Kevin Hart Ex-Friend Skates on 2 More Charges ... 1 Left in Sex Tape Scandal

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The guy Kevin Hart believes tried to extort him in the sex tape scandal ... is 2 more steps closer to getting off scot-free in the case after a new court order.

According to docs, obtained by TMZ, J.T. Jackson scored in court Friday when the judge dropped 2 of the 3 remaining charges he was facing. The judge said there was insufficient evidence to move forward with prosecuting Kevin's ex-friend with attempted concealing and selling stolen property, and one count of unauthorized use of personal identifying information -- basically, identity theft.

Jackson is still facing an additional count of identity theft, a felony ... in connection with the sex tape. Prosecutors alleged Jackson tried to score money from Kevin in exchange for the 2017 video of Kevin with Montia Sabbag in a Las Vegas hotel room.

Remember, the stiffest charge Jackson was facing -- attempted extortion -- was dropped back in September. As we reported, prosecutors didn't think that charge would stick because Jackson never directly made a specific financial demand of Kevin or his people.

Jackson's attorney, Jacob Glucksman, tells us, "We’ve maintained innocence since day one and as things have unfolded our beliefs have been confirmed. We will continue to fight this until Mr. Jackson’s name is cleared.

He adds, "The D.A. is grasping at straws and is being pressured by Mr. Hart's team of lawyers and agents, but we will continue to prevail."

We've reached out to the D.A.'s office for comment. So far, no word back.

Steamy Stars in Hot Tubs ... Turn Up The Heat!

Even though the temperature is dropping, celebs are still finding ways to keep things hot ... and taking a quick dip seems to be the right move this season!

These sexy stars are strippin' down and bringing the heat in this pics ... they're making sure to soak up every second they get away from the cold!

It's only right that we start to heat things up, so get ready to steam things up as you scroll through our gallery of stars in hot tubs. See all the famous faces jacuzzi-ing it up this season!

May need to cool off in a bit ...

Janoris Jenkins I Understand R-Word Is Hurtful ... 'I'll Grow From This'

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LEARNING EXPERIENCE
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Janoris Jenkins says he now understands how hurtful the r-word can be -- telling TMZ Sports he won't use the term again and vows to learn from this experience.

Just hours after the NY Giants released Jenkins for using the word to insult a critic on Twitter, the NFL star agreed to speak with TMZ's Evan Rosenblum, a parent of a 4-year-old special needs daughter.

During the conversation, Evan explained why using the r-word as an insult is particularly hurtful for special needs families -- and Jenkins called it a "learning moment."

"It's always a learning moment, man. Everybody's going to learn from different situations ... move forward and learn."

5FDP Guitarist Jason Hook Emergency Surgery to Remove Gallbladder

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Five Finger Death Punch's Jason Hook is currently recovering after multiple emergency room visits finally revealed he desperately needed to have his gallbladder removed.

A rep for the heavy metal band tells TMZ ... Jason had been experiencing pain that prompted 2 visits to the emergency room. But, the pain persisted ... and finally, during a third ER visit, doctors determined Jason needed to have his gallbladder removed due to blockage.

We're told Jason went under the knife Thursday night and just hours after the band was forced to postpone a show in Duluth, Minnesota. The band, naturally, was there at the hospital to support Jason.

Seems Jason's gonna recover just fine ... and fans who missed out on the show should not fret. The rep tells us 5FDP will be rescheduling affected shows.

The band's currently near the end of its U.S. tour leg. Just 2 other gigs remain -- at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday and Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa on Sunday.

Leon Spinks Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer ... 'Showing Signs of Improvement'

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Boxing legend Leon Spinks is battling prostate cancer that spread to his bladder -- but the family is hopeful he'll pull through.

TMZ Sports broke the story ... 66-year-old Spinks has been fighting for his life in a Las Vegas hospital.

Now, a family spokesperson is revealing more details about Leon's condition.

"Leon is currently in intensive care of a Las Vegas hospital receiving attentive medical care to suppress prostate cancer which he was diagnosed with earlier this year and has since spread to his bladder."

