Former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Hunstman, Jr. isn't scared of North Korea and doesn't think Sony should be either ... and he thinks Sony screwed up by shelving 'The Interview.'
Our D.C. photog felt Hunstman was the perfect person to ask, since he's North Korea adjacent, having served as U.S. Ambassador to both Singapore and China.
The former presidential hopeful had some friendly advice for Sony: Don't let anybody stand in the way of what you do best ... making movies.
Has he seen 'White House Down?'
12/19/2014 12:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
After a stint on the TV show "Kids Incorporated" -- Martika gained fame for singing the chart topping 1989 song "Toy Soldiers" and the not as popular songs "More Than You Know" and "I Feel The Earth Move." Guess what she looks like now!
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Of Saks Fifth Ave.
12/19/2014 12:02 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Hollywood at War:
Sony Succumbs to Digital Terrorists
12/18/2014 9:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Cuban Cigar Crisis ...
La Foto Es Verdad!!
12/18/2014 4:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Move over Monica ... there's a new controversial cigar in the White House -- a Cuban fingered by President Obama in a photo many thought was fake, but we've learned it's the real deal.
The original pic shows Obama Wednesday night ... sampling the aroma of what's alleged to be a Cuban cigar. It was posted on Reddit Thursday morning, and immediately the Internet started tearing it apart as a Photoshop job.
TMZ has obtained several high-res pics of POTUS' run-in with the cigar -- and our photo/art experts say everything about them looks legit. Significant ... since Cuba and the U.S. just agreed to open embassies in each other's countries.
According to our D.C. sources ... the hand-off went down during the White House Hanukkah party -- when an invitee walked up and said, "Mr. President, here's a Cuban." Obama proceeded to give it a huge sniff and then held on to the gift. It's unclear if he pocketed it or handed it to the Secret Service.
Considering Michelle Obama -- who's been known to make a stink about Barack's cigarette smoking -- was standing right next to him ... we're guessing he ditched it.
Beyonce, Jay Z
Lose Bidding War for Epic L.A. House
12/18/2014 3:06 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
A 35-year-old Swedish video game programmer just got the prized house that Jay Z and Beyonce also wanted ... TMZ has learned.
Our real estate sources tell us ... Markus Persson plunked down $70 million cash for a 23,000 square foot palace in Bev Hills.
Markus can afford it ... he sold his company, Mojang -- which created the video game Minecraft -- to Microsoft for $2.5 BILLION.
As we reported, Beyonce and Jay Z visited the house multiple times and made an offer but Markus beat them out at 70.
The other winners ... realtors Branden Williams and Ben Bacal who get a big fat commission check.
New 'Voice' Champ
Digging a Hole ...
With Fans Already
12/18/2014 6:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Laughs Off Green Ranger Challenge
For UFC Debut
12/18/2014 2:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
CM Punk could choose ANY opponent for his UFC debut ... but it almost certainly won't be the Green Power Ranger -- not based on CM's reaction to the guy's name, anyway.
The former WWE champ was in NYC Thursday when he told our photog how training is going for his first bout in the Octagon. His new UFC contract was announced earlier this month.
CM wouldn't name names yet as far as his first opponent -- looks like he's enjoying the speculation. But you gotta see his reaction when we bring up Jason David Frank -- a former Power Ranger who's been calling out Punk. He's clearly not impressed.
Go go ... go to sleep.
Rev. Al Sharpton
Meets with Amy Pascal
All Talk, Let's See Some Action
12/18/2014 2:22 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Al Sharpton is willing to give Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal a chance to prove she'll do the right thing for African Americans, but he says, "The proof is in the pudding and you don't know until you eat it."
Sharpton tells TMZ he met with Pascal for 90 minutes Thursday in NYC, and she admitted she was "wrong and silly" to engage producer Scott Rudin in speculation that Prez Obama only likes "black movies."
Sharpton says the head of the National Urban League was also on hand and told her they were "outraged" by her comments. She said it was "an isolated incident," but Sharpton retorted it was indicative of a bigger problem in Hollywood ... no blacks at the top.
The Rev says he's not calling for Amy's head, but he wants to see real action before making a final decision. The contrition is clearly not complete, because he says he and Amy will sit down for another chitchat next week.
In other news...
This is a side of Holly Madison you've never seen before, and that's saying a lot!
'Driving Force' in Murderous Gang
12/18/2014 1:44 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Rapper Bobby Shmurda was a "driving force" in a gang that committed murders and other violent crimes ... this according to NY prosecutors.
Prosecutors from the NYC Special Narcotics Office just released their indictment, claiming more than 15 defendants committed a variety of crimes, including murder, attempted murder, assault and drug dealing. Bobby himself was charged with conspiracy to commit murder but not the murder itself and a few other weapon and drug charges.
Bobby -- who at one time called himself "Two Socks Bobby" -- is charged with firing a gun at a group of people outside a barber shop. Prosecutors say "socks" is code for firearms.
According to the indictment, members of the gang used other code words, including "suntan," which means shooting someone.
The complaint says Bobby confessed to a fellow gang member, "You know I suntan him and shot, do issues, you know what's going on."
Prosecutors also say the ring dealt heavily in narcotics, with a pattern of violence that spread from Brooklyn to South Beach, Florida.
The D.A. says the violence was so prevalent, it turned Brooklyn into a shooting gallery.
Bobby pled not guilty to all charges Thursday in NYC. He's being held on $2 million bail.
Returns to Work at Sony ...
With Hard Feelings
12/18/2014 1:09 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Seth Rogen is back in the saddle, showing up at Sony Thursday morning, but we're told he feels betrayed by the studio's decision to shelve "The Interview."
If you believe Rob Lowe ... Seth was fuming over Sony's decision Wednesday. Rob -- who was also in the movie -- said he and Seth were in lockstep and that Sony showed cowardice by crumbling.
Sources connected to Seth tell TMZ ... Rob did indeed chitchat with Seth at JFK about the Sony decision, and it wasn't hard to read between the lines that Seth is pissed.
It makes sense ... during the premiere in Hollywood last week ... Seth praised Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal for having the balls to stand up to the hackers.
The Sony lot probably seems smaller today.
The Kardashian Men
French, Tyga, & Scott
We Share a Common Interest
12/18/2014 1:16 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
French Montana, Tyga and Scott Disick found some common bonding ground ... at a lingerie party in Hollywood.
The boys were there alongside Chris Brown, Snoop, Sean Kingston and Matt Barnes. VH1 "Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood" star Sincere Show served as hostess for the Facet Studio Black Tie Lingerie Party ... which required men to dress up and the ladies to dress ... with not much at all.
Scott's presence was a little surprising ... he just became a third-time dad this week.
But hey, who could turn down this invite?
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Everybody Was Peeing
... So I Peed Too!
12/18/2014 11:59 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Floyd Mayweather Jr. only made his run to the restroom after other people in his crew did ... and Floyd believes he only got singled out because he is Floyd Mayweather Jr.
As TMZ first reported, Floyd got into it with a woman -- to the point where she called police -- after she tried to stop him from using a restroom Wednesday night at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. The woman claimed Floyd called her a bitch, but ultimately police did nothing.
According to our sources, Floyd didn't think it was a big deal when he used the restroom ... because he wasn't the first one to use it -- other people went in before him.
We're told Floyd believes the woman only gave him a hard time because he's famous ... and if anyone had a terrible attitude during their exchange ... it was her.
Our sources say Floyd was shocked that the woman called the cops over the whole thing, especially considering he walked out with about 10 bags worth of stuff.
Apparently none of those bags contained his bathroom pass.