Thursday, March 23, 2006
June Pointer of the Pointer Sisters suffers stroke
June Pointer circa 1983
I was debating whether to put this on my blog, whether it was relevant enough or too gossipy, but whatever, here it is..
I was reading through the Soulful Detroit (link corrected 4/12/06) forum over a week ago when I found news that June's sister Bonnie (who’s been very close with her in recent years) had called an LA radio station and reported that her sister had suffered a heart attack, which caused a stroke. The Pointer Sisters’ official fan-maintained website (remove exclamation point in new window) had a brief mention about it on the top of the page: “Former member of The Pointer Sisters, June Pointer has suffered a heart attack, which subsequently caused a stroke. June is currently recovering in the hospital. Please pray for a speedy recovery...”
I know the Sisters weren’t strictly disco (though sis Bonnie certainly was when she went solo); their biggest dance hits came later on in the ‘80s, yet I think they occupy a special place for many disco fans, myself included, which is why it’s sad to report this..
As some of you may or may not know, June Pointer, the youngest of the sisters, seems to have had drug problems on and off for years. In a People Magazine feature from August 2000, she said drugs have been a part of her life "every day since I was 13…. [I] started with pot, went to cocaine, booze, Valium and Xanax” and confessed to finally getting hooked on crack in the late '90s. That article from 2000 was about her newfound sobriety, yet after a couple of years or so she would be kicked out of the group after falling off the wagon again and subsequently missing performances. She had been booted out of the group prior to that for short periods of time, but this time around it seemed like it was more permanent. The much longer absence for one, and finally her official replacement by niece Issa (daughter of Ruth Pointer and Dennis Edwards of the Temptations) pretty much said they were serious about it this time.
By 2003, officially removed from the Pointer Sisters' lineup, she resurfaced as part of a duo with her sister Bonnie, which only seemed to expose the rift between the two groups of sisters. It was reported shortly after that a lawsuit from the “official” Pointer Sisters (Anita & Ruth) had been placed regarding June & Bonnie, not on them, but on their promoters for falsely promoting June & Bonnie as “The Pointer Sisters.” Nevertheless as the cliché goes, “no publicity is bad publicity;” they went on to have a fairly busy summer that year performing on the gay pride circuit and on a North American touring disco revue. I hear for the most part they put on a really great show, although one of the more scathing amateur reviews that I found said, in part: "...they looked like a cracked out Whitney and a cracked out Mary J." (source)… Ouch!
The next year in April 2004, it seemed (at least then) that June had reached her lowest point after being arrested with several others for possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia outside Bonnie’s Hollywood apartment. The news was broadcast on celebrity gossip columns all over; many of the articles stressing that Bonnie had been not been charged in the case, yet I can imagine it probably cast suspicion on her too. As if that weren't low enough, later that year in July she would be arrested yet again and charged with battery for attacking her boyfriend (limo driver Joel Coigney) and trying to scratch his eyes out after a binge of crack cocaine, pot and margaritas. A year ago the National Enquirer did an “exclusive update” on June and her boyfriend’s reconciliation; it was a pleasant little spread with the happy and smiling couple professing their new found happiness and Coigney even hoping to marry her. In the “exclusive” June had mentioned how she hoped to reconnect with her sisters and hopefully get back in the group..
I’m not sure if she had fell off the wagon again at the time of her stroke, perhaps she was keeping things together and staying clean, but I'd imagine after all those years the damage had already been done. It’s just sad and unfortunate to see a woman in her fifties, one with so much talent and opportunity all squandered on crack, of all things. She was really the dynamo of the group in many ways, vocally and otherwise. Just goes to show that ol' Nippy was right, Crack IS wack!
One look at the Pointer Sisters' official guestbook shows that there's still so much love for her out there. Among all the messages, there was even a touching message of support from one of one of June's former sisters in law.. In any case, it seems that the drugs have finally caught up with June. Here’s hoping that it’s not too late for her..
Here's a link to a short video file of June's court appearance in May '04 from the defunct show "Celebrity Justice"..
June Pointer on Celebrity Justice (1 minute 54 seconds, Real Media) | LINK TWO
April 10/06 Update: On the Pointer Sisters' official site (www.thepointersistersfans.com), the notice at the top of the page now reads: "Ruth and Anita have cancelled their shows on 4/8 and 4/9 to be by the side of their gravely ill sister June, former member of The Pointer Sisters." I guess things this means things aren't looking too good.. I hope, for a change, we'll hear some good news sooner or later..
NNDB - JUNE POINTER
WIKIPEDIA - THE POINTER SISTERS
T-BEST TALENT AGENCY - JUNE & BONNIE POINTER
T-BEST TALENT AGENCY - JUNE & BONNIE POINTER PHOTO GALLERY
JUNE & BONNIE POINTER PHOTOS @ NEW YEARS RESOLUTION PARTY (San Diego, CA - December 30, 2005)
link corrected - go to page 4
BILLY MASTERS FILTH (May 6, 2004)
go to 4th paragraph
E! ONLINE - POINTER SISTER BUSTED (April 27, 2004)
LAPD PRESS RELEASE - ILLEGAL DRUG SALES INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN FIVE ARRESTS (April 27, 2004) link corrected 4/10/06
GOOGLE GROUPS - POINTER SISTER FLEES DRUG REHAB (FROM NATIONAL ENQUIRER June 2000) alt.gossip.celebrities
CATEGORIES: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO..