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Jussie Smollett 'Empire' Cast and Crew Brothers Not Racist, Homophobic or Pro-Trump

2/16/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The 2 men who were arrested, then released Friday night, in the Jussie Smollett case are pro-LGBTQ and anti-Trump, which has people on the "Empire" set scratching their heads. 

We've spoken with "Empire" cast and crew, and they say Ola and Abel Osundairo do not fit the profile of racists and homophobes -- not even close. As we reported, both men have been extras on "Empire" for years and both are friendly with Jussie, and Abel is especially close to him. We're told Jussie would frequently approach the brothers on set and chat about health and fitness.

Our Empire sources say Abel especially is an ally of the LGBTQ community, and neither have ever said anything positive about Trump. They're both big Obama fans.

We're told Abel worked as an "Empire" extra as recently as a month ago. They're considered family on the set ... well-known and well-liked by cast and crew.  

The folks we've spoken with say they find it impossible to believe Ola and Abel have the DNA of criminals who would carry out the acts that Jussie describes -- and obviously cops now believe that as well. 

Police arrested the brothers for battery Friday after cops raided their home Wednesday and seized a long list of items, including several bottles of bleach. However, late Friday Chicago PD released the brothers due to "new evidence" gathered from their interrogation ... and said they're no longer suspects.

As we reported, Jussie initially said his attackers were white -- yet another fact that just doesn't track with the Osundairos profile.

Colton Underwood Female Fan Grabbed His Junk ... Virgin Joke Gone Awry

2/16/2019 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Colton Underwood's penis and virginity came under fire during his charity event in San Diego, leaving the 'Bachelor' star feeling deeply disturbed and violated. 

Eyewitnesses tell TMZ ... during Colton's meet and greet, a female fan approached him and grabbed his crotch in front of everyone, telling him, "I am going to take your virginity." 

As we reported ... Colton cut his appearance short and got the hell out of Dodge before apologizing to his fans for his early exit, saying he was touched inappropriately

Sources close to Colton tell us he needed a moment to compose himself after he was groped, so he stepped away into a VIP area, but then decided he'd had enough and left early. We're told he feels bad about leaving his fans hanging, but he just couldn't go on. 

As you know, Colton's virginity has become an endless punchline on "The Bachelor" ... but after Wednesday's encounter, we're told Colton feels the virgin jokes have finally crossed the line.

The good news for Colton fans ... we're told he's not going to let one bad apple stop him from doing meet and greets, and he hopes his social media post will dissuade fan from becoming copycats. 

 

Stars and Scars You Be the Judge

2/16/2019 12:45 AM PST

Huge week as the Jussie Smollett plot thickens, and 21 Savage is fighting to stay in the U.S. So, we gotta ask ... 

Jussie Smollett Cops Release 'Suspects' Due to New Evidence Gathered During Questioning

2/15/2019 7:30 PM PST
Exclusive Details

7:30 PM PT -- Cops are releasing the Osundairo brothers and they won't be charged.

Chicago PD says, "Due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the 'Empire' case have now been released without charging."

Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi added that detectives have "additional investigative work to complete."Police have now arrested 2 men in the Jussie Smollett investigation -- 2 men with ties to "Empire" -- and TMZ has learned they were booked for battery.

The men are brothers from Nigeria named Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, and Chicago cops are now calling them "potential suspects" ... as opposed to persons of interest. We know it was their home cops raided Wednesday and seized a long list of potential evidence ... including several bottles of bleach.

As we reported ... cops picked up Ola and Abel, their nicknames, on Wednesday night at O'Hare Airport. 

A Chicago law enforcement source tells us the next step may be a lineup in which Jussie will be asked to identify the culprits. This raises a potential problem because, as we first reported, Jussie initially said his attackers were white and yelled "MAGA country."

The Osundairos, from Nigeria, just don't fit that profile.

As you know, Jussie has stated the men in the dark, grainy image released last month are definitely his attackers. Police are not confirming the Osundairo brothers are the men in that photo.

Ola played a prison inmate on season 2 of "Empire." It's unclear exactly how well they know Jussie, but we know Jussie follows their joint Instagram account. Abel also says he's worked on "Empire."

Both brothers describe themselves online as actors and models.

Originally Published 10:10 AM PT

WWE's Matt Riddle 'NXT' Is Exploding We Can Be Bigger Than 'Raw,' 'Smackdown'

2/16/2019 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

WWE superstar Matt Riddle thinks a major change is coming ... saying 'NXT' is on a trajectory to explode and take over as the No. 1 show in the WWE Universe.

