Bette MidlerInvokes Trans Argument ...Talking Abortion, Women's Rights

UPDATE

5:45 PM PT -- Macy Gray appears to concur with Bette. While talking to Piers Morgan, she expressed similar views ... albeit not necessarily in the context of abortion.

UPDATE
UPDATE

It appears the convo was more broad about trans people in general -- and on the front, Macy says ... "Just because you go change your parts, (that) doesn't make you a woman."

Bette Midler has embraced an argument some are invoking to address the abortion crisis in the country -- bringing up transgender people to make a point ... a lightning rod one at that.

The actress has been very active on Twitter these past couple days, blasting the Supreme Court for reversing Roe v. Wade -- mostly hitting out at Clarence Thomas, it seems -- and in the same breath ... she's speaking up on women's rights. Emphasis on that first part.

BM writes, "WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even of our name! They don’t call us 'women' anymore; they call us 'birthing people' or 'menstruators', and even 'people with vaginas'!"

She adds fervently ... "Don’t let them erase you! Every human on earth owes you!" Of course, that gets to trans/non-binary people ... and some are calling this POV transphobic.

Interestingly, her comment piggybacks on a now-viral op-ed published in the NYT this weekend, titled "The Far Right And Far Left Agree on One Thing: Women Don't Count" ... in which the author makes similar arguments about cisgender women being "erased" on the extremes of both sides of the aisle ... either for inclusivity's sake, or outright oppression.

While some might agree, others say it's a false equivalency to compare trying to be sensitive to trans people/using mindful language to what the GOP seems to be doing (banning abortions) ... suggesting one is clearly a far more serious and dire threat than the other is.

In any case, we know where Bette stands on the issue. She seems to be very much an old-school feminist who's pretty pissed off about all this. One crisis at a time, though, perhaps.

Originally Published -- 11:58 AM PT

Ricky MartinAnonymous Person Taking Out DV TROSinger Calls BS

UPDATE

7:37 PM PT -- A rep for Ricky Martin tells TMZ ... "The allegations against Ricky Martin that lead to a protection order are completely false and fabricated. We are very confident that when the true facts come out in this matter our client Ricky Martin will be fully vindicated."

Ricky Martin has been accused of domestic violence in Puerto Rico -- although it appears the alleged victim may be someone other than his spouse ... this per several reports.

Multiple Spanish outlets that operate in PR -- including Telemundo -- reported Saturday that a protective order is in the process of being filed and executed against the pop star in a municipality near San Juan ... citing law enforcement officials who confirmed the complaint falls within their Law 54 statute, which deals with DV.

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The reports state an anonymous person -- who goes unnamed -- recently appeared before a judge in their own right to seek the TRO without going to the police first and without Ricky being present ... and the order was apparently granted based on the evidence presented.

The court reportedly scheduled a hearing on the matter between both parties for July 21.

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Some reports are saying the alleged victim is a male, while others suggest it's a female. One outlet, claiming to have seen the docs themselves, says they read in part ... "The parties were related for 7 months. They separated 2 months ago, but the petitioner does not accept the separation. He calls him frequently. In addition, the petitioner has seen him hanging around his residence on at least 3 occasions. The petitioner fears for his safety."

That certainly doesn't sound like Ricky's husband of 5 years, Jwan Yosef -- with whom Ricky shares four children. The purported order goes on to reportedly say this ... "the petitioning party demonstrated that there is a substantial possibility of immediate risk of abuse."

As a result of the order reportedly being granted, Ricky has to steer clear of this person -- including avoiding all communication -- until this can get cleared up before a judge. As of Saturday, cops in Puerto Rico told AP they had not located Ricky to serve him.

Of course, Ricky has several residences ... including property in Puerto Rico. It's interesting this is surfacing now -- days after he was sued by his ex-manager, who claimed to have knowledge of a "career-ending allegation" from which she says she helped shield him.

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Neither Ricky nor Jwan have commented on the reports. We've reached out to Ricky's reps and attorneys, so far no word back.

Originally Published -- 5:30 PM PT

Nelson PiquetUsed Homophobic Language Toward Lewis Hamilton... 2021 Footage Shows

Nelson Piquet not only used racist language toward Lewis Hamilton -- the 3-time Formula 1 champion also issued a homophobic phrase while discussing the Mercedes superstar in 2021 ... a newly resurfaced clip shows.

