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Chris Brown I'm Suing Alleged Rape Victim for Defamation

1/22/2019 5:31 PM PST

Chris Brown is going on the offensive after his arrest for allegedly raping a woman in Paris, because he's going to sue her for defamation.

Chris' Parisian lawyer, Raphael Chiche, says, "Chris Brown is free. No lawsuits were filed against him. He vigorously challenges the charges against him. A complaint for slanderous denunciation will be filed tomorrow with the public prosecutor of Paris."

As we reported, Chris claims he was set up by the 24-year-old model, who claimed Chris took her to his hotel in Paris and violently raped her. Chris called BS, saying he was never alone with the women.  We're told he insists he was playing music off his iPhone in the living room of the suite with 20 people around him the entire time.

Brown was released from police custody Tuesday, but prosecutors say the investigation is still ongoing. A source in the judicial system of Paris tells TMZ the fact Brown was released with no conditions and free to leave the country is a sign authorities have problems with the case. 

Anthony Scaramucci Trump Can't Drain The D.C. Swamp

1/22/2019 6:21 PM PST

Anthony Scaramucci keeps spilling White House tea in the 'Big Brother' house, and he says there's no way President Trump is going to be able to deliver on one of his biggest campaign promises ... draining the swamp. 

Anthony, who worked in Trump's White House for 10 days before being fired, says the Prez won't be able to drain the swamp in D.C. ... and ya gotta hear his reason why.

The Mooch started talking politics with comedian Tom Green on Tuesday's episode of "Celebrity Big Brother" ... and they touched on a range of topics, from Scaramucci's potential return to the Trump administration to the government shutdown

Watch ... the Mooch doesn't have a lot of good things to say about his brief stint in Washington.

Drake, Odell Beckham Jr. Sued Over Nightclub Beatdown

1/22/2019 3:12 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

5:40 PM PT -- Sipes' attorney -- Colin Jones, a partner at the Wilshire Law Firm -- tells TMZ, "We gave the defendant's months to settle this claim without litigation, but when they failed to be accountable for their actions, we were left with no choice but to file suit to seek justice for our client."Drake, Odell Beckham Jr. and Kourtney Kardashian's ex are being sued by a guy who claims he was viciously beaten by a gang of thugs and Drake and Beckham were behind it.

Bennett Sipes claims in a new lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, he was at Delilah nightclub in WeHo when there was a confrontation inside between himself and the defendants. When he attempted to leave the VIP area, he says Drake gave the "throat slash" hand gesture.

As he was attempting to enter the restroom, he says he was attacked by Younes Bendjima, Kourtney Kardashian's ex, along with members of Drake and Beckham's entourage. 

The video shows the brutal fight. Sipes says he continues to incur medical bills and suffers "extreme mental anguish and physical pain."

As TMZ first reported, a source at the club told us Sipes "talked smack" as he approached the group.  

Sipes filed a police report, but changed his mind and dropped it ... at least criminally.

He's also suing Delilah and others. 

Nick Sandmann No Apology for Nathan Phillips ... But I'd Like to Talk to Him

1/22/2019 3:18 PM PST

The MAGA hat-wearing high schooler who drew the ire of many for standing and smirking at Vietnam vet Nathan Phillips during a protest says he meant no disrespect ... but it doesn't seem like he's planning on saying sorry either.

Nick Sandmann is speaking in public for the first time since the incident went down in D.C. Friday, telling 'Today' show co-host Savannah Guthrie he feels he had every right to do what he did.

Sandmann also tells Guthrie, who asks him if he sees any fault in his actions, he respects Phillips and hopes he can talk to him ... and wishes he could have avoided the situation.

As you know, Sandmann and his classmates from Covington Catholic HS in Kentucky were seen on video surrounding Phillips -- a Native American participating in the Indigenous People's March -- laughing and chanting at him while he was singing and drumming.

Sandmann particularly stood out as he stood face-to-face with Phillips, steadfast with a smirk.

