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Diddy Kim's Death Hurts But, I Gotta Keep Going

12/3/2018 1:33 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Diddy is doing his best to keep it together in the aftermath of Kim Porter's sudden death while taking on the role of dad and mom for their kids ... and he tells us the encouragement from his fans is fueling his new grind. 

We got Diddy out Monday afternoon in Los Angeles after he took his kids to school and hiked Runyon ... and the music mogul said he's just taking things day by day. Diddy tells us he's doing his best to stay positive and take care of his fam.

Diddy's phone battery died on his hike and he forgot where he parked, but ya can't blame him. He's got a lot on his mind, and rightfully so. It's been less than 3 weeks since Kim died at her home.

But, it wasn't all bad for Diddy. Our photog hooked him up with a ride and a charge, and he eventually found his car. 

People helping people.  

George H.W. Bush Service Dog Loyal to the End ... Prepping for New Gig Helping Wounded Soldiers

12/3/2018 9:58 AM PST
Exclusive Details

9:58 AM PT -- We've learned Sully is still by the President's side, flying with the casket from Houston to D.C. 

A Bush spokesperson tells TMZ ... when Air Force One lands in Washington, Sully will be returned to America's VetDogs and he will miss all of the memorial services to prepare for his next assignment.

We're told Sully will spend the holiday season in New York with America's VetDogs before moving to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center's Facility Dog Program. Sully will work alongside fellow service dogs SGT Dillon and SGT Truman, "To assist with physical and occupational therapy to wounded soldiers and active duty personnel during their journey to recovery."

A rep for Walter Reed tells us ... Sully won't be assigned to an individual veteran on site, and he will be a "roving" dog in the program, providing support, comfort and helping to reduce stress for wounded soldiers and their visitors. Sully will have a handler who will take him home each night. 

We're told the Bush family is welcome to visit Sully whenever they want, and the facility would be "honored" if the President's family came to visit.

President George H.W. Bush's loyal companion remained by his side Sunday night -- his service dog, Sully, keeping watch until the very end ... and beyond.

In one of the more moving images since the 41st President's passing Friday night ... Sully was pictured laying in front of Bush's casket in Houston, ahead of its Monday flight to Washington, D.C. The former Prez will lie in state at the Capitol until Wednesday, and Sully will be heading back east as well.

The service dog was assigned to former Prez Bush back in June, and Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath says Sully -- trained by the nonprofit group America's VetDogs -- will be reassigned now.

43rd Prez George W. Bush said, "As much as our family is going to miss this dog, we're comforted to know he'll bring the same joy to his new home, [military hospital] Walter Reed," 

Jeb Bush also saluted Sully ...

Good boy, Sully. Good boy. 

Originally Published -- 6:46 AM PST

Rep. Steve Scalise Bush was 'Warm & Gentle' Man ... Glad Trump's Going to Funeral

12/1/2018 5:52 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Congressman Steve Scalise remembers George H.W. Bush as a great leader who continued being so long after his presidency ... even helping out his state in a time of crisis.

We got he GOP House Whip at the Reagan National Airport Saturday and asked him about the passing of the former Prez, who died Friday night in Houston. Steve calls Bush a "warm and gentle man" who was a uniter when the country was going through a tough time.

Scalise also rattles off a list of accomplishments in Bush's life -- including raising relief money after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Representative's home state of Louisiana -- showing the great amount of respect he had for 41.

Finally, Steve tells us it's good for the nation that President Trump will attend Bush's funeral, despite their strained relationship. You may recall ... Trump didn't attend Barbara Bush's funeral in April, saying he didn't want to cause disruptions.

George reportedly wanted POTUS to attend his, though ... and Trump had nothing but kind words for him after his passing.

George H.W. was 94.

George H. W. Bush Dead at 94

11/30/2018 9:01 PM PST
Breaking News

George Herbert Walker Bush -- whose career in politics spanned more than three decades and culminated as the 41st President of the United States -- has died.

His office says the former Prez passed away Friday at 10:10 PM in Houston. His death comes 7 months after the passing of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush.

George Sr. had been in declining health in recent years and was in and out of the hospital several times. He was admitted to the ICU at the Houston Methodist Hospital back in January 2017 due to pneumonia. Barbara was also admitted with her own health issues.

