Dwight Howard was cleared of child abuse in Florida ... but now we know the doctor who examined his child determined the boy was hit with a belt buckle, struck with excessive force and was the victim of abuse.
As TMZ Sports previously reported ... Howard was investigated in Florida for hitting 6-year-old Braylon with a belt. Howard admitted to authorities he hit the kid but says he didn't know it was wrong because that's how he grew up.
TMZ Sports has obtained documents from the Dept. of Children and Families (DCF), summarizing the findings of the doctor who examined Braylon. It says, "Dr. Kesler noted Braylon to have a linear bruise and patterned abrasions consistent with the history given by Braylon of being struck with a belt numerous times by his father."
The report goes on to say the injuries were "consistent with Braylon being struck with the buckle end of the belt ... with excessive force, resulting in soft tissue injuries such as bruising and abrasions."
And the report indicates Dr. Kesler found the injuries lasted longer than 24 hours and were "consistent with a medical diagnosis of physical abuse."
And the doctor recommended that Howard participate in parenting classes and use methods other than corporal punishment to discipline his son.
DCF concluded the child abuse allegations were "not substantiated," but in Florida that means there is "credible evidence" of child abuse, but not enough to warrant action. What's curious is why the doctor's findings weren't enough.
Howard's rep tells TMZ, "The Florida Dept. of Children and Families thoroughly examined all of the evidence and determined that there was insufficient evidence of child abuse," adding the case has been closed in Florida. It appears this is the first time Howard's people have acknowledged some evidence of child abuse, although they insist there was no child abuse.
Howard's people are lashing out at baby mama Royce Reed, saying, "It is appalling to see a mother use her son as a pawn against his father in an attempt to extract money, which is what is happening in this case."
Jack & Jack
Vine Rap Stars Upstaged By Matt
During Fan CRUSH [Video]
11/17/2014 9:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Pop rap duo Jack and Jack were at the center of an insane scene at LAX -- hundreds of their 6 million social media followers flocked to the airport -- but much of the crowd was really obsessed ... with their famous friend.
You've gotta see the J&J fans losing their minds -- tears were shed as they made their way through the crazed pack of tweener girls. But the most surprising part is a majority of the girls were screaming for the Jacks' BFF ... a dude named Matthew Espinosa.
Matt's pretty popular in his own right -- over 4 million followers -- but based on this video ... it looks like he's coming for Jack and Jack's crown.
For the older set, this is like Beatlemania ... for Pete Best (Google it, young people).
NYPD Looking For
More Molestation Victims
11/17/2014 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Stephen Collins is NOT in the clear in the child molestation case -- not by a long shot -- because we've learned the NYPD is on the hunt for fresh victims.
TMZ broke the story ... the NYPD was investigating at least 3 cases of alleged molestation or indecent exposure, but all 3 cases are so old authorities believe the statute of limitations have run.
But sources tell TMZ ... 2 NYPD detectives flew from New York to Seattle to interview the woman whom Collins admits on tape to molesting when she was 10.
Cops were not interested in probing the woman's story any further, but they were intensely interested in finding out if other, more recent alleged victims might have come forward.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... they don't want to close a case where the suspect admitted he's a child molester. So the NYPD is aggressively pursuing leads and has no plans to shelve the case.
Investigated and Cleared
for Child Abuse
11/16/2014 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
9:15 AM PT -- We now have confirmation that the Florida Dept. of Children and Families closed the investigation, concluding, "The investigation is being closed with no substantiated findings of physical injuries." The report also states Howard was interviewed by authorities.
7:25 AM PT -- Royce Reed posted a statement on Instagram saying, "The case is not closed and he is/was not cleared! The investigation is still open as he refuses to speak to the police. So whoever these reps are that are trying to slander me, just know the gloves are off and I'm not the one to play with when it comes to my son. That is all."
Dwight Howard was under investigation for child abuse and gave precisely the same excuse Adrian Peterson used, but it appears in this case authorities found Howard did not break the law.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Sports ... Howard's baby mama Royce Reed went to Children's Services in the Orlando, FL area in August and complained he had whipped their 6-year-old son Braylon with a belt, leaving bruises and abrasions on his leg.
We're told the case worker sent the former "Basketball Wives" cast member to a nearby medical facility to evaluate the boy and document the injuries.
Authorities interviewed Howard and he confessed to the belting, but said he didn't realize there was anything wrong with it because he was disciplined the same way as a kid. Howard's lawyer filed legal docs claiming he never caused marks, bruises, welts or injuries requiring medical treatment.
Sources connected to Howard tell TMZ ... Children's Services closed out the case after determining the injuries depicted in the photos were not caused by a belting. In other words ... whatever Howard did was not that serious.
And there's this twist ... Howard filed legal docs Wednesday and he's gunning for full custody, claiming Reed is a shockingly unfit mother who gives the kid psychotropic drugs just so she can have a "chemical babysitter."
Howard's rep tells TMZ, authorities found the allegations "frivolous," adding, "It's no coincidence that these false allegations were 'leaked' on the heels of Dwight filing for major custody of his son."
The rep adds, "It is troubling to see a mother use her son as a pawn against his father," and that Dwight will do "whatever is necessary to protect [the child's] welfare and best interests."
11/15/2014 2:13 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Charlize Theron can play with her 2 year-old son without fear of hikers who jump to conclusions ... at least when she does it in the middle of Los Angeles.
The Oscar winning mom was out with BF Sean Penn yucking it up in front of the paparazzi.
We broke the story ... a hiker called 911 after hearing Jackson's screaming mid-temper tantrum Friday. Cops quickly realized the kid was fine and it was a false alarm.
