The Grapevine: Magic Johnson, ‘Godfather’ Lawsuit and Muhammad Ali

February 22, 2012 Updated: October 8, 2018
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Magic Johnson (Andy Kropa/Getty Images)


Magic Johnson to Launch Cable Network

Basketball Hall-of-Famer turned business leader Magic Johnson will launch Aspire—a new cable network that aims to portray “positive, uplifting images of African Americans,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Johnson told the newspaper, “This is big for myself, for the African American community and the African American creative community. I wanted a vehicle to show positive images and to have stories written, produced and directed by African Americans for our community. Aspire—that’s how I’ve been leading my life.”

The network is expected to hit airwaves June 30.

Paramount Launches ‘Godfather’ Lawsuit

Film studio Paramount Pictures is suing the estate of Mario Puzo (author of The Godfather) in an attempt to stop the publication of a new Godfather novel, claiming its release may tarnish the “legacy and integrity” of the film franchise, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The estate’s attorney told the publication the claims were “utter hogwash,” saying the original agreement with Paramount excluded book publishing rights.

Stars Celebrate Muhammad Ali’s Birthday

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Lonnie Ali,Muhammad Ali, Sean Combs (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali celebrated his 70th birthday this past weekend surrounded by numerous celebrity friends, all in the name of charity.

In attendance were Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Sugar Ray Leonard, Evander Holyfield, LL Cool J, Sean Combs, Samuel L. Jackson, and David Beckham among others.

The Power of Love Gala was held on Feb. 18 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The annual event in its 16th year raised funds for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Muhammad Ali Center, according to

Compiled by Barbara Danza.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza