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Adam Silver NBA Investigating Masai Ujiri ... We're Gathering Facts

6/18/2019 3:06 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Adam Silver is vouching for Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri -- saying the guy is a good dude ... but the NBA commish tells TMZ Sports he's still investigating Ujiri like he would anyone else.

Of course, Ujiri is facing some stiff allegations after shoving a cop after Game 6 of the NBA Finals ... with the officer's attorney saying his client suffered a concussion and a jaw injury in the altercation.

In fact, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office says it's pursuing a criminal misdemeanor battery charge against Ujiri ... saying it's set to meet with prosecutors this week.

When we got Silver out in NYC on Tuesday ... he told us he's known Ujiri for years -- but has still launched a full investigation into the allegations nonetheless.

"I've known Masai Ujiri for a long time," Silver says ... "I know he's a very decent person. But, at the same time, we of course respect law enforcement that does a great job protecting our fans in the arena."

"So, there's been an allegation here, so it's our job to look into the facts and make sure that everything's handled appropriately."

Silver says he won't speculate on a possible punishment for Ujiri if he's found guilty of the allegations ... saying, "I don't want to prejudge it" before all the facts come in.

Raptors' Masai Ujiri Cop Blasts Racism Claims ... My Family Is Black

6/18/2019 12:24 PM PDT
Breaking News

The cop who was shoved by Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri during a fight after Game 6 of the NBA Finals is blasting racism claims ... with his attorney telling TMZ Sports, "The injured officer's family is African American."

After it was revealed Ujiri and a white cop got into a pushing altercation last Thursday after the Raptors beat the Warriors at Oracle Arena ... some had suggested the incident was rooted in racism.

But, the cop's attorney, David Mastagni, says that's just not the case at all, telling us, "Insult to this injury is invoking race because the injured officer's family is African American."

"This case is credential vs. no credential. The issue is not race."

As we previously reported, Mastagni says his client -- who has yet to be publicly identified -- suffered both a "serious concussion" and a significant jaw injury after Ujiri shoved him.

Mastagni says the cop has NOT been able to return to work since the altercation, which Mastagni says was an "unprovoked" attack.

Mastagni also says they are still considering a lawsuit against the Raptors president.

Ujiri is also facing a criminal investigation ... with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office saying it will meet with prosecutors later this week to pursue a misdemeanor battery charge.

As for Ujiri, his team released a statement last week saying, "The incident is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation."

Nassir Little NBA Team Asked Silly Brainteaser ... In Pre-Draft Interview

6/18/2019 12:08 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

It ain't just the NFL asking bizarre, silly questions to potential draft picks -- NBA teams are hitting prospects with some crazy brainteasers too ... so says projected lottery pick Nassir Little!!

Little was a STUD at the University of North Carolina -- and has been meeting with teams ahead of Thursday's big draft night. 

And, when we saw the 19-year-old out in D.C., we asked if he'd reveal the most interesting pre-draft question he got. 

So, if you're ready to play ... HERE'S THE QUESTION!!! 

You're locked inside of a car with only a hammer to aid you ... how do you get out of the car?!?!

Ya gotta watch the clip and see how Little answered the question -- it's probably the same answer YOU would give. 

But, you're wrong ... and so was Little -- and the correct answer is probably gonna make you LOL. 

Little definitely had a sense of humor about the situation -- couldn't have been nicer to us ... and told us all about what he plans on buying once he signs that first NBA contract. 

Good luck!

Molly Qerim ESPN 'Had My Back' After LaVar Ball Comments

6/18/2019 10:38 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Molly Qerim is breaking her silence after the LaVar Ball incident on "First Take" -- telling TMZ Sports she's grateful for the way ESPN execs "had my back" after the way LaVar talked to her on-air. 

"ESPN was really supportive," Qerim told us Tuesday morning in NYC ... "All the executives had my back. Much appreciated."

The network quickly condemned Ball's comments to Qerim on Monday as "inappropriate" -- when he told her, "You can switch gears with me anytime."

We asked Molly if LaVar (or anyone in the Ball family) had reached out to apologize -- and she told us, "I haven't heard from anybody, but to be honest with you I shut my phone off after work."

As for her how famous NBA star husband, Jalen Rose, handled the situation -- Molly says, "I think Jalen would have just liked if [LaVar] would have apologized to me publicly."

Does Molly think ESPN should ban LaVar from coming back on "First Take" or any other ESPN show? We asked that too ... check out the clip. 

For his part, LaVar is adamant the comments were NOT intended to be sexual in nature -- and he insists he meant no disrespect. 

