With news still sinking in about Lauryn Hill's impending 3 month jail sentence for tax evasion, the question that everyone started asking was, "Who else has been in trouble with the IRS and had to serve time?" While that question on its face was enough to ponder, an even deeper question started to be asked; "How many caucasian celebrities have we heard of going to jail for this crime recently?"
According to CFO Daily News, the following entertainers or people of note have been in some type of trouble with the US Government for tax evasion:
"Joe The Plumber"
Duane "Dog" Champman
Joe "Girls Gone Wild" Francis
To this list, we add; Beanie Sigel, Ja Rule and now Lauryn Hill.
Of the celebrities listed only a few actually went to jail for those tax-related crimes: Richard Pryor, Richard Hatch, Chuck Berry, Ronald Isley, Beanie Sigel, Ja Rule, Wesley Snipes, Sophia Loren and now, Lauryn Hill.
Now to be fair, it's been reasoned that sometimes when you don't take the plea deal the Government offers you, it can be to your detriment. However, it's interesting to see that even in situations where the crimes are almost duplicate between offenders, one can get a slap on the wrist while the other can do hard time.
Take, for instance, the cases of Wesley Snipes and Stephen Baldwin. While they had pretty much the same crimes across the board, Baldwin admitted failing to pay New York State income taxes for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Stephen Baldwin subsequently received a plea bargain that resulted in no jail time and his record could be wiped clean if he paid back the $400,000 he owed within a year. Baldwin made a $100,000 down payment upon his arraignment and if he didn't pay all the money within a year, the plea bargain provided for five years of probation and repayment within that time.
Whereas, Wesley Snipes did not take a plea deal, he instead chose to go to trial where he was convicted on misdemeanor crimes. Snipes was found guilty on three counts of failing to file a federal income tax return and owing the IRS $17 million in back taxes plus penalties and interest. He too tried to give the feds a good faith down payment, however it didn't prevent him from doing time. As a result, Snipes was sentenced to three years in jail and served the time.
Says Forbes Magazine;
"You can be prosecuted for failure to file a tax return (a misdemeanor) or filing falsely (a felony). The latter is more serious and the penalties are more frightening. Mr. Snipes was tried on felony and misdemeanor tax charges, but only was convicted of misdemeanors."
Interesting how the two are convicted of almost the same thing, but one gets to have his record expunged, goes home to his family at night and in the event he can not pay the amount owed in one year, will somehow receive an additional five years to pay back the money, with the addition of probation. And the other party gets locked up like he's Nino Brown in real life form. Sort of ridiculous when you think about it. We only wish we had someone named Miss Hawkins to speak to on the matter. (If you got the reference give yourself a high five!)
So are African American celebrities being unfairly targeted, prosecuted and given stiffer sentences than their white counterparts? Or could the difference be between those who chose to take plea deals versus going to court?
Is it maybe the quality of counsel people are receiving from attorneys or could it possibly be a cultural attitude that lends toward fighting the system instead of giving in to it that keeps Black artists from taking the pleas that could keep them out of jail?
We're not sure what the answers are, but we are sure that we will be paying close attention to this the next time we hear that someone is in trouble with the IRS.
What's the 411 on Mary J. Blige these days?
Well, apparently she owes Uncle Sam about $3.4 million!
On top of the $900,000 she allegedly owes New Jersey, the Queen of R&B has been slapped with this big-ass tax lien by the IRS.
According to TMZ:
The IRS filed a federal tax lien against the Grammy winner, claiming she failed to pay all her income taxes for the years 2009 ($574,907.30), 2010 ($2,203,743.53) and 2011 ($647,604.60).
Tax bill grand total: $3,426,255.43. Of course, the IRS needs to get in line ... the State of NJ says MJB still owes $901,769.65 in back taxes. Blige is being sued for allegedly defaulting on a $2.2 million bank loan and her charity is facing a lawsuit that claims it took out a $250k loan and never paid it back.
