Saturday, May 30, 2015


Another one of our Beautiful Woman! Who's That Lady Entertainment TARA WALLACE as seen on LOVE AND HIP HOP NEW YORK!  Follow on Twitter  and IG http;//  and visit her website http;//

 Another one of our Phenomenal Woman!


Another one of our Beautiful Woman! Who's That Lady Entertainment CLAUDIA JORDAN former Bob Barker Beauty on The Price is Right, Deal or No Deal Suitcase #1. Now featured on RHOA and the Rickey Smiley Morning Radio Show Follow on Twitter  and IG  and visit her website

Another one of our Phenomenal Woman!


Follow her on Twitter  and Instagram IG visit her website 

 Another one of our Phenomenal Woman!

Actor Reynaldo Rey dies at 75

(CNN)Actor and comedian Reynaldo Rey died Thursday of complications from a stroke, his manager said.
Rey was 75.
Among his most popular works are the movies, "Friday," "White Men Can't Jump" and "Harlem Nights."
Rey suffered a stroke about a year ago. He died in Los Angeles, said his manager, Vanzil Burke.
According to a biography on Rey's website, the actor was born in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma. He was reportedly a member of the Harlem Theater Group, and appeared in 52 movies.
Rey is survived by his wife, Evelyn, daughter Harla Major and sons Golden Rey and Todd Murphy, as well as his 96-year old mother, Lillian Murray.

'black-ish' Star Tracee Ellis Ross On Self-Worth And Sexism In Hollywood

Since its network premiere last fall ABC’s family comedy series “black-ish” has earned rave reviews and netted a 2015 Television Academy honor for addressing the controversial issue of corporal punishment.
For her part, Tracee Ellis Ross has earned Emmy buzz for her performance as Rainbow Johnson, the family matriarch.
During a recent roundtable discussion of comedy actresses filmed by The Hollywood Reporter, Ross and five other comedy actresses in television -- Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, Gina Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, and Kate McKinnon -- opened up on a series of topics affecting the comedy community, including race and sexism.
Ross shared her experiences with some of the issues addressed in Chris Rock’s much-lauded December 2014 Hollywood Reporter essay, in which he lamented Hollywood’s racial disparity issues -- particularly the lack of black women in movie roles.
“There aren't many [roles in film],” she said. “That's why I say no to all the offers! (Laughs.) Working on a film is one job where you look at a casting breakdown and I'll think, ‘That's me!’ But she's not supposed to be black…But I go for them anyway.”
The daughter of music icon Diana Ross, the 42-year-old "black-ish" said her upbringing instilled in her the profound importance of knowing her self-worth. Ross pointed out the inherent sexism in the idea of “diva behavior” that has been attributed to her mother, and strong women everywhere who know who they are, and what they're worth.
“I was raised by a woman [singer Diana Ross] who has high standards for what she's worth, which has been called 'diva behavior,'" Ross said. “I have witnessed flagrant, disgusting behavior, and that is not my mother. There is a way to be a woman, ask for what we deserve and be able to negotiate.”
Read more from the Hollywood Reporter discussion here.

Black Former Cop: Here's The Truth About Race And Policing

I'm a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing

by Redditt Hudson on May 28, 2015
 On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with.
That's a theory from my friend K.L. Williams, who has trained thousands of officers around the country in use of force. Based on what I experienced as a black man serving in the St. Louis Police Department for five years, I agree with him. I worked with men and women who became cops for all the right reasons — they really wanted to help make their communities better. And I worked with people like the president of my police academy class, who sent out an email after President Obama won the 2008 election that included the statement, "I can't believe I live in a country full of ni**er lovers!!!!!!!!" He patrolled the streets in St. Louis in a number of black communities with the authority to act under the color of law.
That remaining 70 percent of officers are highly susceptible to the culture in a given department. In the absence of any real effort to challenge department cultures, they become part of the problem. If their command ranks are racist or allow institutional racism to persist, or if a number of officers in their department are racist, they may end up doing terrible things.
It is not only white officers who abuse their authority. The effect of institutional racism is such that no matter what color the officer abusing the citizen is, in the vast majority of those cases of abuse that citizen will be black or brown. That is what is allowed.
And no matter what an officer has done to a black person, that officer can always cover himself in the running narrative of heroism, risk, and sacrifice that is available to a uniformed police officer by virtue of simply reporting for duty. Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo was recently acquitted of all charges against him in the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, both black and unarmed. Thirteen Cleveland police officers fired 137 shots at them. Brelo, having reloaded at some point during the shooting, fired 49 of the 137 shots. He took his final 15 shots at them after all the other officers stopped firing (122 shots at that point) and, "fearing for his life," he jumped onto the hood of the car and shot 15 times through the windshield.
About that 15 percent of officers who regularly abuse their power: they exert an outsize influence Not only was this excessive, it was tactically asinine if Brelo believed they were armed and firing. But they weren't armed, and they weren't firing. Judge John O'Donnell acquitted Brelo under the rationale that because he couldn't determine which shots actually killed Russell and Williams, no one is guilty. Let's be clear: this is part of what the Department of Justice means when it describes a "pattern of unconstitutional policing and excessive force."
Nevertheless, many Americans believe that police officers are generally good, noble heroes. A Gallup poll from last year asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in various fields: police officers ranked in the top five, just above members of the clergy. The profession — the endeavor — is noble. But this myth about the general goodness of cops obscures the truth of what needs to be done to fix the system. It makes it look like all we need to do is hire good people, rather than fix the entire system. Institutional racism runs throughout our criminal justice system. Its presence in police culture, though often flatly denied by the many police apologists that appear in the media now, has been central to the breakdown in police-community relationships for decades in spite of good people doing police work.
Here's what I wish Americans understood about the men and women who serve in their police departments — and what needs to be done to make the system better for everyone.

1) There are officers who willfully violate the human rights of the people in the communities they serve

As a new officer with the St. Louis in the mid-1990s, I responded to a call for an "officer in need of aid." I was partnered that day with a white female officer. When we got to the scene, it turned out that the officer was fine, and the aid call was canceled. He'd been in a foot pursuit chasing a suspect in an armed robbery and lost him.
The officer I was with asked him if he'd seen where the suspect went. The officer picked a house on the block we were on, and we went to it and knocked on the door. A young man about 18 years old answered the door, partially opening it and peering out at my partner and me. He was standing on crutches. My partner accused him of harboring a suspect. He denied it. He said that this was his family's home and he was home alone.
My partner then forced the door the rest of the way open, grabbed him by his throat, and snatched him out of the house onto the front porch. She took him to the ledge of the porch and, still holding him by the throat, punched him hard in the face and then in the groin. My partner that day snatched an 18-year-old kid off crutches and assaulted him, simply for stating the fact that he was home alone.
I got the officer off of him. But because an aid call had gone out, several other officers had arrived on the scene. One of those officers, who was black, ascended the stairs and asked what was going on. My partner pointed to the young man, still lying on the porch, and said, "That son of a bitch just assaulted me." The black officer then went up to the young man and told him to "get the fuck up, I'm taking you in for assaulting an officer." The young man looked up at the officer and said, "Man ... you see I can't go." His crutches lay not far from him.
The officer picked him up, cuffed him, and slammed him into the house, where he was able to prop himself up by leaning against it. The officer then told him again to get moving to the police car on the street because he was under arrest. The young man told him one last time, in a pleading tone that was somehow angry at the same time, "You see I can't go!" The officer reached down and grabbed both the young man's ankles and yanked up. This caused the young man to strike his head on the porch. The officer then dragged him to the police car. We then searched the house. No one was in it.
These kinds of scenes play themselves out everyday all over our country in black and brown communities. Beyond the many unarmed blacks killed by police, including recently Freddie Gray in Baltimore, other police abuses that don't result in death foment resentment, distrust, and malice toward police in black and brown communities all over the country. Long before Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed Michael Brown last August, there was a poisonous relationship between the Ferguson, Missouri, department and the community it claimed to serve. For example, in 2009 Henry Davis was stopped unlawfully in Ferguson, taken to the police station, and brutally beaten while in handcuffs. He was then charged for bleeding on the officers' uniforms after they beat him.

