A former "America's Got Talent" contestant is suing the L.A. hotel where his wife was murdered back in 2010 ... claiming the hotel's head of security snapped photos of his wife's half-naked lifeless body and then showed them off at the hotel bar ... just for kicks.
The man behind the lawsuit is Joe Finley -- who was staying at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in L.A. with his wife the night before he was scheduled to audition for "AGT." But before the audition, Joe's wife's body was discovered at the bottom of a hotel staircase, wearing only pants ... naked from the waist up.
Joe believes his wife was killed by vagrants who entered through an unlocked door and attacked his wife while she was getting ice from the hotel ice machine.
But in new legal docs just filed in L.A. County Superior Court, Joe -- along with the couple's children -- claims hotel personnel acted in a disgusting manner in the moments following the tragedy.
Joe claims the Biltmore's Head of Security, Arthur Smith, "took a gruesome death picture of [Laura Finley] and disseminated that photo to the general public."
Joe claims Smith even flashed the topless death pic at the hotel bar for "no investigative purposes, but for macabre effect."
Joe filed the new allegations as part of his wrongful death lawsuit against the Biltmore. He's now seeking additional unspecified damages for emotional distress and invasion of privacy.
So far, no comment from the Biltmore.
'America's Got Talent'
7/24/2012 1:43 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
America's got talent, but it no longer has Sharon Osbourne ... 'cause the AGT judge says she's QUITTING the TV show for good.
Osbourne -- who has been with "America's Got Talent" since Season 2 -- cryptically announced her exit from the show via Twitter on Tuesday, saying "My darling @howardstern, money is not the reason I'm not returning to @nbcagt, it's because ..."
It's unclear if she was informing Howard about her departure ... or blaming him.
Sources from NBC say Sharon's exit is a surprise to them as well ... claiming they have not been personally informed of her departure yet.
You'll recall ... the series shook things up this season when it added Howard Stern to its judges table -- they even moved the show from L.A. to NYC to accommodate him.
Flo Jo's Daughter
Headed to Olympic Trials
... to Sing
6/22/2012 11:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Florence Griffith-Joyner's daughter is following in her mother's famous Olympic footsteps ... heading to the U.S. Track and Field trials later this month ... but the only thing she'll be running is her mouth.
Mary Joyner -- a 21-year-old aspiring singer -- recently competed on "America's Got Talent" ... and impressed some of the honchos who run the Team USA Olympic Track and Field Team.
In fact, a rep for the org. tells TMZ ... they were so blown away by her performance, they extended her an offer to sing the national anthem at the U.S Track and Field trials in Eugene, Oregon later this month.
The rep says, "It's great to see that Mary is achieving her goals and dreams just as her mother did."
In case you didn't know ... Mary's mother -- who passed away in 1998 -- won 3 Olympic gold medals in the 1988 Seoul games and was considered the fastest woman on the planet ... she holds the world record for both the 100 m and 200 m sprints.
Mary might strike gold herself ... she got 3 yes votes on "AGT," and will advance to the next round (below).
I Was Onto 'AGT' Stutterer
From the Beginning
6/11/2012 10:24 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Nick Cannon KNEW something was up with stuttering "America's Got Talent" fraud Timothy Poe from the get-go -- telling TMZ, one glaring clue gave the guy away ... the night of his audition.
You've all seen the footage ... Timothy Poe put on a stuttering spectacle last week on the "AGT" stage -- claiming he developed his speech impediment from war injuries. TMZ showed you his story was holier than the Pope.
And last night in L.A., Nick told us he had a gut feeling Timothy was a fraud too -- as soon as the guy stepped off the stage -- because once the cameras were off him ... Tim stopped stuttering.
Nick's first thought was Tim was so emotional he didn't have to stutter -- but looking back, Nick said, "I think he was so caught up in the moment he FORGOT to stutter."
Family is Getting
6/8/2012 7:06 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The family of the stuttering veteran Timothy Poe who sang on "America's Got Talent" tell TMZ they have been receiving death threats since our stories revealed Poe is a fraud.
As we reported, Poe gave producers of "AGT" a photo which he claimed showed him in Afghanistan, but in reality the pic is of someone else. And Poe could produce no documentation to prove he suffered a debilitating brain injury in the war -- as he claimed on the show.
