August 15, 2013

Nicole Evatt

Associated Press

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oprah Winfrey says she’s “sorry” about the media coverage that emerged after she said she experienced racism during a trip to Switzerland.

“I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I’m really sorry that it got blown up. I purposefully did not mention the name of the store. I’m sorry that I said it was Switzerland,” Winfrey said Monday night at the Los Angeles premiere of “Lee Daniels: The Butler.”

“I was just referencing it as an example of being in a place where people don’t expect that you would be able to be there,” she continued.

In a recent interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” Winfrey recalled a clerk at an upscale Zurich boutique refusing to show her a handbag. Winfrey said she was told she could not afford the $38,000 purse.

“I’m in a store, and the person doesn’t obviously know that I carry the black card, and so they make an assessment based upon the way I look and who I am,” said Winfrey, who earned $77 million in the year ending in June, according to Forbes magazine.

“I didn’t have anything that said, ‘I have money.’ I wasn’t wearing a diamond stud. I didn’t have a pocketbook. I didn’t wear Louboutin shoes. I didn’t have anything,” said Winfrey on the red carpet. “You should be able to go in a store looking like whatever you look like and say, ‘I’d like to see this.’ That didn’t happen.”

Swiss tourism officials and the boutique owner apologized for the incident last week, but Winfrey insists there’s no need.

“It’s not an indictment against the country or even that store,” she continued. “It was just one person who didn’t want to offer me the opportunity to see the bag. So no apologies necessary from the country of Switzerland. If somebody makes a mistake in the United States do we apologize in front of the whole country? No!”

“The Butler,” which opens Friday, documents the civil rights movement through the story of a butler who served in the White House for seven presidents.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 15, 2013

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY

Associated Press

 

Michael Jackson's ex-wife broke into tears on Wednesday when she took the witness stand in a civil case and described the singer's fear of pain and reliance on physicians.

Debbie Rowe said the pop star trusted doctors to prescribe pain medication to him, but they sometimes tried to outdo each other while losing sight of Jackson's care.

"Michael had a very low pain tolerance and his fear of pain was incredible," Rowe said. "I think the doctors took advantage of him that way."

She said she was with Jackson when he received treatments from his longtime dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein and from plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Hoefflin.

They would try to out-do each other, with each one prescribing different drugs while trying to persuade Jackson their recommendations were better to manage his pain, she said.

The doctors "were going back and forth the whole time, not caring about him," Rowe told jurors.

Rowe is the mother of the singer's two oldest children, Prince and Paris Jackson. She and the pop star were married from 1996 to 1999. Rowe also worked with Klein beginning in the late 1970s.

Rowe said she told another one of Jackson's doctors, Allan Metzger, that she was concerned that Klein and Hoefflin were giving the singer too many medications.

"The only physician who ever did anything, the only physician who cared for Michael was Allan Metzger," Rowe said, fighting back tears.

Rowe said Metzger arranged for two doctors to give Jackson the anesthetic propofol in Germany in 1997 when he complained that he couldn't sleep during his "HIStory" tour.

On two occasions, the doctors brought medical equipment to Jackson's hotel suite and monitored the singer while he was under the effect of the anesthetic for eight hours. The doctors warned Jackson about the dangers of using propofol, but Rowe said he disregarded the information.

"He was just more worried about not sleeping," she said. Rowe said she would not allow the singer to get similar propofol treatments for sleep issues after the use in Germany.

Jackson died from an overdose of propofol that was administered by another physician in 2009.

Rowe also described efforts to wean Jackson off the painkiller Demerol after he had surgery in 1993 to repair damage to his scalp sustained when he was burned while filming a Pepsi commercial years earlier.

She said Metzger devised a plan to treat Jackson's pain with different medications before he went on a leg of his "Dangerous" tour. Rowe lived with Jackson for three weeks to ensure he stayed on the regimen.

"At that point we were friends," Rowe said. "He wasn't a patient."

She said Jackson knew he couldn't take pain medications forever and needed a strong voice to get him off the drugs. "I'm probably one of the only people who said no to him," Rowe said.

Rowe said the plan to break Jackson's use of Demerol failed when a doctor who accompanied the singer on tour gave him the drug while overseas.

