It's so eerie ... Jennifer Hudson's half-brother is in jail ... for allegedly repeatedly stabbing a man in the face ... a man who was involved in a relationship with his estranged wife.
The incident mirrors another tragedy in the Hudson family. William Balfour -- the ex-boyfriend of Jennifer's sister Julia -- murdered her mom, brother and nephew in a jealous rage triggered by what he thought was a gift to Julia from her new boyfriend.
Steven Simpson is now in custody in Paw Paw, Michigan, and he's expected to be charged with home invasion and attempted murder.
'A.I.' Josh Gracin
Apologizes for Suicide Threat
8/15/2014 3:52 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Josh Gracin -- the American Idol Season 2 finalist who left what appeared to be a suicide note that got cops and family scrambling Thursday -- has checked himself into an inpatient facility and is remorseful over the commotion he caused.
TMZ broke the story ... Josh posted a message on Facebook with a clear message -- he was about to take his life. The post read in part: "I loved her for 17 years ... I made mistakes ... I admitted them, told her the truth and she turned her back on me when I needed her help the most."
The post went on: "Pray for my family as they carry on in this world without me. Goodbye."
Cops picked Josh up Thursday night and took him to the hospital. He just released this statement:
"I want to thank you all for your prayers and support. I take responsibility for my actions and apologize dearly for what I have put my family through. With the help of my family and friends, I am getting help."
'American Idol' Josh Gracin
Writes Apparent Suicide Note
8/14/2014 4:19 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
7:40 PM PDT -- Cops tell us Gracin is being held on a 5150 psychiatric hold. We're told he drove himself to a hospital, with a police escort, after they pulled him over. He's been cooperative, has spoken to his family ... and is being evaluated by doctors now.
5:33 PM PDT -- We're told cops intercepted Gracin on his way home and all they'll say is, "He's safe."
'American Idol' Season 2 finalist Josh Gracin had neighbors and police racing to his door ... after posting what looked like a suicide note in the wake of marital problems.
We're told cops responded to the former Marine's home in Spring Hill, TN -- where he lives with his wife and 4 kids -- for a welfare check after a family member saw an ominous Facebook post:
"I've loved her for 17 years ... I made mistakes ... I admitted them, told her the truth and she turned her back on me when I needed her help the most."
He continued, "Please remember me as someone who gave his all in his music ... Pray for my family as they carry on in this world without me. Goodbye."
Cops rushed to his house -- his wife was there but he wasn't. Law enforcement sources tell us police got in touch with him by phone, put him on with his wife, and he told her he was coming home.
Cops are staying at the home until Josh arrives.
Story developing ...
Husband Calls BS
We Were NOT Separated When She Cheated!
8/13/2014 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Katharine McPhee's hubby claims his estranged wife is a cheater and a liar.
Nick Cokas has filed new divorce docs -- obtained by TMZ -- which squarely contradict Katharine's version of the timeline of their separation ... which is relevant because of the photos showing her making out with "Smash" director Michael Morris.
Katharine claimed in her divorce docs they separated in March, 2013 -- months before pics surfaced in October showing Katharine and Michael sucking face.
But Nick begs to differ, claiming the separation was actually in May, 2014 ... long after Katharine hooked up with Michael.
Nick has some pretty powerful evidence to back up his version, including emails and texts about their relationship. Family sources say Nick can show he and Katharine were in marriage counseling AFTER the pictures surfaced.
The separation date is important because it determines when Katharine's money becomes hers alone.
And she's not getting off easy ... Nick wants spousal support.
Michael Johns 911 Call
8/4/2014 6:02 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Former "American Idol" contestant Michael Johns may have been dead for more than an hour before he was discovered ... according to the friend who found him.
TMZ has obtained the dramatic 911 call. Michael's friend tearfully tells the dispatcher he had left Johns 2 hours before and he seemed ok, but when he returned Michael was motionless ... and not breathing.
The friend tells the dispatcher he fears Michael is dead and says Michael was cold to the touch and it appeared rigor mortis had set in.
You hear the friend breathlessly perform CPR ... to no avail.
Johns died Friday. The coroner has not determined the cause of death. Johns complained he had twisted his ankle and the swelling spread to his knee. Police were told he had been drinking a significant amount of alcohol although we do not know the time frame. We don't know if he was on pain meds.
Autopsy Does NOT Reveal Cause of Death
8/4/2014 2:47 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The autopsy on former "American Idol" contestant Michael Johns has been completed, but the medical staff at the Orange County Coroner's Office is deferring the cause of death ... pending toxicology results.
TMZ first reported ... Johns had sprained his ankle and the swelling spread up to his knee. He went to the doctor Thursday ... the day before he died. We're told he was in great pain.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the police were informed Johns had engaged in heavy alcohol use at some point prior to his death. And we're told he was a heavy drinker.
One law enforcement source tells us ... it would be fairly routine if the doctor who saw Johns on Thursday prescribed pain meds.
