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'Sharknado' Smells Blood and Sues ... Takes Bite Out of 'Shark-nado' Play

11/6/2017 6:07 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

"Sharknado" is big business and its producers aren't about to let some theater company bite their style ... so they're suing to shut down a stage version before its first run swim.

The Asylum Co. just filed suit against Theatre Row Studios and several other people for allegedly attempting to put on a staged reading/rendition of the instant cult classic TV movie series. Asylum says the stage folks are promoting their version as "Shark-nado" ... and planned to perform it in Southern Cali.

According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, Asylum says Theatre Row's take is a straight ripoff which could hurt the real McCoy's bottom line if the court doesn't shut it down, stat.

The stage company isn't promoting the play right now on its website, but Asylum says the damage has been done with previous ads ... to the tune of $10 million!

We reached out to Theatre Row ... so far, no word back. 

Taylor Swift Locking Down 'The Old Taylor' ... Legally Speaking

9/4/2017 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The "old" Taylor Swift may be dead, but the new one still wants to make a buck off her ... TMZ has learned.

T-Swift has filed to trademark a bunch of titles and catchphrases from her new album, "Reputation" -- for instance, the line, "The old Taylor can't come to the phone right now" from her single "Look What You Made Me Do" ... as well as the song title itself. 

According to the docs, she wants to use the lyrics on a ton of merchandise ... like t-shirts, notebooks, guitar picks, jewelry, bags, and pretty much any other accessory a Swiftie could want.

We know Tay Tay's touring soon -- and now you have a better idea of what will be on her overpriced concert merch list.

Sofia Vergara's Ex Cold Shoulder in Frozen Embryo Case ... Louisiana Judge Tosses Suit

8/25/2017 6:58 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Sofia Vergara just got a huge W in her frozen embryo battle with her ex -- a judge dismissed the case, saying Nick Loeb had no business suing her in Louisiana ... TMZ has learned.

According to docs, the judge said the court had no jurisdiction because the embryos were conceived in California, and neither parent has any permanent ties to the state. Sofia shot a movie there in 2014. Nick claimed they'd dated and planned their life together in the state, but the court didn't buy that.

In the docs, the judge noted Loeb probably only filed in Louisiana because of its favorable laws pertaining to the rights of unborn children ... but there's no getting around the whole jurisdiction issue.

The judge actually called the pre-embryos "citizens of California" ... and said weighing in on the case would require a potential constitutional evaluation over the embryos' rights.

As we reported ... Sofia filed docs in February asking the court to end the embryo war.

It's unclear if Loeb intends to refile. We've reached out to his team, but no word back yet.

DMX I Need Out of House Arrest To Feed My Kids!!!

8/16/2017 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

DMX is losing his mind under house confinement -- because he's already asking a judge to let him out so he can support his fam.

X's lawyer, Murray Richman, fired off a letter to a NY federal judge Monday asking that his client be allowed to travel to Atlanta, Vegas, Philly, and L.A. for some August/Sept. gigs ... the most immediate being Thursday in ATL.

The judge shot down the ATL request because it came in too late. The judge made it clear ... all requests to leave the house must be submitted at least a week in advance.

As for the other requests ... X's probation officers want the judge to turn thumbs-down, because they think it'll interfere with his drug program. Murray tells TMZ ... he's negotiating to get X out for some of the upcoming dates, saying the guy's got 15 kids to feed and needs to make a living.

You'll recall ... X violated bail conditions in his tax evasion case by skipping town without a heads-up to the court ... and later failing drug tests. That's why he's now on house arrest

It seems when it comes to X, home is NOT where the heart is.

Natalee Holloway MIniseries Triggers Lawsuit

8/14/2017 12:26 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Natalee Holloway has been missing for 12 years, and her story is still embroiled in controversy ... a story that has triggered a new lawsuit.

Edward Kramer just filed suit against 2 production companies -- Brian Graden Media and Lipstick -- for allegedly stealing his idea for a miniseries about Holloway's cold case. He says what's worse, he worked for the companies for more than a year without getting as much as a penny.

