|Loyal Written Art For all Criss Angel or non-Criss Angel related written artwork.
Join Date: Aug 2011
02-12-2013, 06:28 PM
I've got some words to describe Monquie but I'd be kicked off the site if I did
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hartland, MI
02-13-2013, 05:42 PM
The weeks went by without furthur incident in North Las Vegas. There was hardly any mention of the proposed demolition in the press or on television during that period. People went about their daily routine as if no threat had been made against their homes or businesses. Father Stefan performed the Mass at the usual times before his congregation undisturbed. The tension of the past month faded; everyone began to relax. Only on the day set for Dimitra's arraingnment did the animosity against SilverStar raise its ugly head once more.
The actual date of the hearing was kept from the press to prevent overzealous Loyals from creating a disturbance around the courthouse, but somehow the information leaked out. Dimitra and Father Stefan found themselves greeted by a band of overly supportive Loyals carrying signs protesting their love for Dimitra and Criss. The minute they spotted Mama Angel and the priest, they burst into cheers, waving their signs high in the air.
"We love you, Dimitra!"
"We won't let them put you in jail!"
"Where's Criss? Isn't he with you?"
"You go, Mama Angel!"
It took four members of the Clark County Sheriff's department to escort the two to their assigned courtroom. Criss, for his part, had to be smuggled into the building through the loading dock for safety's sake. As much as he loved his fans, he realized that there was a time to play celebrity and a time for serious business, and his mother's trial was very serious business indeed. The Clark County Circuit Court seemed to agree with him: it was a closed session, no visitors allowed, and no press was permitted.
Criss sat next to his mother, noting with surprise how serene she was. He had expected her to be shaking like a leaf with nervousness, but there she was, cool as a cucumber, staring calmly at the judge's bench. She had displayed more anxiety whenever he performed one of his demonstrations, often bursting into tears whenever it seemed he had been killed, but now she was in the hot seat herself, and she didn't even flinch. Perhaps it was her conviction that she was in the right, that justice would prevail and she would be vindicated in the end.
"All rise!" intoned the bailiff.
Everyone in the courtroom stood up respectfully for the Honorable Judge Lindsey Gigamoro, a slim blond woman who looked more like a law student than a judge. She commanded everyone to be seated and sat down herself, her shoulders barely rising above the bench.
"The People vs. Stefan Mykolos and Dimitra Sarantakos," she read from the docket, enunciating every syllable of the defendants' names. "Am I pronouncing that correctly?" she asked the defense counsel.
"That is correct, Your Honor," the lawyer replied.
"Good. Are the defendants present?"
Father Stefan and Dimitra stepped forward, heads high in confidence. "We are here, Your Honor," Father Stefan said.
"Raise your right hands."
Father and Dimitra did as they were told. "Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you?" the judge intoned.
"I do," they replied.
"Good. The two of you have been charged with 'criminal trespass on private property'. How do you plead?"
"Not guilty, Your Honor," Father Stefan replied.
"And you, Mrs. Sarantakos?"
"Not guilty," Dimitra answered.
The judge read the docket again. "It says here that you were both arrested at Holy Trinity Church a month ago. Mrs. Sarantakos had chained herself to a tree on the property." She turned to Dimitra. "Can you explain why you did that?"
"I was protesting the demolition of Holy Trinity by SilverStar Enterprises," Dimitra answered. "When I was arrested, they said it was owned by SilverStar."
"What was owned by SilverStar?"
"Why, the church property, of course."
"I see. And you, Mr. Mykolos?"
"Father Mykolos, Your Honor," Father Stefan corrected her.
"I'm sorry. Father Mykolos, what is your connection to Mrs. Sarantakos?"
"She attends my church whenever she is in Las Vegas. She has worked hard to help save it from destruction, as did the other members of my congregation. I admit that chaining herself to the tree was a bit extreme, but it did generate a lot of publicity for the cause."
"And SilverStar claims it owns the property?"
"They say they do, but they have no legal claim to it. I did not sell it to them, nor did I take them up on their offer to pay ten thousand dollars for it. They ordered our eviction, just like all the others in the area. They want to destroy the entire neighborhood just to build some big luxury hotel."
"So they charged you with trespassing on your own property?" Judge Gigamoro said incredulously. "Have you filed any appeals?"
"Your Honor," the defense spoke up, "an injunction was served against SilverStar prohibiting them from any action against the church three weeks ago. There are also a series of class action suits against SilverStar filed by the residents of North Las Vegas as well."
"Well, if SilverStar has no legal title to the property, then there's no reason to press charges against the defendants," the judge concluded. "This case is dismissed for lack of evidence. Dismissed."
A bang of the gavel, and it was all over. Criss rushed up to embrace his mother. "I knew they couldn't make it stick, Mom!" he said happily. "I just knew it!"
Criss, Dimitra and Father Stefan left the courtroom in high spirits. In his exultation, Criss took the main entrance out of the courthouse, not realizing that the same mob of Loyals who had greeted Dimitra and Father Stefan earlier were still there despite the best efforts of the authorities to chase them away. Only when they were all over him, squeeling and groping, did he notice their presence. Father Stefan could only stand by, laughing helplessly at Criss's plight. He didn't envy Criss's celebrity one bit; in fact, he couldn't help but pity him. Poor man, he thought, hardly a moment to himself.
"So what happened?" the Loyals demanded.
Criss waved his arms to call for order. "It's okay, everyone!" he shouted over the din. "Mom and Father Stefan here were aquitted. They dropped the charges, so no one's going to jail, okay? So, we're all gonna go home and take it easy. Thanks for your support, and God bless you."
The Loyals cheered at the good news. Criss, Dimitra and Father Stefan were hurried out of the courthouse before more pandemonium could break out. Father Stefan breathed a sigh of relief.
"You have to put up with that every day?" he asked Criss incredulously.
"No, not every day," Criss replied. "Just when I go out in public."
Join Date: Aug 2011
02-14-2013, 05:18 AM
so true so true
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hartland, MI
02-14-2013, 03:36 PM
Meanwhile, at SilverStar Enterprises, Milton Dewey had arrived at Monique Wesley's office, beaming like the midday sun.
"I said I'd come through for you, didn't I?" Milton crowed. "I got just what you need to take over that property."
"So?" Monique said impatiently, "what is it?"
Milton laid down his paperwork on the desk in front of Monique. "Twenty-five years ago, GM-Cadillac took over half of Hamtramck, Michigan to build their plant," he told her, "and the state supreme court upheld it!"
"What's that got to do with us?" Monique asked.
"Don't you get it? They claimed public use under the eminent domain laws, just like we're doing!" Milton said. "If they can do it, then there's no stopping us. We just stick to our guns, and we can't fail! That whole area is a slum--you said so yourself! This case justifies it!"
"Okay, Milt," Monique said, satisfied for the moment,"we'll play that card when we have to. Just be there in the courtroom, ready to fight this thing out."
"Oh, don't worry, Monique," Milton said, smiling his oily smile. "I will be loaded for bear on this one."
The day came, and both parties with legal counsel on their sides were present in the courtroom. So were the media: cameras flashed as each of the major players in the six-week-old drama waked through the glass doors of the Clark County District Courthouse. Monique Wesley was dressed in her "power suit", a black businesslike ensemble equivilent to a man's three-piece suit only without the tie. Milton Dewey was also suited up in black, with a diamond pin on his black silk tie.
Their opponents, represented by Father Stefan, Dimitra Sarantakos, and the founding members of COST, were also conservatively dressed. Father Stefan insisted on wearing a full cassock to court, in keeping with the dignity of the church as he put it. Dimitra simply wore her best blue dress, her black hair pinned up in a small bouffant. Her Armani sunglasses protected her eyes from the flashbulbs.
Of all the members of the parties involved, it was Criss himself who drew the most media attention. He had toned down his punkish look for a conservative (for him) black shirt and slacks with only a single cross around his neck. He fielded the reporters' questions while his mother slipped into the courtroom undisturbed. It was almost time for the trial to begin when he finally broke free from the feeding frenzy of the media with the help of the Clark County Sheriff's Department. Criss finally entered the courtroom and sat down next to his mother nearest the bench.
"Are you all right, honey?" Dimitra asked her son.
"I'm fine, Ma," Criss replied. "I'm used to it."
"All rise!" the bailiff intoned. "This court is now in session."
