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Aretha Franklin Singer Died Without a Will

8/21/2018 1:49 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Aretha Franklin shockingly left no will behind ... which is surprising given her circumstances. 

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, the singer died "intestate" -- meaning she had no will at the time of death.

It's especially surprising given that she has a special needs son named Clarence who needs financial and other forms of support for his entire life.

Aretha was ill for several years, but apparently did not see the end coming ... or possibly a will was low on the priority list.

According to Michigan law, Aretha's 4 kids will share equally in her estate.

Aretha died on August 16 at her Detroit home surrounded by friends and family after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. The Queen of Soul's death occurred on the same calendar day as "The King" Elvis Presley's ... albeit 41 years later.

As expected, Franklin's passing sparked an outpouring of emotion, sympathy, tributes and love from countless celebs ... including the Obamas, who said of Aretha -- "every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine."

Aretha's family has scheduled a multiple-day celebration of her life next week, beginning with an open casket memorial at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Her funeral will then be held August 31 at the Greater Grace Temple -- just for close friends and family.

Ravens' Jimmy Smith Suspended ... For Threatening Ex-GF

8/21/2018 3:32 PM PDT
Breaking News

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith has been suspended 4 games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy ... after an investigation determined he verbally threatened and emotionally abused his baby mama.

The Ravens released a statement Tuesday ... saying the investigation found "threatening and emotionally abusive behaviors by Jimmy toward his former girlfriend that showed a pattern of improper conduct."

The woman involved in the incident has a child with Smith. The two had been in a custody dispute that begin in 2015. 

Details on any specific incident are unclear ... but NFL insider Mike Garafolo reports the punishment stems from court docs filed by Smith's ex, claiming "physical violence."

While the league found no evidence of Smith putting his hands on his baby mama, the Ravens believe there was enough evidence to punish Smith for the first 4 weeks of the season.

The Ravens say they spoke with relationship and domestic violence experts and a group of "women and men executives, not directly involved with our football operations" to review the situation as well.

"We also engaged in conversations with Jimmy about his past behavior and his intention to change."

"Additionally, it is our understanding that following a long-running and difficult custody dispute with his former girlfriend and mother of his son, Jimmy has resolved his custody and support issues."

Smith -- the 27th overall pick in the 2011 Draft -- addressed the suspension, apologizing and owning up to his actions. 

"Moving forward, I will work with the NFL and the Ravens to ensure that what happened in the past will never happen again," Smith says. "I will take all necessary steps to be a positive role model for both my sons, for the NFL and for the entire Ravens community."

Paul Manafort Guilty on 8 Counts!! Faces Up to 80 Years

8/21/2018 1:43 PM PDT
Breaking News

2:55 PM PT -- Trump weighed in on the verdict as he landed in West Virginia for a rally, and he wasted no time distancing himself from the whole proceeding.

Paul Manafort had a bad day ... a jury found him guilty of 8 counts -- 5 tax fraud charges, 1 charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and 2 counts of bank fraud -- which could land him up to 80 years behind bars. He was not acquitted on a single charge but the jury deadlocked on 10 other counts. The judge declared a mistrial on those 10 counts.

As we reported ... his downward spiral started last August when the FBI stormed Manafort's house in Alexandria, Virginia to seize docs related to Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia interference of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Manafort surrendered to the FBI a couple months after and was indicted on multiple federal charges ... including laundering more than $18 million through foreign banks which was used to fund his lavish lifestyle.

His bail, however, was revoked and he was sent behind bars after he was slapped with new charges ... including obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Mueller alleged Manafort tried to tamper with 2 witness in his money laundering case, which is always a huge no-no.

'Mighty Ducks' Goalie Checks Into Rehab Thanks for the Prayers & Food!!

8/21/2018 11:44 AM PDT
Breaking News

Give Shaun Weiss this -- he's got a helluva sense of humor. Check out how the guy who played Goldberg in "The Mighty Ducks" announced checking into rehab.

