Alec Baldwin Defended by SAG-AFTRA ... Amid New 'Rust' Charges

Alec Baldwin is getting major support from his union -- with SAG-AFTRA coming out swinging against prosecutors in New Mexico who are gunning for him yet again with new charges.

The actor wasn't named by SAG specifically, but he was most certainly alluded to in this new statement they put out slamming the decision to prosecute him twice in this case. The union made clear ... knowing how to handle firearms is NOT an actor's job, from their POV.


They write, "To the extent that the charges filed on January 19 are based on an accusation of negligent use of a firearm predicated on this or any actor having a duty to inspect a firearm as part of its use, that is an incorrect assessment of the actual duties of an actor on set."

Then comes a haymaker, with SAG adding ... "An actor’s job is not to be a firearms or weapons expert. Firearms are provided for use on set under the guidance of multiple expert professionals directly responsible for the safe and accurate operation of that firearm."

SAG goes on to say that the procedure for safe use of firearms on set is clearly laid out in their rules and guidelines ... but they explicitly point out that a performer is not and should not be tasked with making sure the weapons used are dangerous or live.

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Basically, there are experts for that type of thing on set ... and SAG is making that clear in no uncertain terms. It's a huge win for Alec as far as optics are concerned -- he's been making this point all along, and now ... SAG-AFTRA is confirming he is, indeed, correct.

You'll recall ... Alec was hit with a new involuntary manslaughter charge in the 'Rust' case -- and he's supposed to answer for it in court on Feb. 1 during an arraignment. Alec and his attorneys already responded to that, noting he has a right to speedy trial ... and wants to exercise that in this case, not wanting to drag it out further.

Meanwhile, the armorer from that movie -- Hannah Gutierrez-Reed -- is facing her own criminal charges in the matter ... although she too has pleaded innocence/ignorance over what led to Halyna Hutchins' death.


'Deliverance' Toothless Man Actor Herbert Coward Killed In NC Crash ... Friend, Squirrel, Chihuahua Also Dead

Herbert Coward -- who played the infamous Toothless Man from the film, "Deliverance," was killed in a car crash in North Carolina along with his friend and beloved pets, TMZ has confirmed.

Coward was making a left turn out of a parking lot after a medical appointment in Haywood County Wednesday, when his silver Nissan was struck by another vehicle that tried to avoid him, according to the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

The actor and his 3 occupants -- Bertha Brooks, a chihuahua and a squirrel -- were trapped inside the wreckage and had to be extracted from the car by first responders, police said. The four died at the scene.

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The other motorist, 16, suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital out of an abundance of caution. Investigators did not charge the teenager because they determined no crime was committed.

In the classic 1972 thriller "Deliverance," Coward played the frightening role of a hillbilly with missing front teeth known as the "Toothless Man." In one of the movie's horrific scenes, Coward's character and his hillbilly sidekicks sodomized a man in front of his friend, who was tied to a tree in the forest.

Coward was 85.


Whoopi Goldberg Margot & Greta Weren't 'Snubbed' You Can't Win Everything!!!


Whoopi Goldberg knows a thing or two about being nominated for Oscars -- which is why her saying Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig were not snubbed this year is ... fascinating.

Despite all the pearl-clutching going on among "Barbie" fans after the lead star and director missed out on Oscar nods earlier this week, Whoopi kept it realer than real on "The View" Wednesday as the crew was discussing it ... saying flatly, they weren't entitled to anything.

WG said the obvious to kick off her thoughts, noting that "everybody doesn't win" when it comes to the Academy Awards, and more importantly ... not everyone can be nominated.

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Whoopi then put it even more matter-of-factly, adding ... "You don't get everything you want to get. There are no snubs. That's what you have to keep in mind: Not everybody gets a prize, and it is subjective. Movies are subjective."

She then explained that just because "Barbie" was a fan-fave and moneymaker doesn't necessarily mean it was a shoo-in in and of itself, saying ... "The movies you love may not be loved by the people who are voting." Worth noting ... Whoopi's an Academy member.

Remember ... Whoopi's won an Oscar herself, and she's been nominated for a second too -- so she's been through the wringer before. Considering the wave of outrage on behalf of Margot and Greta ... it's interesting that she's taking a somewhat controversial stand here.

Margot and Greta haven't said anything, but considering the other stars have been slamming their exclusion ... ya gotta figure they, too, feel they were done dirty. Oh well ... 🤷🏽‍♂️

Jeffrey Wright 'American Fiction' Can Win It All ... A Great Film's a Great Film


Jeffrey Wright says his indie movie, "American Fiction," most definitely has a fighting chance to take home top honors at the Oscars ... but don't go calling this a David vs. Goliath story.