Everyone in the courtroom stood up while the judge ascended to the bench. The command for everyone to be seated was given, and the trial began. "The Citizens of North Las Vegas vs. SilverStar Enterprises," the judge read from the docket. "Is the counsel for the plaintiffs ready to make the opening statement?"
"I am, Your Honor," Edward Bradwin, the attorney for the plaintiffs, replied courteously as he rose from his chair. "On November **, 20**, SilverStar Enterprises announced the construction of the Grand Imperial Hotel, Resort and Casino on a twelve square mile site in North Las Vegas--a site that is still populated, with homes, businesses, schools and churches. The defendents offered buyouts to the residents and business owners, ranging from five hundred to ten thousand dollars to evacuate the area for demolition. When they refused, the plaintiffs were served eviction notices, giving them thirty days to leave their homes, businesses, churches, and schools. The plaintiffs claimed 'eminent domain', under the Fifth Amendment regarding public use for private property.
"Now, in the strictest sense, the Fifth Amendment can claim property for public use such as freeways and other uses. For a private corporation to sieze private property to build a luxury hotel in a city full of luxury hotels is downright criminal. These are people's homes we are talking about, ladies and gentlemen, their places of business, their houses of worship, the schools where they send their children. The age of the robber baron has long ended. Let's put people in front of profits."
The plaintiff's side rested. Now it was the counsel for the defense's turn to make an opening statement. Milton Dewey rose from his seat and faced the court with typical bravado. "Ladies and gentlemen," he bellowed pompously. "My client, SilverStar Enterprises, is not the 'robber baron' my opponent makes it out to be. SilverStar always had the public in mind when launching this project. The area in dispute is a rotting slum, full of gangs and drug dealers. The only 'business' going on over there is the illicit kind. By building the Grand Imperial, SilverStar intends to not only cut down on crime, but to provide gainful employment, and to raise the property values as well. They don't intend to throw anyone out in the street--God forbid!--but to give them the means to start a better life. They offered money for their shabby, rotting dwellings, those ruins they call their 'businesses'. By demolishing those crumbling, filthy slums, SilverStar is making North Las Vegas a better place to live, to work! People should be thanking SilverStar, not persecuting them!"
Criss sat slumped in his seat, listening to Dewey's claptrap, his stomach barrelrolling inside him. That's the biggest load of BS I ever heard in my life! he said to himself. If Monique Wesley thinks she's doing everyone a favor by tearing down people's homes, she's deluding herself!
Dewey eventually stopped blathering and sat down again. The first witness to take the stand was Monique Wesley, CEO of SilverStar Enterprises. Criss tuned out immediatly--he knew she would reiterate what Dewey had said in his opening statement, and then some, and her testamony proved he was right. Only when Bradwin approached the stand did he take interest.
"Ms. Wesley," Bradwin began. "What gives you the right to take over people's private property to build your hotel?"
"I claim it under the eminent domain laws of this state," she answered.
"Did you read those 'eminent domain' laws carefully enough?"
"I did. I followed all legal procedures to evacuate the area."
"You followed all 'legal procedures'?"
"Well, Ms. Wesley, it seems to me that you did follow all legal procedures except one," Bradwin said, "concerning the fact that you had to be the legal owner of the area in dispute before you could issue eviction notices. Do you have legal title to any part of that area? Do you have documentary proof of ownership?"
"I claim the right under the Fifth Amendment, which states that no private property can be taken for public use without just compensation. I offered compensation to everyone concerned."
"Five hundred dollars is hardly 'just compensation', Ms. Wesley." Bradwin responded. "And you didn't 'offer' it, you forced it upon them. And 'public use' does not mean building a luxury hotel, Ms. Wesley. Your corporation is not the US Government."
After more arguing, Monique was dismissed. Father Stefan Mykolos was called to the stand. Being a clergyman, he could not swear on the Bible to tell the truth, but simply affimed to do so. Once seated, Mr. Bradwin asked him to relate in his own words what happened during the month of November when he got the notice to give up his church. Father related everything he could remember--the letter offering ten thousand dollars for the church and property, the eviction notice, the protest movement resulting in his and Dimitra's arrest, and the injunction filed against SilverStar. Then, it was Dewey's turn to cross-examine the priest.
"Father Mykolos," Dewey began, "is it true that you and Mrs. Sarantakos was arrested for criminal trespass on private property?"
"That 'private property' was my church!" Father argued. "And Mrs. Sarantakos had my permission to be on it, just like all my other parishioners. We were both aquitted for lack of evidence."
"But SilverStar had claim onto it under the eminent domain law."
"God Himself has eminent domain over His Church and no one else!" Father shot back, to great applause.
The judge gaveled for order. Milton Dewey continued. "Father Mykolos, if you insist on claiming that property as your own, I suggest you look furthur in the law books. Are you familiar with Poletown vs. GM-Cadillac?"
"I am not an attorney, counselor," Father reminded him. "I uphold God's law only."
Dewey turned pompously to the court in general. "Ladies and gentlemen, GM-Cadillac built their plant in Hamtramck, Michgan twenty five years ago under the same eminent domain laws we now dispute. The plaintiffs appealed, but the State Supreme Court upheld GM's claim. Yes, some houses and churches were torn down, but it was all for the best in the end. The area prospered for years after that. Could we not do the same for North Las Vegas?"
"I do remember that case," Father spoke up. "And that plant 'prospered' for only a few years until it closed down! It was a waste of money and resources, not to mention the destruction of several churches and over a thousand homes! The state sold them out, counselor, and I am not going to stand by and watch my community be sold out like Hamtramck!"
Loud applause erupted in the courtroom at Father's brave speech. Again the gavel came down to restore order. Dimitra beamed at Father Stefan on the stand. How brave he is! His faith alone could win over any legal precedent in the world! she thought.
The trial dragged on, with SilverStar losing ground with every passing hour. The Poletown case was dragged forward again and again, only to be shot down in flames. Monique kept insisting that she had every legal right to take over North Las Vegas, while witness after witness defended home and business there. Criss found himself praying for the end of this whole thing just so he could go back home and get some work done.
Finally, the closing statements were made, to Criss's relief, then the court was recessed for thirty minutes for deliberation. Everyone rose and filed out of the courtroom, the judge to his chambers, everyone else to find a place to eat. In the crowd, Criss found himself face to face with Monique. "I wish you were a man for about five minutes," he said to her.
Monique looked at Criss almost seductivly. "Why?" she purred. "You prefer men?"
"No," Criss replied, "so that I could punch your lights out for what you did to my mother, having her arrested like that! Not to mention the BS about you being all civic minded in tearing down an entire neighborhood to build your hotel! You're not doing this for the community, you're doing it for your own ego! You're nothing but a self-centered, greedy (bleep), you know that? I'm still coming after you for having Mom arrested. I'll sue your ass for whatever you got left after this suit!"
"How do you know you're going to win?" Monique asked smugly.
"Oh, we'll win, all right," Criss retorted. "And let me warn you, Ms. CEO, that if, God forbid, we lose this round, I'll fight you all the way to the (bleeping) Supreme Court if I have to! And I fight to win, no matter what it takes!"
"Well, so do I, Mr. Hotshot Magician," Monique shot back. "So do I."
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hartland, MI
02-15-2013, 06:11 PM
"All rise," intoned the bailiff as court reconviened and the judge ascended to the bench. Everyone stood up and sat down again at the judge's command, the air in the courtroom heavy with anticipation aver the verdict. No one dared breathe, let alone speak.
"After careful deliberation and examination of the facts of this case," His Honor began, "the court has reached a verdict."
Silence. The judge turned to Monique Wesley. "Ms. Wesley, you stated that your proposed plan to build a luxury hotel in North Las Vegas was for the benefit of all concerned, providing employment and raising property values in the area. However good your intentions were, your deluded logic and your misinterpretation of the Fifth Amendment regarding public use would do more harm than good to the people of North Las Vegas. The Poletown case Mr. Dewey quoted is proof of that. Thousands lost their homes, churches, schools and businesses in the name of corporate greed, and it was all in vain. I do not intend to repeat that mistake. Therefore, the court rules in favor of the People of North Las Vegas."
Monique's jaw dropped. Cheers erupted in the courtroom. Criss reached over and hugged his mother. "We won, Mom!" he crowed. "We won!"
