Vanessa Bryant Arrives In Court ... Set To Testify In Kobe Crash Photos Trial

Vanessa Bryant has just arrived at court in Los Angeles ... looking confident as she gets set to testify in her case against L.A. County officials over Kobe Bryant crash photos.

Vanessa was wearing a black dress with a black coat -- and her eyes were covered in dark sunglasses. She was seen smiling as she entered the courthouse, while a gold "Mama" piece of jewelry dangled from her neck.

It's expected to be a big -- and emotional -- day for Vanessa in the case ... as it's anticipated she'll speak about her memories of the horrifying January 2020 helicopter crash that killed her husband, her daughter, and seven others.

Vanessa is slated to address the courtroom in just a few minutes.

As we reported, the 40-year-old is suing L.A. County officials after learning deputies had taken and shared graphic photos from the wreckage scene.

Vanessa claims the officials, and their actions, caused her severe emotional distress. She's suing for unspecified damages, including punitive damages.

Alec Baldwin I Was Afraid Trump Supporters Would Kill Me ... After Rust Shooting

TARGETED BY TRUMP
CNN

Alec Baldwin says Donald Trump incited his January 6th mob to murder him ... by falsely claiming the actor intentionally fired the shot that killed the cinematographer on the "Rust" set.

Baldwin told CNN Trump's comment -- that "He [Baldwin] probably shot her [Halyna Hutchins] on purpose" was itself a trigger for his mob to put a target on his head.

As Baldwin put it, "Here was Trump who instructed people to commit acts of violence and he was pointing the finger at me and saying I was responsible for the death."

Baldwin had lots to say ... CNN says the interview lasted 2 hours, although only a small portion has been aired. He reportedly said the stress from the shooting has "taken years off my life," adding, "If I didn't have my wife, I don't know where I would be right now ... If I didn't have her, I probably would have quit, retired, gone off, you know sold everything I owned, got a house in the middle of nowhere and just you know did find something else to do, sell real estate."

Baldwin also says he hired a P.I. and got recon that he almost certainly would not be prosecuted, nor does he think anyone else will be as well. He does, however, lay the blame squarely at the feet of Chief Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and Assistant Director Dave Halls, for allowing him to handle a gun with live ammo. Baldwin didn't know the gun was loaded with a live round and says it was their responsibility to check it.

Halls' lawyer says Baldwin is trying to deflect blame, saying "Baldwin is pointing the finger at others because the evidence is pointing at him."

THE FBI WEIGHS IN

As we reported, Baldwin has maintained he didn't pull the trigger, but the FBI reportedly begs to differ, saying the gun couldn't discharge a bullet without pulling the trigger.

Anne Heche Salon Owner She Visited Before Crash Feels Guilt, Anger

Richard Glass may have been the last person to see Anne Heche before she careened into a house in her car ... and he's riddled with guilt because he didn't save her -- he's also furious at people on social media who are blaming him.

"I'M NOT THAT PERSON"
TMZ.com

Richard, who owns Glass Hair in Venice, tells TMZ he can't believe people think he's the one who supplied Anne with cocaine and fentanyl ... drugs that were present in her system after the crash. Richard says he's never done drugs, and the folks accusing him are just hateful.

He also thinks a higher power may have sent Anne to his salon so he could somehow save her from death. He's clearly beating himself up for something over which he had no control, but he feels it so in his mind it's real.

It's an emotional conversation ... Richard thinks he might need therapy to make things right again.

MLB Star Marcell Ozuna Arrested For DUI ... In Georgia

UPDATE

7:48 AM PT -- A rep for Norcross PD tells TMZ Sports ... Ozuna was speeding and failing to stay in one lane before he was arrested. His driving was described as "unsafe" and "improper."

UPDATE

An officer on routine patrol pulled Ozuna over and conducted field sobriety tests ... and arrested him for DUI, the rep said.

UPDATE

The results of the breathalyzer and blood tests have not yet been released.

