Eric Dickerson Rams Should Re-Sign Gurley After Akers Injury ... 'A No-Brainer'

THE SHOW GOES ON
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Forget Le'Veon Bell and Adrian Peterson ... Eric Dickerson says if the Rams turn to a vet to help fill the RB void left after Cam Akers' injury -- they NEED to give Todd Gurley a call!

The former Rams superstar explained it all to TMZ Sports out at LAX this week ... saying Gurley would be the perfect runner to sign if L.A. doesn't like what it sees from Akers' backups this summer.

"That’s a no-brainer," Dickerson said of re-inking Gurley. "I mean, he knows the offense, he knows this offense. He doesn’t have to come in and try and learn it."

"He knows [Sean] McVay, he knows the guys on the team -- that would be an easy fit."

Of course, there are plenty of roadblocks both sides would have to get through to get to that point -- many of which Dickerson acknowledges himself.

First and foremost, the two parties didn't have the best breakup when the Rams moved on from their former star in 2020.

Gurley also didn't exactly look great in his lone season in Atlanta last year, rushing for just 3.5 yards per carry.

But, Todd is a free agent seeking an NFL home, and the Rams could use the help -- so Dickerson says "business decisions" could end up motivating both sides to reconnect and enjoy a new marriage.

"At the end of the day, football, this is business," Dickerson said. "That’s what it comes down to. You got to make business decisions."

"You got to make decisions that are good for the football team, and the player has to make decisions that’s best for him."

As for Akers ... Dickerson tells us he's sad to see the young star suffer such a horrible Achilles injury this week -- but he says he's confident the 22-year-old will bounce back and be ready for 2022.

Philly Cop Alleged Video Deletion ... Leads to arrest on several charges

ALLEGED TAMPERING

The Philadelphia police officer who allegedly deleted witness video during an arrest just got hauled in by his own boys in blue over the incident ... now he's facing criminal charges and is soon to be out of a job.

Officer Burnett -- the Philly PD cop identified as the one who allegedly scrubbed Jacob Giddings' footage during a gas station stop in March -- was arrested and arraigned Wednesday on several charges ... according to the Philadelphia D.A.'s Office.

THE RECOVERED FOOTAGE

The D.A. tells us Burnett's been charged with evidence tampering, attempted official oppression and obstruction of justice. It's unclear at this point how exactly the arrest went down -- be it Burnett turning himself in, or cops coming to nab him.

Burnett was first placed on administrative leave, launching an internal investigation, not to mention a civil suit filed against him -- and now ... criminal charges against the officer.

Of course, the smoking gun seems to be the body cam video. You'll recall ... his body camera was rolling while he was attempting to get Giddings out of the car -- capturing what Giddings claims is brutality and assault -- and it was also rolling when he appeared to delete video Giddings was taking of him in the run-up to the actual detainment and arrest.

Giddings provided even more videos that he says help his case ... offering extra photos from other body cameras which show Burnett fiddling with the phone.

No word on whether Burnett has entered a plea or not. As for Philly PD ... they say their Commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, has suspended Burnett for 30 days -- and plans to dismiss him entirely as soon as that's up. They also say he's been on the force for all of 4 years.

Gidding's attorney, Donte Mills of Mills & Edwards LLP, tells us, "This is what happens when we fight for each other. This is bigger than talking about change, it's demanding action. Police officers being arrested and held accountable never happens- Let me correct that, never use to happen. Now it does." Mills says Giddings was ecstatic when he heard the news.

Courtney Stodden Refutes Chrissy Teigen's Claim She Reached Out ... But You Can Tell Her This!!!

SETTING IT STRAIGHT
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Courtney Stodden insists Chrissy Teigen never reached out to them, but they're sending Chrissy a message ... some free advice on how to feel better about being in "cancel club."

Courtney's at a PETA event on Capitol Hill Wednesday, and talked to us about why they've been involved with the animal rights organization for several years -- the meat of the mission is to get folks to stop eating it.

Courtney -- who identifies as non-binary -- says major strides are being made, but there's still a long way to go, which brings us to their relationship with Teigen.

