Ex-Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is suing his former team for more than $22 MILLION -- claiming he was wrongly made the scapegoat for the cheating scandal despite having nothing to do with it.
53-year-old Luhnow -- who was hired by the Astros in 2011 -- says he signed a deal with the team in 2018 that included $31 million in guaranteed compensation in addition to performance bonuses.
But, when the team fired him for cause following an investigation into allegations the team conducted a high-tech sign-stealing system in 2017 ... Luhnow claims he got screwed out of a ton of money, more than $22 million.
In his breach of contract lawsuit, Luhnow claims the Astros fired him "even though [he] had no knowledge of -- or involvement in -- the sign-stealing schemes."
He adds, "Yet everyone above and below Luhnow in the Astros organization came away unscathed" -- including the "video room employees who conceived and orchestrated the sign stealing system."
Luhnow claims the "investigation" -- which he puts in quotes in his suit -- was "deeply flawed" and wrongly made him a scapegoat, claiming he had knowledge of they scheme.
"The truth is the Astros had no basis to fire Luhnow, a respected executive with an unblemished record and a 16 year history of compliance with MLB rules."
The Astros fired Luhnow in January 2020 -- after the MLB report was released.
Hinch, on the other hand, was just hired to manage the Detroit Tigers.
So far, no comment from the Astros.
NBA player Sterling Brown has reached a $750k settlement with the City of Milwaukee, records show -- stemming from a 2018 incident when he was tased by cops.
Remember, the Milwaukee Bucks player was confronted by officers outside of a Walgreens while he was on a first date.
Cops had accused him of parking in a handicap space ... and things escalated from there.
Video showed officers taking Brown to the ground and tasing him -- despite the fact he never resisted or seemed to pose a threat.
Brown filed a lawsuit after the incident -- and previously said he was offered a $400,000 settlement in exchange for his silence on the matter but refused, saying, "I can't be quiet."
Now, Brown HAS reached a deal ... but according to The Athletic's Shams Charania it's not just about money.
In addition to the $750,000 ... Shams says the "City of Milwaukee would in a statement admit to a constitutional violation and commit to incorporate changes to the Milwaukee Police Department standard operating procedures."
The City will above 180 days to start implementing the changes, Shams says.
Steve-O thinks Oregon's new law legalizing drugs is going to create enormous problems, because he thinks it opens the door for young people to become addicts.
The "Jackass" star tells TMZ ... anyone looking to do cocaine, meth or any other hard drug will find a way to scratch that itch whether there's a law against it or not. But, with Oregon recently voting to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and meth ... Steve-O thinks it may send the wrong message.
Steve-O -- who's been sober for over a decade -- thought it was a joke when he heard about the new law. That said ... he worries the new law may make it seem like it's OK for kids to try cocaine and meth.
Steve-O understands the court system can't handle every single case involving small amounts of drugs. He thinks we've got to place close attention to Oregon ... to see if drug use subsides or rises.
Jamie has filed new court docs in Britney’s conservatorship case, firing back at Britney's attorney, Sam Ingham, for recently asking a judge to kick Jamie out of his role as co-conservator of the estate. He makes numerous points for why this would be a bad idea.
For one, Jamie says he's doing everything he's supposed to be doing managing the estate -- and that includes keeping it thriving and bridging the gap on any hiccups that could cost his daughter a fortune, including making sure a biz manager's in place.
Case in point ... Jamie says he has years-long record of managing her business affairs and assets incredibly well, and that he actually pulled her out of significant debt and looming lawsuits when he took over and got the estate to its current status of being worth around $60 million.
Jamie claims that financial ruin was avoided on his watch -- and that there's no substantive reason to ask that he be removed now. As for getting a new business manager in place after Britney's old managing entity, Tristar, recently exited the role ... Jamie says, technically, he and the other folks helping manage the estate aren't obligated to give Ingham any notice.
With that said, he explains why they departed -- which he says wasn't sudden at all, but gracious and well-planned. Basically, Jamie says a person named Lou Taylor -- who was a key player in managing Britney's business affairs -- was getting major death threats.
As such, he and the team started looking for a replacement -- for Taylor's sake -- and found someone they liked in Michael Kane. You’ll recall, this is the guy Ingham mentioned in his docs, complaining that his hiring didn’t give Britney any chance to explore alternatives.
