Michael Jackson's Accusers Robson, Safechuck Feel 'Closer' to New Trials ... After Appeals Court Hearing

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A NEW DAY
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2:28 PM PT -- The Appellate Court hearing just ended and attorneys for Robson, Safechuck and the Michael Jackson estate all agreed the new law could open the door to new trials for both men. The judges have not made a final ruling yet, but the handwriting's on the wall. We spoke to Wade and James on their way out of the hearing.

Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman says they understand "the Court of Appeal agrees that these cases must be returned to the trial court to be analyzed under the new law signed by Governor Newsom." However, he adds ... "The Appellate Court's tentative ruling is not on the merits of Robson and Safechuck's allegations and the Court in no way said that these cases will go to trial."

Weitzman says the estate remains confident the claims "will, once again, be dismissed as has happened before."

1:00 PM PT -- We just got Wade and James on their way into court, both were happy to have another chance and hopeful for the future of their case.

The 2 men who sued Michael Jackson's estate and were the subject of the gut-wrenching "Leaving Neverland" documentary ... are set to get their day in court to press their sexual abuse claims against the singer's estate.

As you may know ... Wade Robson and James Safechuck sued MJ for sexual abuse, but their lawsuits were dismissed in 2017 -- partly due to the statute of limitations. Both men appealed their rulings and the cases have been stuck in appellate court ... until now.

We've learned the California Court of Appeal just issued a tentative ruling which would overturn the dismissals, on grounds a new California law extended the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. That means Robson and Safechuck can have their cases heard before a jury.

It's not a done deal. As we said, the ruling is tentative. Oral arguments are set for this week, and the justices could change their minds, but typically the tentative ruling stands.

Now the MJ Estate has a number of other objections to claims, which will be addressed by the trial judge.

Wade and James' story aired on HBO in January, and their molestation claims sparked a movement to mute Michael Jackson and further tarnished his legacy. Jackson's family called "Leaving Neverland" an unfair "public lynching."

We reached out to reps from the MJ Estate and reps for the alleged victims. They all had no comment.

Originally Published -- 1:00 AM PT

Cincinnati Zoo Giraffe Dies After Hoof Procedure ... Suffered Chronic Lameness

Cincinatti Zoo

A giraffe at the Cincinnati Zoo has died after what appears to be a bad reaction to a recent surgery done on its hooves ... which was supposed to mitigate a major health issue.

The zoo says that the male giraffe, named Kimba, passed away Sunday after it had collapsed to the ground early that morning in the zoo's giraffe barn -- where the staff had been monitoring a pregnant female giraffe who's supposed to go into labor any day now.

Cincinatti Zoo

It's unclear how exactly the giraffe ended up dying -- the Cincinnati Zoo says they're awaiting the results of a necropsy to learn more about what exactly happened -- but they note that Kimba had been dealing with complications from a surgery he had done on his hooves last week. The photo above shows Kimba getting that work done by a team of specialists.

The surgery was meant to help Kimba fight off chronic lameness in his legs -- something the zoo says he'd been experiencing since last summer ... which was causing mobility issues.

The surgery was basically a hoof trim, and based on what the doc told them ... it was supposed to make him "sound" again -- but unfortunately, it sounds like it didn't take. Kimba was 12 years old, and had sired 6 calves, including a 7th on the way now.

Cincinnati Zoo

Of course, this is the same place where Harambe the gorilla was shot and killed a few years ago after a child fell into his cage and got dragged around by the animal.

Sad news all around.

Sin City's Frank Miller Sues Ex-Wife ... Gimme My Sketches!!

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Graphic novel icon Frank Miller claims his ex-wife's being super sketchy by hiding and secretly selling some of his famous drawings ... this according to a new lawsuit.

According to new legal docs obtained by TMZ ... Frank claims Lynn Varley's illegally holding onto a slew of sketches he drew as references for the final illustrations for his comics and graphic novels.

What's more, Frank claims Varley's already sold some of his sketches through her art dealer --- offering them for sale to "under the table" to collectors. Literally, under the table.

In docs, he claims one of Varley's reps kept Miller's sketches in a binder under a table at this year's Comic-Con in San Diego. Miller claims when a potential buyer would ask about the sketches, the rep would pull out a separate binder from under the vendor's table.

