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As Jussie Smollett fights criminal charges that he lied to Chicago police about being the victim of an anti-gay, racist attack, his supporters are also working on a broader strategy: Ensuring the 39-year-old emerges from the scandal with his reputation and career intact, whatever the outcome of the trial. The charges against Smollett are low-level felonies and carry a possible sentence of three years in prison, though legal experts say that if convicted he’s most likely to get probation and be ordered to perform community service. The impact on his livelihood could be far more serious. His team has brought supporters before TV cameras to back Smollett, and promoted a film he wrote, directed and produced.

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Activist Bella BAHHS addresses reporters in the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on behalf of actor Jussie Smollett Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Activist Bella BAHHS addresses reporters in the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on behalf of actor Jussie Smollett Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Pop star Justin Bieber has performed to a packed crowd in the Saudi city of Jiddah, singing some of his most popular hits on stage to excited fans. The Sunday night concert took place even as human rights campaigners and activists called on Bieber to cancel his performance over the kingdom’s arrests and crackdown of critics. Bieber's model wife, Hailey Baldwin Bieber, posted a supportive video on Instagram of him on stage with the words: “Go Baby.” The Canadian star was the biggest name performer on stage as part of Saudi Arabia's Grand Prix, which saw Lewis Hamilton win Sunday ahead of the last race of the Formula One season.

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Nearly two decades after earning a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more than four years after his death, rock icon Tom Petty has been awarded a honorary Ph.D. from the University of Florida. The school’s board of trustees unanimously voted to award Thomas Earl Petty a posthumous doctoral degree in music during a Friday meeting. Born and raised in Gainesville, Petty once worked as a groundskeeper at UF as he tried to make it in the music industry, but he was never enrolled. Petty passed away from an accidental drug overdose in October 2017. 

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FILE - In a Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, file photo, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform at KAABOO 2017 at the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds, in San Diego. Nearly two decades after earning a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more than four years after his death, rock icon Petty has been awarded an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Florida, the school’s board of trustees announced Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

 Robert Griffin III is still training to play in the NFL while enjoying his duties as an ESPN college football analyst.  RG3 may have even found a way to be in two places at once. The 2012 AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is an investor in holographic telepresence startup PORTL Inc. The company’s first product, the Epic PORTL Hologram Machine, allows people to beam in from remote locations for human-sized, life-like interactive communication.