Roman Polanski Denied by The Oscars ... You're a Freakin' Fugitive!!!

Roman Polanski can't use the courts to sneak back into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ... at least according to Academy's lawyers.

In its response to Polanski's lawsuit -- claiming the Oscar org booted him without proper notice -- the Academy says the disgraced director has no right to use the very same legal system he's been evading since 1978.

He famously fled the U.S. before he could be sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of sex with a minor.

In the docs, the Academy says Polanski's lawsuit -- in which he also demands re-entry to the group -- should be tossed. The Academy also says it did everything by the book when it expelled him.

Bottom line ... Polanski won't be voting on the Oscars anytime soon.

Samuel L. Jackson Sure, Trump's Done More for Black People ... Cuz He's Got The Biggest Plantation!!!

EXCLUSIVE
PRESIDENTIAL PLANTATION
TMZ.com

Samuel L. Jackson says Donald Trump was spot-on when he bragged he's done more for African Americans than Presidents past ... and it's all thanks to Trump's massive "plantation."

We got Samuel L. Monday at LAX and asked him about Trump's shot at Spike Lee in which Trump said, "Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts,etc.) than almost any other Pres!"

Jackson shot back ... essentially calling Trump a slave owner.

THE BIG WIN
ABC

Samuel L. presented Spike with the director's first Oscar Sunday night for "BlacKkKlansman." Lee took a dig at Trump during his acceptance speech, urging voters to "do the right thing" in 2020.

Jamie Foxx Congratulations to Spike ... 1st Oscar Win Was a Long Time Coming

EXCLUSIVE
HARD WORK PAYS OFF
TMZ.com

Jamie Foxx couldn't be happier for Spike Lee after he won his first Oscar ever, because he thinks the honor was long overdue ... and couldn't have gone to someone more worthy.

Jamie shared his thoughts with us Sunday after the show at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and he told us Spike walking up to accept his first Academy Award for "BlacKkKlansman" was one of the best moments of the night. You can see he's truly overjoyed for his pal.

THE BIG WIN
ABC

As an Oscar winner himself, Jamie tells us that hard work -- which Spike has undoubtedly cranked out for years now -- sometimes gets lost in the shuffle ... for a number of reasons, controversies and otherwise.

But, he says the Academy got it right this year, and the fact Samuel L. Jackson was the one to read his name made the moment even sweeter.

Jamie goes on to make a point about big-time Hollywood players who've been in the game for a long time, like himself and Spike. He says they came a long way for the success they've gained ... and he's just ecstatic that Spike finally got his.

Of course, there's at least one person who wasn't happy for Spike ... President Trump. Spike turned his acceptance speech political when he told voters to "do the right thing" in 2020.

Yeah, DT didn't take too kindly to that.

Rami Malek Falls Hard Off Oscars Stage ... Grips His Trophy, Though!!!

Rami Malek's big night at the Academy Awards ended with a bang ... of his body tumbling off the very stage where he won his first Oscar! Let's just say the victory lap went bust.

After the ceremony ended, Rami was up on the stage -- possibly posing for a pic -- when he slipped off the edge and fell hard onto the ground in front of the seats.

You can tell he did his best to hold on to the Best Actor statuette he'd just won for his performance in "Bohemian Rhapsody."

You can see how stunned Rami was as paramedics rushed out to the front row to check on him. But ultimately, Rami was more embarrassed than injured -- he did plenty of interviews afterward and seemed fine.

Queen opened the Academy Awards show with "We Will Rock You" -- so, it seems only fitting that the guy who played Freddie Mercury ended the whole night ... by rock 'n' rolling off the stage.

Kobe & Caitlyn Jenner Hug It Out at Oscars Party ... Tons of Major Athletes

EXCLUSIVE
ATHLETES SHOW OUT
TMZSports.com

Cool moment at the Vanity Fair party after the Oscars ... when Caitlyn Jenner and Kobe Bryant spotted each other on the way out of the event and stopped on the red carpet to hug it out.

Kobe has been a Caitlyn supporter for YEARS -- the NBA legend was one of the first big stars to throw his support behind Caitlyn getting ESPN's Arthur Ashe award at the ESPYs back in 2015.

YOU GOTTA BE YOURSELF
TMZSports.com

Remember, there was controversy surrounding the award at the time with many people claiming there were other people far more deserving.

At the time, Kobe told us he appreciated Caitlyn for educating people about being comfortable being themselves -- "Doesn't matter what walk of life you're in man, you gotta be comfortable being you."

Kobe was at the party with his wife, Vanessa -- who's pregnant with their 4th child.

Other huge stars at the party -- Odell Beckham Jr., Russel Wilson and Ciara.

Kobe is no stranger to the Oscars -- he won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Animated Short for his film, "Dear Basketball."

The flick was based off a poem Kobe wrote to announce his retirement from the NBA back in 2016.

There were other big athletes at the Oscars in 2019 -- including Serena Williams who gave an amazing speech about pursuing dreams while introducing "A Star Is Born."

91st Academy Awards No Host, No Problem ... Presenters & Nominees Mingle Behind the Scenes

There's no host at this year's Oscars ceremony, but everything looks to be going off without a hitch as the presenters gave hugs and kisses to the nominees behind the scenes.

Tons of A-listers were congratulating each other Sunday as nominees accepted their statuettes, including folks like Samuel L. Jackson, Glenn Close, Regina King, Angela Bassett, Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Rami Malek, Spike Lee, Ryan Coogler, Constance Wu, Awkwafina, Chadwick Boseman, Sam Elliott and many, many more.

We gotta say ... the no-host thing is really working out. The show is moving along at a brisk and efficient pace ... and a lot of the presenters have turned out to be pretty damn funny.

They might have a successful formula on their hands here. Check out how this well-oiled machine is plugging along behind the scenes.

Spike Lee Voters, 'Do The Right Thing' in 2020 ... Gets Political at Oscars

THE BIG WIN
ABC

Spike Lee finally won an Oscar on Sunday, but the big takeaway from his acceptance speech was the renowned director telling voters to "do the right thing" in 2020.

Spike took home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his film "BlacKkKlansman," which won him a huge round of applause after many years of being snubbed by the Academy.

He came up and made an impassioned speech that touched on African-American history dating back to 1619, when Africans were first brought to Jamestown, VA as slaves. His thoughts were a bit all over the place as he thanked his family, but he came through very clear at the end when he said the 2020 presidential election was around the corner.

Spike said, "Let's all mobilize, let's all be on the right side of history." He continued, "Make the moral choice between love versus hate. LET'S DO THE RIGHT THING!!!"

BTW, Spike did not mention President Trump's name once, but his message resonated with the audience who gave him a standing O. That's one helluva way to ring in your first Oscar ever.

Congrats, Spike.

Billy Porter Half Tux, Half Gown ... During Oscars' Red Carpet

The Oscars are about to get underway, but heads are already turning for Billy Porter on the red carpet ... who's wearing a tuxedo-gown to this year's award show.

The Broadway performer and gender-fluid artist showed up Sunday wearing a velvet outfit designed by Christian Siriano ... which amounts to one-half tux (up top) and one-half dress (on the bottom). It's certainly a fashion statement, if there ever was one.

What's interesting is that a lot of women have shown up to award shows like this wearing tuxedos over the years, but men conversely doing the same thing hardly ever happens. In fact, actress Elsie Fisher -- who killed it in "Eighth Grade," -- is wearing a tux right now.

As for Billy ... he's known to for his extravagant style and always ends up as a red carpet show stopper at whatever award ceremony he attends. He was donning a pink-lined cape at this year's Golden Globes.

Alfonso Cuaron My Chances on Winning at Oscars? ... Let's Just Play 'What If'

EXCLUSIVE
THE SAFE BET
TMZ.com

Alfonso Cuaron is keeping his cards close to the vest as to whether he thinks he's a lock to win big at this year's Academy Awards ... but he's (somewhat) prepared if he does.

We got the renowned filmmaker at the Independent Spirit Awards Saturday in Santa Monica and asked him if how much we should put down on odds that he cleans up during Sunday's award show. Alfonso is up for Best Director, and his film, "Roma," is expected to take home a lot of prizes -- including, potentially, Best Picture. Needless to say, he could easily sweep.

