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Archive for March, 2010

NeNe the “Housewife” bails on Fox

nene-leakesNeNe Leakes, a cast member on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” spiked an interview with a local Fox News affiliate in New York just before it was to begin, TMZ reports.

Leakes has been keeping her Twitter followers updated on her every move during her trip to promote her book and the show with posts like, “Still grinding in rainy NYC! Book signing in Harlem today! Hue-man bookstore at 6 p.m.! Show some love New York.”

She hasn’t made any mention of the scotched show, but “sources on the set tell TMZ that she realized it was a FOox show just a few minutes before her appearance,” the celeb site reported. It also said witnesses overheard her saying “she hates the network” and was troubled by a recent report by Fox 5 Atlanta.

Leakes made unwanted headlines recently after her son Bryson Bryant was arrested for a minor pot possession charge in Gwinnett County.

She’s tackled that matter head-on, tweeting on Wednesday, “I know my parenting job is never done but tough love is ordered …

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Ben Roethlisberger Hires Prominent P.I.

The celeb site TMZ reports that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has hired a high-profile private investigator as he battles charges of sexual asault in Milledgeville.

Charles Mittelstadt, who has worked for NFL stars including Ray Lewis and Jamal Lewis and rapper T.I., has now joined Roethlisberger’s payroll, the report said.

GBI crime scene technicians returned to the Capital City Club on Thursday, where a 20-year-old college student has said Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her early on March 5.

Officials with the Milledgeville Police Department, the lead agency on the Roethlisberger case, have not released information about the investigation since holding a brief news conference Monday afternoon.

GBI spokesman John Bankhead had little to add.

“We have to do an investigation that’s ongoing and there’s nothing else to say about it,” Bankhead told the AJC.

Continue reading Ben Roethlisberger Hires Prominent P.I. »

“Pants on the Ground” singer sued

american-idol-larry-platt-pants-on-the-ground-2jpg-b1f762f60174f065_largeAttorney Leron Rogers of the Hewitt & Rogers law firm has filed a lawsuit against Larry Platt, whose song “Pants on the Ground” made him an overnight celebrity after he performed it as an “American Idol” audition.

Rogers says the suit was filed on behalf of his client, American King Music, regarding a music distribution agreement for the song “and for expenses related to producing, writing and recording of Mr. Platt’s official recording of the single.”

Platt’s manager, Pinky Brittain, called the lawsuit “absurd.”

“This is another ploy to claim something that belongs to Gen. Larry Platt,” she said. “He can’t get a break. This is so stupid.”

Platt, who has appeared on The View and on the Grammy Awards red carpet and has been honored by the Atlanta City Council and Georgia Assembly since his song captured the nation’s imagination,  recorded a full-length version of “Pants on the Ground” with hip hop artist Mims at Mims’s studio.  American King Music, Rogers said, …

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Atlanta’s pro racer turned winemaker

This photo from myformula5000.com shows Randy Lewis racing in 1975.

This photo from myformula5000.com shows Randy Lewis racing in 1975.

After a career in professional racing, Randy Lewis did what any driver would do after exiting the track for the last time.

He became a winemaker.

”When I turned pro I went to Europe to start my professional career,” he told Buzz during an interview Monday afternoon. “I stopped in little wine towns in between races and just fell in love.”

An Atlanta native now based in Napa, Calif., where Lewis Cellars is located, he’ll be home for the March 20 Allure preview party for benefactors of the High Museum’s 2010 Wine Auction event, held from March 25-27.

For details including a full schedule see www.atlanta-wineauction.org.

The March 20 Allure party for benefactors of the High's annual Wine Auction features wines by professional racer turned vintner Randy Lewis. The party is co-chaired by Michelle Sullivan and Sacha Taylor and sponsored by Wilmington Trust. The auction is co-chaired by Michelle Edwards Crosland and Christine Ragland. From left, Wilmington Trust managing director Todd Tautfest, left, and Southeastern regional president Jack Sawyer with Sullivan, Crosland, Ragland and Taylor.

The March 20 Allure party for benefactors of the High's annual Wine Auction features wines by professional racer turned vintner Randy Lewis. The party is co-chaired by Michelle Sullivan and Sacha Taylor and sponsored by Wilmington Trust. The auction is co-chaired by Michelle Edwards …

Continue reading Atlanta’s pro racer turned winemaker »

Pre-Oscars, here’s a local “Blind Side” tale

Irone Singleton with John Lee Hancock, director of "The Blind Side," at the film's New York premiere last year.

