Richard Simmons is still MIA ... nearly a year after he was last seen, and there are no signs of XMAS or even life at his home.
His friends are more worried than ever. They haven't heard from or seen him since January 11. He hasn't been to his exercise studio in 6 months.
There are no XMAS decorations at his Hollywood Hills house. Friends are not allowed to visit. A housekeeper seems to stand guard whenever anyone tries to enter.
Simmons' rep told us the exercise guru was depressed over a knee injury and that's why he has gone radio silent, but his friends are convinced it is far more serious. They say Richard was the ultimate caring person who loved interaction, and now there is none whatsoever.
Benihana vs. Benny Hunna
Shrimp Flipper Battles Hip Hopper
In Epic Name War
12/21/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Benihana doesn't want anybody mistaking a guy who slings rhymes with a chef who slings rice balls -- so it's trying to force the rapper to drop his stage name.
Benny Hunna, neé Benny Hodges from Mississippi ... has been fighting to trademark his handle because he's got big plans besides music. He says he wants to build an entertainment empire called Benny Hunna TV. Real talk.
But according to court docs -- the O.G. Benihana wants the U.S. Patent & Trademark office to deny his application for fear Mr. Hunna will create confusion in the marketplace.
That's debatable, since Hunna currently has less than 300 Twitter followers. The matter could be settled in court early next year.
FUN FACT: Hunna is street for a hundred bucks -- so you know Benny's all about that paper.
'You're Trailer Trash, Bitch'
12/21/2014 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
'Real Housewife' Joanna Krupa sounds like she's ready to physically duke it out with archenemy Brandi Glanville ... calling her a trailer trash fame whore who is a European model wannabe.
Krupa went ballistic when our photog asked about Brandi, who trashed her on Andy Cohen's show. Glanville insinuated Cohen got food poisoning from bad fish ... code for Krupa's smelly vagina.
Krupa went for the jugular, telling us Brandi is so pathetic there's no room for doubt on why Eddie Cibrian dumped her.
Watch the video. It has all the makings of a fabulous bitch fight.
'Dallas' Star Larry Hagman
R.I.P. ... But Only After You Pay Up
12/21/2014 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Legendary actor and "Dallas" star Larry Hagman broke his word by dying ... and now a guy who says he was left high and dry wants the ghost of Larry to ante up.
John Castonia claims he was lured from Texas to Cali in 2012, to manage Hagman's career as he shot the "Dallas" remake for TNT. But John was no fool ... he says he got a 7-month guarantee in his contract -- $2,500 a week.
Here's the problem. Larry died 3 months into the deal, and the money train stopped. So now he's suing Larry's estate for the remaining $42,500.
The Ewings might handle this differently.
Cosby Lawyer Claims Network is
Manipulating Interviews to Smear Him
12/20/2014 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
CNN is trying to prop up one of Bill Cosby's key accusers with unethical, malicious tactics ... so claims Cosby's lawyer.
Marty Singer has written a scathing letter to CNN Prez Jeff Zucker, claiming his reporters are out to get Cosby in a special the network is doing with model/actress Beverly Johnson.
Johnson claims Cosby drugged her in the mid '80s at his NYC home. Singer says in his letter -- obtained by TMZ -- he contacted the CNN reporters and told them they should get in touch with Mark Burk, who was Johnson's live-in boyfriend from 2006-2009.
Singer says Burk told CNN reporters Beverly "never said a negative statement about Bill Cosby throughout their entire four year relationship." Singer goes on, "Burk told CNN that to the contrary, Ms. Johnson stated that she was an admirer of Bill Cosby and only said great things about Mr. Cosby."
According to Singer, the reporters tried to pressure and manipulate Burk to corroborate Johnson's claims. He says when Burk stuck to his guns, the reporters abruptly terminated the conversation.
Singer goes to town on Zucker, accusing the network of being "reckless and malicious." He says, "Accusers are being given a national platform by CNN without first exercising the most rudimentary journalistic investigation as to their claims and motivations."
We reached out to CNN ... so far no word back.
Footing the Bill
for Murderer's Funeral
12/20/2014 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Floyd Mayweather is putting aside some brutal facts and paying for the funeral of the rapper who gunned down his wife in the bathtub and then shot himself.
We're told Floyd thinks Earl Hayes' family deserves a proper funeral, despite the horrific thing he did.
