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How The Voice Addressed The Adam Levine And DeAndre Nico Incident

Some basic spoilers for Monday’s episode of The Voice can be found within this article.

We’re less than a week out from the major The Voice drama that saw contestant DeAndre Nico get thrown under the bus so that coach Adam Levine could defend his other contender Reagan Strange. People have not forgotten the moment yet, and The Voice spent a chunk of Monday’s episode seemingly doing damage control.

The most prominent example of this was probably Adam Levine himself, who said that he had worked things out with DeAndre Nico after he totally threw him under the bus for Reagan Strange, who insisted she was sick and couldn’t perform for the save during last Tuesday’s episode. Per Levine:

A lot of people did a great job of singing during Monday’s episode, too, but I’m still pretty focused on the whole awkwardness of this Reagan Strange/Adam Levine/ DeAndre Nico. From the looks of things, I’m not alone:

At one point during the episode, the show made a concerted effort to make everything look bygones for bygones, but not everyone felt like it worked.

To recap, following last week’s competition, DeAndre Nico seemingly took the high ground, saying some nice things about what happened on social media. But then he did an actual interview in which he spoke about how getting thrown under the bus by Adam was really uncool. He told 12NewsNow:

DeAndre Nico is clearly a talented singer and I certainly feel he went home before other talent on the series should have, but I’ve written before about how quality Reagan Strange’s performances have been–at least until she was unavailable to perform. She was consistently doing well prior to last week’s blip, while Nico had not really amassed a fanbase.

Adam was likely just trying to keep his most viable contestant in the game, but it was super awkward how he handled the entire situation. In the aftermath, a lot of people have felt a lot of feelings about what happened on the competition series. People have already voted for contestants this week, so we’ll have to wait and see if people have turned on Reagan Strange when votes come in tonight.

To her credit, Reagan Strange actually really had nothing to do with Adam’s decision on The Voice last week. It’s not like the two of them hatched a plan to save her and take DeAndre Nico out. But she herself has handled the aftermath in weird ways, saying things like this:

We have to remember the talented singer is 14 years old. Still, the show must go on. See how it plays out Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET, only on NBC.

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Just Posted Their First Married Selfie

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas are officially that couple. You know who I’m talking about: the newly-married or engaged twosome on your Facebook feed that posts every five minutes about how in love they are. In between photos of their meal preps, they share insanely sappy, perfectly-staged photos with captions like “forever starts now” or “I love this human!” At least one person in this couple was rude to you in the seventh grade, which means you have absolutely zero tolerance for any time they talk about buying a house or getting a dog or how *~their significant other beats your significant other ~! Hah! Joke’s on them, because I’m so single!

Thankfully, you have nothing against Chopra and Jonas, so their “marital bliss”—as Chopra lovingly called it on Instagram Tuesday (December 11)—isn’t nearly as frustrating. It’s sweet! Sure, it’s a little rude they’re posting cute selfies like this while I’m contemplating ordering a Ben & Jerry’s pint at 8:30 A.M., but they’re so gorgeous that it’s fine. Also, Jonas and Chopra seem like an actually cool couple—unlike the Facebook locals—so that cancels any corniness from this selfie or others.

Take a look at the only couple who can get away with Instagram posts like this for yourself, below:

Jonas and Chopra do have a lot to celebrate, after all. They just tied the knot in a multi-day ceremony over the weekend of December 1, and followed this up with a work engagement just days later. A little R&R is probably much-needed.

Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here staging this exact photo with the empty Domino’s pizza box in my kitchen. How’s that for marital bliss?

Related Stories:

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Who Is Kim Kardashian’s Attorney Shawn Holley?

Not even the most experienced journalists could resist a hint of scorn: “Trump Meets With Kim. Kim Kardashian West, That Is,” one headline read. Another: “Welcome to 2018: President Donald Trump Just Met With Kim Kardashian.”

Kardashian West had gone to the White House to plead the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who’d served more than two decades in prison on nonviolent drug charges. When Trump commuted her sentence a week later, the moment came and went like a season finale. Recapped, critiqued, forgotten.

The truth is the meeting between two celebrities (one, breaker of the Internet; the other, president of the United States) was planned over months, and behind it was a woman whose name and narrative—the public defender turned Kardashian “konfidante”—don’t fit in a headline.

Kardashian West was 16 the first time she tapped Shawn Holley for her legal expertise. The women had met two years earlier, when Johnnie Cochran assigned Holley to the “dream team” that would defend O.J. Simpson. Holley was one of the most junior in a group that included Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, and Robert Kardashian. The case lasted 16 months.

By the time it was over and Simpson was acquitted, Kardashian West had come to see her father’s coworker as a cross between a role model and a relative. (“Oh my gosh,” she remembers thinking, “I just want to be like her.”) Holley became so close to the clan that she’d sometimes meet Kardashian West for lunch or to take her to Billy Blanks dance classes in Sherman Oaks. For their part, the Kardashians invited Holley to parties at their home. (The practice continues even now; the most recent photos on Holley’s phone include scenes from a barbecue on Kourtney Kardashian’s lawn).

Kardashian West and Holley were out to dinner on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica when the relationship turned professional. It was the pre-iPhone era, but Kardashian West heard that a friend had been arrested at Urban Outfitters and asked Holley, could she help? The shoplifter was out in hours.

Kardashian West has entrusted some of her most personal legal matters to Holley ever since—sensitive contracts, protective orders, nondisclosure agreements. She emails when she wants advice or sometimes just to vent. Almost 15 months ago she texted Holley with a link to a viral video, first released by Mic, that narrated the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who had been sentenced to life in federal prison on nonviolent drug charges. “This is so unfair,” Kardashian West wrote. “Is there anything we can do about it?”

“There are thousands of Alices who are stuck in her same situation who don’t deserve to be there.”