'Tidying Up' Star Marie Kondo She Stole My Folding Method ... Linda Koopersmith Claims

6/18/2019 10:05 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Decluttering guru Marie Kondo -- who rose to fame with the Netflix series 'Tidying Up' -- stole her famous folding technique ... at least, that's the claim of another celeb organizer who wants her due credit.

We got Linda Koopersmith -- aka "The Beverly Hills Organizer" -- out Monday in Hollywood, and she went off about the agony of watching Kondo reap the benefits of an organizing technique she says she actually invented YEARS ago.

Check out the clip ... Linda brings receipts. She says what Kondo has dubbed the KonMari Method is the same upright fold she's done on TV shows through the '90s. Koopersmith -- who counts Jennifer Lopez and Khloe Kardashian among her many celebrity clients -- says she unveiled the method in 2003 on the Style Network's "Clean House" show.

She says she also included it n her 2005 book, "Beverly Hills Organizer's Home Organizing Bible."

What's more ... Koopersmith says she's uploaded videos on YouTube, all date stamped long before Kondo rose to stardom. Kondo's Netflix series was an instant hit and her book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' has sold millions.

And, in case you're wondering ... Koopersmith doesn't want an apology, nor does she even plan to sue. But, she does have one request of Kondo. Watch.

Cuba Gooding Jr. I Did Not Touch Her Breast ... Remembers Accuser's Odd 'Snow Dogs' Remark

6/18/2019 7:02 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Cuba Gooding Jr. remembers 2 things distinctly about his accuser -- that he absolutely did NOT touch her breast, and also that unlike most fans he meets ... she claimed to LOVE one of his worst movies.

Cuba's lawyer, Mark Heller, tells TMZ ... the actor says when his accuser approached him at the NYC club, sitting down on the couch next to him and his girlfriend ... she said she was a fan of his movies, especially "Snow Dogs." If you've seen it, you know why that would stand out to Gooding.

That initial interaction is what you see in the surveillance video TMZ obtained.

We're told, Gooding initially thought she was messing with him because she shouted out "Snow Dogs" over his Oscar-caliber classics, but he decided to be friendly since she was a fan.

As for the touching that's evident in the video ... Heller says Gooding admits placing his hand on her thigh as a cordial gesture -- as friends might do when sitting closely. Then he says he brought his hand up to her hand -- NOT her breast -- and brought her hand to his lips for a kiss. Again, Gooding says it was all a "friendly gesture."

The actor insists he did not touch the woman's breast and wasn't hitting on her ... as he was ever mindful his girlfriend, Claudine De Niro, was sitting in between them.

After the encounter, Cuba and Claudine went downstairs at the club to make out on a couch when the accuser confronted Gooding's security about the alleged groping. We're told Gooding says he had no idea what she was talking about and was confused about who she even was, because he'd met so many people that night. He then got up to leave.

When the case hit the media, Gooding claims he only remembered his interaction with the woman ... mostly because the surveillance video triggered his memory about her love of "Snow Dogs."

As for initial reports about club security having to break up a heated argument between Cuba and the accuser ... Heller says it didn't happen. He adds there are no witnesses nor video to support it either. 

As we reported, Gooding was arrested Thursday and booked for misdemeanor forcible touching and sexual abuse in the third degree ... but Heller told us he sees "no criminality" on his client's part in the security video.

2019 MTV Awards Stars Shine, Princess Love Squirms ... During Zachary Levi's Kim K Sex Tape Joke

6/18/2019 7:37 AM PDT

Zachary Levi didn't waste time firing zingers during his opening monologue at the MTV Movie & TV Awards ... most laughed sans Princess Love.

The star-studded affair was taped Saturday at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica but aired Monday night. Jada Pinkett Smith (Trailblazer Award) and The Rock (Generation Award) were just some of the honorees. Hollywood's heavyweights rolled through ... from Tiffany Haddish and Tessa Thompson to Elisabeth Moss and Melissa McCarthy.

But, things got off to an awkward start during Zachary's opener when he decided to go there. As Princess Love and Ray J sat side by side ... Zachary delivered a Kim Kardashian sex tape joke.

Check out the clip ... Ray J stands up when he hears his name but moments later is reduced to sitting with a blank stare on his face after Zachary's punch line. Princess Love was none too amused ... giving cameras the double bird.

See, awk. Guessing a great time was still had by mostly all.

