- Created on 05 December 2013
Circa 1964: American soul vocal pop group the Isley Brothers (left to right) O'Kelly Isley Jnr, Ronnie Isley and Rudolph Isley, who just purchased R. Kelly's Chicago-area mansion. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images) | Evening Standard via Getty Images
It turns out Grammy-winning R&B star R. Kelly's foreclosed Chicago-area mansion will remain in a musician's hands.
According to the Chicago Tribune, 74-year-old soul legend Rudolph Isley, a founding former member of the Isley Brothers, has purchased Kelly's 14,525-square-foot Olympia Fields, Ill. home for a steal: $587,500.
Read more of the story here.
- Created on 04 December 2013
Autopsy: Walker died of trauma and burns
Los Angeles (CNN) -- "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker may have initially survived a horrific car crash but died moments later due to a combination of injuries from the impact and the resulting fire, according to a coroner's report.
The one-page preliminary report released by the Los Angeles County coroner's office Wednesday listed the cause of the actor's death as the "combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries."
An autopsy concluded that Roger Rodas, who was driving the red Porsche Carerra GT, suffered "multiple traumatic injuries," but it was not clear in the report if he was still alive when the car burst into flames soon after the wreck.
Since two different doctors did the separate autopsies, the difference in the description of their injuries does not mean there deaths were significantly different, Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told CNN.
It is not known how long each man lived after the crash as the fire began, Winter said. That information may be included when full autopsy reports are released in several weeks, he said.
The coroner confirmed what many witnesses told investigators: Rodas was the driver in the crash; Walker was the passenger of the high-performance Porsche that clipped a light pole and a tree before erupting in flames on a Southern California street Saturday afternoon.
The deaths were officially ruled an accident by the coroner.
A toxicology report, which could show if drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident, will be available in six to eight weeks, the report said.
Video obtained by CNN from a security camera posted on a building on the opposite side of the street from the crash suggests that the fire that engulfed the Porsche did not erupt until about a minute after the car crashed.
In the video, which does not show the car, black smoke is seen rising from the crash scene 60 seconds after the light pole and a tree fall. Smoke is faintly visible above the scene after one minute, followed by a heavy plume of black smoke after two minutes.
The crash happened on a wide street in a business park in Santa Clarita, California, about 30 miles north of Hollywood. Walker was attending a holiday toy donation event for his charity, Reach Out WorldWide, when he hopped into the car with Rodas for a ride, witnesses said.
The Porsche, which was one of only a few hundred made, was on display at the event, which was held at a high-performance car shop owned by Rodas.
Minutes after the two men drove away, people at the event heard the crash about 500 yards away, witnesses said.
Next 'Fast & Furious' on hold
Production of Walker's latest movie -- the seventh installment in the "Fast & Furious" franchise -- will be shut down "for a period of time," the studio said Wednesday.
"At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on 'Fast & Furious 7' for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise," Universal Pictures said in a statement.
The studio also said it would donate "a percentage of proceeds from the upcoming home entertainment release of 'Fast & Furious 6'" to Walker's charity.
"With the passing of Paul, the world has lost a man who spent a great deal of his life in service to others," Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley said. "We share in the deep grief of his family, friends and the countless fans who love him."
Stories of Walker's incredible generosity have become a major aspect to coverage of the actor's death.
CNN confirmed one story from a decade ago when Walker noticed a young U.S. soldier shopping with his fiancee for a wedding ring in a Santa Barbara jewelry store.
"The groom was just back from duty in Iraq, and he was going to be deployed again soon and wanted to buy a wedding ring, but he said he just could not afford it," saleswoman Irene King told CNN. "I don't think the soldier realized how expensive those rings are, about $10,000."
"Walker called the manager over and said, 'Put that girl's ring on my tab,'" she said. "Walker left all his billing info, and it was a done deal. The couple was stunned. She was thrilled and could not believe someone did this."
King called it "the most generous thing I have ever seen."
Walker and Rodas had planned Saturday as a day to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The car shop website invited customers to a "Charity Toy Drive & Automotive Social Gathering."
Box office success
Walker's career began on the small screen, first with a commercial for Pampers diapers when he was 2, and then with parts in shows such as "Highway to Heaven" and "Touched by an Angel."
His first few movie roles were as supporting characters in teen flicks, most notably in "Varsity Blues." But his career really took off when he was cast as undercover cop Brian O'Conner infiltrating a street-racing gang in 2001's "The Fast and the Furious."
The box-office success of the surprise summer hit yielded numerous sequels. And along with Vin Diesel, Walker was one of the franchise stalwarts. The six "Fast & Furious" films sold a total of $2.6 billion in tickets worldwide, according to BoxOfficeMojo.
Walker wasn't just a car enthusiast on the silver screen; off screen, the actor competed in the Redline Time Attack racing series.
On his verified Twitter account, Walker described himself as an "outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie ... and I do some acting on the side."
Walker also is the star of "Hours," an independent film scheduled to be released December 13 about a father struggling to keep his newborn infant alive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
- Created on 04 December 2013
AP Photo/Nick Ut
Production on "Fast & Furious 7" is on hold following the death of star Paul Walker.
Shooting on the film had been scheduled to resume this week in Atlanta but was canceled Monday and Tuesday. A spokesman for Universal Pictures declined to say when shooting will resume.
Production on the latest installment of the franchise began in September. While a large portion of the film has been shot, the movie is incomplete.
It's scheduled for release July 11, a date that could be difficult to meet with any lengthy delay. Universal Pictures is expected to go forward with the film, but it has not announced how it will adjust the movie or handle Walker's unfinished performance.
The franchise, which has starred Walker in all but one installment, is particularly lucrative for Universal. "Fast & Furious 6," released in May, was the highest grossing film in the series, earning more than $788 million worldwide.
The manner of Walker's death - a fiery car crash in a specialty sports car - was also so reminiscent of the films that made him famous that "Fast & Furious 7" will be under particular scrutiny for how it portrays the fatal risks of street car racing.
Universal announced Tuesday that it will donate a portion of the proceeds from the upcoming DVD, Blu-ray and digital release of "Fast & Furious 6" to Walker's charity Reach Out Worldwide.
Walker, 40, founded Reach Out Worldwide in 2010 to give first-response aid to victims of natural disasters. Walker was hosting a fundraiser for the nonprofit on Saturday afternoon when he and fellow fast-car enthusiast Roger Rodas went for a ride in Rodas' 2005 Porsche Carrera GT and were killed in the crash north of Los Angeles.
Walker's family also has asked that donations be made to Reach Out Worldwide ( WWW.ROWW.ORG ) in lieu of flowers or gifts.
Police investigators are examining the cause of the crash. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says witnesses described the car "traveling alone at a high rate of speed" before the Porsche smashed into a light pole and tree, and then exploded in flames.
The Los Angeles County coroner's office said Tuesday that it has completed autopsies on the two bodies recovered from the crash.
On Monday night, a private memorial for survivors and the cast and crew of the "Fast & Furious" movies was held inside a white tent erected around the crash site in Valencia. When it was over, Walker's co-star Vin Diesel emerged to thank fans for paying their respects to the actor.
Walker left behind two completed films that will be released.
He stars in the upcoming Hurricane Katrina drama "Hours," which Lionsgate's Pantelion Films will release Dec. 13 in limited theaters and on video-on-demand, as previously planned. Walker is a producer on the film, something he hadn't previously done.
Walker also stars in "Brick Mansions," a remake of the French action film "District B13" that Relativity plans to release early next year.
- Created on 03 December 2013
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