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Robert Kraft Arrest Warrant Issued In Prostitution Sting ... Kraft Denies Charges

2/22/2019 8:47 AM PST
Breaking News

9:17 AM PT -- A spokesperson for Kraft tells TMZ Sports the NFL owner denies the allegations. 

"We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is a wanted man -- cops say they've issued a warrant for his arrest as part of a recent prostitution, human trafficking sting operation in Jupiter, Florida. 

Cops say 77-year-old Kraft will be charged with 2 counts of "soliciting another to commit prostitution," according to Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr.

Chief Kerr says he was "stunned as everybody else" when he saw Kraft's name as a suspect.

Officials say Kraft is accused of soliciting a prostitute on at least 2 separate occasions at a massage parlor in Florida roughly "a month ago."

Cops say the name of the establishment that Kraft visited is Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter.

Cops say they have obtained evidence from body cam video and surveillance that has been conducted over the last several months.

Officials say Kraft was driven to the spa by a chauffeur. 

The average cost per visit for services is $59 or $79 per hour, according to police. 

Kraft will be charged with a misdemeanor and will have to appear in court. 

So far, no official comment from either Kraft or the New England Patriots. We've also reached out to the NFL, as he will likely face discipline from the league. 

Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the operation -- including Homeland Security, the IRS, the Jupiter P.D., Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and more. 

Officials say the women accused of running the sex trafficking ring operated out of local spas which touted themselves as massage parlors. 

The investigation took roughly 8 months and officials say they've identified more than 100 men suspected of being "Johns."

Robert Kraft bought the Patriots in January 1994 -- and has led the team to 6 Super Bowl championships and 10 AFC championships. 

Kraft is also the owner of Major League Soccer's New England Revolution -- which has been to the MLS Cup Finals in 5 different seasons. 

Kraft was married to Myra Kraft from 1963 to her death in 2011. He dated Ricki Noel Lander since 2012. Ricki has a child but she says Kraft is not the biological father

Kraft is reportedly worth more than $6 BILLION according to Forbes, a fortune that stems from a paper-manufacturing conglomerate, which includes the Rand-Whitney Group. 

Story developing ... 

Jussie Smollett Removed from Final Episodes ... Cast Wanted Him Gone

2/22/2019 7:25 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

7:25 AM PT-- Fox just announced it's scratching Smollett from the end of the current season. The statement says, "The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our EMPIRE family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out."

The statement continues, "We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.”

Fox says Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer all signed off on the decision to remove Jussie.

It's clear they heard the complaints of Smollett's cast members.

Jussie Smollett betrayed the trust of his "Empire" coworkers and damaged the show's image, and now several cast members want him written off immediately ... according to our sources.

We're told many of the "Empire" actors are "f**king furious" and feel if FOX honchos don't fire Jussie, he should quit on his own ... because he doesn't deserve a spot on the hit show.

The feelings of animosity stem from the fact everyone on set had Jussie's back after the "attack," but in light of the new evidence police have laid out ... many of them feel hurt and embarrassed.

We're told almost everyone on set is worried about how Smollett's damaged the show's reputation ... and could continue to do so if he remains part of the cast.

Now, our sources say there are still some cast and crew members who believe Jussie's telling the truth because they can't fathom him pulling off a hoax like this. We're told arguments have erupted over how best to handle the situation.

It seems Smollett is well aware of the dissension on set. TMZ broke the story ... Jussie showed up on set Thursday after the madness outside the court and apologized to everyone, but insisted he's innocent.

We're told he's changed his number because certain pissed off cast members were blowing up his phone. He's only given his new number to the people still in his corner.

Jussie was arrested Thursday and is facing a felony charge of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. He was released from custody after posting a $10k bond and has been ordered to have no contact with the Osundairo brothers.  

Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson says Jussie's dissatisfaction with his "Empire" salary motivated the ruse and claims Smollett was also responsible for the hate letter sent to Fox Studios.

Originally Published -- 1:00 AM PT

Offset & Cardi B Red-y to Paaaaarty For His New Album!!!

2/22/2019 8:04 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Offset and Cardi B sure know how to make an entrance ... flashing diamonds and tons of red for a long night of celebrating.

We got Offset and Cardi out Thursday night heading into 595 North in the ATL for his "Father of 4" album release party. You can tell the Migos rapper was excited to pimp his debut solo album featuring TONS of collabs ... including his wifey, Travis Scott, 21 Savage, J. Cole, Gucci Mane and Quavo.

Once inside ... it was easy to spot the theme -- lots of red to style his new music video, "Red Room." Friends and family were also treated to a little trip down memory lane ... with tons of pics and banners from his childhood hanging from the rafters. There were also home videos playing in the background.

Quavo, Takeoff and Offset's crew -- Pee and Coach K -- from his label, Quality Control Music, also hit up the joint. BTW ... there was also an art installation outside the venue -- a smashed up neon green Dodge Challenger. It's a reference to the horrific car accident Offset survived last May.

We're told the entire crew then hit up OAK in Atlanta for an after-party that went well into the night ... especially since the album officially hit the digital world at 1 AM ET. A nice time was had by all!!

R. Kelly 2 Accusers Testified Before Grand Jury ... One Provided Physical Evidence

2/22/2019 7:22 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

A grand jury in Chicago has heard the testimony from 2 women who allege R. Kelly had sex with minors ... and we've learned one of them also turned over physical evidence.

Sources familiar with the hearing tell TMZ ... one alleged victim testified she was underage when she had sex with the singer in Illinois between 2008 and 2010. We're told she provided prosecutors with physical evidence to back her allegations. We do not know the nature of that evidence.

Our sources say the second woman told the grand jury she had knowledge of sexual encounters between R. Kelly and underage girls, and also corroborated details revealed in "Surviving R. Kelly."

We're told as many as a dozen accusers have come forward and testified before the grand jury since it convened, on the heels of attorney Michael Avenatti unearthing a new sex tape.

The tape allegedly shows R. Kelly engaging in multiple sex acts with a 14-year-old girl.

So far, R. Kelly's lawyer, Steven Greenberg, has said he's unaware of a grand jury being formed. We reached out to the Cook County D.A.'s Office ... so far, no word back.

North West I'm a Cover Girl ... At Age 5!!!

2/22/2019 7:30 AM PST

It was inevitable, but North West is officially a chip off the old block when it comes to fashion ... and she's already landed a magazine cover to prove it.

Kim and Kanye's 5-year-old daughter is the solo star of the cover of WWD magazine's special "Beauty Inc" issue ... with a tagline, "Keeping Up With the Future."

North also has a spread inside the magazine, in which she poses in all sorts of colorful outfits that are guaranteed to make her daddy proud.

The eldest of the new brood of Kardashian West kids might be too young for a boyfriend, but according to WWD ... "North West leads the way as a new generation comes of age."

Can't wait to see what Saint has to say about that.

Jordyn Woods Addresses Elephant in the Room ... 'It's Been Real'

2/22/2019 7:03 AM PST

Jordyn Woods broke her silence on allegedly cheating with Tristan Thompson -- and screwing over her BFF Kylie Jenner's fam -- with an interesting choice of words. Then went right back to biz.

Kylie's ex-bestie showed her face Thursday night at an L.A. launch party for her new line of false eyelashes ... and immediately referenced the scandal by thanking everyone for supporting her "through everything that's going on."

She added, "You know, it's been real ... and Eylure (her co.) has been super real; this has been a project I've been working on for over 9 months right now."

As you know, many Kardashian fans don't want to believe Jordyn could do Khloe like that ... and have even speculated it's all contrived for Kardashian publicity.

Nothing Jordyn said Thursday night even hinted at a denial. As we've reported, she's already moving out of Kylie's guest pad and back into her mom's house.