"The last few months have been an agonizing roller coaster for Leon and his wife, Brenda, with continuous hospital stays."

"Leon is showing small signs of improvement and progress. A miraculous fighter his entire life, we are optimistic and hopeful that he will  move out of ICU soon."

"The power of prayer is real and his family is beyond grateful for all of the tremendous love and support."

Spinks is in the boxing Hall of Fame -- he most famously defeated Muhammad Ali in 1978.

'RHOA' Star Eva Marcille Baby Daddy Loses Child Custody Bid ... In Georgia, At Least

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Eva Marcille is taking round one in the child custody battle her ex-BF started, now that a judge in Georgia's told him to kick rocks ... back to Cali.

According to new legal docs obtained by TMZ ... the 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star will maintain full custody of her and Kevin McCall's 5-year-old daughter, Marley Rae. The reason's simple ... Kevin failed to show why the case belonged in Georgia when an L.A. Superior Court judge issued the original custody order.

As we first reported, Eva and Kevin have been going at it in court for some time now. She begged the judge NOT to give him custody ... claiming he's a violent "ticking time bomb."

NOVEMBER 2019
THE INCITING INCIDENT

Last month, Kevin went to court to plead his case but that went south too. He got into a tussle with a cop in court, and took a nasty tumble down an escalator. Kevin believes he was the victim in that incident.

And, it gets worse for Kevin ... according to legal docs, there's a warrant out for his arrest in L.A. for missing a court date in his felony domestic violence case involving another woman.

So, to review ... it's good news for Eva -- and yet another piece of bad news for Kevin.

Juice WRLD Family and Friends Say Goodbye ... at 'Celebration of Life'

Juice WRLD's closest relatives and friends are paying their final respects to the late rapper at his funeral in Illinois.

Juice WRLD -- born Jarad Anthony Higgins -- had an open-casket funeral Friday at Holy Temple Cathedral Church of God in Christ in Harvey, Illinois ... about 45 minutes south of the rapper's hometown of Chicago.

The program included a collage of pictures featuring Juice WRLD. His mother, Carmella Wallace, also paid tribute to her son. His siblings and grandmother also shared some words.

Several staffers and execs from Interscope -- his record label -- attended, as did Juice's friend and fellow rapper, Ski Mask the Slump God.

'Mad Men' Christina Hendricks Files for Divorce from Husband

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11:56 AM PT -- According to the divorce docs -- obtained by TMZ -- Christina lists the couple's date of separation as April 19, 2019. She's asking the court to terminate the ability to award either spousal support and handle attorney's fees separately.

What's most interesting ... she wants to restore her last name to Hendricks.

'Mad Men' star Christina Hendricks has filed for divorce from her husband, Geoffrey Arend,  after 10 years of marriage.

Hendricks filed docs in L.A. Friday, a few months after announcing the couple was going their separate ways. The two got hitched in 2009 and did not have any children together.

Back in October, the couple said, "12 years ago we fell in love and became partners. We joined our two amazing families, had countless laughs, made wonderful friends and were blessed with incredible opportunities."

They continued, "Today we take our next step together, but on separate paths. We will always be grateful for the love we’ve shared and will always work together to raise our two beautiful dogs."

Christina played Joan Holloway on "Mad Men" from 2007-2015. She also voiced the character of Gabby Gabby in "Toy Story 4." Arend is an actor as well, starring in ABC's "Body of Proof" and was in "Madam Secretary" for 5 seasons.

Christina and Geoffrey were introduced by Christina's former "Mad Men" costar Vincent Kartheiser. This was the first marriage for both Christina and Arend.

Originally published -- 11:17 AM PT

Sally Field Arrested for Protesting ... Joins 'Fire Drill Friday' Climate Change Club

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Jane Fonda's ever-growing celebrity crew of climate change activists has a new recruit -- Sally Field ... and she's been arrested for the cause too.

