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Tennis Star Petra Kvitova Man Who Stabbed Wimbledon Champ ... Gets Prison

3/26/2019 9:46 AM PDT
Breaking News

The scumbag who stabbed 2-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova during a 2016 home invasion robbery has been sentenced to serve 8 years in a Czech Republic prison, officials say. 

Kvitova was slashed badly during the Dec. 2016 incident at her C.R. apartment -- suffering major damage to her left hand while trying to fend off her attacker. 

While bleeding all over her apartment, Kvitova offered the attacker 10,000 Czech crown (roughly $440) ... which he took and left. 

The suspect was eventually identified as Radim Zondra -- and he was captured in May 2018. The trial took place in February and Kvitova personally testified against him. 

As for her injuries, Kvitova underwent surgery to repair damage to the tendons in her left hand and 2 nerves. All five of her fingers on her left hand were also injured in the attack. 

What was even worse for Kvitova -- she's known for having a powerful left hand ... so the attack could have derailed her career. 

The good news ... 29-year-old Kvitova returned to tennis less than 5 months after the attack and has already climbed her way back to the #2-ranked women's tennis player in the world. Amazing. 

As for the criminal, in addition to prison -- he was also ordered to pay back the $440 he stole. 

Kvitova has been dominating this year -- she reached the final at the Australian Open and is currently competing in the Miami Open. 

She won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. 

Jussie Smollett Criminal Case Dropped!!! Insists He NEVER Lied

3/26/2019 9:22 AM PDT

9:22 AM PT -- Jussie and his lawyer, Patricia Holmes, just addressed the media, and the takeaway message was simple ... he's happy and wants to get on with his life. Holmes reiterated this was not a deal Jussie struck with prosecutors -- instead, they dropped the charges on their own, and he forfeited his bond voluntarily ... it wasn't a tit-for-tat situation. 

Jussie thanked everyone who supported him through this case, and maintained he'd been truthful and consistent throughout the case. He added ... that he would never put the LGBTQ movement "through a fire like this." He also thanked his "Empire" cast members for their support.

If you're wondering if things will really get back to normal for Jussie -- he stopped to take a few selfies with fans on his way out of court.

And there's this ... federal law enforcement sources tell us Jussie is still under investigation for the threatening letter -- with racist and homophobic slurs -- that was sent to him at the "Empire" studio 8 days before the alleged attack.

You'll recall ... the Chicago PD Superintendent claimed Jussie sent it to himself, but our sources say the FBI had not reached that conclusion yet.

8:45 AM PT -- Jussie's family has also released a statement celebrating the news. They state, "This morning truth has prevailed and (Jussie) has been vindicated."

They continue, "While many were quick to rush to judgement before hearing the actual truth, we are grateful that the truth about Jussie has come to light. We look forward to bringing the real perpetrators to justice."

8:35 AM PT -- State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office says, "After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett's volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case."

The statement is consistent with what our sources said about Jussie only getting community service if he'd been convicted. The decision is NOT sitting well with Chicago PD.

On the other hand, Jussie's co-workers on "Empire" are celebrating on Twitter.

Jussie Smollett will not be prosecuted for allegedly faking a racial attack, because all charges have been dropped!!!

Jussie and his lawyers ran to court Tuesday morning in Chicago, where he was facing 16 felony counts of lying to police in the alleged racial and homophobic attack.  

Jussie will surrender his $10,000 bond. But, that's it. The case is over.

We're told the State's Attorney, Kim Foxx, told Chicago police she was dropping the case because Jussie would have only gotten community service if convicted and she said he has already performed community service so there is no point in prosecuting him. We could not find any record of Smollett doing community service.

We're told Chicago police are "furious" and feel something untoward is going on with Kim Foxx.   

Jussie's lawyers say, "Today, all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and his record has been wiped clean of the filing of this tragic complaint against him. Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th. He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public, causing an inappropriate rush to judgment."

The lawyers go on ... "Jussie and many others were hurt by these unfair and unwarranted actions.  This entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. That is wrong. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result."

A source close to Jussie says the prosecution's case "disintegrated." As we reported, there were issues with the $3,500 check the 2 brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, received from Jussie. The Police Superintendent had said the money was payment for the fake attack, but it appears it was actually for physical training.

The Police Superintendent also said during a news conference that Jussie wrote that threatening letter 6 days before the attack when in actuality the FBI had not concluded who wrote the letter. 

