5:17 PM PT -- Doc Antle says, “I am terribly shocked and disappointed at the charges that have been filed against me by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and how they have sought to involve my daughters in this matter. I categorically deny any act or conduct that could ever be considered as “animal cruelty."
He added he would never hurt or abuse any of his animals, and is looking "forward to being able to answer these charges and to be able to clear my good name.”
We're told Doc and his daughters have not yet been taken into custody.
'Tiger King' star Doc Antle is facing a slew of felony and misdemeanor charges now for his treatment and transport of lion cubs.
Antle, the owner and founder of Myrtle Beach Safari, was indicted Friday in Virginia for felony wildlife trafficking after a months-long investigation found evidence he trafficked lion cubs between South Carolina and Virginia ... according to Virginia's Attorney General.
You'll recall ... Netflix's "Tiger King" documentary mentioned Antle's safari park was raided last December, and now it seems that raid was part of this investigation.
Antle is also charged with 1 felony count of conspiracy to sell or transport endangered wildlife, 4 misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act, and 9 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.
In addition, 2 of Antle's daughters, Tawny Antle and Tilakam Watterson, were charged with misdemeanors for animal cruelty and violating the Endangered Species Act.
The same investigation led to felony charges against Keith A. Wilson, owner of Wilson's Wild Animal Park. Authorities say they seized 119 animals, including lions, tigers, bears, camels, goats, water buffalo, and more from Wilson's roadside zoo and claim he got some of the animals from Antle.
Originally Published -- 9:35 AM PT
3:00 PM PT -- Larsa and Harry are hanging again ... this time grabbing lunch Thursday at the French joint, Zinque, in L.A.
Paps asked Larsa how she met Harry and if they're dating ... but she kept her lips sealed and left all the talking -- and freaking giggling -- to Harry, who tried to play it coy.
Harry said they're "just friends" and getting to know each other.
Larsa Pippen is dating again, and it looks like she's bagged herself a young Netflix reality TV star ... who's also an Australian snack.
The estranged wife of NBA star Scottie Pippen hit up Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills Wednesday night with none other than Harry Jowsey from "Too Hot to Handle." They seemed pretty damn cozy ... snuggling up for selfies and leaving the joint together -- hence the dating rumors.
As you can see from the pics, they walked pretty close and appeared to be having a blast. Larsa explained their night out by saying this on social media -- "So, I decided I need dance lessons so I called my friend Harry." Harry chimed in with ... "We're going to be doing salsa lessons. Stay tuned."
Larsa and Harry also appeared to be at the restaurant with some friends. Either way, both are pretty much single and ready to mingle. Remember, Larsa split from Scottie in late 2018 and she most recently threw cold water on rumors she was banging NBA star, Ben Simmons. As for Harry ... some of his co-stars have gone on the record to say he was only dating fellow co-star Francesca Farago for clout.
For what it's worth ... Harry is half Larsa's age. So, good for her!
Originally published -- 7:30 AM PT
Netflix is being dragged into a criminal courtroom in Texas over the controversial film, "Cuties" ... a film a grand jury believes shows young kids in sexual situations.
The grand jury in Tyler County, TX just handed up the indictment ... and according to the docs, Netflix is being charged with promotion of lewd visual material depicting children. By streaming "Cuties," Netflix allegedly promoted the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child younger than 18, appealing to the prurient interest in sex.
The criminal indictment -- a rare move against a company -- also says the movie offers no serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value, and alleges the head honchos at Netflix recklessly authorized and/or tolerated its dissemination through its platform ... and, therefore, should be held accountable.
Critics have been very vocal about the controversial film -- some feel it encourages the sexual exploitation of pre-teens ... some have even used the word "pedophilia" to describe "Cuties."
The film is about a group of prepubescent girls who form a dance squad and practice moves they see in music videos. At one point, they even dress in revealing outfits and carry themselves like adults.
Ironically, the film's creators have said they intended the film to be a critique of the hypersexualization of kids ... but that message has been lost on many viewers.
There was a whole #CancelNetflix movement in the wake of the film's release. Netflix picked up the distribution rights after "Cuties" debuted at Sundance earlier this year.
If convicted, Netflix isn't going to prison. Most likely, the company would be forced to pay criminal fines, and possibly pull the movie from the platform.
A Netflix spokesperson tells us, "'Cuties' is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. This charge is without merit and we stand by the film."
Saff Saffery and John Reinke -- who were featured in 'Tiger King' and used to care for the big cats at Joe's GW Zoo -- star in the ad for Insurance King, opposite the "Diff'rent Strokes" star doing his best Exotic impression.
The 'Tiger King' references are everywhere ... from the tiger roars, to Todd dropping infamous Joe quotes and rocking his signature mullet. Oh, and eagle-eyed viewers will notice the Insurance Company logo, which usually features a lion, swapped out for a tiger wearing a crown.
As we first told you ... Saff and John reunited for the first time in 3 years this week in Rockford, IL, celebrating Carole Baskin's 'DWTS' exit and meeting Todd ahead of the commercial shoot.
Saff, John and Todd put in some serious work ... all told, they shot 5 different commercials for Insurance King, and they even took shots at Carole!
Carole Baskin's reality TV dreams are keeping her in Hollywood, but we're told her animal rescue center won't take a hit while she's on the other side of the country.
The 'Tiger King' star was booted from "Dancing with the Stars" Monday, and now she's setting her sights on shopping a new reality show about animal exploitation ... but fear not, our sources say Carole's Big Cat Rescue is in good hands.
Sources close to Carole tell TMZ ... her daughter, Jaime, runs the animal care part of BCR -- Carole's mainly been doing advocacy anyway -- so the exotic animals at the Tampa sanctuary won't suffer while Carole's away.
We're told Jaime's overseeing hundreds of volunteers at the sanctuary, and they handle the day-to-day animal care, so that essential function's not in peril.
The volunteers are super valuable right now ... our sources say Carole and her husband, Howard, were among the 10 staff members who were laid off at Big Cat Rescue when the pandemic hit, and the rescue still can't hire any more staff to help out.
Carole and Howard are still working full time advocating for Big Cat Rescue, we're told, but they aren't collecting a paycheck at this point.
Fact is ... Carole's got other revenue streams anyways. She had a busy stint on 'DWTS' and now she's producing and starring in a reality show she's actively shopping.
Our sources say the show is primarily about the work Carole and Howard have been undertaking for years -- tracking down animal abusers, exposing them and bringing them to justice through the legal system -- only now there's a film crew in tow.
A couple of Joe Exotic's former zookeepers are as loyal as ever -- recently getting together after years apart ... partly in the name of cheering Carole Baskin's reality TV demise.
Saff Saffery and John Reinke -- who starred in 'Tiger King' and used to care for the cats at Joe's GW Zoo -- met up for the first time in nearly 3 years out in Rockford, IL ... where they're set to star in an ad for Insurance King, opposite 'Diff'rent Strokes' actor Todd Bridges.
While hanging out Monday ahead of Tuesday's shoot, they happened to catch the results of this week's episode of 'Dancing with the Stars' ... including Carole's elimination after surviving a few weeks now. Check out how they reacted to the news -- old rivalries are alive and well!
Yeah, there's no love lost between these once feuding big cat caretakers -- John even sounds a little Joe-ish here by calling CB one of his former boss's fave catchphrases.
As for the commercial they're set to be in, unclear exactly what it'll entail -- but based on the on-camera convo they had with Todd ... sounds like it's written well and should be chock full of laughs. Apparently, Todd's worked with Insurance King before and vouches for 'em.
We know it'll be very 'Tiger King'-friendly -- the company's logo -- which normally features a lion -- has been swapped out for a tiger wearing a crown. The fanfare ain't over yet.
