Tag Archive: Robert Fisher


Advertisements

“She’s still the same person to me,” Malgorzata Saniewska said about Stefani Germanotta, better known today as Lady Gaga.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Malgorzata Saniewska worked at the same restaurant where Stefani Germanotta worked
  • “I offered her the photo shoot, and she said yes right away,” Saniewska said
  • Saniewska kept those early photos to herself “out of respect,” she said
  • Saniewska hopes that those viewing the photos will get to see another side of Gaga

(CNN) — We’ve come to know her as Lady Gaga, but before the world tours, “The Fame” or even the dress made of meat, photographer Malgorzata Saniewska knew her simply as her restaurant co-worker, Stefani Germanotta.

In the summer of 2005, Saniewska, who goes by Maggie, happened to be tending bar at the same West Village restaurant where the 19-year-old soon-to-be star worked as a waitress.

Just 24 at the time, Saniewska had moved from her native Poland to the United States two years prior with dreams of becoming a photographer.

But to support herself, “I started working as a bartender,” she recalled. “It was definitely a money thing. I did want to go to school, but I didn’t do research on photography, my focus was to make better money.”

Keeping an eye on her bank account is what drove Saniewska to study accounting, leaving photography to become an amateur pursuit for a while.

She went from taking landscape photos of New York City to setting up her own shoots, with Gaga being among some of her first ones.

“We were colleagues, we didn’t hang out really heavily, but she’s the nicest girl ever. … She’s down-to-earth,” Saniewska said. “At that time, she gave me a CD of her first single, and I listened to it and I was really impressed. And she’s a beautiful girl. Based on her looks and her personality I thought (a photo shoot) would be great fun.”

CNN Photos: See Malgorzata Saniewska’s exclusive and unseen photos of Lady Gaga

Back then, Gaga “played piano and sang. This 19-year-old girl, she was really talented. She didn’t talk about it a lot, (but) she did say that she studied music. … I cannot even explain to you what she sounds like with just a piano, then or now,” Saniewska said. “I offered her the photo shoot, and she said yes right away.”

Gaga had the perfect location in mind: Her parents’ place on the Upper East Side. (CNN has reached out to Lady Gaga’s rep for comment.)

The two young women hopped on a train and headed over there, and set to work creating what Saniewska says became Lady Gaga’s first photo shoot, although Saniewska didn’t know that at the time.

“The house was empty, it was just the two of us,” Saniewska said. “I knew she was a singer, so our focus was her and her very first piano. We just hung out in her parents’ living room, and the piano was right by the window.”

“She’s a good model, obviously,” Saniewska added with a laugh.

Armed with just her first point-and-shoot camera, Saniewska let the intimate shoot unfold organically.

“We had no plan.”

“We basically walked into her house, she did hair and makeup, picked out the clothes and we started,” she recalled. The lighting was natural: “No strobe lights, nothing special, no tripods,” she said. “It was hand-held.”

Saniewska, who’s never been formally trained, said she shot around 200 photos that day. After culling through the resulting images, choosing the photos with the best natural lighting, she presented Gaga with a CD of the pictures. The burgeoning singer was happy with them, and used some of the art for her own promotional materials.

Of course, there’s no way Saniewska could have known that the young woman she photographed on a summer day in 2005 would become the international superstar she is today. As a matter of fact, Saniewska says that at first, when she saw her as Lady Gaga, she didn’t recognize her, having been accustomed to her as a long-haired brunette waitress.

Even as Gaga’s fame continued to grow, Saniewska kept those early photos to herself “out of respect,” she said, particularly because she wasn’t in touch with her.

And then, she just so happened to bump into her old colleague in 2010.

“I actually ran into her in the East Village, and she came up to me. She was already Lady Gaga, and we spoke a little, and she leaned on me, and she said in my ear, ‘Did you know that this was my first photo shoot?’ I had no idea,” Saniewska said. “She was really excited. From that moment on I figured I could do something about it. And she’s OK with it.”

Saniewska hopes that those viewing the photos will get to see another side of Gaga, a peek at who the star was before the world knew her name.

But even with all the fame, to Saniewska, she’s “still the same girl. The fact that we ran into each other and she came up to me – she didn’t say ‘Hi’ and run off. She stood there for 15 minutes, just chatting. She remembered my name, she remembered who I was, and she had so much to say. She’s still the same person to me.”

Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake announced himself as an Olympic contender when he won gold in the 100 meters final at the 2011 World Athletics Championships in South Korea.

Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake announced himself as an Olympic contender when he won gold in the 100 meters final at the 2011 World Athletics Championships in South Korea.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jamaican Yohan Blake is the current world 100 meter sprint champion
  • Blake took gold at the 2011 World Athletics Championships in South Korea
  • The 22-year-old trains with Olympic champion and 100m record holder Usain Bolt
  • Blake aiming to challenge Bolt for gold at the London Olympics this year

(CNN) — Everyone expected Jamaican flags to be flying high after the 100 meters final at the 2011 World Athletics Championships — but no-one predicted that Usain Bolt would not be performing his customary celebration rituals.

The world’s fastest man had to watch as his training partner Yohan Blake took his title in South Korea, with the Olympic champion having been disqualified for a false start.

The furore over Bolt’s predicament completely overshadowed the achievement of his 22-year-old compatriot, who became the youngest world champion since U.S. sprint legend Carl Lewis was crowned in 1983 aged just 21.

They are firm friends as well as training partners, but when the starting gun sounds at this year’s London Olympics, there will only be one thing on Blake’s mind — scooping another one of Bolt’s titles.

Human to Hero: Sprinter Yohan Blake

Bolt won the 100m and 200m events in record times at Beijing 2008, and earned a third gold in the 4x100m relay, but Blake is closing the gap on his idol with personal bests last year.

CNN’s Human to Hero show caught up with the boy from St. James as he turns his attention to performing on the biggest stage of all.

Early days

Blake’s sprinting career took off in his early teens when he was spotted running at his school in Spanish Town, and he made a big impression at the Carifta Games — a Caribbean track and field meeting for young athletes.

Yohan Blake: Fast Facts

Event: 100m, 200m 4x100m relay

Hometown: St James, Jamaica

Age: 22

Honors: 100m world champion, 4x100m relay champ

Olympic appearances: 0

Daily routine: Up at 6.30am, train for five hours, bed at 1am

How do you relax? Read, play cricket, dominoes, go to the beach (with girls)

Calorie intake: 4,000 or 5,000 a day

“Somebody just saw me running, went up to my school principal and said ‘You’ve got a new track star there,” and from there it started, from the age of 15 or so I started running,” he says.

“When I was in High School I ran the Jamaican national junior record of 10.11 seconds. I was running at the Carifta Games when I ran 10.18 secs in the semis. And I ran 10.11 in the final, so from there I knew I could do something great.

“I think it’s fate because I believe in fate and that it leads towards good things.”

Heroes

“I really have to look up to Usain Bolt because of what he has done. Just to be his training partner and know what he thinks and know what he can do — I have to look up to him.

“Asafa Powell (100m world record holder between June 2005 and May 2008) started it back in the day, and for a guy to do that to put Jamaica on the world stage and say ‘Look, Jamaica can dominate the world,’ I have to look up to someone like that that even though he did not get a world medal at the time. He has put Jamaica out there.”

Gold in Daegu

Blake posted a time of 9.92 seconds, enough to beat a strong field in the final but still well short of Bolt’s world record of 9.58.

“What happened at Daegu — Usain Bolt is on the world stage and people are always going to look at that,” Blake says.

“But I think I turned people’s minds. It wasn’t a fluke, so I think when they look back on Daegu they’ll say, ‘Oh, there’s a young man who is going to challenge him.’ ”

London 2012

What I got at Daegu is what I’ve been working on over the years and it is finally coming true
Yohan Blake

“My first time going into the Olympics, you know, I think it is going to be a breathtaking moment for me. I want to go to the Olympics, have some fun and come back home with some medals.

“When I feel it is a big stage for me as the Olympics is where the big times, the big things really happen because an Olympic medal would really mean a lot.

“It makes more sponsors come out to you, so going out to the Olympics is going to be a really wonderful gift for me, really.”

The competition

“When you have Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt and myself lining up for the 100m, I’m always excited because the competition is really good and I want to be the best person on the day, the best person to execute well,” Blake says.

“I think that is what the world wants to see. It’s going to be really interesting, all them guys they come out feeling fit and feeling ready to go.

“Also in the 200m, Water Dix, me, Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay if he is fit, you know I think anything can happen and I think it’s just going to be interesting.”

Work ethic

“I’m a hard worker and I believe in time — things take time to happen and it’s my time and it’s coming out.

“I work assiduously at what I do, I like the heights by a great man. I work at night, always working. And what I got at Daegu is what I’ve been working on over the years and it is finally coming true.”