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SECRET SOCIETY
TMZ.com

As we reported ... Chrissy was out in WeHo Tuesday when she suggested she might be in "cancel club" forever following her cyberbullying scandal, but she also told us she DID reach out to Courtney, via text.

Stodden tells us that's not true and they have no idea what Teigen's talking about, but they apparently want to move on from that issue ... and raise another one.

As we've told you ... Courtney still thinks Chrissy is a bully playing the victim in order to garner some sympathy, so they suggest Teigen do something to prove that's not the case.

Watch for yourself ... but it sounds like the ball's been kicked over to Chrissy's court.

Nile Rodgers Come for Madonna ... Stay for the Roller Disco Vibes, Baby!!!

ROLLER DISCO HEAVEN
TMZ.com

Music legend Nile Rodgers is giddy talking about his roller disco event, which is truly on a roll 'cause Madonna's playing host for his grand opening event.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee joined "TMZ Live" Wednesday and told us about the awesome vibes going down at his new roller skating palace just outside L.A., dubbed the DiscOasis. Nile's described it as a theatrical journey, uniting "art, light, disco, dance, live performance, roller skating and good times."

So, yeah ... the experience has something for everyone, and it's a beautiful outdoor setting in the South Coast Botanic Garden of Palos Verdes Estates.

Nile, co-founder of the iconic band Chic, will serve as a "Groovemaster" ... and he says Madonna -- along with music mogul Jimmy Iovine and his wife, actress Liberty Ross -- will host the shindig tonight.

Don't roller skate? No problem! Nile says the 10,000-square-foot, outdoor space also offers a dance floor.

Now, he wouldn't spill the beans on whether Madge is gonna slip on a pair of skates, but whoever shows up will also be helping Nile's We Are Family Foundation ... a charity he founded in 2001 to empower youth who are changing the world with innovation.

DiscoOasis is gonna be open at least through Labor Day weekend ... and the Sunday shows include a "Sunset Series" -- with legendary DJs.

First up is Grandmaster Flash on August 1!!! Get the message? IYKYK

Major League Soccer Exec Claims She Got Axed for Speaking on Race Issues ... Sues for Retaliation

4:06 PM PT -- The MLS just released a statement to TMZ Sports ... saying, "Ms. Travieso’s allegations have no merit as her job, along with her entire department and 20 percent of League Office positions, was eliminated in November of 2020 as a result of the dramatic impact of the pandemic on Major League Soccer’s business."

"Ms. Travieso was not removed from her job duties for any other reason. Major League Soccer is committed to providing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment and takes these allegations very seriously."

"We are constantly working to ensure our employees feel safe and supported in the workplace."

A former media executive for Major League Soccer claims she lost her job for speaking up about racial issues within the organization following the killing of George Floyd ... so she's suing.

Karine Travieso, who is Black, has filed suit against MLS along with 2 of her former bosses, alleging she was removed from job duties, excluded from meetings and unjustly blamed for other employee's mistakes after speaking at a Juneteenth event in 2020.

According to the legal docs, obtained by TMZ Sports ... Travieso began working for MLS in 2017 and worked her way up to a role of prominence ... despite what she describes as a work environment lacking diversity and inclusion.

She also describes multiple incidents of perceived racial stereotypes, such as one of her bosses allegedly implying in 2018 that there needed to be extra security at the 2 Chainz MLS All-Star Concert because Black people would be attending.

According to Travieso ... she mostly stayed silent about stuff like this until George Floyd's death on May 25, 2020, sparked nationwide protests and raised awareness about the plight of Black people.

She claims she encouraged MLS honchos to release a statement about Floyd's death like other major sports leagues after several days of silence, and they finally did ... but she points to it as another example of the soccer org dropping the ball.

Then, according to the docs, Travieso spoke at the Juneteenth event and "opened her heart about racial discrimination" and how she felt she couldn't raise race issues with MLS execs.

She says she cited the 2 Chainz incident as a reason MLS needed to incorporate unconscious bias training, called on "white allies" within the org to help, and pointed out there was "little to no Black representation in the decision-making positions and upper echelon of MLS."

According to Travieso ... her speech was met with praise by colleagues, but MLS did nothing to follow up on it. Instead, she claims she began to be treated differently by her bosses, was no longer invited to meetings she'd previously been a part of, and was removed from certain roles within the company.

