Meghan Markle Duchess of Subtle ... Covertly Used Royal IG to Get Political

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Meghan Markle's an expert at pushing the envelope when it comes to what's politically acceptable to the Palace, and she proved it with some covert statements on her Royal IG with Prince Harry.

During her time as a Senior Royal, the Duchess of Sussex used the only social media she's allowed to have to make her political opinions known, but she did it subtly, knowing she was wading into dangerous waters with the Crown ... sources close to Meghan tell TMZ.

If you don't know ... Queen Elizabeth and her family are supposed to refrain from expressing political opinions publicly, but we're told Meghan felt it was important to get out messages reflecting her beliefs and values.

Our Meghan sources say she carefully crafted IG posts to avoid overtly saying what she was thinking or supporting, but the writing was on the wall ... or in the photos.

For example, when her friend and women's rights activist, Loujain al-Hathloul, was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia ... Markle knew she couldn't come out and condemn a foreign government.

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Instead, Meghan showed subtle solidarity by sharing a photo of herself with Loujain as part of a bigger post about One Young World ... a UK-based, not-for-profit organization supporting "global youth ambassadors."

That same post included a photo of Markle sitting next to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, shortly after he won re-election -- a low-key shout-out of support for her friend.

Our sources say, for the most part, she knew how to walk up to the line without crossing it, which helped her dodge any issues with royal higher-ups. Call it effective self-censorship.

Delonte West Ex-NBA Player Beaten In Streets ... Disturbing Video

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6:10 AM PT -- TMZ Sports has spoken with Delonte's former agent, Aaron Goodwin, who confirms the person in the video is in fact Delonte West.

Goodwin tells us West is currently recovering from the attack with family members but desperately needs medical attention.

Goodwin says West HAS a support system around him but his close friends and family members need more help to keep Delonte safe and out of trouble.

We're told the NBA has and is offering to support West and his family. But, the reality is, they can only do so much.

Delonte West looks to be in need of serious help.

Check out these disturbing videos appearing to show the former NBA player getting beaten up in the streets of D.C.

It's super sad ... Delonte is apparently saying someone came at him with a gun while he was walking down the road. He then starts ranting and keeps saying "I don't give a f***" when pressed for more details about what went down.

In another video circulating social media, someone who appears to be West is getting kicked and punched in the middle of a busy road. The man on the ground, presumably Delonte, is laying motionless as someone else roughs him up.

Unfortunately, we've seen similar sad episodes before involving Delonte. He's been seen begging for change in Maryland and looking disheveled in Texas.

As we've reported ... Delonte spent time in a medical facility back in 2016, and he's tried to mount a comeback to the NBA.

It's pretty heartbreaking to see Delonte now ... and folks are calling on the NBA to give one of their former stars some help.

Originally published -- 6:20 PM PT

Aaron Hernandez Odin Lloyd's Family Can't Heal ... After Netflix Documentary

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The new Aaron Hernandez documentary is making it near impossible for the family of Odin Lloyd -- the ex-NFL star's murder victim -- to recover because they were blindsided by the film.

Sources close to Lloyd's immediate fam tell TMZ ... they feel like old wounds were reopened this past week when Netflix dropped "Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez" ... which chronicled Aaron's life and murder case, starting in 2013.

We're told they largely tried to move on after Aaron was convicted, but now they feel the doc is dragging them back into a dark place and forcing them to relive painful memories.

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Our sources say they didn't sign off on 'Killer Inside' ... nor did they want to be involved in the production. We're told the family gets approached with offers to participate in Hernandez specials all the time -- but they always decline.

That being said, the Netflix doc uses enough old video of Odin's family talking, they think it looks like they actively participated. We're told the popularity of the film has sparked a new round of interest -- meaning, they're constantly getting unwanted attention again.

Even worse, we're told some people have gone to horrific lengths to voice their opinion about Odin's death -- with many messaging the family to defend Aaron, and insult their deceased relative.

One other thing ... our sources say the family was disheartened the doc used personal photos of Odin without their permission -- but they'd rather avoid a whole new legal battle. So, they're letting it slide.

