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Brittney Griner is still adjusting to the situation in a Russian prison. Details of the WNBA star’s experience in the book

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Brittney Griner continues her efforts to return to a normal lifestyle after being released from a Russian prison 17 months ago.

Life is not the same because it used to be for the longtime WNBA All-Star.

The 6-foot-8 center looks different and has different priorities. Gone were her familiar dreadlocks, which had been unable to be maintained during her imprisonment. After 10 months of imprisonment, she often meets with a therapist who helps her cope. Since his release, Griner has been an advocate for the return of other Americans detained abroad.

Since her release, she has met with President Joe Biden twice, including once last month in Phoenix.

“I need to talk to him about a few people and just keep that in everyone’s mind,” the Phoenix Mercury star said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. “You want to get noticed, and that makes people think about that first. Keep people accountable.”

Griner was detained at a Moscow airport in February 2022. Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vaping cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis.

He shares details of this harrowing experience in his recent book, “Coming Home,” which is released Tuesday.

Griner hopes that for anyone who reads this book, it’s going to be a vivid picture of what prisoners must endure. She said that is why it took her all of last season to write it with Michelle Burford.

“I didn’t miss anything from the detention, from being there, from the conditions. As much as we could fit into the book, that is principally what we did,” Griner said. “Some things will shock you.

“I hope this brings a little more understanding of the conditions that prisoners go through.”

Griner says it is important for people to have a clear picture of the situation for Americans who usually are not yet home, including Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich, so nobody gives up the fight.

“Everyone had to get together to get me home,” she said. Government officials “have to make really difficult decisions.”

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Griner, who first met with President Biden at the 2023 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, months after her return to the U.S., said she and her WNBA teammates need to keep the momentum going so everyone can get back to home.

“How are we supposed to do this? Inviting families, playing videos and giving them airtime?” she said. “Maybe someone who doesn’t know sees (the book) and writes a letter to Congress that tips the scales to bring someone home.”

Griner said her days of playing basketball abroad during the WNBA offseason were over.

Although many WNBA players proceed to play in international leagues to complement their league salaries, Griner said she has had enough, aside from USA Basketball. He hopes to make the Olympic team at the Paris Games this summer, and there are numerous indications that it will occur.

Griner played in China for several years during the WNBA offseason before moving to Russia, where she had played since 2015 before her arrest.

However, it is not only her difficult experiences in Russia that may keep her at home. Griner’s wife, Cherelle, is expecting the couple’s first child.

“I will only go abroad with the USA team,” Griner said. “I actually have to be in the states. About being a parent. The last item I would like is to float in and out of my child’s life. I would like to be there for every little thing. I don’t desire to uproot my family and take them abroad. It’s an excessive amount of.”

Griner, who has been a mental health advocate for a decade, said she sees a therapist often – which she did for several years before going to Russia – and it helps her process what she experienced in prison.

“They play a key role in my mental health,” Griner said of her sessions. “Everyone can profit from having someone to talk to. Someone outside of their on a regular basis lives. It just helps to have a different perspective on life than another person.

“That way, if you’re feeling nervous or struggling with something, it’s very beneficial.”

Last 12 months, the 33-year-old took several days off for mental health reasons during the WNBA season and missed three games. He will begin his twelfth 12 months in the league on May 14.

Griner is looking forward to it after the welcome she received upon her return last 12 months. One of the few positives Griner will take from her ordeal is the outpouring of support she received from people in the form of letters they wrote to her in prison.

“The letters from fans, teammates, opponents, general managers were amazing. They all meant a lot to me,” she said. “It was very dark at times, especially during the trial. It was an emotional rollercoaster when I was in isolation for weeks, and these letters reminded me that I was not forgotten.”


This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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NBA draft prospect Terrence Shannon Jr. found not guilty of rape

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Former Illinois standout Terrence Shannon Jr., a possible first-round NBA draft prospect, was found not guilty on a rape charge Thursday after a jury in Douglas County, Kansas, spent lower than two hours reaching a verdict.

Shannon, 23, was accused of committing sexual assault last September while visiting Kansas for a football game between the Illini and Jayhawks. He was charged with rape or an alternate count of sexual battery, which led to a six-game suspension; a federal judge later reinstated him, finding his civil rights had been violated.

Shannon testified that on September 8, 2023, he joined two roommates and several other Kansas players at a bar, but only had just a few drinks and remembered every thing that happened that night. Shannon said he didn’t learn concerning the rape accusation until weeks later and that he never saw the 18-year-old woman accusing him until the case began.

The woman told police she was on the bar when a person she later identified as Shannon grabbed her buttocks and reached under her skirt to the touch her. The woman claimed the bar was crowded and she or he couldn’t move.

Shannon testified that a lady near him had been raped and he would never treat one other woman the identical way.

University of Illinois basketball standout Terrence Shannon Jr. demonstrates his wingspan while testifying during his rape trial, Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Lawrence, Kan. (Chris Conde/The Lawrence Journal-World via AP)

Shannon’s lawyers called the allegations a “blind prosecution” and questioned the lady’s motives. They also criticized Douglas County prosecutors for his or her lack of evidence and Detective Lawrence for the thoroughness of the investigation.

Many scouts were closely monitoring the matter ahead of the NBA draft, scheduled for June 26-27.

