Kendall Jenner 'Appropriation' Criticism for 818 Tequila ... But Ad's No Different from Male Celebs Pitching Booze

riding off into the sunset
@drink818 / Instagram

Kendall Jenner's new tequila ad has a lot of people up in arms, claiming the supermodel is taking advantage of Mexican culture to push her new beverage ... but truth is, many male celebs have done the same thing without criticism.

KJ is featured in the new promotional spot for her 818 Tequila on an agave farm in Jalisco, Mexico ... where her operation is running. The video and pics feature a lot of native farmers -- with Kendall alongside them rocking pig tails, as well as what some describe as traditional Mexican garb.

Online critics almost immediately chimed in, calling it cultural appropriation/tone-deafness/colonizing/exploitation ... you name it. It's all being sent her way right now.

It should, however, be noted that celebs like George Clooney, Rande Gerber, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, LeBron James and Kevin Hart have all launched tequila brands of their own without criticism. In fact, The Rock recently posted a video of himself with Mexican farmers very similar to the one Kendall put up.

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The biggest criticism, it seems, is that Kendall is hijacking Mexican culture and trying to wear it as a costume for a photoshoot she went down there for ... and that she's being disrespectful for trying to pass as a "ranchera."

However, most critiquing Kendall just plain have it wrong, we're told the focus of the ad was to highlight the farmers doing the actual work to make the product. Kendall has created jobs, and those involved are grateful for that.

Our sources say Kendall has been very passionate about 818, putting in the work, doing the research and making sure she works with farmers to put out the best project possible.

Perhaps there's some merit to come of the criticism, but other quibbles that have surfaced are absurd ... like at least one person claiming she's modeling a "chic migrant worker look," while another person said they could "see the pain in this old man's eyes" -- referencing one of the dudes in the clip.

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For starters, this took place IN Mexico ... so the migrant worker critique is BS. Also, to assume this man is being exploited/mistreated by working on the farm is about as ignorant as Kendall is allegedly being by posing with the workers.

It's almost a situation of damned if you do damned if you don't for Kendall, when she first announced the tequila she was hit with criticism for NOT crediting the farmers ... and the same has been done now that she's put the spotlight on them.

'NYPD Blue' Star Bonnie Somerville Busted For DUI

Bonnie Somerville, famous for playing a detective on "NYPD Blue," had a run-in with real cops on the opposite coast ... police in L.A. say she was drunk behind the wheel.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... cops were getting calls around 10 PM Sunday night for a car stopped in traffic on the 405 near Inglewood, and when officers arrived, they say they found Bonnie pulled off on the right shoulder in a Mercedes-Benz.

Our sources say Bonnie told cops she simply ran out of gas, but officers say she reeked of booze and ended up bombing a field sobriety test.

We're told Bonnie, who played Det. Laura Murphy in the final season of "NYPD Blue," was cited for DUI and later released.

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

Ryan Leaf Rx Pill Addiction Triggered At '04 Boxing Event I Was Booed & Humiliated

HOW IT STARTED
Charges with Rex Chapman

Ryan Leaf says his battle with prescription drugs all began back in 2004 ... when he was booed and jeered so loudly at a big boxing event, it sent him into a deep, downward spiral.

The former San Diego Chargers quarterback opened up about his struggles with addiction on Rex Chapman's "Charges with Rex Chapman" podcast this week ... explaining in detail the horrible night that hooked him on Rx pills.

Leaf says he was at a fight in Las Vegas (he claims it was a Mike Tyson tilt, though it seems he has his boxers mixed up because Tyson didn't fight in Vegas in '04) ... when the PA announcer began rattling off the list of celebs in attendance.

"They announced Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Charles Barkley, Dr. Dre," said Leaf, who was 27 years old at the time and had just retired from the NFL.

"The audience cheered and clapped. And, then the MC there at the MGM Grand announced my name and like the whole auditorium just booed and hissed."

