Camille Vasquez Hired as NBC Legal Analyst ... Talks Kohberger Case

nbc's latest hire
NBC

Johnny Depp's star lawyer, Camille Vasquez, has a sweet new TV gig ... she's working for NBC as an on-air legal analyst, and on her first day she's tackling the biggest criminal case in the country.

Camille appeared Monday on the "Today" show, where she joined Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie to discuss Bryan Kohberger ... who's been charged for the quadruple murder in Idaho. The 2 cohosts asked her to size it all up, and to weigh in on how strong the state's case is against him, based on what we know so far.

According to CV ... Kohberger has a steep hill to climb, because she says investigators and prosecutors aren't in the habit of revealing all their cards from the get-go. On the contrary, she suggests there might be even more damning evidence beyond what's been revealed so far in the police affidavit ... which includes DNA, cell phone data and eyewitness accounts.

Camille says they probably put just enough in the docs to get probable cause for an arrest, but notes there could be more revealed in court. She also talked about the pros and cons of having the public so engaged in this case ... saying tips could certainly be helpful, but too much sleuthing could also be a red herring.

Pretty solid first outing as a media personality for Camille ... a job that came after 4 major networks were clamoring for her expertise since she won the defamation case for Depp.

She's not going fully Hollywood ... Camille is still a partner at her firm, Brown Rudnick, so she's quite busy these days.

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CAMILLE ON TMZ
TMZ.com

She's got TV chops, as we found out on "TMZ's Merry Elfin' Christmas" special. Congrats on the new position!

Keke Palmer I Have Sex, and Now I'm Pregnant!!! Big Reveal on 'SNL'

Keke Palmer made a big reveal during her monologue Saturday night on 'SNL' -- the buzz is real ... she's having a baby!

Keke's having her first kid with BF Darius Jackson, and she didn't just say it ... she showed it!!!

She said, "There's some rumors going around, people have been in my comments saying, 'Keke's having a baby, Keke's pregnant,' and I wanna set the record straight ... I am!"

Not sure how far along she is, but judging from the bump, she's well down the road. She confessed she has lots going on right now and wanted to keep it a secret for as long as she could.

The most hilarious part ... she said, "Even though some people feel a little weird about me having a baby cause I was a child actor, I just wanna say, look, I'm 29, I'm grown, I have sex, I own a home, I stormed the Capitol on January 6, you know? Things adults do."

Congrats!!!

Blake Shelton I'm Leaving 'The Voice' ... After Upcoming Season

Blake Shelton is stepping away from the coach's chair ... he says the upcoming season of "The Voice" will be his last.

Blake made the announcement Tuesday, explaining he's been wrestling with the idea of leaving the singing competition show for a while now.

As one of the longest-tenured coaches, Blake says his 12 years on the NBC show have been a hell of a ride, and he's thanking everyone who had a hand in pulling off the twice-a-week live show.

Blake says he's made lifelong bonds with tons of folks on the show, including wife Gwen Stefani and host Carson Daly.

BS is also giving a shoutout to all the singers who have appeared on "The Voice" during his 12 years, especially those who picked him to be their coach.

Blake ends by saying the show wouldn't be what it is today without the fans.

No word on who will replace Blake as a coach.

Stay tuned ...

Elon Musk Patents are for Losers ... You Want My Innovations, Have at It!!!

"PATENTS ARE FOR THE WEAK"
CNBC

Elon Musk is one cocky motherf***er -- because he's so confident he can stay ahead of the pack, he doesn't even bother to protect his innovations.

Elon appeared on CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage" Wednesday night where the 2 guys tooled around Elon's Texas-based SpaceX Starbase facility and chatted it up.

At one point Jay asked if SpaceX had a patent on the materials he used to construct spaceships. Elon's response ... "I don't care about patents. Patents are for the weak."

Translation ... Elon's fine with competitors playing catchup with his creations, because he's betting on himself that he'll come up with something even better before they do.

Elon believes patents are just a buzzkill ... "They don't actually help advance things, they just stop others from following you."

Musk has followed his mantra in other ventures, including Tesla. Back in 2014, he sent a memo to Tesla staff, shunning patents and saying Tesla innovations are there "to attract and motivate the world's most talented engineers."

He had some choice words about getting such legal protection .. "[Patents] serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors."

Now that's bad ass!

