Kevin Costner on undocumented children being separated: 'I'm not recognizing America'

Amid growing outrage over the separation of undocumented children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, Oscar-winning actor Kevin Costner is speaking out.

“I’m not recognizing America right now,” Costner said of the crisis. “I don’t recognize any individual statements. I feel people going with the flow … we’re in a really weird spot.”

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May. On Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen said these children are “very well taken care of” and that the U.S. Border Patrol operates “in some of the highest standards in the country.”

Heart-wrenching images of children being separated or held in wire enclosures, sleeping under foil sheets at detention centers are going viral — along with audio of a child weeping for his “papa.”

“Separating people with no plan, when those children can’t even speak English — Can you imagine the terror?” Costner asks.

Calls to keep these families together while the parents are prosecuted for illegally crossing into the U.S. are growing from both sides of the aisle, including comments from Melania Trump and Laura Bush.

“It takes a high level of compassion, empathy and intelligence to work our way out of this,” Costner said.

Trump is scheduled to meet with House Republicans on Capitol Hill this afternoon to discuss two immigration bills. Neither bill specifically deals with children separated from their parents.

Nielsen insisted yesterday that the “children are not being used as a pawn… We are trying to protect the children.”

“We have to do better,” Costner added. “We’ve been about more, we can be about more and right now we’re acting really small.”

Costner has portrayed a myriad of American icons on screen, including Eliot Ness in “The Untouchables,” Ray Kinsella in “Field of Dreams,” and Lt. John J. Dunbar in “Dances with Wolves.”

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ABC News: Entertainment

Authorities: Rapper XXXTentacion shot dead in Florida

Troubled rapper-singer XXXTentacion was shot and killed Monday in Florida in what police called an apparent robbery attempt.

The 20-year-old rising star, whose real name is Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was pronounced dead Monday evening at a Fort Lauderdale-area hospital, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said. He was shot earlier outside a Deerfield Beach motorcycle dealership.

XXXTentacion had been at RIVA Motorsports checking out inventory, sheriff’s public information officer Keyla Concepcion said. He was in a black BMW i8 and preparing to leave before 4 p.m. when two armed suspects approached him. At least one of them fired, and then both suspects fled the scene in a dark SUV, Concepcion said. Investigators don’t have a motive, and no arrests have been made.

Stephanie Martinez, a 29-year-old mother who lives in the neighborhood, was just coming back from the pool with her kids when she heard three shots. She drove to the end of the street and saw the rapper’s body in the car.

“He has his mouth open and his hand out. Two people went over and checked his pulse,” said Martinez, who also saw blood. “It’s just weird because he should’ve had security and stuff with him.”

On Twitter, his peers expressed shock and sadness.

Kanye West said: “rest in peace … I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing.” Producer Diplo posted a photo of the two together and said, “Thanks for inspiring me.” Travis Barker tweeted: “I’m at a loss for words… speechless #RIPXXXTentacion Loved collaborating with you. You were a true artist …”

And J. Cole said, in part: “RIP X. Enormous talent and limitless potential and a strong desire to be a better person. God bless his family, friends and fans.”

The entertainer, who sported dreadlocks and a number of facial tattoos, was a rising star and notched a No. 1 album in March with his sophomore effort “?” and had a top 10 hit with “Sad!” but was facing trial on charges that he beat up his pregnant girlfriend.

XXXTentacion racked up huge streaming numbers — on Spotify, his “Sad!” had more than 270 million streams and was on its Top 50 chart this week in the United States and globally. He also has several songs that have been declared platinum, including “Changes,” ”Roll in Peace” with fellow rapper Kodak Black and “Look at Me!”

In interview with XXL magazine, which named him an up-and-coming artist last year, the rapper cited Nirvana, the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur among his musical influences.

“Obviously, I’m one of the greatest of this generation, the upcoming generation, as far as artistry. … And I say that humbly,” he said in a video interview with the outlet last year.

But much of his brief career had been mired in controversy. In 2016, he was arrested on charges including home invasion for a 2015 incident, and less than a month later was arrested on charges that he attacked his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time. He later faced more charges including witness tampering.

Regarding a June 2017 attack at a San Diego concert, the following messages were posted on XXXTentacion’s Twitter account: “security and venue set me up, I got sucker punched and knocked out, it is what it is.”

A subsequent tweet said,” ”next time make sure you kill me so I can’t talk (expletive).”

He was released from jail on house arrest late last year and was released from house arrest earlier this year to allow him to tour.

Fan Wyatt Rubin, 21, jumped in his car and headed to the scene shooting Monday as soon as he heard, playing the rapper’s songs like “Jocelyn Flores” and “King” on the drive over.

