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ESPN President John Skipper Resigns, Admits 'Substance Addiction'

12/18/2017 8:12 AM PST
Breaking News

Bombshell from ESPN ... longtime president John Skipper has suddenly resigned -- and says it's to focus on a secret battle with "substance addiction."

"Today I have resigned from my duties as President of ESPN," 61-year-old Skipper said in a statement.

"I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem."

"I have disclosed that decision to the company, and we mutually agreed that it was appropriate that I resign. I will always appreciate the human understanding and warmth that Bob displayed here and always.

"I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down.

"As I deal with this issue and what it means to me and my family, I ask for appropriate privacy and a little understanding.

"To my colleagues at ESPN, it has been a privilege. I take great pride in your accomplishments and have complete confidence in your collective ability to continue ESPN's success."

Skipper is one of -- if not THE -- most powerful man in sports. He's been running ESPN since 2012. He's been with ESPN since 1997. 

Harvey Weinstein D.A. Probing Payments to Alleged Victims

12/18/2017 6:54 AM PST
Exclusive Details

Harvey Weinstein might dodge prosecution on sex crimes, but he could still get nailed for financial crimes tied to settlement money he's paid alleged victims over the years.

Law enforcement sources confirm the Manhattan D.A. is actively probing dozens of payments Weinstein has made to settle sexual misconduct cases out of court. We're told the D.A.'s Office is looking into the source of that settlement dough. 

If it was misappropriated from The Weinstein Company ... Harvey could potentially be charged with embezzlement. Think Al Capone getting taken down for tax evasion.

We're told more than 20 grand jury subpoenas have been issued to people at The Weinstein Co. and several employees have already been interviewed for the financial investigation ... as well as the alleged rape cases.

TMZ broke the story ... authorities have issues with Paz de la Huerta's alleged rape case against Weinstein, and feel it might be impossible to prosecute him on that one.

We're told the embezzlement probe is plan B at this point.

Weinstein's attorney Ben Brafman told the NY Post, "Any financial settlements by Mr. Weinstein were fully vetted and approved by legal counsel for Mr. Weinstein and The Weinstein Company. There was never any intent by Mr Weinstein to violate the law and as a result, we do not believe that any criminal charges will be filed once all of the facts are carefully reviewed.”

Iggy Azalea Blasts Nick Young ... After Accidental Dinner Reunion

12/18/2017 6:14 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Roughly 18 months after calling it quits ... Iggy Azalea and Nick Young came face-to-face at Craig's in L.A. on Sunday -- and it was definitely NOT sunshine and rainbows. 

Swaggy (who plays for the Warriors) is in town to play the Lakers -- and stopped by his old stomping grounds for dinner. Just so happens, Iggy had arrived a few hours before and was still inside.

The two were only inside the restaurant together for a short while -- but afterward, Young broke it down for us ... and told us things are cordial.

In fact, he even gave us ADVICE on how to act when you run into your ex ... and it ain't half bad!

But, Iggy clearly didn't feel the same way -- because when a reporter claimed the two were on a "dinner date," Iggy unloaded on Twitter.

"Ryan Smith @ TheDailyMail i hope all your christmas gifts contain boxes of dried up chips of dog sh*t for trying to imply i would EVER, EVER have a dinner date with my ex who created a full human behind my back."

Remember, they broke up when it came out that Nick knocked up his ex-GF

Iggy added, "The unfortunate thing about LA is there are not that many places people eat. You can be in the middle of one of the most important dinner meetings of your life; and randomly your ex and all his friends walk in the same place."

Bella Hadid Xmas In Full Swing For LOVE Advent Calendar

12/18/2017 8:04 AM PST

Bella Hadid "loves beating the sh*t out of tires for fun" and that's exactly what she does in her LOVE Advent calendar shoot ... in nothing but red satin lingerie.

Bella's got experience modeling in her undies -- she's walked the Victoria's Secret fashion show before -- but not like this. She takes a huge hammer and beats the crap out of a giant tire before rolling it in what she calls a "hammer jam."

Her sister, Gigi, boxed in her vid, but good news for Bella, her flexing is less controversial

Rob Lowe Fights Wildfire, Feeds Firefighters

12/18/2017 7:48 AM PST

Rob Lowe took matters into his own hands as a wildfire crept toward his Santa Barbara home -- by helping firefighters battle the flames, and then fueling them up.

Rob's home was spared even though it looked like the blaze was knocking at his front door early Sunday morning. The Thomas Fire's been raging for 2 weeks now and has made its way to Santa Barbara where Rob, Oprah, Ellen and Katy Perry's folks have had to evacuate their homes.

To show his gratitude for saving his community, Rob later invited the fire crew over for dinner to the home they saved, where they recharged on spaghetti and burgers.

No stopping for these guys as the fire's only 45 percent contained. So far, Rob's been spared, but 18,000 structures are still in danger.

Pope Francis Blows It On His 81st ... Pizza Over Bday Cake?!?

12/18/2017 7:58 AM PST

Pope Francis might've committed a cardinal sin on his birthday -- blowing out a candle on a 13-foot pizza instead of a cake.

