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Venus Williams to Lawyers I'm Ready to Talk About Fatal Car Crash Case

10/19/2017 3:01 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

Venus Williams is finally making herself available to talk to opposing lawyers about the fatal car crash ... and the wrongful death lawsuit.

According to a court doc obtained by TMZ Sports ... Venus will sit for a deposition on November 9 in West Palm Beach. As we first reported ... attorneys for the estate of Jerome Barson said the tennis superstar had refused to respond to their repeated requests since July.

Barson's attorney, Michael Steinger, tells us, "After months of avoiding our repeated requests for deposition and after requesting the court order the same, we are pleased that Ms. Williams realized the importance of her testimony in this very serious case."

Barson is the 78-year-old man who died from his injuries after the June collision. Venus blames a third unidentified driver for the accident.

Harvey Weinstein Target in LAPD Rape Investigation

10/19/2017 2:17 PM PDT
Breaking News

A woman filed a police report with LAPD Thursday claiming Harvey Weinstein raped her in 2013, and the Department has launched a criminal investigation.

The woman is an Italian model/actress who claims she attended the Italia Film, Fashion and Art Festival in February, 2013.

She claims she had met Weinstein before, and in fact she says at the time he asked her up to his room but she declined. On this occasion, she says Weinstein showed up at her hotel lobby at Mr. C Beverly Hills and asked if he could join her in her room. She says she declined, but a short time later Weinstein was at her hotel door.

The woman, who was 34 at the time, tells the L.A. Times Weinstein forced his way into her room, saying, "I'm not going to f*** you. I just want to talk." She says he repeatedly asked to see her naked, then grabbed her by the hair, yanked her into the bathroom and forcibly raped her.

She says she begged him to stop, showing him pictures of her kids. It apparently went on for 45 minutes, and Weinstein allegedly left.

She says she was afraid to report him, but told her priest, a friend and a nanny.

The LAPD tells TMZ the Department is currently investigating.

Nicki Minaj To Testify at Bro's Child Rape Trial They Tried To Shake Me Down For $25M!

10/19/2017 1:51 PM PDT
Breaking News

Nicki Minaj will take the stand during her brother's child rape trial ... and is expected to tell jurors the mother of the alleged victim attempted to extort her for millions.

Nicki will be the star witness during Jelani Maraj's court case in NYC, where he stands accused of raping his then 11-year-old stepdaughter in 2015.

During opening arguments Thursday, Maraj's defense attorney, David Schwartz, told jurors his client's then-wife, Jacqueline Robinson, forced her children to lie to authorities in an attempt to squeeze $25 million out of Nicki.

He said Robinson told Nicki, "I can make the charges go away for $25 million." Schwartz went on to say Robinson hatched a plan to get Maraj to marry her only for the opportunity to extort Nicki. 

Unclear when Nicki herself will take the stand ... but we're sure she'll have a lot to say.

The Weinstein Co. Staffers Speak Out ... 'We Did Not Know We Were Working for a Serial Sexual Predator'

10/19/2017 1:49 PM PDT
Breaking News

Staffers at The Harvey Weinstein Co. claim they had no clue their boss was a "serial sexual predator" ... and want to be cleared from any contracts forcing them to keep quiet about what happened in their workplace.

In a statement to The New Yorker on Thursday, a group of staffers went in on the former TWC honcho, saying, "He created a toxic ecosystem where his abuse could flourish unchecked for decades."

The staffers also claim they never knowingly acted as so-called "honeypots" -- or assistants -- in Harvey Weinstein's abuse.

They end the letter in asking TWC to release them from any agreements that bar them from speaking out freely about the workplace so they can, "speak openly and get to the origins of what happened here and how."

Tom Hanks & Mary-Louise Parker Navigate Bloody Mess Onstage!!!

10/19/2017 1:12 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Tom Hanks and Mary-Louise Parker sprang into action when a moderator's nose started bleeding onstage -- Tom distracted the crowd while Mary-Louise played the more pragmatic role.

