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R. Kelly Cops Swarm at Chicago Studio ... But Not What You Think

1/16/2019 11:13 AM PST
Breaking News

Police are at R. Kelly's recording studio in Chicago, and while it has nothing to do with the allegations put forth in "Surviving R. Kelly" ... it is related to potential illegal activity.

The issue appears to be Kelly's studio being used as a residence. Law enforcement sources tell us Chicago PD showed up there Wednesday afternoon with the Cook County Building and Zoning Dept. We're told the B & Z is there because the building is only zoned for industrial use, so if anyone is living there ... that's a no-no.

We're told police typically accompany the Building Dept. on such matters ... and officers did NOT go just because it's Kelly's place. BTW, the singer reportedly owes a ton of back rent -- $166k -- and is facing eviction before the month's end.

Obviously, the sight of police swarming Kelly's crib immediately made people think an arrest was going down.

No dice. Yet.

Travis Scott, Kaepernick Spoke BEFORE Super Bowl Deal was Signed ... But Travis Didn't Ask Permission

1/16/2019 10:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

10:30 AM PT -- We've now made sense of what happened between Colin and Travis, and sources connected with both sides agree the two men spoke, but the timeline and substance of the convo are critical.

Sources connected to Travis acknowledge, when TMZ broke the story on December 20 that Travis would perform at the Super Bowl, he had indeed made that decision. The contract, however, had not been signed.

Our Travis sources say based on the blowback he wanted to be "sensitive to the black community," and that's when he started thinking of some sort of donation the NFL might make. We're told Travis' people started negotiating a donation amount with the NFL and Travis was "willing to walk" if he didn't get what he wanted.

Before the contract was signed, sources tell us Travis reached out to Colin ... presumably to get him on board but not to ask for permission. We're told Colin was not supportive of Travis performing at the Super Bowl, and the 2 men disagreed. Multiple sources characterize the conversation as "cordial and not hostile."

The NFL contract, we're told, was only signed a few days ago ... AFTER the conversation between Colin and Travis. That contract includes a $500,000 donation to Van Jones' charity, Dream Corps.

One final thing ... a Travis source underscored, although he respects Colin, "Colin doesn't tell Travis what he can and can't do. That's Travis' decision."

Colin Kaepernick and his close circle of friends are strongly DENYING a report rapper Travis Scott "consulted" with the ex-NFL quarterback before agreeing to do the Super Bowl halftime show. 

The report claims Travis and Kap spoke over the phone -- and while they didn't exactly see eye to eye, there was a mutual understanding.

The report seemed to imply Kap was okay with Scott performing because the NFL and Scott agreed to donate $500k to a social justice organization. 

But now, Kap's crew is calling BS -- and the QB is putting his stamp of approval on the public denials. 

Kap's friend, Ebro Darden -- the famous HOT 97 radio host who works closely with Kap's girlfriend, Nessa -- tweeted, "Kap did not approve this bullshit! Get the f*ck outta here."

Kaepernick retweeted Ebro's statement -- and Nessa also weighed in saying, "FACTS @EBRO!!! THEY NEED TO STOP LYING."

In fact, the same day it was announced Big Boi from Outkast would also be performing at the Super Bowl, Nessa posted the urban dictionary definition of the word, "Sell out."

She added, "If you are with them, then you are definitely not with us."

Originally Published -- 6:15 AM PT

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TMZ Live Mariah Carey I'm Being Blackmailed By My Assistant

1/16/2019 10:55 AM PST
LIVE STREAM

ON TODAY'S SHOW
  • Dave Chappelle Talks About His R. Kelly Skits 
  • Colin Kaepernick: I Never Consulted W/ Travis Scott About Super Bowl 
  • 'To Catch a Predator' Host Arrested 
  • 'Teen Mom' Star Threatens Woman W/ Gun

Jenelle Evans Husband Accused of Threatening Woman with a Gun

1/16/2019 9:32 AM PST
Exclusive Details

Jenelle Evans' husband, David Eason, allegedly threatened to shoot and kill a woman who briefly stopped in front of his property ... TMZ has learned.