Shaun posted an emotional but also hilarious message Tuesday on Facebook announcing he's checked into a long-term rehab center. TMZ broke the story ... Shaun was busted earlier this month for public intoxication. Shaun spent a few hours in the drunk tank and, though he wasn't cited, his arrest did produce this incredibly sad mug shot that had his fans feeling bummed for him.

Shaun wrote, "At this time, in an effort to break free from the self destructive patterns of behavior and drug abuse that have landed me at rock bottom, (to be real... BELOW rock bottom. Even rock bottom is like 'holy sh!t, how'd you get all the way down there?') I have checked in to a well reguarded, long term rehabilitation center. I have surrendered to the reality that without immediate treatment my life is in eminant danger. My spirit was until recently depleted, weak and shrouded by darkness has been renewedby the overwhelming out-pouring of love and support from fans of my early work as an actor."

He went on to thank fans and even loved all the food they were dishing him. He said, "Reaching out to me not only on-line, but in person. Everywhere I go, morning, noon and night, folks whom I've never met before approach me with big smiles and hugs, invigorating encouragement, even food. And not junk, the good stuff, grandma's stuffed peppa's."

"I hear stories about how much Heavyweights or the Ducks movies impacted their lives or helped them through hard times or just made them laugh over and over. Such a testament to all the blood, sweat and tears everybody put into those flicks during that magical time over 20 years ago. Please believe how medicinal these personal exchanges are for me. Even if you think I'm the knuckle-puck guy or the fat kid from 'Hook'. In the midst of my most challenging times your support is giving me the strength I need to embark down the long road to recovery.

Shaun's stand-up continued, because he wrote, "(Self...please, DO NOT type the next line)" before writing this, "Guys, you ARE the wind beneath my wings. (OMG... you went there. A flying V/ Duck refference ON TOP of a throw-back to classic Bette Midler?... you promised you'd be sober when you wrote this...)."

He clearly got a kick outta writing this.

Shaun finished his post, saying, "Losing the privalage to share life with you is heavier than the guilt I must carry. I ask not for forgiveness, not for another chance or keys to your OTHER car. However, in knowing the transformation I'm striving for is beyond my own mind and body, I do seek your prayers. If you will.

"Let me thank a few without whom I'd have already been the subject of the lowest rated E true Hollywood story ever." Shaun thanked family, friends and a nurse at UCLA who helped him proof his post.

Get well, Shaun!!

Tom Brady Does Ice Cube a Solid Helps BIG3 Take Down 'Fraud' Hoops League

8/21/2018 11:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Tom Brady and Jimmy Kimmel got Ice Cube's back in a big way -- helping the BIG3 co-founder smash another basketball league in a nasty legal war ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

The BIG3 had been sued by Champions League -- which promoted itself as a 5-on-5 league comprised mainly of former NBA players and coaches, despite the fact they never played a single game. 

CL claimed BIG3 broke agreement which would allow BIG3 players to compete in the other league. They sued BIG3 for $250 MILLION. 

But, BIG3 called BS on Champions League from the start -- claiming in legal docs that the whole thing was a "fraud" led by a scam artist who was wrongfully touting celebrity backing from stars like Tom Brady and Jimmy Kimmel

Well, BIG3 went to Tom -- who filed a declaration saying he NEVER was associated with or even heard of the Champions League. Jimmy Kimmel's lawyers went on the record echoing TB12. 

Byron Scott was also pissed off at false claims he was the CEO of Champions League -- and sent a cease and desist to CL ordering them to stop spreading lies, according to legal docs. 

As we previously reported, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe and Henry Bibby had also sued Champions League saying they were promised lucrative coaching contracts but never got paid what they were promised. 

In the end, BIG3 -- repped by high-powered attorneys Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas -- proved too much for Champions League ... and CL waved the white flag, dropping their suit entirely.

Game over. 

Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to 8 Federal Charges ... Tax Fraud & Campaign Violations

8/21/2018 12:31 PM PDT
Breaking News

3:20 PM PT -- Stormy Daniels responded to the news in a statement to NBC, where she said she and her lawyer, Avenatti, "are vindicated and we look forward to the apologies from the people who claimed we were wrong."Donald Trump's former lawyer has just pled guilty to a plethora of federal tax and campaign finance crimes ... so get ready for a tweetstorm from the Prez for the ages.

