New Lopez Album's Sales Drop With Puffy on Trial
There's an old adage that any publicity is good publicity as long as your name is spelled right. For Jennifer Lopez, though, this appears not to be true.
Lopez's second album, J-Lo, appears to be in free fall on the SoundScan/Billboard charts. After debuting at no. 1 three weeks ago it fell to no. 2 last week and this week goes down to no. 4. Total sales are around the half-million mark.
J-Lo seems to be suffering from Lopez's association with Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, currently enveloped in a state Supreme Court trial in lower Manhattan for weapons possession. Lopez, who was his girlfriend until recently, was with him on December 27, 1999 when there was a shootout at Club New York on West 48th Street.
Yesterday, yet another witness — Combs' driver — testified that Combs was packing a pistol when he entered the club. Wardell Fenderson, 42, said Combs adjusted his shirt and pants after positioning the gun, and then "continued to prepare for his night."
Last week an attorney working on the case told me, quite explicitly: "Puffy carries a gun. He had a gun with him that night. And Shyne" — Puffy's associate who is also on trial — "is going to be in big trouble."
So the relative failure of J-Lo may be a referendum on Puffy, the trial, and the whole she-bang, as it were. Combs and his music organization produced seven tracks on J-Lo.
One other factor may have contributed to J-Lo not catching fire in the last few days. Lopez's appearance on Saturday Night Live was delayed almost 45 minutes by NBC on Saturday night as the XFL Football game carried over into overtime. Lopez didn't make it on-screen singing until nearly 12:45 a.m., long after many fans had been tucked in.
I watched Geraldo Rivera on Rivera Live Wednesday night with some amusement.
Much of the show was devoted to the Marc Rich pardon. Rivera consistently reinforced his fondness for Bill Clinton and his belief that Rich's ex-wife Denise would not be in trouble.
Geraldo did not, however, disclose that he is very close friends with Denise Rich. Indeed, in the fall of 1998, at Denise Rich's G&P Charitable Foundation dinner, it was Geraldo who took over on the stage when the seating plan went awry. Chaos ensued. But Rivera came to the mic and began instructing those who were there to "sit down where you are now." Rich entrusted him with that job.
Rivera, according to a Nexis search, has attended several parties at Rich's fabulously tacky Fifth Avenue apartment. Dr. Niels Lauersen, Rich's ex-boyfriend, was the Ob/Gyn who helped Rivera and his ex-wife CC conceive. Dr. Lauersen has since been convicted of insurance fraud and is no longer practicing medicine.
Only two weeks ago Rivera was identified thusly by the New York Times in a page B1 story. Maybe he figures CNBC viewers don't read the Times.