Friday, July 6, 2012

Tom Cruise Accused of Wiretap Conspiracy With Convicted Criminal Anthony Pellicano During Nicole Kidman Divorce (EXCLUSIVE)

Tom Cruise hired a notorious private investigator who secretly wiretapped his ex-wife Nicole Kidman during their 2001 divorce, according to a lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles court.

As the Top Gun star prepares for a legal battle with his third wife Katie Holmes, who filed for divorce on June 28, Celebuzz has obtained court documents that detail sensational claims about how the actor handled his shock split from Kidman in Feb. 2001, after she miscarried their baby.

Cruise, 50, conspired with former private eye-to-the-stars Anthony Pellicano to spy on Kidman, 45, according to a $5 million lawsuit filed by a tabloid magazine editor who once tried to “out” Cruise as gay.
Michael Davis Sapir first tangled with Cruise in June 2001 when the actor sued him for defamation over the attempted “outing” in his Bold magazine. He had offered a $500,000 award for videotape evidence that Cruise was homosexual.

Now — 11 years after that case was settled — Sapir is pursuing a civil lawsuit in which he alleged Cruise maintained a “long-standing business relationship” with Pellicano, who is now serving 15 years in prison for tapping the phones of Hollywood’s rich and famous.

“In or about the mid 1990s,” Sapir claimed in paperwork filed with the L.A. County Superior Court, “Cruise visited Pellicano’s office for the purpose of listening to wiretaps.”

He alleged: “During the time Cruise was about to divorce Nicole Kidman, Pellicano recorded conversations of Kidman and Cruise. Pellicano discussed with at least one of his employees the substance of those recorded conversations.”

Cruise, according to Sapir, had a “pattern and practice of hiring Pellicano, either directly or indirectly, for the express purpose of conducting wiretaps.”

He claimed Pellicano taped conversations between him and his attorney to gain an advantage for Cruise in the slander litigation.

Paris Hilton SLAMMED by DJ in Nightclub Diss Track

070312_janebang_diss_hilton_launchMore resistance in the anti-DJ Paris Hilton movement ... and this time, the attack comes with a
TMZ has learned ... DJ Jane Bang -- a popular NY electronic music DJ -- has released a new Paris Hilton diss track ... in which she rips the heiress as a "fake DJ" who "can't mix for s**t."

Hilton's been under fire ever since she appeared at a gig in San Paulo, Brazil and announced she and DJ Afrojack would be releasing an electronic music album together.

Jane Bang is now adding to the hate with a track titled, "Put Your Hands Up for the DJs" ... which contains the lyric aimed squarely at Hilton:

 "B**ch you ain't no DJ ... You a fake DJ ... You didn't mix that track ... You f**kin iTunes'd that!"

Your move, P.

EMF Gallery: ESSENCE Music Festival Performers

ESSENCE Music Festival: ESSENCE Music Festival 2012 Performers
Are you ready for the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival? Today marks the first day of the party down in the Big Easy, kicking off four days of fun including music's brightest stars. As a headliner for EMF three years in a row, Mary J. Blige brings her own brand of hip-hop soul to the fĂȘte each time. This weekend Mary will close out Sunday night's big finale on July 8 with hits like "No More Drama," "Family Affair" and "Just Fine." Let's take a peak out who else will hit the stage down in New Orleans. 

Don't forget to get your tickets for the ESSENCE Music Festival and the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience!

