Don McLean 'American Pie' Singer Drops Out of NRA Convention

The National Rifle Association will be without one of its performers this weekend ... singer Don McLean will no longer play at the event after the elementary school shooting in Uvalde.

McLean tells us, "In light of the recent events in Texas, I have decided it would be disrespectful and hurtful for me to perform for the NRA at their convention in Houston this week. Iā€™m sure all the folks planning to attend this event are shocked and sickened by these events as well. After all, we are all Americans."

He continues, "I share the sorrow for this terrible, cruel loss with the rest of the nation."

McLean, the voice behind the 1971 hit, "American Pie," was one of several performers scheduled to take the stage in Houston this weekend -- some of the others include Lee Greenwood, Danielle Peck and Larry Gatlin.

As we reported, 19 children inside a 4th-grade classroom and two teachers were killed when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire with an AR-15.

Of course, there's still a ton of pressure on Texas government officials, including Governor Abbott, to move the event out of the state. Houston is about 250 miles from Uvalde.

Britney Spears Lawyer Says to Jamie ... You Can Run But You Can't hide

Britney Spears says her dad has been ducking for cover so he doesn't have to sit for a deposition, detailing his conduct in the conservatorship case, but now her lawyer says they're calling Jamie's bluff.

Jamie has said he would sit for a depo, but only in Kentwood, Louisiana. Britney's lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, says in legal docs, he'll gladly fly to Kentwood to put Jamie under oath.

Rosengart says in new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, that Jamie has been skirting the depo for more than 5 months, and he thinks for good reason. Rosengart claims he can prove Jamie was running "a corrupted and conflicted conservatorship that stripped his daughter of certain fundamental liberties," adding Jamie enriched himself to the tune of at least $6.3 million and paid various people involved in the conservatorship tens of millions of dollars more.

Rosengart goes on to claim Jamie "continues to harass and bully Britney Spears by, among other things, failing to cooperate with his discovery ... and actually noticing his daughter's deposition, even as he hides from answering essential deposition questions."

TMZ broke the story ... Jamie wants Britney under oath to challenge her allegations.

BTW ... Rosengart says Kentwood is an option for him, but he's willing to fly to any city in the U.S. to put Jamie under oath.

Celebrity Cruises Sued Your Medics Gave Me HIV-Infected Blood

A Celebrity Cruises passenger says her medical emergency while onboard became an absolute nightmare for her, because the ship's medics gave her a blood transfusion from someone who had HIV.

The woman was on a 7-day cruise that started Dec. 4, 2021, and on the 5th day she had to go to the medical center because she was suffering rectal bleeding ... and it was really bad. In a new federal lawsuit, she says the doctors diagnosed a gastrointestinal hemorrhage and she would need an emergency blood transfusion just to survive.

According to the suit, obtained by TMZ, the medical staff solicited blood from passengers ... announcing over the ship's PA system that they needed Type A-negative blood. The woman says 4 passengers stepped up to donate blood, and she got the transfusion.

Sometime later, she's not specific in the documents, the woman says she was diagnosed with HIV ... and she believes she got it from the transfusion. In her suit, she calls out Celebrity Cruises doctors for not properly screening the donated blood before pumping it into her.

The passenger is suing the cruise line for unspecified damages.

What's interesting is she says the cruise doctors told her she would have died without the transfusion. On the one hand, the doctors -- and her fellow passengers who donated blood -- clearly saved her life. However, she now has to live with HIV, which is very much treatable these days, but still incurable.

We've reached out to Celebrity Cruises, but no word back yet.

Jussie Smollett First Film Since CHI Attack on The Way Mona Scott-Young and BET+ Standing By Him

Jussie Smollett's new project will hit the streaming screen for his first time since the actor was allegedly attacked in Chicago ... and he's got a super-powerful Hollywood friend in his corner.

Jussie and Monami Productions head Mona Scott-Young were spotted out in NYC earlier this week. Sources with direct knowledge tell us the two met to discuss Smollett's upcoming "B-Boy Blues" -- which was announced will stream on BET+.

Mona tells TMZ, "ā€œB-Boy Blues is a beautifully bold, funny, heartwarming bro-mance and I was thrilled to partner with Jussie to help this wonderful film gain greater exposure."

