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Rev. Jesse Jackson Nobody Hated Tebow for Taking Knee ... So Why Kaep?

9/12/2018 9:56 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Rev. Jesse Jackson has a message for all the Colin Kaepernick haters -- Tim Tebow took a knee too ... and nobody had a problem with that! 

We got Jesse leaving Reagan International Airport this week when he used the ex-Heisman Trophy winner to explain what he believes is the hypocrisy surrounding the outrage directed at Kaepernick. 

"It's interesting that when Tim Tebow took a knee, it was accepted," Jesse tells TMZ Sports.

"Kaepernick takes a knee and he's rejected. Both of them took a knee in protest of what they believed in. One was religion. One was for justice. Okay."

Remember ... Tim used to take knees prior to every game -- albeit not DURING the national anthem -- and it was so widely praised, a social media meme came of it.

Clearly -- Jesse thinks Kaep deserves the same treatment.

Post Malone First a Plane Scare, Now This Crash?!? ... 'God Must Hate Me'

9/7/2018 6:56 AM PDT

Post Malone got a THIRD lease on life in the early hours of Friday morning ... after walking away unscathed after a scary car crash.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the rapper was a passenger in his Rolls-Royce Friday in WeHo  at 2:40 AM when a Kia T-boned the Rolls on the driver's side.

Moments after the crash, Post told us the Kia hit them out of nowhere ... causing the Rolls-Royce to spin out of control. Photos back up his version.

We're told no drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash. There were no injuries ... unless you count Post's psyche. After the crash, the rapper said (and later tweeted), "God must hate me."

The crash, of course, comes a mere 17 days after his private jet blew 2 tires after takeoff from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and seemingly circled for hours to burn fuel before making an emergency landing. Post said afterward he was thrilled to be alive.

TMZ shot Post hours before the car crash at Petit restaurant celebrating the birthday of his manager, Dre London.

Post's seemed physically fine post-crash ... he hit up a house party with rapper Trippie Redd. Surviving a brush with death -- twice -- is reason to party.

BTW ... special moment after the crash between Post and a pap, who made the rapper happy as hell when he recovered the Rolls-Royce hood ornament that flew off after the crash.

Aretha Franklin's Funeral Presiding Pastor Promises We're Taking You to Church, Not a Show

8/30/2018 3:53 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The man in charge of Aretha Franklin's funeral, Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, wants her fans around the world to know one thing -- get ready for church. 

The pastor told us he's well aware he'll have a star-studded congregation during Friday's funeral, including Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Whoopi Goldberg, and President Clinton ... to name just a few. But he says the focus still has to be squarely on the Queen of Soul.

Bishop Ellis plans to celebrate her life in a respectful, godly manner. After all, she grew up musically and spiritually in her father's Baptist church -- and while superstar singers will perform during the service, Ellis says it's not going to be a concert. 

He gave us a preview of his sermon, and the pressure that comes with overseeing an icon's funeral. 

As we first reported, Jennifer Hudson will sing "Amazing Grace" as part of Friday's star-studded service at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit.

It starts at 10 AM ET, and we'll be streaming it live on TMZ.

Ben Affleck Sought Addiction Help ... Before Jen's Intervention

8/23/2018 10:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Ben Affleck wanted to get back on the sober train -- badly -- days before his estranged wife staged an intervention and drove him to a rehab facility ... TMZ has learned. 

Turns out, Ben had been attending wellness classes at a Los Angeles wellness center as recently as a week before checking into a live-in facility.  

The center specializes in "Buddhist ethics" ... meaning meditation with a focus on a healthy body, mind and spirit. Our sources say Ben went on his own accord several times last week ... well aware he had fallen off the wagon and into a downward spiral.

We broke the story ... Ben's estranged wife, Jennifer Garner, staged an intervention Wednesday at his Pacific Palisades home and drove him to an L.A. County rehab facility where he will live for at least 30 days. We're told Ben didn't need much convincing because he knew he was in desperate straits.

We're told the trigger for Jen was on Monday, when she saw this pic (below) of Ben accepting delivery of a box full of beer and hard liquor. 

The actor has been open about his struggles with sobriety over the years. After Ben completed his second stint at a rehab facility last year, he said, "I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be. I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step."

He continued, "I'm lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen, who has supported me and cared for our kids as I've done the work I set out to do."   

Here's the reality ... most addicts relapse. It doesn't mean they can't eventually stay sober, but it's a long, difficult road and falling off the wagon is not necessarily game over. The most important thing ... it's clear Ben realized he had a problem and sought help, even before Jen staged the intervention.

Prior to the intervention, Ben had been seen hanging out with Playboy model Shauna Sexton.

Baseball Nun Throws Out Epic First Pitch ... Sweet Tricks Included!

8/19/2018 12:42 PM PDT

Here's something you don't see everyday ... a nun that could probably come out of the bullpen for the White Sox if she tightened up her curve ball. 

Sister Mary Jo Sobiek of Marian Catholic High School was tasked with throwing out the first pitch Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field in honor of her institution. Perhaps to everyone's surprise ... she dished out a wicked toss from the mound to kick off the game.

It wasn't just the pitch that impressed ... Sister Mary Jo also had a nice little arm trick up her sleeve -- knocking the ball off the inside of her elbow and catching it again. BADASS!!!!

Sadly, the Sox couldn't ride SMJ's coattails to a win -- they ended up losing to the Kansas City Royals, who are last place in their division. At least we got a nice follow-up sister act in Chicago though!

'Memba 98-year-old Sister Jean during Loyola-Chicago's Cinderella run during March Madness?? Of course you do. 

Al Sharpton to Donald Trump Aretha's R-E-S-P-E-C-T ... Doggonit, Find Out What It Means!!!

8/16/2018 2:00 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Al Sharpton wants someone to blast Donald Trump with a little of Aretha Franklin's "Respect" ... 'cause dude really needs it.

We got the reverend out in NYC Thursday and, of course, had to ask him about The Queen of Soul passing away several hours earlier. Al paid heavy tribute and went down memory lane when it came to her iconic performances.

But more than anything, Al says on the heels of Trump calling Omarosa a dog he, more than anyone else, should soak in the classic track. As we reported ... Aretha died Thursday after a long battle with cancer.

She was 76. #RIP

Tim Tebow Birthday Wishes ... From Miss Universe GF

8/14/2018 10:43 AM PDT
Breaking News

Still no birthday sex for Tim Tebow ... but the former Heisman Trophy winner got the next best thing for his 31st -- best wishes from the hottest chick in the galaxy!!

Of course ... Tim's been dating Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters -- aka Miss Universe 2017 -- for a while ... and FINALLY, Demi made it Insta official, with DLNP wishing Tim a happy birthday Tuesday.

"Happy Birthday Timmy ❤️," she wrote.

"You are such a bright light in so many people’s lives. Have the best day ever!"

Tim's been smitten with the 23-year-old South African for quite a bit ... telling ESPN back in July, "She is a really special girl and I am very lucky and blessed for her coming into my life."

Seems like an engagement COULD be coming ... which means for Timmy's next birthday, maybe he'll finally get to cross home plate! 

Chris Pratt Kisses Katherine Schwarzenegger ... But, Only After Church

7/30/2018 10:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger are officially a couple -- a churchgoing one at that -- but they won't really show it until they're out of God's purview.

The recently-single Hollywood stud was spotted on another date with Arnold and Maria's 28-year-old daughter Sunday -- this time with his and Anna Faris' son, Jack, tagging along ... not to mention JC. The trio hit up a church service in L.A. and ice cream afterward.

It wasn't until Chris and Kat were out of the Lord's house that they smooched a bit ... not once, but twice! Seems like things have gone well since their Santa Barbara picnic last month.

As for Jack, we're guessing he's getting used to his parents' new boos since they filed for divorce -- Anna certainly hasn't shied away from having her new BF step in as stepdad.

Bishop Michael Curry Fighting Prostate Cancer

7/26/2018 8:04 AM PDT

Bishop Michael Curry -- the man who told Prince Harry and Meghan "love is the way" -- is now dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

Bishop Curry says he found out a few months ago, during an annual exam, he has prostate cancer ... and he's now decided on a course of treatment.

He'll undergo surgery next week to remove his prostate gland, and anticipates taking 4-6 weeks to recuperate ... before getting back to work. Curry says, "I am happy to say that the prognosis looks very good and quite positive."