She says she reported this to HR in October, and then a month later ... she was informed she was being laid off due to the circumstances with COVID-19 and some business restructuring.

Travieso's suing for race discrimination and retaliation, and she's seeking damages. We reached out to MLS ... no word back so far.

Originally Published -- 12:56 PM PT

Deshaun Watson QB Looks Unfazed About Uncertain NFL Future ... At NYC Hotspot

OUT AND ABOUT IN NYC
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Deshaun Watson doesn't look like a guy too concerned about his uncertain NFL future ... 'cause the QB hit up a New York hotspot Tuesday night appearing to be as cool as a cucumber, even posing for pics with fans outside the place.

The Texans superstar -- who's still being accused by more than 20 women of sexual misconduct -- had dinner at the popular 4 Seasons in NYC ... and he didn't seem to be perturbed about much.

Cameras captured the 25-year-old outside the restaurant in good spirits ... smiling and taking photos with people -- even chatting with some who had no idea who he was.

Of course, despite his positive attitude ... Watson's football future is still very much up in the air as his Texans team is slated to open training camp next week.

Watson could be barred from the workouts -- and perhaps even the entire 2021 season -- as cops and the NFL continue to investigate claims he was inappropriate with female massage therapists on multiple occasions over the past couple years.

As we previously reported, 22 masseuses have said in court docs that Watson crossed the line during what were supposed to be routine massage therapy sessions.

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EVERYTHING WAS CONSENSUAL

For his part, Watson has denied any wrongdoing ... and his reps have been adamant that any sexual encounters between the football player and the massage therapists were entirely consensual.

Houston is slated to open its camp on July 28.

Scooter Braun Files for Divorce ... Prenup in Place

Scooter Braun and his wife, Yael, have done all they can to try saving their marriage ... but now Scooter is throwing in the towel.

The uber-Hollywood manager for the likes of Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, J Balvin and Ariana Grande filed for divorce Wednesday in Los Angeles.

According to the filing, Scooter is asking for joint custody of their 3 kids. He's also agreed to pay Yael spousal support. Given Scooter is willing to pay spousal support, it's almost certain he'll also pay child support.

As for dividing assets, there is a prenup ... drawn up by disso queen Laura Wasser, who is also repping Scooter in the divorce.

Our sources say ... at least so far, the divorce seems amicable. What's more, Scooter and Yael have gone back and forth, and this wouldn't be the first time a celebrity divorce was pulled after a reconciliation. That said, so far there is no reconciliation.

As we reported ... Scooter and Yael split earlier this month, after ongoing marital strife.

The ex-couple began dating in 2013 and wed in July 2014.

As for the date of separation, the docs simply say "TBD" -- to be determined.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Scooter recently shared a "thank you" message to Yael on Instagram following their 7th anniversary, and added ... "The adventure is just beginning."

Original 'Space Jam' Director Slams 'New Legacy' ... Bron's No MJ, but That's the Least of Its Problems!!!

Joe Pytka -- the director of Michael Jordan's original "Space Jam" -- is going off on LeBron James' reboot, calling it an uninteresting mess ... and that's about the nicest thing he has to say.

Pytka -- who's also known for directing popular music videos and commercials in the '80s and '90s, including the "I Am Tiger Woods" ad -- tells TMZ ... "Space Jam: A New Legacy" is so boring, he couldn't finish it in one sitting.

In fact, he says it took him 5 separate sessions to complete its 2-hour runtime.

The director has several issues with the reboot, starting with LBJ. Pytka points out when "Space Jam" was made in 1996, MJ wasn't just the best basketball player ... he was the biggest celebrity in the world.

Joe says LeBron's an incredible athlete and a very good actor, but adds ... "The truth is that LeBron ain't Michael." On top of that, Pytka says his film tied the plot to MJ's personal life -- retiring from hoops to play baseball -- while the new movie's missing a personal connection to LeBron.

Pytka's just getting started ... he feels the 1996 "Space Jam" featured a far superior supporting cast with Charles Barkley, Muggsy Bogues, Shawn Bradley and Bill Murray. In 'New Legacy' ... he says he can't even remember one thing Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard or the others did.

