Morgan Wallen Back On Stage in Nashville ... After N-Word Incident

5/19/21
BACK TO WORK
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Morgan Wallen's clawing his way back from the racial slur controversy ... and he's got Kid Rock to thank for getting him back on a stage to perform live.

Morgan was at Kid's Big Ass Honky Tonk bar Wednesday night in Nashville and got on the mic in front of what looked like a packed house. This was his first time singing since he was seen in January casually dropping the n-word at the end of a drunken night with friends, and you can tell he had some nerves.

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Of course, the crowd went nuts when Morgan was introduced ... folks were screaming his name as he walked on stage, and almost immediately acknowledged he might be a little rusty.

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He seemed to work it all out though ... as he performed a couple of his hits, "Wasted On You" and "Whiskey Glasses."

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PROFANE GOODBYE
TMZ.com

TMZ broke the story ... Morgan was recorded by a neighbor after a wild night out in Nashville back in January casually calling a buddy the n-word.

The fallout from the video was swift -- award shows, merchandise websites and radio stations banned Wallen. However, his album sales actually skyrocketed and he continued dominating the charts.

Morgan's had folks in his corner in the wake of the controversy ... with billboards popping up last month in Nashville pushing for him to win Entertainer of the Year at the ACM Awards, even though the Academy banned him from the competition.

Wallen said he was working on himself and wasn't planning any summer tour dates ... but it will be interesting to see if he changes course after getting back on stage and feeling the love.

'Tiger King' Park Feds Seize 68 Cats from Jeff Lowe

Nearly 70 cats from Jeff Lowe's "Tiger King" Park alleged to be endangered and abused have been seized by the feds.

The massive operation corralled 68 animals, including lions, tigers, lion-tiger hybrids and a jaguar from Jeff's zoo in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The feds say the seizure was part of an ongoing probe for Endangered Species Act violations.

According to the feds ... the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service conducted 3 inspections of the park since mid-December 2020, and during those inspections, the Lowes "received citations for failing to provide the animals with adequate or timely veterinary care, appropriate nutrition" and shelter that allows for normal behavior and protects them from bad weather.

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TIGER TAKEDOWN
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What's more ... the feds say Lowe was supposed to employ a qualified veterinarian and establish a program of veterinary care that meets the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act, but Lowe's been found in contempt after months of non-compliance with court orders requiring him to do so.

The feds say they'll work "to ensure that [the animals] go to responsible animal preserves where they can be safely maintained rather than exploited."

TMZ broke the story ... the feds descended on Jeff's park earlier this week with a search warrant. During the raid ... Jeff was told to stay inside his house or he'd be arrested.

This week's raid had been the second time this month the feds had shown up. Jeff said they showed up a few weeks ago to haul several of his hybrid big cats -- animals he claimed were not protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Paul Mooney Comedic Legend Dead at 79

Paul Mooney -- the longtime comedian, writer and actor known best for his work with Richard Pryor -- has died from a heart attack ... TMZ has learned.

According to his family ... Mooney died Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland. We're told the paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive him after he suffered a heart attack.

Paul, who's been out of the public eye for a few years, had also reportedly been suffering from dementia for some time and was staying with a family member.

Though born in Louisiana, Mooney moved to Oakland and grew up there, and got his start in entertainment as a circus ringmaster ... which led to a passion for telling and writing jokes.

This led to his first professional gig in show business as a writer for Pryor, and the 2 would maintain a working relationship for years to come ... with Paul contributing to Richard's legendary stand-up performances such as 'Live on the Sunset Strip.'

Mooney was also the head writer on "The Richard Pryor Show" and wrote a few episodes of "Pryor's Place." His other notable writing credits include "Sanford and Son," "In Living Color" and "Chappelle's Show."

As an actor, Paul's best known for playing Sam Cooke in the 1978 film, "The Buddy Holly Story," and for his role as Junebug in Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" ... along with regular appearances on "Chappelle's Show."

12/21/09
LAST TIME WE SAW HIM ...
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Paul was 79.

RIP

Demi Lovato I'm Non-Binary Changes Pronouns to They/Them

BIG REVELATION
4D with Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato has an announcement about their personal life -- as they launch something new professionally -- and it's that Demi now identifies as non-binary, and therefore they're changing pronouns.

The singer revealed Wednesday they are happy to share the very personal moment on their "4D with Demi Lovato" podcast. Demi said, "Over the past year and a half I've been doing some healing and some self-reflective work. And through this work I've had the revelation that I identify as non-binary. With that said, I’ll officially be changing my pronouns to they/them."

Demi went on to say changing their identification best represents the fluidity they feel in their gender expression ... while allowing them to feel most authentic and true.

The singer's first episode will explore how excited they are and what this change means. They will also explore what it may look like for other people going through the same journey.

As we've reported ... the "Sorry Not Sorry" hitmaker recently shared their personal struggles with mental health and addiction in the stunning YouTube documentary "Dancing with the Devil," which followed their journey prior to and following a near-fatal overdose in 2018.

The film was also the first time they opened up publicly about sexual and gender fluidity.

Marilyn Manson Sued You Bragged About Raping Women

2:59 PM PT -- A member of Manson's team vehemently denies any accusations of assault.

Marilyn Manson treated his former assistant like crap and bragged to her about getting away with raping women -- that's her claim in a new lawsuit, anyway.

The shock rocker is being sued by Ashley Walters for sexual assault, battery and harassment and she's making some disturbing allegations. According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, Walters claims Manson once told her during a video shoot he "loved when girls looked like they had just been raped."

In the suit, Walters also claims Manson would regularly direct drug-fueled fits of rage towards her, and she says he even boasted about getting away with rape. She also claims he told her he wanted to kill women he was seeing.

Manson's former assistant claims the alleged harassment started the moment she first met Manson in person in May 2010, saying he invited her to his West Hollywood home, requested she take off her top and pinned her on a bed ... trying to kiss her before biting her ear and forcing her hand down his pants.

In docs, Walters claims when Manson ended his relationship with "Game of Thrones" star Esme Bianco in June 2011, Esme told her to get out of his house because Esme thought Manson "would be dangerous." As we reported, Esme has filed her own lawsuit against Manson for sexual assault.

In the suit, Walters claims Manson became enraged and fired after finding out she'd been hanging out Esme. She alleges he rehired one week later, and eventually began berating her and made her work for 48 hours straight ... including standing for 12 hours on a chair without moving while snapping pictures of him.

She says Manson eventually fired her for good in October 2011 but continued to physically and verbally threaten her.

We reached out to Manson's camp ... so far, no word back.

Originally published -- 2:35 PM PT

Justin Hartley There's a New 'Us' ... Marries Sofia Pernas!!!

Justin Hartley wasted very little time getting remarried ... he's tied the knot with Sofia Pernas less than 3 months after his divorce was finalized.

The "This is Us" star and his new bride signaled their big news Sunday night as they showed up for the MTV Movie & TV Awards ... both rocking some new jewelry on their ring fingers.

Turns out the couple recently got hitched, according to People. No word yet on exactly when they tied the knot, but there had been rumors earlier this month after they were spotted in Malibu wearing what appeared to be wedding rings with bands.

As we reported ... Justin and Sofia made their relationship publicly official on New Year's Eve with dual social media posts, but were first linked about a year ago when they were spotted smooching in L.A.

About 6 months before that, near the end of 2019, Justin abruptly filed for divorce from Chrishell Stause after 2 years of marriage. To make matters even more interesting ... Sofia's a former costar of Justin's on "The Young and the Restless," just like Chrishell was!

We broke the story ... Justin and Chrishell's divorce was finalized in February, and though she was also dating someone else for a bit -- 'DWTS' star Keo Motsepe -- they've since split.

Atlanta Falcons Imposter Dupes Ex-College Star W/ Tryout Hoax ... 'Heartbreaking'

Some scumbag tricked a former college football star into believing he had a tryout with the Atlanta Falcons ... and the guy says he was heartbroken and embarrassed when he learned it was all a hoax.

Juantarius Bryant -- an Austin Peay alum who was a 1st-team all-conference DB in 2019 -- says the horrible incident all went down last week after his phone rang with a 404 area code on the other line.

Bryant says the person claimed to be Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees ... and asked him to travel to Atlanta for a Falcons tryout on May 12.

The problem? When Bryant showed up to the facility ... he says the Falcons told him they never called.

And, when he put two and two together and realized what had happened, he says was crushed.

"It's definitely one of the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to me and a very humbling experience," Bryant said in a lengthy statement on Twitter.

"Just want to apologize to everyone and the Atlanta Falcons organization for the mix up. I honestly thought it was a legit opportunity on my end."

Bryant was a star at Austin Peay, playing in 43 career games and logging 242 total tackles, but went undrafted following his senior year in '19.

He's been trying to latch on with an NFL team ever since ... and says the whole experience with the Falcons imposter was "heartbreaking."

"I do not know or understand why this has happened, but I do know that everything happens for a reason," Bryant said.

Bryant though, remained hopeful his NFL dream would come true someday... adding, "I'm still striving, and still in the best shape of my life."

"When the opportunity presents itself, I will be ready."

Train Derailment Cars Burst Into Flames in Iowa ... Mass Evacuations Underway

Mass evacuations are currently underway in northwest Iowa -- where a train derailment has sent its cars bursting into flames ... and hazmat crews storming in.

The accident appears to have occurred just a short time ago near the city of Sibley, where black smoke has been billowing for several minutes now. Somebody nearby captured footage of the crash, and you can see spouts of flames coming up from behind a building.

Several different rescue crews are en route, as there are concerns the train might've been carrying flammable liquid ... which would explain the fire that's growing on site. Word is that authorities are clearing the area within a 5-mile radius ... so a massive hazard's unfolding.

Another person captured a photo from further away showing the damage, and it appears a massive pile-up occurred during the derailment. Unclear what might've caused it to get off the tracks in such violent fashion, but this isn't the first wreck like this, this week.

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A Union Pacific train derailed in south Minnesota Saturday, with a huge pile-up of cars there as well, with upwards of 28 cars falling off the track. And even earlier in the week, there was a report of yet another derailment in Missouri -- where six cars came loose and spilled into a main road.

Reports of any injuries or fatalities from this latest disaster in Iowa haven't surfaced -- but we're monitoring for updates.

Story developing ...

Tiger on the Loose The Cat's Been Found!!!

HAPPY AND HEALTHY!
@houstonpolice / Twitter

The tiger hunt is over ... the big cat is fine, though super stressed out.

The 175-lb Bengal Tiger was not found ... it was turned in by a woman named Gia, who is the wife of the guy who was arrested earlier this week -- Victor Cuevas, who claimed the tiger didn't belong to him.

The 9-month-old tiger, whose name is India, was the subject of a massive search last week after it was spotted roaming a Houston neighborhood.

The Houston PD posted a vid of India ... bejeweled in a turquoise collar. The tiger's still kinda a baby ... it was being bottle-fed, but don't let that fool you -- fully grown, India will weigh 600 lbs.

HPD Chief Ron Borza said Gia led authorities to a tennis club where India was being kept.  Apparently, the tiger was moved around some over the last week. Chief Borza said the tiger was stressed out and agitated, adding, "The animal likes attention."

5/9/21
TIGER TAKES ON THE SUBURBS
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Borza said Gia knew the entire week where India was, so it calls into serious question what her husband, Victor Cuevas maintained ... that he did not own the cat.

No charges have been filed, and cops don’t know how the alleged owner, Cuevas, came into possession of India, Borza said.

ABSURD ASSUMPTIONS
Fox 26

Cuevas was arrested last week, but not for tiger possession ... he was picked up on an unrelated murder charge.

No charges have been filed in connection with the tiger ... at least not yet.

India will be sent to the Cleveland Armory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, TX ... which is 3 hours away from Houston.

Chief Borza had a funny comment ... "I think the public thought it would be easy to catch a tiger, but it wasn't at all." No kidding.

Prince Harry Royal Aides Reportedly Say You Don't Like the Fam, Lose the Title!!!

The Royal Family reportedly has had it up to HERE with Prince Harry trashing them publicly, and they think he's not acting like a prince, so he shouldn't have that title.

Royal aides are angry Harry's been lashing out, most recently at his dad ... this according to Daily Mail sources. The report came out after Harry went on Dax Shepard's podcast and said his dad caused him great pain and suffering. He does go on to say Prince Charles endured the same trauma because it's "genetic" in the Royal Family, but vowed he would break that cycle with his own kids.

BREAKING THE CYCLE
Armchair Expert

Harry is speaking out on mental health issues -- he's got a new doc about it with Oprah -- but apparently, his message has fallen on deaf ears over at the Palace.

DM sources said, "The Duke of Sussex has now spent a significant amount of time emphasizing that he's no different to anyone else and attacking the institution which he says caused him so much pain.  There is a growing feeling that if you dislike the institution that much, you shouldn't have the titles."

As for the "genetic" abuse, the Royal aide lashed out, saying, “People are appalled that he could do this to the Queen when the Duke of Edinburgh is barely in his grave."

