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Meek Mill Judge Will Not Remove Herself from the Case

4/25/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Meek Mill's judge will NOT remove herself from his drug and weapons case ... despite the Pennsylvania Supreme Court inviting her to do so ... TMZ has learned.

Judge Genece Brinkley maintains she has been and will continue to give Meek a fair shake, this according to her lawyer A. Charles Peruto, Jr.

Peruto tells TMZ the judge does not feel the Supreme Court in any way repudiated her rulings when it ordered that Meek go free without bail, pending the next hearing in June.

The hearing will determine if the drug and weapons case should be thrown out because of the testimony of a crooked cop, and Peruto suggested Judge Brinkley will not necessarily side with the prosecutor and Meek's lawyer, both of whom are asking the judge to toss the conviction.

Peruto says there were other cops who testified in the case, and if their credibility is intact the judge might not overturn the conviction.  

Judge Brinkley's lawyer says the judge bears no grudge against Meek and insists she's been fair from the start. 

But if the Supreme Court was trying to gently suggest that Brinkley remove herself from the case, the message was not received. 

Prince Ex-Wife Slams Sinead's Claims ... He's Not a Woman Beater!!!

4/25/2018 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Prince's ex-wife doesn't buy Sinead O'Connor's claims he was violent toward women and abused hard drugs ... because she never saw a shred of evidence to support that.

Mayte Garcia -- who was married to Prince from 1996 to 2000 -- tells TMZ he was never violent with her and she never witnessed him being violent with anyone ... man or woman. She also says he didn't do hard drugs while they were together, and she only saw him drunk once.

Garcia's very skeptical of Sinead's self-proclaimed close relationship with Prince ... telling us she seriously doubts she could have known more than she did.

Mayte has a problem with the timing of Sinead's allegations, too ... because Prince wasn't alive to defend himself.

Garcia admits she found the reports of Prince's deadly pill stash shocking and heartbreaking, because she knew him for years and didn't see anything like that.

But as for O'Connor's most outrageous claim -- that Prince was into devil worship -- Garcia simply calls BS. She says he was spiritual and religious, but any claims of him doing something sinister are "ridiculously wrong" ... adding, "I strongly deny that in his honor."

Tekashi69 Manager Under Investigation For Shootings Before & During Broner Fight

4/25/2018 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Tekashi69's manager is under criminal investigation for two shootings that went down the day of Adrien Broner's fight ... and the moments leading up to the incident were caught on tape.

Law enforcement sources tell us 6ix9ine's manager, Tr3yway, is a person of interest in two separate gun-related incidents over the weekend -- one that occurred during the Broner fight, and another that went down just hours earlier on the streets of Brooklyn.

We're told police believe Tr3yway might be the person who fired a shot inside the Barclays Center after a fight broke out with Casanova's crew, based on surveillance video. They also think he might've been the guy who fired two shots 4 hours beforehand, when he was allegedly captured on video shooting at a car following Tekashi's SUV.

Cops tell us the suspect in the footage from both incidents resembles Tr3yway.

In the footage from outside the arena, obtained by TMZ, you see what eyewitnesses tell us is Tekashi's SUV presumably heading to Barclays. It stops suddenly, and a guy we're told is Tr3yway hops out and runs in the opposite direction ... at which point he allegedly fired. 

Sources say Tekashi got out in the vid, as well, but you can't make out his face -- or hair -- 'cause he's got a hoodie on. Criminal charges have yet to be brought against Tr3yway. Still ... considering Tekashi's crew has been linked to a THIRD shooting this week ... they might wanna lay low. 

We've reached out to Tekashi's camp multiple times for comment ... so far, no word back. 

Meek Mill Gets Insane Ovation at 76ers Game ... Rings the Bell!

4/24/2018 5:15 PM PDT
Breaking News

Meek Mill just walked on the court at the Wells Fargo Center -- wearing a Joel Embiid jersey -- and the crowd lost their minds!!!

Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin personally escorted the rapper from prison to the arena to be the guest of honor for Game 5 against the Miami Heat ... and he even got to ring the bell before tip-off.

As we expected ... Sixers fans -- including Kevin Hart by his side -- erupted in cheers for several moments for their hometown guy, who many felt was wrongly locked up for the past 5 months.

Before the game, the players took the floor to Meek's "Ima Boss" as he glad-handed fans and supporters courtside. He also got in a post-prison shower in the team locker room.

As we reported ... Meek's trip to the arena was epic -- hopping in a chopper straight out of prison to beat traffic to the game.

Meek Mill Boards Chopper Heading to 76ers Game!

4/24/2018 3:48 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

Meek Mill is out of prison ... and in a helicopter heading for the Philadelphia 76ers playoff game!!!

Sources tell us the chopper belongs to 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, Meek's close friend who promised to personally pick him up.

Meek has about an hour to get to the arena if he wants to make it for tip off ... and with this kind of air transportation, he'll probably make it!!