Holley was raised in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles. Her mother went to school at night to earn an M.B.A. to move up from legal secretary to office manager at a white-shoe law firm. As a child Holley would wander the halls of her mother’s offices, unimpressed. She saw a lot of thick books, no computers, and little fun. She got an English degree from UCLA, went on to teach (her students “took advantage of the fool—that would be me”), and ended up as a waitress at the first ever California Pizza Kitchen when she met (and slung pies for) a “cool” lawyer who did work that excited her. She enrolled in Southwestern Law School in 1985.

One summer Holley took a law-clerk position at the public defender’s office. Her responsibilities included interviewing people who’d been detained at the downtown courthouse (the same complex where Simpson would later be tried for murder). The experience was a revelation. “The holding cell is packed with people,” Holley recalls. “Packed! Everybody is black or brown. I was like, ‘I don’t understand—how is it that only black or brown men have committed crimes?’ I mean, it was just: Whoa.” Most of the men were accused of rock-cocaine possession and had near-identical stories. The narrative went like this: “I’m walking down the street, police pulled up, they searched me and found cocaine.”

Holley was furious: “This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution!” But theoretical protection from unreasonable searches and seizures doesn’t mean much. She passed the bar exam and went back to the public defender’s office after graduation. The work was “emotionally gripping and intense” but inspiring. She loved the hustle; payment was extra. (“The check would come and I would be like, ‘I can’t believe I get this too!’” she says.)

But the more time she spent there, the more complex her cases became. Some of her clients were dangerous, almost a certain threat to their communities. “You fight just as hard, you make sure that only admissible evidence comes in, and you treat people with respect, which is important,” she says. She loved her work. But she wasn’t quite as closed off as she’d been before to new opportunities.

That’s when Johnnie Cochran, an outsize presence at the courthouse and a giant to Holley, handed her his card. An interview followed, then an offer. Six months into her tenure at the firm, Cochran joined the Simpson case. Once the verdict came down, she saw her lane. “We’re getting all these great calls from people who have criminal cases,” she told Cochran. She wanted to head up a new division, focused on those (sometimes famous) clients. Cochran gave her the go-ahead.

Holley is now a partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert and has represented Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Black Panther leader Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Symbionese Liberation Army bomber Sara Jane Olson, and Lindsay Lohan. The predicaments of the rich and beautiful (see: Lindsay Lohan in court, a nail painted with the words “fuck U”) bear little resemblance to the cases she pored over as a public defender. But Holley insists her experience representing the most disenfranchised deepened her conviction that we all deserve an advocate. Her ethos applies across income brackets: People who’ve been accused of a crime—“they’re scared, it’s a crisis, and you’re helping them through prob- ably the most difficult time of their lives.”

Except: Paris Hilton served just over three weeks behind bars in 2007 for a probation violation related to an earlier DUI. When Lindsay Lohan violated probation in 2010, she was locked up for about two weeks and then checked in to court-ordered rehab. At the time Alice Marie Johnson was almost a decade and a half into her sentence. Her intake papers indicated she’d be released when she died.

President Trump meets Kardashian West and Holley.

President Trump meets Kardashian West and Holley.

Kardashian West and Johnson appear on *Today* after Johnson's release in June.

Kardashian West and Johnson appear on Today after Johnson’s release in June.

According to Holley, Kardashian West has tracked criminal justice issues for decades, so it wasn’t surprising to receive her text about Johnson. Holley was, however, unsure what the women could do about it. She understood the sole option for Johnson to be freed was a presidential commutation: “It just seemed crazy. Trump is in the White House. He didn’t seem like the person who would be for this.” Still, she promised Kardashian West she’d look into it.

Johnson was arrested in 1993 for her role in a conspiracy to sell cocaine across state lines. At trial, 10 of 15 named coconspirators testified against her in exchange for reduced or dropped charges. She has never claimed innocence, but prosecutors made her out to be a hardened criminal. “It was like, ‘We just brought Al Capone down,’” Johnson says. “Like a reality show. That’s what they’ve done to people like me.” Johnson had no prior record. She was sentenced to life without parole.

Cases like Johnson’s are so common that Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher at the American Civil Liberties Union, compiled them in a landmark 2013 report. She identified more than 3,000 men and women sentenced to life in prison for nonviolent crimes with no chance of parole. With President Barack Obama in his second term, Turner appealed for clemency for a number of them, Johnson included. Obama approved 1,927 such petitions while in office, but Johnson’s was denied. “I was shocked,” Turner says. “Her case was a slam dunk.” When President Trump was elected on his “law and order” platform, Turner “feared that might be the end of hope for her.”

The odds made Holley nervous too. “I don’t do a lot of federal criminal work because it seems so incredibly unfair, so stacked against the defense,” she says. “It’s too depressing.” But this time the appeal had come from Kardashian West, and Holley is not just skilled but tenacious. And one of her strengths is knowing when to ask for advice. She needed clemency experts on her team, stat. “I said to Kim, ‘We have to retain some of these people.’ And she said, ‘How much?’ ” The funds were wired over in an instant.

First Holley connected with Turner; Amy Povah, founder of the CAN-DO Foundation; and Brittany K. Barnett, cofounder of the Buried Alive Project, who’d known Johnson for several years. From the outset Turner was frank: “If it were any other president, Kim Kardashian’s advocacy might not make a big difference.” But under this one, it had a chance.

Trump likes celebrities and executive decrees of all stripes. The fact that he can rescue someone with a flourish of his pen? These moments are made for television. (With Sylvester Stallone in attendance, Trump granted the famed boxer Jack Johnson a posthumous pardon in May 2018.)

In the meantime Kardashian West set off on a parallel track, an exquisite metaphor for our current political era: She reached out to Ivanka Trump, with whom she was loosely acquainted. Trump in turn put her in touch with her husband, Jared Kushner, who has a documented interest in criminal justice reform. (His father served time for tax evasion, among other crimes.)

It fell to Holley to contact Johnson. “She explained to me that a very famous woman wanted to help me,” Johnson remembers. “Of course I told her I was interested.” Johnson was desperate for more information but didn’t want to press. After, she called her children. Google this woman, she said. Find out who her clients are. It was Johnson’s daughter who guessed Kardashian West had put Holley up to it. “Kim who?” Johnson wanted to know. She’d never heard of her.

