Joe Exotic Hires Atty. Who Repped Don's family Looking to Get a New Trial

Joe Exotic is getting the best revenge he can against Carole Baskin -- hiring the attorney who recently repped the family of her missing husband ... who's now working to free him.

John M. Phillips of the Phillips & Hunt firm broke the news Tuesday, saying he'd been retained by the 'Tiger King' himself in a bid to get a new trial arranged so Joe can plead his case in front of a new set of 12 jurors.

Phillips writes, "Work has already begun on @joe_exotic's New Trial Motion. We are proud to be leading his team. I was sworn into the Western District of Oklahoma this morning. This isn't about tigers, television or tomfoolery, it's about justice and evidence. More soon."

COMITTED TO JOE
Phillips & Hunt/floridajustice.com

He also posted a video ... which took some shots at Joe's former legal team, who Phillips characterized as engaging in "buffoonery" in their bid to get JE pardoned by Prez Trump.

Doesn't sound like Joe disagrees -- at least that's how Phillips makes it sound. He says shortly after the failed attempt, the man himself reached out and asked about his services. One thing led to another, and now Phillips is on the case -- and he ain't looking to Joe Biden for a bail-out either.

SEEKING JUSTICE
Law Offices of Phillips & Hunt

Remember, Phillips was also brought on by Don Lewis' surviving family members -- who seem to believe Carole knows more about his mysterious vanishing than she's let on. They even bought air time during her debut appearance on 'DWTS' which aired mid-broadcast.

Of course, she's denied she knows anything about Don's whereabouts -- and she's never been charged in connection to the case. Still, gotta wonder how she feels about this ...

Dr. Seuss' Stepdaughter Stop Hopping On My Pop ... Don't Pull Books, Add Disclaimer

Exclusive

Dr. Seuss' books should NOT be yanked from shelves -- because all they need is a little context on page 1 ... so says a woman who was raised by the man himself.

Leagrey Dimond -- one of Dr. Seuss' stepdaughters -- tells TMZ she doesn't think his work needs to be censored or stored away from public view ... which is essentially what Dr. Seuss Enterprises did on Monday.

Instead, Dimond suggests adding a disclaimer to the 6 books in question ... something a lot of media companies have been opting for lately for questionable or outdated material with racist depictions. The same thing should happen here, in Dimond's eyes anyway.

She also has this to say about Seuss' work -- yes, some of his earlier publications and illustrations DID feature racist imagery, but his legacy shouldn't hinge on that alone ... as she insists the full breadth of his literature shows he's a good guy and evolved over time.

Dimond says Seuss publicly regretted some of his earlier work -- such as ads, comic strips and political cartoons he helped craft during the WWII era -- which featured blatantly racist drawings of Black people and Asian people.

But, there's a bigger reason the org bearing his name should hold off, per LD ... nobody who runs the place knew him personally.

Dimond says since coming into Seuss' care at age 9, she never once experienced any hatred, hate speech or bigotry of any kind ... which she says was emblematic of his character at large. The fact people are judging him in death, she says, doesn't sit right with her.

You'll recall -- the Enterprise announced it was ceasing further sales of 6 Seuss children's books -- including "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street," "Scrambled Eggs Super!" "If I Ran the Zoo," "McElligot’s Pool," "On Beyond Zebra!" and "The Cat’s Quizzer"

Some examples of the problematic imagery -- from 'Mulberry' and 'Zoo' -- feature Asian stereotypes ... like referring to one character as a "Chinaman ... with sticks."

In any case, his stepdaughter thinks it's a shame he's being muzzled all these years later -- and on his birthday, no less.

Amazon Fixes App After Design Furor ... Did Nazi Mustache Mistake

Amazon's done some much-needed trimming to its new app icon after users noticed it looked a lot like a very infamous mustache -- Hitler's.

The company just made a rather simple but effective fix to the new design, which was updated in January from the longtime blue shopping cart logo to a brown cardboard box-colored icon.

The new icon featured its well-known smiling arrow with a piece of blue tape -- resembling one of its packages -- but problem was ... people thought the serrated edge of the tape looked like a Hitler-esque mustache.

Obviously, Amazon had no choice but to correct this major design flaw ... so the blue tape's is flat now, with a corner folded back. Looks more like an innocuous nose now.

Hopefully, innocuous ... said the Amazon design team.

