April 16, 2010
March 19, 2010
Beleaguered author Gerald Posner was at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens last night on the premise that he'd speak about his book-in-question, Miami Babylon. The Miami New Times, of course, was there to capture what could have been just an awkward book reading. Instead, it turned uglier than a drag queen detoxing from makeup and stimulants. At least according to the New Times, it did. Apparently there was an altercation between Posner and Lera Gavin, the fiancee of Frank Owen, author of Clubland: The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture, from which Owen alleges Posner plagiarized. We also heard from Owen earlier this week via email in which he sent us his account of word thievery as seen on the New Times blog.
After Posner caught wind of the blog this morning, he fired back at the free weekly with a letter (forwarded to us afterwards) to Tim Elfrink, the author of the blog's post, and to the newspaper's editor, Chuck Strouse, calling them out for posting without giving him a chance to comment first. In the letter, Posner says he received a note for comment three minutes after New Times posted the blog. He also says he wrote back saying he never saw comments made on Owen's personal Facebook page because, well, Owen defriended him.
Here they are: The real sparks came after the reading when Lera asked Posner "Are we still going out for a drink to discuss this?" Posner exploded. His plastic face turned red: "Yeah, I'm a thieving cocksucker." "Yes, you are a thieving cocksucker," Lera replied. And then an elderly lady came running towards them: "This is a botanical garden. It's a peaceful place. Can you please take it some place else?"
According to Posner, a lawyer who once worked at New York's Cravath, Swaine and Moore, the New Times account of the incidents in the garden is false, fictional and defamatory. He also says that Owen wasn't present during the altercation and cites Elfrink's friendship with Owen as affecting the quality of his reporting.
In Posner's account in a second letter to Strouse, he said he was disapponted by the way Owen had gone about all of this and told his fiancee he has apologized twice to which she replied, "It's not enough because you haven't admitted it's intentional plagiarism." Posner said it wasn't and the debate went on. "None of us, including Lera, ever raised our voices. But my impression was that somehow Frank, who strangely didn't come up to me to talk, was somehow enjoying all the publicity he's engendered. . . This isn't a game. It's not a matter of "gotcha" or fireworks" or vulgar mud slinging. When I called you on that remark last night, after you introduced yourself to me, you said, 'Oh well, you know Frank.' Actually, I don't, and the more I learn, I'm glad I don't."
While some are crying foul, others are introducing the pot to the kettle, and, somewhere out there, an old peacenick lady may still be traumatized, the jury is on spring break on all accusations. In the meantime, we asked both sides, really, what's going on here, to which Posner replied:
"A reporter accepted a second hand account of what he called 'real trouble' without getting comments from anybody who was actually there . . . And the reporter's friendship with Owen, my accuser, raises ethical questions of whether he is unbiased in his reporting. That is because the same reporter had a few days earlier posted on Owen's Facebook page that "I expect an invite for the fireworks," referring to my talk before the Miami Beach Historical Association. It raises questions about whether the reporter hoped for 'real trouble' to write about in the New Times, and was so anxious to publish what turns out to be a false account, that he cut corners."
As for Strouse, he posted Posner's letter online in its entirety and sent us an email statement saying "Tim Elfrink's reporting on the Posner situation, which was followed by the New York Times, Gawker, and the Miami Herald, has been professional and ethical. On the other hand, after resigning in disgrace from the Daily Beast amid plagiarism charges, Mr. Posner acknowledged that "already published sources [got] through to a number of my final [works]."
Elfrink also sent us an email saying: "If a Facebook 'friendship' is the mark of being too close to a source these days, we're all in big trouble. I'd never met Frank Owen before Thursday night. I Facebook friended him earlier this week after learning that he felt Posner had plagiarized him. It was the easiest way to contact him for his phone number. . . I'm not sure why posting Gerald's account counts as 'first-hand information about what happened, while posting Lera's account is 'second-hand' just because she posted it on Frank Owen's Facebook wall first . . .Interesting that Gerald is blowing up over all these minor complaints at the same time he's admitting his second major act of plagiarism in just over a month. Why, do you suppose, is he trying to shift the conversation?"
