The former actress -- who is now Dean of the HBCU's Fine Arts College -- sent a letter to Howard U students Friday, which flat-out said she was sorry for her controversial remark ... this in the wake of Cosby having his conviction overturned, and being released from prison.
In the letter, which has been making the rounds online, Phylicia writes, in part, "This week, I tweeted a statement that caused so much hurt in so many people -- both broadly and inside the Howard community. I offer my most sincere apology. I have since removed that upsetting tweet."
She goes on ... "My remarks were in no way directed towards survivors of sexual assault. I vehemently oppose sexual violence, find no excuse for such behavior, and I know that Howard University has a zero-tolerance policy toward interpersonal violence."
PR continued by saying that she intends to undergo training to reinforce HU protocol and practices as it relates to all this -- and also asked the HU community for its forgiveness, promising to do a lot of listening and learning so she can become a stronger ally to sexual assault survivors and anyone else who's suffered at the hands of an abuser.
You'll recall ... Phylicia was ecstatic at the news of Cosby's case being thrown out, initially writing ... "FINALLY!!! A terrible wrong is being righted - a miscarriage of justice is corrected!" She faced immediate backlash for her comment, following up by saying her tweet wasn't aimed at sexual assault survivors ... but she kept the Cosby tweet up nonetheless, which simply didn't square. Even after HU admonished her formally, she still left the tweet up.
I fully support survivors of sexual assault coming forward. My post was in no way intended to be insensitive to their truth. Personally, I know from friends and family that such abuse has lifelong residual effects. My heartfelt wish is for healing.— Phylicia Rashad (@PhyliciaRashad) June 30, 2021 @PhyliciaRashad
Looks like someone higher up finally got in her ear and told her the truth -- which is, you can't openly support Cosby and sexual assault survivors at the same time. So, pick one ...
As for how she really feels ... it's anyone's guess. She's done several interviews in recent years which certainly make it seem like she was squarely in Cosby's corner -- and appeared to consider the pileup of allegations against him in the late 2010s a witch hunt, of sorts.
Britney Spears made a compelling case that the conservators have abused her and upended her life, but we've learned the conservators are going to present a very different story to the judge.
Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ, various people involved in different elements of the conservatorship claim Britney's story doesn't mesh with the facts.
For instance, Britney told the judge last week she was forced to go on her 2018 European tour. She said, "I was on tour in 2018. I was forced to do ... my management said if I don't do this tour, I will have to find an attorney and by contract, their own management could sue me if I didn't follow through with a tour. He handed me a sheet of paper as I got off the stage in Vegas and said I had to sign it. It was very threatening and scary. I couldn't even get my own attorney, so out of fear, I went ahead and did the tour."
Sources connected to the conservatorship tell TMZ, people involved in the tour will tell a very different story at the next court hearing. We're told they will say the following ... when Britney was at the tail end of her Vegas "Piece of Me" residency, she realized "she had nothing on her calendar for almost all of 2018. She then asked Management to find something for her to do so she wouldn't be bored for a year."
The sources claim Management came back to her and suggested a European tour, adding, "She literally begged to do the 2018 European Tour run. She was very excited about it and called repeatedly to ask to have it confirmed. There is a text message exchange between Management and Britney on December 16, 2017, where management provides her with the tour routing. She asks a few questions, and expresses how excited she is to do it."
The sources say once she was on tour, "she simply didn't want to be there so she was trying to find every excuse to leave the tour, at which time she made up the story about being forced to do it."
Britney said she was forced to sign a document committing to do the European tour. Sources connected to the conservatorship say she was asked, not forced to sign, and she did. Furthermore, the sources say the conservatorship changed protocols because Britney would agree to do various things but when it came time to do them "she would lie and deny having agreed to do it. The conservatorship was then forced to put into effect protocols requiring management to get her to sign off on all professional obligations so the conservatorship could show it to her to 'remind her' that she consented to the obligation."
The sources say Management did indeed ask her to sign the document committing to the tour, because that was the protocol the conservatorship had in place, and Britney "willingly signed."
