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R. Kelly Dropped by Sony

1/18/2019 10:34 AM PST
Breaking News

R. Kelly's not in business with Sony Music for the first time in decades after the singer and the record company agreed to part ways ... TMZ has confirmed.

Sources close to Kelly tell us both sides agreed on a split this week. The end of their relationship comes amid the storm of controversy after the docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly."

R. Kelly's been with Sony since the early days of his career, and has been under contract with its subsidiary label, RCA, since 2012.

As you know ... the singer's facing mounting allegations of sexual abuse and predatory behavior after the Lifetime doc's in-depth interviews with his alleged victims and their families.

Several artists -- like Celine Dion, Lady Gaga and Ciara -- have separated themselves from Kelly by pulling their collabs with him from streaming services ... while others have denounced him.

Sony was also feeling the pressure with protests outside its offices in L.A. and NYC.

Gladys Knight Shades Kaepernick I've Done This a Lot Longer Than You

1/18/2019 9:37 AM PST
Breaking News

Gladys Knight says she not only disagrees with Colin Kaepernick using the national anthem as a protest, but she also says she's been in the game a lot longer than him when it comes to the fight for social justice.

Gladys doubled down on her decision to sing the anthem at the upcoming Super Bowl, saying, "I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country's Anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII."

She goes on ... "It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone."

That said, Gladys does not doubt Colin's intentions ... "I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice," the 74-year-old legend said in a statement.

Of course, Knight is referencing Colin's decision to take a knee during the 'Star-Spangled Banner' during NFL games. Kap had said the demonstration is intended to put a spotlight on police violence against minorities. 

Knight might agree with his message but clearly disagrees with his methods. 

"I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life."

"No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it. I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us."

Kaepernick -- along with his girlfriend, close friends and celebrities -- have been critical of musicians who have agreed to perform at the Super Bowl. Rap star Common has even called for Travis Scott to pull out of the halftime show. 

As for Colin's thoughts on Gladys -- so far, he has not issued a comment. 

Prince Philip Contacts Accident Victims ... Gets New SUV Delivery

1/18/2019 10:05 AM PST

10:05 AM PT -- Prince Phillip went to a hospital on Friday to get an additional check-up, on a doctor's advice ... according to the Palace. They described it as a "precautionary" visit, and say it confirmed he suffered no injuries whatsoever. Miraculous.

Also, we're told the Prince reached out to the 2 women who were injured in the other vehicle, and "well wishes" were exchanged.

So British.Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, is STILL hell-bent on driving himself because he already has a brand new SUV ... less than 24 hours after flipping his last Land Rover.

The Duke of Edinburgh got his new ride delivered Friday to the Royal family's Sandringham Estate. Looks like he got the same model -- a Land Rover Freelander -- as the one he wrecked a day earlier, not far from Sandringham. 

Philip was behind the wheel Thursday when he collided with a Kia, flipping his Land Rover on its side.

The other car had a 9-month-old inside, but fortunately the baby was unharmed. The driver and her passenger suffered some cuts and a broken wrist.

The shocker, of course, is that 97-YEAR-OLD Philip somehow walked away uninjured. 

With the new delivery, it seems like Prince William's and Prince Harry's granddad isn't ready to give up his keys just yet. However, one of Philip's friends told People the Prince would stop driving, reluctantly, if he's advised to do so. 

Drive at your own risk, U.K. residents.

Originally Published -- 9:28 AM PST

R. Lee Ermey 'Full Metal Jacket' Star Gets Military Funeral

1/18/2019 10:11 AM PST

R. Lee Ermey, the former Marine who rose to fame by playing the sadistic Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in "Full Metal Jacket," was laid to rest Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. 

A former Marine drill instructor turned successful actor, Ermey, had his cremated remains buried with full military honors. There was a casket team, firing party and bugler, plus a folding and presentation of the American flag.

Ermey's military honor comes 9 months after his death last April from pneumonia. He was 74.

The actor enlisted in the Marine Corp when he was 17 years old, and he served in Okinawa and in Vietnam. 

Ermey gained worldwide fame following his role in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" in 1987, delivering his famous line, "What is your major malfunction?!" Ermey said he used his experience as a drill instructor to bring his character to life.

Ermey appeared in dozens of films, though in his later years he said he had been blackballed from Hollywood because of his political views. 

Chris Pratt My Fiancee's the Greatest ... Katherine Braves LAX!!!

1/18/2019 8:52 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger will be together forever -- it's an absolute lock, and we know this because she did something for him early Friday morning ... that almost NO one in L.A. does.

Ya probably wouldn't believe this if we didn't get it on video, but here it is -- Katherine behind the wheel at 7 AM, driving her fiance and dropping him off at LAX!! If you live in L.A., or even if you've flown here, you know the airport is an absolute nightmare.

Kat stayed in the car as we congratulated Chris on their engagement, and chatted about a possible best man for their wedding. You gotta see him, because the smile on Chris' face screams one thing: My girl will do ANYTHING for me.

