Speaking Out

Meek Mill speaks out from prison: 'I am a political prisoner'

Rapper Meek Mill tells Page Six that he is a "political prisoner" and a victim of a marred criminal justice system that holds black men in prison for crimes they did not commit.

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Back in 2008, Mill was convicted in Philadelphia for selling crack to an informant and threatening police officers with a gun — charges he has denied. Judge Genece Brinkley sentenced him to up to 23 months in jail and 10 years probation. The hip-hop star served several months of his sentence and was let out on parole.

However, he was arrested again in 2017 for "reckless endangerment" for doing wheelies on a motorbike in New York City while not wearing a helmet. While no new charges were filed, because he was still on probation, the same judge sentenced him to two to four years in jail.

This hefty sentence has ignited criticism from fellow artists like JAY-Z, who has said that "the criminal justice system stalks black people like Meek Mill."

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In a major development, it has now been alleged in court documents that Mill's original conviction was a setup by corrupt police officers. A few months ago, his arresting officer and the main witness against the rapper, Reggie Graham, was revealed to be part of a list held by the Philadelphia District Attorney of "tainted" police who had a "history of lying, racial bias, or brutality."

While Meek is still in jail, having now served five months behind bars, appeal pending, the criticism of his sentencing grows louder. The DA, the mayor and the governor all say that he should be let out on bail, however, Judge Brinkley thus far has refused.

Mill recently got on the phone with Page Six from the State Correctional Institution in Chester, Pennsylvania, to discuss the ongoing case: "I am a political prisoner. Yes, I'm frustrated there's no way in a million years I could get a fair trial in front of this judge," he said. "Yeah, I am angry, but I am a prisoner of politics — me being in this situation, has brought light to the people who are serving time because of other corrupt cops."

Mill went on to explain why he could not have pointed a loaded gun at the cops: "In the middle of a full-blown raid, do you believe that I could point a gun at two officers, when there's 10 other officers in attendance with firearms in the air?"

"Do you believe in America that I could point a gun at two officers and not be killed or at least shot at?" he asked. "They are trained … to shoot into the target and neutralize, that's why you are seeing young black men who are shot 20 times, 15 times, for reaching for their cellphone in their pocket or running from police."

"Anybody in the world — you don't even have to be a judge — knows I didn't point a gun at these cops," he continued. "I don't have a reason to point a gun at a police officer, I am not a suicidal person, I never thought about suicide, I don't want to kill myself. Pointing a gun at a cop is suicide."

"You will never even hear a lyric [from] me talking about killing a cop or shooting at a cop," he said. "Everybody knows if you are a black young kid coming up, you know don't ever lift a firearm at a cop unless you want to die. It's simple."

Along with a sworn affidavit filed in February by an officer saying that he never saw Meek point the gun, the rapper also claims that officers lied about him having sold crack to an informant.

"They [the officers] are supposed to bring the crack to court as evidence, most of the time they give the informant marked money," he said. "I didn't have any of that in my case, and she [Judge Brinkley] found me guilty on all charges. … Now there's all this evidence coming forward that the cop that testified against me is corrupt, he's not allowed to testify [again] in the city of Philadelphia," Mill explained to Page Six.

"Once officers are corrupted, they say it is fruit from a poisonous tree, anything that he ever did is poisonous, and the cases are supposed to be retried or thrown out," he added. "I did not point a gun at police … and they arrested me outside, they handcuffed me, they took me into the house and they beat me up … and when I came out my face was bloody, I had abrasions to my face … my hair pulled out of my head. The way the cops treated me, they were the thugs, they beat me, they lied about it, and they sent me to jail."

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Meek feels that the judge's bizarre interest in the case keeps him a victim of the system. He says her actions include checking up on him personally at community service, telling him that he should get a new manager for his music and inviting him and former girlfriend Nicki Minaj to her chambers and requesting he write a song about her as a judge. The judge also selected Meek's probation officer while he was on parole.

Meek told Page Six of Brinkley, "It is clearly an obsession with me because … anybody should be able to handle my case … the judge hand-picked my probation officer and then I am in trouble every time."

Judge Brinkley's attorney, Charles Peruto Jr., has vehemently denied that she has a "personal vendetta" against Meek. "It's a ridiculous and outrageous claim," he said, insisting that she is just doing her job. "If you don't want a tough judge, then don't elect them."

