Page 10 — Saturday, January 2, 2010
Entertainment The Indiana Gazette
Celebs often extortion targets Shake up your TV
By ANTHONY McCARTNEY
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.
NO BINGO 4000 REASONS
Morrison: Report ‘utter fiction’ Indiana Elks TO PLAY
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 •••
LOS ANGELES — Reclusive
geles publicist who cites scores
of entertainment and corporate
clients — including Morrison —
JAN. 3 SUPER ••• EARLY BIRD 6:00 PM •••
6-$25 Door Prizes Nightly
Happy New Year!
Irish singer Van Morrison said
Thursday that a computer hack- on his company Web site,
claimed in an e-mail Monday
Early Bird (4) 30 pts.
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
INDIANA Consolation 1000 pts.
quoted by an unidentified asso- the report on Thursday, repeated FREE COFFEE Register Each Time You Attend Bingo in January
was published in Sponsored by To Win a $300 Black & Gold Big Game Jacket!
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
www.vanmorrison.com. 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-
ing the reports and finding them
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