Kylie made her own public statement Thursday by stepping out in Calabasas with her other (or maybe NEW) best friend.

It's been real, all right.

Jussie Smollett Feds Dispute Police Superintendent ... Not Certain Jussie Wrote Letter

2/22/2019 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says it's a lock -- Jussie Smollett sent that letter 8 days before the "attack" -- but various law enforcement sources tell TMZ the chief overstated things.

Federal law enforcement sources tell us they're still investigating the letter and have drawn no conclusions. Both federal and state law enforcement sources say the operating theory was that the 2 brothers -- Abel and Ola Osundairo -- may have mailed the letter because, when cops raided their apartment and seized magazines, there were pages missing.

We're told authorities are trying to determine if the pages have the lettering found in the letter. They're also checking the postage stamp against the stamps found in the brothers' apartment. As we reported, the brothers deny sending the letter

Obviously, if the brothers sent the letter, it comes back to Jussie -- because they would have done it at his behest -- but as one federal law enforcement source tells TMZ, "I think he [Johnson] went too far. We're not there yet."

The FBI tells TMZ they are assisting Chicago PD in determining who sent the letter. We asked repeatedly if they are conducting an independent mail fraud investigation, but they will neither confirm nor deny. 

Rihanna Takes Rich BF to Lakers Game ... Team Delivers Comeback Victory

2/22/2019 6:42 AM PST
Breaking News

You think LeBron James and the Lakers were gonna let Rihanna down on the night of her birthday celebration???! Hell no!!

RiRi took her superrich Saudi boyfriend to Staples Center on Thursday to cheer on her favorite NBA player on the night after her 31st birthday ... and the team delivered one heck of a gift!!!

Check out the pics of Rihanna and Hassan Jameel in a private box -- going berserk as the Lakers came back from 19 down to beat the Houston Rockets ... one of the hottest teams in the NBA. 

Of course, Jameel is a bit of a baller himself --  in 2017 his family was reportedly worth $2.2 BILLION -- which made them the 4th richest family in the Arab world. 

Jameel started dating Rihanna in 2017 and by the looks of these pics, they're still going strong. 

Other huge stars at the game -- "Wheel of Fortune" star Pat Sajak, Denzel Washington, French Montana and Jimmy Iovine

They picked a great game to attend -- the Lakers were getting destroyed for the first 3 quarters before LeBron activated "playoff mode" and went nuclear on everyone ... exploding for 29 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. 

The Lakers ended up winning the game 111 to 106 -- boosting the Lakers' record back to .500. 

Meanwhile, the Rockets' James Harden extended his 30-point game streak to 32 games, the 2nd longest 30-point streak in NBA history. 

By the way, Lakers officials gifted Rihanna her very own customized "Bad Girl RiRi" Lakers jersey, but she didn't wear it ... instead, opting to rock her #23 LeBron James threads. 

One last thing ... every year LeBron has won an NBA title, Rihanna has dropped a new album -- and there are rumors she's working on a new album right now. 

So, good juju for the Lakers? 

Charles Barkley Rips Jussie Smollett 'Shoulda Just Went to Liam Neeson's Neighborhood'

2/22/2019 6:03 AM PST
Breaking News

Charles Barkley WENT OFF on Jussie Smollett on "Inside the NBA" on Thursday -- saying if the actor really wanted to be a hate crime victim, he shoulda just gone to Liam Neeson's neighborhood. 

It's just one of SEVERAL shots Barkley took at the "Empire" actor during the show -- but it was definitely the strongest. 

Remember, Liam Neeson recently revealed that he once grabbed a weapon and went hunting for a "black bastard" in Northern Ireland after a friend of his claimed she was raped by a black man. 

People RIPPED Neeson for the comments -- because it's racist as hell -- but now he's become the punchline for Barkley's Jussie Smollett jokes. 

"Jussie ... you wasted all that damn time and money! You know what you shoulda did? Just went out into Liam Neeson's neighborhood! Coulda solved all your damn problems."