The director also thinks the reboot's soundtrack is "insignificant" while the OG's is classic, but his biggest beef is what happened to Bugs Bunny. No spoilers here, but Joe sees Bugs' role in 'New Legacy' as "heartbreaking."

Pytka says this new BB has no connection to previous depictions -- something they paid close attention to with the OG "Space Jam." In short, he says the new version "looked like one of those fluffy dolls you buy at an airport gift shop to bring your kid when your business trip has taken too long."

Take all this with a grain of salt, because Joe acknowledges his "Space Jam" was mostly panned by critics -- just like this reboot -- but it still became a cult classic.

And, to be clear, Pytka says he's not mad about 'A New Legacy' ... he just thinks it sucks. Ouch!!! As Bugs would say, "What's up, Doc???"

'American Pickers' No Plans to Bring Back Frank Fritz ... Mike Wolfe: 'I Will Miss Frank'

9:43 AM PT -- Mike just confirmed Frank won't be returning to the show. He tells TMZ ... he's known Frank for as long as he can remember and that he's like a brother to him. He says, "The journey that Frank, Dani and I started back in 2009, like all of life, has come with its highs and lows, blessings and challenges, but it has also been the most rewarding."

Mike adds, "I will miss Frank, just like all of you, and I pray for the very best and all good things for him on the next part of his journey."

"American Pickers" will remain a one-man show for the foreseeable future ... 'cause TMZ's learned it has no plans to bring back Mike Wolfe's ex-cohost Frank Fritz, and it has nothing to do with their fallout.

Sources close to the production tell TMZ ... Frank stepped away from the show a while back to deal with health problems that required back surgery. This, on top of already dealing with Crohn's disease. Frank hasn't appeared on the show since a March 2020 episode.

When Frank stepped away, we're told the show had to go on. They continued filming with just Mike at the helm.

Frank had been a staple on the show since 2010, but recently said he hasn't spoken to Mike in 2 years ... and his old cohost didn't reach out after the surgery. Frank's since lost nearly 70 pounds through exercising in an effort to have a better handle on his Crohn's battle.

It's no secret the ex-'Pickers' duo hasn't gotten along for years, but our sources say Frank's only off the show because he left to tend to his health. Although, he recently said he'd like to be back, we're told producers feel the show's doing fine with solo Mike.

Frank's speculated Mike's angling to get his own brother, Robbie, as a cohost -- he has been on the show lately -- but we're told that's not happening either.

The only replacement Mike's made in his life so far is with his new girlfriend ... after his wife filed for divorce.

Originally Published -- 12:50 AM PT

Chris Massey Jamie Lynn & Britney Drama ... Not Derailing 'Zoey 101' Reboot!!!

Britney Spears publicly beefing with her little sister, Jamie Lynn, is having no impact on the "Zoey 101" reboot moving forward ... so says Chris Massey.

We got the former Nickelodeon star -- and Jamie Lynn's costar -- Tuesday in L.A., where he told us he's heard the exact opposite of what his fellow 'Zoey' alum, Paul Butcher, said online the other day ... about the #FreeBritney drama potentially derailing the show's revival.

THE SHOW GOES ON
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Check it out, Chris tells us he's been in touch with Jamie Lynn fairly recently, and that as far as he knows -- the plan is still to bring back the show ... even though he admits they have been somewhat delayed.

However, he also acknowledges JLS is going through some family drama -- namely Brit crushing her little sis on social media over the conservatorship and an old award show beef.

Chris says he's not sure why Paul made it seem like the reboot was off ... and even has a message for his old pal. He wants to have a little chat to clear the air, and any rumors he might've inadvertently caused with his TikTok post.

BTW, Chris gives us a bit of insight into what he remembers about Britney and Jamie Lynn's relationship ... albeit from many years past. Although Britney's making it seem like it's no love lost between them, he remembers a time it was clearly much different.

Anyway, 'Zoey' fans can stand down, and cancel any petition writing campaigns -- as far as Chris has been told, the show must go on.

