Michael Egan -- the man who accused "X-Men" director, Bryan Singer, and mega producer Garth Ancier of repeatedly sexually assaulting him when he was 15 years old -- has been criminally indicted for securities and wire fraud.
Egan made a spectacle of his allegations by holding a news conference in which he described in lurid detail what he claimed to be an organized sex ring at various pool parties.
Egan abruptly withdrew his lawsuits after his case began crumbling. The feds indicted Egan Thursday for allegedly defrauding investors by promising to invest money in Halloween-themed ventures, but instead pocketing the cash to pay for personal expenses.
According to the indictment Egan lied about owning parts of Vegas hotels and casinos and knowing the CEO of a major bank. He also allegedly duped an attorney into telling his investors that he had $13 million in assets when in reality he had less then $11K to his name.
If convicted he could face up to 20 years in prison and $5 million dollars in fines.
We Know How to Make This Movie Go Away
12/17/2014 8:36 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
2:00 PM PT -- AMC Theaters has decided to pull the plug as well, saying, "At this time, to best enable AMC guests to plan their holiday movie-going with certainty and confidence, AMC is programming its theatres without 'The Interview.'"
1:15 PM PT -- Canada's top theater chain, Cineplex, has postponed screening "The Interview."
12:10 PM PT -- Two more major movie chains -- Regal Entertainment and Carmike Cinemas -- have now decided to drop the film as well.
10:10 AM PT -- Bow Tie Cinemas became the second major chain to announce they will not be showing the film on any of their 350 screens. Bow Tie CEO Ben Moss said "the safety and comfort of our patrons is foremost in our minds."Sony execs think there's a way to yank "The Interview" and still not give in to the cyber-terrorists.
Industry insiders with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... studio heads are now banking on a flurry of cancellations from the various movie distributors across the country ... to the point where it would not make economic sense to release it.
We're told the execs are actually viewing the latest threat as having a silver lining ... the threat of a 9/11-type attack will make so many theaters pull the flick themselves -- and Sony won't have to do it. One movie chain has already reportedly folded -- the Carmike Cinemas. ArcLight is mulling over what to do.
We're told Sony execs want the bleeding to stop ... especially attacks against mid and low-level employees whose lives, finances and health issues have been exposed.
Surprisingly ... there's talk about the movie getting play on some sort of pay-per-view platform, but that seems odd if they want the hacking to stop.
Rolls Out Beefy New Protection
... Just in Case
12/17/2014 9:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
With the Sony hackers now threatening violence -- James Franco is applying the old theory go big or go home ... when it comes to the security guard tailing him around NYC.
Franco was leaving a restaurant in Manhattan Tuesday night with his new muscle in tow. He was in town to promote "The Interview" and attend the premiere ... which Sony ended up cancelling last night.
They say the best defense is a strong offense -- and that dude looks like he can offend, if necessary.
Surprised by Oprah ...
Sooo Much Cake to Camera
12/17/2014 8:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Oprah Winfrey isn't surprising a talk show audience with lavish gifts ... but she can still uncork a great one for her BFF!
We're told Gayle King arrived with Oprah Tuesday night to Pier 59 Studios in NYC with a roomful of close friends and family -- all to celebrate Gayle's 60th birthday. Everyone was wearing 2 of Gayle's faves ... yellow and clogs (now that's love).
Best part of the surprise though -- cake ... tons of cake! Oprah brought in 960 cupcakes from Baked by Melissa to spell out "Sweet 60th." That would be plenty for anyone else -- but this is Oprah and Gayle -- so the Melt Shop made custom grilled cheeses ... a truffle melt and a maple bacon melt.
Most delicious birthday ... ever!
I'm Going Nowhere
12/17/2014 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Sony Pictures Chief Amy Pascal will NOT step down ... and we're told there has been a groundswell of celebrity support for her to keep her job.
Our industry sources tell TMZ ... more than 50 showbiz bigwigs -- many of whom are celebrities -- have contacted Pascal and other honchos at Sony voicing support for her. Ironically, a number of the supporters voice their sentiment via email to various execs at Sony.
We're told the celebs who have come forward include Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Singleton, Jack Nicholson and Tyler Perry. As for that pic of Jolie with the steely look as Pascal hugged her ... we're told it was just a moment in time.
We're told Pascal is winning some points by spending much of her time in the last few days focusing on the security and safety of the employees.
Pascal is under fire for her emails with producer Scott Rudin about Prez Obama's film preferences, which Rudin said ranged from "12 Years a Slave" to "Ride Along."
The people voicing support have gone out of their way to say they do not think Pascal is racist.
Cuba Gooding Jr.
I've Reached A Verdict on O.J.
12/17/2014 7:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Cuba Gooding Jr. is already stepping into OJ Simpson's Bruno Magli's ... and he's made up his mind about whether the Juice is guilty of murder.
Outside the Paley Center in NYC ... Cuba told us he's excited about playing Simpson in Ryan Murphy's miniseries “American Crime Story: The People V. OJ Simpson." But to really nail the role, Cuba says he has to go all in -- which raises the million dollar question.
