Photo may have been deleted

Netflix

A grand jury in Tyler County, Texas has indicted Netflix for "promotion of lewd visual material depicting a child" when it distributed the French film Cuties.

The controversial film sparked fierce backlash against streaming giant Netflix, with critics alleging it over-sexualizes children.

According to a press release, the District Attorney's Office claims that Netflix, by distributing Cuties, "knowingly promote[d] visual material that depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child, which appeals to the prurient interest in sex and has no serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value."

A spokesperson for Netflix told PEOPLE in a statement on Wednesday: "Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film."

The film tells the story of an 11-year-old Senegalese girl in Paris who joins a "free-spirited dance clique" to escape family dysfunction.

Netflix previously apologized for a promo poster of the child stars posing in their dancing outfits. After the film premiered on Netflix on 9 September, the backlash continued as the hashtag "#CancelNetflix" was the top trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. the following day.

A petition on Change.org was also launched, calling on Netflix customers to cancel their subscriptions over the flick on the streaming service "that exploits children and creates a disturbing vibe".

"From cuties to Big Mouth to other movies mocking religions and exploiting children Netflix is no longer the family friendly streaming service I once believed it to be," reads a message on the campaign.

Photo may have been deleted

Spring Hill PD

An alleged pedophile secretly hid in an underage girl's closet for one month before he was discovered by the girl's parents.

Jonathan Rossmoine, 36, met the 15-year-old girl on social media and hid in a closet in her bedroom to avoid detection by her parents, according to Fox 13 News.

The girl reportedly told Rossmoine she was 18. When they met for the first time, the girl allegedly confessed that she was 18 years old. The suspect drove multiple times from his home in Louisiana to Florida to have sex with the girl in the family's Spring Hill home.

Rossmoine was discovered hiding in the girl's closet after her parents heard voices coming from the girl's bedroom.

He was arrested and charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious behavior, and one count of traveling across state lines to meet a minor for indecent purposes.

"He and the young lady came up with the idea that he could just stay in her room if he hid in the closet whenever the parents came in," Hernando County Sheriff's Office Detective Tom Cameron said.

"They kept the bedroom door closed and locked and whenever someone came to the door it gave them an opportunity to run and hide in the closet and open up the door to where maybe she was changing or something."

Authorities said Rossmoine admitted that he and the girl had sex a number of times in his van, which he had parked near her home, Crime Online reported.

Child experts advise parents to limit their child's access to smartphones and the internet.

"Kids can be doing things under our noses and in your house that you might not be aware of that could shock you," child psychologist Dr. Wendy Rice told Fox 13.

"Get the electronics out of the bedroom. That is key. None of us really need to be sleeping with our phones next to our beds and least of all teens."

Child advocacy groups are lobbying lawmakers to fine social media platforms that allow children to register accounts.

Photo may have been deleted

Jon Cherry/Getty Images

A 26-year-old man is behind bars after kidnapping an 11-year-old girl he met on Instagram.com. In text messages, Keith Green told the girl to pack her bags without her name or initials on them.

According to Crime Online, he told her they would have to "lay low" for six or seven years until she was of legal age.

He also told her he was "risking his life to be with her," according to the police report.

The arrest report said Green intended to tell people the girl was his niece and that he gained custody of her after her parents died.

The text messages were deleted before police could read them, but the girl's mother told police she viewed the messages.

Green used Instagram to groom the girl, and the warrant said deputies used a photo posted to the girl's Instagram account to identify him.

The girl has been returned to her mother, according to WEAR TV.

Green will be extradited back to Orange County. He faces charges of kidnapping, interference with custody, and luring or enticing a child.

About 58% 0f children under age 16 have their own social media accounts, according to a recent study.

Parental advocacy groups are lobbying lawmakers to fine social media outlets that allow children to register accounts. Measures that social media outlets can take to restrict children on social media includes a button that users can press to alert them that a child has an account.

Photo may have been deleted

Netflix

The FBI is asking parents in the Illinois area and beyond to check their sons's cell phones for evidence of communications with Netflix star Jerry Harris.

Harris, star of Netflix's cheerleading docuseries "Cheer," was arrested and charged with production of child p0rnography.

Photo may have been deleted

CBS 2

Harris, 21, admitted to soliciting child p0rn from at least 10 children. He also confessed to having sex with a 15-year-old boy at a cheerleading event last year.

