The wife of "American Idol" contestant Michael Johns created a lie to cover-up the real cause of death ... alcohol abuse ... this according to his best friend.
Stacey Vuduris filed legal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- claiming Torrey Gambill has been on a hate campaign, blaming her for Michael's death in August and sending her abusing texts.
But Torrey has fired off legal docs of his own, claiming Stacey concocted a lie after he found Michael dead in his Orange County apartment.
After Michael died, we reported Stacey's story -- that Michael had an ankle injury that led to a fatal blood clot. But law enforcement told us at the time Michael had engaged in heavy alcohol use prior to death.
Torrey quotes from a text Stacey sent him shortly after Michael died, saying, "I'd rather it be said he died at home if that's ok with u .. he would want that."
Stacey continued, "I rather that then 'alcoholic' stuff ... his good friends would never say anything ... so I don't think that will come out. At least blood clot sounds sudden."
Torrey also says Michael and Stacey were separated, and that Michael "insinuated" she had a boyfriend. He says Stacey put Michael through hell his last year.
According to legal docs ... Stacey and Torrey settled their beef without a judge's order.
Personal Doc During Fatal Procedure
ENT to the Stars
9/17/2014 11:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Joan Rivers' personal doctor who was working on Joan when she stopped breathing is Dr. Gwen Korovin, who treats the biggest celebs in the world ... multiple sources tell TMZ.
We're told Dr. Korovin was not authorized to practice medicine at Yorkville Endoscopy center. CNN has reported Joan's personal physician took a selfie while performing a biopsy on the comedienne.
Dr. Korovin's patient list reads like a celeb who's who. Her patients include Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Hugh Jackman, John Mayer, and Brooke Shields.
Dr. Korovin's Facebook page has a pic of the doc in her office with pics of her celeb patients lining the walls.
The doctor has done interviews in which she says she brings a black bag to the dressing rooms of A-list stars and administers "on-the-spot treatment."
We reached out to Doctor Korovin's office and were told, "We do not comment on matters related to patients."
Personal Doctor Took Selfie
While She Was Under
9/17/2014 6:22 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Joan Rivers' personal doctor took a selfie while the comedienne was unconscious during a biopsy ... shortly before her heart stopped beating ... this according to a new report.
The doctor performing the endoscopy had just finished when Joan's personal ear nose and throat doctor began performing a biopsy which was done without her consent -- this according to the CNN report.
A staffer at the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic reportedly told investigators Joan's doc stopped to take the selfie.
As we previously reported ... Joan went into respiratory and cardiac arrest and never regained consciousness.
The clinic has denied a biopsy was performed.
Bobby Womack's Family
If You Think We're Broke Now ...
9/17/2014 12:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Singer Bobby Womack left behind a massive debt when he died in June -- including a huge child support judgment -- and now his family is trying to figure out how to pay it.
Bobby's widow, Regina, filed court docs in L.A. showing he owed $250K in back child support for two sons living in Ft. Wayne, IN -- one is 14 and the other an adult. He also had an unpaid loan for $400K when he died.
But Womack didn't leave much in the way of assets -- according to the docs he had $52K in cash and $7,250 in personal belongings, which included some jewelry and a 1974 Buick.
Regina says Womack also had music rights and royalties valued around $350K -- which will help pay down the debt -- if she can capitalize on renewed interest in his music since his death.
But Regina's a realist ... admitting the value of Bobby's music could fade quickly. In other words, help a sister out ... buy some Bobby tunes now!
Doctor Who Performed Throat Procedure Fired
9/12/2014 10:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The doctor who performed the endoscopy on Joan Rivers has been fired by the clinic's board.
Sources at Yorkville Endoscopy tell us Dr. Lawrence Cohen stepped down after the board asked him to do so -- however the board isn't directly blaming him for Joan's death.
A rep for the clinic confirmed he was ousted from his position as medical director.
According to our sources ... the board's issue with Cohen is that he allowed Joan's ENT doc to step in and perform an unauthorized procedure. Reportedly, that procedure was a biopsy ... and Joan went into respiratory and cardiac arrest while it was being done.
Cohen is a world renowned gastroenterologist ... and also co-owner of Yorkville. He's been on administrative leave since Joan's procedure on August 28.
Cancels Charity Peformance
To Fly to Mourning Nicole
9/12/2014 6:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Keith Urban backed out of a gig at the last second Thursday night ... so he could get to Nicole Kidman ASAP after getting the news her father died.
Keith was set to play a big ticket charity event at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, CA -- a gig he was doing as a favor for his friend and longtime Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich.
We're told Keith was driving to the country club -- where members forked out $500 to $5,000 for a ticket -- when he found out his father-in-law had passed away. He immediately turned around to jump on a private jet to his and Nicole's home in Nashville.
We're told the crowd at the benefit for the Ventura County Food Bank -- including Bruce Jenner and Wayne Gretzky -- was disappointed, but understood the situation. Meanwhile, Ehrlich pulled a rabbit out of his hat ... scoring Kenny Loggins to fill in at the last second.
