Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Dead at 99

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died.

Stevens died Tuesday night ... the result of a stroke he suffered Monday. 

Stevens was the 3rd longest-serving Justice in the history of the United States Supreme Court. He served from 1975 to 2010.

Stevens was appointed by President Gerald Ford. His successor -- Justice Elena Kagan, who was appointed by President Obama.

Stevens was in the liberal minority during most of his tenure, and famously wrote a number of memorable dissenting opinions.

One of Stevens' biggest -- the 2002 Bush vs. Gore case, in which the Supreme Court effectively put Bush in office. Stevens wrote a dissenting opinion, saying the majority's ruling undermined the people's faith in government and the courts.  

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Another big decision ... his dissent in the Citizens United case, which opened up campaign finance donations from wealthy individuals and corporations.

Stevens was a gun control advocate, once writing a dissenting opinion in which challenged the majority's decision to a major gun control law. In 2018, years after Stevens retired, he publicly challenged the Court's reading of the 2nd Amendment in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, saying it was a "relic of the 18th Century."

Stevens served as a Lt. Commander in the Navy in World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Before joining SCOTUS, President Nixon appointed Stevens in 1970 to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Justice Stevens was one of only 2 Supreme Court justices to be divorced -- the other was William O. Douglas.

Stevens died at a Fort Lauderdale hospital with his daughters by his side.

Stevens is survived by his 2 daughters, 9 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren. 

Stevens was 99. RIP.

Da Brat Defends Jermaine Dupri ... 'Strippers Rapping' Is Necessary Convo

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Da Brat is going to bat for Jermaine Dupri ... she sees a silver lining in his controversial comments about today's female artists, even though he said they sound like "strippers rapping."

Da Brat was at LAX Tuesday when a photog asked about Jermaine stirring up controversy and firing up Cardi B ... DB says his hot take is part of a master plan to start a discussion that's a long time coming.

In case you missed it ... last week Jermaine said Da Brat paved the way for women in the rap game, but when he was asked about his favorite contemporary female artists, he said the industry is filled with the same content from different voices, and they all sound like strippers.

Da Brat explains why she thinks Jermaine's comments were taken out of context, which is debatable ... but she says it doesn't matter anyway because he's helping stir up publicity for ALL female rappers.

A$AP Rocky Congressional Black Caucus Members Release A$AP Now!!!

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A$AP Rocky's human rights are being violated by Swedish officials who have been holding the rapper in jail for nearly 2 weeks ... so says members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Members of the Caucus, including Hakeem Jeffries and Andre Carson, along with Congressman Adriano Espaillat, who is part of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, will stand on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday and demand A$AP's release from a Swedish jail.

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As TMZ reported, A$AP is being held while prosecutors decide whether to charge him for aggravated assault. A$AP and his crew did indeed attack a man on the streets July 1, but only after the man harassed and physically attacked A$AP and a bodyguard and allegedly grabbed a woman's butt. In fact, A$AP tried to diffuse the situation, to no avail.

TMZ broke the story ... A$AP was being held in horrid conditions. A U.S. Embassy official said the jail smelled like a toilet. It's unclear if A$AP has been moved since our report.  

Rep Jeffries says the detention is proof the hip-hop police is not just a U.S. phenomenon.

The State Dept. is now involved in the case, but A$AP and 2 members of his crew are still being held.

'Bachelorette' Reject Luke P. Show Unfairly Made Me Look Like I Slut Shamed Hannah B.

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'Bachelorette' reject Luke P. feels used by the show and Hannah B., because we're told viewers did NOT hear a conversation that ultimately sent Luke reeling ... which led to him calling her out and allegedly slut shaming her.

Luke was dumbfounded after Hannah B. told him she had sex with another guy in the Fantasy Suite. He squarely showed disapproval, implying she wasn't the right kind of woman for him.

Folks in Luke's world tell TMZ ... he was reacting to a conversation he had with Hannah B. at a bible study during the Hometown episode, where she suggested to him she wasn't open to having sex in the fantasy suites. We're told her comment was on Luke's mind when she blurted out she indeed had sex, and that's why he reacted the way he did on camera.

We're told Luke is upset producers did not air the full bible study convo, which would have put his comments on Monday night's show in context. He comes off as a heel.