  • FILE - This May 8, 2006 file photo shows Mike Wallace, longtime CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent, during an interview at his office in New York. Wallace, famed for his tough interviews on "60 Minutes," has died, Saturday, April 7, 2012. He was 93. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)FILE – This May 8, 2006 file photo …
  • This May 8, 2006 file photo shows Mike Wallace, veteran CBS " 60 Minutes" correspondent, waiting in a hallway near his office to see a colleague in New York, Monday May 8, 2006. Wallace, famed for his tough interviews on "60 Minutes," has died, Saturday, April 7, 2012. He was 93. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)This May 8, 2006 file photo shows …

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Wallace didn’t interview people. He interrogated them. He cross-examined them. Sometimes he eviscerated them.

His reputation was so fearsome that it was often said that the scariest words in the English language were “Mike Wallace is here to see you.”

Wallace, whose pitiless, prosecutorial style transformed television journalism and made “60 Minutes” compulsively watchable, died Saturday night at a care facility in New Canaan, Conn., where he had lived in recent years, CBS spokesman Kevin Tedesco said. He was 93.

Until he was slowed by heart surgery as he neared his 90th birthday in 2008, Wallace continued making news, doing “60 Minutes” interviews with such subjects as Jack Kevorkian and Roger Clemens. He had promised to still do occasional reports when he announced his retirement as a correspondent in 2006.

Wallace, whose career spanned 60 years, said then that he had long vowed to retire “when my toes turn up” and “they’re just beginning to curl a trifle. … It’s become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren’t quite what they used to be.”

Among his later contributions, after bowing out as a regular, was a 2007 profile of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, and an interview with Kevorkian, the assisted suicide doctor released from prison in 2007 who died last year.

In December 2007, Wallace landed the first interview with Clemens after the star pitcher was implicated in the Mitchell report on performance enhancing drugs in baseball. The interview, in which Clemens maintained his innocence, was broadcast in early 2008.

Wallace’s “extraordinary contribution as a broadcaster is immeasurable and he has been a force within the television industry throughout its existence,” Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. president and CEO, said in a statement Sunday.

Wallace was the first man hired when late CBS news producer Don Hewitt put together the staff of “60 Minutes” at its inception in 1968. The show wasn’t a hit at first, but it worked its way up to the top 10 in the 1977-78 season and remained there, season after season, with Wallace as one of its mainstays. Among other things, it proved there could be big profits in TV journalism.

The top 10 streak was broken in 2001, in part due to the onset of huge-drawing rated reality shows. But “60 Minutes” remained in the top 25 in recent years, ranking 15th in viewers in the 2010-11 season.

The show pioneered the use of “ambush interviews,” with reporter and camera crew corralling alleged wrongdoers in parking lots, hallways, wherever a comment — or at least a stricken expression — might be harvested from someone dodging the reporters’ phone calls.

Such tactics were phased out over time — Wallace said they provided drama but not much good information.

And his style never was all about surprise, anyway. Wallace was a master of the skeptical follow-up question, coaxing his prey with a “forgive me, but …” or a simple, “come on.” He was known as one who did his homework, spending hours preparing for interviews, and alongside the exposes, “60 Minutes” featured insightful talks with celebrities and world leaders.

He was equally tough on public and private behavior. In 1973, with the Watergate scandal growing, he sat with top Nixon aide John Ehrlichman and read a long list of alleged crimes, from money laundering to obstructing justice. “All of this,” Wallace noted, “by the law and order administration of Richard Nixon.”

The surly Ehrlichman could only respond: “Is there a question in there somewhere?”

In the early 1990s, Wallace reduced Barbra Streisand to tears as he scolded her for being “totally self-absorbed” when she was young and mocked her decades of psychoanalysis. “What is it she is trying to find out that takes 20 years?” Wallace said he wondered.

“I’m a slow learner,” Streisand told him.

His late colleague Harry Reasoner once said, “There is one thing that Mike can do better than anybody else: With an angelic smile, he can ask a question that would get anyone else smashed in the face.”

Wallace said he didn’t think he had an unfair advantage over his interview subjects: “The person I’m interviewing has not been subpoenaed. He’s in charge of himself, and he lives with his subject matter every day. All I’m armed with is research.”

Wallace himself became a dramatic character in several projects, from the stage version of “Frost/Nixon,” when he was played by Stephen Rowe, to the 1999 film “The Insider,” based in part on a 1995 “60 Minutes” story about tobacco industry whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand, who accused Brown & Williamson of intentionally adding nicotine to cigarettes. Christopher Plummer starred as Wallace and Russell Crowe as Wigand. Wallace was unhappy with the film, in which he was portrayed as caving to pressure to kill a story about Wigand.