 2) The bad officers corrupt the departments they work for
About that 15 percent of officers who regularly abuse their power: a major problem is they exert an outsize influence on department culture and find support for their actions from ranking officers and police unions. Chicago is a prime example of this: the city has created a reparations fund for the hundreds of victims who were tortured by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and officers under his command from the 1970s to the early ‘90s.
The victims were electrically shocked, suffocated, and beaten into false confessions that resulted in many of them being convicted and serving time for crimes they didn't commit.  One man, Darrell Cannon, spent 24 years in prison for a crime he confessed to but didn't commit. He confessed when officers repeatedly appeared to load a shotgun and after doing so each time put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Other men received electric shocks until they confessed.

The torture was systematic, and the culture that allowed for it is systemic. I call your attention to the words "and officers under his command." Police departments are generally a functioning closed community where people know who is doing what. How many officers  "under the command" of Commander Burge do you think didn't know what was being done to these men? How many do you think were uncomfortable with the knowledge? Ultimately, though, they were okay with it. And Burge got four years in prison, and now receives his full taxpayer-funded pension.

3) The mainstream media helps sustain the narrative of heroism that even corrupt officers take refuge in

This is critical to understanding why police-community relations in black and brown communities across the country are as bad as they are. In this interview with Fox News, former New York City Police Commissioner Howard Safir never acknowledges the lived experience of thousands and thousands of blacks in New York, Baltimore, Ferguson, or anywhere in the country. In fact, he seems to be completely unaware of it. This allows him to leave viewers with the impression that the recent protests against police brutality are baseless, and that allegations of racism are "totally wrong — just not true." The reality of police abuse is not limited to a number of "very small incidents" that have impacted black people nationwide, but generations of experienced and witnessed abuse.
The media is complicit in this myth-making: notice that the interviewer does not challenge Safir. She doesn't point out, for example, the over $1 billion in settlements the NYPD has paid out over the last decade and a half for the misconduct of its officers. She doesn't reference the numerous accounts of actual black or Hispanic NYPD officers who have been profiled and even assaulted without cause when they were out of uniform by white NYPD officers.
No matter what an officer has done to a black person, that officer can always cover himself in the running narrative of heroism Instead she leads him with her questions to reference the heroism, selflessness, risk, and sacrifice that are a part of the endeavor that is law enforcement, but very clearly not always characteristic of police work in black and brown communities. The staging for this interview — US flag waving, somber-faced officers — is wash, rinse, and repeat with our national media.
When you take a job as a police officer, you do so voluntarily. You understand the risks associated with the work. But because you signed on to do a dangerous job does not mean you are then allowed to violate the human rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of the people you serve. It's the opposite. You should protect those rights, and when you don't you should be held accountable. That simple statement will be received by police apologists as "anti-cop."  It is not.

4) Cameras provide the most objective record of police-citizen encounters available

When Walter Scott was killed by officer Michael Slager in South Carolina earlier this year, the initial police report put Scott in the wrong. It stated that Scott had gone for Slager's Taser, and Slager was in fear for his life. If not for the video recording that later surfaced, the report would have likely been taken by many at face value. Instead we see that Slager shot Scott repeatedly and planted the Taser next to his body after the fact.

Every officer in the country should be wearing a body camera that remains activated throughout any interaction they have with the public while on duty. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy for officers when they are on duty and in service to the public. Citizens must also have the right to record police officers as they carry out their public service, provided that they are at a safe distance, based on the circumstances, and not interfering. Witnessing an interaction does not by itself constitute interference.

5) There are officers around the country who want to address institutional racism

The National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officers for Justice, Reform and Accountability is a new coalition of current and former law enforcement officers from around the nation. Its mission is to fight institutional racism in our criminal justice system and police culture, and to push for accountability for police officers that abuse their power.
Many of its members are already well-established advocates for criminal justice reform in their communities. It's people like former Sergeant De Lacy Davis of New Jersey, who has worked to change police culture for years. It's people like former LAPD Captain John Mutz, who is white, and who is committed to working to build a system where everyone is equally valued. His colleagues from the LAPD —former Sergeant Cheryl Dorsey, now a frequent CNN contributor (providing some much-needed perspective), and former officer Alex Salazar, who worked LAPD's Rampart unit — are a part of this effort. Several  NYPD  officers, many of whom are founding members of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, the gold standard for black municipal police organizations, are a part of this group. Vernon Wells, Noel Leader, Julian Harper, and Cliff Hollingsworth, to name a few, are serious men with a serious record of standing up for their communities against police abuse. There's also Rochelle Bilal, a former sergeant out of Philadelphia, Sam Costales out of New Mexico, former Federal Marshal Matthew Fogg, and many others.
These men and women are ready to reach out to the thousands of officers around the country who have been looking for a national law enforcement organization that works to remake police culture. The first priority is accountability — punishment — for officers who willfully abuse the rights and bodies of those they are sworn to serve. Training means absolutely nothing if officers don't adhere to it and are not held accountable when they don't. It is key to any meaningful reform.
Police abuse in black and brown communities is generations old. It is nothing new. Racism is woven into the fabric of our nation.  At no time in our history has there been a national consensus that everyone should be equally valued in all areas of life. We are rooted in racism in spite of the better efforts of Americans of all races to change that.
Because of this legacy of racism, police abuse in black and brown communities is generations old. It is nothing new. It has become more visible to mainstream America largely because of the proliferation of personal recording devices, cellphone cameras, video recorders — they're everywhere. We need police officers.  We also need them to be held accountable to the communities they serve.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Exclusive Interview With Luenell On The Move!


Where in the world is she now….

By Belinda Trotter-James

When we last spoke to Luenell she was so busy with movie roles and other projects that Who’s That Lady Entertainment wondered what she is doing now and if she ever gets a chance to take a break to relax and enjoy a few days on the beach or traveling around the world.  Well, the answer is… Nope!  She did not take a break.  “The thing about this business that I’m in is very ‘out of site… out of mind’,” says Luenell.  “You can take a break, but it’s like you have to start all over again.”  Ordinary folk take a bus, train or drive to work.  Luenell is in such high demand that she has to take a plane or a ship to work.  Let me explain… When we caught up with her on Tuesday, Thursday night she had to fly on the red eye to get to New Orleans for a quick show and then she had to fly to Miami to do her first Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage cruise.  “I was only gone for a week and was paranoid about that,” says Luenell.  “Being gone for a week makes you wonder what am I missing and what’s missing me.  Thankfully I have a team that always holds it down for me while I’m gone until I get back.  I don’t take very many breaks.” 

Actually in Luenell’s type of work it doesn’t feel like work at all.  Wouldn’t you love for your job to pay you to be on a cruise?!  She was the captured bad girl of comedy on the high seas for one week surrounded by fans and water.  Not everyone that goes on a cruise can swim.  Not that you need that skill, but we just had to ask if the bad girl of comedy can swim?  “This will be my fourth or fifth cruise,” says Luenell.  “I can swim, but swimming in a pool and swimming in subzero ocean water is something else.  I am pretty much covered by the Blood and I didn’t believe that anything is going to happen on our trip.  Of course nobody does but I’m pretty anointed and prayed up so I had anticipated nothing but great things on this trip and I did not go in with no other thoughts.  I am very happy that I took my older sister with me; we look very much alike.   I have three sisters and four brothers.  The cruise to Jamaica was on her bucket list and I didn’t even know she had a bucket list. I thought it would be a great pleasure to be able to bond with her and being the little sister take my big sister on this trip with me.”

If you watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Luenell made a cameo appearance to meet with Claudia.  If you didn’t know, Claudia is real life friends with Luenell.  “Claudia and I met on The Foxxhole radio program several years ago and she was very nice, witty and down to earth for someone you may stereotype as being typically beautiful and who you would think wouldn’t be so open and fun, but she is absolutely that and she has friends of all sorts,” says Luenell.  “She is very quick on her feet and I respect that.  So we became friends then and have remained friends till this day.”

Luenell’s long list of star studded friends is endless as they took time out of their schedules to attend one of two special birthday parties in her honor.  “The first was in Southern California in Los Angeles and second one was in Northern California that wasn’t so star studded, but more friend studded because I was raised in the Bay area so I got to see tons of people who I had came up with, went to school with, had as roommates and that was my party in Oakland at a club where they did a roast,” recalls Luenell.  “They roasted me and it was fun.”  The party Luenell had in Los Angeles is on You Tube.  You can actually see a clip of the group Troop performing for Luenell. Just type in ‘Luenell’s Birthday Video’ and you will see a four minute clip of the party and what made it so special.  “It was special because it was like a dream come true party,” remembers Luenell.  “I had Faith Evans, Kelly Price, 2nd II None, Troop… they all performed for me.  The Mary Jane Girls were in the house, Tony Toni Tone, Kimble Hooker and several other Bay area artists performed.  So when Kelly asked me, ‘What do you want me to sing?’ I said sing the song It’s My Time from the video you made that I’m in.  The fact that I had Kelly Price not only sing to me, but she sang a song from a video that we’re in together called Its My Time made it special.  And its kind of prophetic because It’s My Time is how I’m feeling about my career and things that are going well for me right now plus you know Kelly is anointed as well and she is a prophet no matter what the bullsh*t you saw on that other show she was on which really did not depict who she really is.  She sang and prayed for me and had the whole party in a giant prayer for me which is why I know, and not just because of that day, but I know I am covered  in the Blood and that its all going to be okay so you don’t get much of that.  You have friends that will eat with you, drink with you, smoke with you, but not a lot of friends will pray with you and Kelly is definitely a prayer and I definitely appreciated that we had the whole party go to church for just a few minutes.”

The icing on the party was Luenell’s pink hair done by a well known celebrity hairstylist. Who knew she would arrive with a beautiful head of girly pink hair.  “It was Elgin Charles”, revealed Luenell.  “I went to his shop and got it done.  For about 5-6 days I was pink and it was great.  I shocked the paparazzi.  Nobody expected me to show up with pink hair, but I am known for doing the unexpected.”

The Females in Comedy Association’s 4th Annual Comics Rock Convention takes place every year in Los Angeles headed up by Hope Flood and Luenell is a part of the action every year.  “Hope is a good friend of mine and she has been doing this for four years,” says Luenell.  “Back in the day she used to have a magazine for comedians and for some crazy reason she has always had an interest in helping comics.  We did not have any guidelines or anyone to talk with about the business.  Jamie Foxx used to have something called Lopaloza in Atlanta and all the comics would go for the seminars. So it’s something like that.  It used to be called the Females in Comedy Convention and then the men started wining that they wanted to get some of the knowledge too. So not to be one to turn down any money Hope opened it up to all comics. She wanted to promote togetherness not separatism. You can get more information at  We have seminars, speakers, fashion shows, dinners and knowledge about stage presence, using your social media, writing new material, presenting your material, improv, relationships while you’re in the business, dos and don’ts and the keynote speaker this year was Mr. Dick Gregory who of course can speak on any and everything to do with all the above subjects.  It’s usually just a really great time for people to come from different parts of the country to get up on different stages in Los Angeles and get a little taste of the life and learn a lot.”

Luenell also performs at the convention and those who were lucky enough to attend the show got a chance to get one of her exclusive tee shirts that are only sold at her performances.  She also breaks out her DVD’s, CD’s and autographed headshots. “I’m the first person they meet when they come to town.  I’m like the official greeter for all the comics and I break down what they will be experiencing throughout the convention and then we perform later at the convention on certain nights,” explains Luenell

Honolulu, Hawaii will be welcoming an all female show with Luenell, Adele Givens, Eva Rodriquez and Tyler Bell for a fabulous show sometime in the near future.  “It promises to be a great show because all three of those ladies are amazing.  I don’t have to tell you about Adel because she was part of the Queens of Comedy and the other two ladies are very, very, very hilarious,” says Luenell.

Luenell is so good at what she does that fans will never be bored and her fanatic fans will not have to worry about seeing the same exact show twice.  “I have never been able to do two shows exactly the same in my whole career in my whole life,” say Luenell.  “Even if I talk on the same subjects, I put a different spin on every show that I do just because I’m not what they call a scripted comic where I do everything the same all the time.  When you work the road, you do develop a routine that you do and you pretty much follow that same pattern everywhere you go because everybody hasn’t seen it.  Just because you did it in Georgia, Chicago and New York doesn’t mean the people in Philly, Kansas  and Wyoming have seen it; so you get a road set and go out and do it just like the Kings [of Comedy] who do it and will continue to do. I do put a variation on every show I do because some people do come to a show where I perform twice in one night; so I am mindful of that and even if I talk about the same things, I will put a different twist on it and throw in a couple of different jokes I didn’t do on the first show.”

People are getting too sensitive these days to the point that comedians don’t want to work on new material at the smaller clubs in fear that the audience will take things out of content and cause drama on the social media networks. Comedian Chris Rock feels he does not want to try out new material at the smaller venues because people will twist the joke into something ugly.  “I try to stay away from politics and religion,” begins Luenell.  “The only thing I might say about religion is when my grandma use to listen to the AM Baptist church radio broadcast that was so loud and distorted that you couldn’t hear what they were saying. Or if President Obama came in town and stopped up traffic that day, I may say something about that.  I don’t want to talk about politics because I don’t want to alienate anyone in the audience because I have such a diverse demographics of people.  In my shows there are never just all black people. I have white people, Latinos, Latinas I have all different demographics coming to see me so I don’t want to leave anybody out.  There are some people who are very good at that.  D.L. [Hughley] is very good at that and so is Chris.  I’m just very much grassroots... sex, kids, relationships, weight, getting older and basically stuff like that is where I keep it.”