Jimmy Kimmel Slammed Online for Emmys Skit Stealing Moment from Quinta Brunson

Jimmy Kimmel has come under some serious fire online after many believe a skit he and Will Arnett performed as presenters stole the spotlight from winner Quinta Brunson.

Arnett and Kimmel presented the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series at Monday night's Emmy Awards. Arnett dragged a "passed out" Kimmel onto the stage and laid his body out next to the microphone stand while he explained the late night host had too many margaritas backstage.

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STEALING THE SPOTLIGHT
NBC

Once Arnett called Brunson's name as the winner, and she came to the stage, Kimmel continued to carry on with the gag -- even after Brunson jokingly exclaimed, "Jimmy, wake up. I won."

Jimmy laid super close to Brunson as she gave her speech, making it nearly impossible for the show's directors to get a shot of her without him in it.

Twitter exploded after the moment, with users pointing out how disrespectful Kimmel's decision came across, including, "Jimmy Kimmel owes Quinta an apology but the messed up part is every image of her accepting her award has his ass in it. White men really are insufferable."

Another said, "White male privilege is laying on the ground & expecting a Black woman to just step around you while she accepts her hard-earned award."

Nonetheless, Brunson didn't seem bothered by the moment, telling reporters after the show, "I think in that moment, I was just really happy that it was Jimmy up there ... I don’t know, tomorrow maybe I’ll be mad at him. I’m gonna be on his show on Wednesday, so I might punch him in the face. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”

Jason Sudeikis Thanks Kids at Emmys ... Amid Custody War w/ Olivia

SHOUTING OUT THE KIDS
NBC

Jason Sudeikis thanked his kids at the Emmys -- reminding folks he's in a nasty custody battle with Olivia Wilde, perhaps unintentionally.

The actor was delivering an acceptance speech Monday after his show, "Ted Lasso," won for Outstanding Comedy Series ... and toward the end, he name-dropped his young son and daughter, Otis and Daisy.

APRIL 2022
NOT THE SCRIPT
BACKGRID

It sorta flew under the radar, as not everyone knows his children's names by heart -- but it was there ... and if you've been following along, it may run deeper than a simple shout-out.

As you know, both Jason and Olivia have been at war lately over where their kids should live, and how much time they spend with each parent -- a case that's not yet settled, but which has had a lot of bumps along the way ... including a public serving of documents earlier this year.

A process server, acting on Jason's behalf, dropped legal docs at Olivia's feet while she was presenting for her new movie at CinemaCon -- something she later called "vicious."

JS denied having planned it to happen that way deliberately, but OW thinks otherwise. In the end, Olivia walked away with a win ... getting a judge to side with her that their custody case should be heard in L.A. and not New York, which is where Jason wanted to hash things out.

None of that drama was on display, though, when Jason was speaking ... he was all smiles with his cast onstage, and didn't further allude to the fight with Olivia whatsoever. Although, he might have been wondering if he was about to get served.

BTW ... Jason took his good vibes and carried them on outside the venue. We ran into him on the street after the show, and the dude was totally engaging with fans ... snapping selfies and signing a ton of autographs. He even gave 'em some life advice.

MAN OF THE PEOPLE
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Seems he's just as beloved by the people as his character is. Olivia, at the moment, is in the middle of all kinds of professional drama with her "Don't Worry Darling" cast.

Alyson Hannigan Finds Buyer For 'This Is Us' House ... With $16 Million Price Tag!!!

Alyson Hannigan can break out the bubbly ... because she finally found a buyer for her home, which was a filming location for NBC's hit show "This Is Us."

Real estate sources tell TMZ ... the "How I Met Your Mother" star accepted an offer Thursday on her 5-bedroom estate, which she listed for $18 million.

The place is 7,605 square feet and it was featured in "This Is Us" as the home Mandy Moore's character, Rebecca, tells Justin Hartley's character, Kevin, to build in memory of Milo Ventimiglia's character, Jack.

Alyson's place was used in multiple flash-forward scenes over the final couple of seasons on the NBC show ... and she's on the record saying she liked having her digs converted into a filming set, because NBC footed the bill for a ton of repairs.

The house is a go-to for Hollywood producers ... it's also been used in "Fun With Dick and Jane," "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" and "Fractured," plus a Hyundai Super Bowl commercial starring Kevin Hart.

