Archives for posts with tag: legal matters

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for 211 games for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez through the end of the 2014 season for using performance-enhancing drugs, lying to the MLB about said drug use and for hampering the league’s investigation into the Biogenesis steroid scandal. The suspension begins Thursday and baseball’s top earning player will not be allowed to play for a total of 211 games.

This is the official statement from the MLB’s public relations:

Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that third baseman Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2013 Championship Season and Postseason and the entire 2014 Championship Season for violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement.

Rodriguez’s discipline under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez’s discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation. The suspension, which will become effective on Thursday, August 8th, will cover 211 Championship Season games and any 2013 Postseason games in which Rodriguez otherwise would have been eligible to play.

Under the terms of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, Rodriguez’s suspension will be stayed until the completion of his appeal if Rodriguez files a grievance challenging his discipline.

Per said grievance, Rodriguez has said he plans to challenge the suspension, meaning he will be allowed to play, is is expected to do so Monday against the Chicago White Sox, until the case is decided by an arbiter. That could be a very long process.

Rodriguez initially tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in 2003 while he was with the Texas Rangers. However, the results of the random testing that caught Rodriguez were supposed to remain anonymous and the New York Yankees offered to buy the Rangers out of their contract with the all-star to bring the highest paid man in baseball and the most successful franchise in baseball together. It was supposed to be an unbeatable combination. All he had to do was stay clean and out of trouble.

However, the results of the 2003 testing were published by Sports Illustrated in 2009 and in an attempt to save his good name, Rodriguez allegedly offered to buy evidence linking him to Biogenesis, the Miami clinic that distributed PEDs to many professional baseball players, from a clinic employee. That man, Anthony Bosch, went on to cooperate with the league’s investigation. It was that move that led to his unprecedented 211-game suspension.

Rodriguez was not the only player punished Monday for their involvement with Biogenesis. Each of the other players, however, only received 50 game suspensions, they include:

  • Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers
  • Everth Cabrera of the San Diego Padres
  • Fautino De Los Santos of the San Diego Padres
  • Jhonny Peralta of the Detroit Tigers
  • Francisco Cervelli of the New York Yankees
  • Fernando Martinez of the New York Yankees
  • Jordany Valdespin of the New York Mets
  • Cesar Puello of the New York Mets
  • Antonio Bastardo of the Philadelphia Phillies
  • Sergio Escalona of the Houston Astros
  • Jesus Montero of the Seattle Mariners
  • Jordan Norberto, currently a free agent

In a tweet earlier today, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who is not involved in the scandal called it a “day of infamy for [the] MLB.”

Ultimately, although today will be a day of infamy for MLB, it is a tremendous step in the right direction for the game we love.

– Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria) August 5, 2013

Lindsay Lohan

The year was 2005. Lindsay Lohan had just stormed out of the Herbie Fully Loaded premiere, reportedly because a song she recorded for the movie was not used the way she wanted. Previously that year she’d been hospitalized for exhaustion; several months later, she’d be accused of drunkenly driving her car into a van on Robertson Boulevard (though a police report later confirmed that she was sober and not at fault). It was the year she turned 19.

For Lohan, 2005 was the beginning of a slippery slope that would see her transformed from working actress into tabloid fodder. Eight years (and seven stints in rehab) later, Lindsay Lohan is poised to change all that. One week ago today, Lindsay Lohan left treatment at Cliffside Malibu after a nearly 90-day stint. It was, compared to her previous rehab stays, relatively uneventful. Sure, Lohan switched facilities mid-treatment, but there were no late night escapes in search of a Diet Coke this time. By all means, America likes a comeback and Lohan is positioned to be the ultimate comeback kid.

It’s been clear since day one that Lohan was something special. At the age of 17, she’d headlined three movies that grossed more than $65 million (The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday and Mean Girls). Certainly child stardom doesn’t always translate into a successful acting career, just ask Macaulay Culkin, but Lohan showed off a more adult side in A Prairie Home Companion and while her latest, The Canyons, isn’t exactly getting rave reviews, Variety‘s Scott Foundas called her a “fascinating presence,” praising her performance as “one of those performances, like Marlon Brando‘s in Last Tango in Paris, that comes across as some uncanny conflagration of drama and autobiography.”

