Aaron Hernandez Suicide Due to CTE, Not Sexuality ... Jose Baez Rips Netflix Doc

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Aaron Hernandez killed himself largely because he was suffering from CTE -- and NOT because he was agonizing over his sexuality ... so says his famous attorney.

Jose Baez -- who repped Aaron and helped him beat a double murder case -- tells TMZ ... the new documentary about his client implies Aaron was in the closet, and might have even taken his life because of that alleged secret.

That's just not the case, though, according to Baez ... who says Aaron's death was triggered by advanced CTE -- a brain disease the tight end had developed since his youth. Baez insists Aaron's sexual orientation played ZERO part in his fate.

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You'll recall ... Baez was intent on getting Aaron's brain studied at Boston University, and even accused the Worcester Medical Examiner of holding onto it illegally. He also downplayed rumors his client had a love affair with a fellow inmate.

Rep. Tim Ryan Obama's Oscar Nom Ain't About Luck ... Ask Kobe And Brady!!!

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OBAMA MAGIC
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Congressman Tim Ryan is firing back at haters who say Barack and Michelle Obama got lucky with their first Oscar nomination ... he says Kobe Bryant and Tom Brady went through the same process before folks finally woke up to their greatness.

We got the Ohio Rep. on Capitol Hill Wednesday and our guy asked if the Obama's were more lucky than good in getting their first film nominated for an Oscar.

The Obama's production company is behind "American Factory," a Netflix documentary that takes a deep dive into post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires 2,000 blue-collar Americans.

Adam Sandler Bombing On Stage ... Didn't Kill My Dream!!!

GOTTA KEEP GOIN'
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Adam Sandler got downright serious as he told us about bombing on stage in his early days.

Adam was at the National Board Review Gala Wednesday night in NYC and revealed what fueled his drive to be a successful stand-up comedian ... despite crashing and burning on the Sunset Strip.

The Grammy-nominated comedian says when he was a kid trying to make it, there was a 50-50 chance the friends he'd invite to come watch him would leave saying "Adam sucks."

The struggle was real ... he says it happened for 3 solid years. Adam ultimately found his footing ... and it was comedian Dennis Miller who discovered Adam in WeHo at the Comedy Club. Dennis, BTW, is the one who recommended Adam to 'SNL' honcho Lorne Michaels ... and the rest was history.

Adam also talked about Eddie Murphy's comeback to stand-up comedy ... saying he's confident it's only a matter of time until Eddie makes his triumphant return to stand-up.

Eddie's definitely shown signs he's headed in that direction.

Disso Queen Laura Wasser Dern's Character's a 'Dick' in 'Marriage Story' ... Not Like Me At All!!!

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Laura Dern's "Marriage Story" character isn't anything like the real-life divorce attorney she's supposedly based on ... so says the woman herself, who's kinda salty about the portrayal.

We ran into Disso Queen Laura Wasser Tuesday night at Craig's in WeHo and asked how she felt about the movie ... which many have speculated is not-so-loosely based on director Noah Baumbach's 2013 divorce from then-wife Jennifer Jason Leigh, who used Wasser.

Check it out ... Laura says there's not much similarity between herself and Dern's feisty Nora Fanshaw, who reps ScarJo in the movie and comes off as deceptively aggressive. Spoiler alert ... she ends up winning on behalf of her client, but the way she gets there sorta sucks.

LW has a funnier way of putting it -- she's a bit blunter in describing how LD was depicted, and she says it couldn't be further from the truth in how she handles her biz.

Finally, Laura offers up some sage advice to people who are actually going through a real divorce -- and it pretty much ends with her NOT getting hired. Interesting ...

'Don't F**k With Cats' Third Hand Belongs To 'Manny' ... Luka's Mom Claims!!!

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Luka Magnotta's mom is convinced her son didn't act alone when he killed kittens on camera ... she says the mysterious "Manny" was involved, and evidence is being ignored!!!

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The convicted murderer's mother, Anna Yourkin, tells TMZ ... she firmly believes the third hand lurking in Luka's infamous cat-killing video belongs to none other than Emanuel "Manny" Lopez ... a position Luka has strongly maintained.

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Anna says Canadian cops and Interpol are ignoring one crucial piece of evidence from Netflix's explosive docu-series on Luka, "Don't F**k With Cats" -- the third hand in the frame when Luka allows a python to devour a kitty.

