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

nbc's latest hire

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.


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

Jay Leno Explains How He Was Burned By Car ... 'I'm On Fire!!!'


Jay Leno is breaking down the car fire that sent him to a burn unit with second- and third-degree burns ... and he's pretty cool when talking about the fiery episode.

The comedian sat down for an interview with NBC News' Hoda Kotb and told her how some mechanical work on one of his vintage cars turned ugly in the blink of an eye.

Jay says he was in his Burbank garage last month working on a 1907 White Steam Car, trying to unclog a fuel line. He says he told his friend, Dave Killackey, to blow some air through the fuel line when suddenly he was hit with a face full of gas ... and it only got worse from there.

Jay says his face caught fire when the car's pilot light ignited the fuel ... and he yelled to his friend, "I'm on fire."

Fortunately, Jay says Dave was Johnny on the spot ... pulling him out of harm's way and jumping on top of him to smother the fire.


Jay's back to business as usual already ... he's pretty casual in recalling the scary situation ... which jives with how he's been since the accident, like when he went back to the same garage just 10 days after the incident and was cracking jokes to photogs.


The "Jay Leno's Garage" host canceled some gigs while he was in the hospital but when he was released from the burn center he went right back to what he does best ... making folks laugh, even at his own expense, returning to his weekly Sunday night gig in Hermosa Beach.

Jay's full interview with Hoda airs Wednesday on the "Today Show."

Al Roker Misses First Thanksgiving Parade in 27 Years ... Watches From Home After Hospital Stay

Al Roker was MIA from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time in nearly THREE DECADES ... and it's all because of his recent health issues.

Earlier this month ... Al was taken to a hospital to be treated for blood clots in his legs and lungs. He was discharged Thursday morning, but he didn't feel up to hosting the world-famous parade so he decided to watch it on TV from his kitchen.

As you know, Al's been a TV host for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the past 27 years. During the "Today" show broadcast, Al's cohosts sent their well wishes to the iconic weatherman.

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Al posted a video to his Instagram, showing him leaving the hospital and referencing the Thanksgiving Day Parade. He said he was thankful to be heading home in time for some turkey.

Meanwhile back on the ground, Flavor Flav got super into Paula Abdul's live performance.

Mariah Carey also took the mic, singing her classic holiday hit, "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

Katie Couric I Have Breast Cancer

Katie Couric, a TV icon, is battling breast cancer.

The 65-year-old former "Today" show anchor just revealed she was diagnosed in June. Cancer is no stranger to Katie ... she lost her first husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer in 1998. Her sister died from pancreatic cancer and her mother-in-law died from ovarian cancer. She said, "My mood quickly shifted from disbelief to resignation. Given my family's history of cancer, why would I be spared? My reaction went from, "Why me? to Why not me?"

Katie said, "Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. On June 21st, I became one of them. As we approach #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth, I wanted to share my personal story with you all and encourage you to get screened and understand that you may fall into a category of women who needs more than a mammogram."

She went on to describe her struggle ... "I felt sick and the room started to spin. I was in the middle of an open office, so I walked to a corner and spoke quietly, my mouth unable to keep up with the questions swirling in my head."

Katie underwent surgery back in July. She started radiation treatment early this month.

Best wishes to Katie.

Amber Heard I Still Love Johnny ... Even After Court Loss


Amber Heard says she has a lot of mixed feelings about Johnny Depp post-trial, but one of those feelings is apparently love ... even after all of the nasty back and forth.

The final clip from actress' sit-down with "Today" aired Wednesday, and a range of topics was covered ... including where her ex lies in heart. According to Amber, JD is still near and dear, to some degree -- despite the fact he took her to court and won $8.35M.


Savannah Guthrie references Amber's own words about Johnny -- a statement in which she said she still has love for him -- and asks if it's true today. AH says it is.

Amber was also asked if she feels like Johnny has succeeded in ruining her globally -- as he alluded to over text once -- and she says yes, going on to say she feels like he could sue her again if she isn't careful.


Savannah asks about Amber's young daughter and how she plans on explaining this to her one day ... Amber says she'll tell her the truth, and be okay with it knowing she did the right thing, as she believes she's on the right side of history.

