Tom Joyner

Posts from July 2014

CONGRATS! Eric Benet and Wife Welcome Baby Girl #2
Eric Benet and his second wife, Manuela Testolini are the proud parents of a baby girl, US Weekly reports. The crooner, 47, who was once married to Halle Berry, already has a 2-year-old daughter, Lucia Bella, with Testolini, 37, who was also Prince’s second wife. Their new baby girl is named Amoura Luna and she was born July 13 weighing in at 6 lbs, oz. in Los Angeles. This makes 3 daughters for Benet, whose 23-year-old daughter, India, is from a previous relationship. Benet’s album, The One, was released in 2012. A seventh studio album, From E To U Volume 1, was released this year, but only in Japan on his own label, Jordan House. Alternative R&B artist Goapele and R&B singer Calvin Richardson are now recording for the label.

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AWW! Alicia Keys Is Expecting Second Child, Announces On Instagram [PHOTO]
True to form, the couple took to their social media to announce the excitement. Alicia’s been on baby bump watch for a while now. A myriad of selfie’s and not-so strategic poses that hid her growing belly only confirmed the rumors (think Kerry Washington on the last season of Scandal).

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People: Alicia KeysKerry Washington

R. Kelly Dropped from Ohio Concert Lineup After Protests
Enough people in Columbus, Ohio complained over the inclusion of R. Kelly in an upcoming Labor Day concert that organizers swiftly cut him from the lineup. The crooner has performed and even headlined music festivals after his controversial legal battles, but his announced involvement in the first ever Fashion Meets Music Festival was met with an overwhelmingly negative response from residents and local musicians. So, the organizers of the have decided to cancel Kelly’s performance. Organizers posted a message on Facebook that said that the two sides “parted ways.” In addition, Kelly’s rep sent a statement to USA Today, which read, “R. Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans but looks forward to seeing them in the near future during one of his upcoming tours.” After Kelly was named the headliner of the festival, which starts on Aug. 29, residents of the area took to social media to complain about the pick. Many brought up his 2002 indictment on child pornography charges, even though he was found not guilty in 2008. There were also reports by the Chicago Sun-Times back in 2000 that showed his link to pursuing relationships with young teen girls. Despite that history, Kelly has remained a force in the music industry, earning headlining gigs at Bonnaroo and Pitchfork last year. But even Columbus bands objected to his appearance. According to the Columbus Dispatch, local bands Saintseneca and Damn the Witch Siren both pulled out. The rest of the headlining acts for the Fashion Meets Music Festival are O.A.R., Michelle Williams, Destructo and Paper Diamond.
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Missing Person: 15yr old Alishianna Harris of Evanston
Harris is described as an African-American female, 5-feet-5-inches tall and weighing 170 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt, blue jeans and a blue back pack. She was last see on Thursday, July 24, 2014.  Anyone with information regarding Harris is asked to contact the Evanston Police Department at 847-866-5000 or use the text-a-tip option by texting to CRIMES (274637) and put EPD TIP in the message line along with the information.

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Topics: Human Interest

Phaedra Parks Takes Leave Of Absence From Real Housewives Of Atlanta
According to our friends over at Eben Gregory, Phaedra Parks will have a limited role on the upcoming season of RHOA. The wife of convicted felon Apollo Nida has been through the ringer in the last year as it pertains to her husband’s illegal activities and a lot of speculation has surrounded Phaedra as it pertains to what she knew about his dirty dealings and when she knew it.
Nida is still out of jail and shooting scenes for the show for the time being and according to Baller Alert Apollo has allegedly admitted to lying about the infamous text messages between Kenya Moore and himself. This was reportedly revealed recently after the two shot a scene together at fellow cast mate Peter Thomas’ club “Bar One” in Atlanta.
With rumors swirling about the status of the marriage between Phaedra and Apollo and the drama that is sure to ensue with Kenya now that Apollo has supposedly come clean about “testgate,” we get the feeling that maybe the smartest thing that Phaedra could have done was to remove herself from the spotlight as she attempts to figure out her next moves in life.
Not everything is meant for general consumption and right now her business being so completely in the street must have her beside herself. This girl has no doubt been to hell and back over the last nine months. It seems that asking for a few moments away to breathe isn’t asking for too much. Hopefully Bravo! will stand by her decision. 
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Locations: Atlanta
People: Apollo NidaKenya MoorePeter ThomasPhaedra

Bobby Brown Returns To The New Edition Tour
Artists for Peace "Never Again" Concert
As we previously reported, Bobby Brown left the New Edition tour because of health issues. The troubles reportedly came to a head during a performance in which B. Brown could not complete the choreography on stage and simply walked off. Well, according to RadarOnline, Bobby Brown is deciding to take his talents back to the New Edition tour. Sources told Radar that Brown did in fact have a medical procedure in Atlanta not too long after he left the tour. He reportedly had a stint put into his heart. However, Brown’s camp has not either confirmed or denied that story. Brown’s son Bobby Brown Jr., 21, told Radar,“He’s fine. He’s about to go back and finish the last six shows.” Well…it doesn’t get any clearer than that! We hope that Bobby is healthy enough to take that workout again. New Edition dances throughout their show…even on the slow songs! We wish him the best of luck on the rest of the tour! We’re sure he’s happy that he can return and we’re sure his fans will be happy that he is returning too! Everyone wins!
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Locations: Atlanta
People: Bobby BrownBobby Brown JrBobby Brown Jr.

Three Summer TV Shows You Should Be Watching

We know Scandal’s return is still almost two months away and you fans of shows like The Good Wife, Being Mary Jane, NCIS and The Real Housewives of Atlanta have to wait even longer for your favorite shows to return. But there’s plenty to watch this summer from Orange Is The New Black on Netflix to Masters of Sex on Showtime. But there are three new shows that may have escaped your attention that you should be watching. Check out our list and get your DVR, Amazon or Netflix on.

