George Clooney's biz partner insists the actor was NOT pounding shots before his nuclear blowout with casino mogul Steve Wynn -- and tells TMZ, "We weren't drunk."
As we reported, Clooney and Wynn (left) locked horns earlier this month at a fancy dinner in Vegas after Wynn called Obama an a-hole. Clooney shot back, calling Wynn the a-hole ... then stormed out.
Wynn claims things exploded because Clooney was slamming tequila -- but Rande Gerber, who was at the dinner -- insists, "No shots were had" ... and it was NOT a heated political debate.
Gerber says, "This wasn't about politics. It was about George standing up for a friend."
FYI, Clooney and Gerber (Cindy Crawford's husband) are partners in a tequila company called Casamigos. They were meeting with Wynn to discuss future business at Wynn's hotels, which already serves the brand.
Funny, we're told Wynn's hotels continue to stock Casamigos ... despite the blowout.
Nuclear Screaming Match
Wynn Called Obama an Asshole!
4/23/2014 10:17 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
George Clooney stormed away during his fancy Vegas dinner with hotel tycoon Steve Wynn after Wynn called Prez Obama an asshole.
It sounds like an epic dinner. According to Wynn ... Clooney got drunk on tequila shots and when Wynn attacked the President ... he says George hurled an F-bomb and left.
Clooney says Wynn was railing over the Affordable Care Act. He says "I said that the President was my longtime friend and then he said, 'Your friend is an asshole.'" Clooney adds, "At that point I told Steve HE was an asshole and that I wasn't going to sit at his table while he was being such a jackass."
Wynn told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "When he's [George] drinking, he considers himself a close personal buddy of the President."
Wynn passes a lot of it off to alcohol, saying, "Clooney's fun to be with when he's sober ... If you have a chance to drink with him, you want to get there early, and don't stay late."
For Clooney's part he says there were 9 people at the dinner 2 weeks ago at Botero restaurant at Wynn's Encore hotel, adding, "It had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with character."
For Wynn's part, he says, "Everybody who's in my business -- the casino business -- knows to take actors with a grain of salt."
Going Where No Rapper
Has Gone Before ....
4/22/2014 6:53 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Jay Z? Kanye West? Lil Wayne? Nope, not one of those prolific rappers has ever performed at the White House, but after yesterday's performance ... Big Sean can say he has.
Alongside pop pixie Ariana Grande, Big Sean took the stage at The 2014 Easter Egg Roll on Monday. Our photog in D.C. caught the pair on their way into the event, where he was understandably excited for the show.
While Common performed poetry at the White House back in 2011, no rapper has ever performed a White House event ... until now.
Used by the White House To Plug Immigration Reform
4/18/2014 4:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Justin Bieber haters got played by the White House ... which just refused to comment on their petition to have Bieber deported -- but instead used the opportunity to rant about its immigration policies.
The We the People petition first got to the White House back in January when 273,000 people signed it ... demanding President Obama yank Justin's green card and send him back to Canada.
If organizers reach the required number of signatures the White House is supposed to address the issue -- but today side-stepped the matter, saying ... "to avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address ... matters within the jurisdiction" of other government agencies.
Translation: We'll let the courts deal with Bieber.
The statement -- sent to everyone who signed the petition -- also included 2 pages about the President's immigration reform plan ... which it claims could shrink the deficit by nearly a TRILLION dolllars "or 100 billion copies of Mr. Bieber's debut album."
Yes, they took time to do the math.
Your tax dollars at work.
Red Hot Chili Peppers Drummer
I'm Disgusted the CIA Allegedly Used Our Music
To Torture a Man!
4/12/2014 2:05 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith almost threw up in a Malibu parking lot Saturday ... after learning the CIA allegedly used his band's music during a suspected terrorist interrogation.
Chad was leaving Coogies when our photog asked for his opinion on a recent news report saying RHCP music was used during a CIA interrogation in 2002.
According to Al Jazeera ... the report says Abu Zubaydah was shackled by his wrists to the ceiling of a secret prison site and forced to listen to one of their songs on a loop -- among other torture methods. No word on which song.
The 52-year old rocker is pissed at the feds -- and he's not shy about it.
Someone's gonna get audited this year.