The Essence Music Festival will never be the same after Luenell makes her presence known.  No, she will not be singing.  Luenell stays in her lane and sticks to what she knows best.  “I do sing in my routines from time to time, but I will be hosting a couple of stages and introducing some acts,” says Luenell.

It’s so funny that you can start off in life going in one direction and in a blink of an eye, the road becomes completely different. Not in a million years would you think that a comedy career would open so many doors.  Luenell’s voice is now cemented in the animation field.  “I always wanted to do voiceovers and I have been blessed with that type of work recently,” says Luenell.  “I just did Adam Sandler’s animated film, Hotel Transylvania and we will be recording Hotel Transylvania 2 and I’m the voice of the Shrunken Head in that movie and I was very happy and pleased to do that.  I do theatre and I also did some work on The Boondocks and another show called ADHD and some other stuff.  I am very happy to do voiceover work.  I’ve always wanted to do it.”

Life seems to be throwing Luenell juicy nuggets of surprises to the point where she may say to herself, ‘Wow! They want me to do that?!  Luenell laughs a little and responds, “Yeah, I had to play a stripper in another Adam Sandlers film called, That’s My Boy,” explains Luenell.  “I had prosthetic boobs, skimpy outfits and I had to actually take a stripping class for several weeks before filming.  I would not have thought that they would want me to do that, but it was all in the vain of comedy so it worked out very well and I’m actually proud of that movie.  I did one movie years ago that was not comedic at all. It was about murder, drugs and I’m the only one that didn’t get killed.  The movie was called, Never Die Alone with DMX.  It was an actual Donald Goines book that they made into a film.  I played the bartender and it was a dramatic role that was not comedic at all.”

Fans cannot get enough of Luenell and would love to see her on television in a sitcom.  She is constantly on the road trying to get to as many fans as possible.  Would she leave the road to sit still for awhile to do television?  “I would absolutely do that,” says Luenell.  “I’m trying to get a show so that I don’t have to travel so much.  I don’t mind the traveling, but it’s the packing and unpacking that bothers me.  I don’t mind traveling, taking a plane, going to other places or being in hotels at all, but I do mind packing and unpacking. That is the vain of my existence right now.  Packing for the cruise gave me great anxiety because you need several outfits….daywear, swimwear, where do I put my dirty clothes…  I’ll never stop touring or going on the road because I do like the interacting with people; but if I could get a show where I could do Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday then do the road Friday and Saturday then take my Sundays off, that’s what I would ultimately like to do, yes!”

Actually Luenell’s personality would fit in perfectly on Fox’s hit television show, Empire.  Fans have been thinking about who she should be related to on the show.  She could be Cookie’s aunt or the sister of the two friends of Lucious that were killed. She can be the one to keep the investigation going as to how they were killed.  “Actually there was a Twitter campaign for a while,” reveals Luenell.  “My tweets came up with two story lines. They wanted to tweet Lee Daniels and say that I should come on the show as one of Cookie’s ex-cellmates.  We had made some deals in jail and now that we are both out, I was coming to collect and the other one is where I would play Lucious sister or aunt who had been drug addicted for years and used to take care of the kids, but when he got put on, he kicked me to the curb and got nannies so now I’m coming back to take my revenge and get some compensation for all the years I did to take care of the kids.”  Sounds good and fans definitely think Mr. Daniels should take advantage of Luenell’s talent and popularity.

If you are not familiar with seeing Luenell on television, just watch her appearance during the fall season of BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood.  She will be playing the comedic friend of Kevin.  “My scene is with Earthquake and we are just hanging out talking a little Sh*t together and that’s all I can say for right now,” reveals Luenell.

This is definitely Luenell’s time to shine and who knows where she will be in the next five years. “Well five years from now hopefully my daughter would have graduated from college and I can have that financial monkey off my back,” begins Luenell.  “I would hope to have my own show and have a few commercial product endorsement deals plus do some charity work so I could put my money where my mouth is with some causes I stand behind and do some things for my family and for myself and see about trying to form some sort of relationship and that’s the goal.”

So I told Luenell to buy a toothbrush to attract a new man in her life however, at this stage of her game the tooth brush cannot be a permanent fixture in her home.  “I want my future whatever to take his toothbrush with him,” says Luenell and she was not joking.  “I’m not trying to go that far. He can stay just for the weekend and take his toothbrush with him.”  We laughed and I understood to respect the player and the game.

Stay tuned as we follow Luenell on her twitter page and career to see what she’s up to next.

Follow Luenell on IG

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Exclusive Interview With Actress Toby Poser


Actress, Writer, Director & Mom Production

By Belinda Trotter-James

Toby Poser is not just the former actress of the popular soap “Guiding Light” and films such as, “The Incredibly True Adventure”, “Knuckle Jack”, “Steal Me”, “Rumblestrips” and “The Luck Ones”. She also is a mom and wife who brought her family along for the ride.  Her husband John Adams along with their children Lulu and Zelda are the production team of Wonder Wheel Productions.  It’s a small production company, but it allows the family to let their creative juices flow.  The family writes together, acts, produces, edits and the kids even do a little camera work.  With a little help from fellow actors they really are the cast, the crew and they love it that way.

Toby’s 79 minute thriller, “The Shoot” landed in my email box from Wonder Wheel Productions along with lots of other emails. It stars: John DiMaggio, Keith Allan, Doug Spearman and the multitask director, writer and mom… Toby Poser.  I was a fan of The Guiding Light and wanted to see what Toby was up to. Women often take on many roles and multitask as if they had eight arms.  However, Toby says she was ready for the challenge that comes with dual roles of acting and directing...   “Well I co wrote and co directed this film with my husband”, says Toby.  “He and I are creative partners and so we wore just about every hat and that's where it becomes tough. We work our butts off to make films because we don't have massive or bulging wallets; so we have a lot of creativity and a lot of friends. My husband has a cast of very supportive people who understand how we work and so that makes it doable.  I've been an actor longer than I've been a director, writer or producer and sometimes the actor in me wants to come out and figure out how to do that character because I want to do a good job of course, but then the director in me is also thinking.” 

“Actually the hardest part is putting on and off the producer’s hat. I'm thinking, ‘Do I have the permits with me’ because you have to have that with you if you're in the middle of the desert and rangers show up… which did happen and I was prepared. I’m thinking about how fast the light is going down.  Natural light is important because we don't have a budget to have tons of crazy lights that you may have on a Hollywood set. We have cameras and we know how to use them with natural light. I'm thinking about all of those things when I should be getting into character. Also our kids are out on set with us too because they are an integral part of our company.  They are 16 and 11 now and they help with the sound and the use of our three cameras. I'm also thinking about them… Are there rattlesnakes around their feet? Is a scorpion going to sting them?  Are they hungry?  So that's a hard thing to be able to balance the mother, producer and actor in me.”
The film was very interesting because the characters pulled me into their drama to the point where I had to watch what happens next. I thought I would be watching a 2 minute trailer however; I ended up sitting through 79 minutes of sheer suspense.  The main story line is about a fashion shoot that takes place in the desert and goes horribly wrong when two wannabe musicians decide to switch careers and major in robbery.  The plan takes an awful twist as the crew has to make life or death decisions.  “The Shoot” will definitely have you wondering what you would do in the same situation.