THE DIVIDE – WeTV Nia Long, Damon Gupton, Clarke Peters You won’t see him on the show but Scandal’s Tony Goldwyn is behind the scenes in a big way for this 8 episode summer series. HE’s the producer and director and ond of the creative team responsible for getting the show on the air. Set in Philadelphia, the show covers what happens in the aftermath of an execution of a white man for the murder of a black family. As both the D.A. who originally prosecuted the case and his father, the police commissioner are Black, things get messy when its believed that maybe the murders didn’t happen exactly as everyone thought. Why You Should Watch: It’s both a crime drama and a thriller, with a lot of twists and turns. Nia Long, Damon Gupton and The Wire alumnus Clarke Peters (“Wire” fans know him as Det. Lester Freamon) are putting in some great work in a show that gives the Black characters as much to do, if not more, than the white ones. How to Watch: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. with a cable provider, Amazon streaming video, On Demand

POWER- Starz Omari Hardwick, Naturi Naughton, Lela Loren, Joe Sikora Who would thought that 50 Cent would be the creative force behind the summer’s biggest hit – in the Black community at least. 50 brought the show to Starz and has a cameo role in the show about a drug dealer turned club owner James “Ghost” St. Patrick who wants to go legit, though no one else in his life does. Complicating things are his high school girlfriend, Angela, who is also unwitting trying to prosecute him his ride-or-die wife, Tasha and his right-hand, Tommy. Why You Should Watch: I wouldn’t go so far as to call it the new “Wire” as some have (not even close) but it’s a nuanced and entertaining look at what happens when one man wants to change his life and almost everyone around him wants him to keep it the same. How to Watch: (if you have it the channel in your cable provider package) or on Starz, which will do an all-day Power marathon including the season finale on Saturday, August 2 starting at 1:30 p.m.

EXTANT – CBS Halle Berry, Goran Visnick, Lou Gossett, Jr., Tami Roman Halle Berry returns to TV as an executive producer, playing an astronaut who returns to Earth after 13 months of a solo mission only to find out she’s pregnant, her “son” who was created in a lab is acting odd and her bosses are out to get her. Why You Should Watch: Stephen Spielberg is behind it, and Halle Berry’s in it. If that’s not enough, it’s a compelling sci-fi thriller with a Black woman in a leading role. How to Watch: Wednesdays at 9 pm., and all episodes are available via Amazon streaming video, and they’re free if you have a prime membership.
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Jay Anthony Brown Murders Another Hit: Play with Me (Video)
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COMMENTARY: Judge's Slap Definitely A Hate Crime
I’m still questioning the notion of our so-called post-racial society after hearing about a white businessman who confronted a prominent Chicago judge – a 79-year-old Black woman, called her “Rosa Parks,” spit on her, and then slapped her in the face. This is an unconscionable act. It’s racist and disrespectful, yes, but it also speaks to a deliberate disregard for human decency – and a reckless disregard for Black women. I am outraged, but sadly, I’m not surprised. While there are many sincere, well-intentioned white folks in America – some of whom I consider friends – there are far too many bigots who are taking us backward in time when it was commonplace to disrespect and murder Blacks without fear of repercussions. The victim was Cook County Judge Arnette Hubbard, an esteemed African-American jurist and the first female president of the National Bar Association and Cook County Bar Association. The perpetrator was David C. Nicosia, 55, (pictured) a white businessman, who became enraged because Hubbard was smoking a cigarette outside the Daley Center and apparently the smoke was bothering him. So instead of just walking away, Nicosia argues with Hubbard and within minutes, he attacks her. “Rosa Parks, move,” Nicosia shouted at Hubbard. He then spit on her. And as Hubbard called out for help, Nicosia slapped her in the face with an open hand. Imagine if Hubbard had been your mother, or grandmother, or sister, or aunt? How would you react? Nicosia is also ignorant. He called Hubbard “Rosa Parks” as if that was an insult. I suspect Nicosia doesn’t know much about Rosa Parks or black history and that Rosa Parks was the only black reference Nicosia could draw on during his racist outburst. Nicosia felt it was completely appropriate to assault and disrespect Hubbard because she was Black. This is not just my interpretation of the situation, because Nicosia was arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated battery — and a hate crime. I hope Nicosia gets the maximum jail time allowed under the law. There are 23 hate groups in Illinois. Since 2000, according to The Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups has increased by 56 percent. I’m not suggesting that Nicosia is associated with a hate group, but I am saying that hate groups are part of an insidious and racist culture that gives people like Nicosia a license to assault black people with impunity. Black people like Hubbard. “She’s an icon in our community,” Delores Robinson, past president of the Cook County Bar Association, told The Chicago Tribune. Robinson added that Hubbard was a former commissioner on the Cook County Board of Elections and also served as an international election observer in Haiti and South Africa and has been an outspoken advocate on civil rights and women’s issues. Hubbard, who was born in Arkansas, graduated from Southern Illinois University and John Marshall Law School and began her legal career in 1969 working on civil rights cases, according to online biographies. She was appointed to the bench in 1997. “People of good common sense and decency, people of good hearts should be outraged by this,” Robinson said. Add my name to the list of outraged citizens. What do you think?
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Casting Call Backfires For N.W.A. Movie
Film Title: Straight Outta Compton
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Universal Pictures and the filmmakers behind the planned N.W.A. biopic are distancing themselves from an offensive casting announcement for the film after social media outrage.

The company said in a statement late Thursday that “the filmmakers … did not approve and do not condone the information in this casting notice. We regret and sincerely apologize for being in any way associated with the offensive descriptions it contained.”
F. Gary Gray is directing the biopic, which stars newcomers and Ice Cube’s son, playing his father in the film. It details the rise of N.W.A, the first major, groundbreaking group to emerge out of the Los Angeles hip-hop scene.

Sande Alessi Casting posted an open call earlier this week that sought women in four categories:
SAG OR NON UNION CASTING NOTICE FOR FEMALES-ALL ETHNICITIES- from the late 80′s. Shoots on “Straight Outta Compton”. Shoot date TBD. We are pulling photos for the director of featured extras. VERY IMPORTANT – You MUST live in the Los Angeles area (Orange County is fine too) to work on this show. DO NOT SUBMIT if you live out of the area. Nobody is going to be flying into LA to do extra work on this show – and don’t tell me you are willing to fly in.