Essence Music Festival: On The Main Stage Friday

  • My EMF
    • Charlie Wilson
    • Charlie Wilson Bio Get Tickets
    The Festival is excited to bring this timeless music icon back to New Orleans. "Uncle" Charlie…
    read more »
    11:45 Main Stage
  • My EMF
    • D'Angelo
    • D'Angelo Bio Get Tickets
    The 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival is excited to announce the addition of Grammy-Award winning artist…
    read more »
    10:10 Main Stage
  • My EMF
    • Trey Songz
    • Trey Songz Bio Get Tickets
    Trey Songz is a Grammy®-nominated multifaceted singer-songwriter, producer and actor. The late,…
    read more »
    8:50 Main Stage
  • My EMF
    • Keyshia Cole
    • Keyshia Cole Bio Get Tickets
    Platinum-selling R&B artist Keyshia Cole returns the ESSENCE Music Festival® stage for what…
    read more »
    7:30 Main Stage
  • My EMF
    • The Pointer Sisters
    • The Pointer Sisters Bio Get Tickets
    We’re so excited! The iconic  Pointer Sisters will perform live at the 2012 Festival. With a…
    read more »
    6:30 Main Stage
  • My EMF
    • Nephew Tommy - HOST
    • Nephew Tommy - HOST Bio Get Tickets
    He’s an actor, comedian, producer and entrepreneur. Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles has built a…
    read more »
    6:20 Main Stage

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Frank Ocean's Mother Supports Her Son

Frank Ocean and his mother Katonya and litt

Frank Ocean's beautiful mother, Katonya Breaux Riley, came out on Twitter to support her son coming out the closet and thanked his fans for their support. 

During a time of great strength and courage, Frank Ocean released a letter written in December 2011 explaining his sexuality. 

Initially, the letter was meant for the "thank you" section in his debut album Channel Orange, but with much speculation, Frank decided to clarify his sexuality. 

After her son opened up for millions of people to judge, like any loving mother, Katonya Breaux Riley hopped on her Twitter to commend Frank's courage and bravery. 
We're glad Frank Ocean is not only getting support in the public, but that the people who love him the most are also supporting his coming out. 

Frank Ocean's debut album Channel Orange is set to hit store shelves July 17

Read more:

Tina Fey Raps on Childish Gambino Mixtape

Getty Images

Childish Gambino 
Childish Gambino's latest mixtape has a star-studded hip-hop guest list -- and one surprising MC from the world of the rapper's day job.

"30 Rock" multi-hyphenate Tina Fey joins Gambino, AKA NBC colleague Donald Glover, to drop a verse on the "Royalty" mixtape's "Real Estate," adding a level of absurdity to the grimy track.

"This is the part where most people would say something crazy and drop the n-word after it," Fey raps. "Not going to, not gonna do that/I don't feel comfortable/I'm out!" The track also features more traditional appearances from Alley Boy and Swank.

Glover stars on NBC's "Community" when he's not composing rhymes. He's turned an increased attention to his music career in recent months, releasing full-length debut album "Camp" in November 2011. "Royalty," his third mixtape in three years, features notable appearances by Schoolboy Q, Bun B, RZA, Ghostface Killah and Beck, who co-produced the track "Silk Pillow."

Download the "Royalty" mixtape at Glover's website and hear "Real Estate":

Puddle of Mudd's Scantlin Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Possession: Report

Puddle of Mudd frontman Wesley Scantlin has reportedly pled guilty to cocaine possession, after being arrested in January and charged in April.

According to
TMZ, Scantlin struck a deal with prosecutors after being charged with being under the influenced of a controlled substance and driving without a license. Those misdemeanor charges were dropped, and Scantlin's guilty plea will lead to a drug counseling program, but not prison time.

When Scantlin was arrested on Jan. 12, the singer was reportedly found in possession of powder and pills, but only cocaine was named by the LAPD.

Puddle of Mudd achieved modern rock success in 2001 with major label debut "Come Clean," which included the singles "Control" and "Blurry." Scantlin and the rest of the group released "re:(disc)overed," a covers album, in August 2011.

Jason Kidd Leaves Dallas Mavericks for New York Knicks

Looks like Jason Kidd is heading back to the east side. 

New York Knicks fans were hit with the SportsCenter update that Kidd had signed a three-year deal with the 'bockers, according to sources who told correspondent Marc Stein. 

After rumors that Team Blue and Orange were aiming to snatch up Steve Nash were rebuked after the point-guard's signing with the Lakers, the team has acquired the Mav's second best in assists.

The 39-year-old former Net has been with Dallas since 2008, helping the team to a championship victory in 2011. Fingers crossed the Kidd can push for one in New York this coming 2012-13 season.

