Model/actress Carmen Electra knew she had made a mistake marrying basketball player Dennis Rodman almost immediately after they exchanged vows in Las Vegas. The former Baywatch star began dating the eccentric sportsman in 1998, shortly after losing her mother, and Electra admits her wild side came out as part of a period of "self-destruction".
Discussing the brief relationship on Oprah Winfrey's Where Are They Now? show, she explains, "I went into self-destruction (mode after losing her mum) and I remember meeting Dennis. Dennis was the life of the party; he was fun. I started drinking. People couldn't understand why I loved him because he had a reputation for being a bad boy and what I saw at the beginning was, sort of, this gentle giant that was in a lot of pain. In a way, we kind of understood each other.
"Our relationship was very passionate. When it was good, it was amazing. And when it was bad, it was the worst."
Electra reveals she had not allowed herself time to mourn her mother's death when she agreed to become Mrs. Rodman in an impromptu ceremony in Sin City after a whirlwind courtship, and she soon regretted walking down the aisle.
The busty beauty continues, "It was so fast, it was so spontaneous and I remember right after (exchanging vows), I felt like, 'Oh God... what did we just do...?'"
Electra realised she had been bottling up the pain of her mother's death while tuning in to an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show and knew then what she had to do.
She adds, "We were probably married for about a year... and I remember I was watching Oprah and she said, 'In order to heal, you have to feel'. And that's when it clicked - I was like, 'I'm not feeling I lost my mum, I'm not feeling that because I have just made my life chaos and blocked that out.'
"I took quite a bit of time and I started working on myself, started getting myself together."
Electra wasn't the only one who thought the marriage was a mistake - Rodman filed for an annulment nine days after the wedding, but they later reconciled and mutually agreed to divorce in 1999.
The death of pop star Simone Battle has been ruled a suicide by hanging. The 25-year-old G.R.L. bandmember and former The X Factor U.S. contestant was found dead at her home in West Hollywood, California on Friday (05Sep14).
Lieutenant Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Department confirmed the cause of death on Sunday (07Sep14), and stated that no further details will be released.
Battle, a Los Angeles native, grew up doing part-time modeling and acting in small roles in television and movies.
She toured with the Black Eyed Peas after graduating high school and attended the University of Southern California before auditioning for Simon Cowell's first season of the TV talent show.
She joined Pussycat Dolls' creator Robin Antin's girl group in 2012, and Antin shared her sorrow of Battle's death by posting a photo collage of Battle on her Instagram.com page on Saturday (06Sep14).
Antin added the caption, "I'm so beyond devastated by the loss of our beautiful Simone ... Simone I will miss your smile, Your adorable laugh, Your loving spirit that you brought to all of us, The joy that you felt when you were singing, dancing, performing, laughing, and goofing around with your GRLs, and most of all the beautiful friendship and bond that tied us all together, that will forever be in my heart...
"How lucky we are to have had You in our lives Simone, you inspired us all, and touched fans all around the world with your sweet sweet voice and talent.... We will NEVER forget... I Love you sweet Simone Rest in Peace..."
G.R.L. was scheduled to play a gig at the Marquee nightclub in Las Vegas on Monday (08Sep14), but the concert has been cancelled.
Rockers Gwar are set to embark on their first tour without late frontman Dave Brockie. The star, whose stage name was Oderus Urungus, died of a heroin overdose in March (14), and the band is now preparing to get back on the road for the first time since his death.
Gwar will kick off a huge North American trek in October (14) and play more than 50 dates, taking in cities such as Las Vegas, Seattle in Washington, and New York.
A statement posted on the group's website reads, "This Fall GWAR sets out on the most trying quest of our career. We shall scour our leader's favorite stomping ground, North America, leaving no city unsearched, no venue unraised, and no sheep unmolested. GWAR will venture to the depths of Hell or to the very end of Time itself, and though I fear what we may encounter out there, I know that we can never return home until we have the answer we seek: 'Where is Oderus Urungus?'"
The shows kick off in Norfolk, Virginia on 15 October (14).
