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Grindr Sued Over Alleged Murder, Rape Scheme

1/30/2017 7:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

A Grindr user claims the app is being run recklessly and as a result someone actually tried to rape and murder him, although the lawsuit is thin on specifics regarding the 2 allegations.

Matthew Herrick claims in a new lawsuit he met someone on Grindr in 2015 and began dating him. Herrick says the guy he was dating opened up new profiles and impersonated Herrick, using his addresses -- home and work -- along with photos.

Herrick says random guys would come to his home and restaurant where he worked, expecting sex. Although the suit cites no specific instance of attempted rape and murder, it does offer up several examples of aggressive men coming to his home and workplace.

Herrick claims just about a week ago a Grindr visitor got into his New York apartment building and refused to leave. Herrick's roommate confronted the guy in the hallway, said he was calling the cops, and the man lunged at the roommate, grabbed his phone and started wrestling with him.

He says he is in "a constant state of hyper-vigilance, afraid that Grindr has been used to incite or seduce the wrong person -- somebody who will make good on threats to attack or rape [me]."

Herrick says he lodged 50 complaints to Grindr and 14 police reports, to no avail.  

We reached out to Grindr ... so far no word back.

Jennifer Holliday Performs LGBT Make Good ... Singing for Gay Cruise Fans

1/26/2017 12:50 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jennifer Holliday is making up with gay fans who might have been pissed she initially accepted an invitation to sing at the Trump inauguration ... by headlining an all-gay Caribbean cruise.

Sources with Atlantis -- a gay and lesbian charter company -- tell TMZ ... Jennifer was the main attraction Wednesday night aboard Allure of the Seas -- and she's putting on 2 more shows Thursday night.

Atlantis says it reached out to Holliday right after she backed out of the inauguration

Jennifer got a standing O for her first performance. We're told she never brought up the inauguration. As we reported, Holliday canceled that gig ... partly due to backlash from the LGBT community.

Looks like it's all good now.

Carson Kressley New 'Queer Eye' Can't Be As Fab ... I Know Who Can Help

1/25/2017 12:57 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The original leader of the 'Queer Eye' fab 5 says the new show won't ever have that same old twinkle ... but does know a guy who can help it come close.

We talked to Carson Kressley -- the former star of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" -- who gave us the straight dope on how he got word about Netflix rebooting the series.

His reaction's not all that surprising, as we've reported, but he's got a good recommendation for who could fill his shoes. At least Ariana Grande would watch. 

'Queer Eye' OG Cast Won't Be Back for Reboot

1/24/2017 4:40 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Netflix's reboot of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" won't feature anyone from the original cast -- in fact, Netflix didn't even bother asking them to come back.

Sources close to the production tell TMZ, none of the OG fab 5 cast members were approached, but don't call it a snub. We're told the guys aren't pissed because they get TV, and understand the need to make it fresh for a new generation.

It's going on 10 years since Carson, Jai, Kyan, Ted and Thom went off the air ... after all.

Meanwhile, we're told the new batch of potential hosts has been whittled down to 25.

Ellen Page Gay Debate with Preacher ... Amid D.C. Protests

1/20/2017 10:32 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ellen Page got into a heated debate with a preacher over homosexuality ... and it all went down as chaos was building around them on the streets of Washington, D.C.

Ellen's in town for some inaugural events -- including the Women's March on Saturday -- but Friday outside the National Press Building she ended up going toe-to-toe, verbally, with a man of the cloth.

He labeled homosexuality "demonic," but Ellen kept her cool. She, at least, is there for peaceful debate.

Well played, Ellen.

Rapper iLoveMakonnen I'm Gay ... Big Whoop

1/20/2017 5:59 AM PST
Breaking News

Rapper iLoveMakonnen -- the guy behind the smash hit "Tuesday" -- just revealed that he's gay ... saying, "It's time I've come out."

The 27-year-old made the announcement on Twitter saying, "As a fashion icon, I can't tell u about everybody else's closet, I can only tell u about mine, and it's time I've come out."

He added, "And since y'all love breaking news, here's some old news to break, I'm gay. And now I've told u about my life, maybe u can go life yours."

Makonnen's career exploded in 2014 when Drake remixed his song ... and followed up with, "I Don't Sell Molly No More." He's also become big in the fashion world.

Jackie Evancho Transgender Sister Undergoing Reassignment

1/18/2017 10:53 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jackie Evancho's transgender sister will undergo surgery to begin reassignment the same week Jackie belts out the national anthem at Donald Trump's inauguration ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the Evancho family tell us Jackie's sister, Juliet, "can finally be herself" after she goes through the procedure in Philly. We're told the surgery had been in the works for months, and her absence from the inauguration is NOT in protest to Trump or Mike Pence's stance on LGBTQ rights.

