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Harvey Weinstein Lead Det. Told Victim to Delete Info from Her Phone

10/17/2018 6:09 PM PDT

The case against Harvey Weinstein suffered a massive blow when prosecutors had to admit the lead detective on the case advised one of the alleged victims to delete information from her phone.

Prosecutors sent a letter Wednesday to Weinstein's attorney, Ben Brafman, informing him that NYPD Det. Nicholas DiGaudio had a conversation with the alleged rape victim about the contents of her phone before she turned it over to the D.A.'s Office.

According to the letter, the woman was concerned about prosecutors seeing things on her phone. It's unclear if that info was relevant to the case -- but the problem for prosecutors is, according to the letter, Det. DiGaudio told her to delete anything she was concerned about, and added ... "we just won't tell [the assistant D.A]." 

It's a huge setback for the prosecution, especially on the heels of the Lucia Evans bombshell. As we reported, DiGaudio failed to disclose a witness statement to prosecutors -- and, as a result, the sexual assault charge against Weinstein was dropped.

The D.A.'s Office says it's still moving forward with the case against Weinstein.

Brafman tells TMZ, "Only those totally uninformed would suggest that these are 'technical' issues. Nothing is further from the truth. The fact is that these issues undermine the fundamental integrity of the judicial process. This case is falling apart because it a fundamentally bad case and bad cases eventually fall apart even when law enforcement officials try and stack the deck against the accused."

Tara Reid Delta Wanted My Dog in Overhead ... Airline Says She's Full of It

10/17/2018 10:14 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

10:05 AM PT -- Delta says Tara's got it all wrong. A spokesperson tells TMZ ... first class seats do not allow bags at your feet -- and, as a result, a flight attendant DID suggest Tara put her dog's carrier in overhead ... NEVER the dog itself.

The rep says Tara was told plainly she could keep her dog in her lap or by her feet.

Additionally, Delta says she didn't go quietly and was "very unruly and disruptive" ... according to flight attendants and other passengers.

Tara Reid is drastically changing her story on why she was escorted off a Delta flight -- now saying she was told to stow her dog in an overhead bin, and simply refused.

The actress posted a statement Wednesday clarifying what she says went down Monday when she deplaned a Delta flight from LAX to NYC with her pup. She says the dog is an emotional support animal -- for which she has paperwork -- but Delta's staff still wouldn't let her dog ride on her lap ... only offering overhead or cargo hold storage options. 

She says she had pre-arranged to bring the 3-month-old dog on board, but after flight attendants made it clear they were not on board with the plan ... she says she calmly boarded another flight.

You can see and clearly hear from the video ... Tara didn't have a choice -- she was escorted off the plane

Tara now says we got our reporting wrong, but the fact is ... we spoke directly to her Monday and she told us she was upset about not getting a window seat and feeling cramped in her seat because the person in front of her reclined theirs.

We reached out to Delta to comment on Tara's latest version ... so far, no word back. 

Originally Published -- 7:19 AM PDT

Kobe Bryant Axed From Film Festival Jury Over '03 Rape Allegation

10/17/2018 8:12 AM PDT
Breaking News

An animated film festival in L.A. just kicked Kobe Bryant off the festival jury over backlash stemming from his 2003 rape case. 

The Lakers legend was set to be part of the jury at the Animation is Film Festival this weekend at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood  ... but event organizers announced Wednesday that ain't happening.

“After discussions with the various stakeholders of Animation Is Film, the decision has been made to remove Kobe Bryant from the 2018 jury” ... event honcho Eric Beckman says.

Kobe, of course, won an Academy Award for his "Dear Basketball" short ... and seemed to be completely embraced by Hollywood. Kobe says he's even dished out movie-makin' advice to Barack Obama.

But last week, a petition popped up on Change.org demanding Bryant be dropped from the event -- and apparently, that was the thing that pushed festival officials to remove Kobe. 

"This is an urgent time to say NO to toxic and violent behavior against women,” the petition reads ... "Keeping Kobe Bryant on the jury sets a precedent of lenience for sexual criminals and further undermines the visibility and respect that victims of harassment and assault deserve.”

The petition only got 159 signatures -- but clearly, it was enough to make an impact. 

We reached out to Kobe for comment ... so far, no word back.

Barack Obama Gets Hollywood Assist ... From Kobe Bryant!

10/16/2018 6:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

President Barack Obama is turning to one of the greats to help him launch his Hollywood career -- KOBE BRYANT!!!