None those victims have come forward or contacted law enforcement about their communications with Harris.

The FBI launched an investigation after the mother of 14-year-old twin boys found explicit text messages from Harris on their phones.

The FBI has opened a portal for victims or parents of victims to identify themselves by completing a questionnaire.

The responses are voluntary but some of the information may be used in the investigation. All identities of victims will be kept confidential.

Victims may be eligible for certain services, financial restitution and rights under federal and/or state law.

The FBI website lists usernames that Harris used on Snapchat (jerry_714) and Instagram (@__jcoleofficial) to seduce unsuspecting boys.

Photo may have been deleted

Getty Images

"Cheer" coach Monica Aldama broke her silence on the arrest of Jerry Harris on charges of child p0ornography. 21-year-old Harris was accused of sexually harassing twin boys, Charlie and Sam.

He was also sued for $1 million by the brothers who retained separate lawyers.

Harris was arrested this week and charged with one count of producing child pornography, according to Page Six.

He also admitted to receiving explicit photos and videos from at least 10-15 other minors, according to a complaint filed by the US Attorney’s Office in Chicago.

Aldama, who coached Harris on the Netflix cheerleading docuseries "Cheer," said, "My heart is shattered into a million pieces. I am devastated by this shocking, unexpected news."

She added, "Our children must be protected from abuse and exploitation, and I'm praying hard for the victims and everyone affected."

Aldama also asked that fans respect her privacy as her family "mourns during this heartbreaking time."

If convicted, Harris faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and maximum of 30 years.

Photo may have been deleted

Getty Image, Mail Online

Jerry Harris, star of Netflix's cheerleading docuseries "Cheer," was arrested Thursday and charged with production of child p0rnography three days after FBI agents removed bags of evidence from his Naperville, Illinois home.

The 21-year-old male cheerleader was the subject of a federal investigation after the mom of 14-year-old twin boys, Charlie and Sam, found sexually explicit texts and alerted Varsity Brands, who, in turn, notified police.

The twins are suing Harris over sexual exploitation harassment that began when they were just 13. The brothers filed separate lawsuits against Harris this week, accusing the flamboyant star of harassing them at cheer competitions.

It was reported on Monday that the flamboyant cheerleader was under investigation amid allegations he "solicited sexually explicit photos and sex from a minor".

The criminal complaint alleges Harris requested nude photos from the boys.

Photo may have been deleted

Snapchat

In one Snapchat exchange, Harris asked one of the twins, "Would you ever want to****." The boy interpreted the message as a sex act.

In another message, one of the boys sent Harris a photo of himself and Harris allegedly responded: "Do it naked and take a video."

Photo may have been deleted

CBS 2

In court documents, the siblings, who are Caucasian, alleged they befriended Harris, who is Black, during a cheer competition in 2018, and were "star struck" by him.

Following steamy text messages from Harris requesting nude photos from the boys, they met up with Harris in "secluded locations at various competitions".

After their mother found out about the sexually explicit messages, she reported him to cheerleading organization Varsity Brands, who contacted police.

Harris, who was 19 at the time of the incidents, worked for Varsity at a cheer camp last year.

"As a result of the recent allegation, we have barred this person from having any affiliation with Varsity Brands or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, now and in the future," wrote Varsity's Chief Legal Officer Burton Brillhart in letters to police in Florida and Texas.

Since Cheer premiered in January, Harris has covered the Oscars red carpet for Ellen DeGeneres, signed endorsement deals with Schmidt's deodorant, Panera Bread and American Eagle and racked up over a million followers on Instagram.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden held a chat with Harris weeks before investigators raided Harris's home.

Photo may have been deleted

Harris was part of Biden's plan to help "win back the internet."

"If the same percentage of young blacks turned out and registered to vote as the average voter, you'd increase voting by several million people, you could change the outcome of elections," Biden told Harris.

During a recent episode of the Variety and iHeart podcast "The Big Ticket," Harris, who was referred to as a "gay icon," said his late mom was watching over him.

"I feel like she's very, very happy and excited for everything that's been going on, and she's really loving it," said Harris, whose mother died of lung cancer when he was 16. "I know she's telling me to always stay humble, because she doesn't want to see me get a big head."

Harris met his cheerleading inspiration, Gabrielle Union, last month.
 