At one point in the full interview, Amber is asked about credibility -- including her $7 million pledge to the ACLU, which she hasn't completed -- and while she notes she shouldn't have had to make that to be believed, AH acknowledges that might've played a factor in the jury ruling against her. As Savannah notes, the trial was all about character and trustworthiness.

The entire interview will air on "Dateline NBC" this week in what the network says is extra, unaired footage touching on evidence Amber believes should've made it in the case.

Amber Heard I Stand by My Testimony ... Spoke 'Truth to Power'


Amber Heard says she stands by every word she spoke during her 6-week trial with Johnny Depp -- words she calls "truth to power."

A new portion of her 'Today' interview with Savannah Guthrie dropped Tuesday. Here, we see Amber doubling down yet again in her defense -- namely, arguing that everything she testified to had, in fact, happened.

She also talks about social media -- backing her lawyers' gripes that the jury must've seen it -- and even addresses the sea of Depp fans she was up against.

When SG asks her what she makes of people who might be disgusted with both of them -- Amber says she gets it, but that what those folks might not understand is that this case was actually constitutional rights.

Savannah pushes back, saying the First Amendment doesn't protect lies that amount to defamation ... which Amber totally agrees with, insisting she told none. AH says she did the opposite ... speaking "truth to power," as she puts it, for which she says she paid the price.


On the issue of whether she was "acting," Amber rhetorically asks how she could hold up against one of the greats of this generation ... implying JD was the one putting on a show.

There's more ... including Savannah throwing Amber's own recorded words -- in which she admits to hitting Johnny and starting fights -- right back in her face. But, Amber tells her they were out of context and don't paint the full picture.

Amber Heard I Don't Blame Jury for Depp Verdict Social Media was Lopsided


Amber Heard is speaking out and showing her face for the first time since losing big in the Johnny Depp case -- saying she holds no ill-will toward the jury, but social media is another story.

The actress sat down for an interview with 'Today,' which is going to be aired in pieces throughout the week ... but right out the gate, NBC is teasing a couple juicy soundbites from her chat with Savannah Guthrie in which AH gets into her feelings about the trial.

For starters, she discusses the social media coverage -- which was overwhelmingly in favor of her ex, Johnny Depp, and which she was clearly aware of during the 6-week proceedings.


She says even if you don't believe her/think she lied, you can't deny the posts in the digital world have been lopsided, suggesting there hasn't been a "fair representation" of both sides online.

Interestingly, Amber's attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, also tried to deflect blame toward the viral aspect of the saga, rather than take ownership of the loss.


As for the 7 men and women who said they didn't buy her account, Amber says there's no hard feelings, but she thinks it was Depp's personality and super-stardom that won them over.


Watch the clip, she seems to think JD charmed their pants off, and she also believes the fact Depp's side was able to present witnesses first also helped.

While Guthrie seemingly tries to point out Amber lost because her team presented a poor case, so far ... it doesn't sound like Amber is accepting that as a reality for how things went.

Amber Heard's lawyer 'Depp's Team Demonized My Client' ... Unable To Pay $10.4M Judgement


Amber Heard's lawyer has a million gripes over the jury verdict ... saying the trial was a "zoo" and the jury was influenced by social media.

Elaine Charlson Bredehoft went on "Today" Thursday and complained that social media attacks against Amber made their way to jurors. True, she said, jurors were told not to look at social and traditional media coverage of the trial, but it was inescapable and unfairly tainted their view toward Amber.


And, then there's this ... Bredehoft groused that the judge would not let the jury know that a U.K. judge ruled Johnny a wife beater. Thing is ... the laws were different in that case, the defendant was different and, frankly, it would have been stunning and bizarre if the Virginia judge just allowed the jury to know about it.

She went on to say Amber believes this case is a setback for women. And, there's this -- Amber doesn't have the means to pay the net judgment of more than $8M.

Passenger Who Landed Plane My Pregnant Wife, God Were My Inspiration


The passenger who landed a plane after the pilot lost consciousness says he was "calm and collected" ... in no small part because he was about to become a father.

Darren Harrison spoke to Savannah Guthrie on "Today" ... and explained with all the buttons and gadgets on the control panel, it all came down to common sense.