YIKES! Damn MJB, here's to hoping this all gets settled soon. We don't want you to end up like our other favorite R&B soul sister!
By Christina Coleman for Global Grind Staff
It wasn't too long ago when Porsha Williams informed us all that her & her soon-to-be ex-husband Kordell were still living in the same house, even after he blindsided her with divorce from the next room.
It seems things got a little too real for the former NFL player because, according to Porsha, he's locked her out on numerous occasions.
"The "Real Housewives of ATL" star just filed new docs in her divorce war with Kordell ... and it appears the nasty split just got even NASTIER.
According to the docs, filed in family court in Georgia and obtained by TMZ, Porsha claims Kordell has locked her out of their residence on multiple occasions ... and she had to have her lawyer beg Kordell's people for a key."
For now, the reality tv star is living with her mom in ATL but would like a judge to force Kordell to either let her use the house or give her enough money to get her own.
Kordell is ignoring Porsha's attempts at mediation, and doesn't seem to want to reason at all, calling it a "waste of everyone's time." If we were her, we wouldn't be trying to mediate a damn thing...
By SusannaOsborne for Global Grind Staff
Hot 97's Morning Show broke the news when their Program Director, Ebro emailed Hova himself to congratulate him on the news and the Open Letter rapper replied:
"It's not true, the news is worse than blogs."
There you have it straight from the horse's... email.
Last weekend E! News got confirmation from "multiple sources" that Beyonce was indeed pregnant, but there should be no greater source than Mrs. Carter's husband, Shawn Carter, right?
Only time will tell. Stay tuned...
The latest installment of the ATL podcast. We'll talk with District 2 City Councilman Kwanza Hall about the revitalization of Old Fourth Ward, bringing business back to Auburn Ave. and high school football rivalries. Don't miss this candid conversation.
by David T. Baker, Special to the NNPA from The Louisiana Weekly
Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl, now boy has to meet the family. It’s an age-old story and the plot of the latest Tyler Perry-produced film "Peeples." "Peeples" is a romantic comedy about Wade Walker (played by comedian and actor Craig Robinson) and his pursuit of love interest Grace Peeples (played by Kerry Washington). In the film, Wade’s love for Grace is so strong that he crashes her family’s annual Sag Harbor reunion in order to ask her father Virgil Peeples (played by David Allen Grier) for Grace’s hand in marriage. And that’s when all the trouble begins.
The Louisiana Weekly sat down with comedian and actor Craig Robinson to discuss his career in acting, comedy and his role in upcoming film Peeples.
LW: You were a teacher before you became an actor. How did your career as an actor and comedian begin?
CR: In college …I knew I was going to go into comedy for sure. Stand up. Comedy chose me. It overtook my life. I was always joking around. Always. People would come back and tell me my bits that I didn’t even know were called bits back then but they were like ‘Oh I was trying to tell somebody how you were saying this…’
That was special to me. Then at one point I realized people could make a living doing that. I saw two guys perform at a talent show or something and they did comedy and I was like ‘Whoa’ because comedians always seemed like superheroes to me or something. You couldn’t touch them. And here’s somebody I could actually touch that’s doing this. And it was like ‘How do you do that?’ It was one of the first things I got serious about. And from comedy, once I started getting into that it was almost a natural progression to take some acting classes. For me it felt like it would be smart to. If I ever got a chance to, you know, be on a sitcom or do a line or two here, it’d be smart to know what I’m doing. So uh, I started taking acting classes and the rest is history.
LW: You have a well-established career in comedy. Is there room in your career for other types of roles?
CR: Absolutely. I’m open to dramas and action and whatever else. And I’m open to doing some music stuff. There’s definitely room.
LW: What has been your favorite role to play?
CR: I just did a movie. There’s a movie coming out called ‘Rapturepalooza’ where I play the antichrist and that was just so much fun to play just because he could get away with anything. He had security team around him all the time and just said whatever came to his mind; he was inappropriate – he thought it was charming – it was just such a clash of everything.