Leaf continued, "My addict brain heard not only are you a terrible football player but you are an awful human being."

Ryan says that negative reception had a huge impact on him ... and when he was offered the prescription pain killer Vicodin to mix in with his booze later in the evening, he jumped at the opportunity.

And, that's when he says his fight began.

"This would be the first time I abused it and ... I didn't feel that judgment, I didn't feel that fear, I didn't feel that less than," Leaf said. "I didn't feel anything."

"I didn't feel better but it turns out I was just searching for that feeling of not feeling any of the feelings that I had been feeling for so long. I just wanted to numb out. And, that night changed."

Leaf says he went on to fight an addiction with the prescription pills for the next EIGHT years ... as he says he was "chasing that initial high from that night."

Fortunately, Leaf has since been able to get clean and sober ... and he's now devoted much of his life to offering anybody who's dealing with addiction a helping hand.

kendall jenner Special (Boozy) Delivery, from me!!! 818 Tequila Hits Shelves

TEQUILA TO-GO
TMZ.com

Kendall Jenner is rolling up her sleeves to launch her tequila brand -- actually getting behind the wheel of a big ass truck with a shipment of her booze for an L.A. debut.

We got the model/booze runner rolling up to Mel & Rose Wine, Spirits and Gifts Monday in WeHo, where she was hand-delivering a load of her new 818 tequila ... which is now officially for sale to the public.

It was pretty surreal watching her pull up in the green monster of a rig branded with her 818 logo. Let's face it, you don't really see supermodels doing that everyday, but fact is ... she seemed to handle the machine pretty well, all things considered.

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KJ eventually made it inside for some photo-ops with fans and the store's owners ... but not before giving us a quick response on her fave 818 flavor.

After the hand-shaking was all done, Kendall was on her way again ... meaning, she hopped back into the driver's seat of the delivery truck -- which looks more like a food truck on a second glance -- and hit the road once more.

Of course, we had to ask a parting question about how it handles ... and she got us back with a nice, succinct reply. Clearly, Kendall knows how to manage in there. Now, make way!

Bob Baffert Suspended from Horseracing In NY ... Over Doping Allegations

Another Bob Baffert bombshell ... the legendary trainer has been temporarily suspended from horseracing in the state of New York pending a full investigation into doping allegations.

... which means Baffert will likely be blocked from entering a horse in the prestigious Belmont Stakes on June 5, which is HUGE.

The New York Racing Association made the announcement on Monday -- saying Baffert is currently suspended from "entering horses in races and occupying stall space at Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course and Aqueduct Racetrack."

"During the temporary suspension, NYRA will not accept entries or provide stall space to any individual employed by Bob Baffert Racing Stables."

NYRA says the suspension stems from Baffert's horse, Medina Spirit, testing positive for a banned substance following his victory at the 2021 Kentucky Derby ALONG with the fact several other Baffert horses have flunked drug tests over the years.

Baffert has reportedly had 5 horses test positive for banned substances since May 2020 ... and the NYRA clearly believes something fishy might be going down behind the scenes.

"In addition to the ongoing investigation into Medina Spirit’s victory in the Kentucky Derby, NYRA has taken into account the fact that other horses trained by Mr. Baffert have failed drug tests in the recent past, resulting in the assessment of penalties against him by thoroughbred racing regulators in Kentucky, California, and Arkansas."

As for the length of Baffert's suspension, the NYRA says they will wait to see the results of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission's probe into Medina Spirit before making a final decision. No word on how long that could take ... maybe days, maybe weeks.

For his part, Bob has denied intentional wrongdoing -- saying he believes Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone after taking a medication prescribed by a veterinarian.

NYRA President and CEO Dave O'Rourke issues a statement on the matter -- saying, "In order to maintain a successful thoroughbred racing industry in New York, NYRA must protect the integrity of the sport for our fans, the betting public and racing participants."

"That responsibility demands the action taken today in the best interests of thoroughbred racing."

Story developing ...