Many believe the vid shows the students harassing Phillips, but others came to the defense of Sandmann and the students later, claiming a longer video shows Phillips was the instigator of the confrontation. Sandmann backed this in a full written statement, claiming Phillips singled him out and he simply stood his ground.

Sandmann's full interview will air on Wednesday morning on "Today."

Chris Brown Released in Paris Rape Case Free to Leave France

1/22/2019 1:20 PM PST
Exclusive Details

1:20 PM PT -- French prosecutors tell TMZ Brown is free to leave France. He was released on his own recognizance, without bail.  

1:08 PM PT -- We've confirmed Brown and the other 2 men who were detained have been released. The prosecutor's office tells TMZ, "The investigations, which are not closed at this stage, will continue under the authority of the Paris prosecutor's office."

12:33 PM PT -- A source close to Chris tells us he and his team were just released from police custody. Chris just took to Instagram to seemingly address the situation, saying, "This Bitch Lyin'." He continues, " I WANNA MAKE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR...... THIS IS FALSE AND A WHOLE LOT OF CAP! NNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEERRRRRR!!!!!!"

"FOR MY DAUGHTER AND MY FAMILY THIS IS SO DISPRESPECTFUL AND IS AGAINST MY CHARACTER AND MORALS!!!!!" 

Chris Brown allegedly raped a woman in a hotel dressing room for 25-30 minutes and it was "brutal and violent" -- so says Closer Magazine, which posted an article claiming to have interviewed the alleged victim.

Closer, which broke the story Brown was being investigated for rape, calls the woman by a pseudonym -- Karima -- a 24-year-old model who told the mag she met Brown at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Paris on January 15 at around 10:30 PM and then went to a nightclub.  

Karima told Closer at 4 AM Brown and his crew wanted to return to the hotel, and she said she was tired but they convinced her to go back to the Mandarin with a group of people.

She says once inside his suite, she went to the bathroom, Brown followed her and "catches me by the right arm. He makes me enter a sort of dressing room. He closed the door ... it lasted 25-30 minutes."

She describes the alleged rape as "brutal and violent." She says she was then "abused" by one of Brown's friends and a bodyguard.

Karima says she went to cops 2 days later, adding she was scared but ultimately decided she didn't want Brown to "be able to do the same things to other girls."

Someone connected to Brown tells us the singer was never alone with the alleged victim and says Chris' girlfriend, Ammika Harris, was in the hotel room the whole time. He says there were more than 20 people in the room "hanging out" and listening to music Brown was playing on his iPhone.

We have reached out to Brown's U.S. lawyer for a response, but so far no word back.

Originally Published -- 11:04 AM PT

Michael Costello To Bebe Rexa 'F**k' Those Other Fashion Designers ... I'll Dress You For Free!!!

1/22/2019 2:32 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Bebe Rexha needs to hit up an old friend, fashion designer Michael Costello, because he tells us he's got the perfect look to show off her sexy curves at the Grammys ... size 2 dresses be damned!!!

We got Michael, who appeared on "Project Runway," outside his store in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday ... and he shared some of his plans to highlight Bebe's curvy figure at next month's Grammy Awards -- pro bono!

As you know ... Bebe -- who just got her first Grammy nomination -- went NUCLEAR on fashion designers who she claims refused to dress her for the awards show because her figure isn't small enough ... telling them she doesn't want to wear their "f**king dresses" anyway!

Michael, who dressed Beyonce when she picked up 3 Grammys in 2014, says he's totally on board with Bebe and all those other designers can "f**k" off! 

Watch ... Michael delivers his pitch to dress Bebe, and says he's only one call away.

In other news...

Watch Tom Brady Swear A Bunch In Uncensored Patriots Locker Room Video

After the game, the typically squeaky-clean Brady had a NSFW moment on live TV

SEE MORE »

R. Kelly Chicago Studio Hit With 66 Violations ... Facing Heavy Fines!!!

1/22/2019 12:20 PM PST
Exclusive Details

12:20 PM PT -- According to R. Kelly's attorney Melvin L. Sims III ... despite the violations, the judge sided with the singer and rejected the City of Chicago's motion to shut the building down completely.