Lady Gaga Dog Walker Describes Moment After Being Shot Thankful to Be Alive

Lady Gaga's dog walker -- who was shot in the streets before a couple of her pooches were kidnapped in plain sight -- is on the mend and has kind words for his supporters.

Ryan Fischer posted an update on his health Monday, uploading two photos himself from his hospital bed ... one where he's got a breathing tube in his mouth. The second shot is much more reassuring -- it looks like he took the photo himself, and the tube is gone.

Ryan started his posts with a recounting of his near-death experience ... recalling the fact he felt guilty over not being able to protect Gaga's 2 French bulldogs ... while a third, their sister Miss Asia, trotted over to him as he laid on the ground bleeding -- whom he calls his angel.

He remembers calling out for help as calmly as he could, and a wave of people pouring out to attend to him.

RF goes on to say this about his recovery ... "I will write and say more later, but the gratitude for all the love I feel from around this planet is immense and intense. I felt your healing support! Thank you." He adds that he's grateful the police were able to recover the 2 stolen dogs, Koji and Gustav, and prays his would-be murders are brought to justice.

Fischer also had a message for his boss, Lady Gaga, writing ... "And to Elisha, my family at Haüs and @ladygaga: your babies are back and the family is whole… we did it!" He continued, "You have shown so much support throughout this whole crisis to both me and my family. But your support as a friend, despite your own traumatic loss from your kids, was unwavering. I love you and thank you."

It's a miracle he's doing as well as he is -- remember, Ryan was shot at almost point-blank range ... which was captured on surveillance video from a nearby property.

2/24/21
VIOLENT ABDUCTION
TMZ.com

Fortunately, Koji and Gustav have been found unharmed ... but the crooks are still on the loose. Police have released suspect descriptions, but no arrests have been made.

James Corden Definitely Watching His Weight ... New Year, Whole New Him

James Corden looks unrecognizable these days -- which, we suppose, can be credited to his new gig with Weight Watchers ... something he's clearly taking seriously.

Check out these photos of "The Late Late Show" host Sunday, where he's out making an ice run for his at-home party for the virtual Golden Globes ... which he later beamed into via Zoom, like all the other nominees.

No, that's not Zac Efron ... it's just JC, who was rocking some basketball shorts, tennis shoes, a hoodie and a face covering. The dude looks to be in really good shape right about now -- check out those calves!

James has said he's down around 16 pounds since the start of the year -- when he made a resolution to lose weight ... this on the heels of inking a deal to be the new face of WW right at the start of 2021. Yeah, we'd say he's living up to the brand name and then some.

James has always been known as a heavier guy, but recently he opened up to say he wasn't all that happy with the way he looked. He's credited his wife, Julia Carey, for keeping him on the straight and narrow with his diet and exercise.

Whatever the heck he's doing in the lab, we can only say ... keep at it, bud. Today it's 'Cats' and 'The Prom' ... tomorrow it's the new '007' movie (maybe). Congrats!!!

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle 'Shocking' Reveals Forthcoming ... In Interview with Oprah

Breaking News
A SIT-DOWN WITH OPRAH
CBS

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle are about to drop some bombshells about their Royal lives ... at least that's how Oprah's teasing her sit-down with the couple.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex apparently allowed O to broach any topic she wanted for their upcoming 2-hour primetime TV special, "Oprah with Meghan & Harry," which hints at some "shocking" revelations ... including a suggestion Meghan's been "silenced" by Queen Elizabeth and the Palace.

As for Harry ... both promo clips show him talking about his late mother, Princess Diana, and expressing his concern that his life would tragically end up like hers if he didn't do something about it.

As we reported, Harry recently confided in James Corden that he stepped away from his senior Royal responsibilities and left the UK with his family to protect them ... and his own mental health.

Oprah's interview airs Sunday and is already being heralded by her friend, Gayle King, as the best she's ever done in her career. King says the chat was filmed in the yard of a friend's house ... not at Harry and Meghan's or Oprah's Montecito pad.

George Floyd Trial Courthouse Barricaded ... Barbed Wire, Fencing, Etc.

The courthouse where Derek Chauvin will be tried for murdering George Floyd looks like the same fortress that's around The U.S. Capitol right now ... heavily reinforced to block out the general public.

