Site last updated: Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Log In

Reset Password
Butler County's great daily newspaper

Actor George Clooney, a high-profile Biden supporter and fundraiser, asks president to leave race

George Clooney

Movie star and lifelong Democrat George Clooney added his voice to calls for Joe Biden to leave the presidential race on Wednesday, just weeks after headlining a fundraiser that brought in a record single-night haul for the president's reelection campaign.

Clooney said in a New York Times opinion piece that he loves Biden, but the party would lose the presidential race as well as any control in Congress with him as the nominee.

“This isn’t only my opinion; this is the opinion of every senator and congress member and governor that I’ve spoken with in private,” wrote Clooney. He's hosted several high-dollar Hollywood fundraisers, including for Biden last month.

Clooney argued the party should pick a new nominee at its convention next month, saying the process would be “messy” but “wake up” voters in the party’s favor, mentioning Vice President Kamala Harris and Govs. Wes Moore of Maryland, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Gavin Newsom of California among those from who the country should now hear.

Focusing much of his piece around Biden's age, Clooney noted differences he saw in the 81-year-old president during their recent Los Angeles event compared to years past.

“It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe ‘big F-ing deal’ Biden of 2010," Clooney wrote. “He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.”

Last month, Clooney, Julia Roberts and Barbra Streisand were among those who took the stage for a fundraiser that took in a record $30 million-plus for Biden, in hopes of energizing would-be supporters for a White House contest they said may rank among the most consequential in U.S. history.

Clooney isn't alone in his characterization of his recent exchange with Biden.

A person who interacted closely with Biden described the president as vibrant and engaging at a fundraiser in March but, at the Los Angeles event months later, said they noticed a notable diminishment in Biden’s presence.

The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private interactions with the president, recalled being struck by how tired and “out of it” the president seemed during backstage conversations at the Los Angeles event, adding that they gave Biden the benefit of the doubt for not being as voluble and showing lower energy off-stage because he arrived in Los Angeles after traveling from Italy where he had attended an international summit.

Luminaries from the entertainment world have increasingly lined up to help Biden’s campaign. Leading up to the fundraiser, Clooney's name appeared on numerous fundraising missives from the campaign, which he called “the fight of our lives.”

Representatives for Clooney did not immediately return a message seeking comment on insight into his decision, when precisely he had made it or how recently he had spoken with Biden.

Biden has refused to end his reelection bid after his weak debate performance against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump on June 27.


Lisa Bonet

LOS ANGELES — Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet are officially divorced.

A Los Angeles County judge's dissolution of the marriage of the two actors, who had already been separated for years, took effect Tuesday.

Bonet and Momoa were married for more than seven years and were a couple for 12 years before they wed.

Bonet, whose legal name is Lilakoi Moon, filed for divorce in January. The documents listed the couple's separation date as October 7, 2020, more than three years earlier. They made their separation public in 2022.

The divorce went as quickly as legally possible and came without dispute. Neither person will get financial support, they have agreed on how to split their assets, and they will have joint custody of their 16-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son.

Momoa, 44, is best known for his roles in the “Aquaman" movies and on "Game of Thrones." Bonet, 56, was a star of “The Cosby Show,” its spinoff “A Different World,” and the films “High Fidelity” and “Enemy of the State.”

It was the first marriage for Momoa, who has revealed on social media that he is dating “Hit Man” and “Father of the Bride” actor Adria Arjona.

It was the second marriage for Bonet, who was previously married to rocker Lenny Kravitz and has another daughter, actor Zoë Kravitz, with him.


Kevin Costner

NEW YORK — The August theatrical release for the second chapter of Kevin Costner’s ambitious Western epic “Horizon: An American Saga” has been canceled after the first film fizzled in theaters.

New Line Cinema announced Wednesday that “Horizon: Chapter 2” will not hit theaters on Aug. 16 as scheduled. The studio had planned an unusually fast back-to-back release for the two “Horizon” films. But after the first chapter collected a modest $23 million in its first two weeks in theaters, the distributor pivoted.

“Territory Pictures and New Line Cinema have decided not to release ‘Horizon: Chapter 2’ on August 16 in order to give audiences a greater opportunity to discover the first installment of ‘Horizon’ over the coming weeks," a spokesperson for New Line said in a statement.

For now, the release of “Chapter 2” will be marked TBD on the theatrical calendar. The first “Horizon,” which opened in theaters on June 28, will land on premium on-demand July 16. No streaming date on Max has yet been announced. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the shift in plans.

The move is a humbling acknowledgement that Costner's big theatrical gamble for his decadeslong passion project has failed to catch on with audiences. The first chapter of “Horizon,” which debuted in May at the Cannes Film Festival, cost some $100 million to make, making its path to profitability extremely challenging if not impossible. Costner put some of his own money into it, and has already begun shooting a third installment of what he envisions will ultimately be four movies.

When asked in May about the movies hitting theaters in quick succession, Costner said, “The studio wanted to try that. I knew this was going to come out fairly quickly, like every four or five months. That may have been easier. But this is something they feel like people can remember the first one and it can tie into the second one.”

Costner, who directed, co-wrote and co-stars in the films, had been trying to make “Horizon” for more than 30 years. While releasing the film, Costner confirmed his exit from the hit series “Yellowstone.” The ultimate destination of “Horizon,” he acknowledged, was always going to be on TV.

“They’re going to break this up into a hundred pieces, you know what I mean?” said Costner. “After four of these, they’re going to have 13, 14 hours of film and they’re going to turn into 25 hours of TV, and they’re going to do whatever they’re going to do. That’s just the way we live in our life but they’ll also exist in this form. And that was important for me, to make sure that happened. And I was the one who paid for it.”

From combined wire services

More in People

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

* indicates required