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Terrence Howard has accused 20th Century Fox officials of using his likeness from Hustle & Flow to promote their hit show Empire for six seasons while he was employed as a cast member.

In the lawsuit, the actor, who played Lucious Lyon on all six seasons of Empire, says bosses at Fox TV failed to offer a satisfactory answer when he asked how they came up with the Empire logo - since he never sat for a photoshoot.

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Fox TV

He says he ultimately determined the image was taken from the Hustle & Flow scene where "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" was being recorded in a studio, explaining: "The still frame was selected, reversed (face looking left, not right), and subjected to CGI that simply distilled the cinematographer’s skilled capture of the head with vibrant light and shadow."

Howard insists he should be compensated for use of the image as he would have been paid by officials at Paramount - the studio behind Hustle & Flow - if 20th Century Fox got a proper license to use his image from the movie.

He's suing for damages and wants an accounting of all the Empire merchandise using the logo, according to TMZ.

He didn't explain why he waited until the TV series was canceled to file his lawsuit.

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A judge threw out a revived sex abuse lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson accuser James "Jimmy" Safechuck (pictured right and inset).

The "Leaving Neverland" accuser originally filed a lawsuit in 2014 against MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures Inc. It was revived by the State of California earlier this year after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law extending the statute of limitations for alleged sex abuse victims.

Via TMZ -- The upshot of the judge's opinion is that Safechuck and his legal team presented no facts to support their key argument -- namely, that honchos at MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures Inc. had a legal obligation to supervise MJ's behavior in the '90s ... when he allegedly abused James as a child back then.

The judge wasn't buying it, concluding MJ was the owner and sole shareholder of both of these companies, so how could his employees rein in their own boss?

The court found that since Mike was essentially the top dog, there was no evidence his subordinates had the power to supervise him. Safechuck had also argued ... while he was hanging out with MJ, the companies served a quasi-parental role -- meaning they would have had a duty to protect him.

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A judge has ruled that a Miami strip club can keep its doors open past Miami-Dade County's "illegal" Covid-19 curfew.

Tootsie's strip club in Miami Gardens won a civil case that was closely watched by other local business owners who were forced to close amid the fading Covid-19 pandemic.

Tootsie's will be allowed to stay open past the county's Covid-19 curfew nearly three months after the curfew was put in place.

Miami-Dade County ordered all non-essential businesses to close at 11 p.m. to stop the spread of the weakening coronavirus.

Tootsie's filed a lawsuit, and last week, Judge Beatrice Butchko ruled that Tootsie's can remain open all night because of Gov. Ron DeSantis' statewide executive order that slaps down local mandates such as face masks and lockdowns.

"The Miami-Dade curfew orders conflict with [DeSantis' executive order] because they prohibit Tootsie's from operating; they prohibit employees and contractors from working; and they reduce capacity to zero for the entire time subject to the curfew," Butchko wrote in her ruling.

Broward County Mayor Dale Holness also imposed a similar order to close all businesses at 11 p.m.

Nightclub owners in Broward County demanded answers from Mayor Holness, who said businesses would still have to shut down at 11 p.m.

Strip clubs are considered essential businesses because they provide a much-needed outlet to release pent-up sexual tension in the male species.

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Getty Images, Facebook

Ousted Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is being sued for sex assault and harassment by the same female cop he was seen kissing the night he was found slumped at the wheel of his car in a drunken stupor.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired Johnson for "lying" about falling asleep behind the wheel of his car last year.

Johnson, who was promoted to superintendent in 2016, had been on the police force for 31 years. He was just weeks away from retirement when he was canned.

Before officers found Johnson slumped at the wheel, he was spotted at a bar kissing Officer Cynthia Donald.

On Thursday, Donald filed a lawsuit claiming Johnson sexually harassed her after having her reassigned to his unit.

She said he sent her nude photos, forced her to engage in sex acts and sexually harassed her at work.

Donald said Johnson told her he was attracted to her. Three months later, he pushed her onto a couch, pulled down her pants and "forcibly" performed oral sex on her. Afterward, he ejaculated on her, and said: "Now you belong to me."