Operating on a tip, The New York Times reported that “60 Minutes” planned to excise Wigand’s interview from its tobacco expose. CBS said Wigand had signed a nondisclosure agreement with his former company, and the network feared that by airing what he had to say, “60 Minutes” could be sued along with him.

The day the Times story appeared, Wallace downplayed the gutted story as “a momentary setback.” He soon sharpened his tone. Leading into the revised report when it aired, he made no bones that “we cannot broadcast what critical information about tobacco, addiction and public health (Wigand) might be able to offer.” Then, in a “personal note,” he told viewers that he and his “60 Minutes” colleagues were “dismayed that the management at CBS had seen fit to give in to perceived threats of legal action.”

The full report eventually was broadcast.

Wallace maintained a hectic pace after CBS waived its long-standing rule requiring broadcasters to retire at 65. In early 1999, at age 80, he added another line to his resume by appearing on the network’s spinoff, “60 Minutes II.” (A similar concession was granted Wallace’s longtime colleague, Don Hewitt, who in 2004, at age 81, relinquished his reins as executive producer; he died in 2009.)

Wallace amassed 21 Emmy awards during his career, as well as five DuPont-Columbia journalism and five Peabody awards.

In all, his television career spanned six decades, much of it spent at CBS. In 1949, he appeared asMyron Wallace in a show called “Majority Rules.” In the early 1950s, he was an announcer and game show host for programs such as “What’s in a Word?” He also found time to act in a 1954 Broadway play, “Reclining Figure,” directed by Abe Burrows.

In the mid-1950s came his smoke-wreathed “Night Beat,” a series of one-on-one interviews with everyone from an elderly Frank Lloyd Wright to a young Henry Kissinger that began on local TV in New York and then appeared on the ABC network. It was the show that first brought Wallace fame as a hard-boiled interviewer, a “Mike Malice” who rarely gave his subjects any slack.

Wrote Coronet magazine in 1957: “Wallace’s interrogation had the intensity of a third degree, often the candor of a psychoanalytic session. Nothing like it had ever been known on TV. … To Wallace, no guest is sacred, and he frankly dotes on controversy.”

Sample “Night Beat” exchange, with colorful restaurateur Toots Shor. Wallace: “Toots, why do people call you a slob?” Shor: “Me? Jiminy crickets, they musta been talking about Jackie Gleason.”

In those days, Wallace said, “interviews by and large were virtual minuets. … Nobody dogged, nobody pushed.” He said that was why “Night Beat” ”got attention that hadn’t been given to interview broadcasts before.”

It was also around then that Wallace did a bit as a TV newsman in the 1957 Hollywood drama “A Face in the Crowd,” which starred Andy Griffith as a small-town Southerner who becomes a political phenomenon through his folksy television appearances. Two years later, Wallace helped create “The Hate That Hate Produced,” a highly charged program about the Nation of Islam that helped make a national celebrity out of Malcolm X and was later criticized as biased and inflammatory.

After holding a variety of other news and entertainment jobs, including serving as advertising pitchman for a cigarette brand, Wallace became a full-time newsman for CBS in 1963.

He said it was the death of his 19-year-old son, Peter, in an accident in 1962 that made him decide to stick to serious journalism from then on. (Another son, Chris, followed his father and became a broadcast journalist, most recently as a Fox News Channel anchor.)

Wallace had a short stint reporting from Vietnam, and took a sock in the jaw while covering the tumultuous 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. But he didn’t fit the stereotype of the Eastern liberal journalist. He was a close friend of the Reagans and was once offered the job of Richard Nixon’s press secretary. He called his politics moderate.

One “Night Beat” interview resulted in a libel suit, filed by a police official angry over remarks about him by mobster Mickey Cohen. Wallace said ABC settled the lawsuit for $44,000, and called it the only time money had been paid to a plaintiff in a suit in which he was involved.

The most publicized lawsuit against him was by retired Gen. William C. Westmoreland, who sought $120 million for a 1982 “CBS Reports” documentary, “The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception.” Westmoreland dropped the libel suit in 1985 after a long trial. Lawyers for each side later said legal costs of the suit totaled $12 million, of which $9 million was paid by CBS.

Wallace once said the case brought on depression that put him in the hospital for more than a week. “Imagine sitting day after day in the courtroom hearing yourself called every vile name imaginable,” he said.

