Lady Gaga Dognappers May Have Targeted Singer for Ransom

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Lady Gaga may have been the target of criminals who shot her dog walker and stole 2 of her French Bulldogs ... law enforcement tells TMZ.

We're told the LAPD is seriously looking at the possibility the shooter/thieves knew the dogs were owned by Gaga, and the video obtained by TMZ more than supports that theory.

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If you look closely, the car that comes upon dog walker Ryan Fischer clearly was headed for him. The car stops and two people immediately jump out and attack the dog walker. There's no way they would have instantly known these dogs were a valuable breed ... they're small and it was dark outside. The dogs could have easily been rescues, mixed breeds, a less valuable breed ... fact is, these criminals knew.

What's more ... our law enforcement sources tell us, Ryan Fischer told numerous people in the neighborhood he was walking Gaga's dogs, so lots of people knew.

From what we know, this was supposed to be a short walk -- 10 PM at night, so the dogs could go poop and pee. It's not like the robbers were able to follow Ryan a long distance ... if they were indeed targeting Gaga's dogs, they could have scoped him out in the days before to determine his walking schedule.

As for the $500,000 ransom Gaga is offering ... sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ no one has been in touch with the singer or her reps so far demanding payment.

What makes matters even more difficult ... we're told the dogs were not chipped.

Prince Harry Stepped Back to Protect My Family ... British Press Destroyed My Mental Health

Prince Harry says he moved his family to L.A. to protect his family like any husband and father would -- and blamed the media for "destroying my mental health."

Harry's episode with James Corden for 'The Late Show' finally aired Thursday night and while riding an open-air double-decker bus -- COVID-safe -- said denied leaving the Royal family.

In his eyes, "It was never walking away. It was stepping back rather than stepping down. It was a really difficult environment. As I think a lot of people saw, we all know what the British press can be like, and it was destroying my mental health. This is toxic. I did what any husband, any father would do. I needed to get my family out of here."

Just last week, Buckingham Palace said Harry and Meghan had "confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family."

2/5/21
ROYAL RIDE
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James and Harry, who are mates off-camera, also talked about Netflix's "The Crown" ... with Harry saying even though the series is clearly fictional it's loosely based on the truth.

James also asked Harry who in Hollywood he'd like to see portray him. Harry butchers the name at first but at least he picked a SOLID Englishman to play him.

Lady Gaga Dog Abduction Dog Walkers Eyeing Guns, Jiu-Jitsu for Protection During Walks

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The abduction of Lady Gaga's dogs and the shooting of her dog walker has put Hollywood dog walkers on high alert ... they're looking to protect themselves and the pets they care for with some significant firepower.

We contacted a bunch of dog walking companies in the Hollywood area -- where the shooting/abduction went down -- and according to a few companies, they're increasing security -- changing their dog-walking schedules to prevent a repeat of what happened Wednesday night.

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Anna-Marie Arredondo, owner of Happy Heart Pet Care in WeHo, tells TMZ ... she's looking to get a concealed carry permit, STAT. If she's successful -- which is incredibly difficult to obtain in California -- she plans on packing heat on her walks.

She's also looking into taking jiu-jitsu classes so she can protect herself and the pets. What's more ... all nighttime walks will only go down in well-lit, highly-trafficked areas. She says if it's too dark or sketchy ... she'll haul the dogs in her car and drive to a safer spot.

Renee Lutz, owner of Fetch! Pet Care in the Hollywood Hills, tells TMZ ... she'll give all 38 of her dog walkers pepper spray and flashlights. She's also 86ing nighttime walks.

Alyssa and Saul, owners of Troop Canine in Griffith Park, tell TMZ ... they, too, are no longer doing nighttime walks ... for the foreseeable future, they'll limiting walks to mornings and afternoons. They're also looking into purchasing body cams, like GoPros, so cameras are rolling should any would-be thieves want to get handsy.

All the owners we spoke to said they'll continue to walk French Bulldogs ... a coveted breed. TMZ broke the story ... Lady Gaga's dog walker, Ryan Fischer, was shot Wednesday night in Hollywood after 2 men got out of a white sedan and abducted 2 of her French bulldogs, Koji and Gustav.

There have been no arrests yet and LG's offered a $500k reward for the return of her dogs.

Tiger Woods Transferred to Cedars-Sinai Praised by UCLA Medical Team

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Tiger Woods has been transferred to a new hospital to continue his recovery -- and will now be treated at the famous Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A.

Tiger's medical team at UCLA confirmed the move and praised the golfer as he left.

"Mr. Tiger Woods was transferred to Cedars Sinai Medical Center for continuing orthopedic care and recovery," Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Anish Mahajan said.

"On behalf of our staff, it was an honor to provide orthopedic trauma care to one of our generation's greatest athletes."

