Whitney Houston Heirs May not See a Dime; Estate Racked by Millions in Debt

2 Mar

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If Whitney Houston’s heirs are counting on royalties from her record company Sony, they may soon feel like paupers.

On Wednesday, music-industry blogger Wayne Rosso quoted a label executive “familiar with Sony’s accounting” who said the late singer’s estate probably won’t see any royalty checks from her record label “in our lifetime” — and maybe longer — thanks in part to the number of advances and loans she took from the $100 million deal she cut with Sony Music in 2001.

On Wednesday, Rosso, an outspoken veteran of the music business who has consulted for CBS, Island, MCA, Arista and RCA Records, to name just a few labels, posted a report in his Wayne’s World blog titled, “Whitney to Sony: I Will Always Owe You.”

In it, Rosso estimated that Houston would have to posthumously sell more than 5 million albums “to repay her advances and start to get royalty checks. ”

Although sales of Houston’s music has seen a significant sales bump since her untimely death on Feb. 11, the eve of the Grammys, Rosso estimates that her greatest-hits album would have to occupy the No. 1 slot on the Billboard charts for the next six months to hit the goal.

In today’s fickle culture, Rosso’s source notes, “That ain’t going to happen.”

Rosso also writes that on top of the advances Houston took from her 2002 deal, the “How Will I Know” singer “consistently took out loans from the label” with her guardian angel “ Clive Davis ’ assistance.”

The blogger adds that the “last big loan was reportedly from Clive for $1.2 million, though everyone knows it came from Sony and not from Clive.”

A spokeswoman for Sony-owned RCA Records, which was Houston’s label, declined to comment.

Houston’s spokeswoman Jill Fritzo did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.

Rosso also quotes an insider who points out that Houston’s estate may face an even bigger problem in the long term: “They don’t have a smart guy like” the co-executor of Michael Jackson’s estate, John Branca , “who would have marched into Sony the day after Whitney died and renegotiated the deal,” said the source.

Rosso also quotes another Houston “loyalist” who notes that there’s been no real industry professional to look after Houston’s career and business opportunities since she broke with her manager, father John Houston, who died in 2003. (His company had negotiated her $100 million deal.)

In January, Radaronline quoted a source as saying Houston was essentially broke. “Whitney’s fortune is gone,” said a source close to the singer. “Music-industry heavy hitters are supporting her and her label is fronting her cash against her next album.” The source added: “She might be homeless if not for people saving her.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/whitney-houston-estate-yield-heirs-money-a-long-time-huge-debt-article-1.1030954#ixzz1nxberoGz

Ex-Tarzan Actor Arrested, Tigers Taken

1 Mar


The actor who played Tarzan in several films has been arrested in Florida after state wildlife officers seized two tigers and a leopard from his home.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers said actor Steve Sipek did not have the necessary permits to keep the exotic animals, according to a Florida  television station WPBF.

Sipek said he feels he’s being targeted by wildlife officials.

He said he’s being treated “like I’m a criminal,” even though he said he’s paid his insurance so as not to break the law.

“I have an animal that needs help right now,” Sipek told WPBF. “She needs medication twice a day and they took her away from me now. Who’s going to take care of her now? Who? Who’s going to do it?”

Authorities said there had been repeated failure to correct violations, including multiple bites and escapes, fencing and caging deficiencies, and feeding animals an improper diet.  The animals were taken to a sanctuary in central Florida.

Sipek starred as the title character in several Tarzan movies through 1972. He made headlines in 2004 after one of his tigers escaped from his property and was shot to death.

This is what he used to look like….

Chris Brown arrest warrant: Robbery by snatching could land singer in jail

28 Feb

Police in Miami are preparing an arrest warrant for Chris Brown. The singer was leaving a Miami nightclub on Sunday when he allegedly snatched a woman’s $500 white iPhone out of her hand and drove away with it.

According to the report, posted here by E!Online, Christal Spann, a fan of Brown’s, saw Brown and artist Tyga outside Cameo club on Sunday night. She took a picture of him with her phone while he was getting into his car — not an uncommon occurrence when a person with a camera phone spots a high-profile celebrity.