We're told various people in the conservatorship will dispute many of Britney's claims involving getting married, having a baby, being denied the right to see her kids, not knowing she could end the conservatorship ... among other things.
Short story ... the next court hearing promises to be contentious.
Bill Cosby is huddling with his legal team Thursday, and a potential lawsuit against Montgomery County will be the hot topic on the table.
Sources close to Cosby tell TMZ ... the comedian and his wife, Camille, are angry he's been incarcerated for the last 3 years, and they're exploring his options for legal recourse, including potentially suing the county in Pennsylvania where he was tried.
We're told Cosby and his lawyers are looking into a possible lawsuit for abuse of process, and that's just one of several potential options they're discussing.
Legally speaking ... abuse of process refers to the improper use of a civil or criminal legal process for an unintended, malicious, or perverse reason. In other words, it means Cosby could argue the prosecutor deliberately misused the criminal justice process to prosecute him, despite the fact it meant breaking a promise to Cosby from the previous District Attorney.
As we reported, Cosby was released from prison Wednesday after Pennsylvania's Supreme Court overturned his conviction ... in part because it ruled he should have never been criminally prosecuted based on the agreement he made with former Montgomery County D.A. Bruce Castor.
Since getting out, Cosby's thanked his supporters -- and although the high court decision had nothing to do with his innocence or guilt ... he says, "I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence."
Aguilera posted a series of tweets -- along with an old photo of herself and Britney -- Monday night. Xtina started in saying, "These past few days I’ve been thinking about Britney and everything she is going through. It is unacceptable that any woman, or human, wanting to be in control of their own destiny might not be allowed to live life as they wish."
These past few days I’ve been thinking about Britney and everything she is going through.— Christina Aguilera (@xtina) June 29, 2021 @xtina
It is unacceptable that any woman, or human, wanting to be in control of their own destiny might not be allowed to live life as they wish. pic.twitter.com/NRhNwcJaD3
The singer then spoke to the allegations Britney made last week in claiming she was unable to get married or have children under the conservatorship, saying, "Every woman must have the right to her own body, her own reproductive system, her own privacy, her own space, her own healing and her own happiness."
Aguilera continued, "The conviction and desperation of this plea for freedom leads me to believe that this person I once knew has been living without compassion or decency from those in control."
Xtina's message of support comes nearly one week after Britney's stunning court testimony in which she told a judge she wanted out of a 13-year conservatorship without getting a mental evaluation.
In her statement Monday, Christina gave a nod to her former friendship with Britney, saying it was clear the woman she once knew has not been given the compassion she deserves.
She finished with, "To a woman who has worked under conditions and pressure unimaginable to most, I promise you she deserves all of the freedom possible to live her happiest life. My heart goes out to Britney. She deserves all the TRUE love and support in the world."
Kanye West's legal team has a lot more work to do if they want to rid the online market of imitation Yeezys -- while Walmart halted sales on its site, hundreds more still exist on others.
West's Yeezy Foam RNNRs have taken the market by storm, so it's no surprise copycats tried to capitalize. However, as of Friday, Walmart had removed all the knockoffs from its online store.
TMZ broke the story ... Kanye and Yeezy filed a lawsuit against the retail giant, claiming its $25 faux RNNRs had the potential to cost Ye "hundreds of millions" of dollars in sales of his $75 original design.
For its part, Walmart said the online listings were from a third party.
You'd think the lawsuit would scare away others, but we discovered hundreds of other listings on sites pushing what appear to be more wannabes. Friday, Etsy still remained a hotspot for them, with pairs running anywhere from $30-$60, one listing calls the shoes "Yeezy Inspired," but they look like exact copies.
We've reached out to Kanye's team to figure out if they have any plans to go after the remaining listings like they did Walmart. Nothing's been filed yet.
One thing is for sure, Yeezy shoes have made Kanye a VERY rich man, with his recent net worth reported to be in the multi-billion dollar range.
Britney Spears is doing what she loves -- relaxing in Hawaii with her BF after that bombshell court testimony in her conservatorship case ... and the looks on her face are a good sign.
