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U.S. Women's Soccer Team Teammates Engaged ... We're Going Public!

3/13/2019 7:52 AM PDT
Breaking News

Two members of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team are more than teammates -- they're engaged to be married!!

Defender Ali Krieger and goalie Ashlyn Harris just revealed they've not only been dating for the last 9 years, but Ashlyn actually proposed in September ... and Ali said, "Yes!"

It all went down in Clearwater Beach, Florida -- where Ashlyn busted out a pretty impressive rock. 

The two are now planning to tie the knot at the end of 2019, according to People.com

Ali and Ashlyn met on the USWNT in 2010 -- with Harris explaining, "We always sat next to each other on the bus and on flights, and we kind of just talked about our dreams and our hopes and what we wanted to do one day when we grew up. Because at the time, we were kids."

The couple wasn't exactly hiding their relationship, but they didn't flash it around either because they didn't want to be a distraction.

"We wanted to be professional and make sure that we showed up every day and did our job and it wasn’t just because we were together, it was because we love what we do, and we’re really good at what we do,” Krieger told People.

"We became more and more confident within and ourselves and then clearly within our relationship," Harris said ... adding, "Finally, after all these years, I just feel like I don’t have to hide anything or feel like I’m not living up to the community I’m in."

Congrats! 

NHL Star Morgan Rielly Did Not Use Homophobic Slur ... NHL Says

3/12/2019 10:16 AM PDT
Breaking News

10:16 AM PT -- The NHL has concluded its investigation and has determined Rielly did NOT use homophobic language ... although it was not revealed what he DID say.

 "Following a thorough investigation, the National Hockey League has determined that Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly did not direct a homophobic slur at referee Brad Meier during last night's game with the Tampa Bay Lightning at Scotiabank Arena," Colin Campbell, Senior EVP of Operations said in a statement.

"League officials interviewed several of the participants in the game - including Rielly and Meier - and reviewed audio of the alleged incident. All of those interviewed adamantly denied that Rielly uttered a slur and the audio supported their statements.

The National Hockey League does not tolerate language or gestures that disparage anyone based upon their race, creed or sexual orientation and continues to work to ensure that our games are played in a welcoming atmosphere for all of our players, coaches, officials and fans."

The NHL has launched an investigation into Morgan Rielly -- after a hot mic seems to have captured the Maple Leafs star calling a referee a "f*cking f***ot" ... but there's a twist. 

It all went down during Monday's Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning game -- when Rielly got into a heated exchange with a ref ... and people watching on TV claim they heard the homophobic slur. 

There's a debate over whether Rielly used the homophobic f-word or if he said, "F*cking rag it" ... a hockey term that essentially means to freeze the puck and waste time.  

Either way, the NHL says it's investigating -- "The NHL is aware of reports that a homophobic slur was used during the Maple Leafs-Lightning game," the league announced Monday.

"The League is investigating the incident and will have no further comment until this investigation is completed."

Leafs GM Kyle Dubas also addressed the alleged slur, saying "The issue of homophobia is one the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club strongly condems and takes very seriously. We are in communication with the NHL and are cooperating fully with their office."

The 25-year-old was NOT penalized during the game for whatever he said ... but the league has handed down punishments from game suspensions to fines in recent incidents.

Rielly -- the 5th overall pick to the Leafs in the 2012 draft and one of the top scoring defensemen in the league this season -- has yet to address the incident.

Rielly seems to be a support of the LBGTQ community -- and famously posted a pro-gay rights tweet in August saying, "Happy pride day Vancouver."

Originally published -- 7:54 AM PT

Kylie Jenner I'll Get the Check ... Billionaire Celebration with Caitlyn

3/9/2019 7:51 AM PST

Kylie Jenner's getting some love from her, no doubt, incredibly proud papa -- as they celebrate her huge financial milestone with a fancy dinner in Malibu.

Caitlyn Jenner hugged it out with her daughter Friday night outside Nobu. We're guessing they hooked up to raise a glass to Kylie for officially reaching billionaire status, according to Forbes ... at just 21 years old. Yes, she's also the world's youngest self-made billionaire ever.

The father-daughter dinner came complete with a third wheel -- Caitlyn's partner, Sophia Hutchins, and the loving family scene at the end of the meal raises just one question.

We've all been there ... that awkward moment when you're a working adult and go out to dinner with a parent. WHO picks up the check??

Y'know Caitlyn had to offer -- after all, her net worth is reportedly an estimated, and totally respectable, $100 mil. She's used to paying, but maybe juuust this once ... ya let the kid slap down her black card. 

It's Kylie's time to shine.

'LHHH' Star Milan Christopher Jussie Smollett's a Disgrace to Gay Black Men

3/1/2019 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jussie Smollett being attacked in a hate crime sounded fishy and far-fetched from the jump -- according to a guy who has no love for the "Empire" actor -- Milan Christopher

The ex-"Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood" star and model tells TMZ ... he believes the "Empire" star's alleged attack was an elaborate plot to grow his brand, and it's actually working -- at least on social media.

