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Kathie Lee Gifford My Replacement's All Up to Hoda ...

12/12/2018 10:01 AM PST

Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb can't seem to decide who has more word in choosing a replacement for KLG on the "Today" show ... but it's definitely one of them.

We got the NBC morning show anchors Wednesday in NYC, the day after Kathie announced she's leaving "Today" at the end of her 11th year. Our photog asked who's in line to fill Kathie's shoes, and she enthusiastically says, "Whoever Hoda wants, Hoda gets." 

For her part, Hoda played it coy, saying ... "This is all about KLG." Kathie immediately refutes that, though, but Hoda insists it is. It's like an Abbot and Costello bit here, really. 

Our camera guy throws out Jenna Bush Hager as a possibility -- who's said to be in the running -- but Hoda and Kathie are definitely playing this close to the vest. 

Kathie Lee Gifford I'm Kissing 'Today' Goodbye

12/11/2018 7:11 AM PST

Kathie Lee Gifford is saying sayonara to the "Today" show ... after she reaches the 11-year mark.

Kathie Lee unveiled her play Tuesday on the show, and she and her co-host, Hoda Kotb, immediately dissolved into tears.

Kathie didn't say why she's leaving, but it's gotta be a blow to NBC. The 10 AM hour of "Today" was one of the most profitable shows for the network. It was doing consistently well, although it suffered a drop in rating during the Megyn Kelly tenure.

It's pretty remarkable ... Kathie was a phenom with Regis Philbin on their morning show, "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee." After leaving that show in 2000, she took a break. It's almost impossible to recreate magic in a bottle, and there were doubters when she went to "Today," but she proved them wrong ... really wrong.

Her last day will be her 11-year anniversary on April 7, 2019 -- and she is leaving to pursue music, movie and TV opportunities.

Kathie started her career as the "singing girl" on "Name that Tune" in 1977.

Charlottesville James Fields Jr. Guilty of Murder Plowed into Crowd, Killing Heather Heyer

12/7/2018 2:50 PM PST
Breaking News

James Alex Fields Jr., the white supremacist who rammed his car into Charlottesville protesters in 2017, is guilty of murdering Heather Heyer.

The jury returned the verdict Friday in the first degree murder trial, and also found him guilty of 5 counts of malicious wounding, 3 counts of aggravated malicious wounding and one count of failing to stop at the scene of a deadly accident.

The 21-year-old hate monger plowed into the protesters as they rallied in response to the white supremacists who had marched through Charlottesville with torches the previous night. 

Video of the horrific act of domestic terrorism made it clear Fields was behind the wheel ... the only question was about his intent. Prosecutors needed to prove he intended to maim and kill.

Several of Fields' victims testified during the trial. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Monday, and he faces the possibility of life in prison.

Fields could still get the death penalty in a federal trial on hate crime charges.

Troy Gentry Deadly Chopper Crash Blamed on Pilot

12/4/2018 2:06 PM PST

Troy Gentry died as a result of his helicopter pilot's error ... according to investigators.

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded the pilot cut the engine too soon as he attempted to make an emergency landing back in September 2017.

As we reported, Troy -- one half of the country music group Montgomery Gentry -- and the pilot were killed when they crashed in a field in Medford, NJ.

According to the NTSB's report, the pilot's mistake led to an uncontrolled descent and instead of landing at nearby Flying W Airport, the chopper crashed in the woods. The report included dialogue between the pilot and experts on the ground assisting him with the landing.

The pilot had intended to pull off a maneuver he said he had done before -- cutting the engine and attempting to glide to the ground. However, experts had advised a shallow, run-on landing. 

Troy was 50.

One Love Malibu Concert Raises $1 Million For Fire Victims

12/3/2018 5:38 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The thousands of people who lost everything in the flames of the wildfire in Malibu are about to get six figures worth of relief, courtesy of the One Love Malibu concert.

A spokesperson for the concert tells TMZ … between donations, ticket sales and the live auction, the tally from the weekend event is approaching $1 million. We're told it will be a few more days before they have an exact number.

Sunday's sold-out concert in Calabasas featured performances from Robin Thicke, Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani ... and the auction included a motorcycle ride with Orlando Bloom.

We're told 100 percent of the proceeds are going to MalibuFoundation.org ... and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Malibu will assist with distribution of funds to victims of the Woolsey Fire.

The Woolsey Fire scorched nearly 100k acres and destroyed more than 1,500 structures over 2 weeks. Three people died and nearly 300k people were evacuated. 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were among the evacuees as the fire came right up to their Hidden Hills property. A private firefighting crew they'd hired was able to hold back the flames.

