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Jussie Smollett Not Officially 'Suspect' ... Police Sources Say Otherwise

2/17/2019 8:03 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jussie Smollett is not officially a suspect in the Chicago PD investigation, despite multiple sources inside the department who tell us he is squarely just that.

We reached out to Chi PD and asked if the status of the "Empire" star has officially gone from victim to suspect. We were told ... "We have some information that needs to be corroborated and verified with the Empire cast member before we can answer this question. After new developments, we've reached out to his attorney and requested additional time to interview him."

It actually makes sense ... the cops are playing the case close to the vest, so witnesses aren't influenced by police statements. As we reported, there was a sentiment early on in the Department Jussie's story didn't track, but officially they never let on. 

As we reported, the 2 brothers with connections to both "Empire" and Jussie "completely cooperated" with cops during their interrogation, and they made it clear ... their participation was at the behest of Jussie.  

Jussie's lawyer has indirectly lashed out at the brothers, doubling down that Jussie is a victim and "anyone claiming otherwise is lying."

As we reported, at least one of the brothers turned over his phone to cops and there's a call between him and Jussie in the vicinity of the "attack," but before it happened.

There are multiple reports the brothers bought the rope in question at an Ace Hardware store in Chicago.

We're told so far ... Jussie has not agreed to another interview with cops.

 

50 Cent NYPD Officer Tells Cops ... Shoot Him On Sight

2/17/2019 7:36 AM PST

An NYPD officer is under investigation for allegedly telling his fellow cops to shoot 50 Cent on sight ... TMZ has confirmed.

Police sources tell TMZ, Commanding Officer Emanuel Gonzalez made the comment last June during roll call at the 72nd Precinct. What apparently triggered his comment ... 50 was scheduled to attend an NYPD boxing match in the Bronx. Gonzalez said, "Shoot him on sight."

Gonzalez has had beef with 50 ... according to the NY Daily News, which broke the story, a month before Gonzalez made his comment he filed an aggravated harassment complaint claiming 50 threatened him on Instagram.  

50 had accused Gonzalez of "shaking down" the owner of one of 50's go-to clubs ... this according to the Daily News. 50 wrote on his Instagram, "Get the strap" -- slang for gun. Gonzalez says 50's followers subsequently threatened him with violence. 

We're told Gonzalez has said it was just a joke, but the matter was reported to higher-ups in the Department and Internal Affairs is now investigating.

Gonzalez is a long-timer in the Department -- 30 years -- and he's still on duty.

50's rep tells TMZ," Mr. Jackson takes this threat very seriously and is consulting with his legal counsel regarding his options going forward. He is concerned that he was not previously advised of this threat by the NYPD and even more concerned that Gonzalez continues to carry a badge and a gun."

Anthony Weiner Out of Prison ... But Not a Free Man Yet

2/17/2019 1:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Anthony Weiner is no longer behind bars, but the disgraced ex-U.S. Congressman still has a few months in federal custody before he's freed ... still earlier than originally expected.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Weiner's been transferred out of a Massachusetts prison and into the custody of a Bureau of Prisons residential re-entry center in New York. We're told he's either in a halfway house or home confinement.

Weiner's now in pre-release status, which inmates often get as they approach the end of their federal sentence. The purpose is to prepare them to transition back into society.

As we reported ... Weiner started serving his 21-month prison sentence in November 2017 after pleading guilty to sexting with a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. He was slated to get out August, 2019, but good behavior slashed the sentence 3 months to May 14.

We're told that is still his scheduled release date.

Weiner served his time at the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts where they offer treatment for sex offenders. As you know ... Weiner has a long, scandalous history.

Weiner resigned from Congress after his first sexting scandal in 2011. He ran for NYC mayor but that bid was derailed in 2013 when he was found sexting Sydney Leathers under the infamous alias, "Carlos Danger."

The convicted sex offender saw his marriage fall apart the third time around. Huma Abedin filed for divorce just hours after Weiner struck a plea deal in the latest sexting scandal. Making matters worse ... Huma was a top aide to then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton when federal investigators found hundreds of thousands of Clinton's emails in Weiner's laptop ... forever changing the course of the 2016 Presidential election.

21 Savage Bailed On Gig ... After Complaining About a Gun

2/17/2019 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

21 Savage skipped out on a paid gig at a club after voicing complaints about the opening act and demanding he be allowed to carry his gun ... this according to the promoter who booked him. 

The promoter, Karen Smith, tells TMZ ... she booked 21 Savage for a fee of $17,000 to play a Sept. 2016 show at Bo'Maz Club in Hinesville, GA, but 21 and his crew bounced without saying a word.

The promoter tells us she caved and allowed him to carry his weapon. We're also told by someone who was at the show ... 21 groused about the opening act -- a local rapper -- and asked the DJ to cut him off but the DJ refused. 21 got angry, and he and his crew beat it.

In video from the club, obtained by TMZ, you see the local rapper performing on stage when 21 and his crew get up and leave ... before he performed a single song.   

We broke the story ... the promoter went to cops in October 2016 and filed paperwork to get a felony warrant against 21 Savage for theft by deception, claiming he walked off with $17k for a show that never went down.

The warrant was issued but sat for more than 2 years. After 21 was arrested by ICE on Super Bowl Sunday, the club owner went to the Sheriff and decided to pursue the criminal case. 

21 Savage turned himself in Friday morning and was booked for felony theft by deception. He was released within a half hour. 

We reached out to 21's lawyer, Abbi Taylor, and she doubled down on her claim that 21 has committed no criminal offense. We believe he'll end up paying the woman and if that's what she's after she'll probably drop the case. 

Don Cheadle I Support Trans Kids

2/17/2019 7:03 AM PST

Don Cheadle made a powerful statement on 'SNL' Saturday night -- not audibly, but visually.

Cheadle hosted the show and when he introduced the musical guest, Gary Clark, Jr., he wore a tee with the words "Protect Trans Kids" emblazoned on it.

The actor said nothing about the message, but as you know Donald Trump has attacked the trans community with policies like booting them from the military. Trump also reversed the Obama policy of supporting the rights of trans students to use the bathroom of their choice.

Sometimes ... you don't have to say something to deliver a powerful message. 

Floyd Mayweather To Ryan Garcia 'Tank Davis Will F*ck You Up'

2/17/2019 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Floyd Mayweather is warning Ryan Garcia -- if the 20-year-old boxing star actually steps in the ring with Gervonta "Tank" Davis, "He's gonna get f*cked up."

Garcia and Davis have been talking TRASH to each other for months and it seems the super featherweight stars are on a collision course to fight in the very near future. 

With Davis being a Money Team fighter, we asked Floyd if that fight is actually going to happen -- and that's when Mayweather laid out the terms. 

"Ryan Garcia says he wants to fight 'Tank' ... well, I'm putting up the money right now."

Long story short, Mayweather says Garcia must fight TMT boxer Rolando "Rolly" Romero first ... and if Garcia wins, Floyd will give Garcia a $200,000 check plus he'll make the Davis fight happen. 

But, if Garcia loses against the undefeated Romero (7-0), "I don't want him to ever say Tank's name again."

Mayweather added, "If [Garcia] gets through Rolly, he gets Tank."

Garcia is a STUD -- he's 17-0 and one of the best up and coming boxers in the world. This should be good. 

Stars and Scars You Be the Judge

2/16/2019 12:45 AM PST

Huge week as the Jussie Smollett plot thickens, and 21 Savage is fighting to stay in the U.S. So, we gotta ask ... 

Soulja Boy Someone Slashed Cop's Tires ... During Police Raid

2/17/2019 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Soulja Boy's visit from Johnny Law did not end well -- for the cops -- which is why there's now a second investigation involving the rapper. 

Law enforcement sources tell us the Ventura County Sheriff's deputies who executed a search warrant at Soulja's crib last week returned to their vehicles to find their tires slashed. The deputies were there investigating the allegation from of the rapper's exes that he had kidnapped her.

We're told while detectives were inside Soulja's home, someone slashed the tires of 3 unmarked police cars ... causing damage in excess of $1,000. Our sources say the Sheriff's Dept. has opened a felony vandalism investigation. The cars were parked on the street, not on Soulja's driveway.

We're told the Sheriff's Dept doesn't know if the tire slashing is connected to anyone in Soulja's house.

As for the "kidnapping" investigation -- we're told Soulja is cooperating and cops seized some items during their search.

We broke the story ... Soulja's ex, Kayla, claims he tied her up in his garage for 6 hours. Soulja says she's full of it.

Michael Bay Good Genes or Good Docs?

2/17/2019 7:08 AM PST

Michael Bay's good looks deserve to be on the big screen!

Here's a 33-year-old version of the "Pearl Harbor" director at a movie screening in Los Angeles, California back in 1998 (left) and 21 years later ... The multitalented 'Transformers' star -- who is celebrating his 54th birthday today -- looking better than ever with his blonde hair just last month (right).

These looks rock.

The question is ...

