Matt James gets cozy with Rachael Kirkconnell in NYC, more news

Former ‘Bachelor’ Matt James steps out with on-again ex, Rachael Kirkconnell, after racism controversy

Looks like former “Bachelor” Matt James and his ex, Rachael Kirkconnell, are continuing to move past the issues raised by the racially insensitive social media posts Matt initially dumped her over. On May 4, the two were spotted walking around New York City together again. One photo published by TMZ from their outing even showed Matt wrapping an arm affectionately around Rachael’s back as the two enjoyed the afternoon in the Big Apple’s Lower East Side neighborhood. The seemingly on-again couple’s outing comes less than a week after Matt told People he’s “seen Rachael a handful of times” since their “Bachelor” season ended with Matt revealing they’d split on the “After the Final Rose” special. “I’m not pursuing any relationships right now outside of that,” Matt told People, adding, “I said I was going to focus on my relationship with her and that means focusing on it.” During their televised rehash of the split, Matt explained to Rachael that her posts — including photos of her with her all white group of sorority sisters at an antebellum-themed party, photos she liked featuring Confederate flags and posts containing controversial Q-anon conspiracy theories — indicated she’d never understand his experience as “a Black man in America.” The rise and fall of the relationship between Matt, the franchise’s first Black “Bachelor,” and Rachael, sparked further race-related discussions and fallout, including Chris Harrison’s temporary exit from the show.

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Joe Jonas on becoming a dad during the pandemic: ‘It’s amazing’

Though he’s eager to get back to touring, new dad Joe Jonas says he’s also “grateful” for the time he’s had with his wife, Sophie Turner, and their “gorgeous” new daughter, Willa, during the coronavirus pandemic. He’s also acutely aware that, as he put it on “CBS This Morning” on May 4, “naps are nice, all around.” Asked about parenting during the pandemic, Joe, speaking for the first time on TV about fatherhood, admitted it’s actually been “amazing” for him.”It’s been forced time at home,” he explained. “You know, I’m always on the go, I’m always moving and traveling and touring,” he said. “To be in one place for a solid amount of time and having my feet on the ground and be with my family, my immediate family, is time I don’t think I’ll get back. I’m so thankful and grateful.” Sophie and Joe welcomed Willa in July 2020, one year after their surprise wedding in Las Vegas the night of the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. They celebrated with family and friends at a more formal, second wedding in the South of France that June.

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Angelina Jolie shares advice on how to ‘rediscover strength’ when life feels ‘overwhelming’

In her new film, “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” Angelina Jolie plays specially trained fire fighter battling the effects of PTSD after a mission went wrong and a young boy died. Angelina’s character eventually finds a way through the trauma, and as the actress explained to ET this week, playing that character was reminiscent of Angelina’s own transformative process at difficult moments in her life. “We all have times in our lives where we feel broken, and I was in a period like that,” Angelina said. “I’ve had my share of things that made me feel… you know, hard to speak too much about it, but just overwhelming or broken. So to have an opportunity, I feel very lucky. I wish all women could have this at times in their lives.” For Angelina, that sense of brokenness has washed over her more than once. “I’ve had this many times in my life,” she said, referencing her mother’s 2007 death from cancer. “It’s a part of something when you feel you just want to kind of hide under the covers or you’re not sure what you got left in you,” she continued. “You get an opportunity — and I would encourage anybody to do it … you’re not a film actor, doesn’t matter. Go somewhere, see what you got in you. Put yourself against the elements, or try something you’ve never tried and kind of try to rediscover that strength within.” “Those Who Wish Me Dead” was filmed in 2019, the same year she and Brad Pitt were granted a bifurcated judgment in their divorce, rendering them legally single despite the fact they have yet to finalize custody terms for the six children they share.

Duchess Meghan to publish her first children’s book

Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, has a children’s book in the works — and it was inspired by seeing her husband, Prince Harry, interact with their son, Archie, who turns 2 next month. “‘The Bench’ started as a poem I wrote for my husband on Father’s Day, the month after Archie was born. That poem became this story,” Meghan explained in a press release on May 4. Published by Random House Children’s Books, “The Bench” features art by award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson, whose work has included projects with Pixar Animation Studios and The Sesame Street Workshop, among others. “Christian layered in beautiful and ethereal watercolor illustrations that capture the warmth, joy, and comfort of the relationship between fathers and sons from all walks of life; this representation was particularly important to me, and Christian and I worked closely to depict this special bond through an inclusive lens,” Meghan said in the announcement. “My hope is that ‘The Bench’ resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine.” Other royals who’ve published children’s books include Prince Charles, who penned 1980’s “The Old Man of Lochnagar,” and Sarah Ferguson, who wrote the “Budgie the Little Helicopter” series. Meghan’s children’s book debut hits shelves on June 8. She and Harry are expecting their second child, a girl, sometime this summer.

Mark Hamill, Billie Lourd and more stars honor ‘Star Wars’ Day: ‘May the Fourth Be With You!’

In honor of the unofficial “Star Wars” Day fans mark each year on May 4, a slew of “Star Wars” cast alums paid tribute to the date on social media this week. “I’m beginning to accept the fact that I’ll probably never do another movie that gets its own day,” joked Mark Hamill, aka Luke Skywalker, who added a “May the Fourth Be With You Once in a Lifetime” hashtag at the end of his Instagram post. Samuel L. Jackson, who played Jedi Master Mace Windu in “Star Wars Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace,” posted a pic of himself clad in a purple lightsaber. “MAY THE 4th BE WITH YOU‼️‼️👊🏾” he wrote alongside the snap. Natalie Portman, meanwhile, shared a nostalgic pic of herself with Ahmed Best, captioning the shot, “in Sydney, 20 years ago!” Natalie played Padme Amidala in the franchise’s sequel trilogy; her pal Ahmed voiced Jar Jar Binks in the movies, according to People. Perhaps the most moving homage came from the late Carrie Fisher’s daughter, who shared a sweet photo of her 7-month-old son Kingston watching his grandma as Princess Leia while wearing a Princess Leia onesie and a knit hat made to look like Carrie’s iconic princess buns.

