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'Tidying Up' Star Marie Kondo She Stole My Folding Method ... Linda Koopersmith Claims

6/18/2019 10:05 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Decluttering guru Marie Kondo -- who rose to fame with the Netflix series 'Tidying Up' -- stole her famous folding technique ... at least, that's the claim of another celeb organizer who wants her due credit.

We got Linda Koopersmith -- aka "The Beverly Hills Organizer" -- out Monday in Hollywood, and she went off about the agony of watching Kondo reap the benefits of an organizing technique she says she actually invented YEARS ago.

Check out the clip ... Linda brings receipts. She says what Kondo has dubbed the KonMari Method is the same upright fold she's done on TV shows through the '90s. Koopersmith -- who counts Jennifer Lopez and Khloe Kardashian among her many celebrity clients -- says she unveiled the method in 2003 on the Style Network's "Clean House" show.

She says she also included it n her 2005 book, "Beverly Hills Organizer's Home Organizing Bible."

What's more ... Koopersmith says she's uploaded videos on YouTube, all date stamped long before Kondo rose to stardom. Kondo's Netflix series was an instant hit and her book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' has sold millions.

And, in case you're wondering ... Koopersmith doesn't want an apology, nor does she even plan to sue. But, she does have one request of Kondo. Watch.

'OITNB' Star Lorraine Toussaint Files for Divorce

6/13/2019 2:00 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"Orange is the New Black" star Lorraine Toussaint is bailing out of her marriage ... she's filed for divorce.

According to court records ... Lorraine filed her divorce petition Thursday in Los Angeles to make the split from her husband, Robert Michael Tomlinson, official, legally.

According to the docs they have no minor children together ... although there have been reports they have a teenage daughter. They were married on June 25, 2017.

Lorraine is asking the court to award her spousal support, and to block the court's ability to award support the other way around.

Lorraine played inmate Yvonne "Vee" Parker on season 2 on the hit Netflix show, 'OITNB.' She's also appeared on many other TV shows ... including "Where I Live," "Amazing Grace," "Law & Order," "Judging Amy," "Ugly Betty" and "Friday Night Lights."

But, Vee was definitely her breakout role -- she even won a 2015 SAG Award for it, along with her co-stars. Lorraine also garnered rave reviews from TV Guide and Vanity Fair. 

She's also done several films, and got praise for her role in "Selma." 

Story developing ...

Central Park 5 Prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer Resigns from Columbia Law ... After Black Student Protest

6/12/2019 6:22 PM PDT
Breaking News

Elizabeth Lederer, the woman who prosecuted the Central Park 5, just resigned from her position as a professor at Columbia Law School amid heavy pressure from black students.

Lederer, the former Assistant D.A. who tried the infamous case back in 1989, resigned Wednesday. She was a part-time professor at Columbia but had come under fire since the Netflix series "When They See Us" debuted. 

Lederer, played by Vera Farmiga in the series, worked alongside Linda Fairstein. As we've reported ... Fairstein has also caught flak and recently resigned from a nonprofit board of directors and the Board of Trustees at Vassar College. Her book publisher also dropped her

The Black Law Students Association at Columbia called Lederer's actions in the CP5 case "racist" ... and pressured school administrators to remove her from the faculty. 

So, essentially, Lederer fell on the sword.

Felicity Huffman & William H. Macy 'When They See Us' ... We'll be at Sofia Grace's Graduation

6/11/2019 7:03 AM PDT

Felicity Huffman's fresh off playing a villain on Netflix -- and in federal court -- but in real life, she and William H. Macy are celebrating getting their kid into a cap and gown.

The couple attended daughter Sofia Grace's high school graduation ceremony Monday, as the L.A. High School of the Arts Class of 2019 was honored. The proud parents showed up dressed for the occasion ... for which they've been preparing for a couple weeks.

We've seen Sofia's mom and dad buying graduation balloons and flower arrangements, and now the big day was finally here. It couldn't have come at a better time for Felicity ... who's been going through it professionally and personally.