Alfonso won't tell us one way or another if $100 would be a good bet, but he does play the hypothetical game here. He also tells us how he'll celebrate if he does take home some statuettes this year ... even if he doesn't have an acceptance speech prepared quite yet.

BEHIND THE TIMES
TMZ.com

BTW ... we also spoke with Rosanna Arquette -- and lots of other stars -- at the Spirit Awards Saturday, and she told us that award show was much more progressive than the Oscars, based on which directors were nominated for each respective ceremony.

This ain't a shot a shot at Cuaron by any stretch of the imagination -- he wasn't nominated for Best Director at the Spirit Awards, FWIW -- but it's an interesting commentary on gender parity in the biz.

Stunt Man Wade Eastwood Oscar Does Lights, Camera Why Not Action???

EXCLUSIVE
STUNTED TRADITION
TMZ.com

Wade Eastwood -- one of Hollywood's unsung heroes in charge of stunts -- thinks it's time Oscar started acknowledging his field, 'cause there's no movie magic without the action.

Wade has been a stunt coordinator, as well as a stunt man, on a number of projects over the years -- including 'Mission Impossible' flicks and other blockbuster films -- so we asked him Saturday at LAX how he felt about the Academy snubbing stunt work ... again.

He says it's kinda nuts that Oscars are handed out for just about every other behind-the-scenes category contributing to a film -- makeup, costume design, etc. -- but stunts continue to go unacknowledged year after year ... even though they're arguably responsible for the biggest moments of any given movie, especially action ones.

That said, Wade tells us he's not "an awards crazy guy," so not being recognized by the Academy doesn't bother him all that much. He suggests it would be nice, though.

He also weighs in on which movie this year had the best stunts/action on screen. Considering he worked with Tom Cruise pretty recently, his answer might come as no surprise.

Academy Awards Huge Police Presence ... To Prevent Terrorism, Oscar Stunts

EXCLUSIVE

Whatever money The Academy's saving by bailing on a host this year is apparently being put to good use -- beefing up security to ensure there's not a terrorist attack or other act of violence ... or Oscar hijinks.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the Academy is plunking down close to $150,000 on around 190 additional uniformed police officers to patrol the 91st Academy Awards Sunday at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre. We're told cops will be stationed at posts all around the venue, and LAPD will utilize cameras, plain-clothed officers and help from the feds.

Our sources say another focus will be stopping trespassers and people trying to sneak into the show with false credentials -- there's a zero tolerance policy and anyone busted will be charged with trespassing.

Cops will also be on the lookout for Oscar thieves ... to avoid any sort of fiasco like Frances McDormand dealt with last year.

3/4/18
STEALING THE SHOW

You'll recall ... the actress had her Oscar stolen off a table at The Governor's Ball afterward, and the guy posed with and kissed the award on video. He was quickly caught and booked for felony grand theft.

All of this might explain why Vanity Fair is also spending big bucks -- according to law enforcement -- for its annual Oscars party. We're told the cost for the magazine to shut down streets, hire cops and cover lost parking meter revenue is almost $83k.

Top-notch security ain't cheap.

Robert Kraft Still Partying Amid Prostitution Scandal

NOT FEELIN' THE STING
TMZSports.com

Robert Kraft's facing charges for allegedly soliciting a prostitute in Florida, but he doesn't seem too concerned ... because he's on the opposite end of the country living it up.

We got the New England Patriots owner as he was leaving Barry Diller's pre-Oscars party Saturday afternoon in Beverly Hills ... he hurried to his ride and was mum on being implicated in a prostitution sting Friday.

02/22/19
THE CASE AGAINST KRAFT
WPTV

As we reported ... Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr announced that the 77-year-old Kraft will be charged with 2 counts of "soliciting another to commit prostitution."

Kraft is accused of soliciting a prostitute on at least 2 separate occasions at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Florida roughly a month ago. Investigators say they have videos of the men who paid for sex at the massage parlor -- including Kraft -- and the footage is graphic.

A spokesperson for Kraft has denied that he engaged in any illegal activity.

