Kobe Bryant 8th Grade Yearbook Hits Auction Block ... Signed 'How Bout Those Lakers' As 13-Year-Old

Iconic Auctions

Kobe Bryant was purple and gold as a 13-year-old -- signing his middle school friend's yearbook with "How bout those Lakers" -- and now the book can be yours.

Iconic Auctions has the super-unique piece of memorabilia on the auction block ... and it's pretty amazing.

In 1992, Kobe -- who just returned to the U.S. from Italy -- attended Bala Cynwyd Middle School in Pennsylvania ... where he played on the basketball team.

Bryant arrived midway through the school year, so he didn't have a standard school photo. He only appeared in the boys' basketball team photo.

When yearbooks were issued, Kobe's buddy asked him to sign the autograph page ... and what Mamba wrote was pretty prophetic.

Iconic Auctions

"In a few years you probably will be dunking on me. Not!! How bout those Lakers. Your friend Kobe Bryant #24"

Kobe was just 13 years old in 1992 ... and wasn't a member of the Los Angeles Lakers (or the NBA) until June 1996.

Of course, Bryant -- even back then -- wore (and signed) one of the numbers, #24, that would eventually hang forever in the rafters of Staples Center.

Iconic tells us they expect the yearbook to sell for over $20k ... when the auction closes this weekend.

Jamie Foxx 'Just Mercy' is Important for Our Culture ... So is Michael B. Jordan!!!


Jamie Foxx says "Just Mercy" -- the movie he stars in with Michael B. Jordan -- is more than just a movie ... because it's inspiring some real-world change for the better.

We got the actor -- who plays wrongly condemned death row inmate Walter McMillian in the film -- outside Mr Chow Monday night in Bev Hills. He tells us since the movie -- which is based on a true story -- came out, 100 lawyers have gone to Alabama to work pro bono to save people from death row.

Jamie says it's no coincidence, they're following in the footsteps of the film's hero, Bryan Stevenson -- a lawyer and social justice activist, played by MBJ in "Just Mercy." Foxx says the role speaks volumes about Jordan's commitment to elevating black culture.

As Jamie puts it ... Michael B. Jordan can do any movie he wants, but he chooses ones that speak to his people and shine a light on important issues.

Foxx says there's still a lot of work to be done and, despite criticism, it's still important to do "the slave movie." Watch and let him explain.

Kobe & Gigi Bryant The Grove Shines Nine Rays of Light ... For Special Tribute


The Grove honored Kobe, Gigi Bryant and the 7 other lives lost in a tragic helicopter crash by doing something it had never done in its 18-year history ... shutting off its famed rooftop sign and blasting a special lights tribute.

The famed L.A. mall beamed 9 rays of light Monday as the sun set ... and they joined together as one in the heavens to honor the victims from the January helicopter crash. Billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso, who owns The Grove, said it's the first time The Grove has EVER turned off its famous Grove sign.

L.A. and the rest of the world said one last goodbye to the NBA legend and Gigi on Monday in front of a packed Staples Center crowd. We got Caruso leaving Craig's later that night and he said the tribute was a one-night event.

Caruso also tells us how he got the idea to honor the victims. Our guy asks Caruso if The Grove will erect a Kobe statue ... and Caruso's response should come as no surprise.


BTW ... Kobe was no stranger to The Grove. He'd drop into the mall's famed Nike store every now and then. He also had a meet and greet at the mall's Barnes & Noble when he was there to promote his book "The Mamba Mentality: How I Play" in 2018.


'Bachelorette' Alum Chad Johnson Arrested for Domestic Violence ... Allegedly Fought with GF


Ex-'Bachelorette' star Chad Johnson is under arrest after police investigated a couple of alleged fights between his girlfriend and him ... TMZ has learned.

LAPD took Johnson into custody Monday evening, and according to law enforcement sources his current GF, Annalise Mishler, called 911 because he was at her apartment and they'd gotten into a heated argument.

Annalise told cops Chad -- known as the bad boy from JoJo's 'Bachelorette' season -- was also at her apartment on Sunday, but she says that time things got physical. She claims Johnson was drunk and not only punched a hole in her wall, but also got physical with her.

Officers who responded Monday to Annalise's home, found she had visible red marks on her face. That was enough for cops to arrest Johnson, and according to our law enforcement sources, he's been booked for felony domestic violence and robbery.

We're told the robbery charge stems from Annalise's claim Chad snatched her phone away from her while she was calling 911.


Long before she called cops ... Annalise had put Johnson on blast on social media. Mishler, who is a YouTuber, posted a video Sunday night to her IG ... showing the hole she claims her BF punched in her wall.

She also posted video allegedly showing Johnson screaming at her, saying "I hope you f**king die" after she'd kicked him out of her place.

He told TooFab he hadn't had a drink in 2 months, but "Had a little relapse. Well, I wouldn't call it a little relapse. Big relapse." He apologized for getting so drunk he didn't remember seeing Annalise, but also denied getting physical with her.

Zayn Malik & Jake Paul Beef Sparked by Hotel Run-In ... No Bad Blood Lingering


Jake Paul and Zayn Malik's online shouting match -- via Gigi Hadid -- got started with what sounds like a hard snub to come get crazy with the YouTube broskis.

Sources close to Jake tell TMZ ... both he and Zayn were staying at the same hotel in Vegas over the weekend, and they were even on the same floor with rooms next to each other. We're told that after the fight, Jake was making his way back to his room when he spotted  Zayn and co. getting off the elevator. Jake asked if they were partying, plain and simple.

Now, what happened next is a little hazy -- because what we're hearing from Jake's side sounds much different than what we've heard from Zayn's side of things. Per our Jake sources ... Zayn fired back with a rude line ... "IDGAF if you have a good night."

We're told Jake was taken aback by the abruptness of the remark, but he let it go and just went to his room and kept raging with his brother, Logan, and their friends. At the fight, Jake almost got into it with a member of the crowd ... seems it was that kinda night.


Anyway, we're told Jake ran into Zayn again in the hotel hallway a bit later and attempted to clear the air about their spat. But, according to his account, Zayn got even testier ... yelling at Jake and asking "Who the f*** do you think you are?!" It didn't end there.

Our sources say Zayn even challenged Jake, asking if he wanted to "test" him. Doesn't sound like things got to that level -- but clearly, the feud spilled onto Twitter ... and roped in Gigi.

She stepped in on behalf of Zayn and shut Jake down, calling him "ugly" and "irrelevant." We're told Jake doesn't hold a grudge, acknowledging they were both in the wrong ... and that booze was likely a factor on both sides. The implication ... Zayn was drinking too.

It doesn't appear that people close to Zayn agree with that characterization though -- we're told Jake was drunkenly pestering Zayn to come party, even though Zayn had already said no. No mention of ZM boozing -- just JP. In other words, this was a one-way street.

Whatever the case, here's to hoping they can bury the hatchet ... or avoid each other, at the very least.

Machine Gun Kelly & Sommer Ray Sunset Strip Concert Hookup ... Proof's in the Video!!!


Machine Gun Kelly and one of the hottest chicks in the Instagram modeling game are dating ... or at least it looked like they were at a Sunset Strip gig.

MGK's been spending a LOT of quality time with IG model Sommer Ray. We got video of them looking very couple-y Sunday night when they hit up Rainbow Bar & Grill. Kelly was performing there, and we're told they looked very much into each other. That looked obvious when they were getting cozy in the crowd, and holding hands while they walked around the crowded club.

That Sunday Funday wasn't their first hangout either. Just last week, they hit up the Bahamas with a few friends ...including IG influencer, Brother Nature.

They actually met a few years ago. MGK and Sommer appeared on Nick Cannon's hit MTV show 'Wild 'n Out' back in December 2017. They were on the same team and it seemed even back then Sommer was smitten ... judging by how she checked him out from head to toe during one part of the show.

