TMZ posts Rihanna photo showing star’s bruised face after alleged Chris Brown beating

LOS ANGELES - It's a picture of undeniable pain and heartbreak. A harrowing image of Rihanna with deep bruises on either side of her forehead, blackened areas around her eyes and what appears to be blood at the corners of her mouth was posted Thursday night on the celebrity gossip site The picture matches descriptions of a police photo taken after the "Umbrella" singer's alleged assault at the hands of boyfriend Chris Brown on Feb. 8, the morning of the Grammys. Police declined to deny its authenticity but issued a stern statement. "The LAPD does not and will not release any victim's photos. It's that simple. We have not," said Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Jason Lee. Brown, 19, was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats while the Grammys carried on without his scheduled appearance. He was released on $50,000 bail. Police never identified Rihanna, who turns 21 Friday, as Brown's alleged victim, saying only that an unidentified woman was "visibly injured" when they responded to a 911 call and found her battered and alone on a street in Hancock Park. Barbados-born Rihanna, a striking beauty regularly photographed with a megawatt smile, has not confirmed the assault publicly but is cooperating with police, a music industry source told the Daily News Brown issued a statement of apology and said he would seek counseling. The Los Angeles District Attorney is expected to review the case before Brown's March 5 court date and make a decision on formal charges. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading editor plays Larry King for a day; hosts Birkhead

Get the latest from Fashion Week: Fashion Dish blogLarry King got sidelined from his own show last week, replaced by an interview with Larry Birkhead that critics are calling a journalistic lapse by CNN. managing editor Harvey Levin interviewed Anna Nicole Smith's baby-daddy Birkhead, who refuted claims made by Rita Cosby in her book "Blonde Ambition." "Harvey said he could deliver Larry, but only if he hosted himself, to plug 'TMZ TV' [which launched this week]," says a snitch. "Another condition was that no one else who was going to contradict Larry was allowed to call in live," says the insider. "Debra Opri [Birkhead's former lawyer, with whom he is feuding] called in to the switchboard during the show and tried to get on air, but they wouldn't let her." The source claims other guests booked for the show were also dropped once Levin took over the anchor's chair. "Larry [King] is livid," says the snitch. A rep for King did not return a message. Brad's a money Pitt, says Angie Poor Angelina Jolie! An In Touch reporter was sitting nearby when she popped into the Waldorf-Astoria's Sir Harry's bar to meet a friend Sept. 5. According to the snoop, Jolie enjoyed a glass of red wine with "a tall, muscular male friend" and talked about money. "I won't talk to Brad about this because you know how he is financially, which is stupid," she said. "Someone has to make the big decisions, though. He'll put money into things — but it's bizarre! It doesn't always make sense to me." She added: "The reality is, we're not a company together. Things should be separate. I think you know I make my own financial decisions. Brad knows there are times he should just be quiet and look pretty." Amen to that, sister. Hizzoner stylish? That's rich!Mayor Bloomberg planted a kiss on Us Weekly editor Janice Min Monday night as he was honored by the magazine for being one of the 25 "most stylish" New Yorkers.And no, you're not the Continue Reading

Gossip site launches TV show

If a Hollywood starlet barfs on Sunset Blvd., it's almost guaranteed will be on the case. For the past two years, the popular Web site has been breaking celebrity news ranging from "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens' recent nude picture scandal to Michael Richard's racist rants.Today, the company attempts to move the news and attitude of the site to the small screen with "TMZ on TV," launching at 6:30 on WNYW/Ch. 5."We're not going to pretend to have the urgency that the Web site has, we won't," says Harvey Levin, the managing editor of and the show's host. "But the Web site has something else, an attitude and a take on stories. That's the part we're going to capture on TV. Two words: Different and funny."The show enters the marketplace at a time when there are already four celebrity shows - "Entertainment Tonight," "The Insider," "Extra" and "Access Hollywood" - as well as a plethora of celebrity magazines competing for the same audience.Not a problem, says Levin. There won't be any kissing up to celebrities on "TMZ on TV." They won't be on junkets, and there won't be any red-carpet chats."We've been doing shows every day for a month now," he says. "I'm ready."Work starts at TMZ in the wee hours in L.A. and the show will be fed to stations around 4 p.m. "We're talking stories on the TV show," Levin says, whereas the Web site posts an image or video and a few lines of explanation."I don't think it's so much about a difference, as it about a voice ... irreverence, humor," executive producer Jim Paratore said. "We want to be the show that says what people say when they watch the other shows," Paratore added. "Have fun with it."The question that remains, however, is how large is the appetitite for celebrity news?"There's definitely been an explosion," Paratore said. "Some of it's generational. There's a new generation of stars and a new generation of fans excited about them." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

