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Nicki Minaj Troubled New BF is Blast From Her Romantic Past

12/11/2018 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Nicki Minaj has a long history with her new boyfriend, because she first fell for him when she was a teenager -- and she feels he's changed since his checkered past. 

Sources close to Nicki tell TMZ ... her first relationship with Kenneth Petty happened when she was a 16-year-old living in Queens, and she calls him one of her first loves. As they say, what's old is new again ... she's been showing him off in pics from a romantic getaway for her 36th birthday.  

We're told Nicki understands Kenneth has a troubled past -- he's a registered sex offender convicted of attempted rape -- but she's confident he's matured since his time in NY state prison in the late 1990s. Nicki believes in second chances and has faith he'll be good to her.

As we reported ... Petty was convicted of first-degree attempted rape in April 1995, when he and his victim were both 16. Sources close to Nicki say the full context of the crime is Kenneth was dating the victim -- and her mother filed the charges because she didn't approve of him. 

Our sources say Nicki and Kenneth still have great chemistry, despite all the years between their relationships. We're told she was very stressed out before they got back together, but she's much happier since rekindling their romance.

We're told Kenneth's been treating her like a queen, and even planned the birthday trip. We're told Nicki's friends haven't seen her this happy with anyone in years.

Dennis Rodman I Fell Off the Wagon ... But I'm Fighting to Stay Sober

12/11/2018 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The sober streak is over for Dennis Rodman -- the NBA star admits he fell off the wagon and had started drinking again ... but now says he's still focused on cutting booze out of his life. 

Rodman entered rehab after a DUI arrest back in January -- and has openly talked about the difficulties of going sober. 

He slipped up in the past 2 weeks and hit the bar scene in Newport Beach, CA -- but tells TMZ Sports it was a mistake and he's now going back to AA meetings in the hopes of staying sober. 

Rodman says he had stopped going to meetings because they got boring -- hey, at least he's honest. 

But, after he started drinking again, Rodman reached out to his agent, Darren Prince (who's also battled substance abuse) and his AA sponsor and asked them for help. 

Rodman says he was ultimately convinced to go back to the meetings and already feels like he's making progress. 

"It's a long process and it's gonna take time to get over the hump," Rodman says. 

Rodman has been to rehab before -- once in 2014 ... and he was also featured on "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" back in 2010.

We spoke with Rodman's agent, Darren Prince, who tells us, "Dennis is the king of rebounds and he'll rebound from this too."

Kodak Black Pops the Question with Ring Pop ... And She Says Yes!!!

12/11/2018 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Kodak Black got down on one knee and gave a lucky woman a ring ... though it's unclear if he's engaged. Let us explain.

It went down Sunday night at Santa's Enchanted Forest in Miami. The 21-year-old rapper and the chick, Yung Miami from Miami-based rap duo City Girls, were near a concession stand when, out of nowhere, he kneeled ... presumably to ask her to marry him.

You see the crowd congratulate the couple after he puts what appears to be a purple Ring Pop on her digit. Yeah, a candy ring. Another giveaway it's a fake proposal ... Kodak places the ring on Miami's right hand.

Whatever the case ... you know Kodak's really into her. 

BTW ... check out Kodak's outfit. Pretty shweet.

Safaree Samuels Over the Meek Beef ... Dude Has Matured

12/11/2018 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

A lot has happened to Meek Mill since he allegedly sent goons to jump Safaree Samuels more than a year ago -- and that's exactly why Safaree says it's all water under the bridge.

Our Raquel Harper chopped it up with Nicki Minaj's ex about her other ex, Meek, whom Safaree accused of orchestrating the would-be jumping that went down during the BET Awards last summer ... which Meek, of course, denied

Welp, Safaree's changed his tune since then ... saying he's seen just how much Meek's been through and how much he's grown as a person since walking out of prison. He even tells Raq they were recently in the same vicinity and things were copacetic. 

Funny how petty stuff like ex-girlfriends and verbal jabs fall to the wayside when s**t gets real. Also ... time sure does fly, right? 