Carole Baskin wrote that she would have killed her first husband to get out of her marriage in an old letter to Don Lewis' first wife, but despite that seemingly shocking reveal ... Carole says it desperately needs context.
The ID channel is airing a special on Joe Exotic and all his related 'Tiger King' craziness this weekend, including ongoing speculation Baskin played a role in Don's 1997 disappearance.
We got a sneak peek of one piece of evidence the show's investigators claim lends credence to the speculation -- a long letter Carole sent to Don's wife, Gladys, in August 1990 ... while in the midst of having an affair with him.
The letter seems to detail her relationship with Don, but includes a disturbing line about her first husband, Michael Murdock. Carole wrote ... "I had to get out of my marriage and would have eventually killed my husband to do it."
Baskin confirms with TMZ that she wrote those words, but adds ... "I only meant it in the context of self-defense as Mike Murdock was physically abusive to me to the point of causing me to fear for my life."
Carole has previously claimed numerous times that Murdock -- who she wed in 1979 and is the father of her daughter, Jamie -- was extremely abusive.
Nevertheless, retired homicide investigator Jim Rathmann says he finds the letter very interesting ... and points out it was written just 7 years before Don went missing.
Carole and Don both divorced their first spouses and married in 1991. Baskin has recently insisted -- yet again -- she had nothing to do with his disappearance and claims she was the only person trying to get him mental health help before it happened.
The Investigation Discovery special, "Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up" premieres Sunday with 2 parts at 9 PM ET.
Joe Exotic thinks the walls are closing around Carole Baskin ... and he's hoping her missing husband's family finally gets some answers and justice.
The 'Tiger King' rips his longtime nemesis in a phone interview from jail, and says Carole's about to pay for years of what he sees as bullying.
A source close to Joe tells us the interview was recorded long before Carole started "Dancing with the Stars" -- back when he was behind bars in Grady County Jail Oklahoma -- but it's clear he's all for Don Lewis' family putting renewed attention on his mysterious disappearance.
During the call, part of a new Discovery ID special, Joe says it's high time Don's fam finally finds out what really happened to him.
As you know ... Carole's always maintained her innocence in Don's case, but the Lewis family recently put out a $100,000 reward -- and during a commercial aired during 'DWTS' they asked, "Do you know if Carole Baskin was involved?"
As for his case ... Joe's still insisting he was set up, and also offers an explanation for why he put down 5 tigers at his infamous zoo.
"Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up" premieres with 2 parts on Sunday at 9 PM ET on Investigation Discovery ... and concludes Monday night.
Jerry Harris is no longer giving mat talks to paying customers ... his extremely popular Cameo page has been put on pause following his arrest for child pornography.
The star of Netflix's uber-popular cheerleading show "Cheer" used to charge folks up to $150-a-pop for personalized videos, usually in the form of the mat talks that made him a fan favorite on the show, but now one of his cash cows is out to pasture.
Instead of being able to pay for messages from Jerry, his Cameo page is now just his bio and a button that says, "Notify me when Jerry Harris is available."
As you know, Jerry's got serious legal issues at the moment ... he was arrested last week in Illinois and hit with a charge of production of child pornography. He's also being sued for sex abuse of minors.
It's unclear if and when Jerry's Cameo page will return, or if it will be deleted from the site ... we reached out to Cameo, but the company would not offer comment.
For now, it's a huge blow for Jerry and Cameo's bottom lines ... when his page first launched, the first month he was reportedly fulfilling tens of thousands of requests.
The FBI's not done building its case against Jerry Harris -- federal agents in Chicago are asking for any individuals under the age of 18 who may have been victimized by the disgraced "Cheer" star to come forward.
The feds have launched a "Seeking Victim Information" webpage related to the investigation of Harris, who was arrested last week and is facing a federal child pornography charge for allegedly enticing 2 underage teen boys to send him sexually explicit images of themselves.
The FBI says it's seeking the public’s help in identifying any additional minors who may have been contacted by Harris and asked to produce or view graphic images or engage in sexual contact.
Victims may have communicated with Harris via Snapchat or Instagram ... according to the feds.
As we reported ... the feds claim Harris admitted to many of the allegations against him, including soliciting and receiving child pornography on Snapchat from at least 10 to 15 other individuals he knew were minors.
The FBI's now focused on finding any other alleged victims.
Carole Baskin participating in "Dancing with the Stars" proves she doesn't give a rip about the animals in her care ... or so claims Doc Antle, who has some harsh thoughts.
The 'Tiger King' star tore into Carole in this exclusive clip, obtained by TMZ. In what's part of a new documentary Doc's heavily featured in, he openly wonders how Carole could be away for weeks of 'DWTS' ... IF she really cares for the animals at her sanctuary.
For him, it just doesn't add up ... and he essentially calls Carole a hypocrite for something she's previously said about her "best friends."
As we're told ... Carole's hubby, Howard, is handling the day-to-day operation of her Big Cat Rescue ... along with her daughter, Jamie. Our sources say they also have 100 volunteers helping out.
Still, Doc says that wouldn't fly at most reputable animal sanctuaries, and he thinks it reflects poorly on Carole.
As for how he thinks she's doing so far on the pasodoble front, Doc tells TMZ he thinks Carole's a "terrible dancer." Aside from that, he's digging the season thus far.
BTW, the new docuseries is called "Tiger Kingdom: More Than a King" and airs Oct. 1 on WEIV and the trailer is on TigerKing.TV. We're told it's about the aftermath of the OG 'Tiger King' series, and Doc will also address some unanswered questions.
"Selling Sunset" star Christine Quinn feels very confident Netflix will bring back the hit show for a fourth season ... which she calls good vibes for her and her "thirsty bitches."
We got Christine outside The London Hotel in WeHo and asked her if Netflix had tipped its hand about extending the show's run, and ... womp, womp. She said they haven't anything yet, but she definitely argued why it should be a no-brainer.
You can tell Christine's plugged in and ready to sell "Selling Sunset" to any Netflix execs sitting on the fence. She rattled off some stats for us.
Now, her costar, Chrishell Stause, dropped what seems a big clue by posting a pic with the rest of the gang with the caption, "Carpe Diem!! Celebrating good news we can't tell you about" along with the hashtag #SellingSunset.
Huge clue? Anyway, Christine says she doesn't anticipate any big changes in the cast because, in her words, "all the bitches are so thirsty they'll do anything for a dollar." Again, her words.
It's worth noting ... Brett Oppenheim left the firm to start his own brokerage. Brett and Jason, who are twins, ran The Oppenheim Group ... the real estate firm which the show centered around. But, Christine says fans shouldn't worry about Brett's departure 'cause she thinks he'll still be around ... assuming season 4's a go.
Navarro College says Jerry Harris' arrest should not reflect on the school or its celebrated cheer squad ... because he wasn't part of their program even before the child pornography bust.
As you know ... Jerry, one of the stars of Netflix's cheerleading docuseries "Cheer," was arrested Thursday and hit with a charge of production of child pornography.
Navarro College, whose cheer team is featured on Netflix's uber-popular show, tells TMZ ... Jerry left campus in March due to the pandemic and completed his degree in May. We're told he did not return to Navarro this fall, despite the fact he could have continued cheering.
Remember ... at the end of "Cheer" season 1, Jerry goes off to the University of Louisville. We're told he enrolled there, and participated in cheer, but left in 2019 after one semester and returned to Navarro, rejoining its cheer team to resume filming with Netflix.
So, Jerry was cheering for Navarro before the coronavirus outbreak, but he hasn't been on campus since March, and hasn't been affiliated with the school since May, when he earned an associate's degree in science.
It's interesting ... Jerry did an interview before his arrest saying he wasn't sure what his plan was after graduating. He's since deleted his Instagram, which had pics of him in the Navarro cheer uniform.