TMZ broke the story ... Floyd was FaceTiming with Hayes earlier this month when the rapper snapped as they discussed how his wife, "Hit the Floor" star Stephanie Moseley was cheating on him. He went in the bathroom and pumped 10-12 shots as she lay in the tub. He then killed himself.
We don't know if Floyd foot the bill for Stephanie's funeral Friday in Canada. Floyd was urging Hayes to dump her just before he lost it.
Hayes' funeral is set for today.
Says She's Crushed Over Break-Up
In New Music Video
12/19/2014 7:31 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Nicki Minaj is releasing a new music video in which she explains why she dumped longtime BF Safaree Samuels.
TMZ got hold of the video, in which Nicki appears to accuse Safaree of cheating. She also says he broke her heart.
In a weird turn, she also seems to say in the song -- "Love Triangle" -- she is deeply missing him.
As we reported ... Safaree is so despondent over the breakup, he's talking to his friends about suicide.
'Bad Girls Club' Wannabe
Destroy the Boot
Go to Jail
12/20/2014 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The chick who left the "Bad Girls Club" audition with a Denver Boot attached to the car could end up in jail ... TMZ has learned.
It appears Chicquita Washington -- the registered owner of the car -- high-tailed it out of a Houston, TX parking lot with the boot on the back tire, then roared away, dislodging it and breaking it off.
Parking officials tell TMZ ... if she just drove off with the boot there'd be no crime, but she was gunning it toward a parking enforcement officer who booted the car, and we've learned the guy filed a police report, claiming she clipped him.
If cops and prosecutors buy his story, Chicquita could be charged with criminal assault.
Chicquita is bananas.
Kobe, Hit Me Up!
I Can Save Your Season
12/20/2014 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Master P has a sure fire plan to turnaround this painful Lakers season -- just give him a little run, and he'll do what Kobe Bryant hasn't been able to do ... not yet, anyway.
Mr. "Make Em' Say Uhh" told us he can provide something for the Lake show no one else can. Master P even called out the Mamba, saying ... "I played against Kobe. He knows what's up!"
It's true ... P did play in a couple of NBA preseasons with the Hornets and Raptors in the late '90s. We're guessing Kobe doesn't remember much about their match ups.
Still ... the Lakers season couldn't get worse, right? Check out P's plan -- and also his take on athletes repping the "I Can't Breathe" t-shirts. Solid perspective.
My Name is Mudd
In the Home Ownership Dept.
12/20/2014 12:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Wes Scantlin has gone after a neighbor with a buzz saw, and a cop was injured while responding to a flood at his home ... now the home of bad luck is going on the auction block.
The Puddle of Mudd singer -- whose group sold more than 7 million albums -- is behind on his mortgage and the bank is tired of sending him notices. So the bank foreclosed on the house and it plans on recovering the mortgage balance -- more than $375,000 when the property is sold.
Scantlin bought the house for $1.7 mil back in 2005.
The auction is set for next month.
My Boobs Are
Too Hot for Las Vegas
12/19/2014 2:25 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Much like Sony did with North Korea, Sharper Image has caved in its battle with the City of Las Vegas ... and in this scenario, Heidi Klum's boobs are "The Interview."
Sharper Image's new ad campaign features a scantily clad Klum alongside suggestive copy designed to get you to buy the gadgets Sharper Image sells that you never knew you needed.
But Klum's cleavage did not meet Clark County code and the ads were barred from being displayed at McCarran Airport. The crux of the problem ... "the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering or any portion thereof below the nipple" -- aka underboob.
So Sharper Image submitted toned downed pics, which were approved, and will soon be displayed for all to see.
Who knew Las Vegas was run by prudes?
Robbed at Gunpoint
12/19/2014 12:47 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The restaurant was packed with celebs Thursday night. Just after closing at around 2 AM, as the managers were counting the receipts, 2 men came through the backdoor, pulled a gun and pointed it at a manager's head. The thieves grabbed the waitstaff's cash tips, and raided the restaurant's safe.
We're told they took off with somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000.
The gunmen are still on the loose.
There Ain't Nothing Wrong
with a Little Manscaping
12/19/2014 12:14 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The 1980s are long over and Milwaukee Bucks forward Jared Dudley says NBA players have evolved ... and now they shave their armpits.
Jared apparently solved a life-long mystery for our photog when he left 1Oak Thursday night ... because our guy was just DYING to know if the NBA made players shave ... or if it was a choice.
Dudley said that shaving was the thing to do these days ... unlike the Patrick Ewing days of yore.
To each their own.