What rapper Juvenile needed was a little extra spending money. What he got was a major hassle. He was in San Diego last Wednesday, taping a segment of "SoCal Summer," MTV's beach-house show. At about 9:30 a.m. he and two business associates stopped by an outdoor cash machine in the exclusive Del Mar area. Then, Juvenile, a.k.a. Terius Gray, tells NEWSWEEK, here's what happened:
As he was about to make a withdrawal from his Merrill Lynch account, local police showed up and questioned why he and his record mates were in the area. The conversation grew heated; Juvenile entered the bank to find someone to vouch for him. When he couldn't, police detained his group in the back of a squad car--for several hours. It wasn't until police could check out their story--they called Juvenile's hotel and MTV--that the group was released.
Juvenile suspects Merrill Lynch called the police after seeing three black men with tattoos, baggy pants and diamond jewelry outside its building. Merrill Lynch denies this, saying that Del Mar police patrolling the area stopped to check a situation they considered suspicious. A Merrill Lynch spokesman apologized for not bringing a quick end to the ordeal. Del Mar police did not return calls.
Juvenile will leave his multi-million-dollar fortune at Merrill Lynch. "I could move it, but that won't change being a black man and what that brings with it. This is life."
BUSHSide Show How to embarrass a front-running presidential candidate? Try a legal gambit. Texas environmentalists last year sued George W. Bush for violating their rights when state police arrested them for "obstructing" the sidewalk outside the governor's mansion during a protest. Now, backed by top Democratic donor and trial lawyer John O'Quinn, the plaintiffs have moved to depose Bush. State lawyers tried to block the deposition, arguing W. wasn't personally involved in the arrest decision. A hearing is set for July 26, just days before the GOP convention.
THE KENNEDYS To Sell or Not to Sell In the year since JFK Jr. crashed his plane into the ocean off Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Kennedy watchers have wondered whether his sister, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, would keep the Vineyard house the siblings inherited from their mother. The secluded shingled home was more a favorite of John's; Caroline usually summers in New York's Hamptons.
Now there are signs Caroline may intend to keep her Vineyard ties. Knowledgeable sources say a top local contractor has been hired to renovate the 19-room house for $1 million. So its sale is unlikely. "No one puts any serious money in a Vineyard house before selling it," says a local property owner. Typically, the land is far more valuable than the structure(s), which buyers often tear down--before starting over.
THE BUZZ Chicken Down! Roll Tape! So far CBS's "Big Brother" has had all the drama of a lobby surveillance tape. Seems like the closer we are to real voyeurism, the more boring things get. Here's what people are saying over the airwaves, in the papers, on the Web and around the water cooler:
Brotherly Love It's 'been consistently and provocatively exposing and exploring some of the most sensitive areas of human existence.' (N.Y. Daily News)
Big Drooler Everyone's so stiff! Housemates are trying to act, not live. They 'may be taking their cues from "Survivor" about minding their manners so they don't get booted.' (Inside.com)
Reality Bites Since when is toothbrushing provocative? On 'Real World' and 'Survivor,' editors 'create a story to engage you.' 'Big Brother' is 'visual Novocain.' (The Boston Globe)
I Will Survive Of course rat eaters get better ratings. In Europe the show started off slow, too, but built an audience. And, really, would you prefer another episode of 'Diagnosis Murder'?
LIVE VOTE What should be done to curb unruly parents at their kids' games?
1. Require that parents sign a code of ethics, attend sportsmanship training and take civility pledges.
2. Institute "Silent Saturdays," where they aren't allowed to talk.
3. If problems persist, ban them from attending.
VOTE BY 5 P.M., EDT, FRIDAY, JULY 21, ON NEWSWEEK.MSNBC.COM
LAST WEEK'S LIVE VOTE What should Jerusalem's future be? (48,465 responses)
6% The city should be a self-governing, Vatican-style state.
6% It should be divided between Jews and Palestinians.
46% Israel should have control.
42% A new Palestinian state should incorporate it.
TOYS Looking for the Next Play-Doh If someone greenlighted Sky Dancers--flying dolls recently recalled after they whizzed though the air unpredictably, injuring 150 people--then your toy idea is probably better than you think. And if you've got one, scout out The Great American Toy Hunt. Starting mid-September, Haystack Toys will go on a nine-city tour hunting for the next great American plaything. (Applications, at haystacktoys.com, are due Aug. 15.) Although the company will sift though "a lot of hay," cofounder Dan Lauer says that "everyone's got an idea that could make them rich." Of course, it helps if that concept doesn't require kids and parents to duck.