Ofc. Donald claimed Mayor Lightfoot "retaliated" against her after she found out about her affair with Johnson in 2016.

During a press conference to announce Johnson's termination on Dec. 2, Lightfoot refused to release details of his relationship with Ofc. Donald, saying she wanted to protect his wife and three children.

Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Johnson and his wife, Junior Officer Lt. Nakia Fenner, 43, (pictured above, 2nd from right) were married in 2017. A scowling Mayor Lightfoot is pictured at left.

Johnson is also a defendant in a lawsuit filed by disgraced actor Jussie Smollett against the city of Chicago in 2019. Smollett was sued by the City for over $390,000 for wasting the police department's time and resources investigating his lies about a hate crime.

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Kobe Bryant's death has inspired a new bill banning unauthorized photos of the dead by first responders.

The bill was signed into California law by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday.

The Los Angeles Lakers basketball legend and his teenage daughter Gianna, 14, were among nine people killed on January 26 when their chopper crashed into a hillside in Calabasas during foggy weather.

Best Image / BACKGRID

Shortly after the tragedy, members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department began sharing Kobe's death scene photos with others outside the scope of the investigation. One woman revealed a sheriff's deputy texted photos of the deceased at the scene.

Neil Mockford/FilmMagic

The news prompted Bryant's widow, Vanessa, to sue authorities over the invasion of privacy, and on Monday, Governor Newsom signed legislation making such behavior by first responders illegal.

The Kobe Bryant Law forbids them from taking photos "for any purpose other than an official law enforcement purpose or a genuine public interest".

The law will go into effect on January 1, 2021, and is punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 per violation.

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R. Kelly may file a federal lawsuit after a fellow inmate attacked him with a pen at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago last week.

Kelly's attorneys will appeal to the government to release Kelly on home detention after he was nearly killed by another inmate in an unprovoked attack.

The 53-year-old "Trapped in the Closet" singer has not seen his attorneys in person since March.

Kelly's lawyers argue that he has been unable to prepare for his upcoming trial for nearly six months, due to restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic that limits visitors to the jail.

Kelly's legal team may file a lawsuit citing the dangerous conditions at the jail after their client was attacked by a deranged inmate.

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Getty Images, BOP.gov

The inmate, identified as Latin Kings gang member Jeremiah Farmer, allegedly attacked Kelly because he was upset over the lockdowns due to Kelly's fans protesting outside the jail.

In a handwritten letter to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, titled, "The Government Made Me Attack R. Kelly," Farmer said he was "forced" to beat the R&B crooner.

"Farmer, with nowhere else to turn for legal help, was forced to assault hip-hop R&B singer Robert Kelly in hopes of getting spotlight attention and world news notice to shed the light on the government corruption," Farmer wrote.

He continued: "Due to the most blatant government corruption in Farmer's case, and being in lockdown for R. Kelly protest, I physically beat Mr. Kelly in an attempt to shed media spotlight on Farmer's case to prove government corruption and helping Farmer's innocence to prevail."

The letter will likely be included in a lawsuit filed against the Federal Bureau of Prisons which runs the jail.

Kelly's attorneys will plead for his release before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday.

Kelly was indicted on federal charges of child p0rnography, trafficking, and aggravated sexual abuse. He was taken into federal custody in July 2019.

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The family of Breonna Taylor is losing confidence in the Louisville prosecutor's office after news leaked of a plea deal offered to her ex-boyfriend.

The family's attorney Ben Crump appeared on "TMZ Live" Tuesday to discuss the shocking news about local prosecutors trying to smear Breonna by falsely claiming she was a drug trafficker.

Unfounded rumors have spread that Breonna's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, used her apartment as a stash house for drugs. But no drugs were found in her apartment after she was shot multiple times and killed by three undercover police officers in March.

Walker opened fire on the officers - wounding one - when they executed a no-knock search warrant at Breonna's home on March 13. He initially believed the officers were home invaders.