Catch Safaree's full interview on the newest episode of "Raq Rants" which airs Tuesday on BET at 11 PM. On the West Coast, if you have Dish or Direct TV, it's on at 8 PM.

Guess Who This Giggling Guy Turned Into!

12/11/2018 12:01 AM PST

Before this happy human was entertaining audiences with his out-of-this-world acting, he was just another chuckling child growing up in Virginia, MN. Can you guess who he is?

Lil Xan Checked Out of Rehab for a Day To Lock Down New House

12/10/2018 2:32 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Lil Xan briefly left his rehab facility to prepare for his post-rehab living arrangements ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the rapper tell us ... Lil Xan left rehab Saturday in order to go sign papers for a new house he bought in his hometown of Redlands, CA. The new crib is where he'll set up shop once he's completed in-patient treatment. We're told he'll have round-the-clock staff monitoring him to keep him on the straight and narrow. 

Xan wasn't allowed to fly solo for the house mission ... we're told a nurse from the rehab center accompanied him. After signing the house documents, he headed back to rehab on Sunday.

Remember, he just checked himself in last weekend to begin treatment, and our sources say he'll be there about another week. After that, he'll shift to outpatient treatment at home. We're told his new place has a studio, so he'll be able to work on new music. His album "Be Safe" -- inspired by his hero, Mac Miller, is set to drop next month. 

Xan had told us in mid-November he was immediately heading to rehab -- but he didn't begin until December. His camp says a scheduling mix-up with the facility caused the delay.

Ted Cruz Craps All Over The NFL ... Over Kneeling Protest Handling

12/10/2018 4:22 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Someone get Ted Cruz some Charmin ... 'cause the senator from Texas just took a big ol' dumparoo on the NFL over the way the league handled the national anthem demonstrations. 

Ted had touched down in D.C. when we asked if Congress should look into overseeing the way the league handled investigations ... in the wake of the Kareem Hunt situation. 

But, Cruz pivoted during the conversation and brought up the national anthem demonstrations -- and important to note, he's been strongly AGAINST players like Colin Kaepernick who took a knee. 

"I think it has been amazing watching the NFL do unprecedented damage to their brand and the way they handled the anthem protest," Cruz said. 

"I think was spectacularly harmful to professional football."

So, we asked if Congress should have stepped in and gotten involved (outside of President Trump's public critiques) ... to which Cruz replied, "At the end of the day, I trust the fans to exercise the appropriate check."

Trump had called for the league to fire players who repeatedly took a knee. Instead, the league has imposed no penalty for kneelers. 

U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge Trump Didn't Pay Stormy to Keep Affair from Melania ... She Knew His Game

12/10/2018 3:47 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

President Trump didn't fork over hush money to Stormy Daniels to keep their sexual liaison from his wife, because Melania knows his "history" with women ... so says U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge.

The Ohio congresswoman scoffed at the notion Trump might argue his motivation for the Stormy pact was saving his marriage. As for whether it was a cover-up for election purposes ... Fudge says it's not definitive one way or the other.   

For the record ... Trump has denied all of the affairs alleged by women since he was elected.

Our camera guy misspoke and said a court of law will ultimately decide whether Trump broke the law ... that decision, at least for now, rests with Congress. 

Meghan Markle Dad Did Tell-All to Clear His Own Name ... Not to Bash Her

12/10/2018 3:06 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Meghan Markle's dad is catching flak for bringing up his daughter in a new interview -- but the tell-all was aimed at clearing his name, and not tarnishing hers ... TMZ has learned.

Friends of Thomas Markle tell us the interview he did with Daily Mail over the weekend was set up for the purpose of disproving false rumors he faked a heart attack earlier this year ... right before Meghan and Prince Harry got hitched.

Thomas revealed medical receipts for his heart surgery. As we first reported, he got 3 stents implanted. Our sources say Thomas keeps tabs on what people say about him on the Internet, and was offended to read haters claiming he faked the medical emergency.

Of course, while defending himself ... Thomas described Meghan as "demanding but never rude." He was attempting to squash British rumors about his daughter being difficult to deal with and feuding with Kate Middleton.

