Chris Cuomo Canned by CNN ... He Speaks Out

3:11 PM PT -- Chris has responded, saying ... "This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother. So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN's #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work."

Chris Cuomo is without a cable news job -- the longtime CNN anchor just got fired ... and it sounds like there's more to the story on the help he offered his brother this year.

The network just announced Chris' termination, saying they retained a respected law firm to conduct the independent review of his conduct -- and in light of that digging, they say they found further evidence that they felt warranted kicking him to the curb.

CNN writes, "While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate."

This is a stunning turn of events, but perhaps not totally unexpected ... as the writing appeared to be on the wall here. The fact Cuomo had been suspended indefinitely raised red flags to many, who felt like his days at CNN were limited.

Of course, this all comes on the heels of an investigation by the New York Attorney General's Office ... which published its reports, plus transcripts, which suggested Chris' involvement in his bro's scandal back in the Spring was way more intricate than previously thought.

MY TIME TO GO
NY.gov

There are text messages he's purported to have sent to Andrew's staffers, including one that read "I have a lead on the wedding girl" -- pertaining to one of the ex-Gov's accusers.

Originally Published -- 2:26 PM PT

Spotify Yanks Comedians' Albums After Impasse Over Royalties

Multiple comedians now have way less comedy albums on Spotify than they did last month -- all because the streaming giant doesn't wanna fork over extra royalties they're asking for.

Spotify yanked several albums from dozens of high-profile comedians -- including folks like Kevin Hart, John Mulaney, Tiffany Haddish, among many others -- just before Thanksgiving, and did so because they'd reached an impasse over this issue ... this according to the WSJ.

The problem ... apparently, a ton of these comics have teamed up with an org called Spoken Giants -- which has been reaching out to companies like Spotify, YouTube, SiriusXM, Pandora and others to demand they pay an additional chunk of change for a comedians' written joke.

Basically, most comics only get paid as performers by their labels and/or distributors ... as opposed to being able to double dip as composers/writers of the works as well, like songwriters do. That's what Spoken Giants is fighting for -- but Spotify won't play ball.

Unclear how many albums they've taken down in total, but it looks like it's quite a bit -- because the above-mentioned comics' Spotify pages look pretty bare, especially TH ... who doesn't have a single comedy album on her profile anymore ... only one-off singles.

The criteria for which albums stay and which don't isn't exactly laid out either -- but in any case, SG is pissed on behalf of the comedians (none of whom appear to have personally spoken out about this, BTW) ... telling WSJ, Spotify hurt their bottom line with the move.

Meanwhile, Spotify says ... "Spotify has paid significant amounts of money for the content in question, and would love to continue to do so." They add, "However, given that Spoken Giants is disputing what rights various licensors have, it’s imperative that the labels that distribute this content, Spotify and Spoken Giants come together to resolve this issue to ensure this content remains available to fans around the globe."

George Lopez Continues Comedy Show ... Amid Health Scare in Audience

Keep calm & ...
TMZ.com

The debate over an artist's responsibility to stop their show amid an emergency in the crowd had landed at George Lopez's feet ... although this one may not be cut and dried.

The comedian was performing Friday at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, when at one point during his set ... a man started falling into distress in the upper balcony area, to the point that the house lights were turned on.

Check out this video obtained by TMZ ... it shows what we're told were a few minutes after this gentleman, who's described as mid-aged, fell unconscious with people around him -- including what appears to be folks in his own party -- attending to him.

Eventually, people flagged down event staff ... and he was carried out and taken to an ambulance. San Antonio Fire confirms he regained consciousness and was stable at the hospital.

In the meantime ... you can see and hear George down at the stage level continuing on with his set, seemingly working all the commotion into his actual jokes -- which actually got some laughs. Of course, some in the crowd felt as if he should've done a hard pause -- even more, felt it was inappropriate for him to joke about whatever was going on at all.

In George's defense, it doesn't appear as if he was fully aware of what was going on ... and acknowledges as much in our clip here. We've reached out to his reps ... no word back yet.

Lateche Norris Missing Indiana Woman Found Alive ... Petito Family Helped

Lateche Norris -- the young woman from Indiana who vanished after taking a trip to San Diego to visit her BF -- has been found after being missing for weeks ... with an assist from Gabby Petito's family.