Jenelle Evans Ex-Husband in Jail Again ... Busted for Drugs, Larceny

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Jenelle Evans' first husband is in a very familiar place -- a North Carolina jail -- and it could be an extended stay because he's facing serious felony charges.

Courtland Keith Rogers -- who was married to the former 'Teen Mom' star from 2012 to 2014 -- got arrested over the weekend in New Hanover County He's been booked on one count of felony larceny, and one count of felony possession of a schedule I drug ... which includes "highly addictive and mind-altering substances" such as heroin, morphine and mescaline. Cops haven't revealed what Rogers allegedly had.

Rogers is also facing a misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia and a schedule II drug. That's more like pain medications. According to sheriff's records, he's still in jail being held on a $15k bond.

We broke the story ... Jenelle's ex was arrested last July for a felony probation violation, in connection with his April 2018 bust on drug charges. Rogers was also arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman in August 2018.

LeBron James Cops Incredible Lion Pendant ... It's Lit (Literally)!!!

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THE LION KING

LeBron James will never be in the dark again ... 'cause the LA Lakers superstar just copped a SICK new diamond pendant -- and it LIGHTS UP!!!

TMZ Sports has learned ... Bron is the proud new owner of a "Lion Gatekeeper" pendant ... complete with 130 grams of 14k gold, encrusted with 35 carats of VS1 diamonds.

We're told LBJ hit up celeb jeweler Iceman Nick when he was in Houston to play the Rockets ... and the dude pulled out all the stops to come up with a pendant fit for a king.

Of course, LeBron's always been a fan of using lions in his brand ... and Nike once even had a "Heart of a Lion" campaign starring James.

Iceman Nick has a huge list of celeb clients -- from Errol Spence to Tyler Herro to Lonzo Ball, just to name a few.

Not only is it iced out, it's also fully functional -- the eyes of the lion light up and the door knocker moves too!!

LeBron's a big fan of jewelry and can always be spotted with some diamonds on him ... but the light-up piece is gonna change the whole game.

Guess Who This Blonde Boy Turned Into!

This blondie was born in the mean streets (kidding) of Santa Monica and grew up to be a real badass and action star. He actually didn't wanna be an actor at all but he got bitten by the acting bug in high school and the rest was history.

His first major big-screen role came in the 1985 classic "The Goonies" ... and he had several TV roles, but he'd ultimately shift back to the big screen where it took him YEARS to find success. He landed in "Grindhouse," written by Quentin Tarantino, but his big breaks came in "American Gangster," "No Country for Old Men" and "Milk."

Can you guess who he is?

Farrah Abraham Don't Sex Shame Me Over Racy Vid in Front of Daughter

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Sex Shamed
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Farrah Abraham is not letting Internet trolls control her parenting -- she's blowing off the haters who say she crossed a line with a new sexy video ... shot in front of her daughter.

We got the former 'Teen Mom' and "Backdoor Teen Mom" star leaving Cecconi's in WeHo Monday, and she teed off about the backlash over her yacht excursion. In case you missed it ... Farrah slipped into tiny red lingerie and pranced aboard the vessel while a guy played violin.

HOT MAMA

Online sleuths noticed Farrah's 10-year-old daughter, Sophia, was on the same boat recording Tik Toks ... while Mom was nearby shaking her barely-covered booty.

Joaquin Phoenix Visits Pigs En Route to Slaughterhouse ... After Winning SAG Award

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Joaquin Phoenix passed on the SAG Awards after-parties, and instead headed to a slaughterhouse ... where he comforted trucks full of pigs headed to their final demise.

Joaquin made the surprise appearance Sunday night not long after winning Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a leading role for "Joker." He made the drive from the Shrine Auditorium to the Farmer John Packing Co. ... less than 5 miles away in L.A.

BABIES NOT BACON
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There, Joaquin joined dozens of protesters who congregate there twice a week. They call their demonstrations pig vigils. They've been happening every Wednesday and Sunday night since at least 2017.

