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Ryan Lochte Everyone Deserves a $econd Chance ... Financially

9/20/2016 12:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0919-ryan-lochte-tmz-composite-02Ryan Lochte's becoming the poster boy for second chances, and the latest company to put their money behind his comeback is Debt.com.

Lochte has scored his second endorsement deal since his Brazilian fiasco with the personal finance company. It's no Speedo, but it's a start. He's also repping Pine Brothers throat lozenges, so doesn't look like there'll be any conflicts of interest. 

Not hard to see why Debt.com picked Lochte for their new ads ... the company's slogan is something along the lines of giving people a fresh start with their finances "when life happens."

Lochte will appear in several ads about how America is the land of new beginnings, which we gotta say, might not go over well with Brazilians.

Lochte says he'll be donating a portion of his proceeds from the endorsement deal to a muscular dystrophy charity. We're pretty sure he wouldn't lie about that.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Big Purchase ... Before Big Contract

9/19/2016 3:11 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0919-giannis-antetokounmpo-BEAR-COSTCOHere's Giannis Antetokounmpo buying a MASSIVE teddy bear at Costco ... just two days before he signed his big ol' $100 MILLION contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Don't worry ... it only runs about $30 ... so, he's gonna be fine. 

We're guessing the Greek Freak was getting some birthday shopping done at the Milwaukee-area super store for his girlfriend ... whose birthday was also Saturday. 

With that fat ass new contract, we're guessing there was some major jewelry that went along with that bear. 

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'Dukes of Hazzard' Star My Ex Is Cleaning Up More Than $18k/Month!

9/19/2016 12:41 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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John Schneider -- one of TV's "good ole boys" -- is gonna hand over a big ole bundle of dough to his estranged wife in spousal support.

Bo Duke from "The Dukes of Hazzard" was ordered to pay Elvira Schneider $18,911 every month, which sounds like a hefty bill -- 'cause it is -- but it could have been worse. Elvira had requested $31k per month.

If you're wondering how the star of an '80s TV show can still afford to fork out that kinda cash --Schneider says he earned $40,487 last month. He owns a production company where he's directing, writing and producing ... plus he's still acting in several projects.

Elvira filed divorce docs almost 2 years ago. They've yet to reach a final settlement. 

Lil Wayne Birdman Blew $70 Million ... OUR $70 MIL!!

9/18/2016 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0916-lil-wayne-birdman-spending-money-fun-art-02Lil Wayne wants someone to show him the money -- and not in a fun "Jerry Maguire" way -- he wants to know how Birdman tore through $70 mil ... dough he says they were supposed to share.

Lil Wayne says Universal Music Group advanced Birdman $100 million for a distribution deal, but not nearly enough of that money fell into Weezy's pockets ... according to legal docs obtained by TMZ.

He's clearly pissed because, on paper anyway, he and Birdman are partners on Cash Money/Young Money. He claims Birdman's admitted spending approximately $70 mil of the advance on royalties, marketing and recording expenses -- but now Wayne wants to see receipts to back that up. 

Translation: Time to open the books, Birdman.

And here's all you need to know about why Wayne's $51 million lawsuit is dragging ass. Birdman's camp says it's already handed over 22,015 pages of docs to Wayne's lawyers!

Team Weezy says none of those pages included details on how the $70 mil was spent. 

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Cali Swag District Sues BMI We'll Teach You How to Sue

9/18/2016 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0916_cali-swag-district_BMICali Swag District says it hasn't seen a dime from a company that's supposed to pay 'em every time their smash hit gets played ... which is why they're now suing. 

The guys behind "Teach Me How To Dougie" just filed suit against BMI ... claiming they were supposed to get half the royalty money when their hit dropped, but the music giant sent all the checks to the group's agent instead ... and the guys never got paid.

The guys have no idea how much they're owed, but they know it's north of $187,000.

In case you forgot ... here's the track.

Benihana Sued Sushi Chefs Can Split Fish ... But Not Tips!

9/17/2016 12:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0914_benihana_tip_share_getty_tmz_compositeA Benihana waiter says he got screwed out of his tips by having to cut in the cooks behind the counter -- and far from woking it back, he's suing.

The server who filed the class action suit claims he was forced to fork over tons of his hard-earned tips to sushi chefs at his NY restaurant ... for 8 years! 

He claims he lost around $80 every week from '08-'16 -- which comes out to a little over $33k. He also says his restaurant's alleged practice of splitting front of house tips with back of house employees violates labor laws.

The suit claims there's a helluva lot more employees who might have been stiffed too, and invites 'em to hop on for a payout.

We reached out to Benihana ... so far, no word back. 

MMA Legend Royce Gracie Taps Out of Marriage ... Demands Spousal Support

9/15/2016 3:01 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie -- one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time -- is pulling the plug on his 22 year marriage ... TMZ Sports has learned.

Gracie filed divorce docs in L.A. County Superior Court seeking to end his marriage to Marianne Cuttic. 

The two were married back in 1994 and have 4 children together -- 3 of them are under the age of 18. 

In the docs, 49-year-old Gracie cites irreconcilable differences for the split -- but the most interesting part ... he's the one demanding spousal support. He also wants her to pay his attorneys fees. 

Shocking, considering Gracie is one of the most famous MMA fighters ever -- and just fought Ken Shamrock at Bellator 149 back in February. 

Marianne is a podiatrist in Los Angeles. 

Royce is requesting joint physical and legal custody of their minor kids. 

According to multiple reports, Gracie and his wife have been battling with the I.R.S. -- which has accused them of owing more than $1 million in back taxes. 