Our Luke sources say he's had hell to pay in the last 16 hours ... he and his family are getting skewered on social media and his Christian faith is being weaponized against him.

Luke, meanwhile, has already filmed the 'Tell-All' episode, and we're told it didn't go well ... with Hannah and the other guys ganging up on him. That said, our sources say he's been met with love and support from his local community ... and he's moving on.

We reached out to ABC regarding the unaired moment ... they had no comment.

Tom Brady & Gisele Booty Bikini Make Out Session ... Goat on Goat Action!

Tom Brady's back under center ... in a smoldering beach make out session with his supermodel wife, Gisele

TB12 loaded up the family and flew to Costa Rica for their annual offseason beach vacation -- where the couple proved they've still got that fire 10 years after they tied the knot! 

38-year-old Gisele showed off her legendary physique in a pretty tiny bikini -- while 41-year-old Tom didn't look too bad either! 

In fact, Brady looks like he's made some gains in the gym since those infamous dad-bod pics from last summer. 

Maybe avocado ice cream is worth looking into after all!? 

Of course, Tom is on a ticking clock when it comes to his vacation ... the New England Patriots report to training camp on July 25 -- only 9 days away. 

The Patriots regular season opener kicks off on Sept. 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers -- Brady will be entering his 20th season in the league and gunning to play in his 10th Super Bowl! 

Kellyanne Conway Sick of America Coming Last ... Joe Kennedy III Says She Should Be FIRED!!!

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6:14 PM PT -- Rep. Joe Kennedy III is calling for Kellyanne's job ... saying President Trump should have fired her a long time ago. 

We got Joe on Capital Hill and he says Trump's comments and Kellyanne's actions are some of the most "disgusting, demeaning and debasing" aspects of our nation's politics.

4:00 PM PT -- The introduction of a Congressional resolution to condemn President Trump's tweets about the Congresswomen is stirring s**t up on Capitol Hill. 

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Rep. Eric Swalwell was on the floor of the House of Representatives Tuesday, and just ripped into Trump over a laundry list of "racist" comments. That didn't sit well with Rep. Doug Collins, who stood up and yelled Swalwell was out of order.

After several gavel slams ... order was restored to the House floor, but fair to say D.C. is lit right now on this topic! 

Kellyanne Conway is taking President Trump's feud with the Democratic Congresswomen to a whole new level ... angrily barking at reporters that POTUS is sick of the America we live in today.

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Trump's aide was talking to reporters Tuesday in D.C. about the President's insistence that his tweets demanding Congresswomen, like Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, go back and fix the countries from which they came.

Conway responded to a reporter's question by demanding to know the reporter's ethnicity -- then dropped some spin on him, claiming Trump was doing the same ... simply referring to the Congresswomen's ethnicities. But, then she got heated.

Conway sneered at the reporter and shouted, "A lot of us are sick and tired of this country, of America coming last! To people who swore an oath of office."

While she might have stumbled through the sentence, her message was clear -- Trump's fed up, and thinks the Congresswomen aligning against him are un-American. 

Trump's critics will say his tweets and Conway's statement are obvious examples of dog whistling. If true, it's the angriest dog whistle we've seen yet from the administration. 

Originally published -- 2:15 AM PT

Harry Styles Sells Hollywood Hills Home at a Loss

Harry Styles just pocketed $6 million ... because we've learned he just sold his Hollywood Hills home.

Harry bought the house a few years back for around $6.8 million, so in reality he's taking a loss, but at least he unloaded the crib.

The house has been for sale for around a year. He initially listed it for $8 mil but there were no takers.

As for why Harry's selling ... he thought he'd be spending more time in L.A. but that's not the case. He's not buying another house in the City of Angels.

The house is gated, modern and has great city views. It's 4,400 square feet strong ... and has 4 bedrooms and 6 baths.  

The house was listed by mega-realtor Kurt Rappaport and Carl Gambino.

R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty, Denied Bond ... Shackled in Court for Hearing

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1:38 PM PT -- Turns out, Savage and Clary decided to take off after the hearing and skipped the news conference. Greenberg, along with Kelly's crisis manager Darrell Johnson, briefly spoke and answered a few questions, but the gist of it is ... they're disappointed in the judge's ruling.

12:47 PM PT -- Joycelyn and Azriel will be addressing the media following the court's decision along with their attorney, Gloria Schmidt ... and TMZ will be streaming it live.

R. Kelly was in court for his bond hearing, shackled at the ankles and wearing an orange jump suit ... and will remain behind bars for the time being.

Prosecutors argued against his release ... saying he's a danger to the community, especially to minor girls. They claim the risk of obstruction is real and ongoing, and also heightened by his fame and power. Prosecutors are also saying he has the "unique ability to influence and intimidate witnesses and victims, and that continues to this day."

They added an emphatic, "It's who the defendant is," after alleging that he's sexually assaulted the alleged victims hundreds of times. 

Kelly ultimately pled not guilty and was denied bond.

The prosecution also argued there's no question R. Kelly is the person in the videos they've obtained -- which appears to be a reference to the alleged sex tapes at the center of the probe. They're claiming that electronic monitor and home confinement is not enough for Kelly ... going on to say he can "entice girls to his own doorstep." 

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Meanwhile, R. Kelly's lawyer, Steve Greenberg, fired back to defend his client, saying Kelly has already surrendered his passport, and noted the guy doesn't like to fly ... so he's not a flight risk. Greenberg also says that, to his knowledge, Kelly didn't miss any court dates in his 2008 trial. Speaking of that trial, Greenberg responded to allegations that the case was rigged, saying R. Kelly faced a jury of his peers, and not a bench trial.

Meek Mill In Court to Get Conviction Overturned ... Both Sides Say He Deserves New Trial

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1:49 PM PT -- We got CNN's Van Jones after the hearing ... and he told us he expects Meek's conviction to eventually be overturned. 

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Van -- who is also the CEO of REFORM Alliance – tells us Meek stood before the court like a lion, and he says this case is night and day different than when it first started, because both sides now agree there were serious issues with the OG trial. 

1:08 PM PT -- The hearing just ended without a ruling from the Superior Court panel. Meek's lawyers and the District Attorney's Office both reiterated they believe Meek deserves a new trial. 

Meek Mill is back in court trying to get his conviction overturned from over a decade ago -- and he might have a shot based on who's on the bench ... a whole new set of judges.

The Philly-bred rapper is appearing Tuesday in Pennsylvania Superior Court, asking for his 2008 conviction on gun and drug charges to be tossed out based on shoddy evidence that was initially used by a cop who has since been revealed to be crooked.

Not only that, but even state prosecutors have recommended he get a new trial ... and did NOT oppose his release on bail after he got thrown back in prison for a few months in late 2017.

You'll recall ... Genece Brinkley, the judge who initially sent Meek to prison all those years ago, sent him back to the slammer in November 2017 after she found he'd violated his probation -- sentencing him to 2-4 years behind bars ... an incredibly harsh punishment.

Meek's legal team believes this stemmed from a long-standing vendetta the judge has against the rapper ... partly because he laughed at her prior suggestion of him doing a remake of Boyz II Men's "On Bended Knee" and giving her a shout-out.

After a lot of public outcry and petitioning by movers and shakers in and around the city ... Meek was finally released, much to the chagrin of Judge Brinkley.

Luckily for him, she isn't hearing his request this time around -- Meek is coming face-to-face with a panel of judges, who will decide whether the OG case from 2008 was legit or not.

Stay tuned ...

Originally Published -- 12:16 PM PT

Pete Buttigieg Celeb $upport Still Strong Major Donations Last Quarter

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Pete Buttigieg may have lost some early steam in his campaign to nab the Democratic nomination for president ... but Hollywood's still got his back big-time.

According to filings by the 2019 Federal Election Commission ... contributions for Mayor Pete have been pouring in from celebs since he announced his 2020 presidential run -- with well over 30 Hollywood types forking over cash to the South Bend Mayor.

Among the names ... Gwyneth Paltrow ($2,800), Anna Wintour ($2,800), Mandy Moore ($3,818.86), Tom Ford ($5,600), Larry David ($2,800), Kevin Bacon ($2,800), Michael J. Fox ($2,800), Frances McDormand ($3,000), Matt Bomer ($2,800), Jeffrey Katzenberg ($2,800), Marilyn Katzenberg ($2,800) and John Stamos ($1,000).

And, there are others who opened their wallets for Pete, including Brad Falchuk, Sean Hayes, Caroline Kennedy, Ryan Murphy, Sarah Silverman, Ted Danson, Sharon Stone and George Takei. 

Looks like $2,800 seems to be the magic number -- the max one-time donation. Funny enough the largest one-time contribution we found in the famous batch of donors -- $6,600 -- was one Cooper Hefner -- the guy running Playboy Enterprises. The smallest donations came in at $250. 

Pete may be behind in the polls, but he's still one of the most popular Democratic candidates -- raising more than $24m this past quarter.

BTW, he's not the only Dem who's got Hollywood in his corner ... Senator Elizabeth Warren has a healthy amount of support as well -- Amy Schumer, Rosie O'Donnell, Scarlett Johansson and others plunked down cash -- raising a total of just over $19m over the course of this last cycle. 

Hollywood support doesn't get you elected, but the money sure helps. 

Ezekiel Elliott Under Investigation ... Over Vegas Incident

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The criminal investigation into Ezekiel Elliott over his Las Vegas altercation with a security guard is officially underway, TMZ Sports has learned. 

A rep for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept. tells us ... they were contacted by Kyle Johnson, who claims he was the victim of a battery committed by the NFL star. 

"This incident is under investigation," the spokesperson confirmed. 

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We reached out to Zeke's camp and a rep told us, "No comment."

As we previously reported, 19-year-old Johnson has stated he was going to file a police report over the May 19 incident at the Electric Daisy Carnival when Elliott knocked Johnson to the ground during a dispute in the parking lot. 

At the time, police officers working at the event detained the Dallas Cowboys running back and placed him in handcuffs -- but he was NOT arrested because Johnson told them he did not want to press charges. 

At the time, cops described the incident as a "battery" -- since Ezekiel clearly used his body to push Johnson into a metal gate, ultimately knocking him to the ground. 

Johnson publicly demanded a "sincere" apology from Zeke -- and said if he didn't get it, he would explore his legal options. 

Elliott and his reps have accused Johnson of running an extortion scheme -- implying Johnson was more interested in getting money from Zeke than getting justice. 

The NFL has already conducted its own investigation and decided to NOT suspend Zeke for violating the league's personal conduct policy. However, Zeke did issue a statement apologizing for his actions that night. 

R. Kelly $2 Mil Payoff for 2008 Acquittal is BS ... Claims Family of Alleged Victim

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R. Kelly didn't buy an acquittal in 2008 by paying off the alleged child victim and her family ... so says that family.

Attorney Christopher Brown, who represents the family, tells TMZ ... the claims made by Michael Avenatti suggesting the victim did not testify in the trial because the family received a $2 million payoff for their silence are "false and have no basis in reality."

Brown adds ... "The victim and her family have been contacted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago and are cooperating with the investigation of R. Kelly."

As we reported ... Kelly is due in court Tuesday for a bond hearing in his federal sex crimes case. On Monday, Avenatti -- who says he reps 3 of the alleged victims in the new federal indictments -- alleged Kelly got off in his 2008 child porn case by paying the family off.

Avenatti called the 2008 acquittal bogus, saying ... "R. Kelly bought his acquittal. He bought this victim and their parents and ensured that the truth was never told to that jury in 2008."

The family clearly refutes these allegations.

As we reported ... Kelly was arrested last week in Chicago and is facing federal charges for multiple sex crimes including child pornography, racketeering and obstruction of justice.

Of course, he's also facing separate sex abuse charges in Cook County, IL.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Doubles Down ... Trump's Got a Racist Mind & Heart

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks President Trump is splitting hairs by saying he doesn't have a racist bone in his body -- 'cause he's got plenty of other bigoted body parts.

We got AOC Tuesday roaming the halls of Congress on Capitol Hill, just a day after she and 3 other Democratic congresswomen publicly rebuked Trump, again, for telling them to go back and fix the countries "from which they came." 

With the House of Representatives now preparing a resolution to formally condemn his racist remarks ... the Prez defended himself, saying, "Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show “weakness” and fall into their trap."

