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Thursday
Apr272006

Latest Bush Update

Someone finally tracked down Reggie Bush yesterday---in New York City for a marketing appearance before the NFL draft.

Los Angeles Times Story

Bush acknowledges that he knew landlord Michael Michaels, but continues to avoid comment on the housing deal.

His marketing representative, Mike Ornstein, had the following NEW information to share:

[Ornstein] said Michaels was a longtime family friend of Bush's stepfather and mother. Ornstein said Michaels knew LaMar and Denise Griffin were having difficulty paying rent at another residence, so he allowed the couple and Bush's teenage brother, Jovan, to stay in a Spring Valley home he purchased for $757,500 last year.

"They were having a financial problem. So this guy came to them and said 'Move into the house,' " Ornstein said. "And so they did and they worked out an arrangement to pay him. That's what I understand."

Finally!  We have an explanation for the housing deal---sort of.  But it's not through the Griffins or Michaels, but instead one of Bush's representatives.  Grain of salt alert.

We still lack documentation and corroboration from the Griffins and Michaels, but we do have a version of the home deal to analyze.

So we're getting closer to the benefits story and whether Bush's parents received an improper benefit.

This explanation may or may not be legit.  If truthful, it quiets a lot of the fires about improper benefits although it does not remove any of the lingering sentiments of a shady deal.

The article also paints Bush's stepfather LaMar Griffin, as a significant debtor.

On Jan. 26, in San Diego Superior Court, a collection agency won a judgment against LaMar Griffin for $1,954.45 in unpaid bills to a cellphone company, a debt that according to court records dated to late 2001.

So we can now add Griffin's unpaid bills to the now well-documented hijinks of the bumbling trio of agent Michael Caravantes, Sycuan Tribesman and landlord Michael Michaels and professional criminal Lloyd Lake.

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Reader Comments (3)

I would call it a boulder of salt. Ornstein is Bush's marketing guy. What he says is about as credible as when Tom Cruise's PR guy claims he's "completely normal."

Also, I think Ornstein's explanation, even if truthful, doesn't "quiet[] a lot of the fires about improper benefits." Ornstein, choosing (and qualifying) his words carefully, just says "And so they did and they worked out an arrangement to pay him. That's what I understand." That doesn't say much. That "arrangement" could have been for less than fair market rent. That "arrangement" could have been "I'll pay you down the road after Reggie signs his Adidas contract." More questions, not answers.

In addition, the Griffin debt revelation again strongly supports what I think we already knew: that the Griffin's didn't have the means to pay fair market rent. If the guy can't pay his cell phone bill, that suggest that he didn't make any alleged "arrangement" that included paying fair market rent on a monthly basis. Sounds to me like an IOU situation, but time will tell.

By the way, what would you expect them to say? "We didn't pay rent." Come on. They are either (a) going claim they paid rent (with or without documentation), or (b) spin a yarn about having a deal or paying cash or something. Again, we need answers here. And I think the burden of proof is on the Griffin's to demonstrate that they paid rent.

Finally, you mention, but gloss over, Bush's admission that he knew Michaels (and refusal, again, to answer the rent question). We'll see where, if anywhere, this goes, but by admitting that he knew Michaels, it adds at least some credibility to the claims of the "bumbling trio" that they had some kind of deal in the works. It's not just some stranger who knew Bush's dad. And, granted, its not a guy Bush eventually signed with. It's somewhere in between, and the nature of that relationship will be significant.

April 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCocoman25
I don't think this really clears anything up. Coming from a marketing rep whose job it is to market a player and put good spins on everything...this shouldn't mean a whole lot. There are still alot of questions, like how the Griffin's name is in concrete in front of the house...you know, the one that they just moved into for a little while during their financial difficulties. And its not the least bit suspicious that a guy who has a marketing firm (albeit not much of one) is going out of his way to do favors for the family of a Heisman candidate and one of the highest profile players on the defending national champions? That didn't set off any alarms?
April 27, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterfc
Just for the record, it looks like I was right about the IOU angle:

"The attorney, representing New Era Sports & Entertainment, said that Bush's stepfather, LaMar Griffin, was also a founding member of the company and promised to repay what he owed in back rent through money earned after his son signed with an NFL team." (LA Times)
April 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCocoman25

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