Walker was arrested on attempted murder and drug charges, which were later dropped and he was released.

The plea deal required Walker to implicate Breonna as a willing participant in his drug activities.

Crump says he's not buying prosecutors' claim the plea deal was merely a draft written early on in negotiations. He tells TMZ it's just another piece of evidence that local authorities were trying to cover up Breonna's killing to protect the police.

Crump says the plea deal proves they were out to sully Breonna's character and that her family doubts Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron will seek justice for Breonna.

Crump tells TMZ, Breonna's family is losing faith in the process, because Cameron, a Black Republican, still has not announced charges against the officers involved in Breonna's killing.

Crump insists the family only wants one thing -- equal treatment under the law.

Meanwhile, Walker has filed a lawsuit seeking monetary damages from the City of Louisville and the Louisville Metro Police for assault, battery, false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, abuse of process and negligence.

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A woman who accused R&B singer Trey Songz of sexual assault in a nightclub has won a legal victory in court.

As The Blast first reported earlier this year, a Georgia woman using the pseudonym Jane Doe filed a $10 million lawsuit against Trey, real name Tremaine Neverson, accusing him of assaulting her in a Miami, Florida nightclub.

The suit read, "This is a lawsuit arising from a sexual assault and battery committed by NEVERSON upon JANE DOE while the two were partying at the E11even Miami night club ("E11even") on January 1, 2018. This suit is based on claims of Assault, Battery, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress. Plaintiff is seeking more than Ten Million dollars ($10,000,000.00) in damages."

But the court told the woman she had to reveal her identity for the case to proceed against Neverson.

Doe appealed the court's decision forcing her to reveal her name. The Blast reports the higher court agreed with her argument and said she did NOT have to reveal her identity.

The court order read, "The district court abused its discretion in denying Ms. Doe's motion for two reasons. First, it erroneously concluded that Ms. Doe would be required to disclose her identity at trial, contrary to cases showing that is not necessarily so. Second, it failed to properly consider Ms. Doe's allegations about the stigma she claimed she would face as a result of her family's religious beliefs."

Prince Williams/Wireimage

Neverson is pictured at Compound nightclub in Atlanta with an unidentified woman on June 9, 2019.

Earlier this week, Neverson, 35, hit back at allegations of sexual misconduct made by a woman who claimed he cornered her in a hotel room, took her purse and cellphone and urinated on her.

Actress, singer Keke Palmer also accused Neverson of predatory behavior toward her.

And now Twitter has uncovered an old interview in which singer Bebe Rexha shares a MeToo story about Neverson.

Rexha, 30, said Neverson flirted with her all night at a wedding party that he attended with a date. She said when he got her alone, he forced himself on her and tried to kiss her.

"He literally is at the door & pushes me against the wall, and puts his lips on my lips & is like 'let’s do this.'"

"Something else happened, but I'm not gonna say that," she said.
 

WENN.com

An attorney for Migos star Takeoff dismissed allegations of forcible rape as "patently and provably false".

The "MotorSport" rapper, real name Kirshnik Khari Ball, made headlines on Wednesday after he was slapped with legal action from an unidentified plaintiff.

The woman claims the 26-year-old Georgia native forced himself on her during a private house party in Los Angeles in June. The private party was hosted by Daryl 'Durel' McPherson, an occasional DJ for Migos.

After the alleged rape, the woman drove herself to a nearby hospital for a rape kit. Medical staff observed physical evidence of forceful rape and notified Los Angeles Police Department officials.

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The woman is suing for sexual battery, assault, and emotional distress, but Takeoff's lawyer is confident he will be able to clear his client's name in court.

His attorney, Drew Findling, tells TMZ, "We have reviewed the allegations and have similarly done our own due diligence.

"What has become abundantly clear is that the allegations made against Takeoff are patently and provably false. The claims and statements made regarding this lawsuit indicate that the plaintiff's representatives have not spoken with relevant witnesses or reviewed available evidence."