His Holiness turned 81 on Sunday and was treated to a 13-foot pizza with a single candle. Cool pic and all, but candles belong on pastries! A cupcake would've sufficed. That's a rule, right?

The kiddos seemed to be diggin' the bday bash -- even though someone at the Vatican couldn't even spring for pepperoni or sausage. Just cheese, Pontiff??!

Justin Bieber I Totally Meant to Fall on My Ass

12/18/2017 7:21 AM PST

Justin Bieber took his smooth moves to a new height -- or maybe low -- while playing a pickup game of hockey.

Justin was repping his OG home team ... rocking a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey Sunday at an L.A. rink. The Biebs doesn't shy away from contact during these games -- he plays almost every week -- and this time he went down.

Hard to make out if he got checked, but somehow JB ended up on his ass. Rather than whining about a penalty ... he flipped over and banged out some push-ups.

Nothing to see here, folks. 

DJ Pauly D Digging the New NJ Gov Anyone's Better Than Chris Christie

12/18/2017 7:01 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

DJ Pauly D ripped a page out of the newly elected New Jersey governor Phil Murphy's book and ROASTED Chris Christie's ass.

We got Pauly at LAX Sunday, and asked him about the Democrat Murphy mocking the outgoing Republican Christie ... posing for a pic next to a life-size cutout of Christie looking beachy. You'll recall Christie was eviscerated for taking his fam to a NJ public beach he had ordered closed due to a budget standoff.

Check it out ... the "Jersey Shore" star loved Murph's move and added a few jabs of his own. Doesn't end there ... Pauly dishes some deets on the upcoming 'Shore' reunion.

Jay-Z You Beat Cancer TWICE?! I Gotta Show You Some Love!!!

12/18/2017 7:53 AM PST

Jay-Z's concert came to a screeching halt when he noticed a woman holding a sign that said she had beaten cancer not once ... but TWICE.

The rapper was in Oakland on his 4:44 tour when he couldn't help but read the sign he spotted one of his fans holding. Hova was so moved by her courage, he ended up inviting her onstage. Can't knock that hustle.

Jay made sure the woman got through the roaring crowd before they shared an awesome heart-to-heart moment ... with 20,000 people watching, of course.

Omarosa I Got Free Time ... Let's Go Shopping

12/18/2017 7:37 AM PST

We doubt Omarosa would say she's glad she got fired -- hell, she won't even admit she was -- but she's definitely making the most of her newfound free time.

She was cruising around Topanga Mall, outside L.A., on Sunday with a friend. Looks like they hit up NY & Co. for some holiday deals. Although the White House and Omarosa insist she's still working until Jan. 20, she's been jetting all over the country since she was, ummm ... let go from her gig with Prez Trump.

In less than a week of unemployment ... she's gone from D.C. to NYC, back to D.C. and now out west.

No excuse to NOT get her Christmas shopping done now.

Justin Timberlake Locking Down 'Man of the Woods' ... Next Big Project?!?

12/18/2017 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Justin Timberlake has been teasing a new album for months, and we found some docs that might reveal what it's gonna be called.

The singer just filed to trademark the phrase "Man of the Woods." According to docs, obtained by TMZ, Justin's aiming to use it for a bunch of things like CDs, DVDs, downloadable music, clothes, concert posters, programs ... and live performances and tours. 

He also applied to trademark "Fresh Leaves," which docs say could go on hats, robes, shorts, jerseys, long-sleeved t-shirts, and more.

Educated guess? One's the album title and the other's the first single.

Justin's filing comes less than 2 months before he performs the halftime show for Super Bowl 52 -- a gig that would exponentially boost his album sales.

Sooo ... got wood, JT?  

In other news...

Taraji P Henson FINALLY Confirms Her Long-Rumored Relationship

The Couple Has Secretly Been Together For 2 Years!

SEE MORE »

Anna Faris & BF One Big, Happy Family

12/18/2017 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Here's a new sign Anna Faris and her bf are getting really serious -- they're blending their families for public outings.

Anna, her son Jackbf Michael Barrett and his son hit up the Redondo Beach Pier Friday where they chowed down on some fish and chips.

This comes on the heels of Micheal helping Anna look for a new crib in the Venice, CA area. They were also spotted hanging out with Jack earlier this week.

Sure seems like Anna and Michael are inching closer to a happy modern family.

LiAngelo & LaMelo Ball Get Offer From Globetrotters ... 'Forget Lithuania!'

12/18/2017 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Listen up, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball -- in case you're having any second thoughts about Lithuania ... we found a team for y'all that tours the whole damn globe!

That's right -- we got Cheese and Jet of the Harlem Globetrotters out in NYC ... and they told TMZ Sports they'd be totally down to bring in the Ball bros.

"If it doesn't work out, come to the Globetrotters! Or come here first -- forget Lithuania!" Cheese said.

Dope offer for BBB ... but also kinda funny considering their teammate, Hoops, told us big bro Lonzo ain't exactly Globetrotter material.

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