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Ex-Disney actress Bella Thorne reveals abuse as child star

Actress Bella Thorne is opening up about the abuse she faced growing up in Hollywood.

>> Read more trending news

On Friday, Thorne shocked fans when she tweeted that she was a victim of molestation while working as a child star.

It all started when a fan tweeted at Thorne, “What did Disney do to this girl?! I think she was molested,” in the comments section of one of her photos. Thorne responded by retweeting the fan and writing, “Yeah I was. So it wasn’t Disney.”

Thorne did not comment on any further details of the alleged abuse, though she did respond when pals like YouTube star Tana Mongeau and her “Famous in Love” co-star Georgie Flores applauded her for sharing her story.

Thorne is best known for roles on HBO’s “Big Love” and Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up.”

Her news comes in the wake of other stars who have spoken out against sexual abuse in Hollywood. Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Matt Lauer were all accused of sexual misconduct and fired from their respective companies.

JK Rowling says she's proud to receive royal honor

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling can add another magic moment to her list of achievements — she has been made a royal Companion of Honor.

Rowling received the honor from Prince William on Tuesday at a Buckingham Palace ceremony.

Rowling said she was "deeply honored and proud" to receive the title, which is limited to 65 people "of distinction."

The boy wizard's creator is being honored for services to literature and philanthropy.

She says "to be included in the distinguished and diversely talented company of the other Companions of Honor, especially as a female writer, is a particular privilege."

Other companions of honor include scientist Stephen Hawking, artist David Hockney, ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and "Downton Abbey" star Maggie Smith.

'Univision' anchor Jorge Ramos writing book on immigration

A Univision journalist who famously clashed with then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2015 has a book coming out about Trump and immigration.

Publisher Vintage Books told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Jorge Ramos' "Stranger: The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era" will be released Feb. 27.

Ramos is combining his own story of emigrating from Mexico with a critique of Trump's policies. He calls his book a defense of the "open" and "inclusive" spirit he believes Trump threatens.

Ramos is a longtime anchor for Univision, the Spanish-language network.

During a news conference in 2015, Ramos confronted Trump about his plans for more restrictive immigration laws. Security personnel escorted Ramos, who had not been called on by Trump, from the event.

___

This story has been corrected to show the title of the book is "Stranger: The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era."

Steelers' JuJu Smith-Schuster takes nearly 200 kids to the movies

Some children in Pittsburgh got to go to the movies with a Steelers star.

>> Watch the news report here

JuJu Smith-Schuster held an advance screening of "Jumanji" with nearly 200 children from the United Way, Bike Pittsburgh and Beyond Type 1.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

"I didn't think there would be this many people here today. It's a great crowd," Smith-Schuster said. "I'm seeing more and more people wearing my jersey and that's exciting."

>> Read more trending news

The children got the chance to meet Smith-Schuster and then watch the movie with him, with free popcorn and drinks.

Trump says accusations of sexual misconduct 'fabricated'

President Donald Trump, pushing back against women accusing him of sexual misconduct, insisted Tuesday he's the target of "false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don't know and/or have never met."

Trump lashed out on Twitter a day after three women who previously accused him of sexual harassment shared their stories on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today."

Trump says Democrats "have been unable to show any collusion with Russia" and now are "moving on" to these allegations. He adds: "FAKE NEWS!"

He also attacked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who on Monday said Trump should resign over the allegations.

Trump said Gillibrand is a "total flunky for Chuck Schumer," the Senate Democratic leader. He said Gillibrand, "who would come to my office 'begging' for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump."

The New York Democrat responded on Twitter, saying: "You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office."

On Monday, the women — Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks — urged Congress to investigate Trump's behavior. A fourth woman also spoke at a news conference with them via phone.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders pledged to provide a list of eyewitnesses whose accounts exonerated the president. She did not provide the list by late Monday.

The allegations surfaced during last year's presidential campaign, but the women raised the issue anew on the Kelly show Monday and at a news conference.

