Taylor Swift Scooter Braun Screws Up Attack Plan at AMAs

TMZ/Getty Composite

Taylor Swift may be locked and loaded to go after Scooter Braun Sunday at the AMAs, but we've learned she'll be talking to an empty chair because Scooter will be thousands of miles away.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... Scooter's not scared of what Taylor might do ... fact is, he never planned on showing up for the show. He'll be in Tampa, Florida supporting one of his artists who's performing there ... in case you're not familiar, her name is Ariana Grande.

As we first told you ... Scooter's getting death threats from loyal Taylor fans in the wake of their idol claiming Scooter and other Big Machine honchos were holding her first 6 albums hostage.

Our sources say Taylor -- who's getting an award for Artist of the Decade -- plans to weave her anger toward Scooter and Big Machine into her acceptance speech, but there won't be awkward cutaways of Scooter, and that kind of deflates the balloon.

And, there's more intrigue ... Ariana and Taylor are both nominated for Artist of the Year and Favorite Female Artist Pop/Rock at the AMAs. It'll be interesting if Ariana wins since she's squarely in Scooter's corner.

The speeches could be super entertaining.

'Jeopardy!' Star Austin Rogers Here's What Some G.O.A.T. Q's Might Be ... Time to Flip the Script!!!


The top 3 "Jeopardy!" contestants to ever win big are going head-to-head (to head) on TV -- and one guy who had a great run thinks he knows what sorta questions will be asked.

We spoke to Austin Rogers -- who had a 12-game winning streak in 2017 -- and he mused with us over what Alex Trebek and his crafty writers are gonna ask Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer come Jan. 7 for "Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time."

It's exactly what it sounds like -- these guys have amassed the most cash out of anyone on the show, and it's time find out who's the true king in a 3-way face-off. As for what'll be asked -- or answered, rather -- Austin tells us the "Jeopardy!" crew will get diabolical.

Fact is, Austin says the writers know exactly how to tailor the topics for these three -- and he believes they'll be throwing pop culture curveballs instead of ancient history softballs.

Check it out -- Austin even weighs in on who he thinks has an edge here among these titans of trivia, and it sounds like our boy, James, is in the driver's seat with his scattered approach in hunting for Daily Doubles ... and his go big or go home wagers.

Good luck, fellas!!!

Kodak Black My Prison To-Do List ... Nietzsche & a College Degree!!!


It looks like Kodak Black is gonna be a superman when he walks out of a federal prison -- that is, if he sticks to his higher education plan, which includes a little nihilistic philosophy!!!

Sources close to the incarcerated MC tell TMZ ... on the heels of getting sentenced to 46 months in prison, Kodak's shooting to get a college diploma by the time he gets out. We're told he's interested in pursuing business and marketing. The federal prison in Florida where he's doing his time offers classes, and he plans to register.

That's not where his learning road ends. Our sources say Kodak's actually planning to take the SAT when he's eventually released in hopes of getting into the University of Florida and earning a bachelor's degree.

Of course, this follows his previous goal of wanting a GED about a year ago while he was locked up. We're told he ended up getting it, BTW.

And, as if biz and marketing reading isn't enough, we're told he'll be supplementing that with some other literature to get his creative juices flowing -- good, old-fashioned Friedrich Nietzche books, in fact. Ah yes, "The Death of God," "The Superman" and "The Will To Power." Heavy stuff, but time's on his side. Sorta.

In addition to his nearly 4-year sentence, Kodak was just hit with two new counts of gun possession last week and could get up to 30 more years for each charge.

We reached out to his lawyer, Bradford Cohen, but he had no comment.

Ol' Dirty Bastard Son Drops $60K for Beer Tribute ... And It's Ale Good!!!

Getty/Circa Brewing Co.

Ol' Dirty Bastard is the inspiration behind a brand of brew courtesy of Young Dirty Bastard ... who says he's getting into the beer biz because his late pops loved a cold one.

The new adult beverage is a honey ale called Young Dirty Brew ... and ODB's kid says he's wanted to honor his father with a drink ever since he first saw his pops sipping on Olde English.

Young Dirty Bastard's rep, Avery "Msartistry," tells TMZ ... the rapper poured in $60,000 to make his childhood dream a reality, and worked with Circa Brewing to stir up the right brew and get if off the ground.

Circa Brewing Co

The late Wu-Tang rapper's probably smiling down on his son. As you can see, Young Dirty Bastard was heavily involved in the brewing process, channeling his father's style along the way.

We're told YDB and his biz partners, Divine Everlasting and Logan Feldman, took about 6 months to perfect their ale, and 100 cases go on sale New Year's Eve in select New York liquor stores, bars and online.

Circa Brewing Co.

Of course, if you get your hands on one ... be sure to pour a little out for ODB.

Guess Who This Karate Kid Turned Into!

This karate kid truly is a triple threat -- he's an actor, singer and musician. He most notably landed a role on the Netflix drama series, "13 Reasons Why." He was born in Evansville, Indiana but mostly grew up in Champaign, Illinois and Los Angeles, where he pursued a career in acting.

He's barely old enough to drink but already he's got a good list of credits to his name ... including "Lost," "Awake," "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy." He also appeared as a super young Charlie Sheen in "Two and a Half Men" and in the popular Nickelodeon show, "Drake & Josh."

Can you guess who he is?

A$AP Rocky No Fear Going Back to Sweden ... But I Ain't Talking Trump!!!


A$AP Rocky says his time behind bars in Sweden is exactly why he's returning to that country -- which seems insane -- but he's on a mission to help the inmates and immigrants he met there.

We got the rapper Tuesday evening outside the swanky Rick Owens clothing store in NYC and asked why in the world he'd go back. A$AP says the month in jail for his assault case opened his eyes to the plight of immigrants. He says he was especially aware of the support he was getting, as a celeb, while some prisoners around him were rotting for 10 months or more before seeing a judge.

He's on a mission to change that. For starters, A$AP says he's donating proceeds from his December 11 concert in Stockholm to an immigrant rights org called FARR, the Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups.


As we first reported ... Rocky was held in inhumane conditions while prosecutors decided whether to charge him for aggravated assault stemming from a street brawl. The case drew worldwide attention ... and even President Trump and his administration got involved.

A$AP was ultimately found guilty but did NOT have to serve any more time behind bars. Rocky wasted no time jetting outta Sweden, and it seemed that would be the last time he'd ever be there -- until Live Nation announced he'd be returning to Sweden next month.


A$AP had said jail was scary and humbling during his first performance in the States after getting back from Sweden. Still, he tells us he's not letting fear hold him back, and even plans to visit an area where police don't go ... just to boost spirits of Swedish immigrants.

There was one topic he did NOT want touch, though. We asked about Trump's efforts to free him, and ... well, just watch. Fair to say, Rocky would rather play a Swedish jailhouse concert than discuss POTUS!


Aaron Carter Goes Nuts in Court ... After Judge Orders Him to Surrender Guns


Aaron Carter lost it in court when a judge ordered him to surrender his firearms.

Aaron was on the losing end of a hearing for a restraining order. His twin sister, Angel Conrad, convinced the judge to issue an order prohibiting Aaron from having any contact with her or her family for a year. Then the judge enraged Aaron, by telling him he's too dangerous to possess guns. He went nuts in court ... screaming at the judge that he would just go out of state and buy more firepower.

TMZ broke the story ... Angel filed docs back in September in L.A. for a domestic violence restraining order after claiming Aaron threatened to send hit men after her. She claimed that during a phone conversation Aaron told her, "I have people that would come and harm you."

Angel said she feared for her life because Aaron was brandishing firearms on social media. She said she also feared for her husband and her daughter.

After the judge lowered the gauntlet on Aaron, he threatened to just get up and leave, but the judge ordered him to sit down.

What's unclear ... whether Aaron will surrender his guns. If he doesn't, the judge could hold him in contempt and throw him in jail. As part of the order, Aaron must also stay away from The Grove shopping center in LA where Angel's husband works.

As we first reported ... Aaron's brother, Nick, also filed for a restraining order against him claiming Aaron had "thoughts of killing babies." Nick claimed Aaron had made the claims during a FaceTime with Angel back in August.

Nick had also said Aaron told Angel he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Aaron's then-girlfriend, Lina Valentina, was there during the conversation and she chimed in, "Angel, how do you think I feel with him sleeping with a sword next to him?" According to the docs, Aaron got furious and said, "Shut up Lina, you are next on my list."


As we reported ... Aaron had wanted court-ordered protection from Lina, but he later decided to drop it and move on. For Aaron's part ... he denies making those statements to his siblings and Lina, adding he just wants them to leave him alone.

Rapper Hoggy Guns Drawn by Several Cops In Stolen Car Mix-Up


A hip-hop artist who was a close friend of Nipsey Hussle's had at least 6 firearms pointed at him by cops ... who mistakenly thought he was a car thief.

Rapper Hoggy, aka BH, was pulled over Tuesday in Beverly Hills after cops ran the plates of the vehicle he was driving ... and discovered it was a stolen rental car.


Video of the crazy incident -- obtained by TMZ -- shows Hoggy standing outside of the car with his hands in the air ... then slowly and carefully backing toward the armed officers. He was then ordered to get on his knees before being detained.

The good news for the rapper ... our law enforcement sources tell us it was determined neither Hoggy nor the person riding in the vehicle with him had anything to do with the car theft.

We're told they were both released without being arrested because they weren't involved in any crime ... but cops kept the car are still trying to get to the bottom of how it turned up stolen.

Hoggy's known for being tight with Nipsey before his death and is signed to the late rapper's label, All Money In. BH included a tribute to Nip in the music video for his summer single, "Trap Pac" ... and featured him in several other tracks, including "Raised Like This."

Kanye West Osteen Appearance Was Ratings Boon!!! ... Biggest Christian Event in Memory

TMZ/Gety Composite

Kanye West's appearance and performance at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church was one of the biggest Christian events in recent memory, with streaming numbers that shattered records.

Kanye's Sunday night service was broadcast across 4 Lakewood-related platforms on Facebook and YouTube with 4.17 million unique viewers total. We're told by comparison, Joel's Sunday morning service usually pulls between 700k and 1.3 million sets of eyeballs.

Lakewood Church

The 4.17 million is certainly impressive, considering Kanye's appearance at Joel's service earlier in the day also amassed hundreds of thousands of viewers. It was also broadcast on SiriusXM radio and will hit television sets in the coming weeks.

People in Christian circles tell us the Kanye collab was one of the biggest faith-fueled events in recent history ... and the effects are still being felt around the community.


It's unclear if any future Ye appearances at Lakewood are currently in the works at this point, but considering how successful this first-go was ...  ya gotta imagine the powers that be are thinking about it.

Kodak Black I Need Drug Rehab While in Prison!!! Shorter Sentence Would Be Nice Too

Breaking News

Kodak Black wants approval to enter a drug rehab program while he's serving his Florida prison sentence -- but he could end up getting more than just clean and sober.

According to docs filed Monday in federal court, the rapper is asking the court to send him to a prison that offers the Residential Drug Abuse Program. The 500-hour program lasts 9 months and involves group therapy, as well as one-on-one treatment.

It also requires all participants to live in a separate unit from the general population -- a pretty clear benefit to a celebrity rapper doing time.

The biggest fringe benefit, though, for Kodak could be shortening his sentence. Upon completion of the program, inmates can get as much as 12 months knocked off their prison bid.

It's an interesting request from Kodak, who -- as we first reported -- claimed last week, someone in his current prison had drugged him, causing him to get involved last month in a prison brawl.

He's serving 46 months right now on federal weapons charges, and still has to deal with a sexual assault case in South Carolina.

The judge still has to approve his rehab request.

Boxing Star Devin Haney Gives Hot Meals, Money To Homeless ... Shrimp, Crab Legs & Cash


Boxing superstar Devin Haney just made $1 MILLION bucks in his last fight -- so he hit the streets of L.A. to share the wealth with people in need ... WE'RE TALKING CASH MONEY!

The 21-year-old WBC lightweight champ loaded up his SUV with everything from shrimp to crab legs and other delicious stuff to serve up some quality meals to people on Skid Row.

"Today, I gave out food on Skid Row," Haney said ... "And, when I ran out of food, I gave money to the ones that didn’t get a plate."

We're told Haney was in town celebrating his birthday -- but instead of accepting gifts, he decided it was more important to help out other people.

Haney is one of hottest young fighters in boxing -- he's 24-0 and coming off a straight beatdown of Alfredo Santiago on the undercard of the KSI vs. Logan Paul fight.

He's got big things in his future ... including a possible superfight with fellow rising superstar Ryan Garcia ... which would be HUGE!

But, in the meantime, good to see Haney giving back to the community ... just because he felt like it.

Jeffrey Epstein's Death 2 Prison Guards Plead Not Guilty ... to Falsifying Records

Breaking News

1:48 PM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the 2 guards have pled not guilty to falsifying records on the night in question. They were released on $100k bail.

Two of the prison guards who were on watch when Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself in his cell are now facing prison time, themselves, thanks to their arrest on a federal indictment.

According to new legal docs ... Tova Noel and Michael Thomas are both facing charges of falsifying the logs of exactly when they performed checks on Epstein's jail cell.

The feds claim Noel and Thomas were 2 of the guards on duty on August 10 from 12 AM to 8 AM, and during their watch, they were supposed to conduct 5 scheduled checks on Epstein.

The 2 guards allegedly completed slips stating they made those checks, but the feds say not a single one was actually carried through. According to the indictment, Noel and Thomas were at their desks in the common area using computers ... just 15 feet from Epstein's cell. BTW, they weren't doing work either ... the feds allege they were shopping for furniture and hunting down motorcycle deals and sports news.

