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U.S. Swimmer Jimmy Feigen Brazil Extorted Me ... For King's Ransom

8/24/2016 6:01 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0824-jimmy-feigen-getty-02Team USA swimmer Jimmy Feigen says Brazilian officials tried to shake him down following the gas station incident in Rio ... demanding more than $46,000 to let him leave the country. 

Feigen just spelled out the situation in a statement through his lawyer -- saying on the day he was scheduled to leave Rio -- hell broke loose at a Brazilian courthouse. 

Feigen says he was given two options: 

Option 1 -- Remain in Brazil while the police continued the investigation. "This process was estimated to take at least a month and I would be required to remain in Brazil."

Option 2 -- Pay a fine of $31,250 for the return of his passport and perform 15 days of community service. 

Feigen says he decided both options were unreasonable and shot down both deals -- the prosecutor responded by raising the fine to $46,875!

Finally, Feigen says all parties agreed to a $10,800 fine which would be paid in 3 days. If not, the fine would be raised to $46k.

Feigen paid the next day and got the hell out of Dodge. 

By the way, Feigen also says his group did NOT ever break into the gas station bathroom that night -- but they did "make the regrettable decision to urinate in the grass behind the building" because the bathroom was locked. 

Billy Bush Lochte Demanded Sit-Down with Lauer ... There's No Bad Blood!

8/23/2016 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Billy Bush says Matt Lauer did NOT bigfoot him out of the coveted first sit-down interview with Ryan Lochte ... telling TMZ Sports it was Lochte who called the shots.

There are reports that Lauer and his "Today" show team have been mean-girling Bush behind the scenes ... treating him like an "outcast" ever since he joined the show back in May.

And eyebrows were raised when, after Bush scored that huge exclusive 1-on-1 with Lochte on the beach in Rio (the one where Lochte straight up lied) ... the follow-up sit-down went to Lauer.

So, what happened?

Bush says it was Lochte who set the terms for the follow-up and hand-picked Lauer. Bush says any suggestion that Matt orchestrated some diabolical plot to hijack his story is just wrong. 

As for Lochte ... we asked Bush if the swimmer owes him an apology for lying to him on camera -- he didn't exactly say no.

Brandon Jennings Carmelo Anthony Is The GOAT ... Of Olympic Hoops

8/22/2016 3:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Carmelo Anthony is the single greatest Olympic basketball player in history ... so says his Knicks teammate Brandon Jennings ... who says Melo is no doubt the international GOAT.

We got Brandon out in L.A. Sunday and asked about Anthony taking home his record-breaking 3rd gold medal ... and if it puts him ahead of other greats who've donned the red, white, and blue.

Brandon says Melo has done more than enough to prove he's the MAN on the world's biggest stage.

One thing's for sure ... Michael Jordan is gonna be annoyed by this.

Oh, and get this ... Jennings also explains why he has ZERO desire to play for Team USA. 

Check out the clip. 

U.S. Swimmer Jimmy Feigen Charity Donation to Boost Brazil's Olympians

8/22/2016 1:17 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0820-James-Feigen-gettySwimmer Jimmy Feigen's nearly $11k deal to avoid a Rio jail could backfire against future Team USA Olympians.

TMZ has learned Feigen's $10,800 donation has been tagged to spruce up training facilities for the Reaction Institute in the Rio favela known as City of God. Specifically, we're told the money is going to help fix walls and prevent weather damage to judo equipment. 

That equipment is used to give children from the favelas judo training, and put them on the road to becoming Olympians -- who might one day whoop-up on American judo fighters. Brazil's judo gold medalist this year, Rafaela Silva, once trained at the Institute ... so it has a good track record. 

As we reported, Feigen struck a deal with prosecutors in Rio ... who agreed to let him off the hook, if he made the donation.

Folks at the Reaction Institute are pumped for the dough, and tell us they hope Jimmy will visit once the work is done -- but we're guessing he won't be back in Brazil anytime soon. 

Ryan Lochte I'm Rethinkin' Drinkin' After Rio

8/22/2016 11:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Ryan Lochte seems genuinely remorseful about his behavior in Rio ... and he not only says he was irresponsible when it came to excessive drinking ... he's not ruling out rehab. 

Our photog got Ryan in L.A. Monday, and he had a lot to say ... about Speedo firing him, how being suspended by the USOC would crush him, and what he'll do post-pool.

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Ryan Lochte Squeezed Out By Speedo 'Can't Condone His Behavior'

8/22/2016 8:03 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0818-ryan-lochte-speedo-grettyRyan Lochte just lost one of his biggest sponsors -- with Speedo pulling the plug on the swimmer in the wake of his embarrassing Rio bathroom debacle.

The mankini company just issued a statement saying, "While we have enjoyed a winning relationship with Ryan for over a decade and he has been an important member of the Speedo team, we cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for."

"We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience."

Speedo also says it will donate a $50,000 portion of Lochte's fees to Save The Children -- a charity which will use the money to benefit children in need in Brazil.  

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Ryan Lochte He Still Doesn't Get It

8/22/2016 6:18 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Ryan Lochte is one week into his Olympic lie, and he still doesn't understand what he did.