The guys also aired a fake $3,500 check -- like the one Jussie supposedly gave to two brothers to beat him up. Barkley laughed wildly while that one aired.

There's more ... Charles addressed the viewers: 

"America, let me just tell you something. Do not commit crimes with checks! If you're gonna break the law, do not write a check! Get cash man!!

That's when Shaq finally stepped in and told Barkley to shut it down. 

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Dr. Drew Jussie Smollett's Got a Character Issue ... Not a Mental Health Issue

2/22/2019 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Dr. Drew -- like the rest of the world -- is having trouble processing why Jussie Smollett would stage an "attack" ... but one thing's clear to the doc ... it's more about character than mental health. 

The doc was out and about Thursday in NYC and raised the issue of Jussie going to a rehab facility, in light of the actor confessing in court documents he has a drug problem. Fact is ... criminal defense lawyers often put their clients in rehab to mitigate the possibility of a harsh sentence in the event they're convicted. It wouldn't be surprising if Jussie enters such a facility sooner rather than later.  

Drew also bristles at the notion Jussie's done in the Hollywood community. Not only does he see a future for the actor ... he thinks he deserves a future, because everyone screws up.

Blac Chyna Soulja Boy's Thirsty, Immature ... His Breakup Response Proves It!!!

2/22/2019 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Blac Chyna is blasting Soulja Boy for trying to sex shame her after their breakup ... and she's hitting him where it hurts!!!

Sources close to Blac Chyna tell TMZ ... Soulja Boy's an immature, thirsty clout chaser who was begging to get with her, and she's glad their relationship is dunzo!!!

We're told BC's anger stems from SB's response to TMZ breaking the news of their split. In a since-deleted tweet, Soulja Boy said he "just wanted to see what the p***y felt like."

Yeah, Draco really went there. 

Our Chyna sources say she's happy Soulja Boy's out of her life because the tweet showed his true colors. We're told she felt his reaction was the lowest of the low, and utterly ridiculous.

As we reported ... Soulja Boy was super romantic and sweet while lavishing Chyna with $20,000 in gifts during a Valentine's Day shopping spree ... but it appears he left his manners in Beverly Hills.

Peyton Manning Topless & Hairless In Miami Beach Football Sesh

2/22/2019 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Judging by Peyton Manning's beach bod, no football and a ton of Nationwide commercials does a body good!!!

Check out the retired 42-year-old on the beach in Miami this week -- tossin' around a football with his kids ... and showing off his shirtless, hairless physique. 

Look, he's no Cam Newton ... but he's in pretty damn good shape for a guy who's been retired for nearly 3 years!!!

Check the vid ... dude's flashing bulky traps, decent biceps, faint abs -- and yeah, the cannon arm is still there too!!!

Of course, Peyton quit the NFL after winning the Super Bowl in 2016 (following the 2015 season) -- ending one of the most impressive careers in the history of the league. 

It all begs the question ... is his bod better than Tom Brady's right now???

A shirtless TB12 was spotted on vacation with Gisele in Costa Rica just last week ... you be the judge.

Peyton is a surefire 1st ballot Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible in 2021. 

Besides winning 2 Super Bowls (1 with the Indianapolis Colts, 1 with the Denver Broncos) ... he was a 14-time Pro Bowler, 7-time 1st team All-Pro and was the NFL MVP 5 times!!!

Plus, he led the NFL in passing yards 3 different seasons ... and was No. 1 in passing TDs in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2013. 

Peyton's little bro, Eli Manning, is still in the league -- but at 38 years old and following a less-than-stellar 2018 campaign ... the Giants QB might be joining his brother on the beach in the near future

Guess Who This Striped Sweetie Turned Into!

2/22/2019 12:01 AM PST

Before this happy human was a famous actor known for his luscious locks, he was just another kid smiling for the camera in Cypress, California. Can you guess who he is?

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