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Director Alejandro Inarritu Allow Passage for the 'Aleppo' Crew ... It's the Oscars, Man!

2/22/2018 7:08 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Alejandro Inarritu is going to bat for the creative team behind the Oscar nominated documentary about Syria ... posing one simple question for the feds.

We got the Academy Award-winning director Wednesday at LAX and asked if he'd heard about a hiccup the filmmakers of "Last Men in Aleppo" are having under Trump's travel ban.

We broke the story ... the directors and cinematographers of the film are trying to attend the Oscars after being nominated this year, but can't come because their country is on Trump's banned list. They're currently attempting to use party invites to gain passage.

Alejandro thinks it's absurd they're not being allowed in the country, especially since their reasons are more than legit. His point ... a ban is only warranted for criminals. 

Chevy Chase I Got Swift Kick to the Shoulder In Road Rage Incident!!!

2/22/2018 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Chevy Chase tracked down a truck he says cut him off, but when he tried to confront the driver he ended up getting booted to the ground ... according to a police report.

Chevy claims he was traveling over NY's Tappan Zee Bridge on February 9 when a black pickup cut him off. He told cops he thought the truck hit his car, so he flashed his high beams and followed it until the driver pulled over.

According to police docs ... Chevy realized there was no damage to either vehicle, but approached the driver to "speak to him about his reckless driving." He claims there were 3 other people in the truck, and one of 'em flipped him off. Apparently not "Fletch" or "Caddyshack" fans.

Chevy says he fired back, "If I were a lot younger I'd bust your nose" ... then one of 'em got out and kicked him in the shoulder so hard he went to the ground.

According to docs, the pickup driver claims Chevy tried to throw a punch first, and the alleged kicker was just blocking Chevy's fist ... with his foot.

Cops cited ol' quick foot for 2nd degree harassment with physical contact.

There was a 3rd party witness who, according to cops, pulled over because he didn't want to see an old man "get his ass stomped."

Prince's Heirs Worried They'll Get Zilch Estate's Burning Cash Like Crazy!!!

2/22/2018 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Prince's estate is spending a ton of cash -- at times more than $600k PER MONTH -- and dropping that kinda loot has the singer's heirs worried they'll be left with nothing when it's their turn to collect.

Sources close to Prince's heirs tell TMZ ... they're dumbfounded at how much money it costs to manage the late singer's estate. We're told at the current burn rate, heirs feel there's gonna be close to nothing when it's time to distribute the inheritance.

According to docs -- obtained by TMZ -- Comerica's monthly fee to manage the estate is $125k per month. Comerica also hired the law firm Fredrikson & Byron P.A. to rep the estate in court (i.e. Prince's label suing Roc Nation), supervise and coordinate with accountants and advise on tax-related issues. Last November alone, the law firm billed more than $440k in fees and expenses.

The spending keeps going ... F&B then hired other attorneys to deal with trademarks, oversea litigation and services on deal proposals, among other things.

Comerica, for its part, has painstakingly broken down in more than 600 pages of invoices exactly where the money's going and why it costs so much to manage the estate, which is reportedly worth around $250 mil.

Steve Wilkos Charged with DUI in Car Crash ... Admits He lied to TMZ

2/21/2018 4:48 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

6:15 PM PT -- Cops say as part of the investigation into Wilkos' accident, a search warrant for his medical records was secured and it discovered his BAC was .29% and way over the legal limit the afternoon he crashed his car.

A warrant was issued for Steve's arrest, but he turned himself in Wednesday evening in Connecticut. He's been charged with operating under the influence and failure to drive right. He was released after posting $1,500 bond.

Steve Wilkos just confessed to TMZ, he lied when he told us the horrific car crash in which he was involved last month was the result of him being distracted as he reached for his glasses ... he was actually under the influence of alcohol.

We've learned the talk show host was charged Wednesday with DUI in the single-car crash in Darien, Conn.  