Originally Published -- 8:11 AM PT

Michael Avenatti Indictment Casts Shadow On R. Kelly's Criminal Case

3/26/2019 7:10 AM PDT

Michael Avenatti's new legal woes -- being accused of extortion and fraud -- could derail the case against R. Kelly ... that's what the singer's lawyer thinks.

R. Kelly's attorney, Steve Greenberg, tells TMZ ... now that Avenatti has been charged with extortion as well as bank and tax fraud, his credibility is now a centerpiece in the singer's case -- specifically, the circumstances surrounding how prosecutors obtained a key piece of evidence.

That evidence, of course, is a sex tape that Cook County investigators claim shows R. Kelly having sex with an underage girl, who's alleged to be 14 years old. It's what many believe to be a smoking gun against R. Kelly ... and the catalyst that led to a 10-count indictment.

Greenberg says the issue of "chain of custody" -- how Cook County got hold of that tape via Avenatti -- is now questionable. Greenberg strongly suggests the possibility the tape could've been altered before it got to prosecutors. 

Sources connected to the case tell us that the man who handed the tape over to Avenatti is a whistle-blower who has a history of extorting R. Kelly. 

We're told the man recently confessed to prosecutors in Chicago that he squeezed about a million dollars out of R. Kelly's team in the past to stop the tape from going public. So, the question ... if the guy got the cash, how would Avenatti have gotten it?

Remember, there were supposedly TWO R. Kelly sex tapes that Avenatti turned over to Cook County officials, but Greenberg tells us he's only aware of one.

Either way, if Greenberg can create reasonable doubt in the jury's mind as to authenticity ... he could get R. Kelly off. Hey, we've seen it happen before.

Michael Avenatti Arrested For Fraud ... I'll Be 'Fully Exonerated'

3/26/2019 5:50 AM PDT
Breaking News

3/26 -- Avenatti tweeted early Tuesday morning thanking his supporters for their kind words. He then claimed that he "never attempted to extort Nike & when the evidence is disclosed, the public will learn the truth about Nike's crime & coverup."

6:13 PM PT -- Avenatti just held a brief press conference, saying, "I have fought against the powerful -- powerful people and powerful corporations -- I will never stop fighting that good fight." He added he's "highly confident" he'll be "fully exonerated."

4:33 PM PT -- Avenatti has just been released on a $300,000 bond. He didn't have to pay that amount, but it had to be co-signed by 2 people who say they're good for it.

While he's out on bond, his travel will be restricted to New York and California ... and all travel plans must be approved by the government. Avenatti is also barred from contacting Mark Geragos.

2:53 PM PT -- Avenatti's indictment will NOT have any major impact on the pending R. Kelly criminal case, in which he reps the family of Azriel Clary ... so says Gerald Griggs, who represents Joycelyn Savage's family. Griggs tells TMZ ...  that while Avenatti's criminal cases present problems for himself personally, Griggs says they'll have "minimal" effect in the R. Kelly matter. He adds, "[T]he ten charges are based on four independent accusers and other information independent of Mr. Avenatti. The Savage family continues to seek reunification with their daughter, and that process of justice continues on course for all the alleged victims of Robert Sylvester Kelly."

1:15 PM PT -- The Nike indictment says Avenatti had an unnamed co-conspirator, and we've confirmed reports it is famed attorney Mark Geragos

12:08 PM PT -- Nike just broke its silence following the news conferences ... saying it "will not be extorted or hide information that is relevant to a government investigation. Nike has been cooperating with the government's investigation into NCAA basketball for over a year."

The shoe giant goes on to say, "When Nike became aware of this matter, Nike immediately reported it to federal prosecutors. When Mr. Avenatti attempted to extort Nike over this matter, Nike with the assistance of outside counsel at Boies Schiller Flexner, aided the investigation."

"Nike firmly believes in ethical and fair play, both in business and sports, and will continue to assist the prosecutors." 

If you recognize the law firm -- Boies Schiller Flexner -- the "Boies" is David Boies, the famous high-powered lawyer who's represented everyone from Al Gore to Harvey Weinstein. 

In fact, Boies was also heavily involved with Theranos -- the blood testing company -- and was featured in the HBO documentary "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley."

11:55 AM PT -- The NY Presser just finished up, and prosecutors there had quite a bit to say about Avenatti's alleged extortion efforts toward Nike.