Tiger was initially transported to Harbor-UCLA in the minutes after his car crash on Feb. 23 in Palos Verdes, CA.

Officials say he was taken to Harbor-UCLA because it was the best equipped, and closest hospital to treat Tiger's injuries.

Tiger suffered major injuries to his right leg in the crash -- including comminuted open fractures ... which means the bones were shattered and breaking through the skin.

Harbor-UCLA doctors used a rod to stabilize Tiger's leg and a combination of pins and screws to repair his badly damaged right ankle and foot.

As for his recovery, Dr. Oz -- who is not treating Tiger -- believes the golfer could make a full recovery and be back on the golf course in a year.

Rachael Kirkconnell Open's Up About 'Bachelor' Controversy ... Stop Defending Me!!!!

WORKING ON IT

Rachael Kirkconnell -- "The Bachelor" contestant who sparked the racism controversy this season due to her past -- says she's making changes for the better, and telling her defenders to stand down.

Rachael -- who's one of the remaining finalists still vying for Matt James' final rose -- says she's going to use her platform and privilege to amplify voices in the fight against racism.

She specifically calls on white people to step up, take accountability and work toward "racial progress and unity" ... which simply starts with being vocal, not staying silent.

Rachael has a lot more to say, but concludes by telling people who are excusing or defending her past behavior to "please stop." She doesn't mention host Chris Harrison by name ... but, of course, his staunch defense of Rachael is why he won't be on the 'After the Final Rose' reunion episode.

As we've reported ... it was Harrison's excusing of Rachael's actions -- and historical racism in general -- that landed him in hot water and led to him apologizing and stepping away from the show.

It's unclear when or if he'll return to the franchise, but the controversy's clearly not going away anytime soon.

BTW, Rachael's post certainly fuels rumors Matt picked her in the end. So, now the question: is this mea culpa video intended for the 'Bachelor' audience ... or Matt?

Jeff Ross Lighten Up, Folks ... Michael Che's Joke was Hilarious!!!

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LIGHTEN UP PEOPLE!
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Don't count Jeff Ross among the people -- Jewish or otherwise -- outraged over Michael Che's joke about Israel on last week's 'SNL' ... he thinks Che should keep it up.

We got the "Roastmaster General" out in Bev Hills and asked for his take on the joke ... which many decried as anti-Semitic, but Jeff had another word for it -- "hilarious."

The comedian says people need to have thicker skin and just enjoy comedy ... which he describes as "essential business" after nearly a year of COVID lockdowns.

As for those who were offended by Che's joke, Jeff says Israel jokes aren't off-limits ... neither are jokes about our camera guy.

Ross also weighed in on the recent Mr. Potato Head news, and in classic Roastmaster fashion ... he used it to poke fun at a late comedy legend.

RIP, Don Rickles.

John Geddert Criminal Case Is Also Dead Can't Be Convicted After Death

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The criminal case against ex-Team USA Gymnastics coach John Geddert is as good as dead -- because officials know there's no point in prosecuting a deceased person.

Geddert had just been hit with 24 criminal charges -- including 20 counts of human trafficking and 2 counts of sexual assault -- when he took his own life Thursday afternoon. State officials in Michigan say they believe it was a self-inflicted gunshot.

If convicted on all counts, Geddert was facing life in prison.

Prosecutors clearly felt they had enough evidence to get a conviction -- but the case can never get off the ground now that Geddert is dead.

The legal explanation comes down to 2 points. One, you have the right to defend yourself in a criminal trial, which is impossible once you're dead.

Second, most of the goals of punishing people in a criminal case -- to rehabilitate, to deter, etc. -- are pointless once the defendant is dead.

As to the notion that the case should play out so Geddert can go down in history as an officially convicted sexual predator ... most courts don't see it that way because we cherish the principle that people are innocent until PROVEN guilty.

Basically, Geddert robbed his victims of the opportunity to get justice through the criminal court system -- but they may not be out of options.

Victims can still sue Geddert's estate in civil court where the evidentiary bar is lower -- and there's a decent chance they can win a monetary judgment.

It's more difficult to win a civil case without a criminal conviction -- but not impossible ... just look at the O.J. Simpson case.

Guess Who This Redhead Runt Turned Into!

Before this little runt with red hair was spicing up your life, she was just another pigtailed pipsqueak growing up in Watford, United Kingdom.

This funny-faced female is best known for promoting her girl power and musical abilities alongside a group of talented young women who took the world by storm -- this British band is still the best-selling girl group of all time. Not only did this singing ensemble have multiple popular albums and tours, but they also starred as themselves in their very own quirky movie.

She isn't a wannabe, she's the real deal!

Can you guess who she is?

