Thursday, February 28, 2013

Latest 'Law & Order: SVU' blends Rihanna / Chris Brown and Natalie Wood scandals

The "Law and Order" franchise often takes something straight out of the news and advertises it as "ripped from the headlines," after modifying the names and dramatic events of the episode. Thus, we come to Wednesday night's episode of "Law and Order: SVU," "Funny Valentine," which seemed to blend two different celebrity stories together.

Because of one little line, this week’s episode of "Law and Order: SVU" made it absolutely clear to anyone who hasn't been living under a pop culture rock since 2009 where the story came from. It was, in fact, sort of a cover of the Rihanna / Chris Brown story, but with a decidedly fatal end, one we hope doesn't turn out to be real.

The names, of course, were changed to protect the innocent. Instead of Rihanna and Chris, we had Mischa and Caleb. The video embedded shows Mischa catching Caleb hugging another woman. Mischa "Caleb, I can't leave you alone for five minutes without you getting trashy."

Caleb doesn't take too kindly to that, and replies with "Who you steppin' to?" followed up by , "Skinny ass ho!" as he slams Mischa's head into the ground and punches her in the face.

Mischa, however, refuses to testify against Caleb. The "SVU" (Special Victims Unit) detectives even say at one point in the episode that "They [Mischa and Caleb] should go on a double date with Chris Brown and Rihanna." That is, of course, a dead giveaway to where they ripped the headline from.

In the end, though, Mischa and Caleb seem to go into the Twiight Zone -- or at least another celebrity scandal. While the couple has a romantic moment on a private yacht, Mischa makes the mistake of asking about a text message on Caleb's cell phone. Caleb answers, "Haven't you learned to mind your own business?"

Dramatic music (if you've watched "SVU" you can probably see it in your mind) and the next scene shows a reporter at a memorial for Mischa. Her body was found in Bermuda, floating next to the yacht.

Indeed, it seems "SVU" from Rihanna and Chris Brown and to Natalie Wood.



'Girls Gone Wild' goes Ch. 11

Could this mean less beads being distributed at places like Mardi Gras? "Girls Gone Wild," the franchise that is, has gone bankrupt and filed for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection, it was announced on Thursday.

Notably, plenty of firms enter Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection, and business continues as usual while a company works on a way to exit it and pay off its debts. Ch. 11 is also known as "reorganization bankruptcy," which means a company -- or even an individual -- will reorganize, although it is possible to liquidate through Ch. 11, as well. Ch. 7 is generally used for liquidations, though.

The filing indicates that there are three subsidiaries of "Girls Gone Wild" filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection: GGW Magazine, GGW Events, and GGW Direct. In the documentation, GGW manager Chris Dale said the company has less than $50,000 in assets and fewer than 50 creditors.

However, total debts exceed $16 million. The biggest claim was for $10.3 million from Wynn Las Vegas. That, too, is a key. According to another report delving into the details of the bankruptcy, it's being filed -- at least in part -- to keep GGW away from Steve Wynn.

Steve Wynn’s resort has been chasing GGW founder Joe Francis, 39, over a bad debt. Francis reportedly failed to pay a $2 million gambling debt to the hotel, one he accrued during a February 2007 trip. In 2012, Wynn Las Vegas received a $7.5 million judgment for defamation “stemming from Francis’s public attack falsely accusing Wynn of deceiving customers,” according to the resort’s lawsuit.

In a statement, the company said:
This Chapter 11 filing will not affect any of Girls Gone Wild’s domestic or international operations. Just like American Airlines and General Motors, it will be business as usual for Girls Gone Wild.

The Girl Scouts slam down on Honey Boo Boo's Facebook cookie sales

"Here comes Honey Boo Boo," not. The reality TV starlet was attempting to help out a friend by posting an ad on her Facebook page, but she was forced to take it down when the Girl Scouts of America stepped in, on Wednesday.

Honey Boo Boo, nee Alana Thompson, posted the ad on her Facebook page, which gives her a major advantage over any other cookie hawkers. After all, her Facebook page has nearly 702,000 likes. That's a no-no, said the Girl Scouts.

To be clear, it's not as though the GSA was picking on the favorite reality TV star of people such as Rosie O'Donnell. Instead, the organization has always banned the use of online sales for selling its cookie confections. It something that the organization outlines on its cookie sale FAQ page. The page says:
Although Girl Scouts of the USA does not currently allow online sales of Girl Scout Cookies, we are presently researching how to make it possible for girls to engage consumers in online sales, while continuing to help them develop critical and relevant entrepreneurship skills in the process. Use the Find Cookies! search box above to help you find cookies in your local community.

Cookies found for sale online at auction and community list sites should not be purchased under any circumstances, as neither GSUSA, your local Girl Scout council, nor our licensed bakers can guarantee the freshness or origination of these cookies. Further, purchasing cookies in this way does not support girls' participating in the cookie program.
Aside from the freshness question, why else would the Girl Scouts eschew online sales? As it says in the FAQ statement, the sales of cookies are supposed to teach the scouts life lessons, such as goal setting, people skills, and the like.

It's interesting, though, that the FAQ now says that the GSA is considering an expansion online. Indeed, they are about to enter the age of 21st century retail.  The picture above shows some of the boxes of cookies that Thompson sold.

Although the ad has been taken down, sales made prior to that event will be considered valid.

"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" returns this summer.

Lindsay Lohan turns down sweet plea agreement, believes she did nothing wrong

Lindsay Lohan's new lawyer, Mark Heller, believes there is something about the troubled actress that needs "fixing," as he said in an ill-conceived letter to prosecutors which asked them to team up with him and help "fix her." Lohan, though, does not believe anything is wrong with her, and thus on Wednesday she turned down a sweet plea bargain agreement that would have involves counseling and possibly some sort of rehab, but no jail time.

According to reports, on Wednesday, Santa Monica and L.A. City prosecutors had a noon meeting via telephone with Lohan's new lawyer, Mark Heller. Heller is driving a hard bargain. Sources connected to Lohan say that prosecutors insisted that the actress accept sixty days in a residential rehab facility.

Heller, though, wanted less, a lot less. Prosecutors caved somewhat, and offered about 30 days in rehab as opposed to the original offer. However, Heller still didn't accept. Perhaps he's not such a bad trade from Lohan's earlier attorney, Shawn Holley, after all.

On the other hand, it seems that Heller is suffering from the same "I can't control Lindsay" syndrome that was earlier reported by another Lohan attorney, Julia Azrael.

As in that case, he apparently can't control Lohan. While Heller is willing to accept a plea bargain that includes counseling and possibly some rehab, but Lohan is adamant She won't accept "punishment for something I didn't do" and says won't take a deal that involves anything like that.

Unfortunately, it sounds like the only way to avoid any punishment at all would be if Lohan were to go to trial and win.

Lohan's next court date is -- Friday. The March 1 date is a pre-trial hearing and Lohan is not required to attend. The actual trial will begin on March 18.

New report splashes water on Kimye's gender; not so fast with the pink

Gifts of pink booties may be premature (no pun intended) for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Although an anonymous source reported earlier that Kimye, as the baby has been nicknamed thus far, was a girl, a Thursday report by new daddy Perez Hilton says "Not so fast."

Kardashian's representative has thrown cold water on the leaked gender of Kimye. Her rep said:
When the time is right, she'll confirm it herself.
That could be taken as saying "Yes, the baby is a girl, and Kim will confirm it when she feels the time is right." Or it could be seen as saying "You are so wrong."

Previously, it seemed that the baby's gender was a done deal, despite the lack of confirmation from Kardashian and West. Just two days ago, in fact, on the Feb. 26 episode of "Today," Kathie Lee Gifford, a close friend of the Kardashians and the godmother of both Kendall and Kylie Jenner, accidentally said that Kimye was a little girl.

During hour four of the show, Gifford said:
She [Kim] is four months pregnant, I think now with her little girl, and I said "where’s Kim?" and she [Kris Jenner] said "At the airport."
Sounds solid, but we'll have to wait, as Kim's rep said, for "when the time is right."