Believe it or not, Jussie had actually started work on the project prior to the 2019 hate crime hoax -- but it had been delayed for obvious reasons.

Our sources say Mona agreed to be involved in "B-Boy Blues" back when it first launched, and wanted to remain on through the end -- despite what Jussie had experienced personally.

We're told Mona has played a significant role in getting the movie onto BET+ and out to audiences for Jussie -- who directed and produced the project.

As for "B-Boy Blues" -- it's already won awards, including the Narrative Feature Fan Favorite Award at the 2021 American Black Film Festival -- and will be released as part of BET+'s Pride Month programming.

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STICKING TO HIS GUNS
WGN

Of course, Jussie was sentenced and began serving a 5-month sentence behind bars back in March, but was released a week later while his legal team appeals. He had been found guilty on 5 of 6 felony counts against him, for lying to Chicago police about being the victim of a racist, homophobic attack.

Josh Duggar Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison In Child Porn Case

UPDATE

1:23 PM PT -- Josh's attorney Travis Story tells TMZ, "We're grateful the judge dismissed Count 2 and rejected the Government's request for a 240-month sentence. We look forward to continuing the fight on appeal."

UPDATE

1:02 PM PT -- Federal law enforcement sources say when Duggar is released from prison, he will be on 20 years of post release supervision. He was also ordered to pay a $50,100 fine.

Josh Duggar has been sentenced to 12 and a half years behind bars after being found guilty in his child porn trial ... TMZ has learned.

As we reported, the "19 Kids and Counting" star was found guilty on one count each of receiving and possessing child pornography. According to prosecutors, some of those images were minors under the age of 12.

The possession charge was vacated because of an agreement between Duggar's legal team and the court, so he was only sentenced for the receiving child porn charge.

Duggar's legal team have previously stated they'll appeal.

The trial went on for two weeks and featured the testimony of digital forensic analysts and other witnesses. One family friend claimed Duggar confessed to molesting children, during tearful testimony.

You'll recall ... the feds raided his office at the car dealership where he worked in Arkansas, back in November 2019. Federal agents seized his computer, his iPhone and MacBook from inside the RV.

Duggar's lawyers asked the court to send him to prison for five years.

Originally Published -- 12:45 PM PT

Colin Kaepernick Set To Work Out For Raiders

Colin Kaepernick could be back in the NFL as early as next month ... 'cause the quarterback has scheduled a workout with the Raiders -- and if it goes well, the team could sign him to a contract.

ESPN's Adam Schefter just broke the news ... reporting the tryout will go down in just a few days.

Kaepernick has been preparing like a madman for this for years -- but has recently ramped up his workouts in the last few months for this specific moment.

As we reported, the 34-year-old has toured the country since the end of winter a few months ago, throwing to wide receivers in various cities weekly.

And, at one of his most recent stops in Washington, he pleaded with NFL GMs to just give him a tryout ... explaining, "I think my talent, my skill set will speak for itself."

The Raiders' owner, Mark Davis, has always been open to giving Kaepernick that chance -- saying back in April he believed the guy could still play.

"If our coaches and general manager want to bring him in or want him to be the quarterback on this team," Davis said, "I would welcome him with open arms."

The Raiders currently have several quarterbacks on the roster ... though none outside of Derek Carr has the experience Kaepernick -- who has not played since the 2016 season -- has in the league.

Beto O'Rourke Goes Off on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ... At School Shooting Presser

DO SOMETHING!!!
CNN

Beto O'Rourke just crashed a news conference on the deadly school shooting in Texas ... confronting Governor Greg Abbott and other Republican leadership, including Ted Cruz, and getting escorted out.

Beto showed up unannounced to Wednesday's press briefing in Uvalde, where 19 children and 2 teachers were shot and killed the day before at an elementary school, and went off on the state's GOP leaders.

Video shows Beto approaching the stage, where Abbott is sitting on the dais along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and blames them for the tragedy, saying the blood is on their hands.

Beto says to the group, which includes Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn ... "This is on you until you choose to do something." He also says the incident was predictable.

Beto's been vocal about the school shooting on social media, mostly going after Abbott, but now he's literally taken the crusade to the Governor's feet.

Someone on stage shoots back at Beto, who is running for Texas Governor, telling him this isn't the time or the place to get political and calling him an "a**hole." There are reports the man is Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin.

