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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.

Ex-NFLer Tony Beckham Breaks Man's Face For Allegedly Masturbating Near Daughter's Window

1/16/2019 12:15 PM PST
Breaking News

Former NFL DB Tony Beckham -- a Titans 4th-round pick in 2002 -- beat the hell out of a man after he allegedly caught the guy masturbating outside his 15-year-old daughter's window.

Cops in Palm Beach County, Florida say Tony saw a man with his hands down his pants in the bushes next to his daughter's window Monday morning ... and went after him when he saw the guy making masturbating motions.

Police say Tony chased the guy down about 50 feet from his house ... and proceeded to smash the guy up bad -- breaking his face in a couple different places.

Cops arrested the man -- a 48-year-old named Geoffrey Cassidy (who claimed he was a transient) -- and booked him for Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition in the Presence of a Child.

If convicted on that count, Cassidy faces up to 15 years in prison.

Cassidy is still being held in Palm Beach County Jail on $1,500 bond.

Beckham played 5 seasons in the NFL from 2002 to 2007 ... logging 6 total starts and 1 career interception.

Lady Gaga Pissed R. Kelly Collab Still For Sale ... On Google Play

1/16/2019 11:37 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

11:37 AM PT -- A source close to Gaga tells us the singer is furious the song is still on the Google service. We're told she was under the impression everything had been taken down, and this one, somehow, slipped through the cracks. Her team blames Google's switch of most of its music operations to YouTube for the lapse as Play dramatically cut staff.  

10:35 AM PT -- IGA tells TMZ, "We are working on taking this down now."Lady Gaga hasn't completely followed through on her promise to remove her song with R. Kelly from streaming platforms, because their collab is still available for purchase on Google Play Music. 

As of this post, you can still throw down $1.29 to buy Lady Gaga's song, "Do What U Want (With My Body)" featuring R. Kelly. 

Gaga said 6 days ago she was pulling the collab from iTunes and other streaming services as an act of solidarity with the women Kelly allegedly abused.

It HAS been disabled on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube. It's unclear if Google Play was overlooked, or if the purge just hasn't gotten to the platform yet. 

As you know, Celine Dion, Ciara, Chance the Rapper and the Pussycat Dolls followed in Gaga's footsteps and pulled or are in the process of pulling their collabs with R. Kelly in the wake of Lifetime's docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly." Still, it's interesting that Gaga and Kelly's song hasn't been completely scrubbed.

We've reached out to Google and Gaga ... so far, no word back.  

Originally Published -- 10:18 AM PST

Super Bowl 53 Law Enforcement to Crack Down on Human Trafficking

1/15/2019 4:25 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Federal agencies and Atlanta authorities are on high alert to crack down on human trafficking in the days leading up to the Super Bowl ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us ... the FBI, ICE, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Fulton County Sheriff and other local authorities will be out in force in the 10 days leading up to the big game ... on the hunt for human traffickers and their victims.

The mission, we're told, is two-fold -- looking for traffickers who are bringing sex workers into ATL and traffickers who are preying on ATL residents. We're told law enforcement believes the majority of the victims who can be recruited are minors, both girls and boys.

We're told law enforcement will be coordinating raids and undercover stings -- along with normal patrols of areas known for sex trafficking -- in order to take down pimps and johns engaging in illegal activity.

Law enforcement will also enlist local media, businesses and schools to put the word out and report any suspicious activity online ... part of the "See Something, Send Something" initiative. We're told authorities will post this sign around the City. 

R. Kelly Not Sweating Celine, Gaga ... All About Suing Lifetime!!!

1/15/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

R. Kelly might take a financial hit as more of his hit songs get pulled from streaming services, but he's more concerned with filing a fat lawsuit against Lifetime over its docuseries ... TMZ has learned.

Sources connected to the singer tell us he's not flipping out about people like Celine Dion, Lady Gaga and Ciara yanking their R. Kelly collabs. We're told his only reaction has been to dismiss those artists as "phonies" who are trying to salvage their own images on the heels of the "Surviving R. Kelly" allegations.

We're told he is freaking out about what he considers "lies" put forward in 'Surviving.' As we've reported, Kelly's lawyers fired off a cease and desist letter to Lifetime ahead of the six-part docuseries airing. Of course, Lifetime didn't blink and Kelly's now pressuring his attorneys to follow through with the legal threat.