Of course I wondered if the story was based on real life events.  Toby explained, “The story is actually based on a real life story.  My husband isn't a criminal, but he was a very successful model in the 1990’s and he would be flown all over the world to these exotic locations.  So he got this idea when he was doing the Armani ad campaign in Morocco and he said to himself, ‘I'm in the middle of the desert with this opulent set, expensive equipment along with all of these colorful characters plus the stylist and the photographer. I wonder what would happen if someone came and robbed them. They didn't look like they would be prepared for something like that to happen.’ So that was the spark,” reveals Toby. 

Wow!  Real life is never boring.  You just cannot make this stuff up.
The characters were quite colorful and in the end you wonder what happens to each character. “In the end I think there was no way out and I think they are just going to die out there,” reveals Toby.  “That was my secret motivation, but we wanted to leave it up to the viewers to wonder what would happen.  Either way whether the police comes or she dies because she hasn't had anything to eat in a few days or they just walk off into the desert together it will be most poignant to know that this is a love story and what they have is going to come to an end. They are together, but it’s going to come to an end. We thought that was the most important thing to do no matter how it ends it would just have to focus on that sad fact.”
Toby loved working with all the actors so much that she's thinking about putting them in her next film.  “I love them so much and they were so generous with their performances on and off set as well", says Toby.

Creative people will often have a vision in their minds eye that must be translated on to a screen for others to view and comprehend.  Sometimes the creator’s point gets across and other times it leaves people just scratching their heads.  I asked Toby how she deals with critics who feel they have to sharpen their poison pens instead of facing the fact that some films may just go over their heads. These people feel they can take the creative energy that was put into a film and dissect it into little pieces of negative energy. In this world you'll have people who love it, people who like it and people who just wouldn’t like anything put in front of their eyeballs. How do you mentally keep moving forward or do you start second-guessing yourself and believe what the critics say... good… bad… or indifferent? A critic’s job is to be critical however, are they capable of creating an idea, directing and producing it for the enjoyment of an audience?

"I can be pretty sensitive as an actor, but when it comes to my films, I have a pretty thick skin because I think it's so arbitrary,” says Toby.   “I think that opinions can be so different in a way that I would almost rather invite extreme opinions. In that way I would know I haven't been complacent with my creativity. Just the other night we went to see a preview of a film which got a lot of good reviews.  We decided to be really honest with each other on the drive home about how we really didn't like this film and how it seemed like they sold their souls to the Hollywood devil. Then we got home and saw our first bad review.  It was the perfect karmic boomerang. Here it is someone else put a lot of time and money into this film and we were not very nice about it. I prefer to support people so I just take it in stride that everyone has different opinions. I think when George Gershwin wrote Porgy and Bess they hated it and it's a masterpiece. There are so many things that people think differently about.  You can write an unfavorable review, but to lambaste every ounce of it… it's just disrespectful to people who have taken the time to make something. So the process is important; you don't have to like the product when you don’t even respect the process. So I don't pay too much attention to the negative reviews and I respect that I respect people’s opinions. I kind of let it roll off me. When you act you deal with a lot of rejection so I can take it a little bit better than John can.”
Toby was really excited to talk to me about her next project. "I’m working on what I guess you would call a western. I'm really excited about it,” reveals Toby.  “It's an idea I've had for a long time. It probably will take place in the 1950’s during the Western expansion of the United States. It will be very artistic and we are already working on the music and thinking about how to shoot it and it's something I’m really looking forward to. John is also working on a script like our first and second films with a small cast.  It will be something we can do very easily.  It will not be as big as “The Shoot.” We are returning to our roots which are very humble in terms of the production value with very honest material, very organic material and he is also working on a horror story.”

There is a lot of work that goes behind the scenes in getting the wardrobe ready, scene changes and all types of miscellaneous stuff that pops up. However, Toby is quite confident that they don't need a lot of hands on deck because they can do a lot of things on their own and their daughters have no problem pitching in. "I happen to have a 16-year-old daughter who loves designing clothing,” says Toby.  “I'll enlist her help and they will also be acting in the films. They are phenomenal actors. We will do a lot of things on our own and its okay because we work hard, but we always have fun; that's our motto.”

Fans miss seeing Toby on television and I think she misses her fans a little as well... "I would like that, but really my bread-and-butter comes from voiceovers,” reveals Toby.  “I have a voiceover career that funds our films and I will never want to stop doing that. I kind of have been focused on our films the last couple of years. I haven't been doing the usual grind of auditions for other projects and I think I've become discouraged since I've hit 40. The roles that I was being offered before are waning and that was one reason why we got into films. My husband said, ‘Why don't you write your own stuff?’ and I thought that was a good challenge so I took him up on it.  I can always cast myself and write other great roles for women. I would like to do more TV, but I have to just put myself back out there". 

Back out there for what???  She is doing a great job in the next chapter of her journey and we don’t want to miss out on the creative goodies Wonder Wheel Productions has in store for their fans.  You can see the trailer of “The Shoot” at  and follow them on their social media networks. 
 Wonder Wheel Prod on Twitter:

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Reality Star Marlo Hampton

Foster Child turned Style Queen

By Belinda Trotter-James

The first time I laid eyes on Ms. Hampton was probably the first time most of America did when she turned out to be one of the outspoken stars of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and I Dream of NeNe.  Her personality was fun, witty and charming however, if you said something that was a little shady, she would let you know in a firm way not to travel down that road.  She definitely brought a little spice to the show and should have been a permanent fixture.  When it comes to reality shows politics, no one wants to say who has the power to prevent someone from being on or off the show.  In this exclusive interview Marlo reveals the projects she has been working on after Atlanta Housewives and what she thinks about being on reality television.

“I thank God for Bravo”, began Marlo.  “At the time I wasn’t thinking that I want to a housewife; I was just excited to be on the show.  I was excited to get bookings and see how much I would get paid to go somewhere for an hour. So for me it was a blessing and all the doors that opened helped me to be able to speak about my Glam It Up project and other projects that I’m doing; so it was an amazing thing.  We know that a lot of people didn’t want me to become one [a housewife] and some people went through a lot of trouble for me not to be on the show so I just feel that if it was meant to be, it would’ve been, but I don’t have any regrets.”
 Before The Real Housewives of Atlanta and I Dream of NeNe Marlo owned a boutique called The Red Carpet.  The Bravo network actually recruited Marlo from her boutique.   “They taped at my boutique before and I even styled NeNe for season 3 or 4”, remembers Marlo.  The boutique closed shortly afterwards when she joined the Housewives of Atlanta.  After her seasoned ended, she continued to get bookings and is doing very well.

