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Cop to Venus Williams 'You Got Stuck in a Bad Situation'

7/27/2017 2:24 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Police quickly informed Venus Williams she was "at fault" in her fatal car accident, but also explained why she wasn't being cited -- namely that she got "caught in the middle."

Palm Beach Gardens PD released the full bodycam footage from officers on the scene of the June 9 accident. One officer approached Venus and asked her to describe what happened.

She was totally upfront with the officer ... explaining how she had entered the intersection, but stopped when another vehicle made a left in front of her.

The cop told Venus he believed she had violated the right of way of Jerome and Linda Barson -- the couple who T-boned her -- but she would not be getting a ticket. The explanation? "I think you got stuck in the middle of the intersection. It's one of those situations where you had the right way, but you lost the right of way."

His advice to Venus ... let the insurance companies sort it all out.

The bodycam footage also includes the Barsons sitting in their Hyundai, waiting for treatment. Their airbags had deployed and they were clearly shaken up. As we reported ... Linda suffered several broken bones, while her 78-year-old husband, Jerome, was hospitalized for 2 weeks before he died from his injuries.

'GTA: Vice City' Makers Sued We See Miss Cleo in Auntie Poulet ... Pay Us Now!!!

7/27/2017 11:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

3:00 PM PT -- A company spokesperson has just responded to the PRN lawsuit, telling TMZ, "These claims are entirely meritless and completely ridiculous. We will vigorously defend ourselves with regard to this matter."

There's a fortune teller in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" that looks and sounds WAY too much like the late TV psychic Miss Cleo ... at least according to Miss Cleo's estate which just sued the game makers.

Psychic Readers Network -- which holds the rights to Miss Cleo -- just filed suit against Rockstar Games and others who helped make and distribute the 'GTA' classic ... for allegedly jacking her image and Jamaican accent and slapping it on their character, Auntie Poulet.

In the suit, obtained by TMZ, PRN claims it's spent well over $100 million creating and promoting Miss Cleo's persona over the years, and that Rockstar and co. have gone on to make more than $500 mil exploiting it's character.

They also say Rockstar even hired the actress who used to play Miss Cleo in real life, Youree Harris, and had her voice the character of Auntie Poulet, which is true. We broke the story ... Harris died from cancer last July.

One funny thing about this ... 'Vice City' came out like 15 years ago -- but PRN says Rockstar continues to make money off the game due to reissues and bundle 'GTA' packages that are being sold to this day.

We've reached out to Rockstar for comment ... so far, no word back.

Ohio State Fair Video Shows Riders Thrown In Deadly Accident

7/27/2017 6:47 AM PDT

The moment an Ohio State Fair ride turned deadly in a horrific accident -- which hurled riders through the air -- was captured on video.

At least 1 person died Wednesday night and seven others were injured when part of the Fire Ball ride broke off its hinges ... violently ejected people from their seats and sent them flying to the ground. 

Officials said the fair will be open Thursday, but no rides will be running until they're deemed safe.

It's still unclear what caused the accident and it's under investigation.

'Bullwinkle Show' Star June Foray Voice of Rocky & Natasha Dead at 99

7/27/2017 6:33 AM PDT
Breaking News

Moose and Squirrel very sad ... June Foray, the voice of Rocky, and also Natasha Fatale, died Wednesday.

A close friend of June's confirmed her death with a post on Facebook, saying ... "With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old."

June was a legendary voice actress, working in Hollywood for more than a decade before she landed "The Bullwinkle Show" roles in the late 1950s. She worked steadily on tons of animated TV shows and feature films -- more than 300 credits -- right up until 2014.

She won a Daytime Emmy in 2012 for "The Garfield Show" and a Grammy in 1968 for her role as Cindy Lou Who in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

Frank Sinatra's Wife Barbara Sinatra Dead at 90

7/25/2017 9:39 AM PDT
Breaking News

Frank Sinatra's fourth and final wife, Barbara Sinatra, has died ... almost 20 years after her famous husband passed.

Barbara died Tuesday at her Rancho Mirage home in California after months of declining health ... according to a rep for her org, the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center Foundation.

The rep told the Desert Sun ... "She died comfortably surrounded by family and friends at her home."

Barbara married Frank in 1976 and remained his wife for nearly 22 years -- the longest of his 4 marriages. She made a name for herself as an advocate for victims of child abuse, building up her foundation with Frank's help.

The Barbara Sinatra Children's Center Foundation provided counseling to child abuse victims, among other services. Barbara and Frank did not have any children together.

She was 90. RIP

SeaWorld Last Orca Born in Captivity Dies

7/25/2017 6:42 AM PDT
Breaking News

Kyara, the last orca born in captivity at SeaWorld, has died at just 3 months old.

The female killer whale died Monday at SeaWorld's San Antonio park from an infection, likely pneumonia. Trainers had been treating her over the weekend, but her condition continued to deteriorate.

Kyara was born in April, and although the park announced the end of its breeding program back in March 2016 ... SeaWorld says she was conceived before that. Orcas are pregnant for up 18 months.

The breeding program was 86'd after immense public pressure following the airing of the 2013 documentary, "Blackfish" ... which focused on the plight of Tilikum.