We're told he has daily meetings with lawyers where they not only discuss the content of 'Surviving' ... but also attempt to dig up dirt on Lifetime execs. The way one source describes it, Kelly seems crazed about getting revenge, and will leave no stone unturned until he gets it.

So far, though, no lawsuit ... while Kelly keeps taking shots.

We broke the story ... his label, RCA/Sony, has pulled all financial backing for new projects -- and prosecutors in 2 cities are actively seeking potential witnesses and victims to bring charges against him.

Fair to say, the walls are closing in and Kelly's not happy about it.

The Pussycat Dolls Reject R. Kelly Streaming Money ... Working to Pull Collab

1/15/2019 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The Pussycat Dolls are working on kicking R. Kelly to the curb ... digitally, and financially, speaking.

Our sources say the group's label, Interscope, is currently working behind the scenes to get the song "Out Of This Club" featuring R. Kelly removed from all streaming services.

The song -- produced by Kelly -- was released in 2008 to mixed reviews. One music critic referred to the track as a "standard sex you up fare (you wouldn't expect anything less from Kelly, would you?)"

In any event ... the move comes on the heels of Lady GagaCeline Dion and Chance The Rapper jumping on board the #MuteRKelly movement after Lifetime aired the docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly."

As we reported ... Gaga apologized and said she stands in solidarity with the women Kelly allegedly abused. It didn't take long for Celine to follow suit

Ciara is also in the process of taking "Promise" offline, but as we've told you ... tons of artists are still streaming their R. Kelly collabs.

DJ Paul on R. Kelly His Musical Legacy Will Live On ... Even if He Goes to Jail

1/14/2019 7:29 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

DJ Paul says R. Kelly will continue being a musical legend despite what happens with the fallout from Lifetime's docuseries -- even if the guy gets charged and convicted.

We got the Three 6 Mafia rapper Sunday at LAX, where he agreed with French Montana that R. Kelly should be allowed to enjoy his legacy ... despite allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse.

Paul takes it one step further, saying R. Kelly's personal life is separate from his music. He says Robert Kelly is totally distinguishable from R. Kelly.

The MC seems to be well aware of what Kelly has been accused of, but even so ... he insists R. Kelly's music will live on forever no matter what comes from all this.

Many others beg to differ. The #MuteRKelly movement is catching fire, and Celine Dion and Lady Gaga have already pulled their collabs with R. Kelly from streaming services

R. Kelly He Knew Aaliyah's Age at 14 ... Lawyer's Claim Debunked

1/13/2019 2:13 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

R. Kelly knew good and well that his one-time protege (and future wife) Aaliyah was a 14-year-old child the same year he married her -- which debunks a claim put forth by his lawyer that the singer was oblivious to her being a minor.

An old video of a documentary about R. Kelly from 1994 has resurfaced online and in this section ... Kelly clearly acknowledges Aaliyah's age (apparently, 14 at the time this was shot) as she records a song in the studio, with him serving as producer.

In the YouTube clip, you hear Kelly say clear as day ... "Right now I'm producing a very talented lady -- a young lady. She's 14, Aaliyah. She's real street." 

Kelly went on to marry Aaliyah that same year, which reportedly got annulled shortly after. Despite this evidence of Kelly clearly being aware of Aaliyah's age, the singer's new attorney, Steven Greenberg, insisted to ABC News last week that his client was unaware of her being 15.

He says she must've lied about her age to legally marry Kelly, and that Kelly had "no idea."

R. Kelly hasn't said much about his marriage to Aaliyah or her age, but he told GQ in 2016, "I can tell you I loved her, I can tell you she loved me, we was very close. We were, you know, best best best best friends."

Kelly and Aaliyah appeared together for a BET interview in 1994, where they denied they were in a romantic relationship ... and played coy about her age, calling it a "secret."

In light of this new video, Greenberg tells us ... he misspoke during the ABC interview, and probably shouldn't have put words in R. Kelly's mouth, as he says he never spoke to Kelly about Aaliyah specifically. 

Greenberg also says ... "That was 20 years ago. I didn't know him 20 years ago, I didn't represent him 20 years ago. And, I wasn't invited to any wedding." That said, Greenberg insists that Kelly has told him that he has never "been with" with an underage girl. 

