Entries in New York (15)


NY Man Arrested in Paula Deen Extortion Plot

Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC(NEW YORK) -- A New York man who allegedly tried to extort a $250,000 from former Food Network star Paula Deen was arrested today by federal authorities.

Thomas George Paculis, 62, of Newfield, N.Y., was arrested this morning on an extortion charges, according to a news release from the FBI.

Paculis threatened to disclose "true and damning" statements made by Deen to the media unless the celebrity chef paid him $250,000, according to a federal complaint.

The FBI said it was notified by Deen's attorney after an email and follow-up phone call were sent to her office threatening to expose information that would "bring hardship and financial ruin" to Deen if it was released.

Paculis is a former resident of Georgia, where Deen lives and has a restaurant.

A call to Deen's representative was not immediately returned.

Paculis did not answer a call to a cell phone number believed to be connected to him.

Paculis was scheduled to appear in federal court in Savannah, Ga., on July 16, according to the FBI.

Deen has faced criticism in the past few weeks after a lawsuit deposition in which the celebrity chef admitted to using racial slurs.

The self-proclaimed queen of southern cooking and her brother are being sued for racial and sexual discrimination by Lisa Jackson, who worked as a manager of their Savannah, Ga., restaurant. During a deposition in May, Jackson's lawyer asked Deen whether she'd ever used the n-word. She said she had.

Deen became one of the Food Network's top stars after she landed her first show, Paula's Home Cooking, in 2002.

On June 21, The Food Network announced it would not renew Deen's contract at the end of the month.

Since then, a slew of businesses have severed ties with Deen, including Target and Walmart, along with her book publisher, Ballantine.

In a video apology last month, Deen asked for forgiveness.

"I want to learn and grow from this," she said. "Inappropriate and hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable.

"I've made plenty of mistakes along the way," she added, "but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners, I beg for your forgiveness. Please forgive me for the mistakes that I have made."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Pippa Middleton Steps Out in New York

Ian Gavan/GP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- During a trip to New York with friends, British socialite Pippa Middleton did what the city’s rich and fabulous do on their weekends, and jetted off to the Hamptons.

After she was spotted at a number of New York City hotspots, including seafood restaurant Catch in the Meatpacking District, the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister then took a sea plane to Shelter Island, People magazine reported.

The royal sister was seen with 55-year-old hotelier André Balazs, the force behind such hotspots as the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood and the Mercer hotel in New York, off the eastern end of Long Island.

Guests at the Sunset Beach hotel and restaurant saw Middleton and Balazs take in a friendly game of table tennis. The 28-year-old Middleton was captured by Canadian morning television news show host Melissa Grelo, who tweeted a photo she’d snapped.

“Just another day in the Hamptons. Pippa Middleton here at Shelter Island as a guest of hotelier Andre Balazs,” she tweeted.

On Monday, Middleton headed back into the city to attend the U.S. Open’s fourth round and quarterfinal matches, where she arrived in style wearing a color-blocked dress and tan heels.

Middleton, who briefly worked at a public relations firm, is now writing a party-planning book, Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends. In April she was listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Russell Crowe Gets Lift From US Coast Guard

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Russell Crowe, the Oscar-winner famous for his tough-guy roles, got a little help from the U.S. Coast Guard this weekend while kayaking in the waters off New York’s Long Island.

Around 10 p.m. Saturday, Coast Guard officers, who were patrolling the area, heard the 48-year-old Australian actor call out to them from the shore. Crowe and his friend paddled out to the officers and were taken on board their boat.

Crowe tweeted a message of thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard Sunday morning at 1:30 a.m.

“Thanks to Seth and the boys from the US Coast Guard for guiding the way…4 hrs 30 mins, 7m(11.2km),” he wrote.

The actor is currently in Long Island filming Noah.

The movie, which is based on the biblical story, is slated for a 2014 release.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Robin Thicke Arrested in New York City

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Soulful singer Robin Thicke was arrested in New York City Friday on a charge of criminal possession of marijuana.

Police spotted the "Lost Without You” singer smoking a joint inside of a Cadillac Escalade. One other person was in the car but was not arrested.

Thicke, 34, is the son of Growing Pains actor Alan Thicke.

The singer has released five studio albums and is married to actress Paula Patton. The couple have a son, Julian Fuego, 1.

ABC News was unable to reach Thicke’s representative for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Sings Al Green at Harlem Fundraiser

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Shortly after taking the stage Thursday night for a fundraiser at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, President Obama broke into song.

Obama, standing behind the presidential podium, thanked his hosts and the performers who preceded him, including soul singer Al Green.

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“To know that Rev. Al Green was here!” Obama said.

Then, after a pause, he began to sing the opening line of one of Green’s hit songs from 1972: “Let’s Stay Together.”