Steve Nash Signs With Los Angeles Lakers To "Stay Near Family"

As NBA teams scramble to pitch their deals before players sign their new contracts July 11, basketball fans continue to watch the trade-and-swap madness unfold.

The latest hoopster to make the solid switch is the Phoenix Sun's Steve Nash. 

According to SLAM magazine, the 38-year-old point-guard signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for the cash ($27 million over three years), star power (Kobe Bryant), a shot at a championship pre-retirement and his kids.

In a statement provided to ESPN, the seasoned vet said:
"After talking with (owner) Robert (Sarver) and (president of basketball operations) Lon (Babby) we’ve agreed that it’s time for both of us to move in new directions. I approached them and asked if they would be willing to do a sign and trade deal with L.A. because it is very important to me to stay near my children and family. They were very apprehensive and didn’t want to do it. Fortunately for me, they reconsidered. They saw that they were able to get assets for their team that will make them better, assets they would not have otherwise had and it made sense for them to do a deal that helps their team get better."
Nash said there were no harsh feelings with his former team and wished them success. "The Phoenix Suns are an amazing organization and fans should be excited about their future. I hope the Suns win a championship some day soon for all the amazing fans and wonderful people in the organization.”

Not even 24 hours after his move to L.A., the Lakers' newest addition is reportedly pushing to recruit his ex-Sunmate Grant Hill to add to the tough line-up of Bryant, Nash, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

Rihanna Sues Former Accountants for Millions

Rihanna sued her former accountants Thursday, blaming them for tens of millions of dollars in losses, shoddy bookkeeping, a failure to recommend she trim expenses when a 2009 tour was losing money and an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

The lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan sought unspecified damages against New York-based Berdon LLP and two accountants. A Berdon spokeswoman said the company had no immediate comment.

The singer, suing under her real name, Robyn Fenty, alleged through her attorneys that the defendants drained tens of millions of dollars from revenues while she launched four national and international tours over a five-year period.

By the "Last Girl on Earth" tour in 2009, Rihanna learned that the tour had managed "significant net losses" despite robust revenues, though the defendants had managed to pocket 22 percent of the tour's total revenues while paying Rihanna just 6 percent of revenues, the lawsuit said. It said Berdon's unusual accounting practice of paying itself a percentage of gross tour income as commissions left it no incentive to "counsel" Rihanna to reduce expenses or put in place appropriate financial controls.

The lawsuit alleged that the practice of paying itself commissions on revenues was not standard in the accounting and business management industry and created a clear conflict of interest.

Rihanna's lawyers also blamed the accounting firm for an ongoing IRS audit of her tax returns, saying she was forced to spend significant resources to correct errors resulting from negligence.

Since firing the firm and its accountants in September 2010, Rihanna's fortunes already have reversed, the lawsuit said. The "Loud" tour stretching from June 2011 to December 2011 produced a net profit equal to more than 40 percent of total tour revenues, it added.

According to the lawsuit, the singer hired the accountants in 2005 when she was a 16-year-old from Barbados launching her career. She alleged that they repeatedly breached their agreements, engaged in misconduct and malfeasance, paid themselves excessive commissions, created entities without regard to their effect on her taxes and failed to document revenue and expenses and implement a proper budget.

The lawsuit also blamed the company for Rihanna's 2009 purchase of a new home, saying competent business managers would have told her that her tour was losing money and that it would not be advisable to buy such an expensive home at that time.

Last year, Rihanna sued a real estate company in Los Angeles over the $6.9 million purchase of a hillside home in 2009, saying it had serious structural defects that made it inhabitable.

Scorpions Reworking Unfinished Songs for New Album

Scorpions may be retiring from touring, but the music will go on -- with a new project already in motion.

Guitarist Matthias Jabs tells that the German headbangers have raided the vaults for "unfinished songs from the early '80s, leftovers from the 'Blackout' album, 'Love at First Sting,' which some people think is our best time." So far, he says, the quintet has worked on a dozen tracks with producers Mikael "Nord" Andersson and Martin Hansen, and more is on the way.