The hilarious/awkward incident went down Wednesday night at The Plaza Hotel in NYC at a benefit dinner for the David Lynch Foundation. It happened fast -- it was just 3 minutes into the chat when the head of the foundation, Bob Roth, started gushing blood.

Tom and Mary-Louise -- there to talk about transcendental meditation and how it can help veterans suffering from PTSD -- did what they could: Tom took the stand-up comic route while Mary played the role of nurse.

The crowd seemed startled and amused all at the same time. We're told Bob's OK, and he eventually returned ... to a rousing ovation.

Sean Penn Tries Blocking Netflix Documentary Suggesting He Ratted Out El Chapo

10/19/2017 11:19 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Sean Penn is using a full-court press to either block or re-edit a Netflix documentary that suggests Penn ratted out El Chapo by alerting the United States Dept. of Justice of his whereabouts.

Multiple sources involved in the documentary -- due out Friday -- tell TMZ, some of the people interviewed suggest that Penn alerted the DOJ that he was traveling down to a secret location in Mexico to interview the drug kingpin for a Rolling Stone article.

TMZ has obtained an email from David Broome, the Executive Producer of "The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate del Castillo Story," in which he worries ... "My concern is that we are taking an immense amount of pressure from all directions related to Sean Penn and currently Netflix has done a great job of hanging tough -- but their nerves are on edge."

Broome goes on ... "I'm worried that there's a chance Netflix hits the brakes for a while."

Penn, del Castillo and 2 others met Chapo on Oct. 2, 2015. Twelve hours after the meeting, Mexican authorities raided the site but Chapo had already left. He was captured 3 months later.

We've learned several lawyers working for Penn repeatedly contacted Netflix to, at the very least, eliminate any references to their client allegedly contacting DOJ prior to meeting Chapo.

Our sources say Penn's concern is that if Chapo's associates in the world of drugs believe he set Chapo up for capture, there'd be a target on the heads of Penn, his family and his associates.

Penn's spokesperson, Mark Fabiani, tells TMZ, "It is reprehensible that, in their ongoing, relentless efforts to gain additional attention and publicity, Ms. del Castillo and her team (who have zero firsthand knowledge) have sought to create this profoundly false, foolish, and reckless narrative."

The rep goes on, "The notion that Mr. Penn or anyone on his behalf alerted DOJ to the trip is a complete fabrication and bald-faced lie. It never happened, nor would there have been any reason for it to have happened."

Ex-NHL Star Mike Comrie At Cubs Playoff Game Arrieta Wasn't The Only One Lights Out

10/19/2017 11:09 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Following in the great tradition of Harry Caray, ex-NHL star Mike Comrie got a little boozy for the Cubs playoff game on Wednesday ... maybe a little too boozy. 

Comrie's a big Cubbies fan -- his father is a part-owner of the team -- and with Chicago finally taking it to the Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Game 4 of the NLCS, Comrie celebrated a little extra hard in the stands. 

You can see in the footage ... Comrie needed a 7th inning stretch before the 7th inning! 

We reached out to Comrie for comment -- and he gave us one of the best statements ever. 

"Lights out for Arrieta and me. One too many beers."

Serena Williams Backstage Sesh with Bruno Mars ... Mom's Night Out

10/19/2017 10:58 AM PDT
Breaking News

Serena Williams, fiance Alexis Ohanian and Marc Anthony all rocked with Bruno Mars backstage before his concert in Miami Wednesday night ... but Serena's bod stole the show.

The tennis superstar just gave birth to baby Alexis a little over a month ago ... and she's already squeezin' into a skin-tight dress from gal pal Eva Longoria.

You could tell Serena and Alex were PUMPED to get some face time with Bruno backstage ... and later during the show, jammin' to "Just the Way You Are" with Marc. 

But Serena says not even an "amazing" Bruno show can compare to mom life ... 'cause cuddlin' up with Alexis after the concert is "priceless."

File under: Awwww.

Ellen DeGeneres I Got A New Beach House For $18.6M And It's Not In Malibu!