“I’m ... sooo in love ... ”

The crowd of 1,400 supporters went wild.

The lyrics of the full opening stanza of the song read: “I’m, I’m so in love with you. Whatever you want to do. Is alright with me. ‘Cause you make me feel, so brand new. And I want to spend my life with you.”

The tune’s refrain underscores a theme of Obama’s re-election campaign: “Let’s, let’s stay together. Loving you whether, whether. Times are good or bad, happy or sad.” (The president did not sing this part, however.)

“Those guys didn’t think I would do it. I told you I was going to do it,” Obama said with a smile and a chuckle, looking offstage.

“The sandman did not come out. Now don’t worry, (inaudible) I cannot sing like you, but I just wanted to show my appreciation,” he said.

The Apollo event was Obama’s fourth campaign event of the night in New York City. It was hosted by Tony Award-winning composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda with performances by soul singer Green and vocal artist India.Arie. Tickets were $200 apiece for general admission.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Will Conan Perform Gay Wedding During NYC Stint?

Michael Tran/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- To commemorate his week-long return to New York City next week, Conan O'Brien is apparently looking to celebrate one of the Big Apple's latest attractions: legal same-sex marriage. New York magazine's Vulture website reports the talk show host will officiate the marriage of one of his longtime male staffers and his partner as part of one of the shows that will be shot at New York City's historic Beacon Theatre.

This would be the first same-sex marriage to be featured on a late night show, but at least one other talk show wedding made television history. On December 17, 1969, the late entertainer Tiny Tim married Victoria Mae Budinger -- aka "Miss Vicki" -- on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The installment drew a massive audience: 21.4 million viewers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lady Gaga Shares New Details about "You and I" Music Video

ABC News Radio(NEW YORK) -- Lady Gaga has been mostly tight-lipped about the premise of her upcoming music video for her single “You and I,” but she shared details on Monday with ABC News Radio.

“I don’t want to give too much away,” Gaga, who recently shot the video in Nebraska, told ABC’s David Blaustein. “But it does take place in Nebraska, and I’m walking all the way from New York City to find this guy, and as I’m walking my feet start to bleed and I begin to get very tired, and all these strange things start to happen in a cornfield in the middle of nowhere.”

When told the song could become an anthem for the state of Nebraska, she replied cryptically, “Oh, yes, and perhaps for some others. You’ll see.”


“You and I” was inspired by Gaga’s reported boyfriend, Luc Carl, who hails from Nebraska. But she’s hoping that her fans can connect with the song in their own personal way.

“It’s meant to be interpreted in as many ways as you can interpret it and I intend, through the visuals, as I always do, to elevate what the song began being about and start to morph and change it into something otherworldly and surreal,” she said.

Gaga performed “You and I” on ABC’s The View on Monday while wearing a houndstooth-patterned outfit that matched her piano. She says she borrowed the idea for the outfit from an ad she once saw.

“I obviously go a bit overboard,” she said.


Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


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'Harry Potter' Fans Camp Out in New York for Final Film Premiere

2011 Warner Bros. Ent./ Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R.(NEW YORK) -- It's the beginning of the end! On Monday night, New York City's Lincoln Center will host the U.S. premiere of the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Harry Potter fans have literally been waiting across the street from Lincoln Center for as many as six days.  Now they're contending with an oppressive New York City heat wave.

As to why these fans are there, there was a recurring theme.  Many fans feel the final film represents the end of a chapter in their lives.

"We really want to see the stars and it's the end of our childhood's," said Stacy Anderson while waiting outside Lincoln Center.

The film series, based on the Harry Potter novels by British author J.K. Rowling, began in 2001 with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  Many young fans of the books and films were just small children during their first introduction to the series.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 opens Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Brad Pitt Releases Statement on Marriage Equality

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Brad Pitt is such a strong believer in marriage equality that he released a statement to on the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State.

Pitt wrote, "It is encouraging that New York has joined the movement to grant equal marriage rights to its citizens.  But it is each American's constitutional right to marry the person they love, no matter what state they inhabit."

“No state should decide who can marry and who cannot," he added.  "Thanks to the tireless work of so many, someday soon this discrimination will end and every American will be able to enjoy their equal right to marriage."

Pitt and partner Angelina Jolie had said they'd consider tying the knot once everyone in the country was legally able to do so.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lindsay Lohan to Celebrate Birthday in NY This Weekend

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Lindsay Lohan will reportedly complete her house arrest in Los Angeles Wednesday, and has already made plans to celebrate her birthday in New York later this week.

E! Online reports the Mean Girls star will party at an event in the Hamptons on Long Island this Saturday, the day she turns 25.

Her rep would only tell the website, "We're choosing to let Lindsay celebrate her birthday with family and friends privately."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio