Lori Loughlin Faces New Charges ... In College Bribery Scandal

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Lori Loughlin and her husband are getting hit with even more charges in the college admissions scandal, and this time prosecutors are going after them for bribery.

The U.S. Attorney out of Boston just filed a charge called Federal Program Bribery. Translation -- prosecutors say Lori bribed officials of a university that receives federal funding.

As we reported, Lori and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly paid $500,000 to mastermind Rick Singer to get their daughters into USC, and they faked a photo making it appear their girls were adept at rowing.

The new charge carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence. They've already charged them with various other crimes that could land them in prison for 40 years.

TMZ broke the story ... the U.S. Attorney is more open than ever for a plea bargain in Lori's case, especially after Felicity Huffman got sentenced to a scant 14 days behind bars. Prosecutors know the probation department and the judge who heard Felicity's case are not sympathetic to long sentences, because in their view no one really lost anything because of the alleged parental misdeeds.

Piling on a new charge could bring Lori and Mossimo to the bargaining table. On the other hand, they have vowed to fight the charges and are preparing for trial.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Aaron Rodgers Is NFL's Top QB ... 'Unheard Of' Talent

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Sorry, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady ... you are both NOT the top QB in the NFL -- so says Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who tells TMZ Sports Aaron Rodgers is that man!!

"His talent level is just unheard of," the wide receiver says.

Of course, MVS is biased ... Rodgers is the only NFL QB he's ever caught passes from -- but the Pack's new star says he's had that opinion since BEFORE Green Bay drafted him in 2018.

"The way he can make throws from positions that you've never even seen before is just uncanny," Valdes-Scantling says ... "It's crazy."

Rodgers is coming off the best game of his career Sunday against Oakland -- 6 total TDs and a perfect 158.3 passer rating -- so it ain't exactly easy to argue with Marquez.

As for the guys catching balls from Rodgers this season ... Valdes-Scantling is high on those dudes as well, telling us he thinks the Packers' WR group is one of the best in the league.

By the way, MVS says there's been absolutely no ribbing going on between him and Davante Adams while the star has been out with a toe injury ... telling us the team can't wait to get the Pro Bowler back soon.

Houston Astros Exec 'Deeply Sorry' For Offending Female Reporters

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12:04 PM PT -- Major League Baseball is now weighing in on the issue ... saying it's launching an investigation into the allegations.

"Domestic violence is extraordinarily serious," the league said in a statement, "and everyone in baseball must use care to not engage in any behavior -- whether intentional or not -- that could be construed as minimizing the egregiousness of an act of domestic violence."

11:53 AM PT -- Brandon Taubman says he is "deeply sorry and embarrassed" for the locker-room celebration incident involving a group of female reporters ... saying he wasn't trying to offend them.

"This past Saturday, during our clubhouse celebration, I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed," Taubman said in a statement.

"My over-exuberance in support of a player has been misinterpreted as a demonstration of a regressive attitude about an important social issue."

"Those that know me know that I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving a committed husband and father."

"I hope that those who do knot know me understand that the Sports Illustrated article does not reflect who I am or my values. I am sorry of anyone was offended by my actions."

A Houston Astros exec allegedly taunted a group of female reporters about a star player's domestic violence allegations ... but the team says that ain't exactly how it went down.

The man at the center of the controversy is assistant GM Brandon Taubman -- one of the top execs of the team -- who was reportedly fired up about star pitcher Roberto Osuna after their ALCS win Saturday night.

FYI, Osuna allegedly assaulted his baby mama in May 2018, while playing for the Blue Jays -- but the charges were dropped when the alleged victim disappeared to Mexico and refused to cooperate with prosecutors.

MLB suspended Osuna for 75 games and the Blue Jays, looking to get rid of his ass, traded Osuna to the Astros.

Fast-forward to Saturday night when Taubman ... Sports Illustrated cites a reporter (who was there) and several witnesses who say this happened during the locker room celebration.

"Taubman turned to a group of three female reporters, including one wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet, and yelled, half a dozen times, 'Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f*cking glad we got Osuna!'"'

Yeah, sounds bad. REALLY bad.

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But, the Astros are disputing the report ... seemingly acknowledging Taubman made the comments, but didn't intend them to be an offensive attack toward the women.

"The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible."

"An Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing. Our executive was supporting the player during a difficult time."

The team added, "His comments had everything to do about the game situation that just occurred and nothing else -- they were also not directed toward any specific reporters."

"We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist."

Since the S.I. article came out, the Houston Chronicle says two of its reporters confirm the S.I. account.

So far, no footage of the incident has surfaced. But, we're guessing SOMEONE in that locker room caught something on video.

Originally published -- 6:48 AM PT

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Trump's 'Lynching' Tweet Is Pure Race Baiting ... He WANTS Our Outrage!!!

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says President Trump is intentionally stirring up racial outrage in America by comparing his potential impeachment to a "lynching" ... and she believes it's all part of his master plan.

We got AOC on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning, and she ripped into the President for the tweet that definitely got America buzzing -- equating his impeachment inquiry to mob violence. She got kinda choked up as she called his use of slave imagery "horrifying."

She says what's even more disturbing is Trump using the word "lynching" on purpose. The freshman Congresswoman pulled back the curtain on what she believes POTUS is doing -- and it's all about riling up his base ... no matter how divisive it is to the country.

That being said ... AOC says folks can't allow Trump's rhetoric to become normalized, and she poses some important questions about America's future.

Elliott from 'E.T.' Arrested for DUI Mug Shot Screams 'Ouch'

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10:31 AM PT -- Henry was released on his own recognizance around 9:30 AM this morning.

Elliott from 'E.T.' went from riding a bicycle under the influence of an alien ... to allegedly driving a car under the influence of a terrestrial substance.

Actor Henry Thomas was arrested Monday for DUI in Oregon. The Tualatin PD -- the agency that picked him up -- tells TMZ ... another motorist called 911 around 8:30 PM to report that someone was stopped in the middle of a residential intersection.

We're told that when cops arrived, they found Henry passed out behind the wheel, and officers had to wake him up. Although we're told that Henry's car didn't reek of booze to the police, they took him to the Washington County Jail on suspicion of DUI based on other signs of being intoxicated, which the Tualatin PD wouldn't clearly convey to us.

Either way, he was booked for misdemeanor driving under the influence of intoxicants. Of course, Henry posed for this bleary-eyed mug shot too. As of now, it doesn't seem like he's been released yet. Presumably, cops are letting him sober up in jail.

The guy is obviously most known for his lead role as young Elliott from Steven Spielberg's iconic 1982 film, in which he befriends an extraterrestrial. He's gone on to act in tons of other stuff over the years ... most recently, in Netflix's "The Haunting of Hill House."

When it comes to this though ... ya gotta wonder if Henry was given his one "phone home" call. We can only hope so!!!

Originally Published -- 9:36 AM PT

Ronda Rousey Pummels Real-Life Husband ... In '9-1-1' Fight Scene

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Ronda Rousey absolutely DESTROYED her real-life husband, Travis Browne, in an underground fight club on Monday ... and it was all for an episode of the show, "9-1-1."

Ronda is a regular cast member on the FOX hit -- and this week Ronda's character, Lena, brought her firefighter coworker, Eddie, (played by Ryan Guzman) to a parking lot fight club to work out his anger issues.

But, Ronda wasn't a spectator, she was there to fight -- and her opponent is a giant, bearded tattooed man ... whose face you never really see.

But, when we slowed down the tape, it was obvious that dude is Browne -- a 6'7", 250-pound former UFC fighter!!!

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The fight doesn't go too well for Browne ... Ronda's character easily ducked a few punches before hitting him with a flying knee.

She followed up with a superman punch, slammed his head against a truck, hit him with a judo throw and then obliterated his face with some elbow strikes from the top position.

All in all ... pretty good stuff!!!

Remember, it ain't all glitz and glamour for Rousey ... who seriously JACKED UP her finger in real life while shooting a scene for the show earlier this year.

As for Browne, he was 18-7 as a pro-MMA fighter -- with wins over guys like Matt Mitrione, Fabrício Werdum, Brendan Schaub and Alistair Overeem.

There's been talk Browne could join Rousey as a full-time WWE star in 2020 ... but guess we'll have to wait and see on that one!!!

Kylie Jenner Trademarks 'Rise and Shine'

Kylie Jenner's no fool ... when she sees something that's hot, she tries to own it, which is what she wants to do with the catch phrase, "Rise and Shine."

Kylie filed legal docs asking the feds for ownership of a slang version of the famous wake-up call ... "RIIISE AND SHIIINNEE."

The trademark would cover belts, pants, coats, dresses, footwear, gloves, headbands, headwear, jackets, loungewear, scarves, sleepwear, socks, swimwear and undergarments ... as well as cosmetics.

RISE AND SHIIINE

Kylie did a YouTube tour of her office earlier this month, walked into Stormi's room -- where she was sleeping in her crib -- and began singing "Rise and Shine" to wake her up. It exploded online and the Kardashians/Jenners are nothing if not brilliant business people, so what better ploy than to ride the wave and take advantage.

As we reported, the hashtag #RiseandShine hit a billion views on TikTok earlier this week, making it the fastest spike ever on the platform. She's also already selling sweatshirts with the phrase, and they've sold out ... and you have to imagine, a makeup line is in the works.

Lori Loughlin More Likely to Cop a Plea ... After Felicity's Sentence

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Lori Loughlin may not go to trial after all in her college admissions case, because our sources say there's an opening now for a plea bargain in the wake of Felicity Huffman's superlight sentence.

Multiple sources involved in the various college admissions cases say Lori's big break came with the probation department's sentencing report for Felicity ... specifically, the part where the dept. says no one suffered a loss as a result of the actress's conduct. Prosecutors argued someone who took the SAT was probably denied admission somewhere because Felicity's daughter scored higher than she should have because of a rigged test. Probation said ... not the case.

As we reported, our U.S. Attorney sources tell us prosecutors wanted a year behind bars for Felicity. The fact that they only got 14 days, and the probation department would have been fine with no prison time and straight probation has caused concern for the U.S. Attorney.

Prosecutors, we're told, are worried it will become an embarrassment for the office if Lori goes to trial, gets convicted and gets a short sentence. And remember, Felicity rigged an SAT test that potentially affects every applicant. With Lori, even though she paid way more ($500,000), the bribe didn't really affect anyone else.

Sources with direct knowledge on the subject tell us the U.S. Attorney is open to plea discussions, and that is far more likely now that a possible sentence for Lori could be measured in weeks and not years. Remember, if you look just at the charges, Lori faces a maximum of 40 years. It won't look good if prosecutors go to trial, win a conviction and she gets 3 or 4 weeks behind bars.

So, the smart money now ... plea bargain before trial.

Kevin Hart Livin' That Recovery Life with Jay-Z ... What More Can I Say?!

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Kevin Hart's slowly but surely getting back on his grind, and that includes carving out time to hang with good friends like Jay-Z.

Kev and Jay were out Monday night in Bev Hills with an impressive crew at Avra. The mogul and the movie star kicked it with Murder Inc. honcho Irv Gotti and LeBron James' right-hand man, Maverick Carter.

They all hung out for about 3 hours inside the joint ... where they played poker, broke bread and exchanged hugs on the way out. We're guessing everyone was congratulating Kevin -- who seemed to be moving around well -- on his amazing recovery from last month's scary crash.

As we've reported, Kev continues to get intensive outpatient therapy, and based on this video ... it is definitely working.

Earlier this month, he returned to work to shoot promos for "Jumanji: The Next Level" ... even though he's not 100 percent yet. Check out this video ... his progress is obvious.

Kim K Kanye's Gift for My 39th A Milli for Prison Reform Orgs!!!

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Kim Kardashian just entered the last year of her 30s and as a gift ... her husband, Kanye, got her something she seems to appreciate more than any one material item.

