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R. Kelly Bedroom Bust at Studio is Bogus ... Denies it's His Home

1/19/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

One of R. Kelly's bedrooms has him in serious trouble with Chicago officials ... but he insists they've got it all twisted, because his controversial studio has never been used as a home.

The Chicago studio, heavily featured in "Surviving R. Kelly," was swarmed this week by Chicago cops and the Cook County Building and Zoning Department -- and they ended up filing a complaint against Kelly.

The officials say there's evidence he's using the place as a residence, and had done renovations without getting permits. 

Sources close to Kelly tell us that he's denying ever living in the studio. Although he admits having a bed in there, he says it was only there for extra long recording sessions -- 14 to 15 hours -- when he was too exhausted to make it home, or if there was a bad winter storm.

We're told he also points to the fact that he has a real residence at Chi-Town's Trump Tower. 

As for the alleged renovations ... our sources say Kelly believes the studio is exactly as it was when he first started renting the space 3-4 years ago. He says the single bedroom area was already there, and he simply added furniture.

Fact is, Kelly's got bigger fish to fry than the building code violation. He and Sony, his longtime record label, just parted ways ... his ex-manager was arrested for making threats against Joycelyn Savage's family ... and he's still plagued by allegations of sexual abuse

Kelly will get a court hearing for the violation, but at worst he'll be fined or evicted. As prosecutor Kim Foxx said ... they're actively looking for witnesses to bring criminal charges against him.

Michael Jackson Documentary Cops On Alert for Protesters ... At Sundance Premiere

1/18/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The blistering Michael Jackson documentary premiering at Sundance will also feature angry pro-Jackson protesters, and we've learned local police are gearing up for possible confrontations.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the Park City PD is aware of an anti-documentary protest being organized on social media, so cops are going to beef up their presence both inside and outside the premiere with uniformed and undercover officers.

We're told law enforcement is most concerned about disruptions taking place during the Q&A portion of the screening -- historically, that's when protesters have caused the biggest disturbances. However, we're told cops won't stop people from exercising their First Amendment rights, so long as protesters don't block sidewalks or entrances.

As you know ... the doc, "Leaving Neverland," explores alleged sexual abuse by the King of Pop, and the film is already being slammed by the late singer's estate. Despite outside pressure to pull the film, Sundance officials say it's full steam ahead.

All Sundance events have increased security -- including bag checks and bomb dogs -- but extra resources will be allocated to the MJ screening when it premieres Friday, Jan. 25.

Sundance Film Festival Sexual Assault Hotline Returning Deemed Success Amid Weinstein Scandal

1/17/2019 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Cops in Park City -- site of the annual Sundance Film Festival -- will be utilizing a hotline to combat sexual assault again this year ... after it was established in 2018 in the wake of allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Park City PD and the Utah Attorney General's Office are reopening the "code of conduct" hotline, and spreading the word for festival attendees to utilize it and report any signs of sexual misconduct.

We're told the AG's Office is staffing the phone lines while cops will handle any investigations. Park City officers also held a meeting with hotel managers and event security staff last week to go over proper protocols and reinforce their motto -- "if you see something, say something."

Our sources say flyers will also be put up around busy Sundance spots to promote the hotline and the importance of reporting sexual assault and other crimes during the film fest.

The hotline was launched during last year's festival in wake of the Weinstein scandal, which included Rose McGowan accusing the film producer of raping her at Sundance in 1997. Weinstein was also sued in December by a woman claiming he sexually assaulted her at the Waldorf Astoria in Park City in 2013 after meeting her at Sundance.

We're told the hotline was deemed a successful and effective tool in curbing incidents of sexual misconduct last year. It also reportedly led to an investigation of an alleged incident from the '90s.

Sundance 2019 kicks off Thursday, January 24. The hotline number is 801-834-1944.

R. Kelly Officials Find Evidence of Residency ... At His Chicago Studio

1/16/2019 2:10 PM PST
Exclusive Details

2:03 PM PT -- A spokesperson for the City of Chicago tells TMZ that officials who searched R. Kelly's studio Wednesday did, in fact, find building code violations, including evidence that the space was being used for residential purposes.

We're also told officials discovered work that had been done inside without permits. The city will file an amended complaint against R. Kelly for a future court hearing.

Police are at R. Kelly's recording studio in Chicago, and while it has nothing to do with the allegations put forth in "Surviving R. Kelly" ... it is related to potential illegal activity.

The issue appears to be Kelly's studio being used as a residence. Law enforcement sources tell us Chicago PD showed up there Wednesday afternoon with the Cook County Building and Zoning Dept. We're told the B & Z is there because the building is only zoned for industrial use, so if anyone is living there ... that's a no-no.

We're told police typically accompany the Building Dept. on such matters ... and officers did NOT go just because it's Kelly's place. BTW, the singer reportedly owes a ton of back rent -- $166k -- and is facing eviction before the month's end.

Obviously, the sight of police swarming Kelly's crib immediately made people think an arrest was going down.

No dice. Yet.

