Tom Sandoval, Raquel Leviss Destroyed At 'VPR' reunion ... Almost Became Physical

Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss were dragged through the mud at the "Vanderpump Rules" reunion taping Thursday ... and we're told the show got so bad, Andy Cohen had to separate 2 other cast members to prevent an assault and battery.

Sources close to production tell TMZ ... the taping became explosive within 2 minutes, and never let up for the entire 5 hours of shooting. NO ONE sided with Tom and Raquel. Quite the contrary ... they were annihilated by everyone, including Lisa Vanderpump and Andy Cohen.

One source described it this way... "It was like a nuclear bomb went off in the studio."

As for which cast members almost got in the fight ... we know it was not Tom, Raquel or Ariana ... we're told the instigator "is not someone you'd guess."

Andy asked Tom and Raquel how their affair started -- they didn't give a time frame but said they hooked up but didn't immediately dive into a relationship ... there was some period of time before they were all in with each other.

As for Ariana ... it's interesting. She was equally enraged with Tom and Raquel. We're told she did not go over the top, even though she cried at times. One source said the way she was speaking and what she was saying sounded like she's had some serious therapy.

We're told Tom, in particular, was just destroyed ... so much so, they all took a break to calm down, but when they came back it was just as intense.

And, there's this ... Andy asked Tom and Raquel if they're still together, and the takeaway is that yes, they still are. But, a source close to production tells TMZ, "That relationship is like on an egg timer. It's not gonna last."

Cocaine Bear Bumping Up Resume To Officiate Blowout Wedding

There's a bear-y special ceremony on deck in Kentucky ... where the real animal inspiration behind the "Cocaine Bear" movie script is set to officiate a wedding.

Here's the deal ... a museum in Lexington, KY is the current home of the infamous Cocaine Bear, a 175-pound black bear that died from a cocaine overdose way back in 1985, and a Kentucky couple chose him to pronounce them husband and wife.

The wedding's going down Monday at the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall, where the Cocaine Bear will preside over and affirm the union of Alexandra and Armando.

Also known as Pablo Escobear, the black bear infamously stumbled upon 40 containers of cocaine in Georgia's Chattahoochee National Forest. The drugs were dropped from a plane piloted by convicted drug smuggler Andrew Thornton ... and the museum says the retired medical examiner who performed the bear's necropsy told them the bear's stomach was packed to the brim with cocaine when it died.

Cocaine Bear was stuffed by a taxidermist and it changed hands over the years, going from Georgia to Tennessee to Nevada before ending up in a Kentucky museum, where it's now a huge tourist attraction.

The museum's cofounder, Griffin VanMeter, was recently quoted in Roadside America saying, "As long as you feel that the person marrying you -- like Cocaine Bear -- has the authority, then that marriage can be binding here in Kentucky" ... and one couple took him seriously.

The museum says the place is going to be decked out with flowers and glowing hearts for Monday's wedding ceremony ... and the couple is inviting anyone and everyone to bear witness.

Memphis Women's Basketball Player Charged With Assault ... Over Handshake Line Punch

CHAOS ON THE COURT
Courtesy of ESPN/NCAA

The Memphis women's basketball player who socked an opponent in the face during a handshake line following a game Thursday night has been charged with assault, TMZ Sports has learned.

According to Bowling Green State Univ. officials ... Tigers senior guard Jamirah Shutes was hit with the criminal charge on Friday morning -- roughly 12 hours after she punched BGSU player Elissa Brett during an incident following their game in the women's NIT.

The two had gotten into a verbal argument after BGSU's 73-60 win ... which led to Shutes sucker-punching the woman in the face.

Brett crumpled to the court in pain, and was later seen in tears. According to police documents, cops noticed swelling in her right eye. The school said Friday, though, she is "recovering and doing well."

It's still unclear what sparked the altercation. A police investigation is ongoing, the university said.

BGSU added in a statement that it's also "conducting its own review" into the matter ... saying, "Violence is never acceptable and our priority remains the health, safety and support of our student-athlete."

Neither Shutes nor Brett has publicly commented on it all.

Memphis Univ. did release a statement on the matter on Friday morning, calling the incident "extremely unfortunate and certainly not consistent with, or representative of, our expectations for our programs and student-athletes."

The school said it is "cooperating fully" with authorities.

