Capitol Police Chief's Apology Angers Officers ... Sorry to Congress, But Not Us???

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Capitol Police officers are furious with their Police Chief for apologizing to lawmakers for the Capitol riots ... while still failing to talk to them about what went down January 6, and what to do if something similar happens again.

Sources within the Capitol Police tell TMZ ... neither acting Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, nor any of the other USCP higher-ups have directly addressed the officers who were on duty during the insurrection to say sorry to them for the lack of preparedness.

Even worse, we're told upper management has not clearly communicated to the officers what's being done -- or should be done -- to thwart another coup attempt at the Capitol.

According to our sources, cops want to hear from their leaders, "This is what went wrong, and this is what we need you to do next time" ... but so far, nothing.

Instead, Chief Pittman issued an apology to Congress on Tuesday, admitting that her department was not well enough prepared for the terrorist attack. She added they knew armed militia groups and white supremacists would be protesting, and there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target.

We're told the feeling among the police officers is ... USCP management cares more about the image of the agency and getting the media off its back than taking care of its force, and Pittman's apology lends more proof.

Our sources say there's also not much internal support for Pittman as police chief, especially because she was the head of intelligence during the Jan. 6 riots ... and cops involved that day feel she let them down.

We broke the story ... Capitol Police officers were also incensed by the lack of direction before President Biden's inauguration, and a lack of clarity in the use of deadly force.

Amanda Gorman Reciting Original Poem At Super Bowl ... Honoring Pandemic Heroes

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Amanda Gorman -- the famous poet who delivered a powerful speech at Joe Biden's inauguration earlier this month -- has been tapped by the NFL to read another beautiful message at next week's Super Bowl.

League officials made the announcement Wednesday ... saying the 22-year-old has agreed to write and recite a poem honoring three pandemic heroes just before kickoff on Feb. 7.

"The recitation of the poem will air nationally on CBS," NFL officials said, "and be featured in-stadium.​"

The 3 honorees the NFL has selected for the big moment are all very special Americans ... Trimaine Davis, a teacher; Suzie Dorner, a nurse; and James Martin, a Marine Corps veteran; have all been widely heralded for their roles in helping others during the height of COVID-19.

Davis, the NFL says, helped less fortunate families with technology so they could learn his teaching lessons properly over the Internet while in quarantine.

NFL officials say Dorner logged countless hours in the hospital helping sick patients -- this all while losing two grandparents to the coronavirus.

The NFL says Martin, meanwhile, helped veterans and other members of his community get through tough times during the pandemic.

The NFL recently surprised all three with trips to the Super Bowl ... having NFL legends Doug Baldwin, Derrick Brooks and Jerome Bettis break the news in an awesome fashion to the trio.

The league says all three heroes will be honorary captains at the pre-game coin toss.

"We are honored to recognize these three individuals who represent the best in all of us,” NFL commish Roger Goodell said. “During this incredibly challenging time in our lives, Trimaine, Suzie, and James have exemplified the essence of leadership, each in their own way."

"We are grateful for their commitment and proud to share their stories and recognize them during this special moment on Super Bowl Sunday."

Palm Beach County Dems Fear Looming 'Trump Effect'

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Donald Trump moving to Mar-a-Lago has become worrisome, especially for Dems in the county, who say they fear a Trump effect ... and they're gearing up for a fight.

Believe it or not, Palm Beach County -- which obviously encompasses Palm Beach itself, where DT now lives -- is actually a pretty blue-leaning area ... but top dogs in the party say they're worried 45's influence will seep into their local politics and elections, for the worse.

Palm Beach County Democratic Party Secretary Sophia Nelson tells TMZ ... Trump's presence could be a game-changer in the political landscape, and it's something she and the rest of her cohorts will have to actively monitor in the coming months, and even years.

She says, for now, most Republican politicians -- who make up a minority in the county with an 80/20 split -- are pretty reasonable, and have no problem working across the aisle. But, Nelson warns that could quickly change with fringe GOP candidates who might run for local office going forward, emboldened by the arrival of their hero.

Nelson says she and others have already seen changes in town, especially near Trump properties, where upwards of 100 supporters have been gathering daily to show their love since Trump's arrival last week. She calls them "verbally violent."

