The homeless woman who filed legal docs to force Disney execs to read her 2,000 page script says she took legal action because it was the only way she could get Hollywood's attention.
TMZ broke the story ... Jo Anne Vandegriff wrote the Civil War mini-series -- which she estimates would require a 6-month run -- and hoped to get Halle Berry, Amanda Bynes and Armie Hammer in starring roles.
We tracked down Vandegriff in Santa Monica -- and she says she filed with the court because Disney doesn't accept unsolicited scripts ... and her hail mary is getting a judge to force the studio bigwigs to look at it. Kinda brilliant.
She also thinks Disney needs to produce her mini-series because it's severely lacking roles for Blacks and Hispanics.
Check out the video ... Vandegriff is an interesting woman. When she's not writing or panhandling she's taking computer programming, web design and database management classes at Santa Monica College ... which she attends for free because she's low income.
So, we gotta ask ...
Halle Berry & Amanda Bynes
Homeless Woman Hijacks L.A. Court System ...
To Pitch TV Show
3/21/2014 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
We've seen desperate attempts to break into Hollywood before, but this is legendary -- an L.A. homeless woman has filed a lawsuit against Halle Berry, Amanda Bynes, Armie Hammer, and Disney ... for the express purpose of pitching them a TV show.
Jo Anne Vandegriff -- who describes herself as homeless -- freely admits the suit is a ploy to get everyone in a room so she can sell her 2,000-page original Civil War romance mini-series, "Heaven's Angels."
Vandegriff describes her script as "an extraordinary work in its length, complexity, and scope, though not yet a masterpiece work."
Vandegriff is targeting Disney because she wants to open up the studio -- which she claims produces lily-white content -- to Black and Hispanic females.
She doesn't apologize for using the legal system to make a buck, because, as she says in the lawsuit, "a mini-series of this nature only comes along once every twenty to thirty years."
So why sue Halle? Vandegriff wants her in the leading role. As for Amanda ... it would be a great comeback for her. And Armie ... he could finally be a leading man (and rid himself of the "Lone Ranger" stink -- that's our take).
And Vandegriff promises her script will help stimulate the economy ... and promote "peace and harmony, health and happiness."
Hollyweird at its finest.
Disney's Magic Kingdom
Hidden Shlongs In Tomorrowland
3/17/2014 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mickey Mouse sure is cocky these days ... especially when it comes to phallic images at Disney World.
You're looking at the doors to the restrooms at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe' in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando ... doors that even Rorschach would have to admit bear a striking resemblance to giant green penises.
Of course, Disney has become notorious for sneaking alleged pervy images into a bunch of Disney movies ... including the penis castle in "Little Mermaid" and the word "sex" appearing in "Lion King."
No word if this wang-ish image was intentional or not ... but either way, now Pluto knows where to go if he's ever lookin' for a bone.
'Frozen' Oscar Winner
My Statue is
3/4/2014 5:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Robert Lopez struck a pose that said ... "SUCK IT" ... right after his Oscar win put him in an exclusive club with the likes of Mel Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg.
Gotta love the bravado ... Lopez flashed his big swinging statuette to reporters and photogs backstage shortly after he and his wife won the Oscar for Original Song for "Let It Go" from "Frozen."
Robert's got reason to brag ... he's now one of 12 people to ever earn the elusive EGOT -- winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony -- and he did it in 10 years ... way faster than anyone else.
Give that guy a hand. Maybe two.
I'm Not Doing a Flick
With My Bankrupt Bro Drake
2/18/2014 12:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Josh Peck loves former co-star Drake Bell like a brother ... but Josh won't help his buddy crawl out of debt by making a "Drake & Josh" flick.
Peck was catching some rays on a bench in Manhattan Beach when our photog raised the issue of helping Drake score some quick cash.
As we previously reported ... Bell's in the hole to the tune of $581k -- and claiming he pulls in an anemic $2,820 a month compared to his monthly outlay of $18,771.
Since their Nickelodeon show went off the air in 2007 ... Peck's been pretty successful -- voicing both Eddie in the "Ice Age" films ... and Casey Jones on the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" show.
Drake ... not so much.
5-Year-Old Disney Star
Cops Investigating Death Threats
2/3/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
A deranged individual is threatening to kill the 5-year old girl who plays Charlie Duncan on Disney's "Good Luck Charlie" ... and TMZ has learned cops are taking it very seriously.
According to police docs obtained by TMZ ... Mia Talerico began receiving threatening messages last month on her Instagram -- including one reading, "Die Mia, F**king Die in hell! Kill yourself, you deserve to die."
The suspect then sent a picture of Mia's head with a bloody fist covering it ... with this message, "Yes, kill you stupid bitch."
Mia's mother contacted Disney security ... LAPD's Threat Management Unit got involved ... and now cops are making a full court press to track down the suspect.
My Disney Image Has Gone to Pot
1/30/2014 5:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
I'm Pushing Pot Now!
1/30/2014 8:26 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Zac Efron has nothing on Vanessa Hudgens ... she's using the Disney moniker to push the finest weed around.
Vanessa was out joggin in Runyon Canyon in Hollywood yesterday, wearing a tank top with the word dank -- slang for good weed -- with a marijuana leaf for the letter "a" and the Disney "D."
It's sort of amazing ... another Disney star turning on the mouse.
It sort of gives new meaning to "High School Musical."
