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Nelly Super Bowl Halftime Outrage Is Stupid ... 'I'd Probably Do It'

1/17/2019 6:29 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

If you watch the NFL on Sundays ... but you're pissed off about Travis Scott doing the Super Bowl halftime show, you're a hypocrite, period. 

... so says rap legend Nelly

"I don't see the big deal on people upset about who's performing at halftime," the St. Louis legend told us at LAX. 

"Because what people have to understand ... if you're really against the NFL, the halftime show is not what you should be concerned about."

"If you're watching the NFL ... if you're supporting your team ... that's how [the owners] get paid. They don't get paid through the halftime show."

We asked if Colin Kaepernick had a point in his criticism of Travis Scott ... Nelly kept it real. 

"I wouldn't say that he has a point in the sense of ... I mean he has his own reasons but again ... if you watch the NFL every Sunday, you support your team, that's how they make their money."

"If you're trying to make a stand against the NFL, you should probably not watch it on Sunday or you should not go to the games ... the halftime show is irrelevant."

When asked if he would consider doing the SB Halftime show if he was asked, Nelly responded -- "Probably."

'Wife Swap' Son Pleads Not Guilty by Insanity ... In Mom and Brother's Murders

1/17/2019 7:30 AM PST

Jacob Stockdale, whose family was featured on "Wife Swap," is pleading not guilty to the murders of his mother and brother because he says he was out of his mind.

Stockdale entered the not guilty by reason of insanity plea Thursday in Stark County, Ohio -- and told the court he might not be competent to stand trial. His attorney is requesting the judge appoint a doctor to evaluate Stockdale's mental state.

His case is particularly gruesome -- Stockdale was arrested for shooting and killing his mother, Kathryn, and his younger brother, James, in 2017. He then shot himself in the head, but survived after months of extensive surgery to reconstruct his face.

The Stockdale family appeared on the ABC reality show back in 2008 ... and were memorable for being extremely religious and living by strict rules.

A grand jury already decided the death penalty was not appropriate in Stockdale's case. He's facing life in prison, if convicted.

Salt Bae Hey, Neymar ... Taste My Meat!!!

1/17/2019 7:21 AM PST
Breaking News

Neymar got a steak dinner Wednesday night he'll never forget ... 'cause Salt Bae fed gobs of meat to him -- straight off his knife!!!

It all went down in Qatar ... where Neymar and fellow Paris Saint-Germain superstars Mbappe, Buffon and others got a world-class meal from the Turkish chef/Internet sensation.

Neymar and the guys -- who were in Qatar training and sharing memories with fans for their Qatar Tour 2019 -- ate like kings ... and even got to participate in the cooking process!!!

Salt Bae chopped the meat in his signature fashion ... and then let the football stars dust it off with the classic salt-pour-over-bent-arm move.

The best part of it all?? Salt Bae wouldn't let Neymar use his own fork ... instead -- he fed him the meat straight off his knife!!!

Neymar seemed to love it ... 'cause dude went back for Salt Bae's hand-fed meat multiple times!!!

The fun and games ended Thursday ... PSG headed back to France to get set for their game Saturday.

Seems there's only one celebration appropriate if any of 'em scores a goal then ...

Gladys Knight 'Proud' to Perform Nat'l Anthem ... at Super Bowl

1/17/2019 6:51 AM PST
Breaking News

Gladys Knight says she's IN for the Super Bowl -- she's decided to perform the National Anthem before the big game ... and it's all for reasons bigger than football. 

"I am proud to use my voice to unite and represent our country in my hometown of Atlanta," the 74-year-old said. 

"The NFL recently announced their new social justice platform Inspire Change, and I am honored to be a part of its inaugural year." 

Knight's statement sounds similar to Travis Scott -- who agreed to perform during the Super Bowl halftime show after the league agreed to donate $500k to Van Jones' social justice organization. 

There has been backlash from some high-profile people -- including Common -- who says the NFL doesn't care about black people and he wishes artists would boycott the league. 

Common and others (including Jay-Z) have said they're extremely upset with the way the league has treated Colin Kaepernick and they want no part of the Super Bowl. 