The feds claim for a period of approximately 2 hours, the guards were sitting at their desks "without moving, and appeared to have been asleep."

Epstein was found dead at 6:33 AM alone in his cell with a noose around his neck ... according to the indictment. Both guards allegedly fessed up to a supervisor that they skipped their checks.

As we reported ... Epstein had attempted suicide a couple weeks prior in July, which is why he was placed in a special housing unit requiring extra supervision.

Thomas and Noel are now each facing one count of conspiracy to falsify records. That carried a max sentence of 5 years in prison. Additionally, Noel is charged with 5 counts of falsifying records while Thomas only got 3. Each of those also carries a max sentence of 5 years

Epstein's death was ruled a suicide by hanging according to the autopsy, but as we've reported ... his team has not ruled out a cover-up, and at least one forensic expert claims the autopsy is missing DNA evidence.

Originally Published -- 8:38 AM PT

Tyga's Date Kylie Look-alike Revealed!!!


Tyga's got a type, and TMZ's confirmed she's got a name too ... other than "Kylie Jenner Doppelganger."

As we reported ... the rapper left Delilah restaurant in WeHo Saturday night in a fire red Ferrari with a fire date who looks a lot like his ex. We've learned that's Ana Beatriz Boaretto.

Our sources say the 2 met through mutual friends and have been hanging out since May ... though it's unclear if they're officially dating or not.

Ana's listed as a creative director on Yella Beezy's new music video for "Restroom Occupied," which features Chris Brown. From the looks of it ... she's also an aspiring model.

As for Tyga ... he's been linked to the actual Kylie a couple times lately. The 2 were spotted together at Hyde nightclub on the Sunset Strip last month, and were also in Vegas together at the end of summer.

The sightings fueled some rumors of a rekindled romance, but Kylie shot them down ... and Tyga's letting his actions do the talking.

Montae Nicholson Home Search Pills, Weed & 'Foil With Residue' ... Cops Say

Exclusive Details
Shutterstock Premier

12:49 PM PT -- The search warrant, obtained by TMZ Sports, spells out a disturbing scene at the hospital.

Officials say Montae and another man rolled up to the ER in a black Nissan in the early hours of Nov. 14 -- where hospital staffers "helped remove Miss Crabbe from the Nissan Armada."

They add, "Hospital staff reported that Miss Crabbe appeared to be deceased during the extraction from the Nissan Armada."

Officials say after Crabbe was removed, the two men "exited the area" -- something Nicholson's reps have since disputed. They claim Montae stayed at the hospital to help until her family arrived.

Officials say they reviewed hospital surveillance video to identify Montae and the other man, Kyle Askew-Collins.

Investigators say they found pills, weed and "foil with residue" when they searched the home of Redskins safety Montae Nicholson in connection to the death of a 21-year-old woman.

It's all spelled out in the search warrant obtained by TMZ Sports, which does NOT identify who the drugs belonged to.

In other words, just because the items were found in Montae's home does not mean Montae provided them to the victim, Julia Crabbe.

TMZ Sports broke the story ... Nicholson and another man brought the 21-year-old woman to a Virginia hospital late Wednesday night, where she ultimately died.

Officials believe the cause of death is a drug overdose.

Montae's reps and the Washington Redskins have both said Montae is cooperating with law enforcement.

We're told Montae has NOT been named a suspect and has not been formally accused of any wrongdoing.

However, Crabbe's mother spoke with local news and said she believes Montae "could have done more" to save her daughter.

Cops say they're still actively investigating the death.

Story developing ...

Originally Published -- 12:32 PM PT

Emilia Clarke I Got Pressure for Nude Scenes ... Just to Appease 'GoT' Fans

Armchair Expert

Emilia Clarke says she was pushed to perform in the nude as a young actress getting her start on "Game of Thrones" ... and she's had fights on sets over her refusal to bare all again.

Emilia -- who rose to fame playing Daenerys Targaryen on 'GoT' -- opened up on Dax Shepard's "Armchair Expert" podcast about her experiences with nudity ... explaining that going nude early on Season 1 of 'Thrones' made others assume she was comfortable acting naked.

She says she was told she needed to perform nude so as not to disappoint her 'GoT' fans. Emilia says she fought to keep her body covered by issuing a "f*** you" to folks on set.

It's a pretty fascinating conversation ... Khaleesi says she didn't feel comfortable saying no to a "f***ton" of nudity as a 'GoT' rookie, but eventually learned she could set the barriers on how much she was willing to reveal after working with Jason Momoa, her onscreen love interest.