The estate sits on 3 acres of land in a gated community in Encino ... and includes a main residence, guest house, home gym and office space. The place is decked out with a pool, tennis court and a vegetable garden.

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The very private property is super green, too -- dotted with palm trees, orange trees, avocado trees, sycamores and succulents ... which can be seen from every room in the house.

Alyson and her husband Alexis Denisof bought the home in 2016 for $7.95M, and last month they reportedly bought a new home in Santa Monica.

Michael LaMontagna of Hilton & Hyland and Alexis LaMontagna of Coldwell Banker held the listing.

'AGT' Golden Buzzer Chapel Hart Gettin' Love From Country Legends ... We're On Darius Rucker's Album!!!

DREAM COME TRUE
TMZ.com

Chapel Hart has been getting nothing but support from the Country music community after they snagged a golden buzzer on "America's Got Talent" ... and they're already lined up to be on Darius Rucker's next album.

We spoke with bandmates Trea Swindle, Danica Hart, and Devynn Hart and they told us they recorded a song with Darius before their audition aired this week and recently got the good news that it's making it onto his latest album.

They admit they thought they were in the middle of some catfish scenario when Darius first reached out on Twitter ... before learning the DM was the real deal.

For those unaware, Chapel Hart blew the 'AGT' judges away with their original piece, "You Can Have Him Jolene" -- a nod to Dolly Parton's famous song.

They received a golden buzzer even though all 5 had been given out -- a first for the show.

Ever since their big moment, the group's seen support from legends like Loretta Lynn, and even Dolly herself -- who called their performance a "fun new take on my song."

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Their album, "The Girls Are Back in Town," made its way to the top of the Country music charts after their episode and it sounds like a record deal is in the near future.

Drew Brees Buys Pickleball Team ... I'm An Owner Now!

PICKING PICKLEBALL
Instagram/maddropspc

Drew Brees has found himself a job ... the retired superstar QB and former football broadcaster just bought a pickleball team, the Mad Drops, and now joins an ownership group that includes L.A. Lakers co-owner Jim Buss.

"I’m stoked to be the newest team co-owner for Mad Drops Pickleball Club in Major League Pickleball! Our 12-team co-ed league represents an incredibly competitive & exciting brand of Pickleball," Brees said when announcing the purchase.

The Mad Drops play in the Major League Pickleball league. Gary Vaynerchuk (Vee) also owns a team in the league.

Pickleball, if you aren't familiar, is essentially a mix between tennis, badminton and ping pong. Players use a paddle to hit a plastic ball over a net, onto a court.

Brees -- who played 20 seasons in the NFL -- retired after his 2021 campaign, trading the huddle for the NBC broadcast booth.

In May, the Super Bowl-winning QB had some fun with fans speculating what his future held ... and he actually mentioned Pickleball.

"Despite speculation from media about my future this fall, I’m currently undecided," Brees wrote on Twitter. "I may work for NBC, I may play football again, I may focus on business and philanthropy."

"I may train for the pickleball tour, senior golf tour, coach my kids or all of the above. I’ll let you know," he continued.

Brees' Mad Drops will begin their quest to win a championship in Newport Beach, CA on Aug. 5-7 ... and Drew's pumped!

"This is fun. This is what sports is all about."

Macy Gray 'Today' Show Wouldn't Let Keyboardist Wear 'Free Britney Griner' Shirt

Macy Gray's performance on the "Today" show was supposed to include a Brittney Griner protest ... but the singer and her keyboardist says network honchos wouldn't let it happen.

FORCED TO CHANGE
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Billy Wes arrived at NBC Studios in New York City on Thursday morning rocking a black tee shirt with bold white letters reading, "FREE BRITNEY GRINER" ... but when he was on-air, the message was mysteriously hidden.

BLOCKED BY TODAY
TMZ.com

We asked Milly what happened after the show ... and he told us "Today" honchos told him he couldn't wear the shirt and made him turn it inside out. Macy stopped to talk to us, saying Brittney's situation is really a sad one, and says the plan was for Wes to wear the shirt.

PROTEST FREE PERFORMANCE
NBC

Milly wouldn't tell our camera what explanation he was given as to why he couldn't wear the shirt on-air ... but you can tell he was bummed out.

As we reported ... Brittney pled guilty in Russian court to drug possession and smuggling charges on the heels of President Biden saying he was ramping up efforts to secure her release.