For some the experience of doing a reality show either hurt or helps ones career, family life or relationships with friends. Marlo said her friends think she is crazy if she decides to do it again.  Would she….?  “Absolutely”, says Marlo.   “I would definitely do it again.  I know some people look at me and think I’m crazy, but it was just a great platform, awesome money and you can do so many good things with people.  I just learned so much.  I would be more aware the next time because I would not be so gullible to think its all fake and we’re all buddy buddies. I felt like wow, it’s a lot of drama and these girls are really crazy.”

 This Saturday The Art Of Style seminar hosted by Marlo will be a fun-filled day of getting up close and personal with Marlo to chat about fashion and beauty at the Punto Space, 325 West 38th Street.  Attendees are so excited for this event and Marlo has promised that her guests can ask her anything.  “Honestly since I’ve been on the show everyone loves me for my fashions, so after I wasn’t on the show my numbers kept going up,” says Marlo.   “I have ½ million followers between my social media… twitter and Instagram and one day out the blue the Bailey agency called and said, “Hey Marlo can you come and speak to my class of young girls on fashion; so I said, ‘Sure, no problem’. I’m thinking its going to be little girls however, Cynthia said that women between the ages of 28-30 are booking the class and I said, ‘Oh Lord these are going to be grown ups. I better get up there and know what I’m talking about.’  I went to the class and about 25 girls showed up and it was awesome.  I thought if you can do this for the Bailey agency, then you can do this for yourself.  So I started my fashion tour and the first one is in the fashion capital, New York.  I said lets get on it and go.  I’m really excited, I’m nervous and I’m scared, but I’m also looking forward to it.”

The excitement behind Marlo's style event is because fans will realize how much knowledge Marlo has when it comes to fashion and learn everything she knows first hand.  “The reason fans should be excited is because it’s going to be a day with Marlo.  It’s just going to be girl talk; not like your typical seminar,” says Marlo.    We’re going to talk fashion and they can ask me anything they want.  We are going to have a DJ, cocktails and just have fun.”  Marlo is not claiming to be the queen that knows everything, but what she does know she will share them with her fans.  “I want to give them ideas I use when I get dressed and tips for their body types,” says Marlo.  “We’re giving away awesome gift bags, we’re raffling off a $200 Neiman Marcus gift card and it’s going to be fun… great gifts… and fun…. I want it to be like you and I are just talking; not sit down boring, but just a day with Marlo.”

If you didn’t know, Marlo has been in retail and fashion for years.  “I don’t feel you have to go to school to know what I’m talking about,” says Marlo.  “I’m sharing my tips; Marlo’s tips.  I’m sharing Marlo’s vision, but my background has been retail my entire life.  My first job was McDonalds, but from my second job I was at Tyrone Mall then Wakefield Mall, Birdine, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Harold Pener… so my background is retail and I definitely know fashion not only from working at those places but, I know it because it’s in my blood; I really feel it’s in my DNA.  I learned it from my mother. We were the best dressed in the projects”, laughs Marlo.  “Now I will not dare get up there and act like I’m Anna Wintour and I know about fabrics and textures…No… but I can definitely get up there and tell you what works.”
 Since Marlo already experienced having a boutique, maybe some sort of style boutique is next on the agenda.  “What I’m thinking about now is something where people can pull clothes for all the movies that are taping in Atlanta now,” says Marlo.  “I’m going to do something, but right now I have a lot of things on the table so maybe that or a consignment shop.  Definitely something with fashion.  I’ll see how this tour goes and then go from there.”  At one time Marlo did have an online store called, Marlo’s Closet.  She is thinking about putting it back up online for fans.  “People could go to the site to purchase some things that I’ve worn wore once or twice on the red carpet or purchase new things as well. I may be interested in doing that again,” says Marlo.

Besides her style tour Marlo is very active in her Glam It Up project for young girls who are in the foster care system.  “That is something that is so close to my heart. It’s no TV cameras, radio… no platform,” reveals Marlo.  “That’s something I will always do.  I was a ward of the state as a child and I was in 4-5 different foster homes so it’s just from the love that I know I lacked that I wanted as a little girl… the hugs, kisses and talks with mom.  I remember being picked on in school for having to wear the little cheap K-mart clothes, Gerri curl and medicade glasses.  I just want the little girls self esteem to be high and I want them to know that no matter what your current situation is you can excel. Who cares if they see you walking to the foster home or you’re not looking right; you’re still special.  I just want to do things with them.  I try to do things with them at least once a month like take them to a movie or a concert.  Once a year I have a huge event where I have people come in to do their hair, makeup and speak to them about credit and its just something I have to do.  Me being a foster child I know what I lacked so how can I not give back and spend time with these girls and try to help them out.”
Marlo also has time to squeeze in another project that is close to her heart called the Simply Giving Initiative.  “I just feel you have to give back,” states Marlo.  “When I have a little extra on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I just give back and I even try to do something on Mother’s Day or just anytime it’s a holiday. I will go to radio stations to make five mothers happy.  On Thanksgiving I team up with Publix and give out full meals… desserts…everything and I mean it’s just awesome. So when you see these families come in and you see how happy and appreciative they are, it makes you want to do more.  They are so excited about a meal.  Some have family members who are so ungrateful and feel you owe them something so that’s just one time of the year where I’m really excited.  Here in America we take things for granted and here we have people who are excited for food and we’re out here fussin’ and complaining about crazy stuff.”

With everything that Marlo has been through, I just know the next chapter has to be a book to document her journey.  “I’m going to tell you that a book is on the way, yes,” states Marlo.  “I definitely have to do a book.  I’ve been talking about that so I’ve been writing and now I have to sit down and make it happen.”

Marlo’s next stop after the New York seminar will be in Atlanta on June 6th hosted by Dermalogica.  Fans can follow Marlo on her social network sites or visit her website at to find out about her upcoming tour dates. Visit her on twitter

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Exclusive Interview With Celebrity Publicist Kali Mari-Bowyer

Celebrity Publicist

Belinda Trotter-James
Kali Mari-Bowyer is known in the entertainment circles as a celebrity publicist to such artist as YC (Yung Chris), Glasses Malone, Angie Stone, Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame Just to name a few.  Before her star as a premier celebrity publicist was on the rise many knew her as the master journalist for breaking exclusive stories for the weekly tabloids everyone loves to hate such as the National Enquirer, Star, In Touch, OK!, Radar Online and Rumor Fix.  Her headline breaking stories covering celebrity and entertainment news were mind blowing.  If you had any dirt hiding where no one could find it, Kali would be the one to dig it up for all to see.  As Kali reveals her journalism journey, we find out how the tables got turned on her and she became the story of headline celebrity news for three years.  She quickly found out that her tabloid journey wasn’t sweet.  However, her career as a journalist has made her the premiere publicist she is today.

“I was actually writing for the weeklies and celebrities liked the way that I sort of gave them a break in certain situations and scenarios; so over time people started asking me to do things… could you do me a favor… could you write it this way and I ended up getting hired by the celebrities that I was writing about for the magazines and it really took on a life of its own,” remembers Kali.

As life took Kali on a tailspin detour, she landed on a camera and just started shooting.  “I went through some personal trials and tribulations about 15 years ago and it was an out for me,” says Kali.  It gave me a way to get out of my head and I just started walking around with my camera and started taking pictures.  Some people liked them and someone said to me one day, ‘You should really sell these,’ and I thought they were just being polite.  So I started doing postcards, calendars and coffee table books and people actually brought them and I was shocked.  I was really shocked because it was just a hobby.”

