A cell tower in Kota Bharu could be the missing puzzle piece in the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last weekend.
There's a theory ... the aircraft doubled back over Malaysia after it began to cross the South China Sea, and crashed off the opposite coast instead ... somewhere in the Malacca Strait.
Malaysian officials have rejected the theory -- but if it's true (as some still believe) the plane would have passed over the city of Kota Bharu, which contains a powerful Celcom cellular phone tower.
Credible mobile analysts tell TMZ, if the plane flew over the tower there's a high likelihood the tower would contain data transmitted by cell phones inside the aircraft ... if the phones were on.
Roughly 30% of passengers leave their phones ON during flights -- this according to published reports.
So ... the cellular tower could be the critical piece of evidence to either prove or disprove the U-turn theory.
We've reached out to Celcom about possible data transmitted to the Kota Bharu cell tower -- so far, no word back.
with Los Angeles
3/13/2014 11:03 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Justin Bieber has cut his final ties with the city of Los Angeles ... because TMZ has learned he's sold the last piece of property he owns in the area ... leaving him wide open for a permanent move to the ATL.
As TMZ first reported, Bieber sold his Calabasas home to Khloe Kardashian for a cool $7.2 million ... making a little over a million on the sale.
But according to our sources, Bieber also owned the 1.7-acre plot of land next door ... until now. We're told Bieber just sold that for $2.775 million (he bought it for $2.35 mil in 2012) and the deal closes in 30 days.
As for the buyer, our sources say it's nobody famous, but he's about to inherit a slew of famous neighbors.
We're told Bieber had been looking for another home in the Los Angeles, but he's since called off the search.
Atlanta, he's your problem now.
I'm NOT a Bad Guy
Just Greedy As Hell
3/13/2014 10:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
11-game "Jeopardy" champ Arthur Chu -- widely criticized for his cocky attitude and unorthodox playing style -- insists he's not such a bad guy in real life ... minus his unquenchable thirst for money.
Chu was out in NYC early Thursday -- a day after his "Jeopardy" reign came to an end -- and he told us, fans of the game show got the wrong impression of him ... just because he was an ambitious (and extremely successful) player.
Chu -- who won nearly $300,000 on the show -- said, "I don't think I'm a bad guy for trying to win money on Jeopardy. I might be a bad guy for other reasons, but that's for other people to decide."
As for what he plans to do with his massive check -- watch the video.
Goes After Nightclub ...
Don't Pay that Bitch a Cent!
3/13/2014 9:48 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Brown claims an Orange County nightclub is hanging him out to dry by settling up with a woman who sued both Chris and the club ... claiming Chris brutalized her after his performance.
It's a weird lawsuit ... Deanna Gines claims as Chris was leaving Heat Ultralounge last June in Anaheim, he bulldozed through her path, knocking her to the ground and injuring her leg.
Chris calls BS on her story, and frankly he's got a point. In the surveillance video, she limps on one leg and when she appeared on TMZ Live she had a cast on the other leg.
Nonetheless ... Heat Ultralounge settled with Deanna for $15K, which means the only defendant left in the suit is Chris.
Chris' lawyer, Mark Geragos, thinks the settlement is grossly unfair to his client, because it will leave Brown holding the bag. So Geragos has filed documents asking the judge to block the settlement.
Now this is true love ... Karrueche filed a declaration standing by her man, saying that Chris never touched the broad.
Sorry Dalai Lama ...
You're No Jesus!
3/13/2014 9:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Joanna Krupa says the only reason the Dalai Lama didn't change her life is because -- despite anything you've seen her do and say -- she's "All about Jesus."
JK was leaving Sur restaurant last night when she tried to explain why she dissed Dalai last month ... by professing her love for JC, but made a major slip up in the process.
Joanna attempts to say she can't wait to see the new movie, "Son of God" -- but you gotta hear how it comes out of her mouth.
Someone needs to get to Bible study ... stat.
Movie Trailer Voice Legend
Dead at 89
In a World ...
3/13/2014 9:28 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
In a world ... where one man ... voices THOUSANDS of the world's most recognizable movie trailers -- it's really really sad when that guy passes away.
Hal Douglas -- the gravelly voice behind trailers for movies like "Philadelphia," "Forrest Gump," "Meet the Parents," "Lethal Weapon," and way way more -- died Friday due to complications from pancreatic cancer ... his daughter said.
Douglas passed away at his home in Lovettsville, Va. He was 89.
In addition to his daughter, Douglas is survived by his wife Ruth and and two sons from a previous marriage.
Halle Berry's Still
Wrapped Around My Finger
3/13/2014 8:56 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Halle Berry's husband Olivier Martinez hasn't given up on his marriage -- despite rumors the couple has separated -- venturing out in L.A. last night ... with his wedding ring still sitting snug on his finger.
There are reports Halle and Olivier are on the outs -- having drifted apart because of their hectic work schedules -- and are now living separate lives. Halle even appeared at a post-Oscars party on March 2nd, alone without her wedding ring. They haven't been seen together in public since December.
But it's clear -- Olivier hasn't quit ... at least, on keeping up appearances.
Halle and Olivier were married in July 2013 and have one son together (born last October).
