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The 'Business' of Miley Cyrus

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 09 June 2009 03:48 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. The ‘Business’ of Miley Cyrus
2. Heather Graham Cast Spell to Elect Obama
3. ‘View’ Gig Saved Whoopi from Bankruptcy
4. Artist Formerly Known as Cat Stevens Pokes Fun at ‘No-fly’ List Incident
5. The David Carradine Mystery

1. The ‘Business’ of Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus has been sued over a photo that was leaked onto the Web.

Lucie Kim has filed the suit as a representative of the class of Asians. Kim says Asians were insulted by the photo because Miley, Miley’s boyfriend Justin Gaston and some friends posed in an offensive way, tugging at their eyes to make them appear slanted.

Kim alleged that members of the class of Asians had been seriously damaged, and she called the photo “racist.” The lawsuit seeks $4 billion from Cyrus and the other defendants.

Robert Hess is the Los Angeles judge assigned to the case. He has expressed doubts that the class action lawsuit brought against the tween queen can be allowed under the law.

The judge acknowledged that Cyrus's conduct was “immature” and “childish” and that “some people may consider it grossly offensive” but also cited the fact that Miley is a minor, and focused on the problems with class certification.

Judge Hess gave the plaintiff's camp 10 days to file a motion establishing that Cyrus falls under the Unruh Civil Rights Act of California, which outlaws discrimination but applies only to businesses.

The central legal question at an upcoming hearing is whether Miley, the individual, can be considered a business.

The plaintiff's attorney was given “one more chance to prove that Miley Cyrus is a business establishment.”

The judge did note that Miley was “with a bunch of kids in a private situation” and also uttered words that the plaintiff's attorney most likely dreaded hearing: “I'm not persuaded that she is a business establishment that falls under the Unruh Act.”

Maybe the lawyer for the class action could argue that Miley makes more money than AIG, Chrysler and GM combined.

2. Heather Graham Cast Spell to Elect Obama

Heather Graham, co-star of the hit movie “Hangover,” says she's into witchcraft.

Graham claims that her witchy ways even helped get President Obama elected.

The actress says she has this group of friends who call themselves “The Goddesses.”

They apparently “wish for things” and “a lot of things happen.”

They burn things.They do spells. They call on the wind and the air and storms erupt.

Graham calls it “amazing” and “empowering.” Other folks might call it spooky.

A lot of people were wondering how Obama overcame the odds, beating out Hillary Clinton and John McCain in the 2008 presidential election cycle.

Well, according to Graham, the president owes her one.

“My friends really wanted Obama to be elected,” she says, so they all did a spell and “then he got elected.”

3. ‘View’ Gig Saved Whoopi from Bankruptcy

Whoopi Goldberg would have been broke if not for the good fortune of getting the host gig on ABC's “The View” and a now-defunct satellite radio show.

It's hard to believe that the Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner was financially strapped before she landed her current job as co-host on the TV show headed by Barbara Walters.

Whoopi divulged that offers just stopped coming in and she was close to bankruptcy.

“Sometimes there is no choice. Often times people forget that sometimes you're a star and then things dry up and you still have to feed your family and these people have had everything at their feet,” the actress said. “Suddenly there is nowhere for them to get a gig, no one will hire them.”

She acknowledged that if her current employers hadn't made her an offer she would have been in deep financial straits.

“I'm talking to you this way because I have lived this, where you're begging people, please let me audition for you,” she told the television audience.

“If the radio show that I got hadn't come when it did, and ‘The View’ hadn't called when it did, I would have [been broke] and I'm not ashamed to say I need help,” she said.

Whoopi’s radio show was canceled in 2008. She still holds tightly to her Rosie O’Donnell chair on “The View.”

4. Artist Formerly Known as Cat Stevens Pokes Fun at ‘No-fly’ List Incident

Five years ago Yusuf, the pop singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, was denied U.S. entry.

In September 2004 he was on his way from the U.K. to Nashville, Tenn., when his plane was diverted to Bangor, Maine. It was there that federal agents questioned him for hours because his name, Yusuf Islam, was similar to one that was on the government's “no-fly” list.

It quickly turned into an international incident.

After Homeland Security returned Yusuf to London, Britain's then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw filed a complaint with then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The singer’s new tune, “Boots and Sand,” makes light of the episode with a music video that resembles a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western.

An all-star chorus, which includes Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss, provides backup vocals.

Yusuf told the Associated Press that the song is a “lighthearted take on that whole rather awkward moment in my life…”

Bob Dylan’s son, Jesse, directed the music video.

Yusuf’s voice is as good as ever but his songs somehow sounded cooler when his name was still Cat.

5. The David Carradine Mystery

The late David Carradine was an actor with a marquee name. He was the son of legendary actor John Carradine.

Although David had a successful career that spanned from Broadway to Hollywood, he was best known for playing Caine, a martial arts specialist who wandered through the Old West in the television series, “Kung Fu.”

Unfortunately, Carradine may ultimately be remembered for the manner in which he died.

When reports first surfaced that a maid found Carradine hanging in the closet of his Bangkok hotel suite, rumors of a possible suicide began to appear in the press.

But a manager of the hotel indicated that Carradine appeared anything but suicidal in the days leading up to his death.

Aurelio Giraudo told People magazine that the actor spent days at the hotel playing piano for other guests.

“He was a great piano player,” Giraudo said. “He was a man full of life. He was a very happy man. His face is smiling. A big smile.”

Chuck Binder, Carradine’s manager, said, “I don't think he was suicidal by any stretch of the imagination.”

Longtime pal and fellow actor Michael Madsen told the CBS “Early Show” that depression “wasn't really a part of Carradine's makeup.”

Facts of the case remain unsettled, and reports are in conflict with one another. Some indicate that a cord of assorted descriptions was wrapped around Carradine's private parts while others claim that his hands were bound behind his back.

Investigators have said there was no indication that other people had been in the actor’s room.

Thai police claimed to have seen surveillance footage that showed no evidence of anyone entering Carradine's hotel room prior to his death; this would seem to eliminate foul play.

But none of the reports can be confirmed — yet.

A police officer handling the case told Reuters that the investigation is ongoing, witnesses are being interviewed and blood tests will be completed in about three weeks.

“Then we can wrap this case up,” the Thai officer said.

Meanwhile Carradine's family has hired celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos to seek a broader probe of the case. Geragos in turn has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to get involved and has filed a formal request to have the FBI contact authorities in Thailand for further information.

This is now officially an international criminal incident. The Thai authorities are required to invite the FBI into the investigation in order to grant jurisdiction.

A photo of Carradine’s body was published on the cover of a Thai tabloid and as a result his family has threatened legal action against any further distribution of pictures of the death scene.

The actor’s body was released into U.S. Embassy custody and has been flown back home. A second autopsy will be conducted. Geragos has confirmed that the family has hired forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden to handle the U.S. autopsy.

Carradine was set to star in, “Portland,” a film drama whose lead role will now have to be recast.

The actor had been in Thailand filming the movie “Stretch.”

It seems that the tragic ending of Carradine’s life will remain shrouded in mystery at least for now.

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. The Business of Miley Cyrus 2. Heather Graham Cast Spell to Elect Obama3. View Gig Saved Whoopi from Bankruptcy4. Artist Formerly Known as Cat Stevens Pokes Fun at No-fly List Incident 5. The David Carradine Mystery 1....
Tuesday, 09 June 2009 03:48 PM
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