While working the case, Holley held routine calls with Johnson. Once, she texted Kardashian West, maybe 10 minutes before a scheduled check-in: Did she want to call in? “Kim was like, ‘What’s the number?’” Holley recalls.

It was Johnson’s daughter who guessed Kardashian West had put Holley up to it. “Kim who?” Johnson wanted to know. She’d never heard of her.

This is what critics who’ve questioned Kardashian West’s motives don’t know, Holley and Turner emphasize. That she’d clear her schedule for Johnson. That she’d send delicate emails to Kushner when momentum seemed to have petered out. That she spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve in near-constant communication with Turner and Barnett because the White House needed court documents.

“Kim’s not a criminal justice reform expert,” Barnett concedes. “She doesn’t claim to be. But you don’t need to be an expert to know that it’s wrong to sentence people like Alice to spend the rest of their lives in prison.”

But after that notable uptick in White House communication in December 2017, the line went dead. The women (and the team was almost all female) hesitated over what to do next. Holley remembers thinking, “We can’t bug these people, but we have to bug these people.” The plan had been to whisper in the administration’s ear. Instead along came a bullhorn.

In April 2018, Kanye West declared his support for Trump on Twitter. The announcement drew a firestorm on social media—and the favor of the President. Kardashian West, who has been diplomatic about her political differences with her husband, has since admitted that his public endorsement elevated her cause. (In October he said he would distance himself from politics.) Within weeks the White House set a date for her visit.

Holley recounts the trip to D.C. in snapshots. Fans in the windows, on balconies, scads of people wanting a picture. Steps! Carpets! A portrait of Vice President Mike Pence on a wall. She and Kardashian West in a little room outside the Oval Office. Jared! Ivanka! Trump, expectant, behind the Resolute Desk.

The meeting kicked off with Khloé Kardashian–related small talk. (“Because Khloé had been on The Celebrity Apprentice,” Holley reminds me.) Soon the President wanted to know how Holley and Kardashian West had met. (With then White House counsel Don McGahn and General John Kelly in the room, the O.J. Simpson connection wasn’t Holley’s preferred icebreaker. But exhale: Turns out Trump and Simpson had known each other back when.)

Then business: Kardashian West went first, explaining the case in her usual unhurried, enunciated cadence. But Holley, aware that the President has limited time (and perhaps attention), soon broke in. Trump delivered his verdict moments later: “I think we should let her out.” Deal maker that she is, Holley pushed him to announce the news that afternoon. It happened to be Johnson’s sixty-third birthday; a nice PR moment. No such luck.

Still, Kushner assured them the meeting had gone well and invited Kardashian West and Holley over for dinner to plot a path forward. “They are lovely people,” says Holley, who has five framed photos of herself with President Obama in her office (and one bottle of Kim Kardashian perfume). “Engaged, engaging, interested in us, interested in the world.” The Kushner children took drink orders at the door and recommended an apparent house special—Shirley Temples.

Holley was in court (representing Reggie Bush, one of Kardashian West’s exes) a week later when a text from Kardashian West popped up: “Call me, I just heard from the White House.” Trump had the paperwork; Johnson would be free in hours.

Holley got Barnett, Turner, and Kardashian West on the line to reach Johnson. “Kim said, ‘You don’t know?’ Alice said, ‘Know what?’ Kim said, ‘You’re going home,’” recalls Holley.

Months later Johnson struggles to articulate the moment. “It was an explosion inside,” she says. While she was in prison, Johnson had made it her mission to help other women. She choreographed dance recitals and wrote plays. She mentored. She volunteered in hospice. She didn’t do it for a reward, but she sees now that the acts were seeds “sown into those women’s lives.” A farmer plants and doesn’t know what the crop will yield. Johnson invested in the women around her, and her release was “a harvest I reaped,” she says.

Holley doesn’t have immediate plans to petition the White House on more cases. In November 2017 it was reported that Kardashian West had asked Holley to help free Cyntoia Brown, a trafficked teen who shot and killed a man who’d hired her for sex. But in May 2018 a parole board was divided on whether to recommend clemency for Brown and passed the case to outgoing Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, a Republican. He has so far not addressed it. (A recent Tennessee Supreme Court decision declared that Brown is ineligible for parole until she’s served at least 51 years in prison, making clemency her only option for an earlier release.)

In September 2018 Kardashian West returned to the White House to advocate for prison reform. She intends to keep lines of communication with the administration open, no matter the criticism from those who think she should refuse to cooperate with this president. “We were able to change someone’s life,” she says. “And there are thousands of Alices who are stuck in her same situation who don’t deserve to be there.” It’s not quite a Talmudic reference, but it echoes the precept “Whoever saves one life saves the whole world.”

That’s not just some grandiose metaphor, Holley points out. Johnson has children, grandchildren, even two great-grandchildren. A universe of people had to go on without her.

When Johnson came home, her daughter showed her a collection of photo albums. Johnson tried to smile, but it broke her heart—“seeing 20 years of pictures that I’m missing from.” Still, she has done her best to make up for lost time. A Christmas portrait was scheduled in October.

For Johnson this is a small restitution: “I never wanted to be famous. I just wanted to be free.”

Mattie Kahn is a senior editor at Glamour.

Who Kim Kardashian’s Attorney Shawn Holley?

Not even the most experienced journalists could resist a hint of scorn: “Trump Meets With Kim. Kim Kardashian West, That Is,” one headline read. Another: “Welcome to 2018: President Donald Trump Just Met With Kim Kardashian.”

Kardashian West had gone to the White House to plead the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who’d served more than two decades in prison on nonviolent drug charges. When Trump commuted her sentence a week later, the moment came and went like a season finale. Recapped, critiqued, forgotten.

The truth is the meeting between two celebrities (one, breaker of the Internet; the other, president of the United States) was planned over months, and behind it was a woman whose name and narrative—the public defender turned Kardashian “konfidante”—don’t fit in a headline.

