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USC Fires Athletic Dept Officials Tied to Admissions Scandal

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LOS ANGELES (TMZ) –Heads are rolling in USC’s athletic department over the college admissions scandal and university fundraising — a key part of Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli’ s defense.

The university just fired 3 officials — CFO Steve Lopes , senior associate athletic director Ron Orr and associate athletic director Scott Jacobson. USC hasn’t said why they were canned, but we’ve confirmed all 3 were heavily involved in fundraising efforts for Trojan athletics.



TMZ broke the story … Mossimo wrote a check for $50k, payable directly to USC. Sources connected to the case told us the check was sent to another athletics director, Donna Heinel, who USC already fired. We’re told the check was sent at the direction of the scandal ringleader, Rick Singer.

Lori and Mossimo contend they were making a donation on the up and up — and for that reason, one of their key witnesses could be former Athletic Director Pat Haden. He talked about his fundraising mission back in 2011, saying the Trojans needed to keep donor checks coming in to “feed the beast.”

Our sources say USC has been handing over documents to prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case — so it’s possible some of those docs turned up new incriminating info about the newly fired officials. We haven’t been able to confirm that.

You’ll recall, Singer requested photos of Loughlin and Giannulli’s daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella, on rowing machines. Prosecutors believe the intent was to make it seem they were avid rowers, eligible for admission as USC Crew team members.

We’re told USC had its antennae up as much 9 months before the indictments of Singer, Loughlin, Giannulli and Felicity Huffman. In fact, Heinel was fired the same day the feds announced the indictments in March 2019.

Sounds like USC is cleaning house. The school’s new Athletic Director, Mike Bohn, was announced in November … after Lynn Swann resigned from the position in September.

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

Harvey Weinstein Sued For Assault and Battery at Peninsula Hotel

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(TMZ) — Harvey Weinstein coerced an actress into having sex with him by dangling a role in a film, then threatened to ruin her career if she didn’t give in … this according to a new lawsuit.

The disgraced movie mogul is being sued for sexual assault and battery by a Jane Doe, according to new legal docs obtained by TMZ.

According to the suit, the woman met Weinstein at an event in Los Angeles back in 2014, and he told her “I run Hollywood,” before suggesting they should meet-up later.

In the docs, the woman claims she went to meet Weinstein in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, but he didn’t come down, and he told her to come up to his room.

In the suit, the woman claims Weinstein answered the door wearing a bathrobe without a belt, and told her she was perfect for a few of his projects. And, that he was the “King of Hollywood” and she should be smart about behaving and being nice to the right folks.

The woman claims Weinstein excused himself to use the bathroom, and when she heard the shower running, she left the hotel room. She claims he had someone send her a script for a movie, then demanded she meet him again at the Peninsula, and that’s when things got sexual.

In the docs, the woman says when she went back to Weinstein’s room for what she thought was a business meeting, he was again wearing his bathrobe and threatened to blacklist her from Hollywood. She says she felt she had no choice but to let Weinstein have his way with her, and they had sex while he demanded she call him “King.”

After the alleged encounter, the woman says she fell into a state of shock, became depressed, had a mental breakdown and became distressed to the point she started losing hair.

The woman is going after Weinstein for damages.

Weinstein’s spokesperson, Juda Engelmayer, tells TMZ …”We are reviewing the allegations and will reserve further comment until we learn more.”

As you know … Weinstein was jailed on Rikers Island after being sentenced to 23 years for his rape and assault cases.

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

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Celebrity News

Former ‘InfoWars’ Host Alex Jones Arrested for DWI in Texas

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'InfoWars' Host Alex Jones Arrested for DWI in Texas

TEXAS (TMZ) — According to police docs, cops were called to Jones’ residence for a family disturbance. When they arrived, his wife claimed they had a verbal altercation that “was physical” earlier in the day. She allegedly told the officer Jones took off in his car and was possibly drinking.

Cops caught up with him shortly afterward — sometime after 10 PM Monday night — and pulled him over. The arrest report says the officer detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from Jones.

Jones allegedly admitted he drank a bottle of sake while he and his wife were at a sushi restaurant a couple hours earlier, and they got into an argument. Jones told the officer he walked home, but the argument continued there … so he left to go to another residence to get away from her.

According to the report … Jones demonstrated some impairment during field sobriety tests, such as swaying and losing his balance, but he did blow slightly below a .08 on the Intoxilyzer — twice.

It should be noted … it’s unclear who the “wife” is in the report. Jones divorced his previous wife in 2015, and as far as we know … he has not remarried.

Alex Jones has a fresh DWI case deep in the heart of Texas … the former “InfoWars” host was busted early Tuesday morning in the Austin-area.

Jones was booked around 12:30 AM … according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Department. He was back on the streets by 4 AM, after posting a $3,000 bond — and as you might expect, Jones is telling his own version of events.

He went on his “Alex Jones Show” podcast and said he blew under the legal limit of .08 … so he thinks the whole charge will go away. “InfoWars” is already floating a conspiracy theory, saying Jones was caught in a DWI sting … aimed at increasing the Sheriff’s Department’s number of arrests.

So far, the Sheriff’s Department isn’t saying what Jones’ BAC was when he was arrested. Worth noting that in Texas you can be arrested for DWI even if you’re under the limit IF the officer thinks your driving ability is impaired.

Jones has been charged with misdemeanor DWI.

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


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Ariana Grande Swatted (Again) After Bogus 911 Shooting Report

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Ariana Grande Swatted After Bogus 911 Call For Shooting

LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — Ariana Grande ‘s crib was visited by police after someone called 911 claiming shots were being fired on the property … but we’ve learned it was nothing more than a swatting call.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … cops sent a couple units to the artist’s L.A.-area home Wednesday night around 5 PM after someone called police claiming there was a shooting in progress.

Our sources say Ariana has been swatted at least once before, so police were skeptical when the 911 call came in, but they still sent 2 cars to check out the situation. We’re told cops did not talk to Ariana — they spoke to the property manager — and law enforcement ultimately determined it was another instance of swatting and LAPD took a 911 abuse report.

Sources say LAPD will investigate because they want to stop swatting calls … cops say it’s dangerous because it takes away resources from where they’re needed most.

Other celebs who have been swatted over the years include Lil Wayne, Tom Cruise, Diddy, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Selena Gomez and Pharrell.

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

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