FAST CHAT Hey, Stepsis, Let's Get It On! It couldn't be further from reality. Well, most realities. MTV's "Undressed," which just entered its third season, is about one thing: taking everything off. With anyone. Anywhere. PERI talks to executive producer Roland Joffe.
JOFFE: I guess because I'm a human being, and this is a show about human beings. It's like the Rosetta Stone--all these different languages saying the same thing. Well, "The Killing Fields" is one language and "Undressed" is another. This is TV for the year 2000. You don't sit down to watch it like a conventional story. There's a conversation going on that you can drop into and drop out of whenever you want.
No, that's absolutely delightful. That's a marvelous description.
CURRENCY Bureau of Nipping and Tucking Lots of folks have been calling the treasury about changes in the new fives and tens. NYC plastic surgeon Dr. Darrick Antell says, indeed, "Lincoln and Hamilton appear to have benefited from plastic surgery."
1 Botox injections
(for wrinkles) $600
(eye tuck) $2,500
3 Hair transplant $5,000
4 Rhinoplasty $6,000 Total $14,100
(2,820 Lincolns) plus anesthesia and hospital fees
1 Botox injections $600
2 Chin liposuction $3,000
3 Face-lift $14,000
4 Hair transplant $5,000
5 Lip enhancement $2,500
6 Lower-lid tuck $3,500
(2,860 Hamiltons) plus anesthesia and hospital fees
TELEVISION Broad Stripes and Bright TV Stars In 1952 the adman who put M&M's "melts in your mouth, not in your hands" in all of our heads did the same with "I like Ike," making image everything in presidential campaigns. This month the Museum of Television & Radio screens "Madison Avenue Goes to Washington: The History of Presidential Campaign Advertising"--and of the country that watched. Some highlights:
1952 Eisenhower in the first presidential TV spot. The "I like Ike" ad had Disney animation and Irving Berlin music. Dewey had declined doing ads in '48, calling them "undignified."
1960 Kennedy's image took off with ads featuring his young, attractive family, including this one of Jackie speaking Spanish. Others aired that year were the first to be shot on location.
1964 Johnson's ads against Goldwater used emotion, as in the famous "Daisy" ad, instead of the hard sell. Another spot, which never ran, tried to link Goldwater to the KKK.
1984 Reagan's "Morning in America" ads, using Rockwellian scenes for a visceral rather than intellectual effect, drove home that we were far better off than we were "four short years ago."
1988 Bush produced some of the harshest ads; Dukakis failed to respond. The first negative campaign ad had appeared in Adlai Stevenson's campaign in 1956.
TRANSITION A Hero of War In 1942 Jan Karski, an officer in the Polish underground, was smuggled by Jewish leaders into the Warsaw Ghetto and to a transit camp, where Jews were loaded into cattle cars, in order to witness what the leaders called "Hitler's war against the Polish Jews." Before leaving for the West, where he would deliver these first eyewitness accounts, Karski had several teeth pulled so that he couldn't talk if he were stopped by the Germans on the way. Few could believe what he reported, but after he met with Roosevelt, the president told him, "We shall win this war!" Karski, a retired history professor at Georgetown University, died last week at 86. He would never return to his Polish homeland.
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM Smoke Gets in Your Eyes Edition Veepstakes winnowing begins: Gephardt flirts, then withdraws. Whitman feels frisky (smiling in photo while she searches a perp in N.J.), ending her chances. Let the beat go on.
George W. = Lone Star State budget shortfall gives Gore (low-caliber) debate ammo. Estate tax - Senate kills inheritance tax - but it's only good for the richest 2 percent. Cheerio! Tobacco - Fla. jury kicks industry butt for $145 billion. Now watch that number go up in smoke. Philly = Over-the-top cops spoil preconvention hype, but whole thing will be forgotten in 3 weeks. Bakaly - Starr's flack prosecuted for leaking. If that's a crime, Beltway would be a penal colony. All-Stars - In interleague-play era, why bother? Especially when stars say, "I've got a headache."