The Lakers legend was out in D.C. when we asked if he'd been helping his friend, Barry, launch his new Netflix projects and Mamba replied like De Niro in "Goodfellas" ... "Little bit."

Remember, Barack and Michelle recently signed a deal with Netflix to produce scripted and unscripted content along with documentaries and features through their company, Higher Ground Productions.

So, who do you turn to for advice on how make an immediate splash in Hollywood? An Oscar winner

And, since Kobe's got the hardware thanks to his short film, "Dear Basketball" -- the Obamas clearly feel confident enough to hit up Mamba for some coaching. 

We're all wondering if Obama has gone to other Hollywood heavy hitters for help -- namely, LeBron James -- another basketball superstar who's become a real mogul in town. 

George Lopez Trump Fight Busts Out at Hooters

10/16/2018 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

George Lopez had a terrible time at Hooters, thanks to one giant boob who goaded him into a fight ... and TMZ has the video.

The incident went down Sunday night in New Mexico, where George had spent the week filming the movie "Walking with Herb." As you can see ... the guy was lying in wait for George when he started recording.

That's when you hear the guy say, "Here comes my boy, George," and then all hell breaks loose. You get a glimpse of George grabbing the back of the guy's neck.

A source close to George tells TMZ the guy had been in the comedian's face all night, making pro-Trump comments and yelling "MAGA." George finally had it and went HAM.

We're told there were no real injuries and cops weren't called. It's no secret ... George's not down with Trump. 

Margot Robbie Her Sharon Tate Game is Strong ... In Turtleneck, White Skirt

10/15/2018 2:44 PM PDT

Margot Robbie's been in full Sharon Tate mode while filming Quentin Tarantino's new Manson flick ... and shots like these show just how strong a resemblance she bears to the '60s actress.

QT's leading star for "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" was on set Monday in L.A. getting ready to shoot a scene, decked out in a black turtleneck, white skirt and matching go-go boots.

We don't have to tell you how much she looks like Sharon, we'll just show you. Here's a photo of Sharon with her husband, Roman Polanski, in 1968 ... a year before she and 4 others were brutally murdered by the Manson family. 

Sharon was 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time she was killed in '69. Margot's already shot scenes with her faux pregnancy belly

If her acting is anywhere near as spot-on as her look is -- and Sharon's sister indicated to us earlier this year that it is -- then we're almost certainly in for some Oscar-worthy work.

Trevor Donovan Saves Puppy from Drowning!!!

10/15/2018 8:17 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Former "90210" star Trevor Donovan is saving lives in a much hotter zip code now -- he rescued an exhausted puppy in Lake Havasu ... TMZ has learned.

We got this video, shot Thursday on the lake bordering Cali and Arizona ... and you can see Trevor dive into action. We're told the dog -- a 4-month-old golden retriever named Shadow -- belonged to one of the crew members on the movie Trevor's shooting out there.

The pup had apparently swam out too far, and was tiring as it tried to get back. Trevor busted out his best butterfly stroke and helped the dog back to shore.

Trevor's shooting a jetskiing movie called "Hot Water" ... which he's described as an homage to '80s and '90s comedies like "Caddyshack" and "Ski School."

Talk about perfect timing -- for him and the dog -- Thursday happened to be Trevor's birthday. He can't say it wasn't a happy one.

Only downside for Trev? It's not often his shirtless bod gets upstaged, but Shadow is REALLY cute!

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson John Henry is More Than Being Black ... Says '90s John Henry

10/13/2018 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Dwayne Johnson is getting a raw deal from people who think he's not black enough to play John Henry ... according to Roger Aaron Brown, who had the role back in the '90s.

Roger played John Henry in the 1995 movie 'Tall Tale,' and tells us he doesn't have a problem with The Rock stepping into his shoes. He tells us there's way more to the role than being African-American, so complaints Dwayne's skin isn't dark enough are nonsense.

As Roger sees it, Dwayne has the acting chops and physical stature to play John Henry -- the railroad worker worked himself to death, according to folklore.  

The Rock is clearly thrilled about his upcoming movie, "John Henry and the Statesmen," and his lifelong passion for the story is enough for Roger to get on board. 

If you're still upset about Dwayne's skin tone, Roger has a solution for ya. 

Mr. Rogers Movie Set Emmy Winner Dies After Fall From Balcony

10/12/2018 6:38 AM PDT
Breaking News

A crew member on the set of Tom Hanks' upcoming Mr. Rogers movie died after suffering a heart attack and falling off a balcony.

