Friday, July 18, 2008

All the latest on Barenaked Ladies & Steven Page...

Consider this me saving you the trouble of Googling the hell out of this story. I have the scoop on all the nastiest bits of Steven Page's blow woes right here. Big, big, BIG updates in the whole scandal today, and they're all RIGHT HERE. Complete with photos.

EDITED - FEBRUARY 25th/09: Page bails on BNL!

Ugh. From this...


...to this:

The New York state police who arrested the musician said the white powder they seized from him tested positive for the drug. When they questioned him about the substance, he reportedly said, "Yeah, it's cocaine," the documents show.

If convicted, the singer could face 15 years in jail.



DAMN, do I ever wish we'd known the two women had Livejournals before they deleted them!!!

And WHY did he pay the bail for the one who ISN'T his girlfriend...???

ETA: If you want the sleaziest of the sleazy, read Michael Crook's website and click on the COUNTLESS entries he's done about Steven and his trashy girlfriend Christine Benedicto. It's...educational. EDIT: Apprently Michael Crook's site has been dismantled. Try here, or MichaelCrook.Ca (is that even him??? I think not!), or Google him to see if you can find where he's hiding. Apparently he has quite the history...



ETA II: Christine's nondeleted LJ, ritterisgod911.livejournal.com, has a LOT of public photos in her gallery, if anyone is bored. Also, here's her Last.Fm profile (wonder if there's any BNL on it...? *goes to check* LOL!! TONS!!!) and her MySpace.

ETA III: OOOOHH!! Her LJ is cached!!! (And her ex-husband has made a snarky entry on his blog about her "dirty laundry". Oh, this is FUN.)

ADDED FEB. 2009: A screencap of her LJ info page, should it ever mysteriously be deleted (note the interests including BNL and Steven, as well as her having a friend called "BNLprincess"... Oy. He hooked up with her??? I STILL DON'T GET IT.

(click if you can't see the whole thing)

ETA IV: Christine Benedicto doesn't yet have her own Wikipedia page, but she gets mentioned lots at Steve's entry.



Now to the story, with all the latest updates:

Girlfriend's roommate recounts events in court documents


Don Butler, and Mary Vallis, Ottawa Citizen and Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, July 18, 2008

All fans want is the barenaked truth: Did he or didn't he?

Based on court documents now circulating widely on the Internet, it doesn't look good for Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page.

According to the documents, filed in Fayetteville Village Court on Monday, Mr. Page, 38, admitted to police he used a Canadian bill to snort cocaine before his arrest last week in a suburb of Syracuse.

While there has been no official announcement, it appears the affair may already have cost Mr. Page's band its spot on a Disney music tour this summer.

Mr. Page had two capsules of cocaine in his pants pocket when police arrived around 2 a.m. last Friday, the court documents state. When questioned, he admitted he had been snorting drugs, saying, "Yeah, it's cocaine," the documents show.

Mr. Page is charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony that could carry a prison sentence if he is convicted. He has been released on $10,000 U.S. bail and faces up to five and a half years in state prison, according to Mark Mahoney, Mr. Page's Buffalo-based lawyer.

The Toronto-based father of three, who separated from his wife last year, was visiting his 27-year-old girlfriend, Christine Benedicto, when they had a fight, according to a handwritten deposition filed by Ms. Benedicto's roommate, Stephanie Ford. Both women also face drug possession charges.

After the alleged fight, Mr. Page wound up at the women's kitchen table with a bottle labeled "calcium" that contained capsules of white powder, Ms. Ford's deposition said.

"There was a pile of white powdery substance on the table, near one of the capsules," Ms. Ford says in the document. "There was a Canadian bill on the table, which Steven rolled up, and we used it to snort the white powder.

"We never discussed what the white powder was, but I thought it was cocaine."

According to Ms. Ford, the night began when Mr. Page met the two women late Thursday at a pub in Fayetteville, New York. Mr. Page fought with his girlfriend because she "was flirting with another guy," according to Ms. Ford.

When Mr. Page stormed off, Ms. Ford accompanied him to the apartment to ensure he did not attempt to drive home.

"Steven kept saying he was going to drive back to Toronto. He was laying on the grass, so I sat on him so he wouldn't leave," Ms. Ford wrote. "I was concerned because he had been drinking."

When Ms. Benedicto arrived at the apartment, the couple fought, and she drove away in Mr. Page's car, leaving her own vehicle in the middle of the driveway, Ms. Ford said.

Police found Ms. Benedicto's car at 2:04 a.m. and knocked on the door of the women's apartment to investigate. When they arrived, they tested 10 capsules in the "calcium" bottle, capsules on the table and two capsules found in Mr. Page's pants. All "contained a white powdery substance, which all tested positive for cocaine," according to a statement from officer Sean Davis filed with the court.

Yesterday, police released mug shots of Mr. Page and the two women. In his mug shot, the normally cherubic and clean-cut Mr. Page looks morose, rumpled and unshaven, without his glasses. Incongruously, his girlfriend, Ms. Benedicto, is smiling in her mug shot.

The Barenaked Ladies, who released their first children's album, Snacktime, in May, are scheduled to be one of the featured acts in the Disney Music Block Party, a family-oriented touring music festival that kicks off next Friday.

However, even though the Disney Music Block Party's website lists other artists on the nine-city tour, the Barenaked Ladies vanished from the site late yesterday, and the band's own website lists no tour dates at all.

Fans posting to the band's message board were divided between those ready to pronounce Mr. Page guilty and those proclaiming undying loyalty to him and the band.

"The band has forever lost my support," wrote 1missblueeyes. "Steven has let his children, his wife, his family, friends, his fans and Canada down. He is an embarrassment."

"Geez Steven," chimed in Daisy, "I adore you but ... what's happened to you? I'll tell you man, you're on a slippery slope."

If the charges against Mr. Page are true, added a poster named BNLfan4evr, "Steven must come out and make a public apology."

Others rallied to Mr. Page's defence. "Steven Page is a principled, responsible individual with a political conscience and strong family values," fired back lovetheladies. "I think he deserves a little more respect."

"I cannot believe that so many 'so-called fans' are so dang judgmental," another wrote.

Bloggers are having a field day with the story, dishing dirt about Ms. Benedicto and, especially, Ms. Ford.

Perhaps the most ferocious is Michael Crook, who bills himself as southern New Jersey's snarkiest blogger. He was all over the story, offering caustic commentary and linking to court documents, mug shots and websites maintained by Ms. Benedicto and Ms. Ford.

In response, within hours the two women had deleted their LiveJournal websites and changed the privacy settings on their Flickr pages, where, according to Mr. Crook, Ms. Benedicto obsessively posted pictures of Mr. Page.

One of Ms. Benedicto's Flickr postings, reproduced on Mr. Crook's blog, includes the words, "his voice was so beautiful, it was like cocaine or caffeine, it was my addiction."

According to a résumé posted at her website, Ms. Benedicto is a 2004 graduate of Syracuse University's Utica College in journalism and public relations.

For the past four years, she has worked at Mohawk Valley Media, laying out pages, rewriting news releases and scanning and formatting photos. She also apparently fancies herself to be a graphic artist.

Mr. Page has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Barenaked Ladies are standing behind him, saying in a statement on their website that the charges would be "strongly contested."

Mr. Page is scheduled to be back in court on Aug. 26.




Somehow I don't think this picture is gonna be as cute as it once was:

1 comment:

Jim said...

It's such a shame that this happened. I think Steven Page is a great guy that just got caught up in bad behavior. Besides, he wrote some of my favorite Barenaked Ladies songs.

I hope everything works out okay and they can go record their new album soon!

~Jim

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