Lady Gaga New Video Shows Dog Walker Shooting ... And Suspects' Getaway

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TMZ has obtained dramatic, upsetting video, of the actual confrontation between the shooters and Lady Gaga's dog walker which ended with the dog walker shot and 2 of her dogs stolen.

The surveillance video from a neighbor's home shows a white sedan roll up on the dog walker, Ryan Fischer, and 2 men get out of the backseat ... you hear one of the men cock the gun, saying, "give it up."

Fischer puts up a fight, screaming for help and yelling for Koji -- one of the dogs -- before the gun goes off, striking Fischer in the chest ... he immediately hits the sidewalk. Each of the thieves then pile into the backseat, with one dog per person ... the second dog can be heard yelping as it's taken ... and the third dog left behind runs back to Fischer.

The neighbor only agreed to release this video after getting word that Gaga's team wanted it to be seen to catch the shooter and recover her dogs, Koji and Gustav. The neighbor believes the getaway vehicle was a Nissan, it appears it could have been an Altima or Sentra.

TMZ broke the story ... Fischer was out walking 3 of Gaga's French Bulldogs late Wednesday when the attack happened. Gaga has offered $500,000 for their return.

At this time, there are no suspects. Gaga is currently in Rome ... but her team is hopeful the new video will help bring justice for Ryan, and the return of her dogs.

Kristen Stewart First On-Set Look as Princess Diana!!!

She's gone from "Twilight" to "Charlie's Angels," but now she's taking on her biggest role yet ... and it looks like Kristen Stewart royally nails it.

The actress is in full Princess Diana mode in Germany this week on set of the upcoming film "Spencer" ... rocking a vintage Lady Di look, with glasses and without.

Obviously, Kristen's Adidas kicks are just for getting around on set and not what the Princess of Wales wore back then ... at least we don't think so.

As for the movie ... the title is Diana's maiden name -- for the young'uns not in the know -- and the plot revolves around a weekend she spends with the British Royal Family before deciding to divorce Prince Charles.

It's expected to be out this fall. By then we're all hoping that means in actual movie theaters.

Rep. Lauren Boebert Who Says I'm Not Armed at Work??? Rips Pelosi's New Rules

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POSSIBLY PACKING
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Rep. Lauren Boebert is thumbing her nose at the new rules in Congress -- metal detectors be damned, she's strongly suggesting she still brings a weapon to work at the Capitol.

We got Colorado's freshman Congresswoman Thursday afternoon on her way to Capitol Hill, and asked a pretty loaded question: How's the first year on the j-o-b going?

Boebert, a noted gun enthusiast from Rifle, CO, immediately teed off on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's new regulations -- some for COVID safety and others due to the Jan. 6 insurrection ... including the installment of metal detectors.

But, you gotta see what she said when we asked if she hoped she'd eventually be allowed to pack a pistol again at work. She insinuates she never stopped.

Boebert -- who recently had a display of firearms behind her during a Zoom meeting -- took one last parting shot ... labeling the Capitol and its still fenced-in protective zone, "Fort Pelosi."

For the record, she could have a gun with her while going to her Congressional office ... which is not in the Capitol. While there are metal detectors, members of Congress are generally allowed to go around them.

However, at the Capitol and while going to the House floor ... all members must go through the metal detectors. It's no secret who Boebert's blaming for that. Hint: it's not the insurrectionists.

Kim Kardashian Single & Swanky ... First Night Out After Divorce Filing

Kim Kardashian made sure she stood out on her first night out as a single lady ... in a skintight dress ... and nothing on her ring finger.

Kim -- along with her sister, Kourtney, gal pals La La Anthony and Stephanie Shepherd and Jonathan Cheban for good measure -- hit up Matsuhisa in Bev Hills Tuesday night ... and Kanye West's ex looked ready to mingle.

Though she wasn't wearing her wedding ring, Kim was blinged up just a bit to accessorize with a super cool neon green dress ... and she looked pretty happy with her friends.

Of course, Kim's outing comes just days after we broke the story ... she filed to divorce her famous husband of nearly 7 years after several turbulent months that started right around the time he announced his run for president.

As we told you ... everything seems to be amicable -- Kim's asking for joint legal and physical custody of the couple's 4 kids, there's a prenup neither side is contesting, and Kim and Kanye are committed to co-parenting.

Clearly ... she's still committed to living her best life too.

Ex-Team USA Gymnastics Coach John Geddert Dead By Suicide Hours After Sexual Assault Charges Filed

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1:28 PM PT -- John Geddert is dead, according to state officials AND Geddert's attorney -- reportedly taking his own life after sexual assault charges were filed against him.

Geddert died from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday afternoon.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a statement moments ago saying, "My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life."

"This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved."

John Geddert -- the coach of the legendary 2012 Team USA gymnastics team -- has been charged with multiple counts of human trafficking and sexual assault and faces up to life in prison.