She officially entered her guilty plea last month in the college admissions scandal, and is now looking at the possibility of up to 4 months in prison when she's sentenced in September.

And, then there's all the buzz around Felicity's role as Linda Fairstein in the Netflix limited series, "When They See Us." 

The series paints the former Manhattan prosecutor as the mastermind behind the false convictions of the Central Park 5 -- and Fairstein's been publicly lambasted since the series debuted.

Felicity plays her pretty brilliantly, but PR-wise -- on the heels of her federal case -- a Disney fairy godmother role might have been better. Timing. 

Like we said, at least she's got something to celebrate now.

Charlamagne Tha God Trump Apology To CP5 Wouldn't Help ... He's Got To Deal With His Own Karma

6/6/2019 5:42 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Charlamagne Tha God thinks Donald Trump doesn't need to apologize to the wrongfully convicted Central Park 5 ... he says Trump already made his bed, and now he needs to sleep in it forever.

We got Charlamagne in NYC Thursday and asked him if Trump should say sorry for infamously taking out a huge newspaper ad calling for the death penalty after Trisha Meili, the Central Park jogger, was attacked.

The famous radio host says an apology wouldn't help the CP5 or their families, it would only benefit Trump, by cleansing his soul. Thing is ... Charlamagne thinks Trump doesn't have a soul and doesn't care about bad energy or karma, so he's not holding his breath and waiting for a mea culpa from the Prez.

Charlamagne didn't just rip POTUS ... he also turned his ire towards Linda Fairstein, the former head of the Manhattan D.A.'s Sex Crimes Unit who helped investigate and prosecute the CP5.

"The Breakfast Club" host is fully on board with the #CancelLindaFairstein movement in the wake of Netflix's limited series on the CP5, "When They See Us" ... and Charlamagne essentially equates her to Satan. 

He's not expecting an apology from Linda, either, as she's mostly remained silent despite stepping down from several powerful positions in New York following her blistering profile in the new series. 

There is one thing Charlamagne is certain will happen to Linda ... and the picture he paints of her last days is anything but pretty. 

'When They See Us' Actor It's BASED On A True Story Not on Artists to Hold Your Hand

6/6/2019 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chris Jackson -- one of the actors in Ava DuVernay's new series about the Central Park 5 -- says it's up to viewers to decide how accurately they portrayed real people ... but most importantly, he wants viewers to be inspired.

Chris was out in NYC Wednesday when we asked him why he wanted to be a part of "When They See Us," and aside from the obvious -- working with Ava -- he says the story was too important not to tell.

As for the backlash against key figures in the case, specifically Linda Fairstein, he says it can't make up for the 5 boys being falsely convicted -- or the ordeal the Central park jogger, Trisha Meili, had to endure.

Chris played the attorney for Raymond Santana -- one of the 5 -- and says he doesn't believe filmmakers have to be married to ALL the facts when retelling real incidents. He says above all else, they're storytellers -- and viewers should do their own research to get ALL the details. 

As we've reported, the Central Park jogger case has been a hot button issue this week due to "When They See Us," and Fairstein's taken the brunt of the backlash.

Many folks, including Santana and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, believe her reckoning is overdue

Fun fact: We cannot tell a lie ... Chris Jackson also played George Washington in the original Broadway cast of "Hamilton."

Linda Fairstein Her Publishers Aren't Booking It ... Despite CP5 Backlash

6/5/2019 12:34 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The saying "silence speaks volumes" couldn't be more true for Linda Fairstein and her book publishers, who've signaled where they stand on the uproar against her ... by remaining silent and doing nothing.

Despite a massive amount of backlash and scrutiny that's forced the D.A.'s former lead investigator on the Central Park Five case to resign from boards of directors -- there have been no consequences for her in the publishing world, where she's made a killing.