The more we spoke, the more I realized how she was able to tap into her creative, journalistic writing talent to start developing TV treatments.  “I have written a couple, but the thing is that once you write them and sell them its no longer yours.  Some of them never see the light of day.  I’m working on a show now called Hip Hop Kitchen and I do some casting on the side twice a year.  That’s a whole realm where unless you’re taking the credit, which is very hard to get, whether than the check, you just leave it alone.”

 Management is definitely something all celebrities need in order to keep track of all bookings and contracts.  Kali has now stuck her big toe into the management arena and is handling the challenges very well.  “Management is a new role that I have with some of my old clients when I was just their publicist and I have to say its more challenging, says Kali.  “The publicist part comes real easy to me and its fun.  I always tell people never knock the gossip girl in high school because you never know what she will grow up to be.  With PR you are garnering attention and spinning things to make them more interesting.   You are damage patrol and sometimes you want to pull your hair out and other times its just funnier than I don’t know what… But the management role is definitely a different type of pitch, different responsibility and it’s just not as easy as doing PR and writing an article.  You really have to sit there and read contracts and get lawyers involved and sit with your clients and you could bring them a million dollar deal and they can pass and you say, ‘WHAT!?!’  It’s really easy to make someone famous in 15 minutes, but the management stuff is challenging however, I’m enjoying it.  I’m learning a lot as I go along.”

Even someone as experienced as Kali in entertainment journalism and public relations needs a mentor.  Kali learned from one of the best in the business, Debra Antney, the mother of Waka Flock Flame.  “When I was over at the Waka [Flocka] camp with Debra, I learned a lot about being hands on and she kind of acted as a mentor as far as me managing people now. The last time I talked to her she said,  ‘I don’t want to see you make the same mistakes as I did.’  And I think a lot of it comes from being a woman in this section of the industry.  Hip Hop is a different ball of wax.  In Country music the worst they are going to do is drink a beer and drive a truck.  In rap they’re pushing people out of cars, putting people on fire…. It just keeps going so you have a real big demographic and being a woman you really have to have a thick skin and come to the table almost like a guy.  Then if you’re not African American it makes it that much more difficult with certain types of rappers and that’s because a lot of these kids are from the streets, the projects and they don’t trust white people.  I mean I’m Italian, but I look white enough.  So you really have to build that bridge and that bond and once they’re comfortable, they are the sweetest kids on earth, but sometimes it’s a few humps you have to crossover.”

Publicists in the entertainment industry definitely have enough stories to write a book.  Sometimes it can be impossible to chose one or two career highlights, however, Kali did manage to pull something out of her hat.  “Waka doing the PETA campaign,” recalls Kali.  “He was the first rapper to go nude for PETA, which was an amazing shoot that we did.  I really enjoyed working with Waka and I love telling this story because when I first got brought on to work with them I actually didn’t know who Waka was.  I had to ask my eldest son who is Waka, who’s Gucci, who are these people?  I wasn’t into rap back then and when these huge six-foot plus guys come in the room, it can be a little intimidating.  When you ask them what’s the number one issue here, they will tell you it’s the fact that no one is defending them and that people make them look dumb.  Journalist will look for that clip, that sound bite, that little tiny headliner that’s going to make that story readable.  They are really sweet kids so watching him go from a radical, skateboarding off the wall screamer to a really beautiful young man that now has a family---That’s one of my happiest stories; watching him grow.”

“The other highlight is with Glasses Malone. We partitioned and lobbied the state of California on health care issues for women prisoners.  Now if you’re a woman in prison, you’re protected under Olivia’s Law.  Olivia was his mother who died in prison because of health issues.  You shouldn’t lose the right to health care because you’re in prison.  No one has the right to dismiss someone as a human being. If you can find a campaign to do good for someone else while you’re garnering the attention they need, I think it’s a win-win.” 

“Out of all the rappers I’ve worked with Waka is the most light-hearted rapper.  He’s very easy going and just a normal guy.  He’s just very casual and loves life and lives every day to the fullest and I think that’s the beauty of it because he still maintains that innocents of, you know what…. this could all go away tomorrow.  A lot of rappers are a little bit different; some are really eager, some are really hard.  I will never forget the last time I spoke to Gucci on the phone, this was years ago, and he quote, unquote said, ‘Bitch get me paid,’ and I remember sitting on the phone saying, ‘But that’s not my job.’  So he was frightening and that was an interesting one.  Some of them talk to you differently.  Glasses is like my big brother so I think it comes with the territory and they put their trust in you, they put their careers in you, they put their money in you and they believe in you enough because you believe in them and it just becomes a winning combination.  When you go places you have at least 20 big brothers around you.  It’s hysterical.”

 Kali does keep her personal life completely separate from her business life.  Some of her clients can be very intimidating to her dates.  “There was one occasion where Glasses had a show and there was a guy I was dating and he happened to stop by and I introduced him to Glasses who kind of looked him up and down and the guy left,” recalls Kali.   “He was a little intimidated and I said, ‘Are you really leaving?’, and he said,  ‘Yes, you have work to do.’  The look on his face was hysterical because Glasses is very intimidating. I mean he is a 6 foot 4 big dude and he was a gangbanger and he’s got that presence.  He has that mean stare that says, ‘What are you doing here?’ So its funny, but they do look out for you.”

In any career there are so many memorable moments.  Some you will cherish forever and some you would wish never happened… Her three year tabloid nightmare seemed like it would never end. When Kali looks back on her life as a hard-nose, get-the-exclusive journalist she would have never guessed that the tables would turn and she would be the exclusive story…  “I would never change anything I’ve ever done because it makes me the person that I am.  I think every trial and tribulation makes you a stronger individual, especially a woman,” states Kali.   “I dated a certain comedian back in the 90’s and in the early 2000’s, a court clerk thought it was cute to sell a story to the National Enquirer and the funny thing is that I used to work there so people knew who I was and I really thought that I could control the situation by speaking out on the situation and it just completely blew up in my face.  So I learned that I could fix and control your stuff, but my own… no… I had to hire a professional.  You’re so emotionally involved in your own stuff, but you’re not emotionally involved with someone who is writing you a check to do a job. So you don’t have the highs and the lows and the emotional BS that comes along with it when you’re sitting with a cup of coffee saying, ‘Oh f*ck! What do I do?’  I was told they were going to run the story with or without me and since I use to work there I know how they work.  So in my mind I’m thinking if I say something the way it should be said, that will be the end of it and it literally took on a life of its own and at that point in my life I had a son that was on life support who was very gravely ill and I did not have time to or even the inclination to deal with that type of stuff.  That wasn’t the priority in my life and I didn’t think it was any body’s business”

Actually the incident involving a relationship Kali had with a famous comedian was the turning point in her life as to how she investigates and writes stories about other celebrities and their personal lives.  “That is the reason why I started writing differently about celebrities when I worked at the weeklies,” remembers Kali.  “I was that hardcore, excuse my term...bitch.  I would dig so far in your stuff and blast you for a check because that was my job to break the exclusives.  And all of a sudden I said to myself, ‘I don’t want to be that person that pushes someone over the edge.  I don’t want to be that person who is writing something that is not 100% factual.  So you really start to change the way you look at life and how you write about other people because it’s all just a game.  The entertainment industry is 86% bullsh*t.  If you got the name right, that may be the only thing. A lot of it is ‘sources say’, ‘insiders say’.” 

