The Last Word: Another Michael Jackson Lawsuit, Eddie Griffin's Bounced Check, and Nicole Richie As a Rapper?
Whats 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
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 Mothers Day!
Once again, its time for the Last Word for the week ending
May 8, 2009.
1. Michael Jackson Catches Lawsuits from Publicist and Thriller
Michael Jacksons past is starting to catch up to him.
Again. This time its 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 hasnt been paid
royalties from the influential video.
The only thing with this is that Ola isnt sure exactly how
much she's owed, according to TMZ, which stated that the video vixens
accountants "will figure that
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 attorneys fees over claims the singer didnt 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 Jacksons 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, theres no beef
"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 Saldanas mom continued to guide her
daughter as she had her own unique way of helping the actress get into her new
"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
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 Sayeghs lawsuit against Griffin and Jamaica 360 for the
money to pay the bill.
Although the deck seems to be stacked against Griffin, the
comedians lawyer is sticking up for his client by saying "Eddie is
denying all allegations."
4. Nicole Richie Recalls Past Rap Star Aspirations
As Paris Hiltons former BFF and Joel Maddens baby mama, its
safe to say that Nicole Richie has found a more quiet life away from the
Hollywood party spotlight. But would you believe that Lionels 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, Americas Next Big Rapper.
But who knows what wouldve happened. Maybe Paris couldve 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 its 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
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
Halle isnt 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 2003s. 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.
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 hes garnered fans for his portrayal of The
Haitian on NBCs 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 hes 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
* Hows this for job security? A single episode hasnt aired
yet and Fox has already ordered a second season of the Family Guy spinoff
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 seasons
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 moguls recording studio in Atlanta.
* She may have canceled her big comeback concert, but
Rihannas 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, Rihannas 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