Macy also sat down for an interview with Hoda Kotb on top of performing her new song, "Every Night" ... addressing her recent controversial comments to Piers Morgan about trans people.

'Jeopardy!' NBC Calls Champ 'Lesbian Tutor' ... Leaving Lots of Folks Confused, Angry

NBC News' social media team could use Elon Musk's proposed edit tool on a tweet about the reigning "Jeopardy!" champ ... all because they focused on her sexuality and job title, confusing and even angering a lot of users on Twitter.

Mattea Roach has won 17 consecutive games, which ranks No. 8 all-time, qualifying for the game show's Tournament of Champions and bringing her current winnings to $396,182 ... but NBC News decided to highlight the fact she's a "lesbian tutor" in a story about her achievements.

The controversial tweet was blasted out Friday to NBC News' 9 million followers, with many people reacting to the "lesbian tutor" description, showing confusion over the choice of words and even anger.

One user's hilarious response ... "Oh ffs. What on earth is a lesbian tutor? You mean she helps people become better lesbians? Be better @NBCNews & know that this incredible woman’s sexuality has absolutely no bearing on her amazing @Jeopardy streak & smarts!"

The tweet is still up as of this post, and it doesn't get much better when you click the link ... the headline for the NBC News story reads, "Mattea Roach becomes latest LGBTQ 'Jeopardy!' phenom."

Mattea hasn't even mentioned her sexuality on the show ... NBC reports she "is a lesbian, according to her Twitter account." Oh, the irony.

Billy Bush Slap Doesn't Define Will Smith ... I've Offered Him Advice and Reading Material

CUT HIM SOME SLACK!
TMZ.com

Billy Bush has plenty of advice for Will Smith on how to deal with a moment that could badly stain his career in Hollywood ... and he's reached out to Will offering help.

We got Billy Wednesday at Judi's Deli in Beverly Hills ... and he scoffed at people who are calling for Will's cancellation, calling it "crazy" and "ridiculous."

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TAKIN' NO DISRESPECT
ABC

Billy, who's been through it himself, says one bad moment doesn't define a person's life, even something as huge as Will slapping Chris Rock at The Oscars.

The "Extra" host isn't defending Will's conduct, but he says everyone snaps from time to time, and he does acknowledge Will's meltdown was epic ... nevertheless, B.B. thinks Will's already paid a steep price, asking, "You don't think that guy's hurting enough?"

Billy says he contacted Will's publicist and urged the actor to read a book called "The Daily Stoic," a book he says has critical life lessons that will help Will navigate troubled waters.

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Of course, Billy was fired from "Today" after the infamous "Access Hollywood" bus audio surfaced shortly before the 2016 election, in which Billy laughs at Donald Trump's hyper-offensive comments about women. So now Billy wants to offer the lessons he learned about overcoming obstacles.

Billy's also got a personal message for Will, on how he can come back from the depths ... and he's got some pointed words for anyone who is questioning how things were handled in the moment.

Halyna Hutchins' Widower Alec's Interview Fired Me Up ... How's He Not Responsible???

FILLED WITH ANGER
NBC

Alec Baldwin might be regretting that ABC interview he did right about now -- because it seems to have, in part, triggered Halyna Hutchins' husband's wrath.

Matt Hutchins sat down for an interview with NBC's "Today" -- talking to Hoda Kotb -- which will be aired later this week ... and right off the bat in a new teaser, he's saying Baldwin's televised recounting pissed him off.

He says hearing AB talk about her death so publicly, so soon and in so much detail made him "angry," and not just that ... but the fact he denied responsibility over her death also didn't sit well with Matt at all.

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NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY
ABC

As his wrongful death lawsuit had already spelled out -- and as his attorneys articulated thereafter -- Matt says it again here ... the idea that the person who held the gun that claimed her life isn't at fault is utterly absurd in his mind.

So yes, he does seem to think Baldwin is mostly to blame here. However, Matt also makes this clear ... there were other issues besides gun safety that led to his wife being killed, and it sounds like he's gonna get into all of that with Hoda.

THE REENACTMENT

As we told you ... Matt is suing Alec, among several other parties, for negligent and reckless misconduct that resulted in wrongful death, as well as loss of consortium. He’s asking for unspecified damages.

Alec, meanwhile, has asserted through his attorneys that the claims in the suit are false.