69-year-old Piquet was recently banned from the F1 paddock over his controversial comments about Hamilton in an interview with Motorsports Talk last year ... when he, according to a translation by CNN Brazil, referred to the 7-time champ as a "little n*****."

Piquet is now facing even more backlash for comments made in a separate interview from last November ... in which he used the same word to describe Lewis, while also dropping a homophobic phrase.

As we previously reported, Piquet -- whose daughter, Kelly, dates Max Verstappen -- clarified his initial controversial comment in a statement this week ... claiming the term is used in Brazilian Portuguese to say "guy" or "person" and he had no racist intent behind his words.

Max also backed Piquet ... admitting what he said was wrong, but claiming the racing legend is no racist.

The new clip will certainly cause a stir within the sport ... which has made a push in recent years to welcome fans and drivers from all different backgrounds.

In fact, Sebastian Vettel said in an interview earlier this month F1 would welcome its first openly gay driver ... and Mercedes debuted a rainbow "Pride Star" for the month of June to raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community.

Lewis has yet to respond -- the drivers are currently in the middle of practice for the British Grand Prix this weekend -- but he will certainly address it when the time comes.

Story developing ...

Julia GarnerSits Front Row At Drag Show.... Praise for Madonna Gig

MADONNA IN THE HOUSE
@gingerdouglasofficial_

Julia Garner -- who has been tapped to play Madonnain her upcoming biopic -- shows she's got the Material Girl vibe ... showing up at a drag show, and even getting in on the action!

Drag Queen Ginger Douglas tells TMZ ... Julia was having a blast at Mickey's in WeHo during a performance of "Showgirls," put on by "RuPaul's Drag Race" star Morgan McMichaels.

Julia, her hubby Mark Foster from Foster The People and the rest of her pals sat front row ... Morgan even pulled her up on stage, congratulating her for her Madge flick ... and the crowd went wild.

Julia stayed for the whole show -- feeling the performances and even tipping the drag queens. She stayed after the show to take pics with members of the audience and some of the performers.

Madonna would approve!!!

Same-Sex FlamingosBye Bye, Birdie ...Denver Zoo Couple Splits Up

It's a dark day for fans of romance and flamingos -- the relationship between two same-sex birds has flown the coop.

Denver Zoo broke the fowl news in a post intended to celebrate pride month, but instead they had to announce Freddie Mercury and Lance Bass are no longer rockin' together.

The zoo's famed same-sex duo had originally gotten together to be "surrogate parents" in case a breeding pair of the birds was unable to raise a chick on their own.

Lance and Freddie were an item for a number of years before they called it quits ... according to the zoo. As ya might expect, coming in the middle of Pride Month ... the announcement ruffled some feathers online.

The zoo assures the public it was an amicable breakup ... but we can't confirm that, yet.

They say the notion of "mating for life" isn't true for all birds -- the zoo's flock of 75 flamingos has seen some couples stay together forever, while others jump from partner to partner ... no shame intended.

BTW, Freddie has since paired up with a female flamingo named Lommi ... and Lance is still single and ready to mingle. Keep your head up, Lance!!!

Mass Shooting2 Dead, at Least 19 Injured ...Attack in Norway's Gay District

Another mass shooting, this time in Oslo, Norway, where 2 people were shot to death and 19 were injured outside of 2 bars in an area of the city that is the hub of gay nightlife.

It was a horrendous scene ... you hear the gunshots in the video as 40 witnesses looked and ran in horror. Police captured a suspect just minutes after the attack. A police spokesman would not identify the alleged shooter or motive. Cops believe there was only one gunman.

One witness told a Norwegian media outlet, "I saw a man arrive at the scene with a bag. He took up a gun and started shooting."

Norway is celebrating gay pride this month, and Saturday -- literally just hours after the attack -- a parade was supposed to start as the highlight of the 10-day festival.

Norway is considered a progressive country ... gay couples have had the right to marry since 2009.

Norway's Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Store, called the shooting a "cruel and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

This type of violence is rare in Norway, so it's all the more shocking to folks who live there.

IMPACT Wrestling's Gisele ShawComes Out As Transgender... 'Now Just Felt Right'

Professional wrestler Gisele Shaw has come out as transgender ... saying it's "super-scary" to open up about her true self, but knows the more she speaks about it, the more she will help herself and others in the process.

The 33-year-old -- who is signed to IMPACT Wrestling -- explained the timing of her announcement ... saying, "There is really no perfect time to be coming out. It’s my journey. Now just felt right for me," she told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Coming from an Asian background, being the oldest, there was an unsaid rule, the expectation was that I would carry the family name, that I would set an example, that I would take care of my sisters."

Shaw says her sisters look up to her not only because she's living her dream professionally ... but also personally.

Shaw has been wrestling for a number of years now -- she made her debut with IMPACT a few months ago, where she successfully picked up a W over Lady Frost after delivering a vicious corkscrew.

IMPACT Wrestling exec Scott D'Amore has already thrown his support behind Shaw's decision to come out publicly ... telling the SF Chronicle, "Gisele Shaw is a woman and a valued member of our roster."

D'Amore reassured wrestling fans that Shaw's role "will not be affected or in any way changed by her disclosing she’s transgender to the wider public."

"Transphobia is real," he said. "We can't pretend otherwise ... We've taken steps to try to ensure Gisele's social media timeline doesn't become a forum for hatefulness."

Elon MuskDaughter is Musk No More ...Vivian's Legal Changes Approved

Elon Musk's daughter is officially free of her famous last name ... she's been granted the name and gender change she requested.

Court docs, obtained by TMZ, show the L.A. County Superior Court judge signed off on the name change for the 18-year-old ... who is now Vivian Jenna Wilson. Wilson is her mother's maiden name.

She was also granted a gender change ... Vivian identifies as female, and the docs state a new birth certificate reflecting the change in gender will soon be issued by the state registrar.

As we reported, Vivian said her reason for the change is "the fact that I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form."

Back in December 2020, Elon tweeted his support for the transgender community, but added ... "All these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare."

It's unclear what's at the root of Vivian's desire to part ways with her father -- seems like it must be more than just that tweet.

In any event, Elon's ex-wife Justine Wilson posted about being proud of Vivian as the news broke about her legal request. Neither Mom or daughter has said anything publicly about Elon yet, but Vivian's gotta be over the moon now that it's all official.

Jussie SmolletI'm 'Not a Piece of S***!!!'Insists He Didn't Lie or Prey on LGBTQ Fears

IF I DID IT
SWAY'S UNIVERSE

Jussie Smollett still insists he did not lie about the homophobic and racist attack, because IF he did he would be a total piece of s**t -- and he claims everyone knows he's not that.

The actor dug in his heels Wednesday morning on Sway's SiriusXM show, talking about why he feels he got screwed in court. As Jussie sees it, if you buy what the jury said -- that he flat out lied -- that would mean we all found out "someone is exactly the opposite of who they claim to be."

No argument there.

However, he went on to explain that committing such a nefarious lie would mean he'd exploited the pain and fears of both Black people and the LGBTQ community -- and Jussie says, "I'm not that motherf***er."

Of course, his stunning statement flies in the face of all the evidence presented in Cook County court before he was convicted and sentenced, back in March, to 150 days.

AS CLEAR AS CAN BE
SWAY'S UNIVERSE

Speaking of which, Jussie also talked about his time behind bars ... explaining why he stopped eating the whole time he was in Cook County Jail.

He says fasting is something his family always does to gain clarity, and he was uncertain about how long he'd be in jail. Remember, despite the 150-day sentence, Jussie had immediately asked the judge to let him out on bail while he filed an appeal.

3/10/22
STICKING TO HIS GUNS
WGN

Jussie says, "I have never in my life, at least in my adult life, been as clear of mind as I was for those 6-and-a-half days."

What's unclear about Jussie's clarity is how long he would have continued fasting if the judge hadn't let him out, and also ... what exactly he gained clarity about during that time.

In any event, he says he won't allow Hollywood studios or casting directors to derail his career going forward -- he's got a plan for that. What he didn't address is what happens if his appeal fails, and he has to go back to jail and finish out his sentence.

Anthony AndersonGood on Dave Chappelle ...'Selfless' Move Turning Down High School Honor

KEEPIN' IT CLASSY
TMZ.com

Anthony Anderson is backing Dave Chappelle's decision to turn down an honor from his high school alma mater, which was all set to name a building after him.

We got AA at LAX Tuesday, and he thinks Dave's spot on by turning thumbs down on plastering the building -- the Duke Ellington School of the Arts -- with his moniker. After some controversy, the school was ready to put Dave's name right in the front, but Monday night he opted for a different name ... the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.

Anthony believes Dave's a pioneer in the world of free speech, especially for comedians. Anthony acknowledges ... everyone's got their own opinion and some disagree with what Dave says, and that's ok.

