Myles Garrett Helmet Attack Suspended for 2019 Season ... No Police Investigation

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NFL

8:56 AM PT -- The NFL has suspended Myles Garrett without pay for the remainder of the 2019 season -- including playoffs -- as a result of the helmet attack.

Here's the NFL's statement ...

"The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns organizations have each been fined $250,000 and three players -- Cleveland's Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi, and Pittsburgh's Maurkice Pouncey -- have been suspended without pay for their actions in Thursday night's game."

"Garrett has been suspended without pay indefinitely -- at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason -- and must meet with the Commissioner's Office prior to a decision on his reinstatement. He was also fined an additional amount."

"Garrett violated unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules, as well as fighting, removing the helmet of an opponent and using the helmet as a weapon."

"Pouncey has been suspended without pay for three games and fined an additional amount for fighting, including punching and kicking an opponent."

"Ogunjobi has been suspended without pay for one game and fined an additional amount for unnecessary roughness, specifically for shoving an opposing player to the ground during an altercation."

"Additional discipline for other players will be forthcoming through the standard accountability process, including those players that left the bench to enter the fight area."

"Under the collective bargaining agreement, the suspensions may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline."

The Cleveland Police Dept. is NOT investigating Myles Garrett for assault stemming from the helmet attack on Steelers QB Mason Rudolph, a spokesperson tells TMZ Sports.

We asked if the CPD was planning to arrest the 23-year-old and we were told quite simply, "No."

"The person who was hit would have to file a report. There is no criminal complaint filed," Cleveland PD Public Information Officer Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia tells us.

The incident went down in the final seconds of the game at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland -- when Garrett and Rudolph tussled after a play ... followed by Garrett ripping off Mason's helmet at swinging it at his head.

After the game Garrett spoke about the incident -- "What I did was foolish, and I shouldn’t have allowed myself to slip like that," Garrett said ... "It’s out of character."

"I lost my cool and I regret it," he added ... "It’s going to come back to hurt our team. The guys who jumped into the scrum, I appreciate my team having my back, but it never should have gotten to that point."

Rudolph also commented ... saying, "I thought it was pretty cowardly and bush league."

"I’m not going to back down from any bully. I felt like I had a bone to pick with him. I appreciate the line always having my back, but I was angry."

We spoke with "Friday Night Lights" director Peter Berg after the game -- and he told us the scene looked like something out of "Game of Thrones."

KEEP IT LIGHT
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As for punishment, Berg says a 4-game suspension is probably fair.

Other stars, like ex-NFL linebacker James Harrison, seem to be calling for harsher punishment.

"That’s assault at the least... 6 months in jail on the street.. now add the weapon and that’s at least a year right?!"

Originally Published -- 6:03 AM PT

Taylor Swift Free To Play All Her Hits During AMAs ... Big Machine Can't Stop Her

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Taylor Swift has been complaining she's been blocked from performing her early hits during the AMAs because of her old label, Big Machine, but the label tells us she's dead wrong ... Taylor can perform her entire catalog if she wants.

A Big Machine exec tells TMZ, "Taylor Swift can 100% perform all of her catalog, past and present, on the AMAs." The official adds, BM has no issue with her performance going out on the live broadcast, because it recognizes it doesn't have the right to block her. The official says, "Our confusion with her statement is that we have no legal right to stop this and have never tried. She and her team both know this."

Fact is ... Big Machine is correct. Labels can't block artists from performing any songs -- theirs or others -- live, and since the AMAs are airing live ... have at it, Taylor.

BTW ... it's interesting. Taylor performed "Shake it Off" -- a song from her Big Machine catalog -- live on "Good Morning America" on August 22.

The Big Machine exec says, "We are excited for all her fans, as all of the confusion has now been cleared up, and we now welcome Taylor to perform all of her hits on the AMAs."

Transgender Singer Kim Petras Billboards Razz Homophobic Church ... Get a Load o' Her, Westboro Baptist!!!

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Kim Petras is making a huge splash ... first with music fans, and now with the infamously anti-LGBTQ Westboro Baptist Church ... with a bombshell right under its nose.

Kim, an up-and-coming singer who is transgender, has her mug plastered all over 4 electronic billboards in Topeka, Kansas. That's not exactly where you'd expect a singer who's blowing up in the gay community to promote, but it starts to make sense when you realize Topeka is HQ for the hatemongers at Westboro Baptist.