... and there's a connection to disgraced Team USA doctor and convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar.

63-year-old Geddert was the head man in charge when the Fierce Five squad won gold at the 2012 Games in London. The team was comprised of superstars Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber.

But, law enforcement officials say Geddert shouldn't be celebrated as some great coach -- claiming he's a scumbag who sexually assaulted an unidentified person in 2012 who was between the age of 13 and 16.

The specifics of the allegations are still unclear -- but the charges he's facing are horrifying.

In total, Geddert is facing 20 counts of human trafficking, 2 counts of sexual assault, 1 count of racketeering and 1 count of lying to a peace officer.

As for the Larry Nassar connection ... Nassar was the team doctor for the 2012 gymnastics team. Nassar also treated gymnasts at the Michigan gym, Twistars, which was owned by Geddert and his wife until they sold it just a few weeks ago.

It's relevant because prosecutors say Geddert lied to investigators in 2016 when they were looking into Nassar's criminal conduct -- and Geddert allegedly said he never heard anyone complain about the doctor.

Geddert probably saw the criminal charges coming ... Michigan State Police raided his home in early 2020.

Team USA suspended Geddert when the Larry Nassar story broke several years back. Geddert told people in 2018 he was retiring from coaching.

Originally Published -- 9:54 AM PT

Mr. Potato Head Don't Call Me Mister ... I'm Gender-Neutral Now!!!

1:44 PM PT -- Hasbro now says they will still sell individual Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head toys, but the brand name and logo are still ditching the "Mr."

Mr. Potato Head is catching up with the times, he's now just Potato Head ... and it's all about getting rid of traditional gender norms.

Hasbro is dropping the "Mr." and rebranding its iconic spud toys this fall, giving children a blank canvas to create a potato family however they see fit.

The toy giant says it wants to move away from the nuclear family and give kids a chance to go with what feels natural to them ... build whatever kinda potato fam ya want, and those spuds can wear whatever they want.

It's a huge shift for Hasbro ... the company launched the OG Mr. Potato Head way back in 1952, and followed it up the next year with a Mrs. Potato Head complete with her own set of accessories. Plus, it was only 8 years ago that Hasbro celebrated the original potato couple's 60th anniversary with a special box set.

Now, Hasbro says the new toy sets won't present kids with the same family structure you played with as a tyke.

Originally Published -- 11:44 AM PT

Lady Gaga Dog Walker Shot, Bulldogs Stolen ... $500,000 Offered for Return

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7:46 AM PT -- LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division has taken over the case, RHD is tasked with investigating high-profile cases in L.A.

Lady Gaga's dogs were targeted by thieves Wednesday night ... thieves who shot her dog walker and stole 2 of her French Bulldogs ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ, and we're told Gaga is offering $500,000 for the return of her dogs, "no questions asked."

The dog walker had three of Gaga's Bulldogs out in Hollywood just before 10 PM when one gunman -- and possibly more -- came upon him. We don't know what was said, but the dog walker was shot and the gunman made off with 2 of the dogs, named Koji and Gustav.

There are reports there were only 2 Bulldogs being walked with one taken and one escaped that was later found, but our law enforcement sources tell us 3 dogs were being walked and 2 were taken by the gunman. We're told the 3rd dog had run away but was later recovered.

Gaga's been in Rome working on a new movie, her bodyguard was seen picking up the recovered Bulldog. Sources close to Gaga tell us she's extremely upset and is offering a half-a-million dollars to anyone who has her 2 dogs ... again, no questions asked.  We're told anyone who has the dogs can use this email -- KojiandGustav@gmail.com -- to retrieve the reward.

The dog walker was taken to the hospital and we're told he's expected to fully recover.

Law enforcement does not know if the target was Lady Gaga's dogs specifically. French Bulldogs are in demand and expensive, so our sources say it's possible the gunman did not know the dogs were owned by Lady Gaga.

The gunman is still on the loose.

Originally published -- 5:57 AM PT

Coronavirus Band Practices in Bubbles ... WA High School Reopens

Here's what band practice looks like now at a recently reopened high school in Washington state -- still making music, but in COVID-safe bubbles.

The bright green tents are the new norm now for the Wenatchee High School band ... and it looks like some instruments are better suited to this than others.

Check out this student stuffing his sousaphone into the bubble tent for Tuesday's band practice ... looks pretty snug. Guess the school went with a one size fits all approach. Can you say, public school budget issues?

The scene here is the complete opposite of The Flaming Lips concert last month in Oklahoma City, where it was the crowd in space bubbles instead of the actual band.

It's far from aesthetically pleasing, but here's the bottom line -- the kids are back in school and getting a little closer to normal. Baby steps.

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