Chaka Khan Bday Bash Stevie, Tiffany Tell Her Something Good!!!

BIRTHDAY DUET
TMZ.com

Chaka Khan's celebrating her 70th birthday, and she can still turn up like her heyday in the '70s and '80s ... and she did with an assist from fellow icon, Stevie Wonder!

Chaka held court for her celebration Thursday night at Vortex recording studio in Hollywood, partying with a couple hundred guests who joined Stevie in singing happy birthday -- his version, of course.

Once Stevie got behind the keyboard the party was in full swing -- he and Chaka did her hit, "Tell Me Something Good" ... and then they belted out one of his Motown classics, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."

Looks like Mr. Wonder worked up quite the appetite during the festivities ... we hear from folks inside the event, he brought in Chick-fil-A for his entourage, which he definitely enjoyed.

Joni Mitchell's another legend who came out to honor Chaka ... along with comedian Mike Epps, and later in the night Tiffany Haddish jumped on stage too.

TAKIN' THE STAGE
TMZ.com

Tiff got the band fired up to play "Proud Mary," as she belted out the lyrics and even attempted some of Tina Turner's moves.

We hear the party continued well past 1 AM -- so, Chaka ... your friends are definitely still feeling for you, and there's no doubt they love you!!!

Jake Paul Aaron Rodgers Is My Ayahuasca Bro ... We Did It Together!!!

Aaron Rodgers left one small detail out when discussing his ayahuasca adventures -- at least, that's what Jake Paul is saying ... 'cause The Problem Child claims he downed the psychedelic brew with the NFL superstar!!

The YouTuber-turned-boxer spoke about the four-time MVP's approach to mental cleansing and spirituality in an interview with Fox News Digital this week ... and not only is Paul down with it, he says he's experienced it firsthand!!

"Aaron and I were actually together when we did the ayahuasca," Paul said to Fox News Digital. "He’s more publicly known for speaking about it, but I was actually there with him when we did it."

8/3/22
AARON'S AYAHUASCA ADVENTURE
Aubrey Marcus Podcast

"We spent the week there doing it," he added. "Definitely share that similarity in terms of spirituality and reflecting and going into the deepest parts of the mind. Definitely have been doing some of that."

Of course, Rodgers previously praised ayahuasca ... saying it helped him "be way more free at work, as a leader, as a teammate, as a friend, as a lover. I really feel like that experience paved the way for me to have the best season of my career."

Ayahuasca isn't the only practice Paul and Rodgers agree on -- Jake also said he was planning to do a darkness retreat at some point this year, which Aaron did last month to help figure out his NFL future.

Rodgers has yet to back Paul's recount of the trip, but the boxer's got a ton of big name friends ... so it wouldn't be too surprising.

Olivia Wilde Scores Big Victory Against Jason Sudeikis in Custody War

Olivia Wilde scored a big victory in her battle with Jason Sudeikis over child custody and child support ... because TMZ has learned a judge has just rejected his request to have the case moved to New York.

Jason waged war with Olivia, trying to remove the custody dispute from the California court ... New York is typically less generous with child support than Cali, but on Thursday New York magistrate Adele Alexis Harris handed down her decision ... "the Court finds that it is in the interest of substantial justice that the parties' child support petition be heard in California."

It's a huge but costly move for Olivia. The DailyMail obtained legal docs filed by Olivia Thursday and confirmed by TMZ, in which her lawyers say, "While Jason can afford to spin his wheels with filing after filing, Olivia cannot," adding, "Jason should not be permitted to litigate Olivia into debt." BTW, these docs were filed before the New York judge tossed the case back to Cali, so the hearing Friday has been cancelled.

Judging from the filings, the battle between them is still raging. Olivia's lawyers wrote in their docs, "We were scheduled to start working with a family therapist in California in mid-January. I thought things were calming down and were going to move forward in a more amicable, respectful fashion."

Her lawyers went on ... "Instead I learned on January 10, 2023 that the entire time I was negotiating the parenting time schedule in California [Jason] was plotting to proceed with the New York Child Support proceeding behind my back."

APRIL 2022
ambushed!!!
BACKGRID

As you know, things got hot last April after Jason's team served Olivia onstage at CinemaCon and a process server slapped her with legal papers stating that Jason was trying to remove the custody case to New York.

It would seem moving the case to California incentivizes Jason to settle up with Olivia.

