Three days after the New York Post caused a sensation with an article portaying Sly Stone as homeless and living in a van in LA’s Crenshaw district, Showbiz 411 columnist Roger Friedman is setting the record straight:
My source says that Sly’s attorney, Robert Alan, rented him a very nice home in Woodland Hills, California with four bedrooms, a pool, etc. (Alan declined to comment.) Sly just refuses to go there. Another friend tells me, “Sly always liked living in Winnebagos. He never liked being in a house.”
There’s an even more egregious aspect to the Post article. Per Friedman, Alan was willing to confirm that article author Willem Alkema (not the paper itself) paid Stone $5,000 for the interview.* According to Friedman, another $2,000 was doled out once the paper ran with the piece, though the columnist notes it’s unclear where the additional money came from.
Alkema previously wrote and directed the 2008 Sly Stone documentary Dance to the Music, which was promoted as containing Stone’s “first interview in years.”
*Update – 09/29/11: Alkema tells The Maynard Institute’s Richard Prince that he never paid Stone for the article. Meanwhile, although Friedman has removed mentions of the $5,000 and $2,000 from his item, he still leads with the allegation that “the story was paid for by the writer of the piece.”