We got the Best Actor nominee Wednesday at LAX, where we asked all about the fact 'AF' was nominated a ton on Tuesday -- racking up 5 Oscar nods on everything from Best Actor to Original Score and, of course, the big prize in Best Picture.

For starters, Jeff told us he hates the fact the Oscars race turns art into a competition, and told us he's just happy to be in the mix of things with all those blockbuster hits that are considered Oscar darlings this year.

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Yes, we're talking about "Barbie," "Oppenheimer" and some other big fish in the race -- but from Jeffrey's demeanor here, you'd never guess he's sweating it ... 'cause he ain't!

When we ask him straight up if "American Fiction" has a realistic path toward victory in any of its categories ... he puts it back on our camera guy, who Jeffrey says inadvertently answered the question himself.

Bottom line, the movie is absolutely amazing and even though it's "small" ... it's still mighty.

That's JW's takeaway, anyway, and he certainly seems confident in the work.

We will say this -- 'Fiction' is far and away one of the more unique flicks in theaters. And on pure merit, it most certainly is worthy to be in the conversation of likely winners.

'WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE' No Reboot Invite for DAN BENSON!!! Says Porn Career to Blame


"Wizards of Waverly Place" alum Dan Benson knows he's being cut out of the Disney Channel show's upcoming reboot and says it's upsetting, but not shocking ... due to to his very adult career choices.

Dan tells TMZ ... he's disappointed over being unable to reprise the role of Zeke Beakerman, and also acknowledges he didn't really leave the show's bosses any real option to include him -- having gone from child star to OnlyFans porn star.

He totally sees things from their point of view ... telling us it'd be unreasonable to bring back his wholesome character, while he's also publicizing all his risqué personal life decisions.


Dan even imagines how discussions of his return went down in the reboot's first meeting ... wondering if some Disney exec Googled him to see what he's doing, only to learn he's been posting adults-only content since 2022.

BTW, Selena Gomez is an executive producer, which has Dan wondering just how much of his "body" of work his old costar's come across.

While he's sad his career choices affected his chance to be back on screen, he tells us he actually would've said no if the reboot bosses asked him back.

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The reason being that life after the show got really hard for him, as he struggled to land another mainstream acting gig.

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Now, Dan's over being dependent on someone else for opportunities ... something he doesn't have to worry about now cause he's his own boss and makes it happen for himself.

Yes, he's moved on -- but he's also still nostalgic for 'Waverly.'

Ezekiel Elliott Present At Texas Bar Fight ... Cops Investigating Friends' Involvement


Ezekiel Elliott was at a Texas bar over the weekend when a violent fight broke out ... and now, cops tell TMZ Sports they're investigating if members of the NFL star's crew were involved.

According to Frisco Police Dept. documents we obtained, the disturbance happened at around 1 AM at Concrete Cowboy -- a nightclub located a few yards from the Dallas Cowboys' practice facility in Frisco.

Video shot by a patron at the establishment shows as Elliott was talking with a woman, several people got into a brawl just feet away.

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You can see in the footage, at one point during the squabble, a man appears to throw a punch that lands squarely on another man's back.

Officers wrote in an incident report that "a male and a female were physically assaulted by a large group of males" in the fracas. An FPD spokesperson added in a statement that witnesses alleged "members of Elliott's group may have been involved."

Cops, however, said a probe into the allegations is still ongoing ... and detectives are "still working to confirm the details of the incident."

Elliott is, of course, very familiar with the Frisco area ... he played for the Cowboys for the first seven seasons of his career, before he joined the New England Patriots in 2023.

The 28-year-old tailback found success in his first season in another team's uniform, piling up 955 total yards from scrimmage and five total TDs.

TMZ TV Recap Armie Hammer's Biting Thing ... Hillary❤️'Barbie,' Tyreek Married

We're just past the mid-way point in the week, and we are rolling at TMZ when it comes to our television shows ... 'cause now, we're talking biting fetishes, and Hillary Clinton!!!

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Let's begin with Armie Hammer -- who's bedroom fetishes and kinks got put on blast by a former flame who says they hooked up last year ... during which, he supposedly explained the whole "cannibalism" thing that consumed his rep for much of 2021 and beyond.

Check out the segment to see what she had to say about it ... and what he's (allegedly) into.



On the 'TMZ on TV' side of things ... we were back to talking 'Barbie,' but this time -- with a new voice chiming in on the all the indignation over the perceived snubs against Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig ... and that would be ... Hillary Clinton. Yes, the one and only.

