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Jussie Smollett Case to Go to Grand Jury ... Doubt MAGA Comment Because Trump Folks Don't Watch 'Empire'

2/17/2019 11:59 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

A grand jury will hear the Jussie Smollett case early next week ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

Law enforcement sources connected to the investigation tell TMZ, the 2 brothers who were arrested and then released are staying somewhere around the Loop in downtown Chicago under the watchful eye of police so no one gets to them. We're told cops especially want to make sure Jussie does not contact the brothers.

We're told when police raided the home of the 2 brothers they found magazines with pages torn out, and authorities are now trying to determine if the missing pages are connected to the threatening letter that was sent to Jussie 8 days before the alleged attack.

Our sources say early on they asked Jussie if he'd sign complaints against the 2 men who attacked him and he was clear that he would. But, when he found out the 2 brothers were the ones in custody we're told he said he knew them, felt bad for them and declined to sign the complaints. 

Our sources say although cops believe the brothers purchased the rope that was around Jussie's neck after the incident, there is no surveillance video at the hardware store because it erases after a week.

We're told the way they tracked the 2 brothers down was by their movements in arriving and leaving the scene around Jussie's apartment building. As we reported, they left in either a cab or a rideshare, but we're told cops tracked the vehicle and the 2 brothers got out on their way home and into another vehicle. As one source put it, "It was almost like a bad spy movie."

The sources say there were red flags from the get-go. Cops were extremely suspicious when Jussie took them out to the area where he said he was attacked and pointed to an obscure camera saying how happy he was that the attack was on video. Turns out the camera was pointing in the wrong direction. Cops thought it was weird he knew the location of that camera.

And, there's this. We're told investigators didn't believe the 2 alleged attackers screamed, "This is MAGA country," because, "Not a single Trump supporter watches 'Empire.'"

And, a few loose ends ... we're told when cops picked up the 2 brothers at O'Hare Airport, police were armed with 3 warrants for each man, one of which was to seize their phones.    

We're also told there is no video of a "rehearsal" of the attack in the street.

Jussie and his lawyer have vehemently denied the attack was staged, maintaining this was a hate crime.

50 Cent NYPD Officer Denies Telling Cops Shoot Him On Sight

2/17/2019 1:27 PM PST
Exclusive Details

1:22 PM PST -- Roy Richter -- who serves as the president of the Captains Endowment Association, a union that reps Emanuel Gonzalez -- tells TMZ ... the allegation that Gonzalez told fellow officers to shoot 50 Cent on sight last year is completely false. Richter tells us Gonzalez never said that, and that he completely denies any suggestion he did. In fact, Richter says it was 50 who put Gonzalez's safety at risk by publishing a threatening Instagram post. 

10:00 AM PST -- 50 Cent has responded to the Daily News article on Instagram saying, "I take this threat very seriously," and he is consulting with his legal counsel all the while posting a photo of Emanuel Gonzalez.

An NYPD officer is under investigation for allegedly telling his fellow cops to shoot 50 Cent on sight ... TMZ has confirmed.

Police sources tell TMZ, Commanding Officer Emanuel Gonzalez made the comment last June during roll call at the 72nd Precinct. What apparently triggered his comment ... 50 was scheduled to attend an NYPD boxing match in the Bronx. Gonzalez said, "Shoot him on sight."

Gonzalez has had beef with 50 ... according to the NY Daily News, which broke the story, a month before Gonzalez made his comment he filed an aggravated harassment complaint claiming 50 threatened him on Instagram.  

50 had accused Gonzalez of "shaking down" the owner of one of 50's go-to clubs ... this according to the Daily News. 50 wrote on his Instagram, "Get the strap" -- slang for gun. Gonzalez says 50's followers subsequently threatened him with violence. 

We're told Gonzalez has said it was just a joke, but the matter was reported to higher-ups in the Department and Internal Affairs is now investigating.

Gonzalez is a long-timer in the Department -- 30 years -- and he's still on duty.

50's rep tells TMZ," Mr. Jackson takes this threat very seriously and is consulting with his legal counsel regarding his options going forward. He is concerned that he was not previously advised of this threat by the NYPD and even more concerned that Gonzalez continues to carry a badge and a gun."

Originally posted -- 7:36 AM PST

BlocBoy JB Wanted in Tennessee ... Over Drug/Gun Charges

2/17/2019 1:17 PM PST

BlocBoy JB is a wanted man in his home state of Tennessee ... according to police, who say he's facing multiple criminal charges. 

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office tweeted out the news Saturday about the local Memphis MC, saying BB JB -- real name James Baker -- is wanted for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun, and for theft of property. 

