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Exclusive: Taylor Swift claps back at Shake It Off plagiarism lawsuit saying she's never heard plaintiffs' Playas Gon' Play – TalkOfNews.com

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Taylor Swift clearly believes she’s being played in court, as a declaration she filed to the judge in a Shake It Off plagiarism lawsuit laid out her contention that she never heard the song she’s accused of lifting, Playas Gon’ Play, until after she was made aware of the legal action.

“The lyrics to Shake It Off were written entirely by me,” Swift said in paperwork filed in response to the allegation from two songwriters that her 2014 smash infringed upon a single from the group 3LW that peaked at No. 81 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2001.

“Until learning about Plaintiffs’ claim in 2017, I had never heard the song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’ and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW,” Swift wrote in a filing first reported on by Billboard.

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Taylor Swift filed a declaration to the judge in a Shake It Off plagiarism lawsuit saying she never heard the song she’s accused of lifting, Playas Gon’ Play, until after she was made aware of the legal action (PA Images via Getty Images)

She said she would have had little opportunity to hear it during its brief chart run, since her parents “did not permit me to watch (MTV’s hit countdown show) TRL until I was about 13 years old.”

Regardless of exposure to the tune, Swift and her attorney made the case that any similar phrasing is a result of the terminology being a part of everyday language, and was part of the popular vernacular before Sean Hall and Nathan Butler wrote “Playas Gon’ Play” around the turn of the century – at which point the hitmaker says she was hearing that language on the playground, not on the airwaves.

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“I recall hearing phrases about players play and haters hate stated together by other children while attending school in Wyomissing Hills, and in high school in Hendersonville,” the Pennsylvania-bred star wrote.

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“These phrases were akin to other commonly used sayings like ‘don’t hate the playa, hate the game,’ ‘take a chill pill,’ and ‘say it, don’t spray it.’ … I was struck by messages that people prone to doing something will do it, and the best way to overcome it is to shrug it off and keep living.”

Taylor Swift poses in the press room with the award for album of the year for "Folklore" at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021
The Grammy-winning performer maintains she wrote all the lyrics to the hit song herself (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Swift noted that the phrasing was common enough that she had worn a T-shirt bearing the words “haters gonna hate” at a 2013 concert – one that was not custom-made, but purchased at Urban Outfitters.

The songs appear to have nothing in common except the core contested lines – with the 3LW tune repeating the lyrics “Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate,” while Swift’s track uses the lines “‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate” as the linchpin of its chorus.

Still, that was enough for an earlier judge to overturn a prior dismissal of the lawsuit, which has been making its way through the courts for five years. It was set aside by a federal judge in 2018, but the suit was reinstated by an appeals court the following year. It’s due to be decided by a jury at an undetermined date in the future, but Swift attorney Peter Anderson is arguing that further evidence shows the plaintiffs’ claims are baseless enough to not warrant a trial.

Although Playas Gon’ Play made minimal impact on the pop charts in 2001, Billboard did place the song at No. 87 on a 2017 ranking of “the 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.”

As internet sleuths have pointed out, the contested phrases or close variations on them have appeared in a number of other 21st century songs, both before and after Shake It Off, including Eric Church’s The Outsiders in 2014 and BTS’ Mic Drop in 2017. The Notorious B.I.G. is often credited as popularising the phrase “Playa Hata” with his 1997 song of that name.

In his initial dismissal of the case, before it was sent back to him by an appeals court, federal judge Michael Fitzgerald wrote that the lyrics were “too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative” to be protected.

“In the early 2000s, popular culture was adequately suffused with the concepts of players and haters to render the phrases ‘playas … gonna play’ or ‘haters … gonna hate’ standing on their own, no more creative than ‘runners gonna run,’ ‘drummers gonna drum,’ or ‘swimmers gonna swim,’” he continued.

Subsequently, upon having the case returned to him by the higher court, the judge said that Swift’s lawyers “made a strong closing argument” but added that it was not so clear-cut that leaving it to a jury was unwarranted.

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Exclusive: Brittany and Patrick Mahomes Welcome Baby No. 2 – TalkOfNews.com

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Brittany and Patrick Mahomes Welcome Baby No. 2

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Brittany and Patrick Mahomes have added another member to their team.

The spouses announced that they welcomed their second child on Nov. 28.

“Patrick ‘Bronze’ Lavon Mahomes III,” Brittany and Patrick shared on Instagram as their son posed on a blanket. “11/28/22 7lbs 8oz.” 

