Family drama that made headlines this past summer is back in the news,
thankfully not due to comments from anyone in the world famous brood, but
instead because of a new tell-all book.
In an excerpt from the
book, Untouchable, which appears in the November issue of Vanity Fair, author Randall
Sullivan says the abduction attempt of Katherine Jackson was plotted by four
of her children: Janet Jackson, Rebbie Jackson, Jermaine
Jackson and Randy Jackson. The group was attempting to gain a
conservatorship over Katherine Jackson to prove her incompetent for a
shot to serve as guardian to Michael
Jackson's children, Prince, Paris and Blanket
Jackson. The guardianship was eventually awarded to TJ
In addition, the book details how older sister Latoya
Jackson removed bags of cash the King of Pop kept stashed around the house
just hours after Michael’s overdose death from the painkiller
Also, the book raises the validity of Michael's will, which could explain the
money actions of the Jackson family following his death. It questions how John
Branca gained possession of the King of Pop's will. Branca was fired by Michael
in 2003 and is now earning tens of millions of dollars as the executor of his
estate. Attorney Brian Oxman, whose job was to review all of Michael's papers,
says there was never any will or trust and that all of the paperwork showed up
after Michael's death.
Untouchable has the support one Jackson family
member; Katherine’s representatives cooperated with Sullivan on his book.
The rest of the Jackson family has yet to comment.
So, are the Jacksons after Michael's millions as previously speculated?
Or are they just trying to stake their claim to their son's and brother's
financial legacy? Again, stay tuned.
The-Dream Appointed Executive VP of A&R at Def Jam
The-Dream made his name
producing a formidable catalog of hits for artists like Beyoncé, Rihanna and
Mariah Carey, and now he's stepping into a new role where he'll be grooming the
next generation of stars. The singer/songwriter/producer has been appointed the
executive vice president of A&R at Def Jam Records.
In the new
position, The-Dream will be responsible for recruiting new talent as well as
overseeing the label's current roster. He will also produce music for Def Jam
artists and expand his own Radio Killa Records imprint.
“I am committed
as I have been previously to bringing the power of belief in the artist back to
the forefront,” The-Dream said in a statement. “I share a unique view of an
artist and as well as the business of music. I, with the help of many others,
have ran a successful business for the last five years in the midst of the
‘Digital Change.’ My concentration and effort will be to the artist to succeed
in their dreams and goals. I’ve been a part of watching and participating in the
success of many great women and men, including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Kanye
West, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion to name a few. Music means more than just a
download, it’s life to the culture and also the people who listen. This is a new
exciting yet critical time for music — ’You Meet Change with
Barry Weiss, Chairman and CEO of Universal Republic and Island
Def Jam Motown, added that he views The-Dream as a unique asset. “The-Dream is a
gifted songwriter and producer who writes from a unique cultural point of view.
This rare ability sets him apart from all other writers and producers out
Projects currently on the hitmaker's slate include new albums
from Rihanna and Pusha-T as well as his own long anticipated fourth album The
Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder Perform at Obama Hollywood Concert
Barack Obama's celebrity supporters are giving one last push for his
re-election efforts. Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind
& Fire and Katy Perry hit the stage Sunday night for L.A. fans
that donated $250 or more to the Obama campaign. Dubbed the "30 Days to Victory
Concert," the president addressed over 6,000 concertgoers at the Nokia Theater,
making light of his less than stellar debate performance and the caliber of the
artists on stage.
"Everybody here is incredible
professionals, they're such great friends and they just perform flawlessly night
after night. I can't always say the same," joked the POTUS.
The musical Hollywood fundraiser wasn't the only social gathering on the
President's to-do list, as he sat down with high-level contributors who donated
over $25,000 to his campaign for dinner at Wolfgang Puck's WP24
restaurant. With less than a month before voters decide, Obama will continue his
campaign tour of the country until Election Day.
Affirmative Action Faces a Supreme Test
The high court will hear a case that could affect African-American students'
access to higher education.
All Asians are geniuses.
African-Americans excel at basketball. White people are racists. Attributes —
aka stereotypes — such as these cannot realistically be applied to an entire
race, but in theory they often are by Americans whose formative years are spent
only among people who look just like them and grow up believing these and other
Diversity matters and it's one of
the arguments that U.S. Supreme Court justices will hear on Oct. 10 in defense of
the use of affirmative action in higher education.
In Fisher vs. University of Texas at Austin,
plaintiff Abigail Fisher, who is white, contends that the university, which considers
race as one factor in the admissions process, discriminated against her when it
rejected her undergraduate application in 2008.
Her disappointment is
understandable. Fisher had top grades and SAT scores and other great
qualifications. But UT, which in 1950 defended before the Supreme Court a state
law that barred admission to African-Americans, now has a policy that guarantees
admission to students in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating
class. The goal is to ensure that the university's student body includes a broad
range of backgrounds and a "critical mass" of minority students in as many
classrooms as possible.
"Diversity matters because for far too many,
college is the first time that students have meaningful opportunities to
interact and test their ideas and preconceptions with others," said Debo P.
Adegbile, acting president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense
and Educational Fund, in a conference call with reporters. "It's actually a
critical period where biases can be challenged and replaced with experiences
that allow people to appreciate just how much all of us share and to leave those
stereotypes that we've heard about behind."
Because Fisher ranked 82nd in
a class of 674, she didn't qualify for automatic admission. In addition, The
New York Times reports, university officials say that even without its
affirmative action program, Fisher, whose father and sister are UT graduates,
still wouldn't have been admitted.
Fisher will be the first time
that the court has heard an affirmative action case since 2003, when it upheld
Grutter vs. Bollinger in a five-to-four decision for the
University of Michigan Law School's limited use of affirmative
"The court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial
preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today,"
wrote Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who wrote the majority
O'Connor, now retired, has been replaced by the more
conservative Samuel Alito. In addition, Justice Elena Kagan, appointed by President Obama, has
recused herself because she previously served as a solicitor general in the
But the biggest question mark is Chief Justice
John Roberts, whose
surprise decision to support the Affordable Care Act earlier this year
outraged conservatives. He has previously opposed race-conscious policies. But
could he be the wild card again?
As the justices weigh the merits of
Fisher inside, protesters for and against affirmative action will be
outside the Supreme Court building making their own arguments. They include the
National Black Law
Students Association, which will hold a nation-wide day of action on campuses across the nation. The
organization also will post videos and photos with the catchphrase, "What would
our campus look like without us?"
"I think access to the pathway to
opportunity is really what's at stake. We're not saying that nobody will be able
to go to college, but there will be a substantial diminution in the number of
African-Americans who will be able to have access to top-flight universities and
all of the benefits that flow from that," said Adegbile. "It's not a
hypothetical issue in part because we have some examples, including California,
where the ability to consider race has been taken off the table as a factor in