Michael Jackson's Accusers Robson, Safechuck Feel 'Closer' to New Trials ... After Appeals Court Hearing

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A NEW DAY
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2:28 PM PT -- The Appellate Court hearing just ended and attorneys for Robson, Safechuck and the Michael Jackson estate all agreed the new law could open the door to new trials for both men. The judges have not made a final ruling yet, but the handwriting's on the wall. We spoke to Wade and James on their way out of the hearing.

Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman says they understand "the Court of Appeal agrees that these cases must be returned to the trial court to be analyzed under the new law signed by Governor Newsom." However, he adds ... "The Appellate Court's tentative ruling is not on the merits of Robson and Safechuck's allegations and the Court in no way said that these cases will go to trial."

Weitzman says the estate remains confident the claims "will, once again, be dismissed as has happened before."

1:00 PM PT -- We just got Wade and James on their way into court, both were happy to have another chance and hopeful for the future of their case.

The 2 men who sued Michael Jackson's estate and were the subject of the gut-wrenching "Leaving Neverland" documentary ... are set to get their day in court to press their sexual abuse claims against the singer's estate.

As you may know ... Wade Robson and James Safechuck sued MJ for sexual abuse, but their lawsuits were dismissed in 2017 -- partly due to the statute of limitations. Both men appealed their rulings and the cases have been stuck in appellate court ... until now.

We've learned the California Court of Appeal just issued a tentative ruling which would overturn the dismissals, on grounds a new California law extended the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. That means Robson and Safechuck can have their cases heard before a jury.

It's not a done deal. As we said, the ruling is tentative. Oral arguments are set for this week, and the justices could change their minds, but typically the tentative ruling stands.

Now the MJ Estate has a number of other objections to claims, which will be addressed by the trial judge.

Wade and James' story aired on HBO in January, and their molestation claims sparked a movement to mute Michael Jackson and further tarnished his legacy. Jackson's family called "Leaving Neverland" an unfair "public lynching."

We reached out to reps from the MJ Estate and reps for the alleged victims. They all had no comment.

Originally Published -- 1:00 AM PT

Transgender Singer Kim Petras I Didn't Put Billboards Up ... But I Love Razzing Westboro Baptist!!!

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AWESOME SURPRISE
TMZ.com

Kim Petras has no clue who is responsible for placing those bombshell billboards right under the nose of a homophobic church ... but she loves sticking it to Westboro Baptist!!!

The transgender singer spoke to us Monday on "TMZ Live" after her mug started popping up on electronic billboards right down the street from the hatemongers' HQ in Topeka, Kansas ... and Kim says she's tickled by the fact folks at Westboro Baptist have to see her every day.

KSNT

While Kim is coy about who is ultimately behind the placement of ads purposefully directed at the infamously anti-LGBTQ church -- she has a few ideas -- the up-and-coming singer takes a stab at the campaign's endgame and tells us why the move fits her brand.

Kim fills us in on the statement she's hoping to make on behalf of the transgender community ... a message that goes beyond sassy billboards and music.

Kanye West Buys Another Ranch for $14 Mil ... Loving Wyoming!!!

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Getty/Hayden Outdoors

Kanye West is going back for an extra helping of ranch -- he just scored another massive property in Wyoming!!!

Kanye plunked down a huge chunk of change -- $14,495,000 -- for an estate called Bighorn Mountain Ranch ... a sprawling property outside Cody, WY, known for its beautiful hikes and climbs.

The ranch has mountains, rolling hills, canyons and bluffs filled with wildlife -- as well as some of the best trout fishing in the state, thanks to the creeks running through the 6,713-acre property.

BMR has been around since 1906, but it's pretty modern now with 2 heated helicopter pads. There are also several log cabins and lodges with walk-in saunas and sweeping views of the surrounding mountain ranges.

If you're looking for world-class elk hunting, hit up Ye ... his new pad has that along with deer, antelope, pheasants and turkey. Sounds like he's gonna love roaming around the property on his ATVs.

It's Kanye's second massive, $14 million ranch in the Cowboy State. As we first told you, back in September he scooped up Monster Lake Ranch. Now, he's planning to build a huge amphitheater on that land.

Dax Hayden and Bill Vacek of Hayden Outdoors Real Estate had the listing.

Kanye, clearly, can't get enough of Wyoming.

Colin Kaepernick Tape's Been Sent Workout Video Goes to All 32 NFL Teams

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Getty

Colin Kaepernick's team has sent the full video of his Saturday workout to all 32 NFL clubs, TMZ Sports has learned ... and now the waiting game begins.