Luka claims Manny forced him to kill the feline, but the Netflix doc insinuates Manny is a fictional person based on a character in "Basic Instinct." When you watch the video, the third hand does NOT move. No one knows who it belongs to, but Luka's mom says it's gotta be Manny's.

Anna also claims Luka emailed her a photo of Manny BEFORE the cat-killing video, and told her not to open it unless something happened to him. Problem is, Anna claims Interpol seized her email and the alleged Manny photo.

Oh, and get this ... Luka's mom says he's still trying to run an online publicity campaign from behind bars, and it's causing a major family rift.

Tiffany Haddish Drops Bars at Golden Globes After-Party ... You REEAAADY?!?

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Tiffany Haddish warned the crowd a couple of times and then greatness ensued when she started rapping!!!

Tiffany had one helluva busy Sunday night ... which ended in spectacular fashion at Netflix's Golden Globes after-party in Bev Hills. Tiffany muscled her way over to the DJ's booth, grabbed the mic and hyped the crowd up before rapping to City Girls' banger, "Act Up."

Ya gotta see the crowd under a massive tent on a lot adjacent to the Beverly Hilton Hotel. They went nuts!!!

It was a pretty eventful night for Tiffany. The comedian, who wore an elegant pink dress, displayed a Star of David necklace honoring her Black Jewish roots on her father's side, which she discovered after taking a genealogy test.

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The "Like a Boss" actress -- along with the lovely Salma Hayek -- also presented "Chernobyl" with a Golden Globe in the Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television category.

'Friends' Get Your Fix Today ... Or Else You're Outta Luck

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This is it, folks. If you want to want binge-watch "Friends" you better do it today, because the series is off the market for months when the clock strikes 12.

When the ball drops in Times Square, one of the most famous sitcoms in history will be 86'd from the Netflix menu. The reason ... Warner Media owns the 90's series, so it wants to put all 236 episodes on its new streaming service, HBO Max. Thing is ... the service won't launch until May.

Now, if you really just can't wait ... you can buy each episode for $1.99. All 10 seasons will set you back $200.

There's been talk about a "Friends" reunion, especially lately, but nothing's been confirmed.  Jennifer Aniston recently said, "We would love for there to be something, but we don't know what that something is. So we're just trying. We're working on something."

Kevin Spacey I Killed It This Year ... Here's How You Can Too

KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS
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Here's Kevin Spacey with another cryptic video on Christmas Eve ... returning as Frank Underwood and reminding everyone out there to "kill them with kindness."

For the second year in a row, Kevin posted a bizarre video the day before Xmas ... once again slipping into his former "House of Cards" character to deliver a strange message.

Kevin says he's had a pretty good year and is happy to have his health back, and says he's made some huge changes in his life.

Spacey says he's going to cast a vote in 2020 "for more good in this world" ... then suggests people should "kill them with kindness" the next time someone does something you don't like, instead of going on the attack.

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We've seen this kind of display before from Kevin ... last Christmas Eve, he posted a bizarre vid urging people not to rush to judgment after being accused of groping an 18-year-old male in a Nantucket bar.

As we first reported ... Kevin scored a huge victory this July when prosecutors in Massachusetts dropped their criminal case against him.

Spacey also dodged a charge in a sexual assault case in Los Angeles in October, because the alleged victim died during the investigation. He's still the target of an investigation in London.

Tiffany Haddish I'm 40 and Jewish ... Time for a 'Black Mitzvah'!!!

Tiffany Haddish is celebrating 3 things at once, and they all center around her Jewish heritage ... something she's leaning into as she hits the big 4-0.

The comedian and actress turned 40 on Tuesday and decided to ring it in by throwing a 'Black Mitzvah.' What the hell is that? Well, it's not only the title of her new Netflix stand-up special -- which dropped Tuesday -- but it also looks like a kick-ass freakin' party.

Tiff's bday bash/bat mitzvah went down at the SLS Hotel in Bev Hills, where friends like Jimmy Kimmel, Kevin Nealon and Sinbad -- to name just a few -- helped her celebrate.

If you hadn't heard, Tiffany learned she was part Jewish a bit late in life -- age 27, apparently -- with her father revealing he was an Eritrean Jew. That spurred her to learn more about the culture, and now she's dedicated her comedy special to it.

She's also been studying Hebrew, so she seems to be taking it seriously. Funny enough, Tiff used to work at bar and bat mitzvahs -- she says she was an "energy producer" at events. You can see that's a perfect gig for her.

