Tag Archives: entertainers

Pamela Anderson’s Terrible Plight

What’s that saying about all that glitters?   Pamela Anderson (her photo serving food to the needy is on our Las Vegas Backstage Access masthead), who was once a regular celebrity fixture at Las Vegas nightspots and ex-girlfriend to Tommy Lee, has largely vacated the  nightclub scene. Now we may know why… 

News of Pamela Anderson’s ever-worsening financial situation is upstaging news of a possible “Dancing with the Stars” comeback, as details about her tax bill have come to light.   

In one of the most alarming reports yet for the blond bombshell (and that’s saying something), the state of California announced this week that Anderson owes a whopping $493,000 in delinquent income taxes.  

Rumors about Anderson’s financial woes are nothing new. About six months ago, reports surfaced claiming that Anderson owed over $1 million to contractors she’d hired to renovate her Malibu, California home.   

Anderson countered by saying her lawyers were “reviewing the work done” to investigate the possibility of unfair bills, and that while she was indeed the subject of tax liens to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars, she was still ”financially secure.” She even waxed rhapsodic about her temporary digs, a double-wide trailer at the beach.  

Reports have called Anderson’s chipper claims into question, as have a number of unglamorous appearances she’s been making as of late. A few months ago, she made a promotional appearance at a Pennsylvania Rite-Aid to hawk her new fragrance, Malibu. In February, she pitched her products to shoppers at a Southern California Sears. Last week, she attended the “launch” of a milkshake.  

But, for now, she still has “Dancing” to keep her busy. Anderson recently took to her Facebook page to rave about how transformative her stint on the ABC show has been.  

“I feel like I’ve gone from ‘Baywatch’ to this,” she gushed. “The last 15 years have just disappeared (in some respects).”

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Magician David Copperfield gets day in court

UPDATE:  April 20, 2010 –  Lacey Carroll, David Copperfield’s accuser, has dropped her lawsuit.  Reasons not provided.

A 2011 trial date has been set in the lawsuit against magician David Copperfield, a frequent MGM Grand entertainer in Las Vegas, and throughout the world as well.

A federal judge has set a May 2011 trial date for a civil lawsuit filed by a model who claims she was raped by celebrity magician David Copperfield on his private Caribbean island in 2007. 

U.S. District Judge John Coughenour lifted a stay that has held up the lawsuit pending the outcome of a two-year federal criminal investigation, which ended in January without charges being filed. 

Coughenour also rejected a motion by the lawyers for Lacey Carroll, the 23-year-old 2010 Miss Washington runner-up, seeking a court order to prevent the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office from returning evidence gathered in the criminal case to Copperfield. They argued that the material was relevant to the lawsuit and worried that Copperfield, one of the wealthiest entertainers in the world, would remove the material to his island or destroy it. 

The judge said there was no evidence that would happen, and pointed out that Carroll’s attorneys can still obtain the material through the normal discovery process. Coughenour said Copperfield knows that Carroll wants to review the evidence — some of it seized in FBI searches of his Las Vegas warehouse and MGM Grand Hotel theater in 2007 — and is obliged to preserve it.

Coughenour also noted that nothing is stopping Carroll from subpoenaing the evidence from the prosecutor, although that move could be challenged either by Copperfield or the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

The lawsuit was filed last July, just before the expiration of a two-year statute of limitations. 

Carroll had claimed that she met Copperfield at a performance in the Tri-Cities area and that the 53-year-old entertainer invited her to his $50 million private island, where she claims he raped her. 

The case took a twist when Carroll was charged in January with prostitution and lying to police. She is accused of trying to solicit a 31-year-old Bellevue businessman for $2,000 for sex, after going with him to a hotel room. 

When he refused, according to a police investigation, Carroll told staff at the hotel that the man had assaulted her. Carroll and the man each called police. 

She later refused to cooperate with the investigation, telling detectives she was worried that the Bellevue incident might affect her lawsuit and the Copperfield investigation. 

Carroll has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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Magician Tiff goes Terribly Wrong in Las Vegas

Magicians are a fraternal bunch, and The Amazing Johnathan got a big laugh at a December gathering to honor Lance Burton’s manager, Peter Reveen.

