Paula Deen launching comeback
Celebrity cook Paula Deen, whose career was derailed after she admitted using racial slurs, is going digital.
Paula Deen Ventures, a new company formed to help launch a comeback for Deen, announced plans Wednesday for the creation of the Paula Deen Network. The paid subscription-based network is set to launch in September and will be accessible by computer, smartphone or tablet.
The network will feature daily programming in an unscripted format with new recipes, episodes and cooking tools. Production for the network began last month at a new studio in Savannah that has been designed to look like the set of her first television show, “Paula’s Home Cooking.”
Stevie J back home after arrest
Stevie J says he “feels great” to be home after the reality star of VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” was granted bond following his arrest on allegations he failed to pay more than $1 million in child support.
Stevie J, whose real name is Steven Jordan, was released on a $25,000 bond Wednesday from the Fulton County Jail. He has been ordered to appear in court in the Southern District of New York.
The 40-year-old Grammy-winning producer was arrested Monday.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says Jordan failed to pay support for two children while earning $27,000 a month.
Stevie J’s attorney Daniel Meachum called the allegations “preposterous.”
Just call Chappelle late for work
Dave Chappelle says he never quit his Comedy Central show. He’s just seven years late to work.
Chappelle appeared on “The Late Show With David Letterman” on Tuesday night, his first late-night appearance in more than six years. Chappelle has kept a mostly low-profile since abruptly exiting “Chappelle’s Show” in 2005.
“Technically, I never quit. I’m seven years late for work,” said Chappelle, who actually departed the show nine years ago.
The 40-year-old comic next week begins a string of stand-up performances at Radio City Music Hall. Chappelle announced on Letterman that the rapper Nas will join him for his June 23 show.
Walmart driver pleads not guilty
The truck driver charged in the fatal crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that also injured comedian Tracy Morgan and several other people pleaded not guilty at an initial court appearance Wednesday.
Kevin Roper appeared in state Superior Court to face death by auto and assault by auto charges. His bail was kept at $50,000. Roper and his attorney, David Glassman, declined to speak with reporters after the brief hearing.
Roper was driving a Walmart truck early Saturday when he allegedly swerved to avoid slowed traffic on the turnpike and plowed into Morgan’s limo.
A criminal complaint alleges that the 35-year-old Roper, of Jonesboro, Georgia, hadn’t slept for more than 24 hours before the accident. Walmart has said it believes he was in compliance with federal safety regulations.
A conviction on a death by auto charge carries a five-to-10-year prison sentence. Each assault by auto charge is punishable by up to 18 months in prison.