The singer and Sam Asghari hopped on a private jet Thursday ... touching down in paradise for a romantic getaway that looks like it's doing them both some good.
Britney's feeling the island vibes, slipping into a bikini to soak up the sun and sip cold beer on a beautiful resort property. Sam's practicing Aloha too, going shirtless and bringing the gun show to Hawaii.
The Hawaiian scenery is a welcome change for Britney ... remember, during her testimony in Los Angeles, she complained about feeling trapped by the conservatorship, claiming she's been threatened to have Maui vacations denied if she doesn't go to therapy.
Like most couples getting away from it all in Hawaii, Britney and Sam are all smiles ... and it looks like they're definitely enjoying their break.
The fun started shortly after takeoff ... with Britney and Sam posting some silly videos from their private jet, where they played around with some filters.
As we reported, Britney also apologized to her fans for pretending to have the perfect life when she was actually struggling, and she said she was going to start reading more fairy tales.
We gotta say, Hawaii is the perfect place to do a little light reading by the pool or by the ocean.
Check out the gallery ... Britney and her man living on island time is anything but toxic.
The socialite made it known Thursday night during her DJ set for the grand opening of the newest casino on the Vegas strip ... Resorts World Las Vegas. Paris -- who donned an outfit eerily similar to Britney's 2003 wardrobe for the "Toxic" music video -- said 6 little words that had the whole place going berserk ... "We love you, Britney. Free Britney."
Paris and Britney, of course, go wayyy back. Who can forget the "Holy Trinity" outing from 2006? So, it should come as no surprise Paris is on the "Free Britney" train.
Paris said as much in September 2020 ... telling Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM Radio show, "I just love her so much. I feel like if you are an adult, you should be able to live your life and not be controlled."
As we've reported ... Britney's in the fight of her life as she continues her battle to get out from her conservatorship. She railed on her dad, her management, her therapist, lawyers and everyone else in the case during Wednesday's explosive court hearing.
Britney also said she's so angry she thinks her family has abused her ... to the point she'd like to sue them.
What's more ... Britney said she wants to get married and have another baby but the conservatorship has denied her wishes. She says the control is so intense the conservator will not let her have an IUD removed. She said she's "not here to be anyone's slave."
Kim Kardashian is going to have court-ordered protection from a man she claims wanted to make himself at home, literally, for a good long while ... as a judge just slammed the gavel.
According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Kim was granted a permanent restraining order against Charles Peter Zelenoff -- who she alleged was stalking her for some time now, while also expressing a burning desire to get inside her crib ... and getting too close for comfort.
During a hearing on the matter Wednesday -- one for which Kim was present, but only via audio -- Kim's team pushed for 5 years, but were only granted 3 ... because the court found Zelenoff wasn't threatening her, per se, but they did find basis in her stalking claim.
The new order basically extends what the TRO did last month -- namely, that Zelenoff has to steer clear from Kim and her family, and avoid contacting and/or harassing her for the said amount of time. Zelenoff didn't push back much on the argument -- in fact, he didn't say much at all in his defense.
Just a refresher on what Kim had to say about this guy -- she claimed in her original filing that Zelenoff had been "stalking" her for months ... expressing bizarre desires to pursue a relationship with her, while also apparently making stops outside her home, and filming it.
She also claimed he posted troubling messages about her online ... including frustrations about not being able to get INSIDE her pad, which was enough for Kim to go running to court for help.
Welp, she got it ... the forcefield is officially on.
Britney Spears has made it clear ... she wants the judge to hear her out over her long-running conservatorship, but even if she wants out, it's virtually certain that will not happen without a sign off by a team of doctors.
As you know by now, Britney will address the judge Wednesday at 1:30 PM PT, and there are plenty of fans who are praying she's cut loose from her conservatorship that has been in place for 13 years.
Up to now, she has never asked the court to end the conservatorship ... not once. Multiple sources tell TMZ, Britney has been at loggerheads with her dad, Jamie, for years. Jamie was once both her personal conservator and conservator of her estate. He stepped down as her personal conservator, and is now co-conservator of her estate with a financial institution.