A GIRLS: These are the hottest of the hottest. Models. MUST have real hair – no extensions, very classy looking, great bodies. You can be black, white, asian, hispanic, mid eastern, or mixed race too. Age 18-30.

B GIRLS: These are fine girls, long natural hair, really nice bodies. Small waists, nice hips. You should be light-skinned. Beyonce is a prototype here. Age 18-30.

C GIRLS: These are African American girls, medium to light skinned with a weave. Age 18-30.

D GIRLS: These are African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone. Character types. Age 18-30. quoted the casting call in an article Thursday. The casting company has since removed the announcement from its Facebook page.

A woman who answered the phone at Sande Alessi Casting on Thursday declined comment and would not identify herself.

Universal has not said if it is still working with the casting company. The Sande Alessi Casting website shows it is still inviting African-American men and women to audition as extras for “Straight Outta Compton” at an open call later this month.
(Photo: AP)
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Tamar Braxton Calls Her Son Logan 'a Little Benjamin Button'
Tamar Braxton and Vince Herbert‘s son is growing up so fast! The 13-month-old — Baby Logan — is already doing stuff beyond his age, according to Braxton. She considers Logan to be her “little Benjamin Button” — PEOPLE got the exclusive. “He’s amazing,” Braxton said. “He’s walking, he’s talking, he’s playing the piano — he’s a little Benjamin Button, it’s crazy. I don’t know what happened, he’s not a baby anymore.” It’s father like son as Braxton revealed her son’s style and swagger is just like his father’s style and swagger. “They have some of the same clothes and it’s the funniest thing. They both wear caps. It’s like his mini-me,” she said. Baby Logan might have his father’s style, but that mean Braxton is doing the laundry of the styled-baby. “Either my mom or his nanny will do it. I’m not the laundry girl,” she added. “I’m terrible! I’ve ruined too many good pieces. Some people can’t cook — well, I can’t do laundry.” Nevertheless, Braxton is always spending time with her son — he accompanies her almost everywhere! “Logan goes with me everywhere and brings a normalcy to everything. I make sure he knows I’m his mother and I put him to bed every night and he wakes up to me,” she revealed. This is a trait that must run in the family. She learned her parenting skills from her siblings and stars of “Braxton Family Values.” “My sisters are great mothers,” she said. “Now, for the first time in our lives, we’re all mothers.” Braxton said “a lot of things are different” for the upcoming season of their show. “We’re just trying to find our place and where we fit in the sisterhood,” she said
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Shonda Rhimes Talks Scandal: 'We're Back To The Core People'
Shonda Rhimes
Scandal‘s fourth season debuts on Thursday, September 25th at 9 p.m. and this season, you can expect for many things to change. For one, Columbus Short’s Harrison is gone for good. Fitz has been reelected and when last seen, Olivia was flying off to parts unknown with Jake after realizing she’d been betrayed by her father. Show creator Shonda Rhimes gave an insightful interview to The Hollywood Reporter to talk about what fans can expect for next season. Here are some highlights.

How Things Will Be Different in Season 4:

Season four is going to be very different from season three, the same way season two was different from season one. It just is. We’re telling different stories. Liv was in a different place. The characters are in different places. We’re in a different space. What I loved about when we got to the end of the season, we pushed a very strange reset button. Everybody’s life got wiped clean in a very odd way. Maya went back into the hole, Harrison is gone, OPA no longer exists, Fitz has been re-elected, his child is dead, and Mellie is a mess. Everything has been put in this very strange spot. Fitz is destroyed. He’s won the presidency, but he’s lost everything. We’re in a very different space than we were when we were even three episodes toward the end. We’re in a very different spot and everybody has been wiped clean, and anything goes, in a weird way.

How Harrison Will Exit The Show:

His absence will be explained definitively. What you think happened to his character happened to his character. The Kinds of Storylines To Expect in Season 4: It feels like the universe is getting smaller again. As we’re telling stories, the stories really do seem to be more focused on our core people. By necessity, in a weird way, last season we had to expand our universe. We had a lead actress who for reasons that are private [Washington's pregnancy] was moving slower and could work less. So we had to hold things in front of her and tone it down a lot more. It just meant for us that it was a different energy for her, and we were taking care of somebody. She couldn’t work 14 hours a day, so we had to tell our story in a different way, and that necessitated other people both picking up the slack in beautiful ways — we got to really see Bellamy Young [First Lady Mellie Grant] sing and all the amazing moves she could do. We got to see those people sing in amazing ways and bring in other people for them to play against.

How Long Scandal Will Last:

I’ve already decided when Scandal is ending. I think there’s only so much Scandal you can tell satisfactorily. The Fitz-Liv thing can only be told so long and in such a way. It’s not a 10-season or eight-season show. I’ve already decided how long that is and what that’s going to be. I’m not really worried about that.

  Read the entire interview here.

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Bobbi Kristina Denies Posting Photo Of Herself Smoking Pipe
Bobbi Kristina needs Jesus. Well, at least we thought she did. Radar Online reported she posted an Instagram image of herself smoking, which was assumed to be weed, out of a water pipe. The pic was accompanied by long narrative explaining why she posted the pic.

  “This picture may be inappropriate but I want to make a connection with you all,” she wrote. “Don’t worry this picture isn’t recent just hear me out. Do you know what I feel? I feel strange I can’t feel any pain anymore. I don’t take any drugs as of recently.” Bobbi Kristina continued, “People kinda expect more from me. But I can’t. I have lost my sense. It just happened. Then here we go again I’m in the same pain. I’m hurt. I’m trying to. I really do. But I know that I’m hurt and in pain but I can feel it but I don’t know what it is. “What do I really do? God, Help me ignore and rebuke what these demons are saying, in Jesus Name. Amen.” Turns out Bobbi Kristina denies the whole thing. She responded with this tweet:

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Topics: Human Interest
People: Bobbi Kristina

