Jussie Smollett Osundairo Brother Scores Movie Role ... As Jussie Waits

Friends, Family & Lovers

One of the brothers who admitted to carrying out an elaborate hoax to make it look like Jussie Smollett was the victim of a hate crime is back to acting -- before the ex-"Empire" star.

Abel Osundairo will be making his acting debut in the upcoming low-budget film, "Friends Family & Lovers," and not only that ... he's playing the main character, Dushon.

The movie's directed and co-written by Michael Ballard, who also co-wrote the Master P produced comedy "I Got the Hook Up 2," and is set to screen this weekend at the University of Chicago.

Judging by the trailer, 'FF&L' isn't going to be in the mix for a Best Picture nom, but still ... a gig's a gig, and it's more onscreen work than Smollett's gotten since his fiasco in Chicago.

As we reported ... Jussie's "Empire" character was written out of the show after his alleged hoax and got renewed in April without him.

His acting career's been on hiatus ever since, and it seems he's much more busy battling the City of Chicago. In fact, he just filed a countersuit against the city claiming malicious prosecution.

Jussie also included the Osundairo brother in his suit, which their lawyer called a sad attempt to falsely smear them.

At least Abel's not letting it stop him from launching his acting career.

Taylor Swift Vegas Thinks She'll Perform Old Hits ... And Beat Ariana At AMAs!!!

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Taylor Swift is gonna tell Scooter Braun and Big Machine what's up ... by performing her old songs at the American Music Awards ... at least according to the oddsmakers.

The cyber-gambling site, SportsBetting.ag, is offering tons of prop bets on this Sunday's AMAs ... and bookies are banking on Taylor to sing the hits owned by BM, and for Swift to take home Artist of the Year over Ariana Grande.

The odds of Taylor singing stuff like "Shake It Off" are 1 to 5, meaning you gotta wager $500 to win $100. That's a pretty heavy favorite. The odds of Taylor eschewing songs from Big Machine are 3 to 1, meaning a $100 wager pays $300.

As you know ... there's some debate over Taylor's choice of songs for her big AMAs performance. She's angry at Scooter and BM over ownership of the masters from her first 6 albums. Taylor claimed BM was withholding permission for her to sing her old hits, but the label says she can perform anything she chooses during the live broadcast.

Of course, we've reported Taylor might not have enough time to rehearse her old songs. The jury is still out.

Taylor is the favorite to win Artist of the Year -- her odds are even -- while Ariana is second with 2 to 1 odds. Halsey comes in at 3 to 1, Post Malone is 7 to 2 and Drake is 4 to 1.

Taylor's also expected to go after Scooter and Big Machine during her acceptance speech for Artist of the Decade, and the odds of her saying "Big Machine" on the broadcast are 3 to 2, meaning a $200 wager pays $300.

Looks like Taylor's still making other people rich!!!

Post Malone I Won $50K Playing Beer Pong!!!

Chris Villa

Post Malone likes to raise the stakes when he plays beer pong ... and he went home a huge winner after sinking some cups with a ton of dough on the line!!!

Here's the deal ... Post challenged his up-and-coming artist, Tyla Yaweh, to a $50,000 game of pong before their Wednesday night concert at The Forum in Los Angeles ... and Posty came out on top.

Chris Villa

The high-stakes drinking game during the concert pre-party drew a huge celeb crowd ... with Billy Idol, Rich The Kid, Niall Horan, Mike Stud and Diplo hanging around the table as Tyla and Posty went back and forth.

The beer pong game came down to the wire, and when the dust settled, the "Beerbongs and Bentleys" rapper was $50k richer. Not a bad way to make some money.

And unlike Post's $20k NFL playoff wager with YG, this bet didn't take 9 months to collect ... Tyla sent Posty the dough over Cash App right after Post sank the last cup.

Robert Kraft Audio Ripped Trump at '17 NFL Summit ... 'Divisive & Horrible'


New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft called out Donald Trump as "divisive and horrible" when talking about NFL kneelers at the '17 NFL summit ... and TMZ Sports has the audio.