We got even more proof they're rock solid on Thursday night ... as the couple did dinner with Katherine's mom and brother -- Maria Shriver and Chris Schwarzenegger -- and Pratt's son, Jack

The goodbye scene outside the Smoke House Restaurant in Burbank was straight out of a Hallmark card. Jack had big hugs for Katherine's bro and also for Nana Maria.

Super sweet ... but still pales in comparison to the scene at LAX.

Chris, you got a real one. And Katherine, thanks for making the rest of us schlubs look bad.

R. Kelly Former Manager Surrenders ... For Allegedly Terrorizing Alleged Victim's Parents

1/18/2019 8:40 AM PST
Exclusive Details

8:40 AM PT -- The judge ordered Mason to stay away from Joycelyn Savage and her family, and have absolutely no contact with them ... according to the Henry County Court Clerk.

He was released on $10K bond and has also been told he can't leave the country unless he gets court approval first. 

One of R. Kelly's former managers has surrendered to authorities on charges he made terroristic threats against a family of one of the singer's alleged victims.

As TMZ first reported, Joycelyn Savage's father told us James Mason called him in May 2018, and threatened, "I'm gonna do harm to you and your family, when I see you I'm gonna get you, I'm going to f***ing kill you."

The Henry County Sheriff's Dept. issued an arrest warrant last August for felony terroristic threats and acts and, Friday morning, Mason turned himself in. 

He was released on $10,000 bond.

Joycelyn Savage has said she is not being held against her will, but her parents firmly believed their daughter has been brainwashed and they have mounted a full-court press to free her. 

The lawyer for the Savage family responded to Mason's surrender, saying, "Let this be a message to R. Kelly's staff that we won't be bullied or threatened. We will continue to pursue legal action against any and all threats to the safety of the Savage Family."

He continued, "Our goal has always been to bring Joycelyn Savage home safely and we will not be deterred."

Originally Published -- 6:56 AM PT

Future Russell Wilson Needs to Man Up ... Ciara Controls Him!!!

1/18/2019 9:00 AM PST

Future didn't need a diss track to unleash his true feelings about Ciara and Russell Wilson -- he just came right out and said she's controlling ... and he's weak.

The rapper was interviewed by his friend Big Bank Black Thursday night for Beats 1 radio and took some shots at his ex ... starting off by claiming she introduced their son, Future Jr., to Wilson before he gave it his blessing.

Future then blasted the Seahawks QB by declaring Ciara controls him, saying ... "He do exactly what she tell him to do."

Future seems to especially have a problem with Wilson allowing Ciara to talk trash about him on social media. Future says, "He not being a man in that position ... he not tellin' her, 'Chill out with that on the Internet. Don't even talk to him. I'm your husband! You better not even bring Future's name up.'"

It sounds a tad hypocritical, but Future says if he was in Wilson's position, he'd have more control over his girl ... and wouldn't let her publicly slam an ex.

We broke the story ... Ciara wants a mediator in her ongoing custody battle with Future to help hash our their son's travel schedule. She claims Future hasn't been the best dad -- allegedly breaking scheduled visits fairly often -- and tends to hand their kid off instead of spending much time with him.

Ciara didn't just make these claims on social media either ... it's all in legal docs.

Michael Jackson Documentary Cops On Alert for Protesters ... At Sundance Premiere

1/18/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The blistering Michael Jackson documentary premiering at Sundance will also feature angry pro-Jackson protesters, and we've learned local police are gearing up for possible confrontations.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the Park City PD is aware of an anti-documentary protest being organized on social media, so cops are going to beef up their presence both inside and outside the premiere with uniformed and undercover officers.

We're told law enforcement is most concerned about disruptions taking place during the Q&A portion of the screening -- historically, that's when protesters have caused the biggest disturbances. However, we're told cops won't stop people from exercising their First Amendment rights, so long as protesters don't block sidewalks or entrances.

As you know ... the doc, "Leaving Neverland," explores alleged sexual abuse by the King of Pop, and the film is already being slammed by the late singer's estate. Despite outside pressure to pull the film, Sundance officials say it's full steam ahead.

All Sundance events have increased security -- including bag checks and bomb dogs -- but extra resources will be allocated to the MJ screening when it premieres Friday, Jan. 25.

Blac Chyna Fight with Alexis Skyy Was All Over Rob Kardashian

1/18/2019 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

When Blac Chyna and Alexis Skyy almost came to blows it was squarely over Rob Kardashian, and a scolding Chyna felt was long overdue ... TMZ has learned.

Sources connected to both women tell us BC did not simply invite Alexis over for a friendly chat during a house party last weekend. Her true goal was setting Alexis straight about her past interactions with Rob ... which Chyna found inappropriate.

We're told Alexis and Rob have known each other since way back in 2016 when he was still with Chyna -- who, we're told, thinks Alexis was a little too friendly with her baby daddy.

