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Brandy My Record Contract Is Slavery I Want My Freedom

7/18/2016 3:57 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0718-brandy-norwood-TMZ-01Brandy claims the contract she signed with Chameleon Entertainment is like a ball and chain, and she has filed a lawsuit to break the shackles.

The singer has been signed to the record label since 2011 and claims in the lawsuit they promised her hundreds of thousands of dollars in production costs to make her albums. Brandy says that didn't happen after the first album.

Brandy claims the label actually tried to prevent her from recording and releasing new music, which she says put her career in jeopardy.

According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, the record label tried to pressure her into giving up her non-recording avenues of including concerts and Broadway shows.

Brandy's lawyer says in the lawsuit, "Brandy Norwood's story is 'Kesha Redux, but without the sex." As you know, Kesha also referred to her contract as slavery.

Brandy filed a similar lawsuit in L.A. back in March ... the latest lawsuit was filed in NYC. 

She wants out of the contract and hundreds of thousands of dollars she claims they owe her for pay or play fees.

Taylor Swift Mulling Over Crime Report Against Kim and Kanye

7/18/2016 12:28 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0718-taylor-swift-kanye-west-kim-kardashian-TMZ-01Taylor Swift is thinking about filing a crime report against Kanye West for illegally recording their phone conversation, and against Kim Kardashian for publicly releasing the audio ... TMZ has learned.

Sources familiar with the situation tell us Taylor is undecided and is trying to think through the consequences of filing a police report.  

TMZ broke the story ... when Taylor's team found out about the recording, her lawyer fired off a letter to Kanye's attorney, threatening legal action and notifying him the recording was a criminal violation ... punishable as a felony.

We're told Kanye made the recording in the L.A. area -- and in California, a party to a phone conversation cannot record it unless all parties agree. Taylor had no idea she was being recorded.

Tom Brokaw I Did Help Save Allen Iverson ... 'But He Deserved It'

7/18/2016 11:48 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Screw humility ... news legend Tom Brokaw says he knows Allen Iverson might never have made it to the NBA without his help ... but says there's a damn good reason he stepped in. 

The backstory -- back in 1993, a 17-year-old Iverson was sentenced to 15 years in prison for allegedly hitting a white woman at a bowling alley during a brawl. 

Brokaw heard about the situation -- and felt it was wrong for a teen with no prior criminal record to get such a harsh sentence ... so he featured the story on the national news. 

It was a huge turning point -- and the conviction was eventually overturned. Iverson has publicly praised Brokaw for getting the ball rolling. 

So, when we saw Tom out in Cleveland Monday morning -- we asked about the situation ... and Tom explained why he did what he did. 

Taylor Swift Threatened Kanye with Criminal Prosecution

7/18/2016 5:59 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0718-kanye-taylor-snapchat-tmz-02Taylor Swift threatened Kanye West with criminal prosecution months ago for secretly recording her phone conversation with him ... TMZ has learned.

TMZ has a copy of a letter Taylor's lawyer sent to Kanye's attorney back in February. The lawyer made it clear, under California law, anyone who secretly records a telephone conversation with someone in the state commits a criminal offense ... and it's a felony.

A source with direct knowledge of the conversation told TMZ it was recorded in an L.A.-area studio.

The letter threatens ... "Demand is hereby made that you immediately destroy all such recordings, provide us of assurance that this has been done, and also assurance that these recordings have not been previously disseminated."

Finally, Taylor also has the right to file a lawsuit against Kim and Kanye for violating the law.

Stay tuned.

NFL's Nelson Agholor Officially Off the Hook In Rape Case

7/18/2016 8:37 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0717-nelson-agholor-gettyIt's official ... the Philly District Attorney says Eagles WR Nelson Agholor will NOT be charged with a crime following allegations he raped a woman at a strip club back in June. 

A dancer at Cheerleader's Gentlemen's Club in Philly had told police the 23-year-old sexually assaulted her around 3 PM on a Thursday afternoon ... after Agholor and some teammates stopped by the joint after football practice. 

Cops investigated the situation and kicked the case over to the D.A.'s office nearly 3 weeks ago. 