Chester Bennington Bought Family Home Shortly Before Suicide

7/25/2017 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chester Bennington bought his new family home about 2 months before he hanged himself there ... adding another layer of mystery to his death.

The Linkin Park frontman bought the Palos Verdes Estates house for $2.5 million back in June. The 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom house is in an affluent part of L.A. County famous for pristine neighborhoods and an excellent public school system.

Everything about the 3,956 square foot pad says family home -- special nook perfect for game night, 3 outdoor decks, an expansive backyard with a spa and swimming pool.

The purchase falls in line with what Chester's LP bandmates said -- that he'd spoken excitedly about future plans. Buying the perfect place for his family, but then taking his life there a month later just doesn't add up.

The Benningtons closed on the house 8 days after Chris Cornell's suicide ... leading some close friends to believe Chester's suicide decision was sudden and fueled by his grief.

Chester Bennington 911 Housekeeper Wailed in Agony After Finding Him Hanging

7/24/2017 3:15 PM PDT
Breaking News

Chester Bennington's housekeeper cried and screamed in the background as a driver for the Linkin Park frontman made the 911 call to report his suicide.

Cops just released the 911 call made by the driver, who was most likely there to pick up Chester for a scheduled photo shoot. He told the operator, "I just got to the location and his housekeeper came out and said he killed himself ... he hung himself."

As the driver relayed more details, the housekeeper was absolutely distraught in the background ... crying hysterically as she spoke to Chester's wife on another phone.

TMZ broke the story ... Bennington hanged himself in his bedroom, in an eerily similar way to his friend, Chris Cornell. Chester's family was out of town, and Thursday morning the housekeeper found his body.

Linkin Park Chester's Demons Were Always Part of the Deal

7/24/2017 7:54 AM PDT

Chester Bennington's bandmates are remembering him for his musical talent ... and also the demons that ultimately led to his suicide.

Linkin Park posted an open letter to Chester in which they thank the fans for the outpouring of love and support, and say of the singer ... "You touched so many lives, maybe even more than you realized." It sounds like they didn't see any warning signs before Chester took his own life because they say, "Talking with you about the years ahead together, your excitement was infectious."

The band addressed their frontman's demons too -- "You fearlessly put them on display, and in doing so, brought us together and taught us to be more human."


Gavin Rossdale Chester's Suicide Is a Reminder ... Look Out for Each Other!

7/22/2017 10:08 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chester Bennington's suicide -- and also Chris Cornell's -- has Gavin Rossdale wondering about what he describes as a "bad scene" in music right now.

He and his band Bush performed Thursday night in Hammond, Indiana ... and addressed the crowd about what had happened earlier that day -- Linkin Park's frontman killing himself. As TMZ first reported ... Chester took his life in an eerily similar way to his dear friend Chris Cornell.

Gavin talked about the last time he'd seen Chester -- singing "Hallelujah" at Cornell's funeral.

It was obvious, he was struggling to make sense of the deaths, saying it was "impossible to know what" Chester was going through. Still, he tried to inspire his fans ... before launching into "Glycerine."

John Heard 'Home Alone' Dad Dead at 71

7/22/2017 6:10 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

John Heard, the beloved star of several huge 80s and 90s movies, died Friday in Palo Alto, CA ... TMZ has learned.

Heard was found dead in a hotel by the maid service ... according to family sources. Police were called to the hotel for a report of a medical emergency, but he was pronounced dead on the scene. The coroner is investigating, and cause of death is unclear at this time ... but police do not suspect foul play.

We do know this ... according to his rep, John had "minor back surgery" Wednesday at Stanford Medical Center, and he was staying at the hotel while he recovered.

Heard's most iconic role was as Peter McCallister, the dad in the "Home Alone" movies. 

He also had roles in "Big," "Beaches," "Gladiator" and "Pelican Brief" -- to name just a few -- and also a slew of TV roles on "Miami Vice," "The Sopranos" ... and even the first "Sharknado." 

John was 71.

Linkin Park Cancels Tour ... After Chester's Suicide

7/21/2017 2:45 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Linkin Park has officially canceled its North American tour ... TMZ has learned.

The cancellation comes just a day after frontman Chester Bennington committed suicide at his Palos Verdes Estates home. The band's rep told us immediately following the news, the group was so devastated they couldn't think about the tour's future, which was set to kick off next week.

But now it's official -- the tour's a no-go ... and Live Nation tells us refunds will be available to fans.

Chester was 41.

Chester Bennington Hanging Almost Identical To Chris Cornell Suicide

7/21/2017 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chester Bennington may have mimicked the suicide of his close friend, Chris Cornell, because they died in virtually identical ways.

Law enforcement sources tell us, the Linkin Park singer was found hanging from a door separating his bedroom from his closet. TMZ broke the story, Chris Cornell died hanging from a hotel door separating the bedroom from the bathroom.

We're also told Chester was found with a belt around his neck. Chris was found with an exercise band around his neck.

Our sources say there was a partially empty bottle of alcohol in the room where Chester died, but no evidence of drugs.

And we're told Chester did not leave a suicide note in the room. Neither did Chris. 

TMZ broke the story ... Chester killed himself on Thursday, which would have been Chris Cornell's 53rd birthday. 

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