Monday June 25, 2018

NBC has canceled Timeless for the 2nd time.

Anthony Bourdain did not have any narcotics in his system at the time of his death, officials said on Friday.

Hannah Gadsby's Netflix special Nannette is the powerful set you will watch this year, and likely for years to come.  I encourage you to watch.  She's brave, brilliant and will stir emotions within you.  I promise.  More below.

Succession on HBO continues to thrive.  Last night was a bit slow paced, but still very much worth your time.

"Nobodies is no more. Viacom-owned TV Land and Paramount Network have canceled the Melissa McCarthy- and Ben Falcone-produced scripted comedy after two seasons. The series was inspired by the real lives of writers Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf and Rachel Ramras (Adult Swim's Mike Tyson's Mysteries), who watched as their friends from the Los Angeles-based improv and sketch comedy troupe The Groundlings went on to star in blockbuster comedies and win Oscars while they toiled away in Hollywood.  Developed by Keith Cox for TV Land, the single-camera comedy earned a second-season renewal ahead of its premiere last year. After bowing on the niche cable network, Nobodies averaged a little more than 400,000 total viewers (with three days of DVR). As part of Viacom's push to create a general entertainment hub in Paramount Network — which is now also overseen by Cox — Nobodies was upgraded to the former Spike TV."  This was actually a very funny and well-done show. I'm sorry to see it go.

"Netflix is letting go of its top communications spokesman. Jonathan Friedland, who's served as the streaming giant's chief communications officer for the past six years, is out at the company after "insensitive" remarks he made to his team. Sources say that Friedland used the N-word in a meeting with other Netflix staffers, some of whom later reported the incident. Per insiders, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings sent a company-wide email explaining Friedland's firing around 12:45 p.m. PT on Friday."

A look back at The Jerry Springer Show, which will end after 27 years.

"The executive producers of MTV’s Busted Live and truTV’s Over The Limit are now focusing on bounty hunters in Bounty Live, a new live weekly reality show, produced by John Stevens and Spike Feresten’s Hangar 56 Media. Co-created and executive produced by Stevens and Feresten, Bounty Live features fugitive recovery agents from across the country chasing fugitives and making arrests. Per the producers, 'The series is launching digitally and will explore network, cable and syndication in the future.' H56 has already begun streaming test shows of the program on Facebook Live and over the next few months will also expand onto Instagram and YouTube, producers say. The bounty hunters will also broadcast additional cases on personal social media as well as during the live weekly show. 'We recently started live camera tests and found a way for the in-studio hosts to communicate with the agents in the field before and after they interact with suspects which takes this genre to a new level and is really compelling to watch,' said Stevens. HybridLight has boarded the project as sponsor."

NCIS star Wilmer Valderrama has signed a new deal with CBS TV Studios to continue as Special Agent Nick Torres on the drama. He also signed a two-year first-look deal between the studio and his WV Entertainment company. Valderrama entered NCIS in the drama’s 14th season, and his contract expired at the end of the latest season. His new deal puts him on the show through a potential 17th season. The deal between CBS and WV Entertainment will cover unscripted and scripted projects with a focus on diversity."

Lala Kent's dad signed off on her marrying that ugly sack she's been dating?

Sometimes plastic surgery can be magical. Just ask Naomie Olindo.

"New York-based North South Productions (Impractical Jokers) has launched a content division geared towards supplying creative and production services for branded content, network promos, and live activations. Good Kicks Media has already produced brand-related work for such clients as Marvel, Progresso, ESPN, and Discovery Networks. In order to fortify the division, Dean Crago, principal of SharpKnife Productions and former executive producer of New York-based post house Reveal 42, is coming on board as head of branded content."

Twin Peaks creator David Lynch says President Donald Trump “could go down as one of the greatest presidents in history because he has disrupted the thing so much."  LMAO.

Things are spiraling out of control for Heather Locklear.