MSNBC's Steve Kornacki Shocked by COVID 'Is Over' Poll Results ... Hard to Get Consensus!!!

THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN
TMZ.com

Steve Kornacki certainly knows his way around stats, but says a poll asking if we should get back to normal -- as it pertains to COVID -- isn't as clear as the numbers make it seem.

We talked to NBC's go-to data journalist at LAX about a recent Monmouth University poll which posed the question: "Time to Accept Covid and Move On?" The responses were somewhat surprising.

The overall consensus seems to be yes, we oughta just learn to live with COVID and start getting back to normal, but as SK points out to us here ... that means different things for different people.

While Monmouth's poll indicates a majority of Americans agree with that general sentiment about the virus, Steve notes it's a bit ill-defined as to what folks might consider "normal" these days. He even suggests a more precise poll question would net further splintered results.

I'M DONE!!!
HBO

As you might know, there's a growing chorus of opinions that we should do away with all 'rona-related mandates -- masks, vaccines, etc. -- and literally go back to how we lived our lives pre-2020 ... which has been echoed by the likes of Bill Maher and his guests.

Of course, there are just as many people who continue to be wary and insist we're still very much in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

While numbers don't lie, Steve's point here is they're not always 100% clear either.

KSDK News Anchor Michelle Li 'Very Asian' Reference on Broadcast ... Criticized by Viewer

#VeryAsian
@MichelleLiTV / Twitter

A news anchor made a reference to her Asian heritage during a New Year's broadcast, which drew the ire of what sounds like a good old-fashioned Karen ... who called in to complain.

Reporter Michelle Li of NBC affiliate KSDK in St. Louis posted a video of herself listening to the disgruntled viewer at home, who seems to have phoned the station to criticize Li's mention of dumplings while she was talking about go-to New Year's Day grub.

Li was plugging food like cornbread, black-eyed peas, pork and other greens -- delving into the metaphysical significance of each ... kinda like an astrology reading of sorts.

Once she'd finished, she added a fun line ... "I ate dumpling soup. That's what a lot of Korean people do." She later wrote, "It's subtle but people do notice! Something small but representation matters... we are not all eating cornbread, my friends... though it is delicious."

Apparently, though, that quip pissed off one woman who dialed in and left a VM ... saying she didn't appreciate Li's explicit mention of her culture, calling it "very Asian" while adding ... "She can keep her Korean to herself."

The argument this woman was making ... a white anchor plugging food that they/white people liked to eat on NYD, specifically, would be considered offensive -- and this lady was speaking about a hypothetical double standard she preemptively perceived.

In any case, Li is now getting an outpouring of support from several different colleagues in the field -- including Asian journos, who are giving her props for sharing her story.

'Today' Show Weatherman Willard Scott Dead at 87

Willard Scott -- the iconic "TODAY" show weatherman who preceded the Al Roker era -- has died.

Al himself confirmed the news this weekend, taking to IG with an honorary post for Willard and writing ... "We lost a beloved member of our @todayshow family this morning. Willard Scott passed peacefully at the age of 87 surrounded by family, including his daughters Sally and Mary and his lovely wife, Paris."

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AR adds, "He was truly my second dad and am where I am today because of his generous spirit. Willard was a man of his times, the ultimate broadcaster. There will never be anyone quite like him."

Willard started at "TODAY" in 1980, and became famous for his jovial anchoring -- be it during a weather segment, or any other special event he ended up hosting for NBC thereafter. The dude's antics were hilarious -- he'd dress up in crazy costumes, joke around like crazy on the air (and during MOTS interviews) ... and was just an overall hoot of a personality.

He's also perhaps best remembered for wishing Americans a Happy 100th Birthday in an ongoing Smucker's segment ... in which he'd feature different centennials who hit the milestone. Willard also hosted some of America's most memorable celebratory moments -- covering presidential inaugurations, holiday parades and parties, expos and more.

He was pretty much the Al Roker of his day, and did indeed pass on the baton when he retired from anchoring in the mid-to-late '90s. Still, they remained great friends ... and Al credits him as his mentor.

BTW, Willard also had quite the history in clowning around -- literally. He played the very first incarnation of Ronald McDonald in TV ads during the '60s, and even had a turn at playing Bozo the Clown too. Dude was just an all-around joy-spreader -- from start to finish.

He's survived by his wife, Paris Keena, and his children. Willard was 87.

RIP

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