Ben Crump To Pitch Van Jones on Law Center ... After Bezos' $100M Gift

Ben Crump says the huge stash of cash Jeff Bezos just donated to Van Jones could go a long way for a cause they both care about deeply -- helping Black people learn the law.

The civil rights attorney tells TMZ ... he plans to talk to his good friend Van about using some of that $100 million Bezos donation to help partially fund something Ben's been working on for a while ... namely, a one-stop-shop law facility in Florida.

It's called The Ben Crump Social Justice Law Center -- nestled in St. Thomas University College of Law in Miami Gardens -- and the aim is to bring underserved and underprivileged African-Americans the opportunity to study to become lawyers.

We're told the initiative is specifically targeting 1st-generation Black college and law students.

"SOMETIMES DREAMS COME TRUE"
Blue Origin

The startup is already underway, as Ben says they've been accepting donations for some time, but he adds Van's assistance could help put a bow on the work being done.

During Van's acceptance speech of Bezos' Courage and Civility Award he alluded to making sure the $100 mil got into the hands of grassroots activists.

It sure sounds like Ben's project could be right up his alley ... as Crump's worked tirelessly, for more than a year now, with grassroots activism groups across the country.

UFC Champ Brandon Moreno Wants To Fight Cody Garbrandt ... Not Figueiredo, Yet

"NOT RIGHT NOW"
TMZSports.com

UFC's newest flyweight champ Brandon Moreno is hunting for his next big fight ... telling TMZ Sports he wants to take on the ex-bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt -- if the dude's willing to drop some pounds.

We caught up with the 27-year-old Mexican star fresh off last month's huge win over Deiveson Figueiredo ... and while "Deus Da Guerra" wants an immediate rematch, Moreno says he's got some work to do before getting the trilogy fight.

"I think he needs to fight against another guy because the last fight wasn't even close," Moreno tells us. "Domination from the first through the third round."

"I'm open to fight against him, but I think he needs to fight again with somebody," he added. "Not because I'm scared or something like that -- it's hard to get scared in this sport because a lot of brave people here in this sport -- but I think it's not my next fight."

So, if DF is out of the question, who's next??

Moreno loves the idea of scrapping with "No Love" -- the guy who held the bantamweight belt in 2016 -- saying it's exactly the type of opponent he's looking for.

"I'm interested in that fight because he's a huge name. He's a possibility."

Of course, Moreno and Figueiredo's first fight in 2020 ended in a draw ... and "The Assassin Baby" got the W last month via 3rd round submission, becoming the first Mexican-born UFC champ.

Moreno's clearly down to give Figueiredo his rematch down the line ... but says a fight with a guy like Cody is his priority. He also gives another possible opponent ... and you'll wanna hear what he says.

AOC on Bezos' Space Trip Of Course He Loves the Free Ride!!! Par for the Amazon Course

BLASTING BEZOS
TMZ.com

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is tearing Jeff Bezos a new one after he thanked Amazon employees and customers for footing the bill for his trip to space.

We got the Congresswoman Tuesday on Capitol Hill, and asked what she made of the richest man in the world giving major props to workers and online consumers for literally paying for his roughly 10-minute rocket voyage this morning.

YOU PAID FOR THIS
Blue Origin

ICYMI ... it was an awkward moment, and one Jeff didn't seem to realize came off as tone-deaf. There wasn't much context to his comment, but AOC thinks she has a good idea of what he meant -- as she says that's right up Amazon's alley (AKA, free rides on the backs of others).

You gotta watch her go off here ... it's beyond scathing, this is downright brutal -- calling Bezos out for allegedly overworking employees, busting unions and, of course, avoiding paying taxes via loopholes in the law.

"SOMETIMES DREAMS COME TRUE"
Blue Origin

We asked her if there was a silver lining in the fact that Bezos made a $100 million donation to Van Jones and organizations/causes he sees fit -- but it sounds like she thinks it's mostly an empty gesture.

If it's a choice between the $100M gift and Amazon paying up to benefit the rest of us ... the decision is easy in the Representative's mind.

Lee Merritt Cops Support Me in Texas AG Race ... And McConaughey Should Run!!!

BACKING THE BLUE
TMZ.com

Attorney Lee Merritt believes his battle to become attorney general of Texas is not as uphill as people think ... because he's confident he can work with law enforcement to give his campaign the boost needed to win.