Now, she's finally come of age ... complete with the "Hora" and "Hava Nagila." 28 years delayed, but better late than never. Mazel, Tiff!!!

Kevin Pollak 'The Irishman' Was Great ... But Pacino & Co. Looked a Bit Aged

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Kevin Pollak says Martin Scorsese's new mobster flick, "The Irishman," was as good as it gets for the genre -- but there was a little issue according to him ... the stars were too damn old.

We got the veteran actor right on the heels of the new flick landing on Netflix and asked for his thoughts on it ... considering he starred in Marty's "Casino" and tons of other crime movies. Turns out, he loved 'Irishman' ... with one caveat, and it's hard to tell if he's joking.

Kevin says at one point ... the film played more like a trio of old coots who lost their keys instead of menacing mobsters in their prime. He does some hilarious impressions too, to drive home his point. Pretty spot-on with his versions of Pacino, Pesci and De Niro. Well, the first 2 ... he kinda phoned it in for Bobby D.

If you haven't seen it yet, the movie captures one hit man's journey from start to end, so the actors' appearances do change a lot.

Of course, the gimmick with the film is the digital de-aging technology the 3 stars were put through -- especially De Niro.

Some say it was distracting -- others say it was great -- but Kevin seems to be alluding to the fact these fellas might've made this a little late in their careers.

Bikram Choudhury No Active Rape Investigation ... But That Could Change

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Bikram Choudhury -- the guy behind Bikram Yoga -- is not currently being investigated for rape despite a damning new Netflix documentary, but he ain't exactly out of the woods yet.

The 75-year-old was painted as a conniving serial rapist in "Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator" -- with several women explaining how Bikram abused his power to sexually assault them.

The burning question at the end of the documentary ... how the hell was Bikram NOT hit with criminal charges???

The L.A. District Attorney's Office acknowledges a case was submitted in 2013 involving 4 accusers -- but at the time "it was determined that there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges."

Here's the breakdown as to why prosecutors shot down each allegation  ...

Alleged Victim 1 (Claimed she was sexually assaulted at Bikram's home in 2005) -- "No other witnesses were present and no physical evidence was recovered."

Alleged Victim 2 (Claimed she was sexually assaulted at Bikram's home in 2006) -- "No one witnessed the assault."

Alleged Victim 3 (Claimed she was raped twice in 2011) -- "No percipient witnesses or corroborative evidence are available."

Alleged Victim 4 (Claimed she was raped three times in 2010) -- "No percipient witnesses or corroborative evidence are available."

The D.A. also notes the statute of limitations had expired on Alleged Victim 1 prior to reporting.

But, even though those cases didn't go anywhere, the D.A. tells TMZ it will conduct a "complete and thorough review" if law enforcement presents any new allegations to the office.

Our LAPD sources tell us there are no current investigations but as one person put it, "If a victim does come forward, the LAPD will investigate."

Law enforcement sources tell us ... people involved in the previous investigations strongly believe the accusers ARE credible, but it's difficult to get a conviction without witnesses or physical evidence.

Of course, Bikram is currently on the lam ... he fled the country after he was hit with a $6.8 million judgment in 2016 after his former lawyer, Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, sued him for wrongful termination and sexual harassment.

Jafa-Bodden -- who was featured heavily in the Netflix doc -- claimed she was fired after investigating claims Bikram raped a female student.

For his part, Bikram has denied raping anyone -- claiming he doesn't need to rape because there are plenty of women around the world who would willingly have sex with him.

Yeah ... he really said that.

Mo'Nique I'm Suing Netflix for Discrimination

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3:19 PM PT -- Netflix tells TMZ, "We care deeply about inclusion, equity, and diversity and take any accusations of discrimination very seriously. We believe our opening offer to Mo'Nique was fair -- which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit.”

Additionally, a source with direct knowledge tells us the executive Mo'Nique claims used the n-word during a meeting was fired over the incident.

Mo'Nique is finally taking her accusations against Netflix for discrimination to a court of law ... she's filed a lawsuit.

In the suit, the Oscar-winning actress and comedian accuses Netflix of race-based discrimination for how it negotiated a comedy special with her. She says Netflix offered Amy Schumer $11 million for an hour-long stand-up special (she eventually got $13 mil), but only offered Mo'Nique $500,000 for her stand-up special.