Getty Images/Jason LaVeris
"It's Saturday Night Live!" will forever be the four words we associate with Don Pardo, announcer for the NBC variety show for nearly 40 years, who passed away Monday night at the age of 96 (via CBS News). Since 1975 — with only a single season-long hiatus in the early '80s — Pardo's inimitable timber introduced us to SNL’s stars, featured players, musical guests, and episode hosts, earning a permanent residence in the pop culture realm’s collective auditory cortex. But there’s more to the man than his weekly exclamations from the announcing booth at Studio 8-H. Pardo’s 75-year-long career took him to a multitude of interesting corners that we so often overlook:
Let the Games BeginA staff fixture at NBC, Pardo announced the original iterations of many of its game shows, including The Price Is Right (from 1956 to ’63) and Jeopardy! (from ’64 to ’75), as well as later programs Three on a Match, Winning Streak, and Jackpot! between ’71 and ’75.
Happy Turkey Day!For many years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade presented its army of inflatable cartoon characters with the gravitas of Pardo’s smooth baritone. Pardo announced the annual event for NBC straight up through 1999.
NBC via Getty Images
And That’s the NewsPardo boasted a longstanding career as a news broadcaster, both on radio and television; he started out as a World War II reporter for NBC Radio. On the date of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Pardo announced the tragedy to NBC’s television audience, becoming one of the first parties to report on the death of the 35th president.
He Also Had a Musical SidePardo proved his tastes in music to be rather esoteric when he teamed with the likes of Frank Zappa and Weird Al Yankovic for performances and recordings. Pardo first collaborated with Zappa in 1976 on a rendition of “I’m the Slime,” and then again joined forces with the innovative rock artist for his live album Zappa in New York in ’78.
Five years later, Pardo would pay homage to his game show era by contributing vocally to Weird Al’s “I Lost on Jeopardy” as well as appearing in the music video.
Of Course, He Had His Woody CredAn honorary New Yorker, Pardo managed to work his way into the filmography of Woody Allen, appearing in the 1987 comedy Radio Days as a host of the Name That Tune parody “Guess That Tune.” His acting career beyond the Allen picture includes Honeymoon in Vegas and the John Ritter comedy Stay Tuned.
And He Could Take a JokePardo was a hard worker until the very end — flying back and forth between his home in Arizona and New York City every week to announce episodes of SNL — but was hardly a man who took himself too seriously. This is evident by his self-parodying appearances on The Simpsons and SNL vet Tina Fey’s 30 Rock.
Naturally, we will always remember Pardo best for his work on Saturday Night Live, but there is clearly a lot more to celebrate about the man, his indomitable career, and his unmistakable voice.
James Brown's grieving widow was left distraught amid a slew of legal battles over the star's estate after a judge ordered his body to be cut up so DNA tests could be performed. Tomi Rae Hynie, mother of Brown's youngest son James, Jr., has revealed she was horrified when she found out medical officers had to hack the legs from the singer's remains to carry out tests on his bone marrow in a bid to prove the youngster is really his child.
James, Jr.'s parentage was challenged as part of a feud among Brown's other children over his estate following the music legend's death in 2006, aged 73. Brown left a will which was signed in 2000, a year before he married his wife.
In an interview with Britain's Mail on Sunday newspaper, she explains, "The drama that has unfolded since his death is more painful and outrageous than anything a scriptwriter could dream up... James would be spinning in his grave if he knew the hell I'd gone through over the past eight years... They couldn't do the normal DNA test because of all the embalming fluid in his body. So they had to cut off his legs to get to his bone marrow. I wept uncontrollably when I found out. My husband, the greatest dancer in the world, had his legs hacked off in death... My husband was a prolific womaniser. There are the children we know about but there are more and more people coming out of the woodwork claiming to be his. They are doing DNA testing all the time."
Hynie also claims Brown's body was moved 14 times in the six months after his death amid the raging legal battles: "That is the final insult to James. He and I would often talk about his legacy. He wanted our home - a 230-acre estate on Beech Island in South Carolina - to be turned into a living memorial, like (Elvis Presley's home) Graceland. That's where he wanted a proper mausoleum."
She now lives in Las Vegas with her son, and claims she is so broke she has to busk to earn extra cash. She adds "I've been forced to busk on the streets at times to make ends meet. I'm broke."