'L&HH' Star Amara La Negra R. Kelly Belongs Behind Bars ... It's Been a Long Time Coming!!!

1/13/2019 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

"Love & Hip Hop Miami" star Amara La Negra tried to compose herself before addressing allegations against R. Kelly ... and then she ferociously unleashed.

The up-and-coming musical artist was leaving iHeartRadio in Atlanta Friday when we asked about the drumbeat to prosecute Kelly in the wake of Lifetime's docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly."

Amara scoffs, saying there was plenty of proof to lock Kelly up years ago ... when he was accused of making a sex tape with an underage girl. Kelly was acquitted of the child pornography charges in 2008, but clearly ... Amara thinks there was more than enough smoke.

The 'L&HH' star is incredulous that Kelly would dare go out partying at the club for his birthday. She also slammed the folks who were there supporting him.

Mystikal Close to Getting Outta Prison on Bail ... If New Music Deal's a Go

1/13/2019 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Mystikal is THIS close to getting the money he needs to post bail and get out of prison while he waits for his rape case trial to begin ... thanks to friends and a record deal.

You may recall the rapper was booked in 2017 for first-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping after he turned himself in following a Louisiana woman who came forward.

He's been behind bars ever since (almost a year and a half), but people around him have recently rallied and he could be set free soon, pending his trial in May.

Mystikal's attorney, Joel Pearce, tells TMZ ... his client's friends and family have been raising money to help post the $3 million bail. But, what really helped is a new music deal.

Tim Yazbeck, another attorney for the rapper, tells TMZ ... Mystikal has a new record deal for 3 unreleased albums and he's hoping to get an advance within days.

Mystikal's legal team tells us they're confident he'll be out on bail by the end of next week. 

Lisa Van Allen Alleged R. Kelly Victim Opens Up to Jada Pinkett ... Sheds Tears Telling Her Story

1/12/2019 10:41 AM PST

Jada Pinkett Smith, along with her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones, had a heart-to-heart with one of R. Kelly's alleged victims ... and things got very emotional.

Jada had Lisa Van Allen on the latest addition of her Facebook series, "Red Table Talk," to talk about her history with the singer ... who, as you know, is surrounded by controversy and allegations of sexual abuse and child pornography in the wake of Lifetime's docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly."

Lisa says she feels like a weight's been lifted from her now that she's able to open up, and she shed some light on how her life became intertwined with Kelly's. Her claims are disturbing.

She explains that her rough childhood and other difficulties led her to connect with Kelly and view him as her "knight in shining armor," which is why she overlooked his abuse and other suspicions for years.

The ladies described it as his way of luring her in, and Van Allen also gives a troubling account of how controlling he was.

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Out of the mouths of babes. Join us tomorrow. @redtabletalk #RedTableTalk

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Earlier in the show, both Jada and Willow also opened up about how they had heard the rumors about Kelly and had their own suspicions.

Jada even said she feels complicit for ignoring the allegations against Kelly, and brought up how as recently as September, she and Will used Kelly's famous track, "I Believe I Can Fly," for a video of Will bungee jumping.

Jada and the women in her family are clearly making up for it now, though, and have vowed to continue to help out R. Kelly's alleged victims. Part two of this episode with Van Allen is expected to air soon. 

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.  

Grandmaster Flash R. Kelly's My Friend But I Will NOT Play His Music!!!

1/11/2019 8:41 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Even R. Kelly's longtime friends are turning on him, like hip-hop icon Grandmaster Flash, who says you won't hear him play a single Kelly hit song from now on.

We got Flash Thursday at LAX and asked him if DJs, in general, should join the #MuteRKelly movement. Little did we know that Kelly and Flash are pals. The Bronx legend told us, "I've been knowing him for a very long time."

Still, he didn't hesitate to say, "I can't play his music." Now, the question Flash really wrestled with was ... what happens the next time he sees his "friend?"

Despite his stance on Kelly's music, Flash says he wouldn't turn his back on him, personally. He has some thoughts on what kinda help Kelly needs.

Now, taking a photo with Kelly??? Grandmaster Flash says that's a different story.

Watch ... as he puts it, "It's looking kinda bleak for Robert."

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