On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals upheld a $7 million judgment against her, holding her personally liable for fraudulent conduct.
The original ruling came last year after Hannibal Pictures and its owner Richard Rionda del Castro sued Sonja for reneging on a deal she signed. Sonja had agreed to fund the movie “Fast Flash to Bang Time” (yes that’s the actual name of the movie) which was to feature John Travolta, only to pull out of the financing deal causing the movie not to be made.
“With the confirmation by one of the highest Courts of our country, the masks are falling and there is no longer any doubt that we were defrauded and severely damaged. We are now going to collect to the fullest extent of the law,” said Hannibal’s Rionda del Castro in a statement.
Sonja filed for bankruptcy last November, claiming the movie was never made because its planned star, Travolta, needed “various conditions” that her company, Sonja Productions, couldn’t provide.
In the Chapter 11 filing, Sonja listed her debt at $19.8 million with over $13.5 million in assets.
The 27-year-old dental student is back and ready to find love again after being dumped by Brad Womackon the last season of the Bachelor. Ashley should have no problem picking up the pieces with over 25 suitors vying for her love!
On the debut episode tonight, Ashley opens up to host Chris Harrison about her insecurities when she reveals her fear that the men will be disappointed when they learn she is the Bachelorette. Ashley also reveals she is already familiar with one of the contestants – Bentley Williams – whom a former “Bachelor” cast member has warned her is there for the wrong reasons.
And now that filming is complete, the important question is did Ashley find love? “All those questions are things you’ll have to tune in to find out,” was Ashley’s coy reply during a conference call with the press last week. “I will say I’m happy with the way things turned out with me, but you’ll have to tune in and see the rollercoaster,” she added.
Ashley also reveals the entire process was more difficult than she expected. “Going into it, I knew I would have a whole other set of hard times but I didn’t expect it to be as difficult as it was. I definitely learned a lot about myself. I guess I prefer to be on this side but it was not easy at times, that’s for sure,” she said.
As for her ex Brad, Ashley makes it clear she has definitely moved on from him. “I think Brad is a great guy but we both needed different things in our life,” said Ashley. She continued, “And especially after meeting all these men, I realized how Brad wasn’t the best fit for me and I wasn’t the best fit for Brad.”
The Bachelorette premieres tonight at 9/8c before moving to its regular timeslot of 8/7c.
TELL US – ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW SEASON? THOUGHTS ON TONIGHT’S PREMIERE?
In fact Donald Trump revealed that this was his toughest ruling yet in the history of the show. “I’ve never had to go through something like this… You’ve both been amazing,” said Trump to both finalists before announcing a winner.
Ultimately, John, one-half of the country-music duo Big & Rich, came out on top, beating Marlee to earn a $250,000 check for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Marlee had been competing for the Starkey Hearing Foundation charity.
“Today has been an unbelievable day!” said John after his win. “I got Trump to put on a Stetson hat on national television and now I get to drive down to Memphis with a $250,000 check for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”
With the exception of Richard Hatch, who is back in prison for tax evasion (much to the delight of David Cassidy), most of the “fired” contestants returned for the live finale. Though noticeably missing was music legend Dionne Warwick.
Of course the Donald had to revisit the whole Nene Leakes vs everyoneStar Jones drama. Nene claimed she had moved on and didn’t hold a grudge, only to yell over Star seconds later while Star attempted to answer a question from Trump.
And right before he made the winner announcement, Trump promised to do something he had never done before. What was that you ask? Well while he hired John, he did not fire Marlee. Rightfully so as there were no losers this season with over $3 million raised for charity– a record for the show.
It was also announced last week that Trump will return for another season of the Celebrity Apprentice.
TELL US – HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS? DID THE RIGHT CONTESTANT WIN?
In the meantime, the 12th episode of the season airs tonight on Bravo at 10/9c. Titled “Fashion Victim,” Peggy orchestrates a surprise trip to Las Vegas with her husband. Also there to spin giddy in Sin City: Tamra and Eddie. Meanwhile, Gretchen corners Slade about the debt-related problems of their relationship. And a fashion show is held, but a medical emergency causes a no-show and mounting drama. A preview clip is below.
Meanwhile, the reunion was filmed this week on Tuesday though we can’t help but wonder how interesting it will be, you know, since most of the issues from this season were basically the rehashing of issues from past seasons. Andy Cohen however promises it will be the best OC reunion to date! “JUST wrapped the OC Reunion. I think it was our best OC reunion in 6 seasons. Really dramatic, tense, powerful, and emotional,” he tweeted. Uh uh.