Motley Crue New Documentary is Lies, Lies, Lies!!! Vince, Nikki Threaten to Sue

6/18/2019 8:45 AM PDT

Mötley Crüe rockers Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx say the new documentary about the band breaking up is the same ol' situation of ... someone getting their story all wrong, and without their permission.

The Crue dudes are pissed over the latest episode of Reelz network's docuseries "Breaking the Band," which focuses on the group's turbulent history. Neil is especially miffed about how the show portrays his departure from the band in 1992, blaming him for prioritizing motor racing over music ... so he took to social media to let it out.

Vince says ... "Breaking the band, f**king memories from a manager Doug Thaler who can't remember that he's the one who actually broke up the band! The band didn't break up because of me racing."

View this post on Instagram

#breakingtheband #myreview #motleycrue

A post shared by Vince Neil (@thevinceneil) on

He adds ... "It broke up because he was too much of a pu**y who didn't just say, 'Hey guys, let's take a week off and come back with cooler heads.' He called me an hour later and said I was out of the band! Great management!"

Neil's not alone, because Sixx also slammed the doc on Twitter by saying ... "I am very disappointed that they think they can tell our LIFE story just to sell advertising ( mostly incorrect ) and without any bodies persmission [sic]."

Nikki also claims Motley Crue didn't authorize the "bottom of the barrel" network to make a "Breaking the Band" episode about them, and their lawyers will be taking further legal action against Reelz.

For the record ... Neil rejoined the band in 1997 after releasing a solo album and Crüe releasing a self-titled album with his replacement.

That's the real dirt.

Tory Lanez Colorism Claims are BS ... Say Music Vid Directors

6/18/2019 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The music video directors Tory Lanez accused of colorism are baffled, claiming if anything in the behind-the-scenes video suggests there's a culprit ... it's the people in Tory's camp. 

Capone -- half of the directing duo, Capone x Guise, that shot Nafe Smallz's "Good Love" video featuring Lanez -- says their team has zero problems with featuring dark-skinned women on camera.

In case you missed it ... Lanez claimed the directors tried swapping out a dark-skinned woman for someone lighter-skinned, but he pushed back and insisted on shooting with the darker skinned woman. A behind-the-scenes video clip -- shared by Tory -- appears to show the attempted swap ... but it's unclear who ordered it.

Capone insists it wasn't anyone on his team, adding most of the people present on the set during that particular scene were from Tory's camp ... insinuating the attempted swap came from there.

Further proof, according to Capone, is that he and Guise are heavily involved in the Afrobeats scene, and the majority of their work features dark-skinned women. On top of that, "Good Love" is highlighted by all types of beautiful black women ... including the darker-skinned model in question, who is seen several times in the music vid.

As Capone puts it ... his team would "never allow something as disgusting as what Tory Lanez is portraying."

He says he and his team are very upset their fun vision for this video has been overshadowed by Tory's allegations.

As for Tory, he's now doubling down and pushing back after people on social media claimed he staged the attempted swap to get publicity for the song, which debuted 4 days ago. He says those allegations are BS.

'Freeway' Rick Ross Kim's Doing God's Work ... Drug Dealers Are Just Trying to Make a Living

6/18/2019 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Kim Kardashian's West is helping convicts who were just trying to make a living selling drugs ... at least that's the way a former drug kingpin who served hard time sees it.

"Freeway" Rick Ross -- who went to federal prison in 1996 after making millions as a drug kingpin during the '80s crack cocaine epidemic -- made his sentiments clear at LAX ... selling drugs is not a violent crime -- it boils down to simple economics.

Ross says drug dealers are mostly trying to support their families, and that's why they got in the game. He praises Kim for spearheading the Lyft partnership ... which will help up to 5,000 soon-to-be-released prisoners get a ride to job interviews.

Ross tells us this is a huge deal ... even though he had a girlfriend to drive him around once he got out in 2009 ... many others at the halfway house with him weren't so lucky.

The ex-drug boss also praises Kim for doing the right thing ... even if it means working with President Trump.

As we reported, she was at The White House last week with the Prez to announce her new partnership with Lyft ... and it wasn't her first visit. Ross says Kim's doing what she has to do to make good things happen, and he's got nothing but respect.

'Seeking Sister Wife' Stars Bernie McGee Dies at 41 ... Paige Blames Her Brother

6/17/2019 1:55 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

Bernie McGee -- one of the stars of "Seeking Sister Wife" -- has died from a heart attack according to his wife Paige, who's blaming her brother for causing the stress she believes killed Bernie.