‘TMZ’: All-star look at celebs gone wild

"A Preview: TMZ on TV." In the two years since its launch,  has become popular by breaking entertainment stories aggressively and with attitude. Mel Gibson's DUI tirade, Michael Richards' racist tirade, Alec Baldwin's phone-message tirade, and Britney Spears and Paris Hilton doing just about anything are all part of the mix. "I thank God every morning for Paris Hilton," says Harvey Levin, the lawyer who runs like an old-fashioned "Front Page"-type newsroom. He says that on "A Preview: TMZ on TV," which is a 30-minute ad for his syndicated weekday series, "TMZ on TV," premiering Sept. 10. The preview already has been shown four times on WNYW/Ch. 5, and will be aired another dozen times before the series' launch. The next showing of the preview is Sunday at 3 p.m. It's not fair to judge "TMZ on TV" by its preview. The daily show, to compete with "Entertainment Tonight" and others of its genre, will have to be current to survive, while the special is a dizzyingly guided tour down Misbehaving Celebrity Memory Lane. If you don't know that TMZ is a Hollywood abbreviation for Thirty Mile Zone, a self-described, self-absorbed radius of the area that's supposed to matter, this special tells you. It also expands the territory to New York, Las Vegas and anywhere else, and the TV show, can find celebrity news. "We're not covering the world of entertainment," Levin explains on the "TMZ on TV" preview. " is covering celebrities who are entertaining." Clearly, TMZ has usurped the territory once managed by rival Web site The Smoking Gun, and has landed so many big stories that major news organizations and networks have grudgingly acknowledged its exclusives. TV, though, is a different animal. Court TV tried a TV version of The Smoking Gun  that bombed. So when turning to TV, TMZ better tread cautiously. Watching Britney Spears order fast food from a drive-through may entertain people on a Web site - but Continue Reading faces hearing for O.J. book

A federal judge yesterday ordered the Web site to cough up its copy of O.J. Simpson's "If I Did It" book and face a contempt hearing for posting the tome on the Internet in possible violation of a court order. In Miami's bankruptcy court, where the Goldman family's battle for rights to the book is playing out, Judge A. Jay Cristol also ruled honchos must give a sworn deposition at which they will be asked to reveal where they got the manuscript. "We are pleased with the results of today's hearing," said attorney Brian Rich, who represents the bankruptcy trustee handling the case. The manuscript is currently controlled by the bankruptcy court and subject to strict rules. Lawyers for the Goldman family fought for months to gain rights to the tell-all tome and were close to a settlement that would have allowed them to sell the book to a publisher to recoup part of the $40 million wrongful death judgment Simpson owes them. But when posted the manuscript for free in a downloadable PDF file Tuesday, its value was "diminished or destroyed," according to legal papers filed by the bankruptcy trustee. No date was set for the hearing to determine whether violated the judge's May 23 order barring publication or dissemination of the manuscript in any form and what, if any, penalty it might face, Rich said. The Web site, owned by TimeWarner-AOL, could be ordered to pay money damages if it is found to be in violation of the non-publish order. managing editor Harvey Levin could not be reached for comment yesterday. Simpson denied having anything to do with leaking the manuscript to the celebrity Web site. "The book was stopped and the only people who made this book come back are the Goldmans and TMZ also profited," Simpson told The Associated Press. "If the book is out on the Internet, I wish they would tell me where it is." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

On ‘TMZ on TV,’ beware snark attack

"TMZ on TV." Last night at 6:30, Fox-Ch. 5 Television's syndicated showbiz gossip fest, "TMZ on TV," hit the ground running with its premiere last night, distinguishing itself from the likes of "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider" by shunning on-air hosts - and being aggressively snarky. "TMZ on TV" is all attitude, all the time, from Harvey Levin's hyperkinetic staff meetings - some self-aware stage business that serves as a teasing table of contents - to the stories themselves, which are paced and edited so briskly that some seem almost subliminal. And next to worthless. Most stories were read by unidentified narrators, whose anonymity didn't keep them from registering strong opinions. Victoria Beckham was described as walking through an airport looking like "a slutty Malibu Barbie." Donatella Versace, photographed during Fashion Week, was hailed as "a leather-faced baboon." Then there was Britney Spears ... On the Web site from which "TMZ on TV" is expanding its empire, Spears' disastrous opening performance at Sunday's "MTV Video Music Awards" was summarized in witty fashion. Accompanying a picture of the lethargically dancing, unconvincingly lip-synching pop star was the simple but telling headline: "Britney's Career, 1998-2007." The TV version of "TMZ" had that, too, but didn't leave it at that. Instead it handed sledgehammers to its anonymous announcers - or reporters, or insulters, or whatever they're called - and set them loose. Spears, hit the stage, according to this report, "looking like a circus pony shot up with horse tranquilizers." As for her less-than-taut figure and choice of scanty costumes, the "TMZ on TV" narrator said, in unidentified first-person, "I didn't know they made stripper-wear for butterball turkeys." Getting odd surveillance-camera footage of actor Peter Greene slipping on a ski mask, and pointing out that his credits include "The Mask," was one of the premiere show's few deft touches. The newsroom Continue Reading

TMZ reveals ‘Apprentice’ celeb cast

Donald Trump will be leading a celebrity version of "The Apprentice" later this season that will include the likes of Gene Simmons and former "Apprentice" villain Omarosa, according to new version is being shot in New York and the producers had been trying to keep the wraps on who the players might be.But yesterday posted images of stars believed to be on the new version of the show.Among the others named by TMZ are Carol Alt, Stephen Baldwin, Marilu Henner, Vincent Pastore and Tito Ortiz."We cannot confirm any casting news at this time," a spokesman for the show said Friday.  Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Son of long-time Broncos owner Pat Bowlen tells cops he is ‘blood of the city’ during bizarre 911 call: TMZ

John Bowlen, the embattled son of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, proclaimed to authorities that he was the “blood of the city” and “a friend of the mayor” in the 911 call placed before his domestic violence arrest on Wednesday, according to TMZ. “As the blood of the city, I’m telling you nothing is wrong,” said Bowlen in the bizarre call recording recently obtained by TMZ sports. The call was initially placed by his girlfriend, but was cut off amidst screams before the operator called back and Bowlen answered. “I’m a man of the city,” he added. “A friend of the mayor. And everybody knows exactly who I am. I’m going through a lot.” Police arrived at the scene shortly thereafter and arrested Bowlen on domestic violence charges. He was held overnight in Arapahoe County jail, the Denver Post reported, before being released on Thursday. Bowlen, 29, was held on suspicion of third-degree assault, harrassment and two Class 3 misdemeanors, the newspaper reported. The arrest is another in a long line of recent woes for the Broncos, who suffered a Divisional Round exit out of the playoffs in January after their long-time owner, Pat Bowlen, was forced to step down last July due to his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. John is considered a potential candidate to eventually take over the team in his father’s absence. The Broncos announced last July that the ownership of the franchise is being held in a trust. Bowlen, 71, set up the trust more than a decade ago with the hope that one of his seven kids would eventually emerge to run the team. The Broncos placed Bowlen on an indefinite leave of absence Thursday morning. He is the coordinator of corporate partnerships for the Broncos. “We are disappointed to learn of the matter involving John Bowlen,” the team said in a statement on Thursday. “While this is a personal issue, he is accountable to Continue Reading

E! network wants to make some real news, as execs aim to rival TMZ on hard-hitting coverage

E! is looking to restructure its news department, [email protected] has learned, and wants to compete directly with TMZ on breaking news. Execs at the cable network, owned by NBC, are hoping to get a more “fast-paced” look and not just rely on E! News for their nightly roundup. “The network is shifting around the look,” one well-placed insider tells us. “They don’t know exactly what they are going for yet, but they want to be more like TMZ when it comes to stories going up faster and being updated as events unfold. They are looking to hire new talent to reflect that and have held meetings with both male and female journalists who could act as correspondents.” News coverage on the network, which now operates under the umbrella of E! Online, had been mostly playing catch-up when news breaks elsewhere. But in recent months, talent scouts and execs at the channel have met to discuss sending more reporters out on the street when breaking news is happening, instead of waiting to package it for E! News, which airs at night. “That want to break more celebrity stories — emphasis on break — that are hard-hitting and no longer fluffy E! reporting,” says our source. “But the problem is that in order to become more hard-hitting and less celebrity friendly, they’d encounter trouble with their all-access red carpet (situation). That’s the dilemma. They are trying to figure out how to do both.” Executives are focusing on finding people with a news background to break original stories. Network brass are looking for buzzy pieces that will get picked by other news outlets and, according to sources, are trying to turn themselves into the new Associated Press of entertainment reporting. Meanwhile, at the network, we hear that “Fashion Police” is still restructuring. Producers at the show, along with Melissa Rivers, have looked at “literally every head shot” of actors, comedians, Continue Reading

SEE IT: President Obama speaks out against Ferguson shootings, keeping daughters off TMZ in ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ appearance

President Obama said there are no good reasons for the early Thursday shooting in Ferguson during a protest. “What happened in Ferguson was oppressive and objectionable and was worthy of protest, but there was no excuse for criminal acts,” the President said in his appearance Thursday on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." “Whoever fired those shots shouldn’t detract from the issue.” Obama described the shooters as criminals that need to be arrested. The President also made a point to emphasize that protesters at large should not be lumped in with those who resort to violent actions. President Obama reads mean tweets about himself on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ “What’s beautiful about Selma was reminding ourselves that real social change in this country so often has happened because ordinary people are willing, in a non-violent fashion, to make their voices heard,” Obama said. The President also hit on the Justice Department’s report that accuses the Ferguson Police Department of making discriminatory traffic stops of blacks in order to use the revenue for filling holes in the city’s budget. “We shouldn’t be complacent about the very real existence of problems out there, but we shouldn’t despair and think nothing’s changed.” President Obama’s technology use was also discussed Thursday, with Obama stating that he doesn’t typically tweet himself, does not text, sends emails from his Blackberry and cannot share Hillary Clinton’s new email address. Security issues dictate that he cannot use any devices with voice recorders on them, ruling out most modern smartphones. Obama also said that daughters Malia and Sasha, while otherwise living lives as normal teenagers, are not allowed to post anything onto social media. “Michelle and I try to emphasize to them that Continue Reading