Perez Hilton reveals surprise celebrity baby: his own

As a blogger focusing on celebrities, Perez Hilton has written about many births. On Wednesday, he wrote about one near and dear to his heart: Perez Hilton is now a father.

The famous gay blogger did not dish on many details when he said on his site Wednesday:
Dear Friends,
I want you to hear this directly from me, right here.

I am ready to announce that earlier this month I was blessed with the birth of my first child, a beautiful and healthy baby boy -- with lots of hair on his tiny head!

My family is overjoyed at this newest and most cherished addition.

Thank YOU for welcoming PerezHilton.com into your homes, offices, classrooms, cell phones and wherever else you may read my five websites.

And thank you for welcoming ME into your lives!

I am so humbled to welcome this little man into my life. And I am honored and ready for the challenge of guiding him through his.

With love,

Perez"
Hilton, 34, was born Mario Lavandeira. Despite the fact that he dishes on some things that fellow celebrities might want kept hushed up, stars rushed to congratulate him. Among them were:
Paris Hilton (No, he wasn't congratulating himself. It was Paris, not Perez): "Congratulations @PerezHilton on your new son. Such exciting news, so happy for you! â?º Love Paris"

Emma Bunton (one of the Spice Girls): @PerezHilton Amazing news, it's the best feeling in the world! Congratulations Daddy!

Kevin Jonas: Congrats @PerezHilton on the birth of your baby boy much love and happiness and no sleep! God bless

The Backstreet Boys:‏ Congrats to our man @PerezHilton! Thanks for sharing the great news about your son with all of us - let us know if you need any baby tips!

Jerry O'Connell; @PerezHilton He's got not one but TWO prom dates. I talked to them. They are in. http://yfrog.com/j2aqkktj

Denise Richards: "Congrats daddy!!! Beyond thrilled for u. Welcome to the club....xo"

Heidi Montag: "wow congrats on being a daddy!!!!! What an amAzing blessing! Your going to be a great father"

Michelle Trachtenberg: "OMG!! A huge congratulations to @PerezHilton on becoming a first time daddy. Mazel tov papa bear, your cub will be so loved!!"

Rosie O'Donnell: "MANY CONGRATS TO U ALL - LOVE DAKOTA & THE O'D GANG"
In response, Hilton tweeted:
I can't stop crying! Every time someone Tweets me "Congrats Dad" or "Daddy" the tears just start streaming! #PoppaPerez
He also made it clear that he'd prefer folks not send baby gifts. Instead, he urged well-wishers to donate to charity in lieu of presents.

There are, of course, some details missing, which is strange considering that Hilton usually does a good job digging up the dirt. Seriously, he hasn't dished on the "how," the "who," or the all-important detail: the baby's name.

We'd expect the name -- at least -- to be forthcoming.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux: Wedding date set, but still unknown

Nothing has been confirmed by the happy couple, but a report issued on Wednesday said that Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux have set the date for their wedding. Not only that, the couple's wedding plans are far along, as they should be, considering the nearness of the wedding date.

Aniston is wrapping up her latest film, "Untitled Elmore Leonard Project." Once filming is done, which is scheduled for March 8, Aniston and her fiance, screenwriter Justin Theroux, "have a date" that will take place "soon." "Soon" is still undefined for the public, but it can't be far off.

In addition, the report said that Aniston, 44, has already checked off a number of to-do list items. Those include -- as well as setting the date -- choosing wedding bands and narrowing down wedding dresses.

The wedding, though, won't be lavish or huge. A source close to Aniston said "It will be a small affair with their closest friends." Among those, it is expected, will be Aniston's close friends Courteney Cox, Chelsea Handler and Mandy Ingber.

The wedding will be Aniston's second. She was famously married to Brad Pitt from 2000 - 2005. Theroux has never been married before.

While Aniston is close to walking down the aisle, so is the aforementioned Pitt. He and his longtime partner, Angelina Jolie, have been engaged since April of last year.

'The Walking Dead's' season four filming date, new showrunner confirmed

Those wishing that "The Walking Dead" was a 365-day-a-year television series can take heart. AMC announced on Wednesday that production for season four of the hit zombie apocalypse series will begin in May.

In addition, the cable network has confirmed the new showrunner. In addition series characters being vulnerable to zombie attacks, showrunners have been vulnerable to ouster, too. Original showrunner Frank Darabont departed under vague circumstances about halfway through season two, and was replaced by Glen Mazzara.

Now, Mazzara is leaving, too, with the ever-popular "creative differences" given as the reason for his departure. With that, AMC has confirmed that Scott M. Gimple will be the new series showrunner and executive producer for the fourth season. It's been rumored for months that Gimple -- who has been on the writing staff of "The Walking Dead" since season two would be promoted to replace Mazzara.

In addition to Gimple's promotion, Greg Nicotero has been promoted as well, up to executive producer. He will join the returning Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman, and David Alpert. In AMC's press release, Kirkman (who created "The Walking Dead" comic book) said:
Scott has been an essential part of this show since he came aboard at the very beginning of season two. He's contributed to guiding this show in a substantial way that has resulted in a lot of the key scenes and storylines fans have dubbed signature moments of "The Walking Dead." I am thrilled to begin work on a brand new season of "The Walking Dead" with Scott at the helm, and I truly believe we could be embarking on what will be the best season of this show yet.
Gimple added,
I'm thrilled to continue the tradition of the spectacular, cinematic, horrifying, exciting and emotional storytelling of "The Walking Dead." I'm a huge fan of the comics, and started with the show on the other side of the set, as an avid viewer. Over the past two years, it's been an incredible privilege making such great television with the best cast and crew I've ever worked with –- I can't wait to make some more.
Production of season four will begin in Atlanta on May 6. Sadly, viewers can only look forward to another 16 episodes, which will premiere in October.

Innovative buyback program proposed by hip-hop mogul: Beyonce tickets for guns?

In December, about a week after the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Beyonce and other celebrities appeared in a gun control video at the behest of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign. On Tuesday, Michael "Blue" Williams, the head of Family Tree Entertainment suggested something that would require Beyonce -- and perhaps others -- to give up something more concrete than face time to the gun control campaign: tickets.

The "program," as such, is just getting started, so it's unclear who will join in. It's a twist on gun buyback programs, which are usually run by agencies such as local or federal authorities. Guns for Greatness. as Williams has dubbed it, would be the first private gun buyback in New York City, although Williams would still need to enlist the help of the police.

Williams hopes his industry connections will enable him to get this done. Family Tree Entertainment oversees the careers of hip-hop artists such as Outkast, Scarface and Killer Mike, among others. He said,
The Beyoncé show is coming to Brooklyn; the Jay-Z show is coming to Yankee Stadium. Our goal is to reach out to individuals who are in my industry, in my world and who I have an association with and get their support.
Williams has already met with the NYPD and has even sent a written proposal for Guns to Greatness to the city's police commissioner, Raymond Kelly. In the letter, the hip-hop mogul wrote:
This program aims to provide young people with an opportunity to receive guidance and inspiration from committed mentors, an important option that will enable them to experience possibilities other than a life surrounded by gun violence and unnecessary shootings and killing.

In my perfect world, I'd love to have a gift package for signing up for the mentorship program that is worth way more than $250. I think that when you're dealing with younger people, you have to offer a little more to incentivize them.
Williams is speaking of New York City's everyday buyback program. Handguns and assault rifles can be dropped off anonymously 24 hours a day, seven days a week at any city precinct, in exchange for up to $250, and there will be no questions asked.

Williams' letter was co-signed by community leaders including former federal prosecutor Kenneth Thompson, and Guns for Greatness has also received support from others, including some record labels, New York City radio station Hot 97 and the International House of Pancakes (IHOP).

Guns for Greatness is still in limbo, though. An NYPD spokeswoman said,
The police commissioner supports gun buybacks; however, he has not reviewed the proposal.

