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Slipknot Percussionist Daughter Died From Apparent Overdose

5/22/2019 2:11 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Slipknot cofounder Shawn Crahan's daughter died from what appears to be a drug overdose ... TMZ has learned.

Police and the fire department responded to a call for a possible OD at a Hollywood home Saturday night, and found the body of the heavy metal percussionist's daughter, Gabrielle.

We're told CPR was administered, to no avail ... she was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics.

Law enforcement sources tell us there was drug paraphernalia and evidence of narcotic use on scene, and Gabrielle has a history of drug use. Authorities are still investigating, and her cause of death is pending toxicology testing, but the outward signs point to drugs. 

Shawn -- who goes by the stage name "Clown" or #6 and is the last founding member to remain with the group -- announced that her funeral will be held Sunday in Iowa, which is where they're from.

He also thanks fans for their love and support, saying, "You have all proven that there is empathy, positivity, & strength in this community that we call humanity here on Earth."

View this post on Instagram

5 MONTHS ❤️

A post shared by Gabrielle Crahan (@crahang6) on

Gabrielle's most recent Instagram post -- from just a couple days before her death -- suggested she was 5 months sober.

She was 22.

RIP

Nipsey Hussle's Baby Mama All Signs Point to Showdown Over His Fortune

5/22/2019 5:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nipsey Hussle's first baby mama will object to the appointment of the rapper's brother to administer his estate, and might even ask that SHE be appointed administrator, if the hearing goes down as planned, and millions of dollars are on the line ... sources connected to the case tell TMZ. 

Sources connected to Tanisha Foster tell TMZ, she will not accept Sam Asghedom, Nipsey's brother, as the manager of the late rapper's fortune, which Sam estimates at $2 million. Sam filed legal docs, saying Nipsey died without a will, and he wants to be appointed the administrator of his brother's estate. A judge is set to rule on Sam's request June 10.

Under California law, Nipsey's children would share equally in his estate. In addition to 10-year-old Emani, the child Nipsey had with Tanisha, he left behind 2-year-old Kross, who's mother is Lauren London. So, each would get around $1 million, less fees and taxes.

Tanisha is fighting for custody of Emani, and if she's successful, she would have some power in handling the money and would probably be entitled to use some of it to provide for the child. A judge has temporarily blocked Tanisha from having physical custody of Emani ... the child is currently living with Nipsey's sister.

Our sources say Tanisha has tentatively decided to ask the probate judge to continue the hearing so she can get clarity on the custody case. We're told there is bad blood between Tanisha and Nipsey's family, and she will almost certainly end up objecting to Sam becoming the administrator. 

Nipsey Hussle Alleged Killer Indicted by Grand Jury

5/21/2019 2:30 PM PDT

Nipsey Hussle's alleged killer, Eric Holder, has been indicted by a Grand Jury, and new charges have been added ... and this could have to do with a problem with the case.

The L.A. County District Attorney had previously charged Holder with 4 crimes, including premeditated murder. The D.A. decided to have the case revisited, this time by the Grand Jury, which indicted him on the 4 previous crimes -- murder, 2 counts of attempted murder, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

The Grand Jury added 2 new charges ... 2 counts of assault with a firearm for the victims who did not die.

As for why the D.A. chose to go to the Grand Jury when they had already charged Holder, the main function is to skip the preliminary hearing. The D.A.'s office will not say why they chose to jump the prelim -- where a judge must find probable cause of a crime in order to make the defendant stand trial -- but it's sometimes done if there's a problem with the evidence.

Holder allegedly shot and killed Nipsey in front of his store, The Marathon Clothing, on March 31.

TMZ broke the story ... Holder allegedly pistol-whipped a man one hour before Nipsey was murdered. Two women have submitted statements to the D.A.'s Office, saying Holder attacked their male friend. They say Holder accused their friend of selling him "laced marijuana."

Ashley Massaro Died By Hanging ... Apparent Suicide

5/21/2019 8:48 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Ex-WWE superstar Ashley Massaro was found hanging in an apparent suicide, multiple sources connected with the situation tell TMZ Sports.  

The 39-year-old was found unconscious inside of her Suffolk County, NY home early Thursday morning -- and she was transported to a nearby hospital where she was later pronounced dead. 

The death is being classified as "non-criminal." 

She is survived by her daughter. 

Massaro is being laid to rest in Suffolk County. The WWE honored Massaro with a full screen "In Memory" slate on Sunday during the "Money in the Bank" pay-per-view event. 

