It's the oldest story in Hollywood -- naive girl comes to La La Land ... only to be seduced by a pervy boss ... so claims a former "X-Factor" contestant in a new lawsuit.
Katie Waissel -- who appeared on the U.K. show -- moved to L.A. last year looking for fame and fortune ... but she needed a job to pay the bills, so she applied at Equinox in Woodland Hills, CA.
Katie claims the manager, Matt Lee, took an instant liking to her and gave her some very personal attention. Katie says Matt interviewed her several times -- at fancy restaurants where they drank. She says it didn't seem odd, because she had "little familiarity with the American hiring process."
She claims Matt then amped it up, showing up at her house with gifts, groceries and taking her out to more lunches and dinners. She says he also insisted she use his Amex card for gas.
Then Katie says things turned ... after a night of drinking she says she rejected Matt's advances, but says she gave in after he guilted her into feeling ungrateful.
She says she complained to Equinox, but they treated her like the bad guy ... so she's suing Lee and the health club for sexual harassment and retaliation.
Equinox had no comment. We left a message for Matt, but got no return call.
G.R.L. Singer Simone Battle
Money Problems a Factor in Suicide
9/9/2014 12:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
G.R.L. singer Simone Battle had been struggling with financial problems before committing suicide ... TMZ has learned.
We know friends and family members told law enforcement ... Battle was depressed over money issues recently -- the family wasn't specific but they were clear ... money was bringing her down.
The family didn't quite understand, because Battle was part of a successful singing group that had just completed an overseas tour.
People close to Battle told cops ... she was frustrated that she hadn't hit in the U.S. and worried she never would. Apparently Battle wasn't cutting it financially overseas.
We broke the story ... the 25-year-old singer was found hanging from a clothing rod in a bedroom closet of her West Hollywood home. Her boyfriend found the body about 8:30 A.M. We're told he had last seen her alive about 5 hours earlier.
'X Factor' Star Simone Battle
Father Confused by Apparent Suicide
9/6/2014 4:33 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Former "X Factor" contestant Simone Battle's suicide has stunned her father ... who says the "G.R.L." singer never once let on that she was suffering as she got a taste of success in Hollywood.
Anthony Battle tells us he and his daughter hadn't spoke on the phone in a few weeks ... but they texted every day and she seemed to be doing just fine.
In fact, he says Simone was excited about where her career was heading. G.R.L. had recorded and released a song with Pitbull earlier this year.
We're told close friends of the 25-year old singer spoke with her via text the night before her death -- they also didn't sense anything was wrong.
When we asked Anthony if Simone was battling depression ... he said he was unaware of anything like that, but acknowledged ... "It's possible she may have had an invisible disability."
Anthony tells us Simone's boyfriend discovered her body in her bedroom ... but he doesn't suspect foul play.
An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday.
'X Factor' Star
Simone Battle Dies at 25 ... From Apparent Suicide
9/6/2014 6:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
7:35 AM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Simone was found hanging on a rod in the closet of her bedroom around 8:30 AM on Friday.
Singer Simone Battle, who rose to fame on the US version of "X Factor" ... was found dead in her Los Angeles home ... and TMZ has learned it appears to be a suicide.
25-year-old Battle was a singer in the girl group "G.R.L." ... which was the reboot of the Pussycat Dolls. She signed on with the group after her run on "X Factor" ... where she was a finalist, making it into the top 17.
The L.A. County Cororner's Office tells us Battle's autopsy has not been completed yet ... so, nothing has been ruled out as cause of death.
Simone's father told us she was found in the bedroom of her apartment in a West Hollywood neighborhood. He described her home as a guest house of a larger residence.
Story developing ...
In June, TMZ shot video of Simone and her 'GRL' bandmate Natasha Slayton. They were excited about their song "Wild Wild Love" with Pitbull.
Rejects Next Justin Bieber
2/26/2014 6:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
"X Factor" -- the freshly cancelled singing competition show -- didn't help its chances of survival by booting a contestant who could have become the next Justin Bieber.
17-year-old John Lindahl auditioned for the show back in 2011, and eventually got kicked off in the second round.
Apparently ... Epic Records honcho L.A. Reid -- who was also an 'X Factor' judge at the time -- saw something the show didn't, because he immediately signed the Bieber look-alike to a sweet 5-album deal.
We got hold of the legal docs showing John is getting a $300K advance for his first album, and gets a pay hike for each subsequent album ... which could eventually land him up to $800,000.
Listen to him sing. It's like Justin without the sizzurp.
Life Is Complicated with Baby
2/22/2014 10:53 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Simon Cowell was sent packing Friday ... just days after his baby was born, but not because Lauren Silverman threw him out -- because a judge laid down the law in her complicated custody case.
As we previously reported ... Lauren's nasty divorce from Andrew Silverman ended with a custody arrangement for their 7-year-old son Adam, which required Lauren to keep Simon away from the kid for a year. Adam stayed with Lauren over the last few days, which meant Simon needed to skedaddle.
Simon moved into the swanky St. Regis Hotel in NYC ... but we're told he moved back with Lauren when Adam left.