Kelly's legal team argued the problems with the studio did not mount to an "Emergency" situation, so instead, repairs were ordered along with the removal of personal items. Sims says the studio is still open for business as a studio during normal working hours.

R. Kelly is in serious trouble with Chicago officials because the city is going after him for a laundry list of building violations at his studio ... and it could end up costing the singer a ton of cash!!! 

The Chicago studio, heavily featured in "Surviving R. Kelly" was slammed with 66 building code violations, most notably for using the place as a residence and not obtaining permits to build a sauna, steam room and a bar ... this according to legal docs. 

In the docs, each violation comes with a fine ranging between $500 to $1,000 for each day the violation goes unaddressed ... and with 66 violations, R. Kelly could be looking at a fine between $33k to $66k per day!

The court has already ordered R. Kelly to remove all personal items from the premises and he can only use the space as a recording studio from 9 AM to 5 PM. 

As you know ... R. Kelly's studio was swarmed last week by Chicago cops and the Cook County Building and Zoning Department -- and they ended up filing a complaint against R. Kelly.

Sources close to R. Kelly deny he's ever lived in the studio and R. Kelly believes the space is exactly as it was when he first started renting it 3-4 years ago.

Originally Published -- 11:46 AM PT

Johnny Depp Files New Legal Docs Claiming Proof He Never Struck Amber Heard

1/22/2019 10:29 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

2:33 PM PT -- Depp's lawyer, Adam Waldman, tells TMZ, "The dozens of Eastern Columbia Building security camera video files we recently obtained, coupled with multiple newly obtained eyewitness affidavits and sworn depositions taken in 2016, leave no doubt that Amber Heard faked the abuse claims that underpin the Sun's defamation against Mr. Depp." Again, Heard maintains Depp struck her with a phone and his hands.Johnny Depp has just filed legal docs citing new evidence that he never beat then-wife Amber Heard ... a claim she made during their acrimonious divorce.

Depp filed the docs in the U.K., where he's suing The Sun for defamation in connection with an article calling him "wife-beater." The article referenced an altercation between Depp and Heard on May 21, 2016 at their downtown L.A. home. Amber says he threw a phone at her face and then pummeled her and she took photos of her injuries

Depp's new documents include witness statements, saying they saw Amber in the apartment building on May 21 and saw no red marks or bruising on her face. One witness says she didn't see the mark until 6 days later.

Amber also took photos of broken glass in the apartment, claiming Johnny hurled glass and shattered it in the unit. One of the witnesses states in his declaration, "There was no smashed glass that I noticed in the apartment at the time."

Amber has adamantly stuck by her version of events, and Johnny has implied she injured herself after the fact and took pictures.

He also cites in the documents 2 cops who responded on May 21 and gave 2 depositions stating they saw no injuries on Amber. The cops claim Amber said nothing had happened.

The docs say there's security camera footage on the 4 days immediately following the alleged attack, showing Amber's face. Presumably, Depp's lawyer is saying the footage does not show any injuries.

Again, the new filings were in connection with his defamation lawsuit against The Sun. Depp says "They must have made a positive decision to present a totally one-sided picture, leaving out my side of the story and pretending it either did not exist or was not worth considering."

Jackie Robinson Historic Baseball Contracts for Auction ... Appraised at $36 Mil

1/22/2019 11:18 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jackie Robinson's contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers -- one of the most important documents of all time -- is hitting the auction block and it's expected to fetch MILLIONS ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

The 1947 contract -- which made Robinson the first black player to sign with an MLB team -- will be sold along with Jackie's 1945 contract with the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers minor league team. 

Bidding on the items, hosted by Goldin Auctions, began on Monday ... starting bid was $5 MILLION. 

We spoke with Ken Goldin who tells us he's had the items appraised by a rare documents expert who valued the pair at $36 million. Goldin says 10% of the final sale price will be donated to the Jackie Robinson Foundation. 

The contracts have been on the auction block before -- most recently in 2017 -- but it did not hit the $15 million reserve, so it went back to the consignor. 