For years, 'NXT' has been viewed as WWE's developmental brand -- used to springboard up-and-coming wrestlers on to shows like 'Raw' and 'Smackdown Live' ... where the top stars play. 

But, Riddle -- along with other young stars like Ricochet, Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano -- have turned 'NXT' into arguably the most must-see WWE show ... and it only seems to be getting better. 

Riddle says 'NXT' is "different" and "fresh" -- and not "the same kind of watered-down child's product that WWE's kind of turned into a lot."

He adds, "People watch us, even though it's scripted a lot of the time, it's more real. It's more believable."

Riddle says he can feel the momentum behind 'NXT' -- and it's affected the way he sees his career with the WWE.  

"Funny enough, I was thinking about that the other day. And, I want to get to the main roster, but then I was thinking, 'Maybe I'm thinking about it wrong,' because 'NXT' is so hot, maybe we should stay and try to build 'NXT' and make it bigger than 'Raw' and 'Smackdown' and just be the big guy, which isn't impossible."

There's more ... Riddle -- a former UFC fighter -- also says he'd LOVE a shot to go 1-on-1 with John Cena, but not in a traditional pro wrestling match ... 

"I think I wanna fight John Cena. He might wanna wrestle, but I kind wanna fight him."

Broooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Priyanka Chopra She's Not Pregnant ... And the Booze Proves It

2/16/2019 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Priyanka Chopra is not pregnant, despite rumors she's carrying Nick Jonas' baby. 

We've spoken with folks who were around Priyanka Monday night in Los Angeles for the premiere of her movie, "Isn't It Romantic," and she was happily drinking. The actress hit up Osteria Mozza, where she was seen toasting friends and downing champagne. 

As you know ... the rumor mill went into high gear this week after Priyanka was photographed with what appeared to be a baby bump, this only days after hiding her stomach with a flowy dress. But, we're told the pregnancy rumors are all a bust.

Sources close to the newlyweds tell TMZ ... Priyanka and Nick are waiting to start a family, and we're told they're in no hurry. 

After all, it's only been two and a half months since Nick and Priyanka tied the knot ... we're told they're still enjoying each other's company, and she hasn't even fully moved into Nick's house.

Baby steps.

Ice Cube Scottie Pippen Is Wrong About LeBron ... But He's Right Too

2/16/2019 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Lakers super fan Ice Cube says Scottie Pippen is WRONG when he says LeBron James doesn't have the clutch gene ... but RIGHT when he says LBJ is no Michael Jordan ... or Kobe Bryant.

Pippen took some shots at LeBron recently ... actually, he pretty much destroyed the guy on "ESPN First Take," saying the King turns into a peasant during crunch time in games.

We got Ice Cube at LAX and asked the lifelong NBA fan if there's any truth to Scottie's scathing critique, and the West Coast legend said no ... and yes.

"I think he does have the clutch gene, but not too many people in the world got the Kobe and Jordan gene."

So ... LeBron is clutch, just not Kobe or Jordan clutch. So, he's not like a high-priced Gucci clutch bag (no disrespect to T.I.) he's more like a Coach clutch bag (no disrespect to Coach).

Makes sense ... Cube went on to say LeBron shouldn't sweat Scottie's opinion, because he's got 3 rings and it doesn't matter, but we think Cube forgot one thing.

Scottie has 6.

What's The Big Frigin' Difference?!

2/16/2019 12:01 AM PST

Don't let these two almost identical images of Michael B. Jordan shake you up. Settle down and take a closer look to see if you can figure out the differences between these two super similar snaps!

**HINT -- There are THREE differences in the above photographs!**

Jen Aniston & Courteney Cox Emergency Landing!!! Bday Party Moves to Backup Jet

2/15/2019 2:41 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

4:00 PM PT -- In a totally baller move ... Jen's party is moving to a brand new private jet. The backup PJ just pulled up in front of the damaged one and their luggage is getting transferred.

The 12 women onboard have been sitting patiently waiting for their plan B to arrive, but they're gonna have to get off now to stroll to the new jet.

Jennifer Aniston's private jet bound for Mexico was forced to make an emergency landing in California ... TMZ has learned, and now she and her guests are holed up onboard.

The flight took off from LAX at 11 AM Friday heading for Cabo San Lucas, but lost a wheel or a tire during takeoff ... according to the FAA.

The jet -- which also has Courteney Cox and Molly Kimmel onboard -- made it all the way down to Mexican airspace, but the crew decided it wouldn't be safe to land in Cabo.

The flight was diverted back toward the airport in Ontario, CA ... about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. However, they still had a very full fuel tank ... which ain't ideal for emergency landings.

The plane circled for hours to burn off fuel before it was deemed safe to land ... and the captain put it down safely at 2:05 PM. Jen, Courteney, and 10 other passengers have not de-planed yet, which is why we're watching the live stream.

There's a buzz Brad Pitt is on the plane. Not to be a buzz kill, but our sources say it just ain't so. We're told all the passengers are women -- including Amanda Anka (Jason Bateman's wife) -- and it's a surprise trip for Jen's 50th birthday which they sprung on her today.  

It appears everyone aboard is safe, but clearly a harrowing couple of hours for Jennifer to wrap up her birthday week.

Beck Where It's At? Divorce Court

2/15/2019 5:29 PM PST
Breaking News

Beck's divorcing his actress wife, Marissa Ribisi, after nearly 15 years of marriage.

The singer filed the divorce petition Friday in Los Angeles. He and Marissa got married in April 2004 and they have 2 kids together -- a 14-year-old son named Cosimo, and an 11-year-old daughter named Tuesday.

Marissa's had roles in "Dazed and Confused," "Pleasantville" and several other movies. She's the twin sister of Giovanni Ribisi.

This was the first marriage for both Marissa and Beck. They got married in a small ceremony in Santa Barbara.

Drake Universal Music Group Sued ... You Shut Down Our Drizzy Doc!!!

2/15/2019 4:55 PM PST
Breaking News

The production company behind a Drake documentary is suing Universal Music Group for ratting them out, and getting the project yanked from streaming platforms.

Symettrica Entertainment rips UMG in the lawsuit, saying the music co. fired off notices to remove all the Drake music and video clips the documentary entitled, "Drake: Re-writing the Rules." Obviously, that would create a major hole in a Drake documentary ... if it were devoid of his image and music.

According to docs, obtained by TMZ, Universal's power move "has nothing to do with purported 'copyright infringement,' and everything to do with placating its artist Drake by attempting to suppress any commentary or criticism of Drake." 

The unauthorized doc was released on Vevo in November, and then hit Netflix, iTunes and Amazon on January 16. Symettrica says it got UMG's notice the next day and, 2 days later, all the digital platforms caved ... saying they had no choice but to pull the documentary.

Symettrica insists its use of the Drake clips was fair use, and says it's lost a ton of money because UMG shut them down. 

Symettrica wants the court to declare their use of the Drizzy clips is kosher. It's also suing UMG for damages. Drake is NOT being sued.

Seth Curry Proposes to Doc Rivers' Daughter ... She Said 'Yes!!!'

2/15/2019 3:48 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Two powerful NBA families are set to be linked by marriage -- with Steph Curry's brother, Seth, proposing to Doc Rivers' daughter, Callie ... and she said YES!!

TMZ Sports has learned ... the Blazers guard popped the question to his longtime girlfriend in front of their families at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Charlotte on Thursday ... with brother Steph and father Dell present.

Doc, Austin Rivers and the rest of the Rivers gang was also on hand for the special moment.

It was the perfect op for Seth to get down on one knee ... considering it was Valentine's Day and everyone's in town for NBA All-Star Weekend.

Callie tweeted about the big day, saying "2.14.19 was a DAY. so thankful & blessed & loved & happy & positive & complete." 

Holiday basketball games are gonna be AWESOME!!!!! 

Congrats!!!

Cardi B & Meek Mill Outrage Over Inmate's Death ... Prison Releases Details

2/15/2019 2:49 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The death of Anthony Myrie, a NY state prison inmate, has become a cause celebre -- with Cardi B and Meek Mill suggesting a cover-up -- which is forcing the prison to release new details about the mystery.

New York Department of Corrections spokesperson Thomas Mailey tells TMZ ... the death of Anthony Myrie on February 11 at the Greene Correctional Facility near Albany "appears to be consistent with sudden cardiac arrest."

Mailey says the prison typically doesn't provide facts about an ongoing investigation, but it's making an exception due to "the abundance of misinformation in circulation."

After news of Myrie's death came out ... Cardi and Meek both shared a message from Myrie's family, alleging prison guards may have been responsible for hurting him. They also accused prison officials of lying about where his body was being held to "buy time to cover this up."

According to Mailey ... Myrie was involved in a 3-on-1 fight with other inmates, but officers broke it up without using force. Mailey says Myrie was examined after the incident and the medical staff found no injuries.

However, Mailey says Myrie complained of chest pain shortly afterward while he was waiting to be interviewed by prison staff. When they took him back to the medical unit, he collapsed ... "unconscious and unresponsive."

He was given emergency medical services by the staff before being transferred to Albany Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the prison's statement, preliminary autopsy results show he had no body trauma and "the cause of death appears to be consistent with sudden cardiac arrest."

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