Beto's then escorted out by law enforcement, but not before turning back to say his piece  ... while some folks in the crowd call for him to be able to speak.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson joined us on "TMZ Live" and called for background checks on anyone trying to buy a gun in the country.

WE NEED CHANGE NOW
TMZ.com

The California congressman says he and other gun owners in his district support background checks for gun purchases and calls for 10 GOP Senators to step up and get a law passed that's been sitting on the Senate floor.

Texas Mass Shooting Slain Teacher Hailed As Hero In Daughter's Tribute

Eva Mireles, the 4th-grade teacher who was killed in the Texas school shooting, is being remembered as a hero in a touching tribute from her daughter, who says her mom used her body to shield students from bullets.

Eva's daughter, Adalynn, says her mom "selflessly jumped in front of her students to save their lives" and adds ... "I'm so happy that people know your name and that beautiful face of yours and they know what a hero looks like."

The teacher's daughter says she's heartbroken by the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX, which claimed the lives of another adult and 19 children, expressing disbelief and saying she never imagined writing a goodbye to her mom.

Eva sounds like a great mom ... her daughter says they were best friends who laughed over TikToks, sang karaoke together, woke each other up from naps, talked on the phone every day after work and fought over the stupidest things only to laugh about it later.

Adalynn she's proud Eva was her mother ... and she's promising to take care of dad and the family dogs.

RIP

Kawhi Leonard Girlfriend Rocks Massive Ring ... Engaged?!?

Kawhi Leonard isn't getting a ring this season, but his girlfriend certainly did -- the NBA superstar's lady was spotted wearing a massive rock on THAT finger at the airport on Tuesday.

Which begs the question -- did the longtime couple get engaged?!?

TMZ Sports has obtained pictures of the Klaw and Kishele Shipley arriving at LAX ... and the mother of two had a shiny, new accessory on her left ring finger.

Leonard and Shipley have been dating forever -- they first met at San Diego State and have been inseparable ever since. They have two children together, born in 2016 and 2019.

In other words, if wedding bells are ringing ... it shouldn't come as a surprise.

What's interesting -- we caught up with Kawhi and Kishele shortly after the pics were taken ... and it appears she removed the ring from her hand.

GOT A RING TO IT?
TMZSports.com

Kawhi missed the whole 2021-22 season with an injury ... so if they are, in fact, engaged, it's nice to see he made the most of his time off the court.

We reached out to Kawhi's people for more information ... so far, no word back.

Johnny Depp More Vile Texts ... Barrage of Insults Aimed at Amber

JOHNNY'S CRUDE TEXT
UPDATE

12:12 PM PT -- More vile messages that Johnny sent about Amber were shown to the jury -- while AH's attorney, Ben Rottenborn, grilled JD on the stand for a second time ... he put up a screenshot of a text Johnny had sent to his ex-agent a few months after Amber's TRO.

UPDATE
UPDATE

Here's a just a taste of what Johnny had to say ... "She's begging for total global humiliation ... She's gonna get it ... But, she sucked Mollusk's crooked d*** and he gave her some s****y lawyers ... I have no mercy, no fear and not an ounce of emotion, or what I once thought was love for this gold digging, low level, dime a dozen, mushy, pointless dangling overused flappy fish market... I'm so f***ing happy she wants to go to fight this out!!!"

UPDATE

There's more explicit language he used to describe Amber, including calling her a "50 cent stripper" ... and it certainly compares to the "Let's burn Amber!" text he sent Paul Bettany.

UPDATE

10:44 AM PT -- Johnny Depp's last words on the stand might perhaps be his most impactful -- he was asked how Amber's claims made him feel ... and he had a laundry list of adjectives to describe the gut-wrenching effect they had on him, while going on to call them patently false.

UPDATE
HUMILIATING & PAINFUL
UPDATE

He also talked about being proud of coming here and telling the truth, regardless of what the jury decides. JD said some things get so out of hand, they must be addressed and corrected publicly ... which is what he says he's done here.

UPDATE

8:48 AM PT -- Johnny just discussed Amber's accusation that he took a handful of MDMA pills during the former couple's trip to Australia in 2015. Heard had previously testified he took 8-10 at once ... Johnny says he's only taken MDMA 6-7 times in his life total.