The drama between the cast of “Love and HipHop Atlanta” has spilled off of our television screens and into real life. Things got real between former friends and business partners Benzino and Stevie J after Stevie J leaked nude photos of Benzino’s fiancée Althea. After Stevie J dropped the photo online, all bets were off and Benzino went in on Stevie and his “wife” Joseline Hernandez. Stevie J posted a photo of Althea completely naked one her hands and knees in between a man’s legs with the caption, “Lettuce anyone?” The photo has since been deleted. Once the photo went up and Benzino caught wind of it, all hell broke loose. Benzino immediately threatened to expose Stevie J and his “wife” Joseline. The Hip Hop Weekly Magazine owner called Joseline a man and a crackhead. He even went as far as to say she slept with her chauffeur and every other Tom, Dick and Harry.While Benzino went ballistic, Stevie J just sat back and watched. He tweeted a few things to fan the flames, but he didn’t fully engage in the war of words. All Stevie J said was, “Just chill bro I’m gonna show you a p***y soon. #patience.” Althea threw her two cents in as well. She retweeted the nude picture and said, “That’s me and Zino what u want tickets??” Needless to say, things will get even messier than they already are. We will most certainly be keeping an eye on this foolishness because it’s bound to get worse before it gets better.

Click the link to see the tweets
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Topics: Human Interest
Locations: Atlanta
People: Benzino

Second-Generation Jacksons Get New Reality Show
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Members of Michael Jackson’s extended family are stepping out of what they call “the Jackson bubble” for a reality show. The six-episode show, debuting Nov. 18 on Reelz, focuses on Alejandra Jackson, the ex-wife of Michael’s brother Jermaine, and her five children. After Michael’s death five years ago, they left the Jackson family home in suburban Encino, a move that a clip from the show suggests wasn’t their idea. “We didn’t want it to happen that way,” Alejandra’s daughter Genevieve said Saturday at the summer TV critics’ tour. Son Donte Jackson added, “Some of the politics came into play.” At the same time, Genevieve said the family lived under constraints at the Encino house. “We were very sheltered,” she said. “There’s a lot of outside people coming in and out of our house. We had to watch what we said.” Alejandra Jackson and her brood started a new life away from the home of grandparents Katherine and Joe Jackson. She had two children with Randy Jackson — Genevieve and Randy Jr. — and then married Randy’s brother Jermaine, having sons Jaafar and Jermajesty. Alejandra has raised Donte since he was 2 after he was adopted by Katherine and Joe. “It’s a long story,” Alejandra said about her love life. Considering the amount of tabloid attention the Jackson family has received, why not keep their lives private? “People already had a preconceived judgment of us and we weren’t speaking,” Randy Jr. said. “Now we feel comfortable enough to show how we really are.”
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New Cosby Show Could Debut As Soon As Next Summer
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Bill Cosby could be returning to the network with a new comedy as soon as next summer. The series, described as a “classic, extended-family sitcom” with Cosby as the patriarch, is currently in the writing stage, NBC executives said at Sunday’s session of the summer TV critics’ tour. It was first announced in January. Cosby, 77, has a long history with NBC, including his seminal “The Cosby Show,” which became a smash hit 30 years ago and helped rescue a network then at the bottom of the ratings. It ran for eight seasons. After that, Cosby headlined a sitcom at CBS, among other series. If the new Cosby project isn’t ready for next summer, it could be a contender for fall 2015. Another veteran NBC star, Michael J. Fox, returned to the fold last fall. But despite his breakout success in 1982 on “Family Ties,” ”The Michael J. Fox Show” proved to be a flop and was cancelled this spring. NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt acknowledged his disappointment that the show didn’t click with viewers. “We struggled and worked really hard to figure out how to bring an audience to that show,” he said. “We just found it very difficult to grow that show over all those months.” Unlike the flamed-out Fox show, the upcoming Cosby venture will use multi-cameras and be filmed in front of a studio audience, a format that has lost ground at NBC, where single-camera comedies like “30 Rock,” ”The Office” and ‘Parks and Recreation” have thrived. Greenblatt said the network is trying to bring back this classic “multi” form, which goes back to “I Love Lucy” and the earliest days of network television (and which is going strong at CBS with shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Mike & Molly.”) “There’s been a generation of writers and producers who have gone away from multi-cam, and we are trying to revitalize (that form),” Greenblatt said. “There was such cachet with ’30 Rock’ and ‘The Office,’ which reinforced single-camera as the ‘better’ form, and I hope we can balance the scales a little.”
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Jill Scott, Regina Hall and Eve To Star in Lifetime Movie
Lifetime is really investing in Black audiences these days. Now on their development slate is an adaptation of the 2006 book The Vow written by former Essence Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt-Murray, current Ebony Editor-In-Chief Mitzi Miller and Think Like A Man co-writer Denene Millner. The Hollywood Reporter says that the Lifetime movie will now be titled With This Ring. Jill Scott, Eve and Regina Hall will play three women who attend a friends wedding on New Year’s Eve and all three decide they want to also make it to the altar in the next year. Tracy Edmonds and Gabrielle Union are producing along with Soul Food’s Sheila Duckworth. Nzinga Stewart will write and direct. With This Ring will film in Cleveland in August and will be broadcast on the network later this year. 
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K.Michelle Snaps On Instagram Yet Again Over Body Critics
106 & Park Live
K.Michelle has lashed out on social media yet again. This time she took aim at all the people that hate her shape!
The former “Love & Hip Hop” has a big butt. She knows and anyone that has ever seen her knows it. In fact, she admitted to getting a fat transfer to bump up the size of her booty!
Since she has so much cushion, that’s the first thing her detractors blast when looking to spread some hate on social media. Well, K.Michelle’s had enough! The “V.S.O.P.” singer snapped over all of the body shaming, and spilled a little tea about her Instagram inbox at the same time!
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Tracy Morgan Out of Rehab
Tracy Morgan
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan has been released from a rehabilitation facility as he heals from serious injuries he suffered in a car crash that left a fellow comedian dead, his spokesman said Saturday. Morgan will continue his recovery at home with an “aggressive outpatient program,” spokesman Lewis Kay said. The comedian suffered a broken leg and broken ribs when the limousine van he was riding in was hit from behind June 7 by a Wal-Mart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. The wreck killed 62-year-old comedian James McNair, who went by the name Jimmy Mack. Comedian Ardley Fuqua and another passenger, Jeffrey Millea, were injured. On Thursday, lawyers for Morgan filed a lawsuit against Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, claiming the retailer was negligent when a driver of one of its tractor-trailers rammed into Morgan’s limousine van. The complaint claims the retail giant should have known that its driver had been awake for over 24 hours and that his commute of 700 miles from his home in Georgia to work in Delaware was “unreasonable.” It also alleges the driver fell asleep at the wheel. “As a result of Wal-Mart’s gross, reckless, willful, wanton, and intentional conduct, it should be appropriately punished with the imposition of punitive damages,” according to the complaint. Morgan’s lawsuit seeks a jury trial and punitive and compensatory damages. Fuqua, Jeffrey Millea, and Millea’s wife, Krista, are also named as plaintiffs in the suit. Krista Millea was not in the limousine when the crash occurred, but is a plaintiff because she has a related “loss of services” lawsuit stemming from the crash. In a statement issued Saturday, Wal-Mart reiterated that it was “cooperating fully” in the ongoing investigation. “We know it will take some time to resolve all of the remaining issues as a result of the accident, but we’re committed to doing the right thing for all involved,” Wal-Mart said. Truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Georgia, has pleaded not guilty to death by auto and assault by auto charges. A criminal complaint also accuses him of not sleeping for more than 24 hours before the crash, a violation of New Jersey law. A report by federal transportation safety investigators said Roper was driving 65 mph in the 60 seconds before he slammed into the limo van. The speed limit on that stretch of the turnpike is 55 mph and was lowered to 45 mph that night because of construction. Roper had been on the job about 13 1/2 hours at the time of the crash, the report concluded. Federal rules permit truck drivers to work up to 14 hours a day, with a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel. Morgan, a New York City native, was returning from a standup performance at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Delaware when the crash occurred.
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HBO Will Broadcast Last Show Of "On The Run" Tour
Couldn’t make it out to the “On the Run” to see Jay-Z and Beyonce? Well, HBO has it covered. HBO president Michael Lombardo just announced that the cable network will air the final stop of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s “On the Run” tour. Cameras will capture the Sept. 12 and 13 shows at Stade de France in Paris – the lone international stops on the tour – for a concert special to air later in the month, Lombardo told the Television Critics Association in Beverly Hills Thursday. News of the “On the Run” broadcast comes as Beyoncé currently appears on HBO in Beyoncé: X10, a ten-episode series of concert performances from her “Mrs. Carter” tour that debut Sunday nights before “True Blood.” She also aired her intimate feature-length documentary Life Is But a Dream on HBO in Feb. 2013. Also, Jay Z’s chose HBO to premiere his video, “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film” in Aug. 2013. “On the Run” covers 19 stadiums in the U.S. and two stadium shows in Paris. HBO will capture the couple performing more than 40 songs on their first ever joint tour. “This is a major musical event that belongs on HBO,” noted Lombardo. “It’s going to be a night to remember.” 
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Topics: Entertainment_Culture
Locations: Paris
People: CarterJay-ZMichael Lombardo

