Comedian Ricky Smith got a heartfelt and high-priced apology from Olive Garden after his bizarre and allegedly racist run-in with one of its servers.
Ricky tells TMZ ... OG's VP of Operations was very apologetic about the incident when they spoke earlier this week. He says the chain hooked him up with a $1,000 gift card, but more importantly ... a $5,000 donation to his charity, Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere.
BTW, Ricky's going back to the scene of the "casual racism" ... the Ohio Olive Garden where this all started. He says he'll use the $1,000 gift card to feed less fortunate folks. Breadsticks for everyone!
One more act of kindness -- Ricky asked OG brass to spare the server and manager who were suspended. As he put it ... it is the holidays.
A YouTube channel featuring TV classics like "The Andy Griffith Show" is run by a lowdown crook making money off other people's work ... according to CBS.
In a lawsuit, the network says 8thManDVD.com -- run by Edward Heldman III -- has racked up over 2.5 million views, by posting 16 episodes of the beloved sitcom. CBS alerted YouTube to nip it in the bud and remove the vids, which it did. Temporarily.
Heldman fought back and, according to docs, got the episodes reposted by claiming they were in the public domain. CBS says public domain doesn't matter because the shows contain copyrighted characters like Deputy Barney Fife, Sheriff Andy and of course ... Opie.
Heldman insists he's in the clear because he "remastered" the episodes -- which he believes makes them new and available for his use. He also claims CBS is trying to abuse copyright law.
CBS is suing to get the vids taken down for good, and to grab Heldman's profits from them.
2:40 PM PT -- Cops say they have detained a man they believe to be the shooter -- 54-year-old Ronald Gasser.
Cops say McKnight did NOT have a gun at the time of the shooting.
Emergency responders tried to administer CPR but to no avail.
Ex-NFL running back Joe McKnight was murdered in a road rage shooting in the New Orleans area ... law enforcement tells TMZ Sports.
The incident occurred at 2:43 PM. Family members identified the 28-year-old at the scene.
A witness told NOLA.com ... she saw McKnight trying to apologize to another man after some sort of traffic incident.
The witness says the man then pulled out a gun and shot McKnight -- and while standing over him screamed, "I told you not to f*** with me" ... then fired another shot into his body.
McKnight was a high school phenom -- considered the best running back in the country.
He played college ball at USC. He was drafted by the NY Jets in 2010.
In a statement to TMZ Sports, the Jets said, "Joe McKnight was a loving father and a genuine, kind-hearted person. It is sad when life is taken in what appears to be such a senseless act of violence. Joe you will be missed."
Joe was currently playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Canadian Football League.
Roughriders president and CEO Craig Reynolds issued a statement saying, "We are saddened to hear of the tragic loss of Joe McKnight."
"Losing a member of our Rider family this way is an unthinkable occurrence. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s family, teammates and coaches."
VH1's "Basketball Wives L.A." is cleaning house ... bringing in several new cast members including Evelyn Lozada, plus the infamous baby mamas to Nick Young and Dwyane Wade ... TMZ has learned.
Production sources tell us Keonna Green, who just had her 2nd kid with Nick, and Aja Metoyer ... who has a 3-year-old by Dwyane -- will join Shaunie O'Neal, Tami Roman and Jackie Christie for the next season.
Executive producer Shaunie definitely increased the drama with her new hires. Keonna made headlines when her pregnancy broke up Nick's engagement to Iggy Azalea. As for Aja, she hooked up with Dwyane when he was allegedly "on a break" from Gabrielle Union.
Nick and Dwyane probably won't watch, but we suspect their lawyers will.
Evelyn was an original cast member when 'BWLA' started in 2010, but left after the 5th season. She's also guest hosting on "The Real" next week.
Rio officials have offered Ryan Lochte a deal to make his criminal case go away ... TMZ Sports has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell us ... the offer is 70,000 reals, which in American dollars totals around $20,149.
Lochte was charged with falsely reporting a crime at a gas station during the Rio Olympics. Our sources say so far Lochte has not accepted the deal.
Jimmy Feigen copped a plea months ago and paid half that amount -- 35,000 reals. The prosecutor wanted 70,000 reals from Feigen all along and has actually filed legal docs trying to enforce the higher amount.
We reached out to Lochte's lawyer, Jeff Ostrow, but he was mum, telling TMZ Sports, "We don't comment on a pending case but are hopeful it will be resolved to the benefit of all parties, including the people of Brazil, the Brazilian government and Ryan."
Kodak Black is back on the streets ... after 2 stints in jail in 2 different states.
The 19-year-old rapper was released from Florence County jail in South Carolina just days after he was transferred there from Florida. Black spent 3 months in Florida county lockup, reportedly for drug charges. He was sent up to SC to face a criminal sexual conduct charge.
Kodak was released on $100k bond and says, "I'm happy to finally be going home to my family and friends. I look forward to clearing my name in the very near future."
He also says he can't wait to go back to working on being the "illest rapper alive."
The only question ... will he be the illest in prison or out?
Now, we've learned they pulled the trigger on a 5 bedroom, 6 bath East Coast country style home ... it's 5,000 square feet with an enormous pool and hot tub, koi ponds, park area to entertain guests ... and much, much more!
We're told the couple closed the deal on the private gated estate back in October. Judy Feder and Susan Smith of Hilton & Hyland represented the seller.
Unclear if the couple is planning on moving in until after the wedding ... but would you let this place sit vacant?? Hell no!