Originally Published -- 11:13 AM PST

R. Kelly Cops Check on 2 Women ... Allegedly Being Held Hostage

1/11/2019 4:37 PM PST
Exclusive Details

R. Kelly came face-to-face with cops in Chicago after an anonymous caller claimed the singer was holding two women hostage.

The Cook County State Attorney's Office got a tip Friday that Kelly was at his Trump Tower residence with the women ... and he was holding them against their will. We're told cops raced to the property and made contact with R. Kelly and the women.

Our sources say 5 officers came to the home and ordered Kelly into the other room while they questioned the women. According to Chicago PD, both women said they were at the residence voluntarily and nothing untoward was going on. Police then left without incident. 

We're told the 2 women were Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, both of whom have maintained they were with R. Kelly voluntarily, despite their parents' strong claims they were the victims of brainwashing.

TMZ broke the story ... cops were called to a Chicago club Thursday morning after a tip was called in that Kelly was at the club partying and there was a warrant out for his arrest. Officers spoke with Kelly -- determined there was no warrant -- and let the singer continue to party. 

As we reported ... Cook County State Attorney Kimberly Foxx has publicly urged victims of Kelly to come forward. We're told the victim hotline has been burning up ever since.  

Ex-NFL Stud Barry Cofield Pleads Not Guilty In Heroin & Cop-Ramming Case

1/10/2019 7:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ex-NY Giants DL Barry Cofield -- a key member of the '07 Super Bowl team -- has pled not guilty to all charges stemming from an insane police chase where he allegedly smashed into a cop car. 

... oh, while allegedly carrying heroin in his pocket. 

Cops in Seminole County, Florida say they found the 34-year-old passed out behind the wheel of a Cadillac Escalade around 2:40 AM on July 3 ... and when they tried to wake him up, he punched the gas and led cops on a wild chase. 

Cops say the 6'4", 250 pounder drove into a white 4-door vehicle -- but didn't stop -- and eventually led officers into a gated community ... where he continued to drive like a maniac. 

Eventually, cops say they used a squad car to block Cofield in -- but he tried to ram through the vehicle. That's when cops got out of their cars and tried to smash in Cofield's window in an effort to drag him out of the driver's seat. 

Cofield ultimately surrendered -- and cops say during the arrest they found two small baggies of heroin in his pocket. 

Cops also say Cofield reeked of alcohol. 

He was initially booked on 5 charges --  heroin possession, assaulting an officer, DUI, resisting arrest and fleeing from police. 

But, the charges were later reduced to just heroin possession and DUI causing damage or injury. 

Cofield's attorney appeared in court on Wednesday and entered a not guilty plea on the ex-NFL player's behalf. 

If convicted, he faces up to 5 years in prison. 

Cofield played 10 years in the NFL after being drafted by the Giants in 2006. 

R. Kelly Cops Patrol Alleged 'Sex Cult' Music Studio

1/9/2019 10:05 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Cops paid a visit to R. Kelly's recording studio in Chicago, which has been featured on Lifetime's docuseries as an alleged "sex cult" base where the singer held girls captive.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... officers dropped by Kelly's westside music studio Tuesday evening, but it appeared to be vacant.

We're told there was no call to police that triggered the visit ... cops went to check out the spot because it's gotten so much publicity from "Surviving R. Kelly." The docuseries portrayed the location as a hub for Kelly's alleged sexual abuse of women.

Interestingly, there was reportedly a party there Tuesday night, on what was Kelly's 52nd birthday. Our sources say cops had no knowledge of the event. We're told officers will continue to patrol the area.

On 'Surviving' ... the parents of one of Kelly's alleged victims, Azriel Clary, go to the R&B singer's studio and throw rocks at it, trying to get her to come outside. The studio is currently listed for sale.

As we reported ... Chicago prosecutors are urging R. Kelly victims to come forward, and we're told at least one victim and the families of 2 others are doing just that ... and believe they have sufficient evidence to prosecute him.

State Attorney Kim Foxx says all witnesses or alleged victims can call (773) 674-6492.

Lil Xan St. Louis Gun Threat ... Criminal Investigation Closed

1/2/2019 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Lil Xan has one less thing to stress about as he completes rehab treatments ... because we've learned Xan and the St. Louis rapper who threatened him with gun violence are putting their beef behind them. 

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the criminal investigation into a series of threats against Xan is now closed. We're told Xan's camp and VladHQ had a sit-down ... and afterward informed police there was no desire to pursue criminal charges. 

We broke the story ... VladHQ posted a disturbing video threatening Xan before an October performance in St. Louis. He also posted a pic of himself armed and threatened he would show up at the concert -- and that prompted the venue and promoters to cancel the show

At the time, we were told the feud was over money. Sources close to the situation tell us ... Xan's associates told Vlad he was taking the wrong approach to settle their differences. Once Vlad made it clear he understood ... both sides agreed to squash the beef.

Win, win for both men -- after all, Xan has more immediate issues on his plate.

