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Meek Mill Gets State Key to Connecticut

3/19/2019 3:39 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Meek Mill's city-to-city -- and now, state-to-state -- government recognition tour is rolling over to Connecticut, where he's receiving a state key for his efforts to reform criminal justice.

Meek is set to perform Tuesday night at the XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, where we're told Connecticut State Rep. Brandon McGee will give Meek a key to the state ... as well as a state-level proclamation declaring March 19, 2019 as "Meek Mill Day" in the Nutmeg State.

We're told Meek's getting this honor for the same reasons he's been getting "Days" all over the country during his current Motivation Tour -- namely, his activism to retool the criminal justice system. It also falls just as Connecticut passed some crucial new legislation toward that end.

The state legislature recently passed a bill to restore voting privileges to convicted felons who are on parole. Coincidentally, Meek's new org, REFORM Alliance, happened to co-sponsor the bill ... so his shout out from the Constitution State is perfectly timed.

Meek's already gotten honors like this from Houston and his hometown -- Philly actually gave him an entire weekend -- but Tuesday night's honor is first on a state level until now.

Championship stuff, for sure. 

Beto O'Rourke Party At The Crop Circle!!! Artist Extends Invite

3/19/2019 1:03 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Beto O'Rourke is getting one of the strangest party invitations ever extended to a presidential candidate ... courtesy of the mastermind behind the Beto 2020 crop circle. 

Stan Herd, the creator of the 2-acre political ad featuring Beto's mug, is putting on a full-court press to convince Beto to take part in a huge gathering at the crop circle in Austin, Texas ... and he wants Willie Nelson to be there as well!!!

Stan's party visions are pretty wild ... he's envisioning Beto in the middle of the crop circle, surrounded by 10,000 supporters hugging the installation's exterior. Everything is bigger in Texas!!!

Party plans aside ... Stan tells us the crop circle took over 2 weeks and $12,000 to complete. It popped up a few miles from the Austin airport days after Beto announced his plans to run for Prez. 

No word yet if Beto will accept the party invite -- but he'd certainly be a lot cooler if he did.

Alright, alright, alright!!!

College Bribery Scandal Felicity, Lori Arrests Show System's Flaws ... Says SAT Prep Expert

3/19/2019 1:53 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Shaan Patel's not shocked or outraged by the recent college admissions scandal, and says the ultimate fallout will be more people -- yes, even the filthy rich -- opting to take a legal route to higher scores.

Shaan's company, Prep Expert, really took off after he appeared on "Shark Tank" and convinced Mark Cuban to invest. On Tuesday's "TMZ Live," he admitted the college entrance process has always been rigged to favor 1 percenters ... hence the $1,000/hr. he's gotten as a tutor! 

He says the difference between the alleged cheating/bribery scandal and courses like his is simple -- results. Make that, LEGAL results -- and he claims to have the numbers to back that up. 

Still, he doesn't dodge the notion that desire to get into name-brand schools -- like Harvard, Yale, USC and Stanford -- can lead to parents making shady deals.

Ya know, like allegedly paying $500,000 to have your daughters designated as recruits for the crew team ... when they don't actually row.

Translation: the whole process is a racket -- has been for a long time -- but there are cheaper, less criminal paths to success.

Robert Kraft Offered Plea Deal In Prostitution Case ... Includes STD Testing

3/19/2019 11:08 AM PDT
Breaking News

It's time for Robert Kraft to play "Let's Make a Deal" ... Asian Spa prostitute edition! 

The Patriots owner has been offered a plea deal in his rub-and-tug case ... TMZ Sports has confirmed. We're told prosecutors are willing to drop the criminal charges -- if Kraft agrees to a battery of embarrassing punishments. 

Kraft's proposed penance includes ... completing a course about prostitution and 100 hours of community service. He would also have to submit to an STD test. Yeesh. 

There's more ... Kraft would also have to state that if the case were to go to trial, he would be found guilty. 

We're told the deal is not specific to Kraft -- other men busted in the prostitution sting have received the same offer. 

The issue for Kraft ... he's already pled not guilty, and there doesn't seem to be any upside in the offer from prosecutors -- so it would be shocking if he accepted this deal, or anything close to it.

News of the proposed plea deal was first reported by the Wall Street Journal

Unclear if Kraft will accept the terms of the deal. His case is due back in court on March 28. 

As we previously reported, 77-year-old Kraft is accused of going to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa on two separate occasions in January and paying for sex acts

He's been charged with 2 counts of soliciting prostitution. 

'Y&R' Star Kristoff St. John Died from Heart Disease ... Triggered by Alcohol Abuse

3/19/2019 11:48 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

11:48 AM PT -- According to the autopsy report -- obtained by TMZ -- St. John was discharged from a mental health facility just 2 days before his death. The report says he was admitted after threatening to hurt himself.

Kristoff St. John died from heart disease and alcohol abuse ... according to a report from the L.A. coroner's office.

The 'Young and the Restless' star's official cause of death is listed as hypertrophic heart disease and is categorized as accidental, according to the report obtained by TMZ. The disease makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood and often goes undiagnosed.