The emergency was even more harrowing than first reported. The 39-year-old said after the pilot became incapacitated, the Cessna began to nose-dive at a high rate of speed.

Harrison was cool as a cucumber, saying, “I knew if I didn’t react, then we would die."


As he put it ... “I was pretty calm and collected the whole time because I knew it was a life or death situation. Either you do what you have to do to control the situation or you’re gonna die.”

Harrison, who works at a flooring company, said his wife, Britney, who was 7-months pregnant with their unborn daughter, was his inspiration. He also said there was an element of divine intervention, telling Guthrie “the hand of God was on that plane."


As he said, “I was climbing to the front and that plane was in a dive. I was just looking going, ‘I can’t die today. Britney’s pregnant, I’ve got a baby on the way — not today. Today’s not my day."

As we reported, Harrison contacted the tower operator who help guide him down to the runway, where he made a perfect landing ... just incredible.

BTW ... he did the whole thing barefoot!!!

Selma Blair I First Got Drunk at the Age of 7 ... Details Childhood Alcoholism in New Memoir

Selma Blair has struggled her whole life, with pain, alcoholism and now fighting through a battle with MS ... all topics covered in her new memoir.

Blair sat down with Savannah Guthrie Wednesday for an extremely candid interview with "Today." The actor's memoir, 'Mean Baby' talks about her entire life, Blair told Guthrie, "My first [time] drunk [was] when I was 7. I had my first drinks much younger."


Blair says even though she was young, she felt alcohol was a comfort ... and wonders if the physical pains she would feel throughout her life were early signs of MS.

According to "Today," Blair writes in her memoir, "Doctors thought I had leukemia. I didn't, but it was a constant high fever. … The ailments as a kid connected. I do know for sure I had it by the age of 23. It was definitely there for so long.”

The good news ... Blair tells Savannah she hasn't had a drink since a scary incident in 2016 when she lost consciousness on a plane with her 4-year-old son. She's also undergone chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant in an effort to help manage her MS.

TMZ broke the story ... Selma recently got a restraining order against her longtime boyfriend, Ron Carlson, shortly after he was arrested for domestic violence. Ron too was granted a restraining order against Selma after he requested one week after the same incident.

Prince Harry Dishes on Face-to-Face w/ Queen ... Rift with Bro Will Clear


Prince Harry says all is well between him and his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, but it's quite clear he isn't cool with his brother, William and his dad ... evidenced in a new interview.

The Duke of Sussex opened up with Hoda Kotb on 'Today' during his visit to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games -- and whereas he was cagey with the BBC, PH actually spilled the tea to NBC ... giving details about his meeting with QE2 and where things stand elsewhere.

Watch ... Harry says the face-to-face with grandma -- for which his wife, Meghan Markle, was also present -- went well ... the 3 of them, it seems, had a good time while catching up.

my mom's with me now

But, Harry also made eye-opening revelations -- including the fact that the UK doesn't feel like home to him, and more importantly ... he isn't sure he'll attend Liz's 96th birthday.

On the sibling front ... Hoda asked straight up whether PH misses his bro and his dad, Charles, but Harry completely dodges the question -- saying he misses his own family, and noting that his focus at the moment was there for the Games.

Later in the same interview, Hoda again tried getting Harry to address Will by invoking their late mother, Princess Diana, and once more ... he made it seem like he and his brother led different lives now and he very much so wanted to differentiate between himself and PW.

He says he feels his mom's spirit with him right now more than ever before ... apparently alluding to the fact that his life is no longer in England. Very interesting choice of words.

BTW, Harry's got some great bites here about his son, Archie, who sounds sorta rebellious at the moment -- but the dark cloud of his extended family hovers over this interview throughout.

Katie Meyer's Parents Potential School Discipline Might Have Led To Suicide

The parents of soccer star Katie Meyer say they fear a possible punishment from Stanford could have led to their daughter's suicide earlier this week.

In an interview with NBC's "Today" show on Friday, Steven and Gina Meyer say their daughter was facing potential discipline over an alleged incident involving her and one of her Cardinal teammates.

The two parents say over the last few weeks Katie had been receiving letters from the school over it all ... and in the past few days, she had gotten "kind of the final letter that there was going to be a trial or some kind of something."