At Disneyland Acting Goofy
12/10/2013 2:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Amanda Bynes is a tough nut to crack... focusing on her makeup smack in the middle of the happiest place on Earth.
Amanda is still at Disneyland ... where apparently she chose mascara over the Matterhorn.
Amanda's parents were along for the ride, keeping a watchful eye on their daughter.
Disneyland's not far from the Orange County campus of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where she'll be attending fashion design classes
Look closely ... Amanda's not strapped in -- she's clearly had enough of that.
Jake T. Austin
Cops Plea In DUI Case
11/20/2013 2:24 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Victory ... ex-Disney star Jake T. Austin has escaped DUI charges stemming from his arrest last month ... but he's not completely off the hook.
Austin was popped for drunk driving in October just blocks from his devastating 4-car crash this week.
Austin was initially charged with two counts of DUI, but his lawyer, Jay Jaffe, got the two charges dismissed in exchange for a measly speeding charge ... to which Austin pled no contest.
Austin was subsequently sentenced to 24 months probation ... a pretty steep punishment for speeding, but at least he won't have a DUI on his record. Austin is also prohibited from driving with even a teensy-weensy amount of alcohol in his system.
And get this ... the judge didn't utter a peep about the most recent accident.
One crash at a time ...
Jake T. Austin
Stitches ... But No Snitches
11/20/2013 5:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ex-Disney star Jake T. Austin WAS the driver of the car that crashed into 3 other vehicles early Tuesday morning -- but because of some swift and clever legal gymnastics by his lawyer, Jake may actually avoid prosecution ... TMZ has learned.
Here's the way it went down -- sources intimately familiar with the situation tell TMZ, 18-year-old Jake and a friend were driving in Studio City around 3AM when he crashed into the 3 cars.
Witnesses say Jake tossed a Ciroc vodka bottle out of the car, but before cops arrived at the scene, we're told Jake ordered an Uber (Town Car service) ... and he and his friend high-tailed it out.
Cops suspect drinking was involved, but there's no way Jake could be prosecuted for drunk driving because police never located him. And, we're told, Jake denies he had been drinking.
But drinking aside, Austin is still in trouble for leaving the scene of an accident without providing identifying information ... which constitutes a hit-and-run. But Jake's lawyer pulled off some legal acrobatics that could get Jake off the hook.
We're told the lawyer called cops at 4am and told them Jake was the owner of the car. Cleverly, the lawyer did NOT disclose the fact that Jake was the driver ... so as not to violate the attorney-client privilege, especially important because leaving the scene is a crime.
And here's where it gets really good -- we're told Jake has an iron-clad excuse for leaving the scene: he and his passenger were injured and needed immediate medical attention. In other words, they didn't have time to leave a note.
We're told Jake had an injury to his mouth, and went directly to the ER and received stitches.
And the coup de grace, we're told Jake's lawyer has made it clear ... the victims will be fully compensated ... so there's really no need to prosecute.
The legal maneuvering might have saved the lawyer a huge headache on multiple fronts -- he's also repping Jake after the kid's DUI arrest last month.
Jake T. Austin
Arrested Last Month for DUI in SAME CAR
11/19/2013 11:49 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Where there's smoke ... TMZ has learned, Ex-Disney star Jake T. Austin was busted for DUI just last month in the SAME CAR that was involved in the 4-car hit-and-run crash this morning.
Law enforcement sources tell us, Austin was arrested October 8th by the CHP after being pulled over for driving at night without headlights. We're told police officers smelled booze as they approached his vehicle, administered a field sobriety test and Austin did poorly.
According to sources, 18-year-old Austin blew a .08 and was arrested. He has since been charged with DUI and has a court date scheduled for TOMORROW.
At the time he was busted, Austin was driving the 2010 Audi with New York plates -- the same car that slammed into multiple cars early this morning.
The driver allegedly threw a vodka bottle out of the car and then left before cops arrived. There's no way cops can arrest the driver for DUI, but it's definitely a case of felony hit-and-run.
An eyewitness just told us on TMZ Live ... she is "100%" that the driver of the hit-and-run is Austin. She says other witnesses are just as sure.
Jake T. Austin
Ex-Disney Star Named
in Nasty Hit-n-Run Crash
11/19/2013 8:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Jake T. Austin -- who starred as Max Russo on the hit Disney show "Wizards of Waverly Place" -- was involved in a bizarre 4-car hit-and-run crash this morning ... and TMZ has the pics.
Here's what we know -- a 2010 Audi with NY plates slammed into 3 parked cars on a street in Sherman Oaks, CA around 3AM Tuesday morning. The cars suffered major damage.
According to an official incident report, obtained by TMZ, the Audi is registered to 18-year-old Austin (real name Jake Szymanski). It's unclear if Austin was driving the car at the time of the wreck.
Witnesses tell TMZ ... after the driver hit the parked cars, someone in the ride threw a bottle of Ciroc at a nearby property. One witness tells us the driver and his passengers called a black car service to come pick them up before cops arrived to the scene. The witness described one of the guys as a white male with dark hair who looked really young and acted really drunk.
Once officers arrived, they saw the wrecked Audi, along with the path of destruction -- but no Jake -- and issued a document to one of the people who suffered damage, which explained that the incident was being handled as a hit-and-run.
The document also shows the Audi is registered to Austin.
We spoke with cops -- who tell us they're currently investigating the situation. So far, no arrests have been made.