We broke the story, Wilkos struck several poles and a tree before the vehicle rolled over. He went to a hospital for minor injuries and his show was put on ice for a few days while he recovered.

Wilkos tells TMZ, "Over the course of my life, I have been struggling with bouts of depression and on the day of my accident, I had a complete lapse in judgment which resulted in me drinking and getting behind the wheel of my car."

He went on ... "This experience reinforces my commitment to get the professional help that I need and I have recently completed an intensive medically supervised program" ... translation, rehab.

Dana White Yes, I'm Stripping Conor's Belt ... No Deal with Floyd Yet

2/22/2018 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

It's official ... Dana White tells TMZ Sports he's definitely stripping Conor McGregor's lightweight title, so Khabib and Tony Ferguson can fight for the "real" belt.

So, what does that mean for a possible Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor rematch? 

Don't worry ... we talked about that, too. 

"The only way a rematch makes sense in that fight is in the UFC," White says. He also confirms the two sides are talking. 

White says he doesn't think Floyd needs the money -- but if he's serious about an MMA fight against one of the baddest combat sports athletes on the planet ... "he absolutely should be worried about his skills."

White insists there is NO deal done right now -- but says, "Anything is possible."

As for Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson ... Dana says Conor understands that he must strip the belt so the two guys can fight for the title. 

He hopes Conor returns to the octagon in August or Sept. to fight the winner of that match. 

Then again, with the kind of money Conor made in his last fight ... Dana says, "Conor might never come back."

Jones in 'Police Academy' 'Memba Him?!

2/22/2018 12:00 AM PST

Michael Winslow a.k.a. the Man of 10,000 Sound Effects is best known for playing Sergeant Larvell "Motor Mouth" Jones in the 'Police Academy' movies. Guess what he looks like now!

TMZ Live Blac Chyna I Didn't Leak My Sex Tape!

2/21/2018 10:45 AM PST

HERE'S THE RUNDOWN
  • Kendrick Lamar & SZA: Sued Over Black Panther Video
  • Drake: Here's How I'll Top Giving Away $1 Mil
  • Chris Rock: Controversial Shooting Joke
  • Mark Cuban: Embarrassed After Bombshell Report 

Meryl Streep To Harvey Weinstein ... You're Pathetic!!!

2/21/2018 7:16 PM PST

Meryl Streep's pissed Harvey Weinstein used her for his defense in one of the class action lawsuits against him ... and she's not having any of it.

The Oscar-winning actress says just because it's true that Weinstein wasn't sexually inappropriate or physically abusive toward her in their business relationship ... it's not evidence he didn't assault or harass the many other women who have alleged such misconduct.

She calls Weinstein's move to use her name -- along with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lawrence -- to aid in his case "pathetic and exploitative," and adds ... "The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility, and if there is any justice left in the system he will pay for them."

Translation -- This is all on you ... and keep my name out of your mouth.

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem I'm Getting Death Threats Over NRA Stance

2/21/2018 5:36 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Dallas' Mayor Pro Tem is telling the NRA to kick rocks ... and now his life is in danger.

Dwaine Caraway tells us he's been getting some frightening messages ... just days after telling the NRA to find a new home for its annual convention. It's slated to go down on May 4 in Dallas Convention Center, but Caraway says it's a bad idea.

He's certain the convention would draw massive protests, and fears an outbreak of violence around the event.

Dwaine said it's not easy standing up to the NRA, but insists it needs to be done ... especially in the wake of last week's Florida school shooting, and the 2016 mass shooting where Dallas police offers were killed. He says the bigger problem is getting politicians on board.

Kathy Griffin Restraining Order Against Neighbor Tossed

2/21/2018 5:00 PM PST
Breaking News

Kathy Griffin's request for a restraining order in her ongoing feud with a neighbor has been denied.