BTW ... Sommer has nearly 25 million IG followers. That number significantly dwarfs MGK's following of 5.6 million, but c'mon ... cut the guy some slack. No matter how dope your music is, it's hard to compete with bikini beauties on the Internet.

Neither is stating publicly yet if they're a couple, so for now ... let your eyes be the judge.

Don McLean Loved Tyson Fury's 'American Pie' ... 'A Thrill For Me to See!'


Don McLean says he saw Tyson Fury sing his #1 song, "American Pie," after beating Deontay Wilder in Vegas Saturday night .. and tells TMZ Sports he thought it was AWESOME!!!

After Fury got the TKO against Wilder in the 7th round, he took the mic during the post-fight interview and said, "I said I'd sing a song tonight didn't I?!" .. and delivered his version of McLean's 1971 classic "American Pie!"

"He did very well," McLean tells us, "I would say he's the #1 bar room singer. Excellent job!"

McLean says he was even more ecstatic when the WHOLE CROWD joined the new heavyweight champ ..and they also KILLED IT -- word for word!

"The thing that knocked me out was that everybody, all the old folks, young folks, everybody knew all the words. Kind of a thrill for me to see that!"

And, he hopes Fury does it again 'cause he's down to get in the ring and sing with him.."That would be fun!"

"I'm looking forward to hear him do it again and winning again!"

McLean is actually on tour right now, so we asked since Fury got some time now, if he can join him ... and ya gotta hear what he says!

Lil Nas X 'Tree House' Music Vid Underway ... Just as Elaborate, Per Usual

Lil Tree House

Lil Nas X got his week started with what looks to be a brand new music video -- and like he has in the past ... it seems he's about to wow us with a crazy production.

The rapper was filming Monday atop a parking structure in Downtown L.A., where a set had been built resembling an intricate tree house of sorts. It ain't your usual kid-built MacGyver job either ... the "houses" almost look like apartments.

Check it out ... you see people coming in and out of the entrances, including LNX who had an interesting outfit on -- blue coat, brown pants, and polka-dotted shirt underneath. Feels like this thing could get pretty wacky.


Remember, Lil Nas is known for his over-the-top music vids -- which are top-notch and pull out all the stops on visual effects, props, set design, costumes ... and of course, animals.

His most successful song and video to date is "Old Town Road," which has racked up over 440 million views on YouTube. His other videos haven't really come close to that, but they're just as highly produced and elaborate. Based on what we see here, he's keeping that going.

The big question, of course, is what song this could possibly be for. He already did videos for his 3 big singles off his debut EP, "7," and has recently teased "new bangers" in 2020.

Hmmm ... the anticipation is killing us. We see you though, Nas X 👀

Guess Who This Giddy Girl Turned Into!

Before this smiling sweetie in suspenders would grow up to become a television star ... she was raised in L.A. by her parents, who are Hollywood hotshots themselves.

She made her acting debut at the ripe old age of 3 in a movie written and directed by her father, which was his only feature film. She would continue to play parts for her dad on TV, where he was a much bigger player ... and still is.

After years of other relatively small roles, she landed a big one for a TV series in 2009 ... and would go on to star on the show for all 7 of its seasons, winning 2 Teen Choice Awards along the way.

She also earned a Vision Fest Award for Best Acting by a Female Lead in a movie called "Consent" ... and starred in an acclaimed sci-fi film in 2018.

It seems like much greater things are on the way for this gal too ... and that's no lie.

Can you guess who she is?

'Mission: Impossible 7' Production Halted in Italy Over Coronavirus

Breaking News

Nothing can stop Ethan Hunt ... except the coronavirus.

That's right ... Tom Cruise and co. are gonna be sent packing from Italy after Paramount announced Monday they were putting a pause on production for their latest installment in the 'Mission: Impossible' franchise -- and it's all because of the worldwide outbreak.

The studio says, "Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan for our three week shoot in Venice, the scheduled first leg of an extensive production for ‘Mission: Impossible 7."

