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Comedian Jim Norton Maher Not Hateful, Just Tasteless ... Cut Him Some Slack

6/9/2017 11:06 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Jim Norton's coming to Bill Maher's defense of the n-word, saying intentions make a difference -- plus, the rules on who can use the word seem kinda arbitrary.

The comedian told us Maher's "house n*****" joke was definitely offensive, but he thinks the rabid backlash ignored the context. Norton points out there are lots of entertainers and artists -- even white ones -- who use the word in their work ... so, why the double standard with Bill?

Bottom line to Norton -- Bill just missed the mark, and was NOT being deliberately hateful -- and to him, it's not much different from Stephen Colbert's jab at President Trump.

John McCain Blames Diamondbacks for Weird Comey Questioning

6/8/2017 12:15 PM PDT
Breaking News

John McCain says he has a perfectly good excuse for that bizarre line of questioning during the Comey hearing Thursday ... he watched too much baseball the night before.

Twitter has been exploding with people mocking the 80-year-old AZ senator for strangely bringing up the Hillary Clinton investigation while everyone else wanted answers on Russia and Trump

McCain accused Comey of applying a double standard by closing the Clinton investigation while leaving the Trump inquiry open. Comey's explanation was that the Clinton investigation ran its course while the Trump investigation had barely started when Trump fired him.

This seemed a rational explanation for everyone in the room, except for McCain who seemed baffled.

Now, McCain has issued a statement trying to explain (and also poking fun at himself) ... saying:

"I get the sense from Twitter that my line of questioning today went over people's heads. Maybe going forward I shouldn't stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games."

For the record, the D-Backs played the Padres Wednesday night ... and won 7-4. 

Anne-Marie Johnson Maher Way Too Comfy with N-Word ... I Know, Firsthand!

6/8/2017 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Bill Maher has history with the n-word, but doesn't understand the history behind the word ... according to Anne-Marie Johnson.

The actress tells us she wasn't surprised when Maher got blasted for saying the n-word on 'Real Time' ... because she was front and center when he did the same thing 16 years ago.

Johnson says the problem is Maher's not getting the message from black people that the word causes pain ... and she doesn't think he ever will. The difference this time is he got called out for it.

It's interesting -- Anne-Marie doesn't think Bill's racist ... just stubborn. And she doesn't seem too hopeful he'll change.

Maher's said he regretted using the word last week, but back in 2001 he got into a heated exchange with Anne-Marie on "Politically Incorrect" -- and it included multiple n-bombs.

Gloria Allred Better Not Ring Twice ... Booted Out of Cosby Trial

6/7/2017 1:34 PM PDT

Gloria Allred desperately needed to be on vibrate, but instead her phone rang in the middle of the Bill Cosby trial Wednesday ... and it got her booted from court ... temporarily. 

Allred was escorted out of the courtroom in Norristown, PA after she got an incoming call. By all accounts, the judge is known to have zero tolerance for that sort of thing.

The court's communications director tell us, generally, if someone is ejected from the court they're not permitted to return for the duration of the trial. Gloria caught a break though -- she was allowed re-entry after a recess.

Allred is there repping several Cosby accusers, but NOT Andrea Constand ... who was cross-examined Wednesday by Cosby's attorney. 

Michael Irvin Hey Dak, Study Plays First ... Psychology Later

6/7/2017 6:31 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Michael Irvin says Dak Prescott needs to be studying something ... and it ain't psychology, telling TMZ Sports that as long as Dak is a Cowboy, the playbook comes 1st, and the PhD 2nd.

Prescott recently said he was interested in returning to Mississippi State to get his PhD in psychology, so when we got Irvin at LAX he said he was all about it, with one catch.

"I want him to study... plays first."

Michael's point? Prescott has about $200 million worth of future earnings waiting for him in the NFL if he doesn't lose his focus on pesky things like bettering himself and expanding his mind.

We hear you, Michael.

Bill Maher's Ex Coco Johnsen Strongly Insinuates He Often Used N-Word

6/7/2017 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Bill Maher's ex-girlfriend, Coco Johnsen, is throwing shade on him ... strongly insinuating he hurled the n-word a number of times during their relationship.

We got Coco Tuesday at Burbank Airport, and she told us she believes Bill simply thought it was no big deal and no one would care that he jokingly referred to himself as a "house n*****."

Coco dated Maher for a year and a half and subsequently sued him for $9 million for not following through on his alleged promise to marry her. She also claimed he verbally abused her with degrading racial comments. The case later was dismissed due to lack of evidence. 

She thinks Bill could use some sensitivity training courtesy of the NAACP.

XXXTentacion Gimme That Stage Dive Crown!

6/6/2017 4:40 PM PDT

XXXTentacion tried really hard to top his tour mate, Wifisfuneral, with 2 INSANE crowd surfing moments during a show in Scottsdale.