As you know, Harry and Meghan Markle also accused the family of racism, with someone (or multiple people) worrying Archie's skin might be "too dark." They didn't name names, but by eliminating the Queen, lots of folks believe they were accusing Philip, William and/or Charles of making the comment.

Harry acknowledged during the Oprah interview he has major issues with his dad and his brother.

ECW Star 'New Jack' Dead At 58 Suffered Heart Attack

New Jack a.k.a. Jerome Young -- former ECW pro wrestling star -- died at the age of 58 on Friday after suffering a heart attack, his family announced.

Young was multiple-time tag team champion during his days with Extreme Championship Wrestling in the mid-'90s... and was often celebrated for his reckless abandon inside the ring (and well, from the balcony).

As a result of his wild style -- getting hit with chairs, busting through tables, using weapons in the ring -- NJ dealt with a litany of injuries throughout his career.

While wrestling in ECW, "Natural Born Killaz" by Ice Cube and Dr. Dre famously played during his matches.

New Jack split from ECW when the promotion closed up shop in 2001 ... but the controversial wrestling star continued to occasionally wrestle over the years.

The pro wrestling world is weighing in on the loss ... with X-Pac sharing a photo with New Jack, and writing, "I couldn't help but love New Jack. #RIPNewJack"

New Jack is survived by his wife Jennifer ... with whom he lived in North Carolina.

R.I.P.

Tom Brady Week 4 Return To NE ... Tix For Big Game Going For Absurd Prices!!!

8:48 AM PT -- Even Brady himself is fired up for the matchup ... the G.O.A.T. just tweeted about the big game, writing, "It’s like when your high school friends meet your college friends."

A ticket to see Tom Brady play against Bill Belichick could cost ya a small fortune ... with even nosebleed seats for TB12's return to New England already running for $1,000-plus!!!

The Tampa Bay Bucs and New England Patriots released their schedules Wednesday evening ... revealing the future Hall of Fame QB will come back to Foxboro in Week 4 on Oct. 3.

The matchup is a HUGE one -- it's already slated for the league's Sunday Night Football tilt that week -- and according to ticket experts, a seat at the game could rival Super Bowl prices.

"It could be close to $1,000 just to get into the nosebleeds upstairs," John Higgins, who owns Higs Tickets, told WBZ this week.

"It could be a record for an NFL game that’s not a Super Bowl."

Popular ticket website, TickPick, backs up Higgins' claims ... the cheapest seat available there is currently selling for over $1,400!!

And, demand is only expected to increase as the game draws closer.

Of course, demand for NFL tickets is already through the roof ... after all, most people have been locked out of stadiums since the 2019 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But still, Brady coming back to the place where he won SIX Super Bowls is historic ... and will clearly cost an arm and a leg to see in person.

Five months 'til kickoff ... better start saving now!!

Originally published -- 7:52 AM PT

Wayne Gretzky Famous Lenny Dykstra Mansion Sells For $17.6 Mil. ... $4 Million Profit!!!

Wayne Gretzky's California mansion has a new owner (again) -- the Great One just sold his awesome pad (again) for $17.6 million ... resulting in a whoppin' $4 million straight to his pocket!!

As we previously reported, the hockey legend listed the Thousand Oaks property for $23 million back in October 2020 ... marking the second time he put the mansion on the market.

Of course, the history behind this gem is a bit wild, so follow along:

Gretzky built the 6-bedroom, 8-bathroom house back in 2002 ... and sold it to ex-MLB star Lenny Dykstra 5 years later.

But, Lenny's time with the baller crib came to an end after he filed for bankruptcy in 2009 ... with the home going to a new owner at a foreclosure auction in 2010.

Gretzky turned around and re-bought the insane mansion in 2013 for $13.5 million ... before deciding to move on from the 13,300-square-foot estate for good this month for $17.6 million, according to reports.

The lucky buyers -- Eric and Joanna Miller -- are getting all the bells and whistles -- a screening room, gym, game room, office, championship tennis court, outdoor entertainment area, wood-burning pizza oven, wood and gas barbecue, and formal gardens, according to the listing from Arvin Haddadzadeh of The Agency.

FYI -- Joanna is the daughter of disgraced former L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling (who happens to be a billionaire) ... so safe to say the new owners probably won't have the same issues as Dykstra this time around.

Novak Djokovic Goes Off On Umpire In Meltdown At Italian Open

Novak Djokovic lost his cool on the court in a BIG way Tuesday ... going off on an umpire in an epic meltdown -- and the entire tantrum was captured on video.