COMMENTARY: Our Kids Are Dying In Chicago And We're Becoming Immune To It

Every time a black man is shot on the streets of Chicago, I think of my friend, Michele Dowdy, who lost her son to gun violence in 2012 and how justice continues to elude her. Malcom Dowdy, 33, was not in a gang; he was not involved in a fight at the time of the shooting – he was simply a family man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Dowdy was shot by mistake on Memorial Day 2012 and his murderer has still not been arrested and brought to trial, although the case remains open. “It’s very frustrating,” Michele said Thursday. Two years after Malcom Dowdy’s murder, gun violence on the streets of Chicago has reached crisis proportions. On the July 4 weekend, 82 people were shot, mostly young Black men, and 16 people were killed. The reports of these shootings – and violent deaths – seem so routine these days, so detached, so matter-of-fact. But we’re facing an epidemic that is sweeping through Chicago and taking hold of this country. We’re losing an entire generation of young Black men to gun violence and nobody seems to have a plan to stop it. There have been countless meetings with police and residents; studies by educators and psychologists; and police claims that the overall crime rate is dropping. Last week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blamed the federal government for the shootings, claiming the feds have not done enough to provide young people with after-school programs. That was a stretch by any political yardstick. So what will it take to stop these shootings? What will it take to stop the culture that glorifies brazen murders in public parks? Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston, Illinois Chairman of the National Action Network, is calling for a summit on urban violence and criticized Emanuel for poor leadership. “If Rahm can raise money for his campaign, he can raise money to replace resources that have been ripped from the disadvantaged and challenged communities where senseless violence erupted once again this weekend,” Livingston said. “School closings and union busting are just a few of the grave issues that affect this nature of violence.” Livingston has a point, but it’s also a parental issue as well. What are parents teaching these black boys and can’t some parents do a better job of reining in their offspring? Michele Dowdy, she did all the right things: She taught her son right from wrong, raised him to respect women and family, she taught him the meaning of a solid work ethic and instilled the importance of serving his country. “He was the first grandchild on both sides of the family, a proud father of a daughter … he had a fiancé, a new home, he was a veteran, a dean’s list student, a working man,” Michele told me. “He was well-respected by all,” she said. “But most of all, he was my son, my heir, my backup, my protector, my confidant, not perfect, mine. At the time of his death he was very, very happy and planning a wedding.” Black men like Malcom Dowdy are dying senselessly on the streets of Chicago and police can’t seem to close their cases. It’s difficult for Michele to accept that her son’s killer is walking the streets of Chicago. If only someone –anyone — would talk. It’s a daunting situation for Chicago residents, many of whom do not want to be labeled as snitches for fear of repercussions from gang members. But if nobody ever talks, then killers continue to roam free and, perhaps, will kill again. “The shooter shot in the crowd at someone else and missed,” Michele said. “To this day no suspects have been apprehended, a usual occurrence in Chicago. Someone saw something, someone knows something.” Last week, Tonya Gunn, 44, was one of those 82 people shot in Chicago. She was killed while sitting in a park while attending a family gathering. Gunn’s 11-year-old daughter was standing right beside her mother at the time of the shooting. “Everybody was sitting out here and I was sitting over there. And I was getting ready to go in the house. And they started shooting and I heard them screaming. They saying, ‘Somebody call the police!’ But I didn’t know who it was. And then the ambulance came and they took her. They shot her in front of her daughter,” Krystal Scott, Gunn’s cousin, told The Chicago Tribune. And there’s more: According to the Tribune, the July 4 weekend rampage also included two boys shot by police: a 14-year-old who allegedly pointed a long-barreled .44-caliber revolver at officers, and a 16-year-old who allegedly refused officers’ instructions to drop a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun as he crawled out from beneath a car. The boys are 14 and 16 years old. Something is very wrong in our communities and we need to do a better job policing our own neighborhoods. “The solution does not just include policing — although we’ll continue to look for ways to put more police where they’re needed,” Emanuel told reporters. “We also have to give our young people alternatives to the street, and as a community we need to demand more of ourselves and our neighbors.” It’s a solid concept, sure, but Emanuel needs more cops on the streets to close cases so he should put more money behind those lofty words. Just ask my friend Michele Dowdy.
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Matthew Knowles' Possible Baby Mama Says She Never Wanted Publicity
The latest woman claiming to have a baby by Beyonce’s father, Matthew Knowles, has released a statement saying she never intended for her news to go public and would like to keep the matter private. Too late for that. Taqoya Branscomb, 30, is claiming that Mathew Knowles is the father of her 4-year-old daughter, Koi. In her statement, she also says published photos of her doing splits are a decade old, and she is now a “working successful single mother.” Read the following statement regarding her lawsuit against Mr. Knowles below: “First I’d like to thank my family, my friends, and the public for their love and support. I have taken the necessary legal action against Mathew Knowles. With that being said… it’s in my best interest for this to remain a private matter for now… Above all I am a mother and my daughter’s well being is my only priority. It was never my intention for this to become a public matter. The pictures you see are in no way a representation of who I am. They were taken 10 years ago… And I am now a hard working successful single mother. Honestly I just want what is best for my daughter.” According to Branscomb, Knowles got her pregnant in 2010.This is around the time that other reports say she was hanging with Solange Knowles, clubbing with her around 2008. TMZ has acquired a photo of the two together. Branscomb’s daughter was born in 2010, the same year Knowles and wife Tina divorced. Per the lawsuit filed on May 30, Taqoya is asking for a DNA test, a declaration of paternity, child support and money for her lawyer fees.
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Jennifer Hudson Hurt By Illuminati Rumors