TMZ has reached out to multiple people at both Penguin Random House and its subsidiary, Dutton -- two publishing companies that have peddled her 14 novels -- but we haven't heard a peep.

An online push to boycott her publishers and distributors erupted when the Netflix series, "When They See Us" -- about the CP5 case -- premiered last Friday.

We've reached out to 6 different people at both PRH and Dutton, including reps from Linda's literary agency, ICM Partners -- but still ... radio silence.

It's interesting ... Fairstein resigned from her leadership positions at nonprofit Safe Horizon as well as from Vassar College after immense outrage over her role in wrongfully prosecuting and securing convictions against the then-teenagers ... which is captured in Netflix's new "When They See Us."

She was even publicly rebuked by Glamour Magazine, which said it was a mistake to give her the Woman of the Year Award in '93 ... adding they wouldn't do it again.

Still, despite all that ... nothing seems to have changed on the book front, which is where the initial outcry began this weekend. You'll recall ... many, many people called for retailers to yank Fairstein's novels from their shelves, which CP5 exoneree Raymond Santana was down with.

Not only is Fairstein still listed as a featured author on the publishers' websites, her books are still for sale at pretty much all of the places that have been selling 'em. Hmmm ...

Linda Fairstein Nonprofit Members Wanted Her Out ... Years Before 'When They See Us'

6/5/2019 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Linda Fairstein's presence on a nonprofit's board shocked some members of the org, but long before she resigned ... there were some who wanted her booted because they knew about her history with the Central Park 5 case.

TMZ spoke with a handful of former and current members of Safe Horizon -- the New York-based org that helps victims of abuse and violent crimes -- and they said Linda's position on the board of directors was known to be heavily criticized by many staffers.

We're told the disapproval dates back to at least 2016. 

We're told a number of staffers had complained, and even went through proper channels all the way up to the CEO, only to be ignored time and time again.

The main gripe was Fairstein didn't represent Safe Horizon's values -- specifically, assisting abuse victims who are predominantly people of color. They felt her role in the CP5 case could undermine their work and image.

Remember, Fairstein was one of the lead investigators for the prosecution on the 1989 case. She's long been criticized for allegedly coercing false confessions out of the 5 boys ... leading to their convictions. That's a central plot in the Netflix series, "When They See Us."

Although they were exonerated by DNA evidence in 2002 ... Linda, to this day, maintains they did it.

We're told another issue for Safe Horizon staff was Linda's link to the Harvey Weinstein scandal when it broke in 2017. She was one of many high-level attorneys Weinstein met with through the years ... allegedly to influence the Manhattan D.A.'s Office -- where Fairstein used to work -- to drop sexual misconduct cases against him.

Sources close to Weinstein tell us he never retained Fairstein as an attorney and was simply asking his longtime friend for "off the record advice" on how to handle one particular allegation against him.

Again ... we're told their concerns of Safe Horizon employees fell on deaf ears.

It wasn't until "When They See Us" debuted that Fairstein finally resigned Tuesday ... amid massive public pressure.

'When They See Us' Linda Fairstein Resigns from Nonprofit Org

6/4/2019 5:19 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

5:19 PM PT -- A rep for Safe Horizon tells us, "After careful consideration, Lina Fairstein has made the difficult decision to resign from the Safe Horizon Board of Directors. We thank her for her decades of pioneering work on behalf of victims of sexual assault and abuse. For more than 40 years, Safe Horizon's top priority has been empowering victims and survivors."

The statement continues, "We believe every victim deserves access to safety and support and will continue working toward that reality."

2:37 PM PT -- Fairstein has just resigned from her position on the board with Safe Horizon, but also insists she's the one who's been done wrong by the Netflix series, "When They See Us."

Fairstein sent a letter to Safe Horizon saying the program "depicts me, in a fictionalized version of events, in a grossly and maliciously inaccurate manner."

The NY Post first published details from Fairstein's letter, in which she said she was leaving Safe Horizon's board to avoid becoming a "lightning rod to inflict damage on this organization."