Internet writers, myself included, have, for years, mocked Lohan’s every move. And it was deserved. The girl who’s saying she doesn’t “need” rehab, calling it “a joke” while she can’t seem to avoid breaking the law is clearly not taking herself seriously, and doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

But, this time, so far, Lohan is taking the right steps. She’s been laying low since leaving rehab, save for a light-hearted and self-deprecating appearance on Chelsea Lately. An informal poll of friends and colleagues tells me that most people would be thrilled to see Lohan fulfill the promise of her early-2000 s self. For Lohan, the formula is simple: keep your head down, work hard and impress us. Remind us why we loved you in the first place. We’re eager to recall that feeling.

Teresa and Joe Giudice in Court

Like Teresa Giudice, her house hubby Joe will also plead not guilty to the a 39-count indictment against the reality couple filed Monday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

But Joe has a lot more than the charges (and over 50 years in prison) he’s facing. Given that the reality star, unlike his wife, isn’t a U.S. citizen, he could also be deported – a possibility that’s weighting on him, according to his attorney.

“It’s natural to worry, but he’s worried not as much for himself but for Teresa and his family,” Miles Feinstein told Celebuzz. “He’s mainly concerned about Teresa and the kids and his family and staying in the country with them.

“If he was even found guilty on one of the 39 charges, that might deport him,” including mortgage fraud and bankruptcy fraud, revealed Feinstein, adding that the charge stemming from Joe’s failure to file his tax returns from 2004 to 2008 are “probably not deportable.”

Joe is also facing state charges of fraud in which he’s been accused of obtaining a driver’s license using his brother’s name. Those allegations also make it more of a reality that the 43-year-old father of four may be asked to leave the U.S.

“Sometimes you see it on the Real Housewives [of New Jersey] and sometimes you don’t, but they support each other and love each other. And they love their kids tremendously,” said Feinstein.

Joe’s attorney tries to explain why his client has been in the country his whole life without becoming a naturalized citizen.

“Joe has an Italian passport, not a U.S. passport. He came to his country when he was one year old. Because his family I suppose didn’t realize they should have done something.

“He came when he was one so I assume they thought he was a citizen.

“It would be a shame one way or another if he was deported since he’s been here since that young age. It’s unfortunate that he wasn’t naturalized.”

For now, the often financially troubled TV pair – who withdrew bankruptcy in 2011 after claiming $11 million in debts – have been released on their own recognizance despite the whopping $500K bond each that was set during their first court appearance on the federal charges July 30.

“People have thought they had to put up half a million dollars, but they didn’t have to put up a thing, no house, nothing,” explained Feinstein. “No property, bonds, no money.

“It was equivalent of bail but no bail.”

But they better show up in court or they’ll be the hefty price to pay.

“It’s to ensure the person’s presence in court every time. They would be responsible for $500,000 each if they didn’t show up in court,” he added.

“Their roots, family and kids are here so they are going to be there.”

Amanda Bynes Starts Fire, Neighbor Talks

UPDATE 5:20 P.M. PST: Celebuzz was able to reach the owner of the property where Amanda Bynes started the small fire: “It was a surprise at first because I thought it could be a hate crime or arson. When I found out who it was I was actually a bit relieved,” said Bonnie Braatan. “How she picked my driveway and my house, I don’t know.”

Braatan, who was in bed at the time of fire, spoke with police who “indicated that she (Bynes) was probably under the influence of something,” she added.

Now, the Thousand Oaks resident is faced with the damage to her driveway and may legally go after Bynes for any repairs: “I have to see how bad the damage is,” she said.

Amanda Bynes sure knows how to draw a unwanted crowd.

Luckily, her fire-starting in Thousand Oaks, Calif. only caused damage to a concrete driveway, thanks to a fast-acting neighbor who witnessed the explosive incident, Celebuzz has learned.

“I was working in the garage on my car and I heard an accident, an explosion. Boom!” neighbor Bruno Corsi told Celebuzz.