While addressing the crowd Monday, Dave referenced the backlash from students over his special 'The Closer' ... and said it really hurt him.

As for Anthony, our photog wanted to know what he would name a building if he got a similar honor. Watch the clip ... it's amusing.

Elon MuskEx-Wife Backs Daughter's Last Name Change... 'Very Proud of You!!!'

Elon Musk's ex-wife is squarely in the corner of their daughter, saying she's proud of the 18-year-old ... amid her now very public rift with her father.

Justine Wilson, a novelist who was married to Elon from 2000 to 2008, weighed in on Vivian's legal filing to have her gender identity changed to female, and to change her full name ... including dropping her dad's famous last name.

She tweeted a convo she recently had with one of her children, and while Vivian has a twin brother, Griffin, the timing makes it pretty clear this was a chat with Vivian.

Justine says her 18-year-old said, "I can't believe I'm as normal-seeming as I am," after having what she calls a "weird childhood." Justine replied, "I'm very proud of you," to which Vivian said, "I'm proud of myself!"

The proud mother's tweet dropped right after the story broke about Vivian's desire to change her name to Vivian Jenna Wilson. What's interesting about Justine's very public support is that Vivian's made it clear she's got beef with Elon.

In the docs she says, "I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form."

Neither Elon nor Vivian previously said anything publicly about their relationship or her transition ... but back in December 2020, Elon tweeted he supports the transgender community, but added ... "All these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare."

While Justine hasn't said anything directly about Elon yet, there's little doubt who she's backing in the daddy-daughter feud.

Dave ChappelleShocks StudentsBy Turning Down Naming Honor

UPDATE

7:06 PM PT -- Chappelle is shifting gears ... at tonight's naming ceremony, he announced he is not placing his name on the Duke Ellington High School theater. Instead, Chappelle decided it will be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression. While addressing the crowd, Chappelle mentioned the backlash from students about his special "The Closer" sincerely hurt him.

Dave Chappelle's alma mater is paying tribute to him by renaming a building in his honor ... just months after he got heckled on campus during the transgender controversy.

Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. is set to rename its performance theater after its most noted alumni ... the school says it's honoring Dave because of his "ongoing commitment and service to the school."

As we reported, Dave paid a visit to his old high school back in November, while he was taking heat for his jokes about the transgender community.

Things got heated when he invited students who disagreed to speak during an assembly. One student stepped up and called him a bigot, adding, "I'm 16 and I think you're childish." Some students wanted the school to reverse its decision over naming the building after him.

Dave challenged both his supporters and his opponents -- asking both sides to raise money for the school, and if the opponents raised more money, he'd gladly forego the honor of having the building renamed.

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As it turns out, his supporters raised the most money so the building will be called the Dave Chappelle Theatre.

Originally Published -- 1:00 AM PT

Elon MuskDaughter Files to Change Last Name ...No Longer Wants to 'Be Related' to Him

One of Elon Musk's children wants nothing to do with him, and has filed legal docs to drop his famous last name -- in fact, she's changing her full name, and legally declaring her gender identity.

The documents were filed in L.A. County by Xavier Musk ... at least that was the name she was given at birth, but now -- having turned 18 in April -- she says she wants her name to be Vivian Jenna Wilson.

In the docs, she says she wants to be recognized as female -- but the name change isn't just about her transitioning, there's clearly a rift with dear ol' Dad. Vivian lists her reason for the name change as ... "Gender Identity and the fact that I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form."

Neither Elon or Vivian has previously said anything publicly about their relationship or her transition. Interestingly though, back in December 2020, Elon tweeted he supports the transgender community, but added ... "All these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare."

Vivian has a twin brother, Griffin, and the last name Wilson comes from their mother, Canadian author Justine Wilson ... who was married to Elon from 2000 to 2008.

Vivian's hearing on the name change is set for Friday.

Megan RapinoeTrans Athletes Aren't Ruining Women's Sports... 'Show Me The Evidence'

U.S. women's soccer legend Megan Rapinoe believes it's "disgusting" to ban transgender athletes from competing in women's sports ... saying people need to "get a grip on reality and take a step back."

The 36-year-old made the comments in an interview with TIME shortly after FINA -- the swimming world's governing body -- voted to restrict female swimmers who transition after turning 12 or have started puberty from competing against biological women.

Rapinoe says these sorts of bans are a serious issue ... and voiced her stance against the decision.