However, she took a parting shot, saying the group's CEO "declined to meet with me to learn the truths behind the inflammatory and false narrative depicted in a movie." 

She also described the #CancelLindaFairstein movement as a "mob-mentality reaction."

Linda Fairstein, a key figure in the wrongful prosecution of the Central Park 5, is facing a new backlash -- the nonprofit organization she worked on for nearly 20 years wants her canceled ... TMZ has learned.

Ever since Ava DuVernay's Netflix series, "When They See Us," debuted over the weekend, Fairstein has been feeling the heat. She was head of the Manhattan D.A.'s Sex Crimes Unit in 1989 when the 5 boys were convicted ... and her role in coercing confessions is sparking renewed outrage.

Sources at Safe Horizon -- a nonprofit aiding victims of abuse and violent crime in NYC -- tell us its staffers are incensed the former prosecutor's been allowed to remain on the board for so long, considering her checkered past.

We're told the animosity began when the CEO held a meeting on May 21 where nearly 100 directors were informed about the Netflix drama and Fairstein's connection to it.

We're told some staffers didn't even know Fairstein was on the board of directors, and when they found out tempers quickly flared. Many questioned why she was allowed on the board of an organization that mostly serves minorities.

Felicity Huffman plays Fairstein in "When They See Us" which documents her controversial role in getting the 5 boys -- all black or Hispanic -- to confess, under heavy duress, to the 1989 rape and attack of a Central Park jogger. 

We're told Safe Horizon staffers accused Fairstein of racism and demanded her immediate dismissal, but the CEO asked for time to evaluate.

Our sources say a majority of Safe Horizon's directors are fed up, and plan to take legal action this week to get Fairstein 86'd if the CEO won't do it.

As we first reported, Central Park Five exoneree Raymond Santana believes Fairstein -- who became a successful author -- is finally getting what she deserves. That includes the growing boycott of her books and publishers. 

As he puts it, "Even if it's 30 years later, she has to pay for her crime."

Originally published -- 1:00 AM PT

Central Park 5 Investigator Linda Fairstein Slammed By Glamour ... Over 'Woman Of Year' Honor

6/4/2019 2:08 PM PDT

2:08 PM PT -- Fairstein just resigned from the Board of Trustees at Vassar College in New York. 

Linda Fairstein, a central figure in the wrongful prosecution of the Central Park 5, is facing even more fallout ... Glamour magazine says they messed up when they honored her as their woman of the year.

Fairstein was Glamour's Woman of the Year in 1993 ... only a few years after she helped convict the Central Park 5 as head of the Manhattan D.A.'s Sex Crimes Unit. 

On Tuesday, Glamour issued a scathing rebuke of their decision to honor Linda ... saying, "Unequivocally, Glamour would not bestow this honor on her today."

Linda is getting crucified on social media in the wake of Netflix's new show about the case and its aftermath ... and some people are now directing their hate toward Glamour, calling the mag out for promoting "When They See Us" ...yet staying silent on Fairstein until finally caving Tuesday to mounting pressure. 

TMZ broke the story ... Fairstein is facing huge backlash in the wake of Ava DuVernay's new Netflix show, and a nonprofit organization Fairstein worked with for nearly 2 decades wants to force her out

As we first told you ... Central Park 5 exoneree Raymond Santana told us he believes karma is finally catching up to Fairstein, who became a successful author of children's books and mysteries -- with people calling for a boycott of her books and publishers. 

Fairstein has been silent ... making no comment since "When They See Us" debuted last weekend.

Originally published --1:51 PM PT

Fab 5 Freddy on Central Park 5 No Forgiving Fairstein Until She Apologizes ... Same Goes for Trump!!!

6/3/2019 6:15 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Fab 5 Freddy says Linda Fairstein was "evil" to the Central Park 5, and until she says sorry for her misdeeds ... she deserves every bit of backlash she's getting.

