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Mario Batali Double-Crossed and Stiffed Women's Group

5/22/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Mario Batali's website claims it struck a deal to donate proceeds from its sauces to a women's group ... but TMZ's learned the organization hasn't received a dime because no deal was ever struck.

We noticed this huge banner posted on mariobatalisauces.com's landing page back in December 2017 shortly after sexual misconduct allegations first surfaced against the disgraced chef. The banner claims the makers of Batali's sauces are donating its proceeds to Women Employed, hailed as one of the nation's most successful advocates for working women.

But, we checked with the organization and a rep tells us it was unaware the banner went up on Batali's website. The rep explains there were early talks about forming a partnership, but Women Employed ultimately decided not to move forward ... which explains why it hasn't gotten a check ... despite what the announcement claims.

As we reported ... Batali was dumped by his partners on the heels of new claims of sexual misconduct. We reached out to Batali's sauce makers to ask for an explanation for the banner, so far no word back.

R. Kelly Sued for Sexual Assault ... He Locked Me Up, Gave Me Herpes

5/21/2018 2:25 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

R. Kelly is being sued for sexual assault by a woman who claims he held her against her will and abused her ... TMZ has learned.

A woman named Faith Rodgers filed the lawsuit in NYC, and claims they met in March 2017, when she was 19 ... after a performance in San Antonio. In the suit, she says a couple months later Kelly flew her to NYC for one of his concerts.

After the show, she says Kelly "bombarded" her hotel room and initiated "unwanted sexual contact" ... including oral and vaginal intercourse. After what she calls "abusive sex" ... Kelly allegedly criticized her for being boring in bed.

According to docs, obtained by TMZ, Faith caught herpes from Kelly. She says they dated for about one year, during which he mentally, verbally and sexually abused her. Faith claims he locked her in rooms, studios and cars to punish her for failing to fulfill his sexual desires. In the suit, Faith says Kelly had a female assistant stand guard to make sure she didn't flee. 

Faith's attorney tells us she is the woman who secretly recorded Kelly. TMZ broke the story ... she recently recorded a phone conversation, attempting to coax a confession out of him.

She is suing Kelly for sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to disclose an STD.

Rose McGowan Hires Attorney Jose Baez ... In Cocaine Possession Case

5/21/2018 2:32 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Rose McGowan just lawyered up big-time in her cocaine possession case ... we've learned she's hired Jose Baez ... the attorney who won acquittals for Casey Anthony and Aaron Hernandez in his double murder case.

McGowan was charged with felony cocaine possession after cops say they found a few small bags of coke in a wallet she had left behind at Washington Dulles International Airport back in January.

McGowan and her previous lawyer had said she was framed, because 5 hours passed between the time she got off the plane and the cleaning crew found the wallet. What's more, McGowan's previous lawyer suggested Harvey Weinstein might be behind it all out of revenge.

Baez tells TMZ, "I think she's absolutely 100% innocent in this case and we're looking forward to showing that in a court of law." He added, "She's absolutely 100% determined to clear her name."

'X Factor' Winner James Arthur Sued 'Say You Won't' Steal My Song!

5/21/2018 2:16 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

British musician James Arthur straight-up jacked another band's song and twisted it into his own hit ... according to a new lawsuit.

Arthur has been sued by musician Daniel O'Donoghue, who's got a song with his band, The Script, called "The Man Who Can't Be Moved," which he claims Arthur ripped off in making his own song, "Say You Won't Let Go." The former dropped in 2008, and the latter in 2016.

O'Donoghue says Arthur used a very similar melody and tempo in his song, and claims it's infringing on his original work. O'Donoghue says Arthur approached him and his band after Arthur was dropped by his label in 2014, trying to talk ideas for a comeback song. He says they denied the meeting, and somehow Arthur came out with "Say You Won't Let Go" 2 years later.

Interestingly enough, both men have ties to British talent shows -- O'Donoghue's a voice coach on the UK's 'The Voice,' and Arthur won the UK's 'X Factor' in 2012.

Take a listen for your self. 

Mario Batali Under Criminal Investigation For Sexual Misconduct: Report

5/20/2018 6:44 PM PDT
Breaking News

Mario Batali is reportedly being investigated by the NYPD for sexual misconduct after a woman came forward on '60 Minutes' to claim he'd sexually assaulted her. 