Scouts delve into sexual orientation at NFL combine

One day after Mike Florio of NBC Sports and ProFootballTalk told radio host Dan Patrick that NFL teams were extremely curious about the sexual orientation of Notre Dame's Manti Te'o -- the NFL prospect once famous for his play, and now famous for his non-existent girlfriend -- it seems the interest isn't limited to Te'o. Tight end and NFL prospect Nick Kasa said on Tuesday that he was asked by scouts about his sexual orientation at the NFL Combine.

Kasa, a senior tight end from the University of Colorado, made the statements in a radio interview on Tuesday. Speaking to CJ and Kreckman of ESPN Radio Denver on Tuesday, he said:
[Teams] ask you like, "Do you have a girlfriend? Are you married? Do you like girls?” Those kinds of things, and you know it was just kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it’s a pretty weird experience altogether.
On Monday, Florio said:
Here's the elephant in the room for the teams and it shouldn't matter, but we have to step aside from the rest of reality and walk into the unique industry that is the NFL. Teams want to know whether Manti Te'o is gay. They just want to know. They want to know because in an NFL locker room, it's a different world. It shouldn't be that way.
Te'o has repeatedly said he was duped in the Lennay Kekua case -- it turns out that Kekua, who Te'o said was one of the inspirations, along with his dead grandmother, for his great gameplay. However, once it was discovered that Kekua never existed, but was instead a fictitious character that was created by Te'o's acquaintance, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, questions about his sexual orientation have dogged him. When Te'o was interviewed by Katie Couric about the incident, one of her questions was:
One of the theories, many theories, Manti, making the rounds is that you created this whole scenario to cover up your sexual orientation. Are you gay?
Te'o's answer was quite clear:
No. Far from it. Far from it.
Meanwhile, when Tuiasosopo appeared with Dr. Phil to address the issue, the prankster said he had fallen in love with Te'o during the hoax, adding,
If you look at this situation and everything that I've been through, I would say yeah I'm gay. But honestly I'm so confused.
It seems the NFL is quite concerned about homosexuality entering its locker rooms. Some players are, too. Prior to Super Bowl XLVII, San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver made the following anti-gay comments to Artie Lang:
I don't do the gay guys man. I don't do that. No, we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do.

Award-winning director killed by great white shark in waters off New Zealand beach (Video)

The award-winning TV and film director Adam Strange was killed in a grisly shark attack off the coast of New Zealand on Wednesday. The horrific events were witnessed by hundreds of onlookers.

Strange, 46, was attacked by what was reported to be a great white shark about 200 yards offshore of Auckland, New Zealand's Muriwai Beach at around 1:30 p.m. local time. Local reports say that as blood spread from the initial attack, at least three other sharks were seen drawn to the attack.

Authorities got into a small boat and tried to rescue Strange. They were joined by a helicopter. Police say they fired up to 20 shots at the sharks, but it was too late.

One shark was apparently killed in the gunfire. Its body, measuring about 14 feet in length, washed up on shore a short time later.

Pio Mose was fishing off rocks beside the beach. He described how he saw a "huge" shark attack Strange, who was swimming alone about 50 yards from where he was standing.
All of a sudden we saw the shark fin and next minute, boom, attack him and then blood everywhere on the water.
He added that Strange appeared to struggle with the shark before it swam away. However, then it, along with others, returned. Mose called the authorities on his cell phone while a friend ran to get help.

At this point, Strange was still alive. Mose said:
He was still alive. He put his head up. We called him to swim over the rock to where we were. He raised his hand up and then while he was rising his hand up we saw another attack and pull him in the water. He came back up. His head was on the water ... then we notice (sic) he was already dead.
Strange directed commercials, but also short films. His film "Aphrodite’s Farm" won the Crystal Bear Award for Best Short Film at the Berlin Film Festival in 2009. He leaves behind a wife, Meg, and a young child.

His biography can be found on his site.

The embedded video reportedly shows the shark that initially attacked Strange, but does not show the attack. It features an interview with Mose.



Former Miss Delaware Teen USA denies sex tape is hers; watch intro and 'judge' for yourself

Melissa King, Miss Delaware Teen USA is now ex-Miss Delaware Teen USA. On Tuesday, she resigned her crown after the appearance of an online sex video that claims to feature her.

Pageant spokeswoman Dara Busch confirmed in an e-mail sent Wednesday morning:
I would like to confirm to you that the Miss Delaware Teen USA pageant has received a resignation letter from Miss King's attorney.
The sex video was first posted Monday. It shows a woman who reportedly looks and sounds exactly like King. King herself, on Monday, said she was aware of it, but denied it was her. She said:
Absolutely not. It is not.
Many in mainstream media say that the woman is definitely King; on the "Bill Press Show" on Wednesday, the newsreader was heard making a similar confirmation.

Still, King does deny the video is of her, but the resignation is awkward, at beat. King added,
There are comments saying this, however, it's not comments that are true.
The video shot was sometime in June of 2012, about four months before King was crowned Miss Delaware Teen USA (November). In the video, the woman speaks directly to the camera, saying she turned 18 three months before, in March, which is King's birth month. The woman then continues, describing her favorite sex position -- being on top -- before the actual sex begins.

The first runner-up for the title is Hailey Lawler. As is typical in these cases, she will replace King.



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oscar Pistorius to hold own memorial service for girlfriend he allegedly murdered

"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius has planned a private memorial ceremony for Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend he is accused of murdering. The funeral was planned for Tuesday night, with reports on the service emerging earlier that day.

While there has been no argument about Pistorius shooting the model -- he says he did so, but accidentally, thinking she was an intruder -- authorities are seeking to prosecute him for premeditated murder. Pistorius was granted baill last week, with his bail hearing taking place at the same time the official services for the 29-year-old model were ongoing.

Pistorious planned to hold his service at the Pretoria, South Africa home of his uncle Arnold, where the former Olympic athlete has been staying since he was released on bail.

Pistorius' reputation management firm, Vuma Reputation Management said in a statement:
Oscar has asked for a private service with people who share his loss, including his family members who knew and loved Reeva as one of their own.
Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair set bail for Pistorius at 1 million rand ($113,000). In addition, the 26-year-old track star was required to hand over his passports, turn in any guns he owns and stay away from the scene of the crime, his upscale home in a gated community in Pretoria.

Pistorius also cannot leave the district of Pretoria without the permission of his probation officer, nor is he allowed to consume drugs or alcohol.

Pistorius has claimed since the very beginning of the case that he shot Steenkamp accidentally, believing she was an intruder. He shot Steenkamp through a closed bathroom door, but said he did so because he felt vulnerable, as he was not wearing the carbon fiber prosthetics he uses to walk and run.

While he said he did not realize, upon waking, that his girlfriend was not in the bed next to him, authorities instead say that the couple quarreled and that the former Olympian intentionally killed her in a premeditated case of murder.

Oscar Pistorius was born with a condition known as fibular hemimelia (congenital absence of the fibula) in both legs. When he was 11 months old, his legs were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles. He uses carbon-fiber prosthetics that enable him to walk and run, and was nicknamed "Blade Runner" due to them. At the 2012 Summer Olympics on Aug. 4, 2012, Pistorius became the first amputee runner to compete at an Olympic Games.

Lohan's new lawyer urges prosecutors to be a 'team,' help 'fix' her

As we reported on Monday, Lindsay Lohan's new attorney, Mark Heller, seems desperate to keep her from ending up behind bars. Not only did he try a "no Miranda defense" in a filing he made yesterday, he also sent a letter to the prosecutors along with the filing. The contents of the letter became known on Tuesday, and seem totally unprofessional.

At the very least, Shawn Holley, Lohan's former lawyer, who kept her out of jail -- for the most part -- during her time as LiLo's attorney, would never have pulled such a stunt.

Sources close to the prosecution said that the letter incensed the judge because he felt it was an attempt to improperly influence the court. In the letter, Heller writes to prosecutors Terry White and Spencer Hart. The letter, in PDF form, blamed at least part of Lohan's behavior on her dysfunctional family, and added that Lohan's negative public image has been brought about by:
... what happened in Lindsay's life that brought her to that place and, without considering the pain, torment and confusion which Lindsay has experienced and been afflicted with.
He then tries to enlist the aid of the court to come to a productive means of working with Lohan. He says:
I appeal to your good conscience to join me in not rubber stamping this case but rather to be patient and understanding and open to productive alternatives, as we, as a team, help "fix" Lindsay Lohan.
It's not hard to understand why the court would feel this was trying to influence it.

