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The Most Famous Moment From The Robert Durst Documentary Isn’t Quite What It Seems

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More than four years after the HBO documentary series “The Jinx” detailed several alleged murders by New York real estate heir Robert Durst, transcripts of the documentary’s raw audio reveal that the filmmakers may have heavily edited Durst’s apparent confession to the crimes.

“What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course,” Durst famously says in the series’ stunning conclusion, captured on a hot mic while going to the bathroom.

His full comments were in a different order, according to The New York Times, which reported Wednesday that Durst’s lawyers are planning to devote much of their defense on the documentary’s “manipulations” when Durst goes to trial later this year.

A portion of the documentary footage’s transcripts, submitted as part of the ongoing court case involving Durst’s alleged murder of close friend Susan Berman in 2000, shows that the filmmakers cobbled together Durst’s apparent confession from a much longer sequence of rambling remarks.

At the time “The Jinx” aired in 2015, the filmmakers’ practices came under scrutiny and raised journalistic and ethical questions. 

Viewers questioned whether the documentarians ― Andrew Jarecki, Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier ― should have immediately turned over the apparent confession to law enforcement. 

In interviews promoting the series, Jarecki revealed that it took “many months” for filmmakers to find the footage, filmed three years before the documentary ultimately aired.

The filmmakers also played around with the timeline of events to create a more compelling narrative arc.

Durst was arrested on the eve of the final episode airing. Law enforcement cited the documentary as having played a role.

In the upcoming trial, Durst’s lawyers are planning to call the filmmakers as witnesses and accuse them of becoming “agents for law enforcement,” according to the Times.

Since the series finale, the filmmakers have been mum about the documentary series, citing their role as potential witnesses in Durst’s legal battle.

HBO stood by the series in a statement Wednesday.

“Andrew Jarecki is an experienced, respected and award-winning filmmaker whose film speaks for itself,” a network spokeswoman said.

This story has been updated with comment from HBO.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Watch RuPaul School LL Cool J On The Power Of Drag Culture In 1995

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These days, the 1990s comedy series “In the House” is perhaps best remembered for bringing rapper LL Cool J to network television. But the sitcom, which ran from 1995 through 1999 on NBC and UPN, also featured a guest appearance by none other than RuPaul in a radical-for-its-time take on drag culture.

In the latest installment of his “Culture Cruise” video series, Seattle-based writer Matt Baume breaks down the episode of RuPaul’s appearance, “Boyz II Men II Women.” The installment aired in late 1995 ― a time that Baume describes as “a pivotal moment” for TV depictions of drag and gender roles.

“In the House” followed a retired football player, Marion Hill (LL Cool J), who rents rooms in his home to a newly divorced single mother, Jackie Warren (Debbie Allen), and her two children, Tiffany (Maia Campbell) and Austin (Jeffery Wood). In “Boyz II Men II Women,” RuPaul guest stars as Marion’s longtime pal Kevin, who announces plans to pursue a new career as a nightclub performer ― in drag, of course.

At the time this episode aired, RuPaul was a star on the rise. His 1993 dance-pop album, “Supermodel of the World,” was a hit, featuring the smash single “Supermodel (You Better Work).”

The success of the album helped make RuPaul a global media darling ― which, in turn, helped usher in a cultural boon for drag, as represented by the happy conclusion of “Boyz II Men II Women,” Baume told HuffPost.

“Prior to the ’90s, drag in the media was usually a punchline, a way to mock someone for not conforming to gender roles,” he said. “Men in dresses were often humiliated, or in a position where they had to keep their identity secret because it was shameful or a liability.”

Attitudes about women and trans people not being ‘as good’ as cis male performers need to be broken down just as much as the gender binary of previous decades.
Matt Baume
He noted that RuPaul ― as well as the 1990 ball culture documentary “Paris Is Burning” and well-known performers like Lady Bunny ― showed that “drag could be a source of personal power.”

At the same time, Baume said, “Boyz II Men II Women” is a reminder of the “frustrating gatekeeping” that exists around drag and gender roles even today. He pointed to recent controversies over the inclusion of transgender artists on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” as an example. 

“Attitudes about women and trans people not being ‘as good’ as cis male performers need to be broken down just as much as the gender binary of previous decades,” he said. 

Baume, the author of the 2015 book “Defining Marriage: Voices From a Forty-Year Labor of Love,” has examined LGBTQ-inclusive episodes of “The Golden Girls” and “Married… With Children,” among other shows, for “Culture Cruise,” now in its second season. 

In January, New York Times writer Margaret Lyons praised “Culture Cruise,” calling it a “thoughtful and thorough” look at “queer representation — the good and the bad — in pop culture.”

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Celebrity

Britney Spears Working Out To Relieve Stress

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Britney Spears has further reassured fans she’s fine after taking time off to deal with stress by posting a new workout video online.

The singer took to Instagram on Wednesday (24Apr19), hours after posting a video statement about her health, and shared footage of herself lifting weights and dancing to Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin’s I Like It.

“Who knew stress would be a great 5 pound weight loss. Yay for me,” she wrote under the video.

Spears previously fired back at reports suggesting she was being held in a mental institution against her will.

“Hi guys, just checking in with all of you who have been concerned about me,” Spears said in the video. “All is well. My family has been going through a lot of stress and anxiety lately so I just needed time to deal. But don’t worry I will be back very soon.”

In an accompanying caption, she wrote: “There’s rumors, death threats to my family and my team, and just so many things crazy things being said. I am trying to take a moment for myself, but everything that’s happening is just making it harder for me. Don’t believe everything you read and hear.

“My situation is unique, but I promise I’m doing what’s best at this moment. You may not know this about me, but I am strong, and stand up for what I want! Your love and dedication is amazing, but what I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way. If you could do that, I would be forever grateful. Love you.”

Spears checked herself into a health facility earlier this month (Apr19) to deal with stress brought on by her father’s current medical crisis following colon surgery.

On Tuesday, her boyfriend Sam Asghari assured fans she was going to be fine during a chat with TMZ, stating, “She’s doing great. Thank you for your concern… She’s doing amazing. Her fans are so amazing to be so concerned, but she’s doing great. Nobody needs to worry.”

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ENTERTAINMENT

Anderson Cooper Taunts ‘Gaslighting’ Jared Kushner With Mueller Report Quotes

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CNN’s Anderson Cooper called out Jared Kushner Tuesday for attempting to “gaslight” Americans with a wildly inaccurate summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. 

Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law of and adviser, claimed the investigation “has had a much harsher impact on our democracy than a couple Facebook ads.”

Cooper slammed Kushner for trying to summarize the extensive Russian meddling in the 2016 election that was detailed in the redacted 448-page report as “a couple of Facebook ads.”

“Who else other than maybe that Cliff guy could sum up such a long, dense document so concisely?” Cooper taunted before offering a “KushnersNotes” version of the report .

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