Sources connected to Kap tell us turning the video around quickly was a priority and they had it out within 24 hours of the Atlanta workout.

We're told Colin also sent a note to each team saying he's ready, willing and able to visit with any team for an interview and/or workout (as teams usually do) if there's real interest.

Of course, the most important thing for Team Kap is making sure decision-makers get a chance to see Colin's skills for themselves so they can quickly evaluate him and hopefully make an offer.

The immediate reaction to the workout from the scouts who attended was reportedly good -- with one NFL exec telling ESPN's Adam Schefter his arm talent is "elite."

Directly after the workout, Kaepernick had a message for NFL owners, GMs, coaches and even Commissioner Roger Goodell.

"We’re waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running. Stop running from the truth, stop running from the people. We’re out here, we’re ready to play, we’re ready to go anywhere."

BACK IN ACTION
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Not everyone was stoked about the workout -- several high profile media members including Stephen A. Smith felt Kap's decision to bail on the official NFL workout and hold his own open workout instead cut heavily against him.

Jay-Z felt the same way -- telling people he was disappointed with the way things went down because Colin "turned a legitimate workout into a publicity stunt."

Time will ultimately tell if Kap's decision will bear fruit -- stay tuned.

The Calling Singer Alex Band I Got New Teeth for My Comeback ... And Pulling the Old Ones Was Gnarly!!!

Alex Band -- lead singer of the rock band, The Calling -- is mounting a comeback after his infamous kidnapping ... and reintroducing himself to the world with a new set of chompers.

TMZ broke the story ... Alex was abducted in Michigan way back in 2013 when he was grabbed off the street, beaten severely and then dumped on some train tracks.

Alex's life spiraled into a deep and dark place after the horrifying incident, but now he says he's overcome the hard times and he's ready to make music again ... with the aid of a new smile.

STARTING OVER AGAIN
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Alex recently traveled to Las Vegas with his wife and child for a 24-hour dental procedure to fully restore all of his teeth. Dr. Mike Golpa performed the surgery over 2 days, which included the removal of 11 teeth and over 10 implants in Alex's mouth.

Dr. Golpa's the guy to see in Vegas ... he's got a ton of famous patients, like Diamond Dallas Paige, Jake "The Snake" Roberts and 'Sopranos' star Joseph Gannascoli.

TMZ.com

Alex tells TMZ ... “As most everyone knows I’ve had a rough bunch of years to say the least; from battling to regain my health and then having to overcome being kidnapped and broken. In 2020 I will finally be back out performing consistently worldwide for the first time in 8 years, and releasing new music!"

The singer says he can't wait to perform in front of his fans again, and he says Dr. Golpa gave him the last thing he needed to regain his confidence ... a brand new smile.

Doc Gooden '90 Phillies Brawl Proves I Can Fight ... Watch the Video!!!

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IRON MIKE'S ADVICE
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Remember when Dwight Gooden charged the mound and PUNCHED PAT COMBS IN THE FACE?!

Doc sure does ... and tells TMZ Sports if there's anyone questioning his fighting ability, they need to watch that video!

Of course, the 55-year-old MLB legend is gearing up for a celebrity boxing match against 29-year-old comic Catfish Cooley on March 7 in Atlantic City.

Some people are concerned for Gooden since Cooley is a big dude who squats 600 pounds -- but Doc tells us HE CAN SWING, BRO!!

In fact, Gooden brings up that crazy brawl from August 1990 -- when Phillies pitcher Pat Combs threw at Doc and he charged the mound with bad intentions!

We found the clip -- and yeah, Doc's right ... he hit Combs with a solid right to the face that ignited a bench-clearing brawl! Good stuff!

Now, Doc says he's been training for his next fight and even hit up his old pal, Mike Tyson, for advice.

Turns out, Doc and Mike have been friends for decades -- remember when they kicked it together with Darryl Strawberry at Shea Stadium back in '86?

As for why Doc's fighting again, it's all about raising awareness for causes dear to his heart.

"I'm trying to do something positive to bring awareness to mental health as well as sobriety," Doc says.

"That's what I've been involved with for the last 15 weeks. Got myself better and I thought it would be a great thing to bring awareness."

Lil Xan Relapses, Suffers Seizures ... on Heels of Lil Peep's Death Anniversary

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WE GOT ME STRAIGHT
TMZ.com

Lil Xan said he relapsed but what really scared him straight were the seizures he suffered ... the effects of quitting cold turkey in his attempt to beat his drug habit.