The bishop's "love is the way" homily stole the show at the royal wedding and brought him international fame. We saw him in NYC getting swarmed by fans the week after the ceremony.

Carl Lentz Hesitates to Congratulate Bieber on Engagement ... After Major Falling Out

7/13/2018 7:41 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Carl Lentz -- the pastor at the Hillsong church who was inseparable from Justin Bieber -- appeared to have trouble congratulating Justin on his engagement, and we're told it's because the 2 have had a major falling out.

Lentz was in Sydney, Australia Friday when the photog asked about Bieber, and it's pretty clear Lentz was uncomfortable.

Sources connected to Bieber tell TMZ ... Justin became angry at Lentz a while ago and broke ties with the pastor.

Justin and his fiancee, Hailey Baldwin, have both been active members of Hillsong and continue to patronize the church but, at least as far as Justin is concerned ... Carl is history. 

We contacted Lentz, who told us he will not comment on his personal relationship with Bieber.

Tim Tebow's Mom Tim's Ready for the Majors! ... We're So Proud!

7/11/2018 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

WE GOT TIM TEBOW'S MOM!!!! How cool is this?!

Tim Tebow's mother, Pamela, tells TMZ Sports her son is ready to play in the Big Leagues ... and she couldn't be more proud of the way he's playing! 

FYI, Tim's been raking down in the minor leagues -- earning a spot in the Eastern League All-Star Game -- and Mama Tebow says he's ready for the call up to the Mets' MLB roster.

"We're partial, so we would vote for him to go up to the majors," Pam said at LAX ... "But, it's not up to us!"

We also asked how the Tebow family felt when Tim decided to make the switch from football to baseball -- and she was super candid about it. 

"Timmy never had any bitterness. He had such a great attitude, because he believed it was God's plan for him. And then, we just all supported him because he still had a competitive drive."

"And he just still wanted to play ball. So baseball was second, so why not try it?"

"I think he's an example for all the little boys that maybe are afraid to try something because people don't think they'll succeed. So, you don't make it? At least you tried! That's what his main purpose is, he really wants to be a good example for them."

And, if you want some Mama Tebow bible scripture of the day? She gives us some of that too! 

President Trump Announces Judge Brett Kavanaugh ... As New SCOTUS Nominee

7/9/2018 6:29 PM PDT
Breaking News

President Trump has tapped his pick for the next Supreme Court justice to replace Anthony Kennedy -- and he's being hailed as a strong conservative choice.

The Prez nominated DC Circuit Court of Appeals judge Brett Kavanaugh Monday, nearly two weeks after Kennedy announced he was retiring. Kavanaugh, a George W. Bush appointee, is considered by many to be an establishment guy, and has even been called the "Forrest Gump of Republican politics." He's also Catholic.

Kavanaugh has quite the resume ... having gone to Yale Law, and working in the Solicitor General's office in George H.W. Bush's administration. He also worked for Ken Starr during his investigation into then-President Bill Clinton, and is credited with pushing for tough questions on Bubba's sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.

Oh, and he also used to clerk for the guy he's replacing on the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh has been serving on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006. He hasn't weighed in on a whole lot of abortion cases personally, but is reported as saying he would follow Supreme Court precedent on abortion rights, but hasn't disclosed his own views on Roe v. Wade.

Scarlett Johansson Calls BS on Tom Cruise Date Audition ... That's 'So Demeaning'

6/27/2018 5:31 PM PDT

Scarlett Johansson's fired up about a former Scientologist making a claim -- on live TV -- that she once auditioned to date Tom Cruise ... and she's not letting him get away with it.

The 'Avengers' star put Brendan Tighe -- who says he used to work on Cruise's Scientology security team -- on blast after he appeared on Megyn Kelly's NBC show Wednesday and claimed she was on a list of women who auditioned to date him after his split from Nicole Kidman years ago.

Johansson tells The Hollywood Reporter, "The very idea of any person auditioning to be in a relationship is so demeaning. I refuse for anyone to spread the idea that I lack the integrity to choose my own relationships."

She added ... "Only a man aka Brendan Tighe would come up with a crazy story like that."

Tighe also claimed Scarlett's audition must not have gone well, because actress and Scientologist Erika Christensen had to distance herself from her afterward.

For the record ... along with Johansson saying Tighe is full of it, the Church of Scientology denies his alleged role with Cruise.

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