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Bob Marley Songwriter Goes to 'War' for Jah ... Bob's Label Stiffed Me

9/15/2016 2:16 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0915-bob-marley-getty-01One of Bob Marley's BFFs is getting screwed out of money for 2 of the reggae star's iconic tracks ... according to the lawsuit he's filed to get cash for the heirs of rasta messiah Haile Selassie.

Allan Cole is suing Island, Universal and Tuff Gong music over the copyright on "War" and "Natty Dread." Cole was a Jamaican soccer star who reportedly managed Bob briefly, and says he co-wrote the songs in the '70s.

In the docs, Cole says he was promised a copyright credit, but only got props for co-writing the tracks. He says he noticed the mistake when he tried to transfer half his interest in "War" to the family of former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I.

0915-Haile-Selassie-ethiopean-Emperor-GETTY-01Little background: The lyrics for "War" are lifted almost verbatim from a famous speech by Selassie ... who Rastafarians worship as Jah Rastafari. 

Cole is suing for his share of the copyright, profits from the songs and lawyers fees. 

"Now, everywhere is war ..."

Future Claps Back at Rocko ... You Never Owned Me, Never Paid Me!

9/15/2016 11:06 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0915-future-rocko-tmz-instagram-01Future is firing back at producer/label owner Rocko, saying they didn't have an exclusive agreement, and the rapper's even countersuing for dough he says is way past due.

Future filed a response to Rocko's lawsuit, and says the A1 Recordings honcho was full of it when he claimed Future cut a side deal with Epic Records, cheating A1 out of millions.

As for the agreement Rocko claims Future had with him, Future says the deal never kept him in Rocko's clutches, and his advances from Epic were fully on the up and up.

Here's the kicker ... Future says it was Rocko who screwed HIM by never covering his recording costs or paying advances of $10k per album. He's now suing A1 for that money.

Lil Wayne Powerful New Ally Vows ... I WILL Get His Money from Birdman

9/15/2016 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0914_james_Prince_lil_wayne_birdman_instagram_tmzLil Wayne will get every penny Birdman owes him, or else ... this according to powerful music honcho James Prince, who's jumping in to settle the longstanding beef.

Prince, the head of Rap-A-Lot Records, decided it was time to get involved when Wayne started talking about retiring due to the financial war with Cash Money. He tells TMZ, "Where [Wayne] is weak, I am strong. He has gained an ally, and together we will get back all money owed to him and my son off the Drake albums."

If you didn't know ... his son, Jas Prince, discovered Drake and set him up with Weezy and Young Money. James adds, "I witnessed the hard work that went into Drake's career and for Cash Money to try and take something that isn't theirs to take, does not sit well with me and family around the world."

Translation: We're putting the heat on Birdman to make things right with Wayne. Stat.

We're told the new alliance was hashed out last month backstage at Drake's D.C. show. You'll recall ... James also stepped in when Drake and Diddy were beefing -- delivering the now-infamous and menacing "courtesy call."

As we've reported ... Jas has his own beef with Cash Money -- so, it's clear the Prince family's decided there's strength in numbers when it comes to taking on Birdman.

Now we know why Wayne was bragging about his "family at Rap-A-Lot" always having his back ...

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Actor Duane Martin Show Us the Money! You Jacked Last Mayweather Fight

9/14/2016 4:10 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0914-duane-martin-tmz-getty-03Actor Duane Martin bobbed and weaved his way out of paying to air the Floyd Mayweather-Andre Berto fight in his restaurant ... according to the company in charge of distributing the bout.

J&J Sports Productions says it had exclusive rights to license Floyd's last fight -- a year ago -- to bars, restaurants, hotels and casinos. But according to a lawsuit, Martin and his restaurant, XEN Lounge, straight-up jacked the feed. 

In the docs, J&J says Martin illegally intercepted the feed and showed the fight at the restaurant ... which helped them make a bundle that night.

Depending on the capacity of XEN, it would've cost a few thousand to get the fight on the up and up. Now J&J is suing for damages in excess of $175k.

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

Mary J. Blige Divorce Drama ... Kendu Going for Her Bank

9/14/2016 1:34 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0914-mary-j-blige-martin-isaacs-tmz-02Mary J. Blige's estranged husband/ex-manager, Martin "Kendu" Isaacs, wants her to open up her deep pockets.

Kendu just filed his response to Mary's divorce petition, and it's clear one of the many things they don't see eye to eye on is spousal support. He's asking Mary to fork it over, but in her docs Mary said she wants the court to block him from getting it.

Kendu lists July 25th as the date of separation, even though she said it was "to be determined." It's interesting because all their assets could be shared up until that date, and Mary's clearly the breadwinner. It's still unclear if they have a prenup.

One more financial jab -- Kendu wants her to pay his lawyer's fees.

Prince Estate I Really Wish You Hadn't Screwed Me Out of a Major Profit

9/14/2016 12:26 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0914-prince-make-a-wish-getty-01Prince's estate is out of control when it comes to canceling parties at Paisley Park -- and the guy planning a Make-A-Wish event says the move cost him tens of thousands of dollars. 

Ricky Barron, the event planner, just filed docs saying he planned the Make-A-Wish Minnesota party that Bremer Trust -- which handles Prince's estate -- canceled, and now says he's owed a whopping $56k!

According to the docs, Barron says he lost out on his sizable consulting fees, and already laid out a ton on rental equipment and catering expenses. 

TMZ broke the story ... the estate also pulled the plug on a fundraiser for Mixed Blood Theatre, which says it lost nearly $350k. Sources close to the late singer say Prince was a supporter of both organizations and wanted the parties to happen.

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