Prosecutors in NY say the alleged Nike scheme played out over the course of a few days last week. Avenatti repped an AAU coach whose team had just lost a Nike sponsorship worth $72k a year. The coach claimed that Nike made payments to families of some high school basketball players, and Avenatti demanded payment from Nike to keep him quiet.

He was arrested Monday at the location where he was supposed to meet with Nike brass, presumably to strike a deal or keep the convo going.

For the record .. the only thing that was coordinated between NY and California was how the bust would go down. That said ... these are two separate federal cases.

11:33 AM PT -- The L.A. Presser just wrapped, and investigators didn't pull any punches in condemning Avenatti's alleged criminal behavior ... calling him a "corrupt lawyer" who was only out for his own personal gain.

Among the most damning allegations in Avenatti's financial case ... Avenatti allegedly siphoned off a $1.6 million settlement he scored for a client in 2017 and hid it in a personal bank account that he controlled ... but never told his client a thing about it. The U.S. Attorney alleges Avenatti used that money to fund his lavish lifestyle and to help pay for his coffee business in California and Washington State. All the while, the client never received a penny. 

What's more ... the U.S. Attorney and the IRS also claim Avenatti defrauded a bank for millions of dollars worth of loans by submitting fake tax returns between 2011 and 2013, in which he claimed to have earned around $4-$5 million a year each year and supposedly paid $2.8 million in taxes. The government says all of that was a lie ... he didn't file taxes those years at all.

10:50 AM PT -- There will be 2 news conferences ... the U.S. Attorney in L.A. will address the wire fraud charges at 11 AM PT, and the U.S. Attorney in New York will address the Nike extortion case at 11:30 AM PT. TMZ will live stream both news conferences. 

The DA's office also prepared a chart with the breakdown of the alleged extortion timeline in NY.

Michael Avenatti has been arrested and charged with trying to extort $20 million out of Nike.

The feds claim Avenatti told Nike's lawyers if they didn't pay him between $15 million and $25 million he would hold a news conference on the eve of Nike's quarterly earnings call and the start of March Madness and announce allegations of misconduct by employees at the shoe company.

According to the complaint, Avenatti demanded Nike hire him to conduct an internal investigation for the enormous salary.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York says Avenatti was representing a client who was the coach of an AAU Youth Club basketball team.  

Prosecutors say Avenatti gave Nike an option ... don't hire him but pay $22.5 million to resolve the dispute and buy his silence.

The complaint says Avenatti claimed the AAU coach had evidence that one or more Nike employees had funded payments to the families of top high school basketball players and attempted to conceal those payments.

According to prosecutors, there was a call on March 20 between Avenatti and Nike during which Avenatti said, "I'm not f**king around with this, and I'm not continuing to play games ... you guys know enough now to know you've got a serious problem ... So if you guys think that you know, we're gonna negotiate a million five, and you're gonna hire us to do an internal investigation, but it's gonna be capped at 3 or 5 or 7 million dollars, like let's just be done." 

Prosecutors say then Avenatti makes a threat ... "I'll go and I'll go take 10 billion dollars off your client's market cap. But I'm not f**king around." 

The U.S. Attorney says the call was recorded and there's video of a meeting between Avenatti and Nike attorneys on March 21. In that meeting, Avenatti allegedly said, "If [Nike] wants to have one confidential settlement and we're done, they can buy that for $22.5 million and we're done."

During that same meeting, prosecutors say Avenatti set a March 25 deadline and said, "If this is not papered on Monday, we are done. I don't want to hear about somebody on a bike trip. I don't want to hear that ... somebody's grandmother passed away or ... the dog ate my homework, I don't want to hear -- none of it is going to go anywhere unless somebody was killed in a plane crash."

Avenatti allegedly told Nike he had them by "the balls."

That's not the end of it ... Avenatti was just arrested for more federal crimes ... bank and wire fraud. The U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California claims Avenatti embezzled client money to cover expenses for his coffee corporation which operates Tully's Coffee stores in CA and Washington. 

As for allegations of bank fraud, prosecutors say Avenatti submitted false tax returns to a bank in Mississippi to get $4.1 million in loans. To get the loan, Avenatti claimed he had paid nearly $3 million in federal taxes in 2012 and 2013. Prosecutors say, in fact, Avenatti paid zero and still owed $850,438.

We reached out to Avenatti, but we could not get through.

Originally Published -- 10:23 AM PT

NFL's Emmanuel Acho Thieves Steal Cash and Jewelry ... Cops On the Hunt

3/25/2019 11:53 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Ex-NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho says he's got VIDEO of the scumbags who broke into his Texas home and jacked everything from cash to jewelry ... and now he's working with cops to catch 'em. 

Cops DID confirm they're investigating the burglary at Acho's Austin home -- but would not confirm the people in his video have been labeled suspects (hence, the blurs on their faces). 

But, here's the story ... Acho -- now an analyst for ESPN -- says a crew of thieves "broke into my closet and safe and robbed me of my cash, my Rolexes and other personal memorabilia."

Acho believes the crooks were out-of-towners who were in Austin for the South By Southwest Festival earlier this month. He believes they're from L.A. and Miami. 

When contacted by TMZ Sports, cops would not confirm Acho's suspicions -- only telling us they're investigating the matter. 

28-year-old Acho was a stud linebacker at the University of Texas back in the day ... earning first-team All-Big 12 honors during his senior season in 2011.

He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round, but his NFL career lasted just 3 seasons.

Emmanuel is most famous now for his role as a college football analyst on ESPN.

Michael Madsen Arrested for DUI Smashed SUV into Pole!!!

3/25/2019 5:39 AM PDT

Michael Madsen is behind bars ... after wrecking his Land Rover in Malibu, he got arrested for driving under the influence.

The veteran actor of Quentin Tarantino flicks like 'Kill Bill,' 'Hateful Eight' and "Reservoir Dogs" got into a single-car crash, hitting a pole, Sunday around 8 PM ... according to law enforcement sources. We're told the L.A. County Sheriff's Department deputies responded and, when they arrived, immediately suspected Madsen had been boozing.

We're told Madsen smelled of alcohol, so he was given a field sobriety test and, according to law enforcement, it didn't go well -- his BAC was .10.

The legal limit is .08, so Madsen was arrested for misdemeanor DUI. His bail has been set at $15k.

Madsen was also busted for DUI in Malibu back in 2012, when his BAC was twice the legal limit. He entered a 30-day rehab after that arrest, and the judge also ordered him to get outpatient treatment.

John Elway Hulks Out at NFL Power Meeting ... Robert Kraft Lays Low

3/25/2019 7:46 AM PDT
Breaking News

1:31 PM PT -- Cameras finally spotted Kraft at the meetings, though he was clearly in no mood to stop to chat ...

The most powerful people in the NFL touched down in AZ over the weekend for the Annual League Meeting ... and while most of the owners and GMs strutted around Phoenix, Robert Kraft was unusually low key. 

Everyone from Jaguars owner Shad Khan to Denver Broncos general manager John Elway was spotted in Phoenix -- where the league's top guys meet every year to discuss rule changes and other NFL issues. 

Elway looked pretty jacked, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was scooting around after his foot surgery and Raiders owner Mark Davis was rockin' his usual white blazer with his patented hairdo. 

While Kraft was seen walking with his son, Jonathan, and NFL commish Roger Goodell, he didn't speak with the media and seemed to make an effort to lay low. 

Obviously, Kraft has a LOT going on right now -- he's due in court in Florida later this week to deal with his prostitution case where he's facing two counts of solicitation. 

Kraft broke his silence on the legal issue this weekend -- essentially admitting wrongdoing and apologizing for his actions. 

"I am truly sorry. I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard."

He's facing up to 1 year in jail if convicted -- but it's VERY unlikely he'll serve one minute behind bars. 

The hearing is set for Thursday. 

R. Kelly I Didn't Torpedo Azriel's Family Meeting ... She Called the Shots

3/25/2019 1:00 AM PDT

A meeting between R. Kelly's alleged "sex slave," Azriel Clary, and her family wasn't dictated by the singer himself, nor was it his fault the whole thing fell apart ... so says his lawyer.

Clary was supposed to meet with her family -- for the first time in years -- Saturday night in Chicago. R. Kelly's attorney, Steve Greenberg, tells TMZ the plans fell through after Azriel insisted on changing the location last minute. We're told she wanted the meeting with her family to take place at Trump Tower Chicago in a conference room on the hotel side of the building -- not in R. Kelly's residence there -- as opposed to a previously decided spot.

The previous location was a different hotel, one block away, but Greenberg says Azriel made the switch the day before the scheduled meeting. It's been reported that Kelly was the one who pushed for the change -- supposedly wanting his security there too -- but Greenberg says that's false.