Photo may have been deleted

CBS 2

Jerry Harris, star of Netflix's cheerleading docuseries "Cheer," is facing more legal drama amid an FBI investigation into allegations he solicited sex from two minors.

Twin boys, Charlie and Sam, are suing Harris, 21, over sexual exploitation claims.

It was reported on Monday that the flamboyant cheerleader was under investigation amid reports he "solicited sexually explicit photos and sex from a minor".

After Harris' representative categorically disputed the allegations, it emerged on Tuesday that Harris is now being sued by 14-year-old twin brothers, who claimed they were sexually exploited by him when they were just 13 years old.

Jim Spellman/Getty Images

In court documents, the siblings, who are Caucasian, alleged they befriended Harris, who is Black, during a cheer competition in 2018, and were "star struck" by him.

Following a torrent of text messages from Harris requesting nude photos from the boys, they met up with Harris in "secluded locations at various competitions".

After their mother found out about the sexually explicit messages, she reported him to cheerleading organization Varsity Brands, who, in turn, reported him to the police.

Harris worked for Varsity at a cheer camp last year.

"As a result of the recent allegation, we have barred this person from having any affiliation with Varsity Brands or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, now and in the future," wrote Varsity's Chief Legal Officer Burton Brillhart in letters to police in Florida and Texas.

Since Cheer premiere in January, Harris has covered the Oscars red carpet for Ellen DeGeneres, signed endorsement deals with Schmidt's deodorant, Panera Bread and American Eagle and racked up over a million followers on Instagram.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden held a chat with Harris weeks before investigators raided Harris's Naperville, Illinois home.

Photo may have been deleted

Harris was part of Biden's plan to help "win back the internet."

"If the same percentage of young blacks turned out and registered to vote as the average voter, you'd increase voting by several million people, you could change the outcome of elections," Biden told Harris.

During a recent episode of the Variety and iHeart podcast "The Big Ticket," Harris, who was referred to as a "gay icon," said his late mom was watching over him.

"I feel like she's very, very happy and excited for everything that's been going on, and she's really loving it," said Harris, whose mother died of lung cancer when he was 16. "I know she's telling me to always stay humble, because she doesn't want to see me get a big head."

Harris has not been criminally charged in the ongoing investigation.

Harris met his cheerleading inspiration, Gabrielle Union, last month.
 

Photo may have been deleted

Netflix

Controversial French film Cuties has spawned more backlash against streaming giant Netflix, with critics alleging it over-sexualizes children.

The film tells the story of an 11-year-old Senegalese girl in Paris who joins a "free-spirited dance clique" to escape family dysfunction.

Despite the outrage, the movie earned praise when it debuted at January's Sundance Film Festival in Utah for how it addressed the hypersexualization of young girls.

Netflix previously apologized for a promo poster of the child stars posing in their dancing outfits. After the film premiered on Netflix on 9 September, the backlash continued as the hashtag "#CancelNetflix" was the top trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. the following day.

A petition on Change.org was also launched, calling on Netflix customers to cancel their subscriptions over the flick on the streaming service "that exploits children and creates a disturbing vibe".

"From cuties to Big Mouth to other movies mocking religions and exploiting children Netflix is no longer the family friendly streaming service I once believed it to be," reads a message on the campaign, which currently has over 600,000 signatures.

WENN/Avalon

Barack and Michelle Obama, who signed a multimillion dollar production deal with Netflix, have remained silent amid the controversy.

The backlash prompted Netflix officials to issue a statement, insisting the film, "Cuties is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children.

"It's an award-winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up — and we'd encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie," they told Variety of the Maimouna Doucoure-directed flick.

But critics complained about the many close up shots of the young girls' body parts, and one scene where a girl exposed her breasts on camera.
 

Photo may have been deleted

Netflix

Angry parents accuse Netflix of normalizing pedophilia in its new movie, 'Cuties.'

Nearly 60,000 people signed a Change.org petition demanding Netflix "remove the new movie Cuties as it promotes pornography."

The French movie, which premieres Sept. 9, features preteen girls dressed provocatively and twerking in a "coming-of-age tale from Maïmouna Doucouré."

"Amy, 11, becomes fascinated with a twerking dance crew," the original promotion read. "Hoping to join them, she starts to explore her femininity, defying her family's traditions."

In response to the controversy, Netflix apologized on Thursday for the film's promotional photo that shows four preteen girls striking poses in revealing dance attire.

"We're deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for Mignonnes/Cuties," Netflix said. "It was not OK, nor was it representative of this French film which won an award at Sundance. We've now updated the pictures and description."

Normally the French and Americans have different attitudes toward sex. The French tend to be less conservative when it comes to sex.

But Twitter users point out the stark differences in the movie posters.

One Twitter user wrote:

"Just compare the original French poster for the 'Cuties' film, and the image @netflix has chosen.

Anyone want to point out the difference?"

Netflix plans to premiere the movie in September despite the backlash on social media.
 

Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Jeffrey Epstein's longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested this morning and charged with child sex-trafficking.

Epstein's alleged madam and one-time girlfriend is accused of luring young girls and teenagers to Epstein's Manhattan home to engage in sex with the billionaire financier.

Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images

Epstein and Maxwell were pals with the rich and famous, including England's Prince Andrew, former President Bill Clinton, and current President Donald Trump (pictured in 1997 with Maxwell).

Maxwell was ordered held without bail during a hearing in a New Hampshire federal court on Thursday.

She went into hiding in New Hampshire after Epstein, 66, took his own life in a Manhattan jail cell last year.

The British socialite waived her right to have a detention hearing in New Hampshire. She will be transported to Manhattan where she faces a six-count federal indictment on child sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell, 58, is accused of grooming underage girls and teenagers for sex with Epstein in his Upper East Side townhouse, New Mexico, Florida and London.

"The victims were as young as 14 years old when they were groomed and abused by Maxwell and Epstein, both of whom knew that certain victims were in fact under the age of 18,” the indictment reads, according to the NY Post.

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Rapper Boosie Badazz is allegedly under investigation by child protection services after making the shocking claim that he paid a woman to perform oral sex on his sons and nephews, who were 12 and 13 at the time.

The Louisiana-based musician made the admission during a 57-second Instagram Live session on Wednesday, May 13.

In the video, the rapper, real name Torrence Hatch Jr., said:

"Hell yeah, I got my f**king son d**k sucked. I'm training them boys right. Ask any of my nephews, ask any of them, ask my son. Yeah, when they was 12, 13, they got (oral sex)... That's how it's supposed to be.

"Yes, a grown woman, grown, super grown, checked his a** out. Checked all my nephews out, super grown. Is she grown? She check me out. I know what the f**k she did to them, she checked me out, that b***h. I'm getting them prepared, man."

He added that he had "trained" his son, also named Torrence, to "f**k p***y" and "eat p***y all day everyday."

Although Boosie's admission sounds inappropriate to authorities, this coming-of-age ritual between father and son is actually common in the Black community.

Badazz's remarks come after he posted a birthday message to Torrence back in 2017 as he turned 14, with the caption reading in part that he "got a bag for you n a bad b**ch to give u some h**d."

Following the father-of-8's Instagram Live, users took to social media to slam the rapper for his actions, with some insisting they reported him to child services for the illegal act of soliciting sex workers for anyone under the age of 17.

"Boosie admitting to facilitating the molestation of preteens, by an adult woman, should be enough for his account to be deleted and banned at the very minimum," one person wrote. "Y'all can't tell me this homophobic a** man is not sick. Talking about training his sons to be sexually abused. This is rape culture," another commented.

Badazz has yet to respond to the backlash.

Photo may have been deleted

Screen grab: Instagram.com

Gabrielle Union sparked outrage online by posting a quarantine video that shows her and stepson Zaya Wade having harmless fun.

The video shows Zaya wearing an improvised sarong, while Union dances like the tooth fairy.

Union, 47, is married to Zaya's dad, retired NBA star Dwyane Wade, who announced Zaya was a transgender who prefers feminine pronouns.
 

Photo may have been deleted”><p id=Photos: YouTube, Instagram

Dwyane Wade says going public with his son Zion Wade's struggles with a gender disorder helped his own self-awareness. "I'm growing into the man that I've always dreamed of becoming."

Wade, 38, opened up about Zion's gender confusion in an interview with openly lesbian television host Ellen Degeneres, 62, on Tuesday.

Wade said 12-year-old Zion identifies as a girl named Zaya, who prefers using feminine pronouns.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Thursday, the retired NBA player defended going public with such a personal family issue.