Real estate agent Sandra Britt tells us she was cruising through Jenelle and David's neighborhood last weekend in Riegelwood, NC looking for a rental property for her daughter. She says she paused for a moment in front of the 'Teen Mom' stars' home to admire it ... particularly its new black gate.

Britt says she was quickly on her way -- but she claims Eason came racing up the street behind her on an ATV and pulled up beside her. She claims he asked, "What the mother f*** are you looking at my house for?"

She claims he then put his hand on what appeared to be a gun in a holster on his waist and said, "That's right. I got a gun, I will shoot you." She says David then took a pic of her license plate, and then bolted. 

Britt tells us she tried to report the incident to police, but was told nothing could be done because the altercation happened on a public highway. She's planning to file a report with the Sheriff's Department soon.

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

Worth noting ... David does love his guns. Just last month the Secret Service paid him a visit after he tagged President Trump in a social media post flaunting his arsenal of weapons and ammo.

Lady Gaga Pissed R. Kelly Collab Still For Sale ... On Google Play

1/16/2019 11:37 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

11:37 AM PT -- A source close to Gaga tells us the singer is furious the song is still on the Google service. We're told she was under the impression everything had been taken down, and this one, somehow, slipped through the cracks. Her team blames Google's switch of most of its music operations to YouTube for the lapse as Play dramatically cut staff.  

10:35 AM PT -- IGA tells TMZ, "We are working on taking this down now."Lady Gaga hasn't completely followed through on her promise to remove her song with R. Kelly from streaming platforms, because their collab is still available for purchase on Google Play Music. 

As of this post, you can still throw down $1.29 to buy Lady Gaga's song, "Do What U Want (With My Body)" featuring R. Kelly. 

Gaga said 6 days ago she was pulling the collab from iTunes and other streaming services as an act of solidarity with the women Kelly allegedly abused.

It HAS been disabled on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube. It's unclear if Google Play was overlooked, or if the purge just hasn't gotten to the platform yet. 

As you know, Celine Dion, Ciara, Chance the Rapper and the Pussycat Dolls followed in Gaga's footsteps and pulled or are in the process of pulling their collabs with R. Kelly in the wake of Lifetime's docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly." Still, it's interesting that Gaga and Kelly's song hasn't been completely scrubbed.

We've reached out to Google and Gaga ... so far, no word back.  

Originally Published -- 10:18 AM PST

Juice WRLD Sued for Jacking 'Lean Wit Me'

1/16/2019 10:51 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Juice WRLD is getting squeezed for allegedly ripping off a kid who claims his beat is the same one as one of the rapper's biggest songs ... this according to a new lawsuit. 

Jerome Willisch -- a minor in Colorado who goes by Fly Jxy -- just filed suit with his parents against the Chicago MC, claiming his 2018 tune "Lean Wit Me" is a blatant rip-off of his own song, "Ice."

In the docs, obtained by TMZ, Willisch says the producers of 'LWM' lifted his song by copying the essential beat and foundation of "Ice" ... without giving him credit, and without getting his permission.

It's worth noting ... Willisch says he just filed for a copyright to his song this month, but hasn't yet secured the rights. Still, he argues that "Lean Wit Me" is basically stealing his work, and he wants justice.

Willisch is asking a judge to pull the song from the airwaves and for damages as well. 

Meghan Markle Puppy Love ... Cuddles at Animal Shelter

1/16/2019 10:55 AM PST

Meghan Markle's got some pretty sweet perks, even beyond the castles and tiaras ... she gets to do some volunteering with super cute dogs.

The Duchess of Sussex stopped by The Mayhew shelter in London Wednesday to meet the staff, and pet some puppers. She even got to hold a sweet Jack Russell Terrier named Minnie.

We're told Meghan's been there before, but it was her first visit since Kensington Palace announced the charity as one of her 4 royal patronages last week.

Markle -- who's about 6 months into her pregnancy, has reportedly had rescue dogs of her own before ... so, naturally, the cause is near and dear to her.