Kardashian West was 16 the first time she tapped Shawn Holley for her legal expertise. The women had met two years earlier, when Johnnie Cochran assigned Holley to the “dream team” that would defend O.J. Simpson. Holley was one of the most junior in a group that included Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, and Robert Kardashian. The case lasted 16 months.

By the time it was over and Simpson was acquitted, Kardashian West had come to see her father’s coworker as a cross between a role model and a relative. (“Oh my gosh,” she remembers thinking, “I just want to be like her.”) Holley became so close to the clan that she’d sometimes meet Kardashian West for lunch or to take her to Billy Blanks dance classes in Sherman Oaks. For their part, the Kardashians invited Holley to parties at their home. (The practice continues even now; the most recent photos on Holley’s phone include scenes from a barbecue on Kourtney Kardashian’s lawn).

Kardashian West and Holley were out to dinner on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica when the relationship turned professional. It was the pre-iPhone era, but Kardashian West heard that a friend had been arrested at Urban Outfitters and asked Holley, could she help? The shoplifter was out in hours.

Kardashian West has entrusted some of her most personal legal matters to Holley ever since—sensitive contracts, protective orders, nondisclosure agreements. She emails when she wants advice or sometimes just to vent. Almost 15 months ago she texted Holley with a link to a viral video, first released by Mic, that narrated the case of Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who had been sentenced to life in federal prison on nonviolent drug charges. “This is so unfair,” Kardashian West wrote. “Is there anything we can do about it?”

“There are thousands of Alices who are stuck in her same situation who don’t deserve to be there.”

Holley was raised in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles. Her mother went to school at night to earn an M.B.A. to move up from legal secretary to office manager at a white-shoe law firm. As a child Holley would wander the halls of her mother’s offices, unimpressed. She saw a lot of thick books, no computers, and little fun. She got an English degree from UCLA, went on to teach (her students “took advantage of the fool—that would be me”), and ended up as a waitress at the first ever California Pizza Kitchen when she met (and slung pies for) a “cool” lawyer who did work that excited her. She enrolled in Southwestern Law School in 1985.

One summer Holley took a law-clerk position at the public defender’s office. Her responsibilities included interviewing people who’d been detained at the downtown courthouse (the same complex where Simpson would later be tried for murder). The experience was a revelation. “The holding cell is packed with people,” Holley recalls. “Packed! Everybody is black or brown. I was like, ‘I don’t understand—how is it that only black or brown men have committed crimes?’ I mean, it was just: Whoa.” Most of the men were accused of rock-cocaine possession and had near-identical stories. The narrative went like this: “I’m walking down the street, police pulled up, they searched me and found cocaine.”

Holley was furious: “This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution!” But theoretical protection from unreasonable searches and seizures doesn’t mean much. She passed the bar exam and went back to the public defender’s office after graduation. The work was “emotionally gripping and intense” but inspiring. She loved the hustle; payment was extra. (“The check would come and I would be like, ‘I can’t believe I get this too!’” she says.)

But the more time she spent there, the more complex her cases became. Some of her clients were dangerous, almost a certain threat to their communities. “You fight just as hard, you make sure that only admissible evidence comes in, and you treat people with respect, which is important,” she says. She loved her work. But she wasn’t quite as closed off as she’d been before to new opportunities.

That’s when Johnnie Cochran, an outsize presence at the courthouse and a giant to Holley, handed her his card. An interview followed, then an offer. Six months into her tenure at the firm, Cochran joined the Simpson case. Once the verdict came down, she saw her lane. “We’re getting all these great calls from people who have criminal cases,” she told Cochran. She wanted to head up a new division, focused on those (sometimes famous) clients. Cochran gave her the go-ahead.

Holley is now a partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert and has represented Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Black Panther leader Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Symbionese Liberation Army bomber Sara Jane Olson, and Lindsay Lohan. The predicaments of the rich and beautiful (see: Lindsay Lohan in court, a nail painted with the words “fuck U”) bear little resemblance to the cases she pored over as a public defender. But Holley insists her experience representing the most disenfranchised deepened her conviction that we all deserve an advocate. Her ethos applies across income brackets: People who’ve been accused of a crime—“they’re scared, it’s a crisis, and you’re helping them through prob- ably the most difficult time of their lives.”

Except: Paris Hilton served just over three weeks behind bars in 2007 for a probation violation related to an earlier DUI. When Lindsay Lohan violated probation in 2010, she was locked up for about two weeks and then checked in to court-ordered rehab. At the time Alice Marie Johnson was almost a decade and a half into her sentence. Her intake papers indicated she’d be released when she died.

President Trump meets Kardashian West and Holley.

President Trump meets Kardashian West and Holley.

Kardashian West and Johnson appear on *Today* after Johnson's release in June.

Kardashian West and Johnson appear on Today after Johnson’s release in June.

According to Holley, Kardashian West has tracked criminal justice issues for decades, so it wasn’t surprising to receive her text about Johnson. Holley was, however, unsure what the women could do about it. She understood the sole option for Johnson to be freed was a presidential commutation: “It just seemed crazy. Trump is in the White House. He didn’t seem like the person who would be for this.” Still, she promised Kardashian West she’d look into it.

Johnson was arrested in 1993 for her role in a conspiracy to sell cocaine across state lines. At trial, 10 of 15 named coconspirators testified against her in exchange for reduced or dropped charges. She has never claimed innocence, but prosecutors made her out to be a hardened criminal. “It was like, ‘We just brought Al Capone down,’” Johnson says. “Like a reality show. That’s what they’ve done to people like me.” Johnson had no prior record. She was sentenced to life without parole.

Cases like Johnson’s are so common that Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher at the American Civil Liberties Union, compiled them in a landmark 2013 report. She identified more than 3,000 men and women sentenced to life in prison for nonviolent crimes with no chance of parole. With President Barack Obama in his second term, Turner appealed for clemency for a number of them, Johnson included. Obama approved 1,927 such petitions while in office, but Johnson’s was denied. “I was shocked,” Turner says. “Her case was a slam dunk.” When President Trump was elected on his “law and order” platform, Turner “feared that might be the end of hope for her.”

