Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Brandy Facing 50 Million Dollar Lawsuit

2007 isn't starting out very well for Brandy Norwood. The multi-platinum recording artist was recently found at fault in a car crash that resulted in a fatality. With a 50 million dollar lawsuit filed against her by the victim's family, criminal charges looming over her head, and the guilt that comes with knowing you were responsible for the untimely death of someone else, poor Brandy is having a pretty rough time.

A quick rewind to recap the events. On Dec. 30, Brandy was driving her Land Rover on the 405 in LA. If your familiar with LA you know their freeway system is frightful. Everyone drives 80 miles per hour and the result is multiple hapless accidents. The movie Crash capitalized on this concept and developed a story around it. Anyhow, for whatever reason, Brandy failed to notice the bottleneck of cars that had slowed down and crashed into a Honda, driven by Awatef Aboudihaj, a 38 year old waitress/wife/mother. The impact of Brandy's car caused Awatef to hit the car in front of hers, then slide sideways onto the divider where she was hit by another car. Awatef died at the hospital from blunt-force injuries, according to the coroners office.

TMZ.com interviewed a man that claimed he was in the car behind Brandy's at the time of the accident. The witness said at the scene, Brandy was visibly hysterical and insistent that she was at fault.

Brandy's publicist, Courtney Barnes said the singer wasn't under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.

Now, after a full investigation, it's the CA CHP's recommendation that Brandy be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in county jail and a $1000.00 fine. Prosecutors couldn't say when they would make a decision to file charges. If charged, Brandy wouldn't necessarily have to appear in court, and could enter a plea through her attorney.

Civil Rights leaders are coming out to support the artist, alleging that the CHP and DA wouldn't have made such a big deal out of this incident had it involved a less high profile person. Their decision to speak up lacks some sensitivity toward the victim's family, however, they aren't completely wrong about the attention this accident is grabbing. I am unsure what the statistics are for accidents on the 405 but I wouldn't be surprised if they were above the national average, yet every fatal accident on that highway isn't national news.

And now the victim's parents are making a statement of their own. They filed a 50 million dollar lawsuit against the R&B singer for compensatory and punitive damages, citing, "Defendant Brandy Norwood was driving recklessly on the freeway." Some might question the timing of this lawsuit. Their daughter's corpse isn't even cold and already they are looking to prosper? If it were my child, I'd still be in shock. However, I won't stand in judgement of them and I'd never want to be where they are right now.

Brandy isn't the first celebrity to kill someone in a car accident. Just last month, Prison Break star Lane Garrison was found at fault in an accident where his SUV jumped the curb, killed a 17 year old boy, and injured two 15 year old girls, one of them seriously. Witnesses at the hospital say Lane had alcohol on his breath. In 2001, actress Rebecca Gayheart struck and killed a 9-year-old boy. She pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges and was given three years' probation, a suspended license, a $2,800 fine, and 750 hours of community service. In 1987, Matthew Broderick was involved in a head on collision on a country road in Ireland. The crash killed two Irish women. Broderick pleaded guilty to a reckless driving charge and was fined $175.

Brandy was driving 65mph when she crashed into the car in front of her. I drive 65mph all the time (usually with the flow of traffic). Brandy had to be preoccupied when she hit the car in front of her. Some are speculating she was on her cell phone. Perhaps she just turned her head for a moment to change the song on her ipod. Who knows? We are all guilty of becoming preoccupied while at the wheel. Still, that doesn't make it right. Sadly, her behavior was irresponsible and someone died as a result. We can all take heed.

Celeb Fit Club: Drama

TMZ is reporting some drama on the VH1 set of the celebrealtiy show, Celebrity Fit Club.

They say that the first fight took place between medical/diet expert Dr. Ian and Ant, the show's host -- over a cigarette. Apparently, during a break in filming, Dr. Ian exploded after Ant fired up a cancer stick in the doc's vicinity, and began shouting and threatening Ant with violence, forcing producers to immediately shut down production. The two men were separated, egos were stroked, and production resumed.