Our photog asked the NY Congresswoman about the "racist bone" comment, and she says he's got a lot more problems in that department than just his bones. Watch.

She also gets into the delayed roll-out for the new Harriet Tubman $20 bill design -- which many people thought Trump's cabinet was responsible for slowing, but it's since been confirmed as something that was never gonna happen in 2020, even on Obama's watch. 

AOC says it'd be a huge step in the right direction if Trump makes sure that happens as planned. If that sounds like she's complimenting him, don't panic ... the world isn't ending. She closed with a jab. 

WWE's Jeff Hardy Passed Out In Stairwell Before Arrest ... Cops Say

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WWE wrestler Jeff Hardy was passed out in a public stairwell and reeked of booze before cops arrested him Saturday ... this according to new police docs obtained by TMZ Sports.

We broke the story ... Hardy was busted down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina this weekend for allegedly being drunk in public -- and was eventually released on less than $200 bond.

Now, we've obtained police docs that say Hardy admitted to drinking vodka before cops found him passed out in a stairwell.

Hardy was facing a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication -- but we've now learned Jeff ain't facing more trouble in the case.

Court officials tell us ... because Hardy paid a $153 ticket for public intoxication, his case is considered closed.

Of course, there is a small chance Jeff could fight the ticket in court later this month ... but doesn't seem that'll be likely, considering he's not facing a conviction on his record.

41-year-old Hardy has been 1/2 of the famous Hardy Boyz tag team in the WWE for years. 

Hardy underwent knee surgery earlier this year and is currently rehabbing to get back in the ring.

Nipsey Hussle Secretly Under Criminal Investigation for Gang Activity ... The Same Time LAPD Was Praising Him

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Nipsey Hussle was praised by the LAPD as a peacemaker in the wake of his death -- a hero of sorts in his community for trying to stem gang violence -- but it turns out the very same police department was secretly investigating Nipsey for possible criminal prosecution for alleged gang activity.

The probe was centered around Nipsey's Marathon Clothing store in South L.A., as a possible hub for gang activity ... this according to The New York Times.

It's a stunning development, because the LAPD was both investigating Nipsey and embracing him at the same time. He was set to meet the LAPD Police Chief the day after he was murdered, to discuss gang violence.

What's more ... a few years before his death, the City of Los Angeles was trying to pressure Hussle's landlords to evict Nipsey from Marathon Clothing ... this according to The NYT. As it turned out, Nipsey bought the building with some investors.

Although the City can no longer prosecute Nipsey, the City continues to investigate Nipsey's business partners.

Nipsey was a member of the Rollin' 60s Crips back in the day, but disavowed gang life and worked heroically to stem gang violence and even worked with former gang members who got out of prison to help get them back up on their feet.

The outlet reports that city officials suspected the strip mall where his clothing store was located -- which Nipsey owned along with a bevy of investors -- was a hotbed for gang members, and that the exact type of violence that took the MC's life was rampant there.

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You'll recall the LAPD Commissioner Steve Soboroff stood shoulder to shoulder with Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chief of Police Michel Moore and other L.A. City Officials to discuss a planned summit Nipsey had coordinated with them to curb gang violence.

Soboroff publicly hailed Nipsey as a peacemaker.

Cameron Boyce Death Certificate Reveals He Was Cremated

Disney star Cameron Boyce's death certificate reveals the actor was cremated ... and his ashes were returned to his father.

Cameron's death certificate -- obtained by TMZ -- says he died at 2:35 PM on July 6. The official cause of death has been deferred until the coroner completes their investigation. Boyce was cremated and his ashes were given to his dad, Victor. 

The certificate says Cameron has worked in the entertainment industry for 12 years. Forest Lawn in Los Angeles is listed as the funeral establishment. 

As we reported ... Cameron suffered a fatal seizure last weekend and died in his sleep. Our sources say his roommate found him unresponsive, and when paramedics arrived they could not revive him. Cameron, who was just 20 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

TMZ broke the story ... Cameron had been dealing with seizures, triggered by epilepsy, for a long time. His condition, however, didn't prevent him from acting in movies and TV ... and achieving great success in both.

After his death, Cameron's family said, "The world is now undoubtedly without one of its brightest lights, but his spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved him."