Stop The Presses!

Nov. 19-26: Talkin’ Turkey

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

Well, the holidays are officially upon us, but sadly, it won't be a season of comfort and joy for Kanye West. There'll be an empty seat at the West family's Thanksgiving table this weekend--and judging from Kanye's emotional onstage breakdown in France earlier in the week, he's not going to have much of an appetite or much to be thankful for.

Kanye returned to the stage last Saturday--just one week after his mother Donda West's post-plastic-surgery death--and he understandably unraveled during his intro to the Donda-dedicated song "Hey Mama." Standing before a capacity crowd at the Le Zenith venue in Paris, he announced, "This song is for my mother," then visibly lost his composure. French journalist Meddy Magloire recounted the scene: "He said the word 'mother' and just couldn't go any further. A backup singer, the DJ, and a guitar player came over to console him. It looked like he might collapse. He just couldn't continue. He just stood there in a spotlight, crying while the band continued playing." Kanye left the stage in tears, but returned a few minutes later to a do "Stronger," adding what seemed like extra emphasis to the line "I need you right now"; Magloire described the performance as "magic."

Despite this shaky start, Kanye has refused to cancel any dates on his current European tour. Speaking onstage the night after his Paris meltdown--this time in Brussels--he explained, "There's nothing that [my mother] loved more than to come to the show and scream louder than any fan. She was my first fan that was screaming before anyone else. If she was here, she would tell me, 'Get on that stage and kill it, dawg! Take over the world and be number one like I taught you to be.'" So it looks like Kanye will be celebrating Thanksgiving at London's O2 Arena...although it will be more of a celebration of his late mother's spirit than anything else.

Meanwhile, Donda West's surgeon, Jan Adams--whose wife, incidentally, filed a restraining order against him after an alleged Thanksgiving domestic violence dispute in 2006--has spoken about the suspicions surrounding him, publicly speculating that Donda may have died from an overdose of the post-op Vicodin he prescribed her. But that's apparently all Dr. Adams is saying for now: He was supposed to be interviewed on CNN's Larry King Live Tuesday night, but abruptly walked off the set, declaring, "I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for the West family and they have asked me not to go on. And I've said from the very beginning, I don't have a side in this. They are my side and so I'm going to respect their wishes."

Now, we don't know if this was an act of compliance to a last-minute request from Adams's attorney to keep his mouth shut (and after all the shady stuff that's been said about Dr. Adams, it'd be in the guy's best interest to heed his lawyer's advice). Or maybe it was a media stunt to make him appear more sympathetic (his seemingly staged actions do make us wonder why he bothered to go on Larry King at all; did he just want to make a dramatic exit and appear like some kind of high-road-taking hero?). Or, maybe, just maybe, Adams's conscience got the better of him at this special, family-oriented time of year. Whatever the case may be, we hope all parties involved are able to find some peace this holiday season.

Moving on to slightly lighter but in its own way still disturbing news, there's another pop star who may be missing a loved one during the holidays. We're talking about Amy Winehouse, whose infamous husband/sparring partner, Blake Fielder-Civil, remains in jail on charges stemming from a recent bar brawl. (Perhaps he's not so "Civil" at all!) Of course, Thanksgiving doesn't mean much to a Brit like Amy, but the way things are going with Blake's case (he faces a possible life sentence), his missus may end up drinking alone on all eight crazy nights of Hannukah, on New Year's Eve, and beyond. And that's not good, because the rehab-rejecting diva's recent disastrous concert in Birmingham, England--during which she slurred her way through lyrics, insulted the audience, and walked offstage midsong--took place just hours after she paid her first visit to Blake in prison. So clearly she's not coping well with her lesser half's absence. Really, the woman ought to learn from Kanye West's example and realize that even in times of personal strife, the show must go on.

Anyhoo, there's one member of the Winehouse family who's hoping Blake won't be home for the alcoholidays: Amy's mom Janet (who, ironically, is a pharmacist). Janet boldly told London paper The Mirror this week, "Thank God he's gone inside. I think he's introduced her to [drugs] and now she thinks, 'Oh, this is good, this is OK.'" Man, if by some Christmas miracle the naughty-not-nice Blake gets sprung before December for good behavior, there's going to be one awkward family dinner at the Winehouse house.

And finally, another celebrity family that won't be celebrating Thanksgiving together this year are the Spears-Federlines. This week, Kevin Federline went to court, successfully seeking an order to prevent his ex, Britney "You Drive Me Crazy" Spears, from driving with their kids Sean Preston and Jayden James in her car. Well, we all remember her baby-on-lap scandal (no, Britney--"We're country!" is not an excuse), the many paparazzo feet she's driven over, her seeming inability to exit a car without flashing her Brit-bits, her penchant for attacking automobiles with umbrellas, etc....and after a surveillance video of Britney running a red light with her kids in the car was played in court this week, we understand why K-Fed had concerns. It's obvious that Britney isn't blessed with great behind-the-wheel skills; in fact, we're beginning to wonder if that scene in her "My Prerogative" video, in which her luxury sportscar swerves off the road and plunges hood-first into a swimming pool, wasn't a pre-scripted stunt but an actual accident that just happened to be captured on camera.

Oh, and by the way, for those of you trying to figure out what to buy Britney, the girl who has everything, for NOT buy her a Louis Vuitton-upholstered dashboard, all right? See, a Paris civil court just ordered Sony/BMG to stop broadcasting another one of Brit's vehicular videos, "Do Somethin'," because it features a pink Hummer appointed with unauthorized Vuitton-patterned upholstery. Man, it seems like whenever Britney gets near a motorized vehicle, mayhem ensues. Apparently this chick is unsafe at any speed. Or on any speed.

All right, it's time to go carve the Tofurkey, so we'll sign off for the week. We hope everyone reading this has a happy, happy holiday--and let us all give thanks that our lives aren't as messed up as those of some of today's celebs.  


1) Hey Mama - Kanye West breaks down onstage during a tribute to his mother.

2) Been A Long Time Since They Rock 'N' Rolled - Are Led Zeppelin really going to tour in 2008?

3) Black Christmas - Back To Black star Amy Winehouse gets booed, gets slammed by the United Nations, gets to visit her husband in jail.

4) Toxic Traffic Violation - Britney runs a red light with her sons in the car.

5) Red Hot Lawsuit - The Chili Peppers sue Showtime over the drama series Californication.

6) Kennedy Honors - Neil Diamond reveals "Sweet Caroline" was penned for Caroline Kennedy.

7) Homecoming Queen - Queen axeman Brian May is appointed chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.

8) Mo' Witness, Mo' Problems - New defendants may be allowed in the Notorious B.I.G. wrongful-death case.

9) Beyonce Goes Country, Y'all - She teams with Sugarland at the American Music Awards.

10) Velver Revolver's Visa Gets Slashed - Apparently the supergroup is not welcome in Japan.

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