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Actor Hugh Dane Hank from 'The Office' Dead at 75

6/4/2018 6:49 PM PDT

Dunder Mifflin fans have lost a member of their TV family -- Hugh Dane, who famously played Hank the security guard on "The Office," has died. 

One of Hugh's costars on the sitcom, Rainn Wilson, tweeted out the news Monday with a link to a nonprofit Hugh was involved with. The org., The Inner City Cultural Center in L.A., posted about Hugh's death late last month ... they say he died in mid-May.

It's unclear what Hugh might've died from -- the ICCC didn't provide any details about the circumstances surrounding his death. They did mention, however, he'll be honored through a memorial this weekend.

Hugh had a long acting career dating back to the 1990s. Besides his recurring role as Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch enforcer ... he's also appeared on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Martin," "Boy Meets World," "Everybody Hates Chris," "The West Wing," "Friends," "Sister, Sister," "The Steve Harvey Show," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "New Girl" and lots of other shows and films. 

He was 75. Here's to Hank, and his blues ... RIP.

'Chicago Fire' DuShon Monique Brown Died of a Blood Infection

5/31/2018 12:50 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

DuShon Monique Brown -- who played Connie on "Chicago Fire" -- died of a blood infection, but it's unclear how her system became contaminated ... TMZ has learned.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office tells us Brown's cause of death was sepsis, with an unknown origin. Sepsis typically occurs when harmful bacteria infiltrates the blood, often from an untreated wound.

We're told other contributing factors to her death include high blood pressure and obesity.

 As we reported ... DuShon died back in March after falling ill while she was at home in Chicago. She'd just been released from a hospital a few days prior ... after she'd received treatment for chest pains. 

She starred on "Chicago Fire" ever since the show debuted in 2012 -- and also had a role on the FOX show "Prison Break" from 2005 to 2007.

She is survived by a daughter. DuShon was 49.

RIP

Andrea Constand Breaks Silence He Gave Me 3 Blue Pills and Sexually Assaulted Me

5/31/2018 6:53 AM PDT
Breaking News

Andrea Constand has spoken out for the first time -- aside from testifying in court -- about how Bill Cosby gave her 3 blue pills and then attacked her.

Constand spoke to NBC's Kate Snow about the encounter 13 years ago, when she was the operations manager for Temple University's women's basketball program. The then-31-year-old was being mentored by Cosby about a career change when she went to his home for counseling.

Constand explains why she took the pills, and how she tried in vain to fight Cosby off her.

Cosby was convicted on 3 counts of aggravated indecent assault and is awaiting sentencing.

The interview is part of a Dateline special, "Bringing Down Bill Cosby: Andrea Constand Speaks" ... which airs Friday night.

Chrissy Metz Oh, of Course I'd Play a Superhero! I'm Split on Which Universe

5/13/2018 10:32 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chrissy Metz says she'd love to throw on a cape and save the day on camera -- now the harder question ... DC or Marvel? 

We got the 'This Is Us' star Saturday at LAX, where we asked about a revelation she made in her novel 'This Is Me' regarding abuse she suffered as a child. She offers some heartfelt advice to girls going through similar situations ... and then pivoted to spandex tights. 

Our guys asks if she's a 'Black Panther' fan since her co-star, Sterling Brown, acts in it. Surprise ... she is, and wouldn't be opposed to donning a mask herself if the opportunity presented itself. Sounds like she's open to any and all, too. Whip up those scripts.

Tom Brokaw Maddow, 63 Others Sign Letter of Support

4/27/2018 4:44 PM PDT
Breaking News

Tom Brokaw's current and former colleagues at NBC, including Rachel Maddow, are coming out strong in his defense against sexual harassment allegations.

Maddow, Maria Shriver and longtime NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell -- along with 61 other women -- all signed the letter stating, "Tom has treated each of us with fairness and respect."

According to the letter, the women are anchors, directors, executives, personal assistants and technical staff who've worked with Tom over 4 decades. They added, "He has given each of us opportunities for advancement and championed our successes throughout our careers."

As we reported, 2 former coworkers have accused Brokaw of making unwanted sexual advances in the '90s. He's denied the allegations.

