Former Fugees star Pras Michel has joined a consortium bidding to buy New York City's iconic Plaza Hotel. The rapper has been included in a group of four business moguls who have submitted an offer for the luxury venue in Manhattan, along with two other hotels - the Big Apple's Dream Downtown and Grosvenor House in London.
The $2.2 billion bid was submitted last week (ends07Sep14), according to the New York Post.
A source tells the newspaper, "(Pras is) part of a group of four who have submitted $2.2 billion for the three hotels. They confirmed they have $100 million deposited in escrow and proof of funds larger than $2.6 billion. They say their bid was met with a favourable response and they expect things to move quickly."
Rapper Pras Michel put a new twist on the charity ice bucket challenge by performing the stunt in North Korea. The former Fugees star jetted to the controversial country last week (ends31Aug14) and he took the chance to douse himself in cold water in the name of a good cause during a visit to the city of Pyongyang, where many Western influences are banned.
Pictures show the musician being drenched with water buckets at the edge of a river, and he tells the Associated Press, "I thought I'd put a little twist to it. When we go to places, my crew, we stick out. You can tell instantly these guys aren't from this neck of the woods. But the people have been good to us."
He went on to nominate his former Fugees co-star Lauryn Hill and British royal Prince Harry for the stunt, which raises money and awareness for the ALS Association.
During his trip to the country, Michel also claimed to be the first American to tweet from North Korea, writing in a post on his Twitter.com page, "First #American to tweet from #NorthKorea very interesting place... (sic)"
Rapper Pras Michel's ongoing child support battle has reportedly cost him the chance to speak at the United Nations General Assembly next month (Sep14). The Ghetto Superstar (That Is What You Are) hitmaker had applied to address top global government officials at the U.N.'s New York headquarters to discuss issues like poverty in his native Haiti and renewable energy in the U.S., but according to editors at the New York Daily News, his nasty legal battle with his ex-girlfriend Angela Severiano has stained his reputation.
A source tells the publication, "He's in the political arena and is really taking a hit... They (U.N. representatives) pulled him from the pool (of possible speakers) because they obviously can't be associated with press like this."
The former Fugees star, who has previously appeared at the U.N. Headquarters, is due back in court on Monday (11Aug14) as his lawyers work to resolve his fall-out with Severiano, who is seeking a raise in her child support payments to care for their four-year-old son Landon.
Michel, 41, previously hit headlines in June (14) after skipping a Manhattan court hearing to attend the soccer World Cup in Brazil.
Former Fugees star Pras Michel revived his child support battle in New York City on Thursday (24Jul14) just weeks after he was scolded by a magistrate for skipping a previous hearing to reportedly attend the soccer World Cup in Brazil. The musician-turned-film producer hit headlines last month (Jun14) when he missed a court hearing in Manhattan because he was reportedly out of the country on a trip to the sporting event.
He was ordered back to court on Thursday, and the star showed up to face his former girlfriend Angela Severiano, who is seeking a raise in her child support payments.
During the hearing, Severiano told the court Michel's four-year-old son Landon is living in a cramped studio apartment while his father is away enjoying a life of luxury, according to the New York Post.
She is seeking more money from the star to cover school fees and a move to a larger home.
Michel is scheduled to testify in September (14).
A New York City magistrate took aim at former Fugees star Pras Michel for missing a child support hearing on Thursday (12Jun14). The rapper-turned-film producer was due in court in Manhattan to face former girlfriend Angela Severiano, who is seeking a raise in her child support payments, but he failed to attend as he was in South America.
He tried to phone in to offer his testimony from Bogota, Colombia, but Family Court Magistrate Karen Kolomechuk stopped him.
She said, "It's not acceptable to call in from a cafe in Colombia. This is not a free-for-all."
Michel's legal team allegedly told the court he couldn't leave Colombia because of issues with his passport.
Severiano is seeking $7,000 (£4,375) to cover school fees and a move to a larger apartment. She currently receives $3,000 (£1,875)-a-month from the star.
Former Fugees star Pras Michel is risking a contempt of court charge after flying to Brazil on Tuesday (10Jun14) ahead of a scheduled child support hearing. The rapper-turned-film producer was due in court on Thursday (12Jun14) to face off against former girlfriend Angela Severiano, who is seeking a raise in her child support payments, but he was reportedly in Brazil for the World Cup.
In a post on his Facebook.com page on Tuesday (10Jun14), he wrote, "Flying private here we come Brazil worldcup worldcup2014.”
In 2011, the 41 year old was ordered to pay $3,000 (GBP1,875)-a-month to Severiano, but she is now seeking $7,000 (GBP4,375) to cover school fees and a move to a larger apartment.
According to court documents, Pras has missed several court hearings to testify about his income and Severiano's lawyer, Kenneth Sternberg, had subpoenaed Pras to appear as a witness on Thursday, according to the New York Post.
Former Fugees star Pras is teaming up with one of U.S. President Barack Obama's biggest fundraisers to launch a private equity fund to invest in renewable energy. The rapper, real name Praskazrel Samuel Michel, is joining forces with businessman Frank White, Jr. and venture capitalist Shomik Dutta to found DuSable Capital Management LLC.
The trio hopes to oversee a $500 million (£333 million) to $1 billion fund which will concentrate on boosting green power in the U.S.
Michel tells New York Post gossip column Page Six, "I'm fascinated that as the most powerful country, we should be No. 1 in energy and infrastructure, and we're not. We're trying to do our part."
The new partners met during the original 2008 campaign to get President Obama into the White House, when White raised more than $10 million (£6.6 million) for his election coffers.
Diamond (Haitian-American rapper Pras) hopes to launch a recording career with a self-financed CD but loyalty to his loose-cannon homie Gage (hip-hop star Ja Rule) and a lack of cash keep him uncomfortably linked to Gage's drug-trafficking boss ("Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" star Jason Statham). Diamond's pregnant girlfriend (Tamala Jones) and estranged father (Vondie Curtis-Hall) try to steer him on a more responsible path but the would-be superstar continues to find himself in more gunfights than in the average Wesley Snipes flick. Will the violence ever end?
Handsome ex-Fugee Pras' refusal to register any emotion whatsoever hampers what little credible drama there is to be found in the script. Just because the quiet angry thing works for Ice Cube doesn't mean it will work for every rapper-turned-actor. The fierce Ja Rule shows much more promise in his feature debut though his gat-packing crazyman character is too much of a cliché to go anywhere very interesting. The terrific Curtis-Hall ("Eve's Bayou") perks things up every time his dreadlocked wise man shows up on-screen but he's criminally underused.
Writer-director Robert Adetuyi tries to have things both ways in the classic Hollywood style -- selling a vague anti-violence message while glamorizing the film's glossy gunfights. Dramatically the piece seesaws between soap opera-ish personal exchanges and cheesy gangster movie confrontations. Mechanical problems with the plot mount as Diamond and Gage set up the inevitable Big Score and soon the only question in viewers' minds is how thematically dishonest the action finale will be.