Despite the fact he didn't play "I'm Alright" (the "Caddyshack" theme) for a room full of golfers ... everyone we talked to said Kenny was "awesome."
Her Father Dies After Fall
9/12/2014 5:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Nicole Kidman's father, Dr. Antony Kidman died Friday in Singapore, reportedly after a fall in his hotel room.
Singapore police say they are investigating the "unnatural death," a term often used in Singapore for falls or accidents. He was in the country visiting his daughter Antonia, Nicole's sister.
Kidman was a clinical psychologist and was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 2005 for his contributions to clinical psychology.
The University of Technology, Sydney (where Kidman had worked) confirmed his passing in a statement, saying, "It is with great sadness that we learn of Dr. Tony Kidman’s sudden passing ... Tony will be missed by all at UTS. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.”
Ex-Wrestler Sean O'Haire
Attempted Multiple Stints
in WWE-Sponsored Rehab
9/12/2014 12:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Former wrestler Sean O'Haire had a nasty alcohol addiction he couldn't kick ... even though the WWE went to lengths to help him get clean -- including providing him years of treatment.
Sources close to the situation tell us O'Haire went to WWE-sponsored rehab six times in the past 6 years ... including once earlier this year. After he left, we're told the wrestling company made multiple attempts to get in touch with O'Haire -- but he was M.I.A.
As we previously reported ... local police say O'Haire committed suicide. He was found in his bedroom with a red rope tied around his neck and connected to the bedpost.
Clinic Claims No Biopsy
No General Anesthesia
9/11/2014 6:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The surgery clinic where Joan Rivers' heart stopped beating is calling BS on a report suggesting her death was caused by a biopsy that should have only been performed at a hospital.
Yorkville Endoscopy broke its silence after the New York Daily News story ran ... saying a biopsy was NOT performed during the ill-fated procedure.
The Daily News story claimed a doctor who arrived with Rivers was performing the biopsy after doctors spotted something on her vocal cords, and her vocal cords seized ... leading to a fatal chain of events.
And Yorkville went on to say they do NOT administer general anesthesia, saying they use "light to moderate sedation."
New York authorities are still investigating cause of death.
'Jaws' From James Bond Dies At 74
9/10/2014 4:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Richard Kiel, who became famous for portraying the James Bond villain, Jaws ... died Wednesday afternoon at the age of 74 ... TMZ has learned.
Kiel starred in dozens of movies over the span of 50 years ... though his Jaws character became his most iconic role after debuting in 1977's "The Spy Who Loved Me" alongside Roger Moore. He returned in "Moonraker" two years later.
The 7-foot-2 Kiel also co-starred with Adam Sandler in the golf classic "Happy Gilmore."
Kiel had broken his leg last week and was in a hospital in Fresno, CA. A family member tells us he passed away this afternoon in the hospital -- and it's unclear if his death was connected to the leg injury.
Kiel's family tells TMZ ... "Though most people knew of him through his screen persona, those who were close to him knew what a kind and generous soul he was. His family was the most important thing in his life and we are happy that his last days were spent surrounded by family and close friends."
Former WCW, WWE Star
Commits Suicide By Hanging
9/10/2014 9:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
12:50 PM PT -- According to local police, O'Haire committed suicide. He was found in his bedroom beside his bed, with a red rope tied around his neck and connected to the bedpost. His body was discovered by his father, who then called 911.
Former WCW and WWE wrestler Sean O'Haire was found dead Tuesday at his home in South Carolina ... TMZ has learned.
The coroner in Spartanburg, SC tells TMZ a cause of death is unknown at this time, but no foul play is suspected. They are awaiting toxicology reports that might shed light on things.
O'Haire (whose real name was just Sean Haire) made his debut with the WCW in 2000 and along with partner Chuck Palumbo, was the final WCW tag team champions when the organization folded.
Once in the WWE, he was Rowdy Roddy Piper's protege, but when Piper left in 2003 ... O'Haire fizzled out and eventually left the WWE in 2004.
He eventually transitioned into kickboxing and MMA before becoming a hair stylist.
Medical Screw Up
Reportedly Caused Death
9/10/2014 6:18 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
A doctor performed an outpatient procedure on Joan Rivers that should ONLY have been performed in a hospital ... and that's what led to her death ... according to a new report.
During Rivers' planned endoscopy ... doctors discovered something on her vocal cords and her doctor decided he would biopsy it ... this according to the NY Daily News.
During the biopsy Rivers' vocal cords reportedly seized -- slammed shut -- cutting off her air supply. Sources tell TMZ while they were trying to resuscitate her, her heart stopped.
Medical experts told the Daily News ... the biopsy was too risky for outpatient surgery and should have been performed in a hospital.
Rivers never recovered and died a few days later.
I Haven't Finished
Watching 'The Sopranos'
9/10/2014 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
James Gandolfini's son was too young to watch "The Sopranos" while it was on, but even though he's now a mature 14 ... he hasn't finished the series.
Michael Gandolfini told our photog he wasn't allowed to watch his father's most famous work, but he's seen some of it now ... but not the infamous ending.
Michael also revealed his favorite show on TV now ... and we think it's something James would have definitely enjoyed.