Authors: D. H. Cameron
“James, I know we agreed to let the tabloid stories blow over but I’ve changed my mind,” I began. James gave me a look that told me to go on. “Helen told me she came out because of me. I’m glad I motivated her to do it but I don’t like people making decisions based on a falsehood. I know being your girlfriend means I’m some kind of celebrity and I feel like I have a responsibility to your fans…my fans,” I said.
“I’ve had the same thoughts. You know that if we fight back Victoria might just fight harder, right? I can handle it, can you?” James asked. I knew what he meant. Victoria had gone further than I would have thought. She had manipulated James’ record label, blocked my attempt to get my agent’s license and even accused me of ethics violations. She had paid Sylvia, James’ ex-wife, to try and break us up. Nevertheless, even after all of that, smearing me in the tabloids was too much. Victoria wasn’t just getting back; she was trying to destroy James and me.
“I don’t like not fighting. Besides, maybe that will distract Victoria while everything else falls into place. In any case, I don’t like people thinking I’m something I’m not. I can’t stop people from forming opinions but I don’t want to become some kind of heroine to certain people based on a lie,” I explained.
“Well, you’re an agent. Set up a press conference. I’ll be there and I’m sure the rest of the band will support you too. Let’s fight. Besides, you’re right. It might keep The Fraulein from discovering that we’re taking over her company,” James agreed. It was a delicate matter organizing a hostile takeover of Roland Talent, the company Vicky’s father, Samuel, started and she was quickly running into the ground. We weren’t sure if Vicky had the ability to purchase back any of the stock she had sold off, but if she got word, she might be able to block us.
Roland was a public company but Vicky had inherited control of almost eighty percent of the stock available when her father died. Since, she had sold off more than half of that to fund her extravagant lifestyle. She was still the major stockholder, but not the majority stockholder anymore. James, the band and a few trusted artists had begun buying stock. Once they had a majority, we could oust Victoria and save the legacy of her father. We could stop her from ruining the company and representing her interests instead of her client’s.
“I just hope this isn’t going to backfire,” I said. James smiled at me as he put a hand on my knee.
“No matter what, I’m behind you,” he said.
“I want to state that I am not a lesbian nor am I bisexual. I was set up and the photos provided to the tabloids are not genuine. I am supportive of the LGBT community, but I want the fans of Battery to know the truth. I am sorry for any harm that may have come from these vicious accusations. Battery will do a concert to benefit LGBT charities to show our support later this year. In addition, we do not take these slanderous charges lightly and we are working with authorities to identify the culprits,” I announced to the gathering of press outside of my small office. The band stood behind me along with Peter. I took questions, but most of them were simply asking for clarification.
I was surprised how many reporters were there. Most were entertainment journalists, but there were also reporters from Fox News, MSNBC and CNN along with most of the local television stations. When one reporter asked if this had anything to do with the gay marriage debate, I told them it didn’t. “This is not politically motivated. I was approached by a woman I’d never met and she embraced me, kissed me and then claimed it was a mistake. Someone caught it on film and we suspect it was a set up from the get go,” I answered.
“Ms. Navarro, who would want to do such a thing?” one local reporter asked.
“We have some ideas but aren’t at liberty to say. There is an ongoing investigation,” I answered being purposely vague. There was no official investigation but we wanted Vicky to think there might be. The press conference wasn’t held only to set the record straight, but also to focus Vicky’s attention on us instead of our takeover. It wasn’t a lie, just a slight misdirection. I was careful not to say what authorities we were working with or what the exact nature of the investigation was.
In fact, the talent agent licensing board was looking into the complaint against me and we had filled them in on our suspicions about Vicky. So far, they had found no evidence of any wrongdoing on my part but they hadn’t found anything that implicated Vicky either. However, they were also poking around and hopefully that was keeping Vicky’s eye off the real prize, Roland Talent. The press asked a few more questions, but this wasn’t exactly huge news. I had set the record straight and Vicky only had the one set of photos. However, she had another surprise and this one was potentially much more damaging.