We got the hip-hop legend outside a West Hollywood cafe, and asked about Ava DuVernay's new Netflix series about the case, "When They See Us." As a native New Yorker, Freddy said he remembers the case well -- specifically how the boys were convicted in the media, even before the verdicts.

Freddy says Fairstein -- as head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan D.A.'s Office -- knowingly ruined the kids' lives by interrogating them under duress to get false confessions. He says she needs to admit that publicly if she wants the public's forgiveness.

Even though all 5 were exonerated in 2002, Fairstein has maintained she got the case right.

Freddy says that's why he's also backing the #CancelLindaFairstein. She went on to become a successful author, and the movement calls for boycotting publishers and distributors of her books ... east until she shows contrition.

He's also pissed about Donald Trump, who infamously took out newspaper ads at the time calling for NY State to reinstate the death penalty for the Central Park 5. Freddy says the now-President should be big enough to apologize now.

Fat chance ... Trump said in 2016 he still believes the wrongfully convicted men are guilty, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Central Park Five Exoneree Raymond Santana Supports Boycott of Linda Fairstein's Books

6/2/2019 4:16 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

One of the men who was wrongfully convicted as part of the Central Park Five says karma's a bitch for ex-prosecutor Linda Fairstein, who's getting crucified on social media in the wake of a new show about the case and its aftermath.

Raymond Santana -- who was one of the teenagers arrested, prosecuted and eventually convicted in connection to the brutal 1989 rape and beating of a female jogger -- tells TMZ ... the online movement to #CancelLindaFairstein and boycott her books is warranted.

Fans have taken to Instagram and other platforms, calling for retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to remove Fairstein's book collection from their shelves on the heels of Netflix's new series, "When They See Us" -- which covers the how the case was handled by Fairstein and others, as well as how it impacted Raymond and the rest of the so-called CP5.

He believes Fairstein -- who became a successful author of mysteries and children's books -- is facing her comeuppance right now, which he takes no issue with. In fact, he says it quite bluntly ... "Even if it's 30 years later, she has to pay for her crime."

Fairstein was head of the Sex Crimes Unit for the D.A.'s Office, and she reportedly got confessions from the boys under duress and pressure from police. All 5 men were eventually fully exonerated in 2002, despite having spent years behind bars.

Raymond also takes a jab at the many reporters and civilians who were quick to label them as criminals before a trial got underway, including Donald Trump ... who called for their execution in a newspaper ad that circulated quickly after the crime.

Raymond says he and his brothers are trying to make the most of the renewed attention. He and the others have even gotten behind a neat clothing campaign called "The Brotherhood Tee," which supports The Innocence Project ... of which RS is a strong supporter.

Kanye West to David Letterman Mental Illness is Like a 'Sprained Brain' ... And People Do Everything to Make it Worse

5/30/2019 5:47 AM PDT

Kanye West described in vivid detail what it's like to have a bipolar episode, and he grouses people just don't get it ... and actually made it way worse for him.

Ye opened up about his mental health struggles to David Letterman for his Netflix show, 'My Next Guest Needs No Introduction' -- and we got hold of the footage where he tries to get people to imagine a sprained ankle and then transfer that concept to a sprained brain.

Listen to Kanye ... it's a revelation when you think of a people bearing down on a sprained ankle, causing pain and exacerbating the injury. Now, think of doctors and society doing the same sort of thing to a cerebrum. 

TMZ broke the story ... Kanye had what seemed like a nervous breakdown back in 2016, which turned out to be a bipolar episode. He was handcuffed to a hospital bed and left alone, which -- as he explains in this clip -- only made things worse.  

He says he's opening up about all this to start a conversation about the way we treat bipolar disorder ... and has been applauded for his efforts in speaking about it so candidly.

The entire season -- which also includes interviews with Ellen DeGeneres and Melinda Gates -- drops Friday on Netflix and we're told through it all, Kanye is for the most part very cogent and clear. 

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