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.
Last night’s episode of Mob Wives was about lying liars and the lies they tell, oh and boyfriend hatin’ mafia princess Renee Graziano. Meanwhile Karen Gravano and Drita D’avanzo are still upset about last weeks fight about some guy they both like. Carla Facciolo’s boyfriend is grabbing a** all over town, well he’s grabbing almost everyone’s a**, and Renee just wants everyone to get along by acknowledging that she is always right about everything!
The show started out with Drita going to Carla’s to rehash the “Karen Loves Lee Forever” fight from last week. She is still upset that Karen called Lee a “scumbag.” Hey, truth hurts… Carla comments that a man should never come between friends. Drita explains to us that she went easy on Karen because if she wasn’t such a good friend she would f*ck her up especially because Karen was talking about Lee where her kids might hear. Across town in a parallel universe, Karen is complaining to Renee about Drita! For some reason Renee keeps repeating that Drita is a coward and owes Karen an apology? Karen says she she doesn’t feel like the situation is cleared up. You know I think I agree!
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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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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.”
Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New York City was all about vaginas, vacations, and Pinot… again. Jill Zarin is hosting an anti-bullying fundraiser, and while guests are paying $200 to attend, the irony of Jill championing this event is priceless. Kelly accidentally sees Sonja’s ladybits, Cindy takes her good friends on a “brunettes only” weekend, New Housewife Pinot Grigio high-jacks Jill’s charity event, and sweet LuAnn just wants everyone to get along, dammit!
The episode begins with LuAnn and Sun-yah meeting for lunch to discuss a girls trip. LuAnn is planning to “break the tension” between the ladies. Since this is a classy restaurant, Sonja, predictably arrives straight from the gym with a fur thrown over her sports bra. Sonja states she wants to go to Italy for Truffle Season (that’s a thing?) because “everyone will be there!” Everyone except the NY Housewives, that is, because LuAnn is just so over Italy and wants to vacation somewhere exotic. Somewhere like Morocco, which is the Paris of the Middle East, didn’t you know? Bravo, desperate to capitalize on a repeat of Scary Island, decides Luann must “invite” all the ladies, but LuAnn has some reservations about Kelly being included because no one wants “Scary Desert” on the horizon. Well, no one but Bravo, because ratings are everything dah-ling, so Kelly is IN!
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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?