The judge hammered the gavel for order. "Furthurmore," he continued when the jubilation died down, "it is the decision of this court that you pay ten-point-five million dollars to the community of North Las Vegas, to be used for public works and services. If you are as civic minded as you claim to be, you should have no qualms about paying that amount. I'm confident that the money will do more to increase property values than a luxury hotel ever would." He brought down the gavel with a loud bang. "Case dismissed."
The courtroom emptied as quickly as school let out for summer recess. Criss was so elated that he didn't mind when the media charged forward for his statement, but happily related the case and the verdict in the city's favor.
"The system works!" he exclaimed to the press. "Justice has triumphed, and we showed that just because you have a billion dollars it doesn't give you the right to push people around. The church is safe, the city of North Las Vegas is safe--everything is cool!"
"What about your own suit against SilverStar?" one reporter asked.
"What about it?"
"Do you think you'll win this one, too?"
"I know I will," Criss replied. "Monique had no right to go and arrest my mother like that! It was a false arrest, and she knows it!"
Tired of waiting for her famous son to finish his press conference, Dimitra made her way through the crowd of reporters and cameramen. It was a mistake on her part, because then the media began pressing her on all sides for a statement and a quick photo with Criss.
"Mrs. Sarantakos, how did it feel to be arrested?"
"Do you have any resentment toward SilverStar?"
"Is it true you chained yourself to a tree to protest the demolition of Holy Trinity Church?"
"Can you give us your viewpoint on the trial today?"
Criss charged to the rescue. "Please, everybody," he pleaded. "Don't crowd my mother, okay? You want a statement, you talk to me."
Criss pushed and dodged his way through the mob of reporters and photographers, clutching his mother close to his body like a precious parcel. As soon as they were clear, Father Stefan took over and quickly escorted Dimitra into his own car. The officers from the Sheriff's Department kept the press at bay while Criss made a quick getaway in his Viper. The media feeding frenzy did nothing to diminish his sense of victory over the case. True, Monique could appeal the decision, but he figured with public opinion against her it would be like beating a dead horse. No way would SilverStar triumph against him. It was all over, so now he could relax.
But, he recalled, there was still that personal suit. Well, so what? As far as he was concerned, it was just a formality. Go in, win the suit, get a judgement, and get on with his life. It wasn't the money that concerned him--he had plenty of that. He wanted to punish Monique, hurt her where she lived, right in the pocketbook. Monique had no right to arrest Mom like that, and he was going to make damn sure that Ms. CEO didn't get away with it. No one did that to his mother, no one!
That very Sunday, Father Stefan celebrated the church's victory with a special Mass. The altar was flanked with huge floral arrangements and lighted with white tapers. The marble floor shone with mirror brightness, and the monstrance above the altar gleamed like the rising sun. Not only the regular parishioners but those of the Greek Orthodox faith who came to Las Vegas as tourists also attended, having heard of the SilverStar controversy and court victory on the news. Everyone milled around outside, chatting in English and Greek, getting aquainted and reaquainted with each other while waiting for Mass to begin. The atmosphere was as joyous as Easter.
Among the general throng were two young women trying to blend in, but secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of their idol, Criss Angel. They had dressed as conservatively as they could, in simple, modest "church" dresses and wide-brimmed hats (they had heard that Greek Orthodox women were supposed to cover their heads during Mass), but they still looked flashy compared to the rest of the congregation. To their relief, few took notice.
"Do you think he'll come?" Candi asked Kris Lee.
"He's got to," Kris Lee insisted. "I know Dimitra will be here at least. She wouldn't miss this for the world."
"Oh, God, it would be so cool if he did!" squealed Candi.
"I know, I know, but play it cool," Kris Lee told her friend. "This is a church, not a Loyalfest."
Candi pointed to a large Range Rover pulling up into the lot. "Do you think that's him?" she asked eagerly.
"It could be anyone," Kris Lee said, shrugging. "Let's go see."
They trotted to the parking lot with mincing steps so as not to topple over their high heels, then hid themselves behind a wall and peered around the corner to see who just drove up. "Oh, God, let it be Criss!" Candi prayed.
The driver's side of the Rover swung open, and a black suited man who looked familiar to Kris Lee and Candi emerged from inside. He crossed over to the passenger side and let out a blond-haired woman, then opened the back door for his other passengers. Only when he began to walk toward the church did the two recognize the driver.
"Ohmigawd!" Kris Lee gasped. "It's JD! And he's got his wife with him!"
"I see Dimitra!" Candi squealed. "And--it's Criss! He's here!"
Candi hid herself behind the wall like a starry-eyed schoolgirl seeing her crush. "Ohmigodohmigodohmigod! What do I do? What do I say? I am, like, so nervous!"
"Now, just calm down, Candi," Kris Lee told her. "Just let me do the talking and everything will be fine."
"Why do you have to do the talking?"
"Because I know Dimitra and she knows me, okay?"
"Just because you met her during that one day of protest--"
"Look, let's not fight, okay? This is very important for Criss's family and--wait! Here they come!"
Candi and Kris Lee fell silent, tensing up for the big encounter with Criss and his family. They watched in anticipation as they walked up to the church, and then watched in disappointment as they detoured toward a group whom they seemed to be on familiar terms. They stood helplessly as Criss and his family hugged and greeted the strangers, chatting amiably.
"Okay, what do we do now?" Candi asked Kris Lee.
"Just act natural and move in," Kris Lee told her.
They strolled casually among the people, nodding and smiling politely, doing their best to be inconspicuous. They strategically positioned themselves by the same tree where Dimitra had chained herself in protest, close enough to hear the conversation but far enough not to be noticed.
"Thank you for all your help, Dima," an elderly woman said gratefully. "If not for you, the church would be gone."
"Oh, I didn't do it alone," Dimitra protested. "I had plenty of help, from God and my family."
"You are very lucky to have such a supportive family, Dima." the old woman said. Then she turned to JD, Costa and Criss. "It was good of you to help your mother save the church."
JD looked sheepishly at her. "Well, actually, we tried to get her to come back to the hotel more than anything," he said. "We were more worried about her than the church. The only way we could get her home was to file that injunction."
Criss nodded in agreement. "I couldn't sleep that night, worrying about Mom out there in the cold. If it weren't for the Loyals keeping her company, I'd have picked the locks and dragged her back."
"Loyals?" The elderly woman was perplexed.
"That's what Criss calls his fans," Costa explained. "Anyway, Mom was determined to stay on until she got arrested. Now Criss is filing a suit against SilverStar on Mom's behalf."
The elderly woman sighed. "Lawsuits, lawsuits, lawsuits! Why does everyone have to sue everybody? The only ones who get rich are the lawyers, and it costs more than what you get out of it, what with all the legal fees and all that. Why do you want to sue them anyway, Christopher? You already have so much money yourself."
"It's not the money," Criss insisted. "It's the principle of the thing. I want to get the message across to Monique Wesley that she can't bully people around just because she's the CEO of some big corporation, and the only way to do that is to hit her where she lives--right in the bank account. She had no right to get my mother arrested like that, no right whatsoever! If she wasn't a woman I'd go right up to her and kick her right in the--"
"Christopher!" Dimitra was appalled.
"I know, Mom, i know," Criss placated her. "Still, she's nothing but a greedy, land-grabbing...witch! You know she is! It's time someone put her in her place, and that someone's gonna be me! If hauling her into court is the only way to teach her a lesson, then so be it! She may have tried to intimidate everyone else around her, but not me! I hope she rots in Hell!"
Kris Lee and Candi burst into applause. "Yay! You go, Criss! Whoooo!"
Criss and company turned toward the two girls standing by the tree. The girls stopped clapping and stood there, embarrassed. There was a moment of awkward silence, broken by the sound of Dimitra clearing her throat. "Ahem, well, we'd better be getting inside," she said. "We don't want to be late for Mass."
Everyone began trudging across the lawn toward the church, save for Criss and the two girls. Criss looked at the flustered pair standing by the tree where his mother had chained herself six weeks ago. A smile crept over his face as he approached them. "Hi," he said casually.
"Hi," Kris Lee managed to get out, while Candi simply stood there, too awestruck to speak.
Criss looked at Kris Lee. "I think I've seen you somewhere," he said, unsure.
"I was here with your mother," Kris Lee reminded him. "You gave me some money to buy her something to eat, remember?"
"Oh, yeah," Criss said, suddenly recalling the moment. "And did you?"
