No matter what you heard or what was said, issued or spun Thursday, here is the real story about Neverland: It is still in foreclosure and proceeding to a public auction on May 14 in Santa Barbara, Calif., FOX 411 has exclusively learned.
Michael Jackson’s reps did not, I repeat, did not, make a deal with Fortress Investments. A premature statement Thursday by one of his lawyers was incorrect. Fortress agreed only to a two-month extension, so that Jackson or someone in his camp can untangle this mess.
That does leave the door open for Jason Castero’s group from Los Angeles. They have fully funded an escrow account with $46 million and still want to make the deal happen. I am told they are worried that Jackson’s real reps will feel they are tainted by their nearly getting conned in a weird side deal that collapsed into chaos the other day.
Maybe someone should rouse Michael Jackson from his childhood reverie and tell him what is going on. He’s almost 50 years old, for god’s sake. The idea that he’s really 12 because he never had a childhood is no longer valid.
Meanwhile, that crazy scheme that almost devoured Castero continues to have reverberations. Jackson’s former manager, Raymone Bain, has hired an attorney to deny her involvement in this separate refinancing.
Michael Ross refers in his letters of protestation to an incriminating document he says implicates Bain but is indeed fake. He insists this letter bears Bain’s forged signature.
Only one problem: No one has ever heard of this letter. Ross was the first person ever to bring it up or to distribute it. Neither this reporter, nor any of the people involved, has any idea what he’s talking about.
Did Bain know about Castero’s refinancing plans? It would seem like it. Her name appears in a Feb. 6 e-mail — which this reporter has obtained — among all the parties who participated in a conference call that day to discuss the situation. There were several other people on the call who believe they dialed into a special number, and that Bain was one of the participants.
More to come …
At dinner Thursday night someone exclaimed to me, “Hooker Ashley’s going to be a millionaire! She sold a million downloads of her single on iTunes today!”
Would that it were true, friends, most pop stars would join escort services. However, Ashley Alexandra Dupre’s dance single, “What We Want,” is not available at all on iTunes unless they’re hiding it.
The single wasn’t there beginning Thursday afternoon when it was rumored to be the downloading service’s biggest hit. So let’s cool down.
“What We Want” is available on an obscure downloading site, and New York’s Z100 radio station is featuring it all over its Web site. A Z100 poll on the site produced about 43 percent — a slim majority — who thought the single was “OK.”
Also, I am relieved to report that Ashley’s MySpace page is back up and running. Apparently it got so many hits that the servers went down. Ashley is an expert, however, about things going down, and took it on the chin.
It’s an amazing and very American story isn’t it? The governor New York has been destroyed, his family is in crisis, and yet the alleged prostitute he paid for what she described as “unsafe sex” is going to have a hit single on the radio — all within one week of the scandal breaking in the news!
Is it something unique to our times? Hardly. It recalls many such American stories, like the saga of Evelyn Nesbitt, circa 1906, a chorus girl whose jealous husband, Harry K. Thaw, shot her lover, famed architect Stanford White, dead in public. Evelyn went on to many marriages, and a life of minor celebrity. Her real story was one of the plotlines in E.L. Doctorow’s revered 1975 novel, "Ragtime."
Will Ashley Dupre merit such attention? It’s doubtful. Soon she will fall into the world of Donna Rice, Fawn Hall, Monica Lewinsky and many others whose names aren’t even remembered. She should enjoy her time in the spotlight while she can. It won’t be long before “Entertainment Tonight” digs her up and pays for countless "exclusive" interviews.
As I said before, where are those people from No Excuses jeans when you need them?
The word around the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute is alarming: Famed guru Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, who’s 93, is said to be ailing.
The yoga guru for Sting, Madonna and other celebs was supposed to the U.S. for a big celebration this weekend. He’s canceled, according to his Web site, because of ill health.
In his stead, family members were supposed to come from India. Now, his followers say, they’ve canceled, too, because of the Guru’s declining health. ...
MGM is trying to mix things up by bringing in producer Mary Parent as a top exec. She should be a good compliment to the talented Rick Sands, one of Tinseltown’s smartest and most creative studio chiefs.
Now all MGM has to do is have the confidence to keep releasing movies like “Lars and the Real Girl.” …
Snoop Dogg turns out to be a soap opera fan. Well, why not? He’s appearing on “One Life to Live” in early May, where he’ll perform a remixed version of the show’s theme song and try not to scare the ingénues.
“One Life” is the most improved show, by the way, and a sign that soaps can recover from slumps if the producers care.
Our old pal Robert S. Woods is still there, too, a terrific actor who should be given some kind of prize for lasting this long. He’s a good dancer, too. …
R&B legends/vets Ashford and Simpson have released a new CD called “Hits, Remixes and Rarities”; it's available on Amazon.com from Rhino Records, and maybe in stores if a) Rhino put it there and b) there are any stores.
It’s worth picking up, but I still love two songs that aren’t on there: “Solid” and “Street Corner.” They’re also available on Amazon.com. …
So why hasn’t there been an Ashford and Simpson night on “American Idol”?
“I’m Every Woman,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I Need to Get By” and dozens more would be perfect vehicles for the contestants. …