Harvey had some hot takes about whether this is actually all about patriarchy or not -- in his mind, it's more like ... hey, sometimes you lose, kid -- guy or gal! He might have a point.

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Over at 'TMZ Sports' ... Babcock and Mojo talked about Tyreek Hill and the fact that he says he's still married ... even though he and his wife have technically filed for divorce. Hmm ...

Lots of opinions and takes with this one -- take a look for yourself and see where you land.

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Check your local listings for when TMZ is on in your area or catch up on past episodes!

Olivia In 'She's The Man' 'Memba Her?!

American actress Laura Ramsey was 23 years old when she landed the role of Olivia -- the girly, pretty blonde who is looking for a 'real' man -- in the comedic film "She's The Man" back in 2006.

Ramsey shared the big screen with Amanda Bynes as the Cornwall soccer player who impersonates and dresses as her brother, Viola, Channing Tatum as Viola's handsome roommate and fellow teammate, Duke and Alexandra Breckenridge as the pretty and full of herself popular girl.

Laura is also known for her roles in "The Covenant", "The Ruins" and "Middle Men."

Guess what she looks like now!

Alec Baldwin on 'Rust' Case Let's Get This Damn Thing Over With ... I Want A Speedy Trial!!!

Alec Baldwin just filed his first official response to the new charges being brought against him in the "Rust" case in New Mexico -- and the first thing out of his mouth is ... hurry up!

According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, the actor has been ordered to appear before a judge in NM to answer to the involuntary manslaughter charge being filed against him (again) ... and he's gotta do so on Feb. 1 at 11 AM through an official plea.

The paperwork notes that AB can show up to court via phone or video conference -- but he's gotta let the judge know one way or the other ... guilty or not guilty. Based on the last time this happened, something tells us Alec's gonna go with the latter.

In fact, his attorneys filed a response to this almost immediately -- submitting documents that make clear ... he wants to get this over and done with, stressing his constitutional right to a speedy trial.


One of the reasons his legal team cites as wanting to get the show on the road here is because it'll "minimize public vilification and suspicion." Plus, he wants to "avoid the hazards of proving his innocence that often arise after a lengthy delay in prosecution."

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Remember, Alec was slapped with new charges last week -- namely, involuntary manslaughter through negligent use of a firearm, or in the alternative ... involuntary manslaughter without due caution or circumspection. Before the charges were dropped the first time, he was facing something very similar ... and the entire time, he vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

Of course, this all has to do with the fact that Alec was using the prop gun on set -- which somehow fired and sent a live bullet through the late Halyna Hutchins, who was the DP.

Alec had chalked it up to a horrific accident -- but prosecutors there in New Mexico have alleged criminality was afoot, and they've been gunning for Baldwin for a while now. His first official reaction to them going after him again basically boils down to ... c'mon, let's go!

Patrick Mahomes Fame Hasn't Changed Kelce 'He's Just Been Himself'


Patrick Mahomes says dating a popstar and hosting "Saturday Night Live" hasn't changed Travis Kelce one bit ... telling reporters Wednesday his best bud has remained even keel despite all the newfound fame.

The Chiefs quarterback praised his tight end for not letting all the attention get to his head during his weekly meeting with media members ... explaining Kelce has "just been himself the whole time."

"He's still Travis Kelce," Mahomes said. "He still will walk through the stadium and treat every single person like they're his best friend. And he's going to be like that in the locker room every single day."

"It hasn't been any different."

Of course, Kelce's life has completely changed since he won his second Super Bowl last February. He drew a ton of laughs on "SNL," earned features in a bevy of new commercials ... and, as you already know, he got into a relationship with Taylor Swift.

But Mahomes was adamant that "Travis has always been Travis" throughout it all.

The 28-year-old signal-caller also had a bunch of nice things to say about Kelce's "SNL" appearance ... telling reporters he was super happy to watch Kelce live out a lifelong dream.

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Up next for the two now is a date with the Baltimore Ravens ... and if they're able to win that, it'll be the Super Bowl -- where Kelce's star could somehow, if you can believe it, get even brighter.

Alexis Bellino Coming Back to 'RHOC' As Friend ... Beador Beef Ready To Blow

Alexis Bellino's headed back to "The Real Housewives of Orange County" ... but there's one cast member who probably isn't looking to reconnect anytime soon -- Shannon Beador.

Production sources tell TMZ ... the 47-year-old is officially returning to 'RHOC' as a friend of the show -- more than a decade after walking away from the series in 2013 as a fan fave.