"Did I what?"
"Buy Mom something to eat?"
"Well, we really didn't have to," Kris Lee told him. "The other Loyals had bought so much food with them I didn't have to buy anything. I kept your money, though," she added hastily. "I still have it with me. Do you want it back?"
"Keep it," Criss said, shrugging. "Or better yet, drop it in the poor box or something, put it to good use. I don't need it."
"I was there, too, Criss," Candi spoke up. "I was in the tent near Dimitra, too. You tripped over me that night and landed on that girl, remember?"
Criss laughed a little. "Oh, yeah, that was pretty embarrassing."
"Not to that girl you landed on," Kris Lee quipped.
"Yeah, I'm sure."
The church bell tolled from above. "Uh, oh, service is starting," he said. "Gotta go."
"Can we come with you?" Candi begged. "Please?"
Criss thought it over. "Well, okay, but you gotta promise to behave yourselves. This is church, not a nightclub."
"Oh, we promise," the girls said.
Criss slung an arm around each of them. "Okay, let's go."
The three stode up the lawn to the church entrance, where JD, Costa and Dimitra waited for him. JD glared at Criss and the two girls. "Just once," he groaned, "just once, would you please check your ego at the door and be like normal people?"
Criss looked at his elder brother bemusedly. "What?" he shrugged. "I just invited a couple of our supporters who helped save the church, that's all. Mom? Is it okay if they sit with us?"
JD rolled his eyes. Dimitra eyed the two girls flanking Criss on both sides. "All right, but I want you two to be on your best behavior. No flirting or any other funny business, understood?"
"Understood," the girls chorused.
"All right then." Dimitra turned and enterd the church, her sons, Kris Lee and Candi following. The girls stared in awe at the interior of the church, with its gilded frescoes glowing from the soft light of the wax tapers, the banks of flowers around the altar and the golden altarpieces gleaming in front. Clinging to Criss's side, Kris Lee began to wonder what it would be like to get married here. The thought sent her into a strange, blissful fantasy.
Criss up front in a white dinner jacket and black bow tie, standing next to the priest. And I'm floating down the aisle in fluffy white satin and lace, carrying a huge bouquet of white roses. Standing in front of the priest, saying our vows. Criss slipping the ring on my finger, promising to love and cherish me, forsaking all others, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, for better for worse, until death do us part. Me promising the same, with all my heart. Criss pressing his lips against mine, sealing our bond. Oh, God! It's bliss, it's heaven, it's--
--rudely shattered by Candi tugging on her arm. "Over here," she whispered, steering Kris Lee into position next to her.
For a moment, Kris Lee wanted to strangle Candi for ruining her wedding, but after reality sank in she brushed it off. She looked around. It turned out that Dimitra had manouvered herself between her son and his two female escorts and was now standing between them and their idol; she seemed determined to enforce the no flirting rule to the letter. She tried to catch a discreet sideways glance at Criss, but was unsuccessful. Disappointed, Kris Lee watched as the processional made its slow, dignified way up the aisle to the altar. Well, she'd have to wait until the service was over. Maybe later she'd get some pictures with her camera phone, just to prove that she had been there; meanwhile, she'd have to get through the Mass without embarrassing herself, or Criss and his family. It was just like what her father had said: life was what happens when you make other plans.
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hartland, MI
02-18-2013, 03:21 PM
While Criss and his family were attending Mass, Dave Baran, Criss's manager, was enjoying his own Sunday morning ritual with a cup of coffee and the morning paper on the veranda. He had just finished skimming over articles dealing with world events, scanned the local section, tossed aside the food pages and the classifieds, checked the box scores in sports, and finally settled down with the entertainment section. It was not for idle curiosity about the Cult of Personality that he read it, but to check for any reviews about his star client's shows or any other information he felt he should be concerned about. If there were any rumors circulating, Dave wanted to be sure to catch them and squelch them if they were too damaging to Criss's career.
There was the usual Hollywood gossip in the Names and Faces column: who was seen with whom, whose relationship was going strong or on the rocks, births, deaths, and arrests for DUI or some other offense. Just another day in Tinseltown, Dave thought. He was about to turn the page when Criss's name and photo caught his eye. Instinctivly, Dave zeroed in on it. He read the few lines connected with the grainy inch-square picture of Criss Angel inserted between them.
Charged: Illusionist Criss Angel, with assault by SilverStar CEO Monique Wesley. Wesley claimed that Angel allegedly threatened to "punch her lights out" after his mother Dimitra's hearing at Clark County District Court. Mother Angel was protesting the proposed demolition of North Las Vegas's Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church by SilverStar to make way for the new Grand Imperial Hotel, and had been arrested for criminal trespass on private property along with the priest, Father Stefan Mykolos. Charges were dropped for lack of evidence. Angel is suing SilverStar for false arrest and harrassment on his mother's behalf.
Dave read the paragraph over and over again. This could be bad, he thought. This could get really bad. Personally, he didn't blame Criss for his anger over what SilverStar did to his mother, but to threaten bodily harm, especially to a woman, could tarnish his image. Criss had been riding high for the past several years; something like this could bring him low.
He had to call Criss. He had to set the record straight, for both their sakes. Once he got the real story, Dave could undo the damage and save Criss's career--and his own. Dave reflexivly pulled out his cell phone and was about to press the speed-dial number reserved for Criss when he suddenly recalled that he was in church that morning for that special service at Holy Trinity. He had probably turned it off. Dave swore under his breath and put the phone away. He would call Criss this afternoon, when he was free of family obligations. Meanwhile, he would have to wait.
"The Mass is ended. Go in peace." Father Stefan told his congregation.
"Thanks be to God," the congregation responded in unison.
Father Stefan, the sacristan and the altar boys receded to the vestibule of the church with the same slow dignity as they came in. There were murmurs and scuffles as everyone gathered their belongings as they prepared to leave. Kris Lee struggled to reach Criss's side again, a difficult feat with the crush of bodies all around. She felt like a trout swimming upstream, fighting a current of people to reach her goal. Just when she felt as though she would be swept away, she found Criss at last, joining the flow down the aisle. With one desperate lunge Kris Lee hooked his arm and drew herself close to him. She had made it at last.
Criss was startled. "Hey, you all right?"
Kris Lee nodded. "I'm fine, Criss, really I am," she breathed. Now that I'm with you.
They joined the slow flow of bodies making their way out the doors of the church. Kris Lee took the time to take a few pictures of the church with her camera phone. She would have to wait until she was outside to take any pictures of Criss and his family; it was too dimly lit, not to mention too crowded to take pictures inside the church.
Candi, meanwhile, had succeeded in latching onto Criss's other arm and walked beside him, to Dimitra's chagrin. She had understood very little of the Greek Mass and had been separated from her idol by his mother throughout the service, but just being in the same room with Criss Angel, sharing something so very personal to him, had been the rarest of privileges for her, a singular honor that no other Loyal (save for Kris Lee, of course) would ever enjoy. It was as close to Heaven as she would ever get in this life.
They inched their way toward the vestibule; Kris Lee could see the bright Nevada sunshine just up ahead, beckoning like the Pearly Gates themselves. She knew Father Stefan would be waiting there; maybe he would consent to a group photo with Criss and Dimitra? She couldn't see why not. She stood in the doorway leading to the vestibule with Criss, waiting impatiently while some stout, middleaged matron insisted on bending the good priest's ear about something she could not quite make out. Father Stefan listened patiently, or appeared to, anyway; Kris Lee could sense that he thought this woman was quite a bore himself. Finally, the old chatterbox took her leave. Kris Lee let Criss take the lead; it was his church and his family, after all, and she didn't want to come across as pushy.
"Christopher," Father Stefan greeted him warmly. "So glad to see you."
"Morning, Father," Criss said politely. "Congratulations on saving the church."
"I should be congratulating you," Father insisted. "Or rather, your mother; she spearheaded the whole campaign. Where is she, anyway?"
Dimitra emerged from the crowd. "Right here, Father," she called out.
Father Stefan smiled and reached out to her. "Welcome, Dimitra. God bless you."
"And you, too, Father," Dimitra responded. "You remember my sons, JD and Costa."
The two shook hands with Father Stefan. "Nice to meet you, Father," JD said politely.
"So glad you all could make it," Father said, still smiling. "We all owe your mother a debt of gratitude for saving the church. She's very strong in spirit. You should be proud of her."
