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Megyn Kelly Ready For Jury Duty ... It's Been A While Since I've Had Time For This!!!

1/17/2019 1:54 PM PST

Megyn Kelly is keeping herself busy during her work furlough ... because she just reported for jury duty in New York, the first time in years she's had time to perform her civic duty. 

The former NBC and Fox News host showed up Thursday morning at Manhattan Supreme Court, and she was ready for a long day ... Megyn was packing a couple newspapers, two crossword books, and an iPad with "Crazy Rich Asians" on deck. 

We're guessing she's been hitting the gym in her downtime, too ... sounds like one heavy purse! 

As you know ... Megyn hasn't been on the air since October, when she was ousted from NBC for her blackface remarks

Megyn was in a joking mood even before she showed up to the courthouse. Of course, you can really take advantage of funemployment when you're raking in around $35 million.

Watch ... Megyn says she hasn't served on a jury in forever, and she drops another hint about when she might return to TV.

Morgan Freeman Granddaughter's Killer Gets 20 Years

1/17/2019 1:42 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The man convicted of killing Morgan Freeman's step-granddaughter is going away for 20 years ... TMZ has learned.

E'Dena Hines' killer, Lamar Davenport, was sentenced Thursday in NYC ... according to Manhattan D.A. Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

Davenport was convicted of manslaughter last May. As we reported, he killed Hines -- who was his girlfriend at the time -- in August 2015 outside of their NYC apartment. Witnesses said he repeatedly stabbed her as he screamed about religion.

Davenport was acquitted of second-degree murder after his lawyer argued he was messed up on PCP when he attacked E'Dena. However, a judge subsequently found him guilty of first-degree manslaughter.

After he's released from prison, Davenport will be placed under post-release supervision for 5 years.

E'Dena was 33.

Chris Hansen Can't 'Catch' a Break ... Getting Evicted from NYC Apt.

1/17/2019 12:50 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Chris Hansen's appears to be having a rough time, at least financially -- he's getting booted from his home in Manhattan ... TMZ has learned.

According to legal docs ... the former host of "To Catch a Predator" last paid rent in August 2018, but was $400 short, and stopped sending checks altogether after that. So, the owner of the pad went to court in October and filed paperwork to have Chris evicted.

In the eviction docs, the landlord says Chris owes $400 for August, plus $3,600 for September.

Hansen was ordered out of the apartment last week by a judge and given 10 days to vacate. The official eviction day is Friday, and city marshals are set to perform removal services then.

As we reported, Hansen was arrested Monday in Stamford, Connecticut for larceny -- he allegedly bounced a couple checks to cover a $13k tab for a bunch of merch he bought.

We reached out to Chris for comment on the eviction. So far, no word back.

Ex-'L&HH' Star Benzino Pleads Guilty In Felony Drug Case

1/17/2019 12:00 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Former "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" star Benzino has copped a plea deal in his felony drug case out of Georgia, and avoided jail time as a result ... TMZ has learned.

A rep for the Cobb County District Attorney's Office tells TMZ ... Raymond Scott (Benzino's real name) pled guilty to all 3 charges he was facing Thursday morning. We're told he was sentenced to 2 years probation and fined $500 ... plus surcharges. 

We broke the story ... the music producer was arrested in January 2017 after cops raided his ATL apartment and found drugs inside. He was charged with felony possession of THC oil gummies (22 grams), felony possession of 6 MDMA pills, and misdemeanor possession of less than an ounce of weed. 

We talked to Benzino about the case last month, and he told us the search warrant cops used to get into his pad was illegal ... even though a judge signed off on it. He was adamant that racist police officers were behind the trumped-up charges, and at the time ... told us he was gonna fight it in court.

If he'd been convicted on all charges during his trial, he would've faced up to 15 years in prison. Looks like he had a change of heart.

'Wife Swap' Son Pleads Not Guilty by Insanity ... In Mom and Brother's Murders

1/17/2019 7:30 AM PST

Jacob Stockdale, whose family was featured on "Wife Swap," is pleading not guilty to the murders of his mother and brother because he says he was out of his mind.

Stockdale entered the not guilty by reason of insanity plea Thursday in Stark County, Ohio -- and told the court he might not be competent to stand trial. His attorney is requesting the judge appoint a doctor to evaluate Stockdale's mental state.

His case is particularly gruesome -- Stockdale was arrested for shooting and killing his mother, Kathryn, and his younger brother, James, in 2017. He then shot himself in the head, but survived after months of extensive surgery to reconstruct his face.

The Stockdale family appeared on the ABC reality show back in 2008 ... and were memorable for being extremely religious and living by strict rules.

A grand jury already decided the death penalty was not appropriate in Stockdale's case. He's facing life in prison, if convicted.

Mariah Carey Assistant Fires Back with Lawsuit Alleged Butt Slapping, Racist Language

1/16/2019 4:40 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Mariah Carey's former assistant has just fired back at the singer's blackmail allegation with her own lawsuit, claiming she was the victim of horrible abuse by one of Mariah's key people, and the singer did nothing about it.

