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Carolina Panthers Owner Putting Team Up for Sale ... Amid NFL Investigation

12/17/2017 5:23 PM PST
Breaking News

7:05 PM PT -- Diddy is weighing in on the Panthers' sale ... and it sounds like he wants to throw his hat in the ring as the next owner. 

Well that was fast -- Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson says he's putting the team up for sale at the end of the season ... the same day the NFL said it's investigating him.

Richardson released a statement Sunday saying he was planning to sell the Panthers franchise to new ownership, but wouldn't start the process 'til the very last game. 

As we reported ... the Panthers launched an investigation into their owner this week for alleged misconduct in the workplace, including reported cash settlements for at least 4 employees. 

According to Sports Illustrated, the misconduct centered around alleged sexual harassment and the use of a racial slur. The NFL also announced Sunday that it was taking over the Panthers' original probe ... which appears to have forced Richardson's hand.

Gotta say ... this reminds us a lot of when TMZ Sports revealed racist comments made by former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling ... who sold the team after news of his scandal broke. 

As for Richardson, he and some investors paid the NFL a reported $206 million in 1993 to create the Panthers as an expansion team. It's probably worth a lot more than that now. 

French Soccer Star Apologizes for Full Blackface Costume

12/17/2017 3:11 PM PST

A French soccer player went full-on blackface for an '80s costume party ... and quickly apologized for thinking it was okay.

Antoine Griezmann -- a star striker for Spain's Atletico Madrid --- posted a photo and video of himself Sunday in a full-body blackface costume of an NBA All-Star player, 'fro and all. 

As you might imagine, the backlash was fast and furious ... and he eventually took down the controversial posts. He also apologized in his native tongue on Twitter, which translates to something like ... "I admit this is awkward on my part. If I hurt some people, I apologize."

No word yet from Atletico brass on their player's racially insensitive costume. 

Dean Cain Goodell Doesn't Deserve $200 Mil ... The Dude Sucks

12/17/2017 12:15 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Dean Cain is giving Roger Goodell a Kryptonian kick right in the ass ... telling TMZ Sports the commish's PHAT new contract is money horribly spent, cause Goddell SUCKS at his job.

Roger is now SWIMMING in money ... with the owners agreeing to extend his contract 5 years to the tune of a whopping $200 million.

Cain ripped into the new deal when we got him at LAX ... saying Goodell has mismanaged huge issues like Ray Rice, Tom Brady, and Ezekiel Elliott, making the big money a big mistake.

Dean's not the only one BTW ... Jerry Jones is leading a faction of owners in open rebellion against Goodell, mostly due to a perceived failure to gain control of the kneeling protests by players.

We'd say it's tough being Roger ... BUT HE JUST GOT 200 MILLION DOLLARS. So there's that.

Tupac Murder Weapon Should Be in L.A. ... Det. Says Vegas Rejected It

12/16/2017 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The handgun cops say was used to kill Tupac Shakur -- which mysteriously disappeared 11 years ago -- should be in the hands of the L.A. Sheriff's Dept. ... according to the detective who was on the case.

TMZ broke the story -- the .40 caliber Glock was found in a Compton backyard in 1998, and according to docs, LASD Detective Timothy Brennan was the guy who ordered the ballistic testing which revealed it was used in Tupac's murder. 

Brennan, who's now retired, tells TMZ ... there should be NO mystery about where the gun is now ... IF everyone followed protocol. As Brennan recalls ... he gave the gun to ATF agents who conducted the testing. Once it came up a match, in a federal law enforcement database, he says ATF sent it to Las Vegas cops.

Now here's the rub. Brennan says law enforcement in Vegas didn't believe it was a match. He says he was never told why they reached that conclusion, but they rejected the weapon. Brennan says what should have happened next is the ATF to send it back to L.A. 

As we reported ... the document dug up by producers of A&E's "Who Killed Tupac?" says a federal prosecutor recommended the gun NOT be turned over to Vegas -- but Brennan insists it was.

He thinks the handgun is still in the custody of L.A. authorities, but if it's not ... someone may be pulling something shady.

Taylor Swift Accused Butt Grabber Says She's No Hero for Taking a Stand

12/16/2017 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Taylor Swift's not quite the hero TIME magazine made her out to be, because she didn't want to take the stand in the "butt grabbing" trial ... she was forced to do so, according to David Mueller.

Mueller, the accused butt grabber, thinks Taylor didn't deserve the Person of the Year cover because he's the one who sued her for getting him fired. Plus, he points out Taylor fought at every turn to keep the case out of the public eye -- and only showed up to testify when the judge ordered it. 

He thinks TIME was just trying to sell magazines, and overreached to connect Taylor to the nationwide flood of sexual assault victims coming forward.

He also explains the real reason why he paid Taylor with a $1 Sacagawea coin. As we reported ... Taylor won her counter suit against Mueller for sexual assault.

Michael Costello Actresses Prepping for Black Dress Award Show Protests

12/15/2017 11:13 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Fashion designer Michael Costello says stylists have cleaned him out of black dresses ... which is hard evidence a silent protest of sexual harassment in Hollywood is going down at the Golden Globes.

We spoke to Costello from his L.A. store, where he told us black designs flew off his racks in the past few days ... in the immediate wake of Monday's Golden Globes nominations. 

There's a report more than 2 dozen women will be wearing black in solidarity, and Costello wasn't shy about name dropping some of his recent A-list clientele, including Meryl.

