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David Letterman

Drops Thousands

On Staff's Parting Gifts

49 minutes ago BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

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David Letterman's former employees didn't walk away empty-handed this week -- he dropped thousands of dollars hooking them up with ... wait for it ... custom-made letterman's jackets. 

Letterman's final gift to his staff  have the words, "Thank you and good night" scrawled across the front. Dave scooped up more than 200 of them ... according to the owner of Golden Bear Sportswear.

Dave's been buying staff swag from GBS for 15 years, and the owner tells us they were contacted last winter, after Letterman announced his retirement plan. She says Dave designed the jacket as a final gift. 

GBS wouldn't divulge exactly how much Letterman spent, but the jackets run AT LEAST $300 each ... so you do the math.

Safe to say, Dave can afford it.

Mike Huckabee

I'm Standing by Josh Duggar

5/22/2015 9:04 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0522-huckabee-duggar-facebookPresidential candidate Mike Huckabee is coming out swinging for Josh Duggar ... saying he should be forgiven for his sins, because the alleged molestation happened when he was a minor with poor judgment.

The former Arkansas Governor is famously tight with the whole Duggar family, and made it clear ... he's standing by them now that the molestation investigation has come to light. Huckabee says, "Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn’t mean 'unforgivable.' He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities."

Huckabee also believes the 2006 investigation should never have become public. He says the law protects disclosure of many actions by minors because "being a minor means that one's judgment is not mature." 

He adds ... Josh has gone on to live a very responsible and Christian life as an adult, and says, "Janet and I want to show up and stand up for our friends." 

Huckabee just posted his staunch defense on Facebook -- an incredibly bold move considering he's in the middle of seeking the Republican nomination for president.

The Duggars frequently campaign for Huckabee. 

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Mama June

Threatens TLC with Lawsuit ...

We Weren't as Bad as the Duggar Family

5/22/2015 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Mama June is so angry TLC has not cancelled "19 Kids and Counting" she's prepared to sue TLC, claiming the Duggar family is way worse than hers, yet they still have a show.

June tells TMZ there is no way TLC can justify keeping the Duggar family on the air yet yanking 'Honey Boo Boo.' June notes within hours of TMZ posting the pic of her cavorting with convicted child molester Mark McDaniel, TLC pulled the plug on her show.

June says she never molested anyone and McDaniel wasn't ever on her show, yet Josh Duggar is a central figure on the TLC show and admitted to molesting some of his sisters, who are also on the show. What's more, she believes Jim Bob and Michelle covered up their son's misdeeds. 

With that backdrop, June says she's out hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the abrupt cancellation of her show, and if the Duggar family stays on the air, she wants to sue the network for what she believes is blatantly unfair and inconsistent treatment. 

And June adds, "I read that the Duggar family said, this happening with their son brought them closer to God and each other. So they're saying it's ok to have family touch time? Hell no."

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Oprah

Sent Duggar Family Packing

After Molestation Tip

5/22/2015 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Oprah Winfrey took swift action when her production company got a tip that Josh Duggar had molested young girls, including some of his sisters, refusing to go through with a scheduled appearance on her talk show.

As we reported, the first tip about Josh Duggar was sent to a staffer at Harpo. The email was received on December 7, 2006 at 6:30 AM. The email not only refers to the molestation, the author also claims Jim Bob and Michelle covered it up.

Oprah's people sent the email to a child abuse hotline.

 The Duggars were already in Chicago for the taping, which was scheduled within a day of the email. Oprah's staff jumped so quickly, we've learned at 1:17 PM the same day, an Arkansas State Police officer contacted Michelle, telling her she needed to bring Josh back home immediately for an interview. 

Turns out there was no conflict, because Oprah's people immediately cancelled the taping and sent the family home. 

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‘Love & Hip Hop' Star

Serves Up Her Cake

... For Everyone

5/22/2015 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0521_Karlie-Redd_underwear_WM-Alcole-Photography2Karlie Redd proves there are enough slices of her cake to go around on the June 2015 cover of J’Adore Magazine.

TMZ has obtained the exclusive photos ... and the "Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta rum slinger practically goes full frontal for the racy spread. We're told Karlie was “very turned on” by the photo shoot.

Gotta keep that oven hot when baking the perfect cake. 

'19 Kids and Counting'

TLC Airs Josh-Centric Marathon

In Wake of Molestation Admission

5/22/2015 6:26 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TLC seems undaunted by Josh Duggar's admission he molested young girls -- including some of his sisters -- when he was a teenager, because the network ran a Josh-centric marathon last night.

TLC's been radio silent about the revelations, but it seems all systems are still go, because Josh was right there, front and center, with one of the episodes focusing on the gender of their unborn child, and another featuring Josh playing with his kids.

TLC has said nothing about the show's future  ... which has angered former TLC star Mama June, who feels her show got axed for a lot less.

Josh Duggar

Admits Molestation

Resigns from Family Research Council

5/21/2015 3:14 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0521-josh-duggar-getty-01Josh Duggar has resigned as Executive Director of the Family Research Council, acknowledging he sexually molested underage girls including some of his sisters, calling his conduct inexcusable.

Josh says, "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager. I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret."  He continues, "We spoke with authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling."

The molestations occurred in 2002 and 2003, when he was 14. He fondled the genitals and breasts of the girls, some of whom were sleeping.

Josh's wife Anna says he confessed his "past teenage mistakes" to her 2 years before he asked her to marry him.

