Conflicting sides in Pempengco-Smith dispute
MANILA, Philippines – American Singer Rex Smith and Filipino international singer Charice Pempengco had a heated exchange while rehearsing for a show in Cebu earlier this week, according to a report by ABS-CBN.
Another report from Manila Bulletin, however, says that Pempengco was not present during the altercation during a sound check for a performance on Tuesday, February 11.
In the ABS-CBN report, according to Pempengco’s manager Glenn Aldueza, Smith came up on stage while Pempengco was doing a sound check with the musical director. Aldueza said, "Then suddenly a foreigner came up to the stage and then he pointed his finger to Charice and told Charice, 'Can you please stop what you are doing.'"
Aldueza said that Smith also argued with the musical director.
“Then nakipag-away si Rex Smith doon sa musical director kasi sabi ng musical director, 'Can't you see somebody is rehearsing?'" (Then Rex argued with the musical director because the musical director told him, "Can't you see somebody is rehearsing?")
"[Pempengco] was shocked and according to her, wala pang nakakagawa sa kanya ng ganoon, especially American artists na mataas ang respect sa kanya," said Aldueza. (Pempengco was shocked and according to her, no one has ever done that to her before, especially American artists who have high respect for her.)
According to Aldueza, someone from Ovation Productions, the group responsible for bringing Smith to the Philippines, apologized. They reportedly told Aldueza that Smith will apologize personally, but it did not happen, according to Pempengco’s manager.
"Ayaw [ni Charice] na palakihin' yung nangyari pero as a manager we deserve an apology," Aldueza told ABS-CBN.
Renen de Guia of Ovation Production said they have "sincerely apologized" to Pempengco and company. He claimed the incident “was a case of misunderstanding.” According to De Guia, Smith was not aware that there was an act performing before him and that they did not know Pempengco was doing a sound check.
"It was a case of misunderstanding. He was not even aware that there will be another act featured before him which was Charice. It was a corporate event. Upon entering the backstage, he went straight to the stage and made a comment about the set-up. He was suddenly shouted at by this guy who turned out to be Charice's Fil-Am musical director," said de Guia.
But according to Manila Bulletin, Smith's Asian manager Danny Samonte said that while an altercation did happen, he claimed Pempengco was not present during the incident.
According to Samonte, who said he witnessed the incident, Smith went on stage, concerned about a problem about the setting of the drums on stage. Samonte told Manila Bulletin that there was a man on stage, adjusting something on the keyboard.
Smith climbed on stage, unaware that there was someone performing a sound check. According to Samonte, Smith asked for a minus one that was playing to be turned down
“Can you please turn the music down, I want to talk to the technical people,” said Smith.
Pempengco’s musical director, according to Samonte, then answered Smith “point blank” with, “You are disturbing a sound check, get off my stage!’”
Samonte admitted that Smith was shocked at the outburst and that the two had an argument and exchange of words after. Samonte said he went on stage and stopped the argument before it got worse.
“After that I went on stage, I talked to the musical director, sabi ko, ‘Boss, pasensiya na, hindi lang kayo nagkaintindihan, I’m sorry ha.’ Akala ko that was the end of it…” he told Manila Bulletin. (After that I went on stage, I talked to the musical director, I said, ‘Boss, I ask for your understanding, you just did not understand each other. I’m sorry ha.’ I thought that was the end of it.)
'Charice was never there'
Samonte reiterated that Pempengco was not present during the incident. He however, admitted that Smith made a mistake by going in the area, but he added that the way Pempengco's musical director spoke to Smith was not good.
“Nagkamali talaga si Rex na pumasok doon…Kaya lang, masama ’yung pagkaka-sigaw sa kanya na ‘Get off my stage! Get off my stage!’" he told Manilla Bulletin. (Rex made a mistake when he entered the area... But the way he shouted at him saying, ‘Get off my stage! Get off my stage!' was bad)
"Yun na ang argument (that was the argument), but the argument was between two guys, because Charice was never there,” he added.
Rex Smith is an American actor and singer, who gained fame in the '70s Broadway production Grease. Smith's popular singles are "You Take My Breath Away" and "Simply Jessie." According to Samonte, Smith is in the Philippines for fund-raising work for the less fortunate. – Rappler.com