Apollo Nida just got an enormous break for singing like a canary ... he got 1/4 the maximum sentence for a massive money fraud scheme.
Nida -- who appears on "Real Housewives of Atlanta" with wife Phaedra Parks -- was just sentenced to 8 years in federal prison for cashing stolen checks and laundering more than $2.3 mil through phony bank accounts.
The judge who sentenced him today in a Georgia court said Nida did indeed cooperate with federal investigators by spilling criminal secrets ... and that's why he got leniency.
Nida could have been sentenced to 30 years, so 8 years is a big victory.
It's all relative folks.
I Never Threatened Cheerleading Hunter
It Was a Repost
7/5/2014 7:58 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Joanna Krupa says it's not a threat if you're quoting someone ... even if you blast it out to 262,079 people.
Krupa was on her way out of Equinox in West Hollywood Friday when she told us the post on her Instagram bashing Texas Tech cheerleader/safari hunter Kendall Jones was not original.
As we previously reported, Kendall's dad says they interpreted the message as a threat, but have no plans to file any sort of police report.
The reality star does have an idea for a fair fight between the animals and the college sophomore.
Still, we gotta ask ...
Loves Guns, Just NOT
Boozy Rednecks with Guns
7/2/2014 8:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Kenya Moore is a big fan of guns -- she's packing lots of 'em -- but says "rednecks" with weapons in bars is a bad idea.
Kenya was out in Bev Hills when we asked her about Georgia's new Safe Carry Protection Act -- which makes it legal to carry guns into all kinds of dangerous places ... libraries, schools, churches, and bars too.
As for where Kenya plans to tote her guns -- bars may be out, but she explains why she'll always have one close.
Hear that, Porsha?
'Real Housewives' Stars
Tell Renter Get the Hell Out!
You're $80K in the Hole
7/1/2014 12:10 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars Melissa and Joe Gorga want to give their tenant the boot ... claiming the guy owes 'em $80K in back rent ... and ironically the alleged deadbeat makes a living chasing down deadbeat dads.
TMZ has learned Melissa and Joe filed docs demanding Kai Patterson fork over 4 months of rent -- at $20K/month -- for the Montville, NJ house he rents from them. According to the docs, his rent check bounced in April, then he failed to pay in May and June, and today being the first of the month ...he now owes a total of $80,000.
And in the pot/kettle department -- Patterson actually owns a company that helps single parents get cash out of deadbeat partners ... and claims to have forced R. Kelly and Stevie J to shell out their past due child support.
Patterson tells TMZ the Gorgas left out some important facts in their motion -- like a slew of home repairs that he covered out of pocket. He also claims he paid a $4,416 water bill for them.
As for rent -- Patterson claims it's only supposed to be $10K/month, and he has documentation to back that up. He says he eventually paid that amount in April ... after his check bounced.
'Real Housewives of Bev Hills'
Adrienne and Camille ...
Let's Try it Again!
6/30/2014 10:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" producers have lured back 2 big stars ... one of whom they fired.
Camille Grammer and Adrienne Maloof are the secret to restoring the show to its former ratings glory ... at least that's what producers are banking on -- sources connected with the show tell TMZ.
Pretty ironic ... Camille was fired after her divorce from Kelsey. Her problem ... she went from crazy to boring after her divorce.
Adrienne was a hell-freezes-over type girl, because we're told producers said they would NEVER work with her again after she quit the show.
But times and ratings change. Now that the show has 86'd Carlton Gebbia and Joyce Giraud crashed and burned, there was a gigantic hole in the cast ... now filled.
We're told Camille and Adrienne won't be on all the time ... they'll be on here and there. They've already shot scenes -- most recently at Kyle Richards' infamous white party.
Adrienne went through a nuclear divorce with Paul Nassif but we're told neither he nor their kids will be story lines.
Play to Become Famous
Triggered Financial Disaster for Husband
6/27/2014 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Katie Cleary -- the "Deal or No Deal" model whose husband committed suicide Sunday -- was so thirsty for fame she schemed to become a cast member on "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" ... a move that helped drive her husband to financial ruin ... sources close to the couple tell TMZ.
Our sources say Katie was demanding with hubby Andrew Stern, imploring him to help her penetrate the walls of Hollywood celebrity. Her big plan was to join RHOBH and she executed it by latching on to Taylor Armstrong -- once a star on the show -- and her husband Russell.
We're told Katie dragged Andrew to dinners, parties and other events where the Housewives hung, but her plan didn't work. Instead her play created a big problem, because Andrew got involved in Russell's investments and lost a bundle.
Andrew hit rock bottom financially and we're told that contributed to his downward spiral that ended Sunday when he shot himself in the head at a firing range.
And one other eerie note ... Russell and his business partner, Alan Schram, both committed suicide.
Sometimes My 7-Year-Old
Really is an A**hole
6/22/2014 6:32 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Brandi Glanville isn't backing down from her revelation that she calls her 7-year-old son an asshole and a dick, because she says sometimes he just is.
The "Real Housewives of Bev Hills" was yakking with actor Jake Lacy on her podcast this week when she talked about her kid. Lots of people felt it's clear evidence she's a crappy mom.
But Brandi won't back down ... tweeting, "I joke about my kids and dogs being a-holes cuz sometimes they can be."
True enough ... I guess that gives some parents the right to call their kids stupid little bed-wetters.
'Real Housewives' Dad
Drops Dead Suddenly in Backyard
6/18/2014 3:38 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
4:45 PM PT -- The Giudice's rep just told TMZ, "The ONLY focus of both Joe and Teresa is their family right now, especially the girls. No decisions about the court case or the show are being addressed today."
"Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Joe Giudice -- who is facing years in prison on fraud charges -- just got struck with a profound tragedy ... his dad just collapsed and died in Joe's garden.
Frank Giudice -- who also appears on "Real Housewives of New Jersey" along with Joe and Teresa -- was building a chicken coop in the garden when he fell to the ground.
We're told Frank had no apparent health issues. Joe and Teresa believe he suffered a massive heart attack, but it's too early to tell. EMTs are still at the house at the time this story was posted.
Frank was 63.
Giggy Scoffs at Jury Verdict
6/18/2014 1:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Lisa Vanderpump telegraphed her disdain for a bizarre jury verdict against her famous restaurant through her famous dog, Giggy.
Our photog asked Lisa Tuesday night about the sexual harassment trial in which the jury just socked Villa Blanca with a $100,000 punitive damages award. A former waitress sued the restaurant and a manager, claiming the manager did all sorts of awful things to her.
Here's what's crazy ... the jury ruled in favor of the manager but nailed the restaurant.
Giggy scoffs at the verdict and vows an appeal ... and every dog does have its day -- in court.
Villa Blanca Socked
With Huge Punitive Damage Award
6/17/2014 2:05 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
2:27 PM PT -- Vanderpump's attorney tells TMZ ... “We are in absolute shock at the amount of punitive damages that were awarded. Especially in light of nominal compensatory damages awarded and the lack of sufficient evidence. We plan to immediately file an appeal and are confident that we will prevail.” Lisa Vanderpump's restaurant just got nailed by an L.A. jury, which awarded a former waitress $100,000 in punitive damages in her sexual harassment lawsuit.
The whole jury verdict is bizarre ... jurors awarded Karina Bustillos over $6,000 last week after hearing testimony that a manager manhandled her, called her foul names and made sexual advances. But what's weird ... the jury did not place any liability on the manager, making it seem like they didn't believe her. So it's puzzling why Villa Blanca got nailed.
And now it's double-puzzling why the jury gave Karina punitives.
Both sides declared victory last week, but now it seems the jury wanted to teach Villa Blanca a lesson.
Vanderpump vows she will appeal the verdict.
'Real Housewife' Sonja Morgan
French Villa Goes Au Revoir
In Bankruptcy Case
6/17/2014 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Sonja Morgan better learn how to say "broke as a joke" in French -- she just lost her fabulous St. Tropez villa in her bankruptcy case ... and a bunch of pigs nearly screwed the deal.
The trustee in her longstanding bankruptcy sold off the Riviera vacay spot for $5.7 million, according to court docs obtained by TMZ.
The "Real Housewives of New York" star has been telling people SHE was selling to be financially responsible, but truth is the court-appointed trustee sold it ... and Sonja had no say in the deal.
Sonja had said she was listing it for $8 million -- but the trustee sold it for much less, partly because the place wasn't easy to unload. According to the docs, the trustee ran into several issues ... including wild boars destroying the landscaping back in January.
French wild pigs, dude. Zut alors!
I Was Scammed
By a Real Estate Con Man!
6/11/2014 12:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
A fool and his money are soon parted ... just ask Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Paul Nassif who says a con artist bilked him out of nearly $400K in a real estate scam.
Nassif claims Anthony Zogaib came to him last year with a plan to buy fixer-uppers online, spend $10-15K to repair each of them, then flip them for big fat profit.
Nassif -- ex hubby of "Housewives" star Adrienne Maloof -- claims in a lawsuit, he paid 50% of the downpayment and 50% of the remodel costs. The plan was for them to split the profits.
Nassif says he shelled out a total of $367,000 to Zogaib -- but the dude never bought a single home. He says Zogaib refused to return his money.
We've reached out to Zogaib ... so far no word back.
Pie, meet sky.
Camille Grammer's Ex-BF
You Fabricated 'Assault'
And Ruined My Life
6/2/2014 7:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
11:00 AM PT -- Camille's lawyer tells TMZ, "We are delighted that he filed a lawsuit because we are already in the process of filing a civil lawsuit against him to pay for the damage he has caused. We look forward to court, where we will introduce forensic evidence clearly establishing his liability. It is surprising that someone who committed an assault would actually sue the victim."
Camille Grammer's ex-boyfriend thinks she should write reality TV -- because the "assault" she concocted and then accused him of last year was worthy of an episode of "Real Housewives."
Dimitri Charalambopoulos has filed a lawsuit against Camille, accusing her of bold-faced lying over a blowout fight they allegedly had last year.
You'll recall, Camille claimed Dimitri beat her to a pulp in a Houston hotel room and even ripped out her hair.
But according to Dimitri's lawsuit -- filed by his attorney, Guy Fisher -- there was no fight. He claims she baselessly accused him of cheating and he immediately left the hotel room ... at which point Camille faked the entire melee, smudging her make-up and even pulling hair from her hairbrush to scatter around the room.
And under the category "salt in the wound" ... Dimitri claims she made her bogus claims after he cared for her post cancer surgery, doing everything from helping her shower to "draining her catheter bag."
Sources tell us ... Dimitri thinks it's the most fantasy filled novelesque manner that the screenwriters for 'Housewives of Beverly Hills' would envy.
As we reported, the felony assault charges that followed were dismissed this week due to lack of evidence. Dimitri insists the damage is done ... his life has been devastated by Camille's lies.
He's suing for defamation, malicious prosecution, fraud and more.