Bob Baffert Sued by Gamblers Over Kentucky Derby ... Dirty Horse Cost Us a Fortune!!!

And, they're off ... bettors are already suing Bob Baffert over the Kentucky Derby, claiming he knowingly cheated and screwed gamblers out of serious cash.

Baffert has been hit with a class-action lawsuit by several gamblers who claim they had money on the Kentucky Derby ... and feel Baffert cheated them out of their winnings by running a "drugged horse."

As we previously reported, Baffert -- the most famous trainer in the history of the sport -- trained Medina Spirit, which won the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

After the race, Medina Spirit tested positive for the banned substance betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory steroid.

Officials are currently awaiting the results of a 2nd test (known as a split sample) to confirm the betamethasone -- those results are pending and should be released in the next few weeks.

Baffert has DENIED using the substance to gain a competitive advantage -- instead saying he believes it got into the horse's system through a skin medication prescribed by a veterinarian.

In other words, Bob insists it was an accident -- nothing intentional.

But, the gamblers ain't buyin' Bob's excuse ... and in a new lawsuit filed in federal court in California, they claim Bob is a serial doper who is part of a larger horseracing conspiracy.

The Plaintiffs claim there are conspiracies "between Baffert and other owners and or trainers to commit the above-described acts to engage in illegal gambling and/or horse doping through a pattern of racketeering activity."

"For example, on May 1, 2021, Defendants entered a doped horse, Medina Spirit, into the 147th running of The Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky and won $1,860,000.00 as part of a horse-doping scheme in thoroughbred racing."

The gamblers in the lawsuit claim they had bet serious money on the horse that finished in 2nd place, Mandaloun -- and if not for Baffert's dirty horse, they would have won a fortune.

One plaintiff, Michael E. Beychok, says he bet nearly $1,000 on Mandaloun, which went off at 26 to 1 odds ... and if Mandaloun would have won the race, the payout would have been anywhere between $10,000 and $100,000.

Another plaintiff, Justin Wunderler, bet $2,000 "and would have provided a minimum potential payoff of at least $40,000."

"Plaintiff Wunderler’s wagers would have won, but for the illegal, drug-induced win by Medina Spirit. Thus, Plaintiff Wunderler is entitled to bring a civil action against Defendants."

There are more plaintiffs involved with similar stories ... and attorneys are actively looking for more angry bettors to join the suit.

The bettors are suing for an undisclosed amount -- but it's clear they want to get paid the amount of money they would have won plus punitive damages.

Post Malone Plays Beer Pong W/ Jerry Jones & Makes It Rain ... In Cowboys Schedule Release Vid

Jerry Jones played beer pong with Post Malone, rocked an icy Dallas Cowboys chain, AND made it rain on his team's best players -- and the amazingness was all captured on video!

It was all part of the Cowboys' surprise schedule reveal film on Wednesday evening ... and the cameo Posty made with the Dallas owner for the flick was pretty damn incredible.

The video starts with the singer playing the role of a postman delivering Dallas' 2021 schedule to Jerry ... and then things get wild.

78-year-old Jerry tells Post, "You know, I love this day. Let's go celebrate" ... and then the two hit the BP table!!!

There were shots made, shots blocked, and even some custom "Jerry" Crocs involved!!!

Post then slapped his famous Cowboys drip on the owner ... before the two grabbed some pocket schedules and made them rain all over Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.

It's hilarious. Seriously.

Of course, it's all fun and games right now ... but the reality is Dallas has to now open its season against Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champion Bucs in less than 4 months.

... at least playtime was fun while it lasted.

Ex-'Deadliest Catch' Star Busted for DUI Again in Wash.

Ex-"Deadliest Catch" star Jake Harris may not have learned his lesson from a previous DUI bust that landed him behind bars ... 'cause we’ve learned he was busted again for DUI.