Sources connected to Kim tell TMZ ... they don't know who put the billboards up but they were clearly designed to yutz the church -- known for its campaigns against several entertainers, gay and straight. They once went after Blake Shelton simply because he supports the LGBTQ community.

The billboards are all near the church and, we're told, purposefully directed at Westboro. Pretty great, huh?

So far, Westboro's yet to fire any shots at Kim -- whose music's been compared to early Lady Gaga -- but that's probably only because it didn't know she's transgender, or that the billboards were an intentional jab.

BTW, the ads feature a phone number which is a lyric from Kim's song, "Got My Number." It's also reportedly the real number for friend and fellow singer Jesse Saint John.

Taylor Swift Big Machine Says She's Making Stuff Up ... Selena Gomez, Halsey Take Her Side

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Taylor Swift's claim Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta from Big Machine are blocking her from performing her own songs at the AMAs is a complete fabrication ... according to the record label, which thinks she made a calculated move to harm its people.

Big Machine says it was shocked to see Taylor's comments Thursday, and denies ever saying she could not perform at the awards show or blocking her Netflix special. It adds ... "In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere."

To be fair, Swift never said BM was keeping her from performing ... she specifically stated it was keeping her from performing her own songs, and using her own songs and performance footage in the Netflix documentary.

Big Machine also claims Taylor's admitted to owing the company millions of dollars and it says it was optimistic the 2 sides were working toward resolving the issue ... but then she bailed.

Instead, BM says "Taylor made a unilateral decision last night to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families.

The label adds ... "Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist."

Despite Big Machine's denial, Swift's friend, Selena Gomez, has her back 100 percent. Selena says she's "sick and extremely angry" over the situation, and accuses the label of "greed, manipulation and power."

Gomez says of BM ... "You've robbed and crushed one of our best song writers of our time an opportunity to celebrate all of her music with fans and the world." She goes on to praise Swift's character, talent and strength ... and says she knows Taylor will not stop fighting.

Halsey echoes many of the same thoughts, accusing BM of making an awful business move and being mean and vindictive. She says the label is banking on people not sticking up for Taylor ... but says it's "barking up the wrong tree."

As we reported ... Taylor's set to be honored at the upcoming AMAs as Artist of the Decade, but as you can tell -- it's about much more than that now.

Amber Portwood Allegedly Threatens YouTuber ... Probation Officer Alerted!!!

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Amber Portwood allegedly threatened the YouTuber who posted clips of her machete incident with her baby daddy ... and that could get her in big trouble with her probation officer.

The Marion County District Attorney tells TMZ ... Katie Joy -- the woman behind a YouTube account that's been documenting Amber's domestic violence case -- reached out to the D.A.'s Office and accused Amber of making threats.

We're told the D.A. passed it along to the probation officer overseeing the "Teen Mom OG" star's case. As we've reported, Amber pled guilty to 2 felonies -- domestic battery and intimidation. She got 906 days of probation, but if probation is violated the judge can send her to the slammer for a long time.

I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE
Without A Crystal Ball

In this clip from Amber's Instagram Live ... Katie claims Amber's speaking directly to her, when she says, "I know your address." Portwood says someone is going to get what she has coming to her, and Katie claims Amber's clearly referencing her.

Remember ... Katie's YouTube account, Without a Crystal Ball, published video and audio of the entire blowout between Amber and Andrew Glennon.

CUTS LIKE A KNIFE
Without A Crystal Ball

Sources close to Katie tell TMZ ... she's getting threats from Amber's fans hoping she dies, and she's afraid one of Portwood's fans will attack her.

We're told Katie has not filed a police report because she's not sure what cops in Minnesota -- where she lives -- would be able to do.

We reached out to reps for Amber ... so far, radio silence.

'General Hospital' Star Judge Rejects Alcohol Treatment Program ... Despite Plea from Police

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Tyler Christopher -- best known for his appearances on "General Hospital" for 20 years -- got a break from the judge in his public intoxication case because the judge rejected the plea of a cop who begged hizzoner to put Tyler into a treatment program for alcoholism.

The Morgan County Prosecutor's Office tells TMZ ... Tyler pled guilty to 2 counts of misdemeanor public intoxication following his Monday night arrest in Martinsville, Indiana.