Watch the video -- Cuba gives us an answer. It's cryptic, but telling.
So, we gotta ask ...
In other news...
NeNe Leakes recalls the last time she drunk dialed this famous newscaster while hanging out with Andy Cohen.
Confesses to Sexual Abuse
'I Did Something Terribly Wrong'
12/17/2014 6:03 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Stephen Collins is publicly acknowledging he sexually abused three underage girls, but he says, "I have not had an impulse to act out in any such way" in the last 20 years.
Collins made his comments to People -- and will sit down for an interview with Katie Couric -- where he will discuss his confession about molesting and/or exposing himself to 3 underage girls decades ago.
He writes, "Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since."
Collins says he apologized to one of the victims 15 years ago, but decided against contacting the other two because he thought it "could actually make things worse for them by opening old wounds."
Law enforcement has been investigating the incidents, but our sources say the cases will go nowhere because the statute of limitations has long since run.
Patrick Schwarzenegger's Fooling Everyone ...
He's a Party Animal
12/17/2014 5:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Miley Cyrus and Patrick Schwarzenegger took Miami by storm together, but don't get it twisted -- one of them is fueling that party train more than the other... according to their pal Cody Simpson.
The Aussie pop star was shopping at Cotton On in Santa Monica, and talking about his New Year's party plan (he's got a great one) ... which got us on Patrick, Miley, and Cody's raging times at Art Basel last week on South Beach.
We asked who goes harder in the club -- and he backs up what TMZ first told you a couple weeks ago.
You gotta hear Cody gush about Patrick though -- bromance in full bloom.
Sony Hacking Scandal
Execs Convinced It's an Inside Job
12/17/2014 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Sony execs are now convinced someone who worked for the studio is behind the massive hacking ... because no one from the outside could so precisely target the compromising information.
Multiple sources connected to the studio tell TMZ ... the strong, prevailing view is that the North Koreans are probably involved, but they used someone with intimate knowledge of the Sony email system to laser in on the most embarrassing information.
We're told the people at Sony who are investigating believe the hackers had intimate knowledge of mail systems and their configurations. They also believe the hackers have knowledge of the internal media distribution systems and the internal IT systems, including human resources and payroll.
Several people suggested a possible link between the hackers and Sony layoffs, which included a large number of IT employees.
In other news...
Courtney Stodden was pretty much flat chested before she got her boobs done. And look how different her face looks without the war paint!
I Won't Live in L.A.
But I Love Visiting
12/17/2014 7:06 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Lindsay Lohan vowed to never again live in L.A. ... and days later she's here.
Lindsay crossed the pond and skipped NYC -- where she plans on living with her sister Ali -- and blew into L.A. Tuesday night.
We thought she might be here to perform some community service to fulfill her probation, but we've learned that's not the case. So the only real thing left is to party.
And you thought the storms were rough. Welcome back, Lindsay.
NYC Premiere Cancelled
12/16/2014 9:06 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
On the same day the Sony hackers made a 9/11 scale threat against theaters showing "The Interview" -- the New York premiere of Seth Rogen and James Franco's movie has been scrapped.
A rep for the Landmark Sunshine Cinema confirms Thursday's scheduled premiere is cancelled. It's unclear if the event will be rescheduled.
This is the first cancellation for an event surrounding the controversial movie. The Hollywood premiere went on as planned last week, but they didn't do any red carpet interviews.
As TMZ first reported ... the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security doesn't view the latest threats as credible.
Sony is letting theaters decide whether to play the movie -- leaving the door open for big financial losses.
B-Day Party Sold a Load of S**t
12/17/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Not everybody was hatin' on Taylor Swift's celeb-crammed 25TH b-day bash in NYC -- a toy company just made a crap ton of money off it thanks to Justin Timberlake.
Turns out the takeaway from Taylor's now famous IG shot -- with Beyonce, Jay Z, Sam Smith, Haim, and JT -- was the poop emoji mask on Justin.
The people who make JT's turd face say they've seen a huge spike in sales since Taylor posted the shot. A rep for BigMouth Inc. tells TMZ they've seen a 315% increase and are almost sold out.
So, yeah ... #2 is now #1 on the charts.
Cards Fan Giving Up Memorabilia Stash
To Help Oscar's Family
12/17/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The family of late Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras has some cash headed their way ... all thanks to a longtime fan who's auctioning off his treasured souvenirs.
Taveras got his first taste of the majors this season, but he made a huge impression on a Cards fan. TMZ Sports has learned the guy -- who wants to remain anonymous -- bought a bunch of Taveras memorabilia ... just one day before the 22-year-old died in a car accident.
We're told the items include -- Oscar's first home run ball, cleats from his first big league game, and a game worn post-season jersey ... all autographed and going up for auction.
We're told the fan decided to unload the merch through Goldin Auctions -- so he can donate all the profits to Oscar's family in the Dominican Republic. The auction will open on January 12th.
There's a reason Cardinals fans are known as the best in baseball.