Meanwhile, other stars like Nelly have said it's pointless to boycott NFL pre-game and halftime entertainment if you're just gonna watch the game anyway. 

As for Knight, she's following P!nk -- who sang the anthem in 2018. Luke Bryan had the honors in 2017. And, Lady Gaga in 2016. 

A Boogie wit da Hoodie Streaming > Sales Albums are a Dead Duck

1/17/2019 7:03 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

A Boogie wit da Hoodie's on a victory lap -- celebrating his #1 album by buying houses and trucks for his family and pounds of jewelry for himself -- and he says any artist who's relying on selling albums anymore is just plain stupid.

The rapper's riding high right now atop the Billboard charts -- despite selling just 823 physical records -- and when we got him leaving Rockefeller Center in NYC Wednesday night ... he makes it pretty clear the low sales are now totally irrelevant.

A Boogie tells us streaming's the new king of the music biz, and with his new album, "Hoodie SZN," getting 83 MILLION streams last week ... he's got the crown.

There's more, though ... the hip-hop artist -- whose real name is Artist, btw -- says he's got new music coming out with Tekashi 6ix9ine soon, along with a music vid for his track "Swervin'" featuring 69.

That's sure to bring in a lot more streams ... and a lot more bling.

"F**k sales," indeed.

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.

'Celebrity Big Brother' New Cast Making $$$ame Amount ... To Start Season 2

1/17/2019 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The new batch of celebs who'll be living in the 'Big Brother' house for another season of drama are filling with one thing in common -- starting salaries ... TMZ has learned.

Sources familiar with the contacts for all 12 stars in season 2 of "Celebrity Big Brother" tell us each of them will rake in $100k ... just for entering the house. The winner can walk away with an additional $250k.

In other words, Anthony Scaramucci isn't more important than Dina Lohan this year ... at least not from the jump, money-wise.

Our production sources also tell us the houseguests had been sequestered in separate hotel rooms for 4 days prior to entering the house Wednesday. We're told CBS brass didn't want anyone in the cast knowing who else was set to appear until the premiere.

Other celebs set to appear on 'CBB' include Natalie Eva Marie, Ryan Lochte, Joey Lawrence, Kato Kaelin, Lolo Jones, Tom Green, Kandi Burruss, Tamar Braxton, Jonathan Bennett and Ricky Williams.

Side note ... the American version of 'CBB' doesn't pay nearly as much as its U.K. counterpart. Just look at what Speidi made, not to mention Ray J. Big difference.

The Mountain Of Bev Hills $400 Million Offer Rejected By Owners That's Chump Change, Bro

1/17/2019 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

There's a real estate battle brewing for the most expensive property in the history of Los Angeles, fittingly dubbed "The Mountain," because we've learned the owners of the incredible mountaintop property just laughed off a developer's $400 MILLION offer!!!

Sources familiar with the negotiations tell TMZ ... builder Scott Gillen recently submitted a $400 mil bid, but the estate's ownership group scoffed and came back with a $600 million counter! 

It's interesting ... "The Mountain" is listed for $1 BILLION, but the counteroffer from ownership group Secure Capital Partners is $400 mil below the 10-figure asking price. Overvalued much? 

Gillen tells us, "I saw an opportunity to expand my brand in the city, something I've wanted to do for some time. If they're smart, they'll take the offer." 

We're told Gillen has grand plans to build 6 homes on the sprawling 157-acre plot of land in Bev Hills, which sits atop a mountain overlooking all of L.A. ... while the owners envision a single home being built on the 1.5 million square foot property. Regardless, the impasse is all about money. 

Scott's no stranger to massive land purchases. Last year, he set a Malibu real estate record when he plunked down $50 mil on a 24-acre plot. Still, we're told "The Mountain" deal is likely going nowhere because Gillen doesn't want to budge.

We reached out to the listing agent, Aaron Kirman, who had no comment.

The good news ... if you're part of the 3 comma club, "The Mountain" could still be yours!

Super Bowl Halftime Show Lil Jon, Jermaine Dupri Involved ... Says Jazze Pha

1/17/2019 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Two more huge names are helping out with the Super Bowl 53 halftime show -- Lil Jon and Jermaine Dupri -- this according to mega-producer Jazze Pha

Pha is a producing legend who's from ATL and is one of the most plugged-in people in town -- and when we saw him at LAX, he told us he had just come back from halftime show rehearsals. 

