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John Cena says he still loves ex-fiancee Nikki Bella

John Cena says he still loves Nikki Bella after their sudden split earlier this month.

"I love Nicole with all my heart, and the split is very tough," the wrestler-turned-actor told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "But that's life. We all go through highs, we all go through lows. I'm going to get through it. I love her. I'll always love her. The fact that my heart hurts for her — I know I was in love. So I'll always have that."

The 41-year-old performer was promoting the "Transformers" spinoff movie "BumbleBee" at CinemaCon, the Las Vegas convention for theatre owners.

The couple had been together for six years and got engaged a year ago on live TV during the WWE's Wrestlemania. They often took their relationship public, canoodling on red carpets and talking about each other in interviews.

Cena has made a successful transition from the WWE to acting, appearing in movies like "Trainwreck" and the recent R-rated comedy "Blockers." Bella stars in a reality TV show on E! called "Total Bellas" with her twin sister, Brie.

Meghan Markle’s ‘Suits’ character ties the knot with co-star in her final episode

Before American actress Meghan Markle marries British royal Prince Harry next month in real life she married her co-star as lawyer Rachel Zane in her final episode of the television drama “Suits.”

>> Read more trending news 

The last episode featuring Markle aired Wednesday night on USA Network and it also marked the last appearance on the show for her co-star and love interest on the series Patrick J. Adams, who played Mike.

The pair tied the knot in a subdued and last-minute ceremony in the finale and have moved to Seattle to run a law firm. The eighth season of “Suits” is now in production.

>> Related: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle release more wedding details

Markle, who met her prince while working on “Suits” and living in Toronto where the series is produced, is scheduled to wed Prince Harry on May 19 in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

 

Uma Thurman, Patty Griffin among readers at poetry tribute

As Uma Thurman rose from her chair during a poetry tribute at Lincoln Center, she turned and bowed to the reader who preceded her, visual artist Lorna Simpson.

"That's called when the evening peaks," Thurman said Wednesday night after Simpson had completed June Jordan's "Poem About My Rights," an impassioned statement of resilience in the face of male violence and oppression. With such lines "I am the history of battery assault and limitless armies/armies against whatever I want to do with my mind," the 40-year-old poem inspired by women in the apartheid system of South Africa seemed as modern as the #MeToo movement and Thurman's recent allegations of abuse by Harvey Weinstein. Thurman was the final reader at "Poetry & the Creative Mind," a tribute to National Poetry Month and to the power of art to speak across time.

Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes was the host, and Thurman, Simpson, Christine Lahti and Patty Griffin among the featured performers who read, and sang, before a capacity crowd in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. It was the 16th annual staging of Poetry & the Creative Mind, presented by the Academy of American Poets and a demonstration that you don't have to be a poet to appreciate poetry. The backgrounds of those reading included acting (Thurman, Lahti and Tim Daly), music (Griffin), radio ("On Being" host Krista Tippett), science/literature (Janna Levin) and cooking (former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses). Some readers offered detailed explanations of which poems they had selected, while others, such as Daly and Griffin, acknowledged they weren't sure what their poems actually meant but that they liked them anyway.

"It does things to my brain and heart," Griffin said before reading the Rumi poem "Wax." Poetry has long been wedded to music and the academy has a tradition of including musical performers, from Sting to Kris Kristofferson. A guitar awaited Griffin to the left of the stage and after the Rumi poem, the Grammy winning singer-songwriter sang a new, melancholy ballad that was inspired by a dream about Billie Holiday. Yosses also managed to work in his profession by reading Adrienne Su's "Four Sonnets About Food," clearly favoring the lines about "baked red fish, clear soup and bread."

The words "Donald Trump" were never said, but his presidency was the assumed target as Daly and others referred to the current times and the poems from the past that seemed to address them. Daly recited W.H. Auden's classic inspired by the outbreak of World War II, "September 1, 1939," and prescient in its fears for democracy and "what dictators do." Lahti dedicated her reading to women's voices and stories, including Anne Sexton's "Her Kind" and Louise Gluck's pained "The Red Poppy," and its closing words "I am speaking now/the way you do. I speak/because I am shattered." Thurman ended with "If," Rudyard Kipling's well memorized ode to manly grace and courage, recited by countless students but for the night wholly belonging to her:

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools.

