Paul Walker died after the speeding Porsche in which he was riding hydroplaned on reflective plastic markers in the street ... at least that's what his family and accident reconstruction experts believe.
Sources close to Paul's family tell TMZ ... the family has been in touch with stunt experts who have gone to the crash site and come back with what they believe is a solid theory -- a speeding car that hits the plastic markers -- called Botts' Dots -- will hydroplane, causing the driver to lose control.
We've learned the experts have told the family ... a car going speeds approaching 90 MPH will lose traction after hitting a series of Botts' Dots. It's akin to driving on ice -- and control is further compromised by the fact that the Porsche was outfitted with special racing tires that have very little tread.
And there's this ... Porsche sent out a memo to dealers back in 2004, warning about control problems with the Carrera GT, saying, "This vehicle cannot drive over a Foster Beer can that is lying on its side. It will crush the can and damage the carbon fiber under panels," adding, "You need to be aware of what type of road surface you are on (dips, pot holes, seam heights, etc.)."
Law enforcement sources say they have not concluded the exact cause of the accident, but it appears they're looking at the Botts' Dots ... as a viable theory for triggering the fatal crash.
'Roseanne' TV Daughter
Attempts Nirvana Karaoke
Smells Like...Something Bad
12/11/2013 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The actress who played one of Roseanne's daughters on TV would never make it on "The Voice" ... but we gotta give her props for her ballsy performance at a Brooklyn karaoke joint.
Sources tell us Lecy Goranson took to the stage just before closing time last Thursday .. when the place was almost empty. She let loose ... with an ear-splitting rendition of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
Only problem was ... it kinda stunk.
Lecy was one of two actresses who played Roseanne's daughter Becky on the TV series, "Roseanne" (the other was Sarah Chalke).
At least she sings better than Roseanne.
Drops $9 Million on NYC Condo in Chelsea
12/11/2013 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Cameron Diaz just joined the likes of Harrison Ford, Katie Holmes, and Nicole Kidman as a resident of the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan ... shelling out a cool $9 MILLION on a swanky new condo.
The 3,022 sq. ft. luxury pad is located in the Walker Tower -- known for it's fancy-pants living spaces ... including a penthouse apartment that just sold for $55 MIL.
Cameron's relatively modest new digs comes with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and a Crestron home automation system complete with iPad dock.
Building amenities include a library lounge with pantry and bar, refrigerated storage for deliveries, yoga room, and sauna.
And if all this sounds like a bargain ... maintenance and real estate tax adds up to about an extra $5K a month.
It's good to be rich.
Injury Won't Keep Me from Shooting 'Entourage' Flick
12/11/2013 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Kevin Dillon tells TMZ ... the "Entourage" movie will finally begin shooting in January -- and he won't let a little thing like a BROKEN WRIST keep him from doing his job
Dillon -- who was doing some shopping in Malibu last week -- wouldn't say HOW he jacked up his wrist, but explained that it's not the first time he's suffered the injury.
There was one more thing ... we asked Kev about his truck, the one that embarrassingly broke down on him (in front of our camera) the last time we shot him out ... and he dropped an interesting fact about an unlikely HERO who saved the day. Check out the clip.
'Half Baked' Actress
Rolling Stone Screwed Us
'Half Baked' is Top 5 Stoner Movie Ever!!!
12/11/2013 12:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Actress Rachel True says Rolling Stone must've smoked themselves stupid ... 'cause they somehow left her movie "Half Baked" off their list of Top 10 Stoner Movies of all time!
Rachel -- who played Mary Jane Potman in the cult classic -- was doing some sightseeing around the Grove in LA ... and we asked where she thinks "Half Baked" ranks among the dankest weed movies.
Ms. Potman says she thinks the movie should at least be in the top 5 ... and was SHOCKED "Half Baked" didn't even make their top 10.
Here's the list according to RS:
1. 'The Big Lebowski'
2. 'Dazed and Confused'
3. 'Pineapple Express'
4. 'Cheech & Chong's Next Movie'
5. 'How High'
So ... did Rolling Stone get it right ... or are they smoking entirely too much reefer?
Tom Cruise's Mom
Spills Christmas Secrets
12/11/2013 12:02 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Small Family Funeral
'Fast & Furious' Crew Invited
12/10/2013 5:05 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker's funeral will be private ... for family only, and in Paul's world his movie's cast and crew is part of the brood.