CM Punk called into WMGM on Friday and had heard Ashley had taken her own life (the manner of death had not been publicly disclosed). He implored anyone listening who's struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts to get help.

"Tremendously sad way to go," Punk said ... "thoughts obviously go out to her family, especially her daughter."

"It's May. It's Mental Health Month ... if you're depressed and things aren't going your way, there's no reason to feel alone," Punk added. 

"Just reach out to somebody. Text a friend. Call somebody. There's hotlines. There's ways you can get help."

Here's a link to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

The WWE had put out a statement on the former wrestler on Thursday saying, "We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro,"

"She performed in WWE from 2005-2008 and was beloved by her fellow Superstars and fans around the world. WWE offers its condolences to Ashley’s family and friends."

Formula 1 Legend Niki Lauda Dead at 70

5/20/2019 6:41 PM PDT
Breaking News

Legendary Formula 1 racer Niki Lauda has died ... according to his family.

Lauda, considered one of F1's greatest drivers ever, died Monday ... nine months after undergoing surgery for a lung transplant. 

Niki won the F1 drivers' championship in 1975 and '77 with Ferrari and again in '84 with McLaren ... but he's most famous for crashing and catching fire in 1976 at the German Grand Prix.

Lauda was badly burned in the crash, but he made a miraculous recovery an returned to racing only 6 weeks later. 

Lauda's incredible comeback after dodging death instantly made him the stuff of legend .. and his 1976 rivalry with British driver James Hunt was the plot line of the movie "Rush." 

Niki, who was born in Austria, had a tight working relationship with 5-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. Lauda was involved when Lewis signed with McClaren ahead of the 2013 racing season. 

Niki's family released a statement after his death ... saying, "With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday."

"His unique achievements as an athlete and entrepreneur are and will remain unforgettable, his tireless zest for action, his straightforwardness and his courage remain."

"A role model and a benchmark for all of us, he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather away from the public, and he will be missed."

Lauda was 70. 

RIP

Nipsey Hussle Sister Keeps Custody of Daughter ... Baby Mama Pissed

5/20/2019 3:19 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nipsey Hussle's daughter, Emani, will not go back to her mother ... and the mother is livid.

Tanisha Foster was in court Monday, trying to regain custody of her 10-year-old girl. Emani has been living with Nispey's sister, Samantha, since his death last March.

Nipsey's family was in court and squared off with Tanisha, whom they believe is not fit to care for Emani. The hearing was sealed ... but there's another date scheduled in July.

Tanisha's lawyer, Larry Lewellyn, tells TMZ he's working with Nipsey's family on a visitation schedule that will be in Emani's best interest. 

As for Tanisha ... she left the courtroom crying and told us she's "pissed off."

We broke the story ... Samantha believes Emani's biological mother is unfit to care for the 10-year-old, and Samantha played a crucial role in helping raise her when Nipsey was alive. Samantha wrote in her petition that she wants to "ensure the continued stability for Emani and ensure that she will be able to maintain her current and ongoing relationship" with her fam.

Emani's mother, Tanisha, broke down crying in court last week, saying she hadn't seen her daughter in months. At the time, the judge gave them about 20 minutes alone together.

Still ... Nipsey's sister might have a strong case in asking for guardianship. Tanisha has a warrant out for her arrest right now, relating to an unsettled DUI case in 2017. She's also got a lengthy rap sheet filled with arrests dating back to 2006 and 2007. 

Nipsey has another child with Lauren London -- a son named Kross -- but he's obviously staying with his mom. No issues there.

Bijou Phillips' Mom Geneviève Waite Dead at 71

5/20/2019 12:56 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Bijou Phillips' mom -- a South African model, actress and singer -- died over the weekend in L.A. ... TMZ has learned. 

Sources close to Bijou tell us Geneviève Waite passed away in her sleep Saturday. We reached to Bijou who tells us, "Our beautiful mother Geneviève Waite Phillips, passed away in her sleep. She was a beautiful soul, and born from another planet. Her ideas, her songs, her voice, and her heart beat to a beautiful African rhythm no one else had and I am so thankful she was able to share it." 

Geneviève married John Phillips from The Mamas & The Papas in 1972 ... and they had two children together, Bijou and Tamerlane.

Bijou continues, "She was a light, a fairy, and a gift of a creature. The lyrics she wrote on her album were timeless and smart. Her mind was poetry and wit, her sense of humor was quick and dry. My father and my mother had a magical, wonderful, heartbreaking life together but they created a masterpiece of music (Romance is on the Rise) and I'm so honored to be their child."