"I’m 100% supportive of trans inclusion," Rapinoe said. "People do not know very much about it. We’re missing almost everything."

"Frankly, I think what a lot of people know is versions of the right’s talking points because they’re very loud. They’re very consistent, and they’re relentless," she added.

Rapinoe pushed back against the perception that transgender participation in sports is a "free-for-all" ... saying there has been regulation at the collegiate, professional, and Olympic levels.

The 2-time Women's World Cup champion says the focus is no longer on how peoples' lives are being affected ... but more about sports.

"We’re talking about kids," Rapinoe said. "We’re talking about people’s lives. We’re talking about the entire state government coming down on one child in some states, three children in some states."

NCAA champion Lia Thomas has been at the forefront of the conversation ... after some politicians claim her participation in women's sports destroys the spirit of competition.

Megan strongly disagrees.

"Show me the evidence that trans women are taking everyone’s scholarships, are dominating in every sport, are winning every title," Rapinoe said.

"I’m sorry, it’s just not happening. So we need to start from inclusion, period," she continued. "And as things arise, I have confidence that we can figure it out. But we can’t start at the opposite. That is cruel. And frankly, it’s just disgusting."

Lia Thomas ScandalFINA Bans Trans Women Athletes ...Who Are Past Puberty Age

Lia Thomas' participation in women's swimming has reached a breaking point -- because the world's governing body for the sport has weighed in ... and their ruling is against her.

FINA -- French for the the International Swimming Federation -- came down with their decision this weekend regarding transgender athletes (specifically trans women) partaking in elite women's swimming ... and they say it's a no-go going forward, with caveats.

The org's new policy says male-to-female swimmers who transition before age of 12 or before the Tanner Stage 2 of puberty -- whichever comes later -- can compete in women's events. The reason ... they say there's no question a trans female athlete that has already gone through male puberty has an unfair physical advantage over cisgender females.

They reached this conclusion based on multiple studies, reports and presentations by 3 specialist groups, who offered their findings to FINA -- made up of members from 152 national federations -- which then voted ... with a 71% majority in favor of this decision.

In the wake of this coming down, a rep for the Prez of FINA told AP, "This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12. It’s what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair."

The spox adds, "They’re not saying everyone should transition by age 11, that’s ridiculous. You can’t transition by that age in most countries and hopefully you wouldn’t be encouraged to. Basically, what they’re saying is that it is not feasible for people who have transitioned to compete without having an advantage." They clarified there are no trans women currently competing in elite levels of swimming ... presumably, meaning international competition.

One thing FINA is considering to be inclusive to trans swimmers ... an "open competition" category. It's ill-defined at this point, but they're tasking a team to investigate it further.

It's unclear if FINA's new rules are going to be adopted by agencies like the NCAA, which currently permits people like Lia to compete in collegiate swimming. She made history this year by winning a national title in women's swimming, the 500-meter freestyle.

In any case, some people are welcoming the news ... includingCaitlyn Jenner, who's been advocating for such change for a while now -- saying trans female athletes have an undeniable physical advantage over their cisgender competition, as have many others.

She wrote, "It worked! I took a lot of heat - but what’s fair is fair! If you go through male puberty you should not be able to take medals away from females. Period."

Lia herself doesn't appear to have commented publicly yet.

Amy Schneider'Jeopardy!' Champ Unfazed by Unaired First Pitch ...I'll Take Fox Sports at Its Word

"Jeopardy!" champ Amy Schneider says she's gonna take Fox Sports at its word, that they did not intentionally cut out her first pitch at a Giants game celebrating Pride Day at the stadium.

Amy tells TMZ ... "They say the reason they misled their viewers was for cross-promotion, not anything to do with me, so I'll take them at their word." The director of the broadcast reached out to her personally to apologize and reiterate it had nothing to do with her identity. She believed him and accepted his apology.

ICYMI, Amy, the 1st openly transgender "Jeopardy!" champ, was invited to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Dodgers/Giants game. Problem was ... Amy's pitch never made air. Instead, Fox Sports ran another first pitch from several days earlier ... at the hands of Kurt Busch.

Fox Sports said the video of that pitch was part of a promotional package for an upcoming NASCAR race in Northern California.

They made it clear ... the intention was not to disrespect Amy, adding first pitches are rarely aired on the Network during games.

There are doubters on social media who aren't buying the story, but Amy is taking the explanation at face value.

BTW ... the pitch was better than lots of other celebs, bouncing just short and a bit outside of home plate.

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