It's unclear what incident these charges stem from, but cops are asking the public for any information about his current whereabouts. 

BlocBoy's Instagram story has been quiet over the past 24 hours, but he posted a photo of himself with a tagged location of Memphis, TN just last weekend. 

View this post on Instagram

Where Is Yo Gloc My Coat🧥 #RipMacMiller

A post shared by BlocBoy JB (@blocboy_jb) on

You'll recall ... BlocBoy JB is one of many celebs currently suing the developers of Fortnite for allegedly ripping off his Shoot dance and throwing it in the game ... calling it the Hype dance.

He hasn't commented on the charges as of yet. 

Anthony Weiner Out of Prison ... But Not a Free Man Yet

2/17/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Anthony Weiner is no longer behind bars, but the disgraced ex-U.S. Congressman still has a few months in federal custody before he's freed ... still earlier than originally expected.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Weiner's been transferred out of a Massachusetts prison and into the custody of a Bureau of Prisons residential re-entry center in New York. We're told he's either in a halfway house or home confinement.

Weiner's now in pre-release status, which inmates often get as they approach the end of their federal sentence. The purpose is to prepare them to transition back into society.

As we reported ... Weiner started serving his 21-month prison sentence in November 2017 after pleading guilty to sexting with a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. He was slated to get out August, 2019, but good behavior slashed the sentence 3 months to May 14.

We're told that is still his scheduled release date.

Weiner served his time at the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts where they offer treatment for sex offenders. As you know ... Weiner has a long, scandalous history.

Weiner resigned from Congress after his first sexting scandal in 2011. He ran for NYC mayor but that bid was derailed in 2013 when he was found sexting Sydney Leathers under the infamous alias, "Carlos Danger."

The convicted sex offender saw his marriage fall apart the third time around. Huma Abedin filed for divorce just hours after Weiner struck a plea deal in the latest sexting scandal. Making matters worse ... Huma was a top aide to then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton when federal investigators found hundreds of thousands of Clinton's emails in Weiner's laptop ... forever changing the course of the 2016 Presidential election.

21 Savage Bailed On Gig ... After Complaining About a Gun

2/17/2019 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

21 Savage skipped out on a paid gig at a club after voicing complaints about the opening act and demanding he be allowed to carry his gun ... this according to the promoter who booked him. 

The promoter, Karen Smith, tells TMZ ... she booked 21 Savage for a fee of $17,000 to play a Sept. 2016 show at Bo'Maz Club in Hinesville, GA, but 21 and his crew bounced without saying a word.

The promoter tells us she caved and allowed him to carry his weapon. We're also told by someone who was at the show ... 21 groused about the opening act -- a local rapper -- and asked the DJ to cut him off but the DJ refused. 21 got angry, and he and his crew beat it.

In video from the club, obtained by TMZ, you see the local rapper performing on stage when 21 and his crew get up and leave ... before he performed a single song.   

We broke the story ... the promoter went to cops in October 2016 and filed paperwork to get a felony warrant against 21 Savage for theft by deception, claiming he walked off with $17k for a show that never went down.

The warrant was issued but sat for more than 2 years. After 21 was arrested by ICE on Super Bowl Sunday, the club owner went to the Sheriff and decided to pursue the criminal case. 

21 Savage turned himself in Friday morning and was booked for felony theft by deception. He was released within a half hour. 

We reached out to 21's lawyer, Abbi Taylor, and she doubled down on her claim that 21 has committed no criminal offense. We believe he'll end up paying the woman and if that's what she's after she'll probably drop the case. 

Soulja Boy Someone Slashed Cop's Tires ... During Police Raid

2/17/2019 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Soulja Boy's visit from Johnny Law did not end well -- for the cops -- which is why there's now a second investigation involving the rapper. 

Law enforcement sources tell us the Ventura County Sheriff's deputies who executed a search warrant at Soulja's crib last week returned to their vehicles to find their tires slashed. The deputies were there investigating the allegation from of the rapper's exes that he had kidnapped her.

We're told while detectives were inside Soulja's home, someone slashed the tires of 3 unmarked police cars ... causing damage in excess of $1,000. Our sources say the Sheriff's Dept. has opened a felony vandalism investigation. The cars were parked on the street, not on Soulja's driveway.

We're told the Sheriff's Dept doesn't know if the tire slashing is connected to anyone in Soulja's house.

As for the "kidnapping" investigation -- we're told Soulja is cooperating and cops seized some items during their search.