"We will dig in again and maybe have a selection of 16 to 18 songs and pick the best 12 from those," Jabs says. "It's actually very good material." The idea for the project, he adds, "came from the fans. They were the ones saying, 'There must be some extra material from those days,' and they were right." Scorpions are adding new parts to the existing recordings, while most of the songs "didn't have proper lyrics, just blah blah blah blah working lyrics. So in almost every song the lyrics have to be re-written."

And while he acknowledges that while "the time reflects on the music" from three decades ago, Jabs promises the group is taking pains to modernize the new recordings. "We're doing it the way we are recording albums today," Jabs explains, "but the basic ideas, the riffs, the feel, the way they were written and arranged, we try to keep as much from the old recordings as possible. Thirty years later no one would come up with these ideas we came up with when we were younger, so we want to keep that spirit in there."

Jabs says the album, which is so far untitled, will come out in 2013. The same year may also see a documentary about the band by director Katja Von Garnier, who's been tailing Scorpions for the past year and a half of its world tour, capturing some live footage but mostly interviewing band and crew members as well as other musicians and friends of the group. And Scorpions have been approached to perform at the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament in Sao Palo, Brazil, where, Jabs notes, "we are very popular. They flew over to London, England, to suggest this. They could've done it over the phone, but they wanted us to know it was serious. So we said, 'Yes, of course. We'll do it.' "

But, he adds, Scorpions have no plans to change their minds about retiring from the road after the tour's final concert on Dec. 15 in Oberhausen, Germany.

"We're not stopping making music or playing a one-off (show) or something, but this is the last tour," Jabs says. "We need to be realistic, and we can't continue like this for the next five to 10 years. We decided to stop at this point because we are still in great form now and would like to be remembered as a great live band by our fans forever. We don't want to grow old in the spotlight. But the sadness is there; mentally, it's not easy getting ready for a show and knowing it will be the last time in that place. That's a new experience, and it's not easy to cope with. I can't even think about (Dec. 15); I don't even want to think about what the emotion will be at the end of that show."

Wayne Brady Blasts Bill Maher over Obama Comparison

Wayne Brady recently made an appearance on Aisha Tyler’s podcast Girl on Guy to which he addressed comments made by Bill Maher concerning President Obama’s demeanor. In an interview on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS back in 2010, Maher wished Obama was less like Wayne Brady and more like Suge Knight.

According to the podcast, Brady didn’t take to kindly to Bill Maher’s comparison of President Obama to him due to his lack of aggression. Brady then went on to joke about Bill’s relationships with black hookers.

 Was Bill Maher in the wrong?

Chris Rock Causes Drama With "White People's Day" Tweet

Chris Rock doesn't care about being politically correct. If it pops into his head, the native New Yorker says it.

This unfortunately has Mr. Rock currently being attacked by media and conservatives all across on the country. On this nation's day of independence, the 4th of July, Chris let out one hell of a Twitter joke.
"Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks," tweeted Chris Rock on the 4th of July.

Anyone who was even remotely familiar with Rock's work knew he was just joking around but this time, he may have ruffled some of the wrong feathers. The backlash the veteran comic is receiving has most major media outlets looking to dig up dirt on Chris.

He has yet to apologize or release an official statement. Nor has he erased his controversial tweet.

Stay tuned for more updates on Chris Rock's Independence Day controversy.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2 Chainz Releases Cover Art For New Album

2 Chainz released the cover art for his new album Based On A T.R.U. Story expected to drop August 14th

Birdman Feat. Rick Ross, Lil Wayne & Nicki Minaj "Born Stunna (Remix)"

Click here to find out more!We all know you can’t stunt proper unless your team’s by your side!

Birdman decided to show some major crew love and recruit verses from both Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne for his “Born Stunna” remix.

VIDEO: Birdman & Rick Ross "Born Stunna"

Seemed only right for the YMCMB family to hop on the trill track – they do stunt pretty hard!

