Rihanna and Chris Brown perform at Madison Square Garden in New York on Dec. 12, 2008.
Feb. 7: Rihanna arrives at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills, Calif.
So guess who Chris Brown has chosen to represent him in this big mess with girlfriend Rihanna? None other than Mark Geragos, the very same Mark Geragos who lost Winona Ryder’s shoplifting case and got Michael Jackson into a lot of hot water before he was replaced by Tom Mesereau.
Geragos was so bad for Jacko that the singer’s child molestation case almost tanked. It was only when Geragos exited and Mesereau got into the picture that Jackson managed to avoid jail and win acquittal.
Why Brown’s people didn’t just call Mesereau in the first place is a mystery. While Geragos certainly has made many successes —like getting Robert Blake acquitted in the murder of his wife, Bonnie Blakely — he’s just as many or more losers. One of his other famous defendants, Scott Peterson, is currently living out his life in on death row for killing his wife, Staci, and their unborn child.
Meantime, Brown’s continued silence about the case isn’t helping him. He’s already lost two sponsors, Wrigley’s and the Milk Council’s "Got Milk" campaign. Not only does he need a dream legal team to get him out of this, he’d better start consulting with a top spin doctor. He’s being convicted in the court of public opinion swiftly. And they’d better get organized. On Monday night, someone from Brown’s camp put a statement up on a fan website. It was quickly removed.
Bruce Springsteen’s appearance on the Super Bowl had a dramatically smaller payoff than anyone could have anticipated. In the week following the show, Springsteen’s album, "Working on A Dream," sold just 100,000 albums.
That’s not good. In the week before the Super Bowl, "Working" sold around 212,000 copies. All that hype, and publicity, countless interviews and free promotion, and now "Working" has moved only 312,000 total CDs.
Where have all the music fans gone? Is it possible, I ask naively and rhetorically, that everyone is downloading their music, and that the great majority of those are doing it illegally?
I think the answer must be yes.
The rest of the chart is dismal, with just a few hundred thousand in total sales for all CDs in the top 50. The number 1 CD, a self titled album by rockers The Fray, sold a paltry 190,000. Otherwise, CDs by the likes of Beyonce, Britney, Jamie Foxx, Kanye West, all of the usual suspects, are just sitting there in stores, gathering dust.
For Springsteen, though, the low sales figure has to be incredibly frustrating. "Working" is part of a $100 million deal he made with Sony Music a couple of years ago. Bruce, who doesn’t care for doing publicity, put his heart and soul in the process this time. Now he’ll have to wait and see if sales will improve as he goes on major tour.
Reasons to watch the Academy Awards show next Sunday on ABC? How about these: Meryl Streep has two Oscars and a hundred nominations but no wins since 1982, for "Sophie’s Choice." She’s due for a win. On the other hand, Kate Winslet has six nominations and no wins. She did win Best Actress in Britain over the weekend at the BAFTAs for "The Reader." There’s a strong feeling that she’ll win the Oscar, too.
But you never know.
In the actor category, Mickey Rourke has put on quite a campaign, while Sean Penn — already a winner for "Mystic River" — has remained on the fringes. Weeks ago I would have said to put money on Penn since Rourke won the onerous Golden Globe. But Penn’s reticence about campaigning, and Rourke’s better grooming, may add up to a win for "The Wrestler."
And then there’s Best Supporting Actress. If Rourke wins, he could pull Marisa Tomei along with him. I’m still pretty sure that Penelope Cruz will take home the gold statue for "Vicki Cristina Barcelona." If so, she joins Dianne Wiest, Mira Sorvino as winners from Woody Allen’s great collection of actress nominees.
The one category that seems certain is Heath Ledger, as the Joker from "The Dark Knight." If someone else won, by chance, you’d think they’d be so unnerved they’d just hand it over to someone from Heath’s family anyway.
The Oscar campaigns continue. Today, Holocaust survivor and award winning writer, humanitarian Eli Wiesel is hosting a New York luncheon for "The Reader" with Kate Winslet and Stephen Daldry in attendance.
Elaine Kaufman gets a major birthday toast tonight at her Second Avenue eatery. Don’t ask her which one this is, or she’ll throw you out!...
…DefJam’s L.A. Reid had a lot of celebrities to his post Grammy bash at Wolfgang’s on North Canon in Beverly Hills. Lionel Richie was front and center, as were Ryan Phillippe and Abbie Cornish, Grammy winner Duffy, Keyshia Cole, Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, Kenny Babyface Edmonds, Mario, gorgeous Sanaa Lathan, Kanye West, Chris Tucker, hot singer Amerie, and many others…
…But it was once and forever Supreme Mary Wilson who got Reid’s attention. "I can’t believe I’m meeting you," he gushed to the music icon. It’s nice to see he’s a fan foremost. Wilson brought along famed African American actress and beauty Beverly Todd before going up to legendary producer Richard Perry’s home in the hills with friends to listen to music he’s recording from the musical "Baby It’s You"…
…RIP Phil Carey, the great actor who played Asa Buchanan on "One Life to Live," and made an indelible impression on daytime TV beginning in 1980 and ending just last year. The 83 year old leading man played his first role in 1951 and appeared in dozens of TV westerns before coming to "One Life," where he was hired to play a Jock Ewing type oilman after the show "Dallas." He made the part his own, and will never be forgotten…
…Nine-months pregnant Sri Lankan singer and political activist M.I.A. (born Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam) made a big splash on the Grammys. But don’t fret that she’s a single mom with no resources. The baby’s grandfather is Edgar Bronfman, Jr., hapless owner of Warner M. Group, whose grandfather started Seagram’s. Baby’s father is Edgar’s son Benjamin, who uses the name Brewer professionally as a guitarist... That baby is going to have a good life, and access to all the liquor — and worthless Warner stock certificates — it wants...