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R. Kelly Turns Himself In ... On Sexual Abuse Charges

2/22/2019 6:18 PM PST

R. Kelly just surrendered to police in Chicago ... turning himself in after being charged with sexual abuse of 4 girls, at least 3 of whom were minors. 

The embattled R&B singer turned himself in Friday night at a Chicago police station.

As we reported ... prosecutors in Chicago hit Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse Friday morning, and 9 of the 10 counts involve alleged victims ranging in age from 13 to 16 years old. There are 4 alleged victims in total, and one of them is the subject of 4 different counts. 

According to the criminal complaint, the allegations include oral and vaginal sex with a girl between the ages of 13 and 17 ... and the allegations are extremely graphic. 

Michael Avenatti says he's representing at least 1 of the alleged victims in the Kelly indictment ... and he says the new sex tape he turned over to prosecutors shows R. Kelly engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old girl -- vaginal sex, oral sex, anal sex and urination.

Avenatti says he's planning to go after R. Kelly's enablers -- lawyers, managers, agents and others whom he says stood idly by and protected the singer as he sexually abused young girls. Avenatti's mission ... bringing them to justice.  

Avenatti also claims Kelly's 2008 trial -- in which he was found not guilty -- was rigged by threats and payoffs. 

R. Kelly is facing serious time behind bars ... the criminal sexual abuse charge is a class 2 felony in Illinois, and each charge carries a max sentence of 3 to 7 years in prison. 

Jussie Smollett Hoax May Have Been Concocted After Attack on Lee Daniels' Gay Cousin

2/23/2019 1:00 AM PST

Jussie Smollett might have gotten the idea to stage his own attack after Lee Daniels talked about his cousin getting assaulted because he's gay ... at least that's what some members of the "Empire" cast think.

Sources close to the "Empire" production tell TMZ ... some cast members think Jussie's gears started grinding in his head days after Lee posted a video on Instagram on January 10 calling out homophobia. In that same post, the "Empire" creator captioned it, "This past week my cousin was beat up for being gay and I am sick of hearing these stories."

Our sources say Lee then showed up to the set and shared more about the story. Everyone was visibly upset that Lee's family had gone through this horrific ordeal. The sources now say this might have been where Jussie got the idea to take matters into his own hands ... and become an LGBT hero.

The Chicago PD Superintendent says Jussie's motive was money -- he felt he was underpaid on the show. Interesting ... because Lee Daniels is the guy in charge of the cash register. 

As you know by now ... cops say Jussie's "attack" was a hoax and allege the actor paid 2 Nigerian brothers $3,500 with a personal check. Jussie's been charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

Jussie -- who faces up to 3 years behind bars -- has already been wiped from the end of the current season.

Stars and Scars You Be the Judge

2/23/2019 12:45 AM PST

What a week ... Jussie, R. Kelly, Bob Kraft, Jordyn Woods -- So, we gotta ask ...

R. Kelly I Can't 'Survive' Trial ... Everyone Hates Me!!!

2/23/2019 12:50 AM PST

R. Kelly's maintaining his innocence despite being charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse, but he thinks he's screwed anyway ... because he's already lost in the court of public opinion.

Sources close to the singer tell TMZ ... he believes it will be impossible for him to get a fair trial in the aftermath of Lifetime's docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly," and nonstop media coverage -- especially in Chicago.

As one source put it ... "There isn't a person in Cook County who hasn't heard all the hateful things said about him."

We're told R. Kelly believes ... even if he presents evidence proving his innocence, the jury will still find him guilty. Our sources say he's moved on from panic attacks and has been in a depressed meltdown for days.

As we reported ... Cook County prosecutors hit R. Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse Friday morning. There are a total of 4 alleged victims, 3 of whom were between the ages of 13 to 16. 

Attorney Michael Avenatti also released images from the video he submitted to the State's Attorney, showing what appears to be R. Kelly. He says the video shows the singer having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Avenatti blasted R. Kelly's enablers as well -- lawyers, agents, managers and others whom he says stood idly by as the singer sexually abused girls -- and says he won't stop until they're all brought to justice.

Robert Kraft Courted By Nevada Prostitutes ... It's Legal Here!!!

2/23/2019 12:40 AM PST

If Robert Kraft would have paid for sex acts in Nevada instead of Florida (allegedly), he wouldn't be facing criminal charges ... and now one of the biggest legal brothels in the country is inviting him over. 

The women at Sheri's Ranch Brothel in Pahrump, Nevada are offering to work with Kraft -- because they don't think prostitution is a bad thing ... when it's done legally. 

The brothel says ... because the sex industry is regulated in Nevada, human trafficking isn't an issue with the working girls -- unlike in Florida. 

By the way, the Ranch spokesperson is Jeremy Lemur -- a former NFL Films staffer who was a previous member of the NFL's Diversity Council.

A rep for Sheri's also says, "Legal prostitutes are tested weekly for sexually transmitted diseases. No customer of Sheri’s Ranch has ever contracted an STD or HIV as a result of an encounter."