Poe's family tells us ... several family members have been getting death threats. We're told Poe's sister-in-law went to the store Thursday with her kids and someone came up to them and said, "We're going to kill you and the whole family."
Several family members have received phone calls. We're told Poe's fiancee answered the phone (after Poe's number was leaked on social media) and the caller said, "You made American vets look bad and now you're going to suffer."
And we're told another vet called to warn that he and others would be coming to Poe's house, so "watch out."
As for Poe himself, a family member says she fears he's suicidal. He hasn't left the house since the scandal broke, and he's been crying incessantly. One family member says Poe is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
But ... we're told no one has called the cops about the threats.
Stuttering 'AGT' Contestant
On the Chopping Block
6/8/2012 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Producers of "America's Got Talent" are going to edit stuttering G.I. fraud Timothy Poe's appearance in the upcoming Las Vegas show ... the open question is whether Poe will be 86'd from the show altogether.
TMZ broke the story ... Timothy is NOT the soldier in a photo used during his melodramatic audition segment Monday night -- and the army has no record he was ever injured in Afghanistan ... as he had claimed.
"AGT" producers told TMZ Tim gave them the photo -- and they aired it without questioning him.
Sources connected with the show tell us ... there will "definitely be edits" and producers are currently discussing exactly what they will cut and what if anything they will keep.
We just spoke with "AGT" judge Howie Mandel, who tells us, "I was blown away that I was totally taken in," adding, "I'm really angry with the guy."
Howie believes Poe won't be disqualified from the show. Rather, he thinks producers will let Poe continue performing, but now he'll be known as a liar and not a war hero. Good luck in front of Howard Stern.
Stuttering 'AGT' Contestant
Soldier Photo's A FAKE!!!
6/7/2012 10:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Stuttering "America's Got Talent" contestant Timothy Poe is NOT the soldier in the photo displayed during his tearjerker audition this week -- it's someone else ... and the REAL soldier is pissed.
Staff Sgt. Norman Bone tells TMZ, he first heard about the photo from his ex-wife who was watching "AGT" -- Norman thought it was part of a tribute to the troops ... and didn't think twice about it.
Tuesday night, one of the guys Bone served with in Afghanistan sent him a message on Facebook -- telling him the "AGT" segment was must-see TV ... so Bone finally checked it out online ... and now, he's livid. (Skip to 1:29 to see the photo)
Bone -- who currently serves in El Paso, TX -- tells us, "First thing that came to my mind was 'Why would this lying son of a bitch do this?'" ... adding, "I'm absolutely furious. Been seeing red all day."
Bone says he's never even heard of Timothy Poe -- and he's going to meet with the Army legal department to explore his options.
The photo in question was originally posted here -- on the U.S. Department of Defense website -- along with the caption, "U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone directs movement as his patrol turns around on a narrow path in the mountains of Parwan province in Afghanistan on Oct. 25, 2006."
Timothy Poe has insisted from the beginning his story is legit. We called him about the photo. He hasn't gotten back to us.
12:40 PM PT: A rep for FreemantleMedia -- the production company behind "AGT" -- tells TMZ, "We sincerely apologize to U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Norman Bone for using a photo of him in our story on Tim Poe. It was supplied to us by Tim and used on the show in good faith. It has now been removed and will not be used again."
Stuttering 'AGT' Contestant
I'm Not a F-F-F-FRAUD!
6/6/2012 12:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Timothy Poe -- the stuttering "America's Got Talent" contestant who says he developed his speech impediment from a war injury in Afghanistan -- is firing back at allegations he made up the whole thing ... telling TMZ, his injury and stutter are 100% legit.
Poe's audition aired Monday night -- the singer told the judges about a 2009 incident when he sustained serious injuries during an RPG blast in Afghanistan.
Poe spoke with a pronounced stutter during the audition -- which he claims he developed as a result of his war injuries.
But reports surfaced yesterday that the singing veteran was full of crap -- because no such RPG injuries were ever reported.
Poe tells TMZ, the fact that there is no record of the incident is a common problem -- one that Poe says is endemic when it comes to reporting soldiers' injuries in Afghanistan.
We asked Tim to prove it really happened. He said he received treatment at a military medical facility in Afghanistan before being transferred to a medical center in Landstuhl, Germany. Tim says he was then transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He did not produce any documents to support his claim.
Tim says he plans to sue his ex-wife and several others for telling the media he was lying.