Rumors were swirling as to why the rapper had been out of the public eye for some time. But, Xan now tells TMZ he relapsed on pain killers -- specifically Xanax and hydrocodone.

He says he wanted to get back on track -- by quitting ... cold turkey. But, Xan says that was a TERRIBLE idea ... because the withdrawals resulted in several seizures while he was in the hospital getting detoxed.

NOVEMBER 2018
FRESH START
TMZ.com

The rapper says the seizures were a massive wake-up call. As we first reported ... Xan admitted last November he had an addiction problem. He vowed to kick the habit following the deaths of Mac Miller in September 2018 and Lil Peep in November 2017. Xan says he thought a lot about Peep as he was relapsing ... the late rapper's 2-year anniversary was fast approaching.

Xan ultimately went to rehab and got better ... until his recent setback. He says when rumors were swirling he wasn't ready to tell the world about him falling off the wagon.

But, the rapper says he's now sober ... and ready to let the world know he's not giving up on his fight to remain sober.

Safaree Drops $42K on Necklace For Erica ... Birthday Motivation

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TMZ.com

Safaree knows how to motivate his wife ... spending a fat stack of cash on a necklace for Erica Mena's birthday, a present that also serves as inspiration to restart her business.

Safaree's new wife celebrated her 32nd bday earlier this month, and we've learned he showered her with gifts, including a custom pendant and necklace worth $42,750.

THE PERFECT FIT

The piece bears the name of Erica's clothing and jewelry line, Her. Safaree commissioned Eden Diamonds to make the pendant, which features rose and white gold alongside 28.5 carats of VS 1/2 clarity diamonds.

Sources close to Erica tell TMZ ... she's relaunching her jewelry line in the first quarter of 2020, this after she completely shut down the business in the wake of finding out one of her employees was allegedly embezzling.

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We're told after Erica discovered the employee's double-cross she just needed a break from it all. Now she's ready for a comeback, and Safaree's hoping the birthday bling will inspire her to get her brand back up off the ground.

Kanye West Prison Reform's My Next Calling ... Declares So Next to Osteen

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SERVING GOD AND THE INNOCENT
TMZ.com

12:19 PM PT -- We ran into Kanye and Joel after sharing the stage together, and asked Ye a pretty simple question ... what's next for him??? Check out the clip ... Kanye gives a pretty enlightening answer, telling us he's gonna let God decide the narrative of his next chapter.

When we pressed, asking what he envisions for himself as his next big challenge ... Kanye didn't hesitate and told us straight-up -- he wants to turn his attention to prison reform.

Ye gets pretty detailed about possible solutions that he thinks would have an immediate impact in helping poor folks -- who are often minorities -- stay out of jail unnecessarily.

We also asked if he was considering getting Joel on his next album. Watch ... doesn't sound like JO wants to hop on the mic, but Ye's not opposed to the idea.

10:23 AM PT -- Kanye West and Joel Osteen had quite the chat Sunday at the Lakewood Church in Houston -- and one of the big takeaways was Ye going to bat for Joel and his reputation in the Christian community.

The rapper-producer noted that Joel was responsible for converting thousands upon thousands of people to the right path of Christianity, and for that alone ... Ye said the guy should be more praised than criticized for everything he does in God's name.

They talked about a lot more too -- Ye touched on his upbringing in the church, explaining that he found going to Sunday service as a kid was pretty boring ... even though his parents were staunch believers, bringing the family to a megachurch in Chicago 3 times a week.

He also discussed his 2016 mental breakdown, and how after that ... he felt he needed to move away from most of the people in his inner circle because they weren't real Christians, and were simply yes men who were beholden to the almighty dollar.

Speaking of that, Kanye also pumped himself up a bit by saying that he was the greatest artist that God ever created ... and now, he was working for the man upstairs again -- instead of working for the devil, which he believes most of his contemporaries are doing now.

There was a lot more, but all in all ... it was a pretty moving interaction Ye and Joel shared onstage, with Ye coming across clearly and even ending on an uplifting prayer.

Kanye West's highly anticipated chitchat with Pastor Joel Osteen is about to go down at the Lakewood Church in Houston and we're live streaming the whole thing.

PULPIT PREACHIN'
TMZ.com

TMZ broke the story ... Kanye and Joel have been talking on the phone quite a bit since Ye committed himself to God, and it all resulted in Kanye and Kim making the trek to H-town this weekend.

We're told Kanye's gonna talk to Joel about his journey in rediscovering religion at 11 AM Central Time. There's another service Sunday night at 7 PM and that will feature Kanye's now-famous Sunday Service, complete with a choir of around 120 people. We'll also be live streaming that.