We're told Bellino -- who starred in seasons 5 through 8 as a main cast member and appeared as a guest in season 14 -- started filming Tuesday evening with the other housewives as production on Season 18 just began.

The biggest news going into this season down in the O.C. ... producers are obviously ready to jump all over the drama between Bellino and Beador -- who now have one thing in common ... dating the same dude in John Janssen.

Here's the deal ... Alexis recently started dating John who Shannon was in a relationship with from July 2019 until November 2022 -- when she says he broke up with her one week after filming on Season 17 wrapped.

SB said she felt blindsided by the breakup ... and AB dating her former flame probably isn't making her feel much better. They're taking getaways together and Alexis seems to have a good relationship with John's kids ... something Beador has publicly said she did not.

And, that's just the tip of the iceberg ... because even before Bellino and Janssen got together, Beador had been quite clear about her dislike for her new castmate.


TMZ broke the story ... just before Shannon's DUI arrest in September 2023, she was overheard trash-talking Alexis at a restaurant -- which Bellino says was over a defamation lawsuit Beador's ex-husband filed against her and Tamra Judge. Bellino also told us she's not involved in that lawsuit.

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Bottom line ... it stands to reason there's a lot of messy and complicated feelings between these two, and Bravo knows exactly where to put them -- on a hit TV show, of course!

So grab some popcorn and pour yourself a mimosa 'RHOC' fans ... it's bound to be an emotional season. Alexis is back, folks ... at least in some capacity.

Jim Harbaugh Bolting For L.A. Chargers Gig ... After Winning Natty

Jim Harbaugh is back in the NFL -- the University of Michigan head football coach has reportedly accepted the same role with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Harbaugh is fresh off winning a national championship with his alma mater ... taking down the Washington Huskies earlier this month, 34-13.

This won't be the 60-year-old's first time leading NFL sidelines -- he also coached the San Francisco 49ers to a 44-22-1 record from 2011-14, including a Super Bowl appearance in 2012 against his brother, John, and the Baltimore Ravens.

This is the fifth head coaching gig for the former NFL QB -- he also had stints at San Diego and Stanford before jumping to the pros the first time around.

It's another full-circle moment for Harbaugh -- he played for the then-San Diego Chargers from 1999-00.

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Harbaugh was expected to meet a second time with the Atlanta Falcons this week regarding their coaching vacancy ... but that interview was reportedly scrapped earlier Wednesday.

Jim is taking over a team with a ton of talent ... most notably quarterback Justin Herbert, who undoubtedly made it a sexy job opening.

Martyrdom Metal Band Apologizes ... After Using Severed Pig Head as Prop


A black metal band might've gone too far with their latest gimmick ... drawing the ire of fans on social media after tossing around a severed pig head at a recent show.

Martyrdom played a gig at the White Swan in Houston, TX on Friday -- when one of the band members made the bonehead move of bringing a severed pig's head to the show ... and later hurling it around the room, some of which was caught on video.

Check out the vid -- pigs really do fly in this case, with the head soaring from the middle of a circle and into the crowd amid screams and blaring music. Someone also took a still of the head ... and it's a pretty terrifying-looking thing to have thrown in anyone's direction.

Now, if you're wondering how social media reacted ... the answer's pretty emphatically NOT good. The boys in the band are getting tons of backlash for bringing the head -- with some people making "Lord of the Flies" references ... and others playing the animal cruelty card.

Martyrdom must've realized they messed up because they've since released an apology -- saying their stunt got out of hand and they didn't mean to offend anyone. They went on to apologize to any "vegans, Muslims or other minority groups" they offended as well as anyone who was "harmed" during the act. At this point, it's unclear if the swine caused any injuries.

The group also apologized specifically to the venue, and the sound operator ... though it's unclear how he might've been affected by the set. Worth noting ... the band has done this before -- and the act of throwing pig heads is kind of a pastime of metal bands, period.

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While that might be the case historically, it seems people are crying foul on this sorta thing nowadays -- and we suppose other bands would be wise not to piggyback off of it.

Melanie Safka 'Brand New Key' Singer ... Dead at 76

Melanie Safka -- otherwise just known as "Melanie" -- has died ... according to her team.

The sad news came courtesy of the singer's PR firm, which announced her death on Tuesday -- but which didn't disclose any official cause, or the exact circumstances. Her children also confirmed her passing to various outlets.

Melanie is, perhaps, most famous for singing at the OG Woodstock back in '69 ... where she crooned as one of just a few solo female performers that year, and left quite an impression on the audience. In fact, her experience at Woodstock went on to inspire more music.