It all went down at the Italian Open in Rome, when Djokovic got upset with an umpire for letting his match with Taylor Fritz go on despite heavy rain.

In video from the court, Djokovic can be heard exploding on the ump ... "How much more do you want to play?!"

Novak was fuming over the clay court's conditions under the falling rain ... and when the ump responded, "I want to check the court," Djokovic continued to yell.

"I asked you three times!" the world's #1-ranked tennis player said. "You're not checking anything!"

The two exchanged more words ... before Djokovic ultimately walked off the court and sought cover in the tunnel area.

The match was eventually suspended due to the weather a few minutes later.

Of course, this is far from Djokovic's first outburst on the court ... just three months ago at the Australian Open, he demolished his racket after botching a play.

And, just a few months before that, he was DQ'ed from the U.S. Open for angrily hitting a ball that struck a lineswoman in the head.

Djokovic apologized for that outburst ... and vowed to be better.

Bob Baffert I May Have Given Horse Banned Substance ... Unwittingly!!!

Bob Baffert believes he's figured out why his Kentucky Derby-winning horse Medina Spirit tested positive for a banned substance ... and it all may stem from a case of dermatitis.

As we previously reported, Medina Spirit was popped for betamethasone in a post-race test ... begging the question, did Baffert cheat to win?

Bob issued a new statement Tuesday morning explaining why he believes MS tested positive ... and insists it has NOTHING to do with cheating.

Baffert says Medina Spirit developed a skin condition called dermatitis following the Santa Anita Derby back in April ... so he took the horse to a vet to get checked out.

Bob says the vet "recommended the use of an anti-fungal ointment called Otomax. The veterinary recommendation was to apply this ointment daily to give the horse relief, help heal the dermatitis, and prevent it from spreading."

Bob says his barn followed the recommendation and Medina Spirit was treated with the medication "once a day up until the day before the Kentucky Derby."

But here's the rub ...

"Yesterday, I was informed that one of the substances in Otomax is betamethasone."

"While we do not know definitively that this was the source of the alleged 21 picograms founds in Medina Spirit's post-race blood sample, and our investigation is continuing, I have been told by equine pharmacology experts that this could explain the test results."

In other words, Bob now seems to open to the fact he may have unwittingly given his horse a banned substance.

Question is ... shouldn't a legendary, experienced trainer know if there's a banned substance in medication before administering it?

Pro athletes in other sports are responsible for what they put in their bodies ... so shouldn't horse trainers share the same burden?

Bob has been suspended by Churchill Downs in Kentucky pending the results of a formal investigation -- but he insists Medina Spirit will run at the Preakness in Maryland this weekend and has threatened legal action if event organizers try to block him.

Tampa Bay Lightning Start 3 Black Forwards ... '1st Time Ever In NHL History'

History was made on the NHL ice Monday night ... the Tampa Bay Lightning started an all-Black line, and it's believed to be the first time an NHL team has EVER done that.

Daniel Walcott, Gemel Smith and Mathieu Joseph -- who are all Black -- started at the center and wing spots for TB in their game against the Panthers ... and the scene was awesome.

The trio logged a ton of ice time -- all 3 dudes played over 10 minutes each in the contest -- and they were praised by the Lightning broadcast team for their efforts in the game.

"There's another look at Daniel Walcott, playing with Mathieu Joseph and Gemel Smith," Lightning play-by-play man Dave Randorf said in the 2nd period.

"First time ever in NHL history they have started an all-Black line in this league. A big, historic moment tonight for sure."

Walcott and Smith aren't regulars on the Lightning roster -- Smith has played sparingly this season and Walcott was playing in his 1st-ever NHL game -- but Mathieu was SUPER fired up to have gotten the start with the guys nonetheless.

"Honestly, it was pretty awesome," Joseph said ... adding, "I think it’s a step in the right direction and obviously you got to thank the coaching staff for that, it was their call."

"But, it was definitely fun to have some progress and clearly it's a process over this, but seeing that, and I don’t know if it was the first, but I think it was great to see and I’m glad I was part of it."

The Lightning wasn't able to get the win -- they dropped the contest 4-0 ... though Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper was certainly pleased with his starting group's effort.

"They deserve to be here and have worked their tails off," the coach said of the three. "To have them all together, they had a little chemistry. Moving forward in the league, you hope it isn't a story anymore and will be the norm. It was a pretty cool moment for all those guys."

Added Walcott, "Coop did something really special here to promote this for young kids."

Indeed!

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