As we reported, Ticketmaster is doling out free tickets for the 7 PM service, but there have been problems with scalpers.

'TIS THE SEASON
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Kim's also in Houston and presumably will show up for the service at Lakewood. On Saturday Kim, Saint and North hit up an ice skating rink at The Galleria in Houston.

Originally Published -- 8:41 AM PT

Amber Portwood Didn't Violate Probation With Alleged Online Threats

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MTV

Amber Portwood's in the clear with her probation officer over alleged threats she made against a YouTuber ... because that woman has no direct connection to her case.

TMZ broke the story ... Katie Joy -- the woman behind the Without a Crystal Ball YouTube account that's been documenting Amber's domestic violence case, including publishing video and audio of the entire blowout between Amber and Andrew Glennon -- contacted authorities after Amber allegedly directed some threats on Instagram Live toward her.

I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE
Without A Crystal Ball

Portwood's probation officer was notified of Katie's issue, but the Marion County Probation Department in Indiana tells us ... it doesn't amount to any sort of violation.

We're told Joy isn't listed on Amber's probation order, so any alleged threats in and of themselves don't constitute a probation breach. If Katie was listed, it would be a different story.

The MC Probation Dept. says the only way Portwood's probation would be affected is if Indianapolis PD arrested her or if she was convicted of making threats against Joy.

Considering Katie hasn't filed a police report in Indiana, that doesn't seem likely ... and our Indiana law enforcement sources confirm Amber's not under investigation. However, sources close to Katie say he HAS filed a report where she lives in Minnesota ... but was told by police there's not much they can do.

THE VIOLENT EXCHANGE
Without A Crystal Ball

As for why Portwood's on probation ... you'll recall she pled guilty to 2 felonies -- domestic battery and intimidation -- in her domestic violence case with Glennon. She got 906 days of probation, but if it's violated the judge can sentence her to hard time.

Ne-Yo Calls Out Big Machine ... Sell Taylor Swift Her Masters!!!

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NOT COOL
TMZ.com

Ne-Yo is siding with Taylor Swift in her war with Scooter Braun and Big Machine ... and he's calling for some major changes in the way the music industry operates.

We got the singer Friday at LAX and asked him about Taylor's beef with Scooter and her old record label ... and Ne-Yo was quick to come to her defense.

As you know ... Taylor reignited her war with Scooter and Big Machine this week, claiming she was being blocked from performing her early hits at the AMAs. However, the label tells us she can perform her entire catalog if she wants and besides, there's nothing they could do to stop her.

Ne-Yo can't wrap his head around people who had nothing to do with writing songs owning the master recordings ... he rips the label for holding Taylor back and says she should be allowed to buy back her masters if she has the cash.

As we've reported ... Selena Gomez and Halsey are taking Taylor's side in the fight ... and now Ne-Yo is joining the cause.

Ne-Yo says the whole situation is unfair ... and he wants to see more artists gain control of their work.

Narwhal the Rescue Puppy Scammers Trying To Profit Off Pup ... Shelter Warning Donors!!!

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Mac's Mission

The rescue puppy with the tail-like growth coming out of his head is catching the attention of scammers looking to steal money from folks who want to help with his mounting medical bills.

Rochelle Steffen, the founder of the shelter who rescued the cute little pup, tells TMZ ... ever since Narwhal went viral, the shelter's noticed tons of fake accounts popping up on social media, ran by scammers asking people for donations. She says she's already been made aware of several scams, reporting them to Facebook and Instagram to get them shut down.

To make it easier for folks to get involved, Mac's Mission Animal Rescue in Jackson, Missouri -- where Narwhal is awaiting adoption -- set up an official donation link on its Facebook page, and it's already raised $1,950. Narwhals medical care is pretty much taken care of, so the money will go towards other current or future rescues.

Rochelle also tells us people have already sent the shelter $4,000 directly through PayPal.

PERFECTLY IMPERFECT
Rochelle Steffen/Macs Mission

To be clear ... Rochelle says the shelter is NOT looking to profit off Narwhal. She says someone offered $7,000 for the pup, but the shelter turned it down. Rochelle says Narwhal is NOT for sale, he's just up for adoption, and the application fee is $150.

But, as we first reported ... the shelter's worried some folks applying to adopt Narwhal have the wrong motivations.

So, watch out for scammers, and if you do donate through the shelter's page, know this ... 100% of donations are going to medical care for Narwhal and the other rescues in desperate need of assistance.