Jay-Z just spoke on Meek's release saying, "Today, Meek Mill, a son of Philadelphia, is a free man. He was incarcerated unjustly and caught in a probation trap for years by a broken system. Now we can celebrate his release. We thank every individual that has supported and fought alongside Meek every step of the way."

A statement from Roc Nation adds, "We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision to grant Meek Mill bail and allow him to return home to his loved ones."

It continues, "We are grateful for all the support that Meek has received from his fans and public advocates over the past five months and look forward to working alongside Meek to fight for criminal justice reform.”

The prison is about 12 miles from the arena -- where the 76ers will take on the Miami Heat in Game 5 of their NBA playoff series.

The 76ers are up 3 games to 1 and have a chance to close out the series tonight!!!

EPIC!!!!!!

Meek Mill's Lawyer Joe Tacopina Justice is Served ... But it's Bittersweet

4/24/2018 2:49 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Meek Mill's lawyer is happy, optimistic and feels vindicated after a long legal war finally led to the rapper's release from prison ... but he's not popping the champagne just yet.

Joe Tacopina tells TMZ he's relieved because Meek finally gets to be home with his family where he belongs, but still seems to be in disbelief over all the trouble he had to go through to get there ... which he says is unlike anything he's ever seen before.

Tacopina points specifically to the actions of Judge Genece Brinkley, who he feels had a legal vendetta against Meek from day one and was consistently unprofessional. On the plus side, Joe feels his time dealing with the judge is coming to an end ... whether it's by her choice or not.

More importantly, Tacopina firmly believes Meek is out of jail for good -- regardless of what Judge Brinkley does -- and eventually the right ruling will be made and he'll officially be a free man.

Hey, they've waited this long ...

Cardi B Meek's Out? Yeeeahhh, Boyyy!

4/24/2018 4:12 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Cardi B has just a few words for Meek Mill now that he's getting out of prison -- but they're quite telling, and in the same vein as ... awww sh******eeeeetttt!!!!!

We got the "Bodak Yellow" rapper Tuesday as she was heading into LAX, where we asked if she had any thoughts on the big news of the day ... namely, Meek getting sprung.

We broke the story ... the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overruled Judge Genece Brinkley and ordered bail be set for Meek's immediate release. The justices cited the alleged corrupt police officer used as a "critical witness" in the rapper's OG criminal case as a main reason.

Cardi's clearly happy for Meek, but she's also pretty defensive. Our camera guy asks if this moment will transform his rap career. Check out pit bull Cardi go to bat for the dude. 

Floyd Mayweather Happy for Meek Mill 'Deserves to Be Home'

4/24/2018 2:11 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

We just broke the news to Floyd Mayweather that Meek Mill is being released from prison ... and Floyd says he's really happy for the rapper. 

Floyd and Meek have supported each other over the years -- Floyd's publicly praised Meek's music and Meek attended the Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight. 

So, when we saw Floyd out in NYC shopping for jewelry, we had to ask what he thought about Meek getting out of prison after 5 months. 

"I'm glad he home," Floyd said ... "He deserves to be home."

We also asked Floyd about the shooting in Atlanta but he didn't really want to talk about it. However, his bodyguard Greg La Rosa who was shot in the leg during the attack says he's recovering nicely and should be okay. 

Meek Mill Walks Out of Prison ... First Time Since Nov.

4/24/2018 2:10 PM PDT

Meek Mill just stepped out of prison for the first time since being thrown behind bars in the fall ... directly onto a waiting helicopter!!!

The Philly-based rapper walked out of Chester State Correctional Institution on Tuesday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered bail for Meek so he could go free ... overruling Judge Genece Brinkley, who wanted to keep him in there for at least another 60 days.

We broke the story ... Meek was ordered to be released Tuesday, and he issued a statement thanking the District Attorney's Office, the PA Supreme Court, his legal team and all of his friends, family and fans who showed support while he was locked up. He was facing a 2-4 year prison sentence that was handed down at the beginning of November.

He also said he plans to shine a light on other cases where people of color are improperly jailed, and promised to fight to overturn his OG conviction and resume his rap career.

76ers co-owner Michael Rubin vowed to personally pick Meek up from prison and came through strong -- bringing his helicopter to the prison! The group then flew straight to Wells Fargo Center just in time for Game 5 against the Miami Heat. 

Welcome back, Meek!

76ers Owner Picking Meek Mill Up From Prison

4/24/2018 1:09 PM PDT
Breaking News

1:58 PM PT -- Our sources tell us the plan is for Meek to attend Tuesday night's game, but the key issue is time. 

If Meek can get formally checked out of prison and then get to the arena in time for the game, which starts at 5 PM PT, he'll be there as the team's VIP guest. 

It's a 12-mile drive from the prison to the arena. 

LET'S GOOOOO!!!!!!!

Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin says he's on his way to Chester State prison to personally pick up Meek Mill when he's released ... and it's a good bet the rapper will be at the game tonight. 

Rubin and Meek have become very close -- with Rubin not only visiting him several times since Meek was incarcerated, but also bringing a bunch of high-profile and influential people to the prison ... including Robert Kraft, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Kevin Hart and more. 

