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Carrie Underwood Sued You Jacked My 'Sunday Night Football' Song!!!

6/19/2019 10:28 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Carrie Underwood is accused of being a "Sunday Night Football" theme song stealer -- another singer claims Carrie straight jacked her hit, "Game On" ... and used it without permission.  

The woman behind the suit is Heidi Merrill -- a singer who had success with the sports-themed song "Cornhusker Strong" back in 2015. 

Merrill says she wanted to ride the wave and make more sports-themed music so she came up with the song "Game On" in 2016 and posted it to YouTube in March 2017. 

In her suit, Merrill says she met Carrie Underwood's producer, Mark Bright, at an event in Nashville in August 2017 and asked if Carrie would be looking to create a new song for the 2018 NFL "Sunday Night Football" show open. 

Merrill says she submitted the song to Bright -- but was eventually told Carrie's camp passed on using "Game On."

Fast forward to Sept. 2018 ... Merrill says she was shocked to see Underwood and NBC promoting a secret new theme song for 'SNF' ... which ended up being called "Game On."

Merrill says Carrie's version is "substantially -- even strikingly -- similar, if not identical" to her own song ... and she's pissed!

She's now suing Carrie, Mark Bright, NBC, the NFL and more for copyright infringement -- but she has not listed an amount she's looking for. 

We reached out to Carrie's camp for comment -- so far, no word back. No comment from the NFL either. 

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."

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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.

Top College Wrestler Arrested for Sexual Assault ... Denies Allegations

6/17/2019 11:48 AM PDT
Breaking News

Gable Steveson -- one of the top heavyweight college wrestlers in the country -- was arrested Saturday for criminal sexual conduct ... and he's still in custody. 

Steveson is a superstar wrestler at the University of Minnesota -- where he just wrapped up his freshman year with an incredible 35-2 record ... finishing as the #3 ranked heavyweight in the country. 

But now, he's in huge trouble ... the 19-year-old was arrested at his Minneapolis home on Saturday after a person told police Steveson and another UM wrestler committed sexual assault with an object on Saturday. 

The teammate, 21-year-old Dylan Martinez, was also arrested Saturday for suspected criminal sexual conduct. 

Both men are being investigated for allegedly penetrating another individual with an object. The accuser went to the hospital for treatment, according to the police report. 

The accuser's identity has not been released. Details surrounding the allegations are unclear. 

What is clear ... Steveson is adamant he did NOTHING wrong. His attorney, Christa Groshek, said the wrestler is cooperating with the police investigation and he's adamant he is innocent. 

The University of Minnesota has issued a statement, saying, "We are aware of a situation involving two of our student athletes and are in the process of gathering more information."

"These students have been suspended from all team activity pending further information. Federal and state law precludes any further details at this time."

Story developing ... 

Nipsey Hussle's Family Claims Tanisha's a Negligent Mom ... Doesn't Deserve Custody of Emani

6/17/2019 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Nipsey Hussle's family has a new argument for why they should retain custody of his daughter -- they claim there's ample proof her mother is unfit, based on her 2 other children.

Sources close to the late rapper tell TMZ ... his family's lawyers think they can win the custody battle for his 10-year-old girl, Emani Asghedom, by highlighting Tanisha Foster's track record with her 18-year-old daughter.

We're told the girl is currently in juvenile detention in L.A., and has been in and out of the system since she was 12. Our sources say she's in juvi now for petty theft, and nobody will come forward to claim her ... including Tanisha.

Even though her daughter is 18, we're told the detention center won't release her because she doesn't have a GED or a stable environment to which she can return. Our sources say Tanisha's been MIA most of her daughter's life and has refused to attend her court hearings.

We're told Foster also has a 17-year-old son who bounces around from home to home and doesn't attend school regularly.

Nipsey's family claims the proof is in the pudding and feels Foster is not a fit parent -- and definitely isn't qualified to care for Emani.

We broke the story ... the family also believes Foster is unstable due to her long rap sheet and current legal issues.

Emani is currently living with Nipsey's sister, Samantha, who kept custody of her after a court hearing last month ... much to the chagrin of Tanisha.

We reached out to Tanisha and she had no comment. The next custody hearing is set for July.

Cuba Gooding Jr. Hugs and Kisses From Daughter of His Lawyer

6/16/2019 7:03 AM PDT

Cuba Gooding Jr. has his share of problems these days, but he's not lacking for fans, albeit the ones who are related to his defense.

Cuba hit up Le Bilboquet in Long Island, NY, and mugged with Rachel Heller, the daughter of Mark Heller, the lawyer who is defending him in his groping case.

It's the first time we've seen Cuba since he was charged with sexual abuse and forcible touching.

TMZ obtained surveillance video show Cuba at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge where he allegedly grabbed a woman's breast. You can see Cuba reach toward her breasts but Cuba and Mark Heller insist Cuba did not do anything criminal.  

There are 2 parts to the video. In the second part, you see the woman complain to security as Cuba is on a sofa nearby with his girlfriend. As she talks to an employee of the restaurant you see Cuba cross her path, look at her but he doesn't seem to say anything.