As for what Nelson and the Dems plan to do about it ... more outreach, more grassroots campaigning and more voter registration, which she says will be key in fortifying their stronghold and pushing back against any wave Trump might create from here on out.

Moreover, Dems wanna get digital with their approach ... particularly with young folks. That's what Vice Chair Alex Berrios says will help them break through to the new generation.

Phil Collins' Ex Auctioning Off His Stuff for Cheap .... Gold LPs Starting at $100!!!

Phil Collins and his ex have not had a groovy kind of breakup, and it seems she don't care anymore ... because she's damn near giving away his awards and gold records.

Orianne Cevey has put multiple gold LPs and "Assorted Phil Collins Awards" on the auction block in the latest bitter development in their legal war ... which has already seen Phil evict her from his Miami Beach mansion.

Now that Cevey's moved out, she's unloading items that no longer "spark joy" in a Marie Kondo-esque move ... and those items include a gold record of Robert Plant’s "The Principle of Moments," which Phil got because his label, Es Paranza, released it.

There's another Gold LP Award for the Plant album, "Pictures at Eleven" -- on which Collins played drums -- and all the records have an opening bid price of $100. According to the auction site, Kodner, 10 percent of the proceeds will go to the Never Give Up Foundation.

If this seems like a super bitter ex move ... Cevey's rep says it's just downsizing. Orianne's moving to a smaller home, and is also getting rid of some of her clothing and jewelry. Not sure that'll make Phil feel better, but we're pretty sure she's not thinking about that.

As we've told you ... things went south for Phil and Orianne near the end of 2020, when he decided to kick her out of his house after she allegedly secretly remarried another guy in Vegas in August.

She later claimed he promised her 50/50 ownership -- while also accusing him of living like a hermit and having poor hygiene -- but he accused her of lying to try to extort him.

Despite all that, she's moved out now ... with less stuff of his to remind her of their time together.

John Gilbert Getty Died from Fentanyl Overdose ... Heart Condition Also Factor

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John Gilbert Getty -- one of the heirs to the Getty fortune -- died from complications related to a fentanyl overdose ... TMZ has learned.

The Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office in Texas tells TMZ ... John died of cardiomyopathy and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- heart disease and COPD, in layman's terms -- complicated by fentanyl toxicity.

The M.E. also says the overdose was accidental.

As we reported ... John died back in November after he was found unresponsive in a San Antonio hotel room.

It was a tumultuous 2020 for the Getty family. Just 2 months before John died ... his mother, Ann, died from a heart attack. John's other brother, Andrew, died in 2015 from meth intoxication.

John Gilbert, of course, was one of several descendants of J. Paul Getty -- the oilman whose art collection was central to the famed Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

The Getty family fortune's estimated at around $5 billion.

Jake Paul Taunts Ben Askren You'll Go Viral When I Knock You Out!!!

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GET READY FOR A FIGHT
TMZSports.com

"After I knock out Ben Askren and add him to the meme collection, what could someone say after that? What excuse will they make?"

Jake Paul is wildly confident he's going to DESTROY Ben Askren -- telling TMZ Sports the UFC fighter is just a stepping stone in his rising boxing career.

The 24-year-old says he's hungry to be taken seriously as a pro fighter -- which is why he wants to box an accomplished opponent like Askren, who's won multiple MMA championships during his fighting career.

Jake's last opponent, ex-NBA star Nate Robinson, didn't have any boxing experience ... and we all know how that went.

The issue ... Paul says Askren is underestimating his fighting abilities, and it's going to end VERY badly for the 36-year-old when they face off on April 17 at the "Triller Fight Club" main event.

"At the end of the day, this is why I took the fight because he's a legitimate pro and again, I'm a Disney channel actor YouTuber-kid."

"My ultimate goal is to fight the Nate Diazs, the Conor McGregors ... those are all MMA guys. I think people will have to take me seriously after this fight and since I do want Diaz, since I do want McGregor, since I do want these people in the UFC, this is the first step to get there."

"You can't just come into the NBA and be LeBron so I have to earn my stripes."

While Paul respects Askren's accomplishments ... he's already trying to get in his opponent's head -- telling TMZ Sports he's been DM'ing with Ben's wife and she thinks he's "handsome."

FIGHTING WORDS!!!!