Now, with Meek officially being released after 5 months ... Rubin posted, "Meek Mill is free. Just left visiting Meek with Kevin Hart and I'm on the way back to pick him up as we speak #MeekIsFree #GoSixers."

Someone just posted from Meek's Instagram account, "Go Sixers."

The 76ers play the Miami Heat at Wells Fargo Center in Philly for Game 5 of their playoff series ... and the smart money is that Meek will be the VIP guest who gets to ring the famous bell. 

Stay tuned ... 

Meek Mill Athletes React to Prison Release

4/24/2018 2:14 PM PDT
Breaking News

The sports world is freaking out over Meek Mill's release from prison ... with some of the biggest athletes showing support for the rap superstar.

Philadelphia Eagles star Jay Ajayi kicked off the celebration by tweeting "MEEK FREE!!!!! Philly Lit"

Torrey Smith praised Sixers owner Michael Rubin for his contribution and "for simply being a good friend and lending his platform to help others," and adding "Thousands of people are treated unfairly daily by the criminal justice system. I can’t wait to see @MeekMill help lead the way for others that don’t have a voice. Welcome home!"

Karl-Anthony Towns -- who showed support for the rapper with a customized jersey at the Super Bowl this year -- voiced his approval, saying "Welcome home @MeekMill"

 Ex-NFLer Freddie Mitchell added "Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last. Letttttss Goooo" ... and Super Bowl champ Jalen Mills added "MEEK MILL HOLLA AT ME BRO.... That MAN FREE"

L.A. Lakers star Kyle Kuzma had a different take, saying "It took meek mill 5 months to get out of jail but this guy from the Waffle House shooting can potentially be out by next week on BAIL. #OnlyInAmerica"

J.R. Smith is stoked for the Philly native, saying "My brudda home baby! Let’s gooooo!!!! @meekmill now let’s show em what’s good!!!"

Kanye West Breaks With Scooter Braun ... Sources Call Him 'Erratic'

4/24/2018 12:31 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

Kanye West has parted ways with much of his management team, and our sources say he seems a little erratic.

We're told Kanye gave his team an ultimatum -- work with him full-time or not at all. The various members of his team, including his lawyers and manager Scooter Braun, weren't up for playing ball. Scooter has a million irons in the fire and working for Kanye full-time is out of the question.

Kanye has said he wants to be bigger than Apple. Problem is ... various people who have been interacting with him say he's hitting the guardrails. They're quick to point out he's not having the kind of meltdown he had in November 2016, but they say he's acting erratically.

We're told Kanye plans to do everything in-house -- at least with respect to his music career. We're told he's still on good terms with Braun and they will continue doing business together. Scooter's company helped Kanye launch his super successful Adidas business

Meek Mill To Be Released From Prison Free Man Within Hours!

4/24/2018 12:48 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

1:23 PM PT -- According to the PA Supreme Court's official order, the justices cited the alleged corrupt police officer who served as a "critical witness" in Meek's original gun and drugs case as a crucial point in their decision to order his bail. It also said prosecutors were not opposed to him being released, and sided with them.

Meek Mill will be a free man in 1 hour ... out of prison after a long legal battle.

The Supreme Court of PA made the decision, overruling Judge Genece Brinkley. Judge Brinkley was severely criticized for what some say was a grudge against Meek and keeping him in prison, despite prosecutors asking that his conviction be overturned because of a dirty cop.

Judge Brinkley denied Meek bail last week after prosecutors asked her to toss the conviction, and instead she set a hearing for 60 days later. Many found that outrageous, and that apparently includes justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The justices released Meek with no bail, pending a hearing in about 60 days to possibly dismiss the conviction. One remarkable thing, which is a clear diss to Judge Brinkley ... the justices refused to boot Judge Brinkley from the case, but said she "may opt to remove herself from presiding over this matter."

Meek tells TMZ ... "I’d like to thank God, my family, my friends, my attorneys, my team at Roc Nation including JAY-Z, Desiree Perez, my good friend Michael Rubin, my fans, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court and all my public advocates for their love, support and encouragement during this difficult time."

"While the past five months have been a nightmare, the prayers, visits, calls, letters and rallies have helped me stay positive."

The rapper also hopped on a call with T.I. after his release ... T.I. posted a video of the call, and Meek sounds ecstatic. 

Meek adds, "To the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, I’m grateful for your commitment to justice – not only for my case, but for others that have been wrongfully jailed due to police misconduct. Although I’m blessed to have the resources to fight this unjust situation, I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues. In the meantime, I plan to work closely with my legal team to overturn this unwarranted conviction and look forward to reuniting with my family and resuming my music career." 

Meek's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, says, "Meek was unjustly convicted and should not have spent a single day in jail. Meek is excited to be reunited with his family, and we, along with Meek, intend to continue to shine the light on a justice system in need of reform to prevent any other citizen from being put through what Meek has endured."

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