"It was heartbreaking last year," Holvey said. "We're private citizens and for us to put ourselves out there to try and show America who this man is and how he views women, and for them to say, 'Eh, we don't care,' it hurt."

The former beauty queen claimed that Trump ogled her and other Miss USA pageant contestants in their dressing room in 2006. Crooks is a former receptionist at Trump Tower and Leeds says she met Trump on a flight.

Sixteen women have come forward with a range of accusations against Trump, many after the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape last October in which Trump was caught on an open microphone bragging about groping women. One woman, Summer Zevos, a contestant on Trump's reality show, "The Apprentice," sued, contending that Trump's denials of her accusations amount to false and defamatory statements.

Stormtroopers and princes on London's 'Last Jedi' red carpet

Prince William and Prince Harry joined the cast of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" at the film's European premiere Tuesday, delighting fans who braved the London cold for a glimpse of Hollywood stars and British royalty.

But cast and crew were silent on reports that the royal siblings make a cameo appearance in the much-anticipated film.

The tuxedo-clad princes walked the red carpet at London's Royal Albert Hall for the black-tie gala, a benefit for their Royal Foundation charity — though without William's pregnant wife Kate or Harry's fiancee, Meghan Markle.

Royal officials have refused to comment on reports that the princes recorded a scene playing Stormtroopers in the sci-fi saga when they visited the film's set in April 2016. At the time they were filmed meeting crew members, battling with light sabers and hugging a Wookie.

Star John Boyega has said the royal duo filmed a scene during their visit to London's Pinewood Studios, though it's unclear whether it made the final cut.

Cast members on the red carpet at London's Royal Albert Hall pleaded ignorance, and director Rian Johnson would not comment on the reported royal cameo.

"I can neither confirm nor deny it," he said.

London-born star Boyega was joined on the red carpet by fellow cast members including Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Benicio del Toro, Anthony Daniels — who has played C-3PO in the "Star Wars" series since 1977 — and Mark Hamill, who returns as Luke Skywalker.

Hours before the screening, hundreds of fans lined up on one of the coldest days of the year for a glimpse of the stars, the royals and a phalanx of Stormtroopers who marched in formation up the red carpet.

"You never get used to this kind of passion and enthusiasm," Hamill said. "It's just wonderful. The fans have been so supportive over the years. Their enthusiasm is infectious."

The eighth film in the "Star Wars" series, "The Last Jedi" had its world premiere Sunday in Los Angeles. The adventure is a follow-up to "The Force Awakens," which brought the franchise back to movie screens in 2015.

It is the last film to feature Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. Fisher died in December 2016 at 60, shortly after completing her final scenes.

Hamill said fans were helping him get through his sadness at Fisher's death.

"I shouldn't be upset she's not around, I should be grateful for all the time I had with her," he said. "She was hilarious, adorable, (and) as tough as she acted, she had a vulnerability."

"She was so much fun. You're going to love her tonight, she's great in the film!" he added.

___

A previous version of this story did not make clear that the royal set visit was in April 2016.

WATCH: Jimmy Kimmel holds infant son during tearful monologue about children's health care

On Monday, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel delivered an emotional monologue while holding his 7-month-old son, Billy, after taking a week off as the baby boy recovered from heart surgery.

>> Jimmy Kimmel: Senator ‘lied right to my face’ about health care

A tearful Kimmel asked lawmakers to restore the Children's Health Insurance Program, which expired two months ago.

>> Round 3: Jimmy Kimmel continues criticism of GOP’s health-care bill

"This is literally a life-and-death program for American kids," Kimmel said. "It’s always had bipartisan support, but this year, they let the money for it expire while they work on getting tax cuts for their billionaire and millionaire donors."

>> Read more trending news  

He continued: "And imagine getting that letter, literally not knowing how you will be able to afford to save your child’s life. It's not a hypothetical. About 2 million CHIP kids have serious chronic conditions. I don’t know about you, I’ve had enough of this. I don’t know what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that mostly goes to rich people ahead of the lives of children."