In the docs, obtained by TMZ, Kramer claims after Lipstick put him in touch with BGM in 2014 to develop the Holloway project, he was tasked with doing a lot of the legwork, like figuring out how to turn it into a miniseries, doing interviews, and getting the pitch ready for NBC and Oxygen (which is airing "The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway" this week).

Kramer says when he began asking about compensation, he got the runaround.

He's asking a judge to block the airing of the show.

We've reached out to BGM ... so far, no word back. 

Taylor Swift Butt Groping Trial 'He Latched On to My Bare Ass'

8/10/2017 8:51 AM PDT
Breaking News

Taylor Swift has come out swinging at her butt groping trial -- reportedly testifying that a Denver radio DJ "grabbed my ass underneath my skirt" while posing with Swift for a photo and stayed "latched on" to her bare ass. 

The singer is currently on the stand describing an incident before her 2013 concert in Denver in which Swift claims she was sexually assaulted by David Mueller

"He did not touch my rib. He did not touch my hand. He grabbed my bare ass," Swift testified. 

"He stayed latched on to my bare ass ... as I moved away from him visibly uncomfortable."

"It was a very shocking thing that I have never dealt with before … He grabbed my ass underneath my skirt. It was underneath my skirt."

Mueller's attorney has pointed out that Swift continued to meet-and-greet with fans after the alleged incident -- making it unlikely that it happened at all. 

Swift responded that she didn't want to disappoint her fans. 

Mueller's attorney told Swift during the questioning that she could have taken a break from the event. Swift replied. "And your client could have taken a normal photo with me."

He's denied the allegations outright.

DMX Violated His Bail Bond in Tax Evasion Case Sir, Your Cell is Waiting

8/9/2017 3:39 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

DMX went to visit his family ... and he could go to jail as a result.

The rapper is out on bail in his tax evasion case, and one of the conditions was that he must give the judge a heads-up if he blows out of town. He left New York to see family in St. Louis, without telling hizzoner ... and that could be a deal breaker.

DMX's attorney, Murray Richman, tells TMZ ... it seems like X just forgot, because he was preoccupied with the trip.

Richman says X usually notifies his probation officer if he's leaving New York to perform, so this is unlike him. He's guessing the judge will show a little mercy and just up the restrictions -- like requiring an ankle bracelet -- but Richman vows to fight it.

Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the  US attorney for the southern district of NY, tells us X is set to appear in court later this week. 

We broke the story ... DMX is facing 14 counts of evading more than $1 mil in federal taxes.

Tupac's Estate Sued I Sang on 'Bury Me a G' ... Now Bury Me in Royalties!

6/28/2017 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

One of Tupac's hits from the 90's features a singer who says she never got paid for her vocals, so she's suing ... even though it appears 20 years too late to collect.

Natasha Walker -- who was in the R&B group Y?N-Vee -- sang backups on "Bury Me a G" and even has a credit on the track. But in docs, obtained by TMZ, she says she and Pac made a deal in '93 that the song would be a joint effort and she'd have equal ownership.

Natasha says she's never seen a dime from the song's release ... hence her lawsuit. One potential problem for her: It's 2017 and the statute of limitations for contract claims in California is just 4 years.

Walker's attorney, Jennifer Harris, tells us because the song continues to make money and will for the foreseeable future ... her client has every right to come-a-knockin' now. She wants all royalties, back and current, plus damages and attorney's fees.

We've reached out to Tupac's estate ... so far, no word back.


Chris Brown & Karrueche BET Made Sure to Keep Them Apart During Award Show

6/26/2017 12:58 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The BET Awards made special plans to accommodate Karrueche Tran's restraining order against Chris Brown ... even though he was scheduled to perform and she was a presenter. 

Production sources tell TMZ ... Karrueche was given a heads-up by BET producers that Chris would be performing Sunday night. When he took the stage, producers moved her to a holding room to ensure Chris never got within 100 yards of Karrueche, as the court order requires.

We're told she did not watch Chris's performance while in the holding room. Also, Chris never sat in the audience -- he was only backstage, and he and Karrueche never crossed paths. 