Along with meeting the doggos, we're told the Duchess also spent time checking out The Mayhew's animal therapy program ... which provides dog visits for people in need.

Sounds like a pawesome day.

Dave Chappelle My Skits Mocking R. Kelly Scandal ... Hmm, IDK ... I Gotta Watch It Again

1/16/2019 7:04 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Dave Chappelle was noncommittal on his feelings about some old skits that mocked some shocking behavior by R. Kelly.

We got the comic in WeHo Tuesday night leaving Craig's, and asked about his sketches from "Chappelle's Show" where he created a music video -- titled "Piss on You" -- mocking the real video of R. Kelly urinating on what appears to be a teenage girl. 

Dave also did a comedy sketch on the jury selection process in the criminal trial, and used R. Kelly's scandal as material for years.

Dave said he didn't have a vivid memory of the sketches and needed a relook.

Our photog also asked if he had regrets over not participating in "Surviving R. Kelly." The show's EP, Dream Hampton, claimed Chappelle was among a number of celebs who turned down interviews.

His dinner partner, D.L. Hughley, came out swinging, not only saying R. Kelly and Michael Jackson were birds of a feather, he lashed out at people who feigned ignorance for years, pretending they didn't know.

Chris Hansen To Catch a Debtor 'Catch a Predator' Host Arrested

1/16/2019 8:01 AM PST

Chris Hansen got the Chris Hansen treatment, sort of, when Connecticut cops confronted him and then busted him ... for bouncing checks.

The former host of "To Catch a Predator" was arrested Monday in Stamford for larceny. Cops say he failed to pay a local vendor nearly $13,000 for stuff he'd purchased in 2017 ... and allegedly gave the guy the runaround with 2 bounced checks. 

According to Stamford PD, Chris bought 355 mugs, 288 t-shirts and 650 vinyl decals from a mom-and-pop shop in town for marketing events he planned to attend. The owner says the goods were delivered, but Chris bailed on his $12,998.05 tab.

The owner says after the first check bounced, he threatened to go to cops. Chris allegedly offered to make 4 partial payments, but the owner rejected that deal.

Chris then bounced a second check, and begged for more time. The owner claims Chris sent emails saying he was selling his boat to come up with the cash, but a check -- a good one -- never came ... and a warrant was issued for Chris' arrest.

He turned himself in Monday, and was booked and released from jail.

We're reaching out to Chris.

Mariah Carey Sues Personal Assistant for $3+ Mil She's Blackmailing Me Over Embarrassing Videos

1/16/2019 9:39 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Mariah Carey says she was betrayed in a huge way by the former personal assistant she hired ... an assistant Mariah says secretly recorded her doing "embarrassing" things and then threatened to release the vids unless the singer coughed up $8 million ... TMZ has learned.

TMZ has obtained a copy of a lawsuit Mariah just filed against Lianna Azarian. Mariah says she hired Azarian back in March 2015 as an Executive Assistant. Mariah claims it wasn't long before Azarian went to town with her credit card, buying personal stuff and also claiming to retailers she was buying things for Mariah, trading the singer's goodwill to get deep discounts.

Carey says unbeknownst to her, Azarian was secretly filming her "personal activities" ... which would be "embarrassing," and extremely damaging both personally and professionally if revealed.

Mariah says Azarian showed some of the videos to friends, saying if she was ever fired she'd sell them.

Carey claims she was paying Azarian as much as $327,000 a year, but ended up firing her in November 2017, and that's when she claims the blackmail began. Carey says Azarian demanded $8 million and if she didn't get it she'd release videos and other damaging information.

The lawsuit does not say what's on the videos ... although some are described as "intimate."

Mariah says she's demanded the videos and other evidence of criminal activity back, to no avail. She's suing for unspecified damages, but wants more than $3 million.

9:34 AM PT -- A source close to Mariah tells TMZ, "This new year welcomes Mariah's continued efforts to clean the trash from her life."