>> Watch the clip here

Kimmel's son, who was born with congenital heart disease, has had two heart surgeries and will have another at age 6, according to his show's YouTube page.

Late-night host Kimmel holds son, pleads for health care

Jimmy Kimmel held his baby son as he returned to his late-night show after a week off for the boy's heart surgery.

Kimmel was crying from the first moment of his monologue Monday night as he pleaded with Congress to restore and improve children's health coverage, a cause he has championed since his son Billy was born with a heart defect in April.

Billy needed one surgery just after his birth and had a follow-up operation last week.

Kimmel kept up his ardent advocacy Monday night, urging Congress to restore the Children's Health Insurance Program, which since September has been left unfunded and stuck in a political stalemate.

Kimmel said it's "disgusting" that Congress is putting tax cuts for millionaires ahead of the lives of children.

Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2017: 'Feminism'

This may or may not come as a surprise: Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2017 is "feminism."

Yes, it's been a big year or two or 100 for the word. In 2017, lookups for feminism increased 70 percent over 2016 on Merriam-Webster.com and spiked several times after key events, lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, the company's editor at large, told The Associated Press ahead of Tuesday's annual word reveal.

There was the Women's March on Washington in January, along with sister demonstrations around the globe. And heading into the year was Democrat Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and references linking her to white-clad suffragettes, along with her loss to President Donald Trump, who once boasted about grabbing women.

The "Me Too" movement rose out of Harvey Weinstein's dust, and other "silence breakers" brought down rich and famous men of media, politics and the entertainment worlds.

Feminism has been in Merriam-Webster's annual Top 10 for the last few years, including sharing word-of-the-year honors with other "isms" in 2015. Socialism, fascism, racism, communism, capitalism and terrorism rounded out the bunch. Surreal was the word of the year last year.

"The word feminism was being use in a kind of general way," Sokolowski said by phone from the company's headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts. "The feminism of this big protest, but it was also used in a kind of specific way: What does it mean to be a feminist in 2017? Those kinds of questions are the kinds of things, I think, that send people to the dictionary."

Feminism's roots are in the Latin for "woman" and the word "female," which dates to 14th century English. Sokolowski had to look no further than his company's founder, Noah Webster, for the first dictionary reference, in 1841, which isn't all that old in the history of English.

"It was a very new word at that time," Sokolowski said. "His definition is not the definition that you and I would understand today. His definition was, 'The qualities of females,' so basically feminism to Noah Webster meant femaleness. We do see evidence that the word was used in the 19th century in a medical sense, for the physical characteristics of a developing teenager, before it was used as a political term, if you will."

Webster added the word in revisions to his "An American Dictionary of the English Language." They were his last. He died in 1843. He also added the word terrorism that year.

"We had no idea he was the original dictionary source of feminism. We don't have a lot of evidence of what he was looking at," Sokolowski said.

Today, Merriam-Webster defines feminism as the "theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes" and "organized activities on behalf of women's rights and interests."

Another spike for the word feminism in 2017 occurred in February, after Kellyanne Conway spoke at the Conservative Political Action Committee.

"It's difficult for me to call myself a feminist in the classic sense because it seems to be very anti-male and it certainly seems to be very pro-abortion. I'm neither anti-male or pro-abortion," she said. "There's an individual feminism, if you will, that you make your own choices. ... I look at myself as a product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances. And to me, that's what conservative feminism is all about."

She was applauded, and she sent many people to their dictionaries, Sokolowski said. The company would not release actual lookup numbers.

Other events that drew interest to the word feminism was the popular Hulu series, "The Handmaid's Tale," and the blockbuster movie, "Wonder Woman," directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins, Sokolowski said.

Merriam-Webster had nine runners-up, in no particular order:

— Complicit , competitor Dictionary.com's word of the year.

— Recuse , in reference to Jeff Sessions and the Russia investigation.

— Empathy , which hung high all year.

— Dotard , used by Kim Jong-un to describe Trump.

— Syzygy , the nearly straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies, such as the sun, moon and earth during a solar or lunar eclipse.

— Gyro , which can be pronounced three different ways, a phenom celebrated in a Jimmy Fallon sketch on "The Tonight Show."

— Federalism , which Lindsey Graham referred to in discussing the future of the Affordable Care Act.

— Hurricane , which Sokolowski suspects is because people are confused about wind speed.

— Gaffe , such as what happened at the Academy Awards when the wrong best picture winner was announced. That was a go-to word for the media, Sokolowski said.

Bruce Brown, whose 'Endless Summer' redefined surfing, dies

Bruce Brown, whose 1966 surfing documentary "The Endless Summer" molded the image of the surfer as a seeker of adventure and fulfillment and transformed the sport, has died. He was 80.

Brown died of natural causes Sunday in Santa Barbara, said Alex Mecl, general manager of Bruce Brown Films.

Along with the music of the Beach Boys, Brown took surfing from a quirky hobby to a fundamental part of American culture.

Surfers had largely been portrayed as beach blanket buffoons in the mindless party movies of the early 1960s.

Then came Brown and "The Endless Summer" with his beautiful, soulful story of surfers on a quest for fulfillment — an image that became emblazoned on the cultural psyche.

"His timing, everything, was perfect," said legendary big-wave surfer Greg Noll, a friend of Brown's since they were young and a fellow filmmaker.

People were interested in surfing and Brown took it to a new level, Noll told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

"Thank you for showing us the world as you saw it, Bruce Brown," Kelly Slater, 11-time world champion surfer, said in an Instagram post Monday. "There are never enough words to say goodbye properly."

Brown, who took up surfing in the early 1950s, had made five other documentaries about the sport before "The Endless Summer," including 1958's "Slippery When Wet" and 1960's "Barefoot Adventure."

Like all the others, it was shot on a tiny budget with Brown performing nearly every duty, from camera operator to narrator.

The film follows two surfers, Robert August and Mike Hynson, as they hop hemispheres to constantly surf wherever it is summer, from Hawaii to Australia to South Africa to Senegal.

"He had a great theme," Noll said.

Surfers considered Brown a peer who just happened to carry a camera instead of a board. He shot the film loosely and casually and the style proved infectious when the public saw the movie.

"I never had formal training in filmmaking, and that probably worked to my advantage," Brown said in a 2004 interview for his film company's website.

The trio's charisma and the film's natural beauty made it an unlikely hit.

"The beautiful photography he brought home almost makes you wonder if Hollywood hasn't been trying too hard," Roger Ebert said in his 1967 review of the film in The Chicago Sun-Times.

The film inspired many surfers to leave their home beaches, drop out of their sedentary lives and seek isolated places with bigger waves.

Some surfers blamed Brown's film for turning their serene spots into forever-crowded hotspots.

"A lot of people try to make me feel guilty about that," Brown said in the 2004 interview, "and while I'm sure 'Endless Summer' hurried it up, the sport was growing by leaps and bounds simply because it's so much fun. No one could have stopped it."

Brown went on to make many other documentaries, most notably the 1971 film "On Any Sunday," which gave the same treatment to motorcycle riding as "The Endless Summer" did to surfing. A sequel, "On Any Sunday II," was released in 1981.

In 1994, he revisited his classic and made "The Endless Summer II" with his filmmaker son Dana Brown.

In 2009, he narrated a surfing-themed episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants" called "SpongeBob vs. The Big One."

Brown was born in San Francisco and raised in Long Beach. He retired to a ranch near Santa Barbara, putting down the camera to ride motorcycles and surf.

"All the good guys are going ... we were on the cusp of the giant wave of surfing that hit California and spread out to the rest of the world," Noll said.

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