The legendary actress was hauled away by Capitol police in D.C. Friday for protesting on the steps of the building ... just like Fonda, several more members of Hollywood's elite and many other concerned citizens the past 10 weeks of Jane's "Fire Drill Friday" initiative.

Sally spoke to the crowd before her arrest, addressing this week's theme of transitioning to a green future ... and cited her Oscar-winning film, "Norma Rae," for inspiration in getting it done.

It's unclear how many people were arrested on a rainy Friday along with Field, but once again it seems like Fonda ducked trouble.

As we've reported ... Jane's been cautiously avoiding getting locked up after 4 previous arrests for protesting, because a 5th could lead to substantial jail time and her 'FDF' folks want her around for her leadership.

That hasn't stopped other stars from joining the arrest club, though ... Paul Sheer, Diane Lane, Piper Perabo, Amber Valletta, Sam Waterston, Ted Danson, Rosanna Arquette and Catherine Keener have all taken one for the team since the movement began.

We're certain there will be more.

Kobe Bryant Good Samaritan After Car Crash ... Comforts Drivers

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Kobe Bryant watched a major car crash unfold right in front of him in Newport Beach, CA on Friday -- but didn't leave the scene ... he stuck around to comfort everyone involved.

TMZ Sports obtained video shot moments after the accident -- we're told it was T-bone crash at an intersection -- and you can see Kobe in his fresh pink sweatsuit taking control of the situation.

In the footage, you can see Kobe walk right into the wreckage scene to speak with the people involved -- directing traffic and calling the shots before help arrived.

Witnesses couldn't believe their eyes when they saw the NBA legend get involved ... but he seemed to be making a real impact and really helped.

Kim & Kanye Merry Christmas, Here's the Family ... Starring Psalm!!!

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are sending chill vibes with their family card this Christmas ... their first as a 6-pack!

The entire fam posed -- with white stairs as the backdrop -- in super comfy sweats. Kanye's holding Chicago, and sporting his trademark no smile. It's okay though, North and Saint smiled plenty for Mom, Dad and their younger siblings.

Meanwhile, Kim's holding 7-month-old Psalm who's making his debut in the family's traditional greeting card. Interestingly, papa Ye is the only one wearing a white sweatshirt instead of gray ... like everyone else.

The man always stands out in a crowd.

Looks like the Kardashian/Jenner brood's keeping their cards family-focused this year.

You'll recall in the past the entire family's posed for some epic pics. You'll recall last year everyone -- except for Kendall and Rob -- glammed up with an all-white ensemble.

The year before called for denim. No Kylie or Rob in that gathering.

At least those days of having to cancel the annual Kardashian Xmas card have passed. Phew!!!

Danny Aiello Dead at 86

3:43 PM PT -- Robert De Niro, a longtime friend of Aiello's, tells us, "I am very saddened to hear of Danny's passing. I have known him for almost 50 years. I am sad. See you in Heaven, Danny."

8:22 AM PT -- Cher just tweeted about Danny's death, saying, "Goodbye Dear Danny Aiello. Danny was a great actor, but a genius comedic actor. We laughed so much. Making Moonstruck ... It was one of the happiest times in my life & He was a part of that happy time. Goodbye Johnny Cammareri. 💋 Loretta."

8:09 AM PT -- A rep for Danny's family tells us, "It is with profound sorrow to report that Danny Aiello, beloved husband, father, grandfather, actor and musician passed away last night after a brief illness. The family asks for privacy at this time. Service arrangements will be announced at a later date."

Veteran actor Danny Aiello -- known for his scene-stealing supporting roles in many acclaimed movies since the '70s -- died Thursday night ... TMZ has learned.

According to his family ... Danny passed away at a medical facility in New Jersey where he was being treated for a sudden illness. We're told he suffered an infection related to his treatment. Danny's family had come to visit him Thursday, and we're told he died shortly after they'd left that evening.

Aiello, a native New Yorker, broke into movies in the early '70s by landing a small role in the Robert De Niro baseball drama, "Bang the Drum Slowly." He followed it up by playing Tony Rosato in "The Godfather: Part II" ... in which he delivered the famous line, "Michael Corleone says hello!"