“When you work at the weeklies, if you have three sources, it goes to print.  And I’m not knocking anyone’s state, but some of the people who live in states like Minnesota or armpit Utah, read the weeklies, tabloids and they believe it.  One day I had to sit there and say, ‘Really?!  Wow.’  Oh well as long as you keep reading it, we have a job.  I had editors tell me, ‘If you start doing things the way you use to, you could make a lot more money in this business’, but a part of me said, ‘I want to be able to go to sleep at night and have a clear conscious that I did not write something about somebody that made them suicidal or pushed them over the edge or made them lose their family.’  When it happens to you, let me tell you, it is not a fun ride.  It is so far from not being enjoyable at all.  So I think that was probably the biggest mistake I ever made in my life.  I should’ve just shut the hell up and let it do what it was going to do.”

Now the hardcore Kali, who would dig until she found exclusive gold on a celebrity finds herself in the hands of other writers with lethal pens.  “A friend of mine who is a comedy writer, who we both mutually knew, said make fun of yourself,” recalls Kali.  “If you make fun of yourself first, they can’t hurt you. It really did take a toll on me and I became depressed.  I couldn’t go to a grocery store, People magazine went through my trash, I had a football coach trying to sell pictures of my son and all of a sudden your whole world that you think is untouchable because I write about you and you cannot do nothing to me becomes invaded.  Your personal space is no longer there and all of a sudden you look at people and wonder why do you want to be my friend, why are you calling me and you really start to build this wall which is sad because then when you do really meet someone who is kind and sincere, you have so many what if’s built up already that you’re not allowing them into your world; and that’s the downfall.  We made some shirts that said, ‘I should have been a comedian instead of F*cking one’.  It was funny back then and lighthearted, but you kind of did anything to get out of yourself.  It died off after three years.  Three years of top of the hour news stories, the front page, the cover of every magazine and I chose not to do interviews, I didn’t do the circuit, I didn’t do Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood.  I watched these women who get involved and do it [the circuit] now and I think, wow, you’re not looking at your future.  I could win the Pulitzer prize for curing cancer and do you know what the headline would read, 'XYZ's baby mama wins…’  It really takes on a life of its own, but I’m not that person anymore.” 

Can you imagine being a news story for three years?  Kali finally just wanted to put a final nail in the coffin to tell her story her way.  “People need to understand that when I was with this certain individual for a few years, it wasn’t a jump-off and it wasn’t a one-night stand by any means; this was in the 90’s”, says Kali.  “I was a kid in college.  I was 19/20 years old.  No one 19/20 years old makes sound choices.  This individual wasn’t as big as he is now and at the time he wasn’t anything special.   He was up and coming and the funny thing was that those things weren’t the reason I talked to him. We met at a club called the Roxbury on Sunset in Los Angeles.  We were at Eddie Murphy’s party.  My dad ran the Betty Ford Center so he was the Dr. Drew of the 80’s and I grew up in this business where those were my peers… their kids, grandkids, nephews whatever.  I would come home to find Elizabeth Taylor in our house or Johnny Cash or Andy Gibb so the whole entertainment side of life wasn’t something that I just walked into; it was already there.  I wanted to be a lawyer.  I worked for a lawyer who owned a newspaper and he said he liked the way I wrote.  I dropped out of law school and there it was; my first job with the National Enquirer.”

Trying to fix things in the entertainment industry requires a bag full of tricks, prayers, miracles, faith and enough skill to turn a disaster into a funny story.  “It’s really about being on the fly creative”, explains Kali.  “It’s looking at something and saying, ‘OK, how can I spin this? How can I make this better, how can I correct this and its all about who you go to because they’re certain websites, certain magazines, certain newspapers that I know if I take it here they will keep it juicy to keep the fire going or if I take it there, they will take it seriously and shut it down.  So that’s when you really utilize your contacts and say, ‘I’ve got something for you that needs to be corrected’.  People would be surprised to know the amount of work a publicist does every day.  You might not see it because it never makes the light of day.  So we don’t just go up and down red carpets.  I really don’t do that type of stuff anymore because I’m too old for it.   A lot of people have this image in their head that a publicist is somebody who walks around with a headset like JLo did in the Wedding Planner with a clipboard and we’re walking up and down the red carpet going… Stop…. Talk…. No! It doesn’t work that way.  Everyday my day starts at five o’clock in the morning because somebody has stole something, said something, done something and besides making someone get attention the job is also about making sure that stuff never gets heard and making sure that stuff is buried.  So that’s when you start networking, playing those cards and keeping on your P’s & Q’s.  You really have to be on it because one slip and you’re screwed.   I will also tell you the hardest thing about being a publicist is that you get blamed for everything.  I didn’t get drunk and call someone a cracker live on an interview, but you want me to fix it and you want to yell at me. I didn’t do it.  So every three years I say I quit and when I’m broke, I go back to work.” 

“It’s enjoyable when you have someone fun to work with like Angie Stone.  I love Angie Stone.  She is such a legend and a diva in her own right and she’s amazing.  When you get to that level of spectrum of people, you’re put in a different class and you really sit back and say, ‘this is what its all about’.  You get to step into the studio and watch them make music and I’m not knocking beats, but I’m saying when the orchestra come in, its just mind blowing.  You’re so in awe.  I can’t sing to save my life so I really appreciate and value being part of that and going, ‘Wow!  You just really did that’.”

As I mentioned earlier Kali’s father was the head of the Betty Ford Center back in the day, which means there could have been a slight possibility we would be calling Kali--- Doctor Kali.  “Oh no! I’m sure my family would have been thrilled,” laughs Kali.  “My great grandfather was the first OBGYN in Orange County and Kraemer Blvd in Anaheim was actually named after my cousin; they owned all the orange groves.  So I come from a long line of doctors, but there was nothing there that excited me.  I had no interest.  I was always the black sheep of the family always going off on my own way.”

In another six years from now Kali would like to see herself married and maybe living out of the country.  With everything she has seen and done, Kali is on her way to her next adventure.  “There’s got to be more to life,” says Kali.  “That’s why I love doing campaigns with Glasses because it’s always political; it’s always about let’s save the world.  We’re doing a concert on June 17th for feeding the homeless.  It’s illegal in 33 cities to feed homeless people; did you know that? It’s an actual fact; it’s illegal.  You can actually get arrested for feeding a homeless person.  There are cities in popular tourist areas that are busing homeless people and dropping them off in other towns, which is disgusting to me because we live in a world that has so much money, but nobody can help anyone out.  So on June 17 we are going to ask about 30,000 people to come out and literally break the law to feed the homeless.”

Stay tuned for updates on the concert for the homeless and other exciting events  with Kali on her website  http:// Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  There is so much more to Kali’s adventures as a celebrity publicist, journalist, photographer, TV treatment writer and celebrity manager.  Don’t be surprised if she puts her words of wisdom in a book.  Stay tuned…

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