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Adam Rippon Praises Pope Francis Pro-Gay Comments Were 'So Awesome!'

5/27/2018 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The Pope is gonna be stoked ... 'cause he just got some serious props from the guy who won "Dancing with the Stars!"

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon -- the first openly gay U.S. athlete to medal in the Winter Olympics -- says he heard about Pope Francis telling a gay man that his sexuality "does not matter" and thinks it's "so awesome!" 

Backstory ... Pope Francis had spent some time back in April with a man who was sexually abused by a priest. When the topic of his sexuality came up, the Pope reportedly said, "God made you like this. God loves you like this."

He added, "The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say."

Rippon LOVED the comments ... and told TMZ Sports, "I think that's so awesome what the Pope said. It would be pretty cool to like meet him one day."

Conor McGregor Not a Scumbag ... Says Bas Rutten

5/27/2018 12:25 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Conor McGregor made a mistake when he attacked a UFC bus -- but it's not like he beat his wife, so fans should give him another chance ... so says MMA legend Bas Rutten

"There's guys who beat up their wives. Guys who beat up their women," Rutten tells TMZ Sports ... "I think that's way worse, to me, than something like [the bus attack]."

A lot of people are still pissed at Conor for the bus attack in Brooklyn that injured UFC staffers and fighters ... but Rutten says, "We all did things like that."

"I mean, it's Conor McGregor ... He did a lot of good. He got caught up in the moment. Let him figure it out."

"Of course, he's gonna have to pay. He's gonna have to go to court and make everything right," Rutten says ... but Bas is confident Conor will survive that, too.

Canelo Alvarez Praised By Ex-President of Mexico ... 'Best in the World'

5/27/2018 12:15 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Tainted meat scandal be damned ... the former President of Mexico Vicente Fox says when it comes to boxing, Canelo Alvarez is the best in the world!

Well, what he really said was, "El mejor del mundo" ... yes, we're bilingual. You're welcome. 

FYI, Fox was the Mexican Prez from 2000 to 2006 ... we didn't know he was a boxing fan. 

Of course, the issue with Canelo ... dude tested positive for PEDs and backed out of the May 5 Gennady Golovkin rematch.  

Alvarez blamed tainted Mexican beef for the positive test and insisted he never intentionally cheated. 

Seems Fox believes him. 

'Evil Genius' Director The Case Should Not Be Closed ... Especially for One Guy!!!

5/26/2018 1:00 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Trey Borzillieri -- one of the directors of Netflix's hit documentary 'Evil Genius' -- believes investigators need to take another look at the notorious case ... because the show exposed some major lies.

If you aren't familiar ... 'Evil Genius' is about a diabolical bank heist in 2003 that goes awry and leads to the murder of Brian Wells. Despite convictions of a few criminals related to the crime, Trey thinks total justice has still not been served ... specifically to Floyd Stockton.

Trey tells us Stockton's immunity in the case was based on him telling the truth, but the director believes that's not the case ... so his immunity should be void and he shouldn't get a pass for his involvement.

Borzillieri also believes the shocking twist at the end of the doc -- a confession from former prostitute Jessica Hoopsick -- is totally legit ... and answers one of the main mysteries of 'Evil Genius.'

Diddy Plays Both Sides In Drake/Pusha T Beef

5/26/2018 10:33 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Diddy's making his presence known in the fresh beef between Drake and Pusha T ... but it's hard to tell who he's rooting for.

The music and liquor mogul hit up David Grutman's STORY Nightclub in South Beach around 3:45 AM Saturday and joined Drake at his VIP area for some laughs, big hugs, Remy Martin and of course ... several bottles of Diddy's Ciroc vodka.

Drizzy was already at the club, hangin' with Migos, Busta Rhymes and sports stars Le'Veon Bell, Rudy Gay and Lance Stephenson ... shortly after dropping a diss track about Pusha T in response to Pusha shading him on his new Daytona album.

As we reported ... Drake also invoiced Pusha T for $100k for reviving his career.

Pusha's not taking an L yet, though ... because Diddy's got his back, too. He sent the rapper a handwritten letter praising his new album, writing (in cursive, no less) ... "A Modern Day Masterpiece. A Flawless Hip Hop Gem. Classic But Current."

Stay tuned for the latest beef developments.

A letter from one of my idols... ✍🏿 @diddy (peep the stationary) #DAYTONA

A post shared by Pusha T (@kingpush) on

Chris Brown Throwing $30k 4th Bday Party For Royalty ... With Baby Mama

5/26/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chris Brown and his baby mama, Nia Guzman, have called a truce in their never-ending custody war ... deciding for the sake of Royalty that they'll throw a joint 4th birthday party.

Royalty turns 4 on Sunday and we're told there's only gonna be one bash this year. In the past, Chris and Nia have each thrown their own parties for Royalty because they weren't speaking to one another, but we're told they're actually on good terms now ... trying to co-parent.

Royalty wanted a princess ball for her birthday and Chris and Nia are planning to go all out by dropping well north of $30k on the party. We're told every Disney princess from Cinderella to Jasmine will be there along with a fairy godmother. They're having a horse and carriage with a grand duke and coachman.

On the menu ... crab cakes, California rolls, shrimp tempura, as well as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mac and cheese and burgers for the kids. 

As for entertainment, we're told there'll be KIDZ BOP performances. UP-and-coming R&B singer Tone Stith will also perform and there's always a chance Royalty's dad will get on the mic ... at least for the birthday song. 

Chuck Liddell I'm Gonna Whoop Tito's Ass, Again ... And He Knows It

5/26/2018 12:55 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chuck Liddell already has his fight strategy for his 3rd scrap with Tito Ortiz -- "I'm gonna knock his head off."

TMZ Sports broke the story ... the 48-year-old MMA legend is coming out of retirement to fight on a MMA card promoted by Oscar De La Hoya -- and can't wait to get back in the cage with his old rival. 

"When it's all over with, it's gonna be 3-0," Liddell said ... bragging about the 2 wins he already racked up over Ortiz during their fights back in the mid-2000s. 

"He's trying to convince himself he can beat me -- it ain't gonna happen," the Ice Man told us outside a party for Humbyl Coin in West Hollywood Monday night. 

Ortiz sees the fight going down in a different way ... just last week Tito says he plans to make a couple million dollars "kicking Chuck Liddell's ass."

LeBron James Pimpin' Out New $23 Million L.A. Pad!!

5/26/2018 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

LeBron James is making his already incredible home even more fit for a king ... 'cause the NBA superstar is adding some crazy renovations to his new Brentwood mansion, TMZ Sports has learned.

ICYMI -- LBJ bought the 15,846 square foot house back in December for $23 mil ... and it came with a theater room, wine cellar, cigar room with air purifying technology and an onyx bar.

But, King James is takin' it even further ... our sources tell us he's adding a basketball court, indoor wine tap (dude LOVES his wine), and is working on the paperwork to get a pizza oven ... while also making changes to the theater and pool.

Remember ... this is LBJ's 2nd Brentwood mansion. After all, he spends his offseasons in L.A. working on his entertainment career (and might be here year-round next season, right Laker fans?).

We know you're asking ... the renovations will set Bron Bron back at least $70k just for the permits and labor ... so we're guessing the final total wasn't cheap.

Nascar Star Chase Elliott Judging Hooters Competition Harder Than Racing Cars

5/26/2018 12:45 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chase Elliott's day job is driving a race car 200 freakin' MPH ... but he tells TMZ Sports that ain't nothin' compared to his gig this weekend ... judging the Hooters pageant!!

We talked to the NASCAR star days before this weekend's 22nd Annual Hooters International Pageant in Charlotte, NC -- featuring 80 of the hottest Hooters girls from around the world -- which Elliott is judging.

So, how does meticulously grading dozens of hot chicks compare to driving a race car at ridiculously high speeds? 

"I feel like it has to top it, for sure. The challenge of judging that many beautiful ladies is pretty difficult."