The odds made Holley nervous too. “I don’t do a lot of federal criminal work because it seems so incredibly unfair, so stacked against the defense,” she says. “It’s too depressing.” But this time the appeal had come from Kardashian West, and Holley is not just skilled but tenacious. And one of her strengths is knowing when to ask for advice. She needed clemency experts on her team, stat. “I said to Kim, ‘We have to retain some of these people.’ And she said, ‘How much?’ ” The funds were wired over in an instant.

First Holley connected with Turner; Amy Povah, founder of the CAN-DO Foundation; and Brittany K. Barnett, cofounder of the Buried Alive Project, who’d known Johnson for several years. From the outset Turner was frank: “If it were any other president, Kim Kardashian’s advocacy might not make a big difference.” But under this one, it had a chance.

Trump likes celebrities and executive decrees of all stripes. The fact that he can rescue someone with a flourish of his pen? These moments are made for television. (With Sylvester Stallone in attendance, Trump granted the famed boxer Jack Johnson a posthumous pardon in May 2018.)

In the meantime Kardashian West set off on a parallel track, an exquisite metaphor for our current political era: She reached out to Ivanka Trump, with whom she was loosely acquainted. Trump in turn put her in touch with her husband, Jared Kushner, who has a documented interest in criminal justice reform. (His father served time for tax evasion, among other crimes.)

It fell to Holley to contact Johnson. “She explained to me that a very famous woman wanted to help me,” Johnson remembers. “Of course I told her I was interested.” Johnson was desperate for more information but didn’t want to press. After, she called her children. Google this woman, she said. Find out who her clients are. It was Johnson’s daughter who guessed Kardashian West had put Holley up to it. “Kim who?” Johnson wanted to know. She’d never heard of her.

While working the case, Holley held routine calls with Johnson. Once, she texted Kardashian West, maybe 10 minutes before a scheduled check-in: Did she want to call in? “Kim was like, ‘What’s the number?’” Holley recalls.

It was Johnson’s daughter who guessed Kardashian West had put Holley up to it. “Kim who?” Johnson wanted to know. She’d never heard of her.

This is what critics who’ve questioned Kardashian West’s motives don’t know, Holley and Turner emphasize. That she’d clear her schedule for Johnson. That she’d send delicate emails to Kushner when momentum seemed to have petered out. That she spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve in near-constant communication with Turner and Barnett because the White House needed court documents.

“Kim’s not a criminal justice reform expert,” Barnett concedes. “She doesn’t claim to be. But you don’t need to be an expert to know that it’s wrong to sentence people like Alice to spend the rest of their lives in prison.”

But after that notable uptick in White House communication in December 2017, the line went dead. The women (and the team was almost all female) hesitated over what to do next. Holley remembers thinking, “We can’t bug these people, but we have to bug these people.” The plan had been to whisper in the administration’s ear. Instead along came a bullhorn.

In April 2018, Kanye West declared his support for Trump on Twitter. The announcement drew a firestorm on social media—and the favor of the President. Kardashian West, who has been diplomatic about her political differences with her husband, has since admitted that his public endorsement elevated her cause. (In October he said he would distance himself from politics.) Within weeks the White House set a date for her visit.

Holley recounts the trip to D.C. in snapshots. Fans in the windows, on balconies, scads of people wanting a picture. Steps! Carpets! A portrait of Vice President Mike Pence on a wall. She and Kardashian West in a little room outside the Oval Office. Jared! Ivanka! Trump, expectant, behind the Resolute Desk.

The meeting kicked off with Khloé Kardashian–related small talk. (“Because Khloé had been on The Celebrity Apprentice,” Holley reminds me.) Soon the President wanted to know how Holley and Kardashian West had met. (With then White House counsel Don McGahn and General John Kelly in the room, the O.J. Simpson connection wasn’t Holley’s preferred icebreaker. But exhale: Turns out Trump and Simpson had known each other back when.)

Then business: Kardashian West went first, explaining the case in her usual unhurried, enunciated cadence. But Holley, aware that the President has limited time (and perhaps attention), soon broke in. Trump delivered his verdict moments later: “I think we should let her out.” Deal maker that she is, Holley pushed him to announce the news that afternoon. It happened to be Johnson’s sixty-third birthday; a nice PR moment. No such luck.

Still, Kushner assured them the meeting had gone well and invited Kardashian West and Holley over for dinner to plot a path forward. “They are lovely people,” says Holley, who has five framed photos of herself with President Obama in her office (and one bottle of Kim Kardashian perfume). “Engaged, engaging, interested in us, interested in the world.” The Kushner children took drink orders at the door and recommended an apparent house special—Shirley Temples.

Holley was in court (representing Reggie Bush, one of Kardashian West’s exes) a week later when a text from Kardashian West popped up: “Call me, I just heard from the White House.” Trump had the paperwork; Johnson would be free in hours.

Holley got Barnett, Turner, and Kardashian West on the line to reach Johnson. “Kim said, ‘You don’t know?’ Alice said, ‘Know what?’ Kim said, ‘You’re going home,’” recalls Holley.

Months later Johnson struggles to articulate the moment. “It was an explosion inside,” she says. While she was in prison, Johnson had made it her mission to help other women. She choreographed dance recitals and wrote plays. She mentored. She volunteered in hospice. She didn’t do it for a reward, but she sees now that the acts were seeds “sown into those women’s lives.” A farmer plants and doesn’t know what the crop will yield. Johnson invested in the women around her, and her release was “a harvest I reaped,” she says.

Holley doesn’t have immediate plans to petition the White House on more cases. In November 2017 it was reported that Kardashian West had asked Holley to help free Cyntoia Brown, a trafficked teen who shot and killed a man who’d hired her for sex. But in May 2018 a parole board was divided on whether to recommend clemency for Brown and passed the case to outgoing Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, a Republican. He has so far not addressed it. (A recent Tennessee Supreme Court decision declared that Brown is ineligible for parole until she’s served at least 51 years in prison, making clemency her only option for an earlier release.)

In September 2018 Kardashian West returned to the White House to advocate for prison reform. She intends to keep lines of communication with the administration open, no matter the criticism from those who think she should refuse to cooperate with this president. “We were able to change someone’s life,” she says. “And there are thousands of Alices who are stuck in her same situation who don’t deserve to be there.” It’s not quite a Talmudic reference, but it echoes the precept “Whoever saves one life saves the whole world.”

That’s not just some grandiose metaphor, Holley points out. Johnson has children, grandchildren, even two great-grandchildren. A universe of people had to go on without her.

When Johnson came home, her daughter showed her a collection of photo albums. Johnson tried to smile, but it broke her heart—“seeing 20 years of pictures that I’m missing from.” Still, she has done her best to make up for lost time. A Christmas portrait was scheduled in October.

For Johnson this is a small restitution: “I never wanted to be famous. I just wanted to be free.”

Mattie Kahn is a senior editor at Glamour.

The Arrow-verse Just Delivered A Ton Of Batman Villains, But Where Is Batman?

Spoilers ahead for the second part of the Arrow-verse’s “Elseworlds” crossover.

The long-awaited “Elseworlds” crossover is in full swing, and viewers are getting to see more of the Arrow-verse than ever before. In pursuit of the man who rewrote reality, Oliver, Barry, and Kara headed to Gotham City. Oliver spent the first chunk of the episode declaring that Batman is a myth and he was the first vigilante, and even the Bat-Signal didn’t really convince him at first. According to Oliver’s logic, there was no way they would meet Batman in Gotham because Batman didn’t exist.

Well, Oliver was half right! They didn’t meet Batman, but they did meet Batwoman, and Batwoman is already awesome enough that I’d be perfectly happy with just her as the hero of Gotham. Still, Batman very much exists; he’s just been missing from Gotham for three years, and Batwoman has stepped up to fill his void. Given that Arkham Asylum was packed full of villains until Oliver, Barry, and Kara stumbled into town, I’d say the Bat-cousins did a solid job of fighting crime.

Yes, Batwoman and Batman are cousins. Kate Kane revealed that Bruce Wayne is her cousin, and she has taken up residence in Wayne Enterprises, which was abandoned and derelict after Bruce Wayne disappeared and his board of directors tanked the company. Kate just wants to set up a real estate enterprise and haunt the rooftops at night, although our heroes didn’t connect the two at first.

As it turns out, Kate doesn’t know what happened to either Batman or Bruce any more than anybody else. Both have been missing, and Kara actually noted that it was quite the coincidence that both men went missing at the same time for the same span of time so far. When asked if perhaps the darkness and horrors of fighting the scum of Gotham City had driven Bruce away, Kate simply said that he wouldn’t have left without a fight, and we already have an arc for the Batwoman TV show, assuming that happens!

After getting a look at Batwoman in action, Gotham City, and Arkham Asylym, I’m going to be devastated if Batwoman doesn’t happen. Let us live on an Earth where Batwoman has her own show!

Speaking of Arkham Asylum, that is where the Arrow-verse delivered a ton of iconic Batman villains, although viewers didn’t get to see them all in the flesh or even hear them as we heard Harley Quinn all those years ago on Arrow. Many of them were simply revealed via name cards on the doors to cells in Arkham. Even if we didn’t see them in the flesh, however, there’s a lot to be excited about. The Arrow-verse didn’t go for C-list villains that nobody except for diehard DC Comics fans have heard of.

Here are the villains we now know exist in the Arrow-verse and what they’re known for in the comics!

Nora Fries

Nora Fries actually did appear in the flesh in the second leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover, and she wasn’t the kind of Nora Fries that fans of Batman: The Animated Series or Batman and Robin probably expected. No, this Nora Fries was not a pristine and beautiful woman floating in frozen animation while her mad doctor husband tries to cure her.

The crossover wasn’t clear on whether or not Nora is a doctor, but she definitely has the “mad” part covered! Once she escaped her cell thanks to Deegan freeing the inmates to buy himself time to escape, she went after a cold gun that had been stored in Arkham, and she had an icy showdown with Killer Frost. Could she return to the action, perhaps with her husband at her side?

Cobblepot, O.

According to the name card on one of the cells, somebody who can only be Oswald Cobblepot is locked up in Arkham. Cobblepot is one of Batman’s most iconic villains thanks to his presence in the comics, Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Returns, Gotham, and more. Better known as Penguin, Oswald was an outcast due to his physical appearance for much of his life, putting a definite chip on his shoulder as he built himself into a criminal businessman with a lot of strings to pull in organized crime.

In some Batman stories, Batman and his allies have actually made deals with Penguin, with Penguin as one of Batman’s less violently bonkers baddies. If he turns up in the flesh in the Arrow-verse, it would be fun to compare this Cobblepot to Gotham‘s Cobblepot. I wouldn’t object to Robin Lord Taylor reprising the role once Gotham is done! If John Wesley Shipp can play his 90s Flash character for the Arrow-verse, why couldn’t Robin Lord Taylor play Penguin in the Arrow-verse?

Isley, P.

“Isley, P.” can only be the villainess better known as Poison Ivy. Interestingly, the cell containing Isley didn’t seem all that different from the cells containing characters who traditionally don’t have any powers. The comics character is a supervillain and eco-terrorist who gains the ability to control plants. She gained that power back when she worked as a botanist in her original identity as Dr. Pamela Isley.

Protecting plants and all things nature becomes the priority for Poison Ivy, and that naturally puts her at odds with the humans who get in her way. It’s probably safe to say that the Pamela Isley who exists in the Arrow-verse has already been transformed into Poison Ivy, which means a baddie with truly unique powers in the Arrow-verse.

Karlo, B.

If you caught “Karlo, B.” during the quick pan down the dark hallway of Arkham, it may not have rung a bell unless you’re fairly well-versed in Batman lore. This is a character far better known by his villainous name than his original given name. Yes, Basil Karlo is the name of the classic DC Comics character Clayface. Karlo was an actor who had a breakdown when he learned that a movie he’d starred in was being remade with a different actor.

So, Karlo donned the mask of a movie villain known as Clayface and began bumping off actors, as one does. Karlo actually didn’t have the shape-shifting powers that many associate with villains adopting the “Clayface” identity, although he does gain them later in his supervillain career. The Arrow-verse could feature a Clayface with or without powers, assuming he someday appears.

Nygma, E.

What’s Arkham Asylum without a Riddler making everything more confusing? This is another character I’d be 100% on board with seeing played by a Gotham actor. Cory Michael Smith over on the Fox drama has made the role of the Riddler his own in live-action, and he could definitely fit into the Arrow-verse’s version of Gotham City. Bring over Gotham‘s Penguin and Riddler, I say!

The Riddler of “Elseworlds” is clearly up to his regular tricks despite being locked up in Arkham, so we can probably count on him getting into trouble again if/when he makes his way out. As a non-superpowered villain, he could be ideal for the Batwoman series. Arrow is always more believable when Oliver is facing non-powered and non-magical villains; the same could be true for any Bat-characters.

Crane, J.

Of almost all the villains delivered in “Elseworlds” so far, “Crane, J.” is the one who seems most in line with his comics counterpart, even though he didn’t appear himself. Crane — better known in DC Comics and other adaptations as Scarecrow — clearly manufactured his fear gas that confuses and terrifies those who inhale it. Barry and Oliver weren’t familiar with Scarecrow or his tricks, and they wound up fighting each other after being exposed, each believing the other was an arch-enemy.

Fortunately, Batwoman showed up to explain what had happened, and we didn’t have to worry about the Scarlet Speedster and Green Arrow pummeling each other into submission. Scarecrow can be a very scary villain, whether he’s on TV, in comics, or even in video games. He’d be a killer bad guy for a Batwoman series.

Psycho-Pirate

Psycho-Pirate wasn’t actually named in this episode, but a baddie wearing a gold mask very much like the one Psycho-Pirate wears on the pages of DC Comics rampaged through Arkham after being set free. Fortunately, Batwoman and Co. captured him before he could wreak too much havoc, and he chewed enough scenery in his time on scene to last for a while.

In the comics, Psycho-Pirate is a supervillainous identity adopted by a number of different bad guys, and they favored emotion-based crimes. This Psycho-Pirate didn’t exactly go a subtle route, but it’s not like any version of Arkham Asylum is known for effectively rehabilitating the criminally insane.

Bonus: Guggenheim, M.

Marc Guggenheim may not be Arrow‘s showrunner anymore, but the Arrow leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover included a nod to Guggenheim that indicates his Arrow-verse namesake is a madman. “Guggenheim, M.” is being held in the same corridor as the likes of Penguin and Riddler. That’s a dubious honor!

Tune in to The CW on Tuesday, December 11 at 8 p.m. ET to catch the third and final leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover. The cliffhanger of the second episode seemingly revealed that the Arrow-verse is exploring a “Crisis On Infinite Earths” story with The Monitor, so it should definitely be worth tuning in to find out what happens next. For what you can watch while the Arrow-verse shows are on hiatus, check out our midseason TV premiere schedule.

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How The Elseworlds Crossover Just Set Up DC’s Crisis On Infinite Earths Arc

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the second part of the “Elseworlds” crossover. Read at your own risk!

The Arrow-verse crossover “Elseworlds” really ramped things up in Part 2, and in addition to lots of Batwoman goodness and Gotham City, there was a massive reveal that potentially dictated the future of the Arrow-verse. The heroes ended up meeting The Monitor, who congratulated them on passing the first test of stealing the book from Dr. John Deegan. It turns out the whole thing was a test, and will prepare the heroes for what sounds like Crisis On Infinite Earths.

As some had predicted, The Monitor appeared in “Elseworlds” in order to test the might of various Earths’ heroes to see if they were game to take on a far greater threat. Barry, Oliver, and Kara did better than Earth-90’s heroes, but The Monitor wasn’t adequately satisfied with the level of challenge John Deegan created for them. The supreme being teleported back to the deranged Arkham Asylum doctor and demanded he craft a more challenging scenario for the heroes.

The result was Barry and Oliver being completely stripped of any superspeed, and transformed into Gotham City villains. The two manage to escape arrest from GCPD, but their escape is hampered by Superman in all black. The Man of Steel still errs on the side of justice apparently, but his seemingly tyrannical nature doesn’t quite make him the Boy Scout Kara knows as her cousin.

With Barry and Oliver without powers, and Kara shown in a trailer to be locked away by her seemingly evil cousin, this scenario should be much harder than the first scenario. The good news is that if the heroes succeed, they’ll be deemed worthy of having what it takes to battle the massive threat even more powerful than The Monitor. The bad news is if they fail, The Monitor is probably going to destroy their world.

Of course, fans should have a sneaking suspicion the Arrow-verse heroes pull through, considering each show will be returning in 2019. Additionally, it’s known that Barry lives long enough to disappear in some massive battle that involves all the Arrow-verse heroes in a couple years in an event that some have speculated is the Arrow-verse version of “Crisis On Infinite Earths.” Now, The Monitor has provided strong evidence that is the case, and that something crazy is on the horizon.

Specifically, that something crazy is that the Arrow-verse is intending to feature “Crisis On Infinite Earths” sometime in the future. Whether that will be next year’s crossover, the year following, or even three years from now is unknown. That said, the fact that the writers have openly acknowledged via an episode that The Monitor is preparing the heroes for an oncoming threat is huge, and possibly a sign this event could come sooner than later.

The “Elseworlds” fun isn’t over yet, as the crossover will close out with a special episode of Supergirl Tuesday, December 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET. For a look at what’s going on with other television shows and when to expect their premiere or return, head over to our fall and midseason premiere guides.