Findling said Takeoff, who is in a longterm relationship with LaKeya Darshay, does not have a rapey personality.

Johnny Louis/WENN.com

"Takeoff is renowned for his artistic talent as well as his quiet, reserved and peaceful personality," Findling continues. "In this instance, those known personality traits have made him a target of an obvious exploitative money grab."

"As his counsel, we are well aware and well versed on the importance of civil and criminal prosecution of true sexual assaults. This is not one of those situations."

The alleged incident remains under investigation by the LAPD, but the plaintiff's lawyer, Neama Rahmani, is unhappy with the lack of progress in the case.

"Justice has been slow in this particular case," Rahmani tells Billboard.com. "It is a month and a half since the rape and no arrests have been made."

LAPD investigators are notorious for dragging their feet while investigating crimes involving celebrities.

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Jeffrey Epstein's former madam Ghislaine Maxwell is appealing a judge's order to release previously sealed court documents to the public.

Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The court documents include previously sealed court papers and other damning evidence from a civil lawsuit filed against Maxwell in 2015. The civil lawsuit was settled out of court three years ago.

U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska ruled Thursday that the public was legally entitled to view the evidence against Maxwell contained in the lawsuit.

Maxwell's lawyers had previously argued to keep the files under seal.

"The subject matter of these [documents] is extremely personal, confidential, and subject to considerable abuse by the media," said Maxwell's attorney, Jeffrey Pagliuca.

Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images

The news comes amid reports that "Maxwell has tapes of two prominent U.S. politicians having sex with minors".

Citing "great concerns" about Maxwell's ability to get a fair trial if the documents and tapes go public, Maxwell's lawyer, Laura Menninger, asked the court to delay releasing the documents for two weeks to file an appeal of the court's ruling.

The judge gave Menninger one week to file an appeal.

"We are in a vastly different position," now that Maxwell has been criminally charged, "and certainly have great concerns about our client's ability to seek and receive an impartial and fair trial and jury, given the intense media scrutiny around anything that is unsealed." said Menninger.

According to ABC News, the lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre against Maxwell contain the names of "famous people" who socialized, trailed or worked with Epstein.

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Minneapolis PD

Eight Black Minnesota corrections officers filed a racial discrimination lawsuit for allegedly being barred from guarding Derek Chauvin at the detention center where they work.

The eight non-white guards filed the lawsuit against the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center for allegedly providing only white corrections officers to guard Chauvin.

Chauvin, 44, has been held at the detention center since May 29 on charges of felony murder in the death of George Floyd in south Minneapolis on May 25.

The corrections officers said Superintendent Steve Lydon ordered all non-white officers and the Black officers were told to avoid contact with Chauvin.

In the discrimination lawsuit, Lydon allegedly said the officers' race made them a potential "liability" if anything were to happen to Chauvin after he arrived at the facility.

"I understood that the decision to segregate us had been made because we could not be trusted to carry out our work responsibilities professionally around the high-profile inmate — solely because of the color of our skin," said the acting sergeant, who is Black.

He added: "I am not aware of a similar situation where white officers were segregated from an inmate."

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A grieving mom has filed a $1 million lawsuit after she lost her only son during a swimming pool incident at Carl Crawford's Texas mansion.

According to court papers obtained by TMZ, Liban Hersi claims the former Los Angeles Dodgers star didn't do enough to protect her 5-year-old son during a pool party at his home on May 16.

Hersi said her son was visiting Crawford with a family friend when he fell into the massive custom pool and drowned.

Another partygoer died when she jumped into the pool to try and help the drowning boy.

Hersi said the pool was not equipped with an alarm system and she claimed the pool's design was "unreasonably dangerous."

Hersi was not at the pool party when her son died. She was in another state working during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Crawford, 38, shares a son, Carl Leo Crawford, with reality TV personality Evelyn Lozada and two children from a previous relationship.

He called off his engagement to Lozada in August 2017.

Crawford is CEO of Houston independent record label 1501 Certified Entertainment and was the first executive to sign hip-hop artist Megan Thee Stallion.

