‘Willy Wonka’ Actress Denise Nickerson Suffers Stroke, Family Fundraising

The actress who played Violet in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” recently suffered a stroke that’s left her in critical condition … and her family in dire straits. A Facebook group has been started to help support Denise Nickerson, who’s…


‘Willy Wonka’ Actress Denise Nickerson Suffers Stroke, Family Fundraising

The actress who played Violet in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” recently suffered a stroke that’s left her in critical condition … and her family in dire straits. A Facebook group has been started to help support Denise Nickerson, who’s…


Chris Hardwick Accused of Sexual Assault By Actress Chloe Dykstra

You might know Chris Hardwick from the Walking Dead after-show, Talking Dead, or as host of the now-canceled Comedy Central series @Midnight, or simply as an ever-present figure in the corner of the media landscape most closely associated with “nerd culture.”

But Hardwick is trending on Twitter today not because of his work, but because of shocking allegations of abuse from a former girlfriend.

The popular host and creator of Nerdist Industries dated actress Chloe Dykstra for three years, and today, she published a Medium article detailing abuse she suffered at the hands of a man that many believe to be Hardwick.

Dykstra never mentions Hardwick by name, but details about the nature of their relationship and his career make it clear who she’s accusing.

The 29-year-old says that several years ago she began a relationship with a man who was nearly 20 years her senior, and who 

“I was expected to be [sexually] ready for him when he came home from work. Every night, I laid there for him, occasionally in tears,” she writes. 

“He thought the whole idea was funny. To be fair, I did go along with it out of fear of losing him.”

Dykstra goes on to claim that the abuse began just weeks into her relationship with Hardwick and left indelible scars on her psyche. 

“I’m still recovering from being sexually used (not in a super fun way) for three years,” she says.

Dykstra claims that Hardwick manipulated and intimidated her in such way as to ensure she would continue to comply with his sexual demands. 

“’I just want to remind you, the reason my last relationship didn’t work out was because of the lack of sex,’” she recalls him saying.

Dykstra says that even with the progress yielded by the #MeToo movement in recent months, she still expects to be interrogated and harassed on social media.

Chris Hardwick

And sadly, if GamerGate and other recent examples of toxic nerd culture run amok are any indication, she’s not wrong in that assumption:

“It will probably hurt me now too, despite the #MeToo movement. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a ways to go,” Dykstra writes.

Earlier today, Dykstra tweeted a message of gratitude for those who offered support online, writing:

“I quietly posted an article today, unlisted on Medium. It clearly made the rounds. I’m overwhelmed and I want to thank all of you for your support and kind words- they mean so much to me.”

Hardwick married Lydia Hearst in 2016. 

He has yet to respond to Dykstra’s allegations.


Elizabeth Sung Dies; Veteran TV Actress Was 63

Elizabeth Sung, a veteran actress whose three-decade career included stints on such small screen classics as The Sopranos and The Young and the Restless, died on Tuesday.

She was only 63 years old.

The Associated Press confirmed this sad news late Friday, but not provide any additional details.

Sung was likely best known to television fans for her popular run on The Young and the Restless.

From 1994 through 1996, she portrayed Luan Violen Abbott, the owner of the Saigon Shack restaurant, on this beloved CBS soap opera.

The character was married to Jack Abbott, played by Peter Bergman, until her passing.

But if this was considered the highlight of Sung’s career, it was merely one stop among a great many.

Sung had over 90 credits on her resume, starting with a 1988 episode of The Equalizer, according to her IMDb page.

She also appeared in the films Tango & Cash (1989), Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), The Joy Luck Club (1993) and House Under Siege (2010), among other films.

Elizabeth Sung on digest

Sung and Burton covered this old edition of Soap Opera Digest.

In the world of television, Sung guest-starred on nearly too many shows to even list.

Among them: episodes of CSI, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bones, NCIS: Los Angeles, Elementary, Shameless, Mike & Molly, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, House, Crossing Jordan, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, The Night Shift, Flashforward, Passions, ER, Touched by an Angel and Knots Landing.

Sung was born in Hong Kong.

Multiple outlets have confirmed she was fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, having earned a BFA in dance from Julliard.

Moreover, Sung was a member of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and had an MFI in directing from the American Film Institute.


According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sung was a strong supporter of AIDS charities after her older brother died of the disease back in 1985.