Gavin's own account of the incident is posted on her Facebook page. In it she writes, "Gerald Posner wouldn't know the truth if it bit him in the ass," and goes on to recreate the scenario as she saw it, refuting a few things in the process, saying, "The idea that Gerald made me uncomfortable is ludicrous. If he had come any closer, I would've flipped him on his Ken-doll ass, Staten Island style. As for the notion that either Tim or Frank has behaved unprofessionally, that's rich coming from an admitted serial plagiarist like Gerald Posner."
After our post went up, we also heard from Owen, who emailed us a statement saying "First, Tim Elfrink is not a friend. This is a flat-out lie from Posner. The first time I talked to Tim was Monday when I sent him the same email I later sent you. The first time I met him in person was last night. Secondly, calling Tim 'unprofessional' is ludicrous, especially coming from an admitted serial plagiarist like Posner [ed note: similarities between the affianced is not plaigiarism--LA]. Thirdly, saying that I'm doing this solely for publicity is equally ludicrous--especially coming from a media whore like Posner. I offered to settle the matter earlier in the week . . . if he gave a full and frank apology for stealing multiple passages from my book, a fact Posner doesn't deny. Instead, he resorted to lawyerly evasion, first claiming that a Miami Beach policeman he interviewed must have read 'Clubland' and repeated passages from the book to Posner, which is how chunks of my book ended up in his book. Yeah, right. Then he tried to blame his wife Trisha and his two assistants who helped him on the book. Real classy. Blame the help. Now he's blaming a new system of 'trailing footnotes' he instigated for Miami Babylon. Now he says he copied and pasted bits of my book and just forget where they came from. Eight examples of plagiarism--half of them full paragraphs, plus five stolen quotes. This is bullshit beyond belief. He's delusional if he thinks anybody buys this nonsense."
Our apologies for this long post. As the wise prophet Judge Judy once said, "If you want the facts, you go to a therapist. If you want the law, you come to court."
February 05, 2010
While Nick Lacheywas busy bro-ing it up with Captain Morgan, andSnoop Dogg was busy performing, 15 bags of merchandise from the ALENE TOO Pop-Up Boutique at the Eden Roc went missing sometime after 10 p.m. After combing the hotel, the store's frantic staffers put out an APB and called HLN's Nancy Grace to help look for the bags. Lo and behold, they turned up this morning. Seems that all 15 of the bags were scooped up by the bodyguards for Lachey and Snoop, who thought the bags were for them and their clients. Not so much. Bags were returned this afternoon and all was swell. Because, really, besides the fact that they can afford it--well, Snoop, at least---who in their world needs 15 free bags of suntan lotion, T-shirts, and pool toys?
January 01, 2010
New Year's Eve in Miami was like a double issue of Teen Beat, with teen and tween heartthrobs turning the city's clubs and hotels into their own personal Gymborees. Besides Lady Gaga, the most talked about were these two:
*Twilight's Kellan Lutz spent his night poolside at the Shore Club, shirtless, partying and posing for paps. In the nascent hours of 2010, 90210 revisited actress AnnaLynne McCord, who earlier in the night hosted the party at the W South Beach where she told people the only person she'd be kissing at midnight was her sister Angel, was seen sneaking into Lutz's poolside bungalow, emerging this morning sporting a red wig and oversized Ray Ban sunglasses. If they're dating, why is she sneaking into his room in the first place, shouldn't she be staying there, too? Strange or a whole lotta hype over nothing, which is probably more like it. Anyway, the two were later seen lounging at the pool together. Elsewhere around town, the cheerleader from Heroes and probably a handful of others who needed to be both Googled and carded.
November 18, 2009
More details have surfaced in the bizarre case involving 8 Oz's Josh Woodward and a dead fetus. TMZ got their hands on the search warrant affadavit which said that the mother of the child (still no name revealed) says that one night in October when she was pregnant, Woodward kept putting his hand in a plastic bag and then touching her sexually. The woman lost the baby a few hours later and remembers seeing a white powdery substance in her underwear. As for that white powder? Not cocaine as many had suspected, but Misoprostol, a drug often used for early abortions and to induce labor. When the cops figured all that out, they set up a sting operation in which the woman called Woodward under police supervision, told him she was still pregnant and wanted him to come over. When police approached Woodward outside the woman's apartment, he pulled out "a small piece of clear plastic with a white powdery substance" from his pocket and dropped it on the ground. Police took the substance and arrested him. In the meantime, test results still have yet to come in on the results of the substance but when they do, Woodward's pretty much done. Also done would be the doctor or person who gave Woodward that substance, because clearly it's not something found over the counter next to the cotton balls at CVS. In addition to Woodward frying, there could be a Conrad Murray situation here, too. What a mess.