Construction crews have been hard at work over the past week fortifying downtown Minneapolis with de facto forcefields, including areas where protests and unrest are expected as Chauvin's murder trial gets underway in the coming weeks.

The blockade's going up around the Hennepin County Courthouse, the Minneapolis City Hall building and the Hennepin County Jail -- and it includes concrete barriers, non-scalable fencing and barbed wire down below.

The precautions aren't too surprising considering the City Council just carved out a piece of their budget to hire 6 social media influencers to help spread their message during the trial as well.

City Council members say it's only meant to help spread information more readily and to as many people as possible, but many see it as a PR tactic to help control the narrative.

As for the new exterior look -- we know that's not the only thing that'll be different in this case. The inside of the courthouse got a COVID-safety facelift that includes lots of plexiglass installments.

Jury selection is set to begin March 8, and opening arguments are expected toward the end of the month.

Donald Trump Speaks at CPAC 2021 ... Effectively Says He's Running Again

Breaking News
I WONDER WHO...
Fox News

3:35 PM PT -- Trump turned into a Dr. Seuss character toward the end of his CPAC speech, openly wondering who oh who oh WHO would be at the top of the Republican ticket in 2024.

45 ended his remarks Sunday with more than just flirting at the idea of running again -- he essentially declared he'd be the guy, not in so many words ... but he didn't leave much to the imagination about his intentions.

Here's what Trump said before becoming a resident of Whoville ... "With your help we will take back the House. We will win the Senate. And then a Republican President will make a triumphant return to the White House. And I wonder who that will be."

Considering this followed a long diatribe of whining about the election results and conspiracy theories suggesting voter fraud -- something tells us he wants another bite at the apple.

I'LL BE BACK
Fox News

Former President Donald Trump just uttered his first public words on camera since leaving office in January -- and it sure sounds like he's teeing up another run at the White House.

DT appeared in Orlando Sunday for the conservative convention -- where he served as the marquee speaker for the whole shebang. After delaying for more than a full hour ... Trump finally showed up to a more than welcoming crowd, asking them ... "Do you miss me yet?"

Trump said he was committed to supporting the Republican party over the next four years, and insisted he would NOT start his own party -- despite speculation to the contrary.

45 went on to slam what he described as the left's radicalism, socialism and another buzzword going around these days ... cancel culture. He then bashed Joe Biden's first month as President, saying it's been "disastrous" -- especially on the immigration front.

Then came the big takeaway from his remarks ... the fact that he strongly teased the possibility of him running for President in 2024. He was coy about it -- saying "Who knows?!?" -- but it might as well have been a campaign announcement.

The whole speech sounded eerily similar to his 2015 launch speech ... he was back to calling undocumented immigrants "rapists" and "killers" ... and the rhetoric was just as fiery as ever. Trump rambled at many points in the speech, touching on COVID and foreign policy in somewhat incoherent riffs.

A few things he didn't touch on very much ... his second impeachment and acquittal, the Jan. 6 insurrection, or the Nov. 3 election. On that latter topic, he DID again suggest he won, joking that maybe he would "beat them" for the third time. FWIW, he lost fair and square.

Also absent from Trump's speech ... his wife, Melania. She was nowhere to be seen, but he did mention her -- saying she sends her regards. Anyway, get ready for more Trump ... we think.

Originally Published -- 2:34 PM PT

George Floyd Trial Minneapolis Hiring Influencers ... For 'City-Approved' Messaging

George Floyd's murder case is bound to be the new trial of the century -- and it seems Minneapolis wants to get ahead of any bad publicity ... 'cause they're bringing on "influencers" to peddle their narrative as it unfolds.

The City Council made the announcement this week, saying they're rolling out a new initiative ahead of jury selection/opening arguments next month ... namely, to partner with influential social media users to share public information with underserved communities -- some of which, they say, might not tune in or have access to traditional news mediums.

The Council described the effort, in part, this way ... "The goal is to increase access to information to communities that do not typically follow mainstream news sources or City communications channels and/or who do not consume information in English."

Sounds nice, but reading between the lines ... many folks are saying this is actually a move by the City to play spin doctor for itself -- as these influencers won't be able to post freely.

Fact is ... the 6 users they bring on will be paid $2,000 a pop -- so they're temporarily on the City's payroll. Not just that, but the Council made clear the messaging will be "city-approved" ... which made ears perk up and start to question the whole thing. A lot of people are already speculating the content will be fully pro-City/defense.

You'll recall ... Minneapolis experienced unrest in the months after the George Floyd video surfaced. The peaceful protests, at times, spun out of control into violence. Some believe the City wants to avoid that kind of reaction again, and are trying to get ahead of it.

Unclear who the City has in mind to hire -- but for $2,000 ... something tells us it ain't gonna be anyone top-tier as far as mainstream influencers go. It'll also be interesting to see how this plays out in real-time -- especially since the City's already catching flak.

Breonna Taylor Georgia Teacher Says She Caused Her Own Death

FALSE BLAME
@genn.ey / Instagram

A Georgia high school teacher is fending off calls for her firing after she told her students Breonna Taylor caused her own death by hanging out with bad people.

Susan McCoy, who teaches forensic science at Pebblebrook High School in Mableton, GA, told her students in a Zoom class, "I'm sorry she was killed, but you know, when you hang out with people with guns and shooting, you're likely to get caught in the crossfire."

McCoy, who at one point said, "What's her name -- Breonna something" -- leveled false allegations against Breonna's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, saying Breonna was "hanging out with the guy who was wanted on charges ... and he fired at them, and they fired back."

As most people know by now, Walker was NOT the guy who was wanted on charges ... he and Breonna were simply sleeping when cops broke into their home. Walker says cops never ID'd themselves and he fired a shot in self-defense, striking a cop, and that's when police returned fire, killing Breonna.

I MISUNDERSTOOD

Now, McCoy is doing her mea culpa, saying, "I want to apologize sincerely publicly for things I said today in my class that had to do with something that I was very ignorant about. I'm just heartbroken that I said something so rude and disrespectful." She went on to say, "I should never have talked about something that I didn't understand and I truly, truly apologize and ask for forgiveness and hope that someday I can have that trust back with my students that I know that I lost."

School officials have not said what, if any, punishment McCoy will face.

Crime and Punishment Guard Dog Naps Through Armed 'Robbery!!!'

SLEEPY SECURITY

Talk about asleep at the wheel ... getta load of this pooch that didn't let a little armed robbery get in the way of his afternoon nap!

A jewelry store owner in Thailand may be calling Cesar Millan after his "guard dog" slept through a fake, armed robbery training drill.

The Husky named Lucky was out like a light when the "robber" breezed in and pointed a gun at the owner.

The point of the exercise was to teach staff how to react. If Lucky's considered staff ... he flunked the test.

The "robber" made off with a bag of bling.

As for Lucky ... well, he'll catch lots of zzzzz's in the doghouse.

Viral Skateboarder 'Doggface' Rental Car Break-In in San Francisco ... Goes to L.A. in Fear

Exclusive

Nathan Apodaca -- AKA, Doggface, the skateboarder who went viral to "Dreams" -- is having a nightmare West Coast trip after crooks targeted his family.

Sources close to the internet sensation tell TMZ ... Nate and his fam have been in the Bay Area recently on a getaway to celebrate his daughter's 14th birthday ... and all seemed to be going well until Tuesday, when he says their rental vehicles were broken into and ransacked.

2/26/21
NIGHTMARE SITUAITON
TMZ.com

We got Nathan out on Hollywood Blvd. talking about the ordeal ... and although he doesn't want to let it ruin the trip, he's clearly rattled by what he calls a scary trend in San Fran right now.

We're told they had pulled up to the Twin Peaks Overlook, and ended up parking and locking their rented Suburban and Pathfinder in a garage down below.

When they came back down, our sources say Nathan and co. found windows to both vehicles smashed ... and a number of items missing inside. He filed a police report, but says cops told him there wasn’t much they could do since there were no cameras in the garage.

According to the report, obtained by TMZ, Nathan says they made off with credit cards and checks, sunglasses, reading glasses and some wallets filled with identifying information ... like Social Security cards and driver's licenses.

All in all ... we're told the estimated loss and damage comes out to about $4,000. The worst part is that Nathan and his family were spooked, and quickly got the hell outta Dodge.

Our sources say Nathan returned the damaged vehicles Wednesday and picked up new ones, with plans to then book it down to Los Angeles -- which was NOT a stop in their OG itinerary. They're also changing their return flights to fly out of L.A. instead of SF.

Waiting for your permission to load TikTok Post.