Gladys Knight Rails on President Biden Over Her PPE Business ... You Met with BTS, Why Not Me?

Gladys Knight is furious that President Biden has invited the likes of BTS to The White House, yet her repeated requests for a sit-down with the President over a vital issue have been ignored ... and she flatly asks the question ... "Are the problems associated with African Americans not equal to those of other races? Why do we have to be last?"

Gladys' company, Riccino Optical, provides COVID-related products, including antigen tests, anti-fog goggles and face shields. Her company, which she describes as an "African American woman owned minority business," has been trying to get a government contract to provide these PPEs to the public, but she says they've been ignored.

The singer says the feds are giving contracts to the "Good old boys' network of Washington D.C. insiders." She goes on to say a contract was specifically targeted to help Native American businesses in this space, yet she says there are no Native American manufacturers of these PPEs, while her company has millions in inventory.

Gladys wrote her letter to Biden in June. Although she went to The White House earlier this week to receive the National Medal of Arts, she did not have a sit-down with the President, even though her husband asked Biden why he hasn't met with her yet.

In her letter, she says, "It is extraordinarily insulting to watch news reports ... that a boy band from South Korea, BTS, had an in-person meeting with President Biden."

She goes on ... "As a longtime, Democrat and Civil rights warrior, as well as a legendary entertainer that has met with President Biden many times in my life, the difficulty of setting up a meeting with him over these issues makes no sense."

She continues ... "It appears as if only youth-oriented artists even if they are not Americans will be greeted in the 'People's House' by our President. I know it is always harder for African Americans to get justice and fair level playing fields in business, but this is becoming ludicrous."

Jay-Z Net Worth Now $2.5 Billion According To Forbes

Jay-Z is still very much a business, mannnn ... according to Forbes, the Roc Nation rapper is now worth a jaw-dropping $2.5 billion following the sale of his alcohol brand.

The updated ranking from Friday makes Hov the 1,203rd richest person in the world.

Back in February, Jay sold his 50% stake of his D’USSÉ cognac back to its parent company Bacardi for a reported $750 million after a tense court battle ... and still retains sizeable ownership in the brand.

Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is still the richest person in the world with a net worth of $216.1 billion ... but bragging rights for the most-paid rapper currently sit with Jigga.

Not only that, Billboard recently named him "The Best Rapper Of All-Time," and he holds the most Grammys for a rapper with 24.

I AM NUMBER 1
Apple Music / The Zane Lowe Show

Lil Wayne recently disputed Jay's title with open regard -- and gained support from respected personality Angie Martinez -- but given the stack of Hov's #1's, that could be a highly contested debate.

Tekashi 6ix9ine I Don't Need Security and I'm Staying Put Can't Scare Me Off!!!

Tekashi 6ix9ine should get the hell out of Dodge or at least up his security after his brutal gym beatdown -- that's what most people think -- but we've learned that ain't the case.

Sources close to Tekashi tell TMZ ... he's actually been going out in public without his hired muscle pretty regularly over the last year -- without issue. We're told he's not about to let one incident change the way he lives. He wants to continue to live as normal a life as possible ... and is chalking up the gym beatdown as an outlier.

JUMPED AT THE GYM

What's more, Tekashi has no plans on leaving South Florida, despite the attackers saying snitches weren't welcome in their neighborhood.

BEFORE THE ATTACK
TMZ.com

As we reported, Tekashi was sent to the hospital after he was pummeled inside the locker room of an LA Fitness -- suffering injuries to his back, face, jaw and ribs. Video obtained by TMZ shows one of the alleged attackers chatting on a cell phone before bringing another inside the facility.

From there, you see both men beeline it to the locker room to execute their attack with a third person.

Lance Lazzaro, Tekashi's attorney, told us he's going to talk with the feds about getting some protection for his client -- but it sounds like 6ix9ine wouldn't be too keen on accepting any.

BGSU's Elissa Brett Punched In Face In Handshake Line ... After WNIT Game

CHAOS ON THE COURT
Courtesy of ESPN/NCAA

Ugly scene following an NCAA women's basketball game on Thursday night ... a Bowling Green State Univ. player was socked in the face in a handshake line.

The sucker punch went down just seconds after BGSU beat Memphis, 73-60, in a round of 16 game in the women's NIT.