Brown wasn’t having it, though. According to the police report, he shouted, “B****, you ain’t putting that on no website,” grabbed her phone, rolled up his window… and drove away with it. The Florida State Attorney’s Office is issuing a warrant for Brown’s arrest for suspicion of “robbery by sudden snatching.”

Brown, of course, is still on probation after beating then-girlfriend (and current collaborator) Rihanna three years ago. A five-year probation was part of his sentence for felony assault. If he’s convicted of robbery, he would be in violation of his probation and could possibly serve significant jail time.

Rapper Jim Jones Arrested By Police After Fight At Casino

27 Feb

Jim Jones was involved in a fight outside of a Connecticut casino that ended when police intervened and arrested The Capo. Apparently five officers weren’t enough to intimidate Jones who allegedly resisted arrest until police subdued the rapper with pepper spray.

Jim Jones was on his way out from a party hosted by Diddy at the MGM Grand in Foxwoods when a man, who remains unnamed, approached the rapper. The man, who may have been intoxicated, wasn’t a fan of Jones and apparently began harassing him, and the rapper managed to ignore the individual until the man became violent and clocked Jim Jones in the face.

Jones claims he was only trying to protect himself when he responded to the attack in kind, and the scuffle soon turned into a brawl after the crews of the two men entered the fray. Police soon arrived on the scene and attempted to put down the fight, but found the fight had grown out of control and say they had to use force to subdue those involved.

Jim Jones was among those arrested and the rapper was later released on bond. The rapper has yet to comment on the event but, according to TMZ, police charged him with disturbing the police. Whether or not the individual who allegedly initiated the scuffle was charged remains to be seen.

Source: http://thisbeatgoes.com/hip-hop-news/rapper-jim-jones-arrested-by-police-after-fight-at-casino/

Lindsay Lohan in ‘home stretch’ of her probation, judge says

23 Feb

A new path may be in store for actress, drug scandaled Lindsay Lohan.
She’s almost done with probation!
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Lindsay Lohan had another positive day in court Wednesday, with Judge Stephanie Sautner saying she’s in the “home stretch” of court supervised criminal probation.

Lohan has 14 days of community service — that’s morgue duty — and five more therapy sessions to complete before March 29, the target date the judge laid out when she finally sentenced the actress to “structure” (plus a little jail time) back in November. Rather than dumping a lump sum of probation duties on Lohan as had been done in the past, Sautner laid out a structured path to be completed in monthly increments.

It seems to be working.

“Miss Lohan, you’re in the home stretch,” Sautner told Lohan at the Airport Courthouse, where she’d shown up with attorney Shawn Chapman Holley for a probation progress check, L.A. Now reported. “You seem to be getting your life back on track.”

Lohan was to fulfill her community service and therapy requirements in regular monthly chunks, the judge decided in November.

If everything’s completed by the next hearing, March 29, the remnants of Lohan’s 2007 DUI convictions will “go bye-bye,” the judge said Wednesday, and her probation for misdemeanor theft in 2011 will be converted to summary probation, in which she doesn’t have to meet with a probation officer. She’d still have to avoid breaking any laws, however.

AEG dropped from negligence lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson’s father

22 Feb

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The promoters of what was to be Michael Jackson’s 2009 comeback tour won a round in court today when a judge granted a motion to dismiss the company from a lawsuit filed by the singer’s father.

“This was a major victory,” AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam said of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos’ ruling.

The decision leaves Jackson’s former physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, and Applied Pharmacy Services in Las Vegas as the remaining defendants.

Joe Jackson’s attorney, Maureen Jaroscak, downplayed the significance of the ruling, saying it was only a temporary setback. She said her client is a “nominal party” in a separate case filed against AEG Live by his wife, Katherine Jackson, but that he was never served with it. Jaroscak said Joe Jackson could now file an answer to his wife’s complaint and become a party to the case.