Watch The Opening Of Kingdom Hearts 3 Right Now

Square Enix is moving ever-closer to the highly anticipated release of Kingdom Hearts 3 for the Xbox One and PS4 in January. A month before the game drops, the publisher has released the official opening cinematic for the game, which you can watch right now.

The opening movie was posted up over on the Kingdom Hearts YouTube channel. It’s just under two minutes long, featuring the theme song “Face My Fears” from Hikaru Utada and a surprising collaboration with the dubstep artist, Skrillex.

The CG cinematic features Sora and some of the other characters from the Kingdom Hearts franchise, some of these individuals going through their transformations to the dark side, and Sora’s battle alongside the Disney characters against the forces of darkness.

The intro for Kingdom Hearts 3 is surprisingly succinct, and basically draws battle lines between who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. Simply transformation sequences give you an idea of how some characters crossed certain lines in the sand, and now it’s a battle to either bring them back or defeat them. Or at least, that’s the general gist of the intro.

There’s also a surprisingly lack of Disney characters featured in the cinematic. One would have expected to see a few more characters from the different worlds making an appearance, such as some of the new entries in this game, like Tangled or Big Hero 6, especially since those were two of the most talked about worlds being added to the game, along with the addition of the characters from Frozen and Toy Story.

Now if you’re not familiar with the entire franchise history of who started what, why they became what they did, or what the endgame is, then the intro cinematic probably won’t help you one iota in understanding the gist of Kingdom Heart 3’s story.

However, Square Enix has prepared for this conundrum and this is why the company released the compilation pack consisting of nine games — yes, nine games. The compilation is called Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far, and you’re able to play through all nine games to get an understanding of what’s been happening within this crossover universe since its debut on the PS2 way, way, way back in 2002.

Yes, the Kingdom Hearts series has been an ongoing franchise for the last 16 years. In just four years it will be 20 years old. Can you imagine that? I wonder if the original game will get a remake… again?

Anyway, Kingdom Hearts 3 has been in development for more than half a decade and it made its initial announcement back during E3 for the PS4 in 2013. It’s been a long road, but the end is almost in sight as the game preps for release on January 29, 2019.

Gotham’s Cameron Monaghan Is Smoothly Trolling Joker Fans With Latest Image

Gotham is only weeks away from returning for its fifth (and sadly, final) season, and the new episodes promise to deliver a whole bunch of bad guys wreaking havoc in No Man’s Land. Jeremiah promises to be one of those baddies, so we can count on hearing more of Cameron Monaghan’s delightfully maniacal laughter that he perfected as the Valeska brothers. Now, Monaghan has shared an image that manages to troll Joker fans while also almost certainly getting everybody all the more excited about Season 5. Take a look!

I’m not the only one who thinks Jeremiah looks like he just blew a kiss at somebody, right? Frankly, for a character that folks at Gotham have refused to confirm as the Clown Prince of Crime, Jeremiah has never looked more Joker-esque than he does in this image. He’s got the white face, the green hair, the outfit, and even what appears to be a flower pinned to his jacket. Something tells me that the good people of Gotham City shouldn’t get too close to that flower!

As if the whole look for Jeremiah wasn’t enough, Cameron Monaghan was sure to include a caption on his Instagram post sure to drive Joker fans wild. Does “Jokes on you” explicitly state that Jeremiah is THE Joker? No, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect Gotham to ever explicitly name him The Joker. Still, it’s a sign that Cameron Monaghan enjoys teasing the fandom and/or Jeremiah will be getting even more Joker-esque in Season 5.

It already looks like he’ll be getting a Gotham version of Harley Quinn in the form of what seems to be Ecco with a whole new look of her own, and the Season 4 finale included a couple of twists that were pure Killing Joke. Was all of this leading up to Jeremiah’s final transformation into The Joker as DC Comics fans have come to know, love, and despise him? It would certainly go with my theory that Jeremiah is going to pull a Jason Todd on one of the people closest to Bruce.

Footage of Season 5 that we’ve seen so far points toward Jeremiah having a notable impact on No Man’s Land, although it’s difficult to say at this point if he’ll mostly interact with one group of heroes or the other. It has been confirmed that Bane is going to do some serious damage to one of the good guys, and he’s a former ally of Jim’s. The mysterious new villainess seemed primed to mostly interact with Jim as well. Will Season 5 Jeremiah be primarily Bruce’s antagonist?

We’ll have to wait and see. The upside of Season 5 as Gotham‘s final is that we’ll get to see the origin stories of these legendary DC Comics characters culminate, with Bruce becoming Batman and longstanding questions hopefully being answered. My fingers are crossed for Batgirl to be conceived somehow or a baby Dick Grayson to turn up, but only time will tell. Gotham will return for its final season on Thursday, January 3 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. For some additional viewing options, check out our midseason TV premiere guide.

Meek Mill Drops A Victorious New Video As Championships Debuts At No. 1

Against all odds, the wins keep coming for Meek Mill.

The Philly native’s new album and first post-prison LP, Championships, has debuted at No. 1, Billboard reported on Monday (December 10). It marks the rapper’s second chart-topper, following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money. On top of that, Meek has also notched his first top 10 single, as the Drake-featuring “Going Bad” debuted at No. 6 on the Hot 100 chart.

As if that weren’t exciting enough, Meek doubled down on Monday’s celebratory news by dropping a video for “Intro.” The epic album opener — which samples Phil Collins’s classic “In The Air Tonight” — comes to life in the Kid Art-directed visual, as Meek sets the tone for his triumphant comeback. “We in the championship. We was down 3-1,” he says at the jump, making it clear that he’s overcome the odds. Of course, he didn’t rise from the trenches alone, and his loyal Dreamchasers crew gets plenty of screen time as well, as they revel in their freedom and celebrate their wins.

Taking to Instagram on Monday night, Meek shared a short video celebrating his chart-topping release. The caption: a simple but effective string of trophy emojis. What more is there to say?!