Per Vulture, "[o]ver the course of five seasons of Orphan Black, Tatiana Maslany built a career (and won an Emmy) by playing many different selves. This summer, she’ll shift gears, appearing in Second Stage Theater’s Off Broadway production of Tracy Letts’s Mary Page Marlowe, sharing the title role with five other actresses. It’s the kind of career trajectory that makes you wonder if Maslany is getting typecast in jobs best described with the use of fractions — or perhaps, as she discussed with Vulture over the phone, she’s just interested in women who are never one thing. As Mary Page Marlowe starts performances, and Orphan Black contends for Emmy nominations for its final season, Vulture caught up with Maslany to talk about saying good-bye to her clones, why she was recast on Pose, and why it feels so good to return to theater:

You played so many different characters on Orphan Black. Was it especially hard say good-bye to any of them?
All of them were difficult. I had a very visceral reaction to saying good-bye to Alison, because she’s just such a fun character and so off the wall. The last scene I did as her was this Skype call with Cosima. It’s an emotional scene as it is, but I was already like, “Oh God, this is my last scene.” I couldn’t hold it in. Then my nose started bleeding on camera, gushing. Whatever tension that I carry as Alison just fell out of the front of my face. So we had to stop rolling. It was interesting how your body goes through that thing, because these characters became so part of me, and I became so much part of them.

What did you want to do when the show ended?
I did a movie that my boyfriend [Tom Cullen] directed. Myself and Jay Duplass are the leads in it. We shot it in nine days, it’s called Pink Wall, and it was half-improvised, half-written, and it’s a very simple story told in an unusual way. To me that was a massive challenge, working with my partner. He knows so much about me, and he’s opening up these other sides of me that I’ve never done onscreen before. It’s not necessarily like I was looking to play something new or something like that. It was more like, “What emotional territory haven’t I navigated through yet?”

It’s not externalizing a character like on Orphan Black.
More internal and more nebulous. Orphan Black was a great, amazing playground for me, but we were churning out so much product so quickly, so it’s nice to have ten days to shoot a feature film. It’s a luxury. Any time we can take a little more time with it, I’m very happy.

You were going to be in Pose, and then Ryan Murphy recast the role with Charlayne Woodard. What was it like to go through that?
I mean, I think that show is fucking amazing — sorry.

Don’t worry, you can swear.
Okay, great. It’s fucking … it’s amazing! The recasting makes so much more sense than me in that part. She’s an amazing and powerful woman who just brings a different thing than I would certainly bring. There’s a life experience there that makes so much more sense, and that’s so much more helpful. I was obviously sad to not be part of this incredible piece, but it’s so much more about getting the story told in a way that is true and the most effective that it can be.

Now you’re doing Mary Page Marlowe Off Broadway. You’ve done theater in Canada, but what made you want to come back to it?
You get a Tracy Letts play, you can’t say no to that. His writing is just so unbelievable, and this piece is really interestingly the opposite of Orphan Black in that it’s six of us who are playing the same role. Six actresses play Mary Page Marlowe at different ages, and we explore her life at big pivotal shifts. Even if it’s an innocuous shift, or if it’s something that she doesn’t even necessarily know she’s going through. Tracy has written the internal life of a woman that is so resonant for all of us, and that feels so private and bizarrely intuitive.

Lila Neugebauer, who’s directing it, is somebody who I met very briefly a long time ago, and was so moved by her work and her intelligence. There’s so many factors that were like, “Of course I’m going to do this.” Being onstage is something I haven’t done in seven years, and it’s my absolute happy place. There’s a real connection to the audience, it’s so different than TV or film. It’s my total dream come true. I’m in heaven right now.

To go from playing multiple people to playing a portion of a person, does that change the way you think about performing?
Lila really made such an effort to have us all collaborate on this part together, so bringing our own ideas to each others’ scenes, being in an open-door rehearsal. We could come in to watch the other Mary Pages rehearse. We look at each others’ gestures, we try to vocally warm up together. It’s by no means us doing impressions of each other, it’s all very different, but it opens up that complexity.

Now that you’re no longer on a TV show, are you looking for certain kinds of projects?
Theater, for me right now, I’m like, “This is all I’m going to do.” Then, when I’m on set, I’m like, “This is all I’ll ever do.”

It seems like there’s a common resonance in Mary Page Marlowe and Orphan Black. They’re both about how women live in ways society won’t recognize.
Absolutely. I feel like recently I’ve been drawn to stuff that is about the roles that women play in the world. How those roles betray who we really are, or why those roles are so ingrained in us. Gender and our roles and all that, that’s my shit. I could talk about it all day.

We’re in a really interesting time of storytelling right now, and there’s such a focus on lifting up voices that are new and have a story that we haven’t heard before. I do think it’s still, like, the puberty stage of this movement. It’s slowly making its way into the light a bit more. You do still get offered things that you’re like, “Really, we’re still here?”