FYI -- Chase isn't the only athlete getting in on the fun. UFC star Ovince Saint Preux (who we also talked to), NFL player Mario Addison and NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney are also judging.

While you wait for this year's contest ... enjoy some photos from last year's pageant.

Pierce Brosnan I Got $1.4M for My Dylan Painting!!! Buyer Has Kimye Ties

5/26/2018 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Pierce Brosnan's Bob Dylan painting sold for more than $1 million, and TMZ's learned the new owner is none other than the woman who plunked down $17.8 mil on Kim and Kanye's Bel-Air mansion.

We're told Ukrainian billionaire Marina Acton snapped up 007's painting of Zimmy earlier this week at the 25th annual amFAR Cannes charity gala.

Pierce, who first took up painting back in the '80s, has gotten more serious about it, and the price tag on his work proves it -- Marina dropped $1.4 million.

As for Acton ... she's quickly building a rep for pricey Hollywood collectibles. You already know about the Bel-Air crib Kim and Kanye initially bought for $9 million back in 2013.

Not long after that purchase, Acton also shelled out another $2 million for some Beatles history.

Kanye, Dylan and the Fab Four? She has good taste and deep pockets.

Mike Pouncey & Carlos Dunlap Insulted Over Bench Press Question

5/26/2018 12:25 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Wanna REALLY piss off an NFL lineman? Here's how ... 

Ask 'em -- seriously -- if they can bench press 315 lbs. and then watch their reaction. 

Mike Pouncey and Carlos Dunlap were so offended we had the audacity to call their strength into question, they shut us down right in front of Catch in West Hollywood!

Obviously, they were just playin' ... but you can tell they weren't ALL THE WAY playin'. 

What's even funnier ... we asked if Odell Beckham's 315-pound bench press should count (because of the 2-finger spot from his trainer) ... and Dunlap hit us with the real talk -- HELL NO!

Don't get it twisted, both Pouncey and Dunlap think Beckham is a stud receiver -- but when it comes to weightlifting, they don't mess around!!!

'B&B' Star Winsor Harmon Arrested Again for Drunk in Public ... Snoozin' in SUV

5/26/2018 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Winsor Harmon's gotta learn how to booze and head the hell home -- the soap star got arrested again for being drunk in public ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us the ex-'Bold and the Beautiful' stud was busted earlier this month after cops were called to check on a man sleeping in his car in a burb of the San Fernando Valley. Upon arrival, we're told cops discovered Winsor sleeping in his SUV.

Sources say Winsor was passed out in the back seat, and that beer cans were all over the floorboard. One of the SUV's tires was also flat, apparently. Winsor eventually woke up, and appeared disoriented and inebriated after exiting the vehicle, according to police. 

Cops determined he was too drunk to care for himself, so they cuffed him and took him to jail. He was eventually released and issued a citation. 

Not much different from a few months ago when Winsor was initially arrested for drunk in public -- except this time there didn't appear to be any alleged public peeing. Dun-dun!

Harvey Weinstein Prosecutors Eyeing Obscure Law in Investigation

5/25/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Harvey Weinstein is now in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors who are looking to possibly prosecute him under a law that some legal experts say is a giant stretch.

Law enforcement sources tell us, the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York is looking to see if Weinstein violated the Mann Act. It now prohibits people from taking others across state lines with the intent of engaging in illegal sexual acts. The law was initially designed to prevent adults from transporting minors across state lines for sex.

The law requires the suspect to have formed the intent to commit the act before taking the victim across state lines.

Our sources say prosecutors are looking at at least one actress whom Weinstein flew from one state to another. The stretch is that they will have to prove he asked the actress to travel, knowing that he was going to rape her when she arrived at the destination.

The difficulty in such a case ... Weinstein may have wanted to have sex, but didn't assume from the get-go he would have to rape the woman.

As we reported, Weinstein will turn himself in today on state sexual assault charges.

Weinstein has maintained the sexual encounters he has had were all consensual. 

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