“I went outside and saw a fire on my next door neighbor’s driveway. Then I saw a lot of young kids, they didn’t know what to do and were asking for a hose or something,” he added.

“A plastic container of gasoline was on fire. It was almost gone… it spilled all over so the fire was in four different spots.”

Corsi says he used an extinguisher to put out the fire before the police arrived. But he fears it could have been much worse for his home and others located on the 200 block of Avenida de Los Arboles near where Bynes grew up.

“Next to my house is a big fence with a bush and that could’ve caught on fire,” he said.

Corsi added during the commotion there were a handful of neighborhood kids “screaming” to call the police, so he didn’t see the actress (or even know who she was until it made headlines this morning.)

“The police asked me if I saw anyone run away and I didn’t see anyone. She wasn’t there, maybe,” said Corsi.

According to Thousand Oaks Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow, the 27-year-old former child star was contacted by police down the street away from the scene. It was then that authorities placed her under a 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold for at least 72 hours.

It seems Bynes was busy getting into police run-ins last weekend, after was approached by authorities again in Thousand Oaks on Sunday outside a local retirement community after she allegedly tried to trespass, according to TMZ. Security accused her of being drunk and she eventually left in a taxi, which in true Bynes fashion also didn’t end well. The taxi driver reportedly kicked her out when she couldn’t pay for the ride: “Get me the f**k out of here,” she said. “I don’t have any money.” When she returned to the retirement home, police arrived, but she was not arrested.

It’s no secret that Jay Z wasn’t to thrilled with George Zimmerman‘s acquittal in the Trayvon Martin shooting case. So when hip-hop journalist Elliott Wilson asked the rapper how he really felt about the whole situation in a recent interview, Hova let it all out.

“I was really angry, I didn’t sleep for two days,” he admitted in a video interview. “I was really angry about it that the thing that we all knew that there was still a bit of racism in America, but for it to be so blatant. If you just ask the question, ask yourself the question, ‘Didn’t Trayvon have the right to stand his ground?’ He was being chased, he was being chased and fought back. You know, he may have won, that doesn’t mean he’s a criminal, he won. If you try to attack me and I defend myself, how can I be in the wrong? How is that right? This guy went to get some Skittles and go back and watch the All-Star game. He had plans … he had no intention of robbing anyone’s home.”

“We all know it was wrong. It was wrong. This guy’s not a professional,” Jay Z continued. “You’re not a professional to profile someone. A professional law enforcement officer is taught not to profile. This guy’s a novice. This guy’s a f***ing mall cop.”

Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder on July 13, 2013. Since the verdict, Jay Z had been a fervent supporter of the slain teen’s family, recently attending a rally for Martin with Beyonce.

Furthermore, the 43-year-old praised President Barack Obama for handling the situation with grace and composure. He said:

“Amazing, amazing, amazing because it’s hard in politics to really just make a statement as a human. I felt he was very admirable because he made a statement as a father and as a black man and as someone who had compassion for the things that we go through because he’s been through them before.”

Jay Z isn’t the only celebrity critiquing the case and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law: singer Stevie Wonder recently announced his plans to boycott the state until the laws are changed.

Watch Jay’s complete interview, below.

Amanda Bynes‘ mother Lynn Bynes has been granted temporary conservatorship over the star and her estate, Celebuzz has learned.

The Ventura Superior Court in Oxnard, Calif., made the ruling Friday morning – based on investigative reports and medical analysis – in front of Bynes’ lawyer Mary Shea, her parents, Lynn and Rick, and their lawyer Tamar Arminak.

According to Shea, who has met with Bynes on several occasions, the actress doesn’t feel a conservatorship is necessary.

The conservatorship gives Lynn Bynes, who had to take out a bond for $3.57 million, temporary control over her daughter’s estate. The ruling will last until Sept. 30, at which point the judge will hold a general conservatorship hearing on whether or not the arrangement will be permanent.

27-year-old Bynes was a no show to the hearing, and there was no discussion inside the courtroom on why she was absent.