Cuba surrendered to cops last week and was booked on the 2 charges.  

MMA Fighter Suing After Severing Leg In Gruesome Car Accident

6/16/2019 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

A pro MMA fighter nearly had his leg cut off his body in a gruesome car accident last year ... and now he's suing the California Department of Transportation, claiming it's responsible for his tragic injuries.

It's all in court docs obtained by TMZ Sports ... Chris Bonilla -- a former Muay Thai champ who also fought with the Glory kickboxing promotion -- says he crashed into an unmarked barrier on the side of a freeway last year.

Bonilla -- 31 years old at the time -- claims he was driving on the 10 Freeway in West Covina at around 6 AM when he needed to pull off to the side of the road for an unspecified reason.

But, Bonilla says when he did that ... he accidentally crashed into a K-rail that was NOT properly marked.

Bonilla says the results of the accident were devastating -- his car was split down the side ... severing his leg and breaking his clavicle in the process.

Chris says doctors were able to reattach his leg, but he's facing life-long issues and could have to have the leg eventually amputated.

Bonilla is now suing the California Department of Transportation for unspecified damages ... claiming it did not properly provide the necessary protections to prevent these of types of accidents from happening.

Bonilla -- a 5'10" fighter who tipped the scales at around 150 pounds during his fighting days -- is doing better after surgery, his attorney tells TMZ Sports ... but his leg is still in "bad shape."

Britney Spears Gets Permanent Restraining Order Against Ex-Manager Lutfi

6/13/2019 4:12 PM PDT
Breaking News

Britney Spears' former manager, Sam Lutfi, poses a serious enough threat to her and her family that a judge is now extending a court order for him to keep away from her.

A judge granted the permanent restraining order against Lutfi Thursday in L.A. County Superior Court. While Lutfi was there, Britney was not -- her father and lawyers were speaking on her behalf. 

In the end, the judge sided with Britney's camp and decided they needed the protection. Lutfi has to stay at least 200 yards away from Britney, her family, refrain from reaching out to them and refrain from making disparaging comments about Brit. 

TMZ broke the story ... Britney went to court seeking a temporary restraining order last month, claiming that Lutfi was attempting to harass her by getting in touch with her mom and stirring up the "Free Britney" movement, which wants her out of her conservatorship.

It's unclear if Britney fully wants out herself, but she has expressed a desire for more freedoms that she currently doesn't have ... like owning a smartphone, for example. 

Either way, Britney claimed in court docs that Lutfi offered $1,000 cash to her mom, Lynne, to "disrupt and take over" the conservatorship process, which Brit's dad, Jamie Spears, oversees. She also alleged Lutfi threatened to release old items of hers from when he managed her in the 2000s.

A judge felt enough of a threat existed at the time to give Brit protection for the time being. Now, the permanent restraining order will be in effect for the next 5 years.

Michael Avenatti Sued You Siphoned Almost $4 Mil of My Settlement ... Claims Paraplegic Ex-Client

6/13/2019 10:15 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Michael Avenatti's legal troubles continue mounting ... he's now facing a lawsuit from his former paraplegic client who claims Avenatti stole nearly $4 million from him.

Geoffrey Johnson is suing the lawyer claiming Avenatti took the vast majority of a $4 million settlement payment that Johnson scored years ago but Avenatti wired to himself in January 2015.

In docs, obtained by TMZ, Johnson sued the L.A. County Sheriff's Department in 2012 claiming its deputies roughed him up during a wrongful arrest. Long story short ... Johnson scored a settlement but says all Avenatti's firm did was wire him meager $1,900 monthly payments.

Johnson's now suing for $9.5 million in compensatory damages ... which includes the $4 mil settlement and $5 mil in additional damages including severe emotional distress. Johnson, BTW, is the guy the feds mentioned in its 36-count indictment that could land Avenatti in prison for the rest of his life.

Avenatti's vehemently denied any wrongdoing telling TMZ ... "Mr. Johnson's claims are categorically false and frivolous, and his case will be thrown out of court." Avenatti explained, "He previously agreed on numerous occasions, including in multiple detailed writings which he reviewed, initialed and signed (after a different lawyer reviewed), that I conducted myself ethically at all times."

The lawsuit, of course, comes on the heels an indictment he allegedly stole money from Stormy Daniels. He's also been charged with allegedly trying to extort millions out of Nike.

Bryan Singer Will Pay $150,000 To Settle Rape Claim ... Still Denies Allegations

6/12/2019 6:31 PM PDT

Famed director Bryan Singer is going to fork over $150,000 to settle allegations he raped a teenage boy on a yacht ... but Singer is still denying his accuser's claims. 

Singer was sued by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman back in 2017 for allegedly forcing the then-17-year-old to perform oral sex on him and then raping him during a yacht party in Seattle. 

According to new legal docs obtained by TMZ ... a bankruptcy trustee urged the court to approve a $150K settlement with Singer. Sanchez-Guzman had filed for bankruptcy, so a judge has to sign off on the settlement. 

However ... Singer's attorney, Andrew Brettler, says the director still maintains his innocence and the settlement is not an admission of guilt.

Singer's attorney says ... "Mr. Singer has denied even knowing this individual, let alone allegedly having interacted with him more than 15 years ago."

He continued ... "The decision to resolve the matter with the bankruptcy trustee was purely a business one, as litigation costs would well exceed the amount requested by the trustee to pay off the creditors who were owed money when the debtor filed for bankruptcy.” 

Cuba Gooding Jr. Might Not Surrender to NYPD Lawyers View Bar Surveillance Vid

6/12/2019 5:50 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

5:50 PM PT -- Cuba Gooding Jr.'s attorney, Mark Heller, tells us he has viewed surveillance video from the bar and says it shows "absolutely no criminality taking place on the part of my client." 

Heller says he's contacted the Manhattan D.A.'s Office Sex Crimes Unit but has not gotten a return phone call. He is trying to find out if they've seen the surveillance video. Heller says he can't believe they would seek to arrest Cuba ... if they'd seen the video.

He says it's up in the air right now as to whether Cuba will turn himself in Thursday, as they'd planned, now that they've seen the video.

Cuba Gooding Jr. will turn himself into NYPD on Thursday and will be arrested for allegedly groping a woman -- but on camera he insists he did nothing wrong, and there's hard evidence to prove it.

Sources connected to the Oscar winner tell TMZ ... he plans to surrender Thursday and expects to be booked for a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching. Cuba was in L.A. Tuesday night -- about to board a flight to NYC -- when a photog asked him directly about the groping allegation.

Cuba says the claim he grabbed a woman's breast Sunday night at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in Manhattan ... is absolutely untrue. He says he was there partying with friends, and posed for pics with fans, but says no one was touched inappropriately ... not even by accident.

Aside from the video we posted -- showing Cuba partying that night at the bar -- he says there's also surveillance video that will show he's innocent.

He also tipped his hat to Jon Stewart, who hours earlier had blasted Congress over the 9/11 Victims Fund, and said that's what's really important now.

As for his legal trouble ... Cuba didn't seem worried. Our Sources say he'll surrender at the Manhattan Special Victim's Unit -- and will be accompanied by his lawyers, Peter Toumbekis and Mark J. Heller. Cops will fingerprint him, and take a mug shot.

From there, as Cuba says ... he'll trust the system.

Originally Published -- 7:18 AM PT

Roman Polanski Denied by The Oscars ... You're a Freakin' Fugitive!!!

6/11/2019 3:10 PM PDT

Roman Polanski can't use the courts to sneak back into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ... at least according to Academy's lawyers.

In its response to Polanski's lawsuit -- claiming the Oscar org booted him without proper notice -- the Academy says the disgraced director has no right to use the very same legal system he's been evading since 1978. 

He famously fled the U.S. before he could be sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of sex with a minor. 

In the docs, the Academy says Polanski's lawsuit -- in which he also demands re-entry to the group -- should be tossed. The Academy also says it did everything by the book when it expelled him. 

Bottom line ... Polanski won't be voting on the Oscars anytime soon.

Wendy Williams Cries Over Family Drama Yes, I Want Peace for My Son and Ex!!!

6/10/2019 8:45 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Wendy Williams insists she and her estranged husband can get along for the sake of their son -- but right now the family turmoil is taking its toll, and leaving her in tears.

The beloved talk show host was wrapping up her weekend in L.A. with a Sunday night food run at Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles when a photog asked if we'll ever see her and Kevin Hunter make peace. She started with, "Please don't make me cry" ... and then spilled the tea. 

Referring to the fight between Kevin and their son, she says, "Stuff happens in life" ... and "Everybody's gotta grow up."

Wendy declared that she and Kevin would not let their divorce get in the way of sharing their son's future milestones.

It's interesting ... our production sources at Wendy's show say she's been in good spirits, and been great to work with since filing for divorce. But, it's clear Wendy's going through all sorts of emotions, and they poured out Sunday night. 

It's not all bad though -- Wendy had some fun in L.A. ... hanging at the Pride Festival with Blac Chyna, and even made a cameo on the TMZ Celebrity Tour bus.

She filled us in on what she didn't get to do during her West Coast swing, and shared some of her talk show host magic with the bus.

Come back anytime, Wendy!

Kevin Hart Sued Your Security Broke My Face!!!

6/10/2019 9:35 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Kevin Hart's bodyguards violently bowled over an innocent bystander on the street as they were escorting Kevin out of an event, leaving the woman with a broken face ... this according to a new lawsuit. 

According to legal docs obtained by TMZ ... Carmen Marrero claims she was minding her own business this January on a New York City sidewalk when Kevin and his security team came barreling out of a building, knocking her to the ground in the ensuing scrum.

Kevin was inside the building for a screening of his movie, "The Upside" ... and Marrero's attorney, Richard Russo, tells us she was crossing the street and walking past a small crowd gathered outside the screening when one of Kevin's bodyguards started shoving people, throwing her to the ground, which caused her to fracture her face. 

Marrero is suing Kevin, his production company and SAG-AFTRA for assault and battery ... and she's going after them for money.

We reached out to Kevin ... so far, radio silence.

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