Looking Back at 2008: The Celeb-Reality Edition

johnwaynestatue.jpgIt was Oliver Wendell Holmes who opined that a new truth is better than an old celebrity-tinged news item, or at least he would have opined that had he lived in our celeb-obsessed times. So it is in that spirit these 15 Orange County brushes with famous folks in '08 are unveiled.

 

1) Newport Beach city officials revealed in January they were trying to acquire the statue of their adopted Favorite Son, John Wayne, that moseys in front of the Larry Flynt building in Los Angeles. Back when the building belonged to Great Western Savings and Loan, the effigy of their movie actor pitchman -- on horseback, natch -- was erected. And speaking of erected, a 50-foot penis statue is what Flynt would prefer to see in front of his building. Should that happen, the Hustler founder will find himself fending off acquisition requests from Laguna Woods.

 

2) Bob Walters, a 66-year-old Orange resident, paid $200,000 in January to be the 33rd passenger on billionaire Virgin Airways owner/adventurer Richard Branson's new civilian space flights that are planned to begin some time this year. So Walters could ride shotgun with another seat purchaser from his age group: Madonna.

 

3) Laguna Beach's Robert Englund, better known as Freddy Krueger from the original Nightmare on Elm Street and its seven sequels, learned in February that his role would be recast in a remake. Rumors that the part would be offered to Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Moorlach prove unfounded, although if someone were casting a Frankenstein remake ...

 

4) Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in March effectively fired the chairman and vice chairman of the California State Parks and Recreation Commission: Bobby Shriver and Clint Eastwood. Their crime? Actively opposing the Foothill-South (241) toll road extension, which the Terminator favored (after once opposing). He must have really favored it, because Santa Monica City Councilman Shriver is his brother-in-law, and in-demand filmmaker Eastwood could potentially offer Ahnuld Oscar-buzzy parts once his governorship - and, from the look of things - political career grinds to halt in 2010.

5) Richie Sambora was arrested in Laguna Beach late on a Tuesday night in March on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. The 49-year-old lead guitarist of Bon Jovi was steering a black Hummer carrying three female companions, two of whom were minors, when he was pulled over on Coast Highway, failed a field sobriety test and was booked into Laguna Beach jail without incident. Sambora's ex, actress Heather Locklear, was arrested six months later for driving under the influence of prescription pills in another idyllic seaside California town, Santa Barbara. Her booking photo was much hotter than his.

6) Orange County's preeminent immigrant basheress, Barbara Coe, in April forwarded members of her hate coven an interview by a man who claims Sonny Bono didn't die in a skiing accident in 1998, as widely believed, but that he knew too much and was murdered--DUNT-DUNT-DUNNNNN!!! In her intro, Coe praised the Cher appendage-turned-Palm Springs congressman as "an outspoken American patriot who worked tirelessly to halt the illegal alien invasion of our nation AND focused his efforts on halting illegal aliens bringing drugs and weapons into the U.S." Evidence Bono was murdered "begged for an investigation" but was "ignored by both the mainstream media and members of Congress," said Coe, who may be on to something. Because if anyone knows "ignored," it's Barbara Coe.

7) A vibrating plastic replica of porn star Jenna Jameson's vagina (retail price: $250) was stolen from Fullerton's Erogenous Zone in April. Talk about sticky fingers.

8) Chapman University's magazine reported in May that Lindsay Lohan attended a lacrosse match on campus. The hard part was getting her out of the women's locker room afterward.

9) Ultimate Fighting Champion Quentin Jackson, 30, of Irvine, lived up to his "Rampage" nickname in July, leading cops on a car chase through Costa Mesa and the Balboa Peninsula and hitting two cars on the 55 freeway before crashing and finally being arrested. His mental health was questioned, he broke with his longtime manager and later a 38-year-old Huntington Beach woman who was a victim of the carnage reportedly lost the baby she was carrying. But all's well that ends well: Rampage scored a sensational first-round knockout of Wanderlei Silva at UFC 92 in Las Vegas on Dec. 27, pocketing $385,000 for his biggest payday ever. Who says justice is not served?

10) Jenna Jameson was back in the news in August, when it was reported the by then retired porn star was carrying the love child of another UFC competitor, "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Tito Ortiz. Video of the delivery should be an instant collector's items since it will document something coming out of Jenna's hoo-hoo as opposed to going in.

11) Celeb-reality entered local politics during the general election as the Orange County Democrats election night party Nov. 4 included an appearance by a show business giant, if by "giant" you mean Wee Man of Jackass fame. Meanwhile, Sammy Hagar kicked in funds to the reelection campaign of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) in the late innings, when noise was being made about Democrat Debbie Cook mounting a credible challenge. (She didn't.) What's ironic is the ferociously anti-Commie Surfin' Congressman's pal Hagar is nicknamed "the Red Rocker."

12) The executive director of the Downtown Business Improvement District was so pissed over a girl being approached at Huntington Beach Pier by MTV staffers looking for teens to appear on Sex ... with Mom and Dad that the incident was taken up with the City Council in November. Normally, such prudery would warrant our condemnation, but any attempt to thwart the forward progress of Dr. Drew Pinsky's gawdawful reality TV career must be applauded.

13) Lauri Waring Peterson announced in December that she was leaving The Real Housewives of Orange County because her TV exposure was unfair to her son, who was battling addictions. When the cameras stopped showing up, Peterson confided she might reconsider.

14) Fergie's prom date was sentenced in December to eight-plus years in the slammer after being convicted of knocking off a Santa Ana bank. Security cameras caught Vincent Dean Malicek at the teller window of a Wells Fargo bank inside a supermarket. He was the date of Stacy Ann Ferguson at the prom of Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights, according to the celebrity muckrakers at TMZ.com, whose most shocking revelation was the couple's prom photo, which showed Fergie was waaaaay more Fergalicious before establishing the ridden-hard-and-put-away-wet look she perfected with the Black Eyed Peas.

15) Huntington Beach porn star Janine Lindemulder James in December was sentenced to six months in prison and a $300,000 fine for not paying her federal income taxes. Besides appearing in dozens of adult films with titles such as Dyke Dinner, Sleeping Booty and Janine's Got Male, the La Mirada native graced a gazillion-selling Blink-182 CD cover in a nurse get-up, had a bit part in Howard Stern's Private Parts and, ahem, grabbed much more screen time in an infamous homemade sex tape with Motley Crue singer Vince Neil. Her case raises an important question: What is it about Huntington Beach, porn stars and ultimate fighters? Maybe the executive director of the Downtown Business Improvement District knows the answer.

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