Kim Kardashian defends Kanye West, accuses Twitter users of ‘demonizing’ him

Musician Kanye West made his return to Twitter earlier this month to chat about a number of topics from new music to politics. However, some of his tweet have fallen flat and have not been well received, so his wife Kim Kardashian West is now coming to his defense. 

>> Read more trending news 

Many on social media have expressed concern over West’s mental health, but Kardashian West said he’s only expressing himself. 

“To the media trying to demonize my husband let me just say this... your commentary on Kanye being erratic & his tweets being disturbing is actually scary,” she wrote. “So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive is not fair.”

>> Related: Kanye West is dropping a new album and the internet is ‘freaking out’

She also accused the media of interpreting his separation from his management as a mental health issue rather than a business decision. In fact, the reality star called her hubby a “free thinker” and celebrated him for sharing his opinions even if she didn’t agree with them, including those about President Donald Trump. 

 >> Related: Kanye West announces he will be president some day

She ended her rant by declaring “Kanye is years ahead of his time” and urged the media stop using the term “mental health” so loosely.

>> Related: Kanye West’s embrace of a black Trump supporter not well-received 

For the last several weeks, West has been busy on Twitter after taking a nearly year-long hiatus from the platform. He’s revealed information about his clothing line, new albums and has even alluded to running for president in 2024.

He’s also used the site to share his thoughts about creativity, fake news and a few images of his daughter North. Take a look at more of his posts here

With Cruise, 'A Quiet Place,' Paramount ready for a comeback

Paramount Pictures is ready for its comeback story.

On Wednesday at the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas, studio chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos announced a sequel to the breakthrough thriller "A Quiet Place," two new Star Trek movies and trotted out its biggest star, Tom Cruise, to dazzle the audience of theater owners and exhibitors with stories of his death defying stunts in "Mission: Impossible — Fallout."

"It's no secret we've had some difficult years at the box office," said Gianopulos in his first presentation as the studio chair to the CinemaCon attendees. For the past few years, the studio has trailed behind the other major Hollywood studios in box office returns.

He said the studio has made significant changes in leadership and production and is ready to get back to a narrative of success and that "A Quiet Place" is "the first of what we hope will be many future hits."

The John Krasinski-directed thriller has earned over $135 million from North American theaters in just three weeks. It cost only $17 million to produce.

The studio teased a lineup heavy with familiar brands, including the Transformers spinoff "Bumblebee," with Hailee Steinfeld, a new "Cloverfield" sequel, several "Star Trek" movies, their "Terminator" project, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, a Sonic the Hedgehog movie, a World War Z sequel, a Dungeons and Dragons movie and a new "Spongebob Squarepants." Save for "Bumblebee: The Movie" which comes out in December, most of the projects are years from release.

One film that is likely destined for box office success in the more immediate future is "Mission: Impossible — Fallout," the sixth film in the Tom Cruise-anchored franchise, which have made over $2.7 billion worldwide.

Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie (who he calls McQ) made an appearance to close out the presentation with a look inside one of the film's most dangerous stunts — a free fall, at speeds ranging from 130 to 200 miles per hour, from an airplane at 25,000 feet. It's a technique, McQuarrie said, that special forces use for infiltration.

"How much we can do that is physically possible without killing Tom," McQuarrie wondered while choreographing the 3-minute stunt that they said everyone told them was impossible.

In the end, Cruise did 106 jumps to get three usable takes that will be cut together to make a single 3-minute action sequence in the film. CinemaCon audiences got a look at the early footage of Cruise pulling it off.

"We shot this in the UAE," Cruise said. "We never would have been able to do this anywhere else."

Later, Cruise's co-star Simon Pegg joined them on stage and said of Cruise's preference to do dangerous stunts himself that, "It is a daily stress going to work with him because you don't know if you're going to see him tomorrow."

Production on the film was put on hiatus last year after Cruise broke his ankle while filming a rooftop jump scene in London.

"Mission: Impossible — Fallout," and Cruise's latest epic stunt, hit theaters July 27.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Patton Oswalt credits late wife in Golden State Killer case

"You did it, Michelle."

Comedian Patton Oswalt proudly and tenderly spoke those words to his late wife in an Instagram video on Wednesday.

Finally, an arrest had been made in the case of the Golden State Killer, a moniker Michelle McNamara coined on her personal mission to catch a man responsible for at least 12 killings and 50 rapes throughout California in the 1970s and 80s.