While Liam Hemsworth, Camille Grammer, Gerard Butler and Robin lost all or parts of their homes ... there were thousands of non-celebs affected. The concert funds will, at the very least, help start the recovery process.  

Halsey Slams Victoria's Secret Exec ... No Place for Transphobia!!!

12/3/2018 7:58 AM PST

Halsey's making it clear, just because she appeared in the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show ... she's still pissed off about one of its execs disregard for the LGBTQ community.

The singer, who performed in the VS Show, blasted the show as it was airing Sunday night. She called out Ed Razek, the chief marketing officer for VS's parent company. 

Last month in Vogue, he was asked about having transgender models in the show and said ... "No, I don't think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It's a 42-minute entertainment special. That's what it is." 

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‪💕🦋💕 @GLSEN - glsen.org‬

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Halsey's IG post slammed VS for "a lack of inclusivity" ... and added she stands in solidarity with the trans community.

For his part, Razek apologized and walked back his comment, as soon as the backlash began. He said, "To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show."

Razek added, "We've had transgender models come to castings. And like many others, they didn't make it. But it was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are."

Halsey seems to want action, not words.

One Love Malibu Concert Robin Thicke Kicks Things Off ... With Christmas Classic!!!

12/2/2018 5:22 PM PST

Robin Thicke got everyone in the holiday spirit when he performed at the "One Love Malibu" benefit concert.

The singer gave a solid rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" Sunday at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas for the concert benefiting victims from the deadly Woolsey Fire. Robin's just one of several artists scheduled to headline the event.

Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani are also scheduled to perform and no doubt tons of celebrities will be attending. We already spotted Brody Jenner hanging out early.

As we reported ... the Woolsey fire torched nearly 100k acres and destroyed more than 1,600 structures. Three people were killed as a result of the fire and nearly 300k people were evacuated. Gerard Butler, Camille GrammerLiam Hemsworth and Robin himself are some of the celebs who lost their homes.

Kim Kardashian West was flying over Malibu when she saw the flames, which reached her and Kanye's property.

The sold-out event also featured an auction ... including a motorcycle ride with Orlando Bloom.

Alec Baldwin My Parking Arrest is a Total Joke ... At Least on 'SNL'!!!

12/2/2018 8:21 AM PST

Alec Baldwin must be feeling confident about the outcome of his attempted assault case in NYC ... 'cause he played it for laughs -- while playing President Trump -- on 'SNL.'

The opening skit was about Trump's anger over the Mueller probe and his ex-attorney Michael Cohen flipping. As Alec/Donald put it ... "God, I haven't been this upset since I flipped out over that parking space."

This was Alec's first appearance on the show since he got busted last month for trying to punch a guy who jacked his parking spot. Breaking character to poke fun at the case could be seen as a risky move.

Judges typically don't react well to that sort of thing -- however, the stakes ain't exactly high here. Alec's facing one count of attempted assault in the third degree, and one count of harassment in the second degree -- a misdemeanor and a ticket, basically. 

Why not have some fun with it, right?

'SNL' also paid tribute to late President George H.W. Bush during the Weekend Update segment.   

They pulled out some of Dana Carvey's best impressions of the 41st Prez -- including that memorable moment when they got the real Bush to challenge Carvey.

Read our lips ... it was funny stuff.

Earthquake 7.0 Rocks Alaska Destroys Roads, Triggers Tsunami Warning

11/30/2018 11:32 AM PST
Breaking News

The largest city in Alaska woke up to a horrifying and devastating 7.0 earthquake ... swaying buildings, buckling roads and knocking down telephone towers.

The powerful earthquake struck Anchorage around 8:30 AM local time -- and the aftershocks were nearly as powerful. People reportedly started going back inside buildings after the first quake rocked, only to send them running back outside when a 5.8 aftershock hit.

Immediately following the shaking, the National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning for the southern Alaska coastal area. Residents had been instructed to head to higher ground but the warning was later called off.

Heather Hintze, a reporter at KTVA, was inside the Nesbett Courthouse when the building started shaking. It's terrifying to watch ... the terror easily lasts over a minute long.

Scary fact ... Alaska -- vulnerable to large earthquakes because of tectonic plates sliding past each other under the region -- has the strongest recorded earthquake in U.S. history with a magnitude 9.2 quake.

Kid Rock On FOX News 'Screw That Joy Behar Bitch'

11/30/2018 8:32 AM PST

8:28 AM PT -- Joy and the rest of "The View" crew addressed Rock's statement on air. Behar took it with a smile and invited Rock to join "this bitch and these bitches" on the show and to have a beer together. Check it out.

Kid Rock went on FOX News on Friday to share a message with America -- love everybody ... except "that Joy Behar bitch."

