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Celebs often extortion targets.pdf


									Page 10 — Saturday, January 2, 2010
                                                                                               Entertainment                                                                                                                             The Indiana Gazette

 Celebs often extortion targets                                                                                                                                                            Shake up your TV
            AP Entertainment Writer
                                                                                                                                                                                            viewing in 2010
  LOS ANGELES — There was                                                                                                                                                                  By MEKEISHA MADDEN TOBY               with new installments in
no shortage of celebrity secrets                                                                                                                                                             Detroit News Television Writer      March.
for sale in 2009, with John Tra-                                                                                                                                                                                                   5. “Spartacus: Blood and
volta, David Letterman, Cindy                                                                                                                                                              As you’re making a list of reso-      Sand” (debuts 10 p.m. Jan. 22,
Crawford and others claiming                                                                                                                                                             lutions of things to do and not         Starz): Bloody and violent,
they were victims of extortion.                                                                                                                                                          to do, consider the shows you’re        “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” is
  From Letterman’s monologue                                                                                                                                                             watching.                               not a show for the faint of heart.
describing sexual liaisons with                                                                                                                                                            If that slate is devoid of drama      Once you get past the blood
staffers to Travolta’s emotional                                                                                                                                                         or comedy or a little bit of both,      splatter, this is a good old-fash-
testimony about his son’s death,                                                                                                                                                         we’re here with 10 television           ioned tale about revenge and
celebrities confronted informa-                                                                                                                                                          recommendations to mix things           love. Australian newcomer
tion and allegations that others                                                                                                                                                         up. To keep things titillating and      Andy Whitfield is fun to look at
offered to keep secret, for a                                                                                                                                                            diverse, our roundup includes           and very convincing as our man
price.                                                                                                                                                                                   five old (NBC’s “Chuck” and             Spartacus; and he leads an
  And those are just the cases                                                                                                                                                           FX’s “Damages”) and five new            amazing cast that includes Lucy
that came to light. Experts say                                                                                                                                                          series (Starz’s “Spartacus: Blood       Lawless, John Hannah and
extortion is a constant threat to                                                                                                                                                        and Sand” and The CW’s “Life            Peter Mensah.
the rich and famous.                                                                                                                                                                     Unexpected”) for 2010.
  “For every one you hear                                                                                                                                                                  Read on for more details,
                                                                                                                KELLY PRESTON                                                            debut dates and networks:               OLD
about, there’s probably 10 you
don’t,” said Mark Geragos, a Los                                                                              and JOHN TRAVOLTA                                                                                                    1. “Modern Family” (returns 9
                                                                        DAVID LETTERMAN                                                                 CINDY CRAWFORD
Angeles attorney who’s handled                                                                                                                                                                                                   p.m. Wednesday, ABC, Channel
                                                                                                                                                                                         NEW                                     7): Arguably one of the funniest
numerous criminal and civil
matters involving famous                                         demands are higher, and the            photos will be available and the          Shapiro said extortion at-               1. “Blue Mountain State” (de-         comedies to roll out this fall,
clients.                                                         people attempting to trade on          public will be able to see that         tempts can involve a lot of gray         buts 10 p.m. Jan. 12, Spike TV):        “Modern Family” is refreshing
  “Just within the last three                                    the info are more aggressive.          the photos are simply John pos-         area.                                    Silly, sophomoric and obvious           and intelligent. When the famil-
weeks, I’ve had two I’ve put to                                  “It’s sometimes the cost of            ing with fans,” Stamos spokes-             “Not to condone extortion,            aren’t usually adjectives used to       ial sitcom marches back with
bed without anybody hearing                                      doing business,” he said.              man Matt Polk said after the ar-        but at what point is extortion           describe a quality show. Per-           new episodes next week, fans
about that would have been                                         Celebrity attorneys say that         rests earlier this month.               merely somebody exploiting               haps that’s because “Blue               will finally meet Gloria’s (Sofia
household names.”                                                extortion attempts against their                                               somebody else’s vulnerability,”          Mountain State” is not a quality        Vergara) ex-husband Javier
  In the Travolta, Letterman and                                 clients often involve informa-           ALERTING authorities is how           he said.                                 show. But this comedy series            (guest star Benjamin Bratt).
