Friday, March 27, 2009
Five months after Rihanna was allegedly beaten up by Chris Brown, the artist went out and got two gun tattoos on either side of her rib cage, according to Los Angeles-based tattoo artist BangBang.
The 21-year-old singer -- who often wears a miniature gun pendant necklace – first had him draw two guns on the lower part of her shoulders, but she decided not to get inked there because of her contract with Cover girl.
BangBang put two pictures of Rihanna up on his MySpace page. The first showed the guns drawn near her shoulders, along with the caption: "I really wanted to put it here [on her arms]... She loved 'em. But, Cover Girl wouldn’t have liked it much... and they pay the bills!"
Mariah Carey is not pregnant, but has reportedly spent $200,000 on baby furniture in preparation for a little bundle of joy someday.
According to the New York Daily News, the songbird got her shop on at a children's store in San Francisco for the new Hollywood home she intends to buy with husband Nick Cannon. Among the items she allegedly purchased were a pink crib and highchair.
Contacted for comment, a rep for Carey would only say of the story, "not true."
As previously reported, the Daily News quoted sources close to the singer who claimed she made an offer on the David Saperstein estate in the exclusive western L.A. neighborhood of Holmby Hills. Her neighbors would be the Beckhams and Hugh Hefner.
"It's 45,000 square feet and looks like a European castle," says the insider. "It's so big, it can't even be called a mansion - it's similar to Buckingham Palace!"
Carey is said to be putting in a few touches of her own, most notably the nursery. Says the source, "She has asked [interior decorator] Kenneth Bordewick to advise on her new home and has requested an all-pink nursery. It's going to be over the top."
Despite alleged plans for the baby room, there is no indication that the singer is pregnant. But an insider tells the paper, "Mariah has tossed around the idea of adopting."
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
TABLOID SAYS CHRIS/RIHANNA SEX TAPE EXISTS: Star claims Rihanna is afraid it will go public! Do You Have a Sex Tape that could go Public? Hmmmmm...
Star magazine is reporting that Rihanna is concerned about the release of a sex tape she allegedly made with Chris Brown, who is currently charged with two felonies in connection with her beating last month.
The magazine's March 30 issue reports that Rihanna "allowed Chris to record some of their intimate moments and she worries that the racy tapes could ruin her."
"Rihanna has no issues with her sexuality," a source tells Star. "But she'd be mortified if her friends and family found this out!"
According to the magazine, insiders say Rihanna is still emotionally fragile and vulnerable since the Feb. 8 assault that left her nearly unconscious.
"This whole beating incident is terribly humiliating for her. She's already traumatized and will do anything to make it all go away as quickly as possible," explains the insider.
Meanwhile, yesterday's scheduled in-chambers conference requested by Brown's lawyer Mark Geragos was postponed. Further details were not available at press time.
Geragos was supposed to meet behind closed doors with Judge Patricia Schnegg, and Rihanna's attorney, Donald Etra. Brown's arraignment on felony charges of assault and making criminal threats is still scheduled to take place on April 6.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Chris Brown has been charged with two felonies stemming from what a police detective describes as a brutal argument between the singer and his girlfriend, Rihanna, provoked by her discovery of a text message from another woman.
Brown is expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon on charges of assault likely to cause great bodily injury and making criminal threats. The 19-year-old R&B singer remains free on $50,000 bail.
The felony complaint handed down in court Thursday morning identifies Brown's alleged victim only as "Robyn F." Rihanna's real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
If convicted, the possible sentence ranges anywhere from probation to four years and eight months in state prison, said district attorney's spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons.
According to a detective's affidavit, Brown and Rihanna got into a fight early Feb. 8 after the "Umbrella" singer checked her boyfriend's cell phone and found a text message from another woman.
Brown pulled his car over and tried to push Rihanna out, but she was still wearing her seatbelt, Los Angeles police Detective De Shon Andrews wrote. He said Brown pushed Rihanna's head against the window, punched her with his right hand, and then continued driving while hitting her, the affidavit states. He also bit his girlfriend on the ear, the affidavit states.
The affidavit was filed as part of a search warrant request for the phone records of Brown, Rihanna and her assistant.
Brown allegedly threatened to kill Rihanna after she pretended to leave a phone message with her assistant, telling her to have the police waiting at her house.