TMZ is reporting that the former Nickelodeon star’s doctors determined she was not well enough to attend the hearing and has been granted an extended 30 days of psychiatric care.

Bynes has been under psychiatric supervision since starting a small fire on a driveway in Thousand Oaks, Calif. on July 24.

– With reporting by Andrea Simpson.

Joe and Teresa Giudice Indicted

Teresa and Joe Giudice have found themselves in legal hot water yet again.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s most infamous couple are facing some serious charges stemming from their bankruptcy case in 2009 in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office is alleging they conspired to defraud lenders to illegally obtain mortgages and loans and hide assets, according to a statement released July 29.

The reality stars have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud in a 39-count indictment.

The indictment also charges Joe (real name Giuseppe) with failure to file his tax returns from 2004 to 2008 after earning nearly $1 million.

“The indictment returned today alleges the Guidices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said. “Everyone has an obligation to tell the truth when dealing with the courts, paying their taxes and applying for loans or mortgages. That’s reality.”

If you’re memory of all the Housewives drama is a bit fuzzy, let’s clear it up for you.

This all comes before and after Joe decided to withdraw his bankruptcy petition in 2011 after he and his wife filed Chapter 7 two years prior to the tune of $11 million.

“Today’s indictment alleges the Giudices did not live up to their responsibilities by failing to file tax returns, falsifying loan applications and concealing assets in their bankruptcy petition. The reality is that this type of criminal conduct will not go undetected and individuals who engage in this type of financial fraud should know they will be held accountable,” added Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation in Newark, New Jersey.

Here is a play-by-play of the couple’s alleged criminal activity:

– From September 2001 through September 2008: The Giudices allegedly committed mail and wire fraud conspiracy when they submitted fraudulent mortgage and other loan applications to lenders and lied about their employment status and massive salaries.

Here’s a doozy – In September 2001, Teresa allegedly applied for a mortgage loan of $121,500 and falsely claimed on the documents that she was an executive assistant, submitted fake W-2 forms and paystubs by this phantom employer, according to the release.

– The release also cites the Giudices Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in 2009 when they intentionally covered up money they made from a rental property (nearly $43,000) and Teresa’s income (over $110,000) from the Housewives, her website sales and personal and magazine appearances.

– The indictment also alleges that even before the headline-making couple became famous on the hit Bravo show, Teresa’s burly hubby made $996,459 between 2004 and 2008, but didn’t file tax returns.

And to top it off, they are looking at even more serious time behind bars – up to 50 years in prison!

That is, for each charge: Up to 20 years in the pokey and a $250,000 fine for mail and wire fraud, up to 30 years and a $1 million fine for bank and loan application fraud, and up to five years in the slammer and $250K fine for bankruptcy fraud.

While solo, Joe is facing up to a year in prison and a $100K fine for not filing his tax returns for four years.

To make their legal matters worse, Joe is already facing over 11 years in prison after he was charged in 2011 with fraudulently obtaining a phony driver’s license.

Attorneys for the Giudices were not available for comment.

Amanda Bynes has been placed on lockdown for a mental evaluation after she started a fire outside a residence in her hometown of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Monday night, Celebuzz has confirmed.

Sheriffs and the fire department responded to the home at 8:46 p.m. July 22, as first reported by TMZ.

According to Thousand Oaks Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow, police received a 911 call after drivers spotted the flames. Police insist it was not an attempt to start a residence fire, but authorities determined the actress met criteria to be place under a 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold. Under California law, Bynes must have met one out of three standards – making statements or displaying behavior as a danger to herself or others or acting gravely disabled.

Her mental health evaluation is in place for up for 72 hours.

The lockdown on the heels of police confronting Bynes outside a local retirement community in Thousand Oaks, after she allegedly tried to trespass on the grounds on Sunday, according to TMZ. After security turned her away, accusing her of being being drunk, Bynes left in a taxi. But the driver kicked her out after she reportedly said, “Get me the f**k out of here … I don’t have any money.” Bynes then walked back to the retirement community, police were called to the scene, but she was not arrested.