Joe Jackson alleged AEG Live was negligent in hiring Murray. He also alleges Applied Pharmacy Services sold Murray propofol the month before the singer’s June 25, 2009, death at age 50.
Lawyers for AEG have denied any wrongdoing by their client, which organized the sold-out London concert tour for which the entertainer was preparing in Los Angeles when he died.
Murray was convicted Nov. 7 of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death and sentenced to four years in prison.

Attorneys for AEG Live questioned in court papers whether 83-year-old Joe Jackson is a lawful heir to the King of Pop under the state’s wrongful death statute, noting that Joe Jackson said in interviews that his son never supported him financially.
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The singer was frank about his relationship with his father, the AEG Live court papers stated.
“At the time Michael Jackson died, (his father) was estranged from his son, who repeatedly and publicly accused him of physical and other abuse,” according to the AEG Live court papers.
But the lawyers said that, even if Joe Jackson could show he was an heir, he should have included his claims within the negligence case against AEG Live brought in September 2010 by Katherine Jackson two months before he filed his own case.

“The law is well-established that all plaintiffs must join together in a single wrongful death action against any given defendant,” the AEG Live court papers stated. “AEG Live will not speculate as to why (Joe Jackson) was not joined in, and did not seek to join, Mrs. Jackson’s lawsuit.”

Joe Jackson could still try and become a party to his wife’s case, the AEG Live court papers stated. If he can prove that Katherine Jackson’s lawyers improperly left him out of her case, he can ask for damages against her, according to the AEG Live court papers.

In her nine-page ruling, Palazuelos agreed with Putnam that there should be only one wrongful death action and not two.

“Allowing Joseph Jackson to continue with his subsequent suit against AEG Live, alleging the same wrongful death claims as the related case, would contravene the purpose of the one-action rule,” Palazuelos wrote. “Indeed, plaintiff’s interpretation of the one-action rule would allow the heirs of a decedent to file as many suits as there are heirs.”

The judge reiterated her position during the hearing.

“I don’t think there’s any way around this,” she said. “You can’t maintain a concurrent action.”
Palazuelos scheduled trial of Joseph Jackson’s suit for Jan. 28 next year. Palazuelos also is managing Katherine Jackson’s case, which is set for trial Sept. 10.

Katherine Jackson alleges in her suit that AEG Live is responsible for medical decisions made by Murray.

Source: LA.com

Diddy and Magic Johnson Get their Own TV Networks

22 Feb

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Two high net worth entertainment moguls struck a deal that will undoubtedly make the richer.

Comcast Corp. announced Tuesday that it would start carrying four new minority-owned networks – in partial fulfillment of a deal with regulators and minority groups that paved the way for the Philadelphia company to take over NBCUniversal last year.

The channels, backed by NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, superstar entertainer Sean “Diddy” Combs, and others, are scheduled to launch broadly on Comcast Cable systems between April and January 2014, Comcast said.

“I salute them for keeping their word,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of three African American leaders to sign an agreement on a wide range of minority issues with Comcast in December 2010. “I think they are living up to the memorandum of understanding,” Sharpton said in an interview Tuesday.

Comcast received more than 100 proposals, about 80 in the African American category and about 20 in the Hispanic American category, far more than expected, said David Jensen, Comcast vice president for content acquisition.

“What it really showed us is the tremendous pent-up demand . . . for programming shelf space,” from African Americans and Hispanic Americans, Jensen said. “These are two really underserved demographics.”

The company did not disclose a time frame for the networks’ launches to digital-basic customers in the Philadelphia market.

Comcast regularly comes under pressure to expand its cable lineup. Last week, 40 demonstrators descended on its headquarters to demand that it add Al-Jazeera English (AJE).

When Comcast took control of NBCUniversal in a $30 billion deal, it agreed to launch 10 new independently owned and operated networks over eight years, including four majority-owned by African Americans, two majority-owned by Latino Americans, two operated by American Latino programmers, and two that will provide additional independent programming.

The agreements called for Comcast, the nation’s largest cable firm with 22.3 million subscribers, to launch two African American channels and one Hispanic American channel starting this year.