Costello doesn't think black will stop at the Globes carpet either. Oscars so white? Not this year.

Tomi Lahren Don't Count Out Omarosa ... Mueller Won't Nail Trump

12/15/2017 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Tomi Lahren thinks Omarosa has nine lives when it comes to President Trump.

We got the FOX News contributor at LAX Thursday and she thinks the only thing Omarosa's unceremonious exit proves is it's never a dull moment at the White House these days. As for the future ... she's betting the Prez keeps his former adviser close.

Tomi saved her hottest take, though, for Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. While even some of Trump's allies think it's getting too close, Tomi said the probe stinks like ... well, just watch.

Terry Bradshaw Antonio Brown Has 1 Major Advantage Over Lynn Swann

12/14/2017 4:01 PM PST

Wanna see Terry Bradshaw scramble like he's dodging a linebacker in the pocket?? Just ask him who the better reciever is -- Antonio Brown or Lynn Swann??

That's exactly what happened when talking to TooFab in L.A. Wednesday night ... when one of the greatest Steelers of all time was pressed with what seems like an impossible question.

Terry obviously knows firsthand how great of a receiver Swann is -- after all, they won 4 Super Bowls together -- but he admits AB84 has his old HOF teammate beat in one MAJOR category.

Mario Batali Fired from 'The Chew'

12/14/2017 3:37 PM PST
Breaking News

Mario Batali is officially cut from "The Chew" ... for good.

ABC completed its review into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the celeb chef -- and says, "While we remain unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with our show, ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment and his past behavior violates our standards of conduct."

As we reported ... 4 women claimed Batali had inappropriately touched them in the past, 3 of whom used to work for him. Batali said some of the accusations matched up with ways he'd acted.

Russell Simmons NYPD SVU Opens Investigation Into Rape Allegations

12/14/2017 2:58 PM PST
Breaking News

5:00 PM PT -- "America's Next Top Model" judge Kelly Cutrone is also accusing Simmons of sexual misconduct, telling the New York Post he tried to rape her after they left a party together in 1991 ... but she was able to fight him off and flee.Russell Simmons is under the microscope of the NYPD, which is now investigating him for multiple rape allegations.

NYPD's special victims unit is reportedly looking into at least 7 claims of sexual misconduct against the Def Jam co-founder ... some dating back to the early '80s. According to the L.A. Times ... detectives are already reaching out to some of the alleged victims. 

As we reported ... Simmons stepped down from his businesses last month after Jenny Lumet claimed he raped her in the '90s. Model Keri Claussen Khalighi has also accused him of rape. 

Simmons denies the rapes and says all his sexual encounters were consensual.

TMZ broke the story ... his lawyers say he took and passed a polygraph to address Khalighi's allegation. We've reached out to Simmons about the NYPD investigation ... so far, no word back. 

Billy Baldwin Lindsey Vonn Could Be Next Kaepernick ... Crush Trump at Olympics

12/14/2017 3:03 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Lindsey Vonn says she won't be representing Donald Trump at the Olympics ... but is she gonna let her actions speak louder than words, a la Colin Kaepernick??

Billy Baldwin posed the question at LAX -- telling TMZ Sports Lindsey has a chance to REALLY stick it to POTUS by taking a page outta Kaep's book at the 2018 Games. 

"She wins a gold medal, and as the flag is ascending, does she take a knee on the podium?" 

Billy wouldn't say whether or not he thought Vonn would go all-in ... but either way, the Baldwin bro says he's proud of the superstar skier for joining all the athletes exercising their freedom of speech. 

"She doesn't agree with Trump's agenda and she's taking a stand. I totally admire that and respect that."

Ronan Farrow Keep It Up, Accusers ... America Needs This Wake-Up Call

12/14/2017 1:59 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ronan Farrow's whistleblowing article on Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates of sexual harassment allegations in and out of Hollywood -- and he says it's exactly what America needed.

We got Ronan catching a flight out of LAX Thursday and asked him about alleged sexual abusers starting to fight back. As we reported, PBS host Tavis Smiley believes he was railroaded by a "sloppy" investigation.

Ronan says even if some of the accused are pissed off, it's worth it because victims have had to be silent for decades -- and conversations about sexual misconduct are long overdue.

He's hopeful the convos are gonna create boundaries for men in power, including his own estranged dad, Woody Allen and Morgan Spurlock, who confessed to sexual assault. 

Morgan Spurlock Admits Past Sexual Misconduct 'I Am Part of the Problem'

12/13/2017 6:35 PM PST

Morgan Spurlock is coming clean about his history ... regarding sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and even an accusation of rape.

The famed documentary filmmaker posted a shocking list of confessions Wednesday, including a detailed description of a sexual encounter with a woman he had in college that led to him being accused of rape.

Spurlock also admits to paying off a former female assistant who he often called "hot pants" or "sex pants" about 8 years ago to settle a sexual harassment claim and keep it quiet.

The "Super Size Me" star says he's not been an innocent bystander amid the wave of sexual misconduct allegations in Hollywood and beyond, and has wondered ... "When will they come for me?"

He adds ... "If I'm going to truly represent myself as someone who has built a career on finding the truth, then it's time for me to be truthful as well."

Spurlock drops another bombshell too -- he says he was sexually abused as a boy -- before vowing to be part of the solution from now on.

Check out his full statement above.

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