We're told he didn't intend to bash Meghan, and he doesn't want to say anything that could harm her. In fact, we're told that's why he's been under the radar for several months. 

In other news...

Steve Harvey Explains Why He Changed His Iconic Look: 'Old Is The Goal'

We are totally into it! Click to see his hot new look!

SEE MORE »

Kevin Hart Comedy Tour Diabetic Woman Sues Venue ... I Need My Cell Phone to Check Blood Sugar!!!

12/10/2018 1:55 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Kevin Hart has had his share of problems -- although he dodged a bullet in this one. One of the venues on his comedy tour is being sued by a diabetic woman who claims she got kicked out of his show because she dared to use her cell phone to check her blood sugar.

Tonya Torosian claims she was at the Viejas Arena in San Diego last July when she began to feel ill even before the show began. She suspected the cause was low blood sugar, so she opened up a cell phone app which monitors blood sugar levels.

The venue has signs posted prohibiting the use of cell phones, but this she says was a medical necessity. Torosian says she was confronted by security guards and she tried explaining she was a diabetic who needed to monitor her blood sugar, but that fell on deaf ears.

She claims she and her wife were then escorted to a medical tent, where she again tried to explain why she was using her phone. Torosian says they were then ejected from the venue and never got a refund.

Torosian says it's a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act to have an unwavering policy prohibiting cell phone use when there's a medical necessity. 

She's suing Live Nation -- which operates the venue -- and wants damages and an order forcing the employees to make accommodations. Again, Kevin is not a defendant.

Courtney Love Files Restraining Order against Sam Lutfi

12/10/2018 1:36 PM PST
Exclusive Details

Courtney Love has broken in a big way with her ex-manager, Sam Lutfi, and she's just filed to get a restraining order because she says he's harassing her and her family unrelentingly.

We've learned Courtney has just filed legal docs saying Lutfi has been demanding money from her for services he says he rendered ... and he is now so pissed off he's incessantly harassing her with emails, texts and phone calls.

Courtney also wants the judge to prohibit Lutfi from harassing her daughter Frances Bean and Courtney's sister.

The judge has yet to rule.

BTW ... both Courtney and Sam are being sued by Frances Bean Cobain's ex-husband, Isaiah Silva, for allegedly orchestrating a break-in at his house and trying to steal Kurt Cobain's famous 'MTV Unplugged' guitar ... which is in Isaiah's possession

Kelly Bensimon 50 Reasons Why ... I'm Slaying in a Swimsuit!!!

12/10/2018 2:10 PM PST

Kelly Bensimon is one smoking hot mom -- the former model and 'Real Housewives of New York' star hit the beach to prove her hotness is still on point.

Seriously, 50-year-old Kelly went peak MILF when she slipped her rockin' bod into a couple of sexy swimsuits from Melissa Odabash and turned up the heat for a Miami photo shoot. 

Check out the gallery ... Kelly wasn't afraid to get down in the sand and the surf. She also did her best "Baywatch" from a lifeguard tower.

If Harry Dubin's looking at these pics ... he's gotta be pissed Kelly's not on his lengthy list of 'RHONY' hookups. Sorry, bro. 

The only person NOT hyped about this is Father Time.

Seriously, Kelly's essentially flipping him off!

Julia Roberts Her 'Holes' Keep Getting Better ... Major Headline Typo!!!

12/10/2018 1:02 PM PST

By now, Julia Roberts is totally used to media outlets sucking up to her, but an Upstate NY newspaper took it to the next level -- inadvertently -- with a headline praising her holes.

Seriously ... this is NOT photoshopped.

The Post-Journal in Jamestown, NY topped a Saturday article about Julia and her Amazon show, "Homecoming," with ... "Julia Roberts Finds Life And Her Holes Get Better With Age."

Awesome news for Julia, right?

Well, the paper copped to making a huge spelling error. It published a correction saying it was supposed to say her "Roles" are what's getting better.

Woulda been pretty awesome, though, if Julia actually said that in the interview! Makes ya wonder how they fact-checked that original headline, right?

In any event, doesn't seem like Julia's too bent outta shape about the error. One thing we know for sure is ... what Viv would have to say about all this.

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