They both recovered and took part in the ceremonial coin toss at Super Bowl 51 together just a few weeks later.

The former President notably sent a letter to then President-elect Donald Trump in January 2017 saying he couldn't make the inauguration due to doctor's orders ... joking it would put him "six feet under" to sit outside in the cold.

Along with being President, Bush also served as the 11th director of the CIA and 43rd Vice President of the U.S. under President Ronald Reagan. Bush was inaugurated as President on January 20, 1989.

Foreign policy -- in particular the Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolving of the Soviet Union -- was the centerpiece of Bush's presidency. Among his other accomplishments -- instituting a ban on importing semi-automatic rifles and signing the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and 1991 Civil Rights Act.

Bush's zinger during his election campaign, "Read my lips: no new taxes," became an unforgettable moment ... something he reneged on during his presidency.

George's father, Prescott, was a U.S. Senator. His oldest son, George W., was the 43rd U.S. President and his son, Jeb, was Governor of Florida. 

George H. W. is survived by his 5 children, 17 grandchildren and 8 great grandkids. He also had a daughter, Robin, who died at age 3 from leukemia.

George was 94.

RIP

Mac Miller This is a Drawing!! And Fans Can't Get Enough

11/28/2018 10:57 AM PST
Exclusive Details

Your eyes are NOT deceiving you ... an artist has magnificently brought this Mac Miller photo to life with the stroke of a pen.

The artist is 20-year-old Danielle Franks -- aka Moe -- and she hails from Cornwall, England. Moe tells TMZ ... the drawing took her just over a month to complete using Cintiq 13HD on her iPad. It's basically pressure-sensitive stylus pen.

The drawing is based on a photo snapped by Todd Cole for the August issue of The Fader. Moe tells us one of her followers on Twitter asked her to draw that photo. She did ... and it's become a viral sensation.

Since she tweeted the drawing on Tuesday, it's gotten nearly HALF A MILLION likes and more than 100k retweets. And, get this ... Moe tells us she came THIS close to shuttering her website because she struggled to sell her art. But business has been booming since she tweeted the Mac drawing. So good, in fact, all proceeds from the drawing will go to the late rapper's foundation, The Mac Miller Circles Fund.

You can get your hands on a drawing -- printed on silk paper -- for around $40. Business has been so good ... celebs are now lining up to work with her, including Willow Smith.

TMZ broke the story ... Mac Miller died back in September from an accidental overdose

Casey Kasem's Daughter Scientology Claims are Total BS ... Widow's Lying to Deflect!!!

11/28/2018 10:09 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Casey Kasem's daughter says his widow is throwing out bogus claims to try to discredit her family ... and thwart their efforts to get justice for his 2014 death.

Julie Kasem tells TMZ ... Jean Kasem's recent allegations -- that members of the Church of Scientology and Casey's kids conspired to kill the radio legend for his money -- are blatant lies she's using to take the heat off herself.

Julie admits her sister, Kerri, is a Scientologist, but says it doesn't matter ... because Scientology has absolutely nothing to do with the case. She then doubles down on her belief that Jean's elder abuse contributed to her dad's death.

She also insists no money she or her siblings have received from their father went to Scientology, as Jean has also claimed.

If you don't know ... police in Washington opened an investigation into Kasem's death last month at the request of Jean. As we reported ... they already filed a wrongful death suit against Jean in 2015.

Casey's children claim Jean removed him from an assisted living facility in California and took him on a 7-day journey all over the Western U.S. ... but when they returned, he had a massive bedsore that was deeply infected. The suit alleges Casey died as the result of a staph infection, UTI, and sepsis ... all brought on by Jean's neglect.

Jean's adamantly denied doing anything to harm her husband before he died. We got her outside the courthouse Wednesday, and she doubled down on her claims against the kids, and her ongoing legal battle for the estate. She's asking to be the executor of Casey's will ... but no decision has been made on that yet.

'SpongeBob SquarePants' Creator Stephen Hillenburg Dead at 57

11/27/2018 9:56 AM PST
Breaking News

There's no joy at the Krusty Krab -- Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of "SpongeBob SquarePants," died Monday after battling ALS.

Stephen first revealed his ALS diagnosis in 2017. He's survived by his wife, Karen, and his son, Clay. 

Nickelodeon called him "a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family."

Steve created 'SpongeBob' in the late '90s, but he took a circuitous route to his TV and movie success. Hillenburg started out teaching marine biology in Orange County ... but eventually combined that knowledge of ocean creatures with his artistic talent.

He broke into TV as a director and writer on the Nickelodeon show, "Rocko's Modern Life" -- and then eventually started creating his 'SpongeBob' ... which debuted in 1999.

In addition to the TV series, Steve wrote both hit 'SpongeBob' feature films. The first one grossed more than $140 million. 

Variety first reported Hillenburg's death. He was 57.

Enjoy a Krabby Patty today in his name.

RIP

Stan Lee Heart Failure & Breathing Issues Caused Death

11/27/2018 8:36 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Stan Lee, the creator of much of the Marvel Universe, died from heart and respiratory failure ... TMZ has learned. 

We obtained Stan's death certificate, and it lists heart failure and respiratory failure as the cause of death. It also says he suffered aspiration pneumonia -- which is when you inhale food, stomach acid or saliva into your lungs. According to the document, 95-year-old Lee died Monday, November 12 at 9:17 AM at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. 

TMZ broke the story ... an ambulance rushed to Lee's Hollywood Hills home earlier this month, and he was brought to Cedars-Sinai. 

The certificate says he was cremated and his ashes returned to his daughter. His occupation was listed as a writer in the publishing business. 

Stan was smiling and cheerful Saturday, November 10 during what would be his final sit-down with his protege, comic book writer Roy Thomas

Stan had been battling several illnesses over the past year, including vision issues and a bout of pneumonia

Stan launched Marvel in 1961 with the Fantastic Four and the comic book giant went on to spawn Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, X-Men, Black Panther and The Avengers. 

'What Are Those' Meme Creator Mysteriously Died in His Sleep ... Says His Wife

11/27/2018 9:10 AM PST
Exclusive Details

Brandon Moore, the man who created the viral "What Are Those" meme, died Sunday and his wife tell TMZ it's a complete mystery what caused it. 

Brandon's wife, Noonie, tells us his heart stopped while he was sleeping in their Northern California home. We're told his death was completely unexpected -- he didn't have any previously known health conditions. 

Our law enforcement sources say an autopsy was performed and there are no signs of foul play ... or any obvious cause of death. Brandon's family and authorities are now waiting on a toxicology report. 

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Free Myesha fast

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The internet comedian, aka Young Busco, rose to fame in 2015 when he mocked a police officer's shoes as a joke. While his friend was being arrested, Brandon mocked the cop's clunky boots, saying ... "What are those?"

Brandon uploaded the clip and it quickly went viral and became a popular internet meme. The catchphrase appeared in "Black Panther" and was jokingly asked to Michael Jordan during a Q and A session at a basketball camp. 

Brandon, a father of 9, was just 31. 

RIP

Oprah Mother Dead at 83

11/26/2018 7:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

12:25 PM PT -- Oprah just released a statement on her mom's death, saying, "Thank you all for your kind words and condolences regarding my mother Vernita Lee's passing. It gives our family great comfort knowing she lived a good life and is now at Peace." Oprah Winfrey's mother has died.

Oprah's niece, Alisha Hayes, posted that Vernita Lee died on Thanksgiving Day. The family just confirmed the death.

Vernita was born in 1935 in segregated Mississippi. She met Vernon Winfrey and they gave birth to Oprah in 1954.

Vernita couldn't raise Oprah because she moved to Milwaukee where she worked as a housemaid.

Oprah was raised early on by her maternal grandmother. When Oprah turned 6, she moved to Milwaukee to live with her mom ... who was a virtual stranger.

Oprah says her relationship with her mom was rocky because of the long separation ... "I was asking the question ... what is a mother? What are you supposed to feel about your mother?" 

Oprah was living with her mom when she was molested by her cousin and abused by an uncle.

Vernita had another child in 1963 and gave her up for adoption. Oprah had not met her half-sister Patricia until 2010 and said she was shocked to learn about her long-lost sibling. Oprah paid for her college education.

Vernita had a son, Jeffrey, who died in 1989 from AIDS. Oprah and Jeffrey reportedly had a difficult relationship. 

The relationship between Oprah and her mom was eventually repaired. Oprah had Vernita on her talk show in 1990. O's personal stylist gave her a makeover.

There are reports Vernita retired from a hospital dietitian job sometime after she reconnected with O, moved into a luxury condo in Milwaukee and got a stipend from her famous daughter of $5k a month. 

Vernita is survived by Oprah and Patricia Amanda Faye Lee and grandchildren Alisha Hayes, Chrishaunda Lee Perez, Aquarius Lofton and Andre Brown, as well as great-grandchildren Jaxon Praise Perez, Chai Theresa Perez, Donovan Hayes and Trinity Hayes.

A private funeral service has already been held. Memorial donations in Vernita's name can be made to Feeding America (feedingamerica.org). 

Vernita was 83.

RIP

Faith Evans Here's Why I Sang this Hymn ... At Kim Porter's Funeral

11/25/2018 3:36 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Faith Evans sang a beautiful rendition of an old hymn during Kim Porter's funeral -- but, sadly, it's one she says she's sung before to honor another member of Diddy's family.

We got Faith Sunday at LAX coming back from Kim's funeral service in Georgia and asked how she was holding up. You can see she's in pain even behind the sunglasses as she tells us she's doing alright following a heartfelt tribute and an emotional ceremony.

Our photog asks why she chose "His Eye is On the Sparrow" as her song of choice to honor Kim, and Faith says she went with something she'd previously performed at Diddy's grandmother's funeral back in the '90s. She also says it's a tune she'd sing to record label execs back in the day ... at Puff's request.

Most importantly, Faith gives us an idea of how Kim left her mark on the world and why so many people were touched by her passing. Sounds like Faith thinks Kim's purpose was more than fulfilled by the way she's remembering her here.

RIP

Ariana Grande Responds to Troll Who Says She's 'Milkin' Mac's Death

11/25/2018 12:26 PM PST

11/25 -- Ariana eloquently responded to a Twitter troll who accused her of "milkin" Mac Miller's death, saying quite simply ... "i pray you never have to deal with anything like this ever and i’m sending you peace and love." Ari later tweeted, "some of the sh** i read on here makes me sick to my stomach. it scares me the way some people think and i don’t like this world a lot of the time. if only we could be more compassionate and gentle with one another. that’d be sick."

Halsey jumped to her defense, telling AG's trolls in not-so-subtle terms to STFU. Ariana responded to Halsey with, "i love you very much."

Ariana Grande still has Mac Miller in her memory bank ... and Thanksgiving was a day for her to remember out loud.

Ariana posted this pic of her and Mac that was snapped one year ago to the day ... November 22, 2017. Her message -- simple -- "you're v missed."

It's clearly way bigger for Ariana than Throwback Thursday ... she was torn apart by Mac's death.

TMZ broke the story ... Mac died in September of a drug overdose. According to the L.A. County Coroner, Mac died from a mixture of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol.

Ariana gave Mac a shout out in her song, "thank u, next."

Originally Published -- Nov. 23 6:55 AM PST

Master Magician Ricky Jay Dead at 72

11/24/2018 6:36 PM PST
Breaking News

Master magician Ricky Jay -- known for being one of the greatest sleight of hand artists of all time -- has reportedly died in Los Angeles of natural causes.

Ricky's attorney confirmed his death to Variety.

In addition to being a famous magician, Jay was a writer and an actor, known for his roles in "Boogie Nights," "Tomorrow Never Dies" and as the narrator in "Magnolia."

He also consulted on films about magic -- like "The Illusionist" and "The Prestige," in which he also appeared -- and authored several books about magic and its history.

A classic profile in a 1993 issue of "The New Yorker" detailed Ricky's sleight of hand mastery -- specifically with card tricks. He was also known for card throwing and incredible memory feats.

His one-man Broadway show -- "Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants" -- was recorded in 1996 for an HBO special. He played Eddie Sawyer on the popular HBO series, "Deadwood," as well.

Ricky was the first magician to be profiled on the PBS series "American Masters" in 2015, and was the subject of a 2012 documentary called "Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay."

He was 72.

RIP

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