The 6-foot-7 Shannon, who can play as some extent guard and shooting guard, played five seasons at Illinois. He was at his best last season, averaging 23 points for a team that reached the Elite Eight before losing to eventual national champion UConn.

Shannon was named first-team All-Big Ten and third-team All-American by The Associated Press.

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This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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Jodie Turner-Smith shares shocking reaction to Lupita Nyong’o’s public date with Turner-Smith’s ex Joshua Jackson, a month after she filed for divorce

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Jodie Turner-Smith, who split from actor Joshua Jackson after 4 years of marriage, recently shared her thoughts on the “Dawson’s Creek” alum’s budding romance with Lupita Nyong’o.

Turner-Smith, who filed for divorce from Jackson in September 2023, citing irreconcilable differences, says Cut that the couple split up as a results of them going “different paths,” but Jackson didn’t stay single for long. On October 18, Jackson was seen chilling with Lupita Nyong’o on the Janelle Monáe concert in Inglewood, California. The next day, Nyong’o announced on Instagram that she and her boyfriend, former ESPN commentator Selema Masekela, had broken up. Since then, Nyong’o and the “Queen & Slim” star’s estranged husband have been seen in public quite a few times.

After announcing their split, Nyong’o received an outpouring of support from fans and celebrities. Among the thoughtful messages was a comment by Marlon Wayans that read: “Trust God. He wants better for you. All lessons are a blessing, especially the painful ones. This too shall pass. The warmest of hugs. Be kind to yourself as you heal.”

He continued: “Every time I break up, I say, ‘I’m lucky, I CAN love again. I missed you. Make love, woman.

Jodie Turner Smith reacts to Lupita Nyong'o dating her ex-husband Joshua Jackson
Jodie Turner-Smith (right) recently had a surprising reaction to Lupita Nyong’o and Turner-Smith’s former partner Joshua Jackson emerging as a couple (left) a month after Turner-Smith filed for divorce last September. (Photos: @lupitanyongo/Instagram, @vancityjax/Instagram)

However, while stars like Wayans, Gabrielle Union, Ava DuVernay and Niecy Nash rallied behind Nyong’o, Turner-Smith remained relatively quiet about her personal life for essentially the most part. During a recent sit-down with The Cut, the actress was asked if she found it “weird” that her estranged husband was so quick to go public on a date.

“They were fine,” she said of her ex-husband dating Nyong’o. “We need happiness to co-parent peacefully. I’m trying to get us to the level of Gwyneth and Chris Martin. I really hope they are happy and that it benefits us as a family.”

As the primary couple navigates motherhood to their 4-year-old daughter, Juno, Turner-Smith said she’s willing to take steps forward to ensure her baby’s comfort.

“I just have to do everything I can to make sure Juno wins,” she emphasized, “and can peacefully co-parent with someone I once loved very, very much.”

This is not the primary time Turner-Smith has spoken out about her divorce. As she said in February 2024 interview with The Sunday Times Style magazine: “Sometimes the things we really want to work on just don’t work, and that’s okay.”

“The most important thing is that you choose what is healthiest for you and your family, and certainly for your children,” she continued.

The actress added: “The bravest thing in the world is to recognize when something isn’t working and take action. I always want to set this example for my daughter. The most important takeaway is that it’s about as much love and joy as ever. It’s just about taking a step forward towards a better life for everyone involved.”

As for Nyong’o, it looks like her recent relationship with Jackson continues to be going strong. They were each seen PDA packing in March in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, celebrating his birthday.

This article was originally published on : atlantablackstar.com
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Sean “Diddy” Combs returns the key to New York

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NEW YORK (AP) – Sean “Diddy” Combs turned in his key to New York City at the request of Mayor Eric Adams in response to the release of a video showing the music mogul attacking R&B singer Cassie, officials said Saturday.

The mayor’s office said Combs returned the key after Adams sent letters to the musician’s offices in New York and California on June 4, canceling the key and asking for it to be sent back to City Hall. The city received the key on June 10.

In his letter, Adams said he was “deeply concerned” by the attack, adding: “I strongly condemn these actions and stand in solidarity with all victims of domestic and gender-based violence.”

Combs’ profession was interrupted by multiple sexual abuse allegations, in addition to a federal sex trafficking investigation that led to raids on Combs’ residences in Los Angeles and Miami.

In May, CNN aired surveillance video showing Combs attacking Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel hallway in 2016. Combs said he was “truly sorry” for the attack on Cassie and called his actions “inexcusable.” Cassie, whose legal name is Cassandra Ventura, sued Combs last yr, setting off a wave of increased scrutiny of Combs. The case was settled the day after it was filed.

This photo provided by the New York City Mayor’s Office shows Mayor Eric Adams (left) presenting the Key to the City to hip-hop artist Sean “Diddy” Combs in New York City’s Times Square, Friday, September 15, 2023. (New York City Mayor’s Office/Caroline Rubinstein-Willis via via AP)

Adams presented Combs with the key during last yr’s ceremony, which coincided with the release of the latest album.

This month, Howard University rescinded an honorary doctorate degree awarded to Combs and ended a scholarship program named after him after the release of a video featuring Cassie.

Combs, founding father of Bad Boy Records, is considered one of the most influential hip-hop producers and executives of the last thirty years, turning musical success right into a business empire.

An email sent to a Combs representative listed online was not immediately returned.

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This article was originally published on : thegrio.com
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