Allison Samuels

Stories by Allison Samuels

  • HERE COMES TROUBLE

    Most likely you've never heard Karrine Steffans's name, but perhaps you've seen her... face, in such hip-hop videos as Jay-Z's "Hey Papi" and Mystikal's "Dangerous," or opposite Vin Diesel in "A Man Apart." A few years ago, Steffans was not only a booty-shaking, breast-implanted video queen, but arm candy (and, she claims, much more) for some of the most famous men in hip-hop, Hollywood and sports. She shopped at the best stores, went to the best parties and even enjoyed a four-month period during which, she says, one superstar athlete was depositing $10,000 a month in her personal account so she'd be available at his whim. Steffans not only offers scandalous details but names names in a book called "Confessions of a Video Vixen," scheduled to be in stores next week. "I wasn't trying to hurt or embarrass anybody with my story," Steffans told NEWSWEEK. "Because that's what it is--my story, not theirs. It describes what happened to me in graphic detail. I'm just putting it out there...
  • NEWSMAKERS

    Bobby BrownBobby brown knows a thing or two about drama. Starting June 30, the R&B star, 36, will take his troubled existence completely public in his own reality show on Bravo. He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Allison Samuels.So why a reality show? Haven't you had enough of cameras following you around?I needed to do something to stay out of trouble. Too much free time ain't too good for someone like me. And now that I'm feeling healthy and off the drugs and other stuff I was doing--I feel like getting myself back on track. But honestly, the main reason I wanted to do this is really for my kids. They're always saying, "Daddy, why do they always make you look so bad in the press?" You know? They don't see their father as a screw-up.In one of the first episodes, you make some really crude jokes about celebrities--like when you talk about Eddie Murphy wearing dresses in his downtime. Any worry that that might come back to haunt you?No, no worries. I didn't censor myself at all while the...
  • BYE-BYE, BAD HAIR DAYS

    Shalinda Williams wanted to set some tongues wagging at the Dorsey High School prom in Los Angeles, but she knew a long slinky dress and rhinestone-studded stilettos wouldn't do the trick. So the cheerleader and honor student, 18, headed to Extensions Plus in Reseda, Calif., armed with $500 and 20 pictures--cut from magazines--of Beyonce Knowles and her internationally famous hair."I love the way Beyonce looks so different each time, and it's the hair," says Williams, who purchased eight ounces of 18-inch-long straight hair to have woven onto her own. "I couldn't lose 30 pounds or get a nose job before the prom, but I knew I could add some hair to make me look amazing."Forget about those new Jimmy Choos or that Marc Jacobs bag. The hottest accessory for all sorts of women this season is hair, lots and lots of it. Why the surge? New techniques and better quality tresses are part of the answer. Throw in Us Weekly regulars like Halle Berry and Tyra Banks flashing flowing locks made of ...
  • IT TAKES A VILLAGE

    Malcolm X's grandson didn't get to see the celebrations in Harlem last week honoring his late grandfather's 80th birthday. Not the debut of the exhibit "Malcolm X: A Search for Truth" at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Not the dedication of the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center at the Audubon Ballroom, where his grandfather was gunned down 40 years ago. The 20-year-old has missed many a family event. But in this year of nostalgic reflection, which Malcolm X's family has dubbed "the Rebirth of the Legacy," Malcolm Shabazz is ready to make amends. "I've had a lot of time to sit in my cell and just think," says Shabazz, who is set to be released this summer from Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. "I know I let a lot of people down. I know people expected more."Shabazz has spent a third of his life behind bars, first for setting a fire that led to the death of his grandmother, and then for attempted robbery. But the African...
  • KOBE WHO? NOW IT'S WADE'S WAY.