Conan O’Brien announces ‘Conan’ finale after 11 years with TBS

Citing the advice once given to him “by a very old Buddhist monk” — “to pick something up, you must first put something down” — Conan O’Brien announced on May 3 that he’s “winding down” his eponymous TBS show after nearly 11 years. The final episode of “Conan” will air June 24, the late-night host said. “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished here,” he told viewers, per the New York Times. “And so what I’d like is I’d like these last couple of weeks to be a fond look back at all the absurd madness that my team and I have concocted. Best of all, I just want to point out, there will be shockingly few, if any, references to Donald Trump because that’s always been my favorite kind of comedy.” According to Deadline, Conan’s “Without Borders” travel specials will remain regular features on TBS. The “something” he plans to pick up, however, is a “fourth iteration” of his variety show for HBO Max, due out later this year.

Blake Shelton gushes that Gwen Stefani’s ‘the greatest thing that’s happened’ to him on ‘The Voice’

If it weren’t for “The Voice,” Blake Shelton might never have met Gwen Stefani, let alone fallen in love with her and gotten engaged. That fact was at the front of the singer’s mind this week as the coaches celebrated the show’s tenth anniversary on May 3. “People ask me all the time, ‘What’s the greatest thing that has happened for you since you’ve been on The Voice’?” Blake shared this week, according to People. “That’s a no-brainer, right? I met my fiancée here. It’s hard to resist Gwen Stefani. You know, here’s this iconic rock star coming to be a coach on ‘The Voice’ in a black minivan. That was cool to me.” Blake went on to praise the No Doubt singer’s work as a coach. “I love it when she’s here,” he gushed. “She brings a very complicated element of competition, for me in particular. But I love that. I love the challenge. Just knowing that she’s there, and she has my back, is pretty cool.” The pair began dating after they met on-set back in 2014. They got engaged in October and are now beginning to think about wedding planning. Still, it sounds like Blake can’t quite wrap his head around the fact that he’s actually settling down with Gwen Stefani. “If you had told me back in 1996 that Gwen Stefani was going to be my girlfriend,” he marveled, “… I would have laughed you out of the room.”

Anna Faris reflects on what went wrong in her marriage to Chris Pratt

Looking back on her marriage to Chris Pratt, Anna Faris now sees it was detrimental to keep her marital problems to herself, rather than talk things through with friends. During a chat with Rachel Bilson on the latest edition of her “Unqualified” podcast, Anna says she didn’t really have a group of close female friends — and that may have hurt both her and her marriage to Chris, which ended in 2017 after eight years. “I think it stunted me in a lot of ways,” she admitted, according to People. “One of them being that I never talked about any issues, so to the people, even who I was closest to, I’m sure things were more transparent with my relationship with [first husband] Ben [Indra], but with Chris, I think that we both protected that imagery even within our close circles.” Today, Anna’s moved on with her fiance, cinematographer Michael Barrett, while Chris married Katherine Schwarzenegger in 2019. Anna and Chris are still friendly and focused on co-parenting their 8-yrear-old son Jack. But as she told Rachel, it’s hard not to see what could have gone differently. “For me, I think after every breakup, at some point I realize that there were a lot of things I ignored that I really shouldn’t have,” she said. “In hindsight, it felt like my hand was forced. I don’t think it was ever an independent decision.” When a caller opened up to Anna and Rachel about having called off her own engagement, Anna gave her credit for having the courage to do so. “I really feel like calling off an engagement is a smarter, stronger, braver move than what I did,” she said. “Which was like, well, I guess everyone is expecting this, so let’s just go through with it.”

Kevin Spacey’s sexual assault accuser must reveal his identity or give up legal action, judge rules

A man who filed a sexual abuse suit against Kevin Spacey without identifying himself will have to go public with his full name if he wants the legal action to proceed. NBC News reports a judge ruled the man — now in his 50s and identified only as “C.D.” in court documents — was given 10 days as of May 3 to refile his lawsuit using his legal name. The co-plaintiff, who filed along with actor Anthony Rapp, claims Kevin sexually assaulted him when he was a teenager. C.D. shared large parts of his story with Vulture, which the judge ruled was problematic to his interest in continuing to remain unidentified in the legal proceedings. “He disclosed his identity to Vulture. Vulture in turn sought to verify aspects of C.D.’s assertions with friends and acquaintances of C.D. That necessarily would have required Vulture to identify C.D., by his true identity,” the federal court judge wrote. “Thus the evidence suggests that C.D. knowingly and repeatedly took risks that any of these individuals at one point or another would reveal his true identity in a manner that would bring that identity to wide public attention.” C.D. claims he met Kevin while attending the Emmy-nominated actor’s acting class in New York State in 1981. He says Kevin made unwanted advances toward him when he was 14. Kevin has reportedly denied the allegations. He’s also denied Anthony’s assault claim, though he tweeted an apology back in 2017, saying that while he had no memory of the incident, “… If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.” The man filed suit against Kevin in September. He’s seeking more than $40 million in damages, according to NBC.

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