But now, Philly D.A. Seth Williams says .... "Our staff and the Police reached the conclusion that we lacked sufficient evidence to bring charges against Mr. Agholor, therefore no charges will be filed."

For his part, Agholor has denied any wrongdoing. 

Aaron Carter Accused of Stiffing 'Intern' $50k

7/17/2016 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0715_aaron-carter_tmzAaron Carter got a sweet new website to market and sell music, all designed by a guy who thought he was getting paid -- until Carter allegedly tagged him as an unpaid intern.

In a letter obtained by TMZ, John Cantu's demanding $50k from Aaron for developing and maintaining his website. John says he spent months developing it, but things went south in June when he asked for a paycheck.

He says that's when Aaron dropped the bombshell -- dude, you're an intern. John found that laughable, since Aaron didn't teach him a damn thing ... so, the "intern" struck back. 

John crashed Aaron's site and replaced it with a message instructing AC's fans to "follow a genius" ... and included his own Twitter handle. 

Aaron fired off his own letter, demanding control of the website. John -- who's represented by attorney Sam Park -- says he'll hand it over, IF he gets his dough.

Reggie Bush USC Working on Rebuilding Relationship ... Says Willie McGinest

7/17/2016 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

The powers that be at USC are actively working on a plan to bring Reggie Bush back from Trojan purgatory ... so says SC football legend Willie McGinest ... but there's one huge hurdle. 

Quick backstory ... the NCAA ordered SC to "disassociate" from Bush FOREVER as part of the punishment levied against Reggie and the school for the infamous gifting scandal. 

But Willie says "the entire SC family" has been working together to figure out a way to bring Bush back into the fold. 

He also explains why he thinks the lifetime ban is too harsh for the ex-Heisman Trophy winner. 

The problem ... we spoke with a rep for SC who tells us their hands are essentially tied.

"We all wish he could be back ... we've appealed more than several times but the appeals have been denied."

We're guessing Willie means his SC people are trying to figure out a new strategy ... but so far, it's still in the planning phase.  

Tupac Movie Derailed by Blind Ambitionz

7/16/2016 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0715-demetrius-shipp-jr-daz-dillinger-instagram-tmz-01Tupac's biopic is in mortal danger ... because of a feud between a rapper and a publishing giant. 

Rapper Daz Dillinger claims he holds the rights to the track "Ambitionz Az a Ridah" ... prominently featured in the "All Eyez on Me" movie. But Daz claims BMG publishing house begs to differ, insisting only it can green light the song for the flick. Thus, there's now a standoff.

The movie release has been pushed from September to November ... we're told so Daz and BMG can resolve the conflict.

This is the latest in a series of nasty legal battles between Daz and BMG. The rapper sued BMG back in April, claiming the company owes him more than $75k in royalties.

For it's part ... BMG says Daz's beef is really with eOne, the music licensing company that controls rights on the song. BMG says it merely collects royalties on eOne's behalf.

Dani Mathers Criminal Investigation Launched Into Naked Gym Pic

7/15/2016 3:57 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0714-dani-mathers-snapchat-01Dani Mathers is now in the crosshairs of cops, because TMZ has learned there's now a criminal investigation over the pic she took in a gym locker room.

We found out the brass over at LA Fitness went to cops Friday and filed the report, accusing the former Playboy Playmate of egregiously violating a member's right of privacy by taking a pic of her while naked in the shower, and then humiliating her by posting the pic with a disgusting caption.

We're told the police investigation is based on a criminal law prohibiting the dissemination of private images.

The woman in the pic has not come forward ... the report lists "Jane Doe" as the victim.

Dani has already been punished ... we've learned Playboy has suspended her from all Playmate activities including her show on Playboy Radio.

On the criminal front Dani could get a big break ... if the victim never comes forward the case might well be dropped.

On the other hand, if the victim surfaces and plays ball, Dani could face 6 months in jail.

Vince Neil Sued for Assaulting Woman On the Vegas Strip

7/15/2016 10:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0715-vince-neil-tmz-02A Nicolas Cage fan says Mötley Crüe rocker Vince Neil literally busted her ass when he attacked her on the Vegas Strip for absolutely no reason ... according to her.