Atlanta Braves slugger Marcell Ozuna is in trouble with the law yet again ... TMZ Sports has confirmed the 31-year-old was arrested on Friday morning.

Records show Ozuna was booked into Gwinnett County Jail at 4:39 AM, and bonded out a short time later.

He was booked on charges of DUI and failure to maintain lane. No further details surrounding the incident were released.

The Braves won a huge game over the Mets in Atlanta on Thursday night -- but Ozuna did not play in the contest.

This is the second time Ozuna has been arrested in the last 15 months -- he was previously taken into custody in May 2021 after he was accused of roughing up his wife in an incident in Sandy Springs, GA.

Ozuna -- who agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion program to close out the case a few months after the incident -- was suspended 20 games by the MLB over it all.

He later said before this season began that he apologized to his teammates, adding, "I made a mistake."

Ozuna has played in 107 games for the Braves this season ... batting .214 with 20 home runs.

Originally Published -- 7:36 AM PT

Frank Grillo L.A. Crime is a Real Problem ... My Boxing Trainer Was Victim of Senseless Murder

Actor Frank Grillo is speaking out about the senseless murder of his beloved boxing trainer ... and he's not pulling punches when it comes to what he views as L.A.'s crime problem.

OUT OF CONTROL
NBC 4

Grillo, who played Crossbones in Marvel's 'Captain America' films, was visibly upset as he spoke about the death of Azuma Bennett during an interview at Fortune Boxing Gym in Hollywood on Thursday.

"He made everybody feel good about training," Grillo told KNBC. "I don't know what's happened to Los Angeles that a beautiful guy like this gets shot and killed over nothing."

Police say Bennett died en route to the hospital after he was struck by at least 8 bullets outside a marijuana dispensary in Windsor Hills last Friday. Detectives are still searching for the shooter, and there's not yet a motive.

Bennett was a centerpiece at Fortune Gym with a roster of celeb clients, including Grillo, UFC fighter Jason "Mayhem" Miller and musicians Kiana Ledé and Eddie Benjamin.

The staff at Fortune Gym released a statement in Bennett's honor, "Azuma was our family. One of the best of the best. We are all so broken."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money to help Bennett's family.

Trapboy Freddy Busted On Weapons Charges ... Feds Seize His Pet Tiger Cub!!!

Dallas rapper Trapboy Freddy was arrested by cops for a weapons charge ... but it might've been a good idea for officers to bring a zookeeper along, too.

Officials say they discovered a tiger cub Wednesday caged inside Freddy's Oak Cliff house. Officials seized the cat, but at this time, he hasn't been charged with anything in relation to having the animal.

The Dallas rapper was charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and is due to appear in court on Friday.

As for the tiger, it was transported it to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

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It wasn't exactly a secret that Freddy kept a tiger ... the rapper stunted in a Burberry fit with the cub on Instagram a couple of months ago.

'Love is Blind ' Shake Chatterjee Producers Begged Me To Come Back ... I Told Them To Kick Rocks!!!

EXPLOITIVE EXPERIENCE
TMZ.com

"Love Is Blind" star Shake Chatterjee tells us he will NOT be on the 'After the Alter' episode ... blasting the reality show as a failed experiment seeking to exploit contestants.

Shake tells TMZ ... he's pissed at how he was portrayed on the hit Netflix reality dating series, and he told producers he wanted nothing to do with the franchise, despite being begged to come back for one last hurrah.

The experience clearly left a bad taste in Shake's mouth ... and he's ripping the hosts, Nick and Vanessa Lachey, for not staying neutral in his case, questioning their motives and explaining why he passed on participating in the upcoming "Love Is Blind: After the Alter."

In "Love Is Blind," contestants date in pods, conversing through speakers while unable to see their date. In order to meet in person, two contestants must first get engaged.

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Shake lets it all out ... telling us he sees the Netflix series as a "failed experiment" primed for a downfall. The guy says it's not how people should find love, and he practices what he preaches, because he met his girlfriend, Emily in real life. They now live together in Miami and are recording season 2 of the "Life is Blurry Podcast" together as co-hosts.