Anderson Cooper spoke to a handful of women Sunday, one of whom anonymously said Batali had possibly drugged and sexually assaulted her in 2005 after waking up at the Spotted Pig with semen on her leg. The woman, who was an employee of his at the time, says she was getting romantic with Batali prior to blacking out the night before.

The woman says she went to the hospital to get a rape kit done, but never filed a police report.

Other women claimed Batali had inappropriately touched them under his employ, and that they'd once seen him sexually assault at least one other woman, who was either unconscious or semi-conscious, at the Spotted Pig. That woman refused to talk to '60 Minutes.'

Batali issued a strong denial to CBS, saying he vehemently denied sexually assaulting the woman who did speak. It's unclear if he was asked about about the alleged second sexual assault, or the alleged inappropriate touching. That said ... he did issue an apology for his behavior last year. 

'60 Minutes' says the NYPD confirmed there was an active criminal investigation into Batali's alleged misconduct. 

Texas School Shooting Suspect Was Dancing at Church ... Days Before Massacre

5/20/2018 11:26 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The student arrested for gunning down 10 people at his high school appeared to be nothing more than a church-going dancer mere days before the shooting.

TMZ has obtained video of 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis participating in a choreographed dance for his Greek Orthodox church the weekend before he allegedly shot and killed 8 of his peers and 2 teachers.

Sources connected to the event tell us the dance was part of a larger Greek festival in a town about 30 minutes away from Santa Fe, TX where he went to school. The performance was rehearsed well before showtime -- Pagourtzis was involved from the start.

Another harrowing detail ... we're told those who knew or knew of Pagourtzis never saw any signs that would indicate he would go absolutely mad.

Pagourtzis has been charged with multiple counts of capital murder and aggravated assault on a public servant after allegedly opening fire Friday at Santa Fe High School -- killing 10 and injuring many others. Cops say he used a shotgun and a revolver as weapons.

He has not entered a plea. 

Afroman Settles Lawsuit With Punching Victim

5/20/2018 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Afroman won't have to go back to court for punching a woman onstage, because he's settled the lawsuit with the victim ... TMZ has learned.

The trial was set to begin Tuesday, but sources close to the case confirm that it's been taken off the calendar ... code for settlement.

Haley Byrd sued both Afroman and Kress Live, the company that owns the venue where Afroman had been performing in 2015 when Haley crashed the stage and got decked by the rapper. She suffered a concussion from the blow.

Afroman already pled guilty to assault, avoiding jail time and getting off with only anger management classes and drug testing. He had blamed the incident on the venue and its lack of security.

No word on the terms of the settlement.

Teairra Mari's Ex I Didn't Leak Sex Tape ... A Chick Did!!!

5/19/2018 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Teairra Mari's ex-boyfriend, Akbar Abdul-Ahad, says she's pointing her finger at the wrong guy when it comes to who leaked her sex tape ... because it's not a guy at all ... it's a woman.

Akbar is being accused of hacking into Teairra's Instagram account and posting the XXX video, from which 50 Cent then grabbed a screenshot and shared with his 18 million followers. Teairra's lawyered up and is suing, claiming it's revenge porn.

But, when we spoke with Akbar he claimed he knows the culprit, a female, but wasn't naming names. He says Teairra's putting on an act because that's what she does by trade, plus he claims they were hanging out as early as last week, days before her lawsuit was filed.

Akbar says he plans to countersue for defamation of character since he was savagely attacked at a press conference.

Eric Balfour Peeping Tom & Beehive Claims In Nasty Neighbor Feud

5/18/2018 5:21 PM PDT
Breaking News

Eric Balfour's neighbors claim the actor's latest role is peeping tom, but Eric thinks the buzz next door -- from a beehive -- is killing him ... this according to court docs filed in their block war.

Eric, who starred in "24" and "Six Feet Under," is in a heated dispute with his Venice neighbors, who tried to get a restraining order against him. In the docs, they say he's harassing their whole family by peeping at the wife and daughter through bathroom and bedroom windows. 

The neighbors, Douglas Dick and Nuanchan Suklom, also say Balfour has been putting threatening letters in their mailbox for years. According to the docs, they're worried because they claim he owns a gun.

As for why Balfour would have it out for them ... the couple says he's been accusing them of running an Airbnb out of their home, and keeping a thriving beehive in their backyard. Best of all, they say Eric blasted them for extra loud meditating. 