Meek continued to plead his case to Page Six: "But now it is not normal, I'm doing time in a state penitentiary right now for a crime I didn't do when I was 19, I'm 30 years old now. Do you think I pointed a gun at a cop? That's just as simple as it gets …. you would be dead … I was arrested by a dirty strike force. … I was locked up by corrupt cops, they think that because I am a celebrity, I'll find a way around it. No — I want justice."

"The [Philadelphia] District Attorney, Larry Krasner supports me getting bail … he isn't supporting me getting bail because I'm a rapper, or I'm a black kid, or because I make money, he's doing it because it's the right thing to do. He's familiar with these cops, he's familiar with their activities. … He knows nine times out of 10 these charges would be thrown away. He's not doing it to look good for Philadelphia, he's doing it because it's the right thing to do."

Meek (real name Robert Williams) was raised in poor conditions in North Philadelphia and grew to stardom after his 2012 debut album, "Dreams and Nightmares." But he says that he's still grounded despite the fame: "There's many other men in this situation, their lives need to be saved too, they're kidnapped from their families, locked up in a concrete and metal facility, over crimes they most likely didn't commit."

"Every day that goes by I am losing [time with] my family, I am losing millions of dollars, I am wasting time in prison on a case they know they might overturn, but [I'm told] it's a process, it takes time, they know I can't be treated special," he said.

Finally, Meek is worried about his 6-year-old son, Papi, who lives with his mom in New Jersey and is having a tough time dealing with it all.

"I've always been humble and I know God has a plan for me. I'm wasting time in here, I read, I learn, but I'm wasting time," said the rapper. "I've got a 6-year-old son who has never been suspended from school and in the five months I've spent in jail, my son has been suspended from school," Mill said. "My son uses YouTube and he sees his dad is in prison, so he thinks that's the right thing to do — be bad. I'm not there to support my son — if I'm not there to support my son, I'm wasting time as a man."

The rapper's next hearing is on Monday, April, 16, with Judge Brinkley. As of now, there are no clear signs of any progress being made toward freeing him.

Home damage

'Queen of Versailles' Florida mega-mansion sustains massive damage from Hurricane Ian

The Orlando mega-mansion at the center of the "The Queen of Versailles" documentary has been absolutely ravaged by Hurricane Ian, and its owner estimates damages could exceed $10 million.

"Versailles is a DISASTER! Water flooded the house and we can't even wrap our heads around the damage. Luckily we're ok," Jackie Siegel, known as the "The Queen of Versailles," tweeted on Friday, Sept. 30. 

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Jackie shared images and videos of the damage with TMZ, and they show several inches of standing water filling most of the ground floor. In addition, portions of the ceiling caved in and have significant water damage. Just before Hurricane Ian, workers finished laying 24-carat gold molding in the living room and pieces of it are on the floor. The outdoor patio was also under several inches of water. 

"There's a flood coming into Versailles," she said in a video. "My back patio is a giant lake and all this water is coming into Versailles… This whole place is soaked."

TMZ said Jackie has begun the process of pumping water outside of the home, which is costing $100,000.

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Modeled after the Palace of Versailles in France, the Siegel family home is rather infamous, largely due to the aforementioned 2012 documentary, which showcased the construction of the 90,000-square-foot mansion. Once dubbed the largest single-family house in America, the home has been under construction since 2004, but due to a series of setbacks over the last 18 years the family has yet to spend a night there. 

Prior to Ian, Jackie and her husband, Westgate Resorts founder David Siegel, hoped to finish construction by 2023. Because of damages from the hurricane, that date has been pushed back. While the home's been under construction, the Siegel's have been living in a home about a mile away from Versailles.

Marriage woes?

Carrie Underwood's upcoming tour plans are fueling marriage trouble: Report

Carrie Underwood's marriage is hanging by a thread and her upcoming tour is at the center of the discord, claims a new report.

A source tells RadarOnline that Carrie's husband, Mike Fisher, is growing tired of being a stay-at-home dad and wants to pursue a career as a professional hockey coach. The country music singer, though, is not a fan of Mike, a former NHL player, traveling so much again. Instead, she wants him to travel with her and their children — Isaiah, 7, and Jacob, 3 — on her upcoming 43-date concert tour, her longest concert trek ever.

