Richard Pyror was dying and mentally incapacitated when his wife duped him into signing over the rights to his name ... so claims Pryor's son, who's trying to shut down a movie about his dad.
Richard Pryor Jr. has fired off a cease and desist letter to Jennifer Lee Pryor, demanding she stop production of the Lee Daniels directed biopic immediately.
TMZ obtained a copy of the letter in which Richard Jr. accuses Jennifer of using "illegal, fraudulent" activity to get the rights. The document isn't more specific about the alleged fraud.
Richard Jr.'s lawyer tells us her client believes Pryor was in poor mental and physical health when he signed over the rights in 2005. Pryor died in December of that year.
Jennifer has been battling Pryor's children over the film -- including who should play Pryor.
Richard Jr. is threatening legal action if the movie goes forward. We reached out to Jennifer for comment ... so far no word back.
Faux Son Drops $50 Million Lawsuit
7/22/2014 12:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The comedian who kinda faked being Eddie Murphy's son has now backed off his defamation suit against Eddie ... admitting the suit was BS and pinning the blame on his dumb management.
Brando tells us he was hoodwinked into filing his $50 million defamation lawsuit, in which he claimed Eddie was threatening to destroy him with lies and even physical violence.
It's easy to understand why Eddie was pissed ... Brando changed his last name to Murphy, performed with Richard Pryor's son in the "Sons of Comedy" tour, and showed up at the coffee shop Eddie frequented, often screaming, "My father won't talk to me."
It sounds like someone scared the crap out of Brando ... and we're guessing it's Eddie's pit bull lawyer Marty Singer. So Brando dropped the case, telling us, "It was never my intention to offend Mr. Murphy."
Funny thing ... some people find $50 million lawsuits offensive.
Anyone Who Knows Me Knows ...
I'm Not a Hypocrite
7/21/2014 1:51 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Sherri Shepherd is scoffing at Lamar Sally calling her a hypocrite in their custody war ... telling us anyone who knows her, knows Lamar is full of BS.
Shepherd was judged today but not by Lamar ... by a real judge in a different custody fight she's having with ex-husband Jeff Tarpley over their nine-year-old son. He now wants full custody.
Sherri was mum about her fight with Sally on the way out ... but when we brought up his questioning of her Christian values ... well she just had to answer.
Producer Mally Mall
I Brokered the Drake-Chris Brown Peace Summit
7/20/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Hip hop producer Mally Mall played a key role in settling Drake and Chris Brown's longstanding feud ... because he brought them together at his house in Las Vegas.
When we caught up with Mally in L.A. ... he said "the past is the past" for Breezy and Drizzy, and that Rihanna's name never came up during their recording sessions in Mally's home studio.
They've come a long way from 2 years ago when they destroyed W.i.P. Nightclub in New York in an all-out brawl over RiRi -- but Mally says ... "We squashed the beef."
Mally -- who's new release "Mally's World" drops next month -- did have one comment about Rihanna "acting like a jump off."
Kanye's Like a Stranger
That's Why I Didn't Go
7/18/2014 1:13 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Brody Jenner has zero relationship with Kanye West ... and that's a big reason why he didn't make the trek to Europe for Kim's wedding.
Kim's step-bro made the comments on his podcast Thursday, insisting he was not disrespecting Kim by being a no-show at her wedding but front and center at the wedding of her ex-BF Reggie Bush.
Brody says there are 2 other reasons he didn't show:
-- Short notice
-- The wedding was way far away in Paris. It was actually Florence, but whatever.
It's a good sell. You buyin'?
Loni Anderson to Burt Reynolds
Pay Your 20-Year-Old Divorce Debt, Deadbeat!
7/18/2014 12:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Burt Reynolds has been divorced from Loni Anderson for 20 years ... but it's still not over, and we've learned Loni is still dogging him for nearly a quarter of a million bucks to make things right.
It was one of the most bitter divorces in the history of Hollywood. He accused her of sleeping around. She accused him of physical brutality. And there were drug allegations and lots of other things. The 5-year marriage officially ended in 1993, when Burt agreed to pay Loni $234,794.13.
Loni -- who starred in "WKRP in Cincinnati" -- says Burt paid some but still owed her $97K. He didn't pay, went into bankruptcy in the late '90s, continued to ignore the debt, and went into foreclosure, etc.
Loni went back to court and 2 months ago the judge ordered Burt to pay up once and for all. But with interest, the tab has now swelled to $154,520.98.
We contacted Burt's rep ... so far no comment.
The Rock Body Slams
7/17/2014 6:12 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Christie can take down a plate of buffalo wings, but he can't beat The Rock ... at least not when it comes to his political satire video.
Christie posted a YouTube video this week ... a mock trailer that portrayed the New Jersey governor as an action hero fighting for pension reform. But the video -- titled "No Pain, No Gain" -- featured a shot of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson from one of his films.
Johnson's lawyers complained and the video was taken down. It was re-cut ... sans The Rock ... and re-posted again. Christie's Twitter page read, "Unfortunately The Rock is in high demand & won’t be able to appear in our Summer flick. But #NoPainNoGain lives on."
BTW ... The Rock is a registered Republican.
Chris Brown & Drake
ESPYs Skit Cuts Deep, Mocks Their Violent Beef
7/16/2014 9:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Brown and Drake killed it with a comedic sketch at the ESPYs -- which is way better than when they were ACTUALLY trying to kill each other.
It went down like we called it -- after a long setup to establish the Breezy/Drizzy's beef … Drake ends up on an operating table where "Dr." Blake Griffin appears to be performing surgery … that is until Brown menacingly pops up with surgical tools ready to do the work.
Afterward ... Griffin and Brown were live on stage, where Chris introduced himself as, "America's Sweetheart."
The crowd loved it -- even though Chris mocking his violent streak is a high-risk move on the eve of his D.C. assault trial … but hey, at least he left Rihanna out of it.
I'm Not Feuding with Kim (VIDEO)
7/15/2014 7:08 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Brody Jenner called radishes on reports he and Kim Kardashian are in a blood feud.
Brody was at the 9th Annual All-Star Celebrity Kickoff Party Monday in West Hollywood when he was asked if he was intentionally dissing his step-sister by attending Reggie Bush's wedding but not hers.
Listen closely ... Brody scoffs at the notion he snubbed Kim. He makes it clear ... despite a very bad breakup between Kim and Reggie -- he's good friends with the NFL star and that's why he went to San Diego over the weekend for the wedding.
Chris Brown, Drake
Screw Rihanna and Friendship
Let's Make Money!!!
7/12/2014 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The curious new friendship between Chris Brown and Drake has NOTHING to do with Rihanna or brotherly love ... we've learned it's a cold, business decision about making millions.
Chris and Drake -- whose posses literally destroyed W.i.P. nightclub in NYC in 2012 over a Rihanna beef -- have decided they can actually make more money together than separately ... this according to sources working closely with the 2 performers.
They're now in the studio ... laying tracks down for Chris' new album. We're told Drake will perform with Chris on some of the songs and he'll also be the producer.
There's a bonus for Chris -- by working with Drake he'll be able to continue being affiliated with Young Money and that keeps the door open to collaborations with Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. As a matter of fact, we know Tyga -- also part of Y.M. -- was in the studio with Drake and Chris on Thursday.
Two other reasons Chris and Drake think working together will sell more albums:
-- People will pick the lyrics apart, trying to figure out if they are talking about Rihanna ... the woman who they both slept with and the catalyst for the W.i.P. brawl.
-- Everyone wants to hear who sounds better -- Chris or Drake.
MJ from 'Shahs'
Lilly G. Was a Total
Fraud of Sunset
7/11/2014 1:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mercedes Javid must be a bad ass driver ... in reverse -- 'cause she wasted no time backing up the bus over her fired "Shahs of Sunset" cast mate Lilly Ghalichi.
MJ's not the least bit upset about Lilly getting 86'd ... telling us last night that Lilly had to because she broke the first rule of reality TV -- she sucked at being real.
As TMZ first reported ... Lilly got canned for being "boring" -- so maybe the problem was ... she was TOO real?
Whatever the reason -- you can almost hear MJ humming, "Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead" in this clip.
Justin & Selena
In Rebound Dating Duel
7/11/2014 10:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are desperate to make each other insanely jealous ... at least that's how it looks after they both flaunted their dinner dates with new people.
The first shot came from Selena on Wednesday night when she hit Tao in NYC with 26-year-old model Tanz Watson ... who wasted no time posting a sexy pic of Selena pressed up against him.
Then the Biebs responded last night with his own Instagram of himself and model Yovanna Ventura at dinner in LA with the caption, "dinner for 2 ;)."
Sources close to the exes tell us Justin religiously watches Selena's every move on social media -- so this is no coincidence.
As for who's winning the war -- well, Beliebers have already coined the term, Jovanna for Justin and his new chick.
Your move, Selena.
Chris Brown & Drake
Photo Proof the Rihanna Beef Is Squashed
7/11/2014 7:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mortal enemies Chris Brown and Drake proved their long-standing ... and sometimes violent Rihanna beef may finally be over for good -- and they might be sealing the truce with new music.
Drake posted a pic last night of himself and Chris in a recording studio -- and Breezy looks like he's LOVING whatever music they're listening to at the moment. Could a post RiRi collabo be coming?
There were rumors the feud was over, but this is the first visual evidence. Pretty amazing ... considering the beef exploded 2 years ago in a massive brawl at W.i.P. nightclub in NYC. Chris and a bodyguard were left bloodied, and NBA star Tony Parker suffered a serious eye injury.
The peace has been brewing since last April when we spotted Chris in a club dancing to "Started From the Bottom" -- but, yeah ... they've come a really long way.