    Miami Heat point guard Dwyane Wade was never concerned that he and NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal wouldn't get along as teammates. Growing up on the tough side of Chicago where drug dealers and gang members commanded every corner, Wade developed the street smarts of going along to get along as soon as he learned to walk. "I just wanted Shaq to come so I could learn and get better as a player," Wade said recently over iced tea at a downtown Miami restaurant. "Nothing else mattered to me. Just getting better and winning."Wade, 23, has achieved both those goals at warp speed. During the past two weeks, the Marquette alum has been one of the standout stars of the NBA playoffs: in the team's first-round sweep of the New Jersey Nets, Wade averaged 26.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists. Those numbers only got better in the second-round series against the Washington Wizards, where he's averaging 30 points and 13 assists. And all this with little help from O'Neal, who's been hobbled by a...
  • BRUTUS ON BROADWAY

    Denzel Washington wants--no, needs--to explain why he's shown up for breakfast in a New York City cafe wearing a pink necktie. "I want you to know I didn't pick this tie out," he says as he takes his seat. "I mean, it's not that I don't like the tie. It's nice, I think--just an odd choice for me." But the two-time Academy Award winner is here to talk about what might seem an odder choice: to put his $20 million-per-film Hollywood career on hold in order to play Brutus in a Broadway production of "Julius Caesar"--memorizing line after line of Shakespeare's English and doing a grueling eight three-hour performances a week. "I recall when we began rehearsing," he says, "standing outside the theater and thinking, 'Oh, Lord, what have I done?' "Exactly what he wanted to do, it seems. It's been three decades since Washington, 50, started acting at Fordham University, where he appeared in "Othello" and "Much Ado About Nothing." He made his Broadway debut in the 1988 "Checkmates"; since...
  • Why Can't A Black Actress Play The Girlfriend?

    "I learned early on," says a black actor whose well-known name he asked us not to use, "to ask that my wife or girlfriend, if I have one in the film, be African-American. If I didn't, she wouldn't be. I'm pretty sure Matt Damon and Tom Cruise don't have to ask for a white actress." Hollywood's recent multicultural casting certainly broadens the appeal of its pictures, and is meant to reflect--perhaps even to flatter--a society that increasingly sees itself as multicultural. But how well does it reflect reality? "In everyday, normal life," says Reuben Cannon, a longtime casting director and producer of the new hit film "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," "most black Americans are in relationships with other black Americans."No right-thinking person wants to see Hollywood resegregated. On the other hand, there's something strange going on in such films as the recent Will Smith blockbuster "Hitch": these days African-American leading men tend to be cast opposite Latinas instead of black...
  • THE FLIP SIDE OF 50 CENT

    On a sunny Saturday morning, the buff-and-cut Curtis Jackson--you know him as 50 Cent--has finished his grueling workout in a Beverly Hills gym. Now he's sitting there by a small stereo, eyes closed, head bent, shoulders hunched, swaying back and forth. He likes grooving to music--particularly his own. "This one's the s--t," he says, and opens his eyes. It's a track called "Baltimore Love Thing," from his sophomore album, "The Massacre," which hits stores early next month. It sounds at first like that old-school LL Cool J joint "I Need Love"--until you realize it's not a boy-girl love story, but rather the bond between heroin and a suffering addict. "I'm always coming with something different," he says. "Something no one would ever suspect. Just because people know my story doesn't mean they know me.''By now everybody knows the outlines of 50's do-rags-to-riches story: 28 years old, ex drug dealer from Queens, shot nine times, a debut rap album that was the runaway hit of 2002. His...
  • HIP-HOP GROWS UP

    Fashion designer Marc Ecko had always been baffled by his passion for fashion. As a child growing up in Lakewood, N.J., he devoured comic books and videogames. So he was certain his future would include electronics and science--not fabrics and measurements. But last year at a birthday party for his 2-year-old daughter, it all became clear. As his father gazed out the window at a row of old storefronts, Ecko asked him what he was thinking about. "He said, 'That's where my grandfather's tailor shop used to be'," explains Ecko. "In that moment I realized that's why I get up some mornings with cloth on my mind."It's all part of growing up for the former graffiti artist who, 12 years ago, at the ripe age of 20, founded his own edgy, urban-clothing line of airbrushed T shirts and baggy jeans. Targeting the influential young male so in love with skateboards, hip-hop and fluid movement, the Ecko Unlimited brand quickly amassed a fiercely loyal following. But Ecko, now married and a father...
  • RED CARPET STYLE