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"Carrie says she can't function without her family with her on tour, and she doesn't want to slough the kids off on a babysitter," the source said. "But for Mike, when he goes along on Carrie's tours, it's a lot of chasing their kids around!"

Mike, Radar alleges, is beginning to see his 12-year marriage as one-sided. 

"Mike gets a lot of offers to go into coaching. But when he brings it up to Carrie, she says absolutely not," the friend said. "She reminds him when he was playing traveling all over North America, they barely saw each other."

After a 20-year NHL career, Mike retired in 2018. Still, he wants to be around the game, which has left their marriage at a crossroads, claims the report.

"He has dreams too," the source reportedly close to the couple said. "You just feel if the two of them can't reach a happy medium in their personal and professional lives, their marriage is doomed!"

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This is hardly the first time the couple has been hit with marriage-trouble rumors. This time, though, fans are pointing to Mike's absence from Carrie's Instagram. Although Mike did appear in a Sept. 15 post, the video was actually a throwback from three years earlier. Prior to that, Mike was seen in a June photo on Carrie's Instagram — that was also a throwback. Further, Mike was not with Carrie at a taping of CMT Giants earlier this month, but they did recently have a date night. He also attended the Grammy Awards with her in April.

"She puts on a happy show for the cameras, but there's a lot going on behind the scenes," a source told OK Magazine in June. "If you ask people who know them, they'll say [their marriage] is far from picture perfect. The truth is they've had issues for years."

Forever remembered

Sarah Jessica Parker pens touching tribute to stepdad after sudden passing

Sarah Jessica Parker is paying tribute and bidding farewell to her late stepfather, Paul Giffin Forste.

On Friday, the "Sex and the City" alum shared a black-and-white photo of Paul, who passed away this week.

"Godspeed. RIP," she captioned the image. "Strong like a bull. Til the end. At home and among all those who loved you dearly, you will be missed always."

She added, "We will take good care of Mommy, who you worshipped for 54 years. X, SJ."

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SJP caused some confusion when she pulled out of the New York City Ballet's 10th Annual Fall Fashion Gala on Sept. 28, in which she was being honored. Shortly after, a source told Page Six that the 11th hour decision to withdraw was due to a "sudden devastating family situation." 

Then, on Sept. 29, SJP announced she pulled out to be by the side of her stepfather during his final breaths. 

"Our family is sad to announce that after an unexpected and rapid illness, Paul Giffin Forste passed away yesterday at age 76," the "Sex and the City" star's family said in a Sept. 29 statement. "In his last moments he was surrounded with the love and gratitude of his adored wife Barbara of 54 years, and children, including Sarah Jessica Parker." The statement continued, "Paul will be remembered with the spirit of loving kindness which was his faith, his special delight in his 13 grandchildren, and his sustained belief in making the world a more charitable, tolerant, and beautiful place for all."

Who's in charge?

10-year-old email about control of Anne Heche's estate at center of feud between her son, ex

Anne Heche's death is continuing to cause quite the family feud. 

Following her death, Anne's 20-year-old son, Homer Laffoon, filed a petition to be named executor of her estate, and he asked that he and his half-brother, Atlas Tupper, be their mother's sole heirs. 

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Shortly after, Anne's ex-boyfriend, fellow "Men In Trees" actor James Tupper, submitted an email that the actress supposedly sent him in 2011, an email wherein Anne asked him to run her estate. 

"FYI in case I die tomorrow and anyone asks. My wishes are that all of my assets go to the control of Mr. James Tupper to be used to raise my children and then given to the children," she supposedly wrote. 

Homer is now fighting against that email, saying it wasn't a legal document and should be illegitimate, Page Six reports. In fact, he says Anne commonly sent messages like this. 

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In his court filing, Homer acknowledges that the email is real, but said it "fails to satisfy the legal requirements for a valid formal witnessed will" because it "was not signed by [Heche] and does not have two witnesses who signed the document during [her] lifetime."

He added, "Mr. Tupper repeatedly refers to the email … as a 'will.' However — as a matter of law — the email does not qualify as either a holographic will or formal witnessed will."

Anne and James dated for 10 years and share 13-year-old Atlas, but the duo had not been together in the four years leading up to her death.

