August 23, 2012

By RAQUEL MARIA DILLON Associated Press

 

LL Cool J plays a special agent on TV’s “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and now he’s caught an actual bad guy.

The 44-year-old rapper struggled with and subdued a suspected burglar early on the morning of Wednesday August 22 at his home in the Studio City area, police said. He was not hurt.

Los Angeles police Sgt. Frank Preciado said that police got a 911 call shortly before 1 a.m. from the performer’s daughter, who said an intruder was in their home and her father was holding him downstairs.

“A physical altercation occurred between the suspect and the victim, James Todd Smith, also known professionally as LL Cool J,” said Preciado. “My understanding is he just had him in custody with his physical strength.”

A 58-year-old suspect was taken to the hospital and was expected to be arrested on suspicion of burglary. His identity wasn’t released but there was no indication that he knew LL Cool J or had a personal vendetta, LAPD spokesman Richard French said.

French said the suspect appeared to be a homeless person.

Early police information said the man received minor bruises. However, the Los Angeles Times cited police sources it did not identify as saying the suspect received a broken nose and jaw in a “knock-down, drag-out” fight.

French said he had no details about the man’s injuries or how he may have gotten into the home, a walled and gated mansion in a wealthy hillside section of the San Fernando Valley that’s not far from major studios.

“LL Cool J, and his family, are safe and thank everyone for their thoughts and concern,” said a statement released by his publicist, Rhett Usry. “As a father, husband and citizen, he is committed to keeping his family safe and is cooperating with authorities on this private matter.”

LL Cool J has had musical hits such as “Mama Said Knock You Out” and “I’m Bad,” and has starred in films including “Any Given Sunday.”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 23, 2012

By MESFIN FEKADU

Associated Press

 

Nicki Minaj sings about “Starships,” but is she a star-maker? The singer-rapper could be joining the ranks of “American Idol” judges.

A person close to Minaj said on August 20 that the 29-year-old entertainer has been in talks to judge the Fox TV competition and that a deal is in the works. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

The Fox network said it had no comment.

If Minaj signs on, she would join Mariah Carey as a new judge on “Idol,” which returns in January. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced their exits from the show last month.

Minaj — known for her colorful hairstyles, wardrobe and antics — is best known for hits like “Super Bass,” “Starships” and “Turn Me On” with David Guetta.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 16, 2012

Associated Press

 

For one night, Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Gospel — not just Soul.

Franklin has been inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame along with country and bluegrass star Ricky Skaggs, singer-songwriter Dallas Holm, family group The Hoppers, the late televangelist Rex Humbard and Christian rockers Love Song.

Franklin couldn’t attend the induction at Trinity Music City in Hendersonville, Tenn., but sent a video message played during the ceremony.

Long before she became the queen of soul, Franklin learned to perform as a budding star in her father Rev. C.L. Franklin’s New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit.

Christian stars Jaci Velasquez and Jason Crabb, who performed Skagg’s signature song “Somebody's Prayin’,” hosted the event. Dailey & Vincent and Michael W. Smith were among presenters.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 23, 2012

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY Associated Press

 

Michael Jackson's father has dropped a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the former doctor who was convicted of causing the singer's death.

Court records show Joe Jackson's request for a dismissal was granted on Monday August 20. The filings do not elaborate on a reason for dropping pursuit of the case, but two attorneys handling the case were recently ruled ineligible to practice law in California.

The Jackson family patriarch initially filed the lawsuit against Conrad Murray in June 2010, on the anniversary of his son's death. A federal judge refused to hear it and it had to be re-filed in state court in Los Angeles.

"It's good finally that this case is dismissed and gone," Murray's attorney Charles Peckham said. "It's pretty clear that Joe Jackson intelligently and smartly dismissed this case so he, his wife and children can focus on Michael Jackson's life instead of the circumstances of his death."

He said Murray, who remains jailed and is appealing his involuntary manslaughter conviction, remains pained by Jackson's death and feels sorry for his family. "His heart goes out to them," Peckham said.

Jackson's mother, Katherine, continues to pursue a case against concert company AEG Live alleging it negligently hired and supervised Murray, who was giving Jackson nightly doses of the powerful anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid. Murray's treatments were conducted while Jackson was preparing for a series of comeback concerts.

Her case is scheduled for trial in April.

Joe Jackson's case claimed Murray repeatedly lied to paramedics and doctors about giving Jackson propofol and that he did not keep adequate medical records — all issues that prosecutors raised against Murray during his trial last year.

He had been seeking damages for a variety of issues, including loss of income and support, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.

 

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 16, 2012

By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY Associated Press

 

Evelyn Lozada is ending her 41-day-old marriage to Chad Johnson after the football star was arrested for allegedly head-butting her over the weekend.

A rep for the VH1 reality star confirmed reports that Lozada filed for divorce on August 14.

"Given the recent events that have taken place, Evelyn has decided to file for divorce and move on with her life," Lozada's lawyer, Michael B. Gilden, told the TV show "The Insider" in a statement.

Johnson released his own statement — the first since his arrest — on his official website, OCNN, and reaffirmed his love for Lozada.

"I am going to let the legal process run its course. I wish Evelyn nothing but the best, I have no negative words to say about her, the only thing I can say is I love her very much," said Johnson, who was dumped by the Miami Dolphins a day after the arrest.

"I will continue to be positive and stay training hard for another opportunity in the NFL. I appreciate all my fans and supporters and if I have disappointed you in any way, you have my sincerest apologies. Once again I will continue to stay positive and appreciate all the support during this tough period in my life."

The marriage imploded August 11 after an argument between the two ended with Lozada being treated at a hospital for lacerations to her head.

According to Davie, Fla., police, Lozada found a receipt for condoms and confronted Johnson about it at dinner. The argument continued during their drive home, and when they arrived at their driveway, he allegedly head-butted her.

In a 911 call released by authorities, a neighbor told police that there was an incident involving a "high-profile person" and is heard telling Lozada to wipe the blood from her head. Lozada is heard saying that Johnson head-butted her, and the caller says Lozada will probably need stitches.

However, Johnson told police she head-butted him.

Earlier Tuesday, Lozada said in a statement: "I am deeply disappointed that Chad has failed to take responsibility for his actions and made false accusations against me, it is my sincere hope that he seeks the help he needs to overcome his troubles. Domestic violence is not okay and hopefully my taking a stand will help encourage other women to break their silence as well."

However, Lozada has been prone to violence: On the VH1 series "Basketball Wives," where she gained her fame, she became infamous for attacks on other castmates. In June, she apologized for her behavior and in a letter to her younger self posted on The Huffington Post, she blamed her penchant for fighting on violence in her own household growing up.

Johnson is a six-time Pro Bowler who last season was on the New England Patriots. His July 4 wedding to Lozada — whom he courted publicly on "Basketball Wives" — was taped for a spinoff show called "Ev & Ocho." It was due to debut Sept. 3, but VH1 shelved it after Johnson's weekend arrest.

Johnson — formerly known as Chad Ochocinco — and Lozada were prominently featured in the recent first episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins."

Lozada was the former fiancee of former NBA player Antoine Walker and has been one of the main stars of "Basketball Wives," which also features Shaunie O'Neal, the former wife of former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal.

In court papers filed August 14, Lozada says the two had a premarital agreement but asks Johnson pay for her attorney fees associated with the divorce.

Besides ending her marriage, Lozada also was mourning the loss of her brother-in-law, who walked her down the aisle and was to be a part of the "Ev & Ocho" show.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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