10/19/2017 10:10 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Ellen DeGeneres just plunked down $18.6 million for a home away from home, but not that far.

Ellen's snagged a 5 bedroom, 6.5 bath beachfront home in Carpinteria, a quaint coastal community between L.A. and Santa Barbara. BTW, she's trying to unload her amazing 17-acre compound near Santa Barbara for $45 mil.

The new house is just a hair under 6,000 square feet and right on the sand. The cedar-shingled crib has a clay tennis court, plunge pool and a guesthouse. 

Carpinteria is the less flashy version of Malibu. What you don't get ... Matthew McConaughey or Orlando Bloom flexing on the beach. 

The realtors who made it happen ... Marsha Kotlyar and Michele White of MK Properties and Kathleen Winter of Berkshire Hathaway. 

LFO Singer Devin Lima Tumor Found Going Into Surgery

10/19/2017 8:57 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

LFO singer Devin Lima is going into surgery after doctors found a massive tumor -- and the health scare comes 7 years after his fellow bandmate died of leukemia. 

Sources close to the group tell TMZ, doctors went in Thursday morning to remove the benign tumor, which is sitting on his adrenal gland. We're told it was discovered a few weeks ago.

The '90s band was ramping up for a national tour, but that's on hold since Devin will need recovery time. We're told he is expected to be fine though.

LFO member Rich Cronin died tragically from leukemia in September 2010. He was only 36.

Devin seems to be keeping a positive outlook. He and Brad Fischetti promised fans they'll be back on the road ASAP.

Shia LaBeouf Plea Deal In Drunken/Racist Arrest

10/19/2017 7:27 AM PDT
Breaking News

Shia LaBeouf entered a guilty plea for his public intoxication arrest -- the one where he went off on a racist rant -- and the judge is sending him to anger management.

Shia entered the Savannah, GA courtroom Thursday morning, and didn't get any special celeb treatment -- he waited in the back of the court until his case was called. Once it was, Shia addressed the judge and pled guilty to obstruction and no contest to disorderly conduct. His public drunkenness charge was dismissed.

He was sentenced to anger management and one year probation. He also has to undergo alcohol evaluation, and pay $2,680 in fines.

TMZ broke the story ... the night of his arrest, police cameras captured Shia saying a slew of nasty and racist comments to the officers. Lowlights include -- "stupid bitch," "dumb f**k," telling a black officer he was going to hell ... for being black.

And, of course, telling another officer his wife watches porn because she loves "black d**k."

Good times.

Courtney Love I'll Take a Pass On Weinstein 'I Told You So' Jokes

10/19/2017 6:57 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Courtney Love is taking the high road when it comes to gloating about Harvey Weinstein -- and best of all for her ... she's doing it with a couple of hot young dudes.

We got Courtney Wednesday night arriving at Delilah in WeHo with 2 "sexy men" -- her words -- and, as expected, she got a bunch of softball Weinstein questions. Seeing as how she fired a warning shot about Harvey way back in 2005 ... this could've been her chance to drop several I-told-you-so's on Hollywood.

You'll recall, Courtney says CAA banned her after calling out Weinstein -- and maybe that explains her response to all the questions about him.

Or maybe she's just busy enjoying her company. 

Kevin Hart's Sex Tape Partner He's Cashing in On Scandal While I'm Still Getting Screwed!

10/19/2017 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Kevin Hart is turning his sex tape scandal into a big joke that will ultimately make him richer, but his partner on the tape isn't laughing ... TMZ has learned.

In the new promo for Kevin's upcoming "Irresponsible" comedy tour, he openly takes shots at himself for getting caught in bad situations -- such as the Las Vegas hotel room sex tape with Montia Sabbag.

The spot, which started airing this week, is a slap in Montia's face ... according to her attorney, Lisa Bloom. She says both she and Montia find Kevin using the scandal "very distasteful" because Montia's enduring social media hacks, death threats and slut-shaming.

Bloom says, "This stuff takes a toll mentally and physically, and now with this tour it's like this whole thing was a joke."

She adds Montia will continue working with cops tracking down the extortionists. 

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