KEEPIN' QUIET
TMZ.com

He also shared his thoughts on Kyle Abrams and his ex-Deepti Vempati getting together after the show... doesn't sound like he is buying it.

Jason Oppenheim 'Selling Sunset' Just Fine Without Christine Quinn!!!

BEST SEASON SO FAR
TMZ.com

Jason Oppenheim is NOT stressing about Christine Quinn leaving "Selling Sunset" ... he says there are no hard feelings and has "zero concerns" about how her exit will affect the show.

We got Jason leaving Equinox Thursday and he was chill about Christine's departure ... at least on the surface.

Jason says he has no doubt that the current cast members will hold it down for season 6 and 7 ... but he was a little cagey about who's gonna stir the pot now that the villain has left the building.

He slyly explained there are 2 new women on 6 and 7, but wouldn't characterize them as villains ... only that they created an "interesting dynamic." He says there's a natural drama that evolved and he insists these are the best seasons of the run.

TMZ broke the story ... Christine and the producers came to a mutual decision that she'd leave the show. As we reported, she's signed with IMG Models.

Christine ruffled lots of feathers prior to her exit. She skipped the show's reunion after claiming she had COVID ... that turned out to be super sketchy, because she was seen shooting a commercial for a video game around the same time.

Jason insists there's no beef between him and Christine and he's even sent her a few texts to compliment her on all her fashion projects.

Jason's good at selling "Selling Sunset" ... for sure!

Ex-Cleveland GM Michael Lombardi Hey, Browns ... Get Jimmy G & 'Save Your Season!!!'

ACTIONS OVER WORDS
TMZSports.com

Deshaun Watson out ... Jimmy Garoppolo in?!

If Michael Lombardi was still the general manager in Cleveland ... he tells TMZ Sports that's exactly the move he'd make following Watson's newly announced 11-game suspension.

Lombardi, who was the GM in Berea, Ohio for one season back in 2013, said because of the new length of Watson's ban ... he isn't sure the QB will be ready for game action for at least a few weeks after his suspension concludes.

So, he tells us his solution to the problem is simple -- go trade for Jimmy G.

"I know this is a little bit of a disruption," Lombardi said, "but you can go get Garoppolo and save your season."

Browns execs say the move isn't happening -- they're content to have Jacoby Brissett fill in for Watson for the next few months -- but Lombardi clearly believes that's a mistake.

"The offense being run in Cleveland is the same terminology as the offense in San Francisco," Lombardi said. "Garoppolo could walk into Cleveland tomorrow, and within about a week he would be able to execute their offense."

With Garoppolo set to become a free agent at the end of the year -- Lombardi described the move as a "no-lose situation."

"Look," he said, "this notion that Deshaun is just going to come back in Week 12 and all of the sudden magically score, throw four touchdown passes and dominate the NFL, that's unrealistic. That's not even remotely accurate."

Season starts in just a couple weeks ... could a trade actually go down? Stay tuned.

J Lo & Ben Low Key Strollin' Before Weekend Wedding Bash!!!

It's party time for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez -- the newlyweds just touched down in Georgia -- and are taking in the sights and sounds before their weekend bash.

Ben and Jen were spotted in Savannah Thursday hitting local shops and walking with at least one of their kids ... a pretty low-key stroll considering what's still to come.

As we told you, the couple is welcoming their closest friends and family members to a celebration this weekend at Ben's estate he owns in the coastal town of Riceboro, Georgia. The property is close to 100 acres, with several homes on site, so there's plenty of space for festivities.

TMZ broke the story, the estate was supposed to serve as the location for Ben and Jen's wedding 20 years ago when they were first engaged ... so the party this weekend will serve as a full-circle moment.

dressed to the nines!!!
onthejlo

It's currently unclear which of the couple's A-list friends will be there, you gotta imagine Matt Damon will attend, but it's sure to be quite the event.