Paige confirmed to TMZ ... Bernie was riding his bicycle Saturday when he overheated and felt ill, and he called her to come pick him up. She says by the time she arrived, EMTs were already working on him ... and she knew it was very bad.

Paige says the coroner told her Bernie died from heat stroke and a heart attack ... but she believes her brother, Patrick Marble, was the biggest factor in his death.

We broke the story ... Paige's bro accused the reality TV couple of harassing him, and they were arrested in March on stalking charges. Paige says the arrest greatly upset Bernie because it happened in front of their sons, and he never got over it.

Their court date for the case was approaching, and Paige says it had a terrible effect on Bernie, saying ... "the stress of going to court this coming Wednesday with fear of 1 year in jail wore on Bernie."

Paige claims, ultimately, her brother's actions led to her husband suffering a heart attack, saying ... "Patrick's constant lies and attacks against us caused this!"

She adds, "YOU KILLED MY HUSBAND AND I HOPE YOU BURN IN HELL!!!!!"

Patrick tells TMZ, due to Bernie's passing, he is dropping the stalking charges against Paige pronto. He says he last spoke to her a few weeks ago to try to resolve things. Paige says she doesn't have a relationship with her brother and never has.

Bernie was 41.

Danielle Bregoli Concert in Jordan Canceled ... Over McDonald's Tweet!!!

6/17/2019 3:02 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Danielle Bregoli has nothin' but her love of McDonald's and Twitter to thank for getting fired from a show she was set to play in the Middle East ... but it's pretty hard to see this as her fault.

Bhad Bhabie responded to a tweet last week that had tagged her in between a bunch of Arabic text, which she playfully answered by saying ... "why yes, I do like McDonald's fries. They be tasting good as f*** sometimes. I appreciate u asking bich. Much love." 

Standard Bhad Bhabie banter, right? WRONG!!! ... according to the Jordanian promoters who canceled her upcoming show there, anyway. They said the Bhad Bhabie concert for July 8 was being axed for her insensitive comment, which they considered a breach of contract. 

Turns out, the tweeter was a prominent Palestinian marathon runner who was actually saying that would-be ticketholders in Jordan should boycott BB 'cause he believes she supports Israel. Unclear what he was basing that on, but that's what he tweeted.

Now, sources close to Danielle tell TMZ the whole thing is a major overreaction on the part of the promoters, because the kid didn't even know what the hell she was reading.

We're told Danielle hasn't taken a stance on, or pledged allegiance to either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

To that point, she has a Tel Aviv gig scheduled for the day after her now-canceled Jordan show. 

We're told her team doesn't really get why she was accused of being pro-Israel, or why the promoters felt her jokey tweet was anything but that -- since it seems pretty clear she had no clue what the initial tweet meant.

Bill Cosby Father's Day Tweet Was All Me ... Dictated From Prison Phone

6/17/2019 12:07 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Bill Cosby's Father's Day tweet left most thinking it was a PR stunt from his team, but we've learned it came from the Cos himself ... who spoke it into existence from behind bars.

Cosby's rep, Andrew Wyatt, tells TMZ ... Bill called from prison Sunday night, wanting to get a Father's Day message out to the public from his official social media accounts. Wyatt says Bill dictated through the phone exactly what he wished to say.

Wyatt says Bill does this often -- he's on with his team via phone calls or face-to-face about 3 to 4 times a month.

This time, Cosby's message -- which was published to both Twitter and Instagram -- read, "Hey, Hey, Hey...It's America's Dad...I know it's late, but to all the Dads... It's an honor to be called a Father, so let's make today a renewed oath to fulfilling our purpose -- strengthening our families and communities." 

An old video of Cosby during a CBS Black History Month special was attached to the posts. In the clip, he discusses how mass incarceration has affected black men and broken up tons of families in the process. He says, "America invented the cruelest slavery in the history of the world because it broke up black families. After slavery was over, America kept breaking up the black man’s family and that’s some awful history to teach."

As you might imagine, Coby's posts caught some backlash. Apparently, people don't wanna hear from a convicted predator -- that kinda seems to be the consensus all around. Remember, he was found guilty in 2018 of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand.

What also pissed people off was Cosby playing up his old unofficial title as America's TV dad, but Wyatt tells us everyone's got it twisted ... 'cause BC was just going off of what he's hearing from the yard. Wyatt says Cosby has relayed that lots of other inmates refer to him as "their dad" and that he was simply running with that for the tweet/IG.

Wyatt also says he just doesn't understand the criticism over Cosby's words -- as his message was nothing but positive for the holiday. Uhhh, we can take guess. Just sayin' ...

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