As for the "accidental" label -- that's because Kristoff was apparently on an alcohol binge at the time of his death. 

We broke the story ... 52-year-old Kristoff was found dead last month at his home in the San Fernando Valley. Law enforcement sources say one of the actor's friends went to check on him and found his body. Police and paramedics responded, and we're told Kristoff was pronounced dead on the scene.

As we reported ... a source close to Kristoff tells us the actor checked himself into UCLA Medical Center in January for depression issues, and he had just been released a few days before his death. We're told Kristoff's depression was partially linked to his son, Julian's suicide in 2014. It also seems to be the likely trigger for Kristoff's heavy drinking at the time of his death. 

As you know, around the 3-year anniversary of Julian's suicide in 2017, Kristoff allegedly threatened to take his own life with a gun ... and cops placed him under a 72-hour hold for psychiatric evaluation.

Kristoff had played Neil Winters on 'Y&R' since 1991 -- earning 9 Daytime Emmy Award nominations for the role. He also won 10 NAACP Image Awards.

Originally Published -- 9:38 AM PT

Nelly Slams Accuser's Lawyer in UK Case ... You're Hurting All Victims!!!

3/19/2019 12:02 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nelly's had it up to here with allegations by the attorney for his accuser in the UK assault case ... and is now lashing out at her.

The rapper's firing back at the lawyer for the anonymous Jane Doe ... the lawyer who made claims Essex Police engaged in misconduct by treating the alleged victim as a suspect.

Nelly tells TMZ ... "It is time for me to personally speak up against this! I have remained quiet and haven’t said anything or done anything other than fully cooperate on every level of the investigation to allow law enforcement to do whatever they need to get to the bottom of these accusations."

Nelly insists he's remained quiet and fully cooperative with UK law enforcement's investigation, adding ... "In spite of my complete cooperation, this same lawyer in both cases against me, is claiming the police in two different countries 'won’t help her clients', 'are incompetent' and is consistently painting a picture that I am 'bullying the police' in two different countries to not do their job."

He believes the lawyer is going to the media for her own personal gain, and it's only doing harm to real victims by creating an idea that cops won't have their backs.

Nelly says, "Not only is this attorney continuously damaging my reputation to forge ahead with civil suits to get money, she is doing a severe disservice to women and true victims that need a safe system to report assaults against them with claims like 'police won’t help' and 'botched the case,' 'clients are being treated like suspects by the police' leaving real victims to feel like reporting would be of no help."

Read The Rest of Nelly's Statement
In other news...

Blac Chyna Wishes Ex Rob Kardashian a Happy Birthday

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'Bachelor' Alum Lauren B. Flaunts Ripped Bod ... Maui Vacay with BF Chris Lane!!!

3/19/2019 10:53 AM PDT

'Bachelor' alum Lauren Bushnell and her country star BF are putting their bods on display and, perhaps, sending a message to their fans: skip Taco Tuesday, get your ass ready for summer!

Lauren B. and Chris Lane are soaking up some rays while on vacay in Maui. They played a little corn hole and looked every bit the perfectly fit couple. She wore the hell out of a navy blue bikini ... and laughed it up with the "Take Back Home Girl" singer, who kept it cool with board shorts, shades and a cap. 

BTW ... Chris most definitely looks familiar to 'Bachelor' fans. He performed his hit song, "For Her," on Nick Viall's season. 

Lauren, of course, was the winner on Ben Higgins' season but they split back in May 2017. A little over a year later, she started dating Chris, whose previous GF was Lauren Barr ... another 'Bachelor' hopeful from Ben's season. Yeah, Chris has a type.

He and Lauren started dating last November and it looks like they're still going strong.

Just like their bods.

'Ray Donovan' Star Pooch Hall Plea Deal in DUI, Child Abuse Case

3/19/2019 10:31 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"Ray Donovan" star Marion "Pooch" Hall will not do any jail time for his alarming DUI ... which ended with him wrecking his car while his baby was in the back seat. 

Hall struck a deal with prosecutors -- he entered a no contest plea to misdemeanor DUI and to child endangerment. For the DUI his sentence is 3 years probation and a 3-month alcohol program. 

TMZ broke the story ... Hall was charged with felony child abuse and DUI back in October after a witness saw him driving with his toddler in his lap and holding the steering wheel. He blew a .25 ... more than 3 times the legal limit.

He eventually swerved off and smashed into a parked car. One eyewitness said he saw the child crying in the front seat and saw the car seat laying among the junk in the backseat. The car seat was not installed.

Still, he won't do any time for the child endangerment. The deal calls for Hall to complete a one-year parenting class, and if he does ... the charge will be dismissed.

This didn't appear to be an isolated incident.

Pooch put his kids in danger when he recorded himself while behind the wheel ... showing one of his sons on video standing in the back seat and clearly not wearing a seatbelt. 

Mama June Sneering Mug Shot After Crack Arrest

3/19/2019 8:23 AM PDT

Mama June's mug shot just surfaced from last week's arrest for crack cocaine ... and it's clear to see, she was anything but impressed.