One thing she's made clear ... she will NOT perform until her dad is out completely. That said, our sources say she has not taken any steps to plan for a return to the stage or the studio in the event Jamie is gone.
So, the question ... will Britney ask to end the conservatorship entirely? That is truly a wild card. What's different now is that she's in what appears to be a stable, fairly long-term relationship with her boyfriend, Sam Asghari. They started dating in 2016. It's certainly possible Britney feels Sam can care for her -- thus no need for a conservatorship.
That said, if Britney asks to end the conservatorship, that's the beginning of the saga ... not the end. She was placed in the conservatorship for medical reasons. Sources with direct knowledge tell us ... a team of doctors say she has a condition that prevents her from safely caring for herself. We're told the doctors have been in place for the entire conservatorship and have not changed their opinion.
It's pretty obvious ... if Britney wants out, the judge will want to hear from the doctors ... something the current and previous judges have regularly reviewed over the last 13 years. That is the core issue in the conservatorship -- Can Britney safely care for herself and others for whom she's responsible? If the answer is yes, then the judge should end the conservatorship, but if the judge believes the answer is no -- based on the testimony of doctors -- then she would almost certainly lose any such bid to terminate the conservatorship.
TMZ will cover all angles of the hearing today, and afterward we will live stream the analysis.
6:01 AM PT -- Stephen just released a statement regarding the incident, saying, "My wife and I got into an argument Monday afternoon on a Delta flight from Austin to LA. I was asked to lower my voice and I did. Approximately 10 minutes later I was asked to leave the flight. And I did so immediately. I was not forcibly removed."
He continues, "I rebooked myself on a Southwest flight 2 hours later and traveled home without any further issue. I let my emotions get the better of me, end of story. Must be a slow news cycle."
Stephen Amell was forcibly removed from a flight in Texas -- this after allegedly screaming at his wife in front of a plane full of passengers ... TMZ has learned.
Sources close to the situation tell us ... the "Arrow" star was escorted off a Delta flight Monday in Austin around 3 PM, following a shouting match with his wife, Cassandra Jean.
We're told Amell appeared intoxicated, and that his wife ended up burying her face in embarrassment. Our sources say a flight attendant had asked him repeatedly to lower his voice, but he refused ... until eventually, an air marshal and 3 other attendants had to give him the heave-ho.
We're told his wife and their companions ended up flying back to L.A. without him ... while Stephen was at least detained in Texas. It's unclear what happened -- if he was arrested or released -- once they removed him from the plane. We've called the local cops and Stephen's reps ... but no word back from either.
It seems he and Cassandra were in town for an appearance at the ATX TV Festival. Cass posted a photo of them on a stage over the weekend, and they looked chummy. Obviously, things went sideways on the way home.
A Delta rep confirmed their flight was delayed due to an unruly passenger, but wouldn't comment further about Stephen or any possible charges.
Originally published -- 1:00 AM PT
Kendall Jenner has beelined it to court for another restraining order against a man she claims has been "stalking" her since 2018 ... TMZ has learned.
Kendall's attorney, Shawn Holley, filed legal docs Monday in L.A. against 23-year-old Isaias Noe Flores -- AKA Isaias Noah -- who Kendall claims has sent gifts, professed his love for her and showed up at her L.A. home several times over the years.
Kendall says she's particularly afraid because Noah has risked his own personal safety -- attempting to climb a barbed wire fence -- just to gain access to her home.
According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, Jenner says her private security has intercepted letters including poems, jewelry and rose pedals addressed to her. In December 2020, she claims one letter allegedly from Noah informed her he was "moving to the city" ... which she assumed to be Los Angeles.
TMZ broke the story ... it was back on June 12 when Noah allegedly tried to gain access to Kendall's home, cutting his hand on the fencing in the process, requiring medical attention.
He was eventually taken into custody and booked for misdemeanor trespassing. We’re told he spent 10 hours behind bars before he was released.