XXX climbed about 15 or so feet above the crowd, before launching himself on top of his fans. We'll say this ... they're really loyal, because he survived. The rapper also allowed himself to be hurled into the mosh pit Sunday night -- and again, walked away in one piece.

Much better ending for XXX than his homie, Wifi, who got the piss beat out of him last week when he did a front flip into the audience. 

We know this -- do NOT look down when you're at this show.

Milo Yiannopoulos Fan Sues UC Berkeley for $23 Mil ... Protesters Attacked Me!

6/6/2017 1:08 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

1:57 PM -- A spokesperson for the university tells TMZ it intends to vigorously defend its actions and it looks forward to "contesting this collection of false claims." The school adds, "We are confident that UCPD's actions will be vindicated against the plaintiff's uninformed allegations."A Milo Yiannopoulos fan blames UC Berkeley for allowing protesters to attack her when she showed up to hear Milo's speech ... and now she wants the university to pay up.

Kiara Robles, a Berkeley student, says she showed up for the right-wing commentator's speech back in February, but it was canceled when protests erupted on campus. In docs, obtained by TMZ, she says 15 minutes after arriving ... she was attacked with "extremely painful pepper spray" by masked and unmasked assailants.

She claims there was zero police presence where the attack happened, and her attackers were able to escape.

Robles isn't just going after the university either. She's also suing Berkeley's president, chancellor, regents chair ... also the city's mayor, police chief, the California Democratic Party chairman and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

Robles accuses school officials of "willfully withholding police manpower" because they disagree with conservative viewpoints. As for how Pelosi's been dragged into this -- Robles says she's suing her for assault because Pelosi advocates "violence toward President Trump supporters."

Robles wants damages in excess of $23 million.

We've reached out to UC Berkeley and Pelosi's office, so far no word back.

Jerry Seinfeld Who's Kesha?? No Hug for You!

6/6/2017 11:08 AM PDT

Jerry Seinfeld made it clear he's not down with hugs from random strangers who approach him out of nowhere ... even if they turn out to be Kesha.

Jerry was being interviewed Monday during the Night of Laughter & Song at the Kennedy Center, when Kesha strolled up acting like your average "Seinfeld" superfan.

Jerry wasn't having it ... like, at all. It definitely seems like he didn't recognize her as a famous singer.

It's a Soup Nazi worthy diss, for sure. And Kramer, for that matter.

Bill Maher Back on the Air Friday

6/5/2017 11:12 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Bill Maher will not be benched for his comment about "house n*****" ... TMZ has learned.

Sources familiar with the situation tell us, HBO will not yank Bill from the air or fire him for the comment he made to Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse on last Friday's show.

Maher apologized quickly and the fallout from the comment got quickly lost after the London terrorist attack.

By the way ... the fact that HBO does not run advertisements makes the situation vastly different from networks that advertise ... HBO will not lose money because it's subscription-based and, realistically, very few people would unsubscribe. Maher's show will stand or fall on ratings.

Parachute Skier Nearly Obliterates Bikini Chick ... Insane Video

6/5/2017 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

THIS IS AN INSANELY CLOSE CALL!!! 

The hot bikini chick in this video came THIIIIIS close to getting destroyed by a parachute skier screaming down a run-in Washington ... and the entire crazy scene was caught on video. 

The footage was shot at the Sesh Up 2017 ski and snowboard event on May 21 at Mt. Baker. 

We're told the group of people on the mountain were just hanging out and having a good time in an area they THOUGHT was safe from paraskiers. 

They were wrong. 

Miraculously, no one was hurt.

Kelsey Grammer Chin Up, Kathy Griffin ... Funny Trumps Controversy

6/3/2017 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Kelsey Grammer ain't buying what Kathy Griffin's selling -- her career won't be ruined in the wake of the President Trump beheading photo ... IF she follows his advice.

We got Kelsey at The Palm and asked him about Kathy's tearful news conference in which she lashed out at the First Family and accused them of trying to bury her, professionally. 

Kelsey stated the obvious -- the photo shoot was NOT a great idea, but he's sure Kathy can get past the controversy if she can follow a tried and true path. With very few exceptions ... Kelsey's dead-on.

Barron Trump Thought Beheaded Image Was His Dad

5/31/2017 7:06 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Barron Trump was watching television Tuesday at home with Melania when Kathy Griffin's photo appeared on the screen, and his initial reaction was that something terrible happened to his father.

Trump family sources tell us Barron was in front of the TV watching a show when the news came on and he saw the bloody, beheaded image. We're told he panicked and screamed, "Mommy, Mommy!"

As it was put to us, "He's 11. He doesn't know who Kathy Griffin is and the head she was holding resembled his dad."

Melania called out Kathy, saying what she did was disturbing, wrong and "makes you wonder about [her] mental health."

President Trump also blasted Griffin for posing with the head, saying, Barron was having a hard time dealing with it.

Griffin has apologized.

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