He tells us Azriel is the one who suggested Trump Tower as a means to control the media circus she thought her family would orchestrate around the meetup. She wanted say over who could get into the building by having it at Kelly's place, where she lives with him.

When her family got word on that, they pulled the plug entirely. Greenberg says the singer was never going to be at the meeting.

Michael Avenatti -- who reps Azriel's family in this matter -- tells TMZ ... "On Friday, R Kelly’s camp tried to abruptly change the terms of the meeting at which time my clients and I decided not to participate because the terms were not acceptable. We are now attempting to reschedule the meeting on agreeable terms so my clients can see their daughter."

You'll recall ... Joycelyn Savage's family meetup also got canceled for the same thing -- supposedly, she too insisted it take place in Chicago. Both sides clearly couldn't come to terms on a location, as you can hear in a heated phone convo between the parties.

'L&HH' Star Tommie Lee Stress Caused Her Alcohol Relapse ... Friends Stunned By Drunken Court Appearance

3/25/2019 12:40 AM PDT

Tommie Lee shocked her closest friends when she showed up to court drunk ... they say she was in the process of getting sober before her recent relapse. 

We broke the story ... the former 'Love & Hip Hop' star is back in jail for being wasted during a court hearing in her child abuse criminal case. We're told her BAC was 0.16 -- double the legal limit.  

Sources close to Tommie tell TMZ ... she was trying her best to sober up in recent weeks, staying away from alcohol even though she was surrounded by vices. We're told Tommie was going out with friends who were drinking, and even stayed at a friend's house with a stocked bar inside, but she stayed off the booze. 

But, Tommie fell off the wagon before last week's court appearance ... and our sources claim the stress of the case caused her relapse. She was indicted on child abuse charges earlier this year, and she's facing up to 54 years in jail if convicted on all 7 charges. 

Tommie has since apologized for being drunk in court, admitting she needs help and promising to seek treatment. 

Tony Ferguson's Wife Warned 911 Operator 'I Don't Want Cops to Get Hurt'

3/25/2019 12:50 AM PDT

TMZ Sports has obtained a 911 call made by Tony Ferguson's wife during an incident in February -- and the way she handled the call may have saved Tony's life ... and the lives of several cops. 

As we've previously reported, Tony's wife, Cristina, called police to their Santa Ana, California home several times over the past couple months when the UFC star was having manic episodes and acting erratically. 

Cristina has made it clear she loves Tony and wants him to get treatment -- but during a Feb. 16 incident, things got to a point where she was scared and needed police to intervene. 

During the call, Cristina says she needs help -- but warns police that Tony is a professional fighter. She notes, "I don't want no cops to get injured."

The operator responds, "We don't want anyone to get hurt."

Of course, Tony is not just a pro UFC fighter, he's one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the world ... currently, the #1 ranked contender in the UFC's lightweight division. 

When cops arrived to Ferguson's home, officers used the information from the call to help diffuse the situation ... and according to the police report, Tony told officers he would seek help. 

Unfortunately, cops were called back to the house a few days later -- but the good news, Tony has since agreed to get serious about treatment and appears to be doing better. 

In fact, just last week, Tony posted on social media that he's seen a psychologist and that it "went well."

He added on Wednesday, "Strong Mind Strong Body. Staying Focused Thanks For the support everyone."

R. Kelly Wants Sex Tape Copies Travel Plans Possibly Derailed

3/24/2019 10:23 AM PDT

3/24 -- R. Kelly's request to travel to Dubai looks shaky at best now -- 'cause the Dubai government is coming out strong against the singer, saying he has no business coming there ... at least as far as they're concerned. The Dubai Media Office issued a statement Sunday, denying R. Kelly's claims that he might need to fly there for potential gigs ... with the agency saying there were no planned concerts for R. Kelly that the government was aware of. 

The DMO also shot down claims by R. Kelly's legal team that he had plans to meet the sheikhdom's ruling Al Maktoum family ... calling BS and saying, "Authorities in Dubai have not received any request for a performance by singer R. Kelly nor are there any venues that have been booked."

8:02 AM -- The hearing has wrapped up. Greenberg formally asked for a copy of the sex tapes but the judge did not rule on whether Kelly's team will get copies just yet. Greenberg added the sex tapes should be protected from public viewing. 

Also, Kelly's motion for permission to travel has been continued.