Milan -- who is gay -- says he smelled a rat from the get-go, especially because Jussie's story changed so much ... and every gay black man will now feel the consequences.

Milan is also incredulous that Jussie referred to himself as "the gay Tupac."

Christopher has obvious issues with Jussie, whom he called out earlier this week on Instagram, saying ... "let me tell y'all a little story about an evil jealous black gay man I once met."

He insinuated Jussie tried to torpedo his career and block him from scoring a role on "Empire." Milan said, "This insecure jealous queen did everything in their power to keep me from expanding my brand and having a new platform that would empower my reach & expand my 'Empire.'"

Milan later deleted the post, but judging from the video ... there's still some bad blood.

Jussie Smollett Hoax May Have Been Concocted After Attack on Lee Daniels' Gay Cousin

2/23/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jussie Smollett might have gotten the idea to stage his own attack after Lee Daniels talked about his cousin getting assaulted because he's gay ... at least that's what some members of the "Empire" cast think.

Sources close to the "Empire" production tell TMZ ... some cast members think Jussie's gears started grinding in his head days after Lee posted a video on Instagram on January 10 calling out homophobia. In that same post, the "Empire" creator captioned it, "This past week my cousin was beat up for being gay and I am sick of hearing these stories."

Our sources say Lee then showed up to the set and shared more about the story. Everyone was visibly upset that Lee's family had gone through this horrific ordeal. The sources now say this might have been where Jussie got the idea to take matters into his own hands ... and become an LGBT hero.

The Chicago PD Superintendent says Jussie's motive was money -- he felt he was underpaid on the show. Interesting ... because Lee Daniels is the guy in charge of the cash register. 

As you know by now ... cops say Jussie's "attack" was a hoax and allege the actor paid 2 Nigerian brothers $3,500 with a personal check. Jussie's been charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

Jussie -- who faces up to 3 years behind bars -- has already been wiped from the end of the current season.

Godfrey Jussie Smollett Needs to Say Sorry ... To Gays, Blacks and Trump Supporters

2/20/2019 6:58 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Godfrey seems flummoxed by the Jussie Smollett situation, but he's pretty sure the "Empire" star is lying ... and it's time for him to start an apology tour.

The comedian was outside the Laugh Factory in Hollywood Tuesday night when he gave us his take on the alleged attack, but possible hoax, involving Jussie ... whom he suggests might have a mental problem.

Godfrey tells us he feels duped -- like so many others -- because Jussie's story tapped into racial sensitivities and took advantage of the divisive climate these days. He also points out certain details of the alleged attack he finds shady ... like how Trump supporters don't watch "Empire."

According to Godfrey, it's time for Jussie to start saying sorry to everyone he's hurt -- the gay community, the black community ... and the MAGA fans he threw under the bus. Gotta think Kellyanne Conway would agree.

As for what punishment Jussie should receive, Godfrey believes it's already begun ... and it's a pretty fitting plot line for an "Empire" star. 

Martina Navratilova Dropped By LGBTQ Group Over 'Transphobic' Comments

2/20/2019 6:10 AM PST
Breaking News

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has officially been booted off the advisory board of a prominent LGBTQ organization after making comments deemed "transphobic" about trans athletes. 

As we previously reported, the 62-year-old wrote a strongly-worded op-ed about why trans athletes physiologically born as men should NOT be able to compete against women. 

Martina said it's "insane" and "cheating" and says people born with male physiology have a dramatic physical advantage over cisgender women

Now, the LGBTQ non-profit Athlete Ally has announced it has removed Navratilova from the group's advisory board Tuesday -- and blasted Martina in a statement. 

"Martina Navratilova’s recent comments on trans athletes are transphobic, based on a false understanding of science and data, and perpetuate dangerous myths that lead to the ongoing targeting of trans people through discriminatory laws, hateful stereotypes and disproportionate violence."

"As an organization dedicated to addressing root causes of homophobia and transphobia in and through sport, we will only affiliate with those committed to the same goal, and not those who further misinformation or discrimination in any way."

"Given this, Navratilova has been removed from our Advisory Board and as an Athlete Ally Ambassador, effective immediately."

So far, no response from Navratilova. 

In her op-ed this week, Martina says her goal is to make sports fairer -- and based on her research, she concluded trans women (born with male physiology) have a distinct competitive advantage. 

She also warned in her article that people who take her position are being unfairly labeled as "transphobic."

Jussie Smollett Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Geragos ... On The Case

2/19/2019 11:54 AM PST

Mark Geragos reportedly is close to becoming Jussie Smollett's new criminal defense lawyer, and all signs were pointing to it Monday night. 

Geragos appeared on CNN and made a ferocious case supporting Jussie and throwing major shade on the Chicago Police Department. Geragos suggested the leaks coming from the police were a thinly veiled attempt to skewer the actor.

We realized what was up the second Geragos appeared on Anderson Cooper's show and made repeated contacts with Geragos trying to find out if he was representing him -- it was the only way to read his comments. Geragos did not get back to us. 