We're told BET invited her almost 2 months ago to present an award, and she agreed so she could promote her show, "Claws." Remember, she was smack in the middle of her case against Chris at that time ... which included allegations he'd made violent threats.

It seemed odd she chose to be at the same event as him, but it's now clear BET went out of its way to address any concerns Karrueche might have -- and to ensure Chris didn't violate the protective order.

Of course, none of that prevented her new bf Quavo, and his Migos crew, from squaring off with Chris at an after-party. 

NYC Modeling Agency Sued I Was Fired for 'Hating' Rap Music

4/30/2017 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nicki MinajKanye West and Lil Wayne's music was too much for a modeling agency employee to take around the office, and he says he got fired when he bitched about it.

Talent manager Charles Short just sued his ex-employer, The Lions Model Management -- a big deal agency repping the likes of Irina ShaykStella Maxwell, Alexis Ren and Jessica Hart. According to docs, music was commonly played loudly around the office.

Charles, who's African-American, says he found the repeated use of the n-word in the songs offensive and inappropriate. In the suit, he says he complained once and it stopped briefly, but co-workers mocked him for "hating" rap ... and eventually it started blaring in the office once again. 

He fired off an angry email to his bosses in March, and was told him he was overreacting. He says execs told him, "Some of the models we represent use the n-word." The next day they told him, "It's best if you don't come in anymore."

Charles is suing for discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. The agency had no comment.

Also, no word on which models are dropping n-bombs. 

Kevin Hart Stop the Shortage ... Unleash That New Prince Music

4/23/2017 8:04 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Kevin Hart wants Prince's new music to be released to the public, but he's also got a theory -- a short, sweet one -- on why it's being blocked.

We got Kevin Saturday heading into Tao in L.A. and caught him up on the Prince news ... that the new album was pulled after his estate got a restraining order against the producer of the unreleased tracks.

He makes no bones about whether it should eventually be released -- but check out what he thinks is behind the legal battle in the first place.

Can't vouch for Kev's accuracy here, but he's funny. 

Prince New Album Yanked Off iTunes While Court Battle Begins

4/19/2017 4:34 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Prince's new album won't see the light of day if his estate gets its way -- and the legal battle's already resulted in the new music getting removed from iTunes and Apple Music.

The "Deliverance" album vanished from Apple's platforms Wednesday around 3:30 PM PT. When you search for it on iTunes it shows no results for Prince, and Apple Music says the album is "not available." It was #1 on the pre-order chart.

Meanwhile, Prince's estate went into court Wednesday asking a judge to block the album's release ... in conjunction with a lawsuit it filed against the producer behind the EP.

Apple itself wasn't named in the suit, but seems like it's waiting for the legal dust to settle. We've reached out to Apple, but haven't heard back.

Google Play has also pulled it, while Amazon still has it up for pre-order, but you don't immediately get the title track ... like you previously could on Apple.

Wall Street Statue Creator 'Fearless Girl' Statue Is Messing with My Bull! Wants NYC to Get the Horns

4/12/2017 1:50 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

The guy who created Wall Street's "Charging Bull" says the neighboring "Fearless Girl" statue is screwing with his art, and he's demanding NYC pay him for his trouble.

Sculptor Arturo Di Modica is really pissed about the location of "Fearless Girl" and fired off a pretty threatening letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio. In the letter, obtained by TMZ, he says he was never consulted about the new art piece, despite the fact it's clearly capitalizing on its proximity to the 'Bull.'

He believes she was made out of bronze to make her seem like she's packaged with the 'Bull.' Arturo's not down with that because he says it now seems like his 'Bull' is attacking a child.

Furthermore, Arturo notes the people behind 'FG' know they're taking advantage of his art piece because their original promotion said where she was placed "made her impossible to ignore."

He wants her immediately moved and he wants the city to pay him an undetermined amount in damages. Arturo says he wants to settle this amicably, but we smell lawsuit.

As for Bill de Blasio -- he's making it clear he stands behind "Fearless Girl." And that's no bull.

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