The dark-witted comic strolled out with stage blood on his face, and a made-up black eye: “I’m sorry, Scarlett — I swear I’ll never criticize your dove pull ever again.” 

A big laugh erupted, for the tribute came only days after news that 21-year-old Rachel Jessee, left, known onstage as Scarlett — Princess of Magic, had been arrested for misdemeanor battery. She later pleaded no contest to assaulting her then 67-year-old manager and offstage partner, John Lewis. 

Lewis was sitting next to Jessee at the Reveen tribute, and he was perhaps the only person not laughing. 

“It was like it was a big joke. I don’t find it a joke,” he said. “I was still suffering from a horrible black eye at that point. I let it roll off me, but my face (was) still sore. I wanted to put some makeup on my eye before I went to this, and Rachel said, ‘No, no, I want people to see how you look.’ ” 

Lewis’ attempt to make a Las Vegas star of Scarlett is a cautionary tale of a show business dream that consumed, Lewis claims, nearly a million dollars of he and his wife’s retirement savings and personal effects. 

It is also a sad story of domestic violence and — if Lewis had his choice in the legal system — elder abuse. 

A week ago, Lewis and wife Carolyn filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Jessee, whom Lewis was dating, in Clark County District Court. The lawsuit claims repeated physical abuse and financial improprieties in converting Carolyn Lewis’ assets without her consent. 

In an interview before the lawsuit was filed, Jessee denied any physical abuse beyond the November fight. 

But she now contends Lewis pesters her new manager with e-mails and text messages alleging drug and alcohol abuse, which she calls “crazy.” 

“I’m definitely not a drug addict,” Jessee says. “I did drink heavier than I should have when I was in the relationship because I was not comfortable, and it was kind of a way to cope. I wasn’t an alcoholic but I’d have a few drinks every night.” 

Lewis says there were several escalating attacks. One time she pummeled his rib cage. Another time she hit him in the face and broke a tooth. 

“It’s hard to believe that when you see her onstage, but she would just, like, turn into ‘The Exorcist,’ ” he says.”She’s got a terrible violent temper that just explodes. It’s hard to explain, because she looks small. But she’s extremely strong when she gets mad.”

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Las Vegas Entertainers Come to Aid of Singer/Musical Conductor Bill Fayne

Members of the Las Vegas entertainment community are once again stepping up again to help one of their own. An all-star lineup will be donating their time this Saturday for a fundraiser at the Suncoast for singer/musical conductor Bill Fayne, who is recovering from major throat surgery for cancer. 

“The great news now is that he is on a course to full recovery,” said entertainer Clint Holmes, co-host of the afternoon show with his wife, Kelly Clinton-Holmes. Fayne has been Holmes’ longtime conductor and arranger. 

Fayne, who has lost 50 pounds from his  surgery and diabetes complications, and Clint Holmes have been friends since their college days. 

Taking the stage will be Terry Fator, Frankie Scinta, Lance Burton, Louie Anderson, Robin Leach, Sandy Hackett & the Rat Pack Show, the ladies from “Menopause,” Elvis Presley tribute artist Paul Casey, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute artists “Oh What a Night” and Human Nature. 

The lineup of entertainers include Domenick Allen, Leigh Zimmerman, Cayleigh Capaldi, Rick Faugno, Lena Prima, 5th Avenue, Voci Vegas, the Las Vegas Tenors, Tony Sacca, Jerry Lopez, Jeff Neiman and Vincent Falcone. 

The event begins at 2 p.m. this Sat., March 6 at the Suncoast. Tickets are $45, $35 and $25 and are available at the Suncoast box office and other Boyd Gaming properties.

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It’s not easy being Mr. Las Vegas

Entertainer Wayne Newton’s money woes and legal skirmishes are continuing at warp speed. 

Newton has had a long history of financial problems.  Newton famously declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy after becoming mired in roughly $20 million in debt about 18 years ago and the IRS said in 2005 that Newton owed $1.8 million in back taxes and penalties. 