CELEBRATING IN STYLE

Of course, Ben and Jen got hitched in a small ceremony at a chapel in Vegas back in July -- with only their kids in attendance -- so it's time to let loose and do it big this weekend.

Fat Joe Announces One-Man Show To Tell Life Story, With Special Intro From Dave Chappelle!!!

Fat Joe is taking his legendary storytelling skills to the theatrical stage this fall … via a one-man show à la the same kind Mike Tyson did a couple of years ago!!!

And to sweeten the pot, the show will feature a special introduction from his good friend Dave Chappelle to kick things off!!!

Roc Nation and Magic Lemonade will go half on the co-production duties and filmmaker emeritus Chris Robinson will direct the entire shindig.

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Joe Crack tells TMZ Hip Hop, he’s “not holding back” on the keeping it real moments … which should range from topics like him getting kidnapped in Africa, recording with the late, great Big Pun, and serving a jail sentence for tax evasion back in 2013.

“The world will be getting Fat Joe at his most authentic, vulnerable, and comedic self on that stage,” Joe continued. "I’ve always taken pride in my storytelling, but we’re about to take it to the next level. I’m grateful to Dave Chappelle, Roc Nation and Magic Lemonade for their support in sharing my story and helping make this one-man show the biggest event ever.”

We’re also told a crop of Joe’s family, friends and closet collaborators will also supply personal interviews for the event ... making the affair that much more intimate.

And naturally, his multiplatinum rap catalog will play an integral role in the presentation.

Joe is arguably one of hip hop’s greatest storytellers on and off the mic … and his one-man show should coincide with the release of his memoir, “The Book Of Jose” which drops on November 15.

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Today’s also his 52nd birthday! Eat the cake, Joe ... you earned it!!! 🎉

Jonny Drubel From 'Rich Kids Of Beverly Hills' 'Memba Him?!

American reality star Jonny Drubel was 24 years old when he was cast to be a part of "Rich Kids of Beverly Hills" -- E!'s hit reality show, first airing in 2014 and running for four seasons.

Johnny brought the bougie-ness and cruised down Rodeo Drive with some of television's flashiest stars including Morgan Stewart as the blonde blogger searching for career success, Dorothy Wang as the daughter of a billionaire, Brendan Fitzpatrick as the Beverly Hills real estate agent, and EJ Johnson as the son of Magic Johnson, trying to make his own name for himself.

Guess what he looks like today!

818 Tequila Kim, Kylie, Orlando & A-Listers Meet ... On The Eve Of 8/18

It's no surprise Kendall Jenner's 818 Tequila has some big-name support ... and many of those names all gathered under one roof to talk biz.

RUNNIN' TO THE ROLLS
BACKGRID

The meeting went down in Beverly Hills Wednesday, which was the eve of 8/18. While many of those in attendance included Kendall's relatives -- Kim, Kylie, Khloe, Kris, and Corey Gamble -- some celebs outside the Kardashian family showed up too.

James Corden, Orlando Bloom, and jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer were all there to talk tequila -- you can see OB getting chatty with Kim.

Interestingly enough, Orlando was recently shooting a movie with Kim's ex, Pete Davidson, in Australia.

THE ENTERTAINMENT HAS ARRIVED
BACKGRID

The group was also treated to some entertainment, in the form of a dude on a jetpack, who showed off his new tech ... though it likely doesn't beat flying private.

Mob Boss Whitey Bulger 3 Men Indicted Over Prison Killing

Three men have been charged in connection with the killing of James "Whitey" Bulger, one of America's most notorious mobsters, nearly 4 years after he was beaten to death in federal prison.

The U.S. Attorney's office charged Fotios "Freddy" Geas, Paul "Pauly" J. DeCologero, and Sean McKinnon with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder Thursday in connection with Bulger's killing back in 2018 at the U.S. Penitentiary Hazleton in Bruceton Mills, WV.

