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Democratic Debates Diversity Presents Challenges ... Can't Just Use White Light!!!

6/26/2019 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The back-to-back Democratic debates -- which will feature candidates of Black, Hispanic, Samoan, Indian and Asian descent -- will be a major test for those trying to tackle the issue of diversity ... in the lighting department.

Production sources for the upcoming primary debates -- in which 10 different candidates will share the stage on both nights -- tell TMZ ... the fact they will feature more non-white candidates than previous debates will be challenging.

That company, Lighting Design Group, has experience dealing with crowded stages in the political world -- it did the lighting design for the 2016 Republican primary debates ... which had 17 in the field, but only 2 of those candidates -- Ben Carson and Bobby Jindal -- were persons of color ... and Carly Fiorina was the only woman.

The Dem debates have 5 non-white candidates and 5 women, which we're told can make the lighting way trickier.

Our sources say the lighting pros have to focus on getting it just right for the men and women of different skin tones when the TV shows a solo shot, but also must balance the lighting overall for "broad look" shots of multiple candidates. There are individual spotlights, but other lighting on the stage bleeds into the individual shots.

We're told the lighting folks will be ready to adjust on the fly during the debates with the goal being to make sure everyone is satisfied, but satisfying 20 presidential candidates may be an impossible order.

Here's the full lineup of the 20 candidates taking the stage:

Wednesday night -- Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Beto O'Rourke, Julián Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, John Delaney, Tim Ryan and Bill de Blasio.

Thursday night -- Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.

Blac Chyna Hairdresser Wanted Her 15 Min ... It Backfired, Bitch!!!

6/26/2019 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Blac Chyna says she always knew she'd be vindicated in her hairdresser knife case, 'cause the lady was simply thirsty for the spotlight -- but she ain't gonna drink from Chyna's fountain.

BC says Tuesday's decision by the L.A. City Attorney's Office to reject cases against Chyna and her hairdresser -- each claimed to be the victim -- comes as no surprise ... as she maintains she never did anything wrong.

Chyna tells us her former employee -- whose name she refuses to say -- was obviously only looking for her 15 minutes. The proof, she says, is the woman took her bogus claims to media outlets and also her own social media ... BEFORE going to the police, attempting to smear Chyna.

The City Attorney's Office says there was insufficient evidence to prosecute, and Chyna insists that supports her account .. that she did NOT pull a knife or threaten anyone, as claimed by she whose name Chyna won't speak. 

Plus, no other witnesses came forward to corroborate the woman's story, and there was never a smoking gun ... or knife.

What is clear is that something WAS thrown in the surveillance vid, and Chyna says it's the hairdresser hurling soda cans.

One piece of good news for the hairdresser -- BC isn't planning on taking legal action against her for allegedly filing a false police report. She says she's letting this go and hopes the hairdresser does too ... but she's thrilled LAPD and the City Attorney cleared her name. 

UFC's B.J. Penn Fights Strip Club Bouncer In Street ... Cops Called

6/25/2019 6:13 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn got into a fight with a bouncer at a strip club in Honolulu late Monday night ... with the altercation spilling onto the street ... and TMZ Sports has the video. 

We spoke with the owner of Club Femme Nu who told us Penn was escorted out of the bar around midnight because he was acting "very drunk."

While the 40-year-old MMA legend was being escorted out, things turned physical -- and Penn began to fight the door guy. 

Multiple witnesses watched as Penn -- a former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion -- smothered the door guy to the ground and took control over the other man. At one point, you can see Penn shoving his forearm into the other man's throat. 

Several men can be heard asking B.J. to stop fighting and let the guy up -- but he never does. 

One of the bystanders finally decides he's seen enough and begins punching Penn in the head in an attempt to end the fight ... but the other men call him off, so B.J. and the bouncer can finish their fight 1-on-1. 

Eventually, someone calls the cops and we're told several squad cars arrived at the scene -- but B.J. had already left the premises by the time the officers got there. 

Attempts to reach Penn for comment were unsuccessful. 

