It looks like somebody's gonna be on kitchen detail and it's not Paula Deen, E! News reports.
A man who pleaded guilty to trying to blackmail the ex-Food Network star at the height of the uproar over her utterance of the N-word has been sentenced to two years in a Georgia prison.
Thomas Paculis copped to one count of extortion after demanding $250,000 from the bubbly 66-year-old Deen in exchange for not revealing damaging statements she had made in the past.
As the Savannah Morning News reports, in addition to jail time, U.S. District Judge William T. Moore Jr. gave the 62-year-old one year of supervised release and 40 hours of community service.
He's lucky he didn't get more.
Once news surfaced about the Queen of Southern Cuisine dropping the N-bomb, Paculis reached out to Deen's attorney, Gary Hodges, and threatened to release some allegedly damning information to the media that the Savannah businessman said would "sink her ship before it left the dock."
After the legal eagle negotiated him down to $200,000, he was taken into custody in New York City by federal agencies and charged with two counts of using interstate communications to try to extort money.
But because Paculis agreed to a plea deal, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Newman decided to drop the additional count against him. Explaining why he made the threats, Paculis cited "bad economic times" as the reason.
James Gandolfini attended one of his final film premieres in spirit, E! News reports.
When "Enough Said" was screened in New York City on Monday, the late actor was remembered by his co-stars. "I wish he was with me on this carpet at this very second," actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus told the BBC of Gandolfini, who died of a heart attack at age 51 in June.
Louis-Dreyfus, 52, admitted that it was "very bittersweet" attending the event without Gandolfini. She added that audiences will be pleasantly surprised by his tender performance in the romantic comedy.
"This is how great an actor Jim was: He was no Tony Soprano," she said, referencing his most famous character. "This guy was a thoughtful, generous, sweet, self-effacing guy -- like the character he plays in the film."
In a separate interview with The Huffington Post, the "Veep" star called Gandolfini "a gentle giant" with a commanding presence. "I think he has a thoughtfulness, a kindness and a powerfulness that is irresistible," Louis-Dreyfus raved.
Co-star Toni Collette echoed Louis-Dreyfus' sentiments, saying, "I think when the experience of making a film has been so buoyant and lovely and fun, you want to celebrate that experience and share it with the world. But also, the film is dedicated to Jim. He is so divine in the movie. It will be bittersweet."
"Sopranos" creator David Chase attended the event, as did the show's stars Edie Falco, Aida Turturro, Steven Schiripa and Tony Sirico. "He's our pal and we're coming to pay our respects," Sirico explained. "He might be dead, technically, but he's still there with me."
Gandolfini's final film, "Animal Rescue," is tentatively scheduled for release in 2014.
Actor and producer Mark Wahlberg has a new title to add to his resume -- high school graduate.
The 42-year-old received his diploma in June and tells People that his four children were a big motivation for hitting the books. "I didn't want the kids saying, 'You didn't do it, so why do I need it?' They are all wanting to do things in their future that require an education."
The "Ted" star, who had a troubled childhood and dropped out in the ninth grade being charged with attempted murder, says getting his diploma is "a huge accomplishment."
"It's also a huge sense of relief," he said Monday at an event in Irvine, Calif., for the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, where he presented scholarships to select Taco Bell employees as part of its pilot program. "I wondered, 'Why didn't I do it when I was there?' It's so much harder at 41 going back and trying to do all these difficult tasks."
The most challenging part for Wahlberg, who took online classes, was math, even though he jokes that he's "good at counting money and keeping track of my money."
Wahlberg hired a tutor and studied between takes on the set of "Two Guns," but kept it a secret from his co-star Denzel Washington.
"Denzel was always asking me what I was doing but I didn't want to share that information with him," he says. "Nobody knew, because I felt like I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch. So I didn't want to say that I was doing it until I actually finished it. What if I said I'm doing this and I didn't finish it?"
Now that Wahlberg has his diploma, he's hoping to further his education.
"I would love to go to USC and study film. I don't want to become a veterinarian or anything, [I want to study] things that further my career and broaden my horizon."
They're as thick as thieves and now, they've got a show to prove it, People reports.
Caroline Manzo and her brood will be followed by a crew of cameras in "Manzo'd With Children," a spinoff pilot that Bravo announced Tuesday.
The show will follow Caroline's doting husband Al, her son Albie's exploits on the dating scene, daughter Lauren's deliberations about marrying long-term beau Vito Scalia, and son Chris' latest entrepreneurial schemes -- you might remember his infamous stripper/car wash idea from "Real Housewives of New Jersey."
Caroline's sister, Fran, -- who made an unforgettable cameo with a rescued pet pig on "Real Housewives of New Jersey" -- will also be a part of the series.
George Takei has a new enterprise.
Takei, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu on "Star Trek," launched the new Web series Tuesday "Takei's Take," People reports.
"What we are doing here with 'Takei's Take' is sharing the new technological developments, entertainingly, those developments that can enrich one's life and expand our potential," Takei said.
The actor, 76, says that his role on "Star Trek" is part of the reason he is interested in new technological advancements.
"Having worked on 'Star Trek' and met some fantastic sci-fi writers and their imagination, projecting out to what we might have, not only technologically but societally, in the future," he says.
Takei is hoping "Takei's Take," produced by AARP, will encourage the older generation to embrace new technology, like Google Glass, which is the subject of the first webisode (watch below). But Takei admits he may need to go back to basics, even with his own family.
"My sister is one of those technophobic people. She doesn't even have a computer. And I've been working on her."
With over 800,000 Twitter followers and more than 4.5 million likes on his Facebook page, Takei has a formidable Web presence that he hopes will garner a new audience for his comical Web series, which airs twice a month.
"[Humor] is the honey! You catch more flies with honey, than with a dry lecture," he says. On Facebook, I try to have people begin the day with a smile."