Report: Justin Bieber sued for ‘assaulting’ Israeli bodyguard


The Israeli former bodyguard of teen idol Justin Bieber reportedly sued the pop star for assault.

Moshe Benabou, who lives in the United States, is seeking unspecified damages for assault and battery and more than $420,000 in unpaid overtime, the news site TMZ reported on Thursday.

According to Benabou — who claims he worked for the singer from March 2011 to October 2012 —  Bieber, 18, berated him and punched him in the chest multiple times during a disagreement about how to handle a member of Bieber's entourage. Benabou allegedly had attempted to keep the member of the entourage away from Bieber.

TMZ quoted sources “in Bieber’s camp” as saying that Benabou was “a disgruntled employee looking for money,” and calling the claim that Bieber struck Benabou “absurd.”

Benabou made a splash on the gossip website last February when he was filmed struggling with a photographer at Los Angeles airport. After a brief struggle, both men fell to the ground.

Mayim Bialik nearly loses thumb in car accident


Actress Mayim Bialik seriously injured her hand in a car accident in Los Angeles.

A car filled with tourists crashed into Bialik’s car on Wednesday in Los Angeles on Hollywood Boulevard, TMZ reported.

Bialik, 36, who stars in the “Big Bang Theory” and was a child star in “Blossom,” nearly lost her left thumb in the accident, according to TMZ, which reported that the digit was almost completely severed.

Hours after the accident, Bialik tweeted that she was “In pain but will keep all my fingers.” She added, however, that her husband was typing for her.

In addition to being an actress, Bialik is a neuroscientist and writes about Jewish parenting.


L.A. camp gets unwanted attention in wake of Colorado shooting


Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes’ reported ties to Camp Max Straus have led to unwanted attention for Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles and its camp, its director said.

“I think the attention is unfortunate,” Randy Schwab, CEO of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles and Camp Max Straus, said during a July 23 phone interview.

Following last week’s shooting rampage in Aurora, Colo., media reported that Holmes, 24, worked as a counselor at Glendale-based Camp Max Straus during summer 2008. The camp and its parent organization have found themselves trying to avoid negative attention while coming to terms with the knowledge that Holmes — who is suspected of killing 12 people and injuring 58 — was once responsible for a group of approximately 10 children.

On July 20, Holmes allegedly walked into a movie theater during a midnight screening of the Batman finale, “The Dark Knight Rises,” and, armed with multiple weapons, began shooting. He was arrested immediately following the incident and is currently being held in a Colorado detention facility. Holmes made his first court appearance on July 23.

Holmes grew up in the upscale northwest San Diego neighborhood of Rancho Peñasquitos and attended a local Presbyterian church with his family, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Holmes’ connection to Camp Max Straus was discovered through a resume found on employment Web site Monster.com following the shooting.

Situated on 100-plus scenic acres in the Verdugo Mountains and at the end of a cul-de-sac in a quiet residential neighborhood, Max Straus serves a primarily non-Jewish population of low-income and disadvantaged youth ages 7-12. Mentoring organization Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles owns and operates the nonsectarian camp.

Director Schwab has resisted being interviewed, instead referring reporters to a written statement confirming Holmes was a cabin counselor at Camp Max Straus for eight weeks during the summer of 2008.

“Camp Max Straus is accredited and adheres to rigorous standards to ensure the safety and security of its campers and staff,” the statement says. “All employees of the camp are subjected to a thorough screening process.”

On July 23, NBC Channel 4 News shot footage for a live segment from outside of Max Straus. The news station’s van had been parked outside the camp for approximately five hours, said NBC general assignment reporter Cary Berglund, who was on the scene.

[Related: Former Jewish camp staffer worked closely with James Holmes]

Berglund arrived at the camp hoping to interview camp staff, but counselors declined interview requests and Schwab did not speak to reporters. Two security guards patrolled the entrance, forbidding reporters from walking onto the property, and handed out copies of Schwab’s written statement.

The camp is currently in session, and young children could be seen walking amid the cabins.

Speaking to The Journal, Berglund said that Max Straus doesn’t deserve negative attention, even though it’s “chilling that somebody like [Holmes] was actually a counselor at a kids camp.”

“Somebody like that could be anywhere at any time,” Berglund said. “I don’t think it reflects badly on the camp. It’s just kind of an eerie addition to what the story is.”

A man who worked with Holmes at Max Straus told CNN that he was a “nice guy” who worked well with children.

“He was a little isolated, but he was, you know, a nice guy,” Gabriel Menchaca said.

The attention that the camp has received is surprising and undesirable, according to a former camp staff member who had worked with Holmes.

“I’m looking at us all over TMZ,” the former camp staff member said on July 22, speaking to The Journal on condition of anonymity. “There’s my picture, it’s crazy.” 

“We had a great summer in 2008, and we don’t want this backlash to spoil it,” the former staffer added. “It’s unfortunate that they’re screaming about the camp all over the news.”

Kobe practices at the JCC


Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reportedly held a private training session at a Jewish Community Center in Irvine, Ca.

Bryant, according to the TMZ website, brought a trainer to the J to work on shooting drills and cardio training as spectators looked on.

Last month, the Miami Heat’s LeBron James played a pickup game at the JCC in Cleveland, his hometown.

Meanwhile, the New York Knick’s Amar’re Stoudemire, who visited Israel last year to discover more about his Jewish heritage on his mother’s side, is interested in opening a Hebrew school, according to the New York Daily News.

An unnamed source told the newspaper that Stoudemire has discussed opening a school that would focus on teaching the Hebrew language and Jewish history, though no school is actually in the works.

One and a Half Men? Sitcom sacks Sheen


Actor Charlie Sheen has been fired from his hit CBS sitcom in the wake of a rant against the show’s executive producer that was called “borderline anti-Semitism.”

Sheen was fired Monday, effective immediately, from “Two and a Half Men,” for which he was paid $2 million per episode. The series was not canceled, however.

Warner Brothers said Sheen’s “statements, conduct and condition prevented him from performing his essential duties.”

Sheen, in a radio interview Feb. 24 and in a letter posted on the TMZ website, called “Two and a Half Men” executive producer Chuck Lorre a “contaminated little maggot,” said he was a “clown” and “stupid,” and referred to him several times as Chaim Levine. Lorre’s given name is Charles Michael Levine.

“By invoking television producer Chuck Lorre’s Jewish name in the context of an angry tirade against him, Charlie Sheen left the impression that another reason for his dislike of Mr. Lorre is his Jewishness,” Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, said in a statement. “This fact has no relevance to Mr. Sheen’s complaint or disagreement, and his words are at best bizarre, and at worst, borderline anti-Semitism.”

Sheen has called on ADL to apologize.

Jackie Mason Calls Obama the ‘SCH’-word


NEW YORK (JTA)—Comedian Jackie Mason called President Obama a “schvartze” during a performance in New York, angering some audience members.

The Web site TMZ reported Sunday that Mason used the term, which means “black” in Yiddish but is considered derogatory by some, during a performance at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency in New York City on March 12.

TMZ quoted one audience member as saying, “He’s more offensive to the Jews than Madoff tonight.”

“I’m an old Jew. I was raised in a Jewish family where ‘schvartze’ was used,” Mason told TMZ. “It’s not a demeaning word and I’m not going to defend myself.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton reminded TMZ that in 1991, Mason apologized for calling then-New York mayoral candidate David Dinkins “a fancy schvartze with a mustache.”

“At this stage in Jackie’s life and career, he should get our prayers more than our responses,” Sharpton told TMZ Sunday.