Florida Police Dog Dies in Line of Duty ... After Saving Cops' Lives

12/25/2018 2:13 PM PST

Terrible news out of Florida after a police dog was shot and killed by a suspect ... and the K9 is being credited for saving the lives of officers.

The sad incident went down on Xmas Eve in Wellington, Florida ... where Palm Beach County Sheriffs confronted several individuals cops say were wanted on attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery warrants.

According to local reports ... one of the suspects ran and that's when Cigo -- a 3-year-old canine -- gave chase. But the suspect shot Cigo before a deputy returned fire ... hitting the suspect and severely injuring him. Cigo, however, would later be pronounced dead at an animal hospital.

Shortly after Cigo's death, several tributes were posted in honor of the fallen officer. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office tweeted, "He gave his life to save others. He's a good boy and he will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace #K9Cigo."

The Sheriff's Office also posted this heartbreaking video of Cigo's handler devastated from the loss.

Asia Argento Accuser Jimmy Bennett Goes MIA ... Investigation Stalls

12/24/2018 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jimmy Bennett has yet to file a police report against Asia Argento for allegedly sexually assaulting him when he was 17 and cops haven't been able to reach him ... so the case is on ice.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... officers have tried contacting Bennett several times, but he's gone radio silent. Jimmy was last heard from in September when he sat down for an interview on Italian television, and got skewered by the host over his claims ... especially when he admitted to ejaculating.

We broke the story ... Bennett, who's now 22, vowed to go to the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. weeks before his TV appearance to file a sexual assault report against Argento.

We're told he never did, though ... nor has he indicated he still wants to.

As you'll recall ... Argento and Bennett had a sexual encounter in a Marina Del Rey hotel room back in 2013. Bennett snapped a photo of the then 37-year-old in bed with him, shirtless, after they allegedly had intercourse.

Argento, however, claims it wasn't consensual because Bennett jumped on her and she was "frozen."

Bennett later threatened legal action over the incident and, in April, Argento settled with him for $380,000 ... which her late boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, paid.

It's a crime in California for an adult to have sex with a person under 18, and the maximum penalty for statutory rape in a case like this is 3 years in prison. It's a moot point, though ... unless Bennett contacts police.

We reached out to Jimmy ... no comment.

Donald Trump's WoF Star You Will Nazi More Patrol

12/23/2018 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame got tagged with swastikas and doused with fake blood this week ... but cops aren't beefing up security to crack down on more possible vandalism.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... despite numerous attacks on the President's star, LAPD isn't going to increase patrol. 

We're told there isn't enough manpower to protect an individual star, but cops do have a camera nearby it uses to monitor the area. We have one too ... and it caught both vandals in the act.

Our sources say routine police patrols will remain and cops will respond to vandalism calls ... but that's it.

As we told you ... the defacement's were dealt with quickly ... at some expense.

Earlier in the year, someone drew prison bars over the star (which we also caught on camera) ... and there was a SECOND pickax incident too.

And, 2018's not over yet.

Steven Seagal No Charges In 2002 Sexual Assault Case

12/21/2018 11:15 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Steven Seagal won't be charged for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in 2002.

According to legal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- the actor was accused of sexually assaulting the woman at some point between May 1, 2002 and August 31, 2002. Full details of the allegation were not included in the filing. 

As for why Seagal won't be charged ... the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says the statute of limitations has expired. 

You'll remember, Steven walked out of an interview with BBC Newsnight in October after a reporter brought up the allegations. 

Seagal was also accused of raping a woman back in the '90s -- a case that was also well beyond the statute of limitations -- and Portia de Rossi claimed Seagal sat her down on a couch during a casting for one of his films and unzipped his pants, so she fled the room.

Seagal has adamantly denied all claims. 

LAPD Trolls Kansas City Police Dept. After Chargers Rob Chiefs

12/14/2018 7:17 AM PST
Breaking News

POLICE BEEF!!!!

The Kansas City P.D. was talking all sorts of crap about the Chargers before they took on the Chiefs Thursday night. 

So, when K.C. choked away the game, the LAPD decided to rub some salt in the wound. 

It all started before the big "Thursday Night Football" matchup ... when the KCPD threw shade at the Bolts for their lack of fan support in BOTH San Diego and L.A.

"While our football team doesn't have to move cities to get fans, we'd like to keep our city's traffic (both fans & commuters) moving during tomorrow's Chiefs vs Chargers game."

"Stadium full of people will be going to Arrowhead during rush hour. Plan alt. routes or extra time."

So, when Philip Rivers and company stormed into Arrowhead and silenced the 75,000 fans with a last-second, come-from-behind victory ... the LAPD decided to clap back. 

"It’s ok...we’ll take the 11-3 playoff-bound @Chargers and their great win over the @Chiefs."

SHAAAAAAAAAAAADEEEEE!!

Of course ... L.A. cops weren't the only ones getting in on the K.C. trollin' -- Rivers made sure the fans at Arrowhead got some in person too!

The best news for all parties?? Both teams have clinched a playoff berth ... which means we could all get round 3 in just a few weeks.

Can't wait.

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