James phone rang as soon as he turned it on. Mine rang a moment later. We looked at one another and I could see James was thinking the same thing I was. This couldn’t be good. We had just returned from another string of three shows, all in Texas. As the plane touched down in Los Angeles, we both answered our phones. Peter was calling me and James mouthed that his call was from Ernest, James’ lawyer.
“Simone, I’m glad I got a hold of you. The tabloids are at it again,” Peter told me. Peter had been my boss at Roland Talent before we both quit when James fired Vicky and he made me his agent. Now Peter worked for me at the small agency James and Peter had set up on my behalf. Honestly, Peter was doing most of the work since I was following Battery out on tour but he wasn’t really doing much to get us clients. He was mainly engaged in our battle with Vicky.
“Do they have more pictures of me? What are they accusing…,” I began to ask but Peter cut me off.
“Simone, it’s not you. It’s James,” he told me and I looked at James just as he looked at me. I knew he was hearing the same thing from Ernest. “Simone, they are accusing him of assaulting Sylvia. There is a picture of him holding her by the neck about ready to punch her and pictures of Sylvia with a black eye, cuts and a swollen lip. There’s an interview with her and everything. She claims James beat her up and she’s going to the police,” Peter said.
“Oh no! Peter, were pulling up to the hangar. James and I will get back with you once we see the tabloids. Thanks for warning us,” I said and ended the call. James hung up with Ernest and it was apparent we both knew what was going on. We explained the situation to the rest of the band, including Josie and Anna who both were able to make this leg of the tour. Nobody quite believed it. Thankfully, the press didn’t have our schedule and they weren’t waiting for us outside the hangar.
We stopped on the way home so I could pick up a copy of the two tabloids that were running the pictures. The pictures were as Peter described, James and Sylvia nude by the pool, James threatening her and the naughty bits blurred out. The Inquisitor led with the headline, “Bad Boy Rock Star Accused of Beating Ex-Wife.” The Planet ran the same picture, obviously taken with a telephoto lens from a great distance, and then headline, “Assault and Battery.” Very clever. I returned from purchasing copies and showed James once I was back in my Jeep. He couldn’t very well go in and buy them with his picture on the front page. James didn’t say anything but I could tell he was both hurt and angry.
“I’m sorry, James,” I said. He looked at me and smiled.
“It’s not true. I wanted to hit her when she told me she had planned for you to catch her kissing me, but I didn’t. I remember her daring me to do it and feeling like someone might be watching. Obviously, I was right but I swear I didn’t hit her,” James said.
“I know. You’d never do that. I believe you and so does the band. We’ll make your fans believe it too,” I said and took James’ hand. He smiled and nodded. However, his smile turned to a grimace soon enough.
“We need to stop slow playing this, little girl. I’m not going to sit around and wait for The Fraulein to destroy everything I’ve worked so hard for. We’re going on offense,” James told me.
“No flair for the dramatic this time. Tell me what you’re planning,” I replied. I wasn’t going to accept being kept in the dark to satisfy James’ need to be dramatic. This was too important.
“I know a guy,” he said. That sounded ominous.
“James, don’t be rash,” I warned him.
“Not a hit man. That’s what it sounded like, didn’t it?” James asked me smiling devilishly. I laughed glad to see him not letting this get to him to badly. “No, a private investigator,” he clarified.
“To dig up dirt on Vicky and Sylvia? I’m not sure slinging mud back and forth is going to accomplish much,” I observed.
“No, not dirt. Evidence. Evidence that Vicky lied to the board, evidence Sylvia faked the black eye and fat lip and evidence that the Fraulein is behind all this. Honestly, I guess I’ve been a bit naive. I never thought she would take things this far. I never thought Sylvia would go along to this degree. My eyes are open now though,” James announced. I liked that. I liked the idea of turning this around on both of them and I liked seeing James taking control. I really liked that.
“I am so going to attack you when we get home,” I said. James laughed.
“I like it when you get fired up,” he replied.
“I enjoy it when you get fired up too, James,” I told him. He growled at me and I felt my pussy warm and swell in anticipation. It wasn’t to be, however. Things just went from bad to worse. We arrived back at the house in Malibu to find a Malibu Police cruiser waiting for us. Apparently, Sylvia had already gone to the police. We stopped at the gate and the officer told us he would be following us inside. He wasn’t rude, but he wasn’t asking either. James nodded, opened the gate and we drove inside with the cruiser right behind us.