Sources connected with Paul's family tell TMZ ... their biggest concern is Paul's 15-year-old daughter Meadow, who is understandably having a difficult time. They don't want a bunch of strangers surrounding the girl, because she needs to feel comfortable to grieve.
So the funeral will be by invitation only, and Paul felt the folks on the "Fast & Furious" cast and crew were close relatives. He was with them a lot and bonded with most of them.
The family is also aware ... the cast and crew are grieving just like them, and the funeral will help them cope.
It's unclear when the funeral will take place. Family sources tell TMZ ... sometime after the funeral there will be a larger memorial, but still by invitation only.
The Maybe Baby Bump That Wasn't
(aka Fun While It Lasted)
12/10/2013 4:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Back In NYC After Beatdown
What, Me Worry?
12/10/2013 3:42 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Lindsay Lohan is back in New York City ... acting like she doesn't have a care in the world.
We got Lindsay as she came to the front door of her apartment building to let daddy Lohan inside.
As for Lindsay's state of mind re: the coke-fueled Miami party last Friday that ended with a beatdown of Paris Hilton's little brother ... Michael tells us, "Lindsay thinks it's a joke that people are blaming her."
Michael says Lindsay is sticking to her story ... there were only 5 people in the house and no drugs when she went to sleep at 1:15 AM, and when she woke up at 9:30 AM the place with filled with people and coke.
Michael says the Hiltons' threat of a lawsuit against his daughter is "ridiculous." He says Barron Hilton was aggressive and asking for it
At Disneyland Acting Goofy
12/10/2013 2:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Amanda Bynes is a tough nut to crack... focusing on her makeup smack in the middle of the happiest place on Earth.
Amanda is still at Disneyland ... where apparently she chose mascara over the Matterhorn.
Amanda's parents were along for the ride, keeping a watchful eye on their daughter.
Disneyland's not far from the Orange County campus of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where she'll be attending fashion design classes
Look closely ... Amanda's not strapped in -- she's clearly had enough of that.
Jeff Beacher vs. Shorty Rossi
Little Man Lawsuit
12/10/2013 1:28 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
That was fast ... Jeff Beacher's lawsuit against "Pit Boss" Shorty Rossi is SETTLED ... thanks to TMZ.
As we reported, Beacher just sued Rossi -- who used to work at Beacher's Madhouse -- claiming Rossi essentially stole valuable Beacher-themed website domain names after the two parted ways ... domain names like jeffbeacher.com and beachersmadhouse.net.
Rossi called in to "TMZ Live" today and said even if he won the lawsuit, he had no interest in squeezing Beacher for money in return for the domain names.
So we asked Rossi ... if Beacher apologized to him, would he drop the suit and fork over the domain names? Rossi said he would.
So then we called Beacher, and he played ball, saying, "Since we are both little people impresarios, it does us both no good to fight over anything, and only hurts the community of little people that we live in. Shorty, I apologize for suing you. Let's just work this out and move forward as friends again."
Shorty tells us he accepts Beacher's apology and will transfer the domains ASAP. He added, "After reading the apology, I had to pick myself off the floor. Apparently hippos do fly."
Now give us something hard ... maybe North Korea?
Laughing & Smiling
Minutes Before Fatal Crash [PHOTOS]
12/10/2013 12:32 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker was in a great mood just moments before his fatal Porsche accident -- laughing and smiling in the passenger seat of the car that killed him.
The photos were shot as Paul and driver Roger Rodas were leaving the Santa Clarita charity car show that Walker had organized.
It's a jarring look into the final moments of the actor's life -- especially the juxtaposition of the gleaming red sports car ... and the fiery wreck it became just minutes later.
Now Serving Rock & Roll...
With A Slice of Pepperoni
12/10/2013 12:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The Foo Fighters just had a CRAZY blowout jam session in Moorpark, CA ... at a pizza joint!
Dave Grohl and FF showed up last night -- unannounced -- at the appropriately named Redballs Rock & Roll Pizza ... surprising 200 serious eaters who paid 10 bucks apiece for the Chevy Metal Christmas Dance Party.
Chevy Metal's a band featuring Foo drummer Taylor Hawkins.
The Foo Fighters and Chevy Metal joined forces on stage for more than 2 hours ... while the audience gorged themselves into a stupor.
This is the first gig for the Fighters in months ... the rehearsals have been downright bloody. (see pic below). They're playing two gigs this week in Mexico City ... where they're Numero Uno.