1:05pm PST, Dec 30, 2021
Bennifer take Jen’s twins and dad to lunch in matching looks
On Dec. 29, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez hit the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles for lunch with Jen’s twins, Max and Emme, and her dad, David. It was a family-friendly finish to Hollywood’s biggest reunion love story of 2021, complete with matching jacket vibes for Bennifer, who rekindled their early aughts romance after Jen’s split from Alex Rodriguez earlier this year. While the lovebirds seemed to be in low-key mode for lunch, their outing comes amid new whispers of a possible 2022 engagement, which an Us Weekly source recently said was “only a matter of time.” Their last engagement, of course, fizzled in 2004, and both went on to marry others before they fell in love again. It doesn’t sound like wedding bells are off the table, either — asked if she’d ever take another trip down the aisle, J.Lo told Hoda Kotb in November that she’s “a romantic,” admitting, “I still believe in happily ever after.”
Keep reading to see the sweet way Tom Cruise thanked a college marching band for their recent ‘Top Gun’ tribute …
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Tom Cruise surprises Ohio State marching band after their ‘Top Gun’ tribute
When “Top Gun: Maverick” finally arrives in 2022 after multiple pandemic delays, Tom Cruise plans to treat a special group of students to a screening. The actor, who teamed up with his “Top Gun” costar, Val Kilmer, for the long-awaited sequel, retweeted a post on Dec. 29 from the Ohio State University Marching Band. It was a video that showed the bandleader reading the students a letter he’d received from Tom in response to their recent “Top Gun” tribute performance, which featured a medley of songs from the 1986 soundtrack along with amazing formation moves like one in which the band lined up like an F-14 Tomcat Fighter on the field. “What a phenomenal performance,” Tom said in the note, which came with a huge pile of “Top Gun: Maverick” tees. After thanking them for honoring the original film, Tom wrote, “I’d love for you all to be my guests for a special screening” in Ohio, “and best of luck to Ohio State University in the Rose Bowl. Sincerely, Tom Cruise.” The clip then shows the band members looking stunned and cheering. “Thank you for the amazing Top Gun tribute. And good luck at the Rose Bowl!” Tom captioned the retweet. “Top Gun: Maverick” is currently due out in May.
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Dwayne Johnson accuses Vin Diesel of ‘manipulation’ after ‘Fast & Furious’ plea
Not only is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson done with the “Fast & Furious” franchise, he may be done with its star, Vin Diesel, for good. In an interview with CNN published Dec. 29, Dwayne was asked about Vin’s recent public plea for The Rock to return to the “Fast & Furious” franchise. In his response, Dwayne made it clear there’s no way he’ll make another “Fast” film with Vin, blasting Vin’s very request — made in a November post on social media — as being “an example of his manipulation.” Addressed to Vin’s “little brother” Dwayne, the Instagram plea read, in part, “… The time has come. The world awaits the finale of Fast 10. As you know, my children refer to you as Uncle Dwayne in my house. There is not a holiday that goes by that they and you don’t send well wishes… but the time has come.” He went on to say he needed to “fulfill” a “promise” he made to their late friend and co-star, Paul Walker, before the franchise was completed, implying Paul’s wishes couldn’t be met without Dwayne’s return. “This past June, when Vin and I actually connected not over social media, I told him directly, and privately, that I would not be returning to the franchise,” Dwayne told CNN. “I was firm yet cordial with my words and said that I would always be supportive of the cast and always root for the franchise to be successful, but that there was no chance I would return.” Calling the post “an example of [Vin’s] manipulation,” Dwayne continued: “I didn’t like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker’s death. Leave them out of it. We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding. My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise with gratitude and grace … It’s unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters. Regardless, I’m confident in the Fast universe and its ability to consistently deliver for the audience, and I truly wish my former costars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter.”
Kanye West touches down in Belize amid plans to build new home across the street from Kim
Kim Kardashian West will have some time before her ex, Kanye West, moves in across the street from her. In the wake of news Kanye bought the $4.5 million home directly opposite Kim and the former couple’s children, People reported this week that ‘Ye plans to tear down the building he just bought and build something new on the lot. “He only bought it for the location,” a source told the outlet. “It’s near Kim and the kids. He has a vision for the house and plans on starting construction ASAP.” While he works on getting the new place built, Kanye can fall back on the luxury home in Malibu he recently bought for $57.3 million. In the meantime, however, he seems to be doing some jet-setting. According to TMZ, the rapper arrived in Belize on Dec. 29 after attending J Mulan’s birthday party in Houston the night before. Kim filed for divorce from Kanye in February after seven years of marriage. She later filed a request to be declared legally single as the two navigate their settlement terms.
Scott Disick still struggling with Kourtney Kardashian’s engagement to Travis Barker
As Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker begin planning their wedding, Kourt’s ex, Scott Disick, is reportedly still “so upset” and struggling with the reality that the mother of his three kids will soon be married to someone else. “He’s been doing the best he can but it’s been a very difficult time for him,” a source recently told People. “He’s looking for support right now.” That could explain why Scott joined Kourt’s sister, Kim Kardashian West, and her new boyfriend, Pete Davidson, on a night out in Staten Island just before the holidays. Scott and Kourtney were together on and off for most of a decade before she ended the romance in 2015. As her relationship with Travis intensified earlier this year, another ex of Kourtney’s leaked a message Scott allegedly sent him in which he balked about Kourtney and Travis’ PDA habits. Scott reportedly split from then-girlfriend, Amelia Hamlin, shortly after his alleged DM was leaked.
NASA shouts-out Katy Perry in Webb Telescope tweet
Katy Perry’s got a secret admirer at NASA. The organization’s NASA Webb Telescope Twitter account shouted-out the pop star this week by referencing one of her lyrics in a post about the huge sunshield its $10 billion observatory uses. Quoting her 2008 track “Hot n Cold,” NASA posted, “You’re hot and you’re cold… 🎵,” before delving into an explanation of how the telescope features one “hot side” that can handle light from the sun and one “cold side” whose instruments must withstand -388 degrees Farenheit in order to do their job. “The sunshield will always be facing the Sun to block out heat and light, as Webb’s mirrors need to stay extremely cold to observe faint heat signals in the universe!” added the telescope’s tweet on Dec. 29.
LL Cool J tests positive for COVID-19, cancels ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ performance
Ryan Seacrest’s upcoming “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2022” special will no longer include a performance by LL Cool J, thanks to — you guessed it — a positive test for COVID-19. “I know it’s disappointing to the millions of fans but my test came back positive for COVID, which means I’ll no longer be able to perform as scheduled at ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,'” the hip-hop veteran said in a statement on Dec. 29. “We were ready and I was really looking forward to ringing in 2022 in my hometown in a special way, but for now I wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year. The best is yet to come!” Remaining performers as of Dec. 30 included Journey in New York City; Travis Barker, Avril Lavigne and Big Boi in Los Angeles; Billy Porter in New Orleans; Daddy Yankee in Puerto Rico and more. The show airs live on ABC on Dec. 31.