LW: Where do you pull your inspiration from when you’re playing these characters?
CR: From being on the road all those years and doing comedy; there’s definitely some inspiration in that. I’m a huge fan of Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison and all these people who just make you laugh. Kevin Klein is an inspiration of mine; he’s one of my favorite actors. It comes from different places but mostly just I try to focus on the moment…in case I improve something…and that’s one of the nicer things. Like you improve something, come up with it and it comes back to you via somebody quoting you on Twitter or somebody saying whatever line: ‘Ole pregnant bitches!’ You know…that’s always fun to be like “Ok, I thought of that and here it is.
LW: Your character Darryl Philbin on “The Office,” how closely does that mirror your actual life –t he person that he is, the very reserved yet very wise?
CR: People say I’m reserved. I don’t know how wise they think I am. Some people say I’m cool. I guess that if anything, that would be part of it. But Darryl’s a lot meaner than Craig and he breaks down in interviews, you’ll notice. I don’t think Craig does that. I might’ve done it once. I think I had a breakdown (he says with a chuckle). For an audition — it was all but promised to me then I just blew it because I just wanted it too much. But I don’t think they’re that similar. I don’t have a kid. Darryl has a kid. Darryl is always trying to impress people. Craig doesn’t care all that much. Well Darryl, not impress but he’s always…I don’t know. I don’t think they’re that similar.
LW: As that show [The Office] comes to a close, I believe it’s in its last season now, where are you looking to transition after that? Do you want another TV series role or do you want to only do movies?
CR: I just shot a pilot for NBC. It’s called ‘Mr. Robinson.’ I’m in a bubble of hope, hope that they pick it up. And if they do we’ll know in a couple of weeks. And if they do, that’s where I’ll be on TV for a little while longer, and if they don’t we’ll have to figure it out. I’ve got some movies coming out…[I’ll] go work on Hot Tub Time Machine part 2. And then we’ll really have to do some soul searching.
LW: You have a new movie coming out called Peeples. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
CR: Peeples is a comedy, a family-oriented comedy, produced by Tyler Perry, written and directed by Tina Gordon Chism. She wrote ATL and she wrote Drumline. And this is her first directing gig. It’s about a guy—Wade Walker—I play him. He’s in love with his girl and she’s in love with him—Gloria Peeples played by Kerry Washington. Only thing is, she doesn’t want him to meet the family because she’s just not ready for him to meet her family because basically he’s not good enough – or nobody is good enough to get past her father. So she kind of wants to keep it going with Wade but it’s just not the time yet. The father is played by David Allen Grier. So Wade decides, because Gloria goes on a weekend with her family to Sag Harbor, Wade decides ‘Ya know what, I’m going to go down there and I’m going to surprise her, and I’m going to propose, and the family is going to love me.’ And of course it doesn’t go exactly as planned.
LW: What was it like working alongside David Allen Grier who is well-known for his comedy also?
CR: He’s the funniest dude on the planet. He’s the father of the set. We had a ball, a blast every day. We were all singing on the set, and David was just as brilliant as you know him to be. And once you meet him, you’re going to love him even more.
LW: And what about Kerry Washington [in a comedic role]?
CR: It was a first for many of us. Tina’s first directing, my first leading man, Kerry’s first kind of comedy thing showing her comedy chops and she’s a natural. She did her thing, and she’s just brilliant. She’ll make you laugh anyway so it wasn’t a stretch for her to get you to laugh on the page.
LW: Who has been your greatest inspiration in the acting?
CR: Definitely Richard Pryor. Matter of fact, there’s a part in this movie that I kind of did an ode to Richard Pryor, tip my hat to him from a scene he did in Which Way is Up? that has stayed with me forever. It was kind of when I was playing the guitar and making this silly face. It was straight up Richard Pryor textbook silliness.
LW: Do you have any advice for emerging actors, directors and writers of color?