“Sorry to ruin your day, Mr. Turner,” Detective Foley said after introducing himself. He had ridden with the uniformed officer. “I assume you know why we’re here,” the detective said.
“I do,” James replied solemnly. I held his hand for support.
“There’s been a complaint filed and were obliged to arrest you and take you in. Look, I don’t like it. I don’t believe the bitch. She showed up at the station with the press and her famous lawyer, Gloria Allison. However, the law says I’ve got to book you in these cases. It’s up the DA to decide if he’s going prosecute you or not,” the detective told James.
“Thanks. I know how it works,” James replied. The young officer brought cuffs but Detective Foley waved him off.
“You’re not going to resist, are you?” Detective Foley asked. James shook his head and the officer almost looked relieved. James towered over both of them and as always, was larger than life.
“Simone, call Ernest and have him arrange bail. I’ll be back in a few hours,” James told me. I fought the urge to cry. This wasn’t happening, was it? I was so angry with Vicky and Sylvia. However, I hid the fear and anger and smiled up at James and nodded. I had to be strong for him.
“I’ll take care of it. You’ll keep this quiet, Detective Foley?” I asked.
“Of course. We’ll keep this on the down low as best we can,” the detective told us and then officially put James under arrest and read him his rights. Then he helped James into the back of the cruiser and let me kiss him goodbye.
“I love you, James. It will all be OK,” I said. He smiled.
“I love you too, little girl. I’m not scared. I’m motivated,” he told me. The officer shut the door, climbed into the driver’s seat and started the engine. The detective looked at me as they drove away and he almost appeared sorry for having to do it. I watched them go and stood in the driveway for a moment after they had left. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. However, that wasn’t going to fix this. Instead, I went inside and called Ernest. He assured me he’d have James home safe and sound within a few hours.
True to his word, Ernest brought James home later that afternoon. I was a wreck, wringing my hands and feeling sick the entire time James was gone. When James came home, however, he was laughing and joking with his lawyer. I was confused to say the least. He’d just been booked into jail on assault charges and bailed out by his lawyer. Why was he so happy?
“Little girl,” he called to me as he and Ernest found me.
“Are you OK?” I asked as I ran to James and hugged him.
“Yeah, I’m fine. My wrist is a little sore from signing autographs and I’m starving but otherwise, I’m fine,” he said.
“Autographs?” I asked.
“Those guys love me down at the station. No one believes Sylvia. Most of them saw the circus she brought with her when she filed the complaint,” James told me. I didn’t expect that. I imagined a cold, dank cell, bread and water and worse. I guess I should have known better. It was the Malibu Police station. I’m sure it was more plush than most.
“Well, I’m glad you’re home anyway. So what now?” I asked.
“Dinner! I’m famished,” James said. That’s not what I meant.
“I mean, with the charges,” I corrected.
“Don’t worry, Simone,” Ernest explained, “this will drag on for months. I’ve dealt with Gloria Allison before. She’s an ambulance chaser, so to speak. She’s great at getting clients in front of cameras but she’s a horrible lawyer. James will have to appear in court at some point and then I’ll make sure this drags on until they get sick of it or until I can present evidence to get this thrown out. James is going to handle that, aren’t you?”
“As soon as I eat. Thanks, Ernie. I’ll be in contact. Come on, little girl, let’s go get some steaks,” James replied.
“Shouldn’t this be a big deal? Why are we so happy?” I wondered, confused still.
“I have a better lawyer and we’ve got the truth on our side. Relax, this is the last time Vicky gets the best of us,” James said and bent to kiss me before slipping his hand onto the small of my back and leading me towards the front door with Ernest in tow. Ernest told us he’d be in contact and we followed him out of the gate in my Jeep. Once we were at James’ restaurant seated in the private dining room, I just couldn’t stand it anymore.
“James, this isn’t a joke. You could go to prison,” I said after Monica had taken our orders.