Lianna Azarian claims in a new lawsuit, Mariah's former manager, Stella Bulochnikov committed various acts of abuse, including slapping her butt and breasts, urinating on her, tackling her to the ground and sitting on her. Azarian also claims Stella called her the n-word, and a "f***ing Armenian whore."

According to the lawsuit, Azarian says Stella ridiculed her breasts, "including placing objects under her breasts such as iPhones, television remote controls and utensils."

Azarian claims a lot of the alleged abuse occurred in Mariah's presence and she did nothing.

Azarian also says Mariah committed acts of physical, emotional and psychological abuse against her.

TMZ broke the story ... Mariah sued Azarian, claiming she secretly videotaped embarrassing and intimate activities and then blackmailed after Mariah fired her ... saying if she didn't get $8 million she'd release the videos.

Azarian is suing Mariah, Stella and others. 

We reached out to Stella and are waiting for a comment. And, we reached out to Mariah's folks ... so far, no word back.

Azarian's lawyer, Mark Quigley, responding to Mariah's blackmail lawsuit, calls the allegations "baseless" and "an attempt to attack my client's character and deflect attention away from a workplace harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit." He adds, "My client never did anything she wasn't specifically asked to do."

Arctic Monkeys Drummer Matt Helders Files For Divorce ... From Wife Breana Helders

1/16/2019 5:26 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE


1/17 -- According to the divorce docs, obtained by TMZ, Helders says he and Breana split at the end of October. He's asking for joint legal and physical custody of their daughter. In the docs, Helders says they've mutually agreed to not pay each other spousal support.Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders is calling it quits on his marriage ... we've learned he just filed for divorce from his wife. 

Matt filed docs Wednesday to divorce his wife Breana McDow Helders, after just over two years of marriage. The couple got hitched in Italy back in June 2016. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Amelia Darling, together. It's unclear what led to the split. 

Matt and Breanna started dating way back in 2011, and they got engaged in 2013 before tying the knot in Europe. 

Matt is one of the founding members of the indie rock band, and he's recorded six studio albums with the Arctic Monkeys. The band has also been nominated for five Grammy Awards.

It seems Matt is going solo in more ways than one ... because back in October, the drummer, vocalist and songwriter announced plans for a solo album.

Ex-NFLer Tony Beckham Breaks Man's Face For Allegedly Masturbating Near Daughter's Window

1/16/2019 12:15 PM PST
Breaking News

Former NFL DB Tony Beckham -- a Titans 4th-round pick in 2002 -- beat the hell out of a man after he allegedly caught the guy masturbating outside his 15-year-old daughter's window.

Cops in Palm Beach County, Florida say Tony saw a man with his hands down his pants in the bushes next to his daughter's window Monday morning ... and went after him when he saw the guy making masturbating motions.

Police say Tony chased the guy down about 50 feet from his house ... and proceeded to smash the guy up bad -- breaking his face in a couple different places.

Cops arrested the man -- a 48-year-old named Geoffrey Cassidy (who claimed he was a transient) -- and booked him for Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition in the Presence of a Child.

If convicted on that count, Cassidy faces up to 15 years in prison.

Cassidy is still being held in Palm Beach County Jail on $1,500 bond.

Beckham played 5 seasons in the NFL from 2002 to 2007 ... logging 6 total starts and 1 career interception.

Juice WRLD Sued for Jacking 'Lean Wit Me'

1/16/2019 10:51 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Juice WRLD is getting squeezed for allegedly ripping off a kid who claims his beat is the same one as one of the rapper's biggest songs ... this according to a new lawsuit. 

Jerome Willisch -- a minor in Colorado who goes by Fly Jxy -- just filed suit with his parents against the Chicago MC, claiming his 2018 tune "Lean Wit Me" is a blatant rip-off of his own song, "Ice."

In the docs, obtained by TMZ, Willisch says the producers of 'LWM' lifted his song by copying the essential beat and foundation of "Ice" ... without giving him credit, and without getting his permission.

It's worth noting ... Willisch says he just filed for a copyright to his song this month, but hasn't yet secured the rights. Still, he argues that "Lean Wit Me" is basically stealing his work, and he wants justice.

Willisch is asking a judge to pull the song from the airwaves and for damages as well. 

Chris Hansen To Catch a Debtor 'Catch a Predator' Host Arrested

1/16/2019 8:01 AM PST

Chris Hansen got the Chris Hansen treatment, sort of, when Connecticut cops confronted him and then busted him ... for bouncing checks.

The former host of "To Catch a Predator" was arrested Monday in Stamford for larceny. Cops say he failed to pay a local vendor nearly $13,000 for stuff he'd purchased in 2017 ... and allegedly gave the guy the runaround with 2 bounced checks. 

According to Stamford PD, Chris bought 355 mugs, 288 t-shirts and 650 vinyl decals from a mom-and-pop shop in town for marketing events he planned to attend. The owner says the goods were delivered, but Chris bailed on his $12,998.05 tab.

The owner says after the first check bounced, he threatened to go to cops. Chris allegedly offered to make 4 partial payments, but the owner rejected that deal.

Chris then bounced a second check, and begged for more time. The owner claims Chris sent emails saying he was selling his boat to come up with the cash, but a check -- a good one -- never came ... and a warrant was issued for Chris' arrest.

He turned himself in Monday, and was booked and released from jail.

We're reaching out to Chris.

Mariah Carey Sues Personal Assistant for $3+ Mil She's Blackmailing Me Over Embarrassing Videos

1/16/2019 9:39 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Mariah Carey says she was betrayed in a huge way by the former personal assistant she hired ... an assistant Mariah says secretly recorded her doing "embarrassing" things and then threatened to release the vids unless the singer coughed up $8 million ... TMZ has learned.

TMZ has obtained a copy of a lawsuit Mariah just filed against Lianna Azarian, also known as Lianna Shakhnazarian. Mariah says she hired Azarian back in March 2015 as an Executive Assistant. Mariah claims it wasn't long before Azarian went to town with her credit card, buying personal stuff and also claiming to retailers she was buying things for Mariah, trading the singer's goodwill to get deep discounts.

Carey says unbeknownst to her, Azarian was secretly filming her "personal activities" ... which would be "embarrassing," and extremely damaging both personally and professionally if revealed.

Mariah says Azarian showed some of the videos to friends, saying if she was ever fired she'd sell them.

Carey claims she was paying Azarian as much as $327,000 a year, but ended up firing her in November 2017, and that's when she claims the blackmail began. Carey says Azarian demanded $8 million and if she didn't get it she'd release videos and other damaging information.

The lawsuit does not say what's on the videos ... although some are described as "intimate."

Mariah says she's demanded the videos and other evidence of criminal activity back, to no avail. She's suing for unspecified damages, but wants more than $3 million.

9:34 AM PT -- A source close to Mariah tells TMZ, "This new year welcomes Mariah's continued efforts to clean the trash from her life."

They continue, "According to a Complaint filed today in California, an executive assistant employed in 2015 to help with business and personal matters, turned out to be a grifter and extortionist. Because her threats and bad acts are too great to be ignored, Mariah has been compelled to file a lawsuit against her."

"Given that the evidence against this former assistant is vast and deplorable, we anticipate a victorious resolution. Mariah continues her streak of success this year with an upcoming North American tour and return to Vegas."

Originally Published -- 3:38 AM PT

Rihanna Sues Her Own Dad For Jacking 'Fenty'

1/15/2019 10:16 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Rihanna is going after her own father in court for using her Fenty brand and his relationship to her to launch a business for himself ... according to new court docs.

In a new lawsuit -- obtained by TMZ -- Rihanna claims her father, Ronald Fenty, recently started a talent development company in 2017 called Fenty Entertainment. The problem ... Rihanna has already trademarked "Fenty" to use in a number of biz ventures, including her well-known Fenty Beauty line. She claims he's profiting off the reputation she's created with Fenty.

In the docs, Rihanna says her father and a business partner falsely advertised themselves as her reps to solicit millions of dollars, including trying to book her for 15 shows in Latin America in December 2017 for $15 mil ... all without her authorization. 

Rihanna claims later her dad even unsuccessfully tried to file a trademark for "Fenty" to use with resort boutique hotels.

She says she's sent multiple cease and desist letters to her father, ordering him to stop capitalizing off of her Fenty trademarks, but says he's ignored them and continued to make money off of Fenty Entertainment.

She's asking a judge to place an injunction on her dad using the name Fenty ... and, of course, for damages.

We've reached out to Ronald for comment ... so far, no word back.

Mike 'The Situation' Officially Starts Prison Sentence I'll Be Back and Better Than Ever

1/15/2019 9:13 AM PST
Breaking News

9:12 AM PT -- The Sitch is on his way to lockup, and just posted a video to all his fans. He promises to be a better version of himself once he gets out and also makes a few plugs for his social media account. Sorrentino will likely be booked within the hour. 

Time's up for Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino ... the "Jersey Shore" star is surrendering to begin his 8-month prison sentence.

Sorrentino's attorney, Kristen Santillo, tells TMZ ...he will turn himself in Tuesday to start serving his time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York. We suspect he'll have lots of contact -- written, anyway -- with the outside.

Before reporting to prison, Sorrentino urged friends, family and fans to write him while behind bars ... posting the prison mailing address for his 1.3 million Twitter followers.

As we've reported ... Mike was sentenced to 8 months back in October for tax evasion. Mike's brother, Marc, got 2 years behind bars. The sentencing being pushed to October really helped The Situation. 

He was originally supposed to be sentenced in April, but with the extra months of freedom, Mike married Lauren Pesce at a fancy shindig in November. He also got to spend the holidays with friends and fam ... including Thanksgiving.

This Valentine's Day is gonna suck -- no GTL or TLC, we're assuming.

On the upside ... he could run into President Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen, who will also do his time at Otisville, and he'll be out for Halloween.

Originally Published -- 4:46 AM PST

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