“She only has this many lines?”
“She’s nude, always, for the first ten pages?” Of course! Because we’ve got to make sure that we’re sexually attracted to this character first and foremost.

Have you seen any evidence of the #MeToo movement propelling people away from that thinking?
No question. If you didn’t know this was a problem, if you didn’t know that this is what we’ve been dealing with, then at least now people are talking about it and it’s got a name. Being able to say “the #MeToo movement” defines it in a way that is really important. I’m so impressed with and in awe of the women who have come forward, and so grateful to them, because they’re changing this very antiquated system and it’s going to benefit everyone.

Did winning an Emmy for Orphan Black change anything for you?
It was a wild experience. I did not expect it whatsoever and I was very grateful for it. It does open doors for you, those accolades or whatever, they definitely give you a boost. I couldn’t name, like, that’s because of the Emmy win. But I think it was also a cool thing for Clone Club. It was a cool thing for our show to be acknowledged, a show that’s quite small and niche and odd and all of that. Our weird little show, that’s what we called it."


Per Vulture, "[a] year and a half ago, Hannah Gadsby started work on a show that she thought would “seal me off into the margins both as a human and as a performer.” In the show, titled Nanette, she announces she is quitting comedy, rails against the structures of the genre, and unravels stories about her life that involve sexual violence and homophobia — the kind she endured for years growing up in Tasmania, where homosexuality was illegal until 1997. Given that anger, and that specificity, Gadsby never thought the show would become popular, and yet it has, taking her from Australia and the U.K., where she already has more of a following, to New York, where Gadsby will continue to perform at the SoHo Playhouse until June 30, and to Netflix, which releases a taped version of her special today. 'So instead of confirming my isolation, it’s like, what’s that thing? With a debutante?' Gadsby muses over tea in New York. A coming-out party? 'It wasn’t supposed to happen. I didn’t dress up!'

"Those who know Gadsby from her work in the Australian comedy scene, or her appearances on Australian comedy Please Like Me, might recognize the genial, witty, self-deprecating patter that begins Nanette. The title, she explains, comes from a woman she thought would be interesting enough to build an hour of comedy around, until she realized that woman was terribly boring. She’s at odds with a few lesbian fans, who humorlessly give her 'feedback' about her lack of lesbian content. But soon, Gadsby peels the skin back on those kinds of jokes, revealing their gory interior. She talks about how the need to self-deprecate leaves scars upon people at the margins, how condensing a painful story into a set-up and punch line can stop you from metabolizing trauma, and how the excuse of artistic genius allows men to get away with abuse. At times, she abandons jokes, then unleashes fury.

"Nanette is prickly, uncomfortable material, and yet Gadsby has found an audience that relates to “the queer narrative, the gender not-normal narrative, the woman narrative, the isolated small-town narrative. During our interview, a barista recognizes her, gushes over Please Like Me, and offers to send her coffee for her show. 'The only people I don’t reach on a very personal level are straight white men,' Gadsby says. 'They don’t really need another entertainer dedicated for them exclusively, so they’re fine.'

It must be disorienting. You start the show talking about quitting comedy, and yet it is the show that blows up.
There’s several lives that the quitting [part of the set] has had. First it was in the writing process. I was trying to work out ultimately whether some of my stories could be told onstage and made funny. I concluded early in the writing process that they could not be made funny, if told properly, so I decided to then tell them properly and see what that does to a comedy show. I think we found out: It breaks comedy.

I had in the back of my mind that condescending thing a lot of female performers get, which is a “one-woman show.” Blokes always get “stand-up.” It doesn’t matter what blokes do, but as soon as a woman breaks genre, it becomes a monologue. I make it about deconstructing comedy and quitting it, so it can’t be a monologue. I’m talking about comedy. And I’ve got a stool with water on it. That’s comedy!

The special’s quite funny now, but at the start, at the beginning of last year, it was more furious: “Well, I’m quitting!” It’s like throwing a grenade, so it became that. Whenever I really sold it, it went better than if it was just a throwaway line. So I completely sold it, and I sold it to myself. Over the course of my first three weeks of performing it, I really liked the idea of quitting. It felt really freeing.

You can say “I’m fully free of restraints, because this is it.” 
Yeah, I made the decision that I was gonna be happy to get a job in my brother’s fruit and vegetable shop, and I could live with that. I honestly didn’t think this show would do so well. I knew it was gonna be great, for me, but I did not expect it to be received as it was.

