he cannot accept loss; he cannot accept any blame and will never acknowledge that he lost because he’s arrogant and ignorant.”

Further uptown, Sam Nunberg didn’t totally disagree, he told me as he ate lunch at an Indian restaurant near his apartment. If the line at the polling place on his way home was short, he would pop in and cast a vote for Trump, his boss until 2015, when he was fired from the Trump campaign. If the line was too long, he’d skip it. “My vote doesn’t count in New York anyway.” Nunberg fell out with Trump and the two were involved in litigation, though he still supports some of the administration’s policies and stays close with some of its key higher-ups and hangers-on. Last election, he was doing TV hits for Sky News in Times Square before getting unhappily wasted at Dorian’s. He is now two and a half years sober. Every month, he celebrates by buying a new pair of sneakers. He chose a pair of Jordans for this first Tuesday in November.

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DR. DRE ‘ANGRY’ AFTER BEING SERVED WITH $1.5 MILLION DIVORCE PAPERS AT FUNERAL

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Dr Dre

DR. DRE ‘ANGRY’ AFTER BEING SERVED WITH $1.5 MILLION DIVORCE PAPERS AT FUNERAL

According to TMZ, Dr. Dre and Nicole Young’s seemingly never-ending divorce has taken a tragic turn after Dre was served with divorce papers while attending his grandmother’s funeral.

On Monday (October 18), the music producer was reportedly at a cemetery in Los Angeles to lay his grandmother to rest when a process server for his ex-wife handed court documents.

Sources close to Dr. Dre say he was approached at the burial site while standing near his grandmother’s casket, while Nicole Young says he was served at the cemetery’s parking lot after the burial.

Being served in these circumstances, understandably, did not go down well. Dr. Dre is said to have “recoiled in anger” and refused to accept the documents in person. According to Dre sources, the documents were placed near the tomb, whereas Young sources claim they were dropped at the parking lot.

The documents in question concern Young’s attorney costs and contain the judge’s ultimate order of $1,550,000. According to reports, $325,433 has been paid, but Dr. Dre believes this is an error and that he has already paid the full sum. According to Young, another $1,224,567 is still owed.

Nicole Young filed for divorce in June 2020, and the procedure was fraught with complications. Dr. Dre was accused of having a child with Kili Anderson, one of three alleged mistresses in the divorce lawsuit, earlier this month, with their relationship allegedly dating back to 2013.

According to the records, Anderson “to have been in a relationship with the famous rapper Dr. Dre, with whom she had a child, and therefore she required all at-will employees to sign a confidentiality agreement that they would not pry into her life and would keep all things that they learned about her life private.”

“Plaintiff constantly violated this term of his employment by asking other employees what they knew about Ms. Anderson, her child, and what was the nature of her relationship with Dr. Dre.”

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Teaser of ‘Cowboy Bebop’ has been released by Netflix

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Cowboy Bebop

Teaser of ‘Cowboy Bebop’ has been released by Netflix

Cowboy Bebop, the first live-action adaptation of the influential and well-loved anime series from the late 1990s, is one of Netflix’s most anticipated shows for 2021. So far, the reaction has been enthusiastic with the recent revelation of the Netflix series’ opening credits, which recreate the original Tank introduction from the anime. Nonetheless, there is some doubt about Netflix’s attempt to remake Cowboy Bebop.

Fortunately, Netflix has just published a teaser   ahead of the show’s Nov. 19 premiere, which provides us our first look at the wonderfully stylized action while also revealing the crew of dysfunctional space-traveling bounty hunters in their environment. The show’s Twitter also indicated that the first trailer will be released in one week.

The brief episode, titled the Lost Session, follows Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda), and Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) as they pursue a fleeing target while squabbling about how best to fulfil the mission. This special session (the original series’ term for episodes) effectively captures the original’s rapid, sleek aesthetic. It was also exciting to see the cast’s chemistry for the first time. So far, they’re doing fantastic, capturing the characters’ banter and bickering.

While the bite-sized plot in this episode is a new perspective, there are some references to the original. Along with a glimpse of Spike’s enemy and major antagonist Vicious (played by Alex Hassell), we also get a brief interlude with the song Green Bird, which was used in the original show’s most iconic episode, Ballad for Fallen Angels. The brief episode concludes with our first glimpse of the crew’s starship, the Bebop, in space.

One thing that surprised was the quick pacing and flow of the action. This show, thankfully, is not a more grounded take on the original Cowboy Bebop, which always had the tempo and flow of a Hong Kong action film choreographed to the beat of a rollicking jazz band. It appears to be faithful in that aspect, albeit it may be a little too similar to the original programme in certain ways, which will attract awkward comparisons.

So far, what we have seen has piqued our interest. Although live-action anime and manga adaptations fare significantly better than most live-action video games, there is still some scepticism regarding Cowboy Bebop. And it’s easy to see why, given the tradition that this live-action show must uphold. Shinichiro Watanabe, the creator of the original anime/manga, is serving as a consultant on the series, and original composer Yoko Kanno has returned to score the programme as well. So there’s some legacy talent behind the show’s rebirth.

So far, the programme appears to strike a good mix between literal adaptation and intelligent reworking of what made the anime so entertaining and exhilarating. As a fan of the original, I’m excited to see how this version reinterprets the programme for a new medium, but I’m hopeful the series doesn’t go too far in attempting to recreate the original’s glory.

Cowboy Bebop’s live-action version will release on Netflix on November 19, with the complete 10-episode season available for bingeing.

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The Munsters Reboot: Rob Zombie’s reveals cast in New post

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The Munster Reboot

The Munsters Reboot: Rob Zombie’s reveals cast in New post

Zombie is directing a new film adaptation of the 1960s sitcom.

The first image of The Munsters’ cast has been released. Rob Zombie (Halloween, The Devil’s Rejects) is directing the remake of the popular 1960s sitcom.

Zombie shared the photo on Instagram. It depicts the three main characters, notably Herman Munster played by Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lily Munster played by Sheri Moon Zombie, and Grandpa Munster played by Dan Roebuck. The three are posed in front of the set of their landmark home at 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Check out below:

The film is now in production in Budapest, Hungary. Over the last two months, Zombie has been releasing a constant stream of behind-the-scenes footage, including these makeup experiments, clay makeup for Herman Munster, and a plan for the Munsters House. The Munsters does not yet have a premiere date, but it is rumoured that it will be a Peacock streaming exclusive.

The Munsters, which debuted in 1964, was about the family lives of a gang of affable monsters. It aired for 70 episodes over the next two years, and was followed by a number of made-for-TV features. The Munsters Today, a four-year-long sequel show, premiered in 1988.

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