TMZ broke the story ... Mama June and her boyfriend, Geno Doak, were both arrested last Wednesday after a reported domestic incident at an Alabama gas station. When police investigated, they say they discovered controlled substances on both of them, including drug paraphernalia.

Cops say Mama June was in possession of crack cocaine and a glass pipe, she also had $1300 cash in her bra ... and Geno -- who was also arrested for domestic violence/harassment -- had a needle in his pocket. 

As we first told you ... the reality TV star was feeling lucky days after her arrest, strolling into an Alabama casino early Saturday morning and hitting up the slots.

Geno was there too -- watching as Mama June tried to hit the jackpot -- which could be a big problem considering court docs stated he had to stay away from her following the arrest. 

Mama June's family is pissed at Geno ... they're blaming him for the crack arrest and June's downward spiral. They've been together for 3 years, and Geno has a long rap sheet including arrests for theft, burglary and property damage. 

In other news...

Katy Perry Fawns Over Handsome 'American Idol' Hopeful Who's Had a 'Crush on Her Forever'

She might be engaged to Orlando Bloom, but that doesn't mean Katy Perry isn't going to shamelessly flirt with some of the American Idol hopefuls trying out for a spot on the show this season

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Prince Charles Rockin' His Spring Break Trunks With Camilla in Barbados

3/19/2019 10:44 AM PDT

Prince Charles is getting in on the spring break action ... splashing around on a Caribbean beach with his bae. 

The Prince and Camilla are busting out their swimwear for some fun on the island of Barbados. Gotta give props to the 70-year-old for rocking some seriously trendy floral trunks. Go ahead ... soak it in. We don't get to see Chuck in board shorts that often.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are on a 12-day tour of the Caribbean. After getting some Royal business out of the way, Charles and Camilla hit the sand Monday -- armed with a ton of sunscreen, we hope.  

Note to the Prince ... this would be a perfect time to follow your mom's lead and do it for the Gram!!!

Wendy Williams I'm Living in a Sober House ... Don't Let My Glam Fool You

3/19/2019 8:41 AM PDT

Wendy Williams just made a very personal revelation -- she's now getting round-the-clock help to deal with addiction issues. 

She made a very emotional announcement Tuesday on her talk show ... revealing she's currently living in a sober house somewhere in the Tri-State Area -- of NY, NJ & CT -- and has been for some time now. Wendy teared up quite a bit as her audience listened intently.

Wendy talked about battling cocaine addiction in the past, but never sought treatment to stay clean ... until now, that is. She didn't specifically say what substance she's addicted to now. Wendy added she has a 24-hour sobriety coach, and spoke lovingly about the "brothers and sisters" in addiction with whom she's living now. 

She took an extended leave from her show back in mid-January and didn't return until a couple of weeks ago. As you know ... she also told viewers last year she was suffering from Graves' disease before taking a 3-week hiatus.

Peloton Sued You Didn't Work Out the Rights to Our Songs ... Music Companies Claim

3/19/2019 8:15 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The insanely successful Peloton bikes, which changed the fitness game, have done so by jacking songs to use for its instructional classes ... according to a new lawsuit.

Peloton is being sued by several different music publishing companies because -- according to new docs obtained by TMZ -- the company did not acquire the rights to play numerous hit songs featured in its wildly popular interactive spin classes.

The docs say Peloton currently has more than 600k subscribers and is reported to be worth more than $4 BILLION ... and the music publishing companies claim a big part of that success is due to the music playing during the classes.

Some of the songs listed in the suit include "Umbrella" and "Diamonds" by Rihanna, "Don't Wake Me Up" by Chris Brown, along with older hits like "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar. Rihanna's hit track, "Umbrella," has been used in at least 55 workout vids since 2017 ... according to the docs.

All in all, the publishers say they've ID'd more than a thousand songs in their catalogs that Peloton is using without proper permission.

Peloton is being sued for massive damages. 

Paris Jackson Rejecting Rehab ... Post Suicide Scare

3/19/2019 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Paris Jackson is being encouraged by people very close to her to go to rehab, but she's resisting.

Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ ... those close to Paris suggested rehab after what law enforcement says was a suicide attempt over the weekend, landing her in the hospital. We're told the attempted suicide shows some serious underlying problems ... they say Paris is dealing with all sorts of emotional issues as well as substance abuse issues. 

Our sources say Paris' team had help ready to spring into action Sunday, but she refused. 

TMZ broke the story ... Paris slit her wrists and was rushed to a hospital early Saturday morning, where she was placed on a temporary 5150 hold. We're told she's been distraught ever since "Leaving Neverland" began airing.

As to why Paris was released just hours after she was hospitalized, our sources say she told the hospital that had admitted her that her lawyers were taking her to UCLA Medical Center, and the hospital let her go with the attorneys, but she never ended up at UCLA.

Paris is almost 21 -- she's an adult, and therefore the decision to check into rehab is hers and hers alone.

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