Mo'Nique never accepted their offer, and went on a public campaign ... which included coming on "TMZ Live" and calling for a boycott against the company.

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THEY ARE RACIST AND SEXIST
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According to the suit, she claims Netflix has a severe lack of diversity, which contributes to their discriminatory practices. Specifically, she claims one Netflix exec. -- the Chief Communications Officer -- used the n-word in a meeting with 60 people in 2018. Mo'Nique was not present for that meeting.

She also claims Netflix allowed Kevin Spacey to use the n-word while on the set of "House of Cards" without any consequence. In the suit, she alleges Spacey complained to his personal security guards, "I don't want [n-words] on my set anymore." She's not suing Spacey.

Mo'Nique also used a major pay gap on the Netflix hit, "The Crown," to illustrate alleged discrimination. She says the actress who plays Queen Elizabeth II was paid $14k per episode less than the actor who played Prince Philip -- and it only righted the wrong after there was a public outcry about it.

She's suing Netflix for unspecified damages, and for an injunction forcing the company to change its discriminatory policies.

We've reached out to Netflix and Kevin Spacey for comment.

Originally Published -- 9:08 AM PT

'Last Chance U' Coach Jason Brown Makes Pitch For Florida State Job ... I'd Get All the Best Players

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GIVE ME A SHOT
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"C'mon man, that s**t is easy. I don't care what people say. You can't tell me SC, Florida State, Florida, Miami, UCLA, I don't care who it is. How are they not winning? I don't give a s**t, man. You call me dumb, or blindsided, or whatever, ignorant. Give me a polo, man, and let me go to work."

That's "Last Chance U" star and former Independence Community College head football coach Jason Brown telling TMZ Sports how frickin' easy it'd be for him to win at a powerhouse university like FSU.

Coach Brown -- star of Netflix's hit show -- resigned from ICC after texting a German player he was his "new Hitler."

So, Brown's chillin' in his Cali home (he says he's got a cigar and whiskey line coming out, and he wrote a book, "Hate Me Now, Love Me Later") ... and even though he's a coach at heart, he says he's not exactly dying to jump back in the saddle.

Well, "unless Florida State calls," Coach Brown tells us ... and if that happens, he says lots of big-time coaches around the country are gonna be shook.

FYI, Florida State head coach Willie Taggart was fired only 21 games into his tenure at the school ... after getting smashed 27-10 by rival Univ. of Miami.

"Make no mistake about it. The D1 coaches know me. They're scared of my ass taking a D1 job, let's be real about it. Give me a Florida State polo, brother, and let's see what happens."

Brown says all the top recruits would flock to his program.

"They'll have the best players in America overnight. That's what it will be. That's a guarantee. Everybody in the country knows it too. That's what they're scared of."

But, realistically -- at least not now -- the call from the big-time program isn't coming ... and Coach Brown knows that and says it's a huge mistake.

"It's all image. Those guys want these name guys that don't know s**t from Shinola. Can't relate to the kids. Can't go into the home. They can only go into 1 home, they can't go into all the homes."

"I'm a chameleon, man. I'll go into any house, any hood, anywhere in America, know what I mean? Let's do it. But, they're not gonna make that leap because I'm too rough around the edges. They don't understand that's what these kids need in today's society."

Christina Applegate The Face You Make ... When Your BFF's 'Dead' Ex is Alive?!

Christina Applegate is already hard at work filming her new show but even more interesting is her BFF's seemingly dead ex-fiance, James Marsden, is back in the picture, which begs the question ... what's the deal?!

Christina and James were spotted Tuesday in Hermosa Beach, CA filming season 2 of the Netflix hit series, "Dead to Me" ... which ended with a HUGE cliffhanger after Christina's character, Jen Harding, shoots and apparently kills James' character, Steve Wood. His body was found floating in her pool with a fog of blood around him. Oh yeah ... spoiler alert.

Well ... James' character appears to be back for season 2 but it's unclear if his scene's just a flashback or if he, somehow, miraculously survived his season finale fate.

Either way ... looks like season 2 -- which has gotten the green light but no launch date's been set -- will be one helluva plot twist. Its series creator, Liz Feldman, has already hinted that the end of season one "is not exactly what you think."

Uh oh.

Director Paul Feig The Netflix Speed-Up Thing Sucks ... Don't Mess with Our Art!!!