"Always have been, Father," Criss said proudly. "In fact, I wouldn't be where I am today if not for her--and Dad, God rest his soul."
Father nodded. "Of course."
Kris Lee stepped forward. "Excuse me, Father," she said respectfully, "but would you mind posing for a picture with Criss and Dimitra for me?"
Father Stefan searched for a camera but found none. "With what?" he asked.
Kris Lee held up her camera phone. "With this," she answered. "It's all I got, really."
Criss shrugged. "It's okay by me," he said. "Mom?"
"Well," Dimitra replied thoughtfully, "one picture can't hurt."
Criss posed on one side of Father Stefan while Dimitra took the other side. Kris Lee carefully aimed her camera phone at the threesome, adjusting it to make sure she got everyone within range, and pressed the "save" button. "Thanks," she said.
"Well, we'd best be on our way," Dimitra said. "Good bye, Father."
"Yeah, nice meeting you, Father," JD said, giving the priest a final handshake.
"So long, Father," Criss said, shaking hands. "And thanks for taking car of Mom."
"You are welcome," Father replied. "And don't be shy about coming back, either, Christopher. Don't let your fame prevent you from attending Mass; we're always open for you."
"Thanks, Father." Criss waved goodbye. "So long."
Father waved goodbye and turned to the next couple waiting to greet him. Criss, Kris Lee and Candi trotted down the steps back down onto the lawn, stopping by the tree.
"Well, I guess this is where we part ways, ladies," he said. "I have to join Mom and the rest of the family. Thanks for joining us."
Candi pouted. Kris Lee sighed with disappointment. "Will we ever see you again?" she almost pleaded.
Criss looked at her mysteriously. "You never know when or where I'll appear," he replied evasively. "You just have to...believe."
He turned and walked away, leaving the two girls by the tree. They watched as Criss rejoined his family and disappeared into the crowd. Candi turned to Kris Lee. "You got the picture?" she asked.
Kris Lee held up her phone. "Right here," she said proudly. "C'mon, we gotta download this on the boards. No one's gonna believe we went to church with Criss Angel!"
"Boy," Criss sighed wearily as he and the family rode in the car to Costa's house, "I'm glad that it's all over."
Dimitra looked at Criss, aghast. "Christopher! How can you say that?"
Criss looked up. "What?"
"I thought you wanted to go to Mass," Dimitra said, her feelings hurt. "Is it such a chore for you to take an hour of your precious time to attend church?"
Criss sat up. "Oh, no, Mom, no offense," he protested. "I meant that I'm glad that this whole controversy dealing with SilverStar is finally over. This whole thing was such a drain on all of us, especially you; like Father said, you spearheaded this whole protest, and now we can all stop worrying and relax."
Dimitra nodded, still not convinced. "I see," she replied skeptically.
"No, really, I swear," Criss insisted. "This Mass was a celebration of the church's victory over SilverStar. It was a victory celebration for you and all those who protested alongside you, and I would not have missed it for the world. You earned it."
Dimitra nodded again, giving Criss the benefit of the doubt, and let the matter drop. Soon they would be at Costa's new home for a nice family dinner and she could enjoy being with her children and grandchild without the intrusion of television cameras or photographers. As Christopher had said, they could all stop worrying and relax.
The family rode in peaceful silence, occasionally taking in the view of the passing landscape. It was a rare, quiet moment for them all, away from the glare of lights and the intrusive lenses of camcorders. For that one day, they could be just like every other family in America--Mom, three sons, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. It was a welcome relief for them all.
Criss heard his cell phone go off in his pocket. Annoyed, he pulled it out to see who was calling. The tiny screen read DAVE B. What the hell did he want now? Criss wondered irritably. He punched "answer" and put the phone to his ear. "Yeah, Dave, whaddya want?"
"Criss, we got trouble," Dave said.
Criss sighed in frustration. "Can't it wait?"
"Criss, SilverStar's CEO is charging you with assault!" Dave told him. "It's all in today's paper!"
Criss was puzzled. "Assault? Whaddya mean, assault? I didn't lay a hand on her!"
"You threatened to 'punch her lights out', or so it said in the paper," Dave said.
"I didn't say that!" Criss insisted. "She's lying! When was this, anyway?"
Dave paused while he read the article again. "It says it was the day of your mother's hearing," he told him. "after she was aquitted."
Criss searched his memory of his encounter with Monique that fateful day. Something clicked inside his head like a YouTube video and the scene replayed before his mind's eye:
I wish you were a man for about five minutes.
Why? You prefer men?
No, so I could punch your lights out! You had no right to have my mother arrested like that!
Oh, Jesus, Criss groaned inwardly. "Look, Dave, what I said was I wished she was a man for five minutes so I could punch her lights out," he explained. "I wouldn't hurt a woman, no matter how much I hated her! I know I was really (bleeped) off at the time, but I'd never hit her, honest to God! I was quoted out of context!"
Criss could hear Dave sighing over the phone. "You know, Criss, this could seriously hurt your career," he said seriously. "I got to do a lot of damage control because of this. Monique Wesley's more powerful than you think; she could ruin you, personally if not financially. Now, if what you told me is true, I'll do my best to smooth things over, but for the time being, don't say anything to the press about this. I don't want you making things worse."
"It's Monique who's making things worse," Criss argued. "She's the one who started this whole mess! It's her fault, not mine! If she expects me to apologize for what I said, she's got a long wait ahead of her!"
"All the same, Criss, just lay low about all this," Dave pleaded. "I don't want this to become a full-blown scandal, not at this stage in your career. You just opened Believe, and your show's doing great in the ratings. Don't do anything to blow it, okay?"
"I'm not going to blow it, Dave," Criss insisted. "And don't worry about Monique Wesley--I'll handle her myself when we get to court."
"Still, in the meantime, just keep quiet about this," Dave begged. "Don't make it worse than it already is."
"Dave, relax," Criss said. "It's all gonna blow over soon. Just tell them what I told you and everything will be fine. If it will make you feel better, I won't talk about it to the press, okay?
Criss could hear Dave sighing with relief. "Thanks, Criss. Talk to you later."
Criss flipped off his phone. Costa turned to him. "What was all that about?" he asked.
"Oh, nothing," Criss replied.
"Sounded like something to me," Costa persisted.
"Look, I'll explain everything when we get to your house, okay? It's too complicated to go over here."
Costa said nothing more but settled back in his seat. From what he had gathered through Criss's one-sided conversation with Dave Baran, Little Brother was unaware that he had put his foot so far in his mouth he was choking on it. He only hoped that he could save him in time.
Join Date: Aug 2011
02-18-2013, 10:59 PM
Little Brother was unaware that he had put his foot so far in his mouth he was choking on it.
Interesting way of putting it Vertias
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hartland, MI
02-18-2013, 11:54 PM
The Loyal Community > General Discussion > We went to church with Criss...
Candigirl: Last Sunday me and my bff Kris Lee went to Holy Trinity Church (the one they werre going ot tear down) to mass and we saw Criss and his mother and brothers. We met Criss at the tree where mama Angel chained herself up to protest, and he let us sit with him--stand really cause we stood for most of the time we were there. Anyway, mama Angel kept us apart cause she didn'[t want us fl;irting with him during church. Kris Lee got some pix on her cell phone. It was really awesome, and the flowers were so pretty Kris Lee said it was like a wedding.
Magile: AWESOME PIX! and they were gonna tear it down? No wonder Mama Angel fought so hard to save it!
RUReady15: I wish it was MY wedding for real!
vampprincess: Im not really into church, but i am happy for Dimitra that she saved it. It really means a lot to her, so we should give her our support.
Greekgoddess: ^^ Amen. Go Dimitra!
The Loyal Community > General Discussion > Criss charged with assault?__________________________________________________ _____________
LoyalCat: I read in the paper that Criss was charged with assault by the CEO of SilverStar Enterprises for saying he'd punch her lights out because she got his mother arrested because she was protesting the destruction of that church she liked. It was just after the tiral and Criss and Monique Wesley were talking and Criss said he'd like to punch her lights out for it. Now he's being charged with assault. He just said he was going to, he didn't really do it.
Greekgoddess: He didn't say he was going to punch her lights out, he said he wished she was a man so he could. Criss would never NEVER hit a woman!
vampprincess: I know he didn't mean it that way, but still he should be careful what he says. He could get into a lot of troble this way.
KrisLee: I'd punch her lights out for Criss! NO ONE messes with Mama Dimitra and gets a Way with it!
Magile: I agree with greekgoddess--Criss would never hit a woman. His mother raised him to respect women, i knwo she did. We're with Criss all the way.,
The board of directors for SilverStar Enterprises sat around the large glass-covered table in the executive meeting room, staring at their slim, dark-haired CEO in the oversized leather chair, grim as a criminal jury. Monique stared back, refusing to be intimidated by these overpaid corporate types in their Brooks Brothers' suits and thinning hairlines. She had fought for years to get to their level, hammering away at the glass ceiling until she finally broke through and made her way to the top. She did not let them cow her into submission then, and double damn if she'd let them now.
Edgar Craczhbarten, Chief Executive in charge of something or other that Monique could not recall at the moment, spoke up first. "Ever since that Grand Imperial debacle, we've been losing a lot of clients, not to mention shares in the stock market. No one wants anything to do with a company that had threatened to turn out ordinary citizens onto the streets to build a hotel! This whole business has given this company a black eye--it'll be years before we can restore our reputation!"
"SilverStar has excellent prospects!" Monique protested. "If we all pull together, we can put this whole thing behind us. We can start a new project somewhere else! Hell, I'll even throw a charity ball if it'll help us! I got plans, gentlemen, plans that'll put us on top again!"
Craczhbarten adjusted his eyeglasses. "All your grandiose plans will not help matters; we think you've done enough damage, Monique. Therefore, we, the board of directors, are calling for your resignation as CEO of SilverStar Enterprises."
Monique stared dumbfounded at the assembled board. "You can't do this to me!"
"We can," Craczhbarten said calmly, "and we have. You can resign effective noon tomorrow, or we can vote you out. You'll save more face if you choose the former."
Monique could only sit there, her mouth hanging open in shock. All those years of struggling, working from dawn to dusk and then some, negotiating contracts until she was hoarse, oozing charm for perfect strangers to earn their business, going above and beyond the call of duty (not to mention the law) to cut deals with the movers and shakers of Corporate America--gone, just like that, and all because of one little mistake.
Criss Angel. It was all his fault, she reasoned. He dragged her name through the mud because his precious mother couldn't mind her own business. If she had just stayed home or wherever and stuck to playing bingo or whatever she did to occupy her time and let her, Monique, get on with the Grand Imperial project, none of this would have happened. Now here she was, her head on the chopping block, because of some busybody old lady who took it upon herself to fight progress. The hell of it was, she had won in court.
Well, she may have had won the battle, Monique thought, but she hadn't won the war. If she couldn't build the Grand Imperial, she would destroy her famous son's career as badly as he had destroyed hers--if not worse. When she got through with Mr. Hotshot Magician, he'll be lucky if he got to perform at kiddie birthday parties. Oh, yes, she was going to rake him over the coals over this one! And she was going to rake him good!
Milton Dewey stared at the letter from the Nevada State Bar, unable to comprehend what he had just read. The Ethics Committee had summoned him for a hearing regarding "breaches in conduct and other questionable practices" on his part. Simply put, they were demanding an audience with him for his shady deals and exploitative use of the law for his own benefit, especially about the SilverStar case. He had pushed the envelope so far on that one with the loopholes in the eminent domain law and the Fifth Amendment regarding public use that the envelope had fallen off a cliff. The Poletown case, his ace in the hole during the trial, had backfired, giving property owners a precedent to protect their interests from government and corporate takeovers; never again could any organization force anyone out of any home, office or other property for any reason.
The loopholes Dewey could explain away, and he had done some things for other clients that may have seemed unethical but got the job done, but he was up (bleep) creek about SilverStar. This wasn't a simple case of misconduct for which he could be repremanded. He had twisted that sacred document, the American Constitution, for his own and his client's purposes to get those people out of North Las Vegas so as to build the Grand Imperial Hotel on their property--sheer heresy to the powers-that-be in the NSB. This and other cases he had won by his distorted use of the law could lead to his disbarment. The loopholes he had exploited with such impunity had turned into a noose that was slowly tightening around his neck.
In the meantime, Dewey was suspended from practicing law until the hearing, which meant he couldn't represent Monique Wesley in her case against Criss Angel coming up. No other attorney in the firm would even consider taking his place in court that day; they wanted nothing to do with that train wreck, as one of his collegues put it. "You made your bed," he had told Dewey, "now you sleep in it!"
Dewey crumpled the letter and tossed it in the wastebasket. To hell with them, he thought. He'd been in tight spots before, and he always came up smelling like a rose. Yeah, he'd go before that Ethics Committee, and he'd turn on the old Dewey charm for them, sweet-talking them until they were putty in his hands like so many jurors before him. He may be down, but he was not out, not yet anyway.
But what about Monique's suit? The Bar had suspended him from practice until the Ethics Committee hearing. Well, so what? Who's to know? As far as the world at large was concerned, he was still a practicing attorney, and the trial was day after tomorrow. The letter could have been lost in transit, or mixed up with the interoffice mail or some other mishap. Happens all the time, right? It was too soon for the judge to become aware of the suspension, so he could still represent his star client, rake in the fees, and face the Ethics Committee with a smile on his face, several thousand dollars richer and no one the wiser. It was a gamble, but then, Las Vegas was founded on legalized gambling. For his client, it was a risk he was willing to take.
In the entertainment news, illusionist Criss Angel is being charged with assault by SilverStar CEO Monique Wesley for allegedly threatening bodily harm against her.
After his mother's arraingment hearing for criminal trespass in which she was aquitted for lack of evidence, the star of the "MindFreak" television series was reported to have said he would "like to punch her lights out". According to Criss's manager, Dave Baram, what he actually said was:"I wish you were a man for about five minutes...so I can punch your lights out for what you did to my mother, having her arrested like that! Not to mention all the BS about you tearing down an entire neighborhood to build your hotel. You are not doing this for the community, your doing it for your own ego! You are nothing but a self-centered (bleep).., and I'll sue you for whatever is left over from this suit."
Criss is suing SilverStar and Monique Wesley for false arrest and harassment on behalf of his mother. Neither party could be reached for furthur comment.
The Clark County District Court was quieter than usual the day of the suit, due to the heightened security measures taken for such a high-profile case as Angel v. Wesley. No media were permitted in the courthouse or anywhere near it. Only those who were directly involved in the case were permitted entry into the courtroom. A guard stood outside to prevent any intrusion during the proceedings. Security and silence were the order of the day.
Monique Wesley examined her shapely nails while Milton Dewey fumbled through his briefcase for his papers and his notes, while Criss's attorney sat calmly at the table next to his famous client, ready for his statement before the judge. The two parties neither spoke nor even looked at each other, but their thoughts were daggers aimed against one another.
That (bleep) thinks she can get away with lying about me about assaulting her? (Bleep) her! She's the guilty one! She had my mother arrested on trumped-up charges and she's accusing me of assault? She assaulted Mom! She had no right to do that to my Mom! She is so going down, and not in a good way, either!
So Mr. Hotshot Magician thinks he can thwart me, can he?Well, he'd better think again! Once I get on that witness stand, I'll tell the whole damn court of how he threatened to punch my lights out--he'll get no sympathy from anyone for that. Big, bad Criss Angel beating up a poor, defenseless woman! Boo hoo! The press will crucify him! Oh, yes, Crissie, you are so going down, and down hard!
"All rise," intoned the bailiff. "This court is now in session."
Everyone rose respectfully as the Honorable Cassandra Jewel stepped up to the bench. "Be seated," she commanded.
There was a rustle as the courtroom settled down again. Judge Jewel glanced at the docket for the first case. "Criss Angel vs. Monica Wesley," she read aloud. "Are both parties present?"
"We are, Your Honor," Criss's attorney replied.
"We are, Your Honor," Milton Dewey also replied.
"The plaintiff is charging the defendant with false arrest and harrassment on the behalf of his mother, Mrs. Dimitra Sarantakos," the judge stated. "The defendant, however, is countersuing on grounds of assault. Is that correct?"
"It is, Your Honor," Dewey affirmed. "The plaintiff threatened--"
"You'll get your chance, Counselor," Judge Jewel interrupted. "The counsel for the plaintiff will now state his case."