It can be seen from the remark about "rubber stamping" that Heller is attempting to steer the court away from jail time. He adds,
Lindsay will gladly be participating in intensive psychotherapy, submitting herself to regular screenings and contributing her time to the production of public service messages and periodic visits to schools, hospitals, and other venues where she may provide inspirational talks, encouraging children to pursue positive goals and avoid bad habits.
It is getting rather "thick" in here.

Heller also said that
I am also exploring the establishment of a Lindsay Lohan Foundation that will provide a non-profit program to benefit young people.
It's unclear how that will be funded, but it is certainly not that case that Lohan has that type of disposable income lying around.

Finally, Heller said he hopes the "team" can:
... turn around this young lady's life in a positive way so she can be a good, productive contributor in her life, to her family, society, and her industry. Let our team be recognized as a sterling example of how wonderfully the prosecuting attorneys, the defense attorney and the judicial system can work together for the good of all.
Indeed, it is getting waist-deep in here.

Bun Bun returns to 'Toddlers & Tiaras,' sort of

The question must be asked: is this sweet, or is it horrific? Viewers of the TLC reality TV series "Toddlers and Tiaras" might recall that Paisley Dickey lost her pet rabbit Bun Bun last September. On Tuesday, we found out that the rabbit has returned, but not in a "Pet Cemetary"-ish way.

It was actually said last September, after Bun Bun died of a heart attack, that the family would stuff her. Paisley had only had her for two short weeks. Paisley refused to agree to burying Bun Bun, so the family went to a local taxidermist.

Strangely, it took this long -- about six months -- for the stuffing to take place. On the other hand, we're not taxidermists, so perhaps that's typical for stuffing a rabbit. It's unclear how long it might take to stuff a full-grown grizzly bear.

Initial reports said that Bun Bun suffered a cardiac arrest when a balloon popped. Wendy, Paisley mother, said she was not aware that pet bunnies are rather balloon surprise vulnerable.

A video of Paisley Dickley finally being reunited with Bun Bun is embedded.

"Toddlers and Tiaras" has spawned not one, but two spin-offs. First came the well-known "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," which first aired on August 8, 2012. That series is a show mainly about Alana Thompson, her parents and elder sisters, and their lives unrelated to pageants.

Another spin-off, "Cheer Perfection," began more recently, on Dec. 21, 2012. That series is about Cassadee Dunlap, Torann Robinson, Alana Crow and their familes. They were featured in some episodes of "Toddler and Tiaras." This series focuses on the children, their all-star cheer club Cheer Time Revolution and any drama unrelated to pageants.



Master version of Kim Kardashian's hot celebrity sex tape nearly goes up in smoke

The horror of it all. The item that most say turned Kim Kardashian and her family into the celebrities they are was nearly lost forever. As was first reported on Tuesday, the master tape of "Kim Kardashian Superstar" nearly burned up in a fire at Vivid Entertainment.

When the fire broke out, Steve Hirsch, the founder and co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment, was nowhere near the office. Instead he was miles away watching the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Utah Jazz 107-94. When Hirsch got the call, he left -- in the middle of the game, but that's reportedly not unusual in Los Angeles -- and headed quickly for the office.

He was in a huge rush, and for good reason.  The master "Kim Kardashian Superstar" tape was in a safe, but it wasn't the only one there. Apparently that safe contains every unedited master version of every single celebrity sex tape in Vivid Entertainment's catalog.

That would include the ones starring Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, Kendra Wilkinson, Jimi Hendrix, Vince Neil, Tom Sizemore, and Chyna.

In addition, there are several celebrity sex tapes that have never been sold. Fortunately for fans of celebrity porn, Hirsch made it back in the nick of time. While the safe was somewhat singed in the fire, its contents were unscathed.

It's unclear if Hirsch's safe was of the fireproof media type, which is more protective of media such as CDs, DVDs, and video tape.

Staples Center, where the Clippers play, and Vivid Entertainment, are about 10.2 miles away according to CitySearch.

Vivid Entertainment certainly must be breathing easier, and non-soot-filled air, as well. After Kardashian's pregnancy was announced, sales of the sex tape went through the roof.

'Dancing with the Stars' season 16 cast revealed

As scheduled, the new cast for the upcoming season of "Dancing with the Stars" was revealed on "Good Morning America" on Tuesday.

Portions of the cast had been leaked on Monday, and indeed, Andy Dick signed on as a contestant. In addition, another rumor was confirmed: Maksim Chmerkovskiy has left the show, while his brother Val remains.

The full list of contestants and their professional partners is below (alphabetically, by celebrity).
  1. Zendaya Coleman (Disney Channel star, "Shake It Up") - Valentin Chmerkovskiy: Can she follow in the footsteps of co-star Roshon Fegan. Fegan finished sixth in the season 14 of "DWTS."
  2. Andy Dick (Comedian) - Sharna Burgess: Dick is looking for a comeback.
  3. Dorothy Hamill (Olympic Gold Medal Figure Skater) - Tristan MacManus: Do we need to say anything about Dorothy Hamill, who not only won an Olympic gold medal in 1976, she set a standard for hair styles during that timeframe.
  4. D.L. Hughley (Stand-Up Comedian) - Cheryl Burke: A member of "The Original Kings of Comedy."
  5. Jacoby Jones (NFL Wide Receiver) - Karina Smirnoff: Ravens fans remember he stuck a dagger in the heart of the SF 49ers at Super Bowl XLVII, although SF did come back
  6. Wynonna Judd (Country Music Singer) - Tony Dovolani: Appearing on "GMA" Judd said that "DWTS" has tried to recruit her for the past six years.
  7. Victor Ortiz (Professional Boxer) - Lindsay Arnold
  8. Kellie Pickler (Country singer and "American Idol" Contestant) - Derek Hough
  9. Ingo Rademacher ("General Hospital") - Kym Johnson: Has played Jasper "Jax" Jacks on ABC's "General Hospital" since 1996.
  10. Aly Raisman (Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast) - Mark Ballas
  11. Lisa Vanderpump ("The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," "Vanderpump Rules") - Gleb Savchenko
In addition to Maksim Chmerkovskiy, past pros Anna Trebunskaya and Chelsie Hightower won't be competing this season.

Maksim had already been rumored to be exiting the show. He issued a statement on Tuesday regarding his departure and thanking the show and his fans.
I just want to set the record straight to all of my amazing fans that I will unfortunately not be returning for this season of "Dancing with the Stars." I’ve been a pro dancer on the show for about seven years now and am eager to explore other opportunities ... I'm going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations.
The Season 16 "DWTS" premiere is at 8 p.m. March 18. The first results show elimination is at 9 p.m. March 26.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snooki walks away with $77,510 after autographed Escalade auctioned on eBay

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi walked away from eBay on Sunday with a cool $77,510 after the auction for her customized Cadillac Escalade.

Here's how the car was described:
This 2011 Cadillac Escalade is currently owned by Nicole Snooki Polizzi. It is the actual car that she has driven in many of her television appearances. The vehicle has been completely wrapped and has been customized with many add ons to her taste and specifications, such as custom wheels and ambient lighting. It has been autographed across the hood by Nicole.

This is not a vehicle that you can buy everyday, it is an opportunity to own a piece of pop culture history! For privacy purposes, as a friend of the family, I am selling this vechile (sic)a on behalf of Nicole. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me and I will be happy to answer and furnish more pictures if needed. The car is listed in other forums, therefore, I do reserve the right to end the auction early. Serious bidder only please. Thank you for looking.
It received 84 bids before the auction closed. One of the images even showed Snooki autographing the car; we expect it will never be washed.

The bidding ended slightly after 1 p.m. PST on Sunday, but the final bid was made the day prior, on Saturday, for $100 more than another bid made 18 hours previously. The winner also had bid $65,000 on Friday, before being outbid and having to up his or her bid.

The eBay ad didn't specify why the reality TV star wanted to part ways with her customized ride. Perhaps it was because it was time for an -- ugh -- minivan, as she and fiance Jionni LaValle welcomed son Lorenzo, now six months old, in August 2012.

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, was one of the stars of MTV's now-cancelled "Jersey Shore." She is currently appearing on the show "Snooki and JWoww," which stars her and her best friend Jennifer "JWoww" Farley.  The second and current season of the "Snooki and JWoww" is scheduled to run through March 26, 2013.

Andy Dick signed to 'Dancing with the Stars' season 16

With the official cast of "Dancing with the Stars," season 16, set to be announced on "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, multiple cast members were leaked on Monday. In a mid-Monday afternoon (Pacific Time) tidbit of information, what TMZ called the biggest gamble in the history of "Dancing with the Stars" -- OK, perhaps that was Kirstie Alley or Bristol Palin -- was signed: Andy Dick.

His last stint in TV was on another reality TV show, but not one that leads to a lot of confidence in his ability to perform well. It was "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" (now renamed "Rehab with Dr. Drew," as the focus is not on celebrities any longer).

Sources close to the production of "DWTS" said that Andy Dick was on the set of "DWTS" on Monday. Along with him were Lisa Vanderpump ("Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"), and D.L. Hughley ("The Hughleys," "The Original Kings of Comedy"). Both Vanderpump and Hughly are also believed to have signed contracts to "compete" on the show.

Dick, it's said, has been paired with one of the new dancers. That's because, as one source said, "He's more for comedy -- nobody expects much from him." Meanwhile, though, at least one other sources said that Dick is taking the competition seriously and wants to show that he's not just comic relief.

It was previously reported that country singers Wynonna Judd and Kellie Pickler, gymmast Aly Raisman, NFL wide receier Jacoby Jones, retired Major League Baseball pitcher Sean Lowe, and pro boxer Victor Ortiz have already signed on to the competition.

Dick, 47, is probably best known for his long-running stint on NBC's sitcom "NewsRadio," which ran from March 21, 1995 to May 4, 1999.

The Season 16 "DWTS" premiere is at 8 p.m. March 18. The first results show elimination is at 9 p.m. March 26.

Lindsay Lohan's new attorney tries 'no Miranda rights' tactic in 'lying' case

Lindsay Lohan -- or her attorney -- is trying to escape her "lying to the police" case, which stems from her Pacific Coast Highway rear end crash last summer. Her new lawyer, Mark Heller, filed a motion on Monday to dismiss the charges, saying that the troubled actress wasn't read her Miranda rights.

It's an interesting tactic, but in order for it to work, Lohan would have had to be under arrest. The public is not read Miranda rights until they are arrested. In Lohan's case, she was not in custody, and was simply being asked questions about the PCH crash.

Lindsay Lohan's problem is that she lied when she said she wasn't driving the rented Porsche that crashed last June into the rear of a truck on the PCH last June. The charges of lying to the authorities also triggered a probation violation for her earlier jewelry theft case.

Sources said that Heller, LiLo's new attorney, made several errors when he made his filing, not the least of which is the fact that he filed incorrectly, as noted above. Other mistakes that were noted, though, were that Heller attached a note to the prosecutor praising Lohan, and that's a no-no -- "attempting to influence judges outside of court."

Fortunately, someone corrected Heller's error, and the the letter has been purged from his legal filing.

Mark Heller, Lohan's new lawyer, is not licensed to practice in California and was once suspended from practicing law for five years. In order to represent her, he was required to seek a California-based legal sponsor.

Watch as 'True Blood's Ryan Kwanten embarassingly rebuffed from Oscars party

It was the Academy Awards, not the Emmys, but "True Blood" star Ryan Kwanten apparently wasn't aware of that. He tried to get into an Academy Awards party on Sunday night, but he was rebuffed -- embarassingly.

Kwanten arrived to Craig's in West Hollywood along with a celebrity handler (not unlike a wrangler, some say) Sunday night. However, when they came face-to-face with the front door security team, they found out that just like a vampire, without an invitation, you can't enter.

The exchange between the security team, Kwanten, and his handler was caught on video (embedded). "You and 100 other people," the security guard can be heard saying.

According to Kwanten and his handler, they had been personally invited to the party by Craig himself and presented a note along those lines. However, the security personnel weren't impressed by the claim.

Kwanten's unnamed handler then took out his cell phone and managed to get someone on the phone to vouch for the pair. However, even after security spoke to the person on the other end of the line, they still wouldn't let Kwanten in.

Eventually, Kwanten and his handler took their note and left. It wasn't, though, before Kwanten's friend asked the guard which company he worked for, implying, of course, that there would be repercussions for not letting Kwanten into the party.

It was a sad Sunday for Kwanten, and totally different from his experience at an earlier party. On Sunday, Ryan Kwanten was seen arriving and welcomed at the 2013 Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party held at the Pacific Design Center on Sunday in West Hollywood, Calif.



More tax bills than income: Lindsay Lohan assessed with another unpaid income tax bill

You might recall that Lindsay Lohan racked up quite a unpaid federal tax bill for 2009 and 2010 ($93,701.57 and $140,203.30, respectively) and now it seems that the third time is the charm. The actress has a similar bill for 2011, it was reported on Monday.

If she wants to point to improvement, LiLo can say that her overdue tax bill was cut by more than half from 2010 to 2011. Her 2011 unpaid income tax bill is $56,717.90. However, considering the fact that the unpaid taxes in question are for the state of California, that means that -- considering the lower state income tax rate -- LiLo left a lot of income unreported.

You might recall that she managed to pay off her 2009 federal tax bill, and a little of her 2010 bill, with the help of Charlie Sheen. She even proved it via scanned documents.

Of course, while LiLo received a $100,000 gift from Sheen to pay those taxes off, she -- somehow -- forgot to thank him. It was only after some on-air prompting -- in other words, complaining -- that Lohan belatedly thanked her "Scary Movie 5" star.

He apparently didn't hold it against her, as he helped her get a designer gown to wear at the amFAR gala in New York City. However, she ripped it -- and it was a loaner.

It's unclear what will happen now, but Sheen had offered to go halfsies on the gown. However, Lohan decided to go the loaner route, and the gown -- $1,750 worth -- is now ruined.

Better on politics than Oscars: Nate Silver's picks only two-thirds correct

Good at politics, not so good at Oscars. That is what we have to take from the predictions made by statistician extraordinaire Nate Silver, who was only four out of six in his Academy Award predictions on Sunday night.

Silver made the following predictions:
  • Best Picture: "Argo" in a landslide over "Zero Dark Thirty" (4.77 vs. 1.82)
  • Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln") in a landslide over Bradley Cooper ("Silver Linings Playbook") (3.17 vs. 0.58)
  • Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence ("Silver Linings Playbook") comfortably over Jessica Chastain ("Zero Dark Thirty") (1.49 vs. 1.22)
  • Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones ("Lincoln") comfortably over Philip Seymour Hoffman ("The Master") and Christoph Waltz ("Django Unchained") (1.10 vs. 0.75 vs. 0.74, respectively)
  • Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway ("Les Miserables") in a landslide over Sally Field ("Lincoln") (2.30 vs. 0.46)
  • Best Director Steven Spielberg ("Lincoln) narrowly over Ang Lee ("Life of Pi") (0.58 vs. 0.56)
One wrong selection was Best Director, but Spielberg was only over Lee 0.58 to 0.56, so that -- possibly -- could be excused. However, the other wrong selection was Tommy Lee Jones, and in that case, the Best Supporting Actor nod went to not second place, but third place in Silver's rankings.

It would appear Silver, who modified his strategy for the 85th Academy Awards, has more tweaking to do. Prior to this year's Oscars, he had a 75 percent average accuracy, and this year he dropped to 66 percent.

Politically, Silver swept the 2012 presidential election cycle. In the 2012 United States presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Silver correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

He was not perfect, however, as Silver's predictions of U.S. Senate races were correct in "only" 31 of 33 states; he predicted Republican victory in North Dakota and Montana, where Democrats won.

It's true that the comparison is between politics and entertainment, but the Oscars are considered at least partly political, in nature.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

'Identity Thief' steals back the box office crown

It's Oscars weekend, which means it's a relatively quiet one at the box office, and despite two new films, "Identity Thief" stole back the top slot at the box office, for the weekend of Feb. 22-24, as Box Office Mojo reported on Sunday.

The Jason Bateman - Melissa McCarthy comedy has earned $93.7 million in its three weeks of release, which makes it the highest-grossing movie of 2013 ahead of "Django Unchained" ($90.5 million). To be clear, this regards only 2013 box office receipts; "Django Unchained" is in its ninth week of release. The film took in $14.1 million this weekend.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's action film "Snitch" opened with an estimated $13 million in its debut weekend to land in second place. While on the low side of what you might expect for a film starring "The Rock," consider the recent Arnold Schwarzenegger flop "The Last Stand," which finished in 10th place in its debut weekend with only $6.3 million in domestic receipts.

In third place was "Escape From Planet Earth," which finished with a domestic take of $11 million. That brought its two week total to #35.1 million.

Fourth place was taken by "Safe Haven," which finished third in its debut weekend last week. Despite that showing, it's now ahead of last week's no. one film, "A Good Day to Die Hard." "Safe Haven" took in $10.6 million to finish its second week with a total of $48.1 million.

That's right, despite the fact that it topped domestic box office last weekend, the latest "Die Hard" entry, "A Good Day to Die Hard" plummeted nearly 60 percent from its opening weekend. It took in $10 million even to finish with a two week domestic total of $51.8 million.

The week's other new film, "Dark Skies," placed in sixth position with only $8.9 million.

The top 10 movies are listed below (LW = last week's ranking):
  1. (2 LW), Identity Thief, 3 weeks
  2. (N), Snitch
  3. (4 LW), Escape from Planet Earth, 2 weeks
  4. (3 LW), Safe Haven, 2 weeks
  5. (1 LW), A Good Day to Die Hard, 2 weeks
  6. (N), Dark Skies, $8.9 million, $8.9 million overall, 1 week
  7. (8 LW), Silver Linings Playbook, $6 million, $107.5 million overall, 15 weeks
  8. (5 LW), Warm Bodies, $4.8 million, $58.3 million overall, 4 weeks
  9. (7 LW), Side Effects, $3.5 million, $25.3 million overall, 3 weeks
  10. (6 LW), Beautiful Creatures, $3.4 million, $16.4 million overall, 2 weeks

Gerard Depardieu is now a Russian resident

He's officially moved in. French-born actor Gerard Depardieu is now a resident of Russia, according to a report issued on Sunday.

Depardieu is now a resident of -- ironically -- One Democracy Street in the Russian city of Saransk, about 400 miles east of Moscow. Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported that the actor traveled there on Saturday to pick up his residency papers. Depardieu has made the move to Russian residency in an attempt to escape France’s new proposed law which would amount to a tax of 75 percent for the country's top incomes.

In early January, Depardieu received his brand-new Russian passport directly from Russian president Vladimir Putin. The two were seen embracing and shaking hands as they met at Putin's residence in the Black Sea town of Sochi.

With the President of France, Francois Hollande, on the record as saying he wants to raise taxes on the ultra-rich to 75 percent, even before his moves to gain Russian residency, Depardieu had already renounced his French citizenship and registered as a resident of Néchin in Belgium, which has lower taxes than France.

Overall, Depardieu could save still more money in Russia. Russia has a flat tax rate, of 13 percent. The actor has previously that the steep French income tax rates currently claim 85 percent of his income.

Russia’s flat 13 percent income tax rate is bolstered by a value-added tax rate of 18 percent, while France has a VAT of 20 percent. Russian social security taxes are 30 percent compared with 50 percent in France.

Some believe Depardieu’s change of citizenship is simply a publicity stunt, but the actor has promised to travel to Saransk often. He added that he will learn to speak Russian and build a house there. However, Depardieu said he has no interest in living in the capital city of Moscow, which he says is too crowded.

MC Hammer tweets about 'teachable moment' after arrest

Stanley Kirk Burrell, 50, better known by his stage name of MC Hammer (and later simply Hammer), experienced a teachable moment last week, and he felt moved enough by it to tweet about it on Saturday. It will be interesting to see where this goes: His tweets drew the attention of none other than hacker group Anonymous.

His series of tweets follow, and drew a lot of retweets and comments.
chubby elvis looking dude was tapping on my car window, I rolled down the window and he said'"Are you on parole or probation?"

While I was handing him my ID he reached in my car and tried to pull me out the car but forgot he was on a steady donut diet. ..

It was comical to me until he pulled out his guns, blew his whistle and yelled for help (MallCop) !!! But make no mistake he's dangerous ..

only thing more dangerous than a scared man with a gun, is a scared man with an agenda, a gun and a badge. I was citied for obstruction smh

You have to know me to understand I was laughing when he was grunting and pulling on me .. I had just left the weight room ..

I will now answer his question, contrary to his personal beliefs, all people of color are not on parole or probation fat boy !!!
The incident reportedly took place in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Dublin, Calif. Dublin is in the east part of the Bay Area; Hammer has lived in the Bay Area since he first made it big.

Later, the rapper tweeted that he was viewing it as a teachable moment:
Instead of being bitter, I'm taking the opportunity to make this a "teachable moment" and "eye opener" for my many friends & colleagues.
He received a number of supportive comments and tweets, more than a few of which applauded his restraint in the face of what some called "racial profiling."

The Dublin Police, however, had their own point of view on the matter. Police spokesman Herb Walters said MC Hammer was in a vehicle that had expired registration, and he was not the registered owner. He added:
After asking Hammer who the registered owner was he became very argumentative and refused to answer the officer's questions.
MC Hammer was reportedly arrested on suspicion of resisting an officer and obstructing an officer in the performance of his duties; he was booked and released on bail from Santa Rita Jail (which is in Dublin), with a court date set for next month.

The Dublin Police might want to watch their servers; later on Saturday, Anonymous tweeted the following:
Dublin Police Officers Should Have Known: U Can't Touch This | http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/MC-Hammer-slams-officers-after-Dublin-arrest-4303457.php …

Tiger Woods, Elin Nordegren spark reunion rumors with public appearance together

Tiger Woods Large 3 photo TigerWoodsLarge3.jpg
They say time heals all wounds, but they also say time wounds all heels. Elin Nordegren has already achieved the latter when she divorced Tiger Woods, receiving an estimated $100 million divorce settlement from the PGA star. On Saturday, it was reported that the couple were seen together for the first time in years.

Notably, though, they were seen with their children, and it was a local youth sports organization event, held in Jupiter, Fla. It would appear they were together for that age-old reason divorced couples try to maintain civility: the kids.

Tiger was seen arriving first with his son and daughter (Charlie Axel Woods, three, and Sam Alexis Woods, five). Elin arrived about an hour later.

Neither was with anyone else -- aside from the kids -- and reports are that when the two finally met, they seemed congenial, chatting chatted together for about half-an-hour. They reportedly enjoyed each other's company.

Sources said that once the couple noticed they were drawing attention, they quickly left. Strangely, both were seen leaving in Nordegren's car.

The meeting comes just weeks after reports that Woods has been attempting to win his ex-wife Nordegren back with a $200 million deal. The National Enquirer reported in January that Woods was desperate to win Nordegren back. Further reports say that Nordegren said she would consider his entreaties, but only if the golfer includes a $350 million anti-cheating clause into the "wedding contract."

Woods and Nordegren split began when on Nov. 25, 2009, The National Enquirer published a story claiming that Woods had an affair with New York City nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel. That was followed by a 2009 Black Friday incident, when Woods crashed his SUV, with some claiming that Nordegren had been pursuing him with a -- wait for it -- golf club, after an argument over his affairs. Shortly thereafter, information about numerous Woods affairs emerged, with the couple's divorce becoming final in 2010.