Now, the seller is giving the sale another shot ... with a lower reserve. 

Jackie's 1947 contract with the Dodgers specifies the team will pay him $5,000 for the '47 season. 

The contract states Robinson will "keep himself in first class physical condition" and will "obey the club's training rules."

Robinson also agreed to pledge himself to "the American public and to the Club to conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship."

The contract was signed by Robinson and Dodgers president Branch Rickey on April 11, 1947 ... along with National League president Ford Frick

Of course, Robinson went on to break the color barrier and crushed the league during his rookie season -- winning N.L. Rookie of the Year honors. The Dodgers went to the World Series that year but lost to the Yankees. 

As for Robinson's minor league contract ... it stipulates he was paid $600 per month during the season. 

According to the inflation calculator, $600 back in 1945 is worth about $8,374 now.

Robinson passed away in 1972 at the age of 53. 

Chris Brown Arrested for Rape, Drugs

1/22/2019 5:45 AM PST
Breaking News

5:45 AM PT -- A longtime Parisian criminal defense lawyer tells TMZ, Chris has effectively been arrested. Within 2 days he must either be released or appear in court, where a prosecutor can ask the judge to either keep Brown in custody pending trial or let him go free with "obligations." If Brown's released with obligations, we're told he could be required to surrender his passport to French authorities and would remain in Paris pending trial, which typically takes a year. 

The lawyer adds Brown could be required to go to the police station every 2 weeks to ensure he's still in France.  

Chris Brown and two members of his team have been arrested by French police after a woman claims she was raped by the singer in a hotel.

French authorities confirm to TMZ Brown has been detained and is in custody for alleged aggravated rape and narcotics offenses. Authorities went on to say he is being processed, which is the French version of being arrested and booked. 

The woman says she met Brown overnight between January 15-16 at club Le Crystal and then headed back to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with the singer where she claims to have been raped.

Investigators have two days to decide to file preliminary charges or to let Brown go.

Chris was spotted at Le Cirque Club in Paris Saturday night -- just three days after the alleged rape -- with Ammika Harris, a woman who he is reportedly dating.

Brown was prosecuted for felony assault and making criminal threats after he brutally attacked Rihanna in Los Angeles. The beating left Rihanna with visible facial injuries to her eyes and mouth which required hospitalization.

Brown later pled guilty to a felony and was sentenced to community service, 5 years probation and domestic violence counseling.

Brown was sued back in May by a woman who claimed she was raped at a party at the singer's home. The woman claimed Brown supplied party attendees with Molly, cocaine and weed and that it was one of his friends who raped her. 

The LAPD investigated the woman's claim after she filed a report, but could not determine if the sex was forced or consensual. The lawsuit is ongoing.

Originally Published -- 4:45 AM PT

CBS Smokes Plans for SB Weed Ad ... Company's CEO Responds

1/22/2019 10:50 AM PST
Exclusive Details

10:50 AM PT -- Acreage's founder and CEO, Kevin P. Murphy, tells TMZ ... the Super Bowl spot was going to be a PSA, not an ad for his company. He says the message was going to be a positive one, emphasizing the benefits of cannabis with testimonials about how it has saved lives ... including the child suffering constant seizures and a man addicted to opiates.

Murphy says his company was set to spend more than $5 mil on the PSA ... but to no avail.

7:40 AM PT -- Sources connected to the network tell TMZ, CBS does not accept any cannabis-related advertising. The sources add they are not aware of any broadcasters who will air such ads.

It's the Super Bowl ... not the Smoke-a-Bowl -- that's the message CBS gave to a marijuana company that wanted to run a pro-weed ad during the big game. 

The company behind the ad is Acreage Holdings -- which has a license to grow and distribute marijuana in several states. 

In fact, former Speaker of the House John Boehner is on the board -- and has been promoting the company heavily for months. Boehner is a huge proponent of medical marijuana. 

Acreage claims it submitted a proposal to CBS to air a commercial during the Super Bowl on Feb. 3 -- but they were rejected after seeing a rough outline of the spot, according to Bloomberg.com

We've learned Acreage already produced the ad and among the message points -- there's a story about a woman who lived in Oklahoma whose son suffers from Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.

