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Posts Tagged ‘Johnnie Cochran’

Barry Diller, David Zaslav and the Exclusive on Star Jones’ TV Plans

LunchAtMichaelsIt was business as usual at Michael’s today, which means it was wall-to-wall moguls (Barry Diller, David Zaslav), EICs (Liz Vaccariello, Alison Brower) and TV newsers (Ron Insana, Felicia Taylor and Lynn Sherr) – and plenty of other famous faces. I was joined by Star Jones, one of my favorite regulars at 55th and Fifth, who I met when I was one of the first reporters to cover the freshman season of The View. Suffice to say there’s been plenty that’s happened in Star’s professional and personal life since then, and she’s come through it all wiser, funnier and more determined than ever to forge her own path. Sitting at Table 1 today, nibbling on her kale salad with a side of salmon, she practically glowed with happiness.

She was excited to tell me about her role as chief development officer and national spokesperson for the National Association of Professional Women, where she is serving as a passionate advocate for members on healthcare and equal pay, which, she said, has become a tent pole issue. With most of NAPW’s members in middle management and plenty of entrepreneurs in the ranks, Star is all about “stiletto networking,” as she told me, which involves developing programming for the membership that will help empower them to reach their goals. “This is an opportunity for me to use all my experience and not just be in one box as an attorney, talk show host or author. Women’s lives are comprised of so many difference facets; it’s exciting to act as a advocate for NAPW, as I’ve done with my work for the American Heart Association, for causes that I’m passionate about.” She has also created the NAPW Foundation which, in addition to AHA, supports the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Dress for Success and Girls Inc. Star also brings another valuable skill to NAPW:  finding the right benefits and services to offer to its members. “You know I’m good at getting perks for the sisters!”

Michael Cominotto, Diane Clehane, Star Jones and Katherine Butkevich

From left: Michael Cominotto, Diane Clehane, Star Jones and Katherine Butkevich

Ever since she forged her age on her driver’s license (upping it from 15 to 16) so she could get a job at McDonald’s (“The statute has run out on that crime!”), Star has been creating unforeseen opportunities for herself that have defied expectations. In the early 90s, she went from the Brooklyn DA’s office to the small screen when she was tapped as a commentator for Court TV and Inside Edition, covering high profile cases like William Kennedy Smith’s rape trial and The OJ Simpson case. By the time she left her seat at the table with Barbara Walters on her ABC chatfest, she was one of daytime television’s most famous faces. Of her run on The View: “They were the best eight years of my life,” she said before adding with some laughter, “But I was on for nine years and that last year was a little rough.” But, like they say, time heals all wounds, and Star reports her relationship with Walters is better than ever. Read more

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Up for Bid: Marlon Brando’s Personal Phone Book

According to the old adage, Hollywood’s greatest actors are ones who can triumph even if the script is a phone book. In Marlon Brando‘s case, Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills has the next best thing this weekend – the late actor’s actual personal phone book.

The starting bid for this item is $500, and while many of the numbers may no longer be in service, it’s still a great dinner party conversation starter:

A burgundy leather three-ring binder telephone book circa 2003 containing hundreds of Brando’s personal friends and business contacts worldwide. Some names include Michael Jackson, Johnny Depp, Alec Baldwin, Johnnie Cochran, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Jane Goodall, Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda, Madonna, Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, John Travolta, Barbra Streisand as well as noted scientists in various fields of study, press contacts and the United Nations and many other noteable entries.

If that’s not good enough, you can also bid this weekend on a Golden Globe the actor refused to accept for his portrayal of Don Corleone in The Godfather.

TMZ Producer Works Both Sides of Tabloid Trench

The original item appeared on TMZ.com January 27th, 2010. Under the headline “Brawl in LA Court”, the gossip website outlined how one of their former employees – Vania Stuelp (pictured) – was involved in a scuffle with a bailiff in her new role as public information officer for the LA County court system.

Stuelp has since returned to the TMZ fold. The irony is that at the time, the senior producer was trying to confiscate a videotape from a French TV crew after they had filmed, against her orders, reality TV star Alexis Neiers (Pretty Wild). That’s when bailiff Ronald Cabrera intervened and, allegedly, roughed her up.

Per Stuelp’s current complaint, she is seeking punitive damages for assault and battery, negligence and the emotional distress of being humiliated and handcuffed in front of a crowd of onlookers. She is represented in this case not by Harvey Levin but rather Shawn Chapman Holley of Santa Monica firm Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert.

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Media Starts Catching Up to Attorney Insinuation of O.J. Innocence

If not for the tragic events that unfolded in Arizona this past weekend, attorney F. Lee Bailey‘s Sunday, January 9th three-part PDF website posting about a quartet of witnesses who were never called to testify in the O.J. Simpson trial would have begun making major headlines much sooner than today. The endlessly fascinating Bailey document was first put together as a 2007 book proposal.

Everyone from Gawker to UK tabloid The Daily Mail is now jumping all over the attorney’s 20,000-word posting, as well they should. Bailey claims that among the defense witnesses left on the sidelines towards the end of the legal proceedings, for fear of triggering a mistrial, was a nighttime dog walker whose experiences appear not to jive with the idea of O.J. having committed the crime.

Perhaps the most important witness in the Simpson case – who may well have seen the killers or their confederates – was Thomas Lang, who lived about two blocks south of Nicole’s condo at 875 South Bundy Drive in Brentwood… Indeed, so critical did I think that the testimony of Lang would be that I had my one and only disagreement with Johnnie Cochran about whether or not we should call a witness…

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