IronE Singleton with John Lee Hancock, director of "The Blind Side," at the film's New York premiere last year.

We’ll be blogging and tweeting about the Academy Awards later today.  For now, here’s an Oscar story with a metro Atlanta tie.

Local connections abound this year, of course. Mo’Nique is all but guaranteed to win best supporting actress honors for her role in the Tyler Perry-Oprah Winfrey produced “Precious.” And Perry will be presenting tonight, a first for him.

Sandra Bullock is up for best actress for her role in “The Blind Side,” which features scenes filmed here, and several locals in various roles.

Among them is IronE Singleton, who plays Alton, a tough-talking guy who from the projects who is highly suspicious of Leanne Tuohy, Bullock’s character. You can see a snippet of his performance in this clip, at about a minute and a half in.

IronE and Commaleta Singleton at last fall's premiere. They live in Paulding County with their three kids.

IronE Singleton and his wife, Commaleta, have three children.

For Singleton, a University of Georgia graduate who lives with …

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Dreamworks acquires “The Help”

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Dreamworks will turn Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel “The Help” into a film.

“You heard it here first folks,” the Atlanta author’s Facebook page announced yesterday. “Dreamworks SKG has announced that it has acquired the rights. Yay!”

The page is generally authored by actress Octavia Spencer, who has toured with Stockett in support of the book and is expected to star in the film.

Stockett, a Mississippi native who now lives here, was living in New York when she wrote the novel. She talked with CBS’ Katie Couric about the book recently. View the video clip of the interview here.

The book has remained at or near the top of the New York Times bestseller list for close to a year.

Continue reading Dreamworks acquires “The Help” »

ABC Family needs “plus-sized teens”

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ABC Family is looking for a few big teens.

The network is in town today casting for its new summer series, “Huge.”

Here are the details we were sent:

“ABC Family will be looking for talented plus-size individuals to play 15-16 year-olds. Actors may be older, but must be believable as mid-teens. Casting is open to actors and non-actor/newcomers. For those who cannot attend, videos can be submitted online at www.abcfamily.com.”

The show is based on the book “Huge” by Sasha Paley and is being developed by Winnie Holzman (“Wicked,” “My So-Called Life,” “Once & Again”) and daughter Savannah Dooley.

The book “follows the lives of six teens and the staff at a weight-loss camp, as they look beneath the surface to discover their true selves and the truth about each other.”

Casting happens from 2 to 8 p.m. today at the John Robert Powers Building, 7740 Roswell Rd. Email atlantaopencall@yahoo.com for more information.

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B-52’s Fred Schneider and … Paula Deen?

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Fred Schneider has teamed up with RuPaul and the Foo Fighters in the past and now has his sights set on a new collaborative partner.

Paula Deen.

Or maybe the B-52s frontman was kidding when he said he was angling for a guest appearance on her cooking show.

His latest project, with the rock band The Superions, features the single “Who Threw the Ham at Me?” (Watch the nutty video here).

And Deen is the butter-loving spokesperson for Smithfield who once got clocked in the head by flying pork at an Atlanta food bank. (Watch that nutty video here!)

Perfect!

Photo from Smithfield Foods

Photo from Smithfield Foods

“But I’m a vegetarian,” Schneider sighed. Oh, well.

He hammed it up, pardon the pun, with close friends Tuesday night at Bistro Niko. He’s in town for “Fred Schneider’s Spring Thang Bingo Dance Party,” a benefit for Pets Are Loving Support (PALS) and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

The dinner party was hosted by PALS supporter Cathleen Smith Bresciani, Schneider’s close friend …

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Jay-Z, Beyonce relax at Stats

Jay-Z rocked a sold-out Philips Arena Saturday night, taking the stage along with Trey Songz and Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy and thrilling fans with hits such as “Run This Town” and “Death to Auto-Tune.”

(Check out photos from the concert.)

During “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” the big screens showed a video clip of President Barack Obama brushing dirt off his shoulders to the crowd’s delight.

The next day Jay-Z was spotted with wife Beyoncé and Atlanta’s Jermaine Dupri at Stats, the sports bar just down the street from the arena.

Along with a crowd of about 10 friends, the trio sat in the restaurant’s Lincoln Lounge area and watched sports.

We’re told Jay-Z sipped a Corona while the Mrs. enjoyed a refreshing Smartwater spiked with raspberry iced tea flavored Crystal Light.

Dupri munched on nachos with fruit punch.

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