    When Monique Lhuillier peeks from behind a rack of her lavish wedding gowns, you could easily mistake her for one of her A-list clients. Personal chic is just one asset that has made Lhuillier (pronounced Loo-lee-ay) the designer for trendy young celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker, Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Connelly, whether they're walking down the aisle or the red carpet. As this year's award season opens with the Golden Globes, Lhuillier's signature look--figure-hugging sleek, often with a jeweled halter top--is the one to watch for. "She has a very hip sense of style," says Jessica Simpson, another repeat customer. "It's sexy and sophisticated at the same time. That's what any girl wants to look like when she steps out of the house."Although Lhuillier's wedding gowns and eveningwear have been a fashion force for the last few years, 2004 was her big breakthrough. At the Emmys, Jamie-Lynn DiScala dazzled in a teal satin Lhuillier halter gown that landed the "Sopranos" star on just...
  • SOPHIE OKONEDO: THE BOOKWORM'S REVENGE, ACT I

    As Sophie Okonedo was leaving her London home for the premiere of "Hotel Rwanda," her mother reminded her of a story. When Sophie was little, someone from the government came to visit the family's public-housing flat. "They check up on you in those places," Okonedo says. "In our small apartment we had a big bookcase with tons of books, and this man said to Mother, 'What do you do with all those books?' Because of course poor people don't read. My mother never forgot that."In "Hotel Rwanda," Okonedo, 36, plays Tatiana, the wife of hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), whose decision to house refugees at his workplace saved more than 1,200 lives in 1994. Tatiana's struggle to keep her family alive and together makes for one of the most memorable film roles in years for a woman of color. Born to an English mother and a Nigerian father, Okonedo believed she had much in common with the real-life Tatiana. "I'm a mother"--of a 7-year-old--"so I know all those feelings of...
  • GYMS: MISSION: EXERCISE

    As a little girl growing up in New York, Sascha Ferguson wanted to be one of Charlie's Angels. But instead of getting her wings, the now 34-year-old Ferguson married, had a baby boy and settled into a career coaching major corporations and their employees on how to do their jobs more effectively. The American Dream, it would seem, with one small exception--it wasn't Sascha's.Bored with her 9-to-5 work schedule, Ferguson decided to channel her inner butt kicker. Betting that other women had similar urges, she got together with two of her best friends and came up with an idea to begin her own business: a girl-power gym--or wanna-be spy camp. This year Ferguson launched a six- to eight-week program in Los Angeles that trains women in such spy skills as climbing up the side of a building, rappelling off a 30-foot cliff and performing aerial trapeze stunts. And, of course, what female spy would be prepared without learning the art of belly dancing or how to give a proper lap dance? The...
  • THE REIGN OF JAY-Z

    You would never have known it was a bad week for Jay-Z. There he was, two days after the election, at P. Diddy's birthday bash (held on Wall Street, of course), styling and profiling in a custom-made pinstripe suit, as if that other expensive suit--brought against him by R. Kelly--were just a minor annoyance. He and Kelly had planned a fall tour together, but Jay-Z blamed Kelly for showing up late, canceled shows and finally kicked him off the bill. Kelly, in turn, accused the rapper's posse of sabotaging his equipment and dousing him with pepper spray. (See you in court.) Oh, yes, and Kelly wants $75 million for wrongful termination of his contract. Yet Jay-Z, looking even more dapper than his host, grooved and mingled with the likes of Usher, Naomi Campbell, Donna Karan and Bruce Willis like a genial CEO--which is exactly the role he's got his sights on now.At the age of 34, with an estimated fortune of nearly $300 million and enough awards and platinum albums to fill even one of...
  • KOBE COACH CALLS FOUL

    Shaquille O'Neal isn't the only person with an ax to grind with NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. Later this month former Lakers coach Phil Jackson will add his two cents in "The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul." In diarylike fashion, Jackson details Bryant's bad behavior, dishing on Bryant's feuding with O'Neal and the star's alleged egomaniacal demands. Jackson also says he had to see a therapist to cope with Bryant. "Phil had been dealing with a lot of drama with Kobe since the first day he began to coach [him]," says a source in the Lakers front office. "We're talking about a man who coached Dennis Rodman and [Michael] Jordan and [Scottie] Pippen. He thought he'd seen everything. And then he met Kobe."How's Bryant taking the criticism? Those close to him say he's unfazed. "He's been through so much and come out ahead," says a friend. "He isn't going to let the talk get into his head. He figures that if the last few months didn't break him, why should this?" Bryant dismissed...
  • THE PLAY'S THE THING