In 1996, he appeared before the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging to urge more federal funds for depression research, saying that he had felt “lower, lower, lower than a snake’s belly” but had recovered through psychiatry and antidepressant drugs. He later disclosed that he once tried to commit suicide during that dark period. Wallace, columnist Art Buchwald and author William Styron were friends who commiserated often enough about depression to call themselves “The Blues Brothers,” according to a 2011 memoir by Styron’s daughter, Alexandra.

Wallace called his 1984 book, written with Gary Paul Gates, “Close Encounters.” He described it as “one mostly lucky man’s encounters with growing up professionally.”

In 2005, he brought out his memoir, “Between You and Me.”

Among those interviewing him about the book was son Chris, for “Fox News Sunday.” His son asked: Does he understand why people feel a disaffection from the mainstream media?

“They think they’re wide-eyed commies. Liberals,” the elder Wallace replied, a notion he dismissed as “damned foolishness.”

Wallace was born Myron Wallace on May 9, 1918, in Brookline, Mass. He began his news career in Chicago in the 1940s, first as radio news writer for the Chicago Sun and then as reporter for WMAQ. He started at CBS in 1951.

He was married four times. In 1986, he wed Mary Yates Wallace, the widow of his close friend and colleague, Ted Yates, who had died in 1967. Besides his wife, Wallace is survived by his son, Chris, a stepdaughter, Pauline Dora, and stepson Eames Yates. His wife declined to comment Sunday.

___

Associated Press writer Deepti Hajela, former Associated Press writer Polly Anderson and National Writer Hillel Italie contributed to this report.

Tesla Roadster

Tesla Motors expects to see revenues triple this year

State owned power supplier Abu Dhabi National Energy (TAQA) has sold its 7% stake in US electric carmaker Tesla.

TAQA, three-quarter owned by the government, said it made a profit of $113m (£71m) on the sale.

Tesla was founded in 2003 and its best car is the 2008 Tesla Roadster, which is sold in 32 countries.

The company, which also has part shares owned by carmakers Daimler and Toyota, has seen its 2010 share listing price of $10 double since then.

Tesla expects to become profitable in 2013 and envisages a tripling of revenues this, helped by July deliveries of its premium electric car, the Model S.

Abu Dhabi’s TAQA said it had sold the 7.3 million shares transferred to it by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority in late 2010.

It said it had “admiration for Tesla’s vision, technology and products”, but that the carmaker was a non-core investment for the body.

The emirate remains the largest shareholder in Daimler through its sovereign wealth fund Aabar Investments.

Pope Benedict gives mass and his Urbi et Orbi message in St Peter’s Square

Pope Benedict XVI has delivered his traditional Easter message of peace in front of tens of thousands of pilgrims in St Peter’s Square in Rome.

He urged Syria’s government to end the bloody year-long conflict, and spoke of the trouble in Nigeria and Mali.

At a Mass on Saturday, he warned that mankind is “groping in the darkness, unable to distinguish good from evil”.

Earlier, the Vatican confirmed the Pope would be travelling to Lebanon for a three-day visit in September.

“May the risen Christ grant hope to the Middle East and enable all the ethnic, cultural and religious groups in that region to work together to advance the common good and respect for human rights,” said Pope Benedict during his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and the World) Easter message.

“Particularly in Syria, may there be an end to bloodshed and an immediate commitment to the path of respect, dialogue and reconciliation, as called for by the international community.”

He voiced hope that the “many refugees” currently in need of humanitarian assistance “find the acceptance and solidarity capable of relieving their dreadful sufferings”.

For the West African nation of Mali, which was plunged into political crisis after army officers seized power in a coup two weeks ago, he said “may the glorious Christ grant peace and stability”.

And for Nigeria, which has been hit by inter-religious and ethnic violence, “may the joy of Easter grant the strength needed to take up anew the building of a society which is peaceful and respectful of the religious freedom of its citizens”.

However, as he spoke, reports were coming in of a deadly car bombing close to a church in the Nigerian city of Kaduna.

Single candle

The theme of the Saturday evening vigil was the contrast between darkness and light.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

The darkness enshrouding God and obscuring values is the real threat to our existence and to the world in general”

Pope Benedict XVI

The service was brought forward from its traditional midnight start in order not to tax the 84-year-old’s strength – and he was wheeled on a raised mobile platform along the central nave of a darkened St Peter’s Basilica carrying a single lighted candle, symbolising the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Gradually, as other believers lit their individual candles from a single flame, St Peter’s was flooded with light, the BBC’s David Willey reports from Rome.