One song she ended up writing in the wake of that was 'Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)' -- and it apparently had to do with people doing exactly that at the historic gathering.

A couple years after her big Woodstock gig ... Melanie came out with a single that put her on the map, and it was called 'Brand New Key,' which went on to become her biggest hit.

The song ended up being featured across a number of different mediums over the years -- most notably in 'Boogie Nights' during Dirk Diggler's porn audition with Rollergirl. If you've seen the movie, you probably remember this well ... it left an impression.

'BNK' was also heard in 'Jackass 3-D' ... as well as on shows like 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,' 'The Bridge' and 'Doctor Who,' -- not to mention on late-night shows, plus 'American Idol' and 'The Voice.' Indeed, it was very popular through the decades.

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Other tracks she'll be remembered for ... 'What Have They Done to My Song Ma,' 'Ruby Tuesday,' 'The Saddest Thing,' 'Bitter Bad,' 'Ring the Living Bell,' 'The Nickel Song,' and more.

Melanie continued working in and around music late into her life -- including meeting up with stars like Miley Cyrus and other contemporary folks/rock singers who carried on the torch.

Word is ... Melanie was actually working on a new album as recently as this month, one in which she'd be doing covers. She was 76.


Taylor Swift Stalker Heads Back to Her NYC Pad ... Busted for Third Time!!!


Taylor Swift's stalker isn't getting the message -- 2 hours after he was in court over his last arrest for creeping around her home ... he was back on Taylor's block and getting busted again.

This video shows David Crowe smoking a cigarette Wednesday around 2 PM outside a McDonald's just 2 blocks from her NYC townhouse. However, witnesses say he eventually made his way back to Taylor's place ... and someone in the neighborhood sounded the alarm, calling 911 to report him.

John M. Mantel for Fox News Digital

Police arrived and arrested Crowe on a criminal contempt charge ... due to the fact an order of protection had just been issued during his arraignment Wednesday morning on 2 counts of harassment and 1 count of stalking.


This is now the third time Crowe's been arrested at or near Taylor's home -- the first time was Saturday, followed by a Monday evening bust.

Law enforcement sources tell us that during today's bust, Crowe told cops he was from Seattle -- which is true -- and he was going to take a flight home ... but police found no evidence of that trip.

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What's more alarming about this arrest is we know Taylor is back in NYC -- she was out on the town Tuesday night with Brittany Mahomes and Cara Delevingne. It's unclear if Taylor was actually inside when Crowe was taken into custody today, but she had been out of town during the previous arrests.

One law enforcement source tells us ... Crowe is "aware of what he's doing and he's articulate. He is fixated on her and cannot keep away from where she lives. We are doing all we can to protect her."



It may soon be farewell to the giant ferris wheel, scorchin' desert heat, and Vanessa Hudgens' boho style -- that is ... if this year's Coachella ticket sales are any indication.

As it turns out ... people aren't all that interested in Coachella this year. In fact, 2024 marks the slowest ticket sales in a decade -- this according to SFGate, which cites some troubling stats for Goldenvoice and co.

Long story short ... passes for this year's Coachella just aren't selling like they used to -- and you can verify that yourself by just going to their site, where you can snap up tix right now.

Yes, they're very much still up for grabs 5 days after hitting the market --  a total shock, especially cause it would sell out within minutes in previous years. Now, you can just go to their homepage and buy just about whatever ticket package you want, at your leisure.

Interestingly, this site is also letting people purchase up to 8 tickets this year compared to only 2 in previous years -- so it looks as though festival organizers are practically begging people to splash some cash on them ... at least that's how it feels anyway.

Though they never had this issue before ... fans famously waited hours in virtual queues to get their hands on coveted wristbands in years gone by -- despite the steep prices.

This is very strange ... 'cause Coachella tix are usually such a hot commodity -- selling out in 40 mins in 2015 and 4 hours in 2022. So, the fact that passes for the second and third tier of the first weekend are still up for grabs days later says a lot about the festival's popularity.

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Remember ... the likes of the Doja Cat, No Doubt, and Lana Del Rey are headlining this year -- and while they aren't the biggest stars out there, they still have a massive fanbase ... so it's hard to say if they, specifically, are the reason behind the sluggish sales.

Still, some are attributing this slump to the lackluster lineup -- there have been lots of complaints.

Simply put, looks like Coachella's losing its appeal in a sea of cooler new festivals ... for one reason or another.

Time will tell if they end up selling out as it gets closer to April -- but at this rate ... probably not.

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