7:20 AM PT -- Kelly has just arrived to court. The hearing is now scheduled to start at 7:45 AM PT.

6:40 AM PT -- We will be live streaming inside R. Kelly's pretrial hearing in Cook County Courthouse. It's scheduled to start around 7 AM PT. 

R. Kelly and his legal team are demanding to get their hands and eyes on the alleged sex tapes that prompted the 10 counts of sexual abuse ... and they're hoping to walk out of court Friday with them.

Kelly's attorney, Steven Greenberg, tells TMZ ... prosecutors will begin handing over discovery materials during a court hearing Friday in Chicago. He says there's no guarantee what they'll get right off the bat -- could be police reports, case material from Kelly's 2008 trial but, obviously, the items they're most anxious to see are the 2 tapes Michael Avenatti turned over to Cook County prosecutors.

Greenberg says he hasn't seen the tapes -- which Avenatti claims show Kelly engaged in various sex acts with a 14-year-old girl -- so he can't really begin to mount a defense strategy. Once he does get them, a couple different things could happen.

He'll immediately order a full forensic analysis of the tapes ... if he and Kelly believe the tape does show the singer. If they don't think it's Kelly, Greenberg says he'll speed things up to trial. 

For now, it's a waiting game since Kelly's team has no idea what prosecutors will hand over.

Kelly might also ask the judge to let him travel to Dubai for work -- he had to surrender his passport when he got arrested. Sources close to the singer tell us he could potentially get a gig there, but doesn't have anything booked yet. 

Greenberg says he's not sure the judge will hear that request Friday, but it's on their "to do" list because -- make no mistake -- Kelly's desperate to make some cash.

Originally Published -- 3/22 12:50 AM PT

Dr. Dre Deletes IG Post Touting Daughter's USC Acceptance

3/25/2019 6:20 AM PDT

3/25 -- For the record, Dre and Iovine donated a whopping $70 MILLION to the University. The department they funded -- The Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, was established to promote entrepreneurship, computer science and engineering, audio and visual design, and the arts. Dre and Jimmy wanted to inspire innovators.  

3/24 -- Dr. Dre has deleted his Instagram post in which he touted his daughter's acceptance to USC with "no jail time." Lots of people pointed out how tone-deaf it came off considering he and Jimmy Iovine made a multi-million dollar donation to USC and literally have a portion of the school named after them. 

Dr. Dre's rubbing a little salt in the wounds of Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman and all the other parents involved in the college bribery scandal ... while gloating about his USC-bound child.

The music mogul and proud papa just shared a photo with his daughter, Truly Young, holding up her Certificate of Admissions letter from the University of Southern California ... and added a savage jab.

Dre wrote ... "My daughter got accepted into USC all on her own. No jail time!!!"

As we've reported ... Huffman, Loughlin and her husband are facing criminal charges for allegedly paying to get their kids into the prestigious school by fraudulent means.

Loughlin's daughters have already formally left USC and could be banned from campus forever.

Dr. Dre clearly doesn't think he has any reason to worry about something like that happening or any legal issues with her attending the college.

Some folks might take umbrage with the rapper's claim that his daughter got accepted on her own, though -- he and Jimmy Iovine founded the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy a few years back ... and there's a hall on campus named after them.

That may have had a little something to do with it ... just maybe.

Originally Published -- 3/23 7:29 PM PT

'American Idol' Chikezie Eze My Estranged Wife Vanished with Our Kids

3/24/2019 12:20 AM PDT

Former "American Idol" contestant Chikezie Eze says his estranged wife disappeared more than a year ago and took their children ... but he's finally got the court's help trying to locate them.

Chikezie and his ex, Linda Iruke, have had their issues -- he filed for divorce from her last year shortly after she accused him of domestic abuse and threats -- but this is even more troubling.

Eze tells us Iruke completely vanished in early 2018 and cut off all ties with him and their friends, and even more concerning ... he says her family hasn't been able to contact her either.

According to new legal docs ... the court stated there is reason to believe the children have been "taken, detained, and concealed" and have authorized the L.A. County D.A.'s office to investigate and locate Eze's estranged wife and kids.

He's thankful to have this assistance, and tells us Linda's family -- especially her mother -- have been vital in convincing the court to take action.

Chikezie also has an emotional message for his son -- on his birthday -- and urges anyone who knows about his family's whereabouts to contact the D.A.'s child abduction unit.

Eze finished 10th on the seventh season of 'Idol' back in 2008.

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