Pop culture: Charles Barkley, Pia Zadora, Mayweather-Alvarez

NBA great Charles Barkley lost his bet against Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Seated ringside on Saturday night at the Floyd Mayweather-Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight at the MGM Grand Garden, Barkley told me “I lost. That’s bad karma, me betting on Alabama. Bad karma.”

During a radio interview last week with a Chicago sports talk station, Barkley said, “Johnny Manziel, he’s doing something I never thought was possible. He’s going to make me root for Alabama.”

Barkley lost his bet when Alabama, an 8½-point favorite over Texas A&M, won when Manziel — last season’s Heisman winner — threw a touchdown pass in the closing seconds in Alabama’s 49-42 thriller.

Barkley was a star at Auburn University, a bitter rival of Alabama.

Barkley said Manziel’s showboating antics were “annoying me so much I am really close to saying ‘Roll Tide.’ ”

“Oh my God, the only thing sorrier than Johnny Manziel is Miley Cyrus,” Barkley told the radio station.


Pia Zadora has ended her public silence on the May incident that resulted in being jailed after a domestic abuse arrest involving her 16-year-old autistic son.

Her interview with the Review-Journal came a day after she agreed to take an Internet impulse control course and an alcohol assessment.

“I learned a lesson — and that’s to never let what is essentially a small family drama get out of control,” she said.

Zadora said she was speaking out, in part, to set the record straight on the terms of her case.

“There was never any plea, never any conviction, never any sentence, never any probation,” she said.

She accepted the two conditions of the court rather than “the prospect of him having to deal with this in court” because of his “special challenges.”

The former actor, singer and Las Vegas headliner added, “I love him dearly, but he’s been the greatest challenge of my life except for trying to get people to forget I made ‘Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.’”

The incident started, she said, when she playfully sprayed her 33-year-old stepson with a water hose to remind him it was time to go.

Looking back, she said, “it was really dumb” because it led to her stepson handing a cell phone to her son “and telling him to call 911, which was even dumber.”


The suspense is nearly over. Hallelujah. After a long wait and an interminable barrage of hype, Britney Spears will make official official the worst kept secret in town: she has a two-year residency at Planet Hollywood. She’ll reportedly make the announcement Tuesday during a live-from-Las Vegas appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” She will debut her new single, “Work B***h,” said to contain a sample of drag queen RuPaul’s “Supermodel (You Better Work.)” …

The eyebrow raiser of the week comes from The Los Angeles Times. In a Friday article about Las Vegas-bound “Beacher’s Madness,” the Times reported showman Jeff Beacher signed a $100 million deal to move his cabaret/burlesque freak show from the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles to the MGM Grand. That’s either a typo or Beacher has landed a Celine deal. I asked him via email to elaborate on the terms. He responded: “We’ll talk tomorrow.”


At the Mayweather-Alvarez fight: Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, Heidi Klum, Don Cheadle, Rick Ross (will add some more). … Trevor Gretzky, son of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky and actress Janet Jones, celebrating his 21st birthday Friday at Hyde Bellagio with his parents and friends. … Olympic swimming great Michael Phelps, playing poker at the Wynn on Friday. … Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, who was in town last week to court Bishop Gorman’s 7-foot basketball standout Stephen Zimmerman, dined at the Tuscany Grill in Henderson.


“How crazy is it that the pope has a car? Imagine driving through Rome and a Renault cuts in front of you. You flip the guy off, and it’s the pope!” — Jimmy Kimmel

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more at normclarke.com. Follow @Norm_Clarke on Twitter. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas” airs Thursdays on “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Ch. 13.

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