Sung is survived by her husband, screenwriter Peter Tulipan.

“SAG-AFTRA is saddened by the loss of soap pioneer, dedicated unionist and #sagaftramember Elizabeth Sung,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement on Twitter.

A handful of celebrities also took to Twitter to mourn her death, such as actor Carl Weathers, who wrote:

RIP Elizabeth Sung. Your lovliness and talent are unmatched. #BePeace.

And Ming-Na Wen:

I was shocked and sadden ro hear about the passing of Elizabeth Sung. #TheJoyLuckClub sisters/family mourn the loss of this lovely, talented lady.

Too soon, too sudden. My heart goes out to Peter, her family & friends. RIP.

We share these same sentiments.

May Elizabeth Sung rest in peace.


Allison Mack: How She Went From Actress to Sex-Slaver and Cultist

Now that Allisom Mack has been arrested along with alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, she is facing at least 15 years behind bars if convicted.

But how did she go from a charismatic young actress to an alleged monster who used blackmail to force women to obey their cult leader?

It didn’t happen overnight.

The Hollywood Reporter describes how Allison Mack went from a bright eyed teen actress to one of the leaders of a sex slave cult infamous for blackmail and branding.

When Mack landed the role of Chloe Sullivan on what would turn out to be the long-running series, Smallville, she moved to Vancouver, where most good television is made.

Unfortunately, she moved alone and had no real friends with her. At the same time, she was anxious about skipping college to pursue her acting career.

So when her costar Kristin Kreuk uninvited her to what was presented as some women’s empowerment classes, 

Mack was apparently already seeking “alternative sources of wisdom.” She believed that she had found it with an organization called Nxivm.

Allison Mack The Hollywood Reporter

12 years before Mack would be arrested shortly after cult leader Keith Raniere, the self-described “Vanguard” already had a harem.

But that wasn’t the side of Nxivm that Mack saw at first. And Kreuk never made it that far into the cult.

Instead, it’s said that Raniere and his inner circle rolled out the red carpet for Mack as part of something that they call “love-bombing.”

Mack was then invited to meet Raniere — something that she would not have expected, and something that would normally have involved investing thousands of additional dollars in classes.

On her blog in 2007, Mack wrote: “The truth is … I am an eternal student, and I am loving all the opportunities I have to grow.”

Growth often means change, and it’s undeniable that Mack went through a stunning transformation during her time with Nxivm.

But … for the worse.

Because once you get past the vague ramblings about empowerment, Nxivm is all about the cult leader … and his harem.

Women like Mack eventually became part of what is called DOS, which stands for Dominus Obsequious Sororium, which means Master Over Slave Women.

That doesn’t get less creepy because it’s Latin, folks.

It also doesn’t help that this alleged sex-cult-within-a-cult has also been referred to as “The Vow.”

These women were branded — prosecutors say without their foreknowledge or consent — with a symbol that turned out to be an amalgam of Mack and Raniere’s initials.

Refusal to follow the orders of a “master,” and particularly Allison Mack, was allegedly answered with physical punishments and with threats to release blackmail materials.

But it took years before Mack attained that status or took on the role of enforcer. She was introduced to that side of Nxivm in stages.

Some of Mack’s former friends believe that she was simply brainwashed and is yet another victim. But it is difficult to make that argument when her initials were branded onto other women’s.

Mack was reportedly the “master” of all of these “slaves,” answering only to Raniere.

If anyone balked at her instructions, she would reportedly berate them.

Mack would reportedly scream at them: “You made a lifetime vow!”

One of THR’s sources says: “Mack was incredibly intimidating, cruel, and punitive.”

If these “slaves” refused her orders, dated other men, left the group, or refused to have sex with Raniere, Mack would apparently threaten to destroy them by releasing their collateral.

“She berated them and told them they were worth nothing, that they were weak and couldn’t uphold their word.”

Initially, it was not Mack’s potential as an enforcer of Raniere’s will over a group of slaves that made her appealing.

It was her charisma and, of course, her status as an actress that made her such a catch for Nxivm.

According to Rick Ross, a self-described cult deprogrammer:

“There were other women who were pretty, but she was the one who was so poised, so good on camera. She was somebody who could really sell it.”

This isn’t just a horrifying story — it is a cautionary tale.