They continue, "According to a Complaint filed today in California, an executive assistant employed in 2015 to help with business and personal matters, turned out to be a grifter and extortionist. Because her threats and bad acts are too great to be ignored, Mariah has been compelled to file a lawsuit against her."

"Given that the evidence against this former assistant is vast and deplorable, we anticipate a victorious resolution. Mariah continues her streak of success this year with an upcoming North American tour and return to Vegas."

Originally Published -- 3:38 AM PT

Cardi B Frees the Vagina ... Drops Trou in the Car

1/16/2019 7:32 AM PST

She may not have meant to do it, but Cardi B just came up with the title of her next hit track ... "P***Y BREATHIN'!"

The rapper was riding in a car in an all-denim outfit late Tuesday night when she became, uh, uncomfortable -- especially in the crotch area -- because her pants were too tight.

She explained her plight as only Cardi can ... "I hate having p***y wedgies, bro. My p***y be screaming at me like, 'Bitch! You got me f**ked up! You want a yeast infection, bitch?"

So, you gotta watch her remedy the situation by riding bare-ass on the car seat to let her p***y breathe. Cardi can pull this off because ... she's Cardi.

The surgeon general does NOT recommend you try this in the back of an Uber. There could be serious surcharges and/or criminal charges.

This isn't the first time Cardi's been very open and honest in public about her battle with wedgies -- a couple weeks ago at a concert in New Zealand, she stopped the show and told her fans ... "I need a little break. I'm gonna be right back. I gotta take this wedgie out my ass."

The crowd loved it. So does CB's p***y. 

In other news...

The Weeknd Accused of Taking a Shot at Drake on New Single

Take a listen and judge for yourself!

SEE MORE »

Rihanna No Shade, but ... The Name is All Mine, Dad!!!

1/16/2019 7:12 AM PST

Rihanna's rubbing it in her father's face -- she's the only one who's gonna cash in on the family name ... it's as plain as the designer shades on her face.

Late Tuesday night she was strolling out of her dentist's office rocking a pair of Fenty shades -- the same ones she was wearing Monday night at Sound of Brazil nightclub. You don't need Fenty bifocals (wouldn't those be cool) to read the subtext here.

TMZ broke the story ... RiRi's suing her dad, Ronald Fenty, over the family name ... essentially.

Dear ol' Dad launched a talent management company called Fenty Entertainment -- but Rihanna says she's trademarked Fenty for commercial use. You know she's already made Fenty huge in the cosmetics and apparel biz, and she's concerned Ronald's org will confuse the marketplace.

Ronald's little girl is making her point ... the shade is real.

ATL Strip Clubs Join Forces for Super Bowl Sunday ... We're All Open for Business!!!

1/16/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Finally ... a story about people in this country coming together, despite their differences, to achieve a common goal AND give the economy a boost.

GOD BLESS ATLANTA STRIP CLUBS!!!

Here's the deal -- adult entertainment venues in the ATL aren't allowed to be open on Sundays unless they also serve as restaurants. This is obviously bad news for food-free joints hoping to take advantage of thousands of extra folks in town for Super Bowl 53 ... but they weren't going to let the business opp pass without a fight.

So, several of the city's popular strip clubs -- including Blue Flame Lounge, The Cheetah and Magic City -- banded together and went to City Council to ask for an exception for Super Bowl Sunday ... and they got it! Somehow no one found out about the meeting and reported it.

Those in charge also agreed to let the clubs stay open an extra hour the entire week of the big game ... so the lights won't come on until 4 AM from January 28 through February 4.

As for the entertainment, Jackie -- the owner of Blue Flame -- says it has girls coming from Miami, L.A., NYC, Houston, Virginia and North Carolina who meet all of its requirements for the special weekend -- bomb body, pretty face, smell good ... and no bullet wounds.

Mr. Magic from Magic City tells us he'll have professional pole experts in the house -- the same ones who danced with Cardi B at Coachella -- putting on a nude Cirque du Soleil-esque show.

BTW ... all the dancers are required to have permits in Atlanta -- which cost $350 -- so the strip club exception means cha-ching for the city too.

USA! USA! USA!

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