National Briefs

Posted on 28 Sep 2006 at 1:15pm

Los Angeles nightclub cancels concert after complaints over anti-gay lyrics

LOS ANGELES A nightclub has canceled a performance by Buju Banton, a reggae star whose violent lyrics about gays and lesbians have made him a controversial figure. E-mail messages and phone calls from concerned customers prompted the cancellation of the Oct. 2 show, said Adam Manacker, general manager of the Highland nightclub and restaurant.

“We felt it was the right thing to do after doing some research on the matter,” Manacker said.

In July, concerts featuring Banton and Beenie Man were canceled in Britain after activists said both artists refused to stop using anti-gay lyrics. Two of Banton’s songs released early in his career, “Batty Rider” and “Boom Bye Bye,” glorify the shooting of gay men. Banton’s most recent album, “Too Bad,” released earlier this month, omits homophobic lyrics.

Banton has been a major star in his native Jamaica since the early 1990s with brash dancehall music and, more recently, a traditional reggae sound. His career has been stunted in the United States because of his attitude toward gays.

Banton was tried and acquitted on charges that he participated in the beating of six gay men by a Jamaica gang in 2004.

Lesbian former Playmate sues taxi driver, police after incident in New York

NEW YORK A woman who bills herself as the first openly lesbian Playboy Playmate sued a taxi driver, police and the city on Sept. 22, claiming that officers needlessly roughed her up based on the cabbie’s false accusation that she was armed and dangerous.

“It was a nightmare,” Stephanie Adams, 35, said at a news conference announcing the suit, which seeks unspecified damages.

The city had no immediate response. The cab driver, 40-year-old Eric Darko, denied any wrongdoing.

“She thinks she’s got a case, but I didn’t do nothing,” Darko said when reached by telephone.

The suit stems from a May 25 incident that began when Adams Miss November 1992 caught Darko’s cab on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to take her to her Chelsea apartment. After the pair argued over where to drop her off, she alleges he cursed her out, called 911 and made the false report that she had a gun.

Adams said she made her own 911 call after Darko pushed a rear car door into her as she tried to get out.

A few moments later, plainclothes police officers surrounded Adams on the street with guns drawn, grabbed her purse and pushed her to the ground, she said. When they searched her bag and realized she was unarmed, they let her go without an apology.

“It was not necessary for them to throw her down to the ground,” said Rubenstein.

The complaint filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan accuses the police officer of assault, and claims Adams “suffered great pain, distress, mental shock, mental anguish and psychological trauma.”

Adams also complained to the city Taxi & Limousine Commission, which has suspended Darko’s taxi license. A TLC investigator reported that the driver told him he called 911 after she flashed her “vampire teeth” and threatened to shoot him. Darko denied making the vampire remark.

He accused Adams of causing the ruckus by refusing to pay him a $9 fare, then warning him she had a gun.

“I didn’t start anything with her,” he said.

Assistant principal sues students, parents over MySpace allegations she is a lesbian

SAN ANTONIO A high school assistant principal is suing two students and their parents, alleging the teens set up a Web page on MySpace.com in her name and posted obscene comments and pictures.

Anna Draker, an assistant principal at Clark High School, is claiming defamation, libel, negligence and negligent supervision over the page on the popular free-access Web site.

Draker claims two 16-year-olds, a junior and a sophomore, created the page using her name and picture and wrote it as through she herself had posted the information, according to Draker’s attorney, Murphy Klasing.

The site falsely identified Draker as a lesbian. Klasing said Draker, who is married and has small children, was “devastated.”

MySpace.com removed the page when Draker told them it wasn’t hers.

Bexar County Assistant District Attorney Jill Mata would not release information about the case, but confirmed that juvenile charges are pending against a high school student involving retaliation and fraudulent use of identifying information. Both are third-degree felonies.

Draker is suing for an unspecified amount for damages for emotional distress, mental anguish, lost wages and court costs.

Possible gay-on-gay attack investigated as hate crime

PALM SPRINGS A Cathedral City man says that an attacker bit off part of his ear outside a Palm Springs restaurant Wednesday night. Police are investigating the attack as a hate crime.

Michael Hillyard, who also goes by the name Christopher Michaels, was riding his motorcycle around 8 p.m. when he was cut off by a Jeep Liberty. When they were both stopped, the driver of the Jeep got out of his vehicle and attacked Michaels.

Michaels who is openly gay, said the suspect, who was obviously drunk, referred to him as a “straight boy” during the altercation, making him think his attacker was also gay.

Palm Springs police Sgt. Phil Parker said they are investigating the case as a hate crime because of those comments.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, September 29, 2006.

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