Kelly Guerrero says she and her son were walking down into the Aria Hotel and Casino and recognized Nic Cage, hanging with Neil and Carrot Top. She says they complimented Cage on his career, particularly for "Ghost Rider" and "City of Angels."

According to the lawsuit she's now filed ... Guerrero says that's when Nic put Vince in a headlock during what she called "horseplay." She says when Vince got free he suddenly attacked her, grabbing her hair from behind and yanking her to the pavement.

She says the beating was brutal ... leaving her with neck pain, low back pain, a hip injury and a fractured tailbone.

TMZ got video shot immediately after the alleged incident ... where Nic attempted to get an apparently drunk Vince into a car outside the Aria.

Guerrero described Vince as being drunk or under the influence, and claims he attacked another woman too. He's been criminally charged with misdemeanor battery.

She's suing for $150k ... minimum.

Ralphie May Killer Typhoon a Threat to My Kids

7/15/2016 10:13 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0715-ralphie-may-TMZ-01Ralphie May's children are about to be right in the path of a massive typhoon that's already killed dozens -- or so he believes, which is why he rushed to court to block his estranged wife's vacay plans.

Ralphie's ex, Lahna Turner, was planning to take their 2 kids to China from July 9-18 for what she called an "educational trip." Ralphie wasn't down with that because he says Lahna's been interfering with his custodial parenting time. 

The comedian also busted out meteorology to sway the court -- referencing super typhoon Nepartak. In the docs, obtained by TMZ, he said the storm was on track to hit Shanghai during the vacation. 

The court sided with Ralphie and put the kibosh on the Lahna's plans. 

Probably for the best ... Nepartak destroyed Taiwan last Thursday, killing more than 20 people, and then headed toward mainland China.

Tom Brady Throws In Towel On Deflategate

7/15/2016 9:59 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

071516-tom-brady-gettyIt's over. Finally. 

Tom Brady has announced he's ending his Deflategate fight ... saying, "I have made the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process."

Translation -- I'll take my 4-game suspension.

In a Facebook post, Brady wrote, "It has been a challenging 18 months and I have made the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process."

"I'm going to work hard to be the best player I can be for the New England Patriots and I look forward to having the opportunity to return to the field this fall."

Brady has always maintained he did NOT illegally order team equipment guys to deflate several game balls before the AFC Championship game in 2015.

Earlier this week, an appeals court rejected Brady's request for a rehearing -- and if Brady wanted to continue the fight, he'd have to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. He cried "Uncle" instead.

Your ball, Jimmy G. ... 

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NFL's Dan Skuta Off the Hook In Alleged Bar Attack [Update]

7/14/2016 3:27 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0714-dan-skuta-getty-02Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Dan Skuta will NOT be prosecuted for allegedly attacking a woman outside of a Florida bar last month ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

As we previously reported, Skuta was arrested around 2 AM on June 19th after a woman claimed the NFL player pushed her into a glass window after she turned down his advances. 

30-year-old Skuta adamantly denied the allegations -- claiming he was with his girlfriend during the entire incident and the woman struck HIM after verbally harassing the NFL player and his friends. 

TMZ Sports has learned ... officials investigated the incident and determined there just wasn't enough evidence to prove Skuta committed a crime -- so the State Attorney in FL decided to drop the case. 

update_graphic_red_bar8:10 AM PT -- We spoke with Skuta's attorney, Mark NeJame, who tells us, they are not surprised by the move ... because Skuta is 100% innocent. 

"As we stated on June 27th, Dan Skuta was arrested for something that simply did not happen. After voluntary cooperation from Mr. Skuta and a thorough review of the case by the State Attorney’s office, a review of the info that was provided to them, they’ve informed us that they are not going to proceed with the prosecution of any charges against Mr. Skuta."

NeJame added, "The individual who made the complaint had serious character and credibility issues. Not one independent witness corroborated her testimony."

"Alternatively, we were able to provide multiple witnesses who confirmed that Mr. Skuta was attacked by this obnoxious individual and he simply turned away and walked off after he was hit so that the situation wouldn't escalate. He acted in mature, appropriate and sensible after being struck."

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