The rock star was on "FOX & Friends" griping about how people are too politically correct these days ... and called for people to stop being so sensitive. 

That's when Rock -- who bragged about being all "hopped up on coffee and Baileys" -- took the shot at the liberal host of "The View."

"I would say love everybody ... except I’d say screw that Joy Behar bitch. Everybody but that!"

The crowd behind Rock roared and cheered -- while Doocy immediately tried to cut Rock off and apologize. 

"You cannot say that!" Doocy said ... to which Rock replied, "I mean 'Lady.'"

Afterward, Rock insisted he was "joking" -- and said he'd be open to sitting down with her and hashing out their differences sometime in the future. 

Rock says the main point of his rant was to bring the country together -- and remind everyone that "we're all Americans."

So far, no response from Joy Behar -- but we're guessing she ain't gonna stay quiet long on this.

Originally Published -- 8:14 AM PT

Casey Kasem's Kids Cleared in Death Investigation ... Still Seeking Justice Against Widow

11/30/2018 8:42 AM PST
Exclusive Details

Casey Kasem's children can have some peace of mind after cops confirmed they had nothing to do with his death, but his widow ... maybe not so much.

As we reported ... police in Washington opened an investigation into Kasem's death last month at the request of his widow, Jean Kasem, who alleged members of the Church of Scientology and Casey's kids conspired to kill the radio icon for his money.

But, Gig Harbor Police concluded the standard of care Casey received from medical personnel at the behest of his children was appropriate, adding ... "There was no evidence of collusion between parties that would construe any part of this incident to be considered a homicide."

Casey's daughter, Julie, tells TMZ the family's grateful to the police for confirming what they already knew ... "That Jean Kasem’s ridiculous allegations are completely unsupported by reality or fact."

Julie adds ... "Jean has once again instigated a baseless investigation, then went on a media blitz to detract from the mountains of evidence we have compiled against her.”

As you know ... Julie and her siblings filed a wrongful death suit against Jean in 2015. They claim she removed their dad from an assisted living facility in California and took him on a 7-day journey, but when they returned, Casey had a massive bedsore that was deeply infected. The kids allege Jean's neglect led to a staph infection, UTI, and sepsis ... all of which killed their father.

Jean's denied any wrongdoing and is in a legal battle with the family over Casey's estate.

Les Moonves New Accuser Claims He Forced Oral Sex in '95 Meeting

11/28/2018 4:19 PM PST
Breaking News

A new woman is accusing Les Moonves of forcing her to perform oral sex, and she claims he tried to buy her silence by lining up acting roles for her. 

Actress Bobbie Phillips tells the New York Times she met the ex-CBS honcho in 1995 during a meeting at Warner Bros. studio in Burbank. She alleges Moonves told her, "Look how hard you make me" before he unzipped his pants and exposed his erect penis.

Phillips claims Moonves told her, "Be my girlfriend and I'll put you on any show" before grabbing her by the neck and forcing his penis into her mouth. Phillips says the assault ended when Moonves' intercom rang.

The actress told the NYT there was a bat nearby she thought about using "to knock his head off." She said the experience led her to turn down an offer from producers, and she never spoke or worked with Moonves again.

According to the NYT report, Mooves attempted to smooth things over by trying to get Phillips a job -- and conspired with Phillips' former manager, Marv Dauer, earlier this year to keep her quiet. Dauer reportedly said Moonves told him, "If Bobbie talks, I'm finished."

Moonves denied the allegations ... telling the NYT, "I strongly believe that the sexual encounter with Ms. Phillips more than 20 years ago was consensual."

You'll remember ... it was back in September when Moonves resigned from his position as CEO at the network. His wife, Julie Chen, left her job on "The Talk" shortly after the resignation. 

Richard Simmons Not Sweatin' Defamation Case Anymore ... Case Settles

11/27/2018 7:15 AM PST

Richard Simmons has struck a deal with "National Enquirer" in his transgender defamation lawsuit that will put the legal drama behind him ... for the most part.

Simmons has agreed to drop his appeal against American Media -- which owns 'Enquirer' -- after a judge ruled against him last year. If you don't remember, the fitness icon sued for defamation over a story published claiming he was in the process of sexual reassignment.

The judge sided with American Media, though, saying being misidentified as transgender does not inherently expose someone to "hatred, contempt or ridicule." Simmons filed an appeal shortly thereafter.

The 2 sides have now come to an agreement to drop it and move on ... but the terms are confidential. So, it's unclear if Simmons is still on the hook for American Media's legal fees.

Not everything related to the case is wrapped up -- he's still got a lawsuit out against the private investigator who allegedly planted tracking devices on him to try and prove the sex change rumors.

That P.I. was charged with the crime of unlawfully using a tracking device in July.

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