Ex-'L&HH' Star Benzino Claims Racial Harassment in Arrest

6/26/2019 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Benzino got busted for failing to appear in court for a traffic violation, but before cops slapped the cuffs on him ... and he let it be known he thinks the real reason is because of his race.

According to law enforcement ... the former 'Love & Hip Hop' star was parked in the middle of the street outside Atlanta on Saturday, blocking it, so a cop ran his plates. The car came back with a warrant hit on Benzino because he got ticketed for no insurance back in April and never showed.

The officer claims he explained his reason for checking Benzino's tag and discovering the warrant, but the ex-reality star wasn't having it ... and repeatedly said he was being harassed because of his race.

Another officer showed up and Benzino was cuffed. According to the report, he began using profanity and kept it going while he was taken to jail.

Benzino repeatedly said on the ride to jail, "I am feeling faint" and asked for water. The cop told him he could get some at the jail, and called an ambulance to check him out upon his arrival.

The report says medical workers spoke to Benzino and he declined a trip to the hospital. He was then taken inside the jail, but there was another issue ... he told cops his cuffs were too tight and his wrists hurt.

Cops swapped out his cuffs and they took photos of his wrists. Benzino was then turned over to jail personnel. He was booked for failure to appear and released.

You may recall ... Benzino pled guilty to felony drug charges earlier this year in Georgia but got off with 2 years probation. He claimed he was targeted by racist cops in the initial January 2017 arrest and vowed to fight in court ... but copped a plea deal instead.

George Lopez Guacamole with a Legal Twist ... The Chingon Way!!!

6/26/2019 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

George Lopez is expanding his restaurant empire ... and holy guacamole it looks like he wants to add his own twist to a Mexican delicacy.

According to new docs obtained by TMZ ... the comedian applied for the trademark "George Lopez's Chingon Kitchen," which he wants to slap on new products including guacamole. He also wants to do the same on a new hot sauce and salsa.

The docs don't lay out exactly how George wants to add his unique mark to those products ... but if his menu is any indication, it's gonna be lit. 

George's no stranger to the restaurant biz ... he opened his first joint in 2017 at the famed San Manuel Casino and opened his second branch earlier this year in Phoenix. Surprisingly enough, his Mexican cuisine menu doesn't offer any jabs at his least favorite Prez.

BTW ... for the gabachos out there -- "Chingon" is a term of endearment in Mexico, meaning "f***ing badass." George often calls himself "El Mas Chingon."

Okay, lesson over. 

Evander Kane's Abortion Case Accuser Must Reveal Real Name ... Judge Rules

6/26/2019 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The woman who claims NHL star Evander Kane stiffed her out of $3 MIL for aborting his child was ordered to reveal her real name in court in order to proceed with the case ... so she's decided to unmask herself. 

An L.A. County Superior Court judge ruled Hope Parker -- who had previously used the alias "Jane Doe" in her lawsuit against Kane -- cannot use the alias moving forward. 

"There is no clear California law allowing her to remain anonymous," the judge said in a ruling.

But, instead of dropping the case and keeping her identity secret, Parker has filed new documents using her real name ... sending the message that she's not backing down. 

As we previously reported, Parker claims she had been dating Kane on-and-off from 2015 to 2018 ... and says she had two abortions during that time.

But, Parker says when she got pregnant for a THIRD time with the San Jose Sharks forward ... she did NOT want to abort it -- until he offered her $3 million.

She claims she went through with the procedure ... but when but Kane never ponied up the cash -- she sued, seeking over $6 MILLION in her lawsuit.

Kane filed legal docs of his own back in 2018 essentially saying that since he's not accused of committing a crime, the accuser should not be able to hide behind an alias

The strategy was pretty clear -- if the judge forced her to reveal her name, Kane believed she would be more likely to drop the suit out of fear of embarrassment.

But, that's not the case ... Parker is actively working to amend her lawsuit to add her real name, according to court docs. 

As for the allegations in the suit, Kane previously issued a blanket denial -- and later argued in legal docs that even if he did agree to the $3 million deal, it was made in a private, consensual sexual setting and the court has no authority to enforce it. 

In other news...

Erika Jayne Bares All In Revealing Instagram Pic From Sexy Photoshoot

Check out the pic that EVERYONE is talking about!

SEE MORE »

Native American Dude in The Village People 'Memba Him?!

6/26/2019 12:01 AM PDT

New York-born Felipe Rose was in his early 20s when he strapped on a Native American costume and shot to stardom as a founding member of 70s disco and soul supergroup, the Village People

Felipe Rose shared the stage with some other epic villagers including Randy Jones as the cool looking cowboy, Alex Briley as the stud sailor, David Hodo as the hard-working construction man and Glenn Hughes as the leather-bound biker. 

The Village People blessed the world with bangers like "Macho Man," "In The Navy," "Can't Stop The Music" and of course "Y.M.C.A."

Guess what he looks like now at 65 years old!

Ty Pennington Jesse Tyler Ferguson Has My Blessing to Yell 'Move That Bus!!!'

6/25/2019 4:11 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Further proof Ty Pennington's one of the nicest guys in the world ... he's giving Jesse Tyler Ferguson his blessing as the new host for the 'Extreme Makeover' reboot.

We got Ty arriving at LAX Tuesday and of course had to ask him about Ferguson becoming the new host as HGTV reboots "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." The network plans to air 10 new episodes in early 2020. Ty, of course, hosted the insanely successful show for 9 seasons on ABC.

Check out the clip ... Ty's advice for Jesse can be summed up with just 2 words. But, in all honesty ... Ty says Jesse's about to embark on the best roller coaster of his life. He does have one suggestion though ... it helps if he's got carpentry experience.

And, who can forget Ty's famous line -- "MOVE THAT BUS!!!" The 54-year-old carpenter/designer says Ferguson can DEFINITELY use the line he made famous years ago. In fact ... Ty gives our camera a little history lesson about the origin of the line. Pretty cool stuff. Watch.

Team USA's Megan Rapinoe 'I’m Not Going to the F*cking White House'

6/25/2019 2:06 PM PDT
Breaking News

Team USA soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe is making it crystal clear ... if the U.S. wins the World Cup, there's NO WAY IN HELL she's visiting Donald Trump at The White House. 

"I'm not going to the f*cking White House," the 33-year-old co-captain told Eight By Eight Magazine ... "We're not going to be invited."

She's probably right about the second part ... Megan -- and other teammates have been very outspoken when it comes to their disapproval of President Trump and Rapinoe is confident Trump knows it. 

"[Trump] tries to avoid inviting a team that might decline. Or, like he did when the Warriors turned him down, he’ll claim they hadn’t been invited in the first place"

When asked if she was speaking for the whole team, Rapinoe replied ... "I don’t know everyone’s voting patterns on our team, but I would hope no one voted for him."

Rapinoe has been VERY political in the past -- she was the first white pro athlete in America to take a knee during the National Anthem ... following Colin Kaepernick's lead. 

She no longer takes a knee, but Megan doesn't put her hand over her heart or sing along with the lyrics anymore. 

Trump was asked if Rapinoe's form of protest was appropriate on Monday -- and he told The Hill, "No. I don't think so."

Not that Rapinoe cares anyway ... 

As for Team USA, they're on a tear right now ... they just beat Spain in the Round of 16 and are set to battle with France on Friday. 

Cardi B I Plead Not Guilty, Your Honor ... Faces Judge in Strip Club Case

6/25/2019 1:08 PM PDT

1:08 PM PT -- Cardi has officially left the building ... with plenty of love from her fans.

Cardi B is entering her plea on all the new charges in the strip club beatdown case.

Fresh of her Album of the Year win at the BET Awards ... Cardi arrived at the courthouse in Queens decked out in a black pantsuit. Inside the judge told her she's being charged with attempted assault in the 2nd degree and various other charges.

The judge gave Cardi the option of having all the charges read aloud in court. Her attorney said that would not be necessary -- and then Cardi said, "Not guilty sir, honor"

As we reported ... Cardi was indicted last week on 12 charges, including 2 counts of felony attempted assault with intent to cause serious physical injury. Other charges include misdemeanor reckless endangerment, assault, criminal solicitation, conspiracy and harassment.