We broke the story ... Soulja's ex, Kayla, claims he tied her up in his garage for 6 hours. Soulja says she's full of it.

Jussie Smollett 'Suspects' Lawyer ... My Clients Have Key Evidence

2/16/2019 7:55 AM PST

The lawyer for the 2 men who were arrested and then released in connection with the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett says the new evidence that has changed this case is something her clients told cops.

Attorney Gloria Schmidt was at the Chicago police station Friday night, after her clients, Ola and Abel Osundairo, were released from custody. Schmidt said the "new evidence" that triggered the release of her clients was something they knew and presumably told cops.

Our photog asked Schmidt flat out if the "attack" was staged, and she answered obliquely, saying there were moving parts and she didn't want to speculate.

As we reported, Ola and Abel both worked on "Empire," and Abel was especially friendly with Jussie.

And, something else interesting ... she wouldn't answer why her clients went to Nigeria the day of the alleged attack, but added it was a "great question."

She said she didn't want to speak for her clients because they had a story to tell "when the time is right." That clearly sounds like they have inside information about what went down at Jussie's apartment building.

Colin Kaepernick All Smiles After NFL Settlement

2/16/2019 11:43 AM PST

The settlement is confidential, but Colin Kaepernick sure looks happy the day after striking a deal with the NFL.

Colin posed with his legal team -- led by Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas -- early Saturday morning with a big ol' smile on his face.

There are reports the settlement could be close to $100 million, but so far nobody is saying anything.

As we previously reported ... Colin agreed to end his suit against the NFL, in which he accused team owners and league officials of colluding to keep him off of an NFL roster because of his kneeling demonstration.

Colin filed the suit back in 2017 and deposed some of the most famous and important people in the NFL -- including Jerry Jones and Roger Goodell -- but now that CK has agreed to drop it, the public will likely never know what they said in those depos.

Kap has come under fire from critics like ex-NFL star Larry Johnson who says he is a "sellout" -- because they believed his case against the NFL was more about exposing racism than reaching a fat settlement.

Colin hasn't addressed his critics -- and likely won't -- but his smile speaks for itself.

Jussie Smollett 'Empire' Cast and Crew Brothers Not Racist, Homophobic or Pro-Trump

2/16/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The 2 men who were arrested, then released Friday night, in the Jussie Smollett case are pro-LGBTQ and anti-Trump, which has people on the "Empire" set scratching their heads. 

We've spoken with "Empire" cast and crew, and they say Ola and Abel Osundairo do not fit the profile of racists and homophobes -- not even close. As we reported, both men have been extras on "Empire" for years and both are friendly with Jussie, and Abel is especially close to him. We're told Jussie would frequently approach the brothers on set and chat about health and fitness.

Our Empire sources say Abel especially is an ally of the LGBTQ community, and neither have ever said anything positive about Trump. They're both big Obama fans.

We're told Abel worked as an "Empire" extra as recently as a month ago. They're considered family on the set ... well-known and well-liked by cast and crew.  

The folks we've spoken with say they find it impossible to believe Ola and Abel have the DNA of criminals who would carry out the acts that Jussie describes -- and obviously cops now believe that as well. 

Police arrested the brothers for battery Friday after cops raided their home Wednesday and seized a long list of items, including several bottles of bleach. However, late Friday Chicago PD released the brothers due to "new evidence" gathered from their interrogation ... and said they're no longer suspects.

As we reported, Jussie initially said his attackers were white -- yet another fact that just doesn't track with the Osundairos profile.

Drake Universal Music Group Sued ... You Shut Down Our Drizzy Doc!!!

2/15/2019 4:55 PM PST
Breaking News

The production company behind a Drake documentary is suing Universal Music Group for ratting them out, and getting the project yanked from streaming platforms.

Symettrica Entertainment rips UMG in the lawsuit, saying the music co. fired off notices to remove all the Drake music and video clips the documentary entitled, "Drake: Re-writing the Rules." Obviously, that would create a major hole in a Drake documentary ... if it were devoid of his image and music.

According to docs, obtained by TMZ, Universal's power move "has nothing to do with purported 'copyright infringement,' and everything to do with placating its artist Drake by attempting to suppress any commentary or criticism of Drake." 

The unauthorized doc was released on Vevo in November, and then hit Netflix, iTunes and Amazon on January 16. Symettrica says it got UMG's notice the next day and, 2 days later, all the digital platforms caved ... saying they had no choice but to pull the documentary.

Symettrica insists its use of the Drake clips was fair use, and says it's lost a ton of money because UMG shut them down. 

Symettrica wants the court to declare their use of the Drizzy clips is kosher. It's also suing UMG for damages. Drake is NOT being sued.

