NEW YORK (AP) — When Cheslie Kryst won the Miss USA crown, it marked more than a personal triumph: It meant that for the first time, three black women are the reigning Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America.
The North Carolina lawyer completed the historic triple Thursday with pageant winners 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin and recently crowned 2019 Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris.
“The three young women who have focused their energy on demonstrating how standards of black beauty speak for American standards of beauty are to be commended,” said Thomas DeFrantz, a professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University.
“These three standard-bearers prove that black beauty is at the heart of a 21st century American ideal,” he added.
Franklin, from New York, won her title in September in Atlantic City, New Jersey, becoming the first woman also to win the Miss America crown without having to don a swimsuit. Garris, from New Haven, Connecticut, won her crown in April, and hopes to become a trauma nurse.
Kryst, a former Division I athlete and attorney at Poyner Spruill LLP in Charlotte, North Carolina, won her crown in Reno, Nevada. She holds an MBA from Wake Forest University.
“Mine is the first generation to have that forward-looking mindset that has inclusivity, diversity, strength and empowered women. I’m looking forward to continued progress in my generation,” said Kryst, after accepting her crown. She now advances to the Miss Universe competition.
The oldest of the three is the Miss America pageant, which began in 1921 but women of color were barred from participating until the 1940s by a rule that said contestants must be of “the white race.” Frustration led to the creation of Miss Black America contest.
In 1970, Cheryl Browne became the first black woman to participate in the Miss America pageant. Since then, more than a dozen black women have been named either Miss America or Miss USA, including actress Vanessa Williams, the first-ever black Miss America in 1983.
The Miss USA contest was created in 1952 and crowned the first African American contestant — Carole Anne-Marie Gist — in 1990. A year later, Janel Bishop won the Miss Teen USA title, becoming the first African American winner.
The Minions Take Over Tampa Bay on Their Way to Villain-Con at Universal Orlando Resort
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Accuser who called Kevin Spacey ‘vile sexual predator’ admits he joked about incident
LONDON (AP) — An aspiring actor who accused Kevin Spacey of being a “vile sexual predator” who drugged and assaulted him when he sought his mentorship acknowledged Monday that he later joked with friends that he might resort to having sex with the Oscar winner if he couldn’t find work.
The man testified that he used humor to cope with the trauma he experienced after he fell asleep or passed out at the Hollywood star’s flat and woke up to find Spacey performing oral sex on him.
“It became a running joke and that’s me running with the joke,” he said of the mockery he made of the incident for a “sense of catharsis.”
The man is the fourth and final alleged victim to accuse the two-time Academy Award winner at trial of sexual assaults in Britain between 2001 and 2013 when Spacey worked at the Old Vic Theatre in London.
Spacey, 63, is on trial in a London court on 12 charges that include sexual assault, indecent assault and causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. He denies all the allegations, and his lawyer has suggested the accusers are looking for payouts from Spacey.
The witness said he hadn’t complained about Spacey for nearly a decade after the 2008 incident because he wanted to work in the industry. He said it was a David vs. Goliath kind of situation and he feared “getting slammed by his lawyers.”
During cross-examination, defense lawyer Patrick Gibbs confronted the witness with the jokes he later made about Spacey and apparent texts or calls he made to the star after the incident.
The man acknowledged he initially resisted requests by police for phone data and social media accounts but denied obstructing the investigation, which couldn’t find his records from the time of the incident.
He denied staying in contact with Spacey for four months after the incident despite data from the actor’s phone that appeared to show phone calls and text messages to the witness’ number.
The man vigorously rejected suggestions he made up the allegations because he was ashamed of engaging in sexual relations with Spacey.
“This line of questioning is offensive,” he said. “Nothing happened that was consensual.”
The Associated Press doesn’t typically name alleged victims of sex crimes and British law bars providing information that could reveal their identities.
The witness said that Spacey was one of his idols and that he wrote to the actor because he “craved inspiration” and hoped to meet up for a coffee and advice. He said he was stunned when Spacey called him several weeks later and invited him to meet later that night for a drink.
He said he had heard Spacey was gay and liked young straight men but was naïve when he accepted the actor’s invitation to go up to his flat in the Waterloo area of London.
Only after smoking some marijuana and drinking beer did he get the sense that Spacey had other intentions, the witness said. He said Spacey gave him a hug and nuzzled his head in the man’s crotch. He said he pushed Spacey away and tried to make conversation.
“I was made to feel like I was being circled by a shark,” he testified.
He said he felt like he was drugged and became sleepy. He said he woke up five or six hours later sprawled on the sofa with his pants open and Spacey kneeling over him with his head in his crotch.
In the man’s interview with police played for jurors, he became choked up as he provided details about the incident that he said he had never told friends. He said he pushed Spacey away and the actor told him to leave.
Gibbs questioned the man’s timeline with records from Spacey’s phone that appeared to show the actor called him during the time he claimed to be out cold on the sofa. Gibbs suggested Spacey phoned the witness while he was on his way home after having consensual contact, but the man said Spacey probably called him while he was unconscious to cover his tracks.
The man said he decided to come forward in 2017 after Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct in the U.S. when the #MeToo movement erupted.
The man said he sued Spacey after an American lawyer told him he could win him $10 million, but denied he made up the allegations to cash in after years of financial struggles and a gambling problem that forced him to life off loans from friends and relatives.
He said he went to police after a friend told him he would be more credible if he reported a crime before filing suit.
The trial continues Tuesday before a jury of nine men and three women in Southwark Crown Court.
Spacey, who is free on unconditional bail, could face a prison sentence if he’s convicted.
One of Hollywood’s biggest names until sexual misconduct allegations derailed his career, Spacey won a best supporting actor Academy Award for the 1995 film “The Usual Suspects” and a lead actor Oscar for the 1999 movie “American Beauty.” He ran London’s Old Vic between 2004 and 2015.
PHOTOS: The Big Winners from the 2023 Cannes Film Festival
CANNES, France (FNN) – The world’s most glamorous red carpet and festival finally wrapped up Sunday. Here’s the list of the big winners from this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Palme d’Or: Anatomie d’Une Chute (Anatomy of a Fall) by Justine Triet
Grand Prix: The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer
Best Director: Hûng Tran Anh for La Passion de Godin Bouffant
Prix du Jury (Jury Prize): Les Feuilles Mortes, directed by Aki Kaurismaki
Best Screenplay: Yuji Sakamoto for Monster, directed by Hirokazu Kore Eda
Best Performance by an Actress: Merve Dizdar in Les Herbes Eches, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Best Performance by an Actor: Yakusho Koji in Perfect Days, directed by Wim WENDERS
Palme d’Honneur: Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford
Mellissa Thomas and international correspondent Patience Eding contributed to this report. | email@example.com
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