Crawford cases, the alleged at-                                  tion that isn’t true. In some in-      the public learns about most              Shapiro said extortion’s secre-        about college football is funny           2.“Chuck” (returns 8 p.m. Jan.
tempts to get money backfired                                    stances it doesn’t matter if its re-   celebrity extortion attempts.           tive nature also makes it a rela-        in a lowbrow way and some-              10, NBC, Channel 4): Everyone’s
and resulted in criminal cases                                   lease will hurt the entertainer’s      Nowadays, they almost always            tively low-risk crime.                   times, that’s enough.                   favorite accidental spy, Chuck
being filed.                                                     reputation.                            become big news.                          “In terms of crimes, if you’re           2. “Archer” (debuts 10 p.m.           Bartowski (Zachary Levi) is back
  The past year’s crop of alleged                                  “It’s a different ballgame for         Travolta’s case became inter-         going to gamble, it’s certainly          Jan. 14 on FX): Darkly comedic          and ready for a third season of
victims joins many other enter-                                  celebrities,” said David Shapiro,      national news when Bahamian             one of those that the rewards            and well-written, this animated         action and crime fighting.
tainers who have had to con-                                     a former FBI agent and associ-         authorities arrested two people         greatly exceeds the risks,”              offering about spies is “Mad            Hopefully, the show’s ratings
tend with extortion, including                                   ate professor at John Jay College      of trying to sell the actor an in-      Shapiro said.                            Men” and “Burn Notice” all              will finally kick butt, too.
Elvis Presley, Bill Cosby, Michael                               of Criminal Justice in New York.       nocuous treatment document                The publicity inherent with            rolled up into one. Voice work            3. “Southland” (returns 10
Jackson, and Tom Cruise, to                                      “Celebrities are especially vul-       after his son’s death.                  involving authorities in extor-          comes from the best, including          p.m. Jan. 12, TNT): A new net-
name a few.                                                      nerable because they have an             Travolta gave emotional testi-        tion cases is a tough call, Gera-        Aisha Tyler, Chris Parnell and          work doesn’t make this gritty
                                                                 image.”                                mony in the case against the            gos and Singer said.                     Jessica Walter (“Arrested Devel-        cop drama a new show. But it
  EXTORTION statistics are diffi-                                                                       suspects, a paramedic and for-            “You can’t really control it,”         opment”).                               makes the drama and fans
cult to come by. It can be                                         A LOT DEPENDS on the                 mer Bahamas senator, but the            Geragos said. “You have to re-             3. “Life Unexpected” (debuts          lucky. Thankfully with a second
charged under several different                                  celebrity’s reputation and how         case ended in a mistrial. The           live it.”                                9 p.m. Jan. 18 on The CW, Chan-         chance, after getting dumped
statutes at both the state and                                   they want to handle the de-            actor has said he will testify            Geragos, who represented               nel 50): Lux (Brittany Robert-          by NBC, comes a whole new
federal level. While some say                                    mands.                                 again.                                  Jackson shortly after his arrest         son) is a girl tired of bouncing        season and more gripping sto-
anecdotal evidence shows ex-                                       “I have clients who couldn’t           Letterman chose to announce           on child molestation charges,            around the foster care system           rylines.
tortion is becoming a more                                       care less if a sex tape comes out      the case involving him on his           said finding out someone is try-         so she seeks her real parents             4. “Community” (returns 8
common tactic, the targeting of                                  because they think it’s going to       late-night talk show after an ar-       ing to sell secretly obtained in-        and is amazed at what she finds.        p.m. Jan. 14, NBC, Channel 4):
celebrities has been a constant                                  make them more famous,” Ger-           rest was made.                          formation can provoke strong             This is a really smart and funny        Full of comedic smarts and
problem.                                                         agos said.                               An attorney for Robert J. “Joe”       reactions.                               show so watch it fast before CW         great one-liners, this sitcom
  “I don’t think it’s more preva-                                  He said sometimes a person           Halderman, the man accused of             Geragos and Jackson were se-           execs cancel this one the way           about a rag-tag group of com-
lent,” said Marty Singer, a Los                                  “overvalues” the item or infor-        trying to blackmail Letterman,          cretly videotaped on a private           they canceled “Privileged” and          munity college underachievers
Angeles entertainment attorney                                   mation they’re using to try to         has denied any wrongdoing by            plane, and the attorney won a            “Reaper.”                               is only made better by cast
for more than 30 years. “In the                                  extort a celebrity. Actor John         his client, saying he was merely        $20 million judgment against               4. “The Deep End” (debuts 8           members such as Joel McHale
last 10 years I don’t think I’ve                                 Stamos apparently felt that way        shopping a screenplay.                  the plane’s operator last year as        p.m. Jan. 21, ABC, Channel 7):          and Chevy Chase.
handled any more extortion                                       when a Michigan couple threat-           “Evidence of celebrity mis-           a result.                                Yes, there are far too many law           5. “Damages” (returns 10 p.m.