Tom Brokaw Stongly Denies Sexual Harassment Claims ... Angry and Hurt

4/27/2018 11:53 AM PDT

Tom Brokaw's firing back at one of his sexual harassment accusers, referring to her as a former colleague with a grudge who has had "trouble with the truth."

In an email reportedly sent to a few NBC News coworkers, the former "NBC Nightly News" anchor goes off on Linda Vester, who claims Brokaw acted inappropriately toward her more than 20 years ago.

Brokaw begins his statement by saying it's the first day of his new life as an accused predator, and slams the publications he feels are responsible, saying ... "I was ambushed and then perp walked ... as an avatar of male misogyny, taken to the guillotine and stripped of any honor and achievement I had earned in more than a half century of journalism and citizenship."

He says he's pissed off and hurt, and gives a detailed account of his relationship with Vester and adamantly denies any verbal or physical attacks on her.

As for the alleged kiss Vester claims he tried to force on her, Brokaw says ... "That move she so vividly describes is NOT WHO I AM. Not in high school, college or thereafter."

Brokaw continues, claiming he helped Vester land a job after the alleged incident and there were never issues between the 2. He suggests her claims are an attention grab, saying ... "Hard to believe it wasn't much more Look At Me than Me:Too."

As we reported ... Brokaw is facing allegations of misconduct by Vester and an anonymous woman.

Matt Lauer vs. Ann Curry War Reignited

4/27/2018 6:52 AM PDT

The bad blood between Matt Lauer and Ann Curry is boiling again ... after Curry accused Lauer of physically harassing an NBC female staffer.

Curry claimed she told NBC execs back in 2012 Lauer was actually physically aggressive toward women and claims the honchos did nothing. Lauer just fired back, acknowledging he had crossed the line while anchoring "Today" but adding, "I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false."

Lauer made his comments to The Washington Post, the same day Curry told the post about her allegations.

The animosity between Curry and Lauer goes back years. As TMZ previously reported, Lauer thought Curry was a lightweight and was bringing down the show when she was his co-anchor. Curry believed Lauer was responsible for her getting fired from the gig, and even shunned him her last day on the show.

Tom Brokaw Facing Claims of Sexual Harassment

4/26/2018 5:51 PM PDT
Breaking News

Tom Brokaw is being accused of making inappropriate and unwanted advances ... on 2 female co-workers in separate incidents in the 1990s.

One of the women, Linda Vester, claims the veteran broadcast journalist and former anchor of NBC Nightly News sexually harassed her while she was a reporter for NBC on "Weekend Today" in 1994 ... according to a report by The Washington Post.

Vester claims he asked her to have a drink with him, she replied "I only drink milk and cookies" ... and Brokaw later called her room around 3 AM and told her to order the milk and cookies because he was coming over. 

She then says he showed up uninvited and attempted to force a kiss on her, jerking her head towards his, but she resisted ... then he left.

The second woman -- who chose to remain anonymous -- says she was a former PA at NBC News when he took her hands and put them under his jacket against his chest. He then invited her to his office later on ... insinuating he wanted to give her more than job advice.

She says she left the company shortly thereafter.

Neither woman reported the incidents when they happened. Brokaw -- who has been married to Meredith Lynn Auld since 1962 -- has denied the allegations.

Meek Mill I'm Out, But I Still Don't Feel Free

4/25/2018 4:19 PM PDT
Breaking News

Meek Mill getting out of prison doesn't mean he's out of the clutches of the criminal justice system ... at least that's how he's viewing his situation 24 hours after getting released on bail.

Meek sat down with Lester Holt for NBC's 'Nightly News,' and rather than celebrate ... the Philly rapper explained why he doesn't feel free and hasn't since he was a teenager.

Although he's out on bail, Meek isn't running from his case. In fact, he says he now feels a responsibility to other people who are wrongly imprisoned. Case in point, he wants the #FreeMeekMill replaced by #JusticeReform.

Steve Harvey Sued by Fitness Model ... You Made Me Look Slutty!!!

4/13/2018 3:25 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Steve Harvey and his talk show producers are being accused of tarting up a hardworking single mom, who also happens to be a fitness model ... according to a lawsuit.

The "Steve Harvey" episode aired in April 2016, and the woman, Dominique Collier, says she had responded to a casting call for "single professional women who like to show off their looks."