Eric's rep tells TMZ ... Eric and his wife are renovating their home, and were aware the neighbors made numerous complaints to the city about the remodel. She adds, "They have been friendly and cordial through the entire process with Eric agreeing to the neighbors' requested changes."

In any event, Dick and Suklom's restraining order was shot down by a judge. A hearing was scheduled for next month, though, so both sides can have their say.

Scott Baio Sexual Assault Case Presented to D.A.

5/18/2018 2:42 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nicole Eggert's sexual assault allegations against Scott Baio will now be reviewed by the L.A. County District Attorney ... TMZ has learned.

As we reported, Eggert filed a police report claiming Baio repeatedly molested her during the run of "Charles in Charge."

She claimed she was as young as 14 when the alleged molestation occurred.

Baio insists he had sex with Eggert only once ... when she was 18.

She went on a very public campaign making her allegations and appeared on various TV shows.

Nicole and her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, met with detectives from LAPD's Sexual Assault Section at Bloom's office back in February.

Alexander Polinsky, another star of "Charles in Charge," came out in support of Eggert, claiming that he not only witnessed Baio harassing Eggert ... but, he was also a victim of Baio's sexual misconduct. He claimed Scott called him a "f****t" and pulled down his pants "in front of over 100 people" on set.

As we reported, LAPD is referring all sexual assault cases involving celebrities to the D.A. for review ... regardless of the statute of limitations or merit.  The LAPD sent the case over to the D.A. for review.  No charges have been filed at this point.  

A rep for Scott tells us, "Scott Baio is grateful to LAPD for a timely investigation. They were presented many pieces of evidence and statements that contradicted and undermined Nicole Eggert’s untrue claims. Scott is now looking forward to the DA’s review and statement concluding this matter."

Jack Osbourne Wife Files for Divorce

5/18/2018 2:02 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

Jack Osbourne's wife is calling it quits -- she's filed for divorce after 5 and a half years of marriage, and on the heels of expanding their family. 

Lisa Osbourne filed divorce docs Friday in L.A. County. The couple just had their third child in February -- a girl named Minnie Theodora. They have 2 other girls, ages 6 and 2. 

According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, she lists the date of separation as May 4. Jack was already ring-less Friday while out and about in L.A. 

Lisa's asking for joint and legal custody of their children. She also wants spousal support, and Jack to foot the bill for her attorney.

Jack and Lisa got married in October 2012 with a small ceremony of less than 50 guests in Hawaii. He popped the question to the model after just 4 months of dating.. 

A$AP Bari Arrested in London for Sexual Assault

5/18/2018 2:15 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

A$AP Bari, one of the co-founders of A$AP Mob, has been arrested in London for sexual assault ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us, Bari was traveling overseas and made a stop in London Tuesday.  Turns out police knew his itinerary and arrested him at Heathrow Airport.

TMZ broke the story ... a woman sued him last November, claiming he attacked her last July at a London hotel, where some members of the Mob were staying. The lawsuit claims Bari burst into the woman's room and yelled, "You f****d my assistant, now you are going to f*** me."

She says she screamed no, but he pulled the sheets off of her. Bari's friend recorded the video and it got posted and went viral.

She says it didn't stop there ... she fled into a bathroom and he yelled, "I'm going to f*** you, you are going to suck my d***." He did not rape her, but she says he did throw her out naked into the hotel hallway.

What's especially interesting ... we're told Bari knew London cops were investigating the incident because they contacted him to come in for an interview. Nevertheless, he stepped into the danger zone by booking a flight with a London connection.

Our sources say Bari bailed out, but his passport was taken away so he can't leave England.

Stevie J Catches Huge Break ... No Prison Time in Child Support Case

5/18/2018 2:13 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Stevie J got a get out of jail free card from a judge Friday, even though prosecutors were gunning to lock him up ... TMZ has learned.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY ... the 'Love & Hip Hop' star will not have to serve any prison time despite repeatedly failing to pay back child support and violating his probation from a 2017 plea deal.

In addition to not giving him any prison time -- we're told the judge took Stevie off of supervised release. So, he's completely free.

He's not out of the woods yet, financially speaking -- he's still on the hook for the $1.3 million he owes in back child support. We're told he'll have to work with the feds' Financial Litigation Unit to square up the massive debt.

As we reported, prosecutors had been pushing for him to do hard time

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