“He was just maturing as a person and as an artist … it couldn’t have come at a worse time,” Rubin said. “A lot of it was really beautiful music, progressive music.'”

In an interview earlier this month with the Miami New Times, XXXTentacion described his upbringing, which included seeing his mother infrequently and being raised by friends, other family and babysitters. His mother would buy him clothes, phones and other gifts. He told the paper he used violence so she would engage with him.

“I used to beat kids at school just to get her to talk to me, yell at me,” he said.

XXXTentacion was initially one of two artists Spotify removed from its promoted playlists in May in accordance with its new policy on hateful music and conduct. But after a backlash in the music industry, Spotify backpedaled and said it would no longer attempt to police conduct and restored XXXTentacion to its playlists (although they did not do the same for R. Kelly).

While he made headlines for his legal woes, he connected to millions of fans musically. Among the topics he spoke about was depression and addressed it in his music.

In one video posted to social media, he said: “If worse things come to worse, I (expletive) die a tragic death or some (expletive), and I’m not able to see out my dreams, I at least want to know that the kids perceive my message and were able to make something of themselves.”

He continued later: “I appreciate and love all of you and I believe in you all; do not let your depression make you, do not let your body define your soul, let your soul define your body. Your mind is limitless ….you are worth more than you can believe.”

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This story has been corrected to show “?” in all references that was released in March, not last month.

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ABC News: Entertainment

Lawyer: Police think slaying of XXXTentacion was random

The lawyer for slain rapper XXXTentacion said Tuesday that detectives believe he was fatally shot in a random robbery while likely planning to buy a motorcycle at an upscale shop near a residential neighborhood in South Florida.

Attorney David Bogenschutz said investigators also told him the 20-year-old rapper, who pronounced his stage name “Ex Ex Ex ten-ta-see-YAWN,” had visited a bank shortly before the shooting and possibly withdrew cash for the purchase.

No arrests have been made in Monday’s shooting at Riva Motorsports in Deerfield Beach.

XXXTentacion, whose real name was Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was exiting the shop’s parking lot in his luxury BMW electric car when he was shot. The Broward Sheriff’s Office says deputies are searching for two suspects who fled in a dark SUV.

On Tuesday morning, workers continued building a 6-foot (2-meter) wall around the property of the newly built home where XXXTentacion lived in Parkland, the same suburb of Fort Lauderdale where a gunman fatally shot 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.

Relatives and friends were in the house’s yard but declined to comment.

Candles, a teddy bear and a large, signed sympathy card lined the front porch of the 5,957-square-foot (553-square-meter) home, which was purchased late last year for $ 1.4 million. Property records list the owners as Cleopatra Bernard, the singer’s mother. Her name was tattooed across his chest.

Riva Motorsports is an upscale seller of motorcycles, boats, all-terrain vehicles and scooters off a main highway, next to railroad tracks and a neighborhood of tract homes.

On Tuesday afternoon a steady stream of fans had placed candles, flowers and teddy bears on the sidewalk near where he was shot, and decorated 100 yards (91 meters) of sidewalk with chalk art including messages of sympathy and loss such as “Feel for you XXX” and “4evr Young.”

Myles O’Hara, 17, and Aaron Gavin, 20, sat on the curb, solemnly staring at the ground, mostly ignoring the people who moved past. They said they admired XXXTentacion because he was a local kid who rose from rough circumstances and was making a positive contribution.

“He had some legal allegations before, but the last year he had only been a positive influence on people’s lives, making hit Billboard songs,” O’Hara said. “He has been a kind person. You could look at his face and smile and he was just a normal kid like us … His style is almost hard to explain. He had an angry tone. He meant everything he said, even the most simplistic words. It just came off his tongue like nothing. He was speaking his mind.”

Gavin said unlike other rappers whose songs emphasize buying expensive merchandise, he said XXXTentacion rapped about his emotions.

“X talked about how he felt instead of materialistic things like owning this car, this car, this house, this house,” Gavin said.

Brandon Lang, a 29-year-old magazine owner, said XXXTentacion may have had an angry persona in his performance, but in reality he “did good things,” pointing out that he had come home to perform in an upcoming charity show.

“He had all these mistakes that could have wound up defining him but he didn’t let that happen,” Lang said. “That is why he is connecting to all these kids because these kids are going through a really sad time, a sad world. He taught them how to cope.”

The entertainer, who sported dreadlocks and facial tattoos, was a rising star. He notched a No. 1 album in March with his sophomore effort “?” and had a top 10 hit with “Sad!” but was facing trial on charges that he beat up his pregnant girlfriend.

His brief career was marked by controversy. In 2016, he was arrested on charges including home invasion for a 2015 incident, and less than a month later was jailed on charges that he attacked his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time. Later, he faced more charges including witness tampering.