Singer/actress Jennifer Hudson saw her star soar after she wowed critics and audiences alike in the hit musical “Dreamgirls.” Soon after winning countless awards, her mother, brother, and nephew were murdered. Plenty of naysayers used that horrific experience to say she sacrificed her family for fame from the Illuminati. Now that she’s out promoting her upcoming third album “J Hud,” she opened up about how the Illuminati rumors made her feel.

Hudson stopped by Washington D.C. radio station Majic 102.3 where she talked about motherhood, her forthcoming album and lessons she learned from mentor music executive Clive Davis. Talking about Davis prompted her to share her feelings about the Illuminati rumors. Jennifer Hudson said, “People find a way to discredit people. At the end of the day, we all work hard for what we get and what we do just like anyone else. Every time I hear stiff like that, I’m like ‘You will not take credit for Gold’s work and give it to Satan!”


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Katt Williams: 'I Helped Make Kevin Hart' [VIDEO]

Katt Williams hasn’t been silenced by his many run-ins with the law. Not at all. In an interview with Bishop Don Juan this week, he didn’t shy away from controversial topics. Williams said that not only did he tell Kevin Hart’s people how to make him Kevin Hart, that he’s the guy who came up with BET’s Hip-Hop Awards – but didn’t want any money or credit for it because he’s one of the few entertainers not “owned” by anyone. OK then! Well, fortunately for his fans, Katt’s still doing standup. His latest comedy special Priceless, directed by Spike Lee, airs on HBO August 16th.
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Bobby Brown Tuckers Out, Quits Mid-Performance [Watch]
Every Little Step” for Bobby Brown these days apparently takes some effort. New Edition performed in Mississippi last week and Bobby was so winded that he was unable to continue. In the video, posted by TMZ, Bobby starts off ok … but then skips a move altogether. Then another. Then he just flat out stops, doubles over, and eventually walks off. Here's the link for the video

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Locations: Mississippi
People: Bobby BrownBobby Brown Tuckers

Former 'Scandal' Star Columbus Short Arrested Again
Columbus Short just refuses to get his act together! According to TMZ, Short celebrated July 4th by getting in trouble with the law for the 4th time in 4 months.
Short was reportedly at the Katy Trail Ice House which is said to be a popular bar in Dallas, TX. He was there for around 4 hours and was reportedly drinking…and drinking A LOT!
An eyewitness says Columbus got up and seemed to be leaving without paying the tab. A security guard attempted to talk to him and Columbus allegedly started screaming!
TMZ reports that Columbus accused the guard of racism, but the guard fired back that he TOO was black and then a scuffle between the two ensued.
Allegedly several off duty Dallas cops (who work at the bar on weekends) broke up the fight but Short’s temper was still well…short!
Columbus reportedly started screaming at the cops and tried attacking them! As one source at the bar put it,
“He was like a dog with a bone who wouldn’t let it go.”
The cops then did what cops do…they arrested Short, but not for assault … for public intoxication.
Short was taken to jail.
So, in case you’re keeping score at home…that would be another L to put in Short’s column. What judge is going to find favor for this guy in any of his other pending cases when he just keeps getting into trouble all over again.
We hate to say anyone is a lost cause…but boy…Columbus is sure pushing our thoughts that way!
Get it together sir before you are blacklisted and shunned all together…seriously.
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Topics: Law_Crime
Locations: DallasTexas
People: Columbus Short