The scandal's apparently not stopping Kraft from hitting up Hollywood hot spots this weekend, though ... just business as usual.

Lady Gaga Bradley Cooper's Surprise Duet ... During Vegas Show

Lady Gaga had a surprise guest Saturday night in Vegas ... her co-star and director of "A Star is Born" -- Bradley Cooper, and he did not disappoint.

Gaga was performing her 'ENIGMA' show at the Park Theater at Park MGM when Bradley appeared on stage, and people in the crowd went wild.

They sang a duet of their song "Shallow," after B.C. overcame some difficulty in installing his earpiece.

It's a super smart move ... Bradley and Gaga are best up for Oscars -- Best Actor and Best Actress -- and this type of publicity keeps them and the film front and center.

Although the film snagged 7 noms, lots of people think the Academy snubbed Bradley by overlooking him in the Best Director category.

Awkwafina 'Tidying Up' is Awesome ... Marie Kondo's My Girl!!!

EXCLUSIVE
SPREAD THE JOY
TMZ.com

Awkwafina highly recommends the ways of Marie Kondo if you want to be happier and cleaner ... especially if your place is cluttered with clothes and ... old lotions. Seriously.

We got the "Crazy Rich Asians" star at LAX Thursday ... she told us she's jumped on board the organization train, made popular by the Japanese author's new hit Netflix show, "Tidying Up."

Awkwafina's gone through the method -- even talks to all her clothes now -- and said goodbye to things that no longer bring her joy. She says it's done wonders for her place and her mental space.

Maybe that's why she isn't stressing over her movie getting snubbed by the Oscars ... can't say the same for our camera guy.

Shaq Defends Kevin Hart 'He Apologized, Move On'

EXCLUSIVE
TIME TO MOVE ON
@adamglyn

Shaquille O'Neal is calling for people to back off Kevin Hart ... saying he shouldn't have to keep apologizing for his old homophobic jokes and wants everyone to "just move on."

"Some people feel he made a mistake," Shaq said ... "He apologized for his mistake. I always thought comedians were allowed to crack jokes."

"Anyone that knows Kevin Hart should know that anything he said was never malicious."

Of course, Shaq is referring to some of Hart's tweets and stand-up bits from 2009 to 2011 -- when the comic described how he'd react if he found out his son was gay.

"Yo if my son comes home & try's 2 play with my daughters doll house I'm going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that's gay,'" Hart tweeted in 2009.

The material resurfaced after Hart was named the host of the 2019 Academy Awards -- and after a backlash online and a demand for renewed apologies, Hart pulled out of the show and only apologized after stepping down.

"He shouldn't have to keep apologizing," Shaq said ... "He apologized twice."

"People should just move on. Everyone makes mistakes."

Of course, Shaq and Kev go way back -- Hart was a headliner Shaq's All-Star Comedy Jam back in 2009 and they've been friends ever since.

Shaq's not the only big star who's come to Hart's defense -- Ellen DeGeneres also went to bat for the comic ... backing Kev's stance that he's evolved and said it's his right to host the Oscars.

Kevin Hart Chances Are 'Slim' I'll Host Oscars

ROLL THE DICE
TMZ.com

1/9 5:53 AM -- On Wednesday morning, Kevin Hart ended the debate with a hard "no" and said, "There's no more conversation about it ... I'm over that. I'm over the moment."

So, Kevin Hart saying there IS a chance he'll host the Oscars this year ... is one way to take what he just told us in NYC.

Kevin was leaving an Equinox Tuesday in NYC, when he was asked him where's the smart money going IF you're inclined to wager on whether he returns to the Oscars hosting gig. It's the obvious question after he issued a very direct apology Monday to the LGBTQ community for his homophobic remarks in the past.

You gotta see Kevin's response -- he used the word "slim" to describe the chances he'll host, BUT ... he also said a lot of complimentary things about the Motion Picture Academy.

One thing's clear ... if it doesn't happen this year, Kevin's open to hosting the big show sometime in the future.

But again ... he's NOT totally ruling it out for this year.

Originally Published -- 1/8/2019 12:38 PM PT