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Ray Lewis Sued Botched Bourbon Deal ... w/ Famous Racehorse

11/22/2017 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The bourbon company bearing Ray Lewis' name is accused of putting the "stiff" in stiff drink -- allegedly bailing on a $50k sponsorship deal involving one of the most famous racehorses alive. 

The ex-NFL star is being sued -- along with the folks behind Ray's Reserve bourbon -- by Leverage Agency, which sells sponsorships at sports events. 

Long story short, the company behind Ray's Reserve allegedly agreed to pay $50k to sponsor California Chrome at the 2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Race in Florida back in January. 

The deal was that RR would pay $25k in cash and $25k in Ray's Reserve bourbon -- 100 bottles at $250 apiece. 

FYI, California Chrome is a legend -- he won the 2014 Kentucky Derby and the 2014 Preakness. 

When race day came, California Chrome's famed jockey Victor Espinoza rocked pants with the Ray's Reserve logo on them ... as part of the deal.

But when Legacy sent the bill to the Ray's Reserve people, the company claims they never got the cash or the bourbon -- and now they're suing for the money. 

Ray's attorney tells TMZ Sports ... Ray had no involvement in the deal and has no ownership in the Ray's Reserve brand. He licensed his name for the product and nothing more. 

"There's no justification for Ray to be named personally in the lawsuit."

By the way, California Chrome finished 9th in that race and retired after the event. He's now working as a stud ... knocking up female horses for $40,000-a-pop. 

Xzibit Sues I Hired You to Pimp My Backyard ... Now It's All Screwed Up!!!

11/21/2017 4:57 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Xzibit and his wife are gunning for the guys they hired to build them a luxurious backyard oasis ... claiming they screwed it all up, and didn't even finish the job.

Xzibit says the folks at Edge Water Construction were supposed to install a brand new pool, outdoor spa, fire and water feature wine bar, backyard cabana and a bunch of other sweet items. Total cost was supposed to be $397k.

But according to a lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Edge Water took much longer than initially scheduled to do the job ... and much of what they got done was defective. For instance, X-to-the-Z says the pool had sharp edges which cut his 8-year-old son's feet.

In the suit, he says parts of the pool and spa weren't properly waterproofed -- which seems like job #1 when building a pool.

Xzibit and the missus are suing for $250k. For its part, Edge Water tells us they only stopped working because Xzibit told them he wasn't going to pay them the $178k he still owed. They say he demanded to see their receipts, and when they refused he cut off the funding ... and they walked.

Edge Water says they stand by their work, and say an independent inspector also signed off on it.

Jennifer Hudson Son Goes with Dad for Thanksgiving

11/21/2017 4:03 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Daivd Otunga just won a big legal victory in his custody battle with Jennifer Hudson ... he gets their son for Thanksgiving.

TMZ has learned both sides squared off in court Tuesday and David made his case to spend the holiday with 8-year-old David Jr. TMZ broke the story, cops threw David out of the family home after Jennifer got an order of protection claiming she was afraid David would hurt her and her son. David says she's lying and vengeful because they were at an impasse over custody.

We've learned, according to the new order, David Jr. will be with his dad from Thanksgiving day at 3 PM to 7 PM the following day.

There's a hearing set for Monday where David will ask the judge to vacate the order of protection.

We're told David will also ask the judge on Monday to give him temporary custody of David Jr., claiming he's the primary caregiver. He also wants possession of the residence -- where he pays rent -- during the 2 weeks she'll be traveling for work -- between November 26 and December 8.

Nick Carter Accused of Raping Dream Singer in 2002

11/21/2017 4:01 PM PST
Breaking News

Former Dream singer Melissa Schuman claims Nick Carter raped her back in 2002 ... when she was 18 and he was 22.

Melissa says she and the Backstreet Boys singer started talking because their managers suggested they date -- presumably for good PR -- even though she says she already had a boyfriend.

She claims Carter invited her and a friend to his Santa Monica apartment for what she calls a "casual hangout" -- and after some boozing he started making out with her. In a very graphic blog post, Melissa claims he eventually took her into a bathroom, he forcibly performed oral sex on her ... and then forced her to reciprocate. 

Melissa says she repeatedly told him she did not want to have sex, and was saving her virginity for her husband. She claims Carter took her to a bedroom, and then forced her to have intercourse.

Schuman says she told her manager about the alleged rape, but was told Carter's legal team was too powerful, and publicly accusing him would hurt her career.

We've reached out to Carter's reps ... but no word back yet.

Ray Allen Accuser We Had Gay Relationship ... NBA Star Calls BS

11/21/2017 3:33 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The man who obtained a restraining order against Ray Allen says he was NOT catfishing the NBA star -- the two were in a romantic relationship ... but Ray's attorney tells TMZ Sports the man is lying. 

As we previously reported, Allen is in a legal war with Bryant Coleman -- a staffer in the communications dept. at the University of Central Florida. 

Coleman says Allen's allegations that he pretended to be a woman to obtain "private information" about Ray are false.

The truth, according to Coleman, is that Allen offered up info -- along with pictures and videos -- knowing full well that Coleman is a man. He says their relationship goes back several years. 

"[Ray's] account of our relationship is false," Coleman says in a statement to TMZ Sports. 

"Ray knows how I look, he knows how my voice sounds, he knows how I think, and most importantly, he knows my heart."

"However, because of confidentially considerations, I am not in a position to provide a more detailed response to Mr. Allen's false and salacious claims. I will rely on the courts to protect me against Mr. Allen's violent threats and false accusations."

The exact nature of the alleged "violent threats" is unclear, but as we previously reported ... Coleman obtained a restraining order, claiming Allen was stalking him.

We reached out to Allen's legal team for comment and his attorney shot down Coleman's claims. 

"Mr. Coleman’s statement would be funny if it wasn’t so crazy," Ray's lawyer tells us. 

"There has never been and never will be a relationship or friendship between Ray Allen and Mr. Coleman. They have never met and never have spoken."

"Ray obviously hasn’t threatened anyone. Any statement or inference otherwise is a complete fabrication. Ray wants nothing to do with Mr. Coleman, who obviously has some serious issues with understanding the difference between fact and fantasy.”

Ray Allen I'm A Victim Of Catfishing Scheme ... But I'm No Stalker!

11/21/2017 8:59 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ray Allen claims he was catfished by a man pretending to be a number of attractive women -- and now he's filed legal docs to make sure the alleged catfisher doesn't leak his private information. 

It's all in legal docs obtained by TMZ Sports ... the ex-NBA superstar claims he met these "women" in "various online forums" and communicated with them ... sometimes sharing "private information." 

Ray claims he eventually figured out he was being catfished and ended the relationships -- but the man behind the rouse became obsessed and began posting items on social media about Ray and his family. 

In the docs, Allen claims the man would physically go to Ray's wife's restaurant in Orlando and post about Ray -- tagging family members in the posts. Creepy stuff. 

Ray says he got the guy to sign a confidentiality agreement in which he agreed to stop posting about Ray -- but the guy violated the deal. 

Things continued to escalate -- and the man eventually filed for a restraining order against Ray claiming the NBA star was stalking him, which the court granted. 

Ray is adamantly denying the stalking allegations and is now seeking a restraining order of his own. 

"Ray wants nothing to do with [the alleged catfisher] and merely wants to be left alone," Allen says in the court docs. 

We spoke with Allen's attorney, David Oscar Markus, who tells us, "Ray Allen was the victim of an online scheme to extract money and embarrass him by someone who appears to be troubled."

"The person who perpetrated this scheme has now started to stalk him and make threats against Ray and his family. Ray has taken legal action to put an end to the threats and to expose his manipulation and wrongdoing."

"Ray regrets ever engaging with this person online and is thankful they never met in person. This experience has negatively impacted Ray, and he hopes that others might use his mistake to learn the dangers of communicating online with strangers."

Cassidy Busted for Pot ... Outstanding Warrants

11/21/2017 9:39 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Cassidy was just chillin' in a parked van outside his house when cops busted him -- which they say has more to do with the joint and baggie full of marijuana allegedly in the van.

The Philly MC was busted Sunday afternoon in Jersey City when police say they spotted him in the vehicle, and noticed a strong marijuana odor. Officers say there was a joint sitting in clear view on the dashboard. They also found a baggie of weed and a grinder, typically used to crush weed ... according to the police report.

Cassidy was booked for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Law enforcement tells us they discovered Cassidy has an outstanding warrant in another county -- for the exact same offenses. So, now he has 2 court dates ... for the old and new charges. 

The lesson? Don't park and smoke. Allegedly.

Ryan Seacrest Sources Say Accuser Demanded $15 Million for Silence

11/21/2017 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The lawyer for the woman accusing Ryan Seacrest of demeaning and sexually aggressive behavior demanded 8 figures, and if Seacrest didn't pay up her attorney vowed to go to the media ... sources tell TMZ.

The woman -- who worked as Seacrest's stylist -- alleges Seacrest engaged in various forms of misconduct from 2007 to 2010. Seacrest has adamantly denied the claims.

Sources familiar with the case tell TMZ, the woman's lawyer contacted Seacrest's attorney and first demanded $15 million and, when the lawyer was told to take a hike, later said somewhere in the 7 figures would be acceptable.

Our sources say the woman's lawyer had a meeting with Seacrest's attorney -- Seacrest was on the phone -- and her lawyer read aloud a press release that he said he would send to the media unless Seacrest met her financial demands.

It appears the statute of limitations both civilly and criminally would have run out on all of her claims, which are older than 6 years. As a result, the only leverage in getting money would be making the allegations public and embarrassing him.

The lawyer for the accuser tells TMZ, his client "wanted an apology from Ryan and validation of what had happened and what she got was a complete rejection of the allegations and a request that she not go forward with an interview with NBC investigators."  The lawyer denies he made a $15 million demand. 

Bruno Mars Sued Kid Elvis Pic of You Is a Treasure But I Own It, Pay Me!!!

11/20/2017 10:38 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Bruno Mars engaged in a little jailhouse rock when he slapped a pic of himself as a pint-sized Elvis Presley impersonator all over his social media ... at least according to the photog who just sued Bruno.

Catherine McGann says she snapped this 1989 shot of Bruno -- when he would've been just 3 or 4 years old, but was already famously performing the King's hits. McGann says she owns the copyright on the shot ... so, she was shocked to see it pop up all over Bruno's social media.

In the docs, obtained by TMZ, she says he posted it back in June on his IG, FB and Twitter pages ... for a "Way Back Wednesday" that blew up. McGann says it garnered more than 1.2 million likes on Instagram alone. In other words ... 24k magic!

Now, it doesn't take a suspicious mind to figure out the alleged problem here -- McGann says Bruno never got permission to use her copyrighted work. She's suing Bruno and his record label, Warner Music, for damages and all profits they earned from her photo.

Thank you very much.

Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch Lawsuit Settled Shareholders Claimed Harassment Cover-up

11/20/2017 2:25 PM PST
Breaking News

Roger Ailes, the late CEO of FOX News, engaged in a campaign to cover up sexual harassment and racial discrimination, according to a lawsuit filed by shareholders ... which has just been settled. 

According to docs, obtained by TMZ, Ailes paid former FOX employee Laurie Luhn $3.15 million in 2011 to keep quiet about 2 decades worth of allegations ... which include sexual harassment at the hands of Ailes himself.

The suit also alleges a similar cover-up with Gretchen Carlson -- claiming she was paid $20 mil and given a public apology to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit she'd filed against Ailes. The shareholders call out Ailes for his alleged treatment of Megyn Kelly, too. According to the docs, Ailes made sexually charged comments about her lingerie, and offered her promotions in exchange for sexual favors.

The suit was filed Monday against Ailes' estate, FOX CEO Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, who are also FOX honchos. FOX News released a statement, also on Monday, saying a settlement had been reached. FOX News will now form a Workplace Professionalism and Inclusion Council.

The panel's purpose is improving reporting of misconduct, and recruiting and advancing female and minority employees.

All in all, the suit claimed 21st Century FOX has paid more than $55 million to settle sexual harassment and discrimination suits. It also points out dozens of advertisers have run for the hills since the Bill O'Reilly scandal broke -- including Bank of America and BMW, which cost FOX more than $3 million.

Tyrese Judge Says No More Corporal Punishment

11/20/2017 1:27 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Tyrese may have regained 50/50 custody of his daughter, but turns out there were strings attached.

The judge issued a series of conditions, including:

-- Neither Tyrese nor Norma Gibson can use corporal punishment in disciplining 10-year-old Shayla.

-- Tyrese must take parenting classes focused on appropriate disciplining of his daughter.

-- Both Tyrese and Norma must enroll in "high conflict parenting classes."

-- Tyrese and Shayla must enroll in joint therapy with a psychologist. Shayla must also undergo individual counseling.

According to the order, Tyrese has Shayla for both XMAS and New Year's -- and all of his visits with her must be spent in Southern California ... until April 30.

As we reported, Norma claimed Tyrese brutally disciplined their daughter, but the judge didn't buy it.

Fred Goldman I Wanna See O.J. in Court Now ... He's Getting Rich, I Know It!!!

11/20/2017 1:25 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ron Goldman's father is demanding O.J. Simpson get before a judge ASAP ... because he's concerned Simpson is pocketing cash he owes to the Goldman and Brown families.

In docs obtained by TMZ ... Fred Goldman says the first available hearing date isn't until July 3, 2018 ... which he says is way too far away. He believes in that 7-month span O.J. "could flood the market with sports memorabilia" and try to keep all the money for himself.

O.J. responded in his own docs, saying the secret autograph session he held in October was a one-off ... and he's just trying to "readjust to civilian life." O.J. says even though he's had a lot of money-making offers ... he's rejected all of them except for that one autograph sesh.

We broke the story ... Fred filed docs to divert any money Simpson made from any interviews, shows, presentations or exhibitions to help pay down the $70 million wrongful death judgment he owes.

Colin Kaepernick Speaks with Meek Mill 'He's In Good Spirits'

11/20/2017 12:24 PM PST
Breaking News

Meek Mill had a celebrity phone call during his time in prison -- speaking with Colin Kaepernick -- and he gave the QB a message to spread to his supporters.

"Spoke to Meek Mill & he wanted ppl to know regardless of his unjust situation, he’s in good spirits & humbled by the support the people have shown him," Colin tweeted. 

"We'll continue to fight against the harsh sentencing practices that have affected Meek & millions of other POC for generations."

Colin had spoken out against Meek's sentence -- claiming 2 to 4 years in prison is way too harsh for a non-violent probation violation. 

Meek was locked up earlier this month stemming from a conviction in a 2008 drug and weapons case

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