Wimbledon 2017: Celebs love a good match

Venus Williams couldn’t bring home another Wimbledon title … but she drew a star-studded crowd to watch her go down to Spain’s Margine Guburuza.

Celebrities like Woody HarrelsonStanley TucciHilary SwankBradley CooperJude LawPippa Middleton and many more took in the tennis action on the grass Saturday … and looked like they were really into it.

Despite a tight first set from Venus, 23-year-old Guburuza went on to win the last 9 games and take down Williams in straight sets to take home her first Wimbledon title.

Ryan Lochte cleared of Criminal Charges in Rio ‘Robbery’

Ryan Lochte has been cleared of all charges in connection with his Rio hijinks.

An appeals court has thrown out the criminal charge filed against Lochte for allegedly lying to authorities when he told them he was robbed at gunpoint. Lochte was charged with false communication of a crime.

The judges ruled Lochte did not go to cops and report the incident … they came to him after hearing stories in the media. So he never set out to create a lie, and that was the turning point in the case.

As you know, Lochte told NBC he and 3 other members of the U.S. swim team were stopped by men he thought were impersonating police officers. Surveillance video later showed the real story was Lochte and co. were stopped by owners of the gas station they’d vandalized.

Rapper DMX arrested, charged with evading $1.7m in taxes

Rapper DMX turned himself in to authorities on federal charges of tax fraud Thursday, according to New York prosecutors.

The recording artist, whose given name is Earl Simmons, allegedly engaged in a multi-year scheme to hide millions of dollars in income from authorities and owes $1.7 million in taxes.

Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim said the performer took in millions from his performances, television shows and songs — including the 2003 hit “X Gon’ Give it to Ya” — but evaded paying taxes on his earnings by “avoiding personal bank accounts, setting up accounts in other’s names and paying personal expenses largely in cash.”

“Celebrity rapper or not, all Americans must pay their taxes,” Kim said in a statement. “We will pursue those who deliberately and criminally evade this basic obligation of citizenship.”

Following his arrest the 46-year-old — known for his deep, rough voice and often dark or violent lyrics — is due to appear Friday in Manhattan federal court.

A native of Yonkers, New York, he was charged with 14 counts and could face more than 40 years in prison.

DMX, who gained fame in the early nineties, has a colorful criminal history. He has been arrested over offenses including drug possession, reckless driving, animal cruelty and failing to pay child support.

‘THE WALKING DEAD’ STUNTMAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER 20-FOOT FALL ON SET

A ‘Walking Dead‘ stuntman fell more than 20 feet onto a concrete floor … suffering a serious head injury that sent him to the hospital.

John Bernecker was reportedly on set Wednesday in Georgia when the accident happened. It’s unclear how he fell or if he was in the middle of shooting a scene — but he had to be airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center where he’s in ICU.

His girlfriend posted a Facebook message, saying … “John deserves to be seen by every neorusurgeon and doctor there is until one of them sees the life we all know he has in him and bring him back to us… THIS ISNT FAIR.”

John — who specializes in high falls — has also worked on “24: Legacy” and ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.’

 

Ray Phiri: South Africa’s Graceland star dies

South African jazz legend Ray Phiri has died at the age of 70 after a two-month battle with lung cancer.

The guitarist, producer and vocalist rose to fame when he featured on Paul Simon’s Graceland album in 1986.

He was admitted to hospital two weeks ago and died in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Family spokesperson Paul Nkanyane says he was surrounded by friends and relatives at the clinic, in the north-eastern city of Nelspruit.

Mr Phiri’s condition became public this week when a friend and fellow musician started a crowdfunding initiative to help pay for his medical bills.

In an interview with The Sowetan newspaper earlier this month, Phiri said: “Let me suffer [in peace with my] pain, on my own with my dignity.”

Tributes have been pouring in for Phiri on Twitter, with people using the hashtag #RIPRayPhiri:

Two tweets sent by fans mourning the death of Ray Phiri

Before reaching international fame with Graceland, Phiri was already an established musician in South Africa and lead singer of 1970s band Stimela.

The group’s afro-fusion sounds combined jazz with mbaqanga – a Zulu musical style with rural roots.

Woman sues Keyshia Cole for $4 Million in Damages

Keyshia Cole put a serious hurting on the woman she accused of banging Birdman … at least according to the woman who’s now demanding $4 million to cover a slew of alleged injuries.

You’ll recall, Keyshia was dating Birdman in 2014 when, according to a police report, she found Sabrina Mercadel at his L.A. penthouse, flew into a jealous rage, and allegedly beat the hell out of her. Sabrina’s now laying out the full extent of her damages (financial and physical):

– $1.5 mil, pain and suffering
– $500k, emotional distress
– $2 mil, loss of use of body part
– $200k, future medical expenses
– $50k, loss of earnings
– $300k, future loss of earnings

Sabrina was also suing Birdman’s building, however she’s since dropped the pad from the lawsuit. She also insists her relationship with Birdman was “plutonic.”

The tally is more of a wish list at this point … the judge will have to approve each amount.

Drake Bell Still Considers Josh Peck a ‘Best Friend’ After Wedding ‘Shock’

It looks like “Drake & Josh” co-stars Drake Bell and Josh Peck haven’t split up just yet — though Bell still would have liked to be invited to Peck’s wedding.

“There are no hard feelings,” Bell clarified to People magazine this week, after a Twitter outburst in June that suggested the pair were done for good.

Peck got married to his longtime girlfriend Paige O’Brien on June 18, and while his “Grandfathered” co-star John Stamos was in attendance at the Malibu ceremony, his longtime bestie was conspicuously absent.

Peck and Bell starred in “Drake & Josh” for four seasons in the early 2000s and seemed to have remained close over the years, so Bell’s absence came as a surprise for many — including Bell himself.

Bell vented his feelings in a series of tweets that he later deleted, but not before fans picked up on the beef between the two stars. “When you’re not invited to the wedding the message is clear… True colors have come out today. Message is loud and clear. Ties are officially cut. I’ll miss you brotha.”

Now it looks like the friends are patching things up, as Bell explained to People. “He’s been my best friend for 18 years. In all honesty, we talk all the time, we’ve been talking. I was just expecting…”

He said that he was surprised that his angry tweets went viral: “I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal.”

He also had a problem with how some of his fans went after Peck. “That’s my bro, you know. It’s kind of one of those things where you’re fighting him on the playground, but if someone else says something, you’re like — ‘Hey, I can say that but you can’t!'”

Bell said he would certainly be open to collaborating with Peck again. “I would love to [do a reunion]. If it’s done in the right way. I don’t know if a reunion of us doing same characters as in ‘Drake & Josh,’ or different ones like in ‘Pineapple Express.’ But it would definitely be fun.”

‘TRUE BLOOD’ STAR NELSAN ELLIS DEAD AT 39

Nelsan Ellis — known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds on HBO’s “True Blood” — has died after complications from heart failure.

Ellis also appeared in “The Help,” and starred in the TV show, “Elementary.”  He also appeared in the moves, “Get On Up” and “The Stanford Prison Experiment”  … and played Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

HBO issued a statement saying Ellis will be dearly missed.

So far no word on the underlying problem that triggered the heart failure.

He leaves behind a son.

Ellis was 39.

RIP

MIGOS kicked off Delta Flight, Claim Racial Profiling

Migos just got thrown off a Delta flight … the question, were they thrown off because they were out of control or because they’re black?

The incident went down Friday on a flight scheduled from Atlanta to Des Moines. You see a Delta rep in the video explain the captain made the decision to boot Takeoff, but QuavoOffset and their manager also got off in a show of solidarity.

Their manager tells TMZ, the 3 members were in first class, exhausted, and they all fell asleep. The manager says Takeoff’s book bag was on the floor and not in the overhead, as required.

He didn’t obey the flight attendant and put the bag away, the manager says, because he was snoozing. He says when the plane taxied to the runway and the bag was still on the floor, the pilot decided to abort takeoff and boot Takeoff.

The video shows the confrontation on the jetway, and there were lots of accusations and threats of lawsuit. You hear the manager say in the video it’s a clear case of racial profiling.

A Delta spokesman tells us … the flight returned to the gate because Migos repeatedly refused to follow crew member instructions to buckle seatbelts and stow carry-on in overhead bins. Delta says it rebooked Migos on an alternate flight, which is in the air, and scheduled to land shortly after 9 PM Central time.

They have a 10 PM show scheduled in Des Moines. It’s gonna be close.

TMZ

Acrobat Plummets to Death before Green Day Show CAUGHT ON VIDEO

An acrobat fell 100 feet to his death during a performance before Green Day took the stage at a music fest in Spain … and the fatal moment was caught on video.

The acrobat — Pedro Aunion Monroy from Brighton, UK — was high above the stage in an illuminated cage during a tribute to Prince when something went terribly wrong and he fell out of it. The performance was in between sets of Alt-J and Green Day at the Mad Cool Festival in Madrid, Spain.

The disturbing footage shows some of the 35,000 people in the crowd scream as they see Monroy free-falling to the ground.

Green Day is taking heat for playing their gig less than 30 minutes after the tragedy, but the band issued a statement saying they weren’t informed of Monroy’s accident until they walked off stage.

Monroy was a director of a performing arts company in Brighton called In Fact. He was 42.

TMZ