We caught up with Jackie Wednesday in D.C. ... where she talked about Juliet's big day.

President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning Sentence

1/17/2017 1:38 PM PST
Breaking News

President Obama just commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence and she will be freed in May ... the White House announced Tuesday.

Chelsea Manning -- a former Army intelligence officer who leaked classified information to WikiLeaks -- was convicted back in 2013, and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Obama's commutation means she'll be out May 17, after just 7 years served.

Manning, a transgender woman, attempted suicide twice while in prison.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said last week he would agree to extradition to the U.S. if Obama released Manning from prison. Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

It's unclear if a deal has been struck.

'Dreamgirls' Jennifer Holliday Canceled Trump Inauguration Because of Death Threats

1/16/2017 2:19 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jennifer Holliday pulled the plug on her inauguration performance because people threatened to kill her and her family ... TMZ has learned.

The "Dreamgirls" star agreed to sing at an inaugural event but did an about-face Saturday, saying she bailed because she was taking heat from the LGBT community.

But we've learned when her agent contacted the Inauguration Committee, he said the reason was death threats. We're told the LGBT concerns were not even mentioned.

A rep for Holliday told TMZ Monday ... both the death threats and the LGBT reaction were factors in her decision.

The rep tells us, "It was all of those things. She wasn’t scared to perform. She didn’t want to put her family at risk based on the death threats and she also didn’t want to offend the LGBT community which was especially upset that a past ally would perform on a program with President-Elect Donald Trump."

You may recall ... Trump's people said she was a lock late last week, but then her management team came out and said Trump's people jumped the gun ... that she was merely considering the offer. That doesn't square with the fact that Holliday herself said Friday she was fully on board.

We don't know if the people who made the threats identified themselves or any group with which they were affiliated.

A rep for the singer tells us her primary concern was the safety of her family.

Donald Trump Rumored Bathroom Plan is Scary Says California Lt. Governor

1/11/2017 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Donald Trump and the Republicans aren't really that concerned about transgender people and which bathrooms people use, but it's just an example of a much bigger agenda ... so says California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.

There are rumors swirling Trump might tamper with state laws that now allow transgender equality in bathrooms. Newsom was heading into E Baldi restaurant in Bev Hills Tuesday and expressed fear and hope about the new prez.

Newsom's got a good chance of becoming the next governor of Cali, and we hear he has presidential ambitions.

Vivica A. Fox 'Black Magic' Partner Bails After 'No Gays' Comment

1/9/2017 8:26 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Vivica A. Fox pissed off the director and producer who made her male stripper reality show possible -- Jean-Claude LaMarre is cutting ties with her after she said gay men aren't welcome at the strip shows.

Jean-Claude put Vivica in his movie, "Chocolate City" ... which led to her spinning off 'Black Magic' into a TV show. You'll recall, she was promoting the show last week on "The Breakfast Club" when she strongly objected to the suggestion gays were coming out to see her strippers.

As she put it ... "Hell no!"

Now LaMarre tells TMZ ... "The comments were out of order, and it does not represent our attitudes toward the LGBT community. All are welcomed." He added, "Vivica speaks for herself not the business or the show."

LaMarre will remain an Executive Producer on the reality show, and made it clear he wants 'Black Magic' to succeed -- he just doesn't want to work with Vivica anymore. 

Vivica A. Fox My Male Strippers Don't Dance for Gays

1/6/2017 7:44 AM PST

Vivica A. Fox is drawing a line in the strip club when it comes to gays and her 'Black Magic' male revue.

Vivica and a couple of the dancers from her new reality show hit up "The Breakfast Club," and things got kinda homophobic when Charlamagne tha God and DJ Envy asked if gay guys go to their shows.

Check out Vivica's quick response. Sometimes a simple "HELL no" speaks volumes.

As she put it ... her show is all about the girls. 

Ellen to Pharrell No Way I'm Giving Kim Burrell a Platform

1/5/2017 9:31 AM PST

Ellen DeGeneres and Pharrell took a strong stand against gospel singer Kim Burrell and her homophobic rant.

Pharrell was supposed to appear with Kim to do their song from the "Hidden Figures" soundtrack -- but Ellen explained why that couldn't possibly happen after Burrell's comments ... which Pharrell summed up as "hate speech."

Ellen and Pharrell had a powerful response for Burrell. The full episode airs Thursday.

Janelle Monae, who co-stars in the movie, told us she won't tolerate Burrell's words either.