As for Ben, he doesn't seem concerned ... telling TMZ Sports he plans on beating some humility into the kid when the bell rings.

HE STANDS NO CHANCE
TMZSports.com

"He's a f**king YouTube star. I'm gonna beat him up."

Guess Who This Swift Sweetie Turned Into!

Before this Swiftie superfan was cruising to the top of the music charts, she was just another darling devotee showing off her enthusiasm for Taylor in Temecula, California.

This signing sweetheart -- who is best known for her Disney career -- starred in a bizarre series alongside the YouTube influencer Jake Paul. After starting something new on Disney+, she gained major popularity for her musical role in the reimagined show based off of a 2006 movie ... on location at the original East High School.

Following in her idol's footsteps, she recently released a debut single that broke streaming records.

Can you guess who she is?

Florida Cop Slams Student to the Ground ... Knocks Her Out

Breaking News

3:56 PM PT -- A rep for the Sheriff's Department says the officer involved was a School Resource Officer who was in the process of trying to stop the student from fighting another student. They tell us, "Our office is in the initial stages of our investigation. We are collecting video, witness statements, and relevant information related to the incident."

A violent video of a cop slamming a female student to the ground and seemingly knocking her unconscious is raising serious questions about the level of force used here.

The video was shot Tuesday at Liberty High School in Osceola, Florida. You can see a young woman -- allegedly a student -- with her hands behind her back as a deputy slams her to the ground. There was a loud bang as the girl's head slammed to the concrete, and she appears to be immediately out cold.

It's unclear why the Osceola Sheriff's deputy was at the school or what led up to the deputy's involvement. The Sheriff's Dept. would only tell us the incident is under investigation.

One person who posted the video said, "This girl was already separated and under control by one of the faculty members when the officer came out of nowhere, picked her up and bodyslammed her headfirst on to the concert."

We've also reached out to Liberty High ... so far, no word back.

Originally published -- 3:05 PM PT

NBA TV's Sekou Smith Dead at 48 After COVID Battle

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Longtime NBA reporter Sekou Smith -- a staple on NBA TV -- has died after battling COVID. He was only 48.

"The NBA mourns the passing of Sekou Smith, a beloved member of the NBA family," the NBA said in a statement.

"Sekou was one of the most affable and dedicated reporters in the NBA and a terrific friend to so many across the league."

Smith covered basketball for more than 20 years -- and spent the last 11 years with Turner Sports where he excelled as a TV analyst, podcaster and writer.

"Our heartfelt condolences go to his wife Heather and their children Gabriel, Rielly, and Cameron."

Fellow NBA writer Marc J. Spears paid tribute to Sekou -- saying, "Thank you for your brotherly friendship, humor, honesty and compassion. Glad we had a chance to tell each other we loved each other three weeks ago."

"You were a gift to this Earth as a friend, father and a man Sekou Smith. Rest In Peace to my brother. Prayers to your wife & family."

RIP

Amanda Gorman Spills Inauguration Tea!!! Michelle Told Barack to Stop Doing This ...

FEELIN' STARSTRUCK
Ellen / NBC

We're getting some behind-the-scenes from President Biden's Inauguration courtesy of Amanda Gorman ... who got some scoop on what was going down between the Obamas.

The poet laureate -- who went viral on Inauguration Day for her rousing piece, 'The Hill We Climb' -- dished to Ellen DeGeneres about being in the company of some huge names on that stage.

Amanda says her mom might've been a little more star-struck than she was ... especially for J Lo and A-Rod. But, as far as hanging with former Presidents and First Ladies, it's clear Amanda's a vet.

Anyway, check out what Amanda says Barack was doing behind the lectern that apparently ticked off Michelle enough for her to say something about it ... multiple times.

It's hilarious, and very relevant for the times. Let's just say Michelle was concerned about the former President's COVID-safety.

Amanda says Michelle had to rein him in, but the more telling thing here is how close Amanda was to the action and how tight she is with the Obamas.

Harvard folks ... they stick together!

Hank Aaron Memorial Service Held In Atlanta ... Teammates, Legends Pay Respects

Hank Aaron's closest friends and teammates joined to pay their respects to the late baseball legend on Tuesday ... with the Atlanta Braves hosting an emotional memorial service.