Reportedly, the trailers stop for 2 minutes -- with Farmer John's blessing -- so activists can comfort the pigs and give them water. More than 7,000 pigs are butchered every day inside Farmer John.

Kellyanne Conway MLK Wouldn't Want Trump Impeached MLK III Responds 'Nobody's Above the Law'

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WHAT WOULD MLK DO?
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3:30 PM PT -- Martin Luther King III just responded to Kellyanne invoking his father's name and he tells TMZ ... his father definitely would not wanna divide the country but adds he would NEVER stand in the way of reprimanding anyone for thinking they're above the law. He also gives a shout-out to the Parkland kids and applauds their valiant effort to reform gun control.

respect the law!
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Kellyanne Conway is here with a scorching hot take on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day ... she says MLK would take a hard stance against Donald Trump's impeachment.

Trump's aide was talking to reporters Monday in D.C. when she invoked Dr. King's name to illustrate her anger about the impeachment trial, which starts Tuesday in the Senate.

Kellyanne says the proceedings are tearing our country apart, and that's exactly the kind of divisiveness MLK Jr. opposed.

It seems a thin and shallow viewpoint ... considering the fact MLK fought and marched for the Civil Rights movement, even though it divided the country.

She added, Dr. King would not be down with the impeachment trial because he didn't envision having "Americans dragged through a process where the president is not going to be removed from office, is not being charged with bribery, extortion, high crimes or misdemeanors.”

Bottom line, for Kellyanne anyway, is Trump supports MLK's vision of unity -- therefore, if you love King ... you shouldn't support Trump's impeachment trial.

Like we said, hot take on ANY day, but especially on the man's holiday.

Originally published -- 2:58 PM PT

Aaron Hernandez Suicide Due to CTE, Not Sexuality ... Jose Baez Rips Netflix Doc

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Aaron Hernandez killed himself largely because he was suffering from CTE -- and NOT because he was agonizing over his sexuality ... so says his famous attorney.

Jose Baez -- who repped Aaron and helped him beat a double murder case -- tells TMZ ... the new documentary about his client implies Aaron was in the closet, and might have even taken his life because of that alleged secret.

That's just not the case, though, according to Baez ... who says Aaron's death was triggered by advanced CTE -- a brain disease the tight end had developed since his youth. Baez insists Aaron's sexual orientation played ZERO part in his fate.

WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS ILLEGAL
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You'll recall ... Baez was intent on getting Aaron's brain studied at Boston University, and even accused the Worcester Medical Examiner of holding onto it illegally. He also downplayed rumors his client had a love affair with a fellow inmate.

Sen. Susan Collins Needs MLK Inspo Heading into Trump Impeachment Trial!!!

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INSPIRIN' MOMENT
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U.S. Senator Susan Collins knows tough times are coming for her, the country, and possibly President Trump ... which is why today she's finding some solace at the MLK Memorial.

We got the 4-term senator from Maine on her way there Monday in Washington D.C., and it's clear she thinks every senator should do the same ahead of the Senate trial for Trump's impeachment ... which is set to kick off Tuesday.

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Collins says she wishes every senator would visit MLK's Memorial before performing their constitutional duty. She says she hopes her visit brings her strength and she's gonna need it.

The senator is in a unique position as one of just a handful of moderate Republicans. In fact, nearly 21 years ago, she broke party lines and voted to acquit President Bill Clinton.

Some Republicans are still furious with her for letting 42 off the hook. What's more, Collins is seeking re-election but the Senate trial puts her in a no-win situation -- a vote to acquit Trump means facing the democrats' wrath while a vote to convict Trump would trigger relentless attacks from Trump himself.

As Dr. King once said, "The time is always right to do what is right."

Attorney: Chandler Parsons Suffered Traumatic Brain Injury After Hit By Drunk Driver

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11:51 AM PT -- TMZ Sports has obtained a picture of Parsons' 2017 Rolls-Royce after the accident ... showing the luxury car's front completely smashed.