The big bombshell here ... Pha strongly suggests Lil Jon and J.D. are now a part of the show -- but he wasn't specific about what their roles will be. 

"I think Lil Jon and Jermaine Dupri and everybody gonna make it hot," Pha says ... "They gonna make it live. Maybe I let the cat outta the bag, I don't know!"

The issue ... there are huge stars calling for African-Americans to boycott the show -- including Common, who says the NFL doesn't support black people

In fact, Common said he wishes Travis Scott would pull out from the show over the way the league has treated Colin Kaepernick.

Now, with two gigantic hip-hop legends seemingly signing on -- ya gotta wonder what the reaction will be. 

Either way, Jazze says he was super impressed with what he saw at rehearsals and expects the show to blow people's minds! 

We'll see! 

Guess Who This Cool Kid Turned Into!

1/17/2019 12:01 AM PST

Before this straight-faced young man was playing a plastic surgeon on a hit medical drama, he was just another kid growing up in Chicago, Illinois. Can you guess who he is?

TMZ Live Mariah Sues Ex-Asst. for Extorting Her With 'Intimate' Recordings

1/16/2019 10:55 AM PST

HERE'S THE RUNDOWN
  • Dave Chappelle Talks About His R. Kelly Skits 
  • Colin Kaepernick Denies Consulting with Travis Scott About Super Bowl 
  • 'To Catch a Predator' Host Chris Hansen Arrested 
  • 'Teen Mom' Star Threatens Woman W/ Gun

Ariana Grande I'm Dropping '7 Rings' ... But My Friends Got 7 Rings Too!!!

1/16/2019 4:20 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ariana Grande's "7 Rings" drops Friday ... and we're told Ariana and Co. expect the song will become an anthem for female empowerment ... with more than a mention of retail therapy as a cure for breakups.

Sources involved in the recording say "7 Rings" wasn't just a random song title ... the name was inspired by something that happened shortly after her breakup with Pete Davidson. Ariana went out with her girls on a shopping spree, meandered into a jewelry store and bought 7 engagement rings for her friends. 

One verse goes like this ... 

       Whoever said money can't solve your problems

       Must not have had enough money to solve 'em

The lyrics also reference her breakups -- just like "Thank U, Next" 

"7 Rings" is Ariana's first single since releasing "Thank U, Next" ... and her people think the new song will do at least as well as its predecessor. 

We're told the song will also feature a new music video. 

Mariah Carey Assistant Fires Back with Lawsuit Alleged Butt Slapping, Racist Language

1/16/2019 4:40 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Mariah Carey's former assistant has just fired back at the singer's blackmail allegation with her own lawsuit, claiming she was the victim of horrible abuse by one of Mariah's key people, and the singer did nothing about it.

Lianna Azarian claims in a new lawsuit, Mariah's former manager, Stella Bulochnikov committed various acts of abuse, including slapping her butt and breasts, urinating on her, tackling her to the ground and sitting on her. Azarian also claims Stella called her the n-word, and a "f***ing Armenian whore."

According to the lawsuit, Azarian says Stella ridiculed her breasts, "including placing objects under her breasts such as iPhones, television remote controls and utensils."

Azarian claims a lot of the alleged abuse occurred in Mariah's presence and she did nothing.

Azarian also says Mariah committed acts of physical, emotional and psychological abuse against her.

TMZ broke the story ... Mariah sued Azarian, claiming she secretly videotaped embarrassing and intimate activities and then blackmailed after Mariah fired her ... saying if she didn't get $8 million she'd release the videos.

Azarian is suing Mariah, Stella and others. 

We reached out to Stella and are waiting for a comment. And, we reached out to Mariah's folks ... so far, no word back.

Azarian's lawyer, Mark Quigley, responding to Mariah's blackmail lawsuit, calls the allegations "baseless" and "an attempt to attack my client's character and deflect attention away from a workplace harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit." He adds, "My client never did anything she wasn't specifically asked to do."

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