As you might've noticed in the many 'MI' sequels -- including this last one -- they shoot all over the world ... especially Europe. Coronavirus has already reportedly affected a couple hundred or so people in Italy alone, so Paramount clearly isn't taking any chances.

They continued, "During this hiatus we want to be mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts. We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves."

In other words ... Paramount's gonna be shipping everyone out there back home, including possibly to the States -- which probably won't make our President all that happy.

On Saturday, the NYT reported Trump was "furious" over 14 Americans who tested positive for coronavirus recently being sent back here from an infected cruise ship without his sign-off. Of course, he downplayed the story on Twitter, saying coronavirus was under control.

Not to say anyone on the production is contaminated, but considering DT's a huge reported germophobe ... those staffers might wanna consider coming home with masks on.

Pete Davidson Louis C.K. is a 'Piece of S**t' ... His Downfall Was Great!!!


Pete Davidson is taking a brand new swipe at Louis C.K., claiming he's a mean dude who treats young comics poorly and adds ... it's been "amazing" to watch his career crumble.

The 'SNL' star spoke with Charlamagne tha God about his upcoming comedy special on Netflix, which includes a pretty vicious shot at Louis -- Pete flat-out calls him a "piece of sh*t."

Now, PD admits his animosity stems from C.K. allegedly trying to get Pete fired from 'SNL' for smoking too much weed. He claims Louis tried to rat him out -- but beyond that, he says Louis is simply "not a nice guy."

Pete thinks his point is supported by how shunned C.K. was in the comedy community after he admitted years of sexual misconduct and abuse of his power.

Interesting to note ... Louis C.K. has been making a comeback of sorts recently, and briefly addressed his #MeToo scandal during a series of shows in Phoenix this past weekend. Not that we think that's gonna change Pete's opinion.

On another note -- although not a positive one -- Pete also talked about possibly leaving 'SNL,' saying ... "I personally think I should be done with that show because they make fun of me on it. I’m like, cold open, political punchlines. I’m like, weekend update jokes."

He says he's outgrown the gig and added, “I have a weird feeling in that building where I don’t know whose team they’re playing for really, if I’m the joke or I’m in on the joke.”

Still, he says Lorne Michaels is a father figure to him and he'll stay "as long as Lorne likes me"

Vanessa Bryant Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit ... Claims Pilot was Reckless

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2:47 PM PT -- A rep for Island Express tells us, "This was a tragic accident. We will have no comment on the pending lawsuit." It's interesting the company has referred to the crash as an accident as you must prove negligence to win a lawsuit.

Vanessa Bryant has just sued the company that owned the doomed helicopter that crashed, killing Kobe, Gigi and 7 others ... claiming the aircraft should never have been placed in the peril it was in before the Jan. 26 accident.

The lawsuit alleges Island Express was only allowed to fly under visual flight rules, and the conditions the day of the crash were not conducive for such flying. As we reported, the fog was extremely low and the pilot was in blinding conditions before the mishap.

The lawsuit also says the pilot was going 180 miles per hour in the heavy fog in a steep decline in the moments before it crashed in Calabasas, CA.

The lawsuit claims the pilot failed to properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff, failed to obtain proper weather data prior to the flight, failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy condition, failed to maintain control of the helicopter and failed to avoid "natural obstacles" in the flight path.

The suit says Island Express engaged in unnecessary and needlessly risky means of transportation under the circumstances.

The suit also asks for damages for "pre-impact" terror -- damages for the emotional trauma Kobe and Gigi suffered as the pilot struggled to get out of the clouds before the crash.

The lawsuit also says the pilot, Ara George Zobayan, was disciplined in 2015 for violating the visual flight rule minimums by flying into an airspace of reduced visibility.

The lawsuit also claims the helicopter was not safe, although it doesn't say what was unsafe. It could be the basis for the claim is that the helicopter was not certified to fly in bad weather.

The lawsuit does not list an amount of damages sought, but Vanessa is asking for punitive damages, claiming the pilot and Island Express were reckless, and the damages could be untold millions.

