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Steven Bochco, the beloved television show creator and producer who won 10 Emmy Awards over the course of an illustrious career, has passed away.
He was 74 years old.
Although the exact cause of death has not been confirmed, Bochco suffered from leukemia, having received a stem cell transplant from an anonymous 23-year-old in late 2014.
A family spokesperson confirmed this sad piece of news on Sunday night.
“Steven fought cancer with strength, courage, grace and his unsurpassed sense of humor,” Phillip Arnold said, adding:
“He died peacefully in his sleep [at home] with his family close by.”
It’s possible that you had never heard of Steven Bochco before this, but, if you’re a fan of the small screen, it’s inconceivable that you have not heard of his work.
The producer was behind such all-time hits as Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue and Doogie Howser M.D.
Bochco was known for taking creative risks and pushing the proverbial envelope of what was accepted on television.
Take the show Cop Rock, for example, which was an actual musical set inside a police station.
Or Murder One, which followed a single murder case over an entire season.
Or the aforementioned NYPD Blue, which created quite the controversy for ABC back in the 1990s due to its mixture of violence, crude language and nudity.
(The drama went on to win 20 Emmys.)
Once asked how he could be so bold about taking chances with the shows he developed, Bochco referenced a then-unprecedented 10-series contract he had signed with ABC and replied:
“With my deal, how could I not?”
In 1999, the Producers Guild of America honored Bochco with its David Susskind lifetime achievement award, describing his record of quality programs as “the standard all television producers strive for.”
Today, many showrunners credit Bochco as an influence, believing that the ongoing era of “Peak TV” would have been impossible to achieve without him.
“Steven Bochco sat with Jake Kasdan and myself before we started Freaks and Geeks and let us grill him for advice,” Tweeted Judd Apatow in response to this news.
“We used all of it. He was a great man and will forever be an inspiration.”
Many other giants in the TV industry also passed along their thoughts on Twitter:
Added former USA Today TV critic Robert Bianco:
“If this is the Golden Age of television, Steven Bochco launched it and helped sustain it. Every great modern drama owes Hill Street a debt.
Bochco’s survivors include sister Joanna Frank, who portrayed Sheila Brackman, the wife of Douglas Brackman Jr. (her real-life husband Alan Rachins), on L.A. Law… his wife of 17 years, Dayna… kids Jesse, Sean and Melissa… and grandchildren Wes and Stevie Rae.
Our thoughts go out to his family members, friends and loved ones.
May Steven Bochco rest in peace.
Steven Bochco, one of the most prolific creators of TV ever, has died … TMZ has learned. Sources connected to the family tell us, the “Hill Street Blues” creator died this weekend. He had been battling leukemia for several years and put up…
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Two women accusing Steven Seagal of sexual assault will speak publicly about the alleged incidents … and TMZ will be streaming it live. The women will appear with their attorney, Lisa Bloom, at a news conference at her San Fernando Valley law…
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As more women courageously come forward and share their #MeToo stories, some once-beloved men have been unmasked as sex monsters.
And then there’s Steven Seagal, whom no one has ever liked. Seagal’s been accused by Portia de Rossi and others of gross sexual harassment and misconduct.
Now he is accused of rape.
Recently, we have heard some deeply alarming stories about Steven Seagal.
Lisa Guerrero spoke of her harrowing encounter with Seagal back in the ’90s. She describes having been invited to his house, but she insisted that the casting director accompany her.
As uncomfortable as she felt while he appeared to wear only a robe while sitting, as if on a throne, in his living room, she can’t help but wonder how much worse the experience might have been had it only been the two of them.
And then Portia de Rossi shared her horrible experience with him, also at his home, where a professional meeting went from bad to worse when Seagal allegedly “unzipped” in front of her.
Dutch model Faviola Dadis revealed that she was lured under the guise of an audition to a hotel room, where Seagal allegedly began folding her breasts and crotch and where she describes his security team as having blocked her until she began making noise in an effort to get help.
Among the several woman to accuse Steven Seagal of being a sex monster is 43-year-old model, Regina Simons.
But she’s not talking about a narrow escape or being groped. She accuses Steven Seagal of rape.
Regina worked as an extra on the 1994 film, On Deadly Ground.
At the time, she was only 18 years old, and was a shy girl from a conservative Mormon background.
The experience with Steven Seagal that she bravely describes to The Wrap is one that no one should ever have had to endure.
She says that she was invited to the “wrap party” at Steven Seagal’s house, weeks after she filmed her scene. When she arrived, she was the only guest.
“I asked him where is everyone and he said that they had already left.”