Then, earlier this month it was learned that Newton abandoned his plane at the Oakland County International Airport three years ago and now owes more than $60,000 in storage fees and now faces lawsuits. 

Also this month, a civil lawsuit was filed in Clark County District Court by Bruton Smith, chairman and founder of Speedway Motorsports Inc. Smith is seeking to seize Newton’s home for repayment of a $3.35 million loan. 

Smith alleges Newton and his wife intentionally defrauded him and misrepresented their ability to repay the loan. 

A lawsuit was also filed last summer for nonpayment of $32,000 worth of hay for his horses. 

To top that off (if that’s possible), yesterday a large posse of Clark County sheriff’s process servers and moving vans showed up in the morning at Newton’s 38-acre ranch at Pecos and Sunset roads in Las Vegas, trying to serve the entertainer with judgment documents and take his property pertaining to a civil lawsuit brought by his former pilot, Monty Ward.  

Clark County District Judge Michelle Leavitt in September ordered Newton to pay Ward about $455,000 in back wages with interest accruing at the rate of roughly $129 per day. Court records show Newton paid less than $4,000 to Ward as of September. 

A similar action by Ward is simultaneously being pursued in U.S. District Court. 

Ward filed a federal breach-of-contract lawsuit in 2006 against Newton and a Nevada company called Desert Eagle. 

According to the lawsuit, the defendants asked Ward around February 2003 to work as their private pilot for the next decade. He was to start at a minimum annual salary of $92,000, plus medical and dental benefits, according to the complaint. 

“In reliance on assurances of continued employment and payment from defendants for a minimum of 10 years, Ward left his employment of 16 years as a captain and pilot with Horizon Airlines and became defendants’ private pilot,” the lawsuit alleges. 

Then, around August 2005, according to the document, Newton and Desert Eagle decided to discontinue using their private aircraft. The lawsuit claims Ward sent the defendants invoices for his services and benefits for periods after they decided to discontinue using their private aircraft, but despite repeated demands, they refused to pay him. 

In January 2009, then-U.S. District Judge Brian Sandoval ruled that Newton and Desert Eagle had breached a settlement agreement they had reached with Ward, and Sandoval entered a judgment of about $455,000 against the defendants.

Late last month, a writ of execution was issued in the case by the U.S. District Court clerk. The writ directed the U.S. Marshals Service to enforce the judgment, which, with interest, has grown to more than $500,000. 

This Tuesday, Ward filed a notice of his intention to take Newton’s deposition on March 4 in Las Vegas.

Yesterday, deputies left Newton’s compound without being able to properly serve him  The documents were returned to District Court marked “unexecuted,” and no further service will be attempted pending civil court actions, police said. 

The Wayne Newton saga is hardly over.   If anything, it will be rapidly ramping up in the next few months.  Please stay tuned to Las Vegas Backstage Access for developments.

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Jessica Biel to Climb Africa’s Highest Mountain

Actress Jessica Biel, a frequent visitor to Las Vegas, is apparently moving up in the world. The 27-year-old star has signed on to climb Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, in January to raise awareness for the need for clean water worldwide. JessicaBiel

She will be joined by singer Lupe Fiasco and actress Isabel Lucas, who will be going on the “Summit on the Summit” expedition, which is the brainchild of Biel’s friend, singer Kenna, whose father suffered from waterborne diseases in Ethiopia as a child.

“This is a basic human necessity that needs to be addressed now,” Biel said in a statement about her decision to climb the more than 19,000 feet to the mountain’s peak. 

According to the Associated Press, more celebrity climbers will be announced in the next few months.

The climb will also raise funds for the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and PlayPumps International.

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Celine Dion Paints Baby’s Room

Celine Dion is expecting her second child in May, her Montreal publicist recently confirmed. CelineDion

The former Caesars Palace headliner conceived after fertility treatments, as she did with son Rene Charles, born Jan. 25, 2001. 

Dion, 41, ended her world tour in February and later acknowledged during an appearance on “Oprah” that she was hoping to have another child. 

The Canadian singing star has hinted that she intends to return to Las Vegas to perform after a baby break.

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