Whitney Houston's stay in Las Vegas for tonight's Divas Live on VH-1 has produced its usual amount of gossip, innuendo and strange facts.
Houston was seen coming out of the AAA Ear, Nose and Throat medical group this morning, according to my sources. I am told she went there with a bloody nose. Her spokespeople, however, insist that nothing is wrong.
"Whitney went to see an ears, nose and throat doctor this morning because it's so hot here," said Lynn Volkman, a publicist who is traveling with Houston. "Nothing else has happened." Volkman denied that Houston's nose had been bleeding.
A secretary in the medical office said she did not know what Houston's prognosis was.
Houston's stay in Las Vegas has not been trouble-free. According to my sources, last night her husband, singer Bobby Brown, had an incident in the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. Around 6 p.m., Brown is said to have been approached by a high roller who wanted to gamble with Brown. He handed him $5,000 for that purpose. "Then Bobby split with the money and couldn't be found," says my source.
Hotel security was called, and when Brown was found he was dining alone in the back of a restaurant in the Bellagio. "He was escorted back to his and Whitney's villa to explain everything," my source says.
"When Whitney found out, she hit the roof, and the two of them had a terrible fight," says my source.
Whitney's team says they do not know what Brown was doing last night.
Tonight, the couple is supposed to appear together singing the song "My Love" on the VH-1 show. The producer of the show, Rick Krim, jumped on the phone from rehearsal where Whitney was busy putting the finishing touches on the finale with Stevie Wonder.
"There's been a great vibe here. Whitney's been on time for everything and she sounds great. We're really looking forward to tonight's show."
Michael Jackson -- the same one who spent the night in an Indianapolis hospital after a fainting spell -- doesn't want his next trial broadcast on Court TV. Jackson, in papers I received yesterday, is fighting the cable network to keep cameras out of his next courtroom.
Curiously, Jackson's current hospital visit came right before he was due to be deposed in a lawsuit over copyright infringement and a day after he staged a publicity stunt in Solvang, California at a congressman's office. Jackson's lawyer, Brian Oxman, told the wire services that testifying in depositions makes Michael nervous. Earlier in the day, though, Jackson was seen shopping in the local mall.
But maybe the fainting spell has something to with Court TV's application to broadcast Jackson's upcoming trial over a lawsuit brought by his former business manager, Myung Ho Lee. Lee, a Korean lawyer, is seeking about $14 million for all the work he did for Jackson. He has a signed agreement from Jackson in which the odd pop star agrees to pay the full amount.
The case has been winding its way through the court system of motions and postponements, but now it's scheduled to begin on June 17. And Court TV -- noting that Michael has recently been the subject of several revealing documentaries -- wants to show us every step of Jackson's dance with justice. But Jackson's lawyers have jumped in, claiming that cameras will prejudice the jury.
Jackson is still smarting from losing a case brought by his one-time partner and promoter Marcel Avram totaling $5 million.
I'll get to more of this TV business in a second. But first, a bit about Jackson's defense in the Lee case.
Originally, Jackson's attorney, Zia Modabber, claimed that the papers Lee gave to the court had Michael's forged signature on them. But in Modabber's response to the court over the cameras issue, he raises a whole different defense.
"Among other defenses available to Mr. Jackson, Plaintiffs (Lee et al.) cannot enforce the agreements because they were not properly licensed as an investment advisor (or otherwise) under California law. Without a license, Plaintiffs are barred from enforcing the investment advisory services contracts..."
How that is going to pan out for Modabber is anyone's guess since Jackson has a history of doing business with non-traditional advisors.
His current management team, for example, was formed with the advice of a maker of pornographic films -- so that should be quite an interesting moment when Pierce O'Donnell, Lee's attorney, asks Jackson how he picks his advisors.
More importantly, this new piece of news suggests that Modabber knows that the signature Lee's been showing everyone on his agreements with Michael are legit, and forgery is not going to be a way to wiggle out of this case.
Meanwhile, Jackson has been house hunting in Florida and hoping to sell Neverland for just this reason. If he loses the Lee case, a Florida home will not be subject to loss. Florida law prevents people from losing their homes in lawsuits. California law does not.
But back to TV in the courtroom: O'Donnell is using the argument that all those documentaries -- especially the ones Michael sold to Fox which contained his home movies -- show that he likes the publicity and that he shouldn't be able to now censor what the public sees.
Modabber's firm -- which mistakenly uses the word effect instead of affect -- argues that cameras will taint the jury and the witnesses in the case. Presumably a main witness for Jackson will be his young sidekick, Frank Cascio aka Tyson, who gave a statement early on that Jackson didn't sign the Lee agreement for $14 million.
As for the Indianapolis case: Michael may have felt faint Wednesday night, but eventually he'll have to answer questions about whether or not a reissue of some obscure Jackson 5 tracks infringed on the rights of old associates. Ironically, it's really Sony and Jackson's dad, Joe -- the banes of his existence -- who got him in this trouble. But that's another story altogether.
It should be the best week in Matrix Reloaded director Larry Wachowski's life. But with exquisite timing, court papers have emerged at thesmokinggun.com that probably make him feel like he's in the Matrix itself.
Wachowski's wife, Thea Bloom, is suing him for divorce -- and it's going to get ugly.
Her court papers not only reveal all his financial dealings with Warner Bros. but also suggest that recent gossip in the British press about Wachowski being a cross-dresser could be true. To wit: In the legal papers, Bloom says the couple's decision to separate was mutual and "based on very intimate circumstances ... which I do not elaborate on at this time for reasons of his personal privacy."
But Bloom is more interested in money than undergarments, and with good reason. According to her papers, the Wachowski brothers received $16 million for their work on The Matrix movies recently -- and it's unaccounted for in her divorce.
Interestingly, if Bloom had waited until this fall to file for divorce, she might have passed the magic 10-year mark under California law. She and Wachowski, she claims, were together from 1984-93 and then married in 1993. A judge will have to decide if that constitutes 10 years of marriage.
In the meantime, Bloom will be watching The Matrix Reloaded box office very carefully this weekend -- and maybe doing an inventory of her unmentionables as well.