As we've reported ... Kendall was forced to beef up her security after issues with this guy and this guy, who was sentenced to 180 days in jail. Kendall's sister, Kylie, has also had to deal with her own nightmare. And, ditto for Kim.
Our sources say Kendall has not lived in the home since an incident where one man attempted to swim naked in her pool.
As for Noah, the court agreed, and granted Kendall a temporary restraining order ... there will be a hearing on the matter next month.
5:15 PM PT -- Jenn Harley dropped the n-word while pointing a gun and threatening to shoot her boyfriend ... at least that's what the guy told cops.
According to the arrest report from Jenn's domestic violence bust, her bf Joseph Ambrosole told cops she told him "I'll shoot you n****" and "I'll kill you right f****** now" before cocking the gun.
We've also obtained Jenn's booking photo ... and she doesn't look happy.
Ronnie asked Saffire Matos to marry him over the weekend with a beachside proposal in Los Angeles on Saturday ... according to People. However, while the 2 celebrated, Ronnie's ex, Jenn, and her boyfriend had some fireworks of their own.
Law enforcement sources tell us Jenn and her bf Joseph Ambrosole pulled up to the legendary Crazy Horse 3 in Vegas and were allegedly arguing about where to park and about Jenn's drinking.
We're told things got so heated at the bar, security actually asked them to leave ... which they did, but sources say the fighting didn't end there. We're told that on the drive home, Jenn allegedly started wailing on the back of Joseph's head ... and then, we're told she chucked his phone out the window -- forcing him to pull over to get out and look for it.
Once Joseph was out of the car, our sources say Jenn got in the driver's seat and took off -- leaving Joseph in the street, where he had to find a ride home.
We're told things intensified even further when they got home -- where the fight continued -- and Jenn allegedly pointed a gun at Joe.
Cops say Jenn allegedly said something along the lines of "I'll shoot and kill you," but Joseph was able to get out of the way ... while Jenn fled the scene again.
We're told cops were called at that point, and they eventually tracked her down ... hauling her to jail and booking her on charges of domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon.
Originally Published -- 11:59 AM PT
2:27 PM PT -- Keisha's attorney and her cousin's attorney is giving more context to the videos that have surfaced in the past few days -- saying there's one key piece of information that's missing from this whole saga.
Brandon Burrell -- Keisha's attorney -- tells TMZ ... Keisha was approached by security pretty much as soon as she and her cousin, Dayon, walked into Nellie's that night -- just as they reached the top of the stairs. We're told the guards accused Keisha of sneaking in a bottle of alcohol, and were aggressive in their approach ... which is when things turned physical.
Dayon's own attorney, Justin Hollimon, says his client noticed the guards stepping to Keisha ... and he came over to see what the fuss was about. Before he knew it, we're told security was trying to shove both of them down the stairs and out of the place entirely ... which is where we're told the new video picks up, when all hell broke loose.
The legal team also notes that some of the plain clothes individuals in the clip are actually Nellie's own staff -- bartenders and the like -- and that it's clear Dayon was getting dogpiled. One last thing ... we're told Dayon's part of the LGBT community, and this ordeal has taken a toll on him.
The Black woman who claims she was dragged down a flight of steps due to racial profiling was in the mix of a brawl right before the brutal act -- but she's sticking to her version of events.
Somebody captured what happened to Keisha Young at D.C.'s Nellie's Sports Bar last weekend -- but this video includes the moments before a security guard started yanking her by her hair.
It's clear there was a massive fight going down at the top of the stairs, and Keisha was right there getting her licks in ... throwing punches, until she appears to get tossed over the huddle of bodies down toward the security guard.
We can't quite tell if it's the guard himself who initially moves her, or if it's someone else -- but at any rate, once she's at his feet ... she starts to unload on him too, and he reacts.
That's where the hair-dragging seems to begin from the original video that has since gone viral. Remember, Keisha's attorneys told us they were outraged ... because they felt she'd been singled out due to the color of her skin, suggesting racism was at play in her treatment -- and they're still maintaining that.