Lochte told Matt Lauer the Rio gas station folks were out of line to point a gun at his head because he did nothing wrong.

As we all now know ... Lochte and his crew damaged the bathroom and were leaving without paying, and gas station security claim they brandished the weapon so the swimmers didn't leave until cops arrived.

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Rapper Paul Wall Gold Grillz Giveaway To All U.S. Medal Winners!!

8/22/2016 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0819-paul-wall-johnny-dang-grill-olympics-TMZ-INSTAGRAM-01File Under: "Perks of Being a Winner" ... 'cause EVERY. SINGLE. AMERICAN ATHLETE who won a medal in Rio is being offered a FREE gold grill ... courtesy of rapper Paul Wall.

Wall and his partner, Johnny Dang, have been running a high-end grillz biz for years -- and want to reward our best athletes by blingin' out their mouths with a special Olympic-themed gold piece. 

0819_rio_olympic_grillz_sports_wmDang tells TMZ Sports ... the offer is good for every single U.S. medal winner -- from Michael Phelps to Ryan Lochte to Katie Ledecky ... to the men's and women's basketball squads. 

We're told the offer is for an "upper" piece made with 18k gold -- and the 2016 Olympics logo etched in the front. 

By the way, according to our count ... more then 100 American athletes have earned medals so far. 

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Ryan Lochte Tears Up ... 'I Let My Team Down'

8/21/2016 7:13 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Ryan Lochte fought back tears as he confessed ... he screwed over his teammates by going nuts at a Rio gas station and then lying about it.

Matt Lauer asked Lochte about the difficulties fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger had when they tried getting out of Rio ... Lochte seems way more contrite than he did in his statement where he hedged on fault.


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The Best Olympic Booties The End!

8/20/2016 12:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0818_rio_olympic_butts_launch2Say hello to the Olympians possessing something bigger -- and better -- than a medal ... their butts. Check out the gallery to see the elite athletes with the gold medal-worthy glutes!

Ryan Lochte Neighbors & Cops Still Have His Back

8/19/2016 2:44 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0819-police-outside-lochte-home-TMZ-01Ryan Lochte has plenty of staunch defenders left -- including police officers -- behind the gates of his Charlotte neighborhood ... TMZ has learned. 

The embattled swimmer flew back Wednesday to the Carolina town where he now lives, and sources in his hood tell us Charlotte PD has at least two patrol cars dedicated to keeping haters, fans and media away from Lochte.

We're told police are posted at the security gate entrance, and there's another patrol car cruising the blocks around Lochte's house. 

One source told us the Homeowner's Association is also keeping an eye on Ryan's place, and officers -- of the HOA, that is -- have banned interlopers for up to 99 years!

We're told there's been no sign of Ryan at the house since he got back to the States.

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U.S. Olympic Committee All 4 Swimmers LIED to Us

8/19/2016 7:37 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0818-ryan-lochte-and-company-tmz-getty-04Ryan Lochte was not the only swimmer who lied to the U.S. Olympic Committee about the so-called "robbery." TMZ has learned all 4 of them told the same false tale.

An official from the USOC tells us the Committee interviewed Lochte as well as Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger Sunday and all 4 told the exact same lie -- that  they were in a cab when robbers posing as armed cops stopped their cab and demanded cash.

We're also told the 4 swimmers were interviewed individually, so they had clearly gone over their story beforehand.

TMZ reported Sunday ... an IOC official told us when they issued the initial denial of the incident occurred they were relying on the USOC, but the USOC official says they did indeed interview the 4 swimmers Sunday and they all told the story Lochte ended up telling on TV.

The USOC official says they are reviewing all the facts and will then determine what, if anything, to impose. 

Ryan Lochte I'm Sorry

8/19/2016 7:12 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0819-ryan-lochte-TMZ-01Ryan Lochte is finally doing a mea culpa for the lie he told on NBC that's become an international incident ... but he kind of doubled down on the version of events he told cops.

Lochte just posted ... "I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend -- for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics. I waited to share these thoughts until it was confirmed that the legal situation was addressed and it was clear that my teammates would be arriving home safely."

Lochte continues ... "It's traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country - with a language barrier - and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave, but regardless of the behavior of anyone else that night, I should have been much more responsible in how I handled myself and for that I am sorry to my teammates, my fans, my fellow competitors, my sponsors, and the hosts of this great event." 

He goes on to say he's proud to rep the USA in Olympic competition and this was a situation that could and should have been avoided.

He adds, "I accept responsibility for my role in this happening and have learned some valuable lessons. I am grateful for my USA Swimming teammates and the USOC, and appreciate all of the efforts of the IOC, the Rio '16 Host Committee, and the people of Brazil who welcomed us to Rio and worked so hard to make sure that these Olympic Games provided a lifetime of great new memories."

"There has already been too much said and too many valuable resources dedicated to what happened last weekend, so I hope we spend our time celebrating the great stories and performances of these Games and look ahead to celebrating future successes."

The statement is clearly crafted to thwart police efforts to have Lochte prosecuted. The biggest problem the swimmer faces ... going on TV, trashing the city by claiming armed men posed as cops robbed him as he was innocently taking a cab back to the Village. 

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