UPDATE
EXAGGERATING THE NUMBERS
UPDATE

Depp's attorney asked him directly if he's ever taken 8-10 pills at once, to which he replied, "No, I'm pretty sure I'd be dead, I think one would die, rather quickly."

Johnny Depp is back on the stand for questioning in the nasty back-and-forth trial between him and his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Heard's legal team just called Johnny back to answer a series of questions, as we reported, he already testified a few weeks back ... but Amber's accused the actor of additional things -- including assault -- which he will now get to answer to.

Johnny's return to the stand may cause the trial to go even longer than expected.

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DOGGY DUMPS

As we've reported, the allegations leveled against both sides have been extreme ... during her testimony, Heard claimed Johnny had sexually assaulted her with a glass bottle.

Of course, both have very different stories when it comes to the infamous bed poop incident. Depp claims it appeared to have come from a person, and Amber blamed Johnny's dog -- who had an irritated bowel after getting into his weed stash.

Depp's fans have come out in waves to support the actor through the trial, camping out and lining up outside the Virginia courtroom hours before court starts. Things got so crazy, the local sheriff had to create restrictions on just how early fans could show up.

Originally Published -- 8:19 AM PT

Texas Mass Shooting Alleged Killer Sent IG Message to Girl 'Got a Secret to Tell You'

The man who gunned down 19 children and 2 adults in the latest shooting massacre was telegraphing his deadly plan to a random woman on social media ... weeks before his act.

The messages have surfaced online from what appears to be a female minor in Los Angeles -- who says the 18-year-old suspect DM'd her on May 12 out of the blue and for no apparent reason at all ... explaining she has no idea who he is or why he reached out.

The alleged shooter tagged her in a photo he posted of his guns -- including what seem to be semi-automatic rifles that resemble AR-15s -- and then proceeded to start a private chat.

Of the many disturbing DMs he sent, this one was the most chilling ... "I got a lil secret I wanna tell u. I'm about to..." Apparently, he never revealed his exact intentions -- dancing around the subject/playing coy as the girl engaged him ... totally confused and flabbergasted.

The man went back and forth with her for a while, telling her she oughta be grateful he tagged her -- and then on Tuesday, he said this ... "Ima air out." The girl clearly didn't know what he was talking about, and seemed to acknowledge as much with follow-up questions.

In the aftermath of the onslaught Tuesday ... the girl revealed these messages and defended herself -- insisting she had no idea what this guy would do, and explaining she only engaged him to try to deter him from committing a horrible act.

The shooter, who we're not naming, shot his grandmother before heading to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX ... where he barricaded himself in classrooms and opened fire, eventually getting taken out by law enforcement.

He's said to have been armed with a rifle and a handgun during the bloodshed ... and apparently loaded up on a ton of heavy artillery on his 18th birthday, all of which seem to have been obtained legally.

It's the worst mass shooting here in the States that's occurred in quite some time -- comparable to the awful Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. Of course, this follows yet another mass shooting in Buffalo less than 2 weeks ago ... where 10 people were killed in cold blood.

Depp v. Heard Kate Moss Undercuts Heard's DV Allegation

DENYING THE PUSH

Kate Moss took the stand in Depp vs. Heard Wednesday ... and squarely told a radically different story from the one Amber Heard told the jury.

Kate and Johnny Depp were a couple in the mid-90s, and Amber had said on the stand ... she was on a staircase with Johnny and claimed Johnny swung at her, and she says she immediately thought of a rumored incident between Johnny and Kate so she felt she knew what was coming and swung at him.

Amber was insinuating Johnny had gotten violent with Kate, but today, on rebuttal, Johnny's lawyer called Kate, who testified by video ... she's in the U.K.

5/5/22
FLASHBACKS TO KATE

Kate recounted an incident when she and Johnny were at a hotel. He left the room first and she followed. Kate said it was raining and she slipped down the stairs, injuring her back. She says she cried in pain and Johnny came rushing back, carried her inside the hotel room and got her medical attention.

Kate testified ... Johnny never got physical with her ... didn't push her or otherwise assault her. Kate says it was an accident and Johnny was there at the ready to help her.

The supermodel's testimony supports exactly what Amber eventually admitted under cross-examination ... that Johnny hitting Kate was nothing more than a "vague rumor" -- and as it turns out, a false one -- she'd once heard.