Geneviève's most notable film performance was in "Joanna" in 1968 ... a drama about an interracial couple in London.

Bijou says, "My mother's role in 'Joanna' was groundbreaking for racial divides. My mother was a gift and I will miss her everyday. In everything I cook, and in everything I sing and in everything I do without her wise guidance."

"It's nice thinking she is with our Dad, dancing around in heaven."

Geneviève was 71 years old.

RIP

Bobby Brown on Chris Rock I'm Over His Lame Whitney Joke ... But No, He Didn't Apologize

5/20/2019 12:37 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Bobby Brown says he and Chris Rock are all good ... after the comedian made what some consider a tasteless joke about Whitney Houston -- but you can tell Bobby's still waiting for 2 magic words. 

He was leaving LAX Monday, when we asked if he was still mad at Chris for using Whitney's image to make a joke about people wasting his time. His punchline was, "Hurry up I got crack to smoke."

Bobby told us Chris hasn't reached out to apologize personally, but added ... "He's still my boy" and made it clear he'd like to make peace with him.

Sounds like a simple "I'm sorry" would go a long way with B Brown.

Rock, btw, was getting flooded with comments from pissed Whit fans ... including Bobby, who wrote, "During this time of women empowerment you choose to use your time to try and humiliate our QUEEN!!!"

Chris eventually deleted the post, and Bobby's at least saying he harbors no ill will.

Unclear if Bobby's gonna hear from Rock on this subject -- dude's been taking shots at Whitney for a minute. Still, Bobby says there's one big ticket item Chris could give him if he's truly interested in making amends. 

If you were thinking something basic like a Rolex, think bigger. As Bobby put it, "I got one of those."

Comedy Store Co-Founder Sammy Shore Dead at 92

5/18/2019 12:25 PM PDT
Breaking News

Sammy Shore -- the Comedy Store co-founder and the father of actor Pauly Shore -- has died, according to his longtime club.

The veteran comedian passed away peacefully at his Las Vegas home surrounded by friends and family, per a Facebook post from the Comedy Store itself. The company says he died of natural causes. 

Sammy was doing comedy as recently as his 90th birthday!!! Where else would he rather celebrate than his own place of business?

Sammy co-founded the Comedy Store with his wife, Mitzi, and his writing partner Rudy Deluca in 1972, establishing the place in the heart of Hollywood on the Sunset Strip. The club went on to host some of the biggest names in comedy and continues to be a cornerstone of stand-up. 

Just to give you a sense of who's performed at the Comedy Store -- Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey, Richard PryorDave Chappelle, Whoopi Goldberg, Andy Kaufman, Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Robin Williams, George Wallace, David Letterman and many, many more famous comics. 

Sammy's former spouse, Mitzi, died last year after battling a neurological disorder for years. She and Sammy had four children, Pauly, Scott, Sandy and Peter

Pauly wrote a touching tribute to his father on Twitter, saying in part ... "Dad, you lived an amazing life and I'm so proud to say that you are my father. When you're in heaven I'll be killing the crowds night after night and carrying on your legacy. Love you Dad. Rest in peace."

Sammy was 92. RIP 

DJ Khaled 'Long Live Nipsey Hussle' ... Blessed to Work with Him

5/17/2019 1:04 PM PDT

DJ Khaled offered nothing but love and praise for Nipsey Hussle who appears on his new album in one of the last projects Nip ever worked on.

Khaled was in NYC Friday -- to promote his new album, "Father of Asahd" -- and we asked about a special track he has with Nipsey and John Legend. It's clear to see, Khaled was touched, and loved working with Nipsey. 

TMZ obtained footage from the set of the music video with Nipsey and Legend in what we're told was the last music video Nip ever shot. The three stood on top of a parking structure with tricked out cars and a piano ... the song is called "Higher" and has an emotional feel. 

Khaled also shouts out "The Marathon Continues" -- Nipsey's famous slogan, tied to his clothing store -- throughout the interview before heading to Times Square for more album promo. Khaled will also be on 'SNL' this weekend. 

Nip isn't the only celeb on Khaled's latest project ... he's also got Travis Scott, Cardi B, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and a ton of others.  

Ashley Massaro Ex-WWE Superstar Dead at 39

5/17/2019 10:30 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Former WWE superstar Ashley Massaro -- who later competed on 'Survivor' -- has died, TMZ Sports has learned. She was only 39. 