As for the immediate future ... we're told Simon will stay in NYC for 4 to 5 weeks, until their baby is allowed to fly. The new family will then go to London for "X Factor" auditions. They'll be in the UK for around 3 weeks and then return to NYC.
Our Simon sources say he and Lauren will split their time between NYC and London, and since he has a plane it's no big deal.
It comes as a sacrifice. Simon won't be spending much time in Bev Hills ... which he loves. Instead he'll be in NYC a lot -- a place he doesn't love.
Daddy's Almost at the Hospital
Keep Your Vagina Closed
2/14/2014 11:22 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Simon Cowell's baby mama better tighten up her lady parts ... 'cause the "X-Factor" judge just landed in New York -- and he's making a beeline for the hospital.
We broke the story ... Lauren Silverman went into labor early Friday morning -- and Simon rushed home from London to be there -- but based on his look in the pic ... the soon to be dad doesn't look too worried about missing things.
Something tells us he won't be filming the gruesome process.
Donde Esta My Money, Bitch?
1/13/2014 4:53 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
"X Factor" judge Paulina Rubio doesn't take kindly to being snubbed ... in fact, she's now suing Telemundo for trying to replace her on the upcoming season of a kids-themed singing show.
Paulina -- who appeared as a coach on season 1 of Telemundo's "La Voz Kids" last year -- claims the network agreed to pay her $1.325 million to appear on the second season as well ... then reneged on the deal when it found someone cheaper to replace her with.
Paulina claims Telemundo offered up a weak excuse for the diss ... citing scheduling issues with Paulina's commitment to "X Factor" ... but she's not buying it.
Paulina wants Telemundo to cough up the $1.325 million stat ... plus another $100,000 for season 1 "La Voz Kids" clips featuring Paulina which the network sold for ad purposes.
A rep for Telemundo had no comment about the lawsuit.
How Dare 'X Factor'
Joke About My Drinking Problem
12/20/2013 2:12 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Demi Lovato is furious at the producers of "X Factor," grousing that she was blindsided by a skit that mocked her addiction ... TMZ has learned.
Mario Lopez introduced a skit which showed clips of Demi drinking what looked like booze, acting annoying and off center.
Demi is extremely upset because addiction has turned her life upside down. It got so bad, she was living in a sober house for more than a year just to avoid temptation.
You can see her reaction on the show ... at one point it appears she says "That's f**ked up."
Demi's already said she's leaving the show, but now it's pretty clear ... for her it couldn't be soon enough.
We contacted reps for the show ... so far no word back.
Paulina Rubio's Ex
She Screwed Me Over
Now I Want REVENGE!
11/17/2013 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paulina Rubio's ex-husband desperately wants a piece of her "X Factor" fortune ... claiming the singer screwed him out of his rightful share of the spoils in their divorce settlement.
Nicolas Vallejo-Najera just filed legal docs, accusing Rubio of concealing financial info during divorce talks earlier this year ... stuff like her big money contracts with "X Factor" and another talent show on Telemundo.
Nicolas and Paulina settled up in March. Under the deal, Paulina agreed to pay Nicolas $6,750 a month in spousal support for 3 years -- but Nicolas now says that number was based on Paulina's low ball income estimates and now he wants more.
Paulina's telling him to pound sand. Her lawyer tells us Paulina came clean during the negotiations and Nicolas is just a "whiner."
TOILET PAPER ATTACK
On Bev Hills Mansion
10/7/2013 10:27 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
It's Simon Cowell's 54th bday today ... and he's marking the occasion by cleaning the TOILET PAPER off his Beverly Hills mansion.
So, who would have the balls to TP Simon's pad? How 'bout a group of 5 girls.
Sources tell TMZ ... the culprits are the ladies from Fifth Harmony, the girl band Simon signed to a record deal after they performed on "X Factor" last season.
Besides the ass paper, the gals also hung a banner that reads, "Happy 87th Birthday Simon!"
With friends like these ...
Sinead to Simon
YOU'RE A MURDERER!
10/4/2013 3:24 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Simon Cowell is a cold-blooded killer ... of music, at least according to Sinead O'Connor.
O'Connor appeared on The Late Late Show in Ireland, and went off on the "X Factor" judge, as well as Louis Walsh -- an entertainment manager who's a judge on the British version of "X Factor."
O'Connor goes on to explain how the industry is now all about money-worship and over-sexualizing young people.
And speaking of over-sexualizing ... she thinks Miley Cyrus has been grossly exploited ... in no small part because she's young and just doesn't get it.
9/29/2013 12:31 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Paulina Rubio needs to have her head examined because she's frickin' crazy ... so claims her ex- husband who is trying to get a judge to order a psych evaluation on her.
We broke the stories ... Paulina and Nicolás Vallejo-Nájera have been battling for more than a year over their son. It's ultra-bitter, with each accusing the other of alienating the boy from them.
Vallejo-Najera is now pulling out all the stops. He claims she hasn't undergone a psych exam as ordered by the judge, so he now wants hizzoner to make it clear -- she better get her head shrunk, or else.
BTW ... Vallejo-Najera says he handed the tyke over to the "X Factor" judge on August 3, and hasn't seen the kid since.