The community college says it won't comment on Jerry's criminal case ... but his cheer coach, Monica Aldama, says she's shocked and devastated by his arrest.
Jerry Harris' cheerleading coach, Monica Aldama, says her "heart is shattered into a million pieces" following Jerry's arrest for child pornography.
Monica -- the head coach of the Navarro College squad featured on the Netflix docuseries, "Cheer" -- has broken her silence on the arrest of her popular "mat talk" leader, saying ... "I am devastated by this shocking, unexpected news."
She adds ... "Our children must be protected from abuse and exploitation, and I'm praying hard for the victims and everyone affected."
As we reported ... Jerry was arrested Thursday morning in Illinois and has been hit with a charge of production of child pornography. According to the feds, he allegedly contacted 2 teenage boys online, and repeatedly asked them to send nude images of themselves.
Harris allegedly began contacting the boys in December 2018 when he was 19 and they were 13.
The feds claim Jerry has admitted to engaging in continuous social media conversations with the minors that were sexual in nature and attempting to entice them into performing sex acts with him in person ... including at cheerleading events.
Monica says she and her family are mourning "during this heartbreaking time." She is currently a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" while continuing her role as head coach of the Navarro cheerleading team.
2:48 PM PT -- Honchos at Netflix tell TMZ ... the company is "shocked" by the allegations against Jerry and "any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process."
1:27 PM PT -- Harris has been ordered to be detained until his next court hearing on Monday ... Fitzpatrick tells TMZ. He was not required to enter a plea at his Thursday hearing.
Jerry Harris -- one of the stars of Netflix's cheerleading docuseries "Cheer" -- has been arrested for child pornography.
Jerry was arrested Thursday morning in Illinois and is being hit with a charge of production of child pornography ... according to Assistant U.S. Attorney, Joseph D. Fitzpatrick.
As we reported ... Harris was under investigation by the FBI for allegedly soliciting minors for sex back in May 2019. However, according to the criminal complaint, we're told he's been arrested because he allegedly asked teens for photos, which they sent to him.
According to the feds … the parent of 2 male children, both 14, claims Harris had contacted both of the boys online and “repeatedly solicited child pornography images and videos.” Harris allegedly began contacting the boys in December 2018.
The minors provided law enforcement with multiple screenshots of communications with Harris via Snapchat and text messages, along with evidence of apparent FaceTime calls with Harris.
According to the complaint, Harris was 19 at the time and the boys were 13.
The feds allege Harris also attempted to solicit sex with the boys on multiple occasions, including at cheerleading events.
The criminal complaint says Harris was interviewed on September 14 and admitted to engaging in continuous social media conversations with the minors that were sexual in nature, attempting to entice them into performing sex acts with him in person, and to soliciting and receiving child pornography on Snapchat from at least between 10 to 15 other individuals he knew were minors.
On top of that, Jerry's 2 alleged victims have sued him ... claiming he groomed them into sending the nude photos -- and they also claim he demanded sexual acts.
Jerry is scheduled to appear in federal court in Chicago Thursday afternoon for the child porn charge.
Originally published -- 10:54 AM PT
Tim Stark -- known as one of the players in the exotic animal world on 'Tiger King' -- has been found in contempt of a court order in a strange case involving ... you guessed it, zoo animals.
According to legal docs ... the court ordered all of the animals belonging to Stark's Wildlife in Need organization in Indiana to be removed last week by the Indianapolis Zoological Society.
Problem is ... many of those animals have gone missing since the court's order, and now Stark's accused of masterminding the effort to stash them.
Stark "voiced his strong desire in open court to re-locate the animals in his own way" ... according to the judge's contempt order. As a result, the judge ordered him "immediately remanded to the custody of the Marion County Sheriff."
We reached out to the Sheriff for more details ... no word back so far.
According to local reports ... 33 animals worth an estimated $170k were discovered missing over a series of days, but Stark alleged they may have been taken by people visiting his property.