Were the first audience reactions surprising to you? 
In the first runs of it I really put the audience in shock. I take much better care of the audience these days. But reallyI was just going, throwing grenades into the audience, and they were stunned and they’d leave. I used to get heckled — really, really horrific heckles, from obviously all men who would just get defensive, angry, whatever, really challenge me. Which really helped reform the show until it was airtight.

The quitting itself went from subversion to tongue-in-cheek to really meaning it to … I can’t mean it. In Australia and the U.K. markets where I already have an existing profile and fan base, it meant a lot more to just really say it and mean it. Whereas here, it seems like no one knows or gives a shit. So it was more of a playful attitude in it.

In the set, you talk about moving away from the structure of set-up and punch line to a three-part structure of a story. Is it hard to work in that format where you don’t immediately relax the audience with a joke?
What’s interesting about this is that my prior one-hour efforts have all been more storytelling, whereas this is fairly joke-heavy. But what’s hardest for me is not breaking the tension. That is my instinct — to just do throwaway punch lines, and it actually feels really counterintuitive up there when I’m just holding people in silence. That was one of the harder things for me to do, as a performer.

The stories you’re telling are about homophobia, assault, and other traumatic experiences. You discuss how it’s damaging to compartmentalize that kind of trauma and turn it into jokes, but I imagine it’s also very hard to go back into that history in full.
I am basically reliving trauma, quite significant trauma, every night. I’ve had psychiatrists and psychologists reach out to me over the course of the 18 months I’ve been touring, saying “Nobody’s done this, we don’t know what you’re possibly doing to yourself.” It’s like an extreme form of CBT, or neurobiological rewiring, or something like that. It’s never easy to perform. It has not gotten easier on the stage. I’ve really upset audiences, and I can feel that. That affects me in turn. I believe that’s just called empathy.

But it has, over the course, gotten easier for me to leave it there. In the first 12 months, I was going home and, you know, rocking myself to sleep. I felt very vulnerable, I felt very unsafe. It felt like a risk every time I stood onstage. That part has gotten easier, and that comes from, just basically, audiences caring. I have had a less and less hostile audience.

I feel like I suddenly connected to the world, and I didn’t understand just how disconnected and isolated I was. The show hints at that — finding myself more and more connected to so many different people and their stories, or who have connected to mine. It’s made me realize just how isolated I felt.

Towards the end of Nanette, after detailing this traumatic experience, you say something that’s essentially “That’s my story, now I’ve shared it with you, and you all have to sit in it.” How did you arrive at that idea?
The end of the show has evolved constantly. The Netflix special is different to the one that I have here. It gets to a certain point in the show and I’m hitting a stride, and I don’t necessarily know what I’ll say. There’s a line in the show where mum says “I’ve raised five kids to be adults with minds of their own” — so that’s what I’m going for with the audience. I just want you to be individuals with minds of your own.

My peers are quite lewd. Comedians I’ve loved and respect and whatnot, do sexual assault [material] too. And … just here, what is this laugh? And I’m just like — I just don’t think [the people in the audience] know that they’re laughing. I just don’t think they’re thinking.

Because the comedians are delivering lines shaped liked jokes? 
It’s got the right rhythm. Also, laughter’s infectious. I myself have been there in the audience. At one of Jim Jefferies’s shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. He’s just hating lesbians — just really, really hating. I’m sitting there, I just felt so unsafe. But I found myself laughing because I was scared. So I wanted to re-create that for straight white men in the crowds.

When you talk about Monica Lewinsky, you say that if comedians had done their job she wouldn’t have been the punch line, Clinton would have. Do you see a responsibility for comedians to figure out who the most deserving target is for a joke ?
The most deserving people are the powerful, and they’re all straight white men. The laughter can really drop out of the room sometimes when I’m doing that set around straight white men.
When I’m doing jokes that I do at the start of the show about lesbians, everyone laughs. It’s fine, it’s fun. I do exactly the same to men, and it’s not. That’s less to do with the men, but also the cultural practice. They’re not used to it.

That’s the way comedy is. Comedy is a man’s art form. It pretty much came from a time, post–World War II really — the 1950s are not really known for the subtle expressions of feminine life. There’s a lot of dick-swinging going on in that time, sort of like destroying modernism and bringing in postmodernism. Stand-up comedy’s come out of that era. It’s born from stand-ups doing jokes between burlesque shows. Then roasts, you know, which are basically misogyny and homophobia all wrapped up in “yo mama” jokes. The whole art form is centered around jerking off, so it’s no surprise that the endgame is Louis C.K.

A joke is a wank. Set-up … [does a jerk-off motion] punch line. Then you’ve got what I’m trying, storytelling. If the only reason to be on stage communicating with people is to tell them a joke and make them laugh, that seems thin for me. That has a place — I don’t think it should stop happening — but for me, I don’t know. I just don’t.

You talk about how for people who aren’t straight white men, people expect a lot of deprecation, joking about yourself, to make everyone comfortable with your presence and difference.
My whole stand-up career, I’ve been explaining myself. I have to justify my weight, I have to justify my gender, I have to justify my incorrect gender expression, I have to justify my sexuality, and I have to justify my small inbred convict colony island, which is all fine. But when you just use jokes, you’ve gotta do so much work to just get to the start. That was getting really infuriating for me, because I have lots of thoughts.

It’s as if you’re trained to to accommodate everyone else.
I think that’s the queer experience, to be honest. Self-deprecation runs right through queer culture. It was seen as a badge of honor. I started to feel like perhaps it was destructive as well. There’s a lot of internalized homophobia, particularly from gays from regional isolated places. It’s that double life, that fear of being found out. I don’t think it’s easy. I don’t think just saying you’re proud undoes the shame. It’s a really complicated and destructive thing that a lot of gay people still are undoing.

You’ll have a few performance dates after Nanette comes out on Netflix. What will come after that?
I’ve only got a few more shows after Netflix comes out. I’m looking forward to not doing anything more. It feels good to have it sealed off in a, you know, a time capsule. Because it is a constantly evolving show.

It’s taken its toll. I don’t recognize my life anymore — in both good and bad ways. I’m a different person. I feel differently in the world. I think it’s gonna take a very long time for me to understand what I’ve done, but I have to stop doing the show in order to understand that. I mean that both from a career, and also in my psychological, um, journey.

The stories about Harvey Weinstein and other men came out as you were performing Nanette …
I wrote this show before #MeToo and Harvey Weinstein. That’s less to do with me being any kind of … It’s because I’m living in the real world as an artist. Not so much in the future.

I wrote something because I suddenly felt the world was unsafe again for me with the gay marriage debate in Australia, with the election, both in Australia and in the U.S. I felt like hatred was coming at me in a way that I hadn’t felt in about ten years. I felt that, as just a little guy. That’s what I was responding to. That sudden feeling of “I don’t feel so safe” when Donald Trump was elected. I thought, “I’m gonna have to learn how to shoot a gun for the apocalypse.”

Are you nervous about the show going online? If you’re in the room you can manage the reaction and energy, but when it’s outside of you, that’s different.
I had to let it go. Anger and hatred are gonna come my way. That’s fine, I think, having had the 18 months of live performance to sort of give me that buffer of I don’t have to take that onboard. I know what the show is. It’s bigger than me. It’s taken on a life of its own. I know that I’ve done something really constructive with it, which is not something I think is so easily known when you’re an artist of any description. I feel very privileged to be able to say, writing a purely selfish show, I’ve accidentally really done something really constructive.

It’s interesting you say constructive, because the show positions itself as so destructive – you say you’re quitting and anti-comedy and breaking apart this thing. But it feels like it arrives at a synthesis of some sort at the end. Does it feel like you found a new path?
I’m also writing a book at the moment. I think this is as much about me drawing a line under quite a traumatic start to life. I feel like that’s it on a personal level. I’m not sure what it means, career-wise, but the shadow of my childhood is really long. I think what this show has done has meant I’ve reached the limit of it.

That’s both frightening and wonderful. But that’s life. One thing I have experienced a great deal of during this tour is grief — sometimes on stage, sometimes after. And I think it’s because I’ve lived life in such isolation, and at times devastating isolation, I don’t have nostalgia. I do within my family, when I was very young, but then there’s just 20 years of darkness and disconnect. If you hear people say “when I was young and silly” it’s just like … [groans] “When I was invisible and dying!” “When I was homeless,” ha!

Part of this [experience of doing the show] has been grief about that — understanding the damage that was done, and it wasn’t right, and there’s not much you can do about it. I don’t feel the weight of that. I feel sadness and grief, but it doesn’t define me."


Per Deadline, "[a]fter halting production in May after Catfish host and executive producer Nev Schulman was accused of sexual misconduct, MTV has resumed production of the reality show after an investigation found the claims to be 'not credible and without merit.'

“'Although we never received a formal complaint, MTV and Critical Content immediately engaged an independent third party investigator,' said MTV in a statement given to Deadline. 'The independent investigator found the allegations made in the YouTube videos to be not credible and without merit.'

"The statement continues, 'Given the results of the investigation, Catfish will resume filming. We take these matters very seriously and are committed to providing a safe working environment.'

"Schulman took to Twitter to celebrate the return of the show and thank the fans. 'Appreciate the support from you and so many others,' he tweeted. 'Excited to get back to work!'

"The allegations surfaced in May after Ayissha Morgan, who appeared on the show three years ago, posted a video claiming that Schulman harassed her during production. Morgan claimed that Schulman pushed her to “reevaluate” her sexuality and sleep with him.

"Schulman denied the allegations saying, 'The behavior described in this video did not happen and I’m fortunate that there are a number of former colleagues who were present during this time period who are willing to speak up with the truth. I have always been transparent about my life and would always take responsibility for my actions – but these claims are false.'

"Catfish follows Schulman and co-host Max Joseph as they uncover the true identities of people’s online love interests. The series is based on the 2010 documentary Catfish, which tracked the deceptive online romance in which Schulman became caught up."


Per The Associated Press, "President Donald Trump's former longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen retweeted a photo of himself with comedian Tom Arnold, who is working on a TV show to hunt down recordings of the president, fueling speculation Friday that Cohen has secret tapes of Trump and is willing to share them.

"Last month, Vice Media announced that Arnold would be featured in a new show called The Hunt for the Trump Tapes and would investigate rumored recordings of the president.

"Arnold told NBC News on Friday that he met with Cohen at the Lowes Regency Hotel in Manhattan and they discussed the new show.

"'We've been on the other side of the table and now we're on the same side,' Arnold told NBC. 'It's on! I hope he (Trump) sees the picture of me and Michael Cohen and it haunts his dreams.'

"Arnold tweeted the photo with Cohen and the caption 'I love New York' on Thursday night and Cohen retweeted it without comment.

"Later Friday, Cohen tweeted that he had a 'chance, public encounter' in the hotel's lobby and that Arnold asked to take a selfie.

"'Not spending the weekend together, did not discuss being on his show nor did we discuss @POTUS. #done #ridiculous,' Cohen tweeted.

"The idea for the show, which is set to air on Viceland later this year, came about after the release of the Access Hollywood tape during the 2016 presidential election, which captured Trump bragging about grabbing women's genitals. In announcing the show last month, Vice said Arnold would 'draw on his high-profile network of celebrity friends, entertainment executives, and crew members he's met over more than 35 years in showbiz to dig for evidence on Trump's most incriminating moments.'

"'I say to Michael: "Guess what? We're taking Trump down together," and he's so tired he's like, "OK," and his wife is like, "OK, (expletive) Trump,"' Arnold told NBC.

"Arnold tweeted Friday to clarify that it was him who said he was teaming with Cohen to 'take down' Trump and that Cohen was not being paid by Vice. Cohen replied, 'Thank you Tom for correcting the record.'

"For more than a decade, Cohen was Trump's personal lawyer and fixer, and he has long been a key power player in the Trump Organization and a fixture in Trump's political life. He regularly threatened lawsuits against those who could pose a challenge to Trump, and a day before the FBI raided his office and hotel room, he tweeted, 'I will always protect my POTUS.'

"Last week, Trump said he hadn't spoken with Cohen 'in a long time' and said, 'He's not my lawyer anymore, but I always liked Michael.'

"Cohen is under investigation by federal officials in New York. His home, office and hotel room were raided by the FBI in April as part of a probe into his business dealings. Investigators are also looking into a $130,000 payment made as part of a confidentiality agreement with porn actress Stormy Daniels, who alleges she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which Trump denies. She is suing both Cohen and Trump in an attempt to invalidate the nondisclosure agreement.

"Daniels' former attorney, Keith Davidson, has sued Cohen and alleges he illegally recorded their telephone calls when Davidson represented Daniels. The lawsuit, filed earlier this month in Los Angeles, provided no proof to substantiate the claims and no details on exactly when the calls were recorded."