AMERICAN PIE star Natasha Lyonne's father has hit out at gossip on a celebrity sighting site claiming she looks "like she could die any minute". Lyonne, who reportedly checked herself into rehab in Malibu a few months ago, was spotted looking haggard and ill in Manhattan, according to Gawker.com's Gawker Stalker feature. The web site claims she was seen "looking like she is in a drug-induced coma," "covered in some sort of bad red rash," and "like she could die any minute". However, Lyonne's furious father, radio host Aaron Braunstein, has slammed the rumours and is threatening legal action against any more injurious postings. He tells the New York Daily News, "Natasha is safe and sound in California, working on her role in Clara Bow. "Her sightings in New York by Gawker people is a lie, and if Mel Sachs (attorney) and our (lawyers) find out who is spreading these vicious lies, they will be dealt with legally, in an ugly, expensive matter." Braunstein refused to comment on allegations the actress had undergone a stint in rehab. Lyonne, who played feminist JESSICA in the American Pie movies, was arrested by Miami Beach police on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident in 2001. She pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and received six months of probation and 50 hours of community service.
LATEST: Rappers Ludacris and Kanye West raised a smile at a New York court on Thursday (24MAY06) when they performed part of their 2003 hit single STAND UP to the jury during their liability trial. The pair were defending themselves against allegations they stole the lyrics and style of the tune from New Jersey group I.O.F's (IT'S ONLY FAMILY) song STRAIGHT LIKE THAT. During West's testimony, US District Judge KEVIN CASTEL asked him to say the first two lines of STAND UP. West and Ludacris promptly performed it with their usual panache, hesitating slightly before singing a swear-word laden lyric. Castel laughed, "I'm sorry I asked. I think I'm going to withdraw my question." Earlier that day, Ludacris, real name is Chris Bridges, insisted he had never heard the phrase "straight like that" before, let alone the song by that title until he was sued. Ludacris told lawyer Mel Sachs, "I never heard anyone use the term." Sachs claims the words "like that" were repeated more than 80 times in each song. Ludacris believes the words are repeated fewer than 80 times in his song. If the rappers are found liable, a second phase of the trial will assess damages. The trial continues.
Rappers Ludacris and Kanye West have defended themselves in a New York court against allegations they stole the lyrics and style of their 2003 hit single STAND UP. New Jersey Group I.O.F (IT'S ONLY FAMILY) claim the pair breached copyright laws, by copying their song STRAIGHT LIKE THAT. But lawyers representing the superstar insist they had never heard the song, and played the court a series of other songs to show similar rhythms and the chorus "like that", which is used in both songs, were not original to I.O.F. Ludacris and West's lawyer CHRISTINE LEPERA told the court, "The first time they heard the song Straight Like That was when this lawsuit was filed. "There are scores of songs out there with the words 'like that' with that type of rhythm. They do not need to copy anyone's music." I.O.F lawyer Mel Sachs argued "a constellation of similarities" was present between the two songs, as well as a "call and response" style. He told the court, "This song Stand Up catapulted Ludacris's career. It was certified gold by the recording industry. "(I.O.F) put a lot of time and effort into doing this song and then it was taken away from them." The case continues.
The Sopranos actor Lillo Brancato Jr yesterday (04MAY06) requested a separate trial because he intends to call his co-defendant as a witness. Brancato, who made his name in Robert De Niro's directorial debut A BRONX TALE aged 16, faces murder charges after an off-duty policeman was shot dead during a bungled burglary in New York City on 10 December (05). Brancato was shot twice by Daniel Enchautegui during their fatal encounter. Brancato's lawyer Mel Sachs told the New York court co-accused Steven Armento could testify that his client did not know his accomplice was carrying a firearm, the Associated Press reports. However, Armento, 48, indicated he would not testify on Brancato's behalf by shaking his head when Sachs proposed the motion to Justice STEVEN BARRETT. Barrett delayed his ruling until the next hearing, scheduled for 11 July (06).
