All posts by PJ

BET NETWORKS GABRIELLE UNION

Gabrielle Union Excited to Work with Co-stars of ‘Being Mary Jane’

BET NETWORKS GABRIELLE UNION*Actress Gabrielle Union is anxious to show the world what she and her “Being Mary Jane” co-stars have in store.

Gabrielle is all grins about the talent she was fortunate enough to be surrounded by for “Being Mary Jane.” The show’s creater, Mara Brock Akil, revealed the additional stars that would portray her family and Gabrielle couldn’t have been more pleased.

“We were hiking and she told me Suge [Margaret Avery] and Shaft [Richard Roundtree] were going to be my parents,” Gabrielle told BET, “We have so many amazing veterans and so many amazing up-and-comers. It’s a beautiful mix.”

Although the veterans may have left the actress star struck, the “Think Like a Man” star says much of the show’s quality and professionalism has to be attributed to the new faces on set.

“Everybody has something to prove and we bring it every take, every day,” she explained. “They are prepared and amazing and they discover new stuff on every take. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Taimak Guarriello

Taimak Guarriello ‘Bruce Leroy’ On Life After ‘The Last Dragon’

Taimak Guarriello*For those of you movie heads who remember the cult classic “The Last Dragon,” you might have wondered what happened to Taimak Guarriello aka Bruce Leroy.

Guarriello’s character left a lasting impression on many of us as Bruce Leroy was such a memorable role for the actor. He was able has been able to blend his two loves and skills, acting and personal training, to cultivate a career path that involves both performing and his martial arts expertise.

The 49-year-old actor sat down with JET magazine to talk about his career, his inspirations and what’s up next for him.

JET: Your first name is unique. What is its origin?

TAIMAK GUARRIELLO: I’m Black and Italian, but the name Taimak comes from the Aztec culture. “Teimoc” means striking eagle.

JET: When did you first start studying martial arts and which ones are you skilled in?

TG: I started in Japanese Goju karate when I was 6. I’ve since studied a number of styles including boxing, Tae Kwon Do, Shaolin Kung Fu, Chinese Goju and Brazilian jujitsu.

JET: How often do you train?

TG: Five days a week at Marcelo Garcia’s Academy in New York City.

JET: Are you more passionate about filmmaking or martial arts?

TG: It depends on the context. I love them both equally. Acting and directing can be natural and organic but it’s a business and can be political. With martial arts, what you put in is what you get out.

JET: There have been rumors for years about a possible sequel to The Last Dragon. How real is that rumor on a scale of 1 to 10?

TG: Five. I don’t own the rights to the movie, Sony does. Although I’ve spoken to Sony, it’s still up in the air. Actually, I believe the fans would be the best route to help bring that idea alive.

For more go JET magazine.

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Plastic Surgeon David Matlock Sculpts Perfect Woman then Marries Her

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Dr. David Matlock married his patient, Veronica

*Plastic surgeon David Matlock started off giving a consultation and information about his famous vaginoplasty procedure to his patient Veronica and ended up giving her an engagement ring, as well.

The “Dr. 90210″ doctor revealed Barcroft Media that it was “love at first sight.” He was able to persuade Veronica to go under the knife and get his “Wonder Woman Makeover,” which includes liposuction of the chin, arms and thighs, to which she agreed.

Matlock proposed to Veronica on the first and has been using his sculpting skills to make her more beautiful ever since. He’s also  been using the plastic surgery procedures that he pioneered to craft his own perfect body.

Now the pair think of themselves as an aesthetically “perfect” couple. But not everyone in the family is in favor of these artificial enhancements.

“I would never really wanna get surgery, cause it’s not really you. I’d want to be myself,” Veronica’s 9-year-old daughter, Isabella, said.

The Washington Post released an article in 2007 that revealed Matlock was sued for malpractice 10 times in just a decade. He has also been disciplined by the Medical Board of California, which tried to revoke his license in 1998 for negligence, fraud and dishonesty, according to the Wall Street Journal. He settled with the board and was given four years of probation.

The procedure that won him the love of his life is the controversial vaginal rejuvenation. Aesthetic vagina surgeries, like the ones Matlock pioneered, have received a lot of backlash and according to a 2007 statement by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the procedure is “not medically indicated.”

The committee elaborates that, “Women should be informed about the lack of data supporting the efficacy of these procedures and their potential complications, including infection, altered sensation, dyspareunia, adhesions, and scarring.” The organization confirmed to The Huffington Post that it still maintains this position.

Ultimately, however, the Matlocks say their love isn’t about liposuction or botox injections. As Matlock puts it, he’ll care for Veronica “for richer or poorer, till death do us part!” She chimes in: “But not fat!”