Michael Cohen pled guilty to 8 counts, including 5 counts of tax fraud and 2 campaign finance violations. He's also admitted to making false statements and violating federal law in relation to the notorious $130k "hush money" deal he struck with porn star Stormy Daniels in order to keep her quiet about her alleged tryst with Trump ... and says it was at the direction of Trump.

He also reportedly admits he acted for the purpose of influencing the election.

Cohen's plea deal could reportedly include a sentence of 5 years ... sentencing is set for December. He could have faced up to 65 years behind bars.

His guilty plea reportedly also covers charges related to $20 mil in loans he obtained for his family's taxi companies.

As you'll recall, the months-long investigation of Cohen was referred to NY's Southern District by special counsel Robert Mueller ... and kicked into full gear after an April FBI raid on Cohen's office, hotel room and home.

Cohen had been Trump's lawyer and a loyal member of his inner circle for over a decade, but began to show signs of breaking with his former boss before audio tapes of his convos with Trump surfaced last month.

One such tape includes the 2 discussing paying off former Playboy model Karen McDougal in order to also keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump ... which resulted in the Prez tweeting that it was "perhaps illegal" for a lawyer to record a client.

Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, predicted to us that Cohen would release more Trump tapes soon ... or turn over more evidence to help his cause and "spank" the President.

At this point, it's unclear if Cohen's plea deal means he has agreed to cooperate with the government -- which could aid the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election -- but either way ... it can't make Trump a happy camper.

Nicollette Sheridan Divorce Final ... Denise Richards, He's All Yours!!!

8/21/2018 9:27 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nicollette Sheridan's officially done being a housewife ... her divorce is now final, so it clears the way for her ex's relationship with Denise Richards

According to new legal docs obtained by TMZ ... the 'Desperate Housewife' and actor Aaron Phypers are going on their merry ways after a judge signed off on their divorce settlement. It wasn't a messy divorce ... she gets to keep the Hidden Hills crib and a horse named Leo.

Nicollette also won't have to pay any spousal support, and same goes for Aaron. He gets to keep his personal belongings and any bank accounts and cars under his name. While the divorce just became final, Aaron moved on from his 6-month marriage a long time ago.

Aaron and Denise Richards started dating back in September 2017. No word if he'll make an appearance on 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' but chances seem pretty good. As for Denise's ex, Charlie Sheen, Kyle Richards hints it could happen.

TMZ broke the story ... Nicollette filed for divorce in July 2016, much to our surprise.

As we reported ... there were rumors swirling Nicollette and Aaron were mulling over marriage but there was ZERO clue they had actually tied the knot. We found out, but by then they had already been well on the outs. 

John Lennon's Killer New Mug Shot ... Parole Hearing Upcoming

8/21/2018 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The man who shot and killed John Lennon will have his 10th parole board hearing this week ... and TMZ has just obtained his latest mug shot. 

Mark David Chapman -- who shot the Beatles member in front of Lennon's Manhattan apartment in 1980 -- has been serving 20 years to life after pleading guilty to 2nd degree murder. 

Now 63 years old, Chapman will go before a parole board in New York sometime this week in a closed hearing ... and a decision will be announced in the coming weeks. 

MDC has been denied parole 9 times since December of 2000. 

Chapman shot Lennon 4 times in front of his wife, Yoko Ono in December, 1980 at the famed Dakota apartment building near New York City's Central Park ... and later admitted to planning the killing because he wanted to be famous.  

He's been in prison since 1981.

Mac Miller Charged with DUI ... After Car Crash

8/21/2018 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Mac Miller has officially been slapped with a DUI charge after his scary accident earlier this year ... TMZ has learned.

The L.A. City Attorney's Office filed charges against Mac stemming from his May car wreck. He's facing two counts of DUI -- one for driving under the influence and another for driving with a BAC at 0.08 or higher. He wasn't charged with hit and run, for which he was originally booked.