OCTOBER 2018
DISPATCH AUDIO

Geas and DeCologero are accused of hitting Bulger multiple times in the head, causing his death -- they've also been charged with aiding and abetting first-degree murder and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

McKinnon faces a separate charge for making false statements to a federal agent.

As we reported, Bulger was beaten with a lock in a sock, away from security cameras, until he was unconscious -- the alleged perps also attempted to gouge out his eyes with some type of shiv, but were unsuccessful.

Bulger was serving out his life sentence after being convicted in 2013 for a slew of crimes when he died at 89.

Kobe Bryant Photo Trial Supervisor Called Pics 'Plutonium,' Urged Deletion ... LACFD Official Testifies

LA County Fire Dept. supervisors knew the holding of graphic Kobe Bryant crash pictures could be problematic for them ... according to an LACFD official, who testified on Thursday that one of his bosses referred to the photos as "plutonium," while urging everyone to delete them.

Sky Cornell, who worked in the LACFD for public information officer Anthony Joseph "Tony" Imbrenda at the time of the January 2020 crash, made the revelation while on the stand in court.

Cornell said Imbrenda had received graphic photos from just after the wreck, and he had later seen the pics on the supervisor's phone while at an awards ceremony a couple weeks after the tragedy.

Cornell, though, said when it became public that officials had been in possession of the photos and had been sharing them, his superiors told him and others to get rid of them ASAP.

In his testimony, Cornell said one official sent an email saying, "just a reminder folks, there are no secrets! One way or another people get exposed."

Cornell added in the testimony that his boss, Imbrenda, told him, "that stuff is plutonium. If you have any, you should get rid of them."

Cornell was also asked about the awards ceremony where Imbrenda was accused of showing pictures to others ... and he admitted in court that that setting wasn't appropriate.

Meanwhile, Arlin Kahan, another LACFD official, also testified during trial proceedings on Thursday -- and informed the courtroom that he was the one who initially took photos at the crash scene and sent them to Imbrenda. Kahan alleged his objective was not to take pics of human remains -- but, rather, just document the scene. He claimed the practice was useful earlier on in his career during a wildfire case, and he had intended to delete them once the investigation was closed.

As we reported, Vanessa Bryant is suing LA County officials -- claiming they caused her severe emotional distress by taking personal pics of the bodies of Kobe and Gianna at the L.A. crash scene.

THE EMOTIONAL TRIAL BEGINS

The trial is expected to continue on Friday.

R. Kelly Trial Alleged Victim Claims They Had Sex When She Was 15

R. Kelly's former goddaughter says the singer had sex with her hundreds of times before she turned 18 years old ... testifying she was only 15 when they first had sexual intercourse.

The disgraced singer's alleged victim took the stand Thursday in Kelly's federal trial in Chicago, telling the jury she had sex with Kelly over and over as a minor because she was too intimidated to say no.

The woman, who is now 37, says she asked Kelly to be her godfather back in the late 1990s when she was only 13 ... and she testified things between them quickly turned sexual.

Kelly's alleged victim told the jury he first touched her breasts when she was about 14, doing so inside a Chicago recording studio ... and claims things escalated to intercourse when she was 15 and he was about twice her age.

The woman, known only by the pseudonym Jane, testified she had sex with Kelly "innumerable times" before her 18th birthday ... claiming the encounters took place at Kelly's home, recording studio, tour bus and hotel rooms.

COMING FULL CIRCLE

Asked why she kept having sex with Kelly, Jane told the jury she viewed him as a figure of authority, and didn't know how to respond to his requests. She says she didn't know how to say "no" to Kelly and went along with the sex for so long it started feeling like a normal thing.

Jane testified she and Kelly would also have sex with other teenage girls he had her recruit.

She also testified Kelly recorded some of their sexual encounters, when she was only 14.

Jane's testimony against Kelly is huge ... she and her parents for years denied she had an inappropriate relationship with Kelly, and she was NOT called to testify at his 2008 trial, even though prosecutors claimed she was the girl on the video.

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