"This document, which fails to qualify as a will on the same basis as the email … makes no reference whatsoever to Mr. Tupper, which is not surprising given their acrimonious breakup in 2018," Homer argues.

Homer said Anne even sent a similar email to a bookkeeper after contacting COVID-19 in 2020.

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In his argument to be executor, James said Homer is unemployed and too young to be given the responsibility of managing his mother's funds. He also said Homer and Anne were estranged, and insisted that the 20-year-old has had no contact with his half-brother since Anne's death. James further alleged that Homer changed the locks on the home Anne and Atlas shared, preventing the teen from gaining access to his belongings inside. 

Homer's augments are "unfounded personal attacks" and "frivolous legal claims," James said. 

Wedding gifts

What Joe Biden gifted Meghan King for her wedding to his nephew

Meghan King's marriage to Cuffe Owens went kaput in a matter of weeks, but she'll always have something to remind her of her ex and his family: A gift from Cuffe's uncle, President Joe Biden.

"He gave me a crystal bowl, like, with the presidential seal," the former "Real Housewives of Orange County" star, 38, told Us Weekly, noting that she still has it.

She continued, "And Kamala Harris wrote me a note."

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Meghan and Cuffe's marriage was stunning in its speed — the couple metmarried and split up all within three months. (President Biden attended the September 2021 nuptials, which took place at Cuffe's childhood home in Pennsylvania.) In December 2021, Meghan confirmed that she and Cuffe were over.

Meghan opened up about her trip down the aisle while on SiriusXM's "Jeff Lewis Live," saying her partnership with Cuffe felt like an "arranged marriage."

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In chatting with Us, the former reality TV star described how "weird" it was having secret service at her nuptials. 

"The craziest moment for me, was when my daughter said, 'Mommy, what are those guys doing?' And there were two snipers with these, like, massive guns, like, walking because the president was getting ready to leave," she explained. "So they're packing up and going, so they have these massive guns. And I said, 'Oh honey, those people were there to protect the president because the president was here.' And she said, 'President Biden.' And I said, 'Yeah.' She goes, 'No, he wasn't!'"

Although the marriage didn't work out, Meghan said the Biden's "felt like family."

"The wedding day was great. It was so much fun, intimate and his family's wonderful. I mean, I don't have a bad thing to say about the Bidens at all," she said. "They were so warm and normal and welcoming."

Family dynamic

How Mariah Carey really feels about Nick Cannon's ever-growing family

Mariah Carey is not kidding around — at least not like her ex-husband Nick Cannon.

While Nick continues to increase his family, Mariah isn't exactly keeping a scorecard. 

"Mariah doesn't keep up with Nick's babies and baby mamas," a source told Us Weekly. "There's too many to keep up with! She's happy for him and wishes him the best."

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Since Nick and Mariah welcomed twins Moroccan and Monroe Cannon on April 30, 2011, he has been busy. On Sept. 15, he shocked the world when he announced that he welcomed a child, his ninth, with Lanisha Cole. The "Masked Singer" host also has two more children on the way. By the end of the year, the "Wild 'n Out" star will have 11 children with six different women.

Nick has praised Mariah, the mother of his eldest children, for years. While on "The Hot Tee Talk Show" in July, he was asked if he would ever consider a reconciliation with the "Hero" singer. 

"Of course, that's my fantasy," he said. "That's somebody I will always love. I will never have a love like I had with Mariah."

He added, "If I had the opportunity, if it could be the way that it was, I'm there."

Nick following up with comments by spouting several of Mariah's songs fitting for the conversation, including "Always Be My Baby," "We Belong Together" and "Don't Forget About Us."

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This might all be wishful thinking for Nick, as Mariah has been in a relationship with her ex-backup dancer Bryan Tanaka since 2016.

"They're pretty inseparable," Us' source said, adding that "Mariah's not in any rush to get married again."

Twitter issue

Billy Eichner: Carrie Underwood blocking me on Twitter was a 'great honor'

Before he tweets! Last year, Carrie Underwood blocked comedian Billy Eichner on Twitter, and he's still laughing about the snub.

In fact, the "Bros" star called it a "great honor."

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While recounting the spat on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," Billy said Carrie's social media move came during COVID. 

"There was this thing where she, like, during the height of COVID, she retweeted a speech by some Republican guy [Matt Walsh] and said that kids shouldn't have to wear masks in schools," Billy said.