    Gina Scott likes to keep her customers entertained. But she refuses to play rap music at her South L.A. beauty shop, Studio 412--too much profanity, degrading to women--or to show such videos as "Soul Plane," with Snoop Dogg. Sex and blunt-smoking don't sit well with the churchgoing sisters under the hair dryers. But Scott's got other options: her cabinet is stacked with DVD versions of stage plays by the likes of Bishop T. D. Jakes, Tyler Perry and David E. Talbert. These ministers, playwrights and actors don't have the star power of a Denzel Washington, but they've struck gold by mixing a little Hollywood glitz with a lot of old-time religion. "This is what I show my clients," says Scott, 39, "because it's about something--about life--without all the foolishness. I want to watch something entertaining and not be offended or embarrassed."'So Scott--with her three kids--was the first in line to see the new film "Woman Thou Art Loosed," based on a stage play by Perry--based, in turn,...
  • A TRUMPETER UNMUTED

    Wynton Marsalis gives a piece or two of his mind to NEWSWEEK's Allison Samuels.SAMUELS: Does New York really need yet another place to hear jazz?MARSALIS: There are a lot of jazz clubs in New York, and we support them. But we wanted this place to embody jazz and the democratic spirit of the music. We also wanted it to help the music thrive by having an educational program. And that meant having the space to teach, to hold performances not only for seasoned artists --but also for younger, upcoming artists, and a place to celebrate our elders.Some critics say that by paying tribute to such legends as Coltrane and Monk, you hinder the growth of new artists.You can't go forward without history, and if we can't celebrate our history and the history of the music--that's a truly sad day. I always felt like my generation never did anything in terms of great art--or if we did, I missed it. If you look around today, there are many more students of jazz than there were in my generation.Do...
  • NEWSMAKERS

    Q&A: Peter DinklageActors usually wear a fake hunch and affect a limp to play Richard III. At New York's Public Theater this week, Shakespeare's evil king gets a makeover--he'll be played by a dwarf, 4-foot-6 Peter Dinklage ("The Station Agent"). He talked to NEWSWEEK's Marc Peyser.How long did it take you to learn to say "Now is the winter of our discontent" without totally cracking up?I love saying that line! I was walking downtown today and a gentleman passed me on his bike and shouted, "Now is the winter of our discontent!" at me. Only in New York.It's cool that you're cast as Richard, but doesn't playing one of the most famous deformed guys in literature send a bad message about dwarfs?I have a sense of humor about who I am. I wanted to see if I could bring my own physical difference to the role and personalize it. Richard uses his deformity to garner cheap sympathy, so he can get away with things. It's like a person in a wheelchair who can go to a store and shoplift...
  • STYLE: PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ

    Penny pinchers, beware: this fall is all about luxury. But no need to buy a whole new wardrobe. A few key purchases will catch you up to the trends.A hardware-trimmed bag. Marc Jacobs popularized them, but Luella Bartley has this season's must-have, the Gisele tote ($895 at Neiman Marcus).A tailored tweed jacket. They're not just for the afternoon-tea set. Wear them with suits or jeans.Mary Janes. Round-toed shoes, like the pair below, are a thing of glory for women struggling with pointy stilettos.Capelets. Feminine shoulder-skimmers like ECI New York's pink faux-fur one ($112; Macys.com) add sophistication to any outfit.
  • Must Have: An Inner Omarosa

    All black women are angry: it's just a matter of extremes. That's the argument behind "The Angry Black Woman's Guide to Life," which will help you figure out which kind of ABW you are. Are you a "Curse-You-Out-in-a-Heartbeat" kind of girl, like Mary J. Blige, or an "In-Denial" ABW, like Condi? Or perhaps you're a "sister in the struggle" like Hillary Clinton. Whatever the answer, the book will put a smile on your face--and what ABW (or AWW) doesn't need that?
  • A Rapturous Return

    When Anita Baker vanished from the music charts and the public's view a decade ago, the sound of R&B was already changing from the lush love ballads that made her 1986 album "Rapture" a multiplatinum hit to what we know today: more and more graphic expressions of lust laid over more and more thunderous beats. (Think R. Kelly.) Baker may or may not have seen that coming, but she knew something was out of whack. Her early-'90s tour with Luther Vandross was reportedly fraught with contention, and she was butting heads with the new CEO of Elektra Records, Sylvia Rhone. One ex-Elektra employee recalls regular screaming episodes, and a durable rumor has it that Baker once slapped her boss. Baker dismisses this story and says she and Rhone had "different agendas and different visions, but we were always professional, no matter what the rumors say." (Rhone could not be reached for comment.) After the release of her last album, in 1994, she battled her way out of her Elektra contract and...
  • CRAZY LIKE A FOXX

    Jamie Foxx is a party all by himself: one recent afternoon, in his African-accented L.A. bachelor pad, he regaled a visitor with impersonations of Quincy Jones and Al Pacino, a rapid-fire series of "dozens" jokes and a mini-set of R&B standards on which he backed up his own vocals on piano. Not that he's all by himself that often: he's usually got a crew of friends around who really like to party, and a lot of nights around the Foxx homestead are said to be like that scene in Oliver Stone's 1999 football movie "Any Given Sunday," in which Foxx plays a rapping, womanizing quarterback hosting a wild pool party. "A Jamie Foxx party can be quite a shock to the system," says one co-worker, "since anything goes. And I mean anything goes." His 36th-birthday party, last year, was particularly legendary--and not primarily because Tom Cruise showed up. "He was just talking and mingling with my friends," Foxx recalls, "which was damn funny 'cause I got a lot of friends with no Social...
  • KOBE BRYANT: 'A LONG SIGH OF RELIEF'

    Kobe Bryant's attorneys are telling him to be "cautiously optimistic" after lawyers for his 20-year-old accuser raised the possibility that she may not participate in the criminal case and instead pursue a civil one. "There's a long sigh of relief," says a close associate of the basketball star. The woman's attorneys have blasted the criminal court's handling of the case, saying inadvertent pretrial disclosures about her sex life have traumatized her and damaged the case. But while her chances are better in civil court, where the burden of proof is lower, she isn't likely to see the big payday her critics claim she's after: Colorado has strict caps on mon-etary awards for pain and suffering, and several attorneys tell NEWSWEEK that, at best, she'd receive $1.5 million--a fraction of the $5 million she was rumored to have been offered last summer (a rumor denied by Bryant's camp). But plenty of observers think the Laker, who has already spent $12 million in legal fees, would just as...
  • AND NOW, THE OTHER LEE

    Everything's not hip-hop," says lawyer Tonya Lewis Lee, sounding much like Bill Cosby--and, not coincidentally, like her husband, Spike Lee. She and Crystal McCrary Anthony (the ex-wife of former NBA star Greg Anthony) have just published "Gotham Diaries," a novel set in New York's upscale, uptown world of millionaire businessmen, real-estate honchos, supermodels and, yes, inevitably, music moguls. "Be clear--there's nothing wrong with hip-hop. It has its place. But we wanted to show all the faces of people of color, and the different worlds in the culture.""Gotham Diaries" breaks away from the template established for black female writers (and readers) a decade ago by Terry McMillan's "Waiting to Exhale" and similar tales of love, longing and two-timing. In the wake of McMillan's success, publishers have been churning out scores of spunky-sad my-man-done-me-wrong stories. This book, says Anthony, is "about women--and men--who are looking to themselves, and not somebody else, to...
  • CRAZY LIKE A FOXX

    Jamie Foxx is a party all by himself: one recent afternoon, in his African-accented L.A. bachelor pad, he regaled a visitor with impersonations of Quincy Jones and Al Pacino, a rapid-fire series of "dozens" jokes and a mini-set of R&B standards on which he backed up his own vocals on piano. Not that he's all by himself that often: he's usually got a crew of friends around who really like to party, and a lot of nights around the Foxx homestead--where female guests sometimes show up with sleeping bags--are said to be like that scene in Oliver Stone's 1999 football movie "Any Given Sunday," in which Foxx plays a rapping, womanizing quarterback hosting a wild pool party. "A Jamie Foxx party can be quite a shock to the system," says one co-worker, "since anything goes. And I mean anything goes." His 36th-birthday party, last year, was particularly legendary--and not primarily because Tom Cruise showed up. "He was just talking and mingling with my friends," Foxx recalls, "which was...
  • BASKETBALL: SHAQ'S SIDE OF THE STORY