Frank claims Varley got some of his work as part of their divorce settlement, but also insists HE is the rightful owner of others she's been secretly selling. He's suing for her to turn over the sketches and wants a full accounting of what she's already hocked and for how much.

Miller, of course, is the famed comic book writer and artist behind "Sin City," "The Dark Knight Returns" and "300."

Transgender Singer Kim Petras I Didn't Put Billboards Up ... But I Love Razzing Westboro Baptist!!!

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AWESOME SURPRISE
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Kim Petras has no clue who is responsible for placing those bombshell billboards right under the nose of a homophobic church ... but she loves sticking it to Westboro Baptist!!!

The transgender singer spoke to us Monday on "TMZ Live" after her mug started popping up on electronic billboards right down the street from the hatemongers' HQ in Topeka, Kansas ... and Kim says she's tickled by the fact folks at Westboro Baptist have to see her every day.

KSNT

While Kim is coy about who is ultimately behind the placement of ads purposefully directed at the infamously anti-LGBTQ church -- she has a few ideas -- the up-and-coming singer takes a stab at the campaign's endgame and tells us why the move fits her brand.

Kim fills us in on the statement she's hoping to make on behalf of the transgender community ... a message that goes beyond sassy billboards and music.

Bella Hadid Makes Peace with Selena Gomez After Suspicious IG Delete

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Bella Hadid raised eyebrows after deleting a post on which Selena Gomez had made an innocent enough comment -- but we've learned fans/social media blew this one way out of proportion. Shocker.

Sources connected to the supermodel tell TMZ ... Bella actually went out of her way to reach out to Selena this weekend to squash any potential beef. We say potential, because the Internet (yes, EVERYONE on the web) thought Bella had shaded the singer. 'Memba ... they're both exes of The Weeknd.

You see, what had happened was ... Bella posted this pic of herself, and Selena commented, "Stunning." Harmless, right? Well, Bella later deleted that post, but fans screen grabbed, reposted and insinuated Bella first ignored Selena (by not following her back) ... and then deleted the post out of spite.

Selena caught wind of this and commented on the fan page that reposted ... "That sucks," adding a sad face emoji for good measure.

We'll cut to the chase here -- the drama's over. Our sources say the former friends-turned-foes had a chat after the big deletion. We're told Bella told Selena it was never about taking a shot, the model simply deleted because she didn't like the pic.

She also said there are no hard feelings over The Weeknd. Selena briefly dated him in between his multiple rounds of dating Bella ... once upon a time.

The reason people were even looking into this social media activity might have to do with the fact both ladies unfollowed each other in 2017 when that Abel drama was in full swing.

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Since then, Selena followed Bella again ... but as of Monday, it doesn't look like Bella has returned the favor. Not that we're trying to stir anything up.

Regardless, we're told there's no bad blood.

Female MMA Fighter Dies After Collapsing In Ring ... Cops Investigating

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A 26-year-old female amateur MMA fighter died Sunday morning ... just one day after collapsing in the ring following a brutal loss at an event in England.

The Hampshire Police Dept. confirmed they were called to Southampton General Hospital around 1 AM on Sunday to respond to a woman who suffered a life-threatening brain injury.

The woman, Saeideh Aletaha, had competed at the Fast & Furious Fight series event at Central Hall in Southampton, England on Saturday ... and reportedly collapsed in the ring.

According to local reports, an ambulance was called to the venue around 9 PM and Aletaha was rushed to the hospital in "a serious and life-threatening condition."

Cops say Aletaha died at the hospital Sunday morning -- and they're now investigating her death.

Organizers behind the F&FFS event posted a statement early Monday morning essentially saying Aletaha knew what she signed up for ...

"All competitors get in [the ring] prepared that they may be injured and this is something not expected to happen 99.9% of the time."

FFS organizers say they had a full medical team on-site -- with doctors, paramedics and an ambulance -- along with an "experienced team of staff with numerous first aiders."

Exile Gym, where Aletaha trained, posted a tribute to the fighter ... saying, "Saeideh Aletaha was a lovely character with a beautiful soul. Her dedication to the sport was 110% travelling miles every day just to train."

"She found her place with us just a few months ago but has become apart of the family and will be sorely missed."

