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Sir Elton John Sadly Stops Concert Due to Walking Pneumonia

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AUCKLAND (TMZ) — Elton John struggled to power through his performance, but eventually, he was forced to throw in the towel due to a bad case of walking pneumonia.

Sir Elton performed in Auckland and made it clear to the crowd … he was hurting. Nevertheless, he performed until he couldn’t. He had already performed for about 1.5 hours.

He was still standing, but barely. Elton sounded really good as he performed “Rocketman,” but eventually he just couldn’t continue. The crowd was with him all the way, giving him a standing O as he left the stage … clearly upset.

Elton later apologized, “I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier today, but I was determined to give you the best show humanly possible. I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had.”

Something tells us … apology unnecessary. It’s unclear if Sir Elton will be canceling any additional gigs.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

TMZ refers to to a studio-established “thirty mile zone” to monitor rules for filming in Hollywood. The center of the zone was the offices of The Association of Motion Pictures and Television Producers, formerly at Beverly and La Cienega Boulevard. Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check https://www.tmz.com/shows/ for syndicated/local listings at the bottom of the page)

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Celebrity News

‘Shark Tank’ Star Barbara Corcoran Hooked in $380k Phishing Scam

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(TMZ) — “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran is missing nearly $400,000 after her office was victimized by email scammers who used a tiny typo to gain the upper hand.

The scam started when an email chain was forwarded to Barbara’s bookkeeper, a woman named Christine. Folks on Barbara’s team tell us the email appeared to have been sent from Barbara’s executive assistant, Emily … and it informed Christine she had the green light to pay $388,700.11 to a company called FFH Concept GmbH in Germany.

The problem is that email didn’t really come from Emily. The scammers changed Emily’s email address by removing one letter, so they were the ones actually communicating with Christine … who did ask the right questions. For instance, she asked what the money was for, and got an email back saying FFH was designing German apartment units in which Barbara had invested.

Great cover story because we’re told Barbara really does invest in real estate, and FFH is a real company in Germany. Plus, all of this looks even more legit because it appears to be coming from Barbara’s assistant.

Anyway … the bookkeeper fires off the wire payment to the account listed in the original email. Afterward, she emails Barbara’s assistant, Emily — at her real address — and it’s only then that Emily uncovers the scam. She noticed her address was altered on the previous chain of emails.

Unfortunately, the money is gone, but we’re told Barbara’s IT folks traced the original scam emails back to a Chinese IP address, and her attorneys are figuring out their next move.

Yes, even a Shark can get hooked by a phishing scam.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Celeb Crime

College Admissions Ringleader Rick Singer Says FBI Told Him to Lie

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(TMZ) — The FBI told the ringleader in the college admissions scandal to lie and say his clients knew he was bribing college officials, and when he wouldn’t play ball they yelled at him … this according to Rick Singer himself.

It’s a stunning, possible game-changing development in the case. One of the parents who’s being prosecuted — Elisabeth Kimmel — filed legal docs Wednesday claiming the government just belatedly produced notes from Singer’s iPhone.

Singer writes, “Loud and abrasive call with agents. They continue to ask me to tell a fib and not restate what I told my clients as to where there [sic] money was going — to the program, not the coach and that it was a donation and they want it to be a payment.”

In other words, Singer says he told his clients the money they were paying was a donation to the school, not a bribe to a coach.

Singer’s notes have implications that go far beyond Elisabeth Kimmel. Fact is … Lori Loughlin and other parents will benefit from the new revelation because it goes to the heart of the government’s case — namely, where the parents thought the money was going. If they thought it was going to the school, prosecutors may have had the rug pulled out from under them.

As we reported, Lori and other defendants have complained prosecutors have been withholding key evidence that tends to show the parents did not commit a crime. This new piece of evidence may be the smoking gun … made all the more powerful by the fact the government didn’t disclose it in a timely fashion … not even close.

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli just filed their own motion regarding the exculpatory evidence prosecutors finally produced … and their docs include even more notes from Singer.

After Singer described the “loud and abrasive” call he added, “Essentially they (FBI agents) are asking me to bend the truth which is what they asked me not to do when working with the agents and Eric Rosen (Asst. U.S. Attorney).”

Singer also noted that someone named Liz, presumably a federal agent, “raised her voice to me like she did in the hotel room about agreeing with her that everyone bribed the schools. This time about asking each person to agree to a lie I was telling them.”

According to the motion, filed by Lori and Mossimo’s attorney Sean Berkowitz, Singer also noted the “Government’s desire to ‘nail’ one of the defendants ‘at all costs.'” The defendant they referred to was not Lori or Mossimo.

The docs, obtained by TMZ, also say Singer’s notes demonstrate that “those agents attempted to bully him into lying and saying something different” from what he told clients prior to the FBI beginning its wiretapping.

As Berkowitz says in the docs, Singer’s notes are “devastating to the Government’s case and demonstrate[] that the Government has been improperly withholding core exculpatory information, employing a ‘win at all costs’ effort rather than following their obligation to do justice.”

For now, Lori and Mossimo are requesting a postponement of setting a trial date, which was scheduled to happen Thursday in a Boston federal court — but their motion also informs the court they’re considering filing motions to dismiss and motions for sanctions against prosecutors for withholding this evidence.

They also point out prosecutors’ lengthy delay in handing over Singer’s notes has already screwed over defendants who took plea deals “without the benefit of this evidence.”

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Celebrity News

Drew Carey Attends Dr. Amie Harwick’s Wake in Pennsylvania

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PENNSYLVANIA (TMZ) — Drew Carey is paying his last respects to Amie Harwick , his ex-fiancee who he called “a beautiful person who didn’t deserve to die like she did.”

“The Price is Right” host looked understandably somber outside the Huff & Lakjer Funeral Home in Pennsylvania. He walked into the wake, along with Amie’s family and friends.

Several of her loved ones cried and hugged outside the funeral home. As we reported … Carey opened up about Amie’s tragic death recently on his SiriusXM show, calling his engagement to her the “best relationship of my life.” He says they shared a special connection over music, and he shared a setlist he made specifically for her.

We broke the story … Harwick was killed after she was allegedly attacked by an ex-boyfriend in her home, which caused her fatal fall from a third-story balcony.

Gareth Pursehouse has been arrested and charged with her murder. Pursehouse had a long, troubling history with Harwick … beginning when she filed for restraining orders against him nearly a decade ago.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)


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