She claims producers told her the show would highlight her being a professional single mom, who's also a fitness model. In her lawsuit, she says that's not how it all went down. Dominique showed up for the taping in a conservative outfit -- a long-sleeved blouse and pencil skirt -- but producers put her in a halter top and form-fitting skirt ... according to the suit.

In the docs, obtained by TMZ, she says the segment included an audience vote on her looks, and responses included ... "whore," "slut," "ratchet" and "daddy issues." Dominique says she fired off a cease and desist to the show to remove the audience poll from the segment before it aired -- and even though producers obliged, she says the damage was done in front of the live audience.

She also claims they altered pics of her to make her look more provocative.

She says she felt demeaned and was backstage crying when Harvey walked up and handed her the clothing she arrived in, including her bra and undergarments.

Dominique says she felt sexually harassed. She's suing Steve, the show's production company Endemol Shine and NBC for at least $2 million. We've reached out to Steve's reps.

'Chicago Fire' Actress DuShon Monique Brown Dead at 49

3/23/2018 4:15 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

5:01 PM PT -- Chicago Fire producer Dick Wolf released a statement on Brown's death. He says, "The Chicago Fire family is devastated to lose one of its own. Our thought and prayers are with DuShon's family and we will all miss her."

5:25 PM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell us Brown was at home Friday morning when her family called paramedics because she was feeling ill. We're told she was taken to the hospital, where she died around noon. Her death is now being investigated by the medical examiner."Chicago Fire" actress DuShon Monique Brown has died after suffering an apparent heart attack.

Production sources tell us Brown admitted herself to a Chicago hospital a few days ago after suffering chest pains, we're told she went through tests but was released a short time later.

Things apparently took a turn for the worse Friday ... our sources say Brown died at home after some type of cardiac episode.

DuShon -- a Chicago native -- has been on "Chicago Fire" since the show started in 2012. She played Connie, the assistant to Chief Boden. She was also on "Prison Break" from 2005 to 2007.

DuShon has a background in social work and a Masters in Counseling and once worked as a counselor at a local high school.

Brown also starred in a made for TV movie titled "Public Housing Unit" about Chicago cops ... the project is set to premiere later this year. 

She leaves behind a daughter.

RIP

Questlove, NBC Sued You Fired Us 'Cause We're White All Over a 'Racist' Text

1/24/2018 1:00 PM PST
Breaking News

6:00 PM PT -- A rep for Questlove tells us he denies the "ridiculous allegations" in this suit, adding ... "Racism is REAL and exists throughout the world and for these gentlemen to claim victim is not only disrespectful to Questlove and his band mates, but to all that truly endure racism on a daily basis."

3:36 PM PT -- A rep for NBC tells us, "NBC is committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. We have strong policies in place that protect against discrimination in any form. The decision about these plaintiffs was the company's alone."

Questlove demanded NBC fire two white camera guys on the 'Tonight Show' over a racist group text they never asked to be a part of ... this according to a new lawsuit.

Camera operators Kurt Decker and Michael Cimino just filed suit against the TV network and the leader of The Roots after what they claim was misappropriated blame and racial retaliation from Questlove after each of them received a racist text he caught wind of.

According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, a stagehand sent Decker, Cimino and Roots member Mark Kelley -- who's black -- a text during a taping of the 'Tonight Show' last year, which they say they never asked for or responded to. They say they tried explaining this to NBC execs in an attempt to distance themselves from the vile text, which they feared would be associated with them.

Questlove got wind of this and demanded that NBC fire the camera operators, which NBC did.

The Roots band member who also received the texts did not get punished.

Matt Lauer & Wife Annette Hitch Their Horses Together ... Amid Rumor He Got Booted

1/22/2018 12:15 PM PST

Matt Lauer sure doesn't look like a guy who just got kicked out of the house by his wife -- 'cause they're still showing up to the same places ... albeit separately.

Matt and his wife of 20 years, Annette Roque, both arrived Monday to a horse farm in Sag Harbor, Long Island -- this after a rumor went out this week that she'd kicked him out of their Hamptons home.

They did not arrive together, but did appear right around the same time at 11 AM ET. Annette has not filed for divorce or signaled any formal separation from her fired hubby, who was accused of sexual misconduct while at NBC's 'Today' morning show.

Hard to tell if they're still on good terms after Matt's alleged misdeeds at work. Guess we'll have to wait 'til we hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

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