The ladies seemed exhausted with the filming which took over 11 hours. “Holy shit get me out of here!!!! No more reunion taping PLZ,” tweetedTamra Barney. “Whoa long ass reunion show yesterday! Quite a crazy and emotional day! All us woman sure can fight!,” tweetedGretchen the next day. As for Peggy Tanous, she took issue with Bravo inviting Slade Smiley and not her husband Micah. She tweeted, “Shootin reunion. Can you all believe they only invited Slade to film & would not even allow Micah to be here with me. What do you all think?”
Some photos from the reunion below as well as some new photos of Alexis Bellinoas posted on her facebook page.
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The NY Post is reporting that Victoria de Lesseps, daughter of Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, was quietly expelled from her private school months ago after a video of her rolling what appeared to be a joint and using a racial slur appeared online.
Sources tell the Post Victoria was asked to leave the Tony Ross School in the Hamptons after the video episode, but LuAnn denies the report to Page Six, instead stating Victoria left the school on her own.
The Real Housewives of NYCstar’s rep tells the Post, “Your information is incorrect. Victoria withdrew from Ross School five months ago, but it was unrelated to the video. She is happily looking forward to studying art in Paris this summer.” When did this video come out you ask? Exactly five months ago but remember, it was completely unrelated.
In the video, which we were able to view before it was taken down from youtube, Victoria was video chatting with a friend before she started rolling what appeared to be a joint and continuously using the “n-word.” You can read more about that here. And days after the video leaked online, photos of the 16-year-old came out showing her drinking and smoking. LuAnn issued a statement back then calling her daughter’s actions “unacceptable.” Tuition at the private school is said to run upward of $45,000 a year.
Meanwhile, one of our readers alerted us to an old unflattering report from the NY Post about the Countess. See back in August 2008 (before our blog existed), the Post reported the Countess, along with her then husband the Count Alexandre de Lesseps, attended a wedding in the Hamptons and acted like a drunken mess in front of 200 guests.
The Post reported LuAnn yanked the mike away from Andy Hilfiger’s band and proceeded to sing two songs. “She knocked over the drum set while smiling at the horrified guests,” a source said.
Oh but if only it ended there. LuAnn then turned her attention to the poor unsuspecting guests. “She was trying to make out with women and married men,” the source said. “A pregnant wife caught her in the act, stormed off and walked home in disgust.” The Count “tried to make her leave and was seen throwing her to the ground in the parking lot,” the spy continued.
“She wasn’t just kissing the married men, she was also grabbing their [crotches],” another witness told the Post. Yikes! And while LuAnn and her husband denied the allegations to the Post, the groom stated, “At these parties, people always get frisky. All I can say is that she didn’t try to grab me.”
Less than a year later, LuAnn would go on to write a book about class and etiquette. You know what they say dahling — “Money Can’t Buy You Class.”
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BOTH OF THE REPORTS BY THE POST? SHOCKED BY LUANN’S PAST BEHAVIOR?
And leading up to tonight’s finale, Marlee spoke out on the drama involving her fired former teammates Star Jones and Nene Leakes, making it clear she wasn’t a fan. “Whatever the hoopla was that surrounded the relationship they had and whatever drama came, I didn’t choose to involve it in terms of the way I played the game,” said Marlee in a conference call with the press. “Whatever way they decided to deal with each other isn’t what I am about or the kind of person I am.”
Marlee’s comments would explain why she did not choose Star to join her team for the final task. She continued, “Whatever clash that occurred, for me, it got too old too quick. I just decided to focus on the task; it’s not about who I am. Sometimes it overshadowed the purpose and my aim for being there which was to raise money for charity but I would never let it get in the way.”
Marlee then went on to make it clear that she still respects both women. “But they are both women I respect and I know are very vocal and that’s what is great about them,” she added.
Meanwhile, John Rich also revealed a shocking tidbit while talking to the press, which is that he and rapper Lil Jon were actually friends before the Apprentice – something they both failed to reveal on the show!
According to Jon, he met Lil Jon years ago at an awards show. “I remember shaking hands with him at an awards show,” said John. “It wasn’t like we became best friends or anything because we live in different towns, but anytime I was in Atlanta or LA, because he is back and forth between the two towns, I’d always call him, and every now and then he’d be in Nashville and would call me.”
In fact, John called Lil Jon to inform him about joining the CA cast only to discover Lil Jon would also be appearing on the show. “I actually called when I’d decided I would be on Celebrity Apprentice to tell him I’d be on a TV show and might need him to help me out with a task or donation at some point,” said John. “He started laughing and said, ‘Too late, I’m on the same show!’ We just laughed our heads off. At that point I said, ‘This will be fun.”
So can we expect a music collabo from the ‘Jons?’ That answer is a yes! “We actually did record something together and there is a record coming out now called Rich Rocks, and Lil Jon appears as a guest artist,” explain John. “It’s a really cool thing and I’ve had a huge response from all the country fans that are really liking him too.”