Jack Osbourne Victim of Identity Theft ... Someone Jacked Me for $30,000!!!

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TMZ.com

Jack Osbourne felt something was amiss while poring over his credit card statements ... and he was proven right when he discovered he'd been the target of identity theft.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the red flags started flying for Jack when he saw just a few odd charges, and it prompted him to start looking back at previous months' statements. Good thing he did, 'cause lo and behold ... he found a slew of charges he never made.

We're told Jack contacted law enforcement and reported the unauthorized charges totaled around $30k. It appears the charge to his card came from an employee of a monthly service Jack has scheduled at his house.

The LAPD is now investigating the case, though no arrests have been made. We know getting hit for five figures worth o' cash flat-out sucks ... but it beats the last time Jack fell victim to a crime.

TMZ broke the story ... Ozzy and Sharon's son was brutally attacked back in April after an apparent homeless man walked up to him on a coffee shop patio and sucker punched him.

The attacker was tracked down and arrested for battery and assault. We'll see if Jack has justice on his side again with the credit card scammer.

Boxing Champ Jermall Charlo I'm The 'Future of Boxing' So I Put a DeLorean in My Mansion!!!

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GREAT SCOTT
@LilKeith

Wanna see a home decoration that'll make Marty McFly jealous?!?

Boxing superstar Jermall Charlo just put a frickin' DeLorean INSIDE of his Houston mansion and TMZ Sports has the video!!!

Soooo ... why???

He calls himself "The Future of Boxing" -- and when you think "Future" you think "Back to The Future" ... hence the DeLorean!

We know what you're thinking ... does it have a flux capacitor? Can we get that bitch to 88 MPH? Where's the damn hoverboard?

We don't have all the answers ... but we do know Charlo -- the reigning WBC middleweight champ -- dropped $60,000 on the new whip! GREAT SCOTT!!!

He doesn't plan on driving it -- it's purely for show -- in other words, "Where we're going, we don't need roads."

Charlo (who's 29-0) fights Dennis Hogan at Barclays on  Dec. 7 -- and if you wanna know who wins, pick up a copy of Grays Sports Almanac ... if you can find one.

Boxer Terence Crawford I Beat Everyone's Ass Growing Up ... 'Stayed Getting In Fights'

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BOXING IS A FAMILY
TMZSports.com

Back before Terence Crawford became a world champion boxer, he used to whoop people's asses for free on the streets ... telling TMZ Sports, "I used to stay getting in fights."

We love a good origin story ... so when Bud came to the TMZ offices, we asked the undefeated 32-year-old superstar when he KNEW he had a knack for fighting.

"I always knew I could fight," Crawford says ... "I was 4'11" in the 9th grade. I was a little guy ... I think I had that little man complex."

Now, Crawford is 5'8", 147 pounds and arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer alive -- so yeah, he doesn't hand out ass-whoopings for free anymore!

In fact, he's facing undefeated Lithuanian star Egidijus Kavaliauskas (AKA The Mean Machine) on Dec. 14 at Madison Square Garden and says he's ready to show the world why he's the best.

I TAKE THIS SERIOUS
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We also spoke with Crawford about Errol Spence -- who was a potential opponent before Errol's bad car crash last month.

Despite the trash talk, Crawford says he hopes Errol has a healthy and speedy recovery and gets back in the ring soon.

Kevin Harvick Praises NASCAR's Hailie Deegan 'I Think She's Gonna Do Great'

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HER FUTURE'S BRIGHT
TMZSports.com

Racing phenom Hailie Deegan is the only woman to ever win a K&N Pro Series race ... but the 18-year-old is just getting started ... so says Kevin Harvick, who tells TMZ Sports she's got a bright future!!!

Deegan is a stud -- she's the daughter of motocross and racing star Brian Deegan and has been competing for YEARS, despite just turning 18 in July.

So, when we saw The Closer -- who has 49 wins under his belt -- about Deegan's chances with the big dogs, he says he has high expectations for Hailie ... as long as she's patient!!!

"I think she's gonna do great," Harvick said outside the NBA Store on Tuesday. "The biggest thing with Hailie is she doesn't need to rush."

"She's the only one in line right now that's got it."

We asked Harvick if Deegan's going to struggle to find her way in the male-dominated sport ... and he doesn't think that's an issue at all.

"I don't think so, I think Hailie's done it since she was a little kid."

Deegan's been generating buzz since she kick-started her career in 2016 ... and has already earned a huge fan base. But, Harvick clearly believes this is only the beginning.