When it comes to Young Money, ladies are always first, so of course, Nicki's verse is the first to pop up. The head Barbie raps:
“Born stunna flow / consistently winning while all you n*ggas come and go / oh you mad / you ain't headline / you my son / and it’s bed time”
Lil Wayne goes in as well, rapping:
"I don’t know about these other n*ggas / but I’m getting Truk Fit money / and I ain't never number two / so you ain't getting sh*t from me / and you know I’ma ball / so catch me if you can / blood I’ll leave a n*gga bleeding like that n*gga got cramps”
Birdman and Ross already dropped visuals to the original cut, but we wouldn’t be mad at all if Nicki and Wayne made an appearance in a re-load video!

Birdman’s upcoming studio album, Bigger Than Life, which will feature “Born Stunna," is due out later this year. 

Andre 3000 Will Cover The Beatles in Jimi Hendrix Biopic

Andre "Andre 3000" Benjamin will cover classic songs by the Beatles, Muddy Waters and Chip Taylor in "All Is By My Side," the upcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic in which the Outkast rapper stars as the legendary guitarist. One artist that Benjamin will not be covering in the film, though, is Hendrix himself.

According to
Rolling Stone, "All Is By My Side," which is currently being filmed in Ireland, will feature Benjamin performing reinterpretations of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," Waters' "Mannish Boy," Taylor's "Wild Thing" and "Hound Dog," among other songs. However, Experience Hendrix LLC, which runs the Hendrix estate, still will not let "All Is By My Side" use any copyrighted Hendrix material, after issuing a statement last month explaining its lack of participation in the film project.

Instead, "All Is By My Side" will focus on Hendrix's time as a young artist in London in 1966-67, prior to the release of his debut album, "Are You Experienced." "The storyline of 'All Is By My Side' focuses on the early days of Jimi's career, when his performances largely consisted of innovative interpretations of existing songs," reads a statement from Benjamin's rep. "These are the performances that got him discovered, blew everyone's minds and helped him become the icon he became."

Directed by John Ridley, "All Is By My Side" is expected to hit theaters in 2013 after principal photography wraps this week. Benjamin recorded the covers for the film in Los Angeles with Waddy Wachtel, Leland Sklar and Kenny Aronoff; a soundtrack that gathers the rapper's reinterpretations is also being mulled

New Christina Aguilera Single Expected for August Release

It's been two years and two seasons of "The Voice" since Christina Aguilera's last studio album, but new music from the veteran pop star may be arriving before summer's end.

A source tells Billboard that Aguilera is working hard on the follow-up to 2010's "Bionic," and that a new single is expected to be released in early August. The club banger was produced by Swedish pop hit-maker Max Martin, and its chorus is built around the line, "All I want to do is what you wanted." 

Martin -- best known for producing hits by
Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry, among others -- has yet to helm a single for Aguilera.

Meanwhile, duets with
Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green, Aguilera's fellow coaches on NBC's "The Voice," are apparently in the works for the singer's forthcoming album as well. Last April, Green revealed that he and Aguilera were indeed working on a follow-up to their first collaboration, "Nasty," which surfaced online last year after failing to make the final track list of Aguilera's "Burlesque" soundtrack in 2010. Aguilera's last collaboration with a "Voice" co-star, as a featured vocalist alongside Adam Levine on Maroon 5's 2011 single "Moves Like Jagger," netted the pop star her fifth chart-topper on the Hot 100, and her first No. 1 in 10 years.

Released through RCA Records in June 2010, "Bionic" has sold 308,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The set failed to produce a hit single for the singer -- its highest-charting cut, "Not Myself Tonight," peaked at No. 23 on the Hot 100. By comparison, the soundtrack to "Burlesque," to which Aguilera contributed eight songs, has moved 593,000 copies since its November 2010 release, according to SoundScan.

In March 2011, the singer signed on as a coach for "The Voice," which wrapped its second season on NBC in May. The reality competition will return for its third season this fall.

Anchor Anderson Cooper Reveals He's Gay

It's becoming a trend for figures in the public eye to expose their orientation on their own terms.