The woman had to move to Colorado with her son because she couldn't get medical marijuana in OKC due to the laws at the time, despite the fact doctors recommended weed to help him out. 

The message is that not allowing medical marijuana is not just bad politics, but it's cruel to people who need it since there's medical proof that it alleviates pain and suffering.

FYI, medical pot is now legal in more than 30 states -- but it's still outlawed federally ... which may have factored into CBS's decision to put the kibosh on the ad. 

Acreage president George Allen told Bloomberg the ad was meant to "create an advocacy campaign for constituents who are being lost in the dialogue."

Allen says the company was serious about spending the money on a Super Bowl ad because "It’s hard to compete with the amount of attention something gets when it airs during the Super Bowl."

Originally Published -- 7:27 AM PT

Damon Dash Sued Dear Damon ... You're Not Part of 'Dear Frank'!!!

1/22/2019 9:44 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Damon Dash is duping the general public about an upcoming movie he claims to have ties to when he really had nothing to do with it at all ... according to a new lawsuit.

The legendary hip-hop mogul is being sued by director Josh Webber and Muddy Water Pictures for allegedly trying to advertise and shop a movie he was once a part of -- but later dropped from -- and pushing it as his own flick ... causing confusion in the marketplace.

In the doc, obtained by TMZ, Josh and MWP say Dame has been sending promotional material to outlets like BET for a movie he's been calling "The List" ... which Josh and MWP say has actually been renamed "Dear Frank" since Dame's departure.

Here's the deal ... Josh and MWP claim Dame was tied to the project back in 2016 and was supposed to direct. Unfortunately, they say Dame proved to not be up to the task ... as they allege he was often high on set while they shot at his Sherman Oaks property.

Josh and MWP say they officially dropped Dame in 2018, since no official contract was ever signed between the parties ... and they went on to make the film, which is due out in February and stars Claudia Jordan. But now, Josh and MWP say Dame has been trying to push himself as part of the project ... even though he isn't. 

They're suing Dame for defamation and copyright infringement -- and are asking a judge to declare once and for all that they, in fact, own the rights to "Dear Frank." Josh and MWP also want damages.

As for Damon ... sources close to him tell TMZ that the only reason Josh and MWP are suing is because they knew he was coming with a lawsuit of his own. He alleges that they shot the movie at his house with his equipment, and that they then stole the footage to push it without him. We're told he's got evidence to back his claim, and will present all of it shortly.

Chick-fil-A No Exception for Super Bowl Sunday ... We'll Be Closed in ATL

1/22/2019 8:23 AM PST
Breaking News

Chick-fil-A is punting on the opportunity to score LOTS of potential cash by refusing to open up one very important location for Super Bowl Sunday.

Sources connected to the fast-food chain tell us the Chick-fil-A stand inside Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium -- where Super Bowl LIII will be played in a couple weeks -- will, in fact, remain closed on Feb. 3 ... just like every other Sunday before it. 

We're told that although the MBS location won't be open, Chick-fil-A is still one of the corporate sponsors for the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee ... and our sources say CfA is happy to be there in spirit and through its donation to JFK Park.

Much to the chagrin of foodies everywhere, Chick-fil-A notoriously closes up shop on Sundays to give employees a much-needed day off to be with family or go to church.

That's why folks were thrown for a loop back in 2017 when a location sprung up inside MBS, where the Falcons play on Sundays. The operator has said there's tons of other events happening at MBS throughout the year -- enough so, apparently, to make it worth their while.

Just to give you a sense of how much of a cash cow Chick-fil-A is ignoring for this upcoming game -- it could be in the ballpark of half a mil, more or less. Probably more, though.

This guy says they've sold as many as 5,000 sandwiches in one night. Considering Super Bowl stadiums have hit 100,000-plus attendees in recent years ... that's a potential $409,000 Chick-fil-A is losing out on if everyone bought just one of their basic sandwiches.

Lordy.

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