During the Mass, the Pope also baptised eight new converts by pouring water over their bowed heads.

The pontiff’s official schedule – which recently saw him return from visits to Cuba and Mexico – is taking a toll, our correspondent says.

His elder brother in Germany has said that Pope Benedict – who turns 85 later this month – intends to cut back on foreign travel, as it wears him out.

However, the Vatican has confirmed the Pope has accepted an invitation by religious leaders in Lebanon to visit the country for three-days in September.

Easter is one of the most joyous celebrations in the Christian calendar, marking the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

Continue reading the main story

Related Stories

EXCLUSIVE

 


Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have been dating for roughly two weeks, but it’s a relationship 8 years in the making …

According to our sources, the two have been friends since 2004 — and have flirted on-and-off — but the timing was never right to pursue a relationship … until now.

We’re told both sides always felt a spark, but they NEVER acted inappropriately while Kanye was with Amber Rose … or while Kim was with Kris Humphries.

In fact, we’re told Kim was recently kicking around the idea of reconciling with Reggie Bush … but after hanging out with him in Miami a few weeks ago, decided the two weren’t compatible anymore.

Kim finally reconnected with Kanye in Paris when she attended his fashion show … and shortly after that, both sides decided to “give dating a shot.”

And so far, we’re told Kim has been super-impressed with the rapper … who pulled one hell of a surprise when they hit up FAO Schwarz in NYC a few days ago.

Sources say Kanye made some calls and had an entire floor of the toy store roped off so they could get a private lesson from a guy who taught them how to play “Chopsticks” on the over-sized piano featured in the movie “Big.”

Kim’s currently back in L.A. … but we’re told she plans to get her ass back to NYC as soon as possible to see him.

Just 20 years old, Basel’s Xherdan Shaqiri has already been one of the Swiss Super League’s most talked about talents for some time now. During Basel’s impressive Champions League campaign this season, he attracted more international attention and ended up signing a €10-million deal with Bayern Munich that will be finalized this summer. And this is exactly why Bayern were so eager to grab him.

Helping Basel to a 1-1 draw against (a distant) second-place Luzern, Shaqiri executed a brilliant and powerful scissor kick from an angle that proved far quicker than the opposing goalkeeper’s reflexes. So that’s why they’re smiling in Munich right now.

 

 

Xherdan Shaqiri in Action

0404_mary_j_blige_burger_king_ex


Mary J. Blige
 says she never signed off on the controversial fried chicken ad that she shot for Burger King — at least not the version that was blasted on the Internet.

Mary J. tells TMZ, “I agreed to be a part of a fun and creative campaign that was supposed to feature a dream sequence. Unfortunately, that’s not what was happening in that clip.”

Mary also says, “I understand my fans being upset by what they saw. But, if you’re a Mary fan, you have to know I would never allow an unfinished spot like the one you saw go out.”

The spot — which Burger King has since yanked from its YouTube site — features Mary singing about a new crispy chicken wrap. The ad drew tons of criticism on Twitter for playing off a stereotype about African-Americans and chicken.

BREAKING NEWS

0405_tori_hunter_BN_01
Los Angeles Angels stud Torii Hunter was staring down the barrel of a loaded firearm yesterday … when cops raced to his mansion in Newport, CA … and drew their weapons on the MLB star.

Hunter admits it’s kind of his fault … explaining on Twitter that he accidentally triggered the house alarm … and 20 minutes later cops had arrived to the property to investigate the scene.

Hunter says he went outside to talk with the cops … and, “They drew their guns on me.”

But then Hunter suggested he was racially profiled … tweeting, “They didn’t believe I lived here in Newport Coast so they walked me upstairs at gunpoint to get my ID.”

He continued,  “When I showed him my ID, he said I’m an Angel fan hope u guys have a great season. ARE U KIDDING ME!!!!!! Lol.”

One of Hunter’s teammates chimed in with a tweet that read, “That’s racist.”

Hunter responded, “lol … Now you know I can’t say that.”

A short time later, Hunter changed his tune … tweeting, “Hey Twitterland! I’m not upset that the cops did their job today. I’m actually glad they were protecting home.”

He added, “It was my fault that the alarm went off anyways. I just thought it was cool to let u guys know my awkward moment for today. The cops that were here today had there guns drawn but pointed downward in for safety. Those guys handled the situation like trained cops.”

%d bloggers like this: