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Chris Brown Seen for 1st Time Since Arrest 'I Love Everybody!!!'

1/23/2019 11:47 AM PST

Chris Brown is stepping out in public for the first time since being arrested for allegedly raping a woman in a Paris hotel -- something he called total BS -- but today he's spreading a message of love. 

Brown was leaving the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Paris Wednesday -- the same place where the alleged rape went down -- and he had just a few simple words to share, "I love everybody."

As we reported ... Chris was arrested Monday night by French police on possible rape and narcotics charges. The alleged victim told Closer Magazine Brown brutally and violently assaulted her for 25-30 minutes in a dressing room after a night of partying. 

Although prosecutors initially told us Chris would have to answer in court and possibly surrender his passport, he was released the same day of the arrest with no conditions. He still has his passport and is free to return to the U.S.

Sources familiar with the Parisian legal system tell us there are signs the case fell apart.

Brown's attorney, Raphael Chiche, vowed Tuesday -- Chris would file a defamation case against the woman.

Chris Hansen Catches Break in Bad Checks Case ... Prosecutors Drop Charges

1/23/2019 9:34 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Chris Hansen is off the hook for allegedly bouncing checks -- which got him arrested in Connecticut -- because prosecutors dropped the charges ... TMZ has learned. 

The former host of "To Catch a Predator" came up with the nearly $13,000 he owed to a mom-and-pop shop in Stamford, CT ... according to the court. As a result, prosecutors decided to drop the whole matter. 

As we've reported ... Hansen was arrested and booked for larceny after allegedly bouncing 2 checks to the store owners. 

Hansen’s attorney, Philip Russell, tells TMZ … Chris was in court Wednesday for a hearing, but he didn't have to plead to any charges after paying his debt in full.

As for when Hansen settled the tab, we'd assume he paid up after his arrest -- but when we posed that question to the court clerk we got a "no comment." 

Jay-Z & Meek Mill Launch Reform Alliance ... To 'Fight Different' & Fix Criminal Justice System

1/23/2019 7:44 AM PST
Breaking News

Jay-ZMeek Mill and a coalition of powerful voices have formed a new organization that they say will "fight different" for criminal justice reform ... and they've got $50 mil between all of them to get it started.

The rappers joined forces with the likes of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai, Van Jones and others to launch Reform Alliance Wednesday, which they say will fight to get at least a million people out of jail over the next five years with a focus on probation and parole.

Meek kicked things off by recounting his harrowing story of being jailed for 5 months on a petty probation violation, and says there are countless people caught up in the system who are voiceless ... for whom he now wants to speak and fight. 

He did an interview on The Breakfast Club last month, and outlined the parameters of what his support would look like.

The group announced Van would lead the effort as the CEO, and he gave a poignant speech saying Reform Alliance would amplify the social activists who've been pushing for this reform for decades now. He made clear that RA was not a bank, that it wasn't just going to hire a bunch of lawyers for people and that it wouldn't be reinventing the wheel of criminal justice reform.

On the contrary, Van says the org aims to change fundamental laws that are unjust and ass-backward, which incarcerate men and women for absurd lengths of time ... and cost taxpayers millions of dollars unnecessarily.

Jay also spoke on why he joined the board, saying that the issue of criminal justice reform affects everybody in one way or another. He also highlighted what a complete family unit can achieve even under the hardest conditions when education is at the forefront.

As you know, Meek has become a symbol for criminal justice reform following his 2-4 year prison sentence for probation violations in 2017, and he's been championing the cause ever since his hard-fought release on bail

The movement's already been effective ... President Trump signed the First Step Act into law, earning huge praise from CNN's Van Jones.

Now, Meek and Jay are set to reveal how they'll keep pushing for more change.

T.I. I Believe Breezy ... Until Evidence Shows Otherwise

1/23/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

T.I. is standing firm in defense of Chris Brown in the wake of a rape allegation, and he says it's because he still values "innocent until proven guilty" ... unlike most folks.

We got T.I. at LAX Tuesday and asked whether he believes the French woman who went to police this week alleging Chris raped her in Paris. It's a firm no from T.I. -- he says he's siding with Chris (for now) since he knows CB and doesn't have any reason to doubt him.

Moreover, T.I. says there are no facts that have surfaced to support the woman's claim ... and he's not about to jump on the bandwagon of condemning someone without giving 'em their day in court. For the record ... Chris has vehemently denied the charge.

Check out T.I.'s take. He touches on what he describes as a new culture of assuming guilt based on a mere allegation ... which he strongly disagrees with. While he supports real victims of abuse coming forward to share their stories, T.I. warns us of opportunists looking to capitalize on the climate with false accusations.

He notes that he's not necessarily saying that's the case with Chris, but it's clear he's got his suspicions ... and will wait to pass judgment until a jury does their job.

View this post on Instagram

First this... Then RAPE allegations? 🤷🏽‍♂️ #KingsCriticalThinking

A post shared by TIP (@troubleman31) on

As for Chris, he's been released from police custody without bail ... and is free to leave France. Some legal experts in Paris tell TMZ, the fact that authorities released Brown without any conditions is evidence there's a problem with the case.

Interesting to note, T.I. is not the only celeb coming out to show support. Justin Bieber and Nick Cannon also made public decrees on social media that show they too won't be swayed based on the arrest.

Alec Baldwin Prosecution Blinks ... Cuts Deal

1/23/2019 6:52 AM PST

Alec Baldwin just got a great result in his criminal assault and harassment case, after prosecutors realized the surveillance video created huge problems for them.

Baldwin appeared in an NYC courtroom Tuesday and prosecutors revealed they were willing to not only lower the charge to harassment in the 2nd degree, but they also cut a deal in which Baldwin would take a few anger management courses and the whole thing would just go away.

The case involved a parking dispute back in November between Baldwin and another man outside the actor's NYC apartment. Baldwin felt the guy underhandedly swept in and took his spot. The guy claimed Alec punched him in the jaw and filed a police report.

TMZ broke the story that the surveillance video did not show Baldwin punch the guy. Rather, it showed the 2 men shoving each other, which is consistent with mutual combat.

Prosecutors told the judge after reviewing the surveillance video and speaking with witnesses, a lower charge was appropriate.  

Bottom line ... this is a win for Baldwin. Although he pled guilty to the lower charge, the case will be closed as long as he completes the courses. His next court date is March 27. 

Chris Brown I'm Suing Alleged Rape Victim for Defamation

1/22/2019 5:31 PM PST

Chris Brown is going on the offensive after his arrest for allegedly raping a woman in Paris, because he's going to sue her for defamation.

Chris' Parisian lawyer, Raphael Chiche, says, "Chris Brown is free. No lawsuits were filed against him. He vigorously challenges the charges against him. A complaint for slanderous denunciation will be filed tomorrow with the public prosecutor of Paris."

As we reported, Chris claims he was set up by the 24-year-old model, who claimed Chris took her to his hotel in Paris and violently raped her. Chris called BS, saying he was never alone with the women.  We're told he insists he was playing music off his iPhone in the living room of the suite with 20 people around him the entire time.

Brown was released from police custody Tuesday, but prosecutors say the investigation is still ongoing. A source in the judicial system of Paris tells TMZ the fact Brown was released with no conditions and free to leave the country is a sign authorities have problems with the case. 

Vinny from 'Jersey Shore' Hey Kim, Free Mike!!!

1/23/2019 6:23 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Vinny Guadagnino made his pitch that fellow "Jersey Shore" star Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino could do way more good if he weren't behind bars ... and he made the pitch to Kim Kardashian.

We got Vinny Tuesday at LAX, and he said his buddy is doing fine behind bars. He was worried, but he's been assured by Mike's wife, Lauren, he's doing great.

After some talk about getting jacked in prison, Vinny makes his pitch to Kim, who's batting 3-0 in her effort to free certain inmates

We're guessing Mike shouldn't hold his breath. 

Drake, Odell Beckham Jr. Sued Over Nightclub Beatdown

1/22/2019 3:12 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

5:40 PM PT -- Sipes' attorney -- Colin Jones, a partner at the Wilshire Law Firm -- tells TMZ, "We gave the defendant's months to settle this claim without litigation, but when they failed to be accountable for their actions, we were left with no choice but to file suit to seek justice for our client."Drake, Odell Beckham Jr. and Kourtney Kardashian's ex are being sued by a guy who claims he was viciously beaten by a gang of thugs and Drake and Beckham were behind it.

Bennett Sipes claims in a new lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, he was at Delilah nightclub in WeHo when there was a confrontation inside between himself and the defendants. When he attempted to leave the VIP area, he says Drake gave the "throat slash" hand gesture.

As he was attempting to enter the restroom, he says he was attacked by Younes Bendjima, Kourtney Kardashian's ex, along with members of Drake and Beckham's entourage. 

The video shows the brutal fight. Sipes says he continues to incur medical bills and suffers "extreme mental anguish and physical pain."

As TMZ first reported, a source at the club told us Sipes "talked smack" as he approached the group.  

Sipes filed a police report, but changed his mind and dropped it ... at least criminally.

He's also suing Delilah and others. 

Chris Brown Released in Paris Rape Case Free to Leave France

1/22/2019 1:20 PM PST
Exclusive Details

1:20 PM PT -- French prosecutors tell TMZ Brown is free to leave France. He was released on his own recognizance, without bail.  

1:08 PM PT -- We've confirmed Brown and the other 2 men who were detained have been released. The prosecutor's office tells TMZ, "The investigations, which are not closed at this stage, will continue under the authority of the Paris prosecutor's office."

12:33 PM PT -- A source close to Chris tells us he and his team were just released from police custody. Chris just took to Instagram to seemingly address the situation, saying, "This Bitch Lyin'." He continues, " I WANNA MAKE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR...... THIS IS FALSE AND A WHOLE LOT OF CAP! NNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEERRRRRR!!!!!!"

"FOR MY DAUGHTER AND MY FAMILY THIS IS SO DISPRESPECTFUL AND IS AGAINST MY CHARACTER AND MORALS!!!!!" 

Chris Brown allegedly raped a woman in a hotel dressing room for 25-30 minutes and it was "brutal and violent" -- so says Closer Magazine, which posted an article claiming to have interviewed the alleged victim.

Closer, which broke the story Brown was being investigated for rape, calls the woman by a pseudonym -- Karima -- a 24-year-old model who told the mag she met Brown at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Paris on January 15 at around 10:30 PM and then went to a nightclub.  

Karima told Closer at 4 AM Brown and his crew wanted to return to the hotel, and she said she was tired but they convinced her to go back to the Mandarin with a group of people.

She says once inside his suite, she went to the bathroom, Brown followed her and "catches me by the right arm. He makes me enter a sort of dressing room. He closed the door ... it lasted 25-30 minutes."

She describes the alleged rape as "brutal and violent." She says she was then "abused" by one of Brown's friends and a bodyguard.

Karima says she went to cops 2 days later, adding she was scared but ultimately decided she didn't want Brown to "be able to do the same things to other girls."

Someone connected to Brown tells us the singer was never alone with the alleged victim and says Chris' girlfriend, Ammika Harris, was in the hotel room the whole time. He says there were more than 20 people in the room "hanging out" and listening to music Brown was playing on his iPhone.

We have reached out to Brown's U.S. lawyer for a response, but so far no word back.

Originally Published -- 11:04 AM PT

Anthony Barr Blasts Saints Game Lawsuit ... Take Your L And Go Home

1/22/2019 1:02 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Thinking about suing the NFL over the blown call in the Saints-Rams game Sunday??

Anthony Barr says don't do it ... 'cause that's dumb -- and people just need to MOVE ON!!!

"Sorry," the Vikings star tells TMZ Sports ... "Take your L and keep pushing. It happens. It's unfortunate, but it's the world we live in. It's not perfect."

One Saints fan clearly disagrees ... a guy actually filed a lawsuit Tuesday suing Roger Goodell and the NFL for not taking action over the non-P.I. call in Sunday's NFC Championship Game.

But, Barr -- who says he certainly understands the pain -- tells us court action is taking things way too far ... and says everyone in NOLA just needs to let it go.

"You can't replay a game after the results are in."

Thank-you card from the commish coming in 3 ... 2 ... 

R. Kelly Chicago Studio Hit With 66 Violations ... Facing Heavy Fines!!!

1/22/2019 12:20 PM PST
Exclusive Details

12:20 PM PT -- According to R. Kelly's attorney Melvin L. Sims III ... despite the violations, the judge sided with the singer and rejected the City of Chicago's motion to shut the building down completely.

Kelly's legal team argued the problems with the studio did not mount to an "Emergency" situation, so instead, repairs were ordered along with the removal of personal items. Sims says the studio is still open for business as a studio during normal working hours.

R. Kelly is in serious trouble with Chicago officials because the city is going after him for a laundry list of building violations at his studio ... and it could end up costing the singer a ton of cash!!! 

The Chicago studio, heavily featured in "Surviving R. Kelly" was slammed with 66 building code violations, most notably for using the place as a residence and not obtaining permits to build a sauna, steam room and a bar ... this according to legal docs. 

In the docs, each violation comes with a fine ranging between $500 to $1,000 for each day the violation goes unaddressed ... and with 66 violations, R. Kelly could be looking at a fine between $33k to $66k per day!

The court has already ordered R. Kelly to remove all personal items from the premises and he can only use the space as a recording studio from 9 AM to 5 PM. 

As you know ... R. Kelly's studio was swarmed last week by Chicago cops and the Cook County Building and Zoning Department -- and they ended up filing a complaint against R. Kelly.

Sources close to R. Kelly deny he's ever lived in the studio and R. Kelly believes the space is exactly as it was when he first started renting it 3-4 years ago.

Originally Published -- 11:46 AM PT

Johnny Depp Files New Legal Docs Claiming Proof He Never Struck Amber Heard

1/22/2019 10:29 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

2:33 PM PT -- Depp's lawyer, Adam Waldman, tells TMZ, "The dozens of Eastern Columbia Building security camera video files we recently obtained, coupled with multiple newly obtained eyewitness affidavits and sworn depositions taken in 2016, leave no doubt that Amber Heard faked the abuse claims that underpin the Sun's defamation against Mr. Depp." Again, Heard maintains Depp struck her with a phone and his hands.Johnny Depp has just filed legal docs citing new evidence that he never beat then-wife Amber Heard ... a claim she made during their acrimonious divorce.

Depp filed the docs in the U.K., where he's suing The Sun for defamation in connection with an article calling him "wife-beater." The article referenced an altercation between Depp and Heard on May 21, 2016 at their downtown L.A. home. Amber says he threw a phone at her face and then pummeled her and she took photos of her injuries

Depp's new documents include witness statements, saying they saw Amber in the apartment building on May 21 and saw no red marks or bruising on her face. One witness says she didn't see the mark until 6 days later.

Amber also took photos of broken glass in the apartment, claiming Johnny hurled glass and shattered it in the unit. One of the witnesses states in his declaration, "There was no smashed glass that I noticed in the apartment at the time."

Amber has adamantly stuck by her version of events, and Johnny has implied she injured herself after the fact and took pictures.

He also cites in the documents 2 cops who responded on May 21 and gave 2 depositions stating they saw no injuries on Amber. The cops claim Amber said nothing had happened.

The docs say there's security camera footage on the 4 days immediately following the alleged attack, showing Amber's face. Presumably, Depp's lawyer is saying the footage does not show any injuries.

Again, the new filings were in connection with his defamation lawsuit against The Sun. Depp says "They must have made a positive decision to present a totally one-sided picture, leaving out my side of the story and pretending it either did not exist or was not worth considering."

Chris Brown Arrested for Rape, Drugs

1/22/2019 5:45 AM PST
Breaking News

5:45 AM PT -- A longtime Parisian criminal defense lawyer tells TMZ, Chris has effectively been arrested. Within 2 days he must either be released or appear in court, where a prosecutor can ask the judge to either keep Brown in custody pending trial or let him go free with "obligations." If Brown's released with obligations, we're told he could be required to surrender his passport to French authorities and would remain in Paris pending trial, which typically takes a year. 

The lawyer adds Brown could be required to go to the police station every 2 weeks to ensure he's still in France.  

Chris Brown and two members of his team have been arrested by French police after a woman claims she was raped by the singer in a hotel.

French authorities confirm to TMZ Brown has been detained and is in custody for alleged aggravated rape and narcotics offenses. Authorities went on to say he is being processed, which is the French version of being arrested and booked. 

The woman says she met Brown overnight between January 15-16 at club Le Crystal and then headed back to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with the singer where she claims to have been raped.

Investigators have two days to decide to file preliminary charges or to let Brown go.

Chris was spotted at Le Cirque Club in Paris Saturday night -- just three days after the alleged rape -- with Ammika Harris, a woman who he is reportedly dating.

Brown was prosecuted for felony assault and making criminal threats after he brutally attacked Rihanna in Los Angeles. The beating left Rihanna with visible facial injuries to her eyes and mouth which required hospitalization.

Brown later pled guilty to a felony and was sentenced to community service, 5 years probation and domestic violence counseling.

Brown was sued back in May by a woman who claimed she was raped at a party at the singer's home. The woman claimed Brown supplied party attendees with Molly, cocaine and weed and that it was one of his friends who raped her. 

The LAPD investigated the woman's claim after she filed a report, but could not determine if the sex was forced or consensual. The lawsuit is ongoing.

Originally Published -- 4:45 AM PT

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