cases than the previous 10                                       ened to sell pictures of him for       deeds has a significant fair mar-         “It’s a sickening feeling and an       dramas on TV, but what’s one            Jan. 25, FX): Patty Hewes (a two-
years.”                                                          $680,000.                              ket value,” Halderman’s lawyer          outrageous feeling,” Geragos             more when there’s espionage             time Emmy winning role for
  Singer said he handles about                                     They have been arrested and          Gerald Shargel wrote. “... Evi-         said.                                    involved? Besides, if this series       Glenn Close) is back for a third
one celebrity extortion case a                                   face a federal extortion charge.       dence of such misdeeds is rou-            “When clients come, I tell             doesn’t last, that’s fine because       season and new foes. New cast
month. He said the main differ-                                    “At the conclusion of the in-        tinely suppressed through pri-          them, ‘I’ve been there, I can re-        it is only a place holder until         members include Martin Short
ence now is that the financial                                   vestigation and hearing, the           vate business arrangement.”             late to you,’” he said.                  “FlashForward” comes back               and Len Cariou.

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  Morrison: Report ‘utter fiction’                                                                                                                Indiana Elks                                                              TO PLAY
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                By SANDY COHEN
             AP Entertainment Writer
                                                                                                        lowing several calls, texts and e-
                                                                                                        mails. Lobel, a longtime Los An-           SUNDAY                               KIWANIS           ••• DOORS OPEN 4:00 PM •••
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                                                                                                        geles publicist who cites scores
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Irish singer Van Morrison said
Thursday that a computer hack-                                                                          on his company Web site,
                                                                                                        claimed in an e-mail Monday
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er planted a false report on his                                                                                                                                                       Every Monday Night    Regular Bingo (20) 100 pts.
Web site claiming he had fa-                                                                            that Morrison had asked him to
thered a fourth child at the age of                                                                     disseminate the birth announce-                                                 ST. BERNARD’S           Specials (4) 150 pts.
64 with a new partner.                                                                                  ment. Before sending its story on
   The false report was dissemi-                                                                        Monday, the AP called Lobel to             Bingo will Resume                       SCHOOL           ••• JACKPOT 2000 PTS. •••
nated Monday by a Los Angeles-                                                                          make sure the e-mail was gen-               Sunday, Jan. 10!                     CLAIRVAUX DRIVE,            54# or less
based publicist for Morrison,                                                                           uine, which Lobel confirmed.
Phil Lobel. The publicist was                                                                             Following Morrison’s denial of             Wrong information
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quoted by an unidentified asso-                                                                         the report on Thursday, repeated                                                  FREE COFFEE                Register Each Time You Attend Bingo in January
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ciate on Thursday as getting the                                                                        phone calls and e-mails from the             Dec. 26 Gazette Ad.                 Indiana Kiwanis Club                 Given Away at End of Month
report from the Morrison site.                                                                          AP to Lobel went unanswered.
   The false report was picked up                                                                         Finally, a reporter visited the
by several news agencies, includ-                                                                       West Hollywood offices of his PR
ing The Associated Press, as well                                         VAN MORRISON                  company, Lobeline Communica-
as celebrity sites. The false report                                                                    tions. A man who looks similar to
on the Morrison Web site                                         hard to believe. He said the cou-      Lobel answered the door and
claimed that a woman identified                                  ple wasn’t aware of them and ini-      identified himself as a guest visit-
as Gigi had just borne a son with                                tially didn’t want to respond.         ing from out of town. The man
Morrison. The singer issued a                                      “The reports were complete           said he would check to see if
statement Thursday through an                                    and utter fiction. None of it was      Lobel was available, then report-
international public-relations                                   true,” Saunders said in a tele-        ed that the publicist was on a
agency stressing that the report                                 phone interview. “But Van gener-       plane.
was completely false and the ma-                                 ally doesn’t feel the need to en-        Minutes later, a person claim-
licious product of a hacker’s at-                                gage with the media, whether the       ing to be an associate of Lobel’s
tack on his official Web site,                                   news is good, bad or indifferent.      sent an e-mail message from the                                             Michelle and Van studiously stay       publicist’s account to the re-
   It appeared to be the latest in a                             out of the limelight. They would-      porter, saying that Lobel “called
rapidly growing string of hoaxes                                 n’t have been aware of the trac-       us from his plane” to issue a
in the Internet age. Digital trick-                              tion these false reports were get-     statement acknowledging that
sters increasingly place phony                                   ting globally.”                        his office had “passed along in-
footage, facts and press releases                                  Saunders, a longtime friend of       formation from the official Web
on Web sites and video-sharing                                   the couple, said he persuaded          site of Van Morrison, which we
sites to see how quickly the false-                              them to make a statement fol-          are now told had been hacked.”
hoods will spread through tradi-
tional and new media alike.
   John Saunders, president of the
European arm of the U.S. public-
relations firm Fleishman-Hillard
Inc., said he contacted Morrison
and his wife, Michelle, after see-
                                                                                                                                                                                  Invest $1.25,
ing the reports and finding them
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