James Emswiller, who won an Emmy in 2015, was taking a smoke break when the coronary struck as he stood on the second-story balcony.

Hanks was on set Thursday night in Lebanon, PA when Emswiller fell ... during the filming of "You Are My Friend," the Fred Rogers biopic.

James was alone on the deck when other crew members heard what sounded like someone falling from the balcony.

After James hit the ground, a nurse on set tried assisting ... apparently to no avail. By the time EMTs arrived, Emswiller was in full cardiac arrest.

James was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital and was pronounced dead 3 hours later.

Emswiller won an Emmy for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series for HBO production of "Bessie."

James was 61. 

RIP

Ron Howard Trump's Taxes Should Be Target Of Next FBI Investigation

10/12/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The American people deserve an FBI investigation into President Trump's taxes because where there's smoke, there's often fire ... according to Ron Howard, who says there's only one reason it hasn't happened yet.

The beloved director, producer and actor was at LAX when he raised a topic he and millions of other Americans find intriguing: why The New York Times bombshell on Trump's alleged tax evasion totally fell flat. Ron told us it's all about the source.

Watch the clip ... he strongly suggests 45 has poisoned the public against the media -- aka the "fake news" -- and the only solution is to get law enforcement on the job.

To be clear, Ron's not saying he's SURE Trump is guilty of anything, but he is sure America needs to know its President isn't a tax cheat. He says reporters got the ball rolling, but law enforcement should finish the job ... and quickly.

Ron made it clear why he thinks time's a wastin'.

David Arquette Top Rope Attack at Canadian Wrestling Match

10/12/2018 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

David Arquette is 47 YEARS OLD -- and flying off the top rope!!!

Check out this footage of Arquette wreckin' shop at Border City Wrestling’s 25th Anniversary Show in Ontario, Canada over the weekend ... it's realley, really impressive. 

Arquette was teamed up with his former nemesis RJ City (their tag name is Arquette City), and they took on Halal Beefcake ... two guys who came out in "Scream" masks to taunt Arquette. 

The video is great -- Arquette gets double-crossed, takes a middle finger to his face ... and then jumps off the top rope, all captured in footage airing Nov. 9 on Global Wrestling Network

Remember, Arquette was the WCW Heavyweight champ back in the day -- but that moment is widely regarded as one of the low points in pro wrestling history. 

Recently, Arquette went to Mexico to train with luchadores and perfected some pretty advanced wrestling moves. 

Not bad, Mr. Arquette ... 

'Truman Show' House Spared Hurricane Michael's Wrath

10/12/2018 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

This is NOT a figment of Truman Burbank's imagination ... the house where Jim Carrey filmed "The Truman Show" was smack in the path of Hurricane Michael's 155 mph winds, but somehow dodged disaster.

Exteriors for the 1998 flick were shot at this home in Seaside, FL and, despite the approaching category 4 storm, the owners tell us they did very little to protect the house. They trusted the fact it's sitting on a solid foundation, and hoped for the best. However, the town was under mandatory evacuation, so they got out of harm's way ... not knowing if the home would make it.

Truth is, the odds weren't in their favor when Michael made landfall. As a barometer, Panama city -- just 35 miles west of Seaside -- was decimated.

As it turns out, the hurricane ended up skirting Seaside ... and the only real damage suffered at the house was limited to some branches coming down.

The owners know they got super lucky this time around.

BTW, the house is usually empty, except for visiting family members from time to time. The owners don't rent it out, and they've left it unchanged since 'Truman' was shot there. 

Mike WiLL Made-It 'Creed II' Soundtrack ... STRAIGHT FIRE!

10/11/2018 3:04 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Did you know super producer Mike WiLL Made-It is the guy doing the "Creed II" soundtrack?

It's true ... and Mike tells TMZ Sports it's gonna blow your mind. 

FYI, Mike is one of the heaviest hitter in hip-hop -- he just won a Grammy for the work he did on Kendrick Lamar's hit single, "Humble."

Now, Sylvester Stallone has charged Mike with overseeing the music to his beloved franchise -- and Mike says he's ready for the moment. 

"The soundtrack is crazy," Mike says ... "Every song has that gut feeling, that feeling that you're gonna fight through something."

Mike says he wanted the music to be as compelling as the movie itself, which comes out Nov. 21 -- "I don't want it to be a typical soundtrack."

Long story short ... it's gonna be dope. 

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