Matthew Knowles Hit With Second Paternity Suit
Could Beyonce and Solange have another sibling out there? A woman in Texas says yes. reports that TaQuoya Branscomb, a lingerie model turned real estate agent has filed papers in Texas saying that Matthew Knowles fathered her daughter, born in 2010. Knowles, 63, already has had a child out of wedlock with Alexsandra Wright. Knowles acknowledged his son, Nixon, and was ordered to pay child support of $12,000 a month, but claimed that his income was severely reduced when he was let go as his daughter’s manager. Not only were the payments reduced from $12,000 to $2485 a month, a judge ruled this year that Knowles had overpaid $110,000. Given that adjustment, Wright told reporters earlier this year that she and her son were forced to move to a trailer park. Branscomb is requesting a DNA test, child support and attorney’s fees from Knowles. Knowles managed his daughter until 2011, a year after divorcing Beyonce’s mother, Tina, his wife of almost 30 years. So far, no comment from Matthew Knowles or from his daughters.
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Topics: Law_Crime
Locations: Texas
People: Alexsandra WrightMatthew KnowlesNixonTina

Sherri Shepherd Files To Sever Parental Rights To Unborn Child

Sherri Shepherd does not want custody of her unborn child and wants to sever all parental rights and responsibilities, including child support. She and estranged husband Lamar Sally went the surrogate route to become parents, but Shepherd did not provide an egg, according to reports. TMZ reports that Shepherd believes that Sally used the unborn child to generate child support payments and that as the marriage is over, Shepherd shouldn’t have to be responsible for a child that is not hers biologically. Sally has filed for divorce in California, which recognizes surrogacy agreements, but Shepherd’s filing in New Jersey could complicate things as New Jersey law doesn’t always recognize surrogacy. According to Sally, the baby is due July 28th. Shepherd already has a son with her first husband, Jeff Tarpley. Tarpley is suing for a reconsideration of their custody agreement, alleging that Shepherd is an unfit mother.
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Can You Guess Which 'RHOA' Star Is Leaving The Show?

“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” may be losing its biggest personality over salary disputes. It looks like NeNe Leakes has just confirmed her exit from the hit Bravo reality show! Although the network stated that all six of the Atlanta Housewives have been invited back for season 7, the status of NeNe’s role always seemed to be in flux. At first she was supposed to be coming back full time. Then there were reports from Star Magazine that Bravo had hit her with a major pay cut and reduced her screen presence to a part-time gig. Was NeNe going to be coming back? If so, would she no longer be part of the central cast? She put the entire guessing game to rest on Friday with a 140-character statement, confirming gossip of contract disputes.
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Is Larenz Tate Headed for 'Scandal?'

Larenz Tate is already starring on one hit TV show, USA Network’s Rush, but fans of the ABC hit series Scandal want him to take over Columbus Short‘s vacated role. He can do it since many actors on TV have multiple gigs, but Tate didn’t want to keep speculation going about a job he doesn’t have. Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes shut down rumors that Tate was replacing Short months ago, but fans still think it’s a great idea. Tate talked about Rush but skillfully dodged questions about Scandal when he talked with Wendy Williams. “I would love to have two jobs. ’Rush’ is a really great show. It’s a medical drama,” he said. He added, “some of our storylines are loosely based off of events that go on. The only constant thing in his life has been his best friend…I’m the complete total opposite. “I have what you could consider the ideal life, but I start going into a bit of his world as the show progresses,” Tate said. As far as Short’s misfortunes, Tate, who knows the actor, says that he’s sorry that his fellow actor seems to be dealing with some serious challenges. “It’s unfortunate that he’s gone through some serious and tough times, but I’m happy with what I’m doing right now and that’s ‘Rush.’” Gun Hill, a BET movie that recently premiered starring Tate may also get a series pickup, says writer/producer Reggie Rock Bythewood, who says he hopes Tate’s schedule could work out to do both shows, if necessary. USA”s new medical drama “Rush” premieres on July 17.
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Katt Williams Reportedly Draws Gun at LA's Comedy Store; Cops Swarm [VIDEO]

Comedian Katt Williams is back in the headlines for his erratic behavior – this time for allegedly drawing a gun on someone at the Comedy Store in West Hollywood. According to TMZ, a 911 call Tuesday night ended with cops racing to the scene with guns drawn. Eyewitnesses tell the website that Katt was inside the club when a heckler started talking smack about the comedian’s height and race. Katt, who had been milling around the venue, reportedly “went crazy” and started threatening the heckler with a gun. At that point someone called 911 to report a man with a gun at the Comedy Store. Six police cars raced to the Sunset Strip location. Deputies pointed shot guns and bean bag guns at the club as they prepared for a confrontation. Turns out … Katt had already left. So far no arrest warrant has been issued. To see the video click the link
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Children's Author Walter Dean Myers Dies
Walter Dean Myers

