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Richie Sambora

Sues Ex

You Extorted Me Over Fake Death Threats

5/15/2015 1:11 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Richie Sambora is striking back with a lawsuit against his ex Nikki Lund, who he alleges extorted him to the tune of more than $150k and then tried to frame him for allegedly making death threats.

Sambora says he’s been dishing out wads of cash – first $50k, then $45k, then $35k and finally $25k – to keep her and her publicist, Sean Borg, from going public with claims he threatened them. When Sambora cut them off in March, he says Lund unsuccessfully tried to get  him prosecuted.

Sambora says Lund illegally and secretly recorded him and then heavily edited the tape to make it appear he was threatening to kill her.

Lund tried again a few days ago to get Sambora prosecuted but the D.A. wasn't having it and rejected the case.

According to the lawsuit, Sambora's relationship with Lund fell apart after he invested $4 million into their joint-fashion venture, Nikki Rich. He says she used the company as her personal piggy bank and ultimately drove it into the ground. Sambora stopped funding it in September of last year … and says that’s when Lund went postal.

Sambora's suing both Lund and Borg for extortion, defamation and illegally recording a phone call.

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4:06PM PT: Lund's lawyer calls the allegations "unfounded," and says she'll file her own lawsuit soon.

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Ariel Winter

I'm Finally Free!

5/15/2015 12:34 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0515-ariel-winter-TMZ-01Ariel Winter's long battle to be free from her mother is finally over -- she's been emancipated. 

The 17-year-old "Modern Family" star has been estranged from her mother, Chrystal Workman since 2012 ... and was removed from the home after allegations of abuse.

Winter was overjoyed at the news, writing, "I am now officially emancipated!!! I'm really lucky I have an amazing support system and lovely people in my life who have given me the support and guidance to have been given this wonderful opportunity."

Winter also thanked her sister, Shanelle Gray ... with whom she's been living. Ariel remained close with her father throughout the ordeal ... and earlier this month posted a photo with him before heading off to her prom.

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Kim Richards

She's Gotta Pay Up

For Pit Bull Attack

5/15/2015 9:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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One of Kim Richards' best friends just won her lawsuit over a ferocious pit bull attack from Kim's dog last year.

Kay Rozario filed suit, claiming Kim refused to pay her medical bills after Kingsley chomped on her hand in March 2014 ... and bit clear down to the bone.

On Thursday, a judge ruled in Rozario's favor ... but severely limited the amount of damages Kim will have to pay. Rozario was looking for more than a million dollars, but according to court docs ... she was only awarded $8,083.53.

The judge pointed out ... Rozario's medical bills were only $4,083.53, but said she deserved some more cash for emotional distress and trauma after the attack.

Of course, Kim's dog also attacked Kyle Richards' daughter Alexia in November of last year. The dog is currently at a private training facility.

Kim never responded to the lawsuit ... so the judge entered a default judgment.

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Brittney Griner & Glory Johnson

Newlyweds Suspended for Domestic Violence

5/15/2015 9:46 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0515-griner-johnson-wnba-tmz-instagram-01Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson just got their wedding gift from the WNBA -- 7 game suspensions without pay for their domestic violence arrests last month.

Griner plays for the Phoenix Mercury, and Johnson for the Tulsa Shock -- and each will begin their suspensions when the WNBA season begins in June. The season is only 34 games long ... so 7 games is roughly 20% of the season. 

You'll recall ... the couple got arrested after brawling with each other in their Phoenix area home. They were engaged at the time, but went through with their wedding 2 weeks later.  

The WNBA President Laurel Richie says she consulted with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver -- as well as several abuse counselors and domestic violence groups -- before reaching her decision.

In addition to the suspensions ... Brittney and Glory will have to attend individual counseling sessions.

update_graphic_red_barThe WNBA also released more details about the fight ... saying Glory was diagnosed with a concussion following the brawl. 

Brittney sustained no head injuries ... just a bite wound on her finger and scratches on her wrist. 

Aaron Hernandez Fiancee

Perjury Charge Dropped

After Helping Convict NFL Star

5/15/2015 6:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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The judge in the Aaron Hernandez murder case ... the first one ... has officially thrown out the perjury charge against Aaron's fiancee Shayanna Jenkins after she provided testimony that led to the conviction of the ex-NFL star. 

Jenkins had struck a deal with prosecutors before she got on the stand -- she would talk and in exchange they would toss out a previous perjury charge.

The perjury charge stemmed from comments Jenkins made to the grand jury in 2013 regarding a gun in her home ... that may have been the weapon used to murder Odin Lloyd. If convicted, she faced up to 20 years behind bars. 

Prosecutors say Jenkins' testimony at the trial -- that she helped Aaron dispose of a mystery box after Odin's death -- helped them win the case. 

The operating theory is that the box contained the murder weapon. 

Now, Hernandez is doing life in prison ... and Shayanna is off the hook. 

Bill Cosby

Speaks Out

But He's Impossible to Decipher

5/15/2015 6:24 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Bill Cosby is finally addressing the sexual assault allegations that have dogged him for years, but his explanations are bizarre and incomprehensible.  

The questions were on point. "Nightline" reporter Linsey Davis asked Cosby if he's thought about how he'd deal with young people who only know about the lurid allegations ... Cosby's answer is gibberish. 

Ditto questions about the allegations overshadowing the current message he's trying to send to raise awareness about underfunded schools in Selma, AL. Good luck with the answer.

And then Cosby's asked about his legacy. 

You gotta watch the video. 

Tyga

A Landlord's Worst Nightmare

Racks Up Hefty Party Fines

5/15/2015 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0514-tyga-house-party-fines-fun-art-TMZ-GETTY01Tyga has neighbors in his fancy gated community pulling their hair out ... because they say he's repeatedly broken HOA rules, and racked up over $10k in unpaid fines for constantly throwing ragers.

Sources tell TMZ ... Tyga's been blowin' the roof off his Calabasas home in The Oaks development -- inviting too many guests to his parties, and letting them enter without proper security clearance. The homeowners' association has hit him with the fines, but it's having zero effect.

Since last August, Kylie Jenner's BF has paid a little here and there, but he's largely ignored the dozens of notices and warnings. We're told he was even banned from all common areas of The Oaks.

Here's the real kicker ... since Tyga rents, technically his landlord is on the hook -- but obviously, he's trying to get Tyga to cough up the dough.

Get in line ... said Blac Chyna.

Nik Wallenda

Family War for Grandma's House

Harder Than Highwire Act

5/15/2015 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0514-nik-wallenda-TMZ-01Famous tightrope walker Nik Wallenda is in a messy and public feud with another member of his famous family, and it's all over the home Grandma Wallenda left behind when she died. 

Jenny Wallenda -- matriarch of  the "Flying Wallendas" -- passed away last month in Sarasota, FL, and left her house to Nik. Family sources tell us the place is pretty beat up, and Nik's been working on it for years.

Now Nik's squaring off with his Aunt Tammy ... who'd been living in the house while taking care of Grandma Wallenda.

Ten days after granny passed, Tammy says she got a letter from Nik's attorney informing her she had 30 days to vacate the premises. We're told Nik has sunk $100k into repairing the house, and plans to turn it into a rental property. Problem is ... Aunt Tammy won't budge.

We're told Nik isn't putting Tammy out on the street -- he's offered her $1,000 for moving expenses, and her first month's rent on a new place. Tammy's turned him down, and instead she's raising money to hire a lawyer and fight Nik in court.

Nik tells us he's upset Tammy is taking the family feud public, adding ... "I prefer to handle it through proper channels."

And he thought crossing the Grand Canyon was hard. 

Johnny Depp

Dogs Boarding Flight for Life

5/14/2015 3:27 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0514-johnny-depp-amber-heard-dogs-TMZ-SPLASH-01Johnny Depp's dogs ain't no dummies -- his Yorkies are getting the hell outta Dodge ... just hours before Australian officials promised to put them down.

TMZ has learned Boo and Pistol will be boarding a private jet back to U.S. soil within a few hours. The Friday afternoon departure, Aussie time ... means they will not be euthanized on Saturday as the country's Minister for Agriculture had threatened to do. 

The Minister said Johnny and Amber Heard never declared the pups when they touched down in Oz last month, so they were never quarantined ... which is required for all animals entering the country.

The dogs may be safe, but Johnny's not out of hot water yet. The Minister tells us Depp will likely have to pay a hefty fine ... and that's getting off easy, because Pooch smuggling is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Ex-penal colonies play hard ball.

Ed Asner

Come and Get It, Ladies!!

Finally Files for Divorce

5/14/2015 3:14 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0513-ed-cindy-asner-tmz-getty-02Ed Asner has filed for divorce, and the big question is ... why?

The 85-year-old actor -- who became famous as Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" --separated from wife Cindy Asner in 2007, but for some reason he didn't pull the trigger until this month ... 8 years later.

The couple married in 1998, and it seems the split was bitter. Ed tried to cut off her temporary spousal support the year after they separated, saying she was making no effort to become self-supporting.

According to divorce docs, they reached some sort of financial settlement in 2009, but years passed and no one filed for the big D. 

We don't know what motivated Ed to make the move, but clearly he does not want death to be the factor that parts them.

No comment from Ed's camp.

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Amanda Knox

The Verdict's In and She Slays ...

At Karaoke [TMZ TV]

5/14/2015 10:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
TMZ TV

Amanda Knox belted out the Cranberries song “Zombie” at a NYC karaoke bar, and even though she sounded pretty good ... maybe not the greatest song choice?

There's gotta be a few songs that don't muster up images of a horrifying corpse -- which Amanda is definitely NOT guilty of stabbing to death! tmz-on-tv-3

Johnny Depp

Dogs Kill Sheep

So Get Your Yorkies Out of Australia, Or Else

5/14/2015 7:01 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Johnny Depp's 2 tiny dogs are capable of wreaking havoc in the Australian animal kingdom, and that's why the dogs now have a target on their adorable heads.

The Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, tells TMZ, Johnny and Amber Heard are not giving due respect to the enormous problem the country faces with animals. Joyce says wild dogs kill up to 40 sheep a night ... though we're guessing none of the offenders are Yorkies. 

But size doesn't matter, because Joyce adds they have a real interest in making sure dogs that come into the country are free of disease so Australians can walk their pooches with confidence they won't get sick.

As we reported, Johnny and Amber apparently smuggled Boo and Pistol into the country without the proper quarantine and now authorities say if the dogs aren't out of the country by Saturday, they'll be destroyed.

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Suge Knight

I Got My Mind Made Up

Don't Remove My Tupac Bullet!

5/14/2015 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Suge Knight
 has given doctors a piece of his mind ... refusing to have a bullet fragment removed that’s been lodged in his head for the past 19 years ... a bullet intended for Tupac Shakur.

Rewind to 1996 … Knight infamously drove the car carrying Tupac the night of the rap legend’s drive-by murder off the Las Vegas strip.

One of the bullets missed Tupac but grazed Suge's head; a fragment lodged in his skull, and was never removed.

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Here's the problem. Suge's in bad shape as he lingers in a jail cell, and doctors want to perform an MRI so they can figure out why he keeps passing out. But the bullet fragment causes interference with the machine, so doctors want to remove it.  

Suge’s attorney, Matthew Fletcher, tells us Knight thinks he'll die if doctors start screwing with his head and try to remove the fragment, especially given his fragile state.

Aside from medical concerns, you gotta admit ... how cool is it to have a Tupac bullet in your head?

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