Tyler was booked Monday on his 47th birthday and stayed locked up until his release two days later.

Tyler was ordered to pay a $440 fine. He's got until next week to fork over the dough. And, that's it ... he didn't get probation and the judge did NOT order him to enter into an alcohol treatment program.

That's significant because according to the arrest report ... cops requested "the judge consider the possible sentence of a treatment facility for Tyler Christopher's alcohol issues, as well as consider restitution to [the Uber driver] for the damage to his vehicle from Tyler Christopher urinating in his back seat."

Tyler squared things up with the Uber driver. TMZ broke the story ... Tyler passed out in the back seat of an Uber driver's car and urinated himself on the night he was busted.

Police had received 9 calls about Tyler being intoxicated since September 14. Medical personnel had told law enforcement there was nothing more they could do for him cause they'd already tried to help him ... like when Tyler was taken to a medical center for treatment but, against medical advice, checked himself out on the day he got arrested.

T'Keyah Crystal Keymah on 'In Living Color' 'Memba Her?!

Chicago-born T'Keyah Crystal Keymah was only 28 years old when she showed her funny side with characters like Cryssy, Hilda Hedley, Mrs. Buttman and Leslie Livingston with Homey The Clown on the '90s alternative sketch comedy TV show, "In Living Color" on FOX.

Keymah was cast alongside huge stars on the rise including Jim Carey, Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, Jennifer Lopez ... and of course the entire Wayan's family brood.

Keymah is also well known for playing the mom, Tanya Baxter -- opposite Raven-Symone -- on "That's So Raven."

Guess what she looks like at 57 years old!

Carmelo Anthony Guarantees NBA Return ... Then Signs With Portland!

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6:20 PM PT -- Carmelo wasn't lying ... the Portland Trailblazers just signed the forward!!!

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the 35-year-old is inking a non-guaranteed deal with the team.

Carmelo Anthony tells TMZ Sports he WILL be back in the NBA this season -- and he's even open to returning to the New York Knicks!

Everyone's been wondering about Melo's basketball future ever since he parted ways with the Houston Rockets back in January.

35-year-old Anthony has previously said he wants to get back in the league -- however, no one has pulled the trigger yet.

But, it sounds like Melo's got something cookin' ... because when we saw the 35-year-old leaving The Henry in L.A. on Wednesday night, he was VERY optimistic about his return.

"We're figuring it out," Melo told us ... noting that he was NOT in town to speak with the Lakers or the Clippers.

When we pushed back and asked if he'll be on a roster this season, Melo told us ... "For sure. 2000%."

There are reports the Knicks could be interested in Anthony -- interesting considering the way things ended back in 2017 -- but Melo says he's down to return.

"We open man. We open to every opportunity."

In fact, Melo even defended Knicks head coach David Fizdale ... saying the team's lowly 2-9 record isn't all his fault ... "It's a lot of things that goes into that."

So, where will Melo end up this season? Stay tuned ...

Popeyes Lines For Chicken Sando Simmer Down ... Folks Over It Or Afraid?!?

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Popeyes is no longer a breeding ground for violence over its chicken sandwich ... the mania's finally died down at many locations.

We hit up the store on world-famous Hollywood Blvd., which is normally swarmed just because of tourists ... but there was only a small line of customers. Also, everyone was cool as a cucumber.

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It's a far cry from the scenes we saw across the country earlier this month when the fast food chicken joint brought back its massively popular chicken sando, causing insane lines and wild moments of mayhem.

POPEYES PANDEMONIUM
@sorem12

As we reported ... there was a fatal stabbing at a Popeyes in Maryland, and there was a rash of videos showing brawls between employees and customers alike ... all dealing with lines out the door and at the drive-thru.

Question is ... is the bloom off the rose, or are hungry customers just too fearful of potential violence?

We're not trying to start another rush, but if you're spicy chicken curious ... looks like the coast is clear.

IT AIN'T WORTH IT
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Guess George Lopez struck a chord when he told us some fried chicken stuffed between a bun ain't worth risking your life.

Stay safe, America.

Cody Bellinger In Tears After Winning NL MVP ... 'It's What You Dream Of'

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Got tissues nearby? Better go grab 'em ... 'cause Cody Bellinger started crying after winning the NL MVP award Thursday -- and he says it's all 'cause of a celebration hug with his dad!!!