NFL's Larry Johnson I Could've Saved Kareem Hunt

2/17/2019 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ex-NFL star Larry Johnson is sick of watching young players like Kareem Hunt make the same STUPID mistakes he made as a player ... and wishes they'd "get their heads out of their asses" and reach out for help. 

"I hope these guys will start realizing that there's nothing you've done that other players haven't done already," the former K.C. Chiefs running back told us. 

Of course, Johnson was a STUD in his prime -- but, his NFL career was marred by off-the-field issues ... including violent incidents with a woman. 

But, Larry says he's a changed man now -- he's learned the hard way -- and wants to make sure other talented players don't throw away their careers because they're too dumb to learn from his mistakes.  

"Hopefully young guys will start reaching out to older players who have been in these situations before they get themselves in these situations," Johnson said.

"I wish these young players will get their heads out of their ass and really use the veterans to help them stay away from these issues."

It's obvious Johnson feels he could've been a real impact as a mentor for Kareem Hunt and others who are having trouble staying out of trouble

Celebrity Scramble Guess Who!

2/17/2019 12:01 AM PST

Hidden within this chiseled chin is a sexy reality television star ... use your detective skills to see if you can figure out which famous face is hiding in this warped photo.

Jussie Smollett Calls Lies On Reports He Paid Brothers to Stage 'Attack'

2/16/2019 4:22 PM PST
Exclusive Details

8:15 PM PT -- Jussie's lawyer just responded with this ... "As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."

6:15 PM PT -- Chicago PD's Chief Communications Officer confirms the case has taken a turn based on details provided by the brothers, saying ... "The information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation."

He adds that police have reached out to Jussie's attorney to request a follow-up interview.Jussie Smollett has turned from a presumed victim to suspect in the criminal investigation into the alleged racist, homophobic attack, and sources say there is mounting evidence the 2 brothers who were arrested and subsequently released were acting at Jussie's behest and reportedly paid.

Our sources say the brothers -- both of whom worked on the "Empire" set -- "completely cooperated" with Chicago cops during their interrogation over the last few days.    

One law enforcement source tells TMZ at least one of the brothers turned over his phone and there is a call between him and Jussie in the vicinity of the "attack," but before it happened. 

CNN is reporting the brothers purchased what looks like the rope Jussie had around his neck at a Chicago Ace Hardware store. CNN is also citing law enforcement sources saying Jussie paid the brothers to orchestrate the phony assault.

Various sources in the Chicago PD have told TMZ almost from the beginning there was wide sentiment Jussie's version of events were false, despite the party line that he was the victim of a crime.

As we told you ... the Nigerian brothers never fit the profile of Jussie's alleged attackers, even when they were arrested for battery. Not only are they not white -- which contradicts Smollett's claims from the beginning -- but "Empire" cast and crew sources tell us they're very close to Jussie ... and they're pro-LGBTQ and anti-Trump too.

Chicago PD released Abel and Ola late Friday night due to "new evidence" gathered from their interrogation ... and said they're no longer suspects.

The brothers' lawyer, Gloria Schmidt, says her clients were released based on the key info they gave the cops ... and they have a story to tell "when the time is right."

Miranda Lambert Guess What ... I Got Married!!!

2/16/2019 3:12 PM PST
Breaking News

5:40 PM PT -- Miranda's husband, Brendan, is an NYPD officer who's assigned to the Midtown South precinct in Manhattan. We're told he has several years on the force and walks a foot post in Times Square. And, according to this 2015 photo, he's a dog lover.

Miranda Lambert is full of surprises -- in the same week she dumped salad on a woman's lap during a restaurant argument ... she's now announced she's got a brand new husband.

Congrats!

The country singer made the marriage reveal out of nowhere Saturday, saying ... "In honor of Valentine's Day I wanted to share some news. I met the love of my life. And we got hitched! My heart is full."

She adds ... "Thank you Brendan Mcloughlin for loving me for.... me."

The wedding pics show Miranda wearing a gorgeous dress with her husband in the middle of a big open field ... but it's unclear when it happened or where they're at.

We do know Lambert was in Nashville last weekend, though ... because we broke the story that she was out to dinner with her mom and a male friend at Stoney River steakhouse when she got into a heated argument with another table of patrons.

It's possible, but hard to tell, that the male friend is her new husband, Brendan.

As we told you, the restaurant fight culminated with Miranda dumping salad on a woman who was allegedly provoking her. There were many 911 calls about the ordeal.

As you know, Miranda was married to fellow country star Blake Shelton from 2011 to 2015, and was linked to another singer, Anderson East, as recently as April 2018 ... when they announced their breakup after 2 years of dating.

We're not sure where Mcloughlin came from, but it looks like he's a keeper.

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