October 15, 2009
It's nice to see Alex Rodriguez working out before the big championship series that will pit his NY Yankees against the LA Angels. The smitten slugger was seen exercising his mouth in more ways than one at Prime 112 Tuesday night and it was quite the workout indeed. Yep, A-Rod and his own LA angel Kate Hudson were seen at the meatery, but not for long. The couple took a table in the restaurant's private wine room in the back of the restaurant--- and kept the curtain closed all night. "They came out of the room a few times to use the bathroom," said our spy, who managed to sneak a peek through those curtains and described the scene as something out of the Animal Planet---only the duo weren't necessarily devouring their meat if you know what we mean.
October 07, 2009
Say it isn't so! Miami's very own Gloria Estefan had her necklace confiscated earlier this week in a London airport en route to Milan. Estefan was sporting a Bullets 4 Peace pendant that was designed and created by Rafi Anteby, a former officer in the Israeli army and head of hand on hand combat in the largest private army in the world. Bullets 4 Peace was created to make a statement promoting world peace. The necklaces are made out real bullet casings that have been removed from streets and war zones around the world. Estefan's necklace was first said to be permanently confiscated but the pilot agreed to hold it in the cockpit for the duration of the flight, returning it to her upon landing in Italy. This is the second time in less than a week that a celebrity has had their Bullet 4 Peace necklace confiscated in an airport. The first person to be busted? Snoop Dogg in the Beirut airport. No he wasn't (only) high, he was there for a concert in Lebanon. Anyway, congrats Gloria, you finally earned your street creds.
October 05, 2009
After 86-ing his wedding to former fiancee Erica Wang in New York City this past weekend, celeb chef Todd English fled the Big Apple and was seen partying it up at Wall at the W Hotel on South Beach Saturday night--the night of the canceled nuptials--- with Opium Group honcho Eric Milon and an unidentified female. But don't cry for Wang. She, dressed in all black, partied it up at the reception at the St. Regis Hotel anyway. The couple, registered at Tiffany, were originally supposed to take the plunge on June 1. According to the Boston Herald, English, who owns several restaurants including da Campo in Fort Lauderdale, stood Wang up in a room full of out-of-town guests at the rehearsal dinner. English fessed up to it all, though, saying “No wedding took place this weekend and I would appreciate your respect of my privacy at this time." As for what the twice engaged, once divorced father of three was doing in Florida besides partying at Wall, we hear he was hawking his products (and perhaps his wedding ring) at HSN headquarters in St. Petersburg.
September 01, 2009
Former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who will serve a two year prison sentence beginning on September 22 after shooting himself in the foot--literally (ok, it was the leg, but still), and pleading guilty on weapons charges, was seen hanging in the Living Room at the W Fort Lauderdale Saturday night with a few pals. People kept wanting to buy the guy shots, no pun intended, but he politel--and wisely--declined.
July 20, 2009
A big fan of places like Clarke's and The Florida Room, Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan was arrested for alleged drunk driving in Miami on July 12. According to the police report, Donovan's car swerved to avoid hitting the police car. He also told cops he had three drinks at the Fontainebleau, claiming he was "only borderline and not too drunk," failed a sobriety test and after posing for this mug shot, was released several hours later. "The only mistake I made tonight was drinking Benadryl with 3 glasses of wine," Donovan told the cops as he was taken into custody. Benadryl! Borderline drunk! Oy! Is it part of a star's Miami street cred to be busted for DUI here? Perhaps, but what this really says about our fine city is that not all celebrities get preferential treatment down here so don't be surprised if Burn Notice tries to burn us back for this and take their show back to LA.