"That's what made me emotional right there for sure," Bellinger said.

The LA Dodgers superstar had an unbelievable year in 2019 ... hitting 47 home runs with 115 RBIs while batting .305 -- and he earned the MVP award over Christian Yelich because of it.

When MLB Network had Cody on shortly after to talk about the honor ... the outfielder couldn't hide his emotions -- saying an embrace with his pops made him break down.

"It's what you dream of, man," Bellinger said.

Of course, Cody and his dad, Clay, are SUPER tight ... Poppa Bellinger is a former MLB player who Cody has often credited for his ultra-successful baseball career.

Cody also had a bunch of other family and friends join him for the celebration ... and he called the whole moment, "pretty cool."

"It's absolutely incredible," Bellinger said ... "A little emotional. So, it's pretty cool."

WE'RE NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING!!!

Taylor Swift Scooter and Scott Won't Let Me Sing My Songs at AMAs ... Their Team Says She Owes Them Millions and is Unreasonable

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Just when you thought Taylor Swift's beef with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta from Big Machine couldn't get any more bitter ... she now says they're blocking her from performing her own songs at the upcoming American Music Awards ... but sources connected to Big Machine tell TMZ they have tried to reach a compromise with Taylor, but she's rejected everything and is out for blood.

Taylor says she planned to do a medley of her hits throughout the decade at the AMAs -- which is presenting her with the Artist of the Decade Award -- but says Scooter and Scott claim that would be rerecording her music ... something she's not allowed to do until November 2020, because Big Machine owns the masters.

On top of that, Swift revealed Netflix is making a documentary about her life, but she says Scooter and Scott have declined the use of her older music and performance footage for that project too ... UNLESS she bows down to their demands.

Our Big Machine sources say Taylor has admitted she owes the label more than $7 million and hasn't paid for more than a year. The sources add she also owes BM masters and video content. The sources say Scott and Scooter have extended an olive branch to Taylor, asking her to sit down with them and try to bury the hatchet, but she flatly refused, threatening if they didn't give her exactly what she wanted she'd go public and tell people to attack Big Machine as well as Scott and Scooter.

Taylor says BM demanded she NOT rerecord copycat versions of her songs next year like she's planning ... and to stop talking about them. Or as she puts is ... "be a good little girl and shut up. Or you'll be punished."

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Swift says she's at wit's end and doesn't know what else to do, so she's asking her fans to speak out and let Scooter and Scott know how they feel about this.

Ultimately, she says she hopes other artists Scooter manages "can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote."

Our Big Machine sources say Taylor's lawyer told them he couldn't contain what she does or what she says publicly about them.

Jake Paul Takes Beating From Ryan Garcia ... 'This Is Stupid'

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File under: Things You Should NEVER Do!

YouTube superstar Jake Paul WILLINGLY got in the ring with boxing phenom Ryan Garcia -- and let the dude BLAST AWAY on him ... and it's all on video!!!

The 22-year-old vlogger made the trip down to San Diego for some one-on-one gym time with the Flash ... and threw on some padding to do the #BodyShotChallenge.

Yeah, he's wearing padding ... but watch the video -- Ryan hits so damn hard, Jake gets rocked back around the ring and looks like he's in real pain.

At one point, it looks like Jake tries to get Ryan to stop, but the 19-0 fighter keeps throwing bombs!

"This is stupid," Jake said to the camera before taking the beating ... and we agree. V stupid.

Of course, Jake beat Deji in his first-ever fight last year in Manchester ... and has been BEGGING Eddie Hearn to let him take a pro fight like his big bro, Logan Paul.

Speaking of Logan, he also did the #BodyShotChallenge with Garcia a while back -- and it went about the same way!

Ryan 2, Paul Bros 0.

PAIN GANG
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Aaron Carter Alarming Weight Loss Sparks ER Visit Family Stress to Blame

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The mounting family drama's getting to Aaron Carter ... cause it's landed him in the hospital.

Aaron's mom, Jane, tells TMZ ... Aaron arrived at her house Thursday in Florida and she was immediately alarmed at his dangerously low weight. She tells us he's now at a mere 115 pounds. At one point, Aaron weighed nearly 160 pounds.

We're told Aaron's stress stems from the restraining orders against him brought on by his brother, Nick, and sister twin Angel. Jane took no chances ... driving him to the hospital and checking him into the ER.