Just one day earlier, Brittany was cheering on her husband as the Kansas City Chiefs faced the Los Angeles Rams. “Sterling said no to photos today, but she’s still cute,” she wrote on Instagram after hanging on the field with the couple’s 21-month-old daughter. “#gochiefs.” Patrick and his teammates would end up winning the game. 

Brittany and Patrick first announced that they were expecting their little one back in May, two months after they tied the knot in Hawaii.

The couple’s announcement post included photos of their daughter wearing a pink t-shirt with the words, “I have a secret to tell you,” on it. In the snaps, Sterling was standing between her parents holding up a sign that said, “Baby sister duties coming soon.”

In the past, Brittany has made it a point to take her fans on her motherhood journey, with the trainer regularly answering fan questions on her Instagram.


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Exclusive: Katherine Heigl ’Never Saw’ Her Daughter While Working on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’  – TalkOfNews.com

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Katherine Heigl ’Never Saw’ Her Daughter While Working on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ 

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A difficult time. Katherine Heigl opened up about the difficulties she faced as a mother while working on Grey’s Anatomy — and feeling detached from daughter Naleigh after so much time apart. 

“I never saw that baby. I was at work with three triplets who were playing my goddaughter and I spent more time with them than I did with my new daughter and she bonded with my husband,” Heigl, 44, said during the Monday, November 28, episode of The View. “So, I was always afraid that I had missed that opportunity to really bond with her and that she didn’t love me.”

The Firefly Lane actress tied the knot with husband Josh Kelley in 2007. Two years later, Us Weekly confirmed that the pair adopted baby Naleigh from South Korea. The couple shared photos of their then-10-month-old later that month. 

Less than a year after bringing their little one home, however, Heigl was “on a plane” and back to “work in Atlanta” for the ABC series. 

“At the time, becoming a new mother, I was just like, ‘I got it. I got it. I can handle this,’” she explained. “You know, they’ve told us we can have it all. We can have careers and have families and it’s all gonna be great. It’s all gonna work out.”

Despite the challenges of being a working mom, the Life as We Know It star hinted at her desire to expand her family during a June 2010 interview with Gala magazine. “We would love to have a second child, adopted or biological,” the Golden Globe nominee said at the time. “We’re not ruling it out.”

Two years later, Heigl’s rep confirmed to Us Weekly that the parents had adopted a second daughter named Adalaide. The couple’s third child, son Joshua, arrived in December 2016. 

Tthe Washington D.C. native has been candid about the struggles she faced on Grey’s Anatomy over the years. Heigl portrayed doctor Izzie Stevens on the medical drama for over 100 episodes from 2005 to 2010, when she exited halfway through season six. Her abrupt departure came after a public feud with creator Shonda Rhimes. 

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“There was a resolution to Izzie’s story. We had planned to have her come back for an episode to really properly tie up Izzie and Alex (Justin Chambers),” Krista Vernoff, who worked on seasons 1-7 of the medical drama before returning as the showrunner for season 14, told the Los Angeles Times in November 2020. “And I wrote that episode, and it was beautiful. The day before it was supposed to start prepping or shooting, I can’t remember, we got a call that Katie wasn’t coming. Just wasn’t coming. Wasn’t going to do it. It became my job to stay up all night for multiple nights and reimagine a script that didn’t include Izzie.”

Vernoff went on to say that while fans “screamed” at the writers “for years and years” about Heigl’s departure, the show always had plans to wrap up Izzie’s story. “That’s the behind-the-scenes story. That’s what happened. I’m not saying that to bash Katie. I don’t know what was happening in her life,” she explained.

Sources close to Heigl, however, told Us at the time that Vernoff was “mistaken” when it came to the actress’ exit from the series. “Katherine was back in L.A. after parental leave (when she adopted her Adalaide) waiting to be called to set,” the insider shared.

Heigl, for her part, told Access in 2014 that she hopes to “someday” mend the fences between her and 52-year-old Rhimes. In January 2021, the Knocked Up star even told the Washington Post that returning as Izzie before the long-running series ends would be “completely dependent upon the team over there, how they feel about it, and the story.”

She added, “Never say never.” 

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Exclusive: US vs. Iran: The Most Political World Cup Gets Its Most Politically Charged Match – TalkOfNews.com

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US vs. Iran: The Most Political World Cup Gets Its Most Politically Charged Match

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By the time he wrapped his press conference in Qatar on Monday, United States men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter cut the figure of an embattled head of state, not someone trying to stave off elimination from the World Cup. On the eve of a win-or-go-home match, Berhalter and team captain Tyler Adams were grilled by Iranian journalists about US policy on immigration and the country’s military presence in the Persian Gulf. One reporter took Adams to task with a question about discrimination in America, while Berhalter was asked whether inflation might be hindering the team’s support back home.

Berhalter and Adams fielded some questions about the USMNT’s next opponent, but tactical analysis tends to get overshadowed when that opponent is Iran. In a World Cup where it has proven nearly impossible to stick to sports, Tuesday’s match between the United States and Iran is the most politically charged contest yet, the ultimate tempest in an unusually fraught tournament. Given the long-standing hostilities between the two countries, the match was always bound to invite geopolitical story lines, but now it is set against the backdrop of monthslong demonstrations in Iran triggered by the arrest and death of Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini. The Iranian government’s violent crackdown on its own people has cast a shadow over its national team’s World Cup campaign, creating a red-hot atmosphere in Qatar for both players and fans. The United States Soccer Federation waded into the political upheaval this week when it posted a now deleted graphic on social media of the Iranian flag that did not include the emblem of the Islamic Republic, a gesture meant to show solidarity with the protesters. Iran’s own soccer federation responded by calling for the US to be expelled from the World Cup. 

That set the stage for Monday’s strange press conference, where Iranian journalists repeatedly confronted Berhalter and Adams, both of whom tried gamely to steer the questions back to the game itself. “We support Iran’s people and Iran’s team,” Adams said. “But that being said, we’re laser-focused on this match, as they are as well.”

Adams was promptly scolded by a reporter from Press TV, an Iranian government-affiliated outlet, who pointed out that the 23-year-old midfielder was “pronouncing our country’s name wrong.”  

“Our country is named eee-ron, not I-ran,” the reporter said, before asking Adams, who is Black, whether he is “okay to be representing a country that has so much discrimination against Black people in his own borders.” 

Adams apologized for the mispronunciation. “There’s discrimination everywhere you go,” Adams said. “One thing that I’ve learned, especially from living abroad in the past years, and having to fit in in different cultures is that in the US, we’re continuing to make progress every single day.” Adams said his experience, growing up African American in a white family, made it easier for him to assimilate in different cultures and touted the importance of education in gaining a better understanding of others. 

“You just educated me now on the pronunciation of your country,” he continued. “So yeah, it’s a process, I think as long as you see progress, that’s the most important thing.”

Berhalter, meanwhile, stressed that neither he nor his players were aware of the US Soccer Federation’s social media post. “All we can do, on our behalf, is apologize on behalf of the players and the staff,” he said

The Iranian national team hasn’t avoided the fray either, of course. Since September, the country has been roiled by protests inspired by Amini, a 22-year-old who died in Iranian police custody after being arrested for violating the country’s law that requires head coverings for women. The Iranian government has been under international pressure for its brutal response to demonstrators; the United Nations estimates more than 14,000 have been detained for protesting, hundreds have been killed, and more are at risk of being tortured. Before their opening World Cup match against England last week, Iran’s players staged a silent protest by not singing the country’s national anthem. After reportedly receiving “fierce criticism from government officials,” the players participated in the singing of the anthem before their win on Friday against Wales, but the victory was marred by clashes outside the stadium between pro-government Iranian fans and those supporting the protests. One of Iran’s players dedicated his goal against Wales to the “suffering” people of Iran. Last Friday, the Iranian government arrested an outspoken Iranian Kurdish soccer player, who had not made the national team, on charges of “incitement against the regime.”

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Even without all the political strife, Tuesday’s match would hardly be short on drama. The final group stage game for both teams, it also offers plenty of enthralling sporting subplots. With a win, the US will advance to the knockout rounds after failing to qualify for the World Cup four years ago. Iran is likewise guaranteed to go through with a victory, but a draw could also be sufficient. The United States will also be searching for its first win against Iran in what will be the third overall meeting between the two countries. 

Their first match came at the 1998 World Cup in France, where a 2–1 victory for the Iranians caused the US to crash out of the tournament. That game was just 17 years removed from the Iranian hostage crisis. “The Iranian regime hated America. That’s why that game was such a big game on the world stage, and had so much importance. Equally as much as the football piece was the political piece,” said Steve Sampson, who was US national team coach at the time.

The 1998 match was also preceded by friction between the two camps. Iran’s political leadership had apparently instructed the national team to not shake hands with the US players prior to the match, as is customary at a World Cup, but tournament organizers held firm. “They said if you don’t want to participate in the rules in a tournament, you’re free to go home,” recalled Hank Steinbrecher, then the secretary general of US Soccer.

Adams and his teammates are surely less concerned about that history than the immediate implications of Tuesday’s match. None of the players were alive when the US and Iran severed diplomatic ties in 1980, and few have memories of the 1998 match. “I wasn’t born yet,” Adams said at Monday’s press conference, “so, don’t remember it.”


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