Soon after, as first reported on PerezHilton.com, former child star-turned-porn-star Dustin Diamond a.k.a. Screech, allegedly threatened to "make a dildo of my c**k and f**k" former "American Idol" star Kimberly Locke with "it" during a heated on-set altercation. Locke, along with almost every member of the cast, including 80's pop star Tiffany, rap star Warren G and "Brady Bunch" star Maureen "Marcia" McCormick all stormed off the set. Only Ross the Intern stayed.
Since the blow up, producers have exiled Dustin Diamond and he will no longer have any interaction with the cast. A rep for Dustin has denied all allegations surrounding the actor.
What has gotten into Screech? I guess all those years as a sexually repressed nerd on Saved by the Bell really took it's toll on him. I am also wondering if these c-listers purposely gain weight so that they can appear on this show. The only original porker I recall from this group is Locke. Let's just hope that these fireworks make it on the show and not on the cutting room floor.

Angelina Jolie's Mother Loses Her Battle with Ovarian Cancer

Marcheline Bertrand passed away on January 27, 2007. Bertrand, mother to Angelina Jolie and James Haven, was only 56 years old when she lost her battle with ovarian cancer.

Angelina's demeanor has been scrutinized by the press over the past couple of weeks. Everyone assumed that her stank mood was a result of friction between her and Brad Pitt. Folks were predicting that the couple was heading for splitsville and now this. It all makes sense. If my mother were on her death bed and I had to make pretty and pose for the cameras for award show after award show, where the same damn people always win, I'd be in a foul ass mood too.

Angie was very close with her mom. She credited Marcheline and not dad, Jon Voight, for getting her started in the biz during an interview for the Bravo show, Inside the Actor's Studio.

She, Brad Pitt, and James Haven were at Marcheline's bedside when she passed.

Keep your head up Ang!

37 Never Looked So Good

I must say, I don't feel so bad about turning 30 when people like Mary J. Blige are approaching 40 and look as good as they do. Mary J. celebrated her 37th birthday on January 11 (Capricorns in the house, whoo hoo) and some OG celebs came out to help her get her party on.
As I was looking at these pictures some random questions were floating through my mind like how tight was Heavy D. hugging Mary? I get that the overaged/overweight lover doesn't get many A-list invitations and he was probably showing his gratitude for being included, but still, let a sistah breath! How often does Tisha go for botox injections? It looks as if she's having trouble expressing her emotions. I was puzzled by Queen Latifah's choice of attire. She is throwing off a dykie biker-chick vibe. I wonder what covergirl would say......

Friday, January 5, 2007

Updates for MTV Junkies

True, it's mindless television but I love me some MTV. Rather than defend my guilty pleasure, I'll indulge you with a little bit of nothing I read on the web.

MTV's newest season of Road Rules kicks off on Tuesday, January 30, 2007. I thought they'd retired this show in favor of the more appealing RW/RR challenges. Even in it's prime, RR has been MTV's stepchild when comparing it to fan favorite, The Real World. RR cast members didn't hold much merit until they participated in a RW/RR challenge. I guess the producers of MTV agree with me because rather than introduce a whole new wave of misfits, MTV plans to rely on their old faithfuls to drum up ratings this season. That's right- the new cast is really just a bunch of people from the old casts. Without giving away any names, the cast currently stands as two each from RR South Pacific (my guess is Tina), Semester at Sea (Veronica, perhaps??) and Campus Crawl (if Roni's in it then Rachel's in it too). I take my hat off to MTV, they know what the viewers want.

MTV's also been hard at work filming the next RW/RR challenge. The cast for that show isn't so secret:
Davis (Real World Denver)
Ty (Real World Denver)
Jenn (Real World Denver)
Colie (Real World Denver)
Johnny (Real World Key West)
Janelle (Real World Key West)
Paula (Real World Key West)
Danny (Real World Austin)
Rachel (Real World Austin)
Ace (Real World Paris)
CT (Real World Paris)
Alton (Real World Las Vegas)
Aneesa (Real World Chicago)
Tonya (Real World Chicago)
Abe (Road Rules South Pacific)
Cara (Road Rules South Pacific)
Susie (Road Rules Down Under)
Kenny (Fresh Meat)

This challenge was filmed in Cape Town, South Africa. All I can say is Alton is back!! I wonder if he'll hook up with Janelle or Jenn. My money is on Jenn. Without Beth present, the person all the girls will target to hate is obviously Tonya. The guy causing most of the problems will be CT since DM isn't there to keep him in check. Speaking of DM, she's such a cry baby. I can't believe she actually expected Aneesa to choose Coconuts over her after she threw Aneesa to the wolves the entire season.