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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

Snoop Dogg Apologizes To Gayle King Over Kobe Bryant Comments

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(TMZ) — I WAS DISRESPECTFUL Snoop Dogg is issuing a public apology to CBS anchor Gayle King after ripping her for the Kobe Bryant interview … and he wants to hash things out in private.

Snoop Dogg is issuing a public apology to CBS anchor Gayle King after ripping her for the Kobe Bryant interview … and he wants to hash things out in private.

Snoop just issued his mea culpa to Gayle, saying the way he came at her with a profanity-laced social media rant was out of line.

As you know … Snoop went nuclear on Gayle last week, heavily criticizing her for an interview she did with WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, which included a question and follow up about Kobe’s 2003 sexual assault case.

Now, Snoop admits he was wrong for lashing out at Gayle — who says she’s getting death threats for the Kobe question — and he says he overreacted because he was rife with emotions and angry at her line of questioning.

Snoop says he was just trying to defend Kobe because Mamba can’t defend himself, but he regrets the way he expressed his feelings.

As for why the change of heart … Snoop says his mom gave him some sage advice. He added … “2 wrongs don’t make it right.”

In his initial rant, Snoop called Gayle a “funky dog head bitch” and asked her, “How dare you try to tarnish my motherf***in’ home boy’s reputation, punk motherf***er? Respect the family and back off, bitch. Before we come get you.”

Snoop later backtracked and said he didn’t mean anything as a threat … and now he’s saying sorry and hoping to sit down with Gayle to chat behind closed doors.

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Lawsuits

Woman Who Claims Rick James Raped Her in 1979 Sues Estate

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A woman who says she was raped by late R&B singer Rick James when she was 15 years old is suing his estate for $50 million.

The unidentified plaintiff says James raped her while she was staying at a group home in Buffalo, New York, in 1979. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday against the James Ambrose Johnson Jr. 1999 Trust, which is run by the singer’s estate.

The suit was filed under the Child Victims Act, which opened a one-year litigation window for victims who were once blocked by the statute of limitations.

In the lawsuit, the woman said James was visiting one of the parents at the group home. She said he came into her room after dinner and raped her.

“He grabbed my hair and pushed my head into the pillow,” she said in the suit. “I tried to fight him off, but he […] 

Continue Reading at apnews.com

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Celebrity News

Jussie Smollett Fighting Chicago Lawsuit for Investigative Costs

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CHICAGO (TMZ) — Jussie Smollett now has a fight on his hands on 2 fronts, because the City of Chicago is not backing down from its lawsuit to recover the cost of investigating what authorities say was a fake “attack.”

Multiple sources tell us, the City of Chicago could drop its case against Jussie to recover nearly half a mil because if he’s convicted in criminal court the judge would almost certainly order restitution on behalf of the City.

Thing is … it makes total sense for the City to press on with its lawsuit, despite the Special Prosecutor reinstituting 6 felony criminal charges against him. The standard of proof in a criminal case is way harder to meet than in a civil case. In a criminal case, the proof needs to be 99% solid against Jussie. In a civil case, it just has to be 51% – 49%.

Now, the new problem facing the City is that Jussie will almost certainly take the 5th against self-incrimination in the civil lawsuit because of the looming criminal case. In Illinois, if a defendant takes the 5th in a civil case, the judge can tell the jury it can conclude that person is hiding something.

One thing we know … Abel and Ola Osundairo — the 2 brothers who Jussie says attacked him — will testify that the whole thing was a setup masterminded by Jussie.

It’s an interesting situation because Jussie has brought the Osundairo brothers in as a defendant in the City of Chicago’s lawsuit, claiming they did indeed attack him. It’s gonna be hard to prove that if he doesn’t take the stand.

BTW … The City of Chicago is playing coy, saying, “the City stands by our original complaint seeking to recover costs for Mr. Smollett’s false statements.” We pressed and asked if that meant the case will not be dropped and a City official refused to comment, but sources with direct knowledge say the lawsuit will proceed.

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

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