"Your Honor, on October **, 20**, the defendant issued eviction orders to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in an effort to aquire the property to build a luxury hotel. The defendant had no legal ownership to the property whatsoever, and so my client's mother, Mrs. Sarantakos, staged a protest along with other members of the church. She chained herself to a large tree out front and vowed to stay there until the eviction order was rescinded. On the second day of the protest, police came and arrested Mrs. Sarantakos and Father Stefan Mykolos for criminal trespass on orders from SilverStar Enterprises, the defendant's corporation of which she had been CEO."
Had been CEO? This revelation surprised Criss. What? She wasn't anymore? What happened?
"The plaintiff is now suing Ms. Wesley for false arrest and harrassment on his mother's behalf, in the amount of one-point-five million dollars, including court costs, legal fees, and other damages."
The attorney sat down next to Criss. Monique glowered at the two of them. One and a half million dollars? It'll be a cold day in Hell when you get a dime from me, Criss! No way am I going to let you win!
"The counsel for the defense will now state his case," Judge Jewel droned officiously.
Milton Dewey rose pompously and swept the courtroom with an imperious glance. "Your Honor, ladies and gentlemen of the court, my client, Monique Wesley, was threatened with bodily harm by the plaintiff, known as Criss Angel, if that is his legal name. On November **, 20**, after the arraingment hearing concerning his mother and Father Mykolos, he did so threaten to, quote, 'punch your lights out', end quote."
He pointed an accusing finger at Criss. "This man threatened to strike a woman, Your Honor!" he shouted dramatically. "This man--this brute of a man!--verbally assaulted a defenseless woman, causing her to fear for her personal safety! In a court of law, yet!"
"Your Honor, I object!" Criss's attorney spoke up angrily. "My client had in no way caused the defendant any harm or fear for anyone's personal safety! The defense is exaggerating the facts!"
"Objection sustained," the judge ruled. "Counselor, please refrain from being overdramatic and just state your case."
Dewey drew a deep breath and returned to the fray. "Your Honor, all we ask is that justice be served. Being a celebrity is no excuse to attack a woman for whatever reason, and we wish to make an example of Criss Angel, who, by the way, is no angel at all but a brute of a man who would stoop to beating a woman for no reason. Therefore, we ask for ten million in punitive damages, plus court costs and legal fees. We are confident that the court will find this reasonable."
Ten million dollars?! Criss stared at Dewey, aghast at the man's audacity. That's bull(bleep)! I'm not paying one cent to that (bleeper)! He can go to Hell for all I care! Monique, too!
''The defense calles Criss Angel to the stand," Dewey announced with a certain brutal relish.
Criss stood up and casually strode to the witness stand, unintimidated by Dewey's overconfident stance and snide expression. He took the oath and sat down, bracing himself for the verbal onslaught he knew was coming. It was just like jujitsu, he thought: Find your center of gravity, his martial arts trainer had taught him, and use your opponent's strength against him.
Milton Dewey strode slowly to the stand in an effort to prolong the agony. Criss was unimpressed, refusing to fall for such a tactic. He sat in the witness stand, arms crossed, a bored expression on his face while Dewey paced around him like a panther about to spring on its prey.
"Mr. Angel, if that is your name," Dewey began.
"It is," Criss replied.
"Is it true that you said you were going to punch my client's lights out, as you so crudely put it, on the day in question?"
"No." Criss replied firmly.
"You realize you are under oath, Mr. Angel."
"I am, and I am telling the truth. I did not say I was going to punch her lights out. I was quoted out of context."
"Oh, you were quoted out of context, Mr. Angel," Dewey sneered. "And what, pray tell, did you actually say? Hmmm?"
You sanctimonious (bleep)! "What I said was I wished she was a man for about five minutes so that I could punch her lights out," Criss explained defensively. "I would--"
"You heard him, ladies and gentlemen!" Dewey crowed. "He admits it! The plaintiff actually admits to--"
"Objection, Your Honor!" Criss's attorney spoke up again. "My client's statement was not a direct threat! It was an idle wish made in a moment of anger."
"Oh, an 'idle wish' is it?" Milton sneered again. "A wish to do bodily harm to a woman?"
The judge bought down the gavel with the force of a jackhammer. "Order! Order in this court!" She turned to Dewey. "Counselor, you have been warned against being overdramatic! The plaintiff will continue with his testamony uninterrupted."
Criss looked up at the judge. "Thank you, Your Honor," he said respectfully. "As I said before, I didn't threaten to attack Monique Wesley physically. I just wished she was a man for a few minutes so I could punch her lights out. I would never strike a woman, no matter how much I hated her. This woman is responsible for my mother being arrested on trumped-up charges of criminal trespass. She had no right to have her arrested like that! Even though I can't stand being in the same room as her, I would never, ever injure her in any way--at least not physically. I prefer to hit her where she lives--right in the bank account. That would do more damage than a fist in my opinion."
"But you were angry enough to do it, weren't you?" Dewey countered.
"Do what? Sue her? I'm doing that right now."
"I meant physically strike her. That was your intention at the time, wasn't it?"
"My intention is to make sure she never bullies anyone into giving up their property," Criss insisted. "And to keep her from harrassing my mother or anyone else who happens to disagree with her. She's done more damage than I ever did."
"But you did have the desire to strike her, didn't you?" Dewey badgered. "You intended to strike her and hid your intentions under a veiled threat, didn't you? You verbally assaulted my client, didn't you?"
Criss held his anger in check. He could see where this was going--Dewey was trying to goad him into an outburst, setting him up for a fall right there in the courtroom. Well, he wasn't going to play that game. He again remembered his martial arts training: use your opponent's anger against him.
Criss sat calmly in the stand, watching Dewey snarl and gnash his teeth to get him to fight back, waiting for an opening to strike back where it would do the most damage. Once Dewey saw that he couldn't intimidate him with his barrage of accusations, he backed off for a moment.
It was then that Criss struck. "You haven't proven anything, Counselor," he said. "All you did was twist everything I said around to suit your purposes. I know you're trying to get me to admit to something I didn't do, but it's not going to work. I said I wished Monique was a man so I could take her on equally, not that I would take her on period. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it."
Dewey slumped, exhausted. Criss was dismissed from the stand. "The counsel for the plaintiff calls Monique Wesley to the stand," Criss's attorney said.
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hartland, MI
02-20-2013, 12:57 AM
Monique rose from her seat and stepped daintily to the witness stand. The attorney for the plaintiff administered the oath and asked her to be seated. The attorney stepped up to the stand without the Milton Dewey theatrics and got to the point.
"Ms. Wesley, did you order the arrest of Mrs. Sarantakos and Father Mykolos on October **, 20**?"
"I did," she replied.
"On whose authority did you have them arrested?"
"Mine, of course. They were trespassing on private property."
"Do you have clear legal title to that property? When did you purchase it?"
"I offered ten thousand dollars for it, and I claimed it under the eminent domain law of this state, and the Fifth Amendement regarding public use."
"But you had no documentation of ownership at the time."
"At the time, no."
"So Father Mykolos was still the legal owner of the property at the time of the arrest."
"I had ordered his eviction within thirty days of the original notice. As I stated before, I claimed it under the eminent domain laws."
"That does not answer the question, Ms. Wesley. Was Father Mykolos still the legal owner of the property?"
Monique drew a deep breath. "For the time being."
"Could you be more specific?"
"It's just as I said: for the time being that he resided there until the thirty days were expired."
The attorney picked up a file from his table. "From the last suit regarding this case, it was ruled that you had no legal claim to any property in North Las Vegas whatsoever. You tried to use the Fifth Amendement and the eminent domain laws to unlawfully sieze property from private owners for your own purposes. Your attorney even tried to invoke Poletown vs. GM-Cadillac to defend your actions. Yet the judge overruled it, and you were ordered to pay restitution to the residents of North Las Vegas. Is that true, Ms. Wesley?"
"Unfortunatly, yes," she replied, "but we are appealing it."
"I see. But for the time being, as you put it, you had Mrs. Sarantakos and Father Mykolos arrested under false pretenses--"
"They were not false pretenses!"