It all went down in October 2017 -- roughly 1 month after President Trump called for NFL teams to fire any "son of a bitch" who doesn't stand for the national anthem.

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The owners felt the league was taking a serious PR hit and called for owners, players and league execs to come together to talk about possible solutions.

That's when Kraft addressed the room ... and explained how POTUS would twist whatever plan they came up with to advance his own agenda.

"I must tell you, I think these dialogues are great," Kraft said. "But, the elephant in the room now in my opinion, is this kneeling, which every player has a right to do if they feel it's right."

"The problem we have is, we have a President that will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don’t feel is in the best interest of the matter. It's divisive and it's horrible. And, it’s actually the opposite of what you all are trying to do."

Kraft explains there is 40% of the country that will crap all over any possible plan just because they'll side with Trump no matter what.

"I just hope one of the things that can come out of here is that we find a way to be unified. And, be able to carry through and follow through."

Remember, Kraft and Trump -- once close friends -- had a rift in their relationship over the kneeling situation ... but seem to have patched things up.

In fact, Kraft went on FOX News in February to praise POTUS ... saying, "[Trump is] working very hard to serve the best interest of the country."

Guess Who This Messy Kid Turned Into!

Before this mother of two was a super-cool Hollywood actress she was just an uber-cute kid with a banging, blonde, bowl cut getting messy during mealtime in Michigan.

This grinning little girl went on to do a slew of musicals and theater work before breaking into the big-screen biz with credits like the 2008 film, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," the 2010 rock flick, "Get Him to the Greek" and the 2011 scary movie, "Scream 4."

But, she's probably best known for her voiceover work as the chill sister in a Disney film.

Can you guess who she is?

French Montana Hospitalized with Elevated Heart Rate ... Pain and Nausea, Too


French Montana is hospitalized in Los Angeles after suffering scary cardiac issues, intense nausea, and getting an unexpected visit from cops to his home ... TMZ has learned.

French was rushed to a hospital by ambulance Thursday around 1:30 PM ... but it's cops who made the call to get him treatment. According to law enforcement sources ... L.A. County Sheriff's deputies were called to his Calabasas home for a possible robbery.

That turned out to be a false alarm, but the responding deputies determined French was acting abnormal and seemed out of it. Sources connected to the rapper tell us he'd been suffering severe stomach pains, nausea and perhaps most alarmingly ... an elevated heart rate.

We're told French was taken to a San Fernando Valley hospital, and he's awake and alert right now. He's getting treatment that includes IV fluids and is expected to be released later today.

Our sources say French has been traveling a lot over the last couple of weeks -- including trips to the Middle East and Europe. We're told some around him suspect he could have been exposed to contaminated food.

Story developing ...

Oprah on Toni Morrison She Defined 'Reading' for Me ... Honors Author at Memorial


Oprah paid tribute to Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison by reading some of her literature and sharing a great anecdote about their first meeting.

Toni's celebration of life was held Thursday at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. Angela Davis, Fran Lebowitz, Jesmyn Ward -- along with Oprah -- stepped up to the pulpit to honor their friend.

Oprah talked about the first time she met Toni -- during a gathering in Maya Angelou's backyard, of all places -- and called it "One of the great thrills of my life." That's despite the fact Oprah admitted saying something a little embarrassing to the celebrated author -- watch the clip, the story got big laughs.

To close out her time, Oprah recited a passage from Toni's 1977 work "Song of Solomon" ... and, again, the audience burst into applause.

Toni died in August of complications from pneumonia while surrounded by her loved ones.

Toni was perhaps best known for her 1987 best-seller, "Beloved." She was a renowned figure in literature for her novels that spoke to the African-American experience. "Beloved," "Jazz" and "Paradise" made up a loose trilogy -- with the first book being adapted into the 1998 film starring Oprah and Danny Glover.

Toni was 88.

Browns' Myles Garrett Doubles Down On Rudolph Racial Slur Claim ... 'I Know What I Heard'

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4:09 PM PT -- Myles Garrett is not backing down from claims Mason Rudolph hurled a racial slur at him during the helmet-throwing incident ... saying "I know what I heard."

Garrett just issued a statement ripping the NFL ... accusing league officials of leaking confidential information from his appeal hearing to the media.

Here's his statement in full ...

"I was assured that the hearing was space that afforded the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about the incident that led to my suspension," Garrett says. "This was not meant for public dissemination, nor was it a convenient attempt to justify my actions or restore my image in the eyes of those I disappointed."

"I know what I heard. Whether my opponent's comment was born out of frustration or ignorance, I cannot say. But his actions do not excuse my lack of restraint in the moment, and I truly regret the impact this has had on the league, the Browns and our devoted fans."

1:14 PM PT -- The NFL says it investigated Garrett's allegation and found "no such evidence" that Rudolph hurled a racial slur.

"We looked into it and found no such evidence," NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said.

Myles Garrett told NFL officials Steelers QB Mason Rudolph hurled a racial slur at him before the infamous helmet attack ... though Rudolph is calling BS.

As we previously reported, the Cleveland Browns star met with NFL officials to appeal the length of his suspension from the Nov. 14 incident.

During the meeting, Garrett told his side of the story ... and claimed it was a racial slur from Rudolph that got him so pissed off, he ripped off the QB's helmet and attacked him with it, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.


But, Rudolph is VEHEMENTLY denying the claim -- his lawyer has already issued a statement calling the allegation a flat-out lie.

"This false allegation was never asserted by Garrett in the aftermath of the game, never suggested prior to the hearing, and conspicuously absent in the apology published by the Browns and adopted by Garrett."

"The malicious use of this wild and unfounded allegation is an assault on Mason's integrity which is far worse than the physical assault witnessed on Thursday."

"This is reckless and shameful."

Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens just addressed the situation at Browns practice on Thursday, saying, "I stand by Myles and that's not going to waver. I'll support Myles in every way possible."

Kitchens refused to disclose what he and Myles talked about following the incident.

Cleveland Browns

Story developing ...

Originally Published -- 10:40 AM PT

Ray J Denies Stranding Wife and Kid ... Expresses Frustration

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Ray J is opening up about the recent drama with his pregnant wife -- he denies her claim he left her and their daughter "stranded," and expresses disappointment that she aired her grievances on social media ... of course, he's saying all this on social media.

As you know ... Princess Love recently blasted Ray J online, claiming he left her high and dry in Vegas and blocked her from calling. He also apparently blocked her on Instagram.


But, in a video posted to IG, Ray says he's confused about how he could have "stranded' her and their girl, Melody, if they never left the pad they were staying at in the first place.

He goes on to direct comments at Princess Love about it not being cool to take their argument to social media ... and says they need to embrace and love each other during the tough times, especially with another child arriving soon.

As for what sparked the debacle ... sources close to Ray J tell us he traveled to Vegas on a business trip and his wife and daughter came too, but while they were there some issues that had been building up exploded.

We're told they got into an argument over how much he's working with her being 8 1/2 months pregnant -- and he didn't want to deal with the fight so he left and got his own hotel room.

Ray J's adamant he didn't abandon his family or put Melody in harm's way ... and seems to suggest this is just a regular couples' fight that got overblown. We're told Ray wanted to give Princess some space and it got misconstrued.

In his video, he does manage to slip in an apology near the end ... and says the devil is trying to mess things up, but he's committed to not letting that happen.

To make it all even more confusing, though, he added in the caption ... "Love lost this time" with a broken heart emoji.

Jeremy Meeks Sued You Wrecked 2 Rental Cars!!! Friend from 'Hot Mug Shot' Bust Sued Too


Jeremy Meeks will be back in court soon, and in a very strange coincidence ... the same man who was busted with him when he became hot mug shot guy is mixed up in this too.

According to new legal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- Meeks is being sued by WeHo Auto Rental, Inc. along with Terry Joe Bailey, Jr. More on him later.

WeHo Auto alleges Meeks rented a 2016 Porsche Cayenne and a 2019 Mercedes-Benz in September ... and both vehicles were involved in separate car accidents.