The suit seeks damages for loss of love, affection, care, society, service, comfort, support, right to support, companionship, solace or moral support and expectations of future support and counseling. The suit also seeks money for loss of financial support and for burial and funeral expenses.

Originally Published -- 9:26 AM PT

The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar Sued Over 'Black Panther' Track ... You Stole Our High-Pitched Sounds!!!

TMZ/Getty Composite

The Weekend and Kendrick Lamar might want people to say some prayers for them ... they're being sued for allegedly jacking music for their hit song, "Pray for Me."

A Brooklyn-based rock band called Yeasayer claims the duo lifted material from its 2007 song, "Sunrise," slightly altered it ... and inserted it into their 'Pray' single, which was featured on the "Black Panther" soundtrack.

According to the legal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- the part allegedly stolen from "Sunrise" is a "distinctive choral performance" the band recorded using their own voices. Yeasayer describes it as "comprised of male voices singing in their highest registers, with animated, pulsing vibrato."

The band claims Weeknd and Kendrick slightly modified a recording of its song with "intent to conceal the infringement" ... and used it in "Pray for Me" up to 8 different times throughout the track.

Yeasayer claims the allegedly stolen material is "immediately recognizable" as theirs. The band is asking for all the "Pray for Me" profits and damages. It also wants an injunction blocking further sales and airplay of 'Pray.'

We reached out to both The Weekend and Kendrick Lamar ... no word back, so far.

Kobe & Gianna Bryant Vanessa, MJ & Shaq Share Touching Memories at Memorial


12:24 PM PT -- Shaq just spoke about Kobe, and his eulogy was full of levity and laughter as he recounted stories about him and Kobe when they dominated the NBA for years.

One memorable moment he recalled ... Shaq said some of the other Lakers players had complained to him about Kobe not passing -- and Shaq said he'd talk to him. He told the crowd that he reminded Kobe there's no "I" in team, and said Kobe responded, "Yeah, but there's a 'ME' in that motherf***er." The crowd howled with laughter.

Ending on a serious note, Shaq said he knew Kobe was in heaven with Gianna teaching her new moves ... and that they'd meet again one day. Shaq called Kobe his little brother and got a standing O from inside STAPLES.

12:09 PM PT -- Michael Jordan choked back tears while talking about his relationship with Kobe, detailing how the Lakers superstar would seek advice in all aspects of life ... and not just basketball.

MJ says Kobe could be a "pain in the ass" ... but admired his passion. Jordan said he felt like a big brother to Bryant.

Jordan even joked that he wasn't trying to get too emotional during his speech ... saying he didn't want another Crying Jordan meme taking over the internet.

11:58 AM PT -- Kobe's longtime agent, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, just gave a heartfelt speech about his best friend, and actually made a pretty stunning revelation ... KB was actually texting him from the chopper before he and the rest of the passengers perished.

Rob says Kobe was asking if Rob knew a baseball agent in Southern California who might be able to help a friend's daughter get an internship with a team. That kid, as it turned out, was Lexi Altobelli -- the surviving daughter of the Altobelli family. Her father, John, mother Keri and sister Alyssa, were three of the 9 people total who were killed.

He made it clear one of Kobe's final acts on this Earth was attempting to help someone achieve something great, and he only had others' best interest at heart up until the end.

11:11 AM PT -- Vanessa Bryant just gave an incredible speech -- remembering Gianna as an amazing daughter who would have changed the landscape of womens pro sports in America.

Vanessa says Gianna was laser-focused on making the WNBA and being the best player in league history.

She also remembered Kobe as a loving father and devoted husband who took pride in doing all of his daddy duties after his NBA career wrapped up.

After her speech, Michael Jordan helped walk her off the stage while the crowd gave her a passionate standing ovation.

10:45 AM PT -- Jimmy Kimmel is making the opening remarks at the memorial -- fighting back tears while remembering his friend.

10:33 AM PT -- Beyonce sang the opening number at the Kobe tribute .. performing her song, "XO." She followed that up with "Halo." It's a very emotional scene at Staples.