"We're not the only family that's had to deal with gender expression, gender identity, sexuality, with their child," he said.

Photo may have been deleted

Photo: Instagram.com/@dwaynewade

Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, 47, were heavily criticized for exploiting their son's struggle with gender confusion and sexuality at such a tender age.

Union reportedly sought advice from the gender-bending cast of the hit TV series Pose, rather than a licensed therapist.

Wade claims his critics are simply "uneducated" and he suggested that God gave him the platform to exploit his emotionally troubled child for publicity for his upcoming Netflix documentary.

"We understand the position we've been put in," Wade told ET, "especially in our community, and even though it's not always a popular thing to speak out on issues that people are uncomfortable with or not as educated on, but this is the platform that God gave me and my family. So, we use it."

Wade said Zion's gender confusion has helped him grow into the man he should be.

"I've learned to keep my mind open, keep my eyes open, keep my heart open, keep my thoughts open. That's what I've been trying to do as I'm growing into the man that I've always dreamed of becoming," Wade said.

For years, Wade has been plagued by rumors that he is a bisexual man trapped in the closet. Black Twitter seems to think Wade is ready to come out and join his son.
 

This is an open post where you can discuss any subject matter. This post will not be censored or moderated. Disqus may automatically moderate certain words considered offensive. There are no rules in Open Posts. So enter at your own risk.

Photo may have been deleted

Dwyane Wade's 12-year-old son Zaya, who was born Zion, shared an empowering message for other kids struggling with their gender identity.

Zaya, who is seen in a video uploaded to Instagram by stepmom actress Gabrielle Union, encourages other gender confused youth to be true to themselves and come out of the closet.

"Don't even worry about that, just be true to yourself," Zaya said, while riding in a golf cart with retired NBA star Dwyane.

"What's the point of being on this earth if you're just going to try to be someone you're not? It's like, you're not even living your true self, which is like, the dumbest concept to me. Be true and don't really care what the stereotypical way of being you is."

Gabrielle proudly tweeted alongside the video:

"Meet Zaya. She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It's Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people."

Interestingly, Zaya avoids reinforcing the stereotypical feminine style of wearing dresses, wigs and makeup to imitate biological women.

Instead, the youngster wears a gender neutral golf shirt, black jacket and cap.

When Dwyane asks about the struggle to be authentic even when "people are being mean", Zaya added: "I know it can get tough, definitely. But I think you can push through, and you be the best you and especially more recently, it's become more accepting."

Zaya continued:

"But I think even through bad times, you just gotta push through. It's worth it. I feel like it's very worth it when you reach that point of like, yourself. You can look in the mirror and say hi to yourself, 'nice to meet you,' instead of, like, I don't even know who I am. It's like, full identity crisis."

Gabrielle was ridiculed on social media after Dwayne told Ellen Degeneres that his wife turned to the cast of cross-dressers and drag queens on the hit TV series POSE for advice on dealing with her gender confused stepson.

Gabrielle, 47, did not respond to the criticism.

She plans to sue Simon Cowell for smoking around her before she was let go from her gig as a judge on America's Got Talent.

California has a strict anti-smoking policy which bans employers from knowingly or intentionally permitting... the smoking of tobacco products in an enclosed place of employment.

Twitter responded to Gabrielle's threat as the last desperate act of a soon-to-be, if-not-already blacklisted actress.

"Good luck getting any work," one user tweeted. Another Twitter user wrote: "Wow, I use [sic] to like her, before she revealed this crazy side. I'd say she is single-handedly ruining her career."
 

Photo may have been deleted

A well-respected college dean is among 14 people busted in a child porn sting, the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department said Monday.

Dr. Keith Walters, 44, was charged with three counts of obscene Internet contact with a child and one count of sexual exploitation of children using a computer device to seduce, entice or solicit a child.

Photo may have been deleted

Walters was placed on administrative leave and stripped of his title as Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, the Valodosta Daily Times reported.

Walters and 13 other men were arrested on Feb. 6 and February 9 as part of Operation Broken Arrow, a joint operation between 18 law enforcement agencies, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).

The operation targeted men in chat rooms and other online websites. Lindsay Marchant, assistant special agent for the GBI, said "Every individual arrested during the operation believed they were going to a location to meet with a child and engage in prearranged sex acts."