Keisha's attorney, Brandon Burrell, tells TMZ ... the reason Keisha is seen tussling here is because she was defending her cousin, Dayon Kidd, whom we're told is the guy in the white T -- and who we're told Nellie's security team was pummeling after some words were exchanged.
Long story short -- her team says the facts haven't changed ... claiming she was approached by security when they mistook her for someone else and asked her to leave.
We're told Keisha's fam didn't like the way they got at her, and in attempting to defend her ... ended up brawling. Keisha's team says this new video picks up after that. Burrell also says the truth would be seen easily ... if only Nellie's would release the full surveillance video.
Originally Published -- 7:48 AM PT
The "Gucci Gang" rapper and his entourage were in the middle of a serious L.A. shopping spree at A Bathing Ape, and we asked him about the whole "Mt. Rushmore" debate that went down last week.
Since then ... the omission has gotten attention from a lot of culture writers, including The New Yorker ... which recently penned an article headlined, "Migos Would Like to Be on Rap's Mt. Rushmore."
So, why the diss from My Mixtapez? Takeoff reportedly said he thinks they're being counted out because they're a group, with Offset suggesting a quick fix -- "It should be a little circle with all three heads like boom, boom, boom on that Mt. Rushmore, 'cause we done birthed a lot of this."
FWIW ... Migos thinks T.I., Gucci Mane, OutKast and Lil Jon also belong on the Mt. Rushmore of Atlanta's greatest. But, Lil Pump is certain Migos should be right up there with them ... regardless of being a group.
BTW ... we also ask Pump if it's true he bought a monkey, and the rapper not only has a hilarious way of confirming the rumor, but also revealed his pet primate's unique name.
The guy facing criminal charges for making himself at home in Nancy Pelosi's office during the Capitol riot says he lost his job as a window salesman, and restrictions put on him by the court are making it tough for him to earn a living at his new gig.
Attorneys for Richard Barnett -- who was famously photographed plopping his feet onto the Speaker of the House's desk on Jan. 6 -- just asked a judge to allow their client to travel more than 50 miles from his home for work purposes, which is all he's allowed at the moment.
Per the docs, obtained by TMZ, the lawyers explain Barnett's primary source of income these days is flipping classic cars -- this after he lost his job as a window salesman following the Capitol riot.
Due to the nature of his new gig -- not to mention his location in rural Arkansas -- they say he often has to go upwards of 200 miles to track down, negotiate and sell these vehicles ... and his current 50-mile restriction just ain't cutting it. In order to pay his bills and provide for his fam, the attorneys request a longer leash as part of the conditions of his release while his case is pending.
The attorneys cite Barnett's apparent good behavior in following all the release conditions ... saying his pretrial services officer can vouch for that. BTW, these are the same attorneys who argued his note to Pelosi said "biatch" instead of "bitch."
A judge has yet to rule.
Pooh Shiesty might not have shot the club security guard in Miami after all -- at least that's what the alleged victim's saying now ... claiming he doesn’t remember giving his original statement to cops.
PS's attorneys, Bradford Cohen and Saam Zangeneh, filed a new motion this week with what they say is sworn testimony from the guard in question ... who now claims he was on a powerful painkiller and unaware of what he was saying to the police when they first spoke.
According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, Frivin Dor's transcribed interview with Pooh's legal team is documented ... and he's on record saying he was given Dilaudid -- a powerful opioid painkiller -- when he first arrived at the hospital that night, which he now claims knocked him on his ass as he spoke to a detective about the matter, 'cause he doesn't remember a thing.
In this new account, Dor suggests the commotion in the club might have been caused by a fan (the spinning type, not a person) that fell in a parking garage nearby. He also says he doesn't recall Pooh aiming at him or even shooting at him.
According to the docs, he also said he doesn't want to press charges, and doesn't want officials in FL to contact him about this matter either ... which Pooh's lawyers say is enough for prosecutors to at least reconsider the decision not to release Pooh on bond.
It's a full 180 from what was described in the affidavit used to bust Pooh last week ... which gave a very detailed story about what supposedly happened.