Artists and drugs Five artists identified in Albany probe join Rambo actor as recent buyers of steroids
First published: Sunday, January 13, 2008
PATCHOGUE -- The names of R&B music star Mary J. Blige, along with rap artists 50 Cent, Timbaland and Wyclef Jean, and award-winning author and producer Tyler Perry, have emerged in an Albany-based investigation of steroids trafficking that has already rocked the professional sports world, according to confidential sources.
Information has surfaced recently showing those stars are among tens of thousands of people who may have used or received prescribed shipments of steroids and injectable human growth hormone in recent years. Law enforcement officials have said they have no evidence in their sprawling multistate probe that customers, including Blige or other entertainers, violated any laws. Instead, they are targeting anti-aging clinics, doctors and pharmacists who prescribed the drugs.
Still, medical experts say that use of steroids and human growth hormone -- an estimated $10 billion-a-year operation worldwide -- reaching into the entertainment industry illustrates how pervasive steroids use in the United States has become. It is not unique to athletics, where performance-enhancing drug use has marred many sports. For many celebrities, the lure of hormonal drugs is their supposed, unproven anti-aging effects.
While Congress is preparing to focus on baseball players alleged to have taken the drugs, medical experts are warning that steroids and human growth hormone are being illegally prescribed nationwide at an alarming rate under the misconception they will aid healing, enhance looks, strength and speed, or slow aging. Records shared with the Times Union and information from several cooperating witnesses on Long Island indicate Blige and other stars were shipped prescribed human growth hormone or steroids -- sometimes under fictitious names -- at hotels, production studios, private residences, an upscale Manhattan fitness club and through the Long Island office of Michael Diamond, a chiropractor affiliated with the celebrities, sources said.
Mary J. Blige, 37 The Bronx native's first album -- "What's the 411?" -- debuted in 1992. Since then Blige has produced seven multiplatinum albums and won six Grammy Awards. In December 2006 Blige won nine Billboard Music Awards for her album "The Breakthrough."
Between August 2005 and January 2007 Blige allegedly received multiple shipments from an Orlando pharmacy of Jentropin, a human growth hormone, and Oxandrolone, an anabolic steroid, in orders sent to her at the Beverly Hills Hotel, MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and Clay Gym in New York City.
At least one of the orders was mailed under the name "Marlo Stanfield," which is the character name of a drug kingpin on the Baltimore-based HBO crime drama "The Wire."
Blige's representative did not respond to a request for comment.
Curtis James Jackson III, 50 Cent, 32 Jackson started dealing drugs at the age of 12 in Queens but an arrest on weapons and drug charges and a sentence in a shock incarceration program led him to abandon the street life and gravitate to a career in rap music. The stage name 50 Cent, Curtis has said, underscores his effort to "change" his life.
Jackson is alleged to have received shipments of steroids at his mansion in Farmington, Conn. in July 2006 an order was mailed to his residence under the name "Michael Jordan" and also at a residence on Oakmont Drive in Los Angeles. Steroids in his name also were mailed to the office of a Long Island chiropractor.
Jackson's representative did not respond to a request for comment.
Timothy Z. Mosley, Timbaland, 35 Mosley was born in Norfolk, Va., and began his musical career in the mid-1990s emerging as a top rap artist. Mosley has become a major record producer and two years ago founded his own label, Mosley's Musical Group. The label's debut, Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous" featuring Timbaland, reached the top of the song charts.
Mosley allegedly received shipments of human growth hormone and anabolic steroids between October 2005 and September 2006 at his Miami residence and at the office of a Long Island chiropractor.
Mosley could not be reached for comment.
Wyclef Jean, 35 Co-founder of The Fugees. The Haitian-born rapper and Grammy Award-winning musician is a producer and self-described social activist.
Jean splits time between New York City and Haiti, where he has spearheaded humanitarian efforts with stars such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
Prescriptions in Jean's name for human growth hormone and Oxandrolone, an anabolic steroid, were shipped to the office of a Long Island chiropractor in August 2005.
Jean's publicist declined to comment.
Tyler Perry, 38 An award-winning playwright, actor, director and producer. In 2005 Perry wrote, produced and starred in the box office hit, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman." Last fall, his television comedy series "House of Payne" debuted on TBS.
Perry's biography on his Web site touts his rags-to-riches story from being homeless on the streets of New Orleans to now owning a mansion outside Atlanta.
Prescriptions for anabolic steroids and growth hormone were shipped in Perry's name to his business and studio headquarters on Krog Street in Atlanta in 2005 and 2006.
Perry could not be reached for comment.
Sylvester Stallone, 61 Stallone paid a nearly $3,000 fine in Australia in May 2007 to settle criminal drug possession charges after 46 vials of human growth hormone and several vials of testosterone were discovered in his belongings during a customs inspection. Stallone, the chiseled star of the highly successful Rocky and Rambo movies, was in Sydney for a promotional tour. According to the Australian Associated Press, Stallone said he takes human growth hormone regularly because of damaged tendons and thin bones. Stallone has no known connection to the Albany steroids investigation.
Sources: News wire services, Web site biographies, shipping records, confidential sources.
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