Broadcast cameras showed Bowling Green's Elissa Brett got into some sort of argument with Memphis' Jamirah Shutes ... before Shutes reared back and threw a straight right at Brett's face.

The punch connected flush -- sending Brett crashing to the court. Shutes was immediately restrained by her coach.

Brett stayed down for several moments -- eventually bursting out into tears. She was, thankfully, ultimately able to walk off the court under her own power.

It's unclear what sparked the incident, after the game, BGSU head coach Robyn Fralick told reporters, "We’re still trying to figure out all those things out and what happened."

BGSU, meanwhile, released a statement late Thursday night saying cops are now involved in the situation.

"The incident that took place following tonight's home WNIT game has been turned over to the BGSU Police Department," the school said.

"Bowling Green State University Athletics does not make comments about active police investigations. Our priority is with the health, safety and support of our student-athletes."

Brett, a BGSU senior guard, was a key player in the Falcons' win ... scoring 15 points and logging six rebounds in 33 minutes. No word yet if she'll be able to play in BGSU's round of 8 game against Florida on Monday.

Selena Gomez There's No Feud Between Me and Hailey ... Stop Bullying Her!!!

UPDATE

11:54 AM PT -- Hailey Bieber followed up Selena's post with one of her own ... she thanked SG for speaking out and echoed her sentiments about moving past all the drama with compassion. Hailey also followed Selena back on Instagram.

UPDATE

Selena Gomez is finally speaking out amid the fan-fueled drama with Hailey Bieber ... coming to HB's defense and condemning the hate coming her way.

Selena took to IG Friday with a message to her fans ... "Hailey Bieber reached out to me and let me know that she has been receiving death threats and such hateful negativity."

She continued, "This isn't what I stand for. No one should have to experience hate or bullying. I've always advocated for kindness and really want this all to stop.❤️"

What's more ... Selena follows Hailey on IG ... another sign she wants to douse the flames that have erupted on social media.

ICYMI, the rumored beef between Selena and Hailey surfaced after SG posted a video about her eyebrows ... fans took Kylie Jenner's posts with Hailey as a diss against Selena. It takes too long to explain what the alleged dispute was over [in a word, eyebrows] but it was silly.

Fans speculated there was been tension between the two ladies for years, since Hailey got engaged to Justin a couple months after ending his long-term relationship with Selena.

Selena has clearly moved on and wants everyone else to do the same.

Originally Published -- 7:01 AM PT

'Vanderpump Rules' Reunion Raquel Serves Scheana During Taping ... Scheana's Lawyer Calls BS

Raquel Leviss' attempt to squash her beef with Scheana Shay is just a staged stunt for cameras during the reunion taping -- one that has NO impact on their legal battle ... at least that's how Scheana sees it!

Scheana’s lawyer, Neama Rahmani, tells TMZ ... “Rachel had Andy ‘serve’ Scheana with a document during the reunion, but the papers have no legal meaning."

He says the docs were a request to dismiss a complaint or a civil lawsuit -- but Raquel had already requested a permanent restraining order, "which is something completely different."

Rahmani says there's no way for Raquel to drop the current temporary restraining order ahead of next week's hearing, either ... and notes the docs handed to Scheana weren't filed with any court.

Bottom line for Scheana's camp is Raquel simply hammed it up for the sake of the cameras. Scheana's attorney says if Raquel really wanted to mend fences, she'd publicly confess Scheana never really attacked her in NYC, as she alleged in court to get the TRO.

HAVIN' A CHAT
BACKGRID

As we reported, the 2 reality stars were separated during Thursday's taping ... each was in her trailer while the other was on set. Tom Sandoval and Raquel were spotted having a deep convo with each other outside the studio during Thursday's reunion.

Raquel and Scheana had to be separated due to the TRO Raquel currently has against Scheana ... claiming Scheana attacked her immediately after finding out about the "Scandoval" affair.

J Lo Grabs The Spotlight At SZA Concert ... Rocks Fur Coat, Displays Major Dance Moves

JIGGY J LO
TMZ.com

SZA celebrated the end of her month-long tour Thursday night with a star-studded performance in L.A. ... but it was J Lo who really stole the show with her crazy dance moves.

Jenny from the Block gave everyone a crash course on how to cut loose to the music of SZA, who was joined by Lizzo and Phoebe Bridgers on stage at the Kia Theatre.