A judge just tossed Griffin's request to keep Jeffrey Mezger away from her, and also ruled she can only record video -- not audio -- from one of her security cams. You may recall, Mezger alleged she was spying on him and his family with the cameras. Kathy can continue recording from all other cameras.

As we reported ... Kathy went to court to get protection for herself and her boyfriend, Randy Bick, after claiming Mezger uncorked an expletive-laced rant.

Kathy claimed she recorded Mezger saying, "Hey Randy, go f*** yourself ... Now you're calling the cops? F**k you and f**k Kathy."

Mezger fired back and got a temporary restraining order to block Kathy from recording him. There's a hearing in that case next month.

Tekashi69 Talkin' Gun Control, Violence ... Before LAX Brawl

2/21/2018 4:36 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Tekashi69 -- also known as 6ix9ine -- was dishing on some burning issues like gun control and projections of violence in rap ... just minutes before he and his crew threw down at LAX.

We got the Brooklyn MC Wednesday at LAX prior to his epic fight -- and he had some insights into guns and how they play into hip-hop.

It's interesting -- he explains why rappers flashing pieces isn't necessarily an endorsement of violence. Speaking of which ... he got caught up in some violence soon afterward. 

Tekashi also gives us his opinion on gun control before shying away from the subject altogether. In the wake of the Florida shooting ... he seems to be down with getting firearms out of the hands of children.

Sean Kingston Ordered to Cough Up $301k in Jewelry Lawsuit

2/21/2018 3:43 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Sean Kingston just picked up another L ... and it wasn't cheap.

The rapper's been ordered to pay $301,500 to NYC jeweler Aqua Master who sued him over 9 pieces of jewelry but was never paid. The items included 2 diamond necklaces, a few gold chains, a ring and 2 watches. 

Making matters worse, Aqua says Sean flaunted the pieces on his IG.

TMZ broke the story ... Aqua sued Sean back in 2016, but the rapper never responded to the lawsuit, so the judge issued a default judgment. Aqua says Sean made a halfhearted attempt to pay ... sending 2 checks. But they later bounced.

Sean's got issues with jewelers over the years. He was sued in Florida and had already been ordered to pay another jeweler in 2015.

FOX, Guillermo del Toro Sued 'Shape of Water' Ripped Off My Famous Dad

2/21/2018 2:15 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

3:15 PM PT -- FOX tells us, “These claims from Mr. Zindel’s estate are baseless, wholly without merit and we will be filing a motion to dismiss. Furthermore, the estate’s complaint seems timed to coincide with the Academy Award voting cycle in order to pressure our studio to quickly settle. Instead, we will vigorously defend ourselves and, by extension, this groundbreaking and original film."

"The Shape of Water" doesn't deserve a Best Picture Oscar, it deserves one for Best Ripoff ... according to the family of a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.

David Zindel says his father, Paul Zindel, wrote a 1969 play called, "Let Me Hear You Whisper" ... the story of a lonely female janitor who works graveyard shifts at a lab that performs animal experiments for military use. She becomes infatuated with a "fantastic, intelligent aquatic creature held captive in a glass tank."

Spoiler alert: that's 'Shape of Water' to a T.

There are several more similarities according to the lawsuit filed by Zindel. In docs, obtained by TMZ, Zindel says the scientists in his father's play discuss using "vivisection" to kill the creature, and scientists in 'Water' use the same exact term.

He adds ... the amphibious creature in 'Water' is removed using a laundry cart -- ditto for his dad's play. If Zindel's allegations are true, the biggest difference is the creature -- it's a dolphin in the play, and a merman in 'Water.'

Paul Zindel died in 2003. David is suing FOX Searchlight and director Guillermo del Toro on behalf of the family trust Paul set up for his children.

Zindel is seeking all the profits from the Oscar nominated film, and an injunction blocking it from further showings in theaters.

Zindel tells TMZ ... "This troubling matter was raised with Fox five weeks ago but was met with inertia."

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