This time there were only screams of joy.
Sickeningly Cute Kid Offers
Magical Dating Advice
11/14/2014 6:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ex-Yanks Star Andy Pettitte
I'm a Football Coach Now
11/14/2014 10:23 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ex-NY Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte has found his second calling -- he's a football coach ... even though he says he doesn't know a helluva lot about the sport.
42-year-old Pettitte retired back in 2013 after 18 seasons in the league ... but Andy tells us he's been keeping busy spending time with his wife and their 4 kids.
One of his post-MLB hobbies ... coaching youth football.
"I don't know a whole lot about football but I'm enjoying it," Pettitte says. "9 and 10 year-old kids, you don't have to teach 'em a whole lot. They have a good time. It's been fun."
Prosecuted for Not Paying Child Support
For Molested Daughter
11/14/2014 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Mama June stiffed the woman who took care of June's daughter after she was molested by June's boyfriend ... this according to Georgia prosecutors who filed a criminal case against her.
June's mother, Sandra Hale, became the guardian of Anna/aka Chickadee in 2003, a year after Mark McDaniel forced the girl (who was 8 at the time) to perform oral sex on him.
When the guardianship was created, June was required to pay her mom $100 a month in child support. But fast forward to 2009, when the Henry County D.A. filed criminal contempt charges against June, claiming she was way behind on her payments -- $4,144.62 behind.
According to legal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- June was behind "due to willful and continuous refusal to comply."
The D.A. threatened her with jail if she didn't pay. The mug shot was taken in the contempt case.
The D.A. dismissed the contempt charge 3 months after it was filed ... presumably because June belatedly paid.
Sean Penn, Charlize Theron
Over Her Screaming Son
11/13/2014 10:22 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Sean Penn and Charlize Theron had their morning hike interrupted by cops Thursday ... after another hiker accused them of possibly mistreating Charlize's toddler ... but we're told cops determined they did nothing wrong ... TMZ has learned.
The incident went down at Vasquez Rocks in Santa Clarita, CA. Charlize and Sean were having a sunrise picnic when a female hiker with a camera stopped after she heard Charlize's 2-year-old son Jackson screaming in a tantrum. The hiker went towards the child and started filming.
We're told Charlize told the woman not to go near Jackson, so the hiker left and called the cops and claimed something bad might have happened to the kid.
We're told the deputies quickly determined nothing happened. Jackson was just on a timeout and got really upset. The deputies concluded the timeout involved no physical contact, so they left and no action will be taken.
I Was Teenage Elsa In 'Frozen' ...
And All I Got Was A Lousy $926
11/12/2014 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
"Frozen" actress Spencer Lacey Ganus could use a better agent ... because even though she starred as teeange Elsa in the biggest animated film ever ... she got paid pennies.
The 15-year-old voiced one of the most iconic characters in Disney history ... but only got a one-day guaranteed payment of $926.20 ... this according to her contract which was filed with the court.
Granted she only had a few lines. Another actress played young Elsa, and Idina Menzel was the voice of grown-up Elsa.
Nonetheless ... the movie grossed more than 1.2 BILLION. So Ganus' slice of the pie is .000077%.
Let it go Spencer.
'Chappelle Show' Star
LeBron's Kids Have a Big Problem
11/12/2014 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
If you think being LeBron James' kid is all about living the good life ... you're wrong ... because when it comes to sports, they might have it harder than ANYONE.
It's called "I'm the S**t Syndrome" ... at least according to "Chappelle's Show" star Donnell Rawlings who says 'Bron is super concerned over whether his children will be able to compete on his level in the sports world.
Essentially, Rawlings says LeBron is putting pressure on himself to make sure his kids are just as dominant as he is.
Rawlings says LeBron isn't the first superstar to deal with the issue -- pointing out Michael Jordan and his kids also battled with ITSS.
Case in point ... MJ's Hall of Fame induction speech when he told his children, "You guys have a heavy burden. I wouldn't want to be you guys if I had to."
Hopefully, LeBron handles it better than MJ did ...
Who Spends Like a Teenager
11/11/2014 11:47 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ariel Winter pulls in way more money than your average 16-year-old girl, but she eats just like a normal teenager.
Winter's guardianship requires her sister to file a list of Ariel's expenses.
In the docs, we get a glimpse into Winter's 2013 eating habits ... which are shockingly typical.
-- 8 trips to In-N-Out
-- 6 trips to Subway
-- 17 trips to Starbucks and Coffee Bean
-- 12 orders from GrubHub (food deliver website)
But then, as a reminder that she's actually not that average, Ariel lists her shopping sprees, which include:
-- $8,938 at Chanel
-- $1,253 in one visit to Victoria's Secret
-- $1,570 at Christian Louboutin
It's not like she can't afford it -- the docs say Winter made about $1.5 million in the last 18 months.
Greatest allowance ever.
'Real Housewife of Atlanta'
Screws Detroit Schools
You'll Get NOTHING From Me
11/11/2014 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
NeNe Leakes has become a public enemy in Detroit, after glibly stiffing the school system out of $20K.
It's shocking ... NeNe challenged fellow "Real Housewives of Atlanta" castmate Kenya Moore to pony up $20K for the charity of Kenya's choice, so she picked the Detroit Public Schools Foundation and paid. NeNe then said she'd match Kenya's donation.
Now get this ... on Andy Cohen's show Sunday, she told the schools to kick rocks, then dropped this bomb ... that the statute of limitations had run out on her promise.
The prez of the foundation is incredulous, telling us there's no statute of limitations. She says they never heard from NeNe, but would be more than happy to take her money.
NeNe always says she's a rich bitch. At least we KNOW half that is true.