A spokesperson for the Washington State Patrol tells TMZ ... Harris was busted near Mount Vernon, WA. last week after cops say they clocked him driving a Dodge Journey 86 MPH in a 70 MPH zone.

We're told Harris didn't initially pull over ... and drove another 3 miles to stop in a safe location. Cops say they discovered Harris’ license is revoked. Even if it wasn’t revoked, cops say Harris was required to have an ignition interlocking device installed -- a requirement from his previous DUI conviction.

And, you guessed it, cops say Harris didn't have the device installed since the car apparently belonged to a friend who had loaned it to him. In any event ... cops said Harris' eyes were bloodshot, his pupils were constricted, face was pale and his speech was repetitive.

Cops say Harris told them he had taken prescribed meds that morning, though the cop wouldn't say what kind. They suspected he was impaired ... and after Harris refused a sobriety test, cops arrested him.

He was booked into county jail for felony DUI, misdemeanor driving on a license revoked and misdemeanor failure to have an ignition interlock installed. Records show he posted $50k bond and was released on Tuesday.

As we first reported ... Harris was sentenced to 18 months behind bars in 2019 following a bizarre police chase that led to his arrest on 2 felony charges ... driving under the influence and possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance ... heroin.

Forbes Conor McGregor Made $180M In 2020 World's Highest-Paid Athlete

Conor McGregor wasn't stopped by COVID or a Dustin Poirier loss, 'cause the UFC superstar was the world's highest-earning athlete in 2020 ... reportedly raking in $180 MILLION!!

The 32-year-old earned a whopping $22 million for his UFC 252 2nd-round TKO loss to Diamond, but according to Forbes annual list of the World's Highest-Paid Athletes ... it was the whiskey money that carried McGregor to the top spot on the list.

Conor earned $158 million outside the Octagon ... and an overwhelming majority of that cash came from his sale of Proper 12 Irish Whiskey.

This marks the first time McGregor -- consistently one of the highest-paid athletes -- has topped the list.

In 2018, The Notorious came in 4th ... earning $99 million -- largely from his superfight with Floyd Mayweather.

Speaking of Money Mayweather ... Floyd -- who didn't fight in 2020 -- failed to make the list.

As far as the remainder of the top 10 ... there are 3 international soccer players, 2 NBA players, 2 NFL QB's, a race car driver and a tennis player.

2️⃣ Lionel Messi $130 mil.
3️⃣ Cristiano Ronaldo $120 mil.
4️⃣ Dak Prescott $107.5 mil.
5️⃣ LeBron James $96.5 mil.
6️⃣ Neymar $95 mil.
7️⃣ Roger Federer $90 mil.
8️⃣ Lewis Hamilton $82 mil.
9️⃣ Tom Brady $76.
🔟 Kevin Durant $75 mil.

What's funny ... back in 2016, Conor joked with then highest-paid athlete, Ronaldo ... telling the soccer superstar that he was coming for the #1 spot.

Took a few years ... but, mission accomplished!

Bob Baffert Says Medina Spirit Will Run Preakness ... Despite 'Cancel Culture'

Bob Baffert says he will NOT let Medina Spirit's positive drug test get in the way of his Triple Crown bid ... claiming he plans to run the horse in the Preakness this weekend.

Of course, Baffert was suspended indefinitely by Churchill Downs on Sunday after Medina Spirit was popped for a banned substance following his victory at the Kentucky Derby.

68-year-old Baffert -- by far the most famous and successful trainer in horseracing history -- has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing ... but it's the 5th time one of Bob's horses has tested positive for an illegal substance in the past 13 months and many are skeptical.

But, Baffert appeared on Fox News Channel's "America's Newsroom" on Monday to defend himself and said matter of factly, "We did not cheat to win the Kentucky Derby."

Baffert claims he has no idea how the substance (betamethasone) got into the horse's system -- but says he's hired his own team of investigators to look into the matter.

"We hired investigators but sometimes you never find out. It’s just a tragedy what happened in this race."

Bob also claims the amount of betamethasone in Medina Spirit's system  was so low, it "wouldn’t have any effect on the horse anyway."

Despite his suspension from Churchill Downs in Kentucky, Baffert made it clear he plans to run Medina at the Preakness on Saturday, set to take place at the famous Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

"With all the noise ... We live in a different world now. This America is different. It was like a cancel culture kind of a thing so they’re reviewing it. I haven’t been told anything. We’re prepared to run."

Baffert's attorney, Craig Robertson, also told Fox News ... if Medina Spirit is blocked from the Preakness, they are prepared to file for a temporary restraining order against race officials in the hopes a judge will overrule the ban and clear the way for the horse to run.

Yeah, this is getting intense.

Jay-Z Files for Trademark Laying Groundwork for Production Company?!?

Jay-Z could be in the process of starting his own production company ... at least it seems that way based on the trademark application his company has filed.

According to legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Hova's company, S. Carter Enterprises, filed to trademark "2/J" on May 3 for "entertainment services in the nature of creation, development, and production" of television programming, TV series, movies and similar projects.

Too early to tell, but it sure seems like Jay's laying the groundwork to start a production co.

It would be rather fitting if Jay-Z, a music and business mogul, starts his own production company. He's already made a fortune on his own cognac with D'Usse, the streaming service Tidal and, of course, his massively successful entertainment firm, Roc Nation. And, just last year, he launched his own premium cannabis brand, Monogram.

Jay would be following in the footsteps of entertainment moguls who have their own production companies ... like Spike Lee's 40 Acres, Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions and LeBron James' SpringHill Company, which reportedly has already amassed an impressive portfolio of deals and partnerships in the media world.

Is Jay next?

Johnny Depp Gushes Over George Jung ... In Docuseries on 'Blow' Figure

BECOMING BOYS
Boston George: Famous without the Fortune

Johnny Depp's relationship with George Jung went far beyond their "Blow" connection ... and it's on display in a new docuseries about the late and infamous drug smuggler.

In this clip, obtained by TMZ, Depp calls Jung, AKA Boston George, "one of my favorite people instantly" ... describing their first meeting as the actor was preparing for his role in the film inspired by Jung's life.

Chris Chesson, Executive Producer of "Boston George: Famous Without the Fortune," says they began working on the 5-part series in December 2016, right as a parole violation sent Jung back behind bars for 8 months.

Chris says full production began in July 2017, and the crew filmed with Depp in May 2019. The rights to the completed documentary were purchased by 123 Go Films, which is shopping it to networks and streaming services.

Based on this exclusive clip, and the trailer, it seems like there should be some takers ... especially on the heels of Jung passing away.

TMZ broke the story ... the prolific drug trafficker, who helped Pablo Escobar's Medellin Cartel smuggle planeloads of cocaine into the U.S., died Wednesday morning at his Boston area home at the age of 78.

'Club Kids' Michael Alig Died of Fentanyl, Heroin Mix

Michael Alig -- one of the ringleaders of the Club Kids -- died from an overdose of several hard drugs ... TMZ has learned.

The Office of Chief Medical Examiner in NYC tells us ... Alig's cause of death was acute intoxication by fentanyl, acetylfentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine.

We broke the story ... Alig -- the notorious club promoter who was the subject of the 2003 Macaulay Culkin movie "Party Monster" and the 2015 documentary 'Glory Daze' -- was found dead in his NYC home on Christmas.

Law enforcement sources tell us ... a friend discovered Alig unconscious and unresponsive on his bed and called 911. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

We're told cops found 2 to 3 small bags of heroin and other empty bags near his body ... prompting their suspicion he'd died from an OD. The Medical Examiner says it was an accidental overdose.

54-year-old Alig, known as the "king of the Club Kids," pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter in 1997 in the killing of fellow Club Kid, Andre "Angel" Melendez. He served 17 years before his release in 2014.