10:28 AM PT -- The stars have begun to arrive to the memorial ... Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Kris Jenner, Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Magic Johnson and others are on hand. As are Michael Phelps, Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez, G-Eazy, Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry and more.

6:33 AM PT -- Michael Jordan is in town -- clearly here to honor Kobe at Monday's memorial -- and on Sunday night, he had dinner with fellow NBA legend Jerry West at Craig's in L.A.


No word as to what role MJ will have at the memorial -- but his friendship/competitive rivalry with Kobe was legendary. MJ was Kobe's idol growing up -- and the two grew to be close friends.

When Kobe passed away, Jordan said, "I loved Kobe -- he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much."

Thousands of Kobe and Gianna Bryant mourners are just hours away from packing Staples Center for a ceremony celebrating the Mamba and Mambacita's lives ... and TMZ Sports will live stream all of it.

The event is expected to be incredibly moving and emotional. As we reported, the demand to attend the memorial was unprecedented.

THOUSANDS of people applied for tickets -- more than 88,000 just in the first 5 hours.

The Staples Center only holds 20,000 ... and many of those tickets had already been accounted for with Kobe's family, friends and the NBA community.

We're told officials wrestled with the idea of moving the event to the L.A. Coliseum -- which seats closer to 80,000 people -- before ultimately settling on Staples. After all, it's where Kobe played for 20 years and became a beloved figure in Los Angeles and around the world.

Tributes are popping up all over the city. Check out this mural in the Hollywood-area near The Grove.


We're told just like Michael Jackson and Nipsey Hussle's memorials -- which were also held at Staples -- streets around the building will be closed off for security and traffic control.

Law enforcement is urging fans without tickets to stay home and watch the broadcast on TV or online. The ceremony will NOT be broadcast on the screens outside Staples.

It's unclear who will speak at the memorial ... with dozens of people close to Kobe and Gigi wanting to take the mic to say kind words about the Lakers legend and his daughter.

We broke the story, Bryant and his daughter were 2 of 9 people who tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

Vanessa Bryant, who is expected to attend the event, said of the losses just days after the tragedy, "We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe -- the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna -- a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri."

The memorial stream will begin at 9:00 AM PT.

Originally Published -- 1:00 AM PT

Warren Buffett Yep, Finally Got Myself an iPhone!!! Use It Like a Flip Though


Warren Buffett is getting with the times at the ripe age of 89 -- FINALLY buying himself a nifty smartphone ... but still using it like the flip phone he's left behind.

The billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO was chatting with CNBC Monday, talking about Apple and how great of a company it's turned out to be ... speculating about its stock value and that sorta thing. During the convo, he dropped a bombshell ... new phone, who dis?

Yep, ol' Warren says he's caved at last and purchased himself the latest edition of Apple's iPhone, which has apparently become his go-to mobile device. RIP to his notorious $20 Samsung flip phone, which he'd been using for at least the past several years.

Warren had some pretty good things to say about his new celly -- which he affectionately seems to think is called the one and only "Smartphone." Anyway, the guy says iPhones have permeated just about everyone's lives in modern society ... and are revolutionary.

He even likens it to when the original telephone was created way back when, explaining the iPhone has had that same sorta cultural impact ... perhaps even more so.

As for how he uses his cool new gadget, Warren says he's still basic AF ... just utilizing the lone the phone call function. Nice ... never change, WB!!!

Harvey Weinstein Guilty of Criminal Sexual Act and Rape ... Acquitted on 3 Other Charges

Breaking News

5:22 PM PT -- Harvey Weinstein was taken to a hospital shortly after being taken into custody because of chest pains. He's expected to be transferred to Rikers Island once he's treated.

11:16 AM PT -- Rotunno and Weinstein's attorney Damon Cheronis tell us, "While he was not convicted on the most serious charges, we are disappointed in the verdict and will be filing an appeal. There are issues in this trial that were extremely troubling, and they prejudiced Mr. Weinstein's ability to have his case fairly judged. These will be addressed to a higher court."