A phone message left at Klein's office was not immediately returned. An email sent to Hoefflin's former practice was returned, stating the plastic surgeon retired five years ago and no longer practiced medicine.

Rowe said Jackson respected doctors immensely because they went to school and vowed to do no harm to patients.

Katherine Jackson claims in her lawsuit that AEG Live failed to properly investigate the doctor later convicted of giving her son an overdose of propofol while he prepared for a series of comeback shows in 2009.

She sat in the front row of the courtroom and leaned forward in her seat during portions of Rowe's testimony.

AEG denies it hired Conrad Murray or bears any responsibility for the singer's death.

Marvin S. Putnam, the company's lead defense attorney, said in opening statements that the case was about Jackson's personal choices and his desire to use propofol as a sleep aid.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 08, 2013

LAWT News Service

 

The City of Chicago honored ten-time GRAMMY® Award winner Chaka Khan with a Street Naming of “Chaka Khan Way” on Saturday, July 27, and declared Sunday, July 28, 2013, “Chaka Khan Day” in Chicago, her hometown. The weekend-long celebration also included a free outdoor concert in Millennium Park.

The music icon, who was honored for her stellar 40-year career in music and entertainment, participated in the ceremonial unveiling of Chaka Khan Way on S. Blackstone Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets, with her family, including her mother Sandra Coleman, her sister, Tammy McCrary, and a host of other relatives in the Chicago area. Several city officials, business executives and community leaders were among the participants, including Fourth Ward Alderman William Burns, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Father Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic School, State Senator Kwame Raoul, State Representatives Christian Mitchell and Barbara Flynn Currie, and Carl McKenzie, a cultural event producer and the president of Artworks Chicago. McKenzie organized the weekend-long celebration, which was co-sponsored by MINI USA.  Chaka Khan Way is located on the west side of Kenwood Academy, where Chaka attended high school during its early days of operation. The students of Kenwood Academy also had the opportunity to participate in the event.

“This is the biggest honor I have ever received in my life,” says Chaka. “The people of Chicago have always loved me and have supported me throughout my career—through thick and thin. To have a street named after you in the third largest city in the country is a big deal. To think that people will say ‘make a right or left turn on Chaka Khan Way’ is mind blowing. Long after I’m gone, and my children and grandchildren are gone, the street named Chaka Khan Way will still be here to carry on my legacy in the city where it all started for me. I never would have imagined that I would have been granted this honor. I thank all the city officials responsible for making this happening—and I especially thank Carl McKenzie, who vigorously campaigned and almost single-handedly made this event a reality.  My family and I thank God for this blessing.”

Nearly 20,000 people attended the free outdoor concert at Chicago’s Millennium Park, where Chaka performed all her classic hits, including “I Feel For You,” “I’m a Woman,” “Whatcha Gonna Do For Me,” “You’ve Got The Love,” “Everlasting Love,” “Packed My Bags,” “Papillon,” “Tell Me Something Good,” a medley of “Stay,” “Sweet Thing,” and “My Funny Valentine,” “Through The Fire,” “Do You Love What You Feel,” “I’m Every Woman,” and an encore of “Ain’t Nobody.”

The weekend-long activities also included a visit to Operation Push with Reverend Jesse Jackson and a private reception at the DuSable Museum. A devoted activist and philanthropist, Chaka met with Reverend Jackson to discuss the issues facing and affecting the black community of Chicago. Operation Push and Reverend Jackson also hosted Chaka Khan Foundation’s latest campaign initiative with the Chicago chapter of Dress for Success. 

Chaka was born in Chicago and grew up on Carpenter Street in Hyde Park, where her parents provided her with a very rich musical foundation by introducing her to a wide range of music, starting with jazz and opera.

Chaka is currently working on a series of new albums, titled The iKhan Project. Chaka Khan Enter­prises recently relaunched her website www.chakakhan.com and re­leased a new Chaka Khan social media app: https://itun.es/us/9WSRL.i

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 15, 2013

(AP) — A man who claims he was punched and kicked by a member of Chris Brown’s entourage during a fight at a recording studio sued the R&B singer on Tuesday for assault and battery.

Sha’keir Duarte sued Brown for unspecified damages in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming he suffered a concussion as well as humiliation and mental anguish as a result of the attack.