Hynie was included in a settlement agreement in 2011 which would have given her a quarter of her late husband's estate, but the legal wrangling is believed to be ongoing.
Michael Jackson's sprawling Las Vegas, Nevada property has been put on the market for $19.5 million (£11.5 million). The King of Pop lived in the Spanish Mediterranean-style estate between 2007 and 2009, where he spent much of his time rehearsing for what would have been his comeback tour prior to his death.
The estate, which Jackson was leasing from philanthropist Aner Iglesias, has been vacant ever since the singer moved out.
The property includes 12 bedrooms in the main house, a guest house, recording studio facilities, several barbecue areas, a chapel and a secret underground tunnel, which Jackson used to avoid paparazzi snapping pictures via helicopter, according to the estate's broker, Eddy Martinez of Worldwide Properties.
The listing comes days after it was announced Jackson's famous Neverland Ranch in Encino, California is also going on the market.
Elvis Presley's last Cadillac car and a 1975 guitar are among the items going under the hammer at Graceland during the estate's annual Elvis Week. Every year, the rock and roll icon's legacy is celebrated at his former home in Memphis, Tennessee, and as part of the 10-day event, 72 of his personal items will be auctioned off next month (14Aug14).
Among the lots up for sale is a 1976 Cadillac Seville - the last one Presley purchased before his death in 1977 - a 1975 Martin D-28 guitar, a signed library card, the original script for his movie Love Me Tender, a 1969 Las Vegas show agreement, and the gemstone and diamond encrusted lion mask pendant and chain worn by the singer when he met U.S. President Richard Nixon at the White House in 1970.
Third-party collectors will also be auctioning off items, including a Bonhams sale at the Quail Lodge Auction in California on 15 August (14), which will feature Presley's Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine. The luxury vehicle, which boasts a state-of-the-art radio, air-conditioning and a car phone, is expected to sell for an estimated $300,000 (£176,471).
Keith Urban performed at a shopping mall in Sydney, Australia on Thursday (10Jul14) in hologram form. The country star has been recreated in digital format with the same technology used for a hologram of Michael Jackson on stage at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas in May (14), five years after the King of Pop's death.
Urban's hologram appeared at Sydney's Pitt Street Mall as part of a promotion with a local bank, and fans were able to pick up instruments and play along to their hero's song Somewhere In My Car.
Authorities in Las Vegas have confirmed a man who died at the 2014 Electric Daisy Carnival passed away after suffering an ecstasy overdose. California resident Montgomery Tsang, 24, collapsed in the parking lot upon leaving the annual music event in June (14) and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
On Wednesday (09Jul14), Clark County coroner's officials ruled his death an accident, noting Tsang overdosed on the popular club drug. A pre-existing heart condition was also a factor in his death, according to Billboard.com.
Tsang was just one of three EDC concertgoers who lost their lives at the festival, but the cause of their deaths has yet to be determined.
At this year's (14) event, nearly 800 revellers were treated for medical conditions, and 25 were admitted to local hospitals. Several dozen were also arrested by police on drug charges.
This isn't the first time tragedy has overshadowed the festival. In 2012, organisers distanced themselves from two deaths which occurred after revellers attended the event.
Michael Jackson's estate is at the centre of a new lawsuit between the King of Pop's This Is It costume designer and his two business partners. Style guru Nestor Goco, known professionally as Zaldy, was hired to create the pop superstar's stage wardrobe for his ill-fated 2009 This Is It residency in London.
Zaldy, who has also worked with Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez and the Rolling Stones, was subsequently paid to allow his designs to be included in an ongoing world tour of Jackson memorabilia and other shows authorised by his estate executors, including the Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson ONE, a Las Vegas stage production inspired by his hits.
Zaldy's former associates Christopher Demers and Travis Payne claim they agreed to serve as his managers from July, 2009 to secure work with Jackson's estate in exchange for a 20 per cent cut of profits, but they are now suing amid allegations the designer has reneged on the deal.
Legal papers filed in New York County Supreme Court this week (begs30Jun14) suggest they believe the defendant earned as much as $2.4 million (£1.4 million) from Jackson-related projects since his death in June, 2009 and they are seeking at least $280,000 (£164,706) in compensation.