84-Year-Old College Grad Betty's Cap & Gown Moment ... 67 Years in the Making!!!

You've heard of college grads on the 5 or 6, maybe even 8-year plan ... but Betty Sandison blows 'em all away -- it took her nearly 7 decades, but she's finally earned her bachelor's degree.

The 84-year-old just matriculated at the University of Minnesota with a degree in multidisciplinary studies, and all that stood in her way was a marriage, raising 2 children, a nursing career, one global pandemic and ... 67 years.

Ya can't knock Betty's hustle! She first enrolled at her now-alma mater in 1955, and got her nursing license after one year -- but once she got married, she dropped out less than 30 credits shy of her bachelor's degree.

Betty says it was always something she wanted to do, but once she had 2 daughters and started nursing ... it never happened. It wasn't until she retired in 2013 that she decided to start checking off her bucket list, which included getting that damn degree.

She enrolled in 2018 and immediately ran into a few, umm ... technological hurdles. She told WCCO, "That computer business just almost did me in." Still, she persisted, even through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The good news for Betty -- no exhaustive job search, having already retired! Yeah, she did it a little backward, but it worked for her.

Matthew McConaughey TX School Shooting in His Hometown ... 'We Must Do Better'

Matthew McConaughey is pleading for gun reform following the tragic mass shooting in the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas ... which happens to be his hometown.

The actor shared his thoughts Tuesday, hours after the shooter went into Robb Elementary School and killed 21 people, including 19 students and 2 teachers.

He wrote, "As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas. Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us."

Matthew's added, "The true call to action now is for every American to take a longer and deeper look in the mirror, and ask ourselves, 'What is it that we truly value? How do we repair the problem? What small sacrifices can we individually take today, to preserve a healthier and safer nation, state, and neighborhood tomorrow?'"

His post continued, "We cannot exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo. As Americans, Texans, mothers and fathers, it's time we re-evaluate, and renegotiate our wants from our needs. We have to rearrange our values and find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children's issue."

Clearly knowing the national conversation will turn political, Matthew also urged folks on both sides of the political aisle to do better -- "Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured."

As we've told you, the shooter was an 18-year-old local high school student. All his victims were reportedly in the same classroom.

Caitlyn Jenner No Invite to Kourt's Italian Wedding

Caitlyn Jenner didn't intentionally skip out on Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker's wedding, fact is, she just wasn't on the guestlist ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the couple tell us Caitlyn never got an invitation for the weekend affair in Portofino, but the couple has no hard feelings toward her. We're told Kourtney and Travis wanted a very small and intimate ceremony, and Caitlyn simply didn't make the cut.

Our sources say it's not that Kourtney and Caitlyn don't have a relationship -- they do, but don't see or speak to each other all that much, so Kourtney didn't feel the need to invite her.

As for what Caitlyn did over the weekend while the rest of the fam was celebrating the newlyweds? She was busy cheering on her newest passion, Jenner Racing. Driver Jamie Chadwick won her 5th W Series race in a row, taking the prize in Barcelona.

Shortly after Chapman's victory, Caitlyn tweeted a photo of the driver with the caption, "Win! Win! Win! No matter what!" So, she still found plenty of joy, just not wedding-related.

It's worth noting, Caitlyn did attend Kim and Kanye's wedding in Italy back in May of 2014 -- the year after splitting from Kris Jenner, and the year before announcing her transition.

Travis and Kourt are still planning an L.A. wedding celebration, so Caitlyn's got another shot to toast them in person.

Will Smith Continues to Dodge Public Eye ... Misses Out on Event with 'Bel-Air' Cast

Will Smith continues to lay low, missing out on an event to highlight the cast of "Bel-Air" -- the revamped version of 'Fresh Prince' -- which of course, was the launching point of Will's career.

NBC continued its FYC event in Hollywood Tuesday, a promo for the network's shows and to create some Emmy buzz. Jabari Banks, who plays a young Will Smith in the show, Coco Jones, Adrian Holmes and more all attended the event ... but Will, who is an Executive Producer on the show, was nowhere to be seen.

We should note ... Will, Jada and their son Jaden all attended the show's premiere back in February.

Considering the purpose of the FYC event is to attract Emmy voters, you gotta imagine an appearance from Will could have had the potential to help ... at least before the Oscars.

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