Check out video, obtained by TMZ, showing J Lo shaking her booty while wrapped in a huge fur coat and sporting cool shades. We're told J Lo was also twerking at one point.

It appears Ben took the night off and stayed home 'cause he was nowhere in sight.

Meanwhile, Jeffree Star made a cameo appearance, dropping in with some friends to watch the concert. The makeup guru kept it low-key, chatting with his posse and enjoying all the entertainment.

GLORIOUS GUESTS

At two points during the show, SZA shared the spotlight with Phoebe and Lizzo, each singing one song with the R&B superstar. Phoebe cranked out SZA's "Ghost in the Machine" while Lizzo performed her own tune, "Special."

To top it all off, SZA was presented with a chain, plaque and cake in celebration of the final night of her 18-show tour to promote her second album, 'SOS."

Tom & Raquel Serious Heart-to-Heart Outside 'VPR' Reunion

It doesn't appear Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss have lost any feelings for each other despite some serious outside pressure ... sharing a deep convo during the show's reunion.

Check out the pics of Tom and Raquel -- both dressed in black like it's a funeral -- as they sit in the parking lot outside their dressing room trailers for Thursday's taping of the "Vanderpump Rules" reunion show.

HAVIN' A CHAT
BACKGRID

Things look serious at times, but happy during others ... all while cameras roll.

Obviously, it's unclear what exactly they're talking about, but the show's special is supposed to get explosive -- as it's the first time Tom, Raquel and his ex, Ariana Madix are all coming face-to-face to talk about Tom's cheating with Raquel.

TMZ broke the story ... show producers also had to navigate the logistics of including Scheana Shay in the reunion as Raquel currently has a restraining order against Shay.

Remember, Raquel claims Scheana attacked her after learning of the cheating situation, dubbed "Scandoval," and the order demands Shay stay 100 yards away from Raquel. We're told Raquel and Scheana will be rotated in and out of the reunion set to avoid each other.

Get your popcorn ready.

Michael Bay Cops Believe Undercover Burglars Targeted Home

Michael Bay seems to have just gone through a little déjà vu when it comes to shady dudes rolling up to a rich person's crib incognito -- at least that's what his staff told cops.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ .... one of Bay's employees told cops two men buzzed Mike's intercom at his L.A. area home Monday, telling the worker who answered they were city officials there to check the water meters, but something felt off to Bay's staffer.

RANDOM PULL-UP
TMZ.com

First of all, the men arrived in a white van with New York plates, which didn't make sense if they were working for the city. Second, Bay's employee noticed one of the alleged city employee's uniforms looked off -- with his stomach exposed.

Pair that with the fact the men appeared to be scoping the place out, looking all over ... so Bay's employee decided to call the cops.

Our sources say the staffer didn't give them access to the property ... so the dudes scrammed.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... cops showed up and investigated it as an attempted trespass ... but it's actually being viewed as something more serious ... namely, would-be burglars scoping out a target. We're told detectives are on the case.

No word on whether Michael himself was home ... but if he had been, he probably could've seen this one from a mile away. Remember, he did something similar in "Bad Boys II."

Oldest trick in the book.

'Vanderpump Rules' Ariana Madix Givin' Good Vibes To Sex Toy Company ... Tons Of Sign-Ups For Collab!

Ariana Madix is giving the sex toy company she recently cut a deal with something to scream about ... because we're told there's been a MASSIVE turnout in sign-ups for her big giveaway collab since she dropped the news.

A spokesperson for the adult-themed shop, Bellesa Boutique, tells TMZ ... in less than 24 hours since the "Vanderpump Rules" star announced her vibrator giveaway, the site's had tens of thousands of sign-ups!!!

We're told Bellesa's already given away 400 free vibrators as part of the collab, and the team's expecting to cross the 1K mark. The giveaway has most people walkin' away with a gift card that ranges from $30 to $75, with only a small number winning the free toy.

Twitter's been loving every minute of this perfectly timed collab -- and Bellesa even jumped in on the fun with a hilarious meme about those "wronged by a Tom."

As we reported, Ariana made the giveaway announcement Thursday, saying you "gotta change up your vibe" sometimes -- cleverly referencing her breakup with Tom Sandoval after he cheated on her with Raquel Leviss.

We're told Bellesa will continue to give out free prizes until this Sunday -- so get on it!!!

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