In an interview this month with the Miami New Times, XXXTentacion described his upbringing, which included seeing his mother infrequently and being raised by friends, family and baby sitters. His mother bought him clothes, phones and other gifts. He said he used violence so she would engage with him.

In one video on social media, he said: “If worse things come to worse, I (expletive) die a tragic death or some (expletive), and I’m not able to see out my dreams, I at least want to know that the kids perceive my message and were able to make something of themselves.”

He continued later: “I appreciate and love all of you and I believe in you all; do not let your depression make you, do not let your body define your soul, let your soul define your body. Your mind is limitless … you are worth more than you can believe.”

———

This story has been corrected to show the motorcycle dealer is named Riva Motorsports, not Riva Motosports.

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Review: 'Book Club' is a corny but sweet look at sex, aging

Jane Fonda said recently that “Book Club” was the most fun she’s ever had making a movie. She was ostensibly talking about getting to know her castmates — namely Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen — but may also have been referring to the wine. There is lots and lots of fine wine in “Book Club” — in fact, it seems like nobody’s allowed to have a conversation after 4 p.m. without an oversized glass of Chardonnay.

And come to think of it, that’s not a bad idea for the viewer as well. If you have access to wine while you’re seeing this film, go for it — it’ll smooth out the rough edges. “Book Club” has a script that’s often so heavy on the corn — make that corn syrup — that it strains credulity and leaves you groaning. But then, darn it, suddenly it makes you tearful, with an unexpectedly genuine moment, or laugh out loud. It’s a credit to the cast, and the cast only — how many decades of top-level acting experience do we have here? All four women are fun, but allow us a special shoutout to the wonderfully witty presence of Bergen, who makes something worthwhile of every line she’s given.

Vivian, Diane, Sharon and Carol are old friends, with a book club that’s been meeting for 40 years. They’re all in a different sort of rut (what they share is being white, older and well-off.) Vivian (Fonda) is a steely, auburn-haired vision of corporate success, a hotel owner with plenty of spice in her life — but only in the afternoons, no strings attached. Diane (Keaton) is a widow, with adult daughters who worry about her to an absurd degree, and no love life. Carol (Steenburgen) is comfortably married, but her husband is more interested in lubing up and riding his old motorbikes (cue the eye-rolling sex-bike puns) than in his marriage. As for Sharon (Bergen), she’s a federal judge, and defiantly single. “I haven’t had sex since my divorce and it’s been the happiest 18 years of my life,” she quips drily, as only Bergen can.

For their next book choice, Vivian decides something different is needed — “Fifty Shades of Grey.” (Yes, they’re still trying to make a good movie from it.) Of course the other women protest, but soon they’re reading and giggling.

Somehow, the book causes an immediate earthquake in each woman’s life (talk about product placement). For Carol, it’s the realization that her marriage to Bruce (an amusing Craig T. Nelson) desperately needs spark. For Vivian, it’s the uncomfortable realization that a meetup with a handsome old flame, Arthur, might actually open up her well-protected heart. (In perhaps the movie’s wittiest joke, Arthur is played by Don Johnson, father of Dakota, who of course played Anastasia Steele in You-Know-What.)

For Sharon, it’s about summoning the courage to launch herself into the jungle of online dating. And for Diane, who’s afraid to fly, the romantic challenge comes from — who’d have thunk it? — a sexy pilot named Mitchell (Andy Garcia), who seeks to shake her from a boring life in her daughter’s basement bedroom.

The intersecting storylines follow entertaining and sometimes very silly paths. Among the more ridiculous elements in the script, by director Bill Holderman and co-writer Erin Simms: the extent to which Diane’s adult daughters (Alicia Silverstone and Katie Aselton, in thankless parts) treat her like a child, unable to care for herself. This is a fit, active, witty woman who looks like Diane Keaton! And why does Diane stand for it? Among the sadder elements is Carol’s story; she deserves a lot better than slipping Viagra into her husband’s beer and squeezing into her old waitress uniform to seduce him.

Besides, what’s so wonderful about the distracted Bruce anyway? Or the sweet but too-calm Mitchell, or charming yet boring Arthur? If there’s a downside to having four such appealing female stars, it’s that it makes the male characters seem utterly pointless.

Well, except for one thing. One major thing.

So, if you’re in the mood, pour yourself a nice cold white, sit back, and watch these four women get what they want. You could do worse.

“Book Club,” a Paramount Pictures release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America “for sex-related material throughout, and for language.” Running time: 104 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.

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MPAA definition of PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Follow Jocelyn Noveck on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP

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Travolta dances his way through Cannes again with 'Gotti'

John Travolta first came to Cannes 40 years ago while promoting “Grease,” and he’s still dancing along the Croisette.