NEW YORK (AP) — Walter Dean Myers, a best-selling and prolific children’s author and tireless champion of literacy and education, has died. He was 76. Myers, a longtime resident of Jersey City, New Jersey, died Tuesday at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan after a brief illness, publisher HarperCollins announced. A onetime troublemaker who dropped out of high school, the tall, soft-spoken Myers spent much of his adult life writing realistic and accessible stories about crime, war and life in the streets. He completed more than 100 books, his notable works including “Monster” and “Lockdown,” and was the rare author — black or white — to have a wide following among middle-school boys. Widely loved in the literary community and a leading advocate for diversity in children’s books, he was a three-time National Book Award nominee and received five Coretta Scott King awards for African-American fiction. In 2012-13, he served as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a position created in part by the Library of Congress. He was an unofficial ambassador well before that, visiting schools and prisons and libraries around the country. “This is a huge, huge loss,” said the current ambassador, “The Tale of Despereaux” author Kate DeCamillo, who fondly remembered the emails he would send her. “They would always start with, ‘Hello, love,’ and he would advise me about being an ambassador and make sure I was writing, too.” Myers’ books were usually narrated by teenagers trying to make right choices when the wrong ones were so much easier. There was the 17-year-old hiding from the police in “Dope Sick,” or the boarding school student in “The Beast” who learns his girlfriend is hooked on drugs. He was careful not to make judgments, and in the crime story “Monster” left doubt over whether the narrator was really guilty. One of five siblings, he was born Walter Milton Myers in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in 1937. His mother died when he was 18 months old, and he was sent up to Harlem and raised in a foster home by Herbert and Florence Dean, a janitor, and a cleaning woman and factory worker, respectively. In honor of his foster parents, he took the pen name Walter Dean Myers. Over 6 feet tall by middle school, he was a basketball star, but also a stutterer who was teased often and often fought back in return. Meanwhile, back home, he was happy to sit quietly and read. “There were two very distinct voices going on in my head and I moved easily between them,” Myers wrote in his memoir, “Bad Boy,” which came out in 2001. “One had to do with sports, street life and establishing myself as a male. … The other voice, the one I had from my street friends and teammates, was increasingly dealing with the vocabulary of literature.” Myers was gifted enough to be accepted to one of Manhattan’s best public schools, Stuyvesant. But he was also shy, too poor to afford new clothes and unable to keep up with the work. Myers began skipping school for weeks at a time and never graduated. “I know what falling off the cliff means,” he told The Associated Press in 2011. “I know from being considered a very bright kid to being considered like a moron and dropping out of school.” He served three years in the military, and later was employed as a factory worker, a messenger on Wall Street and a construction worker. Anxious to be a writer after reading James Baldwin, he contributed to Alfred Hitchcock’s mystery magazine and numerous sports publications. His first book — “Where Does the Day Go?” — was published in 1969 after he won a contest for children’s literature by people of color. His visits with students and inmates not only gave him the chance to help others straighten out their lives, but also inspired some of his work. “Lockdown,” a National Book Award finalist, began after Myers met a kid who was afraid to get out of jail because he would only get in trouble again. For “Monster,” he remembered a boy who would talk about the crimes he committed in the third person, as if someone else had committed them. “Then I found out that all the guys could do that. They could separate themselves from their crimes,” Myers told the AP. “We come up with strategies for dealing with our lives and my strategy might be different because my life has been different.” Myers’ novel “On a Clear Day” is scheduled to come out in September. Survivors include his wife, Constance, and two sons. A daughter, Karen, died earlier.
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Did Beyonce Confirm Jay Z Cheated While Performing "Resentment"?

It’s been reported time and time again: Jay Z is cheating on Beyonce. But it looks like we might’ve just got some confirmation from Beyonce herself. Although the power couple have tried their hardest to keep their personal lives under wraps, the truth seems to slowly be making its way to the surface. Beyonce hinted Jay Z may have really been unfaithful. During their “On The Run” tour concert in Ohio, Bey took to the stage wearing a white wedding dress to sing her unreleased single “Resentment,” a song about a woman who has been cheated on. Sound familiar? It gets better. Bey went as far to change the lyrics of the song from “been riding with you for six years” to “been riding with you for 12 years. ” Ironically the couple have been together for 12 years. Cheating rumors have been swirling heavy since Solange’s elevator attack on Jay Z. Watch the video above to see the performance. Do you think Bey had a personal connection to this song? Only time will tell.
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Topics: Entertainment_CultureHuman Interest
Locations: Ohio
People: Beyonce

Jada Pinkett-Smith Banned Kendall Jenner From Her Home?

A tabloid is claiming that Jada Pinkett Smith has put her foot down with Kendall Jenner. The model and Kardashian half-sister is said to be forbidden to enter the Smith home because of alleged bad manners, according to Star magazine’s article, titled “Jada Pinkett Smith Bans Brat Kendall.” “Jada took an instant dislike to Kendall; she’s got a rude mouth on her,” a Kardashian family “insider” tells the tabloid. “The way she spoke to Jada’s housekeeper was atrocious and arrogant.” The so-called “source” says Jenner “rolled her eyes and huffed like the maid was stupid when she asked if Kendall wanted sweetener for her iced tea!” “Jada’s not having it — she was raised by a single mom and doesn’t let that kind of snobbery go on under her roof,” says the alleged “pal,” adding, “Jaden [Smith] had to tell Kylie [Jenner] that her sister isn’t welcome anymore.” Meanwhile, a source close to Smith tells Gossip Cop that Star’s report is “far from any truth whatsoever.”
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IRS Targets Faith Evans Over $119K in Unpaid Taxes
Faith Evans

Uncle Sam has hit Faith Evans with a new tax lien for allegedly failing to pay more than $119,000 in taxes, reports TMZ. The singer has suffered a number of financial setbacks in recent years. She was ordered to pay thousands of dollars over missed tax payments in 2010 and was slapped by a lien in 2013 over more unpaid bills. According to documents filed by the State of California, the R&B star owes $119,000 in taxes stemming from 2008 to 2012.
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Topics: Entertainment_Culture
Locations: California
People: Faith Evans

Ersula Ore: ASU Professor Slammed To Ground By Police Officer [VIDEO]

“Don’t touch me,” Ore said. “Get your hands off me.” “Put your hand behind your back. I’m going to slam you on this car. Put your hand behind your back,” Ferrin said. “You really want to do that? Do you see what I’m wearing? Do you see?” Ore said. Ore was wearing a black dress. Ferring replied to her query with, “I don’t care what you’re wearing.” The situation escalated from there, with Ferrin struggling to restrain Ore as she screamed for witnesses to help her.

SEE VIDEO ABOVE Arizona State University released the following statement supporting the police officers’ actions: “ASU authorities have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the arrest and have found no evidence of inappropriate actions by the ASUPD officers involved. Should such evidence be discovered, an additional, thorough inquiry will be conducted and appropriate actions taken. “Because the underlying criminal charges are pending, there is not much more we can say at this time. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has reviewed all available evidence, including the police report, witness statements, and audio and video recordings of the incident, and decided to press criminal charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, refusing to provide identification when requested to do so by an officer, and obstructing a highway or public thoroughfare.” Ore, who is attempting to fight the charges, is claiming self-defense: “She was exposed, told officer she was exposed,” said Ore’s attorney Alane Roby. “Her dress was up; the officer was reaching toward her anatomy. She felt uncomfortable with hands going there.”
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Locations: Dr. ErsulaErsula
People: Alane RobyOreStewart Ferrin

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