It's a total bummer for such a nice guy, who's been riding high on good vibes since he blew up from his TikTok video last year -- which has brought so much good fortune and beyond.

Just to leave ya on a good note, here's that old vid that had the world chillin' ... and, best of luck in L.A., Dogg.

Roger Stone Does His Best Flavor Flav at CPAC ... Hype Man to Trump MC!!!

Coming to you live from CPAC 2021, we present ... Flavor Flav and Chuck D of Public Enemy!!! Er, sorry -- nope, it's actually Roger Stone and MC TRUMPISTHECHOSENONE.

Check out this bizarre scene that was captured Saturday at the annual conservative convention -- where a recently-pardoned Stone was spotted getting his groove and hype man on next to a rapper who was putting on a song and dance, which appears to be an original.

No word on the name of the song, but based on what sounds like the chorus ... it could be "Feds Did a Sweep." There's more talk of Trump than the feds though ... a lot more.

Listen to this dude's lyrics -- which Stone seems to LOVE as he bobs back and forth to the beat. The guy's talking about "Trump 2021" and "running it back," while also touching on the Capitol insurrection ... calling those guys "patriots," and name-dropping Michael Flynn too.

Then comes the bridge ... "Who won? Trump won! Who won? Trump won! Watermark the baddest, 45 the chosen one." There's more, but we'll just let you listen for yourself.

Of course, there's also the Rambo Trump-themed monster truck behind them ... which is another convo. And, when Stone flashes the Nixon double peace sign, it officially dives into parody.

Take it away, we guess??? 😅

NorCal Plastic Surgeon Dr. In Surgery While Fighting Traffic Ticket on Zoom

A plastic surgeon wanted to fight his traffic ticket this week and was ready to make his case to the judge ... in the operating room where he was performing surgery on a patient!!!

It's a crazy video ... Dr. Scott Green appeared virtually before Sacramento Court Commissioner Gary Link. The doc was decked out in surgical scrubs and you see the patient on the operating table ... mid-surgery.

The police officer and the lawyers were all present on zoom as the doctor raised his right hand and swore to tell the truth.

Truth be told ... he acknowledged he was in the middle of the operation, but he was quick to add there was another surgeon who was working on the patient while Dr. Green fought the ticket.

Judge Link seemed freaked out, and said he wasn't comfortable holding the trial ... worrying about the well-being of the person on the operating table.

The case was continued to next month.

Gorilla Glue Woman Discovers Lump in Each Breast ... During Boob Job Consult

Exclusive

Tessica Brown's joy after getting Gorilla Glue removed from her hair ... is giving way to a serious scare -- doctors found lumps in her breasts.

Tessica's manager, Gina Rodriguez, tells TMZ ... Tessica's getting a mommy makeover, which includes a boob lift/implants and some abdominal lipo.

As part of a pre-surgery consultation, Dr. Michael Obeng -- the doc who defeated the Gorilla Glue -- examined her breasts earlier this week, and unfortunately discovered a lump in each of Tessica's breasts.

We're told Tessica subsequently had a mammogram which confirmed the presence of masses. She's already had surgery to remove them, and they're now being tested for cancer.

2/11/21
ROAD TO RELIEF
TMZ.com

While it's frightening news ... Tessica sees the silver lining.

She feels everything that happened with the Gorilla Glue incident was supposed to lead her to this very moment -- and she's grateful Dr. Obeng found the lumps now, and not further down the road when it might have been too late.

James Charles I'm Not Grooming 16-Year-Old Boy

James Charles is denying accusations he's grooming a 16-year-old boy ... he claims the person making the accusation told him he was 18 before they started flirting over social media.

James just addressed a video making the rounds on social media where a boy claims JC is "grooming" him. His accuser claims James sent him sexually-explicit messages and pictures on Snapchat.

JC says the boy sent him lewd photos first, and he didn't start "flirting back" until the kid told him he was 18.

The boy posted his accusations in a video, with alleged screengrabs of his back and forth with James.

DISTURBING APPROACH
@Isaiyah13

In hindsight, James says he shoulda confirmed the boy's age before flirting with him. JC says their conversation led him to realize the kid was way younger than he allegedly claimed, and that's when James says he ended the virtual interaction.

James says he's not victim-blaming but just says he's sharing his side of the story ... and he claims he's learned a valuable lesson.

Old news is old news!
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