Brown’s attorney Mark Geragos called the case frivolous and said it amounted to an attempted shakedown.

“This is what gives lawyers and lawsuits a bad name is garbage like this,” Geragos said, adding that he will seek to have the lawsuit dismissed and will countersue Duarte.

Duarte claims he was beaten by a member of Brown’s entourage identified in the suit only as “Hood” during a fight over a parking spot.

The fight at Westlake Recording Studios erupted on Jan. 27 between the entourages of Brown and fellow singer Frank Ocean.

Brown taunted Duarte and threatened that the fight could escalate into a shooting, the lawsuit claims.

Charges were never pursued after Ocean, who said his finger was injured in the fight, stated online that he wouldn’t seek criminal or civil penalties.

The fight started after Brown parked in Ocean”s spot at the studio.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 08, 2013

 

ARIES

Don’t let worry put a strain on your relationships. Concentration is key, but be as light hearted as possible. Open up to romantic feelings.  Let love come to you. It may come from inside. Soul Affirmation: Shining brightly is something that I can do even in shadows. Lucky Numbers: 11, 40, 46

 

TAURUS

The time has come to forgive and forget. Take the first step in reconciling a friendship. You thought no one knew, but you may be romantically attracted to an old pal. Soul Affirmation: Helping others is the true measure of my worth. Lucky Numbers: 38, 45, 48

 

GEMINI

When you let go of pain and fear you are a force to be reckoned with. Use your talents for regeneration to create a new reality for yourself, one that is filled with joy and happiness.  Turn away from inner thoughts that are anything less than positive. Soul Affirmation: I enjoy living in my dream. Lucky Numbers: 11, 42, 44

 

CANCER

Treat yourself with kindness, and let love be your guiding light. The past few weeks have been rather hard on your personality, but you’ve come through a troubled time with flying colors. Soul Affirmation: I am what I consistently do. Lucky Numbers: 3, 4, 18

 

LEO

Critical voices should be tuned out this week. You are in the mood for a pleasant week and you shouldn’t let anyone keep you from your just rewards. Relax with friends who you can share positive vibes with. Soul Affirmation: I get because I give. Lucky Numbers: 12, 23, 45

 

VIRGO

Unexpected company may arrive, or an invitation may be extended. Use good judgment and set realistic boundaries  to protect your valuable personal time. Drive carefully. Soul Affirmation: I make the first step and the universe will come to my aid. Lucky Numbers: 34, 41, 47

 

LIBRA

Your rewards come not only from what you do, but from who you are! Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back and work some wonders. You are full of positive energy this week; use it to your advantage. Soul Affirmation: I care deeply about the feelings of others. Lucky Numbers: 10, 11, 26

 

SCORPIO

Practical matters may seem like nuisances that are only there to spite your sunny mood this week.  The vibration has its place though, and if you apply yourself to practical things, you’ll have a lot accomplished by the end of the week. Avoid spinning your wheels on impossible projects or relationships. Soul Affirmation: Distant love is sometimes sweeter. Lucky Numbers: 17, 24, 29

 

SAGITTARIUS

Excellent vibrations accompany you to meetings and appointments or anywhere where your gifts of communication can be used. You’ll have managers eating out of your hand if you choose to exercise a little charm. Soul Affirmation: I call on my creative talents to pay my bills. Lucky Numbers: 18, 32, 47

 

CAPRICORN

Charming, simply charming! You have everything going for you this week, so make the most of it. You are capable of handling many projects, and equally capable of asking for help if you need it. Soul Affirmation:  My imagination is the source of my happiness. Lucky Numbers: 1, 12, 30

 

AQUARIUS

If you acknowledge your need to be with someone this afternoon, the universe will probably provide. Ask for help if you need it. There are many resources available to you that you could be drawing from. All you have to do is ask. Soul Affirmation: I accept fate and see good in it. Lucky Numbers: 7, 26, 28

 

PISCES

Watching the sunrise will help quell any impatience that may arise within you this week. As you watch the sun kiss the sky, imagine that the universe is embracing you with love. Soul Affirmation: I judge no one, especially myself this week. Lucky Numbers: 3, 5, 54

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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