Like Ellen DeGeneres and ABC News correspondent Dan Kloeffler, CNN anchor and talk show host Anderson Cooper has come out of the closet in a lengthy letter to his friend and Daily Beast political writer Andrew Sullivan, who sought Cooper's feedback on well-known individuals in the LGBT community. 

The fact is, I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud," writes Cooper. Though his sexuality has been a topic of interest in the press, specifically in the 2008 cover story for Out Magazine, this is his first outward statement.

"I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don't think it's anyone else's business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don't give that up by being a journalist."

Though never going into detail about his relationship status, the seasoned reporter considers his open declaration a valuable sign of the times. "There continues to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand."
He adds, "I love, and I am loved."

Three 6 Mafia's Crunchy Black Shot and Hospitalized

And another one.
According to VladTV, Three 6 Mafia member Crunchy Black has been shot and is in the hospital.

A photo of the rapper, real name Darnell Carlton, has been release of him recuperating. Speedy recovery, Crunch!

Andy Griffith Dead at 86

Andy Griffith
Dead at 86

Andy Griffith has died.update_bar
8:15 AM -- Ron Howard ‏
just went to Twitter to post a message about his friend Andy Griffith ... writing, "His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy."

Andy Griffith
, an icon of TV, has died ... this according to Andy's close friend, former UNC President Bill Friday.

Griffith, who became famous for "The Andy Griffith Show," passed away at his home in Manteo, North Carolina this morning.

Friday broke the news to WITN News in North Carolina.

In addition to starring in his show and producing the subsequent "Mayberry R.F.D.," Griffith was a Grammy award-winning southern gospel singer.  Of course, Griffith also starred in the long-running series, "Matlock" and often made guest appearances in other shows, including "Dawson's Creek."

There's a famous statue of Andy and Opie -- played by Ron Howard -- in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Griffith was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005.

'Jersey Shore' Star Fined for Being A Street-Dancing Dumbass

"Jersey Shore" star Deena Cortese won't face criminal charges after her disorderly conduct arrest last month -- but she WAS slapped with a hilarious fine ... for "failing to use the sidewalk."

TMZ broke the story ... Deena was busted last month in Seaside Heights for dancing like an idiot in the streets. Deena's PARENTS bailed her out of jail later that day.

Lucky for Deena, the disorderly conduct charge was dropped today in court -- but the "Jersey" girl didn't get off scot-free ... prosecutors charged her with what's called "title 39" instead ... or "failing to keep your crazy ass off the street."

Deena pled "guilty" and was ordered to pay a total $139 in fines. She apologized for "causing any trouble," and was subsequently let go.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Vivendi Looking to Sell 61 Percent Stake in Activision

After the ouster of the conglomerate's CEO, its chairman has expressed support for the strategy of its Universal Music arm though. 

 Universal Music Group logo L

Vivendi is looking to sell its 61 percent stake in video game maker Activision Blizzard, but chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou has expressed his commitment to Universal Music Group's strategy, Bloomberg News reported.
Last week, long-time Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy was pushed out as Fourtou and others on the board want to follow investor calls for divestitures by the company, which also owns French pay TV provider Canal+ and telecom assets in France, Morocco and Brazil, or even a possible break-up.
Should no buyer be found for the Activision stake, which is worth around $8.1 billion, Vivendi plans to sell some of its shares in the market, according to Bloomberg. An Activision spokeswoman had no comment, it said.

Critics have said that Vivendi's stock is trading at a discount of up to 40 percent due to its conglomerate structure. The stock recently hit a nine-year low, but it rose nearly 9 percent since Levy’s departure.

In a note to Universal Music employees obtained by Bloomberg, UMG CEO Lucian Grainge said Fourtou told him in a meeting that the chairman supports the "strategic ambitions" of the world’s largest music company. That includes his support for the proposed 1.2 billion pound ($1.9 billion) takeover of EMI Group’s recorded music unit, which regulators are still reviewing.

"Mr. Fourtou, I am glad to say, is an enthusiastic music fan," Grainge said.