New Found Glory Guitarist
Accused of Online Sex Chatting with Underage Women
3/13/2014 8:27 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
New Found Glory guitar player Steve Klein is being accused of video chatting with a minor on an adult website ... but the guitarist says he's totally innocent.
Klein pled not guilty to multiple felony charges back in December ... 2 counts of lewd conduct with a minor under the age of 14, 3 counts of lewd conduct with a minor 14 or 15, 1 count of intent to commit lewd acts with a minor, and 1 count of possession of child pornography -- according to Alternative Press.
Details of the arraignment were just made public ... but on the day it happened, NFG released a shocking statement ousting Steve from the band -- with no explanation about why.
Now, the band says Steve told them about the allegations when they returned home from a tour in Australia ... and they decided to part ways at that point.
Steve's lawyer released a statement saying ALL charges are "derived solely from online consensual video chats" ... he didn't own any child porn ... and Steve believed the girls were older than 18.
The guitar player also says that no one actually knows who the alleged minors are -- including the prosecution, police and defense -- so it's possible they were of age.
Klein is due in court next week.
RELEASED FROM PRISON
... Vows Rap Comeback
3/13/2014 7:48 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Rapper Petey Pablo -- the rapper behind the mega-hits "Raise Up" and "Freek-a-Leek" -- has been RELEASED FROM PRISON ... after doing 2 years for gun-smuggling ... TMZ has learned.
Petey was arrested at Raleigh Durham Airport on SEPTEMBER 11, 2010 ... after cops say he tried to take a stolen gun through airport security.
Pablo was sentenced to 35 months behind bars at a federal prison ... but was released today, 4 months ahead of schedule.
Pablo now says he wants to return to hip-hop ... and has already hooked up with Timbaland.
"I'm now headed to the work shop," Pablo says ... "To begin what will be noted as my best work ever with one of the greatest producers of all time."
"See ya in a few, shirt still spinning!"
Death Sunglasses Up for Auction
3/13/2014 6:49 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
If you love Paul Walker and no longer have a soul, then boy do we have the auction for you.
The sunglasses Walker was wearing on the day he died -- as well as a fire extinguisher that was allegedly used to try and save Walker's life -- are now up for auction on BidAMI.com.
The seller claims he was at the crash scene last November looking to help ... but cops kept him away. He nosed around once the wreckage was cleared ... and that's when he says he found the sunglasses in the bushes, though he says he didn't realize their significance until photos surfaced of Walker earlier in the day ... wearing the same glasses.
It is unclear how the seller acquired the fire extinguisher or a piece of debris from the crash, but they are both included in the auction as well.
As of this morning, there have been three bids and the price has reached $605.00 and eternal damnation.
Divorce Didn't Ruin Me ...
I'm Dating a Rich African Dictator's Son
3/13/2014 5:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Porsha Williams isn't wanting for cash after her ex-husband screwed her over in their divorce -- sources tell TMZ, she's now knocking boots with the exorbitantly wealthy son of an African dictator ... notorious for human rights violations.
According to sources, Porsha has been seeing 42-year-old Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, son of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea ... since 1979.
Mbasogo (the father) is known as one of Africa's most brutal and corrupt rulers -- not only for having his predecessor executed and political opponents tortured, but for pillaging his own country's oil wealth ... while its people live in abject poverty.
And his son is reaping the benefits -- living like a king in Malibu and all around the world.
We're told Mangue (the son) has been showering Porsha with expensive gifts for the last month -- Louboutin shoes, Chanel ... even a Rolls Royce -- and Porsha has been posting photos of the gifts on Instagram.
Sources say the romance is pretty new ... but it's escalating fast -- we're told Mangue is currently looking to buy Porsha a multimillion-dollar house in ATL.
We reached out to Porsha's conscience for comment -- so far, no word back.
After Suspected Drunk Driver Plows Through Pedestrians
3/13/2014 5:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Two people were killed and 23 more injured after a suspected drunk driver, who was trying to evade arrest, crashed through barricades set up for a South By Southwest event and ran over several people.
Five of the injured were listed as critical. The two that died were riding a moped that was hit by the motorist.
According to police, the driver then struck a cab before crashing. He then tried to flee on foot, but he was tracked down by an officer and shocked with a stun gun before being taken into custody.
Some of the victims were hit in front of The Mohawk, where Tyler the Creator was headlining.
The driver now faces two counts of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.
Sex Tape to Go to Highest Bidder
But There's a Catch
3/13/2014 5:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The person who has a copy of the Johnny Carson sex tape now wants to sell it ... but potential buyers have to blindly cough up a fortune just for the chance to see it.
The attorney repping the guy who has the tape tells TMZ ... his client will hold viewing parties for people interested in buying the 70's home video showing long-dong Carson banging one of his wives.
Now get this -- in order to even see the tape ... prospective buyers must make a blind bid. The seller is not setting a price. He'll just review what's on the table.
And it gets even crazier. To qualify to see the tape, prospective buyers must show they're serious by depositing their bids into an escrow account. And, like Carson's schlong, only huge offerings will make the cut.
After the screening, prospective buyers will be invited to up the ante.
And one more string attached. The winning bidder must sign a document saying it cannot be sold commercially -- it's solely for a private collection. And, if the buyer violates that ... he or she will get socked with a huge financial penalty.
Carson's junk better be at least 11 for all this.