Attacked By Shoe Thrower in Vegas
4/10/2014 4:12 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Hillary Clinton got the George Bush treatment in Vegas Thursday -- an unidentified woman threw a shoe at the former Secretary of State during a speech ... and TMZ has obtained crazy video of the incident.
Clinton was speaking at Mandalay Bay for the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries when the assailant threw the shoe at her.
Watch the video to see what happens -- Clinton dodges it like a champ and then has some hilarious words for the audience.
The shoe thrower was escorted out of the hotel immediately -- and law enforcement sources tell us, she's currently in custody with the Secret Service.
You'll recall, George Bush famously dodged not one -- but TWO -- shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist in 2008.
Welcomed to New Zealand
by Half-Naked Men
4/7/2014 2:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Kate Middleton and Prince William began their three-week royal tour of New Zealand and Australia today ... and were greeted with a traditional Maori welcome by some of the locals.
Leave it to the folks in New Zealand to show off their best side.
Dead at 93
4/6/2014 7:37 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mickey Rooney, who spent nearly his entire life in show business, died today. He was 93.
Rooney had been in ill health for quite some time. We're told death was attributed to natural causes.
He was one of the most famous child actors in entertainment history. He played the role of Andy Hardy in more than a dozen classic MGM films.
Rooney also teamed up with Judy Garland for "Babes in Arms" which was a huge hit back in 1939.
He was the first teenager ever to be nominated for an Oscar for his leading role in "Strike Up the Band" in 1940.
Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor starred in one of the biggest movies of the 40s -- "National Velvet" -- which launched Taylor's career.
Rooney also starred with Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
Rooney appeared most recently in "The Muppets" in 2011 with Amy Adams and Jason Segel and "Night at the Museum" in 2006 with Ben Stiller.
The 5'2" Rooney was married 8 times. One of his wives -- Ava Gardner.
Rooney's last few years were filled with family strife. He claimed elder abuse at the hands of his step-son Chris Aber and won a $2.8 million judgment against him last year for siphoning money from his accounts.
Rooney testified before the U.S. Senate to discuss his personal story of abuse.
Don't Cross the 'Gay Mafia'
... Or You'll Get Whacked
4/5/2014 11:31 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Bill Maher believes there's a secret gay mafia ... and the "Real Time" host says the group will take out anybody who stands in its way.
Maher's show panel Friday night was discussing the recent drama surrounding Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich stepping down from the company -- after he faced criticism for donating money in '08 to support a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage.
Watch the video ... Maher seems to think a big group of powerful gay men seek revenge against anyone who doesn't believe in their political views -- and that's why Eich was ousted.
Apparently only gay people are allowed to care about marriage equality?
Fabulous point, Bill.
Let Freedom Ring!
4/2/2014 2:37 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ladies, the bread line forms to the left.
Busts Hilarious Dance Moves
Hasta La Vista, Nae Nae
3/27/2014 11:08 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
It's pretty much impossible not to laugh at this -- Arnold Schwarzenegger completely losing his crap while trying to do the Nae Nae on TV ... and then taking it up a notch ... with the Stanky Legg.
Arnold and Joe Manganiello just appeared on BET's "106 & Park" to promote their new movie together -- and hosts Bow Wow and Keshia put the guys' dance moves to the test.
Joe's actually not that bad -- but Arnold ... you have to see this.
I'm Too Old for This Bieber Crap
3/25/2014 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Props to 69-year-old Sen. Johnny Isakson for knowing who Justin Bieber is ... EXTRA props for not giving a s***.
Our photog caught up with the Georgia senator yesterday at Reagan National Airport and asked him how he feels about the Biebs moving to his state.
There's some debate in our newsroom about what word Isakson used in his answer, but the sentiment was definitely Danny Glover's classic "Lethal Weapon" line.
Your tax dollars at work ... NOT giving a damn about Justin Bieber.
Ex-Prez Jimmy Carter
I Won't Email ... Because
The NSA Is Spying On Me!
3/23/2014 12:28 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Former US President Jimmy Carter is so convinced the U.S. is monitoring his movements ... he won't send emails when he communicates with foreign leaders.
Carter was angry about what he believes are gross abuses on the part of the NSA ... so he said Sunday on "Meet the Press." It didn't seem theoretical ...he really believes he's being watched.
Carter says he's forced to use snail mail because it's the only want to ensure his privacy.
Let's be honest ... how many 89-year olds know how to email?