TMZ just spoke to the 20-year-old's father, Walter Callum, who tells us Lateche is currently with her mother, Cheryl Walker, somewhere in California. More importantly, we're told she is safe.

No other details about her recent whereabouts have surfaced just yet ... but we're waiting to hear back from Cheryl here in a bit.

If you hadn't heard about this story ... it's pretty crazy, and has echoes of Gabby Petito's case. Word is ... Lateche took a cross-country trip from Indiana in early November to visit her boyfriend, Joseph Smith, who had moved out west to California.

Lateche touched down in San Diego, but was reported missing not too long after ... as her parents lost contact with her, and the local authorities got involved. Her mom has said she believes there was some sort of fight between her daughter and Smith.

SD police posted surveillance video from a local 7-11, which apparently depicted Lateche inside. This is said to be the last time anyone had seen her, way back on Nov. 4.

TAKE IT SERIOUSLY
TMZ.com

There's also this ... we've learned that Gabby Petito's parents have actually been involved in helping Lateche's family. We're told Gabby's mom and dad have been giving Lateche's parents advice on how to deal with the media, and how to cope with the disappearance of their child. They've also been sharing the story a lot on social media.

We recently spoke to Cheryl and she told us she thinks this story hasn't gotten as much media coverage due to her daughter's race.

Lil Uzi Vert Rents Nickelodeon Studios Park ... For GF JT's Birthday

Lil Uzi Vert didn't skimp on his girlfriend's birthday -- the guy rented out a whole theme park for her ... which cost him a pretty penny and then some.

The rapper took over Nickelodeon Studios Park at the American Dream Mall in New Jersey -- with about 20 of his buddies tagging along for the festivities Friday ... all in honor of JT's 29th birthday. JT is one half of the City Girls, and has been dating Uzi for a while now.

Anyway, sources familiar with the excursion tell us it was about $50k or so to get the whole place to themselves. Even though it's inside a shopping center, the park is decked out with dozens of rides, including a roller coaster and a Drop Zone type of attraction.

Speaking of those ... Uzi and JT were front and center for a lot of those rides, posing for pics and looking like they were having a blast.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

There were more than just thrills to be had, BTW ... Uzi gifted JT a new car as well -- a McLaren, no less -- among other things, which she seemed to appreciate.

One last thing ... Uzi didn't ruin anyone's else good time by booking NS for him and his crew/boo -- we're told they did all this after hours, so folks were able to enjoy it during the day.

Stars and Scars You Be the Judge

Alec Baldwin rolled the dice by doing a TV interview about the 'Rust' shooting, so was it a good gamble? And, Jussie Smollett's freedom is on the line, because he could go to prison if convicted. So, we gotta ask ...

Alec Baldwin At Fault In 'Rust' Shooting ...

Alec Baldwin TV Interview ...

If Jussie Smollett's Found Guilty ...

Britney's Anti-Therapy Rant ...

Khloe Will Take Tristan Thompson Back ...

Demi Lovato Says 'California Sober' Doesn't Work ...

Best 2024 Democratic Candidates Besides Biden ...

Trump Had COVID During 2020 Biden Debate ...

Xmas Holidays ...

Parents of Michigan Mass Shooter Arrested After Hiding in Warehouse ... Arraigned for Manslaughter

The parents of a 15-year-old Michigan student who killed 4 students in a school shooting have been arrested after hiding out in a warehouse, and they have just been arraigned on 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

CRUBMLEYS IN COURT

Jennifer and James Crumbley were nabbed after a tipster contacted police, saying their SUV was in a parking lot connected to a warehouse. Police say they appeared "very distressed" during their arrest. The police chief says they were wearing hoodies and seemed "just very upset."

The Crumbleys have been charged with 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter -- one count each for the 4 students who were murdered -- and each count carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

The charges are unusual and possibly even unprecedented. Authorities say the parents knew their son, Ethan Crumbley, had serious mental health issues and yet they bought him a gun just days before he shot up his school. School officials were so concerned about the boy they brought him in along with his parents just before the shooting, not knowing he had the gun in his backpack.

Ethan and his father went to a gun store the day after Thanksgiving and bought the 9-millimeter Sig Sauer handgun, which Ethan called on social media, "My new beauty."

The Monday following Thanksgiving, a teacher saw Ethan looking up information online about ammunition, told his mother but she did not appear alarmed. In fact, she texted her son, "LOL, I'm not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught." The next day he shot 4 of his Oxford High School classmates to death.