Andrews described Brown's blows as causing Rihanna's mouth to fill with blood. He also writes that Brown tried to choke Rihanna after she took the keys to his car away. Andrews wrote that Rihanna nearly lost consciousness but also tried to fight back while in the car, at one point trying to gouge at Brown's eyes.
Brown was arrested hours later and booked him on suspicion of making criminal threats. Police said at the time a woman identified Brown as her attacker during an early morning dispute in an upscale Los Angeles neighborhood.
A phone message left for Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, was not immediately returned Thursday. Brown's publicist Tony Knight said any statement would likely come from Geragos after today's hearing.
Rihanna's spokesperson had no comment on the charges filed against Brown.
Brown issued a statement a week after the incident saying that he was "sorry and saddened" about the incident. Rihanna also later issued a statement, saying she wouldn't comment on the alleged beating at the request of authorities. She thanked fans for their support.
Brown's arrest has seriously damaged the "Run It!" singer's squeaky-clean image, and compelled sponsors to drop him or not renew his deals.
The alleged attack also came hours before the couple were scheduled to appear and perform at the Grammy Awards. Both were no-shows for event.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"Halle by Halle Berry," a new fragrance from the Oscar-winning actress in partnership with Coty, is finally set to arrive on store shelves this week, reports the Examiner.com.
The scent features mimosa and fig essences that are meant to evoke "the spirit of a woman who is effortlessly sexy, stylish, and elegant."
"For years I have created my own personal scents by mixing and layering fragrances, trying to come up with something unique and different," Berry says. "It's a wonderful form of self-expression and I am thrilled to be working with Coty on my debut fragrance."
Advertising for the perfume was shot on a beach in Oahu, Hawaii by photographer and director Cliff Watts.
In other Berry news, the film star, her boyfriend Gabriel Aubrey and their daughter Nahla Aubrey were spotted shopping in Malibu on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 28).
A source says they had just purchased Levi’s jeans for Gabriel before heading back to their hybrid Lexus SUV, with Berry placing little Nahla in her child seat while dad held her toy bunny.
Rihanna and Chris Brown left Miami Beach, Fla. on Sunday and are now back in Los Angeles, where Brown is tentatively scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in connection with her beating.
After spending the past few days hunkered down at the home of Sean "Diddy" Combs on Star Island, the controversially reunited pair was spotted boarding a private jet together at Miami International Airport late Sunday night.
TMZ.com has grainy, long-lens photos of the couple leaving the airport and exiting the same plane together in Los Angeles early Monday morning.
Brown's scheduled arraignment on Thursday may be postponed if detectives don't turn over the case soon enough. As of Monday morning, prosecutors tell E! News they have yet to see the evidence.
Since that incident occurred on Feb. 8, Rihanna spent solo time in Los Angeles, Mexico and her native Barbados, while Brown traveled to Las Vegas and his Virginia hometown before jetting to Miami. Word broke late Friday that the couple had reunited at Diddy's mansion to work on their relationship.
Over the weekend, the "Disturbia" singer remained out of sight, while Brown, for the first time since his Feb. 8 arrest, was photographed jet skiing in the waters around Diddy's compound. He had also been logging late-night sessions at Miami's Hit Factory studios, working on his new album, in the days leading up to their reunion.
Reps for both Rihanna and Chris Brown have so far refused to comment on the seeming reconciliation, though Rihanna's father made clear over the weekend that he supported his daughter, whatever direction her personal life may take.
"I love my daughter with whatever road she takes," Ronald Fenty told Us Weekly. "I'm behind her win or lose. I will be supportive. If that's the road she wants to choose, I'm behind her. I hope to see her soon. I talked to her after her birthday, and she told me she's OK."
Rihanna's other family members, however, have not been so supportive. "Everyone wants them to take a break, to cool off," a relative of Rihanna tells People.com. "No one wants them back together."
"I'm concerned," continues the relative. "I don't want her to make a mistake, and I don't want her to ever go through this again."
Meanwhile, Brown was the victim of mistaken identity over the weekend when he was falsely reported to have been partying with Young Jeezy, Reggie Bush and Khloe Kardashian at the Gansevoort South Hotel in South Beach.
Kardashian wrote on her blog, "So I woke up this morning to a ridiculous amount of missed calls and news EVERYWHERE that I had been spotted out and about in Miami with Chris Brown. The funny part about this alleged 'news' is that I've never even met Chris Brown!"
The reason for the confusion? "Reggie's best friend looks just like Chris Brown," says a source close to Kardashian. "They were all at the Gansevoort, but it wasn't Chris."