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Nigeria’s Ventures Magazine Lists 55 Billionaires in Africa

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Isabel dos Santos is the only Angolan listed as a billionaire

*According to Nigeria-based Ventures financial magazine, Africa has way more billionaires than previously assumed, 55 to be exact.

There are currently three female billionaires in Africa including the mother of Kenya’s president, a daughter (Isabel dos Santos) of Angola’s president, and a Nigerian oil tycoon and fashion designer.

Ventures reports Nigeria’s richest resident, Aliko Dangote, is worth $20.2bn. Correspondents feel that the list may spark another debate over the imbalance in Africa between rich and poor people.

The World Bank reported in April that in Africa there are 414 million people living in extreme poverty; a rise from 205 million over the past three decades.

Research group Afrobarometer reported that only a small elite group of people have benefited from the economic growth in Africa.

“If you have a lot of money, there are a lot of people that you have to support so we think people may be a little reluctant to be all splashy about what they have and what their assets are,” says Uzo Iweala Ventures editor-in-chief.

This marks the first list of rich Africans that Ventures magazine has reported.

The 55 billionaires it has identified are more numerous than the 16 super rich Africans listed by US financial magazine Forbes last year.

For more on this story go to BBC.

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New UCLA Study: TV Shows With Diverse Casts and Crew Get Better Ratings

image005*UCLA‘s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies published a study recently that proves TV shows that have ethnically diverse lead cast members, writers and crew bring in bigger audiences than shows with less diversity in these areas.

The study is called “Hollywood Diversity Brief: Spotlight on Cable Television.

“It’s clear that people are watching shows that reflect and relate to their own experiences,” said Bunche Center director Darnell Hunt, a professor of sociology at UCLA and author of the new study.

Despite this study, reports show every year that both women and minorities are underrepresented in leading roles and staff positions, on both cable and broadcast TV programs, in front of and behind the camera.

“This is one of the first studies, to my knowledge, that attempts to flesh out the relationship between the issue of diversity among cast members and writers and the bottom line,” Hunt said, adding, “While this brief is just the first snapshot in what we envision as a multi-year study, it certainly lends support to an argument we have been making for a long time. Everyone in the industry talks about the importance of diversity, but it clearly isn’t priority one when decisions are made. And it’s not going to be a priority until people realize how it affects the bottom line.”

robin quivers

Robin Quivers’ Tearful New Interview on Howard Stern: ‘He’s The Reason I’m Alive’

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*After spending 17 months out of the studio dealing with uterine cancer, Robin Quivers has opened up to “Extra” correspondent Beth Stern, about how Howard Stern helped her through her struggle.

Both ladies were teary eyed as they discussed how hard of a time it was.

Robin: “It was rough for all of us because right away he (Howard) took it to heart and I think he was more concerned for me than I was concerned myself.”

Beth:  “He was up night after night throughout your whole ordeal…I was comforting him…You (to Robin) are our family…He loves you so much.”

Robin:  “We love each other, we went on our business, it never had to be expressed like that…There was a certain point he (Howard) took over.” She went on to say,“He said we’re now going to get you the best doctor, the best treatment, you’re gonna have the best of everything.”

Howard did so much for Robin behind the scenes including chronic talks and visits the whole time she said. “He wanted to know the ins and outs of every detail…People were asking me when did Howard make you laugh again, I said Howard started making me laugh right away.” Robin described a time where she told Howard the doctor said she needed chewing gum and chap stick. “He walks into the hospital room with this huge basket, it was filled with every type of chewing gum you can find, every type chap stick and lip balm you can find, then he said but you haven’t seen the best part of the gift, the thing that’s gonna make you better…It was a self portrait.” Now cancer free, Robin is grateful to get back to working with Howard everyday. “I would wish everyone in the world a friend like Howard, because you couldn’t be more loved and more supported, and he’s done that for me my entire life, since I’ve known him…I remember when I called him and said you’re gonna have to put up with me a lot longer, and he was like that’s the greatest news I’ve ever heard.”

Beth: “I was right there when he said that, and he hung up the phone and he cried.”  Beth telling Robin for the first time that Howard really did say he wouldn’t go on with the show without Robin, “There were many nights Howard turned to me and said, you know I would not continue my radio show without Robin.”

Robin (crying):  “It really touched me, and it meant so much. It told everybody else how he feels about me.”

Robin is dedicating her book, “The Vegucation of Robin,” all about her vegan lifestyle and how it helped her recovery to Howard.  Robin, “He’s the reason I’m alive.”