This came after the rapper was initially charged with just 2 misdemeanors for allegedly ordering an attack on 2 strip club bartenders who are sisters -- Jade and Baddie Gi -- back in August 2018.

However, after Cardi rejected a plea deal that would have given her a conditional discharge in return for pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor ... a grand jury was convened and eventually handed up the 12-count indictment.

There are 2 codefendants in the case and they were also arraigned today -- both plead not guilty.

TMZ broke the story ... Cardi was arrested in October for her alleged role in the strip club incident, in which the 2 women claim they were injured when Cardi's people began throwing bottles and chairs.

If convicted on the new felony charges, we're told Cardi faces up to 4 years in prison.

Originally Published -- 12:39 PM PT

Justin Theroux Victory in Neighbor War Raise the Roof (Deck) All Ya Want

6/25/2019 1:10 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Justin Theroux's just showed his neighbor who's boss, because a judge settled their nuclear war over a roof deck ... and Justin came out on top. 

The fight between Justin and neighbor Norman Resnicow has gone on for more than 2 years, and it redefined nasty.  

It was all over a 40-square foot strip of roof deck ... and the judge said it was always his, even before the legal dispute erupted. As for the nastiness ... Resnicow allegedly once threatened neighbors with a harpoon-like device for siding with Theroux, and he even inserted himself in Justin's breakup with Jennifer Aniston.

In his suit, Justin said Norman was threatening to cut off water and electricity to his roof deck if he didn't comply with Norman's demands. 

A lot of legal mumbo jumbo in the court's decision, but the bottom line ... the judge concluded Resnicow was a deck trespasser and it was rightly owned by Justin. 

Now, it's all over ... or so it seems. At least on this issue, it's a big W for Justin. 

Blac Chyna Off The Hook ... For Allegedly Threatening Hairdresser With Knife

6/25/2019 12:14 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Blac Chyna won't be prosecuted for allegedly brandishing a knife and threatening her hairdresser.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office tells TMZ the cases against Blac Chyna and her hairdresser were both rejected ... due to insufficient evidence.

The L.A. District Attorney had the first look at the case, but determined there wasn't enough there to charge Chyna or the hairdresser with a felony, so they gave the case to the City Attorney ... and now it's officially done.

Our law enforcement sources say the case was weak from the beginning.

TMZ broke the story ... BC and her hairdresser got into a heated exchange last month at Chyna's home in the San Fernando Valley. The hairdresser claimed Blac Chyna went after her with a blade and filed a police report, and BC appeared as a named suspect for assault with a deadly weapon. 

Blac Chyna insisted she was actually the victim, not the aggressor ... and claims the hairdresser started hurling soda cans during the argument. 

The fight was caught on surveillance video, but there's no clear-cut evidence BC was wielding a knife ... and no witnesses ever came forward backing the hairdresser's claims.

Beth Chapman Not Expected to Recover ... Family Sources Say

6/25/2019 10:26 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Beth Chapman is not expected to recover and leave the hospital, and the family is preparing for the worst ... family sources tell TMZ.

We've learned Beth's mother has flown from the mainland to Hawaii to be by her daughter's side. Her children and grandchildren -- many of whom live in Hawaii -- are also gathering at Beth's bedside.

As we reported, Beth has been waging a difficult war against stage 4 lung cancer. She was hospitalized Saturday after experiencing difficulty breathing as well as choking. She was placed in a medically-induced coma.

Family sources say there's not a lot that can be done for Beth and at this point, and the family is making medical decisions with the help of her doctors.

Dog posted a pic of Beth's hand as she lay in her hospital bed with freshly painted nails, with the caption, "You all know how she is about HER NAILS!!"

She had been diagnosed with cancer back in 2017 and suffered a recurrence last November. Beth said last month on Mother's Day, "Chemotherapy is not my bag, people. Sorry, that's not for me. So for me, this is the ultimate test of faith. This is my ultimate lesson."

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