Our sources say Chyna wanted to finally clear the air.

Contrary to how Alexis portrayed it on social media, we're told she was the one who started acting wild when Chyna brought up the past -- and that's why BC threw the drink.

Our sources also say Alexis only started barking about a smackdown when her male friend showed up, and they'd been tossed from the party.

Despite the showdown with Chyna -- Alexis and Rob seem to be rekindling whatever they had going on years ago. He's called her his "WCW" and she seems to be totally down

Hope Rob looks good in referee stripes -- round 2 is coming, we suspect.

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Lady Gaga Probed and Prodded in Vegas ... But Keeps On Rockin'!!!

1/18/2019 7:20 AM PST

Lady Gaga's definitely bringing the shock factor to her new show in Las Vegas.

The 'Star is Born' actress is back to her bread and butter ... singing on the stage for her residency show, Enigma, at MGM's Park Theater. Based on this video from Thursday night, the show's name is on point -- it's really hard to tell exactly what's going on here.

Gaga's dancers -- dressed in some spacey costumes -- circled her and probed her with a long pointy object. Think supersized sex toy. Anyway, they used it all over her body as she sang "Aura" and convulsed, gyrated and screamed.

The show's out there for sure, as Gaga showed when she kicked it off last month by unveiling her new alter ego -- a metallic alien in a glittery space suit. It's also getting rave reviews.

And, as we already know ... Celine Dion freakin' loved it.

Ice-T Law & Order: GWB ... Bridge Arrest Costs Him $700

1/18/2019 6:46 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

In the criminal justice system, traffic based offenses are considered especially costly -- even for Ice-T, who plays a cop on TV, 'cause his arrest at the George Washington Bridge just cost him a bundle.

TMZ has learned Ice had a court hearing Thursday for the bust that went down in October. As we first reported, Ice was hauled to jail after he drove through the bridge toll booth without paying the required $12.50. 

Well, it ended up costing him a weeee bit more than that -- $707.50 in fines! He'd been issued 5 tickets the day of the arrest, but 2 of 'em got tossed and he ended up paying for disorderly conduct, toll evasion and failure to observe a traffic control device.

Shortly after he was released from jail, Ice told us the whole thing was an innocent mistake.

He was driving to work -- to the set of 'Law & Order: SVU' -- in his brand new McLaren sports car. It had just been delivered, and Ice forgot it didn't have an E-ZPass® New York transponder, which automatically pays the toll.

Case closed.

Chris Hansen Kickstarter Donors Pissed Saw Money Trouble Before Arrest

1/18/2019 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Chris Hansen's larceny arrest is no shocker to the people who funded his "To Catch a Predator" reboot -- they say Hansen came up short with them long before Johnny Law caught him.

The former host launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 to start a new show about himself catching predators. His goal was $75k and he offered tiered prizes to anyone who donated.

Some of those prizes included the custom mugs and shirts Hansen got from the vendor in Connecticut -- and allegedly tried to pay for with 2 bounced checks ... leading to his arrest this week.

As it turns, out ... he apparently failed to deliver on the goods to a handful of his donors too, many of whom are furious. Chris' Kickstarter page is flooded with comments -- dating back years -- complaining about getting partial prizes, delayed prizes, or just bupkis.

$89k had been raised.

A rep for Kickstarter told us their policy is clear -- anyone who's got issues with a fundraising campaign has to take it up with the creator, and it's ALL on the creator to make things right.

Translation: Got beef? Talk to Hansen.

We've reached out to Chris, but so far ... radio silence.

Sergey Kovalev Charged with Felony Assault ... Allegedly Punched Woman

1/18/2019 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Boxing superstar Sergey Kovalev has been charged with felony assault for allegedly punching a woman in the face back in June -- but he claims he's not guilty ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

Here's what we know ... the Russian fighter was arrested in Big Bear, CA on June 9 after a woman told police the former light heavyweight champion socked her in the face, causing serious injuries. 

Sources connected to the case tell us ... the woman is claiming Kovalev had hit on her at a party earlier in the evening but rejected his advances. She claims Sergey and a friend followed her back to her cabin and that's where the alleged attack occurred. 

We're told the woman claims she suffered major injuries including a severely broken nose, a concussion and a displaced disk in her neck. 

FYI, Kovalev earned his nickname "Krusher" for his devastating punching power. 28 of his 32 wins have come by way of knockout. 

Cops tell TMZ Sports ... they began searching for Kovalev immediately and arrested him a short time later. 

He was charged with assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury -- which carries a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison. 

Kovalev appeared in court and entered a not guilty plea. 

What's interesting ... Kovalev fought Eleider Álvarez in August -- just 2 months after the arrest -- and lost in a shocking upset. 

Kovalev is due back in court in March. He also has a rematch with Alvarez lined up for Feb. 2. 

We've reached out to Kovalev for comment -- so far, no word back. 

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