While the Daily Mail said the Woods - Nordegren appearance sparks those aforementioned rumors of a reunion yet again, Tiger Woods and skier Lindsey Vonn have been linked recently, with the golfer even lending her his private jet to exit Austria after her recent horrific crash during competition.

Watch as Ronda Rousey retains title over Liz Carmouche in the UFC's first female fight

Ronda Rousey is the UFC's first-ever female champion and on Saturday night she kept the title, although it wasn't as easy as some expected. In addition, despite the fact that there were some howls of upset Rousey-Liz Carmouche fight was announced as the main event of UFC 157 back in December, the two women gave UFC fans everything they wanted and more.

It's unclear how much of the attention continues to focus on Rousey's sex symbol status. Rousey has become a UFC celebrity, and she's even been asked if she would do Playboy. Although she shed her clothes for 2012's ESPN Magazine “Body Issue,” she said that’s as far as she’s willing to go.

15,525 fans packed the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and paid a gate worth $1.4 million. The question was whether or not Rousey could continue her amazing run of first-round arm bars to 10 out of 10 amateur and professional fights.

She did it, although she had an early test. Carmouche (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had Rousey (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) nearly set up for a rear-naked choke early, but Rousey countered. Eventually, Rousey won the way she continues to win, with the same move, an arm bar. All of her wins, in addition, have been in the first round.

Rousey's win marked the first female fight in the almost 20-year history of the UFC.

Dave Doyle gave the play-by-play:
Round 1:

John McCarthy is the main-event referee. Ronda comes right out with a jab. Liz responds with a jab of her own. Carmouche is doing everything she can to avoid the armbar. Rousey stands and Carmouche gets her back. She's working for a rear-naked choke. She's cranking. She almost has it. Rousey's legs are wobbling. Rousey escapes to a huge pop from the crowd.

Carmouche is on her back, Rousey standing. Rousey throwing single punches. Connects with a left and a right. Rousey finally gets to the mat and has Carmouche in a side headlock. Rousey throwing short punches. She continues throwing rabbit punches.

Carmouche doesn't seem to have an answer. Final minute. Liz tries to work for a triangle. Rousey has her opening for the armbar. Carmouche is holding on for all its worth. 30 seconds left. Rousey pulling for all its worth. 15 seconds left. She straight ens the arms out and Carmouche taps to a deafening response from the crowd.

UFC 157 results: Ronda Rousey def. Liz Carmouche via submission (armbar) at 4:49 of round one.

In the co-main event, Lyoto Machida (19-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) defeated Dan Henderson (29-9 MMA, 6-3 UFC) in a split decision. It's possible the win may put him next in line for a chance at the UFC light heavyweight title.

Highlights of the Rousey - Carmouche fight can be seen embedded.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Authorities tell family that Pistorius crushed Steenkamp's skull with cricket bat

Oscar Pistorius was granted bail on Friday, with no further court dates until June 4. There was no time off for the media though, as on Saturday horrific details about the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp emerged.

Earlier, a bloodied cricket bat was said to be key evidence. Now, it's said that police have already told Steenkamp's family that Pistorius used that cricket bat to crush her skull before before killing her with a fatal gun shot.

Details of the post-mortem examination of South African model and reality TV star Reeva Steenkamp were withheld during last week’s bail application hearing for Oscar Pistorius. However, grieving relatives who saw her body prior to Tuesday’s cremation in her home city of Port Elizabeth described horrific injuries on her body. Injuries consistent with being hit with a bat were seen, as well as the 9mm entry wounds.

Both police and attorneys from the state prosecutor’s office briefed the family about Steenkamp's death.

While police and prosecutors have their theory about the cricket bat, Pistorius and his legal team filed a sworn affidavit at the bail hearing in Pretoria magistrates’ court last week. In it, Pistorius explained his possession of a bloody cricket bat by claiming that he used the bat to break down the toilet door after the shooting.

Pistorius has claimed since the very beginning that he shot Steenkamp accidentally, believing she was an intruder and not realizing that she was not in the bed next to him. Authorities, instead, say that the couple quarreled and that the former Olympian intentionally killed her in a premeditated case of murder.

Oscar Pistorius was born with a condition known as fibular hemimelia (congenital absence of the fibula) in both legs. When he was 11 months old, his legs were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles. He uses carbon-fiber prosthetics that enable him to walk and run, and was nicknamed "Blade Runner" due to them. At the 2012 Summer Olympics on Aug. 4, 2012, Pistorius became the first amputee runner to compete at an Olympic Games.

Those legs -- along with the bat -- could be a key in the trial. Pistorius said he felt vulnerable as he was not wearing his legs when he thought he had an intruder cornered in the bathroom of his home. Thus, he said, he shot through the door. However, during testimony by the now former lead detective in the case, Hilton Botha, the detective said that ballistics evidence showed that the shots that hit Steenkamp were angled downward, implying that Pistorius had to be wearing his "Blade Runner" legs.

DOJ joins whistleblower lawsuit which could take 3/4 of Lance Armstrong's wealth

The legal post-confession saga of Lance Armstrong is reaching volcanic proportions. On Friday, the U.S. Justice Department joined a whistleblower lawsuit against the one-time seven-time Tour de France winner.

The Department of Justice joined Floyd Landis' lawsuit. Landis, a former teammate of Armstrong's and another racer stripped of a Tour de France title, filed a lawsuit against Armstrong in 2010. The suit alleged that Armstrong had hidden his doping from the team's sponsor, the U.S. Postal Service, because the sponsorship contract -- worth about $31 million from 2001 to 2004 -- prohibited the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

Attorney Ronald C. Machen explained the government's move as follows:
Armstrong and associates took more than $30 million from the U.S. Postal Service based on their contractual promise to play fair and abide by the rules.

In today’s economic climate, the U.S. Postal Service is simply not in a position to allow Lance Armstrong or any of the other defendants to walk away with the tens of millions of dollars they illegitimately procured.
Those following the trials and tribulations of the USPS know that there is truth to the statement.

Even before admitting his guilt in terms of PED use, Armstrong was forced to make several moves, in the wake of being banned for life by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) over alleged use of PEDs. The USADA issued a 200-page report on Oct. 10 after what was said to be an extensive, wide-ranging investigation into the issue.

Just a few days later he was stripped of his Tour de France titles by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and banned for life.

Following those events, he removing himself from association with the charitable foundation he founded, LiveStrong. He then confessed -- on air -- to Oprah Winfrey.

After he confessed, it was widely expected that legal efforts against him would not just accelerate, they would increase in number.

He’s been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and his Olympic medal, has been dropped by all his former big money sponsors, is facing several other lawsuits, and has been banned for life from participating in any sport covered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

This lawsuit could hammer Armstrong's finances. His estimated worth is about $125 million, but in federal whistleblower lawsuits, a court or jury can award triple damages. Considering the $31 million in question, that award could amount to up to $93 million, taking about 3/4 of his wealth.

Bryan Singer teases possible Cyclops, Jean Grey appearances in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'

The upcoming "X-Men" film, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is unique in that, as a time-travel story, it offers the chance to use actors and characters from the original series of films, as well as those from "X-Men: First Class." On Friday, Singer teased that he might include Jean Grey and Scott Summers from the original series.

When asked if he'd like to somehow include the couple, Singer said, while laughing:
Who wouldn’t? Who wouldn’t? That’s all I can say.
There is plenty of opportunity to plan with the future and the past in the new film. Those who recall the "Days of Future Past" storyline from the comic books will remember it spanned "The Uncanny X-Men" issues #141 and #142, published in 1981. Written by Chris Claremont, it was drawn by John Byrne and inked by Terry Austin.

In the story, we see an alternate future which has been triggered by the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly by The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. An older Kitty Pryde transfers her mind into a younger, present-day Kitty Pryde in hopes of preventing the event, which led to all mutants being either killed or imprisoned in internment camps.

Only a few X-Men are alive: Kitty Pride, Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus. In the alternate future, all are killed, even Wolverine, despite his adamantium skeleton and rapid healing factor. He is vaporized by a Sentinel, too fast even for his healing process, with only the metal skeleton left behind.

However, Kitty Pryde's mission succeeds, and that dystopian future is gone, never to occur.

