CNN has fired back at Bill Cosby's lawyer ... defending it's decision NOT to include accuser Beverly Johnson's live-in boyfriend as part of a network special, calling him a criminal with an ax to grind.
TMZ broke the story ... Cosby's lawyer fired off a nasty letter to the network Friday, claiming it was rigging a story about model Beverly Johnson -- who accused Cosby of drugging her in the mid-80s -- without interviewing the man she lived with from 2006-2009.
The lawyer claimed during that time Johnson never mentioned the drugging and only heaped praise on Cosby.
But in a scathing retort, CNN says the boyfriend -- Mark Burk -- was not around when the alleged drugging occurred. The letter also minimizes the relevance that Johnson said bad things to Burk about Cosby.
What's more ... CNN says Cosby's lawyer, Marty Singer, failed to mention Burk has a criminal history ... multiple restraining orders keeping him away from Johnson and threats to kill her.
And CNN says Burk isn't credible because he filed a bogus lawsuit against Johnson for palimony.
Buried in Norway
12/22/2014 10:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Casey Kasem was finally laid to rest ... 6 months after he died.
It's the end of what turned into an international power struggle between Casey's wife, Jean, and his children.
We've learned the famed DJ was buried last Tuesday at the Vestre Gravlund, one of the largest cemeteries in Norway. We're told there was a small ceremony ... we don't know if Jean was there but we're told his kids were not. Casey's children didn't know he was even buried until Monday.
The burial is legally significant. The LAPD has been conducting an elder abuse investigation after Casey's kids filed a police report claiming Jean caused Casey to get a fatal infection during a wild, multi-state car ride.
The body has been rotting away for months -- for a long period of time it wasn't even embalmed. The decay and now the burial in a foreign land will make it virtually impossible for L.A. authorities to make a solid determination on whether the bed sores contributed to Casey's death.
RIP Casey ... finally.
No Evidence Khloe's Dating NBA Star
12/22/2014 6:27 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
She's hooked up with jocks before, but the new rumors about Khloe Kardashian dating NBA star Robin Lopez seems like BS ... so says Kim's BFF Jonathan Cheban.
Cheban -- who's super tight with all of the Kardashian sisters -- was leaving Craig's in West Hollywood last night when we asked about reports that Khloe and Robin have become an item.
"I was with her yesterday, I didn't hear anything about that," Cheban told us.
The "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" star said he wouldn't be shocked if Khloe eventually began dating another famous athlete ... explaining that a relationship with a normie can get pretty boring for someone on Khloe's level.
As for Robin, he also shot down the rumors this weekend ... and says the media made up the story.
"Obviously they were looking for two people with a lot of influence on popular culture, on the youth, and they were looking for two movers and shakers," Lopez said.
"Frankly, I’m not surprised they came up with my name."
Bada Bing Robbed
at Gun Point
12/22/2014 4:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Satin Dolls -- the New Jersey strip club that doubled as the Bada Bing on "The Sopranos" -- was hit by armed robbers early Sunday morning ... who made off with $30,000 in cash.
Police in Lodi, NJ say two guys armed with shotguns stormed into the clubs and made off with the cash. They released no other details, except to say the investigation was ongoing.
Don't worry ... Paulie and Sil were unharmed, though they incredibly uncooperative with authorities ... as to be expected.
'Top Chef' Winner
I Trash Talked Gronkowski
But He Loved My Sausage
12/21/2014 8:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Patriots stud Rob Gronkowski isn't afraid to mix it up with football fans ... even when they're contestants on a reality show he's judging.
Gronk was a guest critic on this week's episode of "Top Chef: Boston" ... but not all the cooks were star struck ... 'cause chef George Pagonis tells TMZ Sports he got in Gronk's face and told him exactly how he felt about the Pats. Hint ... George is not a fan.
Chef P says, "I never really cared for any Boston teams. I've spent a lot of time in New York, and I'm a big Redskins fan."
Still, razzing Gronk when he controls your culinary fate doesn't seem wise. Pagans says ... "I couldn't let my team down and not speak up." He adds Gronk was totally cool with his verbal jabs.
Obviously, it didn't affect his judging because Chef Pagonis cooked the winning dish -- a pork and veal sausage.
Pigskin and sausage ... the key to Gronk's heart.
'You're Trailer Trash, Bitch'
12/21/2014 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
'Real Housewife' Joanna Krupa sounds like she's ready to physically duke it out with archenemy Brandi Glanville ... calling her a trailer trash fame whore who is a European model wannabe.
Krupa went ballistic when our photog asked about Brandi, who trashed her on Andy Cohen's show. Glanville insinuated Cohen got food poisoning from bad fish ... code for Krupa's smelly vagina.
Krupa went for the jugular, telling us Brandi is so pathetic there's no room for doubt on why Eddie Cibrian dumped her.