Bynes, 27, is still facing several legal woes. She faces charges of reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence and possession of marijuana following her May arrest, when she reportedly tossed a bong from her Manhattan apartment. After a court date earlier this month, the former Nickelodeon star has another hearing set for Sept. 26.

The actress also has a DUI case pending in California, was sentenced to three years’ probation in May for driving with a suspended license in May, and had two separate hit-and-run charges against her dismissed in late 2012.

Confirmed lushes Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz accidentally broke into a stranger's home recently.

Hamptons police are currently searching for two fugitives described as “a famous singer” and “a person married to a famous singer” who broke into a stranger’s home to throw a party. They are not believed to be armed and dangerouz.

Page Six, noting only that it was “recently,” says that one night, not too long ago, a woman was awoken in her Water Mill, N.Y. home to the sounds of a party downstairs. As it’s not absurd to expect an invitation to a party thrown in your own home, this woman was surprised. When she came downstairs, the woman (believed to be the wife of South African billionaire Ivan Glasenberg) discovered Alicia Keys, her husband Swizz Beatz and “a party posse” in her kitchen.

Keys and Beatz had apparently rented a house nearby and mistakenly entered the wrong house. Oh whoops what’s this giant mansion with an unlocked door? This looks *just like* that summer share I’m splitting with Kendall and Jenny. Do they have any Glenlivet? Fortunately, Ivan Glasenberg’s wife is super chill and didn’t call the police immediately when she heard voices downstairs. The New York Post reports that everyone involved was in good spirits, Keys and Beatz were because they were drinking good spirits, Mme. Glasenberg because she was outnumbered in her own home by a group of drunk strangers.

The Post, for no good reason, makes special note that the woman’s daughter was “delighted to learn about the error.” But it’s possibly because, at the same time, she was throwing a party for her own party posse in Alicia Keys’ house. A regular Comedy of Errors out there on the Hamptons.

Celebrity Blabbermouth: Tanay Jackson

When the sad details of Paris Jackson‘s suicide attempt came to light in the days after the incident in the early morning hours of June 5, there was one relative who was quick to point of the finger of blame at the famous family’s matriarch Katherine Jackson.

Paris’s cousin Tanay Jackson told U.K.’s The Sun newspaper June 26 that Michael Jackson‘s 15-year-old daughter tried kill herself (by swallowing 20 Motrin pills and cutting her arm with a kitchen knife) because of her rocky relationship with her 83-year-old grandmother.

“Paris wasn’t happy living with my grandma and was under a lot of stress,” said Tito Jackson‘s daughter, Tanay. “There are rules in the house and not everyone wants to abide by them.

“I understand her torment. I understand what it’s like with my father’s family.”

In another interview with Inside Edition, she gives even more of a glimpse into the family dysfunction by claiming her grandmother (and Paris’s guardian) should NOT raise Michael’s kids, including Paris, Prince Michael and Blanket.

Yet in a third sit-down with E! News, Tanay takes a different tone, careful not to lay blame on any one person.

“It can be tough, I bump heads with a few people there [in the family]…it’s just not easy to communicate, it’s just not easy to have them understand…sometimes it’s always their way or the highway,” she said.

“Right now, the living situation that she’s in and the situation that she’s in she’s not happy… It took her to the point of trying to commit suicide.”

Tanay even urges Paris to live with her biological mother Debbie Rowe: “If it’s better for her emotional stability, I think she should go with her mom.”

Since June 5, Paris has been living at residential treatment center outside California and trying to reconnect with Rowe, who just a few weeks ago took the stand in Michael’s wrongful death lawsuit where she broke down in tears saying it was his 2009 death that led to her suicide attempt: “She tried to kill herself … She has no life. She doesn’t feel she has a life anymore,” said Rowe.

Nowadays it seems everyone in the family’s got something to say publicly about what happened to Paris, from Katherine herself opening up to Hello! magazine: Paris “is doing much better. … The treatment is going good, really good,” she said.

To Randy Jackson getting into a Twitter feud with Rowe after ranting that his niece had been in a psychiatric facility too long:

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Only Rowe got the last word: “@randyjackson8 as usual you are grossly misinformed.”

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