"--even though Father Mykolos was still the legal owner of the property and had given Mrs. Sarantakos permission to stage a protest on said property." He set the file down in disgust. "Ms. Wesley, being the CEO of a major corporation does not give you the right to strongarm anyone into giving you their land, no matter what the law may say--or what you think it says. Your avarice has given you nothing but a bad reputation, even worse than the late Leona Helmsley. Your own board of directors have ousted you from your position at SilverStar Enterprises--"
Criss sat up, startled at this news. Ousted? The board of directors had kicked her out of the corporation? This was heavy news, yet he could not help but savor the feeling of schadenfreud over Monique's fall from grace. It served her right, he thought. She got what she deserved for all the misery she had caused him, his mother, the church, and the entire community of North Las Vegas. It was poetic justice.
"--though it will be years, if not decades, for it to rebuild the integrity it once had before you took over as CEO. On top of all that, you are suing my client for a remark he made to you which you twisted into an assault charge."
"He threatened to punch me! That is not a 'remark', Counselor, that is a threat!"
"My client said he 'wished you were a man for about five minutes', Ms. Wesley."
"He said he wanted to punch my lights out, Counselor! That was assault!"
"If you were a man, Ms. Wesley, not as a woman."
"What difference does it make? It's still an assault!"
"Did you see Mr. Angel make any move to strike you, Ms. Wesley? Did he raise his fist against you?"
"He threatened to punch me," Monique insisted. "That was all it took."
"But he made no move physically? Remember, Ms. Wesley, you are under oath."
"Not at that moment," Monique replied, but added hastily, "but he was ready to, I could tell."
"Did you see Mr. Angel make a fist?"
"I saw the anger in his eyes only. It was as threatening as a fist."
"But no physical movement toward you."
"Not at that moment. I was lucky to escape with my life."
Criss rolled his eyes. Oh, boy, the BS just keeps getting deeper and deeper. She just won't quit, will she?
"You may leave the stand, Ms. Wesley."
Monique rose and tripped daintily to her seat next to Milton Dewey. The attorney was about to call Criss back to the stand when a uniformed guard slipped into the courtroom and handed a message to the bailiff, who in turn handed it to Judge Jewel, who unfolded it and read the content of the sheet. The Honorable Judge Jewel rose from the bench.
"This court is recessed for fifteen minutes," she announced, bringing down her gavel with a bang.
Criss looked at his attorney, bewildered. "What's the deal?" he asked.
His lawyer shrugged. "Can't say," he replied. "This has never happened before, at least in my experience. Must be some sort of emergency. We won't know until court reconvenes."
"Well, I'm gonna grab a bite to eat," Criss said. "I'm sure it's no big deal if it's only for fifteen minutes."
"If it interrupts court proceedings," his lawyer told him, "it is a big deal."
"You said you were gonna nail him," Monique hissed in Dewey's ear. "You said you were gonna force him to admit to assault. You questioned him for a full fifteen minutes and he didn't even break a sweat. What's the matter with you?"
"Monique, honey, don't sweat it!" Dewey assured her. "Just because he won the first round doesn't mean he won the fight. I"ve cracked tougher nuts than this one. So relax, this case is in the bag!"
"It'd better be," Monique said through gritted teeth, "because this is one case I can't afford to lose. If we blow this, we're both in the soup."
"We're not gonna blow it," Dewey insisted. "Round two will be a TKO, and Criss Angel will be flat on the mat. And you and I will be ten million dollars richer. Trust me, everything will be all right."
Meanwhile, Criss was in the small sundry shop on the lower level of the courthouse, buying a sandwich. The slim brownette cashier recognized him and doubled over squeeing in ecstacy. "Ohmigod! It's you! It's really you!"
"Uh, yeah, it's me," Criss said, "or at least I think it's me. It was when I last checked. Hold on just a minute."
Criss glanced in the large security mirror overhead. "Yep, it's me all right. How ya doin'?"
The cashier and two other customers laughed at Criss's little joke. One customer, a burly maintenance worker in faded grey coveralls, set down his two-liter bottle of Diet Coke and turned to him. "Hey, Criss, how about some magic?"
"You wanna see some magic?"
"Yeah, I wanna see some magic. Go for it."
Criss whipped out a bandana and held it up. "This bandana has special properties," he said. "You can buy it at the MindFreak Store for three million dollars." He held up the bandana in front of the glass case filled with doughnuts and other pastries. "Now, watch."
He slipped his hand under the bandana and through the glass panel. The cashier, the worker, and the other customer, a dreadlocked Jamaican type, looked on in amazement as Criss pulled away the bandana to reveal his arm halfway into the case right through the glass. Criss picked up a strawberry danish from the shelf, concealed his arm with the bandana and withdrew it from the case, pastry and all.
"You like danish?" he asked the worker.
"Yeah, I like danish," the worker replied, taking the pastry from Criss's hand. "You're damn good, you know that?"
"Yeah, I know it," Criss replied casually. He picked up his sandwich (free of charge on the cashier's insistance) and left the shop, leaving the three amazed at what they had just witnessed.
"Hey, you got security tape in this shop, mon?" the Jamaican asked.
"Yeah, we do," the cashier replied.
"If you send that tape in to TV, they pay you money for it, you know?"
"No way," the cashier said, shaking her head, "I'm keeping it for myself!"
Court reconviened in the time it took Criss to scarf down his sandwich. Again the order to rise as the judge entered the courtroom, and the order to be seated. The Honorable Cassandra Jewel adjusted her glasses and stared directly at the two parties before her.
"Will the counsel for the defendant please rise?" she commanded.
Dewey rose from his seat, not knowing what to make of this. The judge stared at him severely.
"Mr. Dewey, it has come to my attention that you had been suspended from practice by the Ethics Committee of the State Bar until your hearing," she said. "That suspension took effect two days ago, yet here you are representing your client. Explain, please."
Dewey swallowed hard. "Your Honor, I had no knowledge of any action taken by any committee of the State Bar," he said. "This is as much a surprise to me as it is for you."
Yeah, like hell it is! Criss thought.
"I assure you, Your Honor, my intentions here are purely honorable," Dewey insisted.
"From what I know of your record, Mr. Dewey, your intentions have always been far from 'honorable'," Judge Jewel said. "For years you have twisted and distorted the law, and manipulated the legal system for your own purposes. Your ulterior motive was to win huge cash settlements for your well-heeled clients, regardless of the evidence or the facts. The law is designed to preserve order and to redress grievances, not to be used as a hustle. Even now you have flaunted the decision of the Bar to gain an outrageous ten million dollar settlement for a seemingly harmless quote from the plaintiff, Mr. Angel. What Mr. Angel had said may have been construed by you as an assault, but no direct threat was made to your client, either verbally or physically. He had been quoted as saying he wished you 'were a man so he could punch your lights out,' not 'I'm going to punch your lights out'. Therefore, the assault charge is dropped."
Criss sighed with relief. He had just dodged the bullet that would have tainted his career. God and luck were on his side, he thought.
"Furthurmore," the judge went on, "since you represented a client on suspension of your practice, the court has decided to rule in favor of the plaintiff, Criss Angel, by default, for the total of one and a half million dollars to be paid to his mother, Mrs. Sarantakos, plus court costs."
Yes! Criss clenched his fists with glee. The system works!
"I hope this will serve as an example for those who use the legal system for their own enrichment," Judge Jewel concluded. "Case dismissed."
The gavel came down with a bang. Dewey's mouth flopped open and shut like a landed trout. Monique did a slow burn, glaring at her lawyer, then at a smugly grinning Criss. The latter rose from his seat and crossed over to the former CEO.
"I hope this will serve as a lesson to you for having my mother arrested," he sneered in her face. "No one harasses my mother or anyone else in my family, got it?"
Monique stared daggers at Criss. "I'll expect your settlement check first thing in the morning, Monique," he said, twisting the knife.
"You won't get (bleep) from me, you (bleeper)." Monique retorted defiantly. "You may have won the battle, but you haven't won the war! Just you wait, Angel--I may be down now, but I am far from out! You'll see! I'll be back on top before you know it!"
"From what a lot of guys told me, you were on top a lot during your career," Criss quipped. "And on the bottom, too, on occasion. Was that how you got to be CEO?"
Monique slapped Criss across the cheek and stormed out of the courtroom. "Was that supposed to hurt?" he called out after her. "I can sue you for battery, you know."
He rubbed the tingling sensation on his face with his hand and turned to Milton Dewey. "So, long, Milt," he said jovially. "Good luck with the Ethics Committee--you're gonna need it!"
Join Date: Aug 2011
02-20-2013, 01:57 AM
That's Criss for yea
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