Aspire, led by Magic Johnson, will have family programming and is scheduled to launch by this summer. The channel, based in Atlanta, is a partnership with family-friendly GMC TV. Johnson said in a news release that the new network would appeal to all generations.

Revolt, a music and news channel backed by Combs, also known as Diddy and P. Diddy, and former MTV programming chief Andy Shuon, is expected to launch next year. In its challenge to MTV and BET, Revolt is designed to incorporate the speed of social networking.

Source: Philly.com

Singer, Akon Sued Over $51k Construction Bill

21 Feb

Akon, akon with white background, akon shirtlessAkon is up to his neck in $51,000 of construction bills on his Georgia mansion … and he still hasn’t paid up — this according to a new lawsuit filed by a local contracting company.

According to celebrity gossip site, TMZ, Southern Electric filed the lawsuit against Akon in Georgia Superior Court, claiming it completed over $344,000 of work on Akon’s place — electric work, framing, molding — but he refused to pay $51,941 on their final invoice.

According to the legal documents filed, Southern Electric contacted Akon’s mommy last November … not just to tattle, but because his mother was acting as his agent in the deal … but still, S.E. has not received a dime.

They’re now suing for breach of contract for the amount allegedly owed, plus interest.

FYI — Akon’s Georgia palace is a two-story four-bedroom, eight-bath model that he reportedly paid 1.65 million dollars for.

Prosecutors seek to delay sentencing of rapper B.G.

21 Feb

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Federal prosecutors are seeking to delay the sentencing date of a New Orleans hip-hop star convicted on weapon and witness tampering charges. Christopher Dorsey, 31, who raps under the moniker B.G. or Baby Gangsta and was a member of the rap supergroup the Hot Boyspleaded guilty in December and was scheduled to be sentenced March 14.

B.G.‘s attorney explained that his client, whom he calls Christopher Dorsey, makes use of artistic license. He said Dorsey has a certain appearance and style he must maintain as a rapper.

Prosecutors with U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office are now requesting to push that date back.

A pre-sentencing report written by probation officers recommends that Dorsey receive a sentence of 100 to 125 months, roughly eight to 10 years in prison, according to court filings.

Prosecutors, in the filing requesting a delay, signal they are objecting to the sentencing guidelines.

Prosecutors noted that Letten’s office has received information about Dorsey from fellow federal prosecutors in Illinois. The filing does detail what the information is.

U.S. District Court Judge Ginger Berrigan has not yet ruled on the prosecutors’ motion, according to court records.

Dorsey was arrested with two other men in November 2009 for allegedly possessing three weapons, along with loaded magazines and two extended clips, while driving in eastern New Orleans. New Orleans police said two of the three guns had been reported stolen and the car itself had been stolen from an Alamo rental car parking lot.

The case was later moved from state court to the federal system and resulted in federal indictments last year of Dorsey’s associates: Demounde Pollard, 19, and Jerod Fedison, 29.

Both pleaded guilty, paving the way for the charges against Dorsey.

In December, Dorsey pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and witness tampering. But prosecutors made clear there is no plea agreement or deal in place. The rapper’s songs and videos have underscored the “no snitch” mantra. He even highlighted aspects of the case against him in some of his songs.

Source: Nola.com

Former Manager Sues Rap Duo, New Boyz

20 Feb

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The former managers of rap duo New Boyz say the rappers owe $100,000 for breaching a management contract.

According to EntLawDigest, Introspect Entertainment entered into a management contract with rappers New Boyz in February 2011, and under the terms of the contract, the company was required to manage the rappers until their second album was completed and promoted.

But, New Boyz allegedly tried to end the management agreement before the second album was finished, and refused to pay Introspect money it is owed.

Introspect claims it has lost $100,000 from the breach.

The company sued in Los Angeles Superior Court for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and a judgment declaring that New Boyz owes past and future commissions. Introspect is represented by Hayes Michel of Baker & Hostetler.

Source: Entlawdigest

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