We asked Tim for ANY hard proof to back his claims -- he gave us nothing, saying he can't release pics or documents for legal reasons. So we gotta ask ...
'America's Got Talent' Star
Nails Strip Moves
to Pay Rent
5/23/2012 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The "America's Got Talent" contortionist who blew away Howard Stern to advance to the next round ... is already making serious cash on the streets of Las Vegas, TMZ has learned.
In case you missed the episode ... Alonzo Jones, aka "Turf," wowed the 'AGT' judges with his double-jointed dance moves ... earning him a place in the Vegas round of auditions.
Turf tells TMZ he was so excited to get the green-light, he moved to Sin City early just to try some new moves as a street performer ... but he says people started recognizing him as "that guy" from 'AGT.'
Which is awesome ... 'cause the formerly homeless dancer says he's now raking in several hundred dollars a day in front of the casinos and can finally pay rent!
As for his fate on 'AGT,' Turf can't reveal whether he advanced past the 2nd round -- but based on the reaction in this video ... he's already got Vegas locked down.
'America's Got Talent' Star
My Smashed Nuts Are Fine!
5/22/2012 11:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Don't worry America -- the guy who got his nads bashed about a million times on "America's Got Talent" this week, tells TMZ ... his family jewels are totally fine.
In case you missed it ... Zac Gordon -- known as "The Horse" -- shocked the audience with his talent when he let people KICK HIM IN THE NUTS ... break boards on his nuts AND smash a cinder block with a sledgehammer ... on his nuts!!!!
Now Horse assures TMZ ... contrary to how painful his act looked his balls suffered no injuries and tells us, "No cup! I've been doing this 10 years and I'm healthy as a horse!"
Gordon also tells us he's previously consulted with his uncle -- who is a doctor -- and his "talent" is not a medical concern.
Good thing because Howard Stern, Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne all said yes to his nut-smashing skills ... sending him through to the next round, where he's sure to take another beating.
Balls. Of. Steel.
Howard Stern's Wife
He's Become 'Kid-Friendly'
5/17/2012 7:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Howard Stern has proved ... he's NOT the dangerous, vulgar maniac the Parents Television Council warned he would be on "America's Got Talent" ... so says Howard's wife ... who insists the King of All Media is now "kid-friendly."
Beth Stern flew in to L.A. yesterday to promote her new HGTV show "Mom Caves" ... when we asked how she felt about all the flack Howard was getting from the powerful TV watchdog group.
As we previously reported, the PTC begged "AGT" advertisers to boycott the show ... claiming he would corrupt America's children with his provocative ways.
"Once they obviously start watching, they're going to see they have nothing to worry about ... I think it's kid-friendly," Beth said.
She added, "He's compassionate ... yet he's a very good judge."
Penis Jokes on
5/15/2012 6:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"I had a lot of hope for you ... I was really rooting for you ... I wanted to see some magic and all I saw was a guy with his pants off ... and a rather small package."
Howard Stern's first night on "America's Got Talent" started off with a bang ... he was articulate ... he was funny ... and he totally made fun of a male stripper for having a small wiener.
Howard entered the "AGT" studio in Los Angeles to a thunderous ovation ... impressed with a series of real, thoughtful critiques. He even had a touching moment with a father-daughter act ... praising them after an emotional performance.
But not everyone got a piece of Howard's nice side -- some stripper magician guy tasted some of Stern's wrath after what could only be described as a terribly disappointing performance.
After ripping on the dude's "man boobs" ... Stern added, "Don't feel bad, I'm in the same boat my friend."
'America's Got Talent'
Stands By Howard Stern
5/13/2012 6:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
PIZZA FEARS NO ONE ... especially not a group of angry Howard Stern-hating parents -- which is why Pizza Hut is refusing to pull its advertisements from the controversial new season of "America's Got Talent."
A rep for the Pizza company tells TMZ, Pizza Hut has no plans to remove its ads from the show -- despite the Parents Television Council clamoring for sponsors to yank their support over the show's new judge ... shock jock Howard Stern.
The rep tells us, "Pizza Hut strives to maintain the highest standards of quality and excellence in our communications to the public. Our advertisements are no exception, and are designed to draw attention to our products and appeal to a broad audience."
The rep adds, "Unfortunately, we may not always success in generating a positive impact on every guest, and we apologize if our methods offend some."