Housewives Caroline Manzo, Jacqueline Laurita, Melissa Gorga, and Kathy Wakile were all in attendance along with their families. As for Teresa, she held a separate premiere/‘Fabulicious’ book launch party for herself at the Tribecca Night Club in Fort Lee, NJ. And yes that is Simon van Kempen pictured with the ladies as he and his wife Alex also attended the party.
The Montville Patch was on hand to cover the event, both snapping the housewives and interviewing them. The general consensus amongst the housewives was that watching the premiere episode, with the now infamous brawl, was an emotional experience. Melissa stated that if you didn’t cry by the end of the episode you “had a heart of stone.”
Caroline admitted that the episode was hard to watch but added you have to “take the ride with us.” Ticket prices for the premiere party were between $75 and $200 with the Patch reporting that “proceeds from the premiere party benefited several charities, including the Wounded Warrior Project, To Write Love on Her Arms and Stop Child Trafficking Now.” More photos from the event below!
Meanwhile it seems we the viewers do love us some trashtastic television! Why? Well because the Monday night premiere broke all kinds of records for the Bravo network. With over 2.87 million total viewers tuning in, the NJ Housewives delivered the highest rated season premiere in the network’s history! The episode also helped Bravo earn its best Monday night ever.
*Also wanted to note that we will no longer be doing the weekly reality stars photo posts. We will start doing more photo posts through out the week, instead of posting it all on Saturdays. Thanks!
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While her former Housewives costars continue to bicker on Bravo,Bethenny Frankel continues her attempt at world domination by gracing the latest cover of Forbes magazine.
The issue is fitting for the Bethenny Ever After star as it lists the top 100 most powerful celebrities (Lady Gaga takes the #1 spot from Oprah this year). Bethenny comes in at #42 after earning an estimated $55 million from May 2010 to 2011.
Forbes states Bethenny “represents a new breed of media-savvy entrepreneurs, who see reality television not as an outlet to feed their narcissism, but as airtime to promote their products.” Bethenny admits, “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?” Below are excerpts from Bethenny’s cover story –
How Much Did Bethenny Earn? – According to Forbes, Bethenny sold her Skinnygirl drink line to Fortune Brands’ Beam Global for $100 million and not the widely reported $120 mil. The deal features a multi-year payout. When you add in the sales from her expanding line of Skinnygirl products, sources close to Bethenny reveal she earned an estimated $55 million in the past 12 months (Bethenny refused to confirm the numbers). That amount is huge, especially in comparison to the estimated $700,000 she earned from Bravo for her reality show. Bethenny makes it clear this mega success is all still new to her. “Seriously,” she reveals, “it wasn’t until two years ago that I made more than my assistant.”
Growing Up Bethenny – Growing up on New York’s Long Island as the child of top-ranked horse trainer Bobby Frankel, her childhood was far from a fairytale. Bethenny grew up with multiple divorces, allegations of childhood neglect, 13 different schools, and two cross-country moves. “I had my first drink when I was 7 years old; I was betting at the track by 8,” she recalls. “My father never called me on my birthday. He never congratulated me or told me he was proud,” she says, tearing up. Bethenny would go on to attend NYU, graduating with a degree in communications and psychology.
Can Bethenny Crack a Billion? – Bethenny reveals her goal is to turn the Skinnygirl empire into a billion-dollar business. In addition to selling her Skinnygirl drink line, she also has a number of other “Skinnygirl” products in the works. And despite selling the drink line, Bethenny still retains the rights to use Skinnygirl for anything she wishes. “It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she jokes. “But they can’t. Only I can.” New products in the works include a line of Skinnygirl nutritional supplements, with partner Matt Hesse, which has already seen wholesale orders topping $1 million in the first quarter of 2011. Her shapewear is also predicted to bring in $5 million this year (it makes its QVC debut in August). Also in the works — an online personal-training service, a fourth book and a skin-care line called Skinnygirl Face & Body. She is also contemplating soft drinks, sauces and a children’s clothing line.
“It’s a formula,” says Bethenny of the successful brands she launches with strategic partners. “They’re the expert, the formulator, manufacturer. I’m the marketer, the media person, the face–and we each know our roles.” You can read more on Bethenny’s cover story on Forbes.
Meanwhile, following her second season of BEA, Bethenny reveals she plans to lay low until filming on the third season begins in July. “I have really checked out of my own life a lot,” she told PEOPLE. “I’m laying low. I really hit the wall going 90 miles an hour.” She adds, “We’re starting filming in July for season 3, and I need the hiatus.”
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BETHENNY’S FORBES ARTICLE? DO YOU THINK SHE CAN CRACK A BILLION?