Taylor Swift Clear to Perform Early Hits at AMAs

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12:08 PM PT -- Sources with direct knowledge tell us Taylor won't pay a dime out of pocket for licensing for the show. However, DCP will be the one to foot the bill ... a standard payment made for licensing and rebroadcasting that is done on almost every award program.

Taylor Swift can perform "Shake It Off" and any of her other early hits at the AMAs this Sunday ... because she's gotten the all-clear from both Big Machine and Dick Clark Productions.

DCP and BM say, "The Big Machine Label Group and Dick Clark Productions announce that they have come to terms on a licensing agreement that approves their artists' performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms."

They go on to say ... "This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performances. It should be noted that recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media."

As we reported, Taylor said she was being blocked by Big Machine -- the label she signed with when she started out and recorded her first 6 albums -- from performing her early hits.  It was always clear she could perform these songs in a live broadcast, but the issue was what happens to the AMA show after it airs on TV. Now, DCP and BM have made it clear ... the subsequent re-broadcasts are within the scope of a live performance.

Taylor has not yet responded.

Originally Published -- 10:51 AM PT

Rams vs. Bears 4 Killed in Shooting at NFL Watch Party ... 'Targeted Act of Violence'

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AFTER THE SHOOTING
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11:28 AM PT -- The Fresno Police have more info on the shooting -- saying they now believe it was a "targeted act of violence."

Cops say it seems the shooting is connected to an incident earlier the week involving people who were at the football party. The insinuation is that the shooters were seeking revenge for a previous incident.

Cops say the suspects are still at large and they following up on multiple leads.

Officials are on the hunt for multiple suspects who entered a backyard NFL watch party in Fresno, CA and opened fire -- killing 4 people and injuring 6 more.

Around 35 people were at a home Sunday evening to watch the L.A. Rams vs. Chicago Bears game -- it's being described as a "friends and family gathering."

But, around 6 PM PT, "unknown suspects" snuck into the party and opened fire -- striking multiple people.

Cops say 3 people died at the scene and a 4th died at the hospital. 5 people are still hospitalized in critical condition but expected to survive and a 6th person suffered minor injuries.

Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley told the media ... "Everyone was watching football this evening when unknown suspects approached the residence, snuck into the backyard and opened fire."

Cops say it does not appear the victims knew the shooters -- and officials do NOT believe it was gang-related at this point, but they have not ruled it out.

No one has been arrested and cops have not identified a suspect.

Originally published -- 6:09 AM PT

Kanye West Buys Another Ranch for $14 Mil ... Loving Wyoming!!!

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Kanye West is going back for an extra helping of ranch -- he just scored another massive property in Wyoming!!!

Kanye plunked down a huge chunk of change -- $14,495,000 -- for an estate called Bighorn Mountain Ranch ... a sprawling property outside Cody, WY, known for its beautiful hikes and climbs.

The ranch has mountains, rolling hills, canyons and bluffs filled with wildlife -- as well as some of the best trout fishing in the state, thanks to the creeks running through the 6,713-acre property.

BMR has been around since 1906, but it's pretty modern now with 2 heated helicopter pads. There are also several log cabins and lodges with walk-in saunas and sweeping views of the surrounding mountain ranges.

If you're looking for world-class elk hunting, hit up Ye ... his new pad has that along with deer, antelope, pheasants and turkey. Sounds like he's gonna love roaming around the property on his ATVs.

It's Kanye's second massive, $14 million ranch in the Cowboy State. As we first told you, back in September he scooped up Monster Lake Ranch. Now, he's planning to build a huge amphitheater on that land.

Dax Hayden and Bill Vacek of Hayden Outdoors Real Estate had the listing.

Kanye, clearly, can't get enough of Wyoming.

Halsey Bad at Love ... Great at Stirring Preggo Rumors!!!

Halsey's stirring the pregnancy pot with a hand gesture that could mean there's a bun in the oven ... or a bad meal just wasn't sitting right.

The singer was out Sunday with her boyfriend, Evan Peters, in Santa Monica -- where they both went in for a drawn-out rub of Halsey's belly, and they both seemed pretty happy about it. Toss in the fact she was wearing a baggy jumpsuit ... and ya get the rumor mill in full swing.

The couple went on to hit the beach, going into full-blown make-out sessions a few different times. They certainly look smitten after just a month or so of dating -- Halsey and Evan went public just this past October.