If there was a blood clot, it would appear it was not clearly the cause of death ... or else the case would be closed. The fact that toxicology tests are being performed suggests the Coroner wants to know if alcohol and/or drugs played a part in Johns' death.
By the way ... there's a condition called deep vain thrombosis -- a blood clot that forms deep in the body. The swelling from Johns ankle to his knee is consistent with the condition, but so far the Coroner has not concluded that was the cause of death.
Cops Told of Heavy Alcohol Use
8/4/2014 11:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Michael Johns had been drinking heavily at some point before he died Friday ... TMZ has learned.
As TMZ previously reported ... the "American Idol" Season 7 contestant died Friday at a friend's home in Orange County. TMZ reported there was evidence of a blood clot. We're told Johns had sprained his ankle and it swelled to his knee. He sought medical attention the day before he died.
Law enforcement sources tell us ... police were told Johns had been heavily drinking. It's uncertain what the time frame was ... as in how close to his death he was boozing.
We don't know if Johns had received pain meds from the doctor. Obviously, there would be concerns about mixing alcohol with pain meds.
We're told when EMTs got on scene Johns was in full cardiac arrest and could not be revived.
An autopsy is being performed.
'American Idol' Contestant
Michael Johns Dead at 35
8/2/2014 12:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
5:00 PM PST -- Sources close to Michael Johns tell us he went to a doctor on Thursday to check out the pain he had been feeling in his ankle ... the swelling and bruising had made their way up to his leg.
Doctors didn't find any problems however -- so they cleared him to go home.
We're told the next afternoon at his friends apartment ... Johns' body was found on the couch unresponsive. When paramedics arrived, he was already dead.
"American Idol" finalist Michael Johns died Friday at the age of 35.
The singer's death was caused by a blood clot in his ankle ... sources tell us he had twisted his ankle earlier and was in a great amount of pain.
People close to Johns tell us ... it appears the ankle injury triggered the clot. We're told he died in his sleep.
The singer placed 8th in Season 7 (2008) and following his exit from the show he continued to record music. He recorded an album -- "Hold Back My Heart" in 2009.
He'd also done a tremendous amount of charity work with former executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.
Lythgoe tells TMZ, "He was a great talent and dear friend. My boys and I are devastated."
Johns was married to Stacey Vuduris. They married in 2007.
The singer's family says, "Our family is devastated by the passing of our beloved Michael, a wonderful husband, son, brother, uncle, and friend. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from all corners of the globe."
The last time we shot Michael he was in great spirits.
Her Bikini Body Is
6/2/2014 2:48 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Soon-to-be divorcée Katharine McPhee did a little advertising on the beach in Cabo this weekend ... showing off her tan-lined body less than two weeks after pulling the plug on her marriage.
As TMZ first reported, McPhee said in her divorce docs she and hubby Nicholas Cokas were separated for seven months before she was spotted locking lips with "Smash" director Michael Morris.
Based on these photos ... McPhee's shouldn't be off the market for too long.
I Didn't Cheat
WE WERE ON A BREAK!!!
5/27/2014 1:31 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Katharine McPhee insists she's no cheating skank -- claiming she was SEPARATED from her husband last year when she publicly made out with another man.
TMZ has obtained McPhee's divorce docs -- she lists her date of separation from husband Nicholas Cokas as March 15, 2013 ... more than 7 months before she openly locked lips with married "Smash" director Michael Morris.
As we reported, McPhee filed for divorce from Cokas last week. She cites irreconcilable differences in the docs.
Also interesting ... according to the docs, McPhee wants to keep all the money she made post-separation ... which might explain why she picked such an early separation date.
McPhee and Cokas briefly attempted a reconciliation in March ... but that just didn't work out.
Finally! The One Job He CAN'T Do
5/22/2014 5:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Files for Divorce
From Husband She Cheated On
5/22/2014 3:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Katharine McPhee has finally pulled the plug on her marriage from the man she publicly cheated on.
Katherine's rep released a statement confirming the divorce, saying, "After six years of marriage, and having been separated for the past year, [Katharine] has filed for a dissolution of marriage from Nick Cokas."
The rep added, "The two have an amicable relationship and will remain friends."
"Amicable" is surprising ... considering 30-year-old McPhee humiliated 49-year-old Cokas last year by publicly making out with "Smash" director Michael Morris ... who also happens to be married.
As we reported, McPhee and Cokas tried reconciling earlier this Spring, but it just wasn't in the cards. We're told McPhee ultimately decided she just didn't want to be married anymore.
You Are NOT
the Next 'American Idol'
5/22/2014 5:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ryan Seacrest finally showed off his singing chops for the world to see ... and the world wishes he hadn't done that.
Seacrest, always on top of the latest musical trends, belted out the classic 1989 Richard Marx song "Right Here Waiting" ... and "American Idol" even unearthed Marx to sing it with him!
Say what you will about Ryan's singing -- and it was awful -- he didn't hide behind any audio gimmicks ... he straight up sang his heart out.
As the old saying goes -- those who can't ... host.