Gina speculated it all might have led to the Stanford goalie's death on Tuesday.

"This is the only thing that we can come up with that triggered something," Gina said.

The school declined to comment on the situation ... telling "Today" in a statement, "We are not able to share information about confidential student disciplinary matters."

Gina and Steven said they've been devastated and heartbroken since Katie was found on Tuesday ... explaining, "the last couple days are a parents' worst nightmare."

Katie was just 22 years old.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Halyna Hutchins' Husband Outraged Alec Baldwin Played the Victim


Matt Hutchins, husband of Halyna Hutchins, shook his head in disgust as he recounted how he felt when he heard Alec Baldwin talk about how he was grief-stricken over Halyna's death but accepted no responsibility.

Matt begs to differ, telling Hoda Kotb on "Today" it was absurd for the person who fired the bullet that killed his wife was blameless, and the way Baldwin described his pain further angered Matt.


He also explained how he told his 9-year-old son that his mother was dead. He said, "I just had to be very direct and blunt," said Hutchins... "because going to pick him up and go to the airport to go to Santa Fe, I didn’t want him to think that we were going to be seeing her and having fun together, and getting his hopes up." He then describes how they cried together.

As for the moment when they landed in Santa Fe and were embraced by Baldwin, Matt says, "I feel like to understand that moment, you have to remember the shock we were in. I spoke with Mr. Baldwin and was just looking for a way through the storm."


Baldwin has maintained he did not pull the trigger, and there seems to be divided thought on whether such a gun can fire with only the hammer or whether the trigger is required.

Matt says there were numerous safety lapses and says there were "multiple responsible parties."

Matt and his son have filed against Baldwin and many others ... even asking for punitive damages for alleged reckless conduct that led to Halyna's death.

The D.A. is also mulling over possible criminal charges.

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


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.


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.


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.

Simone Biles Still Battling 'Twisties' 'Scared To Do Gymnastics'

It's been over two months since the Olympics, but Simone Biles says she's still dealing with the "twisties" ... adding that she's straight-up "scared to do gymnastics"

Biles was hit with the issue in Tokyo in July -- explaining to her followers at the time that a mental block was preventing her from controlling her body while doing her most famous mid-air stunts.

Biles pulled out of multiple events due to it all ... though most figured she'd be able to return back to normal after a break.

But, in an emotional interview Thursday morning with "Today" show host Hoda Kotb ... Biles said she still can't fly through the air like she used to.

"It's not the same," the 24-year-old said, fighting back tears. "To do something that I've done forever, and just not be able to do it because of everything I've gone through is really crazy because I love this sport so much. It's hard. I'm sorry."

She added, "I'm still scared to do gymnastics."

Biles has been performing in the Gold Over America Tour the past few weeks ... though she said she's kept her routines simple and has avoided any twisting.

The gymnastics legend, though, said she's sure her tricks will "come back" eventually ... telling Hoda in the meantime she's happy to "be a leader for the survivors."

"I'm happy to be a voice for them," Biles said. "We go through our own things. It's hard."

As for her future in the sport, it's unclear if Biles is intending to continue her Olympic career ... she's yet to commit to taking part in the 2024 Games in Paris.

Katie Couric I Was Devastated and Disgusted by Matt Lauer


Katie Couric says she never saw the dark side of her former "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer, but she concedes there was gossip surrounding the now-infamous revelations.

Couric was pushing her memoir on "Today" Tuesday and went in hard on Lauer, saying she was devastated and disgusted when the news broke over allegations he was abusive toward women on the staff.

It's almost a mirror of Season 2 of "The Morning Show." Couric says Lauer was a great colleague and she never saw the other side of him. When Savannah Guthrie pressed, Couric acknowledged there were rumors floating around, but she felt it was none of her business.

She went on to say she has no relationship with Lauer and their friendship has fully deteriorated.


More intriguing ... Couric addressed allegations she derailed Ashleigh Banfield's career -- something we talked to Banfield about on "TMZ Live." Couric's answer was guarded ... she flatly denied the allegation, but then took a shot at Banfield, saying it was hard to be generous when someone was gunning for your job.

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