Jailed rap star LIL' KIM will spend the summer (06) as a free woman, according to her lawyer Mel Sachs. The rapper, real name KIMBERLY JONES, began her 366-day incarceration for perjury and conspiracy in September (19SEP05), but she's already planning to walk free from the Philadelphia Federal Detention Center, Pennsylvania. Sachs says, "A year and a day is actually less than a one-year sentence because, under the federal rules and the federal sentencing system, if there's an extra day, you get time credited to you. "So Kim will be out in late spring or early summer."
LATEST: Journalist STACY BROWN is forging ahead with plans to go public with tapes of conversations he had with Jermaine Jackson as part of a "very aggressive" slander suit against the singer. Brown is furious with the 51-year-old star after he appeared on CNN show Larry King LIVE on Tuesday night (07MAR06) rubbishing reports he had planned to write a tell-all book about his brother Michael Jackson. As part of the interview with King, Jackson claimed the proposed book, LEGACY: SURVIVING THE BEST AND THE WORST, was a myth and that former Jackson family friend Brown, his reported ghost writer, faked the whole project. But Brown, the author of MICHAEL JACKSON: THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK, is planning to make an example of Jermaine after confirming he has teamed up with top celebrity lawyer Mel Sachs to discredit the singer's claims. Brown fumes, "The fact is I would not have written anything without the express consent of Jermaine Jackson and, in fact, you will see more than it on paper in the coming days; you will hear it on tape. Jermaine should be very careful about what he says. "(The tapes are) currently in the possession of, and being reviewed by, Mel Sachs. He and I have talked and we will be launching a very aggressive slander suit against Jermaine Jackson." Jackson is said to have shopped the proposed nook he co-wrote with Brown to publishers in late 2003. Brown claims Jackson promised to talk about brother Michael's alleged drug problems and reveal secrets from his personal life and child molestation trial.
LATEST: Jermaine Jackson has rubbished reports he had planned to write a tell-all book about his superstar brother Michael Jackson's private life as "lies". Speaking on US TV show Larry King LIVE, the 51-year-old dismissed stories published in the New York Daily News in which the publication claimed to have an eight-page synopsis dating from 2003 for his unpublished book LEGACY: SURVIVING THE BEST AND THE WORST. Jermaine told host King the alleged manuscript, which contained numerous revelations about Michael, was faked by the book's co-author STACY BROWN and that he is considering legal action. However, Brown has warned Jermaine that he has his confessions on tape and that he took is consulting his lawyer. He says, "He'd be crying, spilling his guts, pouring his heart out for hours on end. I thought, 'Man, this is really deep.' "I've got Jermaine on tape, and the tapes are being turned over to attorney Mel Sachs."
LATEST: Troubled actress Natasha Lyonne's father has rubbished reports his daughter is "homeless" - insisting she is wealthy and living very comfortably.
Aaron Braunstein has spoken out on behalf of the troubled AMERICAN PIE star, who is currently facing a string of police charges, including criminal mischief, harassment and trespassing.
He tells the New York Post, "Everyone keeps saying 'Poor Natasha, she's homeless,' but she's very wealthy. I live in a huge penthouse with nine bedrooms on the Upper West Side; her grandparents are very wealthy in Beverly Hills."
Continue reading: Lyonne's Father Slams 'Homeless' Reports
Michael Goody claims the rap star, real name KIMBERLY JONES, ignored a civil suit arising from the shooting incident in 2001, but she maintains she had nothing to do with the attack in a Fort Greene, New York delicatessen.
Goody, who is seeking $1 million (GBP555,500) in damages, required hospital treatment when rapper JAMES 'LIL' CEASE' LLOYD, Antoine Spain, Suif Jackson and Damien Butler were among a gang who opened fire on him during a row. Butler and Jackson have since served jail time for the incident
Continue reading: More Legal Woes For Jailed Lil' Kim
Two employees of hard-hitting hip-hop magazine The Source have been charged with attempted murder after a nightclub shooting in New York on Saturday (23JUL05).
Marketing director ALVIN CHILDS and merchandiser LEEROY PEEPLES (corr) have each been charged with three counts of attempted murder after three men were shot and left for dead outside the Limerick House nightspot, which is across the street from The Source's headquarters.
Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges at their arraignment yesterday (25JUL05), and were later released on bail.
Continue reading: Source Employees Charged With Attempted Murder After Shoot-Out
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