The 64-year-old actor returned to the Cannes Film Festival to promote his new mafia boss John Gotti biopic “Gotti,” celebrate the anniversary of “Grease” with a screening on the beach, and, at a soiree on Tuesday night, share a few dance moves alongside rapper 50 Cent.

Travolta loves Cannes; it’s where Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” debuted two decades ago and won the festival’s top award, the Palme d’Or. This year’s trip is more of a victory lap (Travolta was also to give a Masterclass talk on Wednesday) while premiering “Gotti.”

The film has had a long road to the screen. Barry Levinson was initially to direct it, then Nick Cassavetes. Eventually Kevin Connolly, the “Entourage” actor, took over. Ten days before it was to open in theaters in December, producers purchased the movie back from Lionsgate (who had planned a largely video-on-demand release), and instead will release the film June 15 with Vertical Entertainment and the distribution arm of the ticketing service MoviePass.

Travolta has been with the project for more than eight years. Kelly Preston, Travolta’s wife, plays Gotti’s wife, Victoria.

“Even though I’ve played New Yorkers before, I haven’t quite played that kind of New Yorker,” Travolta said in an interview.

Travolta memorably played the fictional New York gangster Chili Palmer in 1995’s “Get Shorty,” about a mobster who comes to Hollywood — and finds he loves it. Gotti, who died in prison 2002, likewise had a little glamour with his fondness for cameras and his carefully swept-back coiffure. The Gambino crime boss was known the “Dapper Don,” as well as the “Teflon Don” for his ability to avoid federal prosecution before being convicted for murder and racketeering.

The film is based on the book “Shadow of My Father” by John A. “Junior” Gotti, who was a frequent presence on set. Gotti’s children also starred on A&E’s 2004-2005 reality TV series “Growing Up Gotti.”

Travolta said the Gotti family’s shaping of the film was part of the appeal.

“It was what lured me into it that the family chose me,” Travolta said. “We were invited to reflect their truth, and their truth I found interesting because there was no altering of events. They were all historically correct. But what was never seen was their family life.”

“I thought it was an asset to have them for authenticity and quality control,” he added.

Critics, though, were less kind about “Gotti,” which takes a family-first view of the mobster and features songs from Pitbull. The Hollywood Reporter called it “an altogether hagiographic — one could even say pro-mob— biopic.” IndieWire said it’s “an incoherent jumble of mob history.”

For Travolta, though, there’s value in “Gotti.”

“It’s the only truly modern iconic gangster. There won’t be one like him again because the Mafia is gone,” Travolta said. “In this movie you’re seeing the last of a generation that will never happen again.”

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Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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Kevin Hart 'lost for words' after friend charged with sex-tape blackmailing scheme

Actor and comedian Kevin Hart says he was “hurt” and “lost for words” on Wednesday after authorities announced charges against an old friend who allegedly tried to extort him.

“Mind blown…Hurt…at a lost for words and simply in complete disbelief at the moment. WOW,” Hart tweeted after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced charges against his longtime friend, Jonathan Jackson, who allegedly tried blackmailing the comedian last year.

Jackson, 41, was charged with attempted extortion and extortion by threatening letter after threatening to release a video he secretly recorded of Hart having sex with a woman in Las Vegas, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

“Jackson is accused of trying to extort an undisclosed amount of money from Hart between Aug. 25 and Aug. 30, 2017,” the statement said. “Jackson allegedly had a videotape of the actor with a woman in Las Vegas and then is accused of trying to sell the recording to numerous celebrity news websites.”

Jackson, who goes by the moniker “Action Jackson,” was arrested on Monday, according to jail records, and is being held on $ 100,000 bail. He could face up to four years in county jail, if convicted.

Jackson’s lawyer, Chad Lewin, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Attorney Lisa Bloom, who previously claimed that someone possessed “bedroom images” of her client, Montia Sabbag, with Hart in a hotel room, cheered Wednesday’s news.

“Montia and I are delighted that the alleged extortionist is being brought to justice,” Bloom tweeted. “As a crime victim in this case, Montia has fully cooperated with the police since the beginning.”

Hart, 38, took to Instagram in September to apologize to his pregnant wife, Eniko Parrish, and family for what he described as a “bad error in judgment.”

He also disclosed that the FBI was investigating reports of a video that showed Hart with a woman who wasn’t his wife after someone allegedly demanded millions of dollars from Hart.

“I know I’m going to hurt the people closest to me who I have talked to and apologized to, being my wife and my kids,” Hart said in the video.

Hart and Parrish welcomed their first child in November. The baby boy is Hart’s third child and Parrish’s first.

ABC News’ Jennifer Watts contributed to this report.

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ABC News: Entertainment