They continue, "In the meantime, we are working on assuring that Mr. Weinstein is brought to Rikers' Island's North infirmary unit at the Anna M Kross center complex or in protective custody so that he can get the best medical supervision and care possible.

9:58 AM PT -- Weinstein's attorney, Donna Rotunno, tells TMZ, "We knew going in it was an uphill battle from the beginning. The verdict is bitter sweet. An appeal will be filed, this fight is not over."

Rotunno also says they requested that Weinstein be placed in a medical facility inside the jail while he awaits sentencing. However, it is ultimately up to the Dept. of Corrections where he ends up.

9:39 AM PT -- Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance just spoke to the media and made it very clear ... Weinstein's convictions -- even on just 2 out of 5 counts -- are absolutely a success in his eyes, and not a failure by any stretch of the imagination.

Fox News

Vance praised all of the women who testified in the case, saying they changed the course of history with their participation and stories ... and helped bring the criminal justice system into the 21st century in the fight against sexual violence.

He went on to say what was made clear is that rape is rape, and sexual assault is sexual assault -- whether someone reports it in an hour, a year or never ... and despite the relationship a victim may have with his or her attacker.

Bottom line for Vance ... he says there's a new landscape on how to look at these cases, and it's all because the women in this case were heroic enough to take the stand and speak. He says Weinstein will be behind bars for a minimum of 5 years, and his office will take that as a victory ... even though life in prison was potentially on the line on the more serious counts.

Elizabeth Williams

Vance's hope with this case is that victims of sexual abuse will come forward and report, and know they will be believed ... and that justice will be pursued on their behalf. It doesn't appear Weinstein's legal team took the opportunity to address the press Monday.

9:14 AM PT -- Weinstein was remanded into custody following the announcement of the verdicts. He will remain behind bars until his March 11 sentencing hearing.

Harvey Weinstein is guilty of 2 of the 5 charges he faced in his NYC criminal trial -- but he was found not guilty on the charges that could have put him in prison for life.

The jury found Weinstein guilty of 1st-degree criminal sexual act and 3rd-degree rape. He could get up to 25 years in prison just for the criminal sexual act. However, the jury found him not guilty on 2 counts of predatory sexual assault charges. Those carried a possible life sentence. He was also acquitted of 1st-degree rape.

A jury of 12 people -- 7 men and 5 women -- finally reached their verdict after 5 days and about 22 hours of deliberations. This comes after an interesting turn on Friday ... when the jurors sent a note to the judge asking if they could be hung on 2 counts of predatory sexual assault and unanimous on the others.

The judge told them to go back deliberations, and they worked it out by Monday morning.

As we reported ... Weinstein pled not guilty to 5 felony charges relating to sexual misconduct. The charges were based on the accounts of 2 women ... Miriam Haley, a TV and film production assistant who worked on "Project Runway," and former actress Jessica Mann.

The prosecution rested its case 2 weeks ago after 12 days of witness testimony. In total, 6 women testified against Weinstein, including Haley and Mann. Last Tuesday marked the start of jury deliberations.

Elizabeth Williams

As we reported ... Mann testified under oath that Weinstein began manipulating her as soon as he met her, allegedly forcing himself on her multiple times and raping her at a hotel in Manhattan.

Weinstein's defense argued he had a consensual relationship with Mann lasting for years after the alleged sexual assault. He maintained all sexual conduct was consensual.

During closing arguments, Weinstein's lawyer, Donna Rotunno, ripped into the prosecution, saying prosecutors, "created a universe that strips adult women of common sense, autonomy and responsibility," arguing Weinstein's accusers acquiesced to sex because they thought it would advance their careers.

However, Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon countered in her closing argument, saying Weinstein's accusers “were merely ants that he could step on without consequences.”

The disgraced Hollywood mogul felt he couldn't get a fair trial in New York, claiming the jury pool was tainted ... but the case proceeded.

Originally published -- 8:53 AM PT

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