Rachel Summers, who took the name Phoenix, also traveled back in time as part of the story. Despite being from an alternate future, she stayed, and became a member of the X-Men.

Notably, though, neither Cyclops nor Jean Grey appears in the future "Days of Future Past" timeline.

We'll see how this all pans out, but if true to the original, the new film could be great. The sequel is scheduled for a release on July 18, 2014.

Amazing political statistician Nate Silver predicts the results of the Academy Awards

Does anyone remember Nate Silver? We're sure you do. Silver is the statistician who predicted the results of the 2012 presidential election cycle, to amazing precision. And on Friday, he released his predictions for the Academy Awards, and that surely has to have the attention of everyone -- everyone who knows about his prediction, that is.

Silver's FiveThirtyEight site is a polling aggregation website and a blog that Silver created. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as 538 dot com or just 538, and takes its name from the number of electors in the United States electoral college. In August 2010 of, the blog became a licensed feature of The New York Times online and was renamed FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver's Political Calculus.

In the 2012 United States presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Silver correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. He was not perfect, however, as Silver's predictions of U.S. Senate races were correct in "only" 31 of 33 states; he predicted Republican victory in North Dakota and Montana, where Democrats won.

While Silver has made Oscar predictions in the past, his accuracy has been only around 75 percent. Given that, Silver has refined his Academy Award prediction models by assigning weights to the hoard of pre-Oscar movie awards, similar to how he weighted the various polls in calculating his election predictions. Silver explained:
These patterns aren't random: instead, the main reason that some awards perform better is because some of them are voted on by people who will also vote for the Oscars. For instance, many members of the Screen Actors Guild will vote both for the SAG Awards and for the Oscars.

In contrast to these "insider" awards are those like the Golden Globes, which are voted upon by "outsiders" like journalists or critics; these tend to be less reliable.
So what is Silver's prediction? He's not attempting to predict all of the Academy Awards, but only major awards.

Among his selections is the Best Picture award, and he has that going to "Argo" in a landslide. His figures are as follows:

Argo: 4.77
Zero Dark Thiry: 1.82
Lincoln: 0.83
Les Miserables: 0.72
Life of Pi: 0.72
Silver Linings Playbook: 0.56
Django Unchained: 0.30
Beasts of the Southern Wild: 0.04
Amour: 0.03

Based on that, "Argo" is a shoe-in. Among his other predictions are Best Actor to Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Supporting Actress to Anne Hathaway by wide margins. These results are in line with what the movie critics have been predicting.

According to his figures, though, Best Director will be extremely tight (he has Steven Spielberg narrowly winning over Ang Lee), as will Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence) and Best Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones). Of those, Best Director is the closest (0.58 vs. 0.56).

Can Silver sweep the Oscars, as he did the 2012 election cycle? We'll see, after tomorrow night's awards.

Depp describes near-death experience on 'The Lone Ranger' set; horse's instinct saved him

Actor Johnny Depp appeared on "Late Night with David Letterman" on Friday, and spoke about what he called a "near-death" experience on the set of the film. It was an incident that could have left him mangled, or worse, and which led Letterman to ask where the stunt people were.

In the Disney film, Depp plays the Lone Ranger's Native American sidekick Tonto. Obviously a lot of horseback riding was required for the flm, and although Depp grew up with horses, in this case, after a long day of running them at top speed, "everything went very sideways."
We were shooting at a different place in the desert where there's these little bumps and things, and so the horse that I was on decided to jump a couple of these little obstacles. The horse was unaware that the saddle I was wearing to sit on top of it was jury-rigged, kind of faked ... to give the effect that I'm riding bareback [as Tonto might].

So basically it's not very tight on the horse. So when we came down, the saddle slipped and I went to the left and had the reins here and somehow had the wherewithal to grab the mane of the horse. All very calm for some reason, I figured that fear would kick in but it didn't. I was waiting [Depp laughed slightly].
The actor was reported dragged about 25 yards by the horse. He added:
All I saw in front of my eyes were these very muscular horse legs and striations of muscles moving, this kind of death machine. One word popped into my head: Hooves. Mind the hooves.
When asked by Letterman what he did, Depp said he had to decide if he wanted to hang on until a horse wrangler came along and stopped the horse, or if it would be better to let go and drop to the ground.

Depp said he decided.
I dropped. It landed on my back, hit the deck pretty hard and the one thing that saved me was the horse's instinct to lift his front legs and go over me, step over me. Had he not, it was coming straight down into the head.
Letterman wondered where the stunt people were. As Depp then added,
Well, that's the exact same question I asked.
Although it's being called a "near-death experience" by many, it's not the typical near-death experience most think of. As Wikipedia says,
A near-death experience (NDE) refers to a broad range of personal experiences associated with impending death, encompassing multiple possible sensations including detachment from the body; feelings of levitation; total serenity, security, or warmth; the experience of absolute dissolution; and the presence of a light.
The picture has had a troubled past, with Wikipedia saying:
The film was initially scheduled for a Summer 2011 release date, but "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" replaced it, because the latter was considered a priority for the studio and because "The Lone Ranger" did not have a director.

After Gore Verbinski signed for director, "The Lone Ranger's" release date was moved to December 21, 2012. However, budget concerns and negotiations resulted in a production delay, so the release date shifted to May 31, 2013.

On May 31, 2012, the release date was pushed further back to July 3, 2013, assuming the place of DreamWorks' 'Robopocalypse' (distributed by Disney, through Touchstone Pictures) for the July Fourth holiday weekend.
"The Lone Ranger" stars Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, and Ruth Wilson.  It is scheduled for a July 3, 2013 release.



Michelle Obama does the 'Dougie,' probably won't out-viral Kate Upton's 'Cat Daddy'

Michelle Obama photo MichelleObamaLarge2.jpg
Dancing can be exercise, right? Appearing on the "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" show on Friday night, First Lady Michelle Obama showed off a number of dance moves.

The appearance was part of the FLOTUS' fitness initiative initiative. Obama is marking the third anniversary of her “Let’s Move” anti-childhood obesity fitness campaign with a national tour, including TV appearances.

What appeared on the show was a bit dubbed "The Evolution of Mom Dancing." It started with drag-clad Jimmy Fallon, dressed sort of like Laura Petrie in the 1960s, but then the FLOTUS joined in to applause and hoots.

The dance evolved through a number of different moves.
  • “Go Shopping, Get Groceries”
  • "Raise the Roof"
  • "The Hip Bump"
  • "The Sprinker"
  • "Happy Snapper"
  • "Just the Hands Part of Single Ladies"
  • "Where's Your Father (Get Him Back Here!)"
  • "Reel It In"
  • The "Shake Your Hip Twice to the Same Side"
  • The "Pulp Fiction"
  • The "Oh My God, I Love This Song"
  • The "Driving the Station Wagon"
  • The "Out of Sync Electric Slide"
and finally the "Dougie," which Fallon in drag appeared completely lost on.

Fallon attempted to ensnare Obama into considering a Michelle-Hillary presidential ticket for the 2016 election cycle. She indicated she actually has a TV gig in mind.
You know, I have my eye actually on another job. And I hear that when Jay Leno retires that The Tonight Show position is going to open and I'm thinking about putting my hat in the ring.
Fallon, of course, is under consideration for that job, and he replied,
I got my hat in the ring.
On Friday, in addition to her Jimmy Fallon appearance, the FLOTUS also taped a segment with "Good Morning America's" newly returned Robin Roberts that will air on Feb. 26.

In addition, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join her to tape an interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz that will air on his syndicated “Dr. Oz” show on Feb. 28.

Other events that are scheduled for the "Let's Move" tour:
  • A Google+ hangout on Mar. 4: The event will be moderated by "Live" co-host Kelly Ripa and will feature a video chat between Obama and parents and children across the country.
  • A Twitter chat scheduled for Mar. 6: Obama will answer questions from followers about the campaign using her @FLOTUS account.
While the video may go viral, it is doubtful it will reach the heights of supermodel Kate Upton and the "Cat Daddy" (also here with Fallon).