McNamara died in her sleep at 46 in April 2016. She had been in the middle of her hunt for the killer and her book, "I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer."

Oswalt helped finish the book after McNamara's death. It became a No. 1 New York Times best-seller.

On Wednesday, authorities announced that a DNA match led them to arrest the Golden State Killer, who they identified as Joseph James DeAngelo, a 72-year-old former police officer.

"This is insane," Oswalt said in another Instagram video when he first learned of the arrest. "Full-tilt freak-out in effect."

He and McNamara's fans were crediting the late sleuth's years of dogged work with helping solve the crime and were disappointed when police didn't give her credit at a news conference announcing the arrest.

Asked specifically about whether McNamara's book helped solve the case, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said his office had gotten that question "from literally all over the world in the last 24 hours."

"And the answer is no," he said. "It kept interest in tips coming in. Other than that there was no information extracted from that book that directly led to the apprehension."

On Instagram, Oswalt said: "Even though the cops are never going to say it, your book helped get this thing closed."

McNamara "didn't care about getting any shine on herself," Oswalt wrote on Twitter, comparing her to Frances McDormand's unassuming Detective Marge Gunderson in the 1996 film "Fargo."

"She kept coming at him," Oswalt said.

DeAngelo's name hadn't been on McNamara's radar screen, said Billy Jensen, an investigative journalist who helped write the book.

But McNamara's idea for the "Golden State Killer" name, her coverage of the case in "Los Angeles Magazine" and a blog , the shocking news of her death, and the book all shined a spotlight on the decades-old crimes, he said.

"Just the fact that they said the book didn't help but then said 'We've got the Golden State Killer,' it's a bit contradictory," Jensen said.

Two hours before news broke of the arrest, Oswalt and all of McNamara's collaborators were together for the first time promoting the book with her family at an event outside her hometown of Chicago. It was also the first day of filming of an HBO documentary series based on the book.

"I'm a rational man, but I can't help but feel this transcends coincidence," collaborator Paul Haynes wrote on Twitter.

Oswalt said he ended the event with a thought about the killer: "He's running out of time."

McNamara wrote in her book that she became interested in cold cases as a 14-year-old girl when a neighbor's murder went unsolved. She also wrote about why and how the Golden State Killer case became her obsession later in life.

"The hook for me was that the case seemed solvable," she wrote. "Curiosity turned to clawing hunger. I was on the hunt."

When DeAngelo was arrested, Sheriff Jones said officers simply waited for him to walk outside his house.

"He was very surprised by that," Jones said. "It looked as though he might have been searching his mind to execute a particular plan he may have had in mind ... but he was not given the opportunity. It happened almost instantly and he was taken into custody without incident at all."

Oswalt and McNamara's fans couldn't help but notice the parallels with DeAngelo's arrest and how her book ends, with a message directly to the Golden State Killer.

"The doorbell rings," she wrote. "This is how it ends for you. 'You'll be silent forever and I'll be gone in the dark,' you threatened a victim once. Open the door. Show us your face. Walk into the light."

___

Follow Amanda Lee Myers on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaLeeAP

Sides agree to drop rape lawsuit against Russell Simmons

A lawsuit from a Los Angeles woman who alleged music mogul Russell Simmons raped her at his home in 2016 is being dropped, according to a federal court filing Wednesday.

The two sides have agreed that the suit, filed in January, should be dismissed, with each side bearing its own attorneys' fees. It gave no other details on whether a settlement was reached.

Jennifer Jarosik alleged Simmons raped her after trying to have sex with her when she visited his Los Angeles home in August 2016 for a meeting about a documentary she was making. She had sought at least $5 million in damages.

When the suit was filed Simmons called the allegation "absolutely untrue" and said he looked forward to the truth coming out in court.

He said in a legal response to the lawsuit earlier this month that Jarosik was an acquaintance with whom he'd had consensual sex, and said that he'd received a steady stream of friendly communications from her, including text messages and unsolicited nude photos, since the night of the alleged incident.

Simmons, 60, was a major player in the rise of hip-hop, co-founding Def Jam Recordings and helping make stars of hip-hop artists such as LL Cool J, Slick Rick, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. He later expanded his business into films, television and stand-up comedy.

He was one of the first figures in music to be called out in the cascade of sexual misconduct allegations that began with Harvey Weinstein in October.