Hammerin' Hank -- who famously finished his career with 755 home runs -- died last Friday of natural causes.

GREAT PLAYER, BETTER MAN
Atlanta Braves

Names like Chipper Jones, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and Marquis Grissom spoke at the ceremony in person.

Chipper told the story about how Hank told the Braves to draft him back in the day.

"Y'all better draft that Jones boy. I'll never forget that," Jones regaled ... "That comment must carry some weight."

Jones added, "I respected the man so much. I wouldn't want to disappoint him or his family."

Rob Manfred explained why it was destiny for Hank to break Babe Ruth's career home run record.

"Just like Jackie Robinson was the perfect person to change our game forever, Hank Aaron was the perfect person to see the historic moment he created in 1974."

Other stars like John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Dusty Baker, Dale Murphy, Freddie Freeman and more paid tribute via pre-recorded videos.

Glavine said, "We've all seen the movie 'Field of Dreams' ... if there is a baseball team in heaven, they just picked up one heck of a clean-up hitter."

Other Braves alum in attendance include Ron Gant, Gary Matthews and Jeff Francoeur.

Adam Carolla Gov. Newsom Trying to Dodge Recall ... Says 'Too Little, Too Late'

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TIME TO COURSE-CORRECT
TMZ.com

Adam Carolla is still not a fan of Gov. Gavin Newsom ... if anything, the comedian's more furious as he suspects there's a political motive behind Newsom lifting COVID restrictions in Cali.

The comedian joined "TMZ Live" on Tuesday and said the fact Newsom just lifted restrictions to allow outdoor dining and other businesses to reopen makes the order feel like the initial restrictions were random and arbitrary. To Adam's point, SoCal's ICU capacity is still near 0% -- however, state modeling predicts it will rise to 33.3% in the next 4 weeks.

That being said ... Adam feels Newsom only caved to lift restrictions because he's feeling the heat from a recall campaign that's picked up steam.

12/20/20
PRAY FOR THE RICH
TMZ.com

As you know ... Adam's had beef with the California Gov. for some time now. Adam voiced his support last month for recalling Newsom ... because he was pissed about outdoor dining getting shut down. In his eyes ... he saw no proof to connect outdoor dining to massive outbreaks of COVID cases.

If Newsom does face a recall, Adam's got his mind set on a replacement -- how about a banjo case? Seriously, he explained that choice.

Now, he admitted he's not one to run for office himself ... but Adam has a couple of ideas about how California can stop its residents from fleeing to other states like Texas, Florida and Tennessee.

Tory Lanez Megan Thee Stallion Can Talk About My Case ... So, Why Can't I?!?!

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Megan Thee Stallion recently sounded off about Tory Lanez allegedly shooting her, and now he wants to level the playing field, and speak his mind.

A judge had ordered Lanez to keep his lips sealed about info he gets from prosecutors in his case, and also barred him from contacting Meg on social media -- but in a new court filing he says that's totally unfair.

In the docs, Lanez says it's unfair Megan is able to say whatever she wants ... while he is basically prevented from defending himself.

Lanez says he is particularly miffed about what went down last week, when erroneous reports began circulating that the charges against Tory were dropped.

Megan responded on social media, saying ... "AT THIS POINT IM GETTING ANNOYED! STOP BELIEVING EVERYTHING YOU READ ON THE MF INTERNET. Imagine how I feel waking every day seeing people LIE and turn my trauma into a joke? That whole team figures out ways to create doubt with my story every week and the media eats it up."

8/20/20
YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID

According to Lanez ... Megan falsely insinuated he and his legal team had something to do with the bogus reports, therefore maligning their integrity.

Megan also commented, "I can’t wait until the MF FACTS come out! Bitch you shot me AND MY STORY NOT CHANGING AND BITCH YOU GOING TO JAIL."

According to the docs, Lanez claims there's evidence refuting Megan's side of the story -- including "evidence of gunshot residue implicating others" -- but because of the protective order ... he's not able to disclose any of it.

EXITING THE VEHICLE
TMZ.com

Tory's also worried about optics -- in the docs he worries his silence might make it look like he's conceding what Megan says is true. So, he's asking the judge to modify the gag order against him.