And, with officials in Florida saying they have surveillance footage of Kraft inside the illegal parlor -- Sheri's says there's no risk of being captured on police video at their place because "none of our patrons are committing a crime."

Sheri's is also offering prostitution consultation services to NFL owners and players -- essentially educating them on how to legally pay for sex.  

And, with an NFL team getting ready to move to Vegas in the near future, it seems like NFL teams should listen. 

Killer Mike Jussie Should Apologize ... And We Should Move On

2/23/2019 12:30 AM PST

The Jussie Smollett "attack" has enraged millions of Americans, but for Killer Mike, it's no big deal.

We got the rapper Friday at LAX, and his take is very different from most. He says, after all, Jussie's an actor and actors assume roles. Here, he just allegedly assumed the role of a liar.

Killer Mike acknowledges Jussie screwed up but says a mea culpa will do, and after that, we all need to get a life and move on.

He's short, sweet and to the point. 

Tristan Thompson Cheating Scandal Advice ... From Nick Young

2/23/2019 12:20 AM PST

Tristan Thompson, listen up ... Nick Young is giving away one of his secrets for getting over a massive cheating scandal!!!

Of course, Swaggy P is an expert in what TT's currently going through ... the ex-Lakers star famously cheated on Iggy Azalea when the two were dating in 2016.

So, when we got Nick leaving Pretty Little Things on Wednesday night ... we asked how Tristan should deal with his latest Khloe Kardashian drama -- and Young delivered!!!

There's more ... Nick also spoke with us about Zion Williamson's shoe-blowing incident against North Carolina -- saying the play showed Z-Dub is legitimately like the Hulk!!!

But, Young says the freak play that caused a knee sprain shouldn't end Williamson's NCAA career ... and ya gotta hear why he's all for Zion returning to Duke to finish out the season. 

Dan Le Batard Nike Will Make It Up To Zion ... With $80 Million

2/23/2019 12:10 AM PST

Nike and Zion Williamson are gonna be just fine ... AFTER about 80 million apologies ... so says Dan Le Batard, who thinks ZW's shoe explosion is gonna lead to a money explosion.

Williamson's left Nike disintegrated in the first MINUTE of the much-ballyhooed matchup between Duke and North Carolina earlier this week, injuring Zion, and embarrassing the company.

It was a PR disaster for the shoe giant, prompting a company-wide freak-out, and making some wonder if they'd blown their shot at landing Zion for an endorsement deal whenever he decides to go pro.

We got Dan at LAX and he thinks things between the Swoosh and prodigy will be A-okay ... after the dollars come into play.

"When they give Zion Williamson the $80 million sneaker contract they'll try and make good by him."

Interestingly enough, Dan actually thinks Nike's #1 employee is to blame for Zion's shoe disaster, telling our guy Michael Jordan was the mastermind behind it all, and giving us reasons.

Of course, he was joking ... we think.

What's The Big Frigin' Difference?!

2/23/2019 12:01 AM PST

Don't let these two almost identical images of KJ Apa ruff you up ... bark up this tree and see if you can figure out the differences between these two super similar snaps.

**HINT -- There are THREE differences in the above photographs!**

R. Kelly Owes Nearly $200k in Child Support ... Pay Up or Go to Jail!!!

2/22/2019 4:46 PM PST

If R. Kelly wasn't about to surrender to police, he might end up in jail anyway ... because a judge is fed up with his failure to pay a ton of child support to his ex-wife.

A Cook County judge found R. Kelly in contempt earlier this month -- according to docs obtained by TMZ -- because he owes Drea Kelly $169,996 in support. The court says he was supposed to be paying her $20,833 per month as of January 2009 -- but he's obviously fallen off schedule in the last year.

The court order states R. Kelly needs to pay up by March 6, or he'll be locked up in County Jail. Obviously, the singer may see that as a moot point ... after he was hit with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse on Friday. As we reported, Kelly is expected to surrender Friday night.

Make no mistake, it's no longer just raining ... it's an all out downpour in his world.

For what it's worth ... he actually owes even more -- $194,045.70. That number includes interest and education and health care costs for the 3 kids he and Drea have together. 

Brody Stevens Comedian Dead at 48 Apparent Suicide by Hanging

2/22/2019 3:14 PM PST
Breaking News

Stand-up comedian Brody Stevens was found dead Friday after an apparent suicide at his home in Los Angeles.

Law enforcement sources confirm to TMZ ... Brody was found hanging in his home Friday afternoon, shortly after 1 PM. 

Brody -- who co-created his own Comedy Central series, "Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!" with his friend Zach Galifianakis -- had struggled with mental health issues in the past. He was hospitalized in 2011 after suffering a bipolar episode. 

He was a mainstay at huge comedy events like the Montreal and Vancouver Comedy Festivals -- and just 2 days ago he was at the Festival of Friendship in Burbank.

Later that night he did a set -- which appears to have been his last -- at the famed Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip.

Brody also had several roles in movies, such as "The Hangover" and "The Hangover II." 