Five other women have come forward publicly and said Simmons raped them in the 1980s or 1990s, including three who made the allegations in a New York Times story in December.

Simmons has denied all the allegations, saying in January that they range "from the patently untrue to the frivolous and hurtful."

___

Follow Andrew Dalton on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton .

DeLorean widow sues for 'Back to the Future' payments

The widow of maverick automaker John DeLorean has alleged in a lawsuit that a Texas company illegally received money from the "Back to the Future" movies that used his iconic car.

The sleek, angular car with gull-wing doors known simply as "the DeLorean," was featured in the 1985 movie starring Michael J. Fox and a 1989 sequel, about a kid who travels back in time to engineer his parents' meeting.

The lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Newark includes a contract with Universal from 1989 that gave DeLorean 5 percent of net receipts for any merchandising that featured the car and logo "as a key component."

According to the suit, the Texas company, called DeLorean Motor Company, represented to Universal that it had the right to the money and has already received "a substantial payment" from Universal.

The Texas company isn't affiliated with the one DeLorean started.

Sally DeLorean, who lives in New Jersey, settled a lawsuit in 2015 allowing the company to use the DeLorean name and trademarks. That agreement didn't transfer contractual rights to the company, the current lawsuit contends.

Attorneys didn't return messages on Wednesday.

John Z. DeLorean was an automotive innovator who began his career at General Motors Co. and is credited by some with creating America's first "muscle" car, the Pontiac GTO, in the mid-1960s. He left GM in the early 1970s to launch his own company that eventually produced the DMC 12.

Only about 9,000 of the cars were produced before the company went bankrupt in the early 1980s, but the car's look and cult following helped land it a role in the "Back to the Future" series. The car was chosen because it would plausibly look like a spacecraft to people in the 1950s flashback scenes, according to the Internet Movie Database.

DeLorean died in 2005, after years of court battles that included a highly publicized drug trial in the early 1980s in which he was acquitted of conspiring to sell $24 million of cocaine.

His former estate in the rolling hills about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of New York was converted into a golf course by then-developer Donald Trump in 2004.

'BlacKkKlansman' star hopes Lee film starts a conversation

Denzel Washington's son John David Washington has technically worked with Spike Lee before. When he was 7-years-old he had a bit part in "Malcolm X," which his dad starred in.

The younger Washington is now getting his own chance to star in a Spike Lee joint in "BlacKkKlansman," which CinemaCon attendees got a sneak peek of Wednesday afternoon at the Focus Features luncheon.

The film is based on a true story of a black police officer in Colorado who infiltrated the Klu Klux Klan. Washington said he hopes it will start a conversation about how people think in this country.

"Get Out" director Jordan Peele produced "BlacKkKlansman," which is in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and will be released in theaters on Aug. 10.

Musicians to raise funds for Waffle House shooting victims

Nashville's musical community is raising money to benefit the victims of a shooting at a Tennessee Waffle House with a special T-shirt honoring the man who stopped the gunman.

James Shaw Jr., lauded as a hero during the shooting that left four dead and more injured early Sunday, met with country singer Brantley Gilbert and indie rocker Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional on Wednesday at a Nashville rehearsal hall.

At their upcoming concerts in May, the musicians will sell a T-shirt that features the words "I Believe In Heroism," along with an image of Shaw's injured hand that was burned when he grabbed the gun away from suspect Travis Reinking. Proceeds from the sales will benefit the victims, as well as Shaw.

"I know he says he's not a hero and he was just trying to protect himself, but anytime you stand up in a situation like that, my belief is you've got hero in you," Gilbert said.

Shaw, who has also been honored by state lawmakers, said he thinks the term hero signifies someone whose actions are fictional.

"When you think of a hero, you think of Batman or Superman, or something like Wonder Woman, somebody like that," Shaw said. "And they are fictional characters. But if I say a regular guy took a gun from someone, I hope you can find that saving fire within yourself and you can possibly emulate that. And anybody can be a hero."

Gilbert, who has written songs like "Dirt Road Anthem," a hit single for Jason Aldean, and "Bottoms Up," said he wanted to use his platform to help the Nashville community. Most of all, Gilbert said he just wanted to thank Shaw.

"Thank him for being a hero because he inspires people," Gilbert said. "Anytime you stand up to a situation like that it inspires me, inspires everybody I think."

____

Online:

https://ibelieveinnashville.com/

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