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A lawsuit has been filed against the Louisville Metro Police Department after a Black woman was killed by three white officers who forced their way into her home.

Breonna Taylor, an EMT employee, was fatally shot in the early morning hours of March 13 when officers forced their way inside and "blindly fired" after they were met by gunfire inside the home.

Taylor, 26, was asleep in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who heard a commotion and went to investigate around 12:30 a.m.

The officers were at the wrong house, serving a warrant on a suspect who lived across town and was already in custody.

The cops breached the front door "without knocking and without announcing themselves as police officers," according to the suit filed by Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, who is being represented by attorney Benjamin Crump.

"The defendants then proceeded to spray gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life," the lawsuit alleges. "Shots were blindly fired by the officers all throughout Breonna's home."

Taylor was shot eight times and died in her bed. Walker, 27, was not hit. He was arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer.

The lawsuit states Walker had a license to carry and kept firearms in the home for protection.

Crump is also representing the father of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black male who was shot and killed by 2 white men in Brunswick, Ga. on Feb. 23.

Crump called out the police department for not taking responsibility for the way their officers serve no-knock warrants.

"We stand with the family of this young woman in demanding answers from the Louisville Police Department," he said in a statement on Twitter.

A spokesman for the Louisville police said, "Due to an ongoing internal investigation into this situation, we are not able to comment at this time."

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French Montana is facing a sexual battery lawsuit from a woman who alleges he was one of several men who sexually assaulted her at his California home.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, an unnamed woman, who filed the suit as a Jane Doe, is suing the hip-hop star, real name, Karim Kharbouch, a member of his entourage, Mansour Bennouna, and bosses at his label Coke Boy Records.

The lawsuit accuses French and his employee of assault and battery, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and label chiefs of negligent hiring, supervision and retention, and negligence.

The woman claims she was invited back to the "No Stylist" hitmaker's home after they met at a recording studio in the early hours of March 28, 2018. She claimed she was plied with drinks, including a shot that caused her to black out.

She alleges French's employee "sexually assaulted, sexually harassed, and raped" her, and the rapper, "sexually assaulted, sexually harassed" her.

Doe states the rapper and his entourage gang raped her. She remembers "several men coming in and out of the bedroom" and attacking her while she was incapacitated and that she believes French "was one of the men" who sexually assaulted her.

The alleged victim states she "regained consciousness" around 1:30 p.m with Bennouna "spooning" her and that she "felt a pain in her pelvis, lower back and vagina."

The lawsuit states that after leaving the rapper's home, she had a rape kit administered that reportedly showed the presence of semen, after which she reported the rape to the police.

She is seeking unspecified damages for "extreme emotional distress, anxiety, flashbacks and depression" she allegedly experienced and claims the trauma ended her burgeoning career as a model.

WENN has contacted French's representatives regarding the allegations.

Source: WENN.com

Photo by Brian To/WENN.com

Byron Allen is furious over a U.S. Supreme Court decision in his discrimination lawsuit against cable TV giant Comcast.

The billionaire TV mogul criticized the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Monday that dismissed a lower court's ruling that had allowed him to move forward with his case.

Allen accused Comcast of discriminating against him because he is Black, saying Comcast discriminates against minority-owned programming.

Allen argued that Comcast refused to license his TV channels Cats.tv and Pets.tv because he is Black.

But the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Allen failed to prove Comcast would have licensed his channels if he was not Black.

Photo: WENN/Avalon

"This is a vey bad day for our country," Allen told Yahoo Finance in a statement on Monday.

"Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has rendered a ruling that is harmful to the civil rights of millions of Americans."

Allen added: "We will continue our fight by going to Congress and the presidential candidates to revise the statute to overcome this decision by the United States Supreme Court, which significantly diminishes our civil rights."

In a separate statement, Comcast said it was pleased with the Supreme Court's decision.

"We are proud of our record on diversity and will not rest on this record. We will continue to look for ways to add even more innovative and diverse programming that appeals to our diverse viewership and continue our diversity and inclusion efforts across the company."