As we've reported ... Megan has remained steadfast that Tory shot her in July after they left a party. Though Lanez initially seemed to issue a public apology in September by saying, "I was too drunk" ... he later denied it.

Claudia Conway Defends Mom After Her Topless Pic Posted on Kellyanne's Twitter

9:46 AM PT -- A law enforcement source tells us the incident is under investigation.

9:14 AM PT -- Claudia's now running to her mom's defense and says she has faith and knows her mother would never intentionally post a topless pic of her on social media. Her father, George, tweeted a link to Claudia's TikTok ... where she posted a video also saying she would be taking a break from social media for the foreseeable future.

WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE
@claudiamconway / TikTok

Claudia said, "We fight like mothers and daughters but we love like mothers and daughters." She also underscored the fact the video she posted is not being forced ... adding, "It's coming from me." She implored people worried about her to not call the authorities and for others to "please stop sending hate to my family ... I'm okay. We are okay."

Somehow a topless photo of 16-year-old Claudia Conway ended up on her mom, Kellyanne Conway's Twitter page ... and the teen vows her mom's going to jail over it.

Twitter users saw the pic posted to Kellyanne's Fleet story on Twitter Monday night. It was quickly deleted, but not before folks captured and shared it like wildfire. Claudia took to TikTok shortly after, and confirmed it's a legit photo.

HOW COULD YOU???

The teenager says it was taken months ago, and her mom must've gotten it when she confiscated Claudia's phone during one of their frequent spats.

As for how it might've made its way to Kellyanne's Twitter account, Claudia speculates her ma either did it on purpose ... or she was hacked.

10/7/20
CONWAY CHAOS
@claudiamconway / TikTok

In any case, she clearly says Kellyanne's gonna pay for this -- legally speaking.

This is the latest dustup between the mother and daughter, who've been at each other's throats for a long time now, especially lately. As we reported, Claudia recorded herself saying Kellyanne was being abusive toward her, and even spurred someone to call in a welfare check, which resulted in a visit from cops.

1/19/21
DRASTIC APPROACH
@claudiamconway/Tik Tok

We've been told the matter is still being investigated ... it's unclear how this new development might factor in, if at all.

One thing's for sure ... there doesn't seem to be any love lost in the Conway household these days.

Originally Published -- 8:27 AM PT

Elliot Page Files for Divorce

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Elliot Page, the star of "Juno," has filed for divorce after just 3 years of marriage.

Elliot just filed the legal docs in Manhattan seeking the dissolution of his marriage to Emma Portner, whom he married around January 2018.

The couple had announced their surprise wedding on Instagram, with Page writing at the time ... "Can’t believe I get to call this extraordinary woman my wife." Page began sharing photos with Portner in summer 2017.

Emma, a dancer and choreographer who teaches at the Broadway Dance Center in NYC, was also featured in Justin Bieber’s “PURPOSE: The Movement” music videos and tour performances.

The split for the couple comes just 2 months after Elliot came out as a transgender male, after previously coming out as gay in 2014.

Lori Loughlin Hubby Denied Early Release ... COVID Concern Not Enough

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Lori Loughlin's husband, Mossimo Giannulli, just got shut down by a judge ... who basically said his coronavirus worries weren't enough to get him out of prison early.

According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, the judge lays out exactly why Mossimo was denied, and it basically comes down to this -- he didn't give compelling enough reasons to spend the rest of his sentence in home confinement.

The judge says Mossimo's gripes about having to be in solitary for quarantine in and of itself isn't a good reason to cut him loose. The court also writes ... Mossimo should've seen a quarantine period coming from a mile away -- 'cause he went into prison right in the thick of the pandemic.

The court says. Mossimo has been let back into general population since his filing ... and says that the prisons are getting better at handling COVID issues, so at this point, it can be handled by BOP. The judge goes on to say the vaccine is on the way, which will further alleviate the COVID problems.

In the court's view, Mossimo doesn't have any particularly heightened risk of contracting the virus as it stands -- so they don't see any extraordinary reason he oughta be released early. Unless something changes, he'll probably have to sit tight until April -- when his 5-month sentence is up.

Remember, Mossimo claimed the strict conditions in prison from COVID protocols were taking a toll on him. His wife, Lori, is already out ... she had a quick 2-month sentence, and was sent home in December.

Old news is old news!
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