We broke the story ... MM was arrested in May for DUI and hit and run after cops found his 2016 G-Wagon smashed against a utility pole in the San Fernando Valley. Based on video of the scene, it's a miracle Mac wasn't seriously hurt ... 'cause it was bad.

Cops say they showed up to Mac's house after the fact and had him use a breathalyzer ... we're told he blew twice the legal limit. Officers cuffed him and hauled him off to jail, but did note he was incredibly polite.

If convicted ... he faces up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine ... but that's only theoretical -- almost every first offender gets off with probation, community service and a license suspension.

It's been a rough year for the dude ... his DUI arrest -- and now subsequent charges -- follows a breakup with Ariana Grande ... who's now engaged to Pete Davidson

Asia Argento Sheriff Does About-face ... Asia Argento Now Investigated for Sexual Assault

8/20/2018 1:11 PM PDT
Breaking News

The L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. has done an about-face and now says it will investigate allegations by a man that he was sexually assaulted by Asia Argento when he was 17 years old.

Several Sheriff's officials told TMZ Monday morning the department would ONLY investigate if the alleged victim -- now 22-year-old Jimmy Bennett -- came forward and filed a complaint. One official now tells us the media attention on the case has made them do an about-face.

Bennett claims when he was 17, Argento -- who became one of the first women in the #MeToo movement to accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape -- plied him with alcohol, performed oral sex on him and then got on top of him and had intercourse ... this according to documents obtained by the New York Times.

Argento settled with Bennett for $380,000 ... so says the NYT.

Asia Argento Not Subject of Criminal Investigation ... For Statutory Rape

8/20/2018 10:14 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Asia Argento will not go under the microscope of cops for the alleged sexual assault involving a 17-year-old ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

Argento settled with Jimmy Bennett for $380k for an incident that went down at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey, CA ... this according to the NYT. The paper cites documents showing when Jimmy was 17, Argento gave him alcohol, kissed him, pushed him on the bed, performed oral sex on him and then climbed on top of him to have intercourse.

Argento did not ask for an NDA because, as one of the first Harvey Weinstein rape accusers, she felt confidentiality documents protected the bad guy. Instead she bought the copyright to a photo of the 2 of them in the hotel bed wearing nothing on top. He also gave up his right to civilly sue her.

We're told the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. will only investigate sex crimes if the alleged victim comes forward and complains. A source from the Sheriff's Dept. told us if Bennett were still a minor and they learned of the incident in the media they would open an investigation, but since he's now 22 they will not.

We're told, at this point ... Bennett has not contacted the Sheriff's Office.

Lisa Marie Presley Scores Huge Win vs. Estranged Hubby ... No Spousal Support for You!!!

8/20/2018 9:31 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Lisa Marie Presley won't have to pay her estranged hubby spousal support ... 'cause the postnuptial agreement they signed in 2007 says she doesn't have to pony up a penny and it's ironclad. 

According to new legal docs obtained by TMZ ... the judge said the agreement Michael Lockwood signed in 2007 -- after they married in 2006 -- is legit. Michael gave up his right to spousal support, something they've been at war over for the last week.

Even though Michael testified he had NOT read the postnup when he signed it, the court ruled signing it on the advice of his attorney holds up because it means he understood what he was signing based on what his lawyer was telling him.

This is just the latest in Lisa and Michael's divorce war. She was ordered back in February to pay him $100k in legal fees.

The Used Band Loses Bid To Restrain Ex-Guitarist

8/19/2018 12:10 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Alt-rock band The Used has some major issues to work out with ex-guitarist Justin Shekoski.

The band got a temporary restraining order against Justin -- 'cause of some threatening texts he sent after being fired -- but that order expired and the judge just rejected the band's request to make the order permanent ... citing a lack of evidence.

But, the beef isn't over.

Justin is still PISSED ... denying he made real threats, adding the band owes him money and recognition for his contributions to the group.

Shekoski doesn't deny sending text messages threatening he'd hang himself during a show -- but claims he wasn't serious about it and was just venting over the band's treatment toward him.

Justin's attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez says the failed move for a permanent restraining order was nothing more than a ruse to cheat his client out of royalties for the band's album, "The Canyon."

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