The renowned civil rights lawyer -- who's represented the families of Botham Jean, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd among many others -- joined "TMZ Live" Tuesday to discuss his chances in the AG race ... and give his take on Matthew McConaughey running for Texas governor.

Merritt acknowledges he's facing a major challenge as a Democrat running in a traditionally red state, but insists police are on his side ... especially good cops who are already working to improve the system.

Sounds like he thinks his campaign's focus on new ideas -- involving voter rights, fixing the state's power grid and ending mass incarceration -- can energize enough new voters to lead him to victory.

"THE ALTERNATIVE SUCKS"
@McConaughey / Twitter

Speaking of energy ... Merritt says McConaughey can be the gubernatorial candidate who brings a lot of it to the state elections, and he's hopeful the actor will throw his hat in the ring soon.

The big mystery, of course, is if the actor does launch a campaign on the heels of his uniting message to Americans ... will he run as a Dem, Republican or Independent???

Cleary, Attorney Merritt has a preference ... whatever leads to a "blue wave."

Gwen Stefani Kids Were Signed Witnesses for 'I Do' to Blake ...

Gwen Stefani had some trusty witnesses sign off on her marriage to Blake Shelton ... her own kids were the ones to make the ceremony official and sign off on the couple's certificate.

Gwen and Blake's marriage certificate, obtained by TMZ, shows some of what we already knew, the nuptials went down Saturday, July 3, at a little place called "Gwen's Chapel" on Blake's ranch in in Mill Creek, OK ... which is the special sanctuary he built for the big day, and where they said "I do."

The witnesses who signed the doc ... Gwen's two oldest, 15-year-old Kingston Rossdale and 12-year-old Zuma. Her youngest, 7-year-old Apollo, also took part in the ceremony ... but doesn't show up on the paperwork.

There's also this ... fellow 'Voice' star Carson Daly's name is on the cert, because he officiated the whole thing. The document says he's an ordained minister for Universal Life Church in Johnston County, OK

TMZ got the first photos of Gwen in her dress that day -- with a furry photobomb to boot -- as well as video of what appeared to be the couple's first dance as man and wife. Gwen confirmed they'd gotten hitched a couple days after the fact ... with a sweet photo dump.

THE FIRST DANCE
TMZ.com

Once again ... congrats, you two!

'Flip or Flop' Tarek Allegedly Erupts on Christina ... I'm Winning!!!

Tarek El Moussa flipped out on his "Flip or Flop" costar and ex-wife, Christina Haack, for letting him know it was time to film ... sources close to the show tell TMZ.

According to our production sources ... Tarek's eruption went down on the set of the popular HGTV series last Wednesday, after he apparently didn't like the way she signaled to him that she and the crew were ready to begin shooting.

We're told Tarek immediately lost his cool and went on a verbal tirade directed toward Christina ... which allegedly included him comparing her to his fiancee, Heather Rae Young, and saying Heather is hotter and richer than Christina.

Our sources say Tarek boasted that he "made" Christina and called her a "washed-up loser," and exclaimed that he enjoys watching her fail.

We're told he also yelled "Look at me, look at me, look at me. It’s called winning" and capped off his rant by screaming at her ... "The world knows you're crazy!"

According to our sources ... this isn't the first time Tarek went on a tirade against Christina on set. We're told after the latest incident, production stopped filming them together for the rest of the day ... and simply shot their scenes separately.

A source close to Tarek tells us his anger toward Christina stems from her recent admission she smoked toad venom -- before meeting her new boyfriend -- and his main concern is for the safety of their two children. At the end of the day, both Tarek and Christina are show execs, and our source says there's going to be tension from time to time, this was one of those incidents.

We reached out to reps for Tarek, Christina and HGTV ... so far, no word back.

As you may know ... Christina's made headlines as of late for following up her divorce from Ant Anstead by revealing she's in a new relationship with Joshua Hall -- something that came about after she says she smoked toad venom.

El Moussa and Haack were married from 2009 to 2018 and have 2 kids together ... plus one very tense house-flipping reality show.

Old news is old news!
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