The incidents were not reported to police until 2006, and the statute of limitations has now long since passed. But Josh says he believes God has shown him mercy and given him redemption.

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Josh Duggar

Molestation Investigation Docs To Be Destroyed

5/21/2015 1:37 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0521-duggar-family-02-facebookPolice are about to destroy all the names and details surrounding "19 Kids and Counting" star Josh Duggar's molestation case ... after one of his alleged victims asked a judge to protect her identity.

The alleged victim -- only referred to as "Jane Doe" in the docs -- was worried an unredacted copy of the police report might see the light of day. She argued the court had a duty to destroy the report, and the judge agreed ... signing the order Thursday afternoon.

As we previously reported ... Duggar was the subject of a police investigation in 2006 for allegedly sexually molesting five girls, some of whom are his sisters.

He was never prosecuted and the statute of limitations ran out.

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Duggar Son

Allegedly Admitted to Sexually Molesting Minor Girls ...

Including Sisters

5/21/2015 11:04 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0521-josh-duggar-facebookJosh Duggar, one of the members of the family that stars in TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" ... was the subject of a police investigation for allegedly sexually molesting 5 girls, some of whom are his sisters.

The story was broken by In Touch Weekly, but TMZ has confirmed with law enforcement that Josh Duggar -- who was around 14 at the time --  was the alleged molester against 5 girls starting in 2002.

According to the police report, Josh fondled the genitals and breasts of the girls, some of whom were sleeping, but sometimes they were interacting with him ... in one case reading a book.  

There was another reported incident 9 months later. According to the police report, the police were not immediately contacted. Instead, Jim  Bob, the dad, met with church elders and agreed Josh should be put in a treatment program.  The police report says Josh's mom, Michelle, said it wasn't really a treatment center ... they simply sent Josh to a guy who was remodeling a building to do manual labor.

In 2006, the family was scheduled to appear on "Oprah," and before the show someone sent an email to Harpo warning that Josh had molested girls. Harpo forwarded the email to a hotline, which triggered a police investigation.

Cops wanted to question Josh, but Jim Bob lawyered him up and Josh declined the invitation.

Josh, who is now 27, apparently cannot be charged because the statute of limitations has run.

As for the Duggars, one of the family members told investigators, "this entire incident had brought the family closer to God" ... this according to the police report. 

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David Letterman

Marines Get Ship-faced at After-Party

5/21/2015 6:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

David Letterman had scores of big celebrities at his finale after-party, but the most entertaining guys in the building were 2 Marines who enjoyed a lot of free vodka on Dave.

The 2 guys are in NYC for Fleet Week, and their first night got awesome when they bumped into Steve Martin's wife, who invited them into the shindig.

They told us about all the famous people they met, but it sounds like their new best friend is the bartender.

Happy Memorial Day!!! It's gonna be an awesome Fleet Week.

'Bachelorette' Contestant

Blasts Chris Harrison

I Was Told To Strip

5/21/2015 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Booted 'Bachelorette' contestant Josh S. is livid over being portrayed as a creepy stripper by host Chris Harrison because he was only getting naked on demand -- the producers' demands.

Sources close to Josh tell TMZ ... producers put him up to the striptease after nixing his original plan to simply hug Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson. We're told producers said his nice guy act was too boring and forgettable -- so, he caved and did as they suggested ... losing his shirt and rubbing the girls' hands on his bare chest. 

Our sources say Josh is especially pissed because Harrison called him "creepy" on his blog and "The View" -- because he feels like he was forced to make those "creepy" moves.

Here's the kicker ... Josh actually is a stripper, so he's no prude. We're told he just feels like he'd still be on the show if he'd gone with his more subtle and gentlemanly approach. 

We've reached out to the show but so far no word back. 

Drunk ‘Bachelorette’ Contestant

My Rape Line Was Entertaining

... Refuses to Apologize

5/20/2015 4:09 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

The 'Bachelorette' contestant who's getting blasted for dropping a rape comment on a cast member isn't backing down -- and says his controversial line saved the whole show. 

If you missed it ... Ryan McDill -- a self-proclaimed amateur actor and comedian -- was booted during the first episode after ripping off his shirt and telling another guy on the show, "Why am I not raping you right now?" That line combined with McDill's apparent boozing got him 86'd.

McDill admits he was drinking a lot, but adds ... "I wasn’t blacked out and knew exactly what I was doing.” He also says the rape line wasn't a joke -- as critics have said -- and claims he was really trying to say, I'll destroy you.

He tells us, "People need to get off their high horse. It was awesome and entertaining.”

As for the heavy drinking and groping Kaitlyn's ass -- McDill claims he felt pressure to play it up for the cameras -- and claims all the guys on the show do it too. However, he does NOT say producers told him to act like a tool.

And McDill offered one last shot -- he actually thinks producers should thank him because he was “the only reason the first episode was the s**t.”

David Letterman

Cake Rots On Street

As Big Names Show for Finale

5/20/2015 1:17 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0520-david-letterman-cake-fail-TMZ-01David Letterman's last show drew big stars ... who resisted grabbing a remnant of the cake which became a launching pad the night before for Bill Murray.

Dave's sendoff included quite the guest list, including Chris Rock, Jim Carrey, Peyton Manning, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Barbara Walters, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jerry Seinfeld, and Tina Fey.

Everyone's been super secretive about the particulars of Dave's final show ... but we do know Letterman gave the staff special jackets embroidered with a 'Thank You' message.  

Not exactly Oprah level ... but still not bad.


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