Officials tell us ... Massaro was transported from her home in Suffolk County, NY to a nearby hospital where she died early Thursday morning. 

Officials would not reveal the cause of death at this point, but we're told it's being classified as "non-criminal."

Massaro famously won the WWE's "2005 Raw Diva Search" -- which included a $250,000 1-year contract. 

She went on to become a valet for WWE tag team champions Paul London and Brian Kendrick

Her most high-profile matches including a WWE Women's Championship against Melina at Wrestlemania 23 in 2007 ... and a Playboy BunnyMania LumberJill match at Wrestlemania 24 the following year.

Massaro appeared on "Survivor: China" in 2007 -- but she was voted off on the second episode of that series. 

She also appeared on the April 2007 cover of Playboy Magazine, which she revealed on an episode of "Smackdown."

She later cut ties with WWE in 2008. She later returned for a stint with a lesser known pro wrestling company in 2017. 

"We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE Superstar Ashley Massaro," WWE said in a statement. 

"She performed in WWE from 2005-2008 and was beloved by her fellow Superstars and fans around the world. WWE offers its condolences to Ashley’s family and friends."

WWE stars from all generations have reached out to share their heartbroken feelings on Massaro's death, with Torrie Wilson saying, "I can’t even begin to explain how devastated I am to hear about @ashleymassaro11 - legit one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known."

Melina Perez added, "I am gutted by the news of Ashley’s passing and my brain doesn’t want to believe it. How can this be real? It’s difficult and awful news to take in."

Trish Stratus, who says she was Ashley's first-ever suplex in the ring, said, "I’m having a hard time processing this news of my friend, a fellow worker, a fellow mom. I’m both sad and mad ... Rest In Peace baby girl,take in."

The Bella Twins, Nikki and Brie, wrote on their Twitter page, "We are so saddened to hear the news of Ashley Massaro. She had such a tender heart and sweet soul. We will always remember her of that. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. RIP Ashley"

Even legendary wrestler Mick Foley offered his condolences, saying, "She lived in the same town as me...I loved seeing her around. She was always so nice...and now she’s gone."

A ton of other stars -- including Rikishi, The Iron Sheik, Bayley and TAZ -- also shared their thoughts and prayers for Ashley and her family on social media.

Originally Published -- 5/16 8:01 PM PT

Grumpy Cat Dead at 7 ... No Longer Feline Fine

5/17/2019 6:10 AM PDT

The world is a little less grumpy ... because a cat with a real sourpuss attitude has sadly bit the dust.

Grumpy Cat -- government name Tardar Sauce -- died Tuesday. She passed "in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha," the woman who's owned the critter since birth.

As for the cause of death, according to the feline's official Twitter page, "Grumpy encountered complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became too tough for her to overcome." 

"Besides being our baby and a cherished member of the family, Grumpy Cat has helped millions of people smile all around the world," the message continues.

Grumpy Cat became a marketing sensation, with countless products bearing her sour visage sold around the world ... She appeared in commercials for Friskies and Honey Nut Cheerios and even starred in her own 2014 movie, "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever" on Lifetime.

TMZ got video of Grumpy leaving Pitfire Artisan Pizza restaurant in L.A. with a full entourage ... on its way to the MTV Movie Awards. BTW ... Grumpy's owner said the cat was a baller, only flying first class. 

Fun, furry fact ... aside from 9 lives, the first 2 cat years is roughly equivalent to 25 human years, after which each year equates to 4 cat years. So, by human standards, Gumpy lived to a middle-aged woman of 45.

RIP

I.M. Pei Louvre Pyramid Architect ... Dead at 102

5/16/2019 2:45 PM PDT

I.M. Pei -- the famed Chinese American architect best known for his work at one of the most famous landmarks in Paris -- has died.

Pei died Wednesday night, according to architecture critic and writer Paul Goldberger, who says he got the news from Pei's son.

Pei -- who launched his career with a New York real estate developer in 1948 after graduating from Harvard -- is best known for designing the glass and steel Louvre Pyramid ... which serves as the entrance to the Louvre Museum. It was completed in 1989.

His other major works in his long and illustrious career include the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in D.C. in 1978 as well as the JFK Library in Boston and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland in 1995.

All in all, Pei designed over 50 projects in the U.S. and internationally -- including in France, China, Japan, Luxembourg and Qatar -- many of which won awards for their excellence.

Goldberger says his buildings in Boulder, Colorado are among his best and most underrated.

Pei was 102.

RIP

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