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TIMING IS EVERYTHING
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Paul Feig stands firmly with the block of filmmakers who say Netflix's plan to let you slightly speed up content, for faster viewing, is a crappy idea ... one that's sparking a Hollywood turf war.

We ran into the director Tuesday in NYC, and asked him to weigh in on reports that certain Android users could slow down or speed up -- as fast as 1.5x -- the regular playback of Netflix programming.

Paul's mind is made up ... he says there's NO benefit to letting users watch something in a distorted form like that. He stopped short of using the word boycott, but he's clearly pissed, and he's not alone.

When Judd Apatow, Aaron Paul and several other creative types caught wind of the Netflix feature they threw down the gauntlet. Judd is threatening to get every director and producer to back his stance, which is ... "Don't f**k with our timing."

Watch Paul ... there's no doubt he's team Judd.

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It does appear Netflix big wigs are listening to all the gripes, and they're trying to temper things. They've said the slow/speed-viewing is just a test ... and an optional one at that.

Netflix published a blog post to their site admitting that, yes, they've been testing speed changes on mobile platforms, but that doesn't mean it's going into effect permanently.

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As for why they're even doing it ... Netflix says it's gotten this request from a lot of users who want to watch some content at different speeds for a variety of reasons -- language barriers, crucial scenes or dialogue, etc ...

Ultimately, Netflix could have a tough decision -- give the people (who pay for the content) what they want, or give the filmmakers (who make the content) what they want.

Welcome to the showbiz version of chicken or the egg!!!

Tom Brady Massage Parlor Cameo in New Show ... Denies it's a Kraft Burn

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Tom Brady makes an eyebrow-raising cameo in Paul Rudd's new TV show, but he absolutely denies it was a shot at Robert Kraft ... and he may have a point.

Here's the deal ... the Patriots quarterback makes a brief appearance in Netflix's new comedy series, "Living with Yourself," which just debuted Friday. In an out-of-context clip that's going viral, Tom strolls out the front doors of a massage parlor called "Top Happy Spa."

Rudd's character meets Brady as he pulls up and internally debates whether he wants to go in or not. At that moment, TB walks out and asks Rudd, "First time?" Rudd says yes, and asks it back to Brady ... he tells Rudd, "Six," before getting into an SUV and driving off.

Obviously, with Kraft's prostitution case ... folks are wondering whether Brady's participation was a dig at his boss, or if this scene was shot before Tom knew about it. As it turns out, the show's creator says Tom shot the scene after the Kraft scandal became public.

But, Tom's calling BS, telling reporters Saturday that the scene was written 4 years ago, and that he had no idea that his character would be exiting a spa when he shot his cameo earlier this year ... adding that there was a green screen behind him while on set.

TB said, "It's unfortunate that people would choose to think I would do something like that about Mr. Kraft." He continued by saying the similarities were just a coincidence.

What added fuel to the fire prior to Brady's comments was the fact that the show's creator, Timothy Greenberg, previously told media outlets that, as noted above, Brady had shot the scene AFTER Kraft's scandal went public ... the implication being TB knew what he was doing.

Granted, Greenberg says they'd discussed Tom's involvement before the scandal broke, but when it finally came to light ... he for sure thought TB would pull out. To his surprise, the G.O.A.T. didn't ... and Greenberg says he never understood why, and didn't care to find out.

What's still unclear, though, is if Tom had actually been told what exactly the scene entailed and if he'd been given a copy of the script beforehand. Based on what he said Saturday, it makes it seem he was in the dark as to the context of the scene.

Presumably, if he'd known he was leaving a massage parlor, he might not have done it ... at least that's what we can glean from what he told reporters.

Now, for the real context of the scene ... it's not what you may think based on this one clip. In the minutes leading up to the scene, it's revealed that Rudd's character has impotence issues with his wife, and is looking into options to help him -- fertility clinics, etc.

At a bar, a friend of his tells him about a day spa he went to that rejuvenated him and his libido -- which Rudd initially scoffs off as just a place to get a "h*** j**."

The friend tells him otherwise though, saying it's not like that ... and that the spa gives you a full makeover, which might be able to help Rudd's situation. The friend tells him it's a highly exclusive place, with only VIP clients that pay a fortune for a session.

In other words, when Rudd's character finally decides to roll up to the joint -- which turns out to be a front for a cloning operation -- he knows it's not necessarily sex-related per se, which could give credence to Brady's plea of ignorance ... depending on how you view it.