Long story short ... Jamie says Ingham is overstepping his authority, noting the guy is just her court-appointed lawyer and doesn’t serve any conservatorship roles over business affairs. Now we’ll have to wait for a judge to weigh in on things.
Lori Harvey's avoiding jail time after copping a plea deal in her hit-and-run case ... but it's going to be a couple of years before she puts it behind her for good.
A court official tells us Steve Harvey's daughter appeared before a judge this week after cutting a deal with prosecutors ... in which she pled no contest to one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.
In exchange, we're told Lori was sentenced to 2 years of probation.
As we first told you ... prosecutors charged Lori in her hit-and-run case back in January, about 3 months after she allegedly smashed her Mercedes G-Wagon into another car and attempted to flee the scene.
Police ultimately nabbed Lori when they found her walking down the street a short distance from the accident. While dealing with the cops, Lori even FaceTimed her famous father.
The crash was super intense, leaving her G-Wagon flipped on the driver's side. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.
Now, Lori's just gotta keep her nose clean.
Joe Biden has just been declared the winner of the election, and he'll become the 46th President of the United States ... this according to CNN, NBC, Fox News and BBC ... which have all called the election.
President Trump continues to say it ain't so, but after a new batch of votes in Pennsylvania -- which brought 20 more electoral college votes -- Biden passed the 270 mark of electoral votes to be the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election.
The President-Elect is already vowing to govern for all Americans ... including the more than 70 million who did NOT vote for him.
America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 7, 2020 @JoeBiden
The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not.
I will keep the faith that you have placed in me. pic.twitter.com/moA9qhmjn8
It's an historic victory, in many ways, not the least of which is Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris -- the first woman, first Black person, and first person of Asian descent to hold the second-highest elected office in America.
It appears she was out for a morning run when she got the victory news, and immediately called her running mate to celebrate.
Shortly after the announcement, CNN contributor Van Jones had an incredibly emotional reaction to the historic moment.
Biden and Harris' victory comes 4 days after Election Day, and required the painstaking counting of ballots in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona. Biden had been trailing in GA and PA until early Friday morning when both flipped from red to blue for Barack Obama's former VP.
He also held on in close races in Arizona and Nevada to give him way more electoral votes than he needed to win the presidency. Battleground states Wisconsin and Michigan were called for him earlier this week.
Worth noting, the Biden-Harris ticket managed to flip 3 states -- AZ, GA and PA -- that President Trump had won back in 2016. The writing had been on the wall for Trump all week ... as mail-in ballots were counted, the President's lead slowly shrunk before Biden overtook him.
Biden addressed the encouraging trend Thursday when he stopped just short of giving a victory speech ... but still sounded very Presidential.
Of course, so many of the state races were incredibly tight -- GA's already declared a recount and PA might be headed for one too.
Trump did win a tight battle in North Carolina, but he's up in arms about the states where he fell short and claims he's been cheated -- although, his team has yet to present evidence of that.
Despite President-elect Biden's win, the 2020 election proved to be another big failure for pollsters who predicted he'd have a relatively easy path to victory. For example, Trump handily won Florida by 3.5 points, but one leading polling site predicted Biden winning it by 2.5 points.
Likewise, Democrats fell way short of their predicted "blue wave" in House and Senate races. In fact, Republicans picked up at least 7 seats in the House -- practically negating the Dems' gains in 2018 -- and the GOP managed to keep control in the Senate.
President Trump -- a self-confessed bad loser -- is not taking the results well. Just before the race was projected for Biden, Trump once again tweeted defiantly.
Trump has vowed to challenge the result and take his case all the way to the Supreme Court.
Here's the wild card. The High Court decided a PA ballot issue just 2 weeks ago, and the vote was 4-4. That was before Justice Amy Coney Barrett was on the job. If Trump's battle does get kicked up to SCOTUS, she could end up deciding the election.
Trump's legal team, including Rudy Giuliani held a news conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia Saturday morning ... just moments after Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris became the projected winners of the election.
Giuliani focused on the mail-in ballots in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and repeated Trump's allegations of fraud connected to them. His main beef is Team Trump was allegedly not allowed to see any of the mail-in ballots or verify their legitimacy.
Rudy says the problem wasn't only in Philadelphia, but also in Pittsburgh ... where he claims 300,000 ballots went completely unchecked by Republicans who had a court order allowing them to observe the count.
He admits they were given access, but as you've heard for a few days now ... team Trump claims they weren't allowed to get close enough to properly observe.