Friday, February 27, 2009
Georgia Tanks, wife of Victim
Alone in his mobile home off a winding dirt road, Jimmy Tanks heard a commotion at 2:30 a.m. just outside his bedroom window: Somebody was messing with his car.
The 67-year-old railroad retiree grabbed a gun, walked out the back door and confronted not a thief but a repo man and two helpers trying to tow off the Chrysler Sebring. Shots were fired, and Tanks wound up dead, a bullet in his chest.
The man who came to repossess the car, Kenneth Alvin Smith, is awaiting trial on a murder charge in a state considered a Wild West territory even by the standards of an industry that's largely unregulated nationally. Since Tanks' death last June, two other repo men from the same company Smith worked for were shot, one fatally.
"It's gotten to where it's a crazy world out there," said Smith, 50, an ex-Marine who preaches part-time and sings gospel music. Smith said Thursday that he fired in self-defense after Tanks fired a shot.
With the U.S. dealing with an economic slide that has cost millions of jobs, the number of vehicle repossessions is expected to rise 5 percent this year. That's after it jumped 12 percent to 1.67 million nationally in 2008, said Tom Webb, chief economist with Manheim Consulting, an automotive marketing firm. That followed a 9 percent increase in 2007, creating more opportunities for bad outcomes in an industry where armed confrontations and threats happen every day.
Joe Taylor, whose Florida-based company insures repossession companies, said licensing and training is the answer to avoiding such violence.
"If a guy is just put right on the street without training, the potential for violence is very, very high," said Taylor, who runs Insurance Services USA.
Federal law says workers can't "breach the peace" while repossessing items, but it doesn't go further to state just what that means, leaving definitions up to courts.
All three Alabama shootings were in the middle of the night, which an industry leader said was a sign of a problem.
"The smart operators aren't out there at 2 or 3 o'clock at night with people who can put you in a bad situation," said Les McCook, executive director of the American Recovery Association, a trade group for repossession companies.
It was June 26 that the repo man came for Tanks' car in Halsell, a tiny, rural Choctaw County town near the Mississippi line. Tanks already had filed for bankruptcy and was behind on his payments, court documents show.
Tanks heard a noise and went outside with a gun, something anybody would do, said Choctaw County Sheriff James Lovette, who knew Tanks for years. Smith was indicted Tuesday, but no charges were filed against a man and his teenage son who accompanied Smith, said Lovette.
Smith's defense lawyer, Rusty Wright, said Tanks came out of the trailer and fired, and that Smith "just wanted to stop him."
"This is not the gunslinging cowboy that people think about with repo guys," Wright said. "(Smith) wasn't out to kill the guy."
The sheriff declined comment on whether Tanks shot at Smith.
Lovette said Smith worked out of Birmingham with Ascension Recovery, a subsidiary of the Chicago-based Renovo Services. The same recovery firm employed a repo man who was shot and killed on Jan. 8 in Birmingham, as well as a third worker who was wounded while towing a vehicle in the city on Feb. 10.
The CEO of Renovo Services, David Cowlbeck, didn't respond to questions sent by e-mail about the fatal shootings. He called the unsolved February wounding of 30-year-old Jason Williamson "a random act of violence."
"We trust that the perpetrators are quickly apprehended and charged accordingly," Cowlbeck said in a statement.
Lovette is asking the Alabama Sheriff's Association to push a bill limiting the hours when repossession companies can operate and requiring them to contact local law enforcement before working in an area.
"There's a time and place for everything, and 3 a.m. is not it," said Lovette.
The three states that actively license and monitor recovery agents — California, Florida and Louisiana — report less violence than other states, Taylor said. But most state legislatures aren't interested in repossession law until people start dying, he said.
"You don't find many state legislators who have had a car repossessed. They are just unfamiliar with that world," said Taylor.
Tanks was killed just two weeks after he married Georgia Tanks, who keeps a floral spray at the spot where he died beside the car, which is long gone. She wasn't at home the night he was killed because she was away teaching Vacation Bible School in nearby Meridian, Miss. She has filed a wrongful death suit in the slaying.
"It's senseless," she said, wiping away tears as she looked at their wedding photograph. "The legal stuff I don't know anything about. I just know God is going to let justice be done."
Smith, too, is haunted by what happened that night.
"I've played it through in my mind a million times to see if I could have done something different," he said. "I couldn't have."