    Kobe Bryant insisted last week that the trading of his Lakers teammate Shaquille O'Neal to Miami "had nothing to do with me." Shaq himself and other Lakers tell it differently. "It shouldn't take a genius to see the politics of the whole thing," O'Neal told NEWSWEEK. "You had a management office that was more concerned with the desires of one player, and that changed the entire game."Former teammates say O'Neal's troubles began the day Bryant joined the team. "Kobe didn't care that Shaq was the veteran with the experience," said a Lakers staff member. "He didn't want to listen or defer, and he knew he didn't have to because the fans were on his side. For whatever reason, fans loved Kobe from the moment he hit town." The fans' support of Bryant often bruised O'Neal's ego. "Big guys are considered big and clumsy and not suave like the small guys--they seem more regular, I guess," he said. Most Lakers expected the dynamic to change after Bryant's arrest last year on sexual-assault...
  • NEWSMAKERS

    Q&A: Jay-ZWe were afraid Jay-Z's retirement from making albums had been a bad idea when we heard he was selling his shoes. Turns out he's auctioning a pair of his own S. Carter Reeboks to benefit a scholarship fund. Not to worry. But we'll let him tell NEWSWEEK's Allison Samuels how he's living.How's retirement? Are you sure you're done?Yep. Rap in many ways is a young man's game, and I know that. I never wanted to wear out my welcome. In fact, my plan in the beginning really was to make only one album in the first place. But I was fortunate enough to have staying power, so I kept going.In your latest video, "99 Problems," you get shot and killed. You've never had that type of video violence before. Did it have a particular meaning?Yeah--it meant the end of Jay-Z and the birth of Shawn Carter. I always wanted a separation between myself as a rapper and a businessman. In the beginning I couldn't get a record deal, so I had to hustle to sell my own records to outlets and stores....
  • SMOOTH OPERATIONS

    Long before Janet Jackson revealed a little too much of her body, Tanisha Rollins was obsessed with having one just like it. After watching the singer strut in a 1993 video, Rollins embarked on a quest for washboard abs. For the next decade she stuck to a rigorous regimen. But her abs pretty much stayed the same. Then a friend skipped all the hard work and got a tummy tuck. "I was just like, 'What magazines have you been reading?!' says Rollins, 29, an administrative assistant in Dayton, Ohio. She thought nipping and tucking was only for "rich white people and Michael Jackson," not African-American women like her, making $30,000 a year.Last year Rollins shelled out $5,000 for a tummy tuck of her own, joining the small but growing ranks of African-Americans opting for cosmetic surgery. The number of blacks seeking facial or reconstructive surgery more than tripled between 1997 and 2002, reflecting both the growing affluence of African-Americans and the subtle easing of some long-held...
  • HORIZONS UNLIMITED

    Lloyd Banks's suave, silky voice is everywhere these days, but until a year ago, when the rapper began touring with his mentor, 50 Cent, and 50's G-Unit posse, he'd never left his native New York. "Being so involved with 50 just gave me so much more to see and think about," says Banks, 22. "If you stay in one place, you can only rap about one thing because that's all you know. In the last few months I've seen and learned enough to keep my music fresh and spread out."Banks's first solo album, "The Hunger for More," isn't a travelogue in the sense that a Peter Mayle would understand, but it's a tour of his own obsessions: with love, death and, of course, success in the world of hip- hop. Featuring guest appearances by Banks's childhood buddy 50 and production help from Eminem, it should lure rap fans back north in a year dominated by such Southern acts as OutKast and Ludacris. The hit single, "On Fire," mixes club-friendly beats with bring-'em-on lyrics: "I ain't bias when I'm riding...
  • NEWSMAKERS

    Who's Checking Out of Hotel California?The L.A. Lakers looked ugly during their NBA finals loss to the Detroit Pistons--and it could get even uglier soon. Coach Phil Jackson has already left, and more players could follow. Who's staying? Who's going? Newsmakers plays oddsmaker. Kobe Bryant will hear offers from other teams (and he's still on trial), but keeping him is L.A.'s top priority. Odds: 20-1 that he's staying. Shaquille O'Neal is angry at management's pampering of Kobe and has demanded a trade--but there are few takers who can afford the highest-paid player in the league. Odds: 25-1. Gary Payton is unhappy, but he might be stuck. No one will pay him more. Odds: 10-1. If Karl Malone's knee is healthy, he'll be back. Big if. Odds: 5-1.Money HoneyThe Duchess of Windsor once declared you can never be too rich or too thin, but Allegra Beck is perilously close to both. When Beck turns 18 on June 30, she'll inherit 50 percent of her uncle's company--her uncle Gianni Versace, that...