There are now reports he is close to representing the actor who is now in the crosshairs of the police department.

TMZ broke the story, a grand jury is about to convene to hear evidence as to whether Smollett should be indicted on the felony charge of filing a false police report.

Smollett has vehemently maintained the attack was real.

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.

Martina Navratilova Slams Trans Athletes Competing Vs. Women 'Insane' & 'Cheating'

2/18/2019 11:04 AM PST
Breaking News

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova says she's done her research and now believes more than ever transgender athletes physiologically born as men should NOT be allowed to compete against women. 

"It's insane and it's cheating," Martina says in an op-ed posted in The Sunday Times

"I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair."

Martina has become passionate about the issue after an online spat with transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon -- who won the Masters Track championship in L.A. back in October. The woman who came in 3rd place, Jennifer Wagner-Assali, said the fact McKinnon was allowed to compete against women is "not fair."

Martina initially sided with Wagner-Assali -- which led to McKinnon labeling the tennis great as "transphobic."

So, Martina says she decided to dedicate months of her life to researching the topic -- and now feels even STRONGER that trans women have an unfair advantage and shouldn't be allowed to compete against cisgender women

"Simply reducing hormone levels -- the prescription most sports have adopted -- does not solve the problem. A man builds up muscle and bone density, as well as a greater number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, from childhood," Martina wrote ... "Training increases the discrepancy."

"Indeed, if a male were to change gender in such a way as to eliminate any accumulated advantage, he would have to begin hormone treatment before puberty. For me, that is unthinkable."

Martina says she's up for having the tough conversations on the issue -- but feels there's a "growing tendency among transgender activists to denounce anyone who argues against them and to label them all as 'transphobes.'"

At the end of the day, Martina says all she wants is "fairness."

Don Cheadle I Support Trans Kids

2/17/2019 7:03 AM PST

Don Cheadle made a powerful statement on 'SNL' Saturday night -- not audibly, but visually.

Cheadle hosted the show and when he introduced the musical guest, Gary Clark, Jr., he wore a tee with the words "Protect Trans Kids" emblazoned on it.

The actor said nothing about the message, but as you know Donald Trump has attacked the trans community with policies like booting them from the military. Trump also reversed the Obama policy of supporting the rights of trans students to use the bathroom of their choice.

Sometimes ... you don't have to say something to deliver a powerful message. 

Jussie Smollett 'Empire' Cast and Crew Brothers Not Racist, Homophobic or Pro-Trump

2/16/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The 2 men who were arrested, then released Friday night, in the Jussie Smollett case are pro-LGBTQ and anti-Trump, which has people on the "Empire" set scratching their heads. 

We've spoken with "Empire" cast and crew, and they say Ola and Abel Osundairo do not fit the profile of racists and homophobes -- not even close. As we reported, both men have been extras on "Empire" for years and both are friendly with Jussie, and Abel is especially close to him. We're told Jussie would frequently approach the brothers on set and chat about health and fitness.

Our Empire sources say Abel especially is an ally of the LGBTQ community, and neither have ever said anything positive about Trump. They're both big Obama fans.

We're told Abel worked as an "Empire" extra as recently as a month ago. They're considered family on the set ... well-known and well-liked by cast and crew.  

The folks we've spoken with say they find it impossible to believe Ola and Abel have the DNA of criminals who would carry out the acts that Jussie describes -- and obviously cops now believe that as well. 

Police arrested the brothers for battery Friday after cops raided their home Wednesday and seized a long list of items, including several bottles of bleach. However, late Friday Chicago PD released the brothers due to "new evidence" gathered from their interrogation ... and said they're no longer suspects.

As we reported, Jussie initially said his attackers were white -- yet another fact that just doesn't track with the Osundairos profile.

Jussie Smollett Story Has Race Discrepancy

2/15/2019 7:26 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

A key part of Jussie Smollett's story is not tracking ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

TMZ broke many of the details of Jussie's story just hours after the attack ... the rope, the bleach, the statement by the attackers, "This is MAGA country" and also that his 2 attackers were white.

We have now confirmed, the 2 Nigerian men who were picked up by police at O'Hare Airport are black. Police say the 2 men are the same ones who were captured on surveillance video around the time of the incident. 

Jussie told Robin Roberts this week, he's positive the 2 men on the surveillance video are the same 2 men who attacked him.

When we first reported the details of the story -- including Jussie saying the 2 men were white -- we were told twice, after we posted, it accurately reflected Jussie's version of events. We also spoke with our Jussie sources Friday and they reaffirmed he had said that day the men were white.

One of the reasons why it's so important ... as we reported, Jussie says the men hurled a racist epithet and screamed, "This is MAGA country." As you know, Trump reportedly made hateful remarks about African countries, calling them "Shithole countries." 

The 2 men were both extras on "Empire."

We have asked one of Jussie's people if he knew the 2 men ... the rep said she did not know.

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