Jane tells us Aaron's had his blood pressure tested and he's currently hooked up to a heart monitor and awaiting results. Aaron posted on Instagram a picture of himself on a hospital bed and he captioned it, "Mommas gonna take care of me."

As we reported ... Nick got a restraining order against Aaron back in September after claiming Aaron allegedly threatened to kill his pregnant wife. TMZ broke the story ... Angel also got a restraining order after claiming Aaron threatened to send hit men after her following a disturbing phone call. Aaron's got a hearing next week to address both orders.

NFL's Montae Nicholson Cooperating with Authorities In Death of 21-Year-Old Woman

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5:58 PM PT -- A rep for Nicholson tells TMZ Sports the Redskins safety adamantly denies leaving after taking the woman to the hospital, saying, "He stayed the whole time."

Washington Redskins safety Montae Nicholson is cooperating with authorities who are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman, TMZ Sports has learned.

Here's what we know ...  law enforcement has confirmed a "death investigation" is underway after an unconscious and unresponsive woman was brought to an E.R. in Ashburn, Virginia on Thursday around 1:30 AM.

The victim was pronounced dead in the emergency room. We're told officials believe the woman died from a drug overdose.

Cops tell us ... "The two males who brought her to the emergency room immediately left the area but have since been identified and located."

Multiple sources connected to the situation tell us one of the men is Montae Nicholson.

Nicholson has NOT been arrested or charged with a crime. However, cops say the case is being actively investigated by the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and it's likely they'll speak with Nicholson as part of the probe.

Nicholson was NOT at Redskins practice on Thursday and we're being told his absence is due to this situation and not his ankle injury.

We reached out to the Redskins and a rep told us, "We’ve been made aware of the tragic event and extend our deepest sympathies to the family who lost a loved one."

"Our team has alerted the league office and is cooperating with local authorities. We fully support law enforcement and respect their process as they investigate the matter."

Nicholson was arrested back in December 2018 after cameras caught the NFL player in a late-night street brawl with a civilian.

DECEMBER 2018
RUMBLE IN THE STREET
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The video, obtained by TMZ Sports, shows Nicholson (in a red hoodie) wrestling with a man in a jean jacket before he eventually lands a violent knockout blow.

Montae was arrested and charged with assault and battery and public drunkenness ... but prosecutors eventually dropped the case citing insufficient evidence.

Nicholson has started all 7 games for the Redskins this season ... piling up 35 tackles and 2 interceptions. In his 3-year career, he's played in 29 tilts for Washington.

Kodak Black Drugged And Set Up For Prison Fight!!! Rapper's Reps Claim

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Kodak Black was set up and possibly drugged when he got into a fight behind bars ... at least according to the rapper's camp.

Sources close to Kodak tell TMZ ... his team believes last month's prison fight, which left a guard injured, was all a setup because they claim someone slipped something in his drink to set him off.

We're told surveillance video shows Kodak drinking a cup of coffee about 20 minutes before the fight broke out ... and his reps believe Kodak's coffee was spiked with a chemical substance intended to make him lose control.

Our sources say an agent from the FBI testified Wednesday that witnesses said Kodak appeared to be under the influence during the brawl.

As for the fight itself ... we're told Kodak got into it with another inmate, and a corrections officer sprayed KB with mace. Our sources say it took several prison guards to restrain Kodak, who displayed incredible strength after allegedly being drugged.

Bureau of Prisons spokesperson Emery Nelson tells us a staff member was physically assaulted during the fight and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

As we reported ... Kodak was sentenced Wednesday to 46 months in prison after pleading guilty in his federal gun case. Prosecutors were gunning for 96 months after KB was involved in the fight.

Kodak's camp thinks it's suspicious the other inmate in the fight was placed in KB's prison pod earlier in the day, and the same inmate was released on bond about 12 hours after the brawl. Kodak's team says the fact the fight went down 2 weeks before his sentencing is also fishy. KB's been behind bars before, and we're told it's the first time he got in trouble.

Black's reps tell us they don't know for sure who allegedly drugged him, but they have their suspicions ... telling us a lot of people want to see him jammed up.

We reached out to the U.S. Attorney's Office ... but they have no comment.

Kodak's attorney, Bradford Cohen, declined comment other than to say he's investigating the prison fight.