The rental company claims one accident occurred on Sept. 5 and the other on Sept. 10. Based on photos we obtained of Meeks at one of the crash scenes ... the Porsche wreck went down on the 10.

Stockton Police Dept

Here's where it gets even more interesting -- when cops in Stockton, CA busted Meeks back in 2014 on felony weapon charges ... Bailey was arrested with him on the same charges.

This arrest led to Meeks' mug shot going viral and eventually helped launch his modeling career ... which led to him dating and having a child with Topshop heiress Chloe Green.

Bailey didn't get that kinda fame, but now he's back -- as a codefendant in this lawsuit. It's unclear what his alleged role was in the accidents, but maybe this is his second shot.

Gotta say, if Bailey got busted with an ugly friend -- he coulda been Hot Mug Shot Guy.

'Days Of Our Lives' Lives to See Another Day ... Season 56 is a Go!!!

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There's MORE sand in that hour glass, after all -- "Days of Our Lives" ... the soap opera just got renewed for its 56th season on the heels of the cast being released from their contracts.

Sources involved in production confirmed the long-running sudser got the good word Thursday from executive producer Ken Corday. The green light means the cast doesn't have to sweat the bad news they got just 10 days ago.

As we reported, producers let all the actors out of their deals, but the show was still scheduled to air through the end of this season ... in summer 2020. They've taped that far ahead.


You'll recall ... Chrishell Hartley, who plays -- or played (spoiler alert) -- Jordan Ridgeway on the soap, told us the situation wasn't as dire for 'Days' as it seemed, and she predicted more episodes after the current well ran dry. Turns out, she was right!

No character is ever really gone in the soap biz, and the same is apparently true for 'Days.'

Liam Hemsworth Epic Surf Sesh ... After Sis-In-Law Says He Deserves Better Than Miley

Liam Hemsworth is boo-less in Malibu ... but he's still having a helluva time being single, ripping waves on his surfboard with older brother Luke.

Liam and Luke took full advantage of a nice swell Thursday in the 'Bu, paddling out to catch some waves and get away from all the drama back on dry land.

The youngest Hemsworth bro looked happy and at ease in the water, hanging ten before showing off his toned bod as he got out of his wetsuit.

As you know ... Liam's single for the first time in over a decade after filing for divorce from Miley Cyrus. She's already moved on to Kaitlynn Carter and now Cody Simpson.


Aside from an outing with Australian actress Maddison Brown last month in NYC, Liam's pretty much been flying solo.

Liam's sister-in-law, Elsa Pataky, made headlines Thursday when she said Liam "deserves much better" than Miley. Chris Hemsworth's wife also said her brother-in-law is a little bit down and coping well with the split.

It's the right idea here for Liam ... surfing's good for the mind, body and soul.

Chris Brown I'm Dad'ing for 2!!! ... Welcomes Baby Boy

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Chris Brown's second child has been born ... and he subtly shared the good news on Instagram.

Sources close to the singer tell TMZ ... his ex, Ammika Harris, gave birth to their son. As we first reported in August ... it's their first child together.

Both Chris and Ammika shared cryptic messages on social media Thursday, seemingly announcing the birth of their baby boy. In fact, we know she did just that.

Chris posted a pic of himself smiling and looking down at something off camera with the caption of the date ... 11-20-19. Right after that, he shared a pic of himself wearing a hoodie with the word "BORN" embroidered on it.

Harris also alluded to the child's birth on her Instagram Story, writing ... "I was in love, when I first saw you."

The boy is Ammika's first child. CB has a 5-year-old daughter named Royalty with Nia Guzman.

'Jeopardy!' Champ Brad Rutter I'm Slight Fave Over Ken Jennings In 'GOAT' Tourney, Here's Why ...


Brad Rutter says he came out on top in previous battles with fellow "Jeopardy!" champ Ken Jennings thanks to a little luck, but Ken got the biggest break of all ... from the TV gods.

Rutter -- the highest money winner of all time on the game show -- joined "TMZ Live" Thursday to talk about his storied rivalry with Jennings ... which is set to be renewed on the upcoming 'Greatest of All Time' tournament.

Brad reminds us his past matchups with Ken were very close and could have gone either way, but points out that you make your own luck too. So, yeah ... fair to say he's suggesting he's a LITTLE better, and that's why he's slightly favored over Jennings.

Despite their history, and the fact Rutter's never lost a match (to a human, anyway), Jennings is the more famous of the 2 "Jeopardy!" champs.

Why? Brad has a pretty solid explanation -- face time equals fame ... and Ken was lucky to get more of it.

It's all in good fun, of course ... Brad tells us he and Ken are friends outside the show, and a very notable butt-kicking they both received brought them closer together. Like we said, Brad's undefeated ... if you don't count robots.

Rutter also says Alex Trebek is doing an astounding job hosting the game show despite dealing with pancreatic cancer ... and marvels how he seems to be getting better.

"Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time" will air in January, and it should be noted -- recent phenom James Holzhauer will be the third champion looking to take the title from Brad and Ken.

Alex: This.
Everyone: What is great television?

Uber Driver Uses Breathalyzer During Ride, But it's Cool


An Uber driver whipped out a breathalyzer and blew into the device during a ride -- a bizarre moment, recorded by his passenger -- but Uber says it's not what it looks like.

Check out this video shot during an Uber ride last week in Nashville ... you see the driver waving around a huge breathalyzer in his right hand as he drives down a street.

The passenger, Kyle, tells TMZ ... he noticed a sudden beeping noise in the car. He says the driver told him it was a safety feature in his vehicle causing the noise, and then reached under his seat to pull out the breathalyzer. Kyle says the driver blew into it, and the trip continued.

In the video, you hear the driver say, "I just had this put in today, I haven't perfected it."

The rider reported the troubling incident to Uber and requested a refund, and it hit him back with a generic response and a measly $5 credit to his account.

Doesn't seem like a great response to finding out your driver possibly has a DUI that requires him/her to intermittently blow into a device, just to keep the engine running -- however, an Uber rep says the driver was using a family member's car because his car was getting repairs. Uber says the device belonged to the driver's relative.

We're told the driver is not being disciplined because he had registered the relative's car as a secondary vehicle on his account.

The ridesharing app has a policy that people cannot drive for Uber if they've been convicted of DUI within the past 7 years, and the company claims it conducts criminal background checks and driving record checks to ensure its drivers meet certain safety standards.

Plus, Uber points out its app has a safety tool kit ... an emergency button that will connect you to 911 immediately if you feel unsafe during a ride.

Montae Nicholson Breaks Silence On Woman's Death ... 'It's Been Rough'

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"Man, it's been rough, to say the least."

That's an emotional Montae Nicholson -- still clearly distraught -- talking about how he's been handling the death of a 21-year-old woman while cooperating with police.

"I'd like to make it known that this week has been extremely hard on not only myself but Julia's friends and family as well," the Washington Redskins safety said.

We broke the story ... cops say Nicholson and another man dropped Julia Crabbe off at a Virginia-area hospital last Wednesday night, where she died from a suspected drug overdose.

Montae played for the Redskins vs. the Jets just 3 days later -- and on Thursday, Nicholson was asked point-blank if the team pressured him to take the field.

"End of the day, it was my decision. I wasn't forced into anything."

In fact, Nicholson says the Redskins organization has been extremely supportive while he deals with the tragedy and police investigation.

"My teammates and fans ... the head office, they made it very well known that they have my back ... they could have shut the door on me and turned their backs, but they didn't."

As we previously reported, investigators believe Crabbe had been at Montae's house before the OD ... and a search of Nicholson's home turned up marijuana, pills and "foil with residue."

Nicholson has NOT been accused of any criminal wrongdoing -- and says he's cooperating with police.

Meanwhile, the Redskins are set to play the Detroit Lions this week and Montae says he plans on taking the field again.

"If I can play, I'mma play," Nicholson said. "I love this game. I love what it's done for me and the people around me and the opportunity that it's given me. And, if I can, I will be going."