The President and his lawyers say they will file multiple cases on Monday to challenge the vote count. Although they've yet to present any evidence of this ... they claim not every legal ballot has been counted, and far too many "illegal" ballots have been counted.
President Trump should have one less thing to worry about -- the cop from the Village People's giving him the thumbs up to use "Y.M.C.A." ... in hopes POTUS won't get sued for it.
Victor Willis -- the founding member and lead singer of VP -- says the potential lawsuit brewing over the unauthorized use of their hit song at Trump rallies is meritless and won't succeed.
That's because Victor says his music company owns the U.S. copyright ... and he's decided to issue a retroactive nonexclusive license to the Trump campaign.
He says he made the decision because "the benefit of Trump’s use far outweigh any damage caused considering Y.M.C.A. is once again on the Billboard charts, and is now in the top of Apple iTunes chart sales."
Translation ... Victor doesn't want to kill this cash cow.
The disco-era classic was frequently heard blaring at Trump's rallies over the last couple of months. As we told you back in September ... other Village People members were annoyed their hit was being used to support Trump. It caused a rift in the group, because but Victor -- who co-wrote "Y.M.C.A." -- insisted he would not sue over it.
It came up again this week as lawyers for Scorpio Music -- which co-owns the copyright with Willis -- threatened to take legal action. Victor, however, claims his license move will shut down any infringement claims.
He tells us this does not mean he's a Trump supporter -- in fact, he says he voted for Joe Biden -- but says he doesn't believe in kicking a man while he's down.
Jeff Bezos just scored a big legal victory, annihilating his girlfriend's brother in court.
A judge just told Michael Sanchez to take a hike, dismissing his defamation suit against the richest man in the world. As we reported, Sanchez, the brother of Jeff's GF Lauren Sanchez, claimed Bezos told reporters it was Michael who leaked those graphic texts and nude photos of JB to the National Enquirer. It appears Lauren sent the texts and photos to Michael but never thought he'd try and sell them.
Michael insists he was not the source of the leak, and sued Bezos for allegedly trashing him to reporters ... with claims that "spread like wildfire."
The judge said Michael's assertions were all hearsay ... he had no proof Bezos trashed him to anyone, so he dismissed the case.
It's interesting ... Bezos accused the National Enquirer of trying to extort him over graphic photos of him and Lauren, but said, "Rather than capitulate to extortion and to blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten."
Unclear whether Sanchez will appeal the ruling.
Dr. Dre's estranged wife is looking into whether the mogul was unfaithful during their marriage ... and she's demanding to know if he fathered children with other women.
Nicole Young just filed legal docs, obtained by TMZ, asking Dre to hand over any paperwork relating to any paternity actions he may have been involved in during their 24-year union.
It's not clear there are actually any paternity suits involving Dre ... Nicole's simply requesting he hand over any paperwork if there's anything on this front.
Unclear why exactly Nicole is asking about possible secret children -- but an educated guess is that it's about money would be going to support them.
Johnny Depp's suffering a huge blow to his career on the heels of losing his wife-beating case ... he's no longer starring in 'Fantastic Beasts.'
The actor says Warner Bros. asked him to step down from his recurring role as Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spinoff franchise, and he's agreeing to walk away.
Warner Bros. confirmed the drastic change in a statement to TMZ, telling us ... Johnny is leaving the 'Fantastic Beasts' family, and with the third-installment already in production, Grindelwald's character will be recast.
Filing the case was a huge miscalculation on Depp's part -- since the judge agreed he was a "wife-beater" -- and the move by Warner Bros. to cut ties is evidence of that.
Johnny says he's planning to appeal the court's "surreal judgment" and says he won't let the case define his life and career.
PETA's making a strong effort to get Doc Antle in the USDA's crosshairs ... filing a complaint and asking the department to investigate him over Lil Pump's recent visit.
The animal rights org fired off a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture formally requesting it investigate the 'Tiger King' star for apparent violations of the Animal Welfare Act at his Myrtle Beach Safari.
In the letter, obtained by TMZ ... Debbie Metzler, associate director of captive animal law enforcement, cited Lil Pump's trip there this week, and a video that shows him make "direct physical contact with a juvenile tiger."
She claims it violates the law requiring that “dangerous animals such as… tigers… or elephants must be under the direct control and supervision of a knowledgeable and experienced animal handler."
Then there's the Lil Pump encounter with the elephant, Bubbles. Metzler calls the stunt exceptionally dangerous because it could have spooked the elephant and triggered the elephant to bolt and potentially injure people. PETA wants the USDA to hold Antle accountable for any and all violations it discovers during its investigation.
As we reported ... Pump and his boys took a trip to South Carolina and had one helluva close encounter with Bubbles. Video shows Pump getting picked up by the elephant's trunk. The rapper damn near fell off before safely landing on his feet.
As you know by now ... federal prosecutors recently indicted Antle for wildlife trafficking and animal cruelty. He's denied the allegations and said he looks forward to clearing his name.
Lori Loughlin's starred in her share of Hallmark movies, and now her real life might mimic one ... because she's set to get out of prison and return to her family on Christmas Day.
The Bureau of Prisons has given the actress an official release date -- Sunday, December 27 -- but here's the deal ... an inmate whose release date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday can be released on the last preceding weekday.
Bingo! Make some room in that sleigh, Santa ... Lori's got a great shot at freedom on Friday, December 25 -- or maybe even Christmas Eve, since Friday's a national holiday.
Of course, there's still the chance Lori could get out well before Christmas too ... but it would have to be related to COVID issues -- if there's an outbreak at California's FCI Dublin, it's likely a judge would grant her an early compassionate release.
And, as we've reported ... once Loughlin is released, she's still got 2 years of supervised release as part of her sentence in the college admissions scandal.
The dog owner who was caught on camera slapping around his dog has just been charged ... TMZ has learned.
The Santa Monica City Attorney's Office charged Jeffrey Previte, CEO of an environmental consulting firm in L.A., with 1 count of animal neglect ... a misdemeanor. If convicted, he faces up to 6 months in county jail and a maximum fine of $500.
As we reported ... Previte snapped on the dog, Bici, back in August in the hallway of his Santa Monica apartment building. The video was pretty damn disturbing ... showing Previte dragging, choking and slapping his poor dog after it started peeing.
Previte ultimately apologized for the incident and went as far as saying the pup would be getting a new home. As we first reported ... Previte said he truly regretted the way he attempted to discipline Bici. Previte fessed up to losing his temper and said he "took unreasonable and unjustifiable action."
YNW Melly has a new problem, on top of his trial for murdering 2 of his friends ... the rapper is now being sued by their estates for tens of millions of dollars.
The estates of Christopher Thomas and Anthony Williams filed the wrongful death lawsuits. According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, Christopher's estate claims "damages are in the millions or tens of millions of dollars or more."
According to the suit filed by Anthony's estate ... Melly murdered him because of money. The suit says tension began to develop among Melly's friends about how money should be distributed, claiming greed was a factor in the alleged murders because it left fewer people to split up the cash.
YNW Melly's mom, Jamie King, and his manager, Jameson Francois, are also named in both suits. The Williams family claims Melly's manager played a role in the alleged murders, including an allegation Francois transported YNW Melly from the shooting location.
As you know ... Melly's been sitting in a Florida jail for over a year, awaiting his double murder trial for his friends' deaths. When he caught COVID-19, he asked to be let out and placed on house arrest, but the judge said no.
The same families suing him now said he should rot in jail with the virus.
Ex-MLB prospect Brandon Martin has been convicted of killing three men -- including his disabled father -- with a baseball bat back in 2015 ... and could now face the death penalty.
27-year-old Martin was a promising young shortstop in the sport ... and was a first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011.
Martin killed his 64-year-old dad, 58-year-old uncle and a 62-year-old alarm installation worker at their family home in Corona, CA in September 2015.
The details are gruesome ... Martin beat the men with a black bat inscribed with his name before stealing the alarm installer's truck and fleeing the scene.
The following day, law enforcement spotted the pickup truck ... and Martin tried to escape before ultimately ditching the vehicle, breaking into a house and jumping from a 2nd-story window in an attempt to get away.
Martin was charged with 3 counts of first-degree murder ... as well as a number of other charges stemming from the incident. He pled not guilty and the case went to trial.
A jury started deliberating earlier this week ... and after 4 hours, Martin was found guilty on all 7 counts, including all 3 first-degree murder charges.
The conviction makes Martin eligible for the death penalty ... which is being sought by the District Attorney.
The penalty phase of the trial starts Monday ... when Martin's fate will be determined.