Prior to hooking up, Halsey was reportedly dating singer Yungblud as recently as this summer -- and before that, she was linked to Machine Gun Kelly and, of course, G-Eazy.

Evan was engaged to actress Emma Roberts for 3 years until breaking things off just a few months ago. He's mostly known as a regular on "American Horror Story," but he's been in a ton of stuff over the years ... including roles in the most recent 'X-Men' movies.

As for these suspicious belly rubs, we've reached out to Halsey's rep. So far, no word back.

LeBron James Sippin' $3K Cognac ... With Anthony Davis

The team that drinks super expensive, rare cognac together ... wins titles together??

Los Angeles Lakers hope so, 'cause LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo sipped on the $3,000 a bottle Louis XIII at a fancy L.A. hotel this weekend.

The All-Star studded private dinner went down Saturday night at Mr. C Beverly Hills ... and it was all to celebrate AD gracing the cover of Haute Living magazine.

H.L. and XO hosted the event and invited all AD's superstar teammates ... and his agent, Rich Paul.

There was (very, very expensive) booze ... but there wasn't any crazy turn up this time.

We're told the Lakers stars sipped on Louis XIII ... but all left before 10 PM 'cause they had a game Sunday night against the Hawks.

The Lakers -- 11-2 for the season and in 1st place -- won the game easily, 122-101.

So yeah, no hangover here.

Eddie Van Halen Out of Hospital After Painful Reaction to Cancer Drugs

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Eddie Van Halen is back home, hanging out with his son after suffering through a few rough days in a hospital with what we're told were complications from his cancer treatment.

Sources close to the legendary guitarist tell TMZ ... he was admitted to the hospital last week with intestinal issues and abdominal pain. We're told both were the result of a bad reaction to the drugs Eddie is taking to battle throat cancer.

He was released Sunday and we're told he's doing fine now.

We broke the story ... the rocker has been flying between the U.S. and Germany for 5 years to get radiation treatment. Eddie believes he developed the cancer from a metal guitar pick he used more than 20 years ago -- he would hold the pick in his mouth and has been told it could be the source of the cancer.

When he got home from the hospital ... we're told Eddie and his son, Wolfgang, hung out and rehearsed music. If ya don't know, Wolfgang became Van Halen's bassist in 2006.

Rock on, guys!

Burger King Sued by Vegans for Impossible Burger Contamination We Want Burger Our Way!!!

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A bunch of vegans are suing Burger King because they want to have their Impossible Burgers their way ... pristine, without any meat residue on the grill.

Phillip Williams just filed a class-action lawsuit, claiming the burger giant advertises the Impossible Burger as a vegan alternative to its meat burgers, yet they're all cooked on the same grill.

Williams says his burger was contaminated by meat byproducts. He bought the burger in question in ATL.

The lawsuit says Burger King has no disclosures on its menu that would notify a consumer prior to the purchase of the Impossible Whopper that it was cooked in a manner that would result in meat by-products on the burger.

He notes there have been numerous complaints posted online by outraged vegans.

Williams not only wants damages ... he wants the judge to order Burger King to stop cooking Impossible Burgers and the OG burgers on the same grill.

Kylie Jenner Sells Off Majority of Cosmetics Co. ... Pockets $600 Million!!!

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Kylie Jenner is no control freak when it comes to her cosmetics empire -- not anymore, anyway ... since she just sold off the majority of the $1.2 billion company that made her a mogul.

The world's youngest billionaire unloaded 51 percent of Kylie Cosmetics to Coty -- the conglomerate behind Clairol, CoverGirl and Max Factor to name a few. Kylie reportedly got $600 mil for the sale, which gives Coty the reins, financially ... but the youngest Jenner isn't out of the biz altogether.

In a joint statement, Coty said Kylie would continue leading all creative efforts and "communications initiatives." Translation: They're gonna milk her massive social media empire of 270 million followers for all it's worth.

Sounds like Coty just plans to take what Kylie started and expand it into a global brand. Kylie says she's "excited to partner with Coty to continue to reach even more fans of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin around the world."

She added, "This partnership will allow me and my team to stay focused on the creation and development of each product while building the brand into an international beauty powerhouse."

In other words ... cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching!!!