The parents have pleaded not guilty.

Tristan Thompson Fake IG Account Pops Up ... Baby's Name Still Unknown

7:55 AM PT -- TMZ did some further digging, and it appears the account claiming to be Maralee revealing the baby's name as Angelou Kash Thompson is a fake. We've also determined the photo the account posted claiming to show the baby is a rip-off as well, ripped from an L.A. newborn photographer.

Tristan Thompson is in the throes of what could become a paternity dispute, but the newborn's mother isn't waiting for a judge to decide whether he's the daddy ... she's already given the baby his last name.

Maralee Nichols posted of photo of the baby, with the caption, "First came love, then came you ❤️ Angelou Kash Thompson."

Maralee went on to grouse that Tristan is not embracing the child, saying, "I want to thank everyone for your well wishes. Me and baby are doing great. Right now my heart and mind is on focusing on the baby right now. I am heartbroken that Angelou's father doesn't want to be in his life. I am hoping this lawsuit will bring us together and we can be a family."

It is interesting ... Maralee wrote, "First came love" ... clearly suggesting this was more than what Tristan has called it -- a one-night stand.

As we reported, Nicole claims the baby was conceived in Houston back in March ... around the time Tristan was in town to celebrate his 30th birthday. If she's right on the timeline, the baby was conceived when Tristan was still with Khloe Kardashian -- at least publicly they were together.

Nicole, who filed legal docs to establish paternity, claims she and Tristan were together for 5 months, and she also alleges he offered her $75,000 to stay mum on the baby ... with this threat -- he allegedly said he's retiring after this season and he will then become unemployed, so she'd get way less than the $75k he was offering.

She also claims, according to the Daily Mail, she had promised him a "birthday surprise" in Houston, which he knew meant birthday sex.

If this is indeed Tristan's baby, it would be child #3 for him.

Maralee is asking for child support and reimbursement for the medical expenses related to her pregnancy and birth.

Originally Published -- 5:58 AM PT

Antonio Brown's Chef I'm Going To Sue AB ... He Still Owes Me $10K!!!

THIS DIDN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN
TMZSports.com

The chef who told the NFL that Antonio Brown faked his COVID vaccine card is now planning to sue the Buccaneers star ... saying the wide receiver still owes him $10,000.

Steven Ruiz spelled it all out to TMZ Sports this week ... saying after the NFL ruled he wasn't lying about Brown's bogus vaccine card --- he's planning to move forward with a lawsuit against AB.

"The game plan now is to file a lawsuit and take it from there," Ruiz said. "People provide a service and you've got to pay for it. That's it."

As we previously reported, Ruiz said he cooked for Brown regularly this past year ... but when it came time to pay a bill for it all, AB balked.

Ruiz said Brown owed him $10K, but he couldn't get the cash from the football player -- even after talking with Brown's attorney.

So, Ruiz ended up going public with his claims that Brown had sought and obtained a fake vaccine card and then later submitted it to the NFL.

The league investigated the claims ... and said it found Brown did misrepresent his vaccine status, and then suspended him three games without pay, costing him over $100K in lost salary.

Ruiz tells us if Brown had just paid up, he probably would've stayed quiet.

"If he had just probably paid me, you know what? He probably would still be getting paid in the NFL right now," Ruiz said. "He'd probably be playing the games that he could be playing and none of this would have even happened."

As for Brown, he's claimed through his attorney, Sean Burstyn, that he is vaccinated ... although the NFL says Brown will not appeal his suspension.

Babes In Big Sweaters Guess Who!

Some of Hollywood's hottest -- including Halle Bailey, Jasmine Tookes, and Bella Thorne -- are snuggling up with their warmest wool in order to avoid frostbite this winter season ... but a slight breeze won't be a good enough reason to stop these cozy celebrities from showing off some skin!

Bundle up while you scroll through this gallery of babes in big sweaters and see if you can guess the snug star among the ladies in this close-knit crew that have shared these sexy selfies!

They are guaranteed to warm you up ... no matter how cool you think you are.

Master P Judge, Declare Me Single!!!

Master P says he’s been separated from his estranged wife for over a decade and he's ready to start a new chapter ... so he wants the judge to step in and declare him single.

In new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Master P says there's no reason he and his ex, Sonya Miller, should remain married any longer ... so he's asking the court to restore their single status ASAP.

