Cousin who sought Wonder bread, now toast in prison

Posted: July 13, 2012

A superior court judge in Los Angeles has ordered Stevie Wonder's cousin to stand trial on an extortion charge after hearing testimony that the man and his girlfriend attempted to sell an 80-minute film ranting against the singer's treatment of his family for millions of dollars.

Judge Ray Jurado ruled Thursday that prosecutors had presented enough evidence for a jury to decide whether Alpha L. Walker and Tamara E. Diaz extorted Wonder by threatening to sell the movie to various media outlets if they weren't paid by the Grammy-winning musician.

Alpha beta have a good lawyer.

The pair has been jailed since May 2, when they were arrested during a sting organized by Wonder's attorney and L.A. police. The pair was given a $10,000 down payment on a $500,000 agreement to hand over the film footage and keep its contents confidential.

Alpha's attorney, Ian Wallach, said his client had made a movie about his own life, was marketing it for sale and his actions were protected by the First Amendment.

Alpha and Tamara have pleaded not guilty.

Twilight for ‘Twilight'

About 6,000 fans of "The Twilight Saga" were treated to the first seven minutes of "Breaking Dawn — Part 2," which hits theaters in November.

Many slept overnight for a chance to attend the panel presentation at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday, and one fan who had camped out since Sunday, 53-year-old Gisela Gagliardi of New York, was killed Tuesday when she was hit by a car while crossing a street near the Convention Center. Comic-Con's head of marketing addressed the fans gathered in the convention hall to say he was shocked at the woman's death and said, "our heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to her family."

The panel's moderator also began by paying tribute to Gagliardi, saying she "will always live in our hearts and memories."

That lasted a few seconds and then the screaming began for Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and fellow cast members Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz and series author Stephenie Meyer.

Spoiler alert: The opening moments of "Breaking Dawn — Part 2" show Bella Swan (Stewart) adjusting to her new life as a vampire.

24/7 Dan Gross

Tattle's always-working colleague, who's been on the Jennifer Lopez beat, reports that on Wednesday evening, J. Lo brought her children, another woman and a security guard to Franklin Square where the family rode the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel and then ate at SquareBurger. They had veggie burgers, hamburgers and fries and Lopez requested a special milkshake, chocolate and strawberry.

They ate at the picnic tables in the Square and also took some family photos near the Living Flame Memorial to fallen police and firefighters.

Lopez and family have been staying in town at the Ritz-Carlton as she and boyfriend Casper Smart rehearsed for her tour which plays Montreal Saturday

South Philly native comedienne Eleanor Kerrigan can be seen on Saturday night's episode of "Stand Up in Stilettos" (10:30, TV Guide Channel). The female stand-up series is hosted by Ardmore native "Office" actress Kate Flannery.

TATTBITS

Kristin Chenoweth, who was hospitalized Wednesday after being struck in the head by a piece of lighting equipment on the set of CBS' "The Good Wife," has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

Jill Fritzo, Chenoweth's publicist, said the actress "thanks everyone for their prayers and good wishes."

Chenoweth, who has a recurring role during the upcoming season, was filming a scene in Brooklyn when a gust of wind blew a lighting silk out of place, striking her in the noggin. A TMZ.com source Chenoweth was "knocked out cold."

Thus not defying gravity.

In order to rededicate himself to Aerosmith, Steven Tyler says he's leaving "American Idol."

Who knows what we'll miss more, his incisive critiques or his flirting with girls young enough to be his granddaughter.

Us Weekly reported that Randy Jackson may leave also, which is kind of like a "dawg" running away from home.

But you'd think for the amount of money the job pays to sit and listen to karaoke, you'd think someone would want to keep it.

Daily News wire services contributed to this report. Email gensleh@phillynews.com

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