According to the accident report, the driver responsible for the crash reeked of booze and had a 7Up bottle filled with alcohol.

The report says the driver was "only able to answer one question coherently" and his eyes were glossy while at the scene.

Atlanta Hawks forward Chandler Parsons suffered several serious and permanent injuries after getting hit by a drunk driver last week ... and now his NBA future is in jeopardy, his attorney claims.

The 31-year-old was on his way home from practice around 2:00 PM on January 15 when a man -- who admitted to drinking and had alcohol in his car -- hit Parsons and caused a 3-car wreck.

Parsons' attorneys, John Morgan and Nick Panagakis, say he may never fully recover from the accident ... claiming he suffered a brain injury, disc herniation and a torn labrum.

Wild Elephant Freely Roams Hotel Master Suite, Please!!!

MAKE SOME ROOM
@upidaisy

There's no ignoring this elephant in the room, especially because he's taking over multiple rooms ... in a hotel!!!

Ya gotta see this unbelievable video of a wild elephant roaming around the Jetwing Yala hotel in Sri Lanka. As you can imagine, it gets a wide berth upon entering the joint ... no one's rushing him at the check-in line. Yes, he packed his own trunk ... and as you can see, used it to poke around the place.

Best of all, the full-grown Asian bull elephant, -- named Natta Kota by locals -- is a repeat customer!!! The hotel says he's been wandering in from time to time since 2013, spending days napping in the shade and stomping through the resort's walkways.

The pachyderm used to be a seasonal visitor, according to the hotel, stealing fruit from vehicles and grub from the kitchen -- but now he's got a permanent residence at Jetwing and he's left in peace.

No word if he's racking up rewards points, but he's definitely a bull (elephant) in a china shop. Someone's gotta pay for that lamp!!!

Serena Williams Shuts Down Megxit Question ... 'Good Try'

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NOT TOUCHING THAT
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Pro tip for all future Serena Williams interviewers ... whatever you do, do NOT ask about her friend Meghan Markle ... 'cause you WILL get shut down.

The tennis superstar faced the media after her Australian Open match on Monday ... and the first question wasn't about her win over Anastasia Potapova, it was about Megxit.

“Your good friend, Meghan Markle, who attended your last 2 slams, and Harry, have taken a move, a stance that many people think is extraordinary and historic," the reporter said.

"What are your feelings about that? Have you spoken to her?”

Swae Lee Demi's Great for Super Bowl National Anthem ... But I Want Next!!!

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PLACE YOUR BETS
TMZSports.com

Swae Lee is making his pitch to sing the National Anthem at Super Bowl LV next year ... by showing off his falsetto.

We got one half of the hip-hop duo, Rae Sremmurd, at Beauty and Essex Sunday night and asked him about Demi Lovato singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at next month's Super Bowl in Miami.

Swae says Demi's gonna slay it in her first live performance since suffering an overdose back in 2018. Then he puts the NFL and Roger Goodell on the clock, telling them he wants the gig come next year!!!

He's definitely got the pipes to kick things off for the biggest sporting event of the year -- ya gotta hear him sing a few bars from Francis Scott Key's banger. No autotune needed!

Seems Swae's been thinking more about the Anthem than the actual game, but we finally coax a Super Bowl pick outta him.

Notorious B.I.G. Diddy, Faith Evans Plan for Big Night ... at Hall of Fame Induction

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Diddy and Faith Evans played central roles in Notorious B.I.G.'s life and in the immediate success that followed ... so it's only fitting they'll be front and center when Biggie gets inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Sources close to Diddy tell TMZ ... the music mogul and his family will attend the ceremony -- broadcast live on HBO -- on May 2 in Cleveland. We're told Diddy may have something up his sleeve to honor Biggie ... though it's unclear if he'll perform or pay tribute onstage.

Faith tells TMZ ... she's ecstatic about her late-husband being honored as a first-ballot inductee. And, like Diddy, Faith tells us her plan is to attend the ceremony. She's also hopeful she'll be part of the night's festivities honoring Biggie.