WILL SMITH DELIVERS FIRST AWARDS SHOW SPEECH AFTER OSCARS SLAP: Will Smith appeared at the African American Film Critics Association Awards on Wednesday night (March 1st) to accept the Beacon Award with "Emancipation director Antoine Fuqua. During his speech, he made no reference to the Oscars slap, only speaking on the film, saying it was the "most difficult film of my entire career." Meanwhile, reports say that Chris Rock plans to address the incident in his upcoming live comedy special this weekend.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT APPEALS 150 DAY JAIL SENTENCE IN HATE CRIME HOAX: According to Variety, attorneys for Jussie Smollett filed their appeal of his conviction earlir this week, hoping to keep him from having to go back to jail on hate crime hoax charges. Smollett was released a year ago pending his appeal, after serving six days of his 150-day sentence. Attorneys for the actor were originally due to file his appellate brief last August, but have been granted five extensions of that deadline. Smollett was convicted in December 2021 of lying to police when he claimed to have been assaulted by two men who shouted homophobic and racist slurs, poured a chemical substance on him, and put a rope around his neck.

'RHOP' STAR CANDIACE DILLARD BASSETT SUED FOR $2 MILLION FOR ALLEGING THAT ASHLEY DARBY'S HUSBAND OFFERED TO PAY A MAN FOR ORAL SEX: Michael Darby — the soon to be ex husband of Real Housewives of Potomac star Ashley Darby, is suing her co-star Candiace Dillard Bassett for defamation after she alleged he offered to pay another man to have sexual relations during the latest season of the Bravo reality series. Earlier this season, after Ashley Darby made allegations that Candiace Dillard Bassett’s husband Chris Bassett was entertaining other women, Candiace reportedly said, “Your husband likes to leave you and go to a man named [censored]’s house and suck his d*ck.”  Darby has since denied Bassett’s remarks and even sent her a cease and desist earlier this year. However, reports claim that because the Candiace has yet to retract any of her allegations the businessman is now suing for $2 million in damages. 

RICKEY SMILEY SAYS HIS SON MAY HAVE PASSED AWAY FROM A DRUG OVERDOSED: During an interview with The Today Show, Rickey Smiley opened up about the death of his son Brandon. Smiley said that Brandon's girlfriend called him after finding him unresponsive on January 29th. He said, “She said that, in her words, that he had OD’d." He added, “He used, and it killed him." Smiley said that he was “shocked but not surprised” by his son's tragic death, explaining that he had “prepared … deep inside” for the possibility as Brandon struggled with addiction for years. He explained, “His mother and I made several attempts to try to send him to get the help that he needed — send him to rehab." He added, “We thought that he as doing better. He had just joined the church, and he had just gotten baptized again, probably a month before he passed away.”