Watch the video. It has all the makings of a fabulous bitch fight.
Sony Hacking Scandal
Dr. Evil Says ...
GOP is Giving Villains a Bad Name
12/21/2014 8:03 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Dr. Evil is scoffing at the Guardians of Peace for sheer laziness.
The "Austin Powers" super villain appeared on "Saturday Night Live" with some solid advice to the GOP ... "It's easy to kill a movie, just move it to January."
But the evil doc's real beef is purely domestic, and very political.
Mike Myers also awesomely takes a shot at one of his own stinkers.
'Dallas' Star Larry Hagman
R.I.P. ... But Only After You Pay Up
12/21/2014 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Legendary actor and "Dallas" star Larry Hagman broke his word by dying ... and now a guy who says he was left high and dry wants the ghost of Larry to ante up.
John Castonia claims he was lured from Texas to Cali in 2012, to manage Hagman's career as he shot the "Dallas" remake for TNT. But John was no fool ... he says he got a 7-month guarantee in his contract -- $2,500 a week.
Here's the problem. Larry died 3 months into the deal, and the money train stopped. So now he's suing Larry's estate for the remaining $42,500.
The Ewings might handle this differently.
I Was Exposed to Unwanted Nudity
When I Was a Child
12/19/2014 8:35 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Stephen Collins felt like it was okay to expose himself to 3 underage girls ... because the same thing happened to him even before he was a teenager.
Collins told Katie Couric a woman repeatedly exposed herself to him when he was between the ages of 10 and 15. He said the experience distorted his perception because ... "I never felt like I was molested."
In the interview, airing on 20/20 ... Collins does not say who the woman was -- nor does he say if he was forced to touch her.
It's the first time he is talking on camera about molesting and/or exposing himself to the girls ... decades ago.
Footing the Bill
for Murderer's Funeral
12/20/2014 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Floyd Mayweather is putting aside some brutal facts and paying for the funeral of the rapper who gunned down his wife in the bathtub and then shot himself.
We're told Floyd thinks Earl Hayes' family deserves a proper funeral, despite the horrific thing he did.
TMZ broke the story ... Floyd was FaceTiming with Hayes earlier this month when the rapper snapped as they discussed how his wife, "Hit the Floor" star Stephanie Moseley was cheating on him. He went in the bathroom and pumped 10-12 shots as she lay in the tub. He then killed himself.
We don't know if Floyd foot the bill for Stephanie's funeral Friday in Canada. Floyd was urging Hayes to dump her just before he lost it.
Hayes' funeral is set for today.
'Bad Girls Club' Wannabe
Destroy the Boot
Go to Jail
12/20/2014 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The chick who left the "Bad Girls Club" audition with a Denver Boot attached to the car could end up in jail ... TMZ has learned.
It appears Chicquita Washington -- the registered owner of the car -- high-tailed it out of a Houston, TX parking lot with the boot on the back tire, then roared away, dislodging it and breaking it off.
Parking officials tell TMZ ... if she just drove off with the boot there'd be no crime, but she was gunning it toward a parking enforcement officer who booted the car, and we've learned the guy filed a police report, claiming she clipped him.
If cops and prosecutors buy his story, Chicquita could be charged with criminal assault.
Chicquita is bananas.
'I Am Not a Pedophile'
12/19/2014 6:12 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Stephen Collins says he's not a pedophile, but rather someone who had a "distortion" in his thinking.
Collins told Katie Couric ... he does not fit the "clinical or dictionary definition" of a pedophile ... so concluded his therapist. That same therapist, Collins says, told him that if Collins really was a pedophile ... he would have repeated the misdeed way more than he did.
Collins told Couric he has no attraction toward children and that the incident in 1973 -- where he made physical contact with one of the victims -- stopped him dead in his tracks ... saying, "It was the opposite of excitement or gratification."
TMZ spoke with that victim on Wednesday ... who feels Collins is downplaying the incident and doesn't buy his decision not to apologize to her.
Rev. Al Sharpton
Meets with Amy Pascal
All Talk, Let's See Some Action
12/18/2014 2:22 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Al Sharpton is willing to give Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal a chance to prove she'll do the right thing for African Americans, but he says, "The proof is in the pudding and you don't know until you eat it."
Sharpton tells TMZ he met with Pascal for 90 minutes Thursday in NYC, and she admitted she was "wrong and silly" to engage producer Scott Rudin in speculation that Prez Obama only likes "black movies."
Sharpton says the head of the National Urban League was also on hand and told her they were "outraged" by her comments. She said it was "an isolated incident," but Sharpton retorted it was indicative of a bigger problem in Hollywood ... no blacks at the top.
The Rev says he's not calling for Amy's head, but he wants to see real action before making a final decision. The contrition is clearly not complete, because he says he and Amy will sit down for another chitchat next week.