Sunday, July 31, 2011

Plaxico Burress agrees to contract terms with New York Jets

Plaxico Burress has agreed to contract terms with the New York Jets, according to multiple media reports.

ESPN first reported Burress has agreed to a one-year deal for just over $3 million, fully guaranteed. Because of the NFL post-lockout rules, Burress can't practice with the team until Thursday.

Burress was in Los Angeles on his way to a meeting with the San Francisco 49ers, ESPN reported, but canceled that trip when the Jets contacted him.

Signing with the Jets makes sense for Burress for several reasons. He can resume his career while staying in the New York area, and the Jets have a need at wide receiver, after deciding not to re-sign Braylon Edwards, and losing Brad Smith to the Bills in free agency.

Burress has been out of the NFL for two seasons after serving 20 months in prison on an unlicensed gun charge. The biggest question will be if Burress, who turns 34 years old on Aug. 12, can return to being an elite wide receiver after such an extended absence. He drew plenty of interest once free agency began, and visited with the Giants and Steelers before deciding to sign with the Jets.

Burress should be highly motivated to prove he can still play, and that he can stay out of trouble. And the Jets hope to be the beneficiaries.

Now, Burress will likely join the recently re-signed Santonio Holmes as Mark Sanchez's top receivers.

Burress wrote on his Twitter page: "East Coast here I come!" Sanchez retweeted his new receiver and added: "Paperwork in hand??? Haha welcome to the squad."

Burress has 505 catches for 7,845 yards and 55 touchdowns in his NFL career with the Steelers and Giants.

He caught 35 passes for 698 yards and five touchdowns in his final year with Pittsburgh in 2004 as the Steelers slowly broke in Ben Roethlisberger, a rookie at the time. Burress moved on to New York, where he thrived catching balls from Eli Manning, but often ran into trouble with Coughlin.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

"The Dirty.Com" $11 Million Dollar Lawsuit

A gossip web site for non celebrities, and that means regular folks like you and me,, has been hit with an $11 million judgment for libel and slander after posting false accusations about a Northern Kentucky teacher who sidelines as a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader. The judgment against Dirty World Entertainment Recordings, which runs the site, came Thursday after the site declined to answer a lawsuit brought by Sarah Jones, a high school teacher whose picture was posted on the site along with an accusation she had been exposed to two venereal diseases. U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman added an annual interest rate of 0.25 percent to the $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. An e-mail message sent to the operator of the Arizona-based web site, Hooman Karamian, who uses the online name “Nik Ritchie,” was not immediately returned Thursday morning.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amy Winehouse Dies: Mom Janis Says She Seemed 'Out Of It' A Day Before Passing, Ecstasy Suspected

Though it wasn't entirely unexpected, given the recent disaster concerts and trip back to rehab, Amy Winehouse's Saturday death came as a shock to a public not entirely in the loop about her most recent struggles (as thorough as tabloids like to be). To those who knew her best, the passing -- from reasons still officially unexplained -- seemed a foregone conclusion.

Winehouse's mom, Janis, saw her daughter just a day before her death, and told the Daily Mirror that her dying "seemed only a matter of time."

“She seemed out of it. But her passing so suddenly still hasn’t hit me,” she told the paper, saying that Amy told her that she loved her, and that she'd treasure those words forever.

The Mirror also takes accounts from unnamed friends who reveal that Winehouse was in the midst of a weeks-long drinking binge, and that, according to an MTV producer and others, she died of a bad ecstasy pill.

Meanwhile, according to the Daily Mail, British tabloid The People reports that Winehouse was seen buying cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and ketamine the night before her death; any tabloid report, of course, must be taken with a grain of salt.

Officially, as noted, police are treating the death as unexplained, and an autopsy will be performed on Sunday or Monday, according to conflicting reports.

Winehouse appeared wobbly in taking the stage on Wednesday, where she made a surprise performance at the iTunes Music Festival to support goddaughter Dionne Bromfield. She danced on stage, but did not sing, only whispering into the microphone the few times it was passed to her.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse Dead

Troubled, Grammy-winning singer Amy Winehouse has been found dead in her North London home, Sky News is reporting. The Daily Mail reports that police have confirmed the passing.

In a statement, the London Metropolitan Police said, "Police were called by London Ambulance Service to an address in Camden Square NW1 shortly before 16.05hrs today, Saturday 23 July, following reports of a woman found deceased. On arrival officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene. Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the death. At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained."

A suspected drug overdose took the life of the singer, Nick Buckley of the Sunday Mirror tweeted.

She's battled drug addiction for years, having most recently checked back into rehabilitation in May.

Winehouse entered treatment in late 2007 for drug problems, including admitted heroin use.

Earlier in the day, Tim Gatt of Sky News tweeted a statement from her manager saying that she was canceling upcoming performances, writing, "Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances. Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen."

She performed in a surprise appearance at the iTunes Festival on July 20th.

Winehouse has had previous near-death experiences, including one her ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, described in detail back in 2009.

"I knelt over her as she kept on fitting. But then suddenly she just passed out and stopped breathing," he told The Sun (via NME). It was the most frightening thing I had ever seen. I felt sure I was watching her die right in front of me. I didn't know what to do or how to save her. I held her to me - and I thought she was dying in my arms. But somehow I managed to open her mouth and breathe air down her throat."

In January, 2010, she pled guilty to assaulting a theater stage manager.

In 2008, after some confusion, a spokesperson for Winehouse confirmed that she had "early signs of what could lead to emphysema."

UPDATE: Sky News Home Affairs Correspondent Mark White reports that sources confirmed that Winehouse died of a drug overdose.

UPDATE II: In a statement to Just Jared, Monte and Avery Lipman, heads of Universal Republic Records, said: “We are deeply saddened at the sudden loss of such a gifted musician, artist and performer. Our prayers go out to Amy’s family, friends and fans at this difficult time.”

UPDATE III: Scotland Yard told that an autopsy on Winehouse will be performed on Sunday.

"The postmortem has not been scheduled yet but it is unlikely to take place before tomorrow. In the case of a murder it can be done within hours but this is not the case so tomorrow or even Monday is more likely in these circumstances."

UPDATE IV: Winehouse is one of a curiously high number of prominent artists to pass away at age 27. Here's a list of a number of those stars, including Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin.

UPDATE V: Winehouse's spokesman, Chris Goodman, said in a statement (via Buckley): "Everyone who was involved with Amy is shocked and devastated."