He was also an avid baseball fan. He pitched in college at Arizona State University until he suffered an elbow injury.

Reps for Brody tell us, "Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community. He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. He was beloved by many and will be greatly missed."

We had a lot of fun run-ins with Brody over the years -- he always turned it on for our camera guys.

However, the last time we saw him, in 2018, we had a serious conversation with him about Kanye West and mental health. 

Brody was 48.


Nicki Minaj Show Canceled After Arena Can't Handle Tech ... She Still Meets Thousands of Fans

2/22/2019 5:08 PM PST

Nicki Minaj was unable to perform after the arena she was scheduled at had some serious electrical issues ... but the rapper still made sure to leave a mark on thousands of her fans.

Nicki's show in Slovakia Friday was canceled after sources tell us the venue couldn't support the massive technical aspects of her stage. We're told transformers shut down ... and the arena suffered several outages as a result.

The tech issues didn't stop Nicki from connecting with those who came to see her. Minaj personally told the audience what was wrong ... and spent the next several hours walking around the arena and saying hello. 

Nicki still has another 20 shows on the European tour ... and she plans on figuring out a new date for her fans in Slovakia ASAP. 

R. Kelly Charged with 10 Counts Sexual Abuse ... Warrant Issued for Arrest

2/22/2019 2:02 PM PST
Exclusive Details

2:15 PM PT -- Michael Avenatti just said he represents at least 1 of the alleged victims in the R. Kelly indictment, and he reps a total of 2 victims, 2 parents and 2 whistleblowers who were part of the singer's inner circle. He says the videotape he submitted to prosecutors shows R. Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl -- vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex and urination. He says at one point the girl was forced to watch a video of R. Kelly, whom she called "daddy," having sex with another minor.

Avenatti says he is going after R. Kelly's enablers -- lawyers, agents, managers and others whom he says stood idly by as R. Kelly sexually abused girls. He says his mission is bringing them to justice.

And, Avenatti says the 2008 trial -- in which R. Kelly was found not guilty -- was rigged, with various forms of obstruction of justice and witness intimidation.    

Avenatti says he has yet another video and is in the process of procuring a third video. 

2:00 PM PT -- Avenatti just released this image from the video he submitted to the State's Attorney, showing what appears to be R. Kelly. He says the singer is having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

12:20 PM PT -- Cook County District Attorney Kim Foxx just read the charges and dates of when the alleged sex crimes occurred. She said the first victim was allegedly abused between May 26, 1998, and May 25, 1999. The second victim was between September 26, 1998, and September 25, 2001. The third victim on February 18, 2003. And, the fourth victim between May 1, 2009, and January 31, 2010.

Foxx also said "we anticipate [Kelly] will appear in bond court [Saturday] afternoon." She answered no questions in the brief news conference.

Michael Avenatti joined us Friday on "TMZ Live," explained why he felt it was so important to keep his months-long R. Kelly investigation under wraps. Of course, that investigation uncovered the latest alleged sex tape of Kelly.

12:00 PM PT -- According to the Associated Press, a no-bail arrest warrant has been issued for Kelly. 

R. Kelly has been charged with 10 counts by the Cook County State's Attorney.

Prosecutors hit him with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse Friday morning. TMZ has learned 9 of the 10 counts involve alleged victims ranging in age from 13 to 16 years old. One of them is the subject of 4 different counts. There are a total of 4 alleged victims.

According to the complaint, the allegations include oral and vaginal sex with a girl between the ages of 13 and 16. The complaint says he "transmitted his semen onto [the alleged victim's] body for the purpose of Robert Kelly's or [the alleged victim's] sexual gratification or arousal, by the use of force or threat of force."

Sources connected to Kelly tell TMZ the singer plans to voluntarily turn himself in to authorities tonight. Still, prosecutors will reportedly appear before a judge today seeking an arrest warrant for him.

The criminal sexual abuse charge is a class 2 felony in Illinois, and each charge carries a max sentence of 3 to 7 years in prison. TMZ broke the story ... 2 women testified for the grand jury over the last week, including one who provided physical evidence. We're told as many as a dozen women came forward to testify.

A grand jury had convened about a week ago to investigate the alleged sex tape Michael Avenatti handed over to authorities. 

Sources connected to the case tell us the tape was a pivotal force leading to the charges. We're told that Avenatti and his client spent a significant amount of time with the Cook County State's Attorney and the grand jury in the last few weeks.

As we reported, Avenatti says he uncovered the VHS tape after his clients alleged Kelly had been having sex with minors for years. The tape reportedly shows Kelly having sex with a girl who seems to be 14 -- with both Kelly and the girl referring to her genitals and other body parts as being 14 years old.

The charges come directly on the heels of 2 other Kelly accusers coming forward with their attorney Gloria Allred. The women allege sexual misconduct by Kelly in a Baltimore hotel room in 1998 ... when they were both underage teens.

It's still unclear when the new alleged sex tape was shot, but Avenatti said he was sure it fell within the statute of limitations.

Originally Published -- 10:31 AM PST

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