Michael Lohan Banned from Rehab Facilties ... While Addict Kickbacks Case Plays Out

Michael Lohan's out on bond following his arrest for patient brokering ... but he's gotta abide by some special rules while his case is pending trial.

As we reported ... Lindsay's father was booked into jail in South Florida last week for allegedly getting illegal kickbacks from a rehab facility where he referred drug addicts.

Lohan's bond was set at $6k -- $1,000 for each count of illegal patient brokering -- but the judge also imposed additional conditions for Lohan's release.

According to docs ... Michael may not work in the substance abuse treatment industry, and can't have any affiliation with licensed healthcare facilities like treatment centers or clinical lab testing sites.

Lohan's also prohibited from having any contact with co-defendants or any alleged co-conspirators -- and same goes for witnesses in his case, including all involved patients listed in the original probable cause affidavit.

As we told you ... Michael's accused of cutting deals where he referred drug addicts to a rehab center, and got paid -- allegedly more than $25k -- for those referrals.

His lawyer, Heidi Perlet, told us Michael "has helped countless individuals suffering from addiction issues" and "should be applauded for his efforts in saving lives -- not arrested for them."

Race Dog Tests Positive For Meth ... Trainer Disqualified

This is equal parts sad and wild -- a dog trainer in New Zealand has been disqualified from racing ... after one of her winning greyhounds tested positive for METH.

It's crazy ... but unfortunately, it's true.

Here's what happened ... trainer Angela Helen Turnwald and her dog, Zipping Sarah, secured first place at the Addington Raceway in Christchurch last November ... earning a $4,000 prize, according to the New Zealand Herald.

But, the money never made it to Turnwald's pockets ... after her winning doggo's post-race urine test was flagged for amphetamine and methamphetamine.

The Judicial Control Authority for Racing investigated ... and while it was unable to determine "a deliberate wrongdoing," an example had to be made for the rest of the sport ... and Turnwald was hit with a 4-month ban from competition.

JCA chairman Warwick Gendall QC spoke about the probe ... saying, "Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant which poses significant animal welfare issues and the level of Amphetamine (as it metabolized from Methamphetamine) in the sample was particularly large."

Gendall added Turnwald -- who previously had a spotless record -- had several people vouch for her character ... but it was important to show there was a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to illegal performance-enhancing substances.

Turnwald's suspension starts April 30 ... and she will also have to pay $3,500 in fines.

Here's hoping the dog will be okay.

Michael Lohan Arrested for Allegedly Getting Drug Addict Kickbacks

8:17 AM PT -- Michael Lohan's lawyer, Heidi Perlet, tells TMZ ...

"Michael Lohan has helped countless individuals suffering from addiction issues. Michael should be applauded for his efforts in saving lives-not arrested for them. Michael has devoted much of his life to helping those in need. This fact has been conveniently overlooked by the Palm Beach County State Attorney."

"According to the State Attorney, Michael is the 117th person arrested in Palm Beach County by the Sober Home Task Force. Michael is not a number, and he will not be reduced to one of the State Attorney’s statistics."

"Justice does not revolve around statistics, it revolves around truth. The whole truth will come out when Michael has his day in Court."

Michael Lohan has been arrested again ... this time for allegedly getting illegal kickbacks from a rehab facility.

Lindsay Lohan's dad was taken into custody on 6 counts of illegal patient brokering ... this according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's website.

The 60-year-old allegedly cut deals where he referred drug addicts to a Florida facility and got money for each referral. According to authorities, "Patient brokering corrupts our health care system because decisions are motivated by greed instead of patient needs."

Lohan allegedly got checks totaling more than $25,000.

South Florida, where Lohan has been in the rehab biz for years, is considered the recovery capital of the world. Authorities say the prime patient is someone with good health insurance, so some recovery centers will give these kickbacks because the facility will in turn get paid through the insurance company.

Lohan has had his issues with the law in the past ... domestic violence and restraining order issues among others.

Originally Published -- 7:51 AM PT

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