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Jussie Smollett Mocked in Racist Parody Movie Posters

2/18/2019 2:32 PM PST

Jussie Smollett is now the face of racist parody movie posters that have sprung up in Los Angeles in the wake of his alleged attack in Chicago and an unraveling narrative.

At least two posters popped up Monday at a bus station near Fox Studios in Century City, which feature Jussie's mug photoshopped onto the backdrop of posters for "BlacKkKlansman" and "Black Panther." Both mock claims Jussie made about the alleged attack.

The "Black Panther" poster shows Jussie as T'Challa in the 'BP' costume and the title has been changed to "Black Prankster."

The "BlacKkKlansman" poster depicts Jussie from his 'GMA' interview with a photoshopped MAGA hat and coat on, with the phrase "This is MAGA country!" superimposed in the background. Both posters are jokingly offering Jussie for consideration for "Best Fictional Story" and "Best Actor in a Drama.

The posters have been signed by conservative street artist Sabo ... the same guy that put up the Meryl Streep "She Knew" posters in 2017 after the Weinstein scandal broke.

As we've reported ... cops believe Jussie rehearsed the "attack" with the two Nigerian brothers. A grand jury is set to hear evidence soon, and potential indictment against Jussie could be forthcoming.

Jussie Smollett Rehearsed 'Attack' with 2 Brothers ... Law Enforcement Says

2/18/2019 12:14 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jussie Smollett rehearsed the "attack" against him days before the incident and it was all staged for the camera, this according to what the 2 brothers told cops.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, Abel and Ola Osundairo told cops they got in a car with Jussie and scouted a location, settling on the one right outside the actor's apartment. The brothers said Jussie chose the spot because he believed a camera would have captured the action.

Our sources say the brothers told police Jussie said he wanted to make it a "physical thing," but not to the point he'd be seriously injured.  

On the night Jussie says he was attacked, the brothers claim they showed up at the scene but were extremely nervous because, just as they played out the scene, a car drove by and they were worried they'd be ID'd.

Our sources say the brothers performed per the rehearsal -- they screamed out they recognized Jussie from "Empire" and then hurled the racist n-word and the homophobic f-word.  

The brothers told cops they "made contact with Jussie's face" but it was "weak." They said they didn't know how he suffered the bruises but the staged fight was not designed to injure him.

Check out this video of Abel ... if he wanted, he could do a lot of damage.

TMZ broke the story ... when cops arrived, Jussie took them down to the area he said the "attack" went down and pointed to the camera, saying it was good the incident was captured on video. What he didn't know was that the camera was pointed in the wrong direction and didn't capture the incident.

R. Kelly 2008 Acquittal Result of Threats, Payoffs ... Says Michael Avenatti

2/18/2019 6:18 AM PST

R. Kelly was acquitted in his child porn case because of witness intimidation, evidence tampering, physical threats and payments to witnesses ... so claims attorney Michael Avenatti.

Avenatti does not get specific as to why he believes the various misdeeds were allegedly committed during the 2008 trial.

Kelly's current lawyer, who was not involved in the 2008 case, tells TMZ, the lawyers who repped R. Kelly had the highest integrity and Avenatti's claims are baseless.

Avenatti has been actively involved in the R. Kelly case ... he has turned over a new tape to Cook County prosecutors, which he says shows R. Kelly having sex with and urinating on a 14-year-old girl. As we reported, in the wake of the new tape, several women have come forward claiming to be victims of the singer and have been interviewed by prosecutors. A grand jury has been convened and we're told the tape and various witnesses are being presented to the panel. 

Attorney Gloria Allred was critical of Avenatti, saying she was troubled the new tape was viewed by the news media, worrying that one of her clients may be the 14-year-old girl in the video. Avenatti says the girl is not one of Allred's clients.

NFL Ex-Girlfriends Team Up for TV Project About Surviving Abuse

2/18/2019 7:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

10:31 AM PT -- Delicia Cordon also denies  involvement with the show. Still, our production sources tell us producers still plan on moving forward with the project. 

7:30 AM PT -- Evelyn Lozada's camp tells us she was contacted by producers and had discussions about joining the show, but ultimately turned down their offer to appear in the program.

The woman accusing LeSean McCoy of masterminding a violent robbery at her Georgia home is now trying to take her story to TV ... and she's not alone.

TMZ Sports has learned Delicia Cordon -- along with Evelyn Lozada, Josie Harris and Micaela Sanchez -- are all working on a TV project about surviving abuse. 

Cordon is currently suing the NFL running back -- claiming he orchestrated the July 2018 incident when someone broke into her home and pistol-whipped her while stealing valuables. McCoy has denied all wrongdoing. 

Evelyn Lozada married NFL star Chad Ochocinco in July 2012 -- but filed for divorce 6 weeks later when he headbutted her during an argument. 

Josie Harris was attacked by her baby daddy Floyd Mayweather in 2010. Floyd was convicted and spent 2 months in jail for domestic violence. 

Micaela Sanchez has a child with Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith. They're locked in a legal battle because she claims he's been violent towards her. He's adamantly denied her allegations. 

We're told the series was partially inspired by "Surviving R. Kelly" -- and producers are still looking for other women to join the project. Sources tell us producers are currently speaking with TV networks and other digital media outlets in hopes of making a deal. 

Originally Published -- 12:50 AM PT

Magic Johnson's Daughter Home Invasion Suspect Arrested

2/18/2019 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Cops nabbed a guy they say pulled the home invasion that forced Magic Johnson's daughter to run for her life.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... LAPD identified the suspect after reviewing surveillance video from the neighborhood where Elisa Johnson's friends were renting a house back in December.

We broke the story ... 2 armed men got inside the home and started terrorizing Elisa's friends, holding them at gunpoint and making off with a Rolex, cash and electronics. She was able to escape out of a sliding glass door at the back of the home.

Our sources say the suspect is a 25-year-old man with a long rap sheet. In fact, we're told he was at his parole office when cops picked him up. He's now facing multiple robbery charges for the home invasion and is being held without bail. We're told the 2nd suspect remains at large.

As we reported, Elisa -- who appears on her brother EJ Johnson's E! reality show -- ran down the street and knocked on neighbors' doors, until she got someone to call 911. 

TMZ obtained surveillance video from a neighbor's home which showed two men lurking on the block a few hours before the home invasion. We don't know if either of these guys are the suspect, but we know neighbors were suspicious. 

YBN Almighty Jay Suspect in Felony Theft ... Allegedly Stole From Fellow Rapper

2/18/2019 12:10 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

YBN Almighty Jay is being investigated for allegedly jacking another rapper's chain, Rolex and cash ... TMZ has learned. 

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... YBN Almighty Jay was filming videos Thursday in Chatsworth, CA with another rap artist, when he and his crew allegedly ran off with tons of loot after the last take. We're told YBN Almighty Jay has been named a suspect felony grand theft in the police report.

We're told YBN Almighty Jay and his entourage allegedly stole a $40k chain, $20k Rolex and $20k cash from rapper Skinnyfromthe9.

In surveillance video, obtained by TMZ, you see 2 men approach Skinnyfromthe9 as he chills in a Range Rover. After a struggle, the 2 men hightail it outta there.

Sources say the rappers were using Skinnyfromthe9's chain, Rolex and cash as props in a skit for social media. 

And, get this ... we're told Skinnyfromthe9 invited YBN Almighty Jay into his home a few days prior, letting him crash there while they worked on music together. 

Tekashi 6ix9ine Plea Deal Revealed Short Sentence, Witness Protection

2/17/2019 4:57 PM PST

Details of Tekashi 6ix9ine's plea deal are now public, and it looks like about the best deal he could get ... way less than even the minimum sentence for a boatload of crimes.

Tekashi was facing a MINIMUM of 47 years in prison and a maximum of life behind bars after pleading guilty to racketeering, conspiracy, firearms offenses, narcotics trafficking and other crimes.

As we reported, the rapper cooperated with the feds and even testified before the Grand Jury. The U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York agreed "not to prosecute [69] for the crimes set forth in Counts One through Nine."  So, various crimes are off the books. In addition, prosecutors agreed not to go after 69 for crimes he told prosecutors about but have not yet been charged.

The plea deal also says, "It is understood that the defendant's cooperation is likely to reveal the activities of individuals and that witness protection may be required at a later date." It sounds like that may be necessary, because 69's testimony implicates hardened criminals accused of extremely violent crimes. 

It's ultimately up to the judge to determine sentence ... but the prosecutors say if Tekashi keeps talking, he'll get a gigantic break ... "should the defendant successfully cooperate, the government agrees that it will file at the time of sentencing a motion ... for a sentence below any mandatory minimum." 

It's unclear how much time prosecutors will ask for, but it appears the number of years may be in the teens ... maybe even less. 

R. Kelly Grand Jury Formed After New Alleged Victims Saw New Sex Tape

2/17/2019 6:46 PM PST
Exclusive Details

6:44 PM PT -- R. Kelly's attorney, Steven Greenberg tells TMZ ... "I am unaware of any 'special' grand jury being convened to look into R. Kelly. There is no record of any such proceedings, and no need for them. The report is false."

A grand jury has been convened to hear evidence against R. Kelly in the wake of a new sex tape that reportedly shows him having sex with a 14-year-old girl -- and some of his alleged former victims might've been the reason a jury was formed so swiftly.

Sources connected with the Cook County State Attorney's investigation tell us a number of women who claim to be victims of R. Kelly were recently flown out to Chicago to watch the sex tape Michael Avenatti handed over to prosecutors.

Avenatti says the tape clearly shows R. Kelly having explicit sex with the girl. CNN -- which saw the tape -- described lurid details, including R. Kelly allegedly urinating on the minor.

Our sources say that these women -- some of whom have never surfaced -- were brought in to watch the new tape to see if anything looks familiar ... including the setting, surroundings, location and, of course, the identity of the 14-year-old.  

The tape, and possible witnesses who can contextualize the video, may be enough for a grand jury to indict.

Originally Published -- 4:43 PM PST 

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. 

Jussie Smollett Not Officially 'Suspect' ... Police Sources Say Otherwise

2/17/2019 8:03 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jussie Smollett is not officially a suspect in the Chicago PD investigation, despite multiple sources inside the department who tell us he is squarely just that.

We reached out to Chi PD and asked if the status of the "Empire" star has officially gone from victim to suspect. We were told ... "We have some information that needs to be corroborated and verified with the Empire cast member before we can answer this question. After new developments, we've reached out to his attorney and requested additional time to interview him."

It actually makes sense ... the cops are playing the case close to the vest, so witnesses aren't influenced by police statements. As we reported, there was a sentiment early on in the Department Jussie's story didn't track, but officially they never let on. 

As we reported, the 2 brothers with connections to both "Empire" and Jussie "completely cooperated" with cops during their interrogation, and they made it clear ... their participation was at the behest of Jussie.  

Jussie's lawyer has indirectly lashed out at the brothers, doubling down that Jussie is a victim and "anyone claiming otherwise is lying."

As we reported, at least one of the brothers turned over his phone to cops and there's a call between him and Jussie in the vicinity of the "attack," but before it happened.

There are multiple reports the brothers bought the rope in question at an Ace Hardware store in Chicago.

We're told so far ... Jussie has not agreed to another interview with cops.

 

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.

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