Master P points out Sonya filed for divorce way back in 2013 after they separated in 2010, and he says they settled all their issues in 2016 and reached an agreement, but claims the paperwork was never submitted to the court.

So, to move things along, P has now filed legal docs requesting a bifurcation of his divorce ... legal speak for both parties getting single status now, and handling the rest of the divorce issues later.

It looks like Master P thinks the divorce has dragged on long enough and wants to move towards wrapping it all up at this point.

Dana White I'm 100% COVID Free 'Thank You, Dr. Joe Rogan!'

THANKS, DR. JOE!
TMZSports.com

Great news! UFC president Dana White is officially COVID-19 free ... telling TMZ Sports he tested negative for the virus, and he's crediting Joe Rogan's suggested treatment plan of monoclonal antibodies, NAD drip, vitamins, and Ivermectin for the swift recovery.

"I feel incredible! Today is day 5 since testing positive for COVID, and [Friday at 9 AM], I tested negative for COVID. Thank you, Dr. Joe Rogan!"

Dana tested positive for the virus after a Thanksgiving day family gathering ... and immediately contacted the JRE host for advice.

Of course, Rogan beat the virus in a matter of days ... but it wasn't without controversy.

He (also) took Ivermectin ... a drug that some media outlets incorrectly classified as livestock medication (there are animal and human versions of the drug).

SEPTEMBER 2021
"I FEEL F**KING GOOD"

But, Dana -- who is fully vaccinated -- says Joe is very well-informed ... and most importantly, his plan works.

"Joe Rogan is a brilliant guy and he talks to the most brilliant people out there. He studies, he does his homework on all this stuff, and it's a fact that this works."

And, work it did -- the UFC honcho tells us ... "Monday I did what Rogan told me to do. Tuesday I had my taste and smell back."

White says if you think his case was a fluke ... the treatment also worked on his wife, daughter, and 80-year-old mother-in-law!

FIGHTS YOU WON'T FORGET
TMZSports.com

We didn't only talk about viruses ... we also chopped it up about UFC 269 -- which is only a week away (Dec. 11).

Lightweight champ Charles Oliveira is fighting Dustin Poirier ... the man many believe is actually the best in the division.

Amanda Nunes is also fighting Julianna Pena (the "Venezuelan Vixen" told us "Lioness" isn't taking her seriously). "Suga" Sean O'Malley, Cody Garbrandt, and Geoff Neal are also on the card.

We asked Dana which fight he was looking forward to -- outside of the marquee matchups at the top of the card -- and he told us he expects a lot of violence when Josh Emmett and Dan Ige do battle on the prelims.

We also talked to White about Nate Diaz and Khamzat Chimaev ... and he told us he's working on booking the 4-0 fighter an opponent now that Diaz shot down the fight.

NOT GOOD ENOUGH
TMZSports.com

If you missed it, earlier this week the superstar from Stockton told us he wouldn't fight "Borz" because he was a rookie who wasn't on Diaz's level.

Does Dana buy the explanation?? Check out the clip!

Jordan Belfort Wolf of Art Street ... Buys From 10-Yr-Old Prodigy!!!

Jordan Belfort is the proud new owner of a piece of art history, because he bought it from the youngest person ever to have a booth at "Art Miami."

The "Wolf of Wall Street" dropped a fat stack on some artwork from rising artist Andres Valencia -- the 10-year-old responsible for a 29" x 11" work he's entitled, "King and Queen."

Jordan tells TMZ ... he paid $8,500 for the piece after being blown away by Andres' talent. He also says Andres sketched him something on the spot, a work Belfort describes as "shockingly interesting."

It's no wonder Andres is the youngest artist ever to have his work on display at the famous "Art Miami" gallery. Jordan says when looking at Andres' work he asked himself, "What on God's Earth is this kid seeing when he picks up his instrument to draw and paint?"

Art pieces are some of the hottest investments right now ... and Jordan says Andres' eye is "obviously something very different than the rest of us."

Channing Tatum also stopped by Andres' booth this week during Art Basel ... posing in front of his works the night before the Wolf swooped in to scoop some up.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

We're told Andrew is donating part of the proceeds he earns at "Art Miami" to the Perry J. Cohen Foundation ... which is devoted to advancing kids in the arts, entrepreneurship, boat safety and environmental preservation and education.

Old news is old news!
Be First!

Get TMZ breaking news sent right to your browser!