Kanye West Osteen Sunday Service ... Lots'O Covers, Late Ye Appearance

YE AT LAKEWOOD
Lakewood Church

7:52 PM PT -- Kanye's Sunday Service at the Lakewood Church is winding down, and it was quite a show that the choir/collective put on ... with a late-game surge from Ye himself.

The performance went on for 2-plus hours, and the choir did a bunch of covers, including some of Kanye's tracks -- past and present -- as well as some other classic songs they remixed into gospel songs ... some of which worked perfectly, while others came off a little weird.

For example ... the choir covered Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed" -- which sounded just fine in a gospel setting. But, when they turned SWV's "Weak" into a spiritual song, it was awkward. One of the big highlights was when the choir did Destiny Child's "Say My Name" ... which translated pretty smoothly into a tune about calling God's name.

As we said, there wasn't much sign of Kanye being embedded into the performance to begin with, but he was certainly onstage and later did get on the mic for "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1" and finished strong by rapping his verses from "Selah," "Follow God," "God Is" ... and a direct shout-out to Rodney Reed to boot. Ye even DJ'd and free-styled a bit too.

He definitely took the reins in the second half of the show, and got more and more and more into his element. He closed things out with "Jesus Walks" and "Closed on Sunday."

Joel Osteen got onstage to break up the music a bit, and shared several lessons about allowing God to guide oneself to greatness, despite haters along the way.

All in all, the Osteen/Kanye Sunday Service experience can go down in the books as a resounding success.

6:03 PM PT -- Kanye's Sunday Service has started, and it kicked off with a bang. A spoken word poet delivered a powerful message to open the show, and the rest of the choir took it the rest of the way ... first going in on an operatic chant, then moving on to cover 'Every Hour' from the 'JIK' album, as well 'Ultralight Beam' and eventually performing a part of 'Power.'

There's no sign of Kanye quite yet, but ya gotta imagine he's in the building ... 'cause Kim and the kids are down below in the front row. The crowd seems to be loving so far, BTW ... and as expected, it's a completely packed house.

Kanye West is about to perform his Sunday Service at Joel Osteen's megachurch in Houston ... and TMZ is streaming it live.

As we previously mentioned ... Ye brought his choir out for the weekend trip, where they're set to take the stage at 7 PM CT (5 PM PT) at the Lakewood Church -- a place thousands of worshipers come out each week to hear Joel and co. preach from the pulpit.

It's bound to be a packed house again for Sunday's ticketed event, especially after Ye made an appearance in the morning ... standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Joel and talking God.

PULPIT PREACHIN'
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You'll recall ... it was an eventful chat Kanye and Joel had onstage, with Ye touching on everything from his own upbringing in the church, to how he's an employee of God's now, and even going to bat and defending Joel and his reputation in the Christian community.

Ever since Kanye dropped his new album, 'Jesus is King,' he's been performing pretty consistently with his choir ... playing a bunch of his new songs too, of course. The format thus far has been pretty similar in style to what we've seen in Calabasas and elsewhere.

But with such a big audience tuning in this time around -- and a just-announced opera on the horizon -- it'll be interesting to see what surprises Kanye and his team have in store for the Lakewood congregation.

Originally Published -- 4:30 PM PT

Bernie Sanders Flashes Buttery Jump Shot ... Hits 5 In A Row!!!

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ALL DAY

Move over, Barack Obama ... there's a new politician with an absolutely wet jumper -- BERNIE SANDERS!!!!

Okay, it ain't exactly Kareem and the skyhook ... but here's the 78-year-old showing off his hoops skills over the weekend -- and the dude can score the basketball!!!

The 2020 presidential candidate hit a small hoop somewhere in Las Vegas on Sunday ... and he was straight cash from the free-throw line -- nailing five shots in a row!!

In fact, Bernie's wife was even impressed with the guy ... saying to him in the video, "Now, you're just showing off!"

It's a pretty incredible rebound for Sanders ... who just a few weeks couldn't have looked more unathletic in a devastating loss to a speed bag.

But, Bernie's team says his basketball performance was no fluke ... in a statement to Newsweek, they claim Sanders gets buckets any chance he can on the campaign trail!

"Anytime we see a court, he'll ask if he can get a few minutes to shoot around," campaign manager Faiz Shakir said.

Someone set the 1-on-1 matchup with Barry O, ASAP!!!!!!