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Sacha Baron Cohen quits Freddie Mercury film

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Borat star has bowed out of forthcoming biopic over creative differences with Queen singer’s former bandmates, reports say

Sacha Baron Cohen has quit a high-profile forthcoming biopic of Freddie Mercury after “creative differences” with the singer’s band, Queen, reports Deadline.

The Borat star apparently walked after his vision of a racy treatment depicting Mercury’s famously salacious lifestyle was at odds with the more family-friendly approach desired by the singer’s erstwhile bandmates. Cohen, who was due to play the flamboyant singer in a rare dramatic role, had brought in Peter Morgan, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Queen, to work on the script and lined up film-makers of the calibre of David Fincher or The King’s Speech‘s Tom Hooper to potentially direct.

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The film – which is based on the life story of one of the most iconic singers of the 20th century, and with an awards season-friendly team in the background – had all the ingredients of a strong contender for Oscars glory. Gay themes have never been more popular with film-makers at a time when the campaign to recognise same-sex marriage is making progress in the western world. Sean Penn won the best actor prize in 2009 for his portrayal of the slain gay politician Harvey Milk, and Michael Douglas would have been a likely contender for next year’s awards had Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra, not fallen foul of Oscars rules by screening on TV first in the US.

Cohen also bears a strong resemblance to Mercury, who died of Aids-related illness in 1991, although at 6ft 3in, the British actor is a good six inches taller than the Zanzibar-born singer.

The Mercury biopic will go ahead with another actor. Its producers include Graham King and Robert De Niro.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013

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Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe catches Alan Dershowitz in humiliating hypocrisy

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Harvard Constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe called out President Donald Trump's lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, Sunday on Twitter, noting that his opinions seem to evolve depending on who he's defending.

Dershowitz is on a kind of press junket for the president, defending him in various media appearances. The former lawyer to Jeffrey Epstein is handling Trump's defense as it pertains to the abuse of power. Dershowitz thinks that charge has no basis in law. In fact, impeachment trials aren't actually legal proceedings, they're political proceedings, because the Justice Department claimed that Trump can't be indicted under the law while he's president.

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Watergate’s John Dean thinks Trump wrote part of his legal team’s brief — because it’s so terrible

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Former White House counsel for Richard Nixon, John Dean, explained that the legal brief out of President Donald Trump's White House was so bad that it had to have been dictated by Trump himself.

Saturday evening, Trump's legal team, chaired by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, filed their own form of a legal brief that responded to the case filed by Democrats ahead of Tuesday's impeachment trial.

The document called the proceedings “constitutionally invalid” and claims House Democrats are staging a “dangerous attack” with a “brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election.”

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WATCH: Prince Harry explains why he and Meghan are leaving the royal family — but promises ‘a life of service’

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Prince Harry posted a video from an HIV/AIDS fundraiser his mother once supported, where he explained his methodology for leaving his profile role as a royal.

"I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear," said Harry.

He went on to say that he doesn't intend to walk away and he certainly won't walk away from his causes and interests. "We intend to live a life of service."

In the speech, he thanked those who took him under their wing in the absence of his mother

"I hope you can understand that it's what it had come to," he said for why their family intends to step back.

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