Cardi B & Meek Mill Outrage Over Inmate's Death ... Prison Releases Details

2/15/2019 2:49 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The death of Anthony Myrie, a NY state prison inmate, has become a cause celebre -- with Cardi B and Meek Mill suggesting a cover-up -- which is forcing the prison to release new details about the mystery.

New York Department of Corrections spokesperson Thomas Mailey tells TMZ ... the death of Anthony Myrie on February 11 at the Greene Correctional Facility near Albany "appears to be consistent with sudden cardiac arrest."

Mailey says the prison typically doesn't provide facts about an ongoing investigation, but it's making an exception due to "the abundance of misinformation in circulation."

After news of Myrie's death came out ... Cardi and Meek both shared a message from Myrie's family, alleging prison guards may have been responsible for hurting him. They also accused prison officials of lying about where his body was being held to "buy time to cover this up."

According to Mailey ... Myrie was involved in a 3-on-1 fight with other inmates, but officers broke it up without using force. Mailey says Myrie was examined after the incident and the medical staff found no injuries.

However, Mailey says Myrie complained of chest pain shortly afterward while he was waiting to be interviewed by prison staff. When they took him back to the medical unit, he collapsed ... "unconscious and unresponsive."

He was given emergency medical services by the staff before being transferred to Albany Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the prison's statement, preliminary autopsy results show he had no body trauma and "the cause of death appears to be consistent with sudden cardiac arrest."

Ex-'Deadliest Catch' Star Busted for DUI, Gun and Drug Charges

2/15/2019 1:03 PM PST
Exclusive Details

Ex-"Deadliest Catch" star Jake Harris is sitting behind bars -- and has been for more than 3 weeks -- after he was arrested for felony DUI and drug possession ... TMZ has learned.

The incident went down back on January 23 in Skagit County, Washington where cops say the 33-year-old wouldn't identify himself to park rangers, who tried pulling him over. Harris took off with his RV, forcing state troopers to chase him down and force him to stop ... according to docs obtained by TMZ.

Cops say the trooper noticed signs of drug use once they pulled over Harris -- pinpoint pupils, bloodshot eyes and pale face. They also say he could not stand still ... shaking the entire time and talking fast. Meanwhile, a K-9 alerted cops to drugs in the RV.

Cops say they found a half ounce of heroin and other paraphernalia associated with the selling of drugs. Cops say they also found a shotgun Harris claims he bought from someone for $150 and a "ball" of heroin. Turns out it was stolen.

He was arrested and charged with 4 felonies -- DUI, possession of a controlled substance, maintaining a vehicle or premises for drug trafficking and possession of a stolen firearm. They also hit him driving on a suspended license.

Harris was skipper of the Cornelia Marie before leaving "Deadliest Catch" in 2012, and has struggled with drugs.

His bail's been set at $200k.

Colin Kaepernick Strikes Settlement with NFL ... In Collusion Case

2/15/2019 11:15 AM PST
Breaking News

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid say their legal war with the NFL is over -- after striking a confidential settlement with the league. 

Kaepernick and Reid had filed a lawsuit against the NFL claiming owners and league officials colluded to keep them off NFL rosters because they chose to take a knee during the national anthem at NFL games. 

The league had adamantly denied blackballing Kaepernick ... even after President Donald Trump publicly urged owners to fire any "son of a bitch" who didn't stand for the anthem. 

Kap's attorneys, Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas, issued a statement saying, "For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL."

"As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party."

Reid was picked up by the Carolina Panthers during the 2018 season and on Monday, the safety signed a $22 million 3-year extension. Kaepernick is still a free agent. 

We shot Kaepernick arriving in L.A. over the weekend -- but he remained silent when it came to his case against the NFL. 

Kaepernick initially filed his lawsuit in October 2017 -- and, as part of the case, a bunch of NFL honchos were deposed ... including Jerry Jones, Bob McNair, John Elway, Robert Kraft, Pete Carroll and more.

Kaepernick first began taking a knee during the 2016 NFL season, while he was still a member of the San Francisco 49ers. 

The QB opted out of his contract with the 49ers in March 2017 -- and has not been picked up by another NFL team since then. 

When asked about Kaepernick during the State of the NFL speech during Super Bowl week, NFL Commish Roger Goodell insisted that Kap's unemployment was a direct result of his football ability ... and not outside politics

Kap supporters have strongly disagreed -- pointing out a slew of QBs with inferior experience and stats who got try-outs and contracts with NFL teams over the past 2 years. 

Story developing ... 

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