CR: Absolutely…not! I don’t know about giving advice but I’ll tell you what, man: Everything you learned in kindergarten: play well with others; respect you and respect others; be yourself. You’re the only you that’s out there so make sure you’re the genuine article, and when you’re presenting yourself they find you.
Tyler Perry presents Peeples premiered in theaters May 10. To view the trailer or find more about the movie, visit www.peeplesmovie.com.
Damn, Mathew Knowles can't catch a break, huh?
According to TMZ:
The IRS says he still owes all sorts of taxes on some of that income -- over $1.2 MILLION.
Uncle Sam just filed a ridiculously large lien against Knowles, claiming he needs to cough up some cash from the years 2010 ($485,575.95) and 2011 ($728,004.89) ... all totaled, $1,213,580.84.
Sheesh! That's a lot of paper. Just goes to show how rich Bey really made her dad. Mo' money, mo' problems, we guess.
By Christina Coleman for Global Grind Staff
This dude has no chill.
According to the Huffington Post:
Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Joe Balicki says the 23-year-old Young was arrested late Friday in San Clemente for allegedly breaking into a home.
Balicki says Young fought with deputies after a foot chase.
He has been charged with attempted burglary, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. He is in custody Sunday on $75,000 bail.
But just a few days earlier, Young was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Then, on the same day, he was arrested for trying to take his car away from a tow yard.
The Detroit Lions drafted Young in 2011, but released him in February after a drop in productivity and disputes with teammates.
Basically, Young gives no f*cks. But it's time to have a seat, man.
By Christina Coleman for Global Grind Staff
SOURCE: Huffington Post
Well now the 17-year-old is being hit with a major child support bill to take care of his seed.
According to TMZ:
Keef -- real name Keith Cozart -- was sued for child support by his middle-school-aged baby mama earlier this year. She claimed Keef fathered her kid -- born in 2011 -- when he was only 15.
According to court docs, the teenage rapper pulls in about $13,000 A MONTH!!! Pretty baller considering his age.
As a result, a judge ordered Keef to pony up $2,600 a month in child support -- based on his lucrative career -- plus $500 in day care expenses and $10,400 in previously unpaid support. A hearing is set for next month to finalize the amount.
Damn, dude is getting paid! But looks like he's going to have to give up the bulk of his money anyway.
By Christina Coleman for Global Grind Staff
Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams, who recently signed a six-year, $100 million contract with $50 million guaranteed, wants the $785,000 10-carat engagement ring he gave to former fiancée, Erin Marzouki, back and is taking her to court to make sure he gets it, according to the Bleacher Report.
The Houston-based lawsuit reportedly alleges that Marzouki never loved Williams and was only in the relationship for monetary gain. As per the legal document:
[Marzouki] never intended to marry [Williams] and used the relationship as a means to get to [Williams’] money and acquire gifts, according to the Bleacher Report.
The couple reportedly split up last January, when Marzouki decided to call it quits on the relationship. When the two-time Pro-Bowler reportedly asked for the ring back on several occasions, Marzouki allegedly failed to comply.
Williams and Marzouki got engaged on February 19th last year.
The 28-year-old NFL player, whose contract has been deemed one of the most lucrative in NFL history, not only gave his ex the ring, but reportedly also handed her an American Express card a month earlier to which she charged more than $108,000 then added an additional $230,000 worth of “luxury items” according to the lawsuit.
When Marzouki called off the engagement, she allegedly failed to return the ring, and according to Williams’ legal team, she promised to do so if her relationship with Williams came to an end.
In the meantime, Williams’ lawyers are requesting a restraining order and permanent injunction that bars Marzouki and anyone associated with her from doing anything with the ring like selling or even damaging it in any way.
Reportedly, Williams has a good chance of winning the ring back because he lives in the “no-fault” Lone Star state. In Texas, the person giving the ring is legally allowed to ask for its return “on breach of the marriage engagement” by the donee.
Written by NewsOne