And that, she describes, is when things went from weird to awful.
“He took me into this room and then just closed the door and started kissing me.”
“He then took my clothes off and before I knew it he was on top of me, raping me…”
That is as bad as it gets.
“I wasn’t sexually active yet.”
In case anyone is ignorant enough to ask why she didn’t try to fight off the man three times her size, she describes her experience in chilling detail.
“People always talk about fight-or-flight. But no one talks about the freeze.”
Freezing up is a normal preservation instinct! No sudden movements to flee or to fight can often reduce your chances of getting murdered.
“The only way I’m able to describe it is I literally felt like I left my body.”
That is classic dissociation. Do you ever just “go somewhere else” to avoid laughing or crying in socially inappropriate situations? Well, trauma survivors frequently dissociate during and then, later, after traumatic events. It’s a coping mechanism.
“I think because of the situation I was completely caught off guard. Tears were coming down my face and I know that it hurt. He was three times my size.”
“I was crying when he was on top of me.”
It’s taken her a long time to come forward.
“Even now, my 43-year-old mind knows how to process this and understand what a loving relationship is and what consensual sex is. And there was none of that.”
She’s now a mother. Thinking back, though, she recalls making a beeline for the door as soon as she perceived that it was safe for her to go.
“All I remember is him asking me if I needed any money.”
“I shook my head and ran towards my car. I cried the whole way home.”
She’s reported this to the LAPD, and she’s not the only one. We won’t hold our breath for anyone to actually be held accountable, though.
Former My 600 Lb Life has alarmed fans in recent months with his naked videos and strange, inexplicable behavior.
Now, in the video that you can see below, he's singing "Santa Baby" while wearing nothing but Christmas lights.
Is this an issue with substance abuse and mental health, or is it a ploy for attention and money. Or, as some fans fear, is it both?
Usually, social media is a wonderful tool, especially when it comes to keeping up with the lives of low-level celebrities who'd otherwise slip below the radar.
Following contestants or reality stars after they leave their shows, however, isn't always a carousel of Instagrammed meals and puppy videos with the occasional plug for somebody's weight loss tea that definitely doesn't work.
Sometimes social media access means that you watch a troubled contestant spiral out of control, with no one around to help them.
Case in point: former My 600 Lb Life contestant Steven John Assanti.
His recent behavior is erratic and worrisome.
Steven John Assanti is one of the most controversial figures to have appeared on My 600 Lb Life.
In fact, because he continued to (allegedly) abuse drugs, he ended up being released from the program that might have transformed his body — and life.
Assanti had seemed to mellow since then. For a while, during 2017, he was making encouraging posts for new contestants who were trying to lose weight.
He had also announced that he didn't resent Dr. Now for shaming him for his body in front of a mirror, saying that it was "not fat-shaming" and calling the experience a "wake-up call."
In late 2017, that changed.
Assanti has begun to, simply put, behave in a manner that appears to be an attempt at "shock value."
In various videos, some of which have gone viral in the worst ways, he has appeared naked. While we're not body-shaming him, it appears that he's attempting to bait his haters … for reasons that we can only guess.
In one video, he sits naked on a toilet, caresses his body, and chants: "sitting on the toilet," interspersed with humming.
In another, in which he's actually wearing clothing, he allegedly admits to "hospital shopping" for pain pills.
And, in the video that you can see below, he dances naked while covered in Christmas lights while singing "Santa Baby."
Commenters range from concern to condemnation.
"You really need to lay off the drugs, dude."
"Purely out of morbid curiosity, I watched the video…..my heart breaks for you, Steven. It is glaringly obvious you are in desperate need of help. I hope you get it."
"This guy has been given so much help and so many opportunities to get better and lose weight and deal with his mental and drug issues…… but he is an egotistical and self obsessed human who doesn't want the help."
"Yup still waiting for the day he flashes his tiny peepee and gets banned from facebook. We're getting close folks."
"This guy was on the extreme weight loss documentary and he was the biggest asshole I've ever seen. I've never seen someone who has been offered so much help and tossed it away like he did. I have zero sympathy for this guy at all."
Assanti's behavior is alarming.
But is he losing his mind? Or is there a method to his apparent madness?
Facebook videos can be monetized, just like YouTube videos. In fact, the process works very similarly.
The video that you're going to see below has more than 200,000 views. The toilet video? Has more than 5 million.
By trolling in this manner, is he just working to rack up ad revenue? Maybe.
But we're concerned for his well being, regardless. Assanti's long-awaited Where Are They Now? airs tonight at 8pm on TLC.