LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Television personality DeShawn Snow arrives at the 43rd NAACP Image Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on February 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)
Photo: Frederick M. Brown
Photo: Frederick M. Brown

Briefs: ‘Real Housewives’ alum DeShawn Snow accused of fraud; Tyler Perry Studios highway sign; Dana Barrett leaves WGST and may run for Congress

Originally posted Wednesday, August 28, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

DeShawn Snow, an original castmate on Bravo’s breakthrough reality hit “The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ in 2008, was hit with a civil lawsuit accusing her of fraud surpassing $157,000. 

Snow, who lasted just one season on the show, is a real estate agent. The plaintiff is Thrivest, a company that offers cash advances for not-yet-completed real estate commissions, according to the lawsuit filed August 27 in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia Atlanta division.  

The lawsuit said “Snow’s expenditures outpaced her ability to earn funds as a real estate agent.” 

She then allegedly attempted to sell a diamond brokering commission to Thrivest, but the lawsuit said “Snow’s commodity related deals were dubious and she never earned the commission she was selling in exchange for the advance.” 

Thrivest gave her company DSE Holdings $157,895.74 from the supposed commission of $746,859.96 for the spot purchase of 22,632.12 carats of diamonds. But the deal fell through and the lawsuit claims it was “a sham, meant only to provide Snow with a basis to secure another advance to fund her lifestyle.”

The money, the lawsuit stated, was not used for any legitimate purposes of DSE Holdings but spent by Snow to pay off personal debts and other expenses not related to DSE Holdings. “Subsequent to obtaining the advance from Thrivest, DSE Holdings ceased conducting any apparent business activity,” the lawsuit said. 

Last year, DSE Holdings consented to an arbitration awards of $264,129.37 but Thrivest did not receive compensation, leading to this lawsuit.. 

The lawsuit said Thrivest is owed $345,000 in compensatory damages and another $1 million in punitive damages. 

Snow, in a statement, called it a “bogus lawsuit to harass me and discredit my name and good standing within the business community. The company's contention that I committed fraud is a bald-face attempt to paint a picture of artifice and deceit where none exist and I dispute their assertions.”

She added: “Because of my celebrity, the company not only hopes to come after me personally, but also threaten my business relationships as well as generate unwanted and unpleasant media exposure.”

Snow said she plans to file a counterclaim for defamation “and will use the resources available to me to fight this lawsuit to the fullest extent of the law.”

***

Tyler Perry rejoiced today on Instagram when he saw a new highway sign on Langford Parkway with his studio name clearly identified.

“My eyes filled with water knowing what God has allowed to happen in my life,” he wrote. “Atlanta has truly been the promised land for me. I came here with nothing, lived off Sylvan Road, ended up homeless and starving, but I was always praying and believing. I was always keeping the faith, knowing that if I worked hard, did my absolute best, kept my integrity, honored every blessing, and remained grateful through it all that everything would work out.”

Tyler Perry Studios, with 330 acres and 12 sound stages, is one of the largest in the United States. He has been open in that location since 2016 and has been steadily expanding. He is planning a somewhat belated grand opening party in October.

All of Perry’s films and TV shows (including his upcoming “Sistas” and “The Oval” on BET) are shot there but he also allows others to do TV shows and films there such as OWN drama “Ambitions,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and syndicated judge show “Divorce Court.” 

***

640/WGST-AM mid-day host Dana Barrett is calling it quits with her radio show this Friday. She said in an interview that it was amicable.

She is unsure what will replace her though it will likely be syndicated programming. 

After 14 months at the once popular talk station, she decided she would leave to focus on a potential run for Congress against 11th District Rep. Barry Loudermilk(R)

The district covers a good portion of Cobb County and Cherokee County has had been reliably Republican but demographics are shifting. It includes Cartersville, Marietta and Woodstock. 

She just moved into the district in May but she quickly considered helping shift it blue as a Democrat in November, 2020. 

Barrett sees herself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal and is no fan of Donald Trump. She sounds super moderate. 

“If I move forward and announce,” Barrett said, “my goal would be to represent the whole district, not a political base and to work across the aisle to move this country forward.” She wants campaign finance reform, affordable healthcare, gender and racial equality, reproductive rights and “common-sense gun reform.” 

She said she believes “we have more in common than what separates us and I believe that the polarization needs to stop.” 

WGST used to be a strong competitor to WSB-AM when AM was more popular but over the past decade, WGST has shrunken to the point it rarely gets more than a 0.1 or 0.2 share in the monthly ratings. It largely airs syndicated programming such as Glenn Beck and Dave Ramsey. For WGST to gain any real traction, its owner IHeartMedia would have to find space for it on the FM dial. 

WGST was, in fact, on the FM dial in the 1990s and combined, the AM and FM signals would often land the station in the top 5. Now, it’s basically an afterthought. 

About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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