The way the "Billy On The Street" star saw it, Carrie was "letting her political views be known for the first time."

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Soon after, Billy made several jokes about Carrie and her views, and "she didn't like that," he claimed. 

"It was one of the great thrills of my life," he said of being blocked by the country superstar.

Last year, after realizing he was blocked, Billy tweeted out a screenshot that informed him he's persona non grata on Carrie's Twitter. 

"ICONIC," he said at the time. 

Prison bound

'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' actor who killed own mom fears being brutalized in prison

Ryan Grantham, the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" actor who was convicted last week of killing his own mother, is scared he'll become a victim of abuse in prison because on his slight stature.

His lawyer, Chris Johnson, is now arguing that Ryan shouldn't be housed in a maximum security prison, telling TMZ the actor could be "physically, psychologically and sexually intimidated" by hardened criminals. 

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Although Ryan is 24, he has a slim stature, weighing about 100 lbs and standing 5'2". The lawyer feels that age, size and mental state should all be considered for prison housing. He's currently pushing for Ryan to end up in a medium security prison, and the judge in Ryan's case also called for same housing. However, TMZ points out that that decision is actually up to corrections officials, not judges or attorneys.

Six months ago, Ryan pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder for the 2020 death of his mom, Barbara Waite. Prosecutors alleged that Ryan shot his mother in the back of the head as she played piano at her home.

"I shot her in the back of the head. In the moments after, she would have known it was me," he said into his GoPro camera after the killing.

The situation could have been worse, too. Prosecutors claim that Ryan had aspirations of assassinating Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well. In fact, one day after his mother's death, Ryan loaded his car with guns, ammunition, Molotov cocktails, and directions to the Prime Minister's home. He even wrote about his plans for Trudeau in his dairy. 

CBC.ca reported that Ryan thought about carrying out a mass shooting while driving to Trudeau's home. However, he aborted his plans and turned himself into Vancouver police. 

Ryan — who played Jeffery Augustine in "Riverdale" and Rodney James in "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" — will not be eligible for parole for 14 years. 

Last words

Jealous and fed up with fame: Anthony Bourdain's final texts revealed…

In his final days, Anthony Bourdain was fed up with his fans, his fame and his relationship with actress Asia Argento, a new book claims. 

Many of the Anthony's last texts were published in the unauthorized biography titled "Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain," which gives some insight into the famous chef's state of mind. 

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"I hate my fans, too. I hate being famous. I hate my job," he apparently wrote to his ex-wife Ottavia Busia-Bourdain. "I am lonely and living in constant uncertainty."

Anthony also seemed to often be at odds with Asia, his girlfriend of two years. The book, written by journalist Charles Leerhsen, claimed the beloved "Parts Unknown" host became "incensed" just five days before his death when he saw photos of the "Land of the Dead" star dancing with a reporter at restaurant. Soon, Anthony got online and searched her name "hundreds of times," which prompted a fight. 

"I am okay. I am not spiteful. I am not jealous that you have been with another man. I do not own you. You are free. As I said. As I promised. As I truly meant," he allegedly text Asia one day before his death. He added, "But you were careless. You were reckless with my heart. My life."

Asia supposedly replied, "I can't take this." 

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Per Page Six, one of Anthony's biggest gripes stemmed from the fact that Asia and the reporter were dancing in Ristorante Camponesch, where he and the actress would frequent together in Rome.

Amidst the fit of jealousy, the actress broke up with Anthony and cited his "possessiveness."

The following day, which was the day of his death, the book says Anthony reached out to Asia. 

"Is there anything I can do?" he reportedly asked. She replied, "Stop busting my balls."

"ok," he reportedly wrote back in June 2018. Not long after, Anthony hanged himself in a hotel room in France.

After the death, Asia said many people blamed her. But, in a chat with "DailyMailTV" two months later, she maintained that she's not at fault, even insisting that infidelity ran rampant in the relationship.

"People say I murdered him. They say I killed him. I understand that the world needs to find a reason. I would like to find a reason too. People need to think that he killed himself for something like this. He cheated on me, too. It wasn't a problem for us," she said. "He was a man who traveled 265 days a year. When we saw each other, we took really great pleasure in each other's presence, but we are not children. We are grown-ups."