Danny would go on to earn praise in several hit films in the '80s, like "Fort Apache the Bronx" with Paul Newman, "Once Upon a Time in America," "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and "Moonstruck" opposite Cher.

Shareef O'Neal B.T.S. Vid Of Heart Surgery Recovery 'I Was Scared For My Life'

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PROGRESS

Shareef O'Neal is giving an inside look of how far he's come since his serious heart surgery a year ago ... sharing behind-the-scenes videos on the anniversary of his procedure.

As we previously reported ... UCLA doctors found an irregularity with the 19-year-old's heart and he was required to go under the knife to fix the issue.

At the time, Shareef credited the docs with saving his life.

O'Neal is reflecting on his journey one year later ... sharing pics of his parents Shaq and Shaunie helping him walk for the first time post-surgery, and breaking down how he felt in that moment.

"a year ago today i was scared for my life," Shareef says. "a year ago today I was learning how to walk again . A year ago today I was turned into a new kid . A year ago today my life changed."

I'LL BE BACK ...
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"I thought I was going through hell while dealing with this process but then i realized it was a blessing that it was found."

"I am very grateful for my health today and I will always be."

Shareef was sidelined for his entire first season ... but has since been able to return to the court to play for the Bruins. He's played in 10 games this season.

"I want to thank my family and friends for everything they did also .. this year has been a big struggle and I’m still finding my way back into things.."

"1 year healthy.. 261 days since cleared to start training again.. the comeback still coming"

Tekashi 6ix9ine Mama Pleads with Judge ... My Danny Boy Has a Good Heart!!!

Tekashi 6ix9ine's loved ones are going to bat for him, trying to convince the judge he's more than just a great snitch, but also a misunderstood, kindhearted and charitable kid ... worthy a much shorter prison sentence.

The rapper's mother, brother, girlfriend and bodyguard -- along with nearly 30 other people -- submitted letters to Judge Paul Engelmayer asking for leniency in his sentencing next week. In her letter -- obtained by TMZ -- Mama 6ix9ine, Natividad Perez-Hernandez, says her boy is humble and a good person, and not the guy he's portrayed to be in the media.

Natividad describes Tekashi -- sorry, Daniel Hernandez -- a sweet, God-fearing boy, and even says his fave Bible passage is Psalm 121 ("The Lord will keep you from all harm"). She also says he was a very athletic kid, so much so ... a baseball scout wanted to sign him!

Mom added, "Danny" provides for his entire family -- including her, his brother and his daughter. She calls locking him up as an "injustice" because the whole family needs him for financial and emotional support ... especially 6-year-old Saraiyah who "adores him."

Taylor Swift Rips Into Scooter Braun at Billboard Awards ... With Mixed Reaction

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Taylor Swift laid into Scooter Braun again -- this time railing on what she calls "toxic male privilege" in the record industry.

Taylor won the Woman of the Decade Award at Billboard's Women in Music event in Hollywood at The Palladium.

Her speech went 15 minutes, and she launched another attack against Braun, who bought Big Machine Records several months ago ... the company that owns Taylor's first 6 album masters.

Taylor repeated her claim that Scooter never contacted her prior to him buying the label, and she said she resented record companies treating a singer's art like a commodity such as a shoe.

She went on to say no one from Scooter's camp has ever contacted her or her team prior to the purchase of Big Machine. As we reported, Braun publicly said a few weeks ago he wanted to sit down with Taylor to resolve things but neither she nor her team ever contacted them.

She went on to say the definition of toxic male privilege is, "Well, he's always been nice to me."

The reaction to Taylor's speech seemed mixed. When she finished speaking about Scooter, she seemed to wait for applause, and it did not come immediately ... and when it did it was less than thunderous.

One female exec in the room said afterward, "The night was supposed to be about inspiration, but it turned into another, 'poor little Taylor Swift.' It's hard to watch someone who's had such incredible privilege ... to complain about their own personal issues."