The Last Word: Another Michael Jackson Lawsuit, Eddie Griffin’s Bounced Check, and Nicole Richie As a Rapper?

What’s the word good people?  The week is gone and the weekend calls. And all we have to

show for it is LeBron getting MVP honors, Connie Culp, the first face

transplant recipient, making her first appearance since her groundbreaking

surgery and Miss California still caught up in scandal with semi-nude pictures

surfacing.

 

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of comedian Dom

DeLuise, who died Monday. Shout out to Damien and his wife, Hope, who

celebrated their third wedding anniversary this week as well as my mother,

grandmother and all the mothers out there who will be receiving a lot of love

on Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Once again, it’s time for…the Last Word for the week ending

May 8, 2009.

 

1. Michael Jackson Catches Lawsuits from Publicist and Thriller

Video Vixen

 

Michael Jackson’s past is starting to catch up to him.

Again. This time it’s his Thriller video

co-star Ola Ray who wants a piece of the King of Pop.

 

Ray’s attorney tells TMZ.com that the former Playboy playmate is suing Jackson and his production company

for breach of contract. The suit stems from claims that Ray hasn’t been paid

royalties from the influential video.

 

The only thing with this is that Ola isn’t sure exactly how

much she’s owed, according to TMZ, which stated that the video vixen’s

accountants  “will figure that

out. “

 

And to make it even more a stellar week, Michael gets

another lawsuit thrown at them. This time from his publicist. The Associated

Press reports that Raymone Bain is suing

Jackson for $44 million plus attorney’s fees over claims the singer didn’t pay

her for negotiating the release of his Thriller 25th anniversary CD, refinancing his loan to keep the

Beatles’ song catalog, and negotiations that led to Jackson’s upcoming sold-out

concert series in London.

 

Overall, Bain worked more than five years for Jackson, who

appointed her as his personal general manager as well as the head of the

Michael Jackson Co. Inc. after two years of employment. To add to the

situation, Bain claims that she also did a lot more things for Michael such as

arranging his housing, paying his bills, saving him from foreclosure making

sure he eats everything on his plate and doing his business properly in the

bathroom. OK I made up the last two, but still if you ask Bain, there’s no beef

at all.

 

“Despite the action I have been compelled to take for

professional and business reasons, when looking back, I have no regrets,”

Bain said in a statement issued Wednesday (May 6). “Michael Jackson, in my

opinion, is the ‘King of Pop.'”

 

So let me get this straight. You work for the man five years

and after two years, you get promoted. In this day and age, the first thing

most people ask about is the pay as soon as the promotion is given. The big

question is how long do you work for free?

 

2. Zoe Saldana Gets Acting Tips From Mom

 

Looks like mother and daughter have bridged the generation

gap. At least when it comes to the new Star Trek movie for Zoe Saldana, who is on her way to a big payday as well as

being the apple of many a Trekkie eye.

 

All this for someone who was hesitant to take the role

Nichelle Nichols made famous.

 

Thank goodness for mom, who persuaded her daughter to sign

on for the prequel.

 

“My mom was absolutely ecstatic when I got the role.

But when director JJ Abrams offered it I was sort of afraid of saying yes,”

Saldana told WENN. “My mother was like, ‘Zoe, are you crazy? It’s Uhura!’ She

was like, ‘Oh my God – you have to do it!'”

 

Needless to say Saldana’s mom continued to guide her

daughter as she had her own unique way of helping the actress get into her new

role.

 

“She read the script and she’d call and leave these

funny voicemails,” Saldana said. “She’d say, ‘Zoe, it’s Mommy. For this scene,

Uhura is concerned. Please play her hard.’ She was the best acting coach, I was

like, ‘Thank you, Uhura expert.'”

 

And with that comes the end of another episode of Mother

Knows Best.

 

3. Eddie Griffin Catches Flack for Alleged Bounced Check

 

This week has not been good for Eddie Griffin, who is the

latest celebrity at the center of a new lawsuit. According to TMZ the comedian

is coming under fire over a bounced check he wrote for $150,000.

 

Griffin presented the check to Jamaica 360, a program that

sends 100 African American college graduates on a career building vacation to

Jamaica. In the suit, Samir Sayegh claims that he was tricked into lending

Griffin his credit card to cover a hotel bill while they were in Jamaica.

Instead of paying the bill, the suit states that the entertainer took the card

and secretly made a $150,000 charge to the main developer of J-360.

 

Two weeks later, the charge was found on an American Express

bill Sayegh got. As a result, American Express is suing Sayegh for the $150,000

charge. Thus creating Sayegh’s lawsuit against Griffin and Jamaica 360 for the

money to pay the bill.

 

Although the deck seems to be stacked against Griffin, the

comedian’s lawyer is sticking up for his client by saying “Eddie is

denying all allegations.”

 

4. Nicole Richie Recalls Past Rap Star Aspirations

 

As Paris Hilton’s former BFF and Joel Madden’s baby mama, it’s

safe to say that Nicole Richie has found a more quiet life away from the

Hollywood party spotlight. But would you believe that Lionel’s daughter had

dreams of being the next big feMC.

 

“When I was 10 years old, I was in an all girl Hip-Hop/rap

group,” said Richie, who received support from Lionel and his ex-wife Brenda

while perfecting her rhymes and starting an all girl rap group during her

childhood. “Our name? get ready… CAUTION! It was me and my two girlfriends; but

they were 13 so they made me audition. I was soooo excited when I got in!”

 

And while the thought of a group full of pre-teen rappers

may have been cause for jokes, Nicole took it seriously. So much so that she

wanted her parents to co-sign for her as she tried to get a record deal.

 

“All I can think of is the three of us going up to my

mom and singing her our first song. We were dead serious,” Richie wrote on her

website as she recalled part of those early raps the group created. “The rap

lyrics I remember were: Caution! Walking down the street./You better watch out,

and step to the beat/Playing our music from town to town/Rockin’ and Rollin’

were gonna get down!

 

“My poor mom had to sit there with a straight face and

watch us perform,” Nicole continued. “We asked her to find us a manager.”

 

I guess Brenda took heed to the caution spared us the agony

of Nicole, America’s Next Big Rapper.

But who knows what would’ve happened. Maybe Paris could’ve played the Lil Kim

role and added some freakiness/crossover appeal to go with those rhymes

 

5. Halle Berry and Tyrese Ready for Another X-Men, Fast

& Furious Close Up

 

Money issues may have prevented Terrence Howard from getting

in on the Iron Man sequel, but it’s a little different story for Halle Berry,

who is trying to re-up with another run as X-Men heroine Storm. According to reports the actress wants to star in an X-Men

Origins movie.

 

Her fellow mutant co-star Hugh Jackman is enjoying the

success of the first picture in the series, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which became the number one movie at the box office

last week with $87 million pulled in the US.

 

“I think that would be great,” Berry said, as she

thought about the prospect of controlling the weather again in another action

adventure. “Storm deserves her own movie – if I can still fit into the

suit.”

 

Halle isn’t the only one trying to revisit a famous

character and movie franchise. Tyrese Gibson is making it known that he wants

in on the next Fast & Furious film,

despite his decision to not do sequels to the series after starring in 2003’s. 2

Fast 2 Furious. The fourth and latest

chapter in the car racing franchise, Fast & Furious, proved to be a certified blockbuster with $72.5

million made in its opening weekend last month.

 

 “Listen,

love Fast and the Furious, love the

numbers it did, love the cast. If my phone rings for five (the fifth

installment) I’m right there,” Tyrese told Starpulse.com. “They were all

beating the door down to try to get me in four. Would’ve loved to have been a

part of it. Didn’t work out for whatever reason so my phone is wide open for

five and I would love to do it.”

 

Stay tuned….

 

In Other Words…

 

* Although he’s garnered fans for his portrayal of The

Haitian on NBC’s hit show Heroes, Jimmy

Jean-Louis is bringing those noble traits into a real-life opportunity to save

lives. The actor is currently working with the Pan American Development

Foundation for a new charity he’s set up to help an estimated 200,000 child

victims of trafficking, forced labor and exploitation in Haiti.

 

Through the charity, campaign leaders hope to raise

awareness and funds for youth affected by exploitation.

 

“The exploitation of children is a stain on human dignity.

It is within our reach to create a better future for these children,”

Jean-Louis told WENN. “We’re talking about children as young as seven or

eight years old who are the victims of exploitation. They should be riding

bikes and going to school. Instead, they are kept out of school. Some children

are exposed to violence. Others are forced to live in horrendous

conditions.”

 

* How’s this for job security? A single episode hasn’t aired

yet and Fox has already ordered a second season of the Family Guy spinoff

Cleveland.

 

Although the animated series, which stars Seth MacFarlane,

Sanaa Lathan and Nia Long, centers on the Cleveland Brown character from Family

Guy. Although was originally slated to premiere

this spring, Cleveland will debut in the fall of 2010. It had a full season’s

worth of 22 episodes before the additional 13 episodes were added to the mix.

According to The Hollywood Reporter,

the new order of episodes was done keep Cleveland in continuous production and

avoid shutting down and losing talent and crew.

 

* Christina Aguilera is preparing for her close-up as she

prepares to invade movie theaters with her screen debut in the contemporary

musical. Burlesque. Variety reports the

singer will an ambitious smalltown girl with a big voice who finds love, family

and success in a Los Angeles neo-burlesque club.

 

Although Xtina provided her voice for the animated feature Shark

Tale, this marks the first time she has

starred in a film.

 

* Tyler Perry can rest a little easier now as his alleged

stalker, Dawne Wilson, was indicted Tuesday (April 5) on a felony aggravated

stalking charge. TMZ reports that enough evidence is present to go forward with

the case, which will now go to trial. Wilson, who was arraigned Thursday (May

6), allegedly violated an order to stay away from Perry after police found her

at the entertainment mogul’s recording studio in Atlanta.

 

* She may have canceled her big comeback concert, but

Rihanna’s presence is being felt as the R&B/pop diva scored four Urban

Music Award nominations for Best Female Act, Best R&B Act and Artist of the

Year. In addition, Rihanna’s video for her Justin Timberlake assisted hit

“Rehab,” is up for Best Music Video.

 

Other Urban Music Awards nominees include Bobby Valentino,

John Legend, T-Pain and Ludacris, Sean Paul, Shakira and Mary Mary. The 2009

Urban Music Awards, which are voted online by music fans, will be given out on

July 17.

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