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Lori & Mossimo Say Prosecutors Withheld USC Donation Evidence

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LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli have just gone on the offensive, claiming federal prosecutors corruptly withheld evidence from them, which they say proves they bribed no one, and they further say the government withheld the evidence so it could squeeze the couple into accepting a plea bargain.

Lori and Mossimo claim in new legal docs, the money they gave Rick Singer to get their daughters into USC was a payment they believed was going to the University itself.

According to the docs, for months the government claimed it didn’t have any exculpatory evidence showing the payment was not a bribe to then USC Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel.

According to the docs, after months of denials, prosecutors finally and belatedly turned over evidence and testimony from Rick Singer that tends to show NO BRIBE was offered … at least that what Lori and Mossimo believed.

The docs state, “Rick Singer has advised the government, in sum and in substance, that … the families that do the side door …typically do not know that Heinel is involved until the time of the first payment.”

Singer further stated, “Giannulli and Loughlin thought their payment of $50,000 went directly to USC’s program.” And, get this … according to the docs, “The government clearly acknowledges that Giannulli and Loughlin’s alleged ‘bribe payments’ did not go to any USC official personally, but rather went to USC itself.”

As for the rest of the money, according to the docs, Singer told prosecutors Lori and Mossimo “thought their $200,000 payment went to [Singer’s charity] with some of the funds then ‘going to a USC program.'”

And, according to the docs, prosecutors have internal USC emails in which they offer to “flag” one daughter’s application and take a customized tour of the campus “to discuss the impact of [Giannulli’s] philanthropy.”

This is really a core to the case because there’s nothing illegal about contributing to the University. In fact, in the docs, USC “has an institutional practice of tightly intertwining admissions and fundraising.” They point to then USC Athletic Director Pat Hayden, who reportedly said Lori and Mossimo were “good for a million plus” in connection with their daughters’ admission.

The docs say while the government withheld this evidence, prosecutors “launched a months-long campaign to pressure Defendants into pleading guilty.” Apparently, when prosecutors realized the couple wasn’t playing ball, they finally released the evidence.

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

Joe Exotic Prison Has 2nd Highest ‘Rona Rate

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Joe Exotic Prison Has 2nd Highest 'Rona Rate

FORT WORTH (TMZ) — The prison Joe Exotic is currently being held at is the second leading hotbed for coronavirus in the entire federal prison system — but not to worry … Uncle Sam’s got a plan.

The ‘Tiger King’ star has been locked up at FMC Forth Worth in Texas, and as of Tuesday … there was a total of 298 confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates, making it number 2 behind a federal CA facility at 570 inmate cases.

If that sounds troubling, it should … we’ve seen jails and prisons across the U.S. getting besieged with the virus — and some of the inmates are suffering. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has assured us they’re going above and beyond for their prisoners, staff and visitors alike at Joe’s facility to keep them safe and healthy.

As for Joe … his people have repeatedly told us … he’s virus-free.

The agency tells TMZ there’s a comprehensive action plan in place at all of their institutions — which includes reducing inmate transfers, increasing screening and testing, minimizing unnecessary movement on the inside and temporarily canceling social and legal visits, not to mention training for BOP employees. They will also do regular temperature checks.

The trick is … as little congregating as possible. BOP says it’s trying to keep guards at one post for as long as possible to avoid unnecessary interaction.

BOP also tells us they’ve made sure everyone — prisoners and staffers — have received surgical masks. BOP says it has things under control — so far fewer than 5 deaths at the Fort Worth facility … but with nearly 300 cases, it’s gotta be viewed as a full-fledged outbreak.

So … guess that means Joe’s in good hands??? Here’s hoping so.

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

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Anderson Cooper Reveals He’s a Dad, Welcomes New Baby Boy

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Anderson Cooper Reveals He's a Dad, Welcomes New Baby Boy

NEW YORK CITY (TMZ) — Anderson Cooper is the proud new father of a baby boy … revealing Wyatt Morgan Cooper to the world.

The CNN anchor took to Instagram Thursday night to reveal earlier this week Wyatt was born via surrogate. Cooper said, “As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son’s birth.”

As for Wyatt’s name, 52-year-old says it’s in honor of his dad, who passed away when he was just 10, saying, “I hope I can be as good a dad as he was.”

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I want to share with you some joyful news. On Monday, I became a father. This is Wyatt Cooper. He is three days old. He is named after my father, who died when I was ten. I hope I can be as good a dad as he was. My son's middle name is Morgan. It's a family name on my mom's side. I know my mom and dad liked the name morgan because I recently found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying to think of names for me. Wyatt Morgan Cooper. My son. He was 7.2 lbs at birth, and he is sweet, and soft, and healthy and I am beyond happy. As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth. Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him. It is an extraordinary blessing – what she, and all surrogates give to families who cant have children. My surrogate has a beautiful family of her own, a wonderfully supportive husband, and kids, and I am incredibly thankful for all the support they have given Wyatt and me. My family is blessed to have this family in our lives I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe they can see him. I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues.

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Anderson also shared a sweet message about his surrogate, saying, “Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him. It is an extraordinary blessing – what she, and all surrogates give to families who cant have children.”

Finally, Anderson says, “I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe they can see him. I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues.” His mother, Gloria Vanderbilt died last year.

Wyatt is Anderson’s first child … Congrats!!

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

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Madonna: I Have Antibodies … Gonna Breathe in COVID-19 Air

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Madonna: I Have Antibodies ... Gonna Breathe in COVID-19 Air

Madonna has revealed — via her “Quarantine Diary” — that she’s tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, and already has a bizarre plan for using them.

The Material Girl’s known for posting some eccentric material on her Instagram, but she’s kicked things up a notch during lockdown … the latest being heading outside to “breathe in the COVID-19 air.”

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#staysafe #staysane

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Yep, Madge says now that she knows she has the antibodies, she’s going out for a drive and rolling down the windows. She included the hashtags #staysafe #staysane with her video post.

It’s unclear exactly what M hopes to accomplish by sucking in virus air on her drive, but if she truly has antibodies it means she likely already had the coronavirus. Most scientists agree she should have some COVID-19 immunity, but it’s unclear for how long.

Madonna’s been doing her part in coronavirus relief efforts — both by donating a million dollars and joining the REFORM Alliance in sending 100,000 surgical masks to jails and prisons.

She’s throwing caution to the wind, though, with her own health.

Hey, she’s got a pocket full o’ antibodies and she’s gonna spend ’em!!!

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

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