The middle Kardashian sister hit the big 3-9 Monday, and to celebrate ... it appears she kept it relatively low-key with her closest loved ones -- including Ye and the kids. She posted a few videos of what she described as a "home cooked meal" from Carousel Restaurant ... which cooks up Middle Eastern cuisine. KK and co. also had a beignet truck pay 'em a visit.

The biggest revelation came a bit later in the night though, when Kim posted a photo of a letter she'd received ... which said a million-dollar donation had been made in her name.

Kim says Kanye gave the money to her fave charities -- which focus on prison reform, which she's obviously passionate about -- and got the kids in on it too. The charities included Cut 50, Buried Alive Project, Equal Justice Initiative and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.

The idea of a donation as a gift may seem a little Costanza-ish -- remember "Festivus?" -- but these orgs are very much real ... and a million bucks goes a long way toward the cause.

She sure has come a long way, huh? Happy birthday!!!

Barack Obama Power Dinner With Apple CEO and 'The Irishman'

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Barack Obama, Tim Cook and Robert De Niro likely all have a spot on the list of celebs people want to have dinner with ... and the trio was seated at the same table Monday night in NYC.

The former U.S. Prez, the Apple CEO and the movie star met up at Yves restaurant in the City's Tribeca neighborhood for a meeting of the minds ... and we're told they dined for several hours.

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So, the big question here -- other than who picked up the check -- is what the heck did they talk about? Politics? Technology? Movies? Streaming services? De Niro's appearance on CNN last month?

Gotta think they reminisced about that last one for sure.

Anyway, Obama's New York visit's been pretty low-key other than the power dinner -- no big speeches or fundraising galas on the books -- and he's even crashing at a friend's place.

Okay, he's staying at The Greenwich Hotel -- which is owned by De Niro -- but still pretty chill for a former POTUS.

Selma Blair on MS I'm Doing Better Than it Seems ... A Little Patience Helps

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ALL IS WELL
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Selma Blair says she's coping pretty well with her multiple sclerosis a year after being diagnosed, but she got choked up talking about her battle helping others.

We got Selma Monday at LAX, where our camera guy told her just how big of an inspiration she's become since going public with her MS diagnosis. He's not wrong ... she's shared her highs and lows with her fans.

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She tells us she's actually doing well with her treatments -- which have included chemo and a stem cell transplant -- and that, despite her sometimes choppy speech, she's generally been doing great. Selma revealed the toughest part of her public appearances now.

She also opened up about continuing to act. As our guy puts it, she's become a powerful voice for other MS patients. She's still acting FWIW -- Selma was just featured in the new Netflix show "Another Life."

Selma says she hopes she can keep going because she believes it's important for folks to see people with MS and understand ... there's room for all.

It'll just take one secret ingredient from folks ... and Selma shares that with us.

Future New Alleged Baby Mama: Stop Ignoring Me & Your 8th Child!!!

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Future's pulling out (figuratively speaking, that is) all the stops to ghost a new alleged baby mama ... so she claims in a new paternity case alleging he's fathered his EIGHTH CHILD!!!

Cindy Renae Parker has filed legal docs in Nueces County, Texas alleging Future is the father of her 3-month-old son, Legend Ary Wilburn. No, you didn't read that wrong. Anyway ... according to docs, obtained by TMZ, Cindy claims she's made repeated attempts to serve the rapper with papers, but to no avail.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... Cindy says Future agreed to a paternity test but then he went radio silent on her when it came time to get it done. We're told taking Future to court was Cindy's last resort and she wanted to solve this amicably and on their own.

Our sources say Cindy got a judge's permission to serve Future's lawyers in his home state of Georgia ... because cause he's harder to track down than Jimmy Hoffa.

This baby mama drama, of course, is becoming a ritual of sorts for Future. TMZ